isis unveiled: chapter xv (knowledge is power)

“Those who are ready to accuse the Chinese of irreligion will do well to read Schott’s Essays on Buddhism in China and Upper Asia. “In the years Yuan-yeu of the Sung, (A.D. 1086-1093), a pious matron with her two servants lived entirely to the Land of Enlightenment. One of the maids said one day to her companion: ‘Tonight I shall pass over to the Realm of Amita’, (Buddha).

The same night a balsamic odor filled the house, and the maid died without any preceding illness. On the following day the surviving maid said to her lady: ‘Yesterday my deceased companion appeared to me in a dream and said: “Thanks to the persevering supplications of our dear mistress, I am become an inhabitant of Paradise, and my blessedness is past all expression in words.” ‘The matron replied: ‘If she will appear to me also, then will I believe all you say.’

The next night the deceased really appeared to her. The lady asked: ‘May I, for once, visit the land of Enlightenment?’ ‘Yea’, answered the blessed soul; ‘thou hast but to follow thine hand-maiden.’ The lady followed her, (in her dream), and soon perceived a lake of immeasurable expanse, overspread with innumerable red and white lotus flowers, of various sizes, some blooming, some fading.

She asked what those flowers might signify? The maiden replied: ‘These are all human beings on the Earth whose thoughts are turned to the Land of Enlightenment. The very first longing after the Paradise of Amita produces a flower in the Celestial Lake, and this becomes daily, larger and more glorious as the self-improvement of the person whom it represents advances; in the contrary case, it loses in glory and fades away.’

The matron desired to know the name of an enlightened one who reposed on one of the flowers, clad in a waving and wondrously glistening raiment. Her whilom maiden answered: ‘That is Yang-kie.’ Then asked she the name of another and was answered: ‘That is Mahu.’

The lady then said: ‘At what place shall I hereafter come into existence?’ Then the Blessed Soul led her a space further and showed her a hill that gleamed with gold and azure. ‘Here’, said she, ‘is your future abode. You will belong to the first order of the blessed.’ When the matron awoke, she sent to inquire for Yang-kie and Mahu. The first was already departed; the other still alive and well.

And thus the lady learned that the soul of one who advances in holiness and never turns back, may be already a dweller in the Land of Enlightenment, even though the body still sojourn in this transitory world.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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