Manu (Sanskrit: मनु, m. manu "man, humanity") in the most comprehensive sense is the name given to spiritual leaders of humanity who spiritually guide not only individual cultural epochs but entire main ages (also called root races). The term is derived from manas, the spirit self, which these high initiates have already developed to an outstanding degree (Lit.:GA 142, p. 59).
Human and Superhuman Manus
The Manus of the Lemurian and Atlantean times, and also the tribal Manu of our fifth root race, are superhuman individualities who have gone through their great school, through which they could become the leaders of humanity, on other planets. They are also called Sons of the Fire Mist.
„They called the second race of men the Hyperboreans. They lived around the North Pole, in Siberia, Northern Europe including the areas that have become sea. And if you think of this land with a kind of tropical temperature, you get approximately the idea of what the land was like at that time. It was originally populated by people who wandered around as single individuals like dream beings. If they had been left to themselves, they would not have been able to do anything. There was, so to speak, wisdom in the air, in the atmosphere.
It was not until the Lemurian period that the marriage of wisdom with the soul took place, so that before that we have to imagine the whole spirituality of man in a misty way. These were the germs of the misty spirit and the germs of the light spirit. The spirituality which arose as a germ in the sons of the fire-mist, which still seems familiar to us, is to be sought in the southern regions, in Lemuria. In the regions to the north of us lived people, peoples, who were endowed with a dream consciousness that was clearer than the Pitri consciousness.“ (Lit.:GA 92, p. 37f)
In Eugenie von Bredow's brief memorial notes on an esoteric lesson given by Rudolf Steiner in Berlin on 13 December 1905 it says:
„Spoke about the religion of the Tibetans, their inner purity of conception, about Buddhism as Buddha taught it to his disciples quite intimately; that the incarnate teacher on earth was the female element which had to be impregnated by the divine, the male element. From this marriage arose the Boddhisattva, of whom the Tibetans say: he has Avalokiteshvara, God-wisdom. Spoke about the Dalai Lama and his choice of children born under special natural events. Spoke about the Spirits of the Fire Mist whose disciples have been our Masters; spoke about the evolution of man into such powerful being. Spoke about the rhythm in nature, the heavenly bodies, the whole world system; that only the astral body of man was still chaotic and that man had to make it rhythmic too, otherwise he would disturb evolution.“ (Lit.:GA 266a, p. 119)
It is only during our fifth root-race that such highly developed individualities arise within our humanity itself that they can become leaders of humanity from the sixth root-race onwards. Especially the main leader of the sixth root-race will be fully human like us, however, the spiritually most highly developed of all human beings:
„It will be a being that began its development in the middle of the Lemurian period, when human development took place, that has always been a human being among human beings, but was able to progress more quickly and went through all the stages of human development. This will be the basic character of the Manu of the sixth root race. The chief Manu of the sixth root-race and all those who stand by him must have passed through the most manifold initiations; they must have been repeatedly initiated. Therefore, in the fifth root race, since its origin, there have always been initiated people, people who were initiated, so to speak, in such a way that they could go their own voluntary way. This was not the case during the whole of the Lemurian period and also during the whole of the Atlantean period. Those who helped humanity, who governed and directed it, who were leaders of states and great religious communities, were under the influence of higher beings. During the Lemurian and Atlantean periods they were directly dependent on those higher evolved beings who had undergone their evolution on other planets. It is only in the fifth root race that humanity becomes more and more liberated. There we have initiates who are indeed connected with the higher beings, but who are not given such far-reaching advice that they are completely worked out, but the initiates of the fifth root-race are given more and more freedom in the details. In general, directives are given to the initiates, impulses are given, but still in such a way that they carry out things out of their own spirituality and power of judgement.“ (Lit.:GA 92, p. 95)
Manu - the Sun Initiate of Atlantis
In a narrower sense, Manu is the high Sun Initiate of the Atlantean Sun Oracle. After the fall of Atlantis, he led the peoples, especially the primal Semites, to the East. The Bible refers to him as Noah (Lit.:GA 94, p. 162). The primal Semites, who led the culture at that time, originally lived in an area west of Ireland. Under the leadership of Manu, they came as far as the area of the Gobi Desert or Tibet. During their long migration they partly mixed with indigenous populations or other Atlantean or even Lemurian peoples. Thus, for the most part, the ancient European and Asian populations came into being (Lit.:GA 103, p. 139f).
Under the direct influence of Manu, the ancient Indian and the ancient Persian cultures developed from the Asian centre in the Gobi Desert. According to Rudolf Steiner, this high Sun Initiate also appeared as the "King of Salem" Melchizedek mentioned in the Bible, who had assumed a form in which he carried the etheric body that had been preserved by Shem, one of the three sons of Noah and the progenitor of Abraham and the Semites. Through Melchizedek, Abraham is initiated into his mission and learns that the God who creates his inner organisation is the same God who reveals himself in the Mysteries.
- Bernard Lievegoed: Über die Rettung der Seele, Vlg. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 1994
- Jelle van der Meulen: UND SO WEITER. Anthroposophie als Weg zum Gral, Urachhaus Vlg., Stuttgart 1998
- Rudolf Steiner: Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen, GA 92 (1999), Zehnter Vortrag, Berlin, 28. Oktober 1904 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Kosmogonie, GA 94 (1979) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Das Johannes-Evangelium, GA 103 (1995) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Bhagavad Gita und die Paulusbriefe, GA 142 (1982) English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden, Band I: 1904 – 1909, GA 266/1 (1995), ISBN 3-7274-2661-6 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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