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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Dzyan, Book Of

The book on which Helena P. BLAVATSKY based her monumental work, The Secret Doctrine. It is considered to be a part of a larger work known in Tibetan as Kiu-Te (sometimes spelt “Kiu-Ti”). The Book of Dzyan was selected for commentary by Blavatsky because it contains an original archaic teaching which might well be one of the earliest writings about theosophy or “The Ancient Wisdom.”

The word “dzyan” is the Tibetan form of the Sanskrit word “jñana” (jñan in Hindi), i.e., “knowledge.” According to Gottfried de PURUCKER there is, apart from Blavatsky’s commentary, another well- known one on the Kiu-Te written by Tson-kha-pa (1357-1419), the great Buddhist reformer who founded the Tibetan order of Lamas known as the “Yellow-Caps or Gelugpas;” this work is called the Lam-rim-chin-po (Studies in Occult Philosophy, p. 453).

It has to be conceded that there is a problem concerning the verification of the existence of the Book of Dzyan, as far as is known, no copies exist in the libraries in the West. There is reason to believe however, that Blavatsky did spend quite some time under instruction in Tibet (see Cranston, H. P. B.: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, 1993, p. 80) and it is not unreasonable to assume that it was at that time she studied the Kiu-te.

Blavatsky sometimes in her writings refers to The Book of Commentaries. According to her there are fourteen volumes of Commentaries on the Kiu-te and these commentaries are of untold antiquity. This does raise a query since the Books of Kiu-te, are, according to a statement made by her in the same article, edited within the last millennium. She implies however that the Commentaries are based on a pre-edited version. See also KIU-TE, BOOKS OF.


P.S.H


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