Skip to main content


The origin and evolution of human beings. This is the second major theme (the first being COSMOGENESIS) of the magnum opus of Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, which treated of the physical and superphysical formation of present humanity.

The teachings on anthropogenesis consist of commentaries on twelve stanzas of the Stanzas of Dzyan, broken down into 49 slokas. They cover periods of evolution that go farther than those treated in scientific evolutionary speculations. In view of the vast scope of the subject, this article shall provide an outline of the various aspects of anthropogenesis, and the reader will be referred to the different articles for more details.

Three Fields of Evolution. At the core of every human being is the MONAD, the spark of the One Divine Life that seeks to manifest and participate in the lower (or denser) fields of matter. It does so by having vehicles or bases for such experiencing. These are the upādhis, of which there are three: the Monad itself, the mind or intellect, and the physical body. These are the three fields of evolution (SD I:181).

Solar and Planetary Evolution. Theosophical anthropo- genesis must be understood as a part or continuation of a larger cosmic process that involve solar systems and planets, as well as spiritual intelligences discussed in the article COSMOGENESIS. Human evolution occurs in seven globes of the Earth Chain (see CHAIN, PLANETARY). Six of these globes are non-physical. Evolution of various KINGDOMS of nature (elemental, mineral, plant, animal, human and superhuman) progresses by moving from one globe to another in seven ROUNDS, during which certain faculties are awakened stage by stage. In each round, there are Root-races, sub-races, and family-races (see ROUND; ROOT RACES).

The human level of evolution is but a stage of a stupendous process that has involutionary and evolutionary phases. In the former, progress consists of becoming more involved in denser levels of existence, up to the mineral kingdom. Upon reaching this bottom, the evolutionary phase begins, where consciousness attempts to “return” back to its spiritual origins. Humanity is now in this return phase. See INVOLUTION; EVOLUTION.

Rounds and Root-Races. Present humanity is now in the fourth round and fifth root-race. In each root-race, each of the five senses were developed in the following order: hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell.

Three Classes of Monads. In our globe, there are three classes of monads connected with human evolution. (1) The most advanced ones are Lunar Pitris (Sk. Pitris, lit. fathers or ancestors), those who have achieved, and graduated from, the human stage during the Lunar Chain. During the first round of the Earth Chain, they are able to go through “the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain” (SD I:174). They are the first ones to reach the human form or prototype in the non-physical globe “A,” that is, the first of the seven globes of the Earth chain. They are the ones who evolve their shadows at the beginning of the fourth round for the second class of monads. (2) The second class are those who are able to reach the human stage during the three and a half Rounds, and to become human beings. (3) The third class are the laggards who will not reach the human stage during this chain but will come near to the human stage at the end of the seventh round, and will be ushered into the next chain.

The Creative Hierarchies. The formation of the human form, both physical and superphysical, involved creative hierarchies who were responsible for the perfection of the different vehicles of the human being. The following are the primary beings connected with human evolution:

a. BARHISHADS. Also called the Lunar Pit¬is. They are the beings from an earlier Moon Chain. They are the ones that provided the chh€ya or form of the human body.

b. SOLAR PITRIS. They were the ones who awakened the mind of humanity. There are different classes: MANASAPUTRAS, AGNISHVATTAS, KUMARAS, VAIRAJAS, ASURAS.

Three Propositions. In the field of human evolution, The Secret Doctrine postulates three propositions as follows: (1) The simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of Earth; (2) The birth of the ethereal body before the physical; and (3) humanity existed before any mammals did, including the anthropoids (SD II:1). The last proposition is put forward despite its apparent contradiction with the principles of Darwinian evolutionary theory (see APES, ANTHROPOID).

Anthropogenesis. The following summarizes the development of humanity on Earth according to the Stanzas of Dzyan:

a. During the first three rounds, the Earth was able to produce minerals, vegetables and lower animals. Then the Earth asked the Lord of the Shining Face (Sun) to people the Earth. Until the fourth round, however, the Earth was not ready yet.

b. In the first three rounds, the Earth by itself produced such human beings unaided. This failed and resulted in the creation of “water-men,” described as “terrible and bad.” These forms were declared to be unfit for those beings who were destined to evolve on Earth as human beings. The physical conditions, described as “turbid water,” created in the first three rounds, were also unfit, and they were made to “dry.”

c. When the conditions were satisfactory, the Barhishads, or the Lunar Pitis, and the Agnishvāttas, or Solar Pitis, were asked to bring forth human beings of their nature. The Barhishads did and created the seven types of human beings in seven different zones. But the Agnishvāttas did not, and would not create. The Barhishads could only give human beings their lower bodies, but not the mind, which could only be given by the Solar Pitis.

d. These created beings had only etherial bodies, but not physical bodies. They were mindless, and hence called Amānasas (without mind).

e. Another attempt was made with the help of ahana or electric fire, and Suchi, the spirit in the Sun. All it produced was a good physical form, but still mindless. Thus they were still chhayas or shadows, or bhutas, or phantoms. They were called the Sons of Yoga, and constituted the first Root Race. They multiplied by fission.

f. The second Root Race was developed by budding and expansion. It was asexual, and lived in a second continent called Hyperborean.

g. The third Root Race was initially a race that reproduced through exudation of vital fluid, and was also asexual. Later it became bisexual or hermaphrodite, and then later there was separation of the sexes.

h. It was during the third root race that some of the Solar Pitis incarnated in human bodies. Those who did became Arhats. In other human beings, the Solar Pitris merely projected a spark; these constitute the average humanity. Still others did not enter into humanity until the fourth race, which had unfortunate karmic results because the bodies had become tainted with impurity while such entry was being deferred.

i. The human beings who did not have the spark of the mind mated with animals and begat dumb races and monsters. The Sons of Wisdom, those who were supposed to have incarnated into human bodies, saw the consequences of their own delay, and thus decided to enter the bodies, and thus endowed the human bodies with manas or mind.

j. The third race, the Lemurians, built huge cities made of rare earths and metals, and began the worship of images. This race was destroyed by fire.

k. The fourth race developed speech. Later they became tall with pride. They mated with the “mindless,” the narrow-headed race. This resulted in another group of monsters as well as the anthropoids or apes. During the fourth race, the use of the third eye ceased. The race was destroyed by water, with all its seven islands. The holy ones were saved, the unholy perished.

l. The fifth root race started a million years ago, and was first ruled by divine kings.

H. P. Blavatsky wrote that the connection of the Solar Pitris or Mānasaputras with humanity is the basis of the various well-known legends of various religions and mythologies, such as the “fall of angels,” the disobedience of LUCIFER in Christian theology, PROMETHEUS giving fire to humanity in Greek mythology, and the Asuras of Hinduism.




© Copyright by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila