Manu

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Manu (devanāgarī: मनु) is the Sanskrit title given in Hinduism to the progenitor of mankind, who is said to have been the very first king to rule this earth. During a Kalpa 14 Manus are said to appear, one after the other, who manifest and regulate this world. Each Manu’s life (Manvantara) consists of 71 Mahayugas.

In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Manu is the title of the progenitor of humanity. The current time period is ruled by the seventh Manu, called the Vaivasvata Manu, who is the 7th Manu. He is regarded as the first king to rule this earth. He saved humanity from the great flood after being warned of it by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu, who advised him to build a giant boat.

In Theosophy

General description

In Theosophical literature the term "Manu" is used in different ways. In one use, it refers to a hierarchy of celestial beings that have the role of guiding the evolution on a Planetary Chain. There are Manus in charge of each Round as well as those in charge of a particular Globe and Root-Race. They all can be regarded as emanations or differentiation from the primitive Manu. As H. P. Blavatsky wrote:

As an analogy he [the primitive Manu] may be compared to the white light which contains all the other rays, giving birth to them by passing through the prism of differentiation and evolution. But this pertains to the esoteric and metaphysical teachings.[1]

A Manu is said to be the "builder" of all that develops in his cycle:

Esoterically, every Manu, as an anthropomorphized patron of his special cycle (or Round), is but the personified idea of the “Thought Divine” (as the Hermetic “Pymander”); each of the Manus, therefore, being the special god, the creator and fashioner of all that appears during his own respective cycle of being or Manvantara.[2]

However, his role seems to be more particularly related to the evolution of self-conscious humanity:

Manu is, and contains the potentiality of all the thinking forms which will be developed on earth from this particular source. . . . Every Manvantara has thus its own Manu and from this Manu the various Manus or rather all the Manasa [thinking beings] of the Kalpas will proceed.[3]

The Manus are said to have emanated the Lunar Pitris that build the First Root-Race:

The Manus are the creators of the creators of our First Race—the Spirit of mankind.[4]
You may say that Manu is a generic name for the Pitris, the progenitors of mankind. They come, as I have shown, from the Lunar Chain. They give birth to humanity, for, having become the first men, they give birth to others by evolving their shadows, their astral selves. They not only give birth to humanity but to animals and all other creatures.[5]

When talking about the Manu "in the abstract sense", it cannot be regarded as an individuality:

Manu is the synthesis perhaps of the Manasa, and he is a single consciousness in the same sense that while all the different cells of which the human body is composed are different and varying consciousnesses, there is still a unit of consciousness which is the man. But this unit, so to say, is not a single consciousness: it is a reflection of thousands and millions of consciousnesses which a man has absorbed.[6]

Thus, in another use of the term, "Manu" does not represent an individual but the collective humanity.[7]

Root and Seed Manus

In Theosophical literature, a Kalpa is said to be the time employed for the development of seven Rounds in a given Planetary Chain. During this cycle 14 Manus are said to appear. This number is explained by Mme. Blavatsky by pointing out that there are two "Manus" in each round: the Root Manu at its beginning and the Seed Manu at its end:

Those who know that there are seven Rounds, of which we have passed three, and are now in the fourth; and who are taught that there are seven dawns and seven twilights or fourteen Manvantaras; that at the beginning of every Round and at the end . . . there is “an awakening to illusive life,” and “an awakening to real life,” and that, moreover, there are “root-Manus” and what we have to clumsily translate as “the seed-Manus”—the seeds for the human races of the forthcoming Round (a mystery divulged, but to those who have passed their third degree in initiation); those who have learned all that, will be better prepared to understand the meaning of the following. . . . There is a root-Manu at globe A and a seed-Manu at globe G.[8]

The first Root Manu on this Planetary Chain is called Svāyambhuva.[9] This term means "son of svayambhū", which in turn means "self-existing". Mme. Blavatsky wrote:

Svayambhû (Sk.). A metaphysical and philosophical term, meaning “the spontaneously self-produced” or the “self-existent being”. An epithet of Brahmâ. Svâyambhuva is also the name of the first Manu.[10]
Swâyambhuva, the first of the Manus, who started from Swâyambhu, “the self-existent” hence the Logos, and the progenitor of mankind.[11]
Who was Manu, the son of Svâyambhuva? The secret doctrine tells us that this Manu was no man, but the representation of the first human races evolved with the help of the Dhyan-Chohans (Devas) at the beginning of the first Round.[12]

Vaivasvata Manu

The Root-Manu of the Fourth Round is called "Vaivasvata". It is the seventh appeared so far, since 2 have already appeared in the first Round (the Root and Seed Manus), two in the second, two in the third, and one more (a Root-Manu) at the beginning of the fourth:

Thus it becomes clear that Manu—the last one, the progenitor of our Fourth Round Humanity—must be the seventh, since we are on our fourth Round, and there is a root-Manu at globe A and a seed Manu at globe G. Just as each planetary Round commences with the appearance of a ‘Root Manu’ (Dhyan Chohan) and closes with a ‘Seed-Manu,’ so a Root and a Seed Manu appear respectively at the beginning and the termination of the human period on any particular planet.

In the Hindu books, the Manu of our Root-race is also called "Vaivasvata". However, this is not the Root Manu but an emanation from it, also called Vaivasvata:

Whereas the Hindu Purânas speak of one Vaivasvata Manu, we affirm that there were several, the name being a generic one.[13]
Vaivasvata thus, though seventh in the order given, is the primitive Root-Manu of our fourth Human Wave . . . while our Vaivasvata was but one of the seven Minor Manus who are made to preside over the seven races of this our planet.[14]
The present seventh Manu is called "Vaivasvata" and stands in the exoteric texts for that Manu who represents in India the Babylonian Xisuthrus and the Jewish Noah. But in the esoteric books we are told that Manu Vaivasvata, the progenitor of our Fifth race—who saved it from the flood that nearly exterminated the Fourth (Atlantis)—is not the seventh Manu, mentioned in the nomenclature of the Root, or primitive-Manus, but one of the 49 Manus emanated from this Root-Manu.[15]
The Aryan races, for instance, now varying from dark brown, almost black, red-brown-yellow, down to the whitest creamy colour, are yet all of one and the same stock—the Fifth Root- Race—and spring from one single progenitor, called in Hindu exotericism by the generic name of Vaivasvata Manu.[16]
Vaivasvata Manu (the Manu of our own fifth race and Humanity in general) is the chief personified representative of the thinking Humanity of the fifth Root-race; and therefore he is represented as the eldest Son of the Sun and an Agnishwatta Ancestor.[17]

Although Root and Seed Manus seem to be Planetary Spirits, the Manus of the Root-Races may be incarnated Mahatmas, or "Manu-Rishis". Mme. Blavatsky explained this in connection with a Hindu legend related to the seven Maruts. In it, the God Indra divided the embryo in Diti's womb into seven portions, and then every such portion into seven pieces again, which would become the Maruts. Mme. Blavatsky wrote:

[The] seven portions [are] a reference not alone to the seven sub-races of the new Root-Race, in each of which there will be a “Manu,” but also to the seven degrees of adeptship—and then each portion into seven pieces—alluding to the Manu-Rishis of each Root-Race, and even sub-race. . . . There will be seven Rishis in every Root-Race . . . as there are fourteen Manus in every Round.[18]
For all you know Vaivasvata Manu may be an Avatar or a personification of MAHAT, commissioned by the Universal Mind to lead and guide thinking Humanity onwards.[19]

See also

Online resources

Articles

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 363-364.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 63.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 363-364.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 311.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 364.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 364.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 578.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 576.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 311.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 315.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 206.
  12. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 576.
  13. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 251.
  14. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 578.
  15. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 577.
  16. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 249-250.
  17. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 363.
  18. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 614-615.
  19. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 364.