By Douglas Gabriel
The final monograph of our series entitled, Masters and Avatars was incomplete without addressing one of the most powerful masters of all – Scythianos. The reason he was left to the end was because so little is known about him. Rudolf Steiner gives us hints and indications, but the big questions remain and the shroud of mystery still hangs before the inner sanctuary. During the ensuing years, our research has taken us from the permafrost of Siberia to the green isles of Ireland, and beyond. We have had to study the origins of agriculture to find the annual plants that could sustain a constantly migrating culture. We needed to find the link between animal husbandry and the development of early sources of human foods. The amazing results of these seemingly disparate avenues of research eventually led to the Tarim Basin, Mongolia, and Serbia. The ancient cultures we were tracing indicated that in 10,500 BC, a group of migrants from beyond the Himalayan Mountains cultivated lands that became paradisical, but now are deserts and cold wastelands. To think of the Gobi Desert as a vast inland ocean filled with whales and ocean creatures that are now extinct is hard to believe. Rumors of hundreds of pyramid libraries under the Gobi sands, or mystical islands that reach up into the heavenly realms filled by hierarchies of spiritual beings who commune with Holy Rishis and Atlantean Manus.
There were great Manu beings of the past that were inspired by archangels, but there will also be Manu teachers in the future who have risen to that high rank of development from the human domain. Scythianos is one of the Manus of the future and is consider one of highest human initiates of all time. Scythianos was said to have studied directly with the ancient Manu who led the fifth migration off of Atlantis to the Central Asian mystery initiation center in Western China, near the Gobi Desert. The central Sun mystery initiation center of Manu and the seven Holy Rishis carried the wisdom of Atlantis to a place often referred to as, The City of Manu.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that Manu and Scythianos both were together in the Northern mystery stream near Ireland as the islands of Atlantis were sinking. Others before Steiner, revealed a great many details about the seven races and subraces of Atlantis and the numerous migrations from Atlantis to the east and west. These different versions of migrations, even by Anthroposophists, are quite confusing and Scythianos is the key to understanding the way the migrations happened and the specific types of cultural mixing that happened through the long migrations of Scythianos that spread from today’s Ireland, all the way to Eastern Siberia, Japan, and over the Baring Straights to the Americas. Then, once the eastern migrations had ended, Scythianos (Scythians) turned around and headed back to their original homes in the western islands that are referred to as “The North.” Through many incarnations, Scythianos led these people and created settlements amongst the existing races and cultures he encountered along the way.
Scythianos is much like Zarathustra, who also was a student of Manu when they were together in the “Western islands”, near present-day Ireland. Zarathustra, through many incarnations as the leader of the ancient Persian people, took the wisdom of Manu and used it to develop settled agriculture and animal breeding and authored the Gathas. Zarathustra developed the original strains of perennial and annual plants that brought us our grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as the domesticated animals that we commonly eat. Scythianos, on the other hand, was constantly migrating and used hemp as an annual plant for animal and human needs. Scythianos was involved in the breeding of horses and dogs, while Zarathustra bred pigs, sheep, goats and other domesticated animals for food. Both Zarathustra and Manu left a comprehensive oral and written tradition that later became the Vedas and the Gathas.
On the other hand, there are few, if any written records from Scythianos, or even records concerning his migrations and cultural influence. Even language analysis does not tell the story of the Scythians (Slavs-Sacca-Druids-Celts). Some modern research is beginning to understand that numerous cultures that have been considered independent are, in fact, from the same source. The indications of Rudolf Steiner are proving to be true as DNA analysis merges with history and anthropology. The migrations of peoples determined by “science” agrees in great detail with the insights of Steiner. The details found in Steiner’s personal secretary’s book, The Evolution of Earth and Man, predicted the results of DNA research. Even the “Out of Africa” theory coincides with Steiner’s indications concerning early migrations and the first cultural centers in Africa.
Studying the indications of Rudolf Steiner concerning migrations often give a very high level, broad view of the vast sweep of time that goes beyond recorded history into pre-history. Just as we can read detailed views concerning Atlantis from Theosophists (see Appendix) and wonder how they have arrived at these details; the same questions can be asked about Rudolf Steiner’s indications about these ancient times. Both Steiner and some Theosophists had the ability to see into the past and “read” pre-history, even back to the beginning of Earth existence and beyond. This may be hard to believe, but it is often the case that unrelated spiritual scientists arrive at the same conclusions from their independent research. Comparing the works of Theosophists, who wrote before Steiner’s time, plus all that is derived from ancient traditions creates a picture of migration patterns that coincide with modern scientific DNA research. Eventually, the coincidences in these spiritual scientific writings become quite convincing.
Rudolf Steiner gave a lecture entitled, The Souls of Nations, which comprehensively describes these ancient times and the great migrations of people. He also gives a spiritual description of how the “soul of a nation” is connected to hierarchical beings who rise up to become the leading “Time Spirit” of an age. This cultural development aligns, to some degree, with prior views of Theosophists and others; but Steiner has filled in all the details and corrected the mistakes of others. But even after Steiner gave his indications on these cultural periods and the great Masters, Manus, and Avatars who led these developments, many Anthroposophists are still confused and cannot even defend Steiner’s “non-racist” views on historical and cultural development. Anyone who has truly read and studied Steiner’s views on these topics knows that racism, anti-Semitism, Aryanism, Ariosophism, and other fundamental, one-sided views are far from Steiner’s indications. One mission of the Scythians was to meld all cultures together to create a beautiful mix of every race and people.
Scythianos is, in part, so mysterious because the ancient time periods when he was seeding cultures across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and especially in the Northern countries which were home to the Druids, Trottes, Celts, Norse, Germans, Teutons, and Russ is so very little understood. In fact, modern scholarship is overturning many of the prior ideas concerning the very cultures that Scythianos influenced. Throughout this monograph, we will gather information from the newest research and compare it with Steiner’s own words, and the ideas of his students. Theosophical writer’s ideas can be found in the Appendix to this article that demonstrate the contrast between Steiner’s indications and the current opinions of his time. We have also added the ideas of other Anthroposophists who may or may not agree totally with Steiner’s indications. This is why it is essential to provide direct quotes of authors, without running commentary. The ultimate conclusions concerning Scythianos and the influence of the Scythians will be left up to the reader.
In our series entitled, Masters and Avatars, we have focused on many of the people who were gathered underneath the cross on Golgotha. These great souls are part of the spiritual human drama that reflects the divine cosmic drama. They are the greatest of initiates, masters, illuminated souls, and spiritual leaders of humanity who seem to be at the heart of human spiritual evolution as witnesses of the cosmic deed of Christ. Steiner has given indications of who some of these souls were in past incarnations; these mysteries reveal the nature of karma and reincarnation. Some of these indications have already been addressed in prior articles in this series.
Adam – Elijah – John the Baptist – Raphael – Novalis
Eve – Queen of Sheba – Mary Sophia
Able – Solomon – Mary Magdalene
Cain – Hiram Abiff – Lazarus/John – CRC
Noah – Manu – Melchezedek – Titural
Scythianos is said to be one of the highest initiates and is the master of the mysteries of the human body, the Saturn mysteries of Atlantis. The question naturally arises: Where was Scythianos during the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why is the master of the physical body not a witness of the Mystery of Golgotha, the redemption of the physical? There are always many questions about this most hidden of masters.
Rudolf Steiner speaks about Scythianos joining together with Zarathustra, Buddha (from the spiritual world) and Mani in the 4th Century Rosicrucian meeting that laid out the future spiritual plans for the evolution of humanity. Steiner indicates that these four were chosen because Scythianos was there representing the physical nature of the human body, Zarathustra the etheric, Buddha the astral, and Mani the ego nature of the human being. Together, they work as a united group that helps guide human spiritual development both from the Earth plane and the spiritual plane. In this case, Scythianos was essential for the planning of the future but is often missing from the picture for other momentous spiritual events.
Take for instance, the marvelous description of Christian Rosenkreutz as the “Wondrous Child” who drew to himself what became the First College of C.R.C. in the 13th Century. Gathered around the Wondrous Child were the great cultural leaders of history. There are numerous versions of who Steiner indicated where the twelve representatives of human cultural development gathered around the Wondrous Child, and yet no mention of Scythianos in any version. Some of the great master beings gathered were: the Seven Holy Rishis, Manu, Zarathustra, Hermes, Socrates, Plato, Augustine, and Joan of Arc – but no Scythianos.
Where is Scythianos? Why is the great master often missing from these high-level gatherings? It is true that Steiner has said that Scythianos travels as the seventh master between the other six – two in the East, two in Europe, and two in the West. This might explain his absence in some cases, but he is the one who is in contact with the other six master beings. Why is Scythianos hidden? It can’t only be that his time has yet to come, since his broad influence in the past is most impressive. This missing information creates a strong need to study all that is available about Scythianos, and his people, to build a comprehensive picture of the Hidden Master.
The Unknown Master – Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche
Much like Scythianos, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche is such a “hidden master” that he is practically the “unknown master.” This is surprising because Shenrab became a Buddha before Gautama Buddha, the one we all know about. Shenrab goes back into pre-history, just like Scythianos, and many believed for a long time that Shenrab was myth, legend, or confabulation. But now, just like with the research on the Scythians, Shenrab and his Bonpo Buddhist culture is recognized as the original source of Tibetan Buddhism and ancient Indian Buddhism. Shenrab also was the leader of his culture throughout many incarnations. Shenrab was the mythical breeder of “heavenly” horses, the progenitor of the modern horse. He also cultivated hemp and cannabis for human and animal use. Many stories place Shenrab in about 10,500 BC, just as the final parts of Atlantis were sinking. Shenrab is also noted for traveling all over China and sharing his amazing knowledge of plants, animals, elemental beings, and hierarchical beings that populate the Earth plane. Horses, dogs, hemp, cannabis, fruit trees, rice and many other criticalelements of life were developed by Shenrab as the leader of the Bonpo culture of ancient Northern India.
We would like to share the “unknown” life of Shenrab with you to highlight the way that even great cultural leaders of the past may be quite unknown to historians and yet welded tremendous power to lead great tribes of people. There is even a story about Shenrab traveling to China to meet with the great Manu in Lop Nor, at the Eastern end of the Tarim Basin. There is little doubt now that the Chinese use of horses, hemp, and cannabis came from the influence of the Bonpo culture, led by Shenrab.
Shenrab occupies a position very similar to that of Sakyamuni in Buddhism and is the author of an enormous number of books, either attributed directly to him or believed to be his word. The biography of Shenrab was revealed in a fourteenth century work of Loden Nyingpo.
Shenrab spoke and wrote in the Zhang-Zhung language, which is a relative of Old Tibetan. He predates Gautama Buddha by ten thousand years. It is held that Shenrab first studied the Bonpo doctrine in Tagzig Olmo Lung Ring, at the end of which he pledged to the god of compassion that he would guide the peoples of this world to liberation.
Shenrab was of royal birth but renounced his royal inheritance at the age of thirty-one to travel the path to enlightenment. He embraced the life of a renunciate and commenced austerities, spreading the doctrine of Bon; at length, he arrived in the land of Zhang Zhung near Mount Kailash. He taught The Four Portals, addressing such topics as: narratives, magic, funeral rites, ransom rituals, monastic rules, philosophical expositions, and secret tantric teachings.
In Shenrab’s work entitled, The Treasury he illuminated: prognostication, sortilege, astrology, the psycho-physical universe, the dispersal of adverse entities and energies, funeral and death rituals, the ten principles for wholesome activity, codified monastic rules and regulations, the integration of the mandala of highest enlightenment, the guidelines for seeking a tantric master, and the “Way of Supreme Natural Condition” – Dzogchen.
The Bonpo canon comprises more than two hundred volumes, classified in four categories: the Sutras, the Perfection of Wisdom Teachings, the Tantras, and Knowledge. Besides these, the Bonpo canon includes material on rituals, arts and crafts, logic, medicine, poetry and narrative. The “Knowledge” section concerning cosmogony and cosmology, though in some respects unique to Bonpo, shares a more than passing resemblance to Tibetan Nyingma doctrines. Just as Manu had given the complete Indian cosmology in The Laws of Manu, so Shenrab did the same for the Bonpo.
After hearing about the comprehensive culture that was fully developed long before the ancient Hindu or Tibetan Buddhist cultures, it is easier to see that the work of a great master like Scythianos could remain hidden, even to this day. It was only a few years ago that the city of Zhang Zhung was discovered by a Tibetan monk on an expedition to find Shenrab’s hidden city. The city was found quite intact with many written works that pre-date Tibetan Buddhism. Shenrab is real, but it took thousands of years to finally prove it. Perhaps Scythianos will also, one day, be revealed to be all of the things that Rudolf Steiner has indicated.
Scythianos, as an historical person, cannot be tied down to even a certain millennia or general area. The Scythians’ origin is as sketchy and mythical as the master beings who seemed to have lived numerous lifetimes while leading their culture in all aspects of life. You can judge the stature of these beings by the cultural remains, and Scythians are accredited with everything from breeding the best horses, inventing the chariot, cultivating hemp and cannabis, inventing the compound bow, metallurgy, gold-smithing, hybrid agriculture, etc., etc., etc. Most European and Eastern cultures claim associations with the Scyths and they are known by dozens of names in various cultures. No one definitively claims to know the origins of Scythianos or the Scythians.
Scythianos was probably named so because as an initiate, he took the name of his people – the Scythians. He is thought to have lived near the border between Palestine and Arabia, and at one time, to have been active in trade between the Red Sea ports and India. He is mentioned by the historian Socrates, who wrote in the 5th century, giving as his authority a lost work The Disputation of Archelaus Bishop of Caschar, authored by Hegemonius. In this tradition, Scythianos, a Saracen, husband of an Egyptian woman “introduced the doctrines of Empedocles and Pythagoras into Christianity.”
Another version of Scythianos describes him as an Alexandrian religious teacher who visited India around 50 AD. He is also mentioned by several Christian writers and anti-Manichaean polemicists of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, including Cyril of Jerusalem, Hippolytus and Epiphanius, and is first mentioned in the fourth-century work, Acta Archelai, a critical biography of Mani from an orthodox perspective. Hippolytus considered Scythianos as a predecessor of Mani, and wrote that he brought before Mani, “the doctrine of the Two Principles” from India.
Cyril of Jerusalem and Epiphanius wrote that Scythianos authored four books: Mysteries, Treasure, Summaries, and The Gospel of Scythianos. Legend has it that Scythianos traveled to Jerusalem to debate his doctrines with the Apostles of Jesus Christ.
The account of Cyril of Jerusalem states that after Scythianos’ death, his pupil Terebinthus went to Palestine, Babylon, and Judaea where he “became known and condemned.” He used the name “Buddas”, which could mean he presented himself as a Buddha and may suggest a link between his philosophy and Buddhism. Terebinthus brought with him the books of Scythianos, which he presented upon his death to his lodger, a widow with a slave named Cubricus, who later changed his name to Mani. Mani is said to have studied the books, which thereby became the source of Manichean doctrine.
The hidden mystery center of Scythianos has been speculated to be the “mysterious” Solovietsky Islands, were the Druids guarded the hidden Drotten Mysteries. This archipelago, with many ancient stone labyrinths, has always been associated with the high initiate of the Scythians, Scythianos. In was on these islands, that were filled with the strongest solar powers of the north, that it was necessary to preserve the clairvoyance of nature in the purest form. After the loss of natural clairvoyance, through the sinking of Atlantis, a hidden mystery center had to be established to retain the original clairvoyance of the Atlantean Jupiter and Sun mystery centers.
The Solovietsky Islands are jewels of the White Sea in the very northeast of Europe between the Kalevala country of Karelia in the west and the Russian region of Arkhangelsk (Archangel City) in the east, between the midnight sun and the taiga. A high mystery site, hidden in open countryside, woven from the strongest light forces with salt-water and ancient rock has existed on these islands since pre-history. It is believed that the Greeks have known about this island as Apollo’s land of Hyperborea. From Solovietsky Island, Apollo traveled each spring to Delphi bringing the Golden Bough. Apollo was known as the “Sun God from Hyperborea.” Apollo’s followers accompanied his yearly travel with offerings on ships across the Baltic Sea, the Dnieper, and the Black Sea.
It is from these remote islands and the lands south, all the way to Lake Onega, that the teachings of Scythianos strongly emanated. These teachings even created a southern stream of migration that reached all the way to Italy and the Etruscans. There were few written teachings from these islands of Scythianos, but there was a strong oral tradition that was sung, or chanted, to a pseudo-hexameter rhythm accomplished by two singers doing a call-and-answer recitation of Norse, Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavic mythology. These teachings eventually became the bards of the Druids, Celts, and Drotten mysteries.
Scythianos: Past, Present and Future
A dear friend of mine, Virginia Sease, presented a wonderful exposition on Scythianos that is quite useful to frame Rudolf Steiner’s indications on the subject. Virginia was, for many years, one of the leaders of the international Anthroposophical Society, headquartered in Dornach, Switzerland. Her insights can therefore be considered “Anthroposophically approved”, and thus, quite useful to gain an overview before we go further with modern theories and research.
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