Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, , at sacred-texts.com
The ten Zephiroth represent the ten essential qualities, by means whereof the deity is manifested in creation.
These ten attributes, representing goodness, glory, wisdom, power, grace, justice, intelligence, sovereignty, etc., are completely identified with the divine substance, but as God is immutable and is not susceptible of change, the Cabalists always regard him as in action, and the ten Zephiroth as instruments of the Supreme Power, as creatures of a superior nature, as types of all beings.
This is the way in which God reveals himself, and passes from evocation into action.
We will now yield the floor to the illustrious Hebraist whom we have adopted as our guide, and who can furnish a more correct description of this conception than we are able to give ourselves.
"God," says Franck, is "present in the Ten Zephiroth; otherwise he could not reveal himself through them; but he does not abide wholly in them; he is not solely what we are able to find out about him, through these sublime forms of thought and life. In point of fact, the Zephiroth can never comprehend the infinite. The En-Soph, which is the very source of all these forms, and which, in that capacity, has no form, or rather, to speak more correctly, while each Zephiroth has a well-known name, he alone has none and can have none."
God then remains the ever ineffable, incomprehensible, and infinite being, whose place is above that of all the
worlds which reveal his presence to us, even the world of emanation.
Such is, likewise, the particular nature of each of the ten Pradjapatis of India, and the character of their relations toward Swayambhouva, the unrevealed being.
The analogy between them is so close and striking that any comments we might make would only weaken the force of their resemblance.
According both to the Cabalists and the believers in the Pitris, the Zephiroth and the ten Pradjapatis, who are the lords of creatures, are the attributes of divinity, as embodied in the Ten Superior Spirits, who manifest themselves in creation, and in this manner, the doctrine of the immutability of the Deity, who was only able to reveal himself in action, was not infringed upon in the slightest degree.
The close similarity between these beliefs, in India and Judea, is the more worthy of remark, inasmuch as we meet them in no other philosophical system at that period, and it incontestably indicates how closely the Hindu and Jewish systems are related to each other. This system was not fully set forth in the Cabala much more than a century previous to our era, while Manu, the Vedas, and the Agrouchada-Parikchai had already been in existence for several thousand years.
It may not be amiss to remark also that these Ten Superior Spirits, like the Indian Pradjapatis, are at the head of the immense hierarchy of spirits, both inspiring as well as mediating, who preside over the continual transformations of the vital molecule, and under whose guidance the human soul advances from one degree of perfection to another until it reaches the universal soul.
The Sepher Jeszirah speaks in the following enigmatical manner of these superior manifestations.
"There are ten Zephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Act so that you may intelligently understand them in your wisdom, so that your mind, your speculations,.
your knowledge, and your thoughts may be constantly engaged in their investigation. Let every thing rest upon its foundation and reinstate the Creator upon his basis.
"As for the Ten Zephiroth, there is no end, neither in the future nor in the past, nor in good nor evil, nor in height nor depth, nor in the east nor the west, nor in the south, nor in the north.
"The Ten Zephiroth are like the five fingers of each hand to the number of ten, five on either hand, but between them is the tie of unity.
"The end of the Zephiroth is united to the beginning, as the flame is united to the firebrand, for the Lord is one, and there is not a second.
Close your mouth that you may not speak of it, and your heart that you may not think of it, and if your heart forgets itself, bring it to its place again, for it is for this reason that they have been united together." (Extract from the Sepher Jeszireh.)
Was not the meaning of the Agrouchada-Parikchai precisely identical, when it said, centuries before the Cabala was in existence:
"As for the Ten Pradjapatis, who are the lords of all created beings, and who are Maritchi, Atri, Angiras, Poulastya, Poulaha, Cratou, Pratchetas, Vasichta, Brighou, Narada, there is no commencement or end, neither in time nor space, for they are the product of the only essence of one spirit at a single breath.
"This is a fatal secret; close thy mouth that no part of it may be revealed to the vulgar herd; compress thy brain in order that no part of it may be spread abroad."
We will say in conclusion that the whole doctrine of the Pitris consists in a knowledge of that vast spiritual hierarchy at the head of which stand the Pradjapatis.
In like manner, the whole of the Jewish Cabala may be summed up as consisting in the mystic knowledge of the Zephiroth.