The Secret Doctrine

“IT IS desirable to state unequivocally that the teachings, however fragmentary and incomplete, contained in these volumes, belong neither to the Hindu, the Zoroastrian, the Chaldean, nor the Egyptian religion…neither to Buddhism, Islam, Judaism nor Christianity exclusively. The Secret Doctrine is the essence of all these. Sprung from it in their origins, the various religious schemes are now made to merge back into their original element, out of which every mystery and dogma has grown, developed, and become materialized.”

-H.P. Blavatsky, (vol. 1, p. viii)

Also see the Blavatsky News article:
“Blavatsky and Modernism”


Theosophy Company

Los Angeles, California USA

The Secret Doctrine: Volumes I and II : A Facsimile of the Original Edition of 1888

Or click below:

Searchable / downloadable .pdf file


Theosophical University Press Online PDF Edition

The Secret Doctrine


by H. P. Blavatsky

Scanned reproduction of the TUP facsimile of the original 1888 edition (Searchable PDF version, each file 3-7 Mb)
ISBN 978-1-55700-204-4.




pages 25 to 85

pages 86 to 135

pages 136 to 212

pages 213 to 300


pages 301 to 358

pages 359 to 411

pages 412 to 474


pages 475 to 528

pages 529 to 600

pages 601 to 676




pages 13 to 85

pages 86 to 160

pages 161 to 224

pages 225 to 315

pages 316 to 350

pages 351 to 402

pages 403 to 446


pages 447 to 505

pages 506 to 562

pages 563 to 642


pages 643 to 693

pages 694 to 730

pages 731 to 798


Homepage of The Theosophical Society, Pasadena

Theosophical University Press Online

A publishing arm of The Theosophical Society
International Headquarters — Pasadena, California

Theosophical Literature Online


United Lodge of Theosophists

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Online Publications


Theosophy Company

Los Angeles, California USA


14 responses to “The Secret Doctrine

  1. The words are from HPB on the gift of the right perception of truth, not easy, one that needs an enduring and sweet patience, Kshanti, a true love for the task:

    “However small the particle of gold lost in a ton of rubbish, it is the noble metal still, and worthy of being dug out even at the price of some extra trouble.”

    “WHAT IS TRUTH?” by H.P.Blavatsky


    • Thanks for your comments Aquarian, and for the “particle of gold” quote. We also like what HPB said before and after that memorable quote. She brackets it first with:

      “Theosophy is divine knowledge, and knowledge is truth; every true fact, every sincere word are thus part and parcel of Theosophy. One who is skilled in divine alchemy, or even approximately blessed with the gift of the perception of truth, will find and extract it from an erroneous as much as from a correct statement.”

      (“particle of gold”) …and then with:

      “As has been said, it is often as useful to know what a thing is not, as to learn what it is.”



  2. “The possible ranks higher than the actual.” — Martin Heidegger

    Regardless of the sources from which The Secret Doctrine is derived, the practice of Theosophy has nothing to do with speculations (or even proofs) about the geographical origins of the spiritual philosophies cited in a book. Theosophy is practiced in the present moment. This is quite a different matter from the mere study of Theosophy.

    One of Pharaoh’s best insights was the comparison implied between The Secret Doctrine and The Bible. What esotericists do with the Bible is very different from what literalists do with it.


    • The Blavatsky News article: “Blavatsky and Modernism” quotes Christopher Butler from “Modernism: A Very Short Introduction,” published September 3, 2010, by Oxford University Press. On page 48, Butler cites Blavatsky to illustrate his point:

      Art since the late 19th century had claimed to go deeper than all such orthodoxies, towards the far deeper and enduring ancient wisdom to be found in the history of religious myth-making. As Mme Blavatsky, who inspired Yeats put it:

      (the SD quote here)

      Butler concludes:

      “Literature based on such premises had new responsibilities. Given the secularizing effect of modernity, the involvement of the modernists with myth and religion may seem surprising, but many of them…saw the claims of art as in some way contesting or complementing those of orthodox religion….This search for an inspirational authority within the high culture rather than within religious institutions is a prime legacy of the modernist period.”


  3. Hi Odin: what a beautiful opening statement; it synopsizes what Theosophy and her (HPB’s) great work (SD) is all about. It also by implication (for any serious philosophically interested person) shows what her aspiration and purpose was in founding the T.S. and authoring the S.D.


  4. Submitted on 2010/12/15 at 9:56 AM

    HPB contradicts herself in that she relies heavily on the Indian traditions and mythology in drawing most of her conclusions in both Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine.

    Theosophy as it is currently practiced is based mostly on Indian sources, this fact is why it can be mostly disregarded by the serious students of the of the Ancient Wisdom, as the Indian sources are not primary. Indian culture, history and civilization does not get us back far enough. Theosophy as it is presently practised is lost in the cloud land of of Indian mythology and has not penetrated to the phenomenal origins.

    The theosophic Atlantean speculations and so-called root races ideology are just some of the immediate examples of their misconceptions based on and racial ideology. Gerald Massey (Arguably one of the greatest expounders of the Secret Doctrine) was a fierce critic of this line one of thought, which is exemplified by the letters between him and HPB.

    Atlantis was an African myth related to the Greeks by an Egyptian Hierophant, it is demonstratable that the myth was misunderstood by the Greeks and this misunderstanding has be passed down to the current Theosophists and Atlantiolators of the present day, who are still searching for the islands of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean.. This search is somewhat akin to the Bibliolators who are searching in vain for the remains of Noah’s Ark.


    • HPB’s brave critic Pharaoh Shabaka doesn’t say much about his beliefs nor what can inspire such antoganism for the most ancient Indian traditions.

      He or she holds to their views and we hold to ours: those who support the search for Truth turn over all stones looking for traces of gold to be dug out from the mud and reject none until proven false. We don’t see much proof in the post offered to support Massey’s views.

      While the Master’s wrote about Massey as amongst “some of the best and most earnest amongst western Theosophists — such for instance as C. C. Massey”, concerning his intuition:

      “Massey, says the Mahatma, is third on the list of failures. A bit further down, he says “Four Europeans were placed on probation twelve months ago. . .” These were Massey, Hume, Sinnett, and Fern. So far, only Sinnett “was found worthy of our trust…

      “The brief meaning of this is the following: Mr. Massey labours under the strangest misconceptions, and (literally) “dreams dreams” — though no medium, as his friend, Mr. S. Moses. With all he is the noblest, purest, in short, one of the best men I know, though occasionally too trusting in wrong directions. But he lacks entirely — correct intuition.”
      from The Mahamta Letters, No. 101 (ML-57) Rec. January 6, 1883 by APS.


      • “those who support the search for Truth turn over all stones looking for traces of gold to be dug out from the mud and reject none until proven false” what an excellent saying


        • So true, thanks Smooth Geek – “Leave no stone unturned,” just the point of view our modern science should take searching for answers, instead of living in a comfort zone of established beliefs….


  5. Submitted on 2010/12/17 at 12:48 AM | In reply to Pharaoh Shabaka.

    H.P.B. persistently and consistently performed her duty. Always tirelessly she did her duty. One who comprehends this would not doubt her works and instead realize that there are no speculative exertions or any misconceptions propounded in the Secret Doctrine. It is only a testimony to our own minds and intellect, mired in veils of ignorance which perceives in any other way.

    All transcendental truth, no matter how abstract, can be directly and positively experienced only by duly qualified persons. Truly further evolution lies before us in other worlds, but in the divine order they are not open to us until we have learned and mastered the lessons our own world has to teach. Raising a doubt colored by presumption, harshness of thought, pride and ignorance rather than gentleness and humility, will only confound the self.

    Why the Indian sources are primary will be revealed in time; the acme of transcendental truths in all their manifestive phases. The Vedanta-sutra begins with the aphorism, “athato brahma-jijnasa” — human life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. Initiation had its cradle in India. Imperfect and unqualified individuals attempting to translate the divine knowledge have corrupted it in translation and reduced India of today to a spiritual wasteland. Ancient Indian civilization and the conclusions of Vedic enquiry revealed only to the qualified; the very fountainhead of all prime causes of unending, non-beginning time and the supplying fosterer of all entities, viz. mundane and transcendental.

    Wisdom begins with the consciousness of ignorance. Realised knowledge alone destroys ignorance. An awakened mind and intuitive heart, will sense, will know.


  6. “No traveller has shown himself fairer in the main or more impartial to India than Jacolliot. If he is severe as to her present degradation, he is still severer to those who were the cause of it — the sacerdotal caste of the last few centuries — and his rebuke is proportionate to the intensity of his appreciation of her past grandeur. He shows the sources whence proceeded the revelations of all the ancient creeds, including the inspired Books of Moses, and points at India directly as the cradle of humanity, the parent of all other nations, and the hot-bed of all the lost arts and sciences of antiquity, for which old India, herself, was lost already in the Cimmerian darkness of the archaic ages. “To study India,” he says, “is to trace humanity to its sources.” – H. P. Blavatsky


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