From The Secret Doctrine 1:xxxiv-vi, xliv-v.
The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity.
The Occultists assert that all these exist, safe from Western spoliating hands, to reappear in some more enlightened age, for which in the words of the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, "the Mlechchhas (outcasts, savages, those beyond the pale of Aryan (1) civilization) will have to wait."
For it is not the fault of the initiates that these documents are now "lost" to the profane; nor was their policy dictated by selfishness, or any desire to monopolize the life-giving sacred lore. There were portions of the Secret Science that for incalculable ages had to remain concealed from the profane gaze. But this was because to impart to the unprepared multitude secrets of such tremendous importance, was equivalent to giving a child a lighted candle in a powder magazine.
The documents were concealed, it is true, but the knowledge itself and its actual existence had never been made a secret of by the Hierophants of the Temple, wherein Mysteries have ever been made a discipline and stimulus to virtue. This is very old news, and was repeatedly made known by the great adepts, from Pythagoras and Plato down to the Neoplatonists.
More than one great scholar has stated that there never was a religious founder, whether Aryan, Semitic or Turanian, who had invented a new religion, or revealed a new truth. These founders were all transmitters, not original teachers. They were the authors of new forms and interpretations, while the truths upon which the latter were based were as old as mankind. Selecting one or more of those grand verities -- actualities visible only to the eye of the real Sage and Seer -- out of the many orally revealed to man in the beginning, preserved and perpetuated in the adyta of the temples through initiation, during the Mysteries and by personal transmission -- they revealed these truths to the masses. Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism; which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise.
There remains enough, even among such mutilated records, to warrant us in saying that there is in them every possible evidence of the actual existence of a Parent Doctrine. Fragments have survived geological and political cataclysms to tell the story; and every survival shows evidence that the now Secret Wisdom was once the one fountain head, the ever-flowing perennial source, at which were fed all its streamlets -- the later religions of all nations -- from the first down to the last.
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 1999. Copyright © 1999 by Theosophical University Press.)
1. In H. P. Blavatsky's time, the Sanskrit word aryan ("noble") was in good repute, having reference to the people of Aryavarta (India), "the abode of the noble ones." (return to text)