The 1889 Voice of the Silence, reprinted 2017
Press Release, Publisher’s notes and Pictures
1. Panchen and Dalai Lamas recognise the Voice
The Ninth Panchen Lama of Tibet (1883 – 1937) officially endorsed The Voice of the Silence in 1927, pointing out that it comprises a part of the teachings of the Eastern Esoteric School and called it “the only true exposition in English of the Heart Doctrine of the Mahayana and its noble ideal of self-sacrifice for humanity.” He also commented how important an esoteric Buddhist text it was and that “Madame Blavatsky had a profound knowledge of Buddhist philosophy.”
In commenting on the 1989 centenary verbatim edition the present Fourteenth Dalai Lama believes the Voice “has strongly influenced many sincere seekers and aspirants to the wisdom and compassion of the Bodhisattva Path.”
The new edition includes a signed dedication by HPB to a fellow Theosophist, where she describes herself with characteristic modesty as the translator not the author. To carry out the translation was not only a remarkable feat of learning but it also required access to texts that had been previously kept secret from those outside select Eastern fraternities.
Recent work by the independent Buddhist scholars David and Nancy Reigle have done much interesting investigative work on the Stanzas of Dzyan on which H.P.Blavatsky’s “Secret Doctrine” is based and which “forms part of the same series” (Voice, vi) as the Book of the Golden Precepts, and which are the Voice’s primary and source texts.
The existence of the original Stanzas of Dzyan, the first volume of secret Senzar commentaries, was for many years denied by academic scholars and said to be only exist as a figment of Mme Blavatsky’s imagination. However the Reigles’ work suggests that they are likely to be part of the lost Mula Kalachakra tantra texts. http://www.academia.edu/6423778
In time and with the progress of scholarship it is quite possible that analogously the source of The Book of the Golden Precepts will be discovered.
2. A note on ‘misprints’
There is an obvious typographical error on p 31 that has been corrected in many later editions, but which this facsimile leaves unchanged.
The space between the first three letters of FRUITION and the last four is distinctively large. A missing letter would have left a smaller space:
Other layout mistakes are not repeated elsewhere except in one other place, noted below, where this “lower i” misprint is followed by one on a capital “I”.
THE RAISED ‘I’ IN SHÎLA (HARMONIOUS CONDUCT)
The second of the Golden Paramitas given in the Voice is “Shîla, the key of Harmony in word and act”, the mental approach and discipline that counterbalances past karma. On page 47 it has been printed with a raised ‘Î’:
It may be a natural to want to correct this misprint as most versions have, however something is lost in doing this.
~ ~ ~
This volume of the ancient Golden Precepts is recommended to students for whom it may form the beginning, the middle and the end of the Path or as Plato expressed it “the ardent turning of the Soul towards the Divine.”
It was given 128 years ago in a spirit of devotion to ‘the sevenfold world of life and being’ in which all have their existence and it is offered again in the spirit of peaceful enquiry into “the mathematics of the Soul.”
London & New York, 2017
The first page is signed with a dedication to a prominent Theosophist:
“To Claude Falls Wright FTS with the translator’s fraternal affection.
London Sept. 1889″
Gold embossed blue cover with green endpages as the original