Central to the ontology of the Yogācāra school of thought, is the philosophy of the three svabhāvas. One of the terms used in HPB’s rendering of the stanzas from the Book of Dzyan referring implicitly to the Yogācāra school, is pariniṣpanna, in stanza 1 śloka 6 and in stanza 2 śloka 1 respectively, which is one of these three. All three svabhāvas are discussed in HPB’s commentary to stanza 1 śloka 9. The page numbers of all locations, all in SD I, are:
|pariniṣpanna||absolute existence||23, 42 (27), 42, 48, 53 (28) and 54|
|paratantra||dependent existence||48 (2x) and 49|
|parikalpita||imaginary existence||48 (2x)|
In SD I, 42 a mystery is presented to the reader:
What exactly are these “Three in One, Self-existent [sva-bhāva] and perfect”, or Non Ego, Voidness and Darkness?
Non Ego, the first of the Three in One, is described by HPB in SD I, 48 as parikalpita, imaginary existence:
Non Ego could be HPB’s rendering of the Buddhist term anātman.
Voidness, the second of the Three in One, is described as personified by ālaya, according to the yogācāra’s, in SD I, 48:
In part II of the article Ālaya in the Laṅkāvatārasūtra, we have argued that ālaya might be viewed as tri-une, in HPB’s words having two “Manvantaric” aspects and one “Non-Manvantaric”. In its Non-Manvantaric aspect it is “eternal and immutable in its essence”. In (one of) its Manvantaric aspects it would be the personification of Voidness which is the ultimate “basis of every visible and invisible thing”, having a “dependent or causal connection” with “every visible and invisible thing”. On paratantra, dependent existence, we find in SD I, 48:
Undoubtedly, Voidness is a rendering of the Mahāyāna term śūnyatā, which is voidness, or emptyness.
Darkness, the third of the Three in One, is a term used in the Book of Dzyan in relation to pariniṣpanna. When the universe is in the state of pralaya, all that “was” or “will be” can be thought of as being in darkness. In SD I, 28 for example, the builders are said to be in darkness, which is (their) pariniṣpanna:
In SD I, 53, HPB identifies parinirvana with pariniṣpanna, absolute existence:
This points to a relation to the whole “Three in One” of SD I, 42, or SPACE, which is the First (unmanifested) Logos, which is forever in the state of pariniṣpanna.
The solution of the mystery of SD I, 42 would then be: