- 1. Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your instructors — the Sons of the Fire (a). Learn there is neither first nor last ; for all is one number, issued from no number (b).
(a) These terms, the “ Sons of the Fire,” the “ Sons of the FireMist,” and the like, require explanation. They are connected with a great primordial and universal mystery, and it is not easy to make it clear. There is a passage in the Bhagavatgîtâ (ch. viii.) wherein Krishna, speaking symbolically and esoterically, says : “ I will state the times (conditions) . . . at which devotees departing (from this life) do so never to return (be reborn), or to return (to incarnate again). The Fire, the Flame, the day, the bright (lucky) fortnight, the six months of the Northern solstice, departing (dying) in these, those who know the Brahman (Yogis) go to the Brahman. Smoke, night, the dark (unlucky) fortnight, the six months of the Southern solstice, (dying) in these, the devotee goes to the lunar light (or mansion the astral light also) and returns (is reborn). These two paths, bright and dark, are said to be eternal in this world (or great kalpa, ‘ Age ’). By the one a man goes never to come back, by the other he returns.” Now these names, “ Fire,” “ Flame,” “ Day,” the “ bright fortnight,” etc., as “ Smoke,” “ Night,” and so on, leading only to the end of the lunar path are incomprehensible without a knowledge of Esotericism. These are all names of various deities which preside over the Cosmo-psychic Powers. We often speak of the Hierarchy of “ Flames ” (see Book II.), of the “ Sons of Fire,” etc. Sankarachârya the greatest of the Esoteric masters of India, says that fire means a deity which presides over Time (kâla). The able translator of Bhagavatgitâ, Kashinâth Trimbak Telang, M.A., of Bombay, confesses he has “ no clear notion of the meaning of these verses ” (p. 81, footnote). It seems quite clear, on the contrary, to him who knows the occult doctrine. With these verses the mystic sense of the solar and lunar symbols are connected : the Pitris are lunar deities and our ancestors, because they created the physical man.
The Agnishwatha, the Kumara (the seven mystic sages), are solar deities, though the former are Pitris also ; and these are the “ fashioners of the Inner Man.” (See Book II.) They are : —
“ The Sons of Fire ” — because they are the first Beings (in the Secret Doctrine they are called “ Minds ”), evolved from Primordial Fire. “ The Lord is a consuming Fire ” (Deuteronomy iv. 24) ; “ The Lord (Christos) shall be revealed with his mighty angels in flaming fire ” (2 Thessal. i. 7, 8). The Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles like “ cloven tongues of fire,” (Acts ii. v. 3) ; Vishnu will return on Kalki, the White Horse, as the last Avatar amid fire and flames ; and Sosiosh will be brought down equally on a White Horse in a “ tornado of fire.” “ And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him . . . . is called the Word of God,” (Rev. xix. 13) amid flaming Fire. Fire is Æther in its purest form, and hence is not regarded as matter, but it is the unity of Æther — the second manifested deity — in its universality. But there are two “ Fires ” and a distinction is made between them in the Occult teachings. The first, or the purely Formless and invisible Fire concealed in the Central Spiritual Sun, is spoken of as “ triple ” (metaphysically) ; while the Fire of the manifested Kosmos is Septenary, throughout both the Universe and our Solar System. “ The fire or knowledge burns up all action on the plane of illusion,” says the commentary. “ Therefore, those who have acquired it and are emancipated, are called ‘ Fires.’ ” Speaking of the seven senses symbolised as Hotris, priests, the Brâhmana says in Anugîtâ : “ Thus these seven (senses, smell and taste, and colour, and sound, etc., etc.) are the causes of emancipation ;” and the commentator adds : “ It is from these seven from which the Self is to be emancipated. ‘ I ’ (am here devoid of qualities) must mean the Self, not the Brâhmana who speaks.” (“ Sacred Books of the East,,” ed. by Max Müller, Vol. VIII., 278.)
(b) The expression “ All is One Number, issued from No Number ” relates again to that universal and philosophical tenet just explained in Stanza III. (Comm. 4). That which is absolute is of course No Number ; but in its later significance it has an application in Space as in Time. It means that not only every increment of time is part of a larger increment, up to the most indefinitely prolonged duration conceivable by the human intellect, but also that no manifested thing can
be thought of except as part of a larger whole : the total aggregate being the One manifested Universe that issues from the unmanifested or Absolute — called Non-Being or “ No-Number,” to distinguish it from Being or “ the One Number.”