“As the poems of both Orpheus and Musaeus were said to have been lost since the earliest ages, so that neither Plato nor Aristotle recognized anything authentic in the poems extant in their time, it is difficult to say with precision what constituted their peculiar rites. Still, we have the oral tradition, and every inference to draw therefrom; and this tradition points to Orpheus as having brought his doctrines from India.
As one whose religion was that of the oldest Magians – hence, that to which belonged the initiates of all countries, beginning with Moses, the “sons of the Prophets”, and the ascetic nazars, (who must not be confounded with those against whom thundered Hosea and other prophets), to the Essenes. This latter sect were Pythagoreans before they rather degenerated, than became perfected in their system by the Buddhist missionaries, whom Pliny tells us established themselves on the shores of the Dead Sea, ages before his time, “per saeculorum millia”.
But if, on the one hand, these Buddhist monks were the first to establish monastic communities and inculcate the strict observance of dogmatic conventual rule, on the other, they were also the first to enforce and popularize those stern virtues so exemplified by Sakya-muni, and which were previously exercised only in isolated cases of well-known philosophers and their followers; virtues preached two or three centuries later by Jesus, practiced by a few Christian ascetics, and gradually abandoned, and even entirely forgotten by the Christian Church.
The initiated nazars had ever held to this rule, which had to be followed before them by the adepts of every age; and the disciples of John were but a dissenting branch of the Essenes. Therefore, we cannot well confound them with all the nazars spoken of in the Old Testament, and who are accused by Hosea with having separated or consecrated themselves to Bosheth, (see Hebrew text), which implied the greatest possible abomination.
To infer, as some critics and theologians do, that it means to separate one’s self to chastity or continence, is either to advisedly pervert the true meaning, or to be totally ignorant of the Hebrew language. The eleventh verse of the first chapter of Micah half explains the word in its veiled translation: “Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, etc.,” and in the original text the word is Bosheth. Certainly, neither Baal, nor Iahoh Kadosh, with his Kadeshim, was a god of ascetic virtue, albeit the Septuaginta terms them, as well as the galli – the perfected priests – the initiated and the consecrated. The great Sod of the Kadeshim, translated in Psalm 89:7, by “assembly of the saints”, was anything but a mystery of the “sanctified”, in the sense given to the latter word by webster.”
H. P. Blavatsky