THE THEOSOPHICAL HANDBOOK
First Edition: 1925
An important work. Illuminative. - C.W. Leadbeater
XIIIThe Third Ray
XIVThe Fourth Ray
XVIThe Sixth Ray
XVIIThe Seventh Ray
XVIIIA Master's Table
(Page 2) There are seven Forces in Man and in all Nature. The real substance of the Concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother-Substance. It is the Heart and Matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our Solar Universe. It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the Atoms, in their fundamental duties, and the Focus within which they again meet in their Seventh Essence every eleventh year. He who tells thee he has seen the Sun, laugh at him, as if he had said that the Sun moves really onward in his diurnal path.
It is on account of this septenary nature that the Sun is spoken of by the ancients as one who is driven by seven horses equal to the metres of the Vedas; or, again, that, though he is identified with the seven Gana (Classes of Being) in his orb, he is distant from them, as he is, indeed; as also that he has Seven Rays, as indeed he has.
The Seven Beings in the Sun are the Seven Holy Ones, self-born from the inherent power in the Matrix of Mother-Substance. It is they who send the seven principal Forces, called Rays, which, at the beginning of Pralaya, will centre into seven new Suns for the next Manvantara. The energy from which they spring into conscious existence in every Sun is what some people call Vishnu, which is the Breath of the Absoluteness.
(Page 3) I seeno means to avoid, in the writing of this book, and the putting forth of what I hope are clear ideas about the Rays, certain matters of a rather abstract character, and foremost among them a statement about the universality of God or Brahman, whom some regard as living far away on a high plane somewhere beyond our vision. The fact is that the Sachchidananda Brahman.[The term Brahman, neuter, applies to the entire trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, but Brahma, masculine, is the third member of that trinity] is here and now, before us and with us every day. Analyse the entire world of your experience, and you will find that it is composed of three parts: there is first a great mass of objects of all kinds, which are material on every plane, however high; secondly, there are vast numbers of living beings, with consciousness evolved in various degrees; and thirdly, there is yourself. The first of these three is the world of sat, existence; the second is that of chit, consciousness; and the third is \u00e2nanda, happiness, the true self.
This will be better understood if we recall the story of the great pillar of light. The great being N\u00e2r\u00e2yana, Vishnu, the soul and life of the Universe, thousand-eyed and omniscient, was reclining upon his couch, the body of the great serpent Sesha or
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