Dolrajas The central topic of the volume, honoring the unity of religions as well as their individual forms, is organized into three sections: Page 1 ahrry 1. La Trobe University, Help Center Find new research papers in: That the invasion of Tibet and the destruction of its religious culture should be carried out by its neighbour in the name of a profane Western ideology is one of the most bitter ironies of recent history. Marco Pallis did not fall into either trap. Australian Aboriginal Religion in Schuonian Perspective more. Their archive of online articles by Professor Oldmeadow has numerous essays and other writings he has produced over the years. Ancient Truths and Modern Delusions more.

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Nonetheless, it is clear that Schuon is familiar with the Hindu sources; furthermore, he is familiar with a range of Indian sources concerning cycles, including the Manava-Dharma-Shastra and several Puranas of which the Frenchman was apparently unaware.

However, before that, a few general remarks. All of this is nicely, and precisely, summed up in this passage from Schuon: 4 See RG Coomaraswamy, Time and Eternity; M. Snodgrass, Architecture, Time and Eternity.

Interesting commentaries are also to be found in W. It concerns the unfolding of various terrestrial and cosmic cycles without an understanding of which we are quite unable to discern the larger, transhistorical forces at work throughout human history—for the moment not mentioning the awesome mysteries of time and space as they are writ on the universe at large.

However, this is a domain into which one should venture with great caution; it is all too easy to get lost in endless speculations about the precise duration of the ages and in fruitless attempts to determine exactly where we might stand with regard to the Last Days.

All too often we end up with a jumble of traditional images and symbols, wrenched out of context and forcibly married to a historicist understanding of time and history, one quite impervious to various considerations which would make the traditional doctrines more intelligible — the extravagant and characteristically Indian penchant for the hyperbolic use of number, for instance, or the privileging of myth over history, or, indeed, the recondite symbolism of numbers themselves.

More often than not the method of analysis and interpretation is altogether inadequate to the material at hand. It hardly need be added that when the spiritually immature are exposed to doctrines concerning the end of the world, then all manner of incongruous results may well be expected. In his magisterial essay on traditional cosmology and modern science Titus Burckhardt does just this.

After surveying and juxtaposing traditional cosmogonies and Darwinian evolution, he observes that It is certain that the process of materialization, going from supersensory to sensory, had to be reflected within the material or corporeal state itself, so that one is on safe ground in saying that the first generations of a new species did not leave their mark in the great book of earthly layering; it is therefore useless to want to seek in sensible matter the ancestors of a species and especially those of man.

The doctrine manifestly excludes evolutionism as a universal principle or as an over-arching explanatory theory: We do not deny that evolution exists within certain limits, as is indeed evident enough, but we do deny that it is a universal principle, hence a law that affects and determines all things, including 10 The Prophet quoted in W. Bed that as it may, what has to be categorically rejected is the idea that truth evolves or that revealed doctrines are the product of an evolution.

The principle might most succinctly be summed up this way: creation—deterioration— dissolution. The principle is given rich symbolic expression in various myths about the different ages, usually four in number and most commonly associated with the metals gold, silver, bronze and iron. Both the mythological and metaphysical expressions of the principle find their richest expressions in the Hindu tradition, though analogous narratives and doctrines are to be found everywhere although sometimes heavily veiled, for reasons to which some allusion has already been made.

At the beginning of this maha-yuga a buffalo was placed by the Great spirit at the West in order to hold back the waters which menace the earth; every year this bison loses a hair, and in every yuga it loses a foot. When it will have lost all its hair and its feet, the waters will overwhelm the earth and the maha-yuga will be finished. The analogy with the bull of Dharma in Hinduism is very remarkable; at every yuga, this bulls withdraws a foot, and spirituality loses its strength; and now we are near the end of the kali-yuga.

And lest we be in any doubt as to the authenticity of the doctrines embedded in this mythic imagery, Schuon goes on to add this: Like the orthodox Hindus, the traditional Red Indians have this conviction [of our proximity to the end of the Kali-Yuga] which is obviously true in spite of all the mundane optimism of the modern world; but let us add that the compensation of our very dark age is the Mercy of the Holy Name, as it is emphasized in the Manava-Dharma Shastra and the Shrimad Bhagavata and other holy scriptures.

In those days it will be wealth that confers distinction, passion will be the sole reason for union between the sexes, lies will be the only method of success in business, and women will be the objects merely of sensual gratification. The earth will be valued only for its mineral treasures, dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence, a simple ablution will be regarded as sufficient purification The observances of castes, laws, and institutions will no longer be in force in the Dark Age, and the ceremonies prescribed by the Vedas will be neglected.

Women will obey only their whims and will be infatuated with pleasure The Vaishyas will abandon agriculture and commerce and will earn their living by servitude or by the exercise of mechanical professions The dominant caste will be that of the Shudras No one of any spiritual discernment can fail to be struck by the chilling accuracy of this passage as a description of our present circumstances. They will be men who put pleasure in the place of God, who preserve the outward form of religion, but are a standing denial of its reality…Ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

These passages, in a different translation, can be found in The Vishnu Purana, Vol 2, tr. One sympathizes with the Rumanian philosopher E. Nor is the rise of historicism without its ironies.

Nowhere is this more graphically demonstrated than in the fact that in the most irreligious and impious period in human history the esoteric wisdoms preserved by the religious traditions are more widely and easily accessible than ever before. Sapiential truths which previously had remained extrinsically inexpressible and which had been protected by those few capable of understanding them are now on public display, as 20 from Anathemas and Admirations, Quinn, The Only Tradition, The perennialists themselves have played a significant role in bringing esoteric wisdoms within the purview of a greater number of people.

This calls for some explanation. There are also innumerable cases where a garbled version of half-understood secret doctrines has been thoughtlessly and carelessly put into public circulation. The warnings about false prophets might often be more to the point. In the case of the traditionalists the unveiling of some esoteric teachings has been considered and prudent.

What sorts of factors have allowed this development? Firstly, there are certain cosmic and cyclic conditions now obtaining which make for an unprecedented situation. This task can only be achieved through esotericism. The open confrontation of different exotericisms, the extirpation of traditional civilisations, and the tyranny of secular and profane ideologies are symptomatic of the cyclical conditions; all play a part in determining the peculiar circumstances in which the most imperious needs of the age can only be answered by a recourse to traditional esotericisms.

Joseph Epes Brown writes of the disclosure of traditional Lakota wisdom, to choose one example, in terms very similar to those used by Schuon See also W. Perry, A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom, 22n. Brown The Sacred Pipe, xii. This passage was omitted from the Penguin edition. Let us never forget that the essential message of Tradition is timeless and thus ever new, ever fresh, and always germane to both our immediate condition and to our ultimate destiny.

Then, too, there is the abiding work and example of the great perennialists. Their device should be that used formerly by certain initiatory organizations of the West : Vincit Omnia Veritas.





Harry Oldmeadow


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