Buddhism and Theosophy


Buddhism and Theosophy

Theosphical teachings have borrowed some concepts and terms from Buddhism. Theosophical writers have also interpreted some Buddhist teachings in unorthodox ways. Some theosophists like Blavatsky, Helena Roerich and Henry Steel Olcott also became Buddhists.

Tibetan Buddhism was popularised in the West at first mainly by theosophists like: Evans-Wentz, Alexandra David-Neel.

Blavatsky sometimes compared Theosophy to Mahayana Buddhism. In the Key to Theosophy she writes::"But the schools of the Northern Buddhist Church…teach all that is now called Theosophical doctrines, because they form part of the knowledge of the initiates..."

Voice of the Silence

Zen Buddhism scholar Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki wrote about Blavatsky's book "The Voice of the Silence": "Undoubtedly Madame Blavatsky had in some way been initiated into the deeper side of Mahayana teaching and then gave out what she deemed wise to the Western world..."(Eastern Buddhist, old series, 5:377) He also commented: "Here is the real Mahayana Buddhism." (The Middle Way, August 1965, p. 90.)

Further reading

*C. Jinarajadasa and C.W. Leadbeater. The Smaller Buddhist Catechism. Translated from the Sinhalese by C. Jinarâjadâsa [http://www.theosophical.ca/SmallBuddhistCatechism.htm]
*H. S. Olcott:"A Buddhist catechism"; Madras 1881
*H. S. Olcott. The Golden Rules of Buddhism [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/olcott.html]
*A. P. Sinnett. Esoteric Buddhism. London, Chapman and Hall Ltd 1885 [http://www.theosophical.ca/EsotericBuddhism.htm]
*Henk J. Spierenburg. The Buddhism of H.P. Blavatsky ISBN 0-913004-68-5
*David Reigle. The Book of Dzyan Research Reports [http://www.blavatskyarchives.com/reiglecon.htm]
*David Reigle. Theosophy and Buddhism (Fohat, Spring 2000, pp. 14-17, 22-23.) [http://www.blavatskyarchives.com/theobudd.htm]
*Helena Roerich. Foundations of Buddhism.
*Subba Row. First Ray in Buddhism [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/sr_ray.htm]

External links

* [http://www.theosophysandiego.org/Featured/Articles/theosdiffbuddhism.htm Buddhism: Differences and Similarities to Theosophy]
* [http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/dzyan.htm The Book of Dzyan by David Pratt]
* [http://aryasangha.org/olcott-prothero.htm H.S. Olcott and Buddhism]
* [http://blavatskyarchives.com/price.pdf Blavatsky, Buddhism and Tibet by Leslie Price]
* [http://www.blavatsky.net/forum/taylor/tibetanSources1.htm Blavatsky and Buddhism by Richard Taylor]
* [http://www.buddhanet.net/khrisna.htm The Krishnamurti connection and Buddhism]
* [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/metaphys/empty.htm Sunyatâ, the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness and Blavatsky]
* [http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/m_wolff.html Is Theosophy Authentic? by Franklin Merrell-Wolff] Contains information on Theosophy and Buddhism


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