Barhishad (devanāgarī: बर्हिषद् barhiṣad) is a Sanskrit word used to denominate a kind of Pitṛs (fathers) or ancestors of humanity. In Hinduism they are sometimes regarded as the Pitṛs of the demons. They are those who, when alive, kept up the household flame, and presented offerings with fire.
A class of the “lunar” Pitris or “Ancestors”, Fathers, who are believed in popular superstition to have kept up, in their past incarnations the household sacred flame and made fire-offerings. Esoterically the Pitris who evolved their shadows or chhayas to make therewith the first man.
[The Barhishad-s], having given birth to their [humans] astral doubles, are reborn as Sons of Atri, and are the “Pitris of the Demons,” or corporeal beings, on the authority of Manu (III., 196).
The “Lunar Monads” or Pitris, the ancestors of man, become in reality man himself. They are the “Monads” who enter on the cycle of evolution on Globe A, and who, passing round the chain of planets, evolve the human form as has just been shown. At the beginning of the human stage of the Fourth Round on this Globe, they “ooze out” their astral doubles from the “ape-like” forms which they had evolved in Round III. And it is this subtle, finer form, which serves as the model round which Nature builds physical man.
“The Dhyanis (Pitris) are those who have evolved their BHUTA (doubles) from themselves, which RUPA (form) has become the vehicle of monads (seventh and sixth principles) that had completed their cycle of transmigration in the three preceding Kalpas (Rounds). Then, they (the astral doubles) became the men of the first Human Race of the Round. But they were not complete, and were senseless.”
The Barhishad, though possessed of creative fire, were devoid of the higher MAHAT-mic element. Being on a level with the lower principles—those which precede gross objective matter—they could only give birth to the outer man, or rather to the model of the physical, the astral man.
- Barhishad at Theosophy World
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 51.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 89.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 180.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 183.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 79.