"An Archaic Manuscript - a collection of palm leaves made impermeable to water, fire and air - is before the writer's eye."

Thus begins the Proem ("pages from a pre-historic record") of The Secret Doctrine of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a book which follows the stanzas of the 'Book of Dzyan'.

She reproduces some of the symbols of that manuscript and then launches into the stanzas of 'Dzyan'. She explains the word as a derivation of Dan, Ch'an or Jan-na meaning esoteric teachings, or self-reformation by meditation and knowledge. But she doesn't state specifically that the Archaic Manuscript on palm leaves is the 'Book of Dzyan'.

In her earlier work, 'Isis Unveiled', she says:

"There exists somewhere in this wide world an old Book - so very old that our modern antiquarians might ponder over its pages an indefinite time, and still not agree as to the nature of the fabric upon which it is written. It is the only original copy now in existence." Is she referring to the 'Book of Dzyan'?

There is a clue in 'The Voice of the Silence', which Blavatsky wrote shortly before her death. This book contains chosen fragments from 'The Book of the Golden Precepts'. She says:

"The work from which I here translate forms part of the same series as that from which the stanzas of 'The Book of Dzyan' were taken. Together with the great mystic work called 'Paramartha', 'The Book of the Golden Precepts' claims the same origin.

The original Precepts are engraved on thin oblong squares. They are written variously, sometimes in Tibetan but mostly in ideographs. The ancient language of the priesthood, Senzar (language of the Sun, or ancient Sanskrit), besides having an alphabet of its own, may be rendered in several modes of writing in cypher characters."

In the introduction to 'The Secret Doctrine' Blavatsky says that the "very old book" referred to in 'Isis' was taken down in Sen-zar from the words of Divine Beings, who dictated it to the sons of Light in Central Asia, at the very beginning of the 5th (our) race. The secret language had been known in Atlantis, who inherited it from the Devas of the 2nd and 1st Races.

You may wish to read an extract from the Book of Dzyan.