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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Manu

A Sanskrit term given to the progenitors of mankind. In Hindu mythology, there are fourteen Manus, of which the present Manu is the 7th, the Vaivasvata Manu. It is also the name of author of ˜he Laws of Manu or Manu Smti, written about 200 CE.

Theosophical writers seem to have accepted the Brahmanical system as stated in the PURÁNAS. Each of the Rounds and Races is “watched over” by a Manu. Each Round Manu gives rise to a DHYÁNI-BODHISATTVA, who in turn gives rise to seven Manus for the seven Root Races and seven for sub-races, making forty-nine in all. Thus it can be said that during a Day of Brahm€ or period of seven Rounds, fourteen subordinate Manus appear to function as guardians of the life-waves. When used to denote a watcher over a system, Hindu writers do use “Manu,” but Mahāyāna Buddhists use the Sanskrit term DHYÁNI- BUDDHAS.

Each round has a Root Manu and a Seed Manu. The Root Manu presides at the start of a round, and watches over the development of the life-wave. At the end of the round, the Seed Manu takes over to watch over the ®ishµas or seeds during the dormant period of the globe.

The Secret Doctrine gives the following correspondences of each of the Manus in relation to the Rounds:


1st Round 1st (Root) Manu on Planet A — Swayambhûva. 1st (Seed) Manu on Planet G — Swarochi (or) Swarotisha. 2nd Round 2nd (R) Manu on Planet A — Uttama. 2nd (S) M. ” ” G — Thamasa. 3rd Round 3rd (R) M. ” ” A — Raivata. 3rd (S) M. ” ” G — Chackchuska. 4th Round 4th (R) M. ” ” A — Vaivasvata (our progenitor).

                   4th (S)  M.	”       ”	  G — Savarna.

5th Round 5th (R) M. ” ” A — Daksha Savarna. 5th (S) M. ” ” G — Brahm€ Savarna. 6th Round 6th (R) M. ” ” A — Dharma Savarna. 6th (S) M. ” ” G — Rudra Savarna. 7th Round 7th (R) M. ” ” A — Rouchya. 7th (S) M. ” ” G — Bhoutya.

The Secret Doctrine further states that Vaivasvata, “though seventh in the order given, is the primitive Root-Manu of our fourth Human Wave (the reader must always remember that Manu is not a man but collective humanity), while our Vaivasvata was but one of the seven Minor Manus, who are made to preside over the seven races of this our planet. Each of these has to become the witness of one of the periodical and ever-recurring cataclysms (by fire and water) that close the cycle of every Root-race” (SD II:309).

Later theosophical writings speak also of the Manu as one of the members of the Adept Hierarchy, a seventh initiate, which should not be confused with the Round Manus.

See also Vaivasvata Manu, Swšyambhuva.

P.S.H./V.H.C.

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