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Kiu Te, Books Of

(Also spelled Kiu Ti). A collection of Tibetan esoteric and exoteric teachings from which The Secret Doctrine of Helena P. Blavatsky was based. Blavatsky wrote that there are thirty-five exoteric volumes of Kiu-te which can be found in the libraries of many Tibetan monasteries, as well as fourteen books of commentaries and annotations by initiated Teachers, which contain a summary of esoteric sciences. The latter are said to be kept in secret by the Teshu Lama of Shigatse. She states that the books have been edited within the last thousand years, but the esoteric commentaries are of untold antiquity. Part of the books are the Stanzas of Dzyan from which The Secret Doctrine was derived. Blavatsky wrote that the Stanzas form the first volume of the Commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te (CW XIV:422). The books are in turn derived from another very old book, from which even the Kabbalistic Siphrah Dzeniouta was compiled (SD I: xlii).

Recent scholars, particularly H. J. Spierenburg and David Reigle, have identified the Book of Kiu-ti to be the Tibetan Buddhist Tantras, known in Tibetan as rGyud-sde. This was written as Kiu-ti by the Capuchin monk Horace della Penna, who sneered at some of the contents of the books. It is part of the Tanjur texts of Tibetan Buddhism, which contains the inner teachings, and includes the Tantras. Reigle thinks that the Book of Dzyan is perhaps the Mahācakra Tantra, which cannot be located.

Throughout her writings, Blavatsky cites passages from the Book of Kiu-ti. One such example is the list of qualifications of disciples or regular chelas contained in Book IV on the Laws of Upasans:

In Book IV of Kiu-ti, in the chapter on “the Laws of Upasans” (disciples), the qualifications expected in a “regular chela” are “(1.) Perfect physical health. (2.) Absolute mental and physical purity. (3.) Unselfishness of purpose; universal charity; pity for all animate beings. (4.) Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the laws of Karma. (5.) A courage undaunted in the support of truth, even in the face of peril to life. (6.) An intuitive perception of one’s being the vehicle of the manifested divine Atman (spirit). (7.) Calm indifference for, but a just appreciation of, everything that constitutes the objective and transitory world. (8.) Blessings of both parents [Or one, if the other is dead] and their permission to become an Upasana (chela); and (9.) Celibacy, and freedom from any obligatory duty.” (CW VIII:294)

The Mahatma Koot Hoomi wrote that

. . . volumes upon volumes out of the Books of Kiu-te and others would have to be written. Their commentaries . . . are filled with the most abstruse mathematical calculations the keys to most of which are in the hands of our highest adepts only, since showing as they do the infinitude of the phenomenal manifestations in the side projections of the one Force they are again secret. (ML, p. 173)

V.H.C./P.S.H.

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