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The Path of Discipleship

BY

Annie Besant 

FOUR LECTURES DELIVERED AT THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, AT ADYAR, MADRAS,
DECEMBER 27, 28, 29 AND 30, 1895
SECOND EDITION
BENARES
THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY
1899

 

CONTENTS.

 

 

1.

FIRST STEPS

2.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR DISCIPLESHIP

3.

THE LIFE OF THE DISCIPLE

4.

THE FUTURE PROGRESS OF HUMANITY

 

FIRST STEPS.

KARMA –YOGA. PURIFICATION

1.              BROTHERS, - When first I spoke in this Hall two years ago, I led your attention to the building of the  Cosmos as a whole, to the steps through which that evolution took place, the methods, as it were, of the vast succession of phenomena. Last year I dealt with the evolution of the Self, the Self in man rather than the Self in the  Cosmos, and tried to show you how from sheath after sheath the Self gained ex­perience and obtained sovereignty over its lower vehicles - still with the man as with the universe, still with the individual as with the  Cosmos, seeking ever reunion with the Self, seeking ever That whence it had come. But sometimes men have said to me when discussing these lofty topics: “What bearing have these on the life of men in the world, sur­rounded as we are with the necessities of life, surrounded as we are with the activities of the phenomenal world, continually drawn away from the thought of the one Self, continually forced by our Karma to take part in these multifarious activities? What bearing then has the higher teaching on the lives of men, and how may men in the world rise upward until the higher life becomes possible also for them?” It is that question that I am going to try to answer this year. I am going to try to show you how a man in the world, surrounded with family obligations, with social duties, with all the many activities of worldly life, may yet prepare himself for union and take the first steps on the path that leads him to the One. I am going to try to trace for you the steps of that path, so that beginning in the life that any man may be leading, starting from the standpoint where most of you may be stand­ing at the moment, you may recognize a goal to be reached, you may recognize a path to be trodden - ­the path which begins here in the life of the family, of the community, of the state, but which ends in that which is beyond all thinking and lands the traveller ultimately in the home which is his for evermore. Such is the object then of these four lectures, such the steps along which I trust you will accompany me; and in order that we may understand our subject let us glance for a moment at the course of evolution, at its meaning, at its object, so that from what must be but a bird’s-eye view of the whole, we may be able, appreciating the whole, to understand the congruity of the steps which one by one we are to take. We realize that the One has become the many. Glancing backward into the primal darkness that shroudeth all, we can hear out of that darkness but a whisper­ - a whisper: “I will multiply”. That multiplication is the building of the universe, and of the individuals who live within it. In that will to multiply of the “One which is without a second”, we see the source of manifestation, we recognize the primal germ, as it were, of the  Cosmos. And as we realize that beginning of the universe and as we see the com­plexity, the multiplicity, that result from the primal simplicity, from the primal unity, we realize also that in each of these phenomenal manifestations there must be imperfection, and that the very limi­tation which makes a phenomenon possible is also the inevitable mark that it is less than the One, and therefore by itself imperfect. So we understand why there should be variety, why there should be this vast multiplicity of separate and living things. And we begin to understand that the perfection of the manifested universe must needs lie in this very variety; that if there be more than the One then there must be well-nigh infinite multiplicity, in order that the One, which is as a mighty sun sending forth beams of light in all directions, may send beams everywhere, and in the totality of the beams will be the perfection of the lighting of the world. The more numerous, the more wonderful, the more vari­ous the objects, the more nearly, though still imper­fectly, will the universe image forth That whence it comes.

2.              The first effort in the evolving life must be to make many, to make separated existences - apparently separate - so that looked at from without there shall seem many, although looked at in their essence we see that the Self of all is One. Realizing that, we understand that in the process of multiple individual­izing, the one as individual comes into manifestation as a faint and limited reflection of the Self. And we begin to understand also what is to be the outcome of this universe, why it is that these many individuals should be evolved, why it is that this separateness should be a necessary part in the evolution of the whole. For we begin to see that the result of the universe is to be the evolution of the LOGOS of an­other universe, of the mighty Devas who are to be the guides of all the cosmic forces of that universe in the future, and of the divine Teachers whose duty it will be to train the infant humanity of another  Cosmos. What is going on today in all these worlds of individual existences is a steady process of evolution, by which one universe gives to a future universe its LOGOS, its Devas, the earliest of its Manus, and all those great Ones that will be necessary for the building, for the training, for the governing, for the teaching of the universe which is yet unborn. Thus are the universes linked together, thus does Manvantara succeed Manvantara, thus are the fruits of one universe the seeds of the universe that succeeds it. In the midst of all this multiplicity there is being evolved a yet vaster unity which shall be the framework of the unborn  Cosmos, which shall be the Power which in the future  Cosmos shall guide and rule.

3.              And then the question arises - as I know it arises in many minds, for it has been put to me both in the East and in the West over and over again - why so much difficulty in the evolution, why so much apparent failure in the working, why should men go wrong so much before they go right, why should they run after the evil that degrades them instead of following the good that would ennoble them? Was it not possible for the LOGOS of our universe, for the Devas who are His Agents, for the great Manus who came to guide our infant humanity - was it not possible for Them to plan so that there might be no such apparent failure in the working out? Was it not possible for Them to guide so that the road might have been a straight and direct one instead of so devious, so circuitous?

4.              Here comes the point that makes the evolution of humanity so difficult, having in view the object which is to be gained. Easy in truth would it have been to have made a humanity that might have been perfect, easy to have so guided its dawning powers that those powers might have travelled towards what we call the good continually, and never have turned aside towards what we call evil. But what would have been the condition of such an easy accomplish­ment? It must have been that man would have been an automaton, moved by a compelling force without him which imperiously laid upon him a law which he was compelled to fulfil, from which he could not escape. The mineral world is under such a law; the affinities that bind atom to atom obey such an imperious com­pulsion. But as we rise higher we find greater and greater freedom gradually making its appearance, until in man we see a spontaneous energy, a freedom of choice, which is really the dawning manifestation of the God, of the Self, which is beginning to show itself through man. And the object, the goal which was to be attained, was not to make automata who should blindly follow a path sketched out for their treading, but to make a reflection of the LOGOS Himself, to make a mighty assemblage of wise and perfected men who should choose the best because they know and understand it, who should reject the worst because by experience they have learnt its inadequacy and the sorrow to which it leads. So that in the universe of the future, as amongst all the great Ones who are guiding the universe of today, there should be unity gained by consensus of wills, which have become one again by knowledge and by choice, which move with a single purpose because they know the whole, which are identical with the Law because they have learned that the Law is good, who choose to be one with the Law not by an outside compulsion, but by an inner acquiescence. Thus in that universe of the future there will be one Law, as there is in the present, carried out by means of Those who are the Law by the unity of Their purpose, the unity of Their knowledge, the unity of Their power - not a blind and unconscious Law, but an assemblage of living beings who are the Law, having become divine. There is no other road by which such goal might be reached, by which the free­will of the many should reunite into the one great Nature and the one great Law, save a process in  which experience should be garnered, in which evil should be known as well as good, failure as well as  triumph. Thus men become Gods, and because of the experience that lies behind them, they will, they think, they feel, the same.

5.              Now in working towards this goal the divine Teachers and Guides of our humanity planned many civilizations, all moulded towards the end that was in view. I have no time to go back to the great civilization of the Fourth Race that preceded the birth of the mighty Aryan people. I may only say in passing that there was a great civilization which was tried, which for a time under its divine Rulers succeeded; then the divine Rulers withdrew their  immediate guiding - as a mother withdraws her hand from her babe that is learning to walk, in order to see if without her supporting arm it is able to make its own steps, it is able to use its own limbs, so for the same purpose They withdrew into the darkness - the divine Guides and Rulers - to see if the child-humanity making these early steps would walk or would stumble on its way. And that infant humanity stumbled and fell, and the great civilization -mighty as it was perfect in its social order, glorious in the strength and the wisdom by which it was builded - broke into pieces under the selfishness of man, broke into pieces under the yet unconquered lower instincts of humanity. Another attempt had to be made, and the great Aryan race was founded - again with divine Rulers, again with divine Guides, with a Manu who gave it its law, founded its civilization, sketched out its polity, with the Rishis who gathered round Him, who administered His laws and guided the infant civilization; thus again humanity was given a pattern, again the race was shown a type towards which it should evolve. Then once more the great Teachers drew back for awhile to let humanity again try its own strength, again experiment if it were strong enough to walk alone, self-reliant, guided by the Self from within, instead of by outer manifestations. And again, as we know, the experiment has largely been a failure. Again, as we know, glancing backward, we see this civilization originally divine gradually degenerating under the still unconquered lower nature of man, again going downward for a while under the still uncurbed passions of humanity. Looking back, as we now do, to the India of the past, we see its perfect polity, its marvellous spirituality, and we trace its degradation millennium after millennium as the guiding hand withdraws out of the visible sight of man, and once more humanity blunders and fails as it tries to walk. We see how in each case there has been the failure of the realization of the divine ideal. We glance over the modern world and we see how the lower nature of man has triumphed over the divine ideal which was set before him at the beginning of the Aryan race. We see how in that day there was the ideal of the Brahmana, an ideal that might be summed up as that of the soul approaching liberation, which asks no longer for the goods of earth, which asks no longer for the enjoy­ments of the flesh, which asks no longer for the gifts of wealth, of power, of authority, of earthly pleasure, the type of the Brahmana being that he was poor, but wise; whereas today we too often find the man who bears the Brahmana name not poor and wise but wealthy and ignorant. There in that caste you have one of the signs of the degeneration by which the ancient polity fell; and the same with each of the four castes.

6.              Let us now see how it was proposed by the great Teachers that man by experience should learn to choose of his own free will the ideal which was placed before him, and from which he turned aside how the great Teachers endeavoured to build up from the imperfect humanity towards the perfected ideal manifested in the beginning for the guidance of the race, and unrealized in evolution by the weak­ness and the childishness of men.

7.              In order that, in the course of ages, this might be achieved, what is called Karma-Yoga was taught to the people - Yoga, or union, by action. That is the form of Yoga which is fitted for the men of the world, beset with life’s activities; it is by these very activities, by the training afforded by them, that the first steps towards union must be taken. And so you find laid down for the training of men this Karma-Yoga.

8.              Note the juxtaposition of the words “action” and “union”. Action so performed that union may result, action so carried out that union may be the outcome. It is a thing to remember that it is our activities that divide us, it is our actions that separate us, it is all this changing and multifarious activity by which we are drawn and kept apart. It seems almost a paradox then to speak of union by action, union by that which was ever a means of division, union by that by which separation was brought about. But the wisdom of the divine Teachers was equal to the task of reconciling, of ex­plaining, the apparent paradox. Let us follow the steps of the explanation and see what it is.

9.              Man runs wild, runs wild in every direction, under the influence of the three energies in nature, the gunas. The dweller in the body finds himself under the domination of these gunas. They are at work! they are active, they make the manifested universe, and he identifies himself with these activities. He thinks he is acting when these are acting. He thinks he is busy when these are bringing about results. Living amongst them, blinded by them, under the illusions which they produce, he loses entirely all recognition of himself, and is taken here and there, blown hither and thither, carried away by the currents, and so the activity of the gunas is all that the man sees in life; clearly he is not fit under these conditions for the higher forms of Yoga. Clearly until these illusions are at least partially conquered the loftier steps on the Path will be beyond his treading. He must begin then by un­derstanding the gunas, by separating himself from these activities of the phenomenal universe. And the great scripture of Yoga, as it may be called, the scripture of this Karma-Yoga, is that which was re-proclaimed by Shri Krishna on the field of Kuruk­shetra, when he taught this form of Yoga to Arjuna, to the prince, to the warrior, the man who was to live in the world, to fight in the world, to rule the state, and take part in all external activities; here is  the eternal lesson for men who are living in the world, how gradually they may rise beyond the gunas and so reach union with the Supreme.

10.           It will then first be in what we may call the train­ing and regulation of the activities of the gunas that this Karma-Yoga will consist. There are, as you know, three gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the three gunas out of which all around us is builded and combined together in various ways, mingled in various fashions. Here one is acting and the other is working in every direction. They have to be brought into equi­librium; they have to be reduced to subjection. The dweller in the body, the lord of the body, must be­come sovereign master and distinguish himself from the gunas. That, then, will be the work that has to be done; their functions must be realized, their activities must be controlled and directed. You cannot at once rise above them, you cannot at once cross beyond them - any more than a child can do the work of a full-grown man. Can humanity in its unevolved and in its imperfect state accomplish perfection of Yoga? Nay, it is not even wise that man should try; for if the child be put to the work of the full-grown man, he will not only fail to ac­complish it, but he will overstrain his powers in the attempt, and the result will be not only failure in the present, but also failure in the future. For the task too great for his powers will thwart and distort them. They must be trained to strength before they can accomplish, and the child must grow to man­hood before manhood’s work should be his. Take for a moment the function of Tamas - translated dark­ness, or sluggishness, or inertia, or negligence, and so on. What function can that play, if it is to be used for human evolution? What use has this particular guna in the growth of the man, in the liberating of the soul? The particular use of that guna, the use to which it will be put in Karma-Yoga, is to act as a force which is to be struggled against and overcome, so that strength may be evolved in the struggle, power of will may be developed by the effort, self-­control and self-discipline may be accomplished by the attempt. It may be said to serve in the evolu­tion of man as the club or dumb-bell serves the purpose of the athlete. He could not strengthen his muscles unless there was something against which he exercised them. He could not gain muscular vigour unless there were opposing weights by strug­gling to lift which the muscles should grow strong. The value is not in the weight itself, but in the use to which it is put, and if a man wants his physical muscles, the muscles of his arms, to grow very strong, the best way to strengthen them is to take a club or dumb-bell and daily exercise the muscles against that opposing force. In this way Tamas, negligence or darkness, plays its part in the evolution of the man; he has to overcome it, he develops his  strength in the struggle; the muscles of the soul  grow powerful as he overcomes the negligence, the sloth, the indifference which is the tamasic quality in his nature.

11.           So you will find for the overcoming of these the rites and ceremonies of religion are ordained, part of their function being to train man to overcome the sloth and the laziness and the indolence of his lower nature, and by placing before him certain duties to be done at a particular time - whether at that time he is inclined to do them or not, whether at that time he is feeling active or feeling lazy - by imposing on him duties at a particular time he is trained to overcome the sloth and heedlessness and obstinacy of his lower nature and to compel it to walk along the path that the will has determined it should follow.

12.           And so if we take Rajas: you will find the  activities of man are guided in Karma-Yoga along certain definite paths which I now propose to follow, so that you may see how this quality of activity, which is so much at work in the modern world, which is manifesting itself in every direction, which leads to hurry, bustle and constant effort to accom­plish things in the lower life, material manifestations, material results, material phenomena - how this shall be gradually directed, trained and purified until it no longer has the power to hinder the real manifesta­tion of the Self. The object of Karma-Yoga is to substitute duty for self-gratification; man acts to gratify his lower nature; he acts because he wants to get something; he acts for fruit; he acts for desire, for reward. He works because he wants money in order that he may enjoy. He works be­cause he wants power in order that the lower self may be gratified. All these activities, these raja­sic qualities, are set going with the purpose of ministering to his lower nature. In order that these activities may be trained and regulated to serve the purpose of the Higher Self, he is to be taught to substitute duty for self-gratification, to carry on work as work because it is his duty, to turn the wheel of life because it is his function to turn it, that he may do as Shri Krishna said He does Himself. He does not act because there is anything for Him to gain either in this world or in any other; but He acts because without his action the world would cease, He acts because without His action the wheel would no longer revolve. And those who accomplish Yoga must act in the spirit of His acting, acting for the whole and not for the separated part, acting for the carrying out of the divine will in the  Cosmos and not for the pleasure of the separated entity that imagines itself to be independent when it ought to be a co-worker under Him. This object is to be gained by gradually raising the sphere of these activities. Duty is to be substituted for self-gratification, and religious rites and ceremonies are ordained to train men gradually towards the true life that is their function. Every religious ceremony is but a way of training men into the true and higher life. A man meditates in the early morning and at the going down of the sun, but ultimately his life will be one long meditation. He meditates for an hour to prepare himself for meditating always. All creative activities are the result of meditation, and you will remember that it is by Tapas that all worlds are created. In order then that man may reach that mighty and creative power of meditation, in order that he also may be able to exercise that divine power, he must be trained towards it by religious ceremonies, by intermittent thought, by Tapas taken up and laid down again. Set meditation is a step towards the accomplishment of constant meditation; it takes a part of daily life in order to permeate the whole, and men practise it daily in order that gradually it may absorb the life. The time comes when for the Yogi there is no fixed hour for medi­tation, for all his life is one long meditation. No matter what outer activities he may be doing he meditates; and he is ever at the Feet of his Lord although both mind and body may be active in the world of man. And so with all other forms of action; first a man learns to perform action as a sacrifice to duty and a paying of his debt to the world in which he is - the paying back to all the different parts of Nature of that which they give to him. And then later, sacrifice becomes more than the paying of a debt; it becomes a joyful giving of everything the man has to give. The partial sacrifice is the debt that is paid, the perfect sacrifice is the gift of the whole. A man gives himself, with all his activities, with all his powers, no longer paying part of his possessions as a debt but all of himself as a gift. And when that stage is reached Yoga is accomplished and the lesson of Karma-Yoga has been learned.

13.           Take as one step towards this those five daily sacrifices which are familiar in name at least to all of you, and realize what underlay the ordination of those sacrifices. Each one of the five is the payment of a debt, the recognition of what man as a separated individual owes as a debt to the whole around him. And if you consider them for the moment one by one, however hastily, you will see how thoroughly each is this payment of a debt. Take the first: the sacrifice to the Devas. Why is that sacrifice ordained? It is because man has to learn that his body owes a debt to earth and to the Intelligences that guide the processes of Nature by which earth brings forth her fruits, by which she produces nourishment for man; as man takes the nourishment for his body, his body owes back, in payment of the debt, the returning to Nature an equivalent for that which has been given it through the instrumentality of those kosmic Intelligences, those Devas, who guide the forces of the lower world. And so man was taught to pour his sacrifice into the fire. Why? The phrase that was given as an ex­planation was: “Agni is the mouth of the Gods”, and people repeat the phrase and never try to understand its meaning, nor to go below the surface of the external name of the Deva to His function in the world. The real meaning of course that underlies the phrase is that all around on every side there are the conscious and sub-conscious workers in Nature in grade after grade, a great kosmic Deva at the head, as it were, of each division of that vast army; so that below the Deva as a Ruler in fire, in air, in water, in earth, below that particular Deva come a  vast number of lower Gods who carry on the different and separated activities of the natural forces in the world, the rain, the productive powers of the earth, the fertilizing agencies of various sorts. And this first sacrifice is a feeding of these lower agencies, a giving to them of food by fire; and fire is called “the mouth of the Gods” because it disintegrates, because it changes and transmutes the solid and fluid things which are placed in it, turns them into vapour, dis­integrates them into finer materials, and thus passes them on into etheric matter to become the sustenance of those lower grades of elemental lives that carry out the commands of the kosmic Devas. And in this way a man pays his debt to them, and then in return in the lower regions of the atmosphere the rain falls, and the earth produces, and nourishment is given to man. And that was what Shri Krishna meant when he bade man “nourish the Gods and the Gods shall nourish you”. For it is that lower cycle of nourish­ment, as it were, which man has to learn. At first he accepted it as a religious teaching; then came the period in which he thought it superstition, knowing not the inner working and seeing only the outer appearances; and then comes deeper knowledge when Science, which tends first to materialism, by deeper study rises towards recognition of the spiritual realm. Scientific knowledge begins to say in scien­tific terms what the Rishis said in terms of the spirit, that man may rule and regulate the working of the lower powers of Nature by action that he himself performs, and in this way growing knowledge justifies the ancient teaching, justifies to the intellect what the spiritual man sees by direct intuition, by the spiritual sight.

14.           Next, there is the sacrifice to the ancestors; the recognition of what man owes to those who went before him in the world, the payment of the debt that he owes to those who worked in the world ere his last coming, the gratitude and veneration which are due to those who partly made the world for us, and brought about improvements that we should inherit them. That service is a debt of gratitude due to those immediately before us in human evolution, who took their part in it during their earthly lives and bequeathed to us the result of their labours. As we reap the benefit of their work, we pay back the debt of grati­tude. And so this is one of the daily sacrifices, the recognition of this debt of gratitude to those who have gone before.

15.           And then of course comes the sacrifice of knowledge, that of study, in order that by the study of the sacred words men may be able to help and train those more ignorant than themselves, and may also evolve in themselves the knowledge necessary for the manifestation of the Self within them.

16.           Fourthly, the sacrifice to men, the payment to some particular man of the duty owed to humanity, the feeding of some particular man as a recognition that men owe to each other all kindly deeds in the physi­cal world, all the assistance that brother can give to brother. The sacrifice to men is the formal recognition of this duty, and in feeding those who are hungry, and in showing hospitality to those who are in need of it, while you feed one man as a concrete fact you feed all humanity ideally and in in­tention; when you give hospitality to one man who comes past your door, you open the door of your heart to humanity as one great entity, and in help­ing and sheltering one you give help and shelter to humanity as a whole.

17.           And so also with the last of the five sacrifices, that to animals; food is to be placed on the ground by the householder that any passing animal may take. In this you recognize your duty to the lower world, your duty of giving help, of giving food, of giving training to them. The sacrifice to animals is meant to impress on his mind that we are here as trainers, as directors, as helpers, of the lower creatures that stand beneath us on the ladder of evolution. Every time we sin against them by cruelty, by harshness, by brutality of any sort, we sin against Him who is dwelling within them and whose lower manifestations they also are. And in order that man might recognize the good within the brute, in order that he might understand that Shri Krishna is in the lower animal, although more veiled than He is in man, man was bidden to sacrifice to the animals, not to the outer form but to the God within. The only way we can sacrifice to them is by kindness, by gentleness, by compassion, by training, by helping forward the animal evolution, and not by beating it back by the brutality and by the cruelty we see around us on every side.

18.           Thus man was taught by these outer rites and ceremonies the inner spiritual truths, by which his life was to be permeated. And when the five sacri­fices were over, he was to go out into the world of men still to sacrifice by other forms of action, still to sacrifice by the performance of his daily duties. And his daily life that was begun by these five sacrifices passed out consecrated into the outer life of men. With gradual carelessness as to the five sacrifices has grown carelessness of duty in that outer life of men. Not because these sacrifices in them­selves will be for ever necessary, for a time comes when a man rises above them. But remember this he only rises above them when his whole life has become one long and living sacrifice. Until that is accomplished, these formal recognitions of duty are necessary for the sake of the raising of the life,

19.           And unhappily in India today these have largely dropped out of account, not because men have risen above them nor because all their lives are pure, spiritual and lofty, so that they have no need of the lower training and the continual reminder; but be­cause they have become careless and materialistic, and have fallen so far below the ideal of their Manu. They refuse all dutiful recognition to the Powers above them, and therefore they fail in their duty to the men around them.

20.           Let us consider next the outer daily life - the duty of the individual in the world. Wherever it is, he is born into some particular family; that marks his family duties. He is born into some community; that marks out his communal duties. He is born into a particular nation; that marks out his national duties. For each man the limitations of duty are set by the circumstances of his birth, which, under the good Law, under the karmic direction, give to each man the place of his working, the training ground on which he is to learn. Therefore is it said that each man should do his own duty, his own Dharma. Better to do your own, although imperfect, than to try to do the higher Dharma of another. For that into which you are born is that which you need; that into which you are born is your wisest training. Do your own duty careless of results, and then you will learn the lesson of life, and you will begin to tread the path of Yoga. At first of course action will be done for its fruit; men will do it be­cause they desire to gain its reward. And here we understand their early training, where men were taught to work for results in the world of Svarga. The child-man is trained by rewards; Svarga is held out to him as a thing to be gained by work; as he accomplishes his religious rites and duties he ensures their svargic recompense. And in this way he is in­duced to practise morality, just as you induce a child to learn its lessons by giving it some reward or some prize. But if action is to be used for Yoga and not for the gaining of reward, either here or in any other world, then it must be done only as duty.

21.           Consider for a moment the four great castes and see how each of these was meant to be used. The Brahmana was to teach in order that there might be a succession of wise teachers to guide the evolution of the race. He was not to teach for money, he was not to teach for power, he was not to teach for any­thing he got for himself; he was to teach in fulfilment of his Dharma, and he was to have knowledge that he might in turn hand it on to others. Thus in a well-regulated nation there would be always teachers to instruct, able to guide and advise un­selfishly and without a selfish object; thus nothing would be gained by him for himself, but everything would be gained by him for the people. In this way his Dharma would be accomplished and the soul set free.

22.           Then there came the Yoga which was the fitting of the active man of the world for governing and regulating, the training of the dominant class, the Kshattriya. There you had the man who was to rule. Why? Not that he might gratify himself by power, but in order that justice might be done, in order that the poor man might feel secure and the rich man might be unable to tyrannize, in order that fairness and impartial justice might prevail in the struggling world of men. For in the midst of this world of struggle, in the midst of this world of anger and strife, in the midst of this world where men are seeking to gratify the spirit of self instead of the common good, they have to be taught that jus­tice must be done, that if the strong man abuses his strength the just ruler will restrain that unfair exercise of strength, that the weaker shall not be trampled upon, that the weaker shall not be op­pressed. And the duty of the king was to do justice between man and man, so that all men might look to the throne as the fountain from which divine justice flowed. That is the ideal of the divine king­ship that is the ideal of the divine ruler. Rama came to teach it, Shri Krishna came to teach it; but men were so dull that they would not learn the lesson. The Kshattriya used his strength to gratify himself and oppress others, and took their wealth for his own and used their labour for his personal advantage. He lost the ideal of the divine ruler who incarnated justice in the warring world of men. But he was meant to make that ideal the object of his life, and his duty, therefore, was to administer the land, to administer it for the good of the nation and not for the gratification of himself. And so also when his duty was the duty of the soldier. The nation was to carry on its functions in peace. Poor men and harmless men were to live secure with their households round them in happiness and prosper­ity. The merchant was to carry on the work of a merchant in peace. All the various avocations of life were to be carried on fearlessly, secure against aggression. And so the Kshattriya was taught that when he was to fight, he fought as the defender of the helpless and gave his life freely that they might enjoy their lives in peace. He was not to fight because he wanted gain. He was not to fight because he wanted land. He was not to fight be­cause he wanted power or dominion. He was to stand as an iron wall round the nation so that every attack should break itself against his body, and  within the circle made by him all men should live in peace, in security and in happiness. If he was to follow Yoga within the duty of the Kshattriya, he must look on himself as the agent of the divine Actor, and therefore it was that Shri Krishna taught that He had done all and that Arjuna but repeated the action in the world of men. And when the divine Actor is recognized in every action of the man, then he can accomplish action as duty without desire, and it loses its binding power on the soul.

23.           So again with the Vaishya who was to accumulate wealth. He was to do it not for his own gratifica­tion, but for the support of the nation. He was to be rich in order that every activity that needed wealth should find a store of wealth at hand and be carried out in every direction. So that everywhere there might be homes for the poor, everywhere rest­-houses for the traveller, everywhere hospitals both for men and beasts, everywhere temples for wor­ship, and everywhere the wealth which was needed to support these activities of perfect national life. And so his Dharma was this accumulation for the common good and not for individual self-gratification. In this way he too might follow Yoga, and by Karma-Yoga prepare himself for the higher life.

24.           So also with the Shudra, who was to perform his Dharma in the commonwealth. His work lay in accomplishing the duty of forming the great hand o the nation, which brought into it what was wanted and carried on the serving external activities. His Yoga, if it were to be accomplished, lay in gladly discharging his duties, doing them for the sake of doing them and not for the reward that by doing them he might gain.

25.           First men do action for self-gratification, in that way experience is gained; then they learn to do it as duty, and so they begin to practise Yoga in their daily life; lastly they do it as a joyful sacrifice for which they ask nothing back, but give every power they possess for the accomplishment of the work. And in this way union is accomplished.

26.           We understand what is meant by purification, when we notice these stages of self-gratification, of doing duty as duty, of giving everything as a free­will sacrifice. These are the stages of the path of purification. But how shall such purification be made as shall lead to the higher steps, to the beginning of the discipleship for which all created activity is to be the preparation? Every part of man must be purified, body as well as mind. On the purification of the body I have not time to dwell, but I may remind you that according to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita it is by way of moderation that this purification is accomplished and not by self­-torturing asceticism, torturing the body and Him that dwells within it, as Shri Krishna says. Yoga is accomplished by temperate self-control, by deliberate training of the lower nature, by quietly choosing the pure path in food, by care and moderation in all physical activities, thus gradually training and regulating and moderating until the whole body comes under the control of the will and of the Self. Therefore the household life was ordained; for men were not fit for the hard road of celibacy, save here and there a few. Brahmacharya was not for all. By household life were men taught to control and moderate their sexual passions, not by crushing them out - which is for the mass of men impossible, and if attempted with unwise energy often result  in a re-action that throws the unwise person into the worst profligacy of life - not by single effort which tries to kill and to uproot in a moment, but by  gradual training in moderation, and by practising the self-denial of the home, where the lower nature should be slowly trained to temperance and be accustomed to be controlled by the higher, trained out of its over-activity and made utterly subordinate to the One. There is where this Karma-Yoga comes in. The householder has gradually to learn self-control, moderation, making the lower nature yield to the higher, training it day by day until it is absolutely subject to the will. In that way he purifies the body and becomes fitted for the higher paths of Yoga. Then again he must purify the passions of the lower nature all through. Take as an illustration of it - I want to give you three illustrations of this so that you may work it out in your lives - take the passion of anger, and see how it may be worked upon in Karma­-Yoga, in order that it may be transmuted in quality. Anger is an energy, an energy that goes out of man to fight his way. You see it in an undeveloped and untrained man as passion, showing itself in many brutal forms, beating down opposition, caring not what methods are used if he strikes out of his way all that which opposes the gratification of his will.

27.           And in that form it is an undisciplined and destructive energy of Nature which he who would do Karma-Yoga must most certainly subdue. How shall he subdue and train the passion of anger? He gets rid of the personal element to begin with. When a personal injury is done to him he trains himself to cease to resent it. There is the duty which lies before many of you. Some man does you a wrong; some one does an injustice against you. What shall you do? You may let the passion of anger carry you away and you may strike at him. He has cheated you: you try to injure him in re­turn, and to take advantage of him. He has injured you: you try in turn to injure him. He has gone behind your back: you go behind his back and do him wrong in turn. And so the passion of anger rages, and destruction is seen on every side in what should be the society of men. How shall this passion be purified? You may take the answer from any one of the great Teachers who taught Karma-Yoga, who taught how action in the world of men might be used for the purposes of the Self. You may remember that amongst the ten-fold system of duty which Manu laid down, forgiveness of injuries is one of the duties. You may remember that when the Buddha was teaching He taught: “Hatred ceases not by hatred at any time, hatred ceases by love”. You may remember that the Christian Teacher followed the same line of thought and He said: “Be not over­come of evil, but overcome evil with good”. That is Karma-Yoga. Forgive the injury; give love for hatred; overcome evil with good. In that way you eliminate the personal element; you will no longer  feel angry because you are wronged; you will have purified away the personal element, and anger in you will no longer be of this lower kind. But still a form of anger may remain of a higher kind. You see a wrong done to the weak: you are angry with the wrongdoer; you see an animal ill-used: you are wrathful with the person who is cruel; you see a poor man oppressed: you are angry against the oppressor. Impersonal anger - far nobler than the other, and a necessary stage in human evolution; far nobler and better to be angry with a wrongdoer than pass by in stolid indifference, because you have no sympathy with the suffering that is inflicted. That higher, impersonal anger is nobler than indifference, but it is not the highest. It also in turn has to be changed, and it has to be changed into the quality of doing justice to the strong and the weak alike; which compassionate the wrongdoer as well as the wronged; which sees that he injures himself even more than the person whom he hurts; which is sorry for him as well as for the person who suffers under him; which embraces all, wrongdoer and sufferer, in one embrace of love and of justice. The man who has thus purified the passion of anger stops the wrong because it is his duty to stop it, and is gentle to the wrongdoer because he also must be helped and trained; thus what was anger striking back against a personal wrong becomes justice which stops all wrong and makes the strong and the weak equally safe and equally protected. That is the purification which is done in the world of action, that the line of daily effort by which the lower nature is purified in order that union may be attained.

28.           Take again love. You may have that in the lower brutal form - the animal passion between the sexes of the very lowest and the poorest kind, which cares nothing for the character of the one for whom the attachment is felt, which cares nothing for the beauty of the mental and of the moral nature; it cares only for the physical beauty, the physical attraction, and the physical pleasure. There is passion in its lowest form. Self is sought and only self. That is purified by the man who follows Karma-Yoga into love which sacrifices itself for the  one who is loved; he performs family duties, he takes care of wife and of child and does his very best for them at the sacrifice of his own inclina­tions, of his own leisure and his own gratification; he works in order that the family may be better supported, he works in order that the family wants may be supplied; in him love no longer seeks only its own pleasure but seeks to help those who are beloved, and to take on itself the evil that threatens them in order that they may be sheltered and spared and guarded; by following Karma-Yoga the man purifies his love from the selfish elements, and that which was an animal passion for the other  sex becomes the love of the husband, of the father, of the elder brother, of the relative, who fulfils his duty, working for the sake of the loved and in order that their lives may be fairer and happier. And then there comes the last stage, when the love that is purified from self goes out to all. Not only in the narrow circle of the home does it work, but it sees in every one whom it meets a person who is to be helped, sees a brother to be fed in every starving man, sees a sister to be protected in every woman who is left forlorn. Finding any one who is lonely, a man thus purified becomes father and brother and helper to that one, not because he loves personally but because he loves ideally, and because he seeks to give for love’s sake and not even for the gratification of being loved in return. The highest love, the love that grows out of Karma-Yoga, asks nothing back in return for what it gives; it seeks no gratitude;  it asks for no recognition; it is willing to work un­known; nay, it is more glad to work unknown and unrecognized than to work in a way that brings recognition and that brings praise. And the ultimate purification of love is where that love becomes absolutely divine, where it gives because it is its nature to spread happiness, where it asks nothing for itself but seeks only that others should be glad.

29.           And so again with greed, covetousness. Men seek to gain in order that they may enjoy; they desire gain in order that they may have power; they strive to gain in order that they may be lifted up. They purify that first form of greed; and  they begin to desire gain that the family may be better off, that the family may be in a better position, that the family may be beyond suffering and want and starvation; thus they grow less selfish than before. Then they go further. They desire power in order that they may use it for good, that they may spread it to do good over a wider area than the family, that they may serve in a wider field than the home; and at last, as in the case of love, they learn to give without any return. They learn to desire knowledge and power not that they may hold it but that they may give it, not that they may enjoy it but only in order that it may be spread. And in this way selfishness is burned up.

30.           Have you ever wondered why He to whom is given the name of Mahadeva, why He dwells in a burning-ground? A strange place, men would have thought, in which the Mightiest One should dwell. Strange surroundings with which to environ Him who is purity itself. What is hidden under the symbolism of the burning-ground is human life; and in that burning-ground where Shiva dwells all the lower things in human life are consumed as by fire. If He dwells not within it, then these earthly things remain to putrefy, to corrupt, to be a source of danger, to spread disease and corruption everywhere. But in the burning-ground in which He dwells, through which His fire passes from side to side, is burned up everything that is selfish, everything that is personal, everything which is of the lower nature; out of those regenerating flames the Yogi rises triumphant, with nothing of the personal element left within him; for the fire of the Lord has burned up all lower passions, and there is nothing there remaining to corrupt or to spread disease. Therefore is He called the Destroyer - the Destroyer of the lower in order that regeneration may come; for out of His Fire the soul was originally born, and from that burning-ground the purified Self arises.

31.           Thus do these first steps lead onward towards true discipleship, lead onward towards the finding of the Guru, lead onward towards the Inner Temple, the holiest of holies, where the Guru of humanity resides. These are the first steps that you must take, this is the route by which you must travel. Men you are, living in the world and bound by worldly ties, men  living the social and political life; and yet at the back of your hearts you are desiring true Yoga and the knowledge which is of the permanent and not only of the transitory life. For in the hearts of every one of you, if you go down to the very bottom of them, you will find a yearning to know something more, a desire to live more nobly than you live today. You may have the outer appearance of loving the things of the world, and you do love them with your lower natures; but in the heart of every true Hindu, who is not absolutely renegade and apostate to his religion and his country, there is still an inner yearning for some­thing more than the things of earth, still a faint longing, if only from the past traditions, that India shall be nobler than she is today and her people more worthy of her past. Here then is the route that you must begin to tread: no great nation unless individuals are great; no mighty people if individuals are sordid and poor and selfish in their lives You must begin where you are today, in the life that you are leading and following these lines that I have roughly sketched you will take your first steps to­wards the Path.

32.           Let me close by reminding you of what the end of that Path is, although I have still to take you further towards it in the lectures that lie before us in these morning hours. The end of the Path is union - the Karma-Yoga which we have been studying is Union by Action. There are other steps to take, but what is “union”? You remember how Shri Krishna gave the marks of the man who had passed beyond the gunas, the marks of the man who had crossed beyond them and who was fit for the nectar of immortality, the man who was ready to know that which is Highest, to come into union with the Supreme. He perceives no agent save the gunas. He knoweth That which lies beyond. He sees the gunas acting; he desires them not when they are absent, he repels them not when they are present. He is balanced amidst friends and foes, balanced in praise and in shame, self-reliant, looking on all things with an equal eye, on the clod of earth, on the piece of gold, on friend and on enemy alike. He is the same to all, for he has crossed over the gunas, and is no longer deluded by their play. That is the goal that we are seeking. These are the first steps towards the Path that crosses over. Until these are trodden no other steps are possible; but as these are gradually accomplished the beginning of the true Path is seen.


 

33.         QUALIFICATIONS FOR DISCIPLESHIP.

 

34.           CONTROL OF MIND. MEDITATION. BUILDING OF CHARACTER.

 

 

35.           BROTHERS, - The special section of the subject with which I am to deal this morning is the qualifi­cations for discipleship. And let me begin by draw­ing your attention to the question of re-birth, and the way in which a man may realize what is meant by discipleship, and may deliberately choose that as his future path in life. You will remember what was said yesterday, how I traced for you the different stages of action: how a man first performed action for the gratification of his own lower nature ever seeking for fruit, how then he gradually learnt in the practice of Karma-Yoga to perform action not for the sake of the fruit for the lower self, but because the action ought to be done, thus identifying himself with Law, thus consciously taking part in the great work of the world. Then I hinted to you that there was a stage beyond that where the sacrifice was made not only as duty but as a joyful giving of everything that a man possessed. It is clear that when that stage is aimed at, when a man performs work not merely because it ought to be done but because he desires to give everything that he is and has to the service of the Supreme, then it is that it becomes possible for a man to break what are called the bonds of desire and in that way to liberate himself from re-birth. For that which draws man to re-birth in the world is desire; the desire to enjoy the things that here may be enjoyed, the desire to achieve the things that here may be achieved. Every man who puts before him some earthly aim, every man who makes the goal of his life some earthly object, that man is evidently bound by desire. And so long as he desires that which the earth can give him, he must return for it; so long as any joy or any object belonging to the transitory life - physical life upon earth - is a thing that has power to attract, it is a thing that has also power to bind. Every attraction in other words is that which binds the soul, and brings it back to the place where the desire may be accomplished.

36.           Man is so divine in his nature, so God-like in him­self, that even this out-going energy of his, that we speak of as desire, has in itself the power of accom­plishment. That which he desires he attains, that which he desires nature gives to him in due course when the time is ripe; so that man, as has often been said, is master of his own destiny, and whatever he demands from the universe that the universe will give. He must of course take the results of the desire in that portion of the universe to which the de­sire belongs. So that if he desires the things of earth, he must come back to earth in order that the desire may be accomplished. So again a man is bound to re-birth by any of those desires which find their satis­faction in the temporary and transitory worlds on the other side of death; those worlds which are tran­sitory, beyond the gate-way of death, all lead back again, as we know, to re-birth here; so that if a  man’s desires are fixed on the joys of Svarga, if he looks for the fruits of his life in this world in some other world which is also transitory, supposing that he denies himself earthly joys with the deliberate ob­ject of attaining the joys of Svarga, then those joys are the fruit of his work, and that fruit will be given to him in due course. But inasmuch as Svarga is itself fleeting, inasmuch as Svarga is itself transitory, he has only taken for his path what has been called the path of the Moon, the path that leads to re-birth­ - you may remember it is written that “the moon is the door of Svarga” - and then from Svarga the soul comes back to the earthly world of men. In that way desire - whether it is to be accomplished in this world or in some other world, also transitory and fleeting - ties the soul to re-birth, and therefore it is that it is written that only when “the bonds of the heart are broken” can the soul reach liberation.

37.           Now liberation pure and simple (for an age) may be gained by this mere destruction of desire. With­out any very, very high achievement, without any very lofty stage in the evolution of the soul, without the unfolding of all the divine possibilities that lie enwrapped in human consciousness, without attain­ing those great heights on which the Teachers and the Helpers of mankind are standing, man may gain, if he so desire it, a liberation which is fundamentally selfish, which lifts him indeed out of the world of change, which breaks indeed the bonds that bind him to the worlds of life and death, but which helps not in any way his brethren, which does not break their bonds nor set them free; this is a liberation which is for the unit rather than for the whole, in which a man passes out of humanity and leaves  humanity to struggle along its way. I know that many men have in life no higher thought than that; that there are many who seek simply for liberation, careless of others so that they themselves escape. That, as I say, may fairly easily be gained. It needs a recognition of the transitoriness of earthly things, of the worthlessness of the objects of ambition with which a worldly man naturally busies himself day by day. But after all that liberation is only for a time, for a manvantara perhaps; after that there is a return. So that while it sets the soul free from this world and leaves it liberated so far as this earth is concerned, in a future cycle such souls have to come back to take another step towards what is the really diviner destiny of man, the evolution of the human consciousness into the All-consciousness which is to be used for training, for helping, for guiding the worlds of the future.

38.           I turn aside then from that to those wiser and more generous souls who while they would break the bonds of desire would fain break them not that they themselves may escape from the difficulties of earthly life, but in order that they may follow that higher and nobler Path which is called the Path of Disciple­ship, follow the Great Ones who have made the  pathway possible for humanity; such seek to discover the Teachers who are willing to accept those who qualify themselves for discipleship with a view not of simply liberating themselves, not of simply gaining escape from trouble, but of becoming the helpers and  teachers and saviours of humanity, giving back to the world at large that which the individual has received from the Teachers who have gone in front. That discipleship is hinted at in all the great Scrip­tures of the world. The Guru who may be found and who teaches men is one of the ideals of all the highest and most developed souls who in this outer world have sought to realize the divine. Take any Scripture that you will, and see how this thought is expressed there. Take Upanishad after Upanishad and see how the Guru is mentioned and how the attention of the would-be disciple is directed towards His seeking and His finding. It is that which I desire to put to you this morning; the qualifications for discipleship; that which has to be done before discipleship is possible; that which has to be accomplished before the search for the Guru has any chance of success; that which has to be done in the world, in the ordinary life of men, utilizing that life as a school, as a place for learning the preparatory lessons, as a place for qualifying the man to be fit to touch the Feet of the great Teachers who shall give him  the true re-birth - the re-birth which is symbolized in all exoteric religions by one or another external ceremony, sacred less for itself than because of that which it symbolizes. You will find in Hinduism the word “Twice-born”, implying that the man is not only born of earthly father and mother, but has passed the true second birth which is given by the Guru to the soul. That is symbolized - alas! only symbolized, in too many cases now - by the initiation given by the family Guru or by the father to the son, when he becomes what in the outer world is called the twice-born man. But in the days of old - and in the present days as well - there was and is a real, a true Initiation which is the original of that external ceremony; there is a real, a true Initiation which is not simply initiation into an exoteric caste but into a really divine birth; which is given by a mighty GURU; which comes from the GREAT INITIATOR, the One Initiator of humanity. We read of these initiations in the past, we know them to exist in the present. All history bears testimony to their reality. There are temples in India beneath which are the places of the ancient initiations, places which now are unknown to the people, places which now are hidden from the eyes of men, but which none the less are there, which none the less are accessible to those who prove themselves worthy to attain them. And not in India alone are such places to be found. Ancient Egypt had also her crypts of initiation, and mighty pyramids in one or two cases stand over the ancient places, that now are hidden from the eyes of man. The later initiations that took place in Egypt, those of which you may read in the history of Greece and the history of Egypt itself, those of which you may have heard that one or another of the great philosophers was there initiated -those took place in the outer buildings known to the people, which covered the real Temples of Initiation. Into these entrance was not gained by outer knowledge, but under conditions that have existed from the furthest antiquity and that exist today as really as they existed then; for as all history bears testimony to the reality of the initiation, so does history bear testimony to the reality of the Initiate. There stand at the head of every great religion Men who were more than ordinary men, Men who gave the Scrip­tures to the people, Men who traced the outlines of the exoteric faiths, Men who Stand out in history head and shoulders above Their fellows by the spiritual wisdom that gave Them glory and the spiritual insight by means of which They saw, and who testified of what They saw; for there has been one note which we have often remarked with regard to all these great Teachers. They do not argue, They proclaim; They do not discuss, They declare; They do not reach Their conclusions by logical processes, They reach them by spiritual intuitions; They come forth and speak with authority that justifies itself in the very speaking, and men’s hearts recognize the truth of Their teaching, even when it rises higher than their intellect is able to follow. For there is in the heart of every man that spiritual principle to which every divine Teacher makes His appeal, and it answers to the truth of the spiritual declaration, even though the intellectual eyes may not be keen enough to discern the reality of that which the Spirit sees. Those great Gurus then who are found in history as the greatest Teachers, as well as Those whom we find standing out as the mightiest philosophers, Those are the Initiates, who have become more than man; such Initiates exist today as they have ever existed. Nay, how should death touch Them who have overcome life and death, and are the Masters of all lower nature? They have evolved out of humanity in the course of the millennia which lie behind, some out of our humanity and some out of humanities anterior to our own. Some of Them came from other worlds, from other planets, when our humanity was a child; others grew up when this humanity had trodden long enough the path of evolution to produce its own Initiates, Gurus of our own race to help onwards the humanity to which They Themselves belong. When that path is trodden and that goal is reached, for such a Man there is no more possibility that death should have power over Him, and that having been He shall not continue to be; the very fact that They are found in history is the guarantee for Their present existence; that would be enough to show that They exist, with­out the testimony which is growing year by year of  those who have found Them, and who know Them, those who are taught by Them, who take lessons at Their Feet. For in our own time and in our own day, one after another finds the ancient path; in our own time and our own day one after another finds that ancient and narrow path, keen as the edge of a razor, that leads onward to the gate­way of discipleship and makes entrance on the Path of Discipleship a possibility for men; as one  after another finds it, one witness after another in modern times is able to proclaim the truth of the ancient writings, and entering on that Path they may follow it stage by stage.

39.           But for the moment we are concerned with find­ing what qualifications are demanded ere entrance to the Path may be gained. Now the first of these qualifications is one which must be met to a very considerable extent at least before discipleship in any sense is possible. One of these qualifications is what is called control of the mind, and my first task now is to explain to you very definitely what control of the mind means, what the mind is which is controlled, and who it is that controls it. For you must remem­ber that for the great mass of people the mind is the representative of the man. When he speaks of “himself”, he really means his mind. When he says “I”, he is identifying that “I” with the mind, the conscious intelligence that knows; and when he says “I think, I feel, I know”, you will not find, if you inquire closely into the meaning, that he goes beyond the limits of his consciousness in his waking hours. That is what he means by the “I”, for the most part. Certainly those who have studied carefully know that such an “I” is illusory; but while they know it as an intellectual proposition, they do not realize it as a practical matter in life. They may admit it as philosophers, they do not live it as men in the world. And in order that we may understand clearly what this control of mind is, and how we may control the mind, let us just for a moment pause at what we call self-control when we are dealing with the man of the world; and we shall see how very inadequate that is when it is compared with the self-control which is one of the qualifications for discipleship. When we say a man is self-controlled we mean that his mind is stronger than his passions; that if you take the lower nature, the passions and the emotions, and over against that you set the intellectual nature, the mind and the will and the reasoning power and the judgment, that these last are stronger than the first; that the man is able in a moment of tempta­tion, under an appeal to his passions, to say: “No, I will not yield to that; I will not permit myself to be carried away by passion, I will not allow myself to be run away with by means of the senses; these senses are simply the horses that draw my chariot; I am the driver, and I will not permit them to gallop along the road they desire”; and then we say that that man is self-controlled. That is the ordinary sense of the word, and mind you, that self-control is an admirable quality. It is a stage through which every man must pass. The uncontrolled and un­regulated man, who is subject entirely to the senses, he indeed has much to do ere even this quality of worldly self-control will be acquired; but very, very much more than that is wanted. When we talk about a strong-willed man and a weak-willed man, we mean for the most part that the man who has got a strong will is a man who under the ordinary cir­cumstances of temptation and difficulty will choose his path by reason and by judgment, and will guide himself by the memory of the past and by conclusions which are based thereon; then we say a man has a strong will; he is not a man who is at the mercy of circumstances; he is not a prey to every impulse, he is not like a ship carried by the currents of the river or driven about by the winds as they blow upon it. He is rather like a ship controlled by a seaman who understands his duty, who utilizes the currents and the winds to drive his ship in the direction in which he desires to go, who uses the rudder of the will to  make the ship follow the path on which he himself has determined. And it is true that this difference of strong and of weak will is a mark of growing indi­viduality; as the man himself grows, as the indivi­duality increases, this power of direction from within is one of the clearest marks of the growth. I remem­ber H. P. Blavatsky saying in one of her articles when she was dealing with individuality, that you might recognize individuality in man and the absence of individuality in the lower animals by observing the way in which the man and the lower animals act under certain circumstances. If you take a number of wild animals and surround them with similar cir­cumstances, you will find them all act in the same general way. Their action is determined by the circumstances that surround them; each does not arrange his own action to modify the circumstances, balancing the one against the other in order to make the path which he selects; they act all alike. If you know the nature of the animal, and if you know the circumstances, you might judge of the action of the whole class by the actions of one or two. Now that distinctly shows the absence of individuality. But if you take men, a number of men, you cannot judge beforehand that they will all act in the same way; for according to the development of the individuals will be the variety of the action taken by them under the same circumstances. One individual is different from another, therefore he acts differently; he has a will of his own, therefore he chooses differently; the man who is weak-willed has less individuality, he is less developed, he is not as far advanced on the road of evolution.

40.           Now supposing that this is realized, then a man may go a step further than the control of the lower nature by the higher, and he may begin to realize something of the creative power of thought. This will imply more than the thought of the ordinary man of the world; it will imply knowledge of some philosophy. If for instance he has studied the great writings of the Hindus he will there gain a definite intellectual apprehension of the creative power of thought, but the moment he has seen that he will further see that there is something behind what he calls his mind; for if there be a creative power of thought, if a man can generate thought through the mind, then there must be something that generates, and that is hidden behind the mind producing these thoughts. The very fact that there is such a crea­tive power of thought, that a man is able to influence and train his own mind and the mind of others by this creative power is enough to show that there is some­thing behind the mind, something which is as it were separable from it, and something that will use the mind as its instrument. And then there dawns on the student who is endeavouring to understand him­self, that he has to deal with a mind which is exceed­ingly difficult to deal with, and that thoughts come unbidden, and spring up as it were without choice of his own; when he begins to study the workings of the mind he finds thoughts come rushing into it without his asking them to come; he finds himself possessed of ideas which he would wish very different. All kinds of fancies come into his mind which he wants to expel; he finds himself helpless, he cannot get rid of them. He finds himself compelled to grind on at thoughts that dominate the mind and which are by no means at his bidding nor under his authority. And he begins to observe these thoughts; he begins to ask: whence come they? how do they work? how may they be controlled? and he gradually learns that many thoughts that come to his mind have their origin in the minds of other men, and that according to the line of his own thinking so will he attract from the outer world of thought the thoughts of others; in turn he influences the minds of others by the thoughts that are generated by himself, and he begins to un­derstand that this responsibility is much greater than he ever dreamed. He used to think that only when he spoke did he affect the minds of others, only when he acted did he by example influence the actions of others; but as he learns more and more he begins to understand that there is an invisible power which goes out from the thinking man and plays on the minds of other people. Modern science tells us something of this, and to the same effect; modern science in many of its experiments has learned that thought may be sent from brain to brain without the spoken word or without the written message, and that there is something in thought which is palpable, which is observable, which is like a vibration that sets other things vibrating, although no word be formulated, no articulate speech be uttered. Science has discovered that in silence thought may be sent from man to man, that without any outer communi­cation - or as Professor Lodge said, without material means of communication, using the word “material” in its physical sense - it is possible for mind to affect mind.

41.           If that be so, we are all affecting each other by thought without either word or action; for the thought that we have generated goes out into the world to affect the minds of other men; the thoughts that they think come to us to affect in turn our think­ing, and we begin to realize that for the most part thinking is a very small part of the life of most people, and that the mere receiving of other people’s thoughts is what we are apt to call thinking. In fact men’s minds are very much like houses, rest-houses, through which travellers pass and in which they stay for a night; most men’s minds are not very much more than that. The thought comes in and goes out. The man contributes very little towards the thought he receives. He receives it, harbours it, and it passes away. But what we ought to be doing is to be thinking deliberately, and thinking with a purpose behind the thought to accomplish that which we determine.

42.           Why should this control of mind, this control of thought, this stopping of thought, this refusing of harbourage to the thoughts of others, be so valuable? Why should this be a condition of discipleship? Because when a man becomes a disciple his thoughts gain added power; because when a man becomes a disciple his individuality is growing, is increasing, is becoming mightier; and every thought that he thinks has increased vitality and increased energy and in­fluence on the outer world of man. By a thought a man can kill; by a thought a man can heal a dis­ease; by a thought a man can influence a crowd; by a thought a man can create a visible illusion which shall deceive other men and lead them astray. As thought has such mighty power as the individual grows and increases, and as discipleship means the  rapid growth and the increase of individuality, so that a man accomplishes in a few lives what other­wise would take millennia of years to accomplish, it is necessary, before these added powers come within his reach, that he should learn to control his thoughts, that he should learn to check all that is evil in them, that he should learn to harbour nothing save that which is pure and beneficent and useful. Control then of the mind by the Self is made a condition of discipleship, because ere a man has the added power of thought that comes from the teaching of the Guru, he must have obtained control over the instrument by which the thoughts are produced, so that it may make what he determines that it shall make, and produce nothing without his full consent.

43.           I know that on this point people will feel difficulty. They will say: what is this individual that is always growing? What is this individual who develops will and power of control over the mind, who, you say, is not the mind but is greater than the mind? May I take a picture from the outer world so as to help you to image in your thinking the way in which the individual comes to be and the way in which he grows? Suppose that you went into an atmosphere supercharged with watery vapour, but the atmosphere was so hot that the water remained in suspension, invisible, so that the place seemed to you to be empty; nothing is there, you would say, it is empty air. You know quite well that if a chemist took some of that air thus charged with vapour, enclosed it, and gradually cooled it down, you would see appear out of the emptiness a faint mist or cloudi­ness, and that faint mist would gradually grow a little denser and a little denser, until, as more and more the atmosphere was chilled, there would be formed a drop of water where before nothing was seen. Now that may serve as one of the clumsy physical images that one may take to illustrate the formation of the individual. Out of that Invisible which is the One from which all proceeds, appears as it were a faint cloud becoming visible, a faint mist condensing, which separates itself from the invisible vapour around it, and gradually condenses more and more till it becomes the individual drop, that we recognize as a unit; out of that which is All comes the separated and distinct; one indeed in its nature with the All, the same in its essence but separated by its conditions, and so individualized out of the whole. And the individual soul of man is such an individualization from the One Self, and it grows and grows by experience. It grows and increases and develops as it is re-born life after life and time after time, hundreds of times into the world. And what we call the mind is just a little out-putting of this individual into the world of matter. As the amoeba when it wants food thrusts out a portion of itself and takes in a little particle of nutritive matter and draws the protruded part containing the food back into its own substance, thus nourishing itself with the food that it takes in, so does the individual  put out into the world - the physical world - a little protrusion from itself, to gather experience as food for the individual, and draw it in again in what we call death, absorbing this gained experience to nour­ish its growth. And the mind is this out-putting into the physical world, it is part of the individual, of the soul; the consciousness that is you is greater than your mind, the consciousness that is you is greater than that which you recognize as the intellect. All your past, all the experience that you have gained, is garnered in consciousness. All the knowledge that you have acquired is treasured in the consciousness that is really you. You put out at your birth a little part of yourself to gather new experience and to increase this; consciousness still more; this the soul takes for its own growth, and in each life out of its wider consciousness it tries to influence that out-put portion of itself; what we call the voice of conscience is nothing but this greater Self speaking to the lower self, and trying to guide the lower self in its ignorance by the wisdom which the Higher Self has acquired life after life.

44.           But we know there is a difficulty about this lower self of ours, the mind. Do you remember what Arjuna said to Shri Krishna when he was dealing with this control of the lower Manas that we are studying? You remember how he said to his divine Teacher that Manas was so restless; “Manas is verily restless”, he said, “O Krishna; it is impetu­ous, strong, and difficult to bend; I deem it as hard to curb as the wind”. And that is true; every one knows it to be true who tries to curb the mind. Every one who tries to control Manas knows how restless, impetuous, and strong it is, and how hard to curb. But do you remember how the Blessed Lord gave answer to Arjuna when he said it was hard as the wind to curb? His answer was: “Without doubt Manas is hard to curb and restless, O mighty ­armed; but it may be curbed by constant practice and by indifference”. There is no other way. Con­stant practice: no one can do it for you; no Teacher can accomplish it for you. You yourselves must do it, and until you begin to take it in hand no finding of the Guru is possible for you. It is useless to cry out and desire to find, if you will not take the steps that are laid down in the published words of all the great Teachers in order to guide you to Their Feet. Here is a mighty Teacher, an Avatara, who lays down what must be done and who says it may be done. And when an Avatara says it may be done, He means that it can be done by the man who wills it; for He knows the powers of those whom He can see, and whom He as the Supreme has brought into the world; and when He gives His divine word that the conquest is possible, shall we dare to say that we cannot do it, and so as it were give the lie to the God that speaks?

45.           How then shall it be done? “By constant prac­tice”, says the Lord; that is to say in your daily life as you have it, in the busy life of men, you are to begin to train this restless mind of yours and make it subject to your will. Try for a moment to think steadily. You will find your thoughts fly away. What shall you do? bring them back again to the point on which you desire to fix them. Choose a subject and then think definitely and consecutively upon it. Remember you have an immense advan­tage in this training of the mind; you have the ancient Hindu traditions, you have the physical heredity which has been moulded under these conditions, and the training in your youth which ought to have accustomed you to this regulation of the mind. It is far harder for a western-born person to conquer the restlessness of the mind than it ought to be for you, because there the control of mind has not been  taught, there the training of the mind is not part of the religious education in the same way, and men are in­clined to fly from one subject to another. The habit - to take a trivial case - of constant newspaper read­ing, three or four papers, perhaps, a day, is one of the things that makes very difficult the control of the mind. You fly from one subject to another; here a number of telegrams that whirl the mind off to England, to France, to Spain, to Kamskatcha, to New Zealand, to America; when you have read that column or half-column you find another kind of news. Accounts of the doings of well-known people. Re­ports of plays in the theatres, of cases in the law ­courts. Here a race of ships or of men; there de­scriptions of sports or athletics, and so on. You all know the varied contents of the newspaper. Men do not understand the harm they do themselves by wast­ing the energies of the mind as they habitually waste them on these trivial and unimportant matters. You will find men in England, I know, who will read half a dozen papers every day; that means more than that they are for the time scattering the powers of the mind; for if you scatter them day after day you get into the habit of scattering, and you cannot then readily concentrate your thoughts on one idea. In addition to that there is the waste of time which might be given to higher matters. I do not mean to say that as men in the world you should not know what is going on in the world around you; but it is quite enough to take up a single paper which deals with the more important matters of the outer world, and read quietly through for a few minutes; if you know how to read, that is enough so far as these outside things go.

46.           In order that you may fight against this modern tendency of scattering thought you should make it a daily habit to think consecutively and to concentrate your attention for some time on one subject; make it a serious practice in the training of your mind to read every day some part of a book that deals with the graver matters of life, with the eternal rather than with the transitory; fix the mind upon it while you are reading. Do not allow it to wander, do not allow it to scatter. If it travels off bring it back, and place it again on the same idea, and in that way you will strengthen the mind, you will begin to curb it, you will by constant practice learn to control it, and make it go along the path that you desire it should follow. Even in things of the world this quality is of great advantage. It is not only that in doing this you are preparing yourself for the greater life which is open to you, but even in the common things of life the man of concentrated thought is the more successful man; the man who is able to think con­secutively, clearly and definitely, he is the man who even in the lower world will be able to make his way. So you will find this constant practice in training the mind useful in this unimportant world as well as in greater things. And then you will gradually learn the control which is one of the conditions of disciple­ship.

47.           As you thus train the mind you will perhaps take another step - meditation. Meditation is the de­liberate and formal training of the mind in concen­tration and in fixity of thought. You are to do it every day, because if you do it every day you are helped by what is called the automatism of the body and mind. That which you do daily becomes a habit; that which is done daily is done without an effort after a time; that which is hard to begin with becomes easy by practice. Now meditation may be taken partly as devotional and partly as intellectual, and the wise man who is training himself for disciple­ship will meditate in both ways. He will concentrate his mind, fix his thought, on the divine ideal, on the Teacher whom, unknown at present, he still ulti­mately hopes to find; and keeping before him this perfect ideal, he will fix his lower mind on that ideal in the hour of meditation, and will aspire upwards towards it with fixed and unswerving thought. As the mind grows, this will become easier and easier; as he keeps this ideal before the mind in meditation he will begin to reflect it, to grow a little like it. That is one of the creative powers of the mind - the man becomes that upon which he reflects; and if he reflects daily on the perfect ideal of humanity he will begin to grow towards that perfect ideal himself. Then he will gradually find that as he fixes the mind  steadily on this ideal, as he aspires upwards towards it, and longs to come into contact with it, he will  find during this time of meditation that the lower  mind will become peaceful, that the lower mind will sink into quietude, that the outside world will fade away from consciousness, and that the deeper con­sciousness will shine as it were from within - the  higher consciousness, that of the individual himself, realizing and knowing what he is. For as the lower mind is thus quieted, as its restlessness is con­quered, it becomes like a still lake of water which is unruffled by any wind, unmoved by any currents. That lake is like a mirror; on that mirror-like surface, unruffled, tranquil, the sun which is in heaven shines down, reflecting itself in the quiet water; so also the higher consciousness reflects itself in the mirror of the tranquillized lower mind. And then the man knows, no longer by authority but of his own knowledge, that he is more than the mind which he has realized as intellect, that his consciousness is greater than the passing consciousness of the mind; then it becomes possible for him to begin to identify himself with the higher, and if only for a moment to catch a glimpse of the majesty of the Self. For re­member how in the great Scriptures you are always taught that you yourself are the higher and not the lower. What means the saying that we read in the Chhandogyopanishad and elsewhere, the procla­mation: “Thou art Brahman”, “Thou art That”? so the Buddhists repeat also: “Thou art Buddha”. That will never be a fact of consciousness to you, however much you may intellectually realize it, until by meditation you have made the lower mind the mirror in which the higher may be reflected; then, in a further stage of meditation you yourself will con­sciously become the higher, and then you will know what every great Teacher has meant by that famous phrase, which has in it the assertion of the inherent divinity of man.

48.           When this is done daily, is practised by meditation followed day after day, month after month, year after year, it gradually permeates all the life and becomes constant instead of partial. First, confined to the time of meditation; then spreading over into the life led in the world. You may say: How can I be conscious of that when I am busy in the outer world? How can I keep consciousness of the higher when the lower is in full activity? Do you not know how, bowing before the altar you may use your body to offer flowers, whilst the mind is concentrated on the Deity Himself? The outer activity of the body is there, yet your thought is not on the flowers that you are offering but on the Object of the offering; the hands perform their duty and offer their flowers perfectly, although the mind is fixing its thoughts on the Divine itself. And so in the outer world of man, you may offer the flowers of duty in a life of constant activities, of daily work; you may offer these flowers with the body and with the mind, fulfilling to the utmost your duty in the outer world, but you your­selves will be fixed ever in meditation and in worship. Once learn to separate your higher consciousness from your lower, yourself from your mind, and your will gradually acquire the power of carrying on men­tal activities without losing the real “I” in them; the mind working perfectly at its appropriate duties while the Self remains at a loftier height. You will never leave the inner sanctuary, however much the outer life is busy in the world of men. In this way the man is preparing himself for discipleship.

49.           There is another stage which we must just glance at, that which I call the intellectual side of medi­tation, concerned with the gradual and conscious building of character. Again I turn to the great treatise of Karma-Yoga, the teachings of Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. If you turn to the 16th discourse you may find the long list of qualities there given which a man must develop in himself so that he may be born with them in the future. They are called “the divine properties”, and Arjuna is told: “Thou art born with divine properties, O Pandava”. Now in order that you may be born with them in future births you must make them in the birth that is; if you are to bring them back with you into life you must gradually create them in lives as they come one after another, and the man of the world who wants to know how to build his character can do nothing better than take this list of qualities, the divine properties which are wanted in discipleship, and build them one by one in his daily life by a conjoint process of medita­tion and action. Purity for instance is one of them. How shall a man build himself into purity? By, in his morning meditation, taking purity as part of the subject on which he thinks, realizing what it means. No impurity of thought must ever touch him; no impurity of action must ever stain him, he must be pure in the threefold thread of action, word and thought. That is the threefold cord of duty, as I once reminded you, and is that which the Brahmanas threefold thread is intended to represent. In the morning he thinks of purity as a thing that is desirable, that he must accomplish; and when he goes out into the world he carries the memory of his meditation with him. He watches his actions; he allows no impure action to stain his body; he commits no impure action all through the day, for he steadily watches every action that no touch of impurity may soil it. He watches his words. He speaks no word that is impure; he makes no refer­ence in his talk to an unclean subject; he never permits his tongue to be soiled by making an unclean suggestion. Every word of his is pure, so that he would dare to speak it in the presence of his Master, whose eye sees every lightest stain of impurity which the ordinary mortal eye would miss. He will watch every word that it may be the purest that he can utter, and he will never foul himself or others by a single word or phrase coarse with impure suggestion. His thought will be pure. He will never allow an unclean thought to come into his mind, or if it comes into his mind it will at once be cast out; the moment the thought comes he will cast it out; and as he knows that it could not come into his mind unless there was in his mind something to attract it, he purifies his own mind, so that no unclean thought of any one else may be able to gain entrance. Thus he watches on this one point through the whole of his day. And then again he will take truth in his morning meditation; he will think of truth, its value in the world, its value in society, its value in his own character; and when he goes out into the world of men he will never commit an action that will give a false impression, he will never speak a word that conveys a false idea. Not only will he not lie, but he will not even be inaccurate, because that also is speaking a falsehood. To be inaccurate in recount­ing what you have seen is to speak untruth. All  exaggeration and painting up of a story, everything  that is not perfectly consistent with fact, so far as he knows it, everything which has any shade of untruth­fulness, may not be used by him who would become a disciple. And so in thought again he must be true. Every thought must be as true as he can make it, with no shadow of falsehood to pollute his mind. So with compassion. He will meditate on compassion in the morning and during the day he will seek to practise it; he will show all kindness to people around him; he will do all service to family and friends and neighbours. Wherever he sees want he will try to relieve it; wherever he sees sorrow he  will try to comfort it; wherever he sees misery he will strive to lighten it. He will live compassion as well as think it, and so make it part of his character. So with fortitude. He will think of the nobility of the strong man, the man whom no outer circum­stances can depress or elate, the man who is not joyful over success nor miserable over failure, who is not at the mercy of circumstances, sad today because things are troublesome and joyful tomorrow because things are easy. He will try to be himself, always balanced and strong; as he goes out into the world he will practise; if trouble comes he will think of the Eternal where no trouble is; if loss of money comes, he will think of the wealth of wisdom that cannot be taken away from him; if a friend be snatched by death, he will consider that no living soul can die and that the body that dies is only the garment which is thrown aside when it is out-worn, and another taken, and that his friend shall be found again. And so with all the other virtues of self­-restraint, of peaceableness, of fearlessness - all these things he will think of and practise. Not all at once. No man living in the world would be able to give sufficient time to meditate on each of these every day; but take them one by one, and build them into your character. Work on steadily: do not be afraid of giving time to it; do not be afraid of giving trouble to it. Everything that you build you are building for eternity, and you may well be patient in time when eternity spreads before you. Everything you gain, you gain for evermore. Meditation alone or practice alone is insufficient for the building of the character. Both must go together; both must form part of the daily life, and in this way a noble character is made.

50.           A man who has thus trained himself, a man who has thus done the utmost that he can do, who has given his time and thought and trouble to make him­self fit to find the Teacher, even by him the Teacher shall verily be found; or rather, the Teacher shall find him and manifest Himself to his soul. For do you imagine in blindness and in ignorance that these Teachers desire to be hidden? Do you imagine, veiled in illusion, that They deliberately hide Them­selves from the eyes of men in order to leave humanity to stumble helpless, unwishful to aid it and to guide? I tell you that much as you may for a moment desire to find your Teacher, the Teacher is a thousand-fold more constant in His desire to find you, in order that He may help. Looking out over the world of men, They see so many helpers are wanted and so few are found. The masses perish in ignorance; teachers are wanted for them and they perish by myriads; there is none to help them. The great Teachers need disciples who are living in the lower world, and who, trained by the Teachers, shall go out into the world of men, and bring help to the suffering, bring knowledge to the darkened minds. They are always looking out into the world to find one soul that is willing and ready to be helped; always looking over the world in order that They may at once come to the souls that are ready to receive Them, and will not shut the doors of their hearts against Them. For our hearts are closed against Them and fast-locked, so that They cannot enter. They may not break down the doors and come in by force. If a man choose his own way and if he lock the doors, none other may turn the key; we are locked up by worldly desire; we are locked up by grasping after the things of the earth; we are locked up with the keys of sin and indifference and sloth; and the Teacher stands waiting till the door be opened in order that He may cross the threshold and illuminate the mind.

51.           Do you say: How do They know among the myriads of men one soul that works for Them and makes itself fit for Their coming? The answer was once given in the form of a picture; that as a man standing on a mountain-top looking over the adja­cent valley sees a light in a single cottage because the light shines out against the surrounding darkness, so does the soul that has made itself ready show the light in the darkness of the surrounding world which catches the eye of the Watcher on the mountain side and draws his attention by its own light. You must light the soul, in order that the Teacher may see it. He stands watching, but you must give the signal in order that He may become your Teacher and guide you on the way. How great the need you will per­haps understand better at the end of the remaining work that lies before us, as I trace the work of the disciple and what may really be done by him: but let me leave you this morning with this thought in your minds: that the Teacher is watching, is wait­ing, is desiring to find you, desiring to teach you that you have the power to draw Him to you, that only you can let Him come. He may knock at the door of your heart, but you must cry out the word that bids Him enter; and if you would follow the path I have traced for you this morning, if step by step you would thus learn control of mind, medi­tation, building of character, there you would have spoken the threefold word which makes it possible for the Teacher to reveal Himself. When that word is breathed out in the silence of the soul then the Master appears before it, and the feet of the Guru are found.


 

52.         THE LIFE OF THE DISCIPLE.

 

53.           THE PROBATIONARY PATH. THE FOUR INITIATIONS.

 

 

54.           IT is a difficult task, my brothers, that lies before us this morning. In the two preceding lectures I have been dealing with the life of men in the world, and pointing out to you how in this ordinary life men might gradually prepare themselves for the higher stages of evolution; how they might gradually train themselves for swifter progress, for swifter advance. But today we have to go outside the life of man in the ordinary sense of the term - not so far as the outer appearance is concerned, but so far as the reality of the inner life is to be studied. For the stages of human progress that we are now to deal with are distinct and definite stages, which lead men out of the life of the world into the life of the higher regions;  out of the ordinary humanity into a humanity which is divine. And inasmuch, therefore, as it must take us more outside common experience, the task is, as I say, more difficult, both for you who hear it and for myself who speak. For in these higher matters higher faculties must needs be brought into play; and they best will be able to follow this lofty teach­ing who, at least, have tried to some extent that purification of life and building of character to which our last two mornings have been devoted in thought.

55.           I brought you yesterday up to the point at which a man, having tried to improve his life and control his thought, to bring himself into preparation for discipleship, has drawn the attention of some great Teacher, has drawn the attention of a Guru, so that he may now begin the first stages of discipleship. And it is these first stages that we will take in begin­ning this morning. However large the subject, I have to try and run through the whole of the life of discipleship, of chelaship, this morning.

56.           The first stages make up what has been called “the probationary path”, that is the stage of probationary as separated from the stage of accepted chelaship. In the probationary path, while we can recognize certain stages, and the acquirement of cer­tain definite qualifications, we do not find them so definitely marked out as are those of what we will call the Path proper - that of chelaship recognized and distinct. In the true Path, the Path where the disciple is not only recognized by his Master, but recognizes his Master, in that Path the four stages are exceedingly distinct, are known by separate names, and are separated by distinct Initiations. On the probationary path the stages are marked, but they are not separated in that distinct way. The stages may be said rather to run side by side than suc­cessively and one after the other. The probationary chela, as we may call one entering on the stages of this path, is not expected to perform perfectly everything he begins to practise. He is expected to attempt, but perfect performance is not demanded from him. It is sufficient if he be in earnest, if his efforts are sustained, if he does not change his mind nor lose sight of his goal. Many allowances, as we say in human affairs, are made for him on the ground of human frailty, human weakness, and the lack of knowledge which still hinders his advance. The trials he meets with, the tests he undergoes, are the trials and tests which are met with in ordinary life, troubles of every kind and form, on which I shall have a word to say presently, but they are not of the nature of those which belong to the distinct and definite Path. The stages of the probationary path, if I remember rightly, were traced some years ago from the well-known Hindu teachings, by a Brahmana,  then in England, and a member of the Theosophical  Society, Mohini Mohun Chatterji of Calcutta; he re­counted what have been called the preliminary steps which men must take and must accomplish, helped to a certain extent by their Teachers, but for the most part unconsciously to themselves - that is, as far as their waking consciousness is concerned; the chela appears to himself to be treading the path  alone, and to be dependent on his own strength and energy. I need not say that this is an illusion due to his own blindness and ignorance, for the eyes of his Teacher are on him, although it may not be known to him in his waking consciousness, and help is ever extended to him from the higher planes of being, help that shows itself in his life, although it may not show itself clearly to his waking mind. And now we shall find the qualifications we have dealt with as preparatory in a general sense take to themselves more definite shapes on the probationary path.

57.           The first qualification is the outcome of the ex­periences through which he has passed; they awake and train in him VIVEKA, or discrimination. Discrimination between the real and the unreal, between the eternal and the transitory. Until this appears he will be bound to the earth by ignorance, and worldly objects will exercise over him all their seductive glamour. His eyes must be opened, he must pierce through the veil of Maya, at least sufficiently to rate earthly things at their true value, for from Viveka is born the second of the qualifica­tions - VAIRAGYA. I have already pointed out to you that a man must begin to train himself in separation from action as regards its fruit. He must train him­self to do action as a duty without continually look­ing for any sort of personal gain. That training we will suppose has been carried out by a man certainly for life after life, before the demand is made on him which he must answer to a very considerable extent before Initiation is possible, that he shall become definitely indifferent to earthly objects. Indifference to earthly objects, indifference to worldly objects, Vairagya, is the second of the qualifications in the probationary path of chelaship. He has developed Viveka and, as we have seen, this means the dis­crimination between the real and the unreal, between the transitory and the permanent. And as reality and permanency make themselves felt in the man’s mind, it is inevitable that worldly objects shall lose their attraction, and that he shall become definitely indifferent to them. When the real is seen the unreal is so unsatisfactory; when the permanent is recognized, if only for a moment, the transitory seems so little worth striving after; in the probationary path all the objects around us lose their attractive power, and it is no longer an effort for the man to turn away from them; it is no longer by deliberate effort of the will that he does not permit himself to work for fruit. The objects have no longer an attraction in them­selves; the root of desire is gradually perishing, and these objects, as it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, turn away from the abstemious dweller in the body. It is not so much that he deliberately abstains, as that they lose the power to any way satisfy him. The objects of the senses turn away from him, because of that training that we have already dealt with, that he has passed through.

58.           Seeing objects then in their transitory character it is quite natural that out of indifference to the objects should also grow, as a matter of course, that which he has long been striving after, namely, indifference to their fruits; for the fruits are themselves but other objects. The fruits themselves share the impermanency and unreality which he recognizes, having seen the real and the permanent.

59.           And then the third of the qualifications has to be gained on the probationary path: SHATSAMPATTI, the six-fold group of mental qualities or mental attributes which show themselves within the life of this chela-candidate - as perhaps we may call him. He has long been striving to rule his thoughts in the manner with which we are familiar. He has been practising all those methods which we spoke of yesterday, to gain self-control, to acquire the habit of meditation, and to perform the building of char­acter. These have prepared him now to show forth in the real man - for we are concerned with the real man and not with the illusory appearance - to show forth in the real man, Shama, control of the mind, that definite regulation of thought, that definite understanding of the effects of thought, and of his relation to the world around him, as he affects it for good or for evil by his own thinking. By the recognition of that power that he has either to help or to mar by his own thought the lives of other men, how to hinder or to help the evolution of the race, he becomes a deliberate worker for human progress and for the progress of all evolving beings within the limits of the world to which he belongs. And this regulation of thought - now a definite attitude of the mind - is preparing him, as we shall see, for complete and definite chelaship, where every thought is to be made the instrument of the Master’s work, and where comparatively without effort the mind is to run along the grooves that are traced for it by the will.

60.           Out of that regulation of thought, now so largely accomplished, follows inevitably Dama, control of the senses and the body, that which we may call re­gulation of conduct. Do you notice how when deal­ing with things from the occult standpoint, they are reversed as compared with the standpoint of earth? Worldly men think more of conduct than of thought.  The occultist thinks far more of thought than of conduct. If the thought be right the conduct must inevitably be pure; if the thought be regulated, the conduct must inevitably be well controlled and governed. The outer appearance or action is only the translation of the inner thought which in the world of form takes shape as what we call action; but the form is dependent on the life within, the shape is dependent on the moulding energy which makes it. The Arupa world is the world of causes, the Rupa world is only the world of effects; and therefore if we regulate thought the conduct must be regulated, as it is the natural and inevitable expression of thought.

61.           The third mental attribute that marks this attitude of the inner man is Uparati, best translated perhaps as a wide and noble and sustained tolerance - I use that word in the very widest sense that you can give to it - tolerance of all that is round him, a kind or sublime patience which is able to wait, which is able to understand, and, therefore, demands from none more than he can give. This again is the prepara­tion for a very distinct stage on the path of full chelaship. This attitude of the man, the tolerant attitude, is able to make allowances for every one and everything, looks on all men not as they are seen from without but as they are seen from within, sees their aspirations, their desires and their motives, and not only the clumsy mistranslations which appearance often gives in the outer world. He learns tolerance of all different forms of religion, tolerance of all different kinds of custom, tolerance of all the varying traditions of men. He understands that all these are transitory phases which men ultimately outgrow, and he is not so unreasonable as to expect from the child humanity that wideness, that breadth, that sense of dignified patience which is characteristic of humanity in its manhood and not in its early stages. This attitude of the mind must be constantly cultivated by the man who is approaching initiation, and he must gain that tolerance by insight into truth and be able to recognize the underlying truth underneath the veil of misleading appearances.

62.           Do you notice how all through it is the dawning of the sense of reality that is the great change that has come over the man in this probationary path? He is no longer deceived by appearances as he was in the early days. As he grows he sees reality and so gradually gets rid of illusion. He is shaking off subjection to appearances, and he is recognizing truth, no matter what may be its illusory form.

63.           The next point in his mental attitude is Titiksha, endurance, a patient bearing of all that comes, a total absence of resentment. You will remember how I drew your attention to this as a thing to strive for, how a man was gradually to get rid of the tendency to feel injured, how he was to cultivate love and compassion and forgiveness, and the re­sult of that cultivation of the mind is this mental attitude steady and defined. The inner man thus gets rid of resentment - resentment towards every­thing, towards men, towards circumstances, towards everything that surrounds him in life. Why? Because he sees truth and he knows the Law, and therefore knows that whatever circumstances surround him, they are the outcome of the good Law. He knows that whatever men may do to him they are only the unconscious agents of the Law. He knows that whatever comes to him in life is of his own creating in the past. And so his attitude is the attitude of absence of resentment. He realizes justice, therefore he cannot be angry with anything, for nothing can touch him which he has not deserved; nothing can come in his way which he has not put there in his former lives. Thus we find that no troubles and no joys can turn him aside from his path; he is no longer to be changed in direction by anything that comes in his way. He sees the path and treads it; he sees the goal and he presses towards it. He is no longer following devious and indefinite ways, here, there and everywhere; but firmly, steadily, he follows the path he has chosen. He cannot be attracted away from it by pleasure; he cannot be driven away from it by pain. He cannot be dis­couraged by dulness, by voidness, by emptiness, he cannot be induced to stray from it by offers from any save the one Guru whose Feet he seeks. Incapacity to be turned aside, strong in endurance - ah! there is a quality he needs indeed on this probationary path. For I spoke of the tests and ordeals which will beset his way, and it is well that you should understand why these difficulties should come. The man who has entered on the probationary path intends to accomplish within a very limited number of lives what the man of the world will accomplish in hundreds upon hundreds of lives. He is like the man who, wanting to reach the top of the mountain, refuses to follow the track that winds round and round. He says: “I am going straight up the mountain-side, I am not going to waste my time on this winding beaten track which will take me so long, the slow way on which most of the going is smooth and easy, beaten by the myriads of feet that tread it. I shall go by the shorter route, I shall take the swifter path, I shall go straight up the mountain­side. No matter what the difficulties, I will climb the mountain. No matter what obstacles there may be, I will go; precipices there may be - I will cross them; walls of rocks there may be - I will climb them; obstacles and boulders in my path there may be - I will manage in some way to surmount them or get round them; but up that mountain - side I mean to travel”. What will be the result? He will find a thousand-fold more difficulties surround him on the path. If he gains in time he must pay in trouble for the difficulty of the achievement. The man who enters on the probationary path is the man who chooses the short way to the mountain-top, and calls down on himself the whole of his past Karma, which is largely to be got rid of before he is fitted for initiation. The great Lords of Karma who administer the karmic Law - those mighty Intelligences high above us, greater than our comprehension can understand, greater than our reason can in any way fathom, who have been spoken of as the Recorders of Karma, Those who keep the akashic records in which are written down all the past thoughts and deeds of men - They have, as it were, an account of each individual. They have before Their omniscient eyes the life-record of each man, and that record which lies under Their eyes has to be mostly dis­charged, ere he passes through the portals of initia­tion. And when he enters on the probationary path, when deliberately of his own set will he puts his feet on that path, the very putting of his feet there is a cry to the great Lords of Karma that They will balance up the account that there is against him, and present him with the karmic debt he is obliged to discharge. Is it then any wonder that difficulties grow round his path? The Karma that would have spread over hundreds of lives will have to be passed through in a few, perhaps in one, and so naturally the path is difficult to tread. Family troubles come round the man, business troubles press upon him, troubles of mind and of body assail him; do you wonder then that I said he needs steadfastness, in order to proceed along the proba­tionary path and not turn back, in order not to be discouraged. It may seem that everything is against him. It may seem to him that his Master has forsaken him. Why, when he is trying his best should the worst befall him? Why, when he is living better than he ever lived before, should all these difficulties and pains assail him? It seems so unjust, it seems so hard, it seems so cruel, that when he is living more nobly than he has ever tried to live before, he finds himself more hardly treated than ever before by Destiny. He must stand the test, he must refuse to allow any sense of injustice to penetrate into his inner life. He must say to himself: “It was my own doing, I challenged my Karma; what wonder then that I am asked to pay it”. And at least he has the encouragement of remembering that the debt once paid is paid for ever, once lived through no more of it can come to disturb him. Every karmic debt he pays is struck from off life’s ledger for evermore. That debt at least is done with. So that if illness strikes him down, he thinks it is well that  that much trouble should be gotten rid of; if pain and anxiety assail him, he thinks it is well; he answers: “It will be behind me in the past and not before me in the future”. And so it is that in the midst of sorrow he is joyful, in the midst of dis­couragement he is hopeful, in the midst of pain he is at ease, for the inner man is content with the Law, he is satisfied with the answer which has come to his demand. If there were no answer, it would mean that his voice had not reached the ears of the Great Ones, it would mean his prayer had fallen back to earth; for this trouble is the answer to his petition. Thus in these struggles, these difficulties, these efforts, he gains the fifth mental attribute and that is:­ Shraddha, faith, or we may call it confidence - confi­dence in his Master and in himself. You can under­stand how that will be the result of such a struggle. You can understand how on the further side of the struggle confidence must come out, as the flower must open under the stimulating influence of sunshine and rain. He has learned confidence in his Guru, for has He not led him through all this thorny path and brought him to the other side where the gateway of initiation begins to open in front of him? And he has learned confidence in himself - not in his lower self whose weakness he has conquered, but in his divine Self whose strength he is beginning to recognize. For he understands that every man is divine, he understands that what his Guru is today, he him­self is going to become in the lives that still stretch out in front of him. And the confidence he feels is in the power of the Master to teach and to guide him, in the wisdom of the Master to lead and to instruct him; and a confidence in himself, most humble yet most  strong, that inasmuch as he is himself divine, he also has the power to accomplish; that however much of effort may be needed, however much of difficulty still remains to conquer, the strength that is in him is one with Brahman, and is enough for every difficulty, enough for every trial.

64.           The sixth mental attribute is Samadhana, balance, composure, peace of mind, that equilibrium and steadiness which result from the attainment of the foregoing qualities. With the gaining of this the probationary path is trodden, the chela-candidate stands ready before the gateway, and there appears without further effort the fourth qualification:­ MUMUKSHA, the desire for emancipation, the wish to gain liberation, that which, crowning the long efforts of the candidate, shows him to be an Adhikari, to be ready for initiation. He has been proved and not found wanting: his discrimination is keen, his indifference is no temporary disgust, due to a pass­ing disappointment, his mental and moral character is lofty - he is fit, he is ready for initiation. No more is asked, he stands fit to come face to face with his Master, face to face with the life that he so long has sought.

65.           Notice ere we put our hand on the gateway of initiation that every quality of the probationary path is a preparation for what lies in front, is a moral and mental quality. Moral and mental qualities are the qualifications that are demanded - not powers, as they are called, not abnormal psychic development, not the Siddhis. These are not in any sense demanded or required. A man may have gained some of the Siddhis and yet not be fit for initiation; but he must have the moral qualifications. These are demanded with a rigidity that nothing can change - with a rigidity, let me say in passing, that is the result of experience. For the great Gurus in Their vast experience of humanity, have been training it step by step for myriads of years. They know well enough that the qualification for true discipleship must be found in the mind and in the moral character and not in the development of the psychic nature; that has to come in its own place and in its own good time. But to be a recognized disciple, an accepted  chela, the mind and morals must be fitted to meet the gaze of the Guru; such as have been stated are the qualifications He demands, and these His pupils must give Him ere the second birth will be granted by Him who alone can give it. And notice also that these imply knowledge and devotion - the growth of knowledge that the man may see, and the growth of devotion without which the path cannot be trodden. And, therefore, it is written in the Upanishad that knowledge unallied to devotion is not enough, that devotion by itself is not sufficient; it must be knowledge wedded to devotion, for these are the two wings by which the disciple rises.

66.           We come to the Path itself. Of the great Initia­tions which mark the stages of the Path after the chela is accepted by his Guru and when the Guru takes upon Himself the guidance and instruction and guardianship of His chela - of these great Initia­tions from time to time a word has been dropped from the lips of some Teacher in the outer world, and we can find hints thrown out here and there, hints which are verified by the experience of those who pass  within the gateway, hints which are permitted to be expanded to some small extent, not for the gratifica­tion of idle curiosity, but for the training of those who would fain prepare themselves for this great step in advance. What can be said about them must obviously be imperfect; that which can be revealed in the world of men of these great mysteries can only be fragmentary information. Many questions will rise in your mind as I take these hints and weave them together into a slight but connected whole. Many questions will rise in your minds the answers to which could not be wisely given. The whole object, as I say, of giving the information is not to gratify curiosity, it is not in order that a man may ask a number of questions and get answers given to them one after another; the hints that are given are meant for men who are in earnest, for those who want to know in order that they may prepare, for those who want to understand in order that they may be able to accomplish. And so from time to time these hints are given, the partial information which is enough for immediate guidance, but not enough to satisfy mere idle and worldly curiosity.

67.           Two mighty Teachers stand out in history as having given more information on this subject than any others - each of Them a Teacher of a world-wide religion - world-wide not in the sense of area, but world-wide in their bearing on the souls that are ready for their reception. One of these great Teachers was the Founder of Buddhism, the LORD BUDDHA; and the other of these Teachers was SHRI SHANKARACHARYA, who did for Hinduism what we may say the BUDDHA did for countries beyond its reach in founding His exoteric faith. As regards the Path Their teachings are identical, as the teachings of every such great Initiate must needs be. Each of Them laid down the same stages; each of Them marks the stages by definite initiations which separate each stage from those which precede it and those which follow it. In the teaching itself there is perfect identity, it is only in the phraseology adapting it respectively to one faith or the other that differences arise. Here again, of course, is one of the reasons why men must learn to seek truth under diverse forms and appearances, otherwise they quarrel about the forms instead of realizing the identity that underlies these outer labels that are merely names.

68.           Four different stages there are, as I say, and each of them marked by an initiation. Now initiation means this; it means the expansion of consciousness which is brought about by the definite intermediation of the Guru, who acts in place of the one GREAT INITIATOR of humanity and gives the second birth in His Name. This expansion of consciousness is the  note as it were of initiation, for this expansion of consciousness gives what is called “the key of know­ledge”; it opens up to the Initiate new vistas of know­ledge and of power, it places within his hand the key which unlocks the doors of nature. To what end? In order that he may become more serviceable to the world at large; in order that his power for service may be increased; in order that he may join that scanty band of men who are vowed to humanity and  who have renounced the lower self, who seek nothing save the service of the Master and of humanity; who know that the service of the Master and of humanity is one and the same service; who have done with the world and everything that the world can offer; who have dedicated themselves for ever to the service  of the Great Ones to be Their instruments of work,  the channels of Their help and of Their grace. And between each of the great Initiations certain definite things have to be done - changes in the inner man­ - but with a great difference from the changes which have hitherto been considered. When a man is once initiated, what is done has to be done perfectly, no longer imperfectly; every accomplishment is completely achieved, every chain is definitely cast off. No longer the imperfect working out; can’t he pass onwards till perfectly the work of the stage is accomplished. So that there is this definiteness about it, which is nowhere else in life, that each successive stage is finished before the man passes further. No half-work, no incomplete achievement is here accepted. However long it may take, the work must be absolutely finished before another step forward can be taken. Technically that has been called “the casting off of the fetters”, of certain things that still bind the soul. At the end of the Path lies Jivanmukti; to have trodden it is to reach that stage where life is free, so that every fetter must be cast off wholly in order that nothing may bind the living man.

69.           The first great Initiation makes the man what is called by SHRI SHANKARACHARYA the Parivrajaka - what is called by the BUDDHA the Srotapatti. The Buddhist word, generally given in its Pali form, means “he who has entered the stream” which separates him from this world. He no longer belongs to this world, though he may live in it; he has here no place, nothing can hold him. Exactly the same idea is conveyed by the word Parivrajaka, a man who wanders about, that is, who has no settled home; not necessarily wandering about in the body, not necessarily no settled home in the body - as it has come to mean in the exoteric sense - but the man who in his inner life is separated from the world, who has in this transitory world no fixed place of abode, to whom in this transitory world one place is not different from any other. He can go here, there and anywhere, where his Master may send him. No place has power to hold him, no place has power to bind him; he has shaken off the fetters of place. And so he is called “the wanderer”. I know of course, as you know, that this stage is taken in quite an exoteric sense today; but I am taking it in the inner sense, in the meaning of the Great Ones who gave it. We know, alas! how much things have changed from the older days; how that which was then a reality in life has now become a matter of words and of outer appearance. But I am anxious that you should know the four stages of the Path as they are spoken of in Hinduism, as some people imagine that they were revealed only by the LORD BUDDHA, whereas He but proclaimed again the ancient narrow Path, that all Initiates of the One Lodge have trodden, are treading, and shall tread.

70.           Let me take the reality first. The man who has crossed the stream, as I said, has definitely parted with the world - he wants no more of it except as he can serve it. He asks no more of it except as in it he can do his Guru’s bidding. That is the mark of the first great Initiation - of the man who is re-born. For the most part the re-birth takes place outside the body but in waking consciousness: i.e., the man is initiated generally in his astral body in full con­sciousness, the physical body being left entranced; occasionally a chela is initiated without the waking consciousness being permitted for a time to share in the knowledge. But in either case the act can never be undone; the man can never again be as he was before. The babe, when it is born into the world, may for a time be unconscious of the new world around it, but that babe cannot return into its mother’s womb and be as though no birth had been passed through. So neither can the Initiate who has passed through the second birth ever again be as though he had not been thus born, and share in the life of the outer world as those who have not passed the second birth may share in it. He may delay in his progress, he may be slow in his advance, he may take a longer time than is necessary to throw off the fetters that still bind him; but he can never again be uninitiated, the key can never again pass out of his grasp. He has stepped into the stream; he is separated from the world; he must go forward, however slowly, however many lives he may spend in the doing.

71.           A question has been raised as to the number of lives intervening between this step and final libera­tion, the attainment of Jivanmukti. I remember hearing that Svami T. Subba Row, speaking here to some friends about the general idea that seven lives had to be passed in this division of chelaship, made the perfectly true and significant remark: “It may be seven lives or seventy, it may be seven days or seven hours”. That is: the life of the soul is not counted by mortal years or by mortal time; it depends on its energy, on its strength, on its will to succeed. A man may waste his time or spend it to the best advantage, and according to that will be the progress that he will make.

72.           But during this stage, which is commenced by the first great Initiation and is closed by the second, there are three different things that a man must get absolutely rid of ere he can pass the second portal. The first of these is the illusion of the personal self. Personality must be destroyed; no longer now controlled, no longer now diminished, no longer kept in check: but destroyed, killed for evermore. The illusion of the separated personal self has to go.  The chela must recognize himself as one with all other selves, for the Self of all is one. He must realize that all around him, man, the animal and plant worlds, the mineral and elemental forms of life, are all one. The illusion of personality must be gotten rid of. See how the extending conscious­ness will help in this; how the recognition of the true Self will make it possible to get rid of the false; how the seeing of the Real will cause the disappear­ance of the unreal; and so the illusion of the personal self is absolutely killed. Why? because his eyes are opened and they pierce through the illusion; thus he becomes free and casts off the fetter called “the delusion of self”.

73.           And he must get rid of doubt. That is the second obstacle that will prevent him from going further. But he has to get rid of doubt in a very definite way - he is to get rid of doubt by knowledge. No longer to him are the things of the invisible world to be questions of speculation; no longer to him are the great truths of religion to be philosophic ideas. They are to be realized facts. He must no longer have any question in his mind as to how is this or why? There are certain fundamental truths of life on which no longer possibility of doubt must remain to him. Ere he can go one step further forward, he must be absolutely convinced beyond the possibility of question of the great truth of Re-incarnation; he must know beyond the possibility of question the great truth of Karma; be must know beyond the possibility of question the great truth of the existence of the divine Men, of the Jivanmuktas, who are the Gurus of humanity. On these points no possibility of doubt must remain; that is he must have know­ledge no longer theoretical but real, no longer theoretical but practical, so that no shade of questioning on these can ever again possibly cloud his mind; the only position that is thus secure is where knowledge replaces speculation, and where absolute contact with the reality makes impossible any more the deceptions that are caused by the illusions of the outer world.

74.           The last of these three fetters that he has to en­tirely cast off at this stage is superstition. Realize clearly what that means and then you will understand very fully why both SHRI SHANKARACHARYA and the BUDDHA used the names that They respectively gave for this stage of chelaship. Superstition means this, in the technical sense (in which I am, of course, now using the word): it means the reliance on ex­ternal sectarian rites and ceremonies for spiritual help. So far as their external nature is concerned, the man recognizes the truth beneath the form, and if the truth be there the value of the outer shape depends on its adaptation to this world of ignorance and illusion. The man has risen above exoteric forms and ceremonies. But you are familiar with this idea in your everyday life. The Sannyasi is supposed to be a man who is risen above these things, and from whom they are no longer demanded. And why not? Because he is supposed to have touched reality, because he is supposed no longer to have any need of these things which are the rungs of the ladder by which men must climb; they are necessary in the earlier stages - do not forget that fact - this is a case of growth. If you would mount to the top of the house you must mount by the staircase or ladder, and foolish would be the man who said, “I will not climb by the staircase or steps”, unless that man had such power and such knowledge of the laws of nature that he was able to change the polarity of his body and rise by what is called levitation - by the action of the will instead of by the comparatively slow and clumsy method of going up step by step. For such a man the staircase is unnecessary because he can rise upward by his own power, and reach the top of the house without the slow method of climbing. But it does not therefore follow that the staircase is useless; it does not therefore follow that other men can reach the top of the house by refusing to use the staircase. And too many men today, who are un­able to raise themselves, refuse to use the staircase, forgetting that until the will is developed the lower forms are necessary if the man is to rise at all.

75.           And this brings me to say a word on the “true Sannyasi”. Even five thousand years ago the word was used without the reality. Even five thousand years ago, at the beginning of the Kali Yuga, we find Shri Krishna drawing a distinction between the Sannyasi in appearance and the Sannyasi in reality. Do you remember how speaking on this very subject he said: “He that performeth action as duty, in­dependently of the fruit of action, he is a Sannyasi, and he is a Yogi; not he that is without fire and who doeth nothing”. You know the meaning of the technical phrase, “he that is without fire”, that is, he who does not light the sacrificial fires, who does not perform rites and ceremonies; for from the Sannyasi these are not demanded. But, said Shri Krishna, he is not the true Sannyasi who is known only by the absence of rites and ceremonies and by the absence of his actions in the world of men. And if this were true five thousand, years ago, it is far truer, alas! today. If it were true when the great Avatara was treading the plains of India, it is far more true when five thousand years of darkness have elapsed. When we glance over the whole of the Eastern world, if we take India herself with her countless Sannyasis, we see men who are Sannyasis by the cloth and not by the life, men who are Sannyasis by outer appearance and not by inner renunciation. And if we leave Indian soil and tread that say of Ceylon, Burma, China or Japan, there too we find Buddhist monks who are monks by the yellow robe and not by the noble life, in the external appearance and not in the internal truth. And although it is still true that religion is easier to live here than in any other land; although it is still true that the traditions of India make her  very soil sacred and her very atmosphere more spiritual than the atmosphere of other lands; although there are places so holy through the lives that have been led in them that even for the worldly man to go to them quiets the mind and wakes up the aspirations of the soul; although all this is true of India, and therefore she is beloved and sacred ever­more, alas! her children are unworthy of her possibilities, and they have fallen on every side. Looking over the world of men we see no place where the spiritual life is generally led, no nation where this is recognized as supreme. The heart might go well nigh to breaking that knows the possibilities and sees the actualities, that knows what might be and sees what is, that knows the truth and sees, alas! the lie that simulates the truth. And yet despite all, no disciple’s heart need break, for the Masters live for evermore and Their disciples also still tread the world of men; but now their discipleship is shown not in the outer garb but in the inner life, not in the mere cloth that is worn, but in the knowledge, the purity and the devotion which still open the gateway of Initiation.

76.           So we come onward to the second stage called by SHRI SHANKARACHARYA the Kutichaka, the man who builds a hut, called by the Buddhists the Sakridagamin, the man who receives birth once more. This stage is one in which no definite fetters are cast off, but certain acquirements are made. Here comes in the place of the Siddhis. After the second Initiation it is necessary that the Siddhis should be developed, because the disciple has reached a stage of his life in which he must be capable of very extended service, in which he must be able to do his Master’s work not only in the world of physical men, but also in the other worlds that surround it and lie outside the physical plane. He must be able not only to speak with the lips but also to speak directly from mind to mind with conscious and deliberate intention. I shall try to show you tomorrow hat the possibilities of service are that lie before him, which react on the physical world, and which, if they were thoroughly accom­plished, as they are not today, would largely change the trend even of the physical life of man. But in order that he may do this part of the work, in order that he may prepare himself for the lofty tasks that lie before him when all knowledge will be open to him, and Nature will have no veil able to blind his eyes, he must at this stage develop his inner faculties and unfold one by one those inner pos­sibilities of the man. It is at this stage that it is necessary, if it has not been done before, that the inner fire should be awakened, it is here that Kundalini must be roused to function in the physical body and in the astral body of the living man. You can read about it in some books, as in the Ananda Lahiri of SHRI SHANKARACHARYA, of the awakening of the living fire, of the leading it from chakram to chakram; as it wakes up it gives the man the power to leave the physical body at will, for as it is led from chakram to chakram it disengages the astral from the physical and sets it free. Then without break of consciousness, without any chasm of blankness separating one world from the other, a man is able to pass out of the physical body into the invisible world, and is able to work there in full consciousness and to bring back all knowledge of the work that he has there accomplished. It is within the second stage that all these powers are developed and evolved, if they have not been evolved earlier, and until they are in full working order, until they are entirely at the command of the chela, until there are no barriers left between the visible and invisible world, he cannot pass on. As those barriers break away by the unfolding of the inner senses and powers of the man, by the gaining of the Siddhis, he becomes ready for the third great step in his progress, ready to pass onwards into the next higher stage of being. You will readily under­stand how easily mischief may be done to unfit men who try to artificially bring about this stage before they are spiritually developed, before the time when they should reach it in orderly evolution. In pub­lished writings there are many hints thrown out, especially in the Tantrika books, which are greedily seized on by those who desire to possess powers, and care little for their moral and mental ability to wield those powers aright. In many of the Tantras there are underlying truths for those who can reach them, but the statements on the surface are often ex­ceedingly misleading from their incompleteness for those who do not know the real facts, and who have no Guru to explain blinds and to fill up gaps. And so people - ignorantly taking these up to practise, with the object of forcing their psychical develop­ment before their mental and moral development has fitted them to do it with safety - very often bring about results indeed, but results which work for evil and not for good. They often ruin their physical health, they often lose their mental balance, they often injure their intellectual faculties, because they are trying to pluck the fruit of the tree of life before it is ripe for the plucking; because with hands unclean and senses unpurified they try to penetrate into the Holy of Holies. Within that fane the atmosphere is such that nothing unclean can live in it; its vibrations are so powerful, that it breaks in pieces everything which is set in a lower key; it shivers all that is impure, all that is not able to adapt itself to that subtle and tremendous motion.

77.           When, however, under the training of his Guru - ­for only thus should it even be attempted - when under the training of his Guru the disciple has com­pletely accomplished this stage, then comes the third great Initiation, that which makes the man what SHRI SHANKARACHARYA Called a Hamsa, what is called in the Buddhist literature an Anagamin, the man who receives birth no more, save indeed by his own free will. This stage is one - as the name given by SHRI SHANKARACHARYA implies - in which the man realizes unity, in which he knows that he is one with the SUPREME. The name is given because in his expanding consciousness he had already risen into the region in the universe where that identity is realized, and had experienced “I am It”. With the perfecting of his psychic senses and their correlation with the physical, he is able not only to penetrate the region where consciousness is felt as a unity, but he is also able to bring back the memory of that consciousness into his waking hours, to impress it on his physical brain. Need it be said that the last shred of earthly desire must needs now fall away from him if at this stage any shred still remains. So that in this stage a fetter is cast off which is called Kamaraga, desire, little of earth indeed as there can be in it; but with that realizing of the unity of all, everything that is separate in appear­ance loses its power to deceive for evermore. He has risen far, far above the limitations of separate­ness, and so he stands above not only what here we should call earthly desires, but above the most highly refined, the most spiritual desires which have in them aught for the separated self; even spiritual desires fall away from the man who reaches such a height; he cannot separate himself in thought from others, therefore he cannot have spiritual desires for himself as separate, for himself save as part of the whole. Everything that he gains, he gains for all; everything that he wins, he wins for all. He stands in a region of the Universe whence strength comes down into the world of men, and as he gains it he passes it on, he sheds it on all, he shares it with all. Thus all the world is better for each man who reaches this stage. All he wins is won for humanity, and all that comes into his hands comes only to pass through them into the wider world of men. He is one with BRAHMAN, and therefore one with every manifestation; and he is that in his own consciousness, and not only in hope and aspiration. A strange word is here used to describe the other chain, that he casts off in this stage - the Pali word Patigha, which in English we are obliged to translate as “hatred”, although the English word is absurd in this connection. What it really means is this: that inasmuch as he has become one with all he no longer feels the distinctions between races and families, between all the differentiated objects in the world.  He no longer can either love or hate because of external distinctions. He can no longer love or hate because a person belongs to a different race. He can no longer love or hate because he draws dis­tinctions between men and the things around them. You remember that strange phrase of SHRI KRISHNA, when he speaks of the Sage making no distinction between the illuminated Brahmana and a dog. He has reached unity, he sees BRAHMAN in everything.  Or to take another phrase: he sees SHRI KRISHNA everywhere, and the outer garment of the Lord makes no difference to his purified vision; there­fore he is absolutely without what we are obliged to call “hatred” or “repulsion”. Nothing repels him, nothing drives him back. He is love and compassion to everything, love and compassion to all. He spreads round him as it were an all-em­bracing circle of affection. All that come near him, all that approach him, feel the influence of his divine compassion. And that is why in the days when Brahmanas were really all that their name implies, it was said of the Brahmana that he was “the friend of everything, of every creature”. The heart being one with the Divine was wide enough to enclose within its limits everything that the Divine had made.

78.           Having then cast separateness aside for ever, he passes into the final stage of chelaship, Paramahamsa SHRI SHANKARACHARYA calls it, Arhat is the Buddhist term. Here again one feels the terrible modern degradation of sacred names, that lofty condition  having its name used so widely and so carelessly, used so often for mere compliment, for an outer appearance instead of for a living reality. The real meaning of this name is that the man has passed the fourth great Initiation, and stands within the stage that precedes Jivanmukti; in his waking consciousness he can rise to, live in, the Turiya region. He has no need to leave the body to enjoy it. He has no need to leave the body to be conscious in it. His consciousness embraces, has expanded to, that, although at the same time it may be working in the lower brain. And that is one of the great marks of the attainment of that stage. There is no such thing as physical unconsciousness necessary in order that that high region of conscious­ness may be trodden; for his consciousness has expanded to it, and while he is speaking and talking and living in the world of men, he has all that vast knowledge within his reach and is consciously experiencing it at will. In this stage, he throws off the last five “fetters”, that he may become the Jivanmukta. The first of these is called Ruparaga, desire for “life in form” - no desire for such life can move him. Then, he casts off Aruparaga, desire for “life without form” - no such desire has any power to bind him. And then Mana is cast away, and again we have to use an English word far too gross to express the real, subtle nature of the fetter cast off pride; not thinking even for a passing moment of the greatness of his own achieve­ment, of the dizzy altitude at which he stands, fur he recognizes neither high nor low, neither lofty height nor lowly vale. He sees and feels them all as one. He casts off next the possibility of being ruffled by anything that may occur. Whatever happens, he will remain unshaken. The spheres may clash together, he will remain unmoved. Nothing that can happen to the manifested world can shake the sublime serenity of the man who has risen thus to the realization of the Self of all. What matters a catastrophe - it is but the form that is broken.  What matters the crash of a world - it is but the manifestation that is changing. The eternal, the undying, the ancient and the constant, he lives in That, and there is nothing that can shake his serenity, there is nothing that can mar the perfec­tion of his peace. And then there falls from his limbs the last fetter of all - Avidya - that which makes illusion; the last faint film which prevents the perfect insight and the perfect liberty. While he need be born no more, he may take birth if he will; no compulsion can bring him back to earth, but of his own will he can re-incarnate. He brings within his knowledge everything of our planetary ring. He learns all that this manifestation has to teach; not one lesson is left unlearnt, not one secret remains hidden, not one corner exists into which his eye cannot pierce, not one possibility that he is not able to grasp. At the end of this stage all the lessons have been learnt. All the powers have been achieved. He is omniscient, omnipotent, within this planetary chain. He has accomplished the evolution of humanity; he has trodden the last step that humanity shall have taken when the great Manvantara is accomplished and the work of this universe is achieved. There is nothing that is veiled from him, nothing that is not within himself his consciousness has expanded to take all into him­self. He can enter Nirvana itself at will; and there, there is unity, there, there is all-consciousness, there, there is the fulness of life. He has reached the goal of humanity; only the last gateway is be­fore him, and that swings open at the sound of his footstep. That gateway passed, he becomes the Jivanmukta, according to the Hindu phrase, the Asekha Adept, or He who has no more to learn, according to the Buddhist nomenclature. All is known, all is accomplished. Before Him lie open different paths, any one of which He may choose; before Him spread vast possibilities, any one of which He may stretch forth His hand and take. Out of the limits of this planetary chain, outside the limits of our  Cosmos, into regions far beyond even our dimmest apprehending, paths lie open that the Jivanmukta may choose to tread. One path, the most difficult, the hardest of all, though the swiftest, is that which is called the Path of the Great Renunciation. If He chooses that, deliberately looking over the world of men the Jivanmukta refuses to leave it, refuses to go away from it, says that He will remain and take to Himself a body again and again, for the teaching and for the helping of man. Once more SHRI SHANKARACHARYA speaks of Those who wait and function until the work is accomplished. Their own task is over indeed, but They have identified Them­selves with humanity, and until the evolution of humanity is over They will not pass away from the struggling ranks of men. They are free, but remain in a voluntary bondage; they are liberated, but in a liberation that will not complete itself until others are liberated too. They are the great Masters of Com­passion, who live within the reach of men, that humanity may not be an orphan without a father, that the pupils may not be seeking a Guru and find no Guru to instruct. They are Those to whom some of us feel such an intensity of gratitude, because They stay within the sphere of earth though They live in Nirvanic consciousness beyond it, in order that a link may be kept between the higher worlds and the men who are yet unliberated, those to whom the body is still a prison, in whom the life is not yet set free. All are glorious who have reached that lofty level, all are divine who stand where They are standing. Bat perhaps one may dare to say without irreverence, that the dearest to the heart of humanity, the most closely bound to it by the ties of passionate  gratitude for the renunciation made, are Those who might have gone from us but who stay with us, who might have left us orphans but who remain as the  Fathers of men. Such are the great Gurus at whose Feet we bow; such the great Masters who stand behind the Theosophical Society. They sent Their messenger, H. P. Blavatsky, to bring the message to the world which the world had well-nigh forgotten, to point again to the narrow and ancient Path along which some feet are treading now, along which your feet may tread.


 

79.         THE FUTURE PROGRESS OF HUMANITY.

 

80.           METHODS OF FUTURE SCIENCE. MAN’S COMING DEVELOPMENT.

 

 

81.           BROTHERS, - The task that lies before us this morning is by no means an easy one. Hitherto I have been tracing for you the progress of the individual; hitherto I have been trying to show you how a man who thus determined on his future might be able step by step to rise from the life of the world to the life of the disciple, and how he might anticipate the progress of humanity, how he might accomplish in a few short years what the race will accomplish in the course of untold millennia. But this morning a different task lies before us. I am going to try to trace for you that progress through the ages. I am going to try to lay before you, necessarily ex­ceedingly briefly, the great stages of human progress, taking humanity as a whole. So that we shall, as it were, have a bird’s-eye view of evolution, realize not only the past out of which we have grown into the present, but the future that lies before us as a race.  It is the progress of nations with which I propose to deal, the unfolding of humanity with which we are now concerned. And in trying such a flight as that I feel almost as though I were asking you to mount with me upon the back of Vishnu’s vehicle, Garuda the mighty bird, and sweep through the atmosphere of untold ages, glancing downwards at the landscapes over which we pass. I feel that I shall leave you and myself well nigh breathless after the transit. It is easier for me in one way than it is for you, because by often dwelling on the thought it has become more familiar, while to many of you the ground may perhaps be almost strange, and the Theosophical conception of evolution through the ages may be new in its detail. I shall necessarily be compelled to pass rapidly from point to point without elucidation, and shall therefore be sweeping you over many difficulties rather perhaps by the speed of the transit than by a complete and detailed comprehension of the whole. But let me say this to you: I may be mistaken in some of the details that I may give; I may be in error in some of the smaller points of this vast picture; but the outline as a whole is true; it is not mine, it comes from else­where; and although the weakness of the representer may cause error in detail, the fundamental ac­curacy of the sketch is an accuracy on which you may rely.

82.           Man in the vision of the Great Ones who were his earliest Teachers, Rulers and Guides, is not man as he is today, for he is not all that he is meant to be, all that he shall yet become. I do not mean by that that his progress has on the whole been unsatisfac­tory. It has not. The place in evolution he has reached, surrounded with difficulties, with doubts, with much of suffering, is a place which on the whole, looked at from the highest standpoint, is fairly satisfactory, considering the shortness of the time that lies behind him, short in the divine measure­ment, although so long measured by mortal years. Certainly man as he is today is by no means what man is in the minds that projected his pilgrimage, in the sight of Those who started him on his evolution. He has come downwards; he has passed his lowest  point; a mighty climbing lies in front of him, at the end of which humanity, perfected and glorious, shall indeed be very different from what it is today, shall be as it was projected in the divine thought.

83.           The universe, you must bear in mind all through, consists of seven great and distinct regions, thrown out as it were from the divine Mind, thrown from within outwards or from above downwards, which­ever expression you prefer - a mighty universe in seven planes or regions. Each plane is distinct in its material, although the essence of all is one and the same, Paramatma whence all proceeds. As this outpouring of the divine thought took shape by the divine will in the manifested universe, and as plane after plane was formed, each plane was characterized by the difference of the density of its material, by the difference of the number of enwrappings in which the primal energy was veiled. So that speaking broadly, you may conceive of this great  Cosmos with the LOGOS who gave it birth, you may conceive of it as a mighty solar system, the sun representing the LOGOS and, coming outwards, orb after orb, each orb representing a plane of the universe. Those within would be those in which the  matter was subtlest and the energy was least fettered; those outside would be those in which the matter was growing denser, and the energy was more crippled by this density of the material by which it was enfolded.

84.           Next you have to realize that each of these regions has its own inhabitants, and that the course of evolution is the sweeping outwards from the centre to the circumference and then the returning inwards from the circumference towards the centre. As the Great Breath goes outwards and matter comes into existence, becoming denser and denser, there will be a point at which matter will be at its densest and energy at its feeblest, at which form will be at its most rigid and life at its most hidden; so that this outward process will be a process in which matter will be densifying and form will be increasing in rigidity, while life will be becoming more and more veiled in its manifestation. On the other hand when there is the returning of the Breath, the bringing again of this creative activity as it were to the centre,  matter will grow more and more subtle, life will become more and more unveiled, until finally the Great Breath will draw in from this manifested  Cosmos all the world’s experiences that have been gained. The humanity which was the object and outcome of this evolutionary process will have become divine and ready for yet mightier stages of advance. And following that great sweep outwards we realize that as we follow it there is as regards the inhabitants a process towards individualization as they pass into denser matter. So that looking at the inhabitants of these planes, as they lie behind us, we shall see what is called the elemental  essence gradually taking to itself more and more definite forms; its evolution, being on the descending arc, lies in its becoming more separated and taking more material forms; it is a process downwards into matter whereas the evolution now of mankind, being on the ascending arc, lies in its rising into unity and taking more subtle forms, for it is a process upwards into the unveiled life.

85.           You may roughly grasp in this way an idea of the  Cosmos as a whole, and you will understand that in the planes that are less dense than the physical, we have not only evolving and ascending humanity but also the involving and descending elemental essence. In the mineral world is the turning point, for there the densest stage has been reached. In the upward evolution the mineral and the vegetable kingdoms of this physical world occupy the physical plane and do not pass to a consciousness beyond it; as evolution proceeds the animal world takes one step upwards, and the animal has to live on what is called the astral plane as well as on the physical; man is intended in the thought of his Builders to conquer and occupy during this evolution five out of the seven planes of the universe. He is intended to func­tion and to be master on the physical, to function and to be master on the astral, to function and to be  master on the plane above the astral, the mental, which includes the Svarga of the Hindu, the Devachan of the Theosophist; we may use another term that better expresses the whole range of that state of consciousness, the term Sushupti, a state now known during earth-life only by the exceptionally experienced and developed, but which in the course of evolution will be experienced by the majority of the human race. Above this comes the fourth, or Turiya plane, the plane of Buddhi, and above that yet again the plane of Nirvana, or Turiya-tita. So that you get five distinct regions of the Universe which humanity is meant to occupy in the course of this evolution - the physical, the astral, the sushuptic, the turiyic and the nirvanic. Those are the stages of expanding consciousness through which man has to pass, if he is to succeed in the pilgrimage which he has to make. The individual may take these steps more rapidly by Yoga, but the majority of the race is to accomplish this evolution only in the course of ages; not quite the whole race, but the majority of human kind, ere this Manvantara is over, will have conquered all these planes of expanded con­sciousness and will be functioning upon the whole five, Man will then have formed to himself vehicles in which consciousness can work on each plane. And when we look at man to-day we know that in him there is the possibility of the unfolding of this five-fold life, the five-fold vehicles which will occupy these different regions and make him, as he is meant to be, master and lord of this manifested universe.

86.           Two planes yet lie above and beyond, which will not be touched by the majority of mankind in this evolution at all - two planes which are mere names for us, names conveying no definite meaning, so high are those spheres beyond our loftiest imaginings. These are that which is spoken of as Paranirvana and that which is still higher, Mahaparanirvana. What these states are we cannot even dream. These are the seven stages of the  Cosmos. Humanity as a majority is to conquer and occupy five of them, and some of humanity’s children will reach to the yet higher that remain; but for the bulk of our race its evolution is within the five-fold universe.

87.           That may perhaps give you a hint - I have no time to work it out in this lecture - as to what underlay the controversy that arose as to the “five” and “seven” in Nature. There has been much dispute as to that, especially between some of the Theosophists and some of our Brahmana brothers. The Brahmanas claimed the five-fold classification, whereas the Theosophists insisted on the seven-fold. The truth is that the total classification is seven-fold as you will find in the sacred Books, the seven-fold fire dividing itself, hinted at here and there in the Upanishads. But the present evolution is an evolution of the five-fold nature only, the evolution symbolized in the five pranas familiar in Hindu literature. I only say this in passing because so many disputes are disputes which need not arise if people understood each other a little better than they do; if instead of fighting over mere appearances they would look beneath the surface, they would generally find a point of union. As I say, I have not time to dwell upon it, but it is here that really lies the key to the riddle of the five and the seven.  Mankind as a whole develops five vehicles for the five-fold evolution, whereas those who are the very flower of humanity reach two stages that lie still beyond.

88.           Now studying the evolution of humanity, we find the First and the Second Races employed in the evolu­tion of form, and in the evolution of the lower or animal nature; that is they developed the physical body with the etheric double (which in theosophical books has been called the Linga Sharira) and the kamic or passional nature - that which you find in the animal and also find in man. Coming to the Third Race of humanity we find that special help was given to it when it had reached its midmost point; it was not that humanity could not have developed in the course of ages without that special help, but that such help enormously quickened the process and made its evolution far more rapid than otherwise it would have been. The great Kumaras, Those who are spoken of as Manasaputras, Sons of Mind, the first fruits of a past evolution, Those came to humanity in order that They might hasten its growth, might quicken its development, and by throwing out a spark from Their own essence They gave that impulse we have read of, by which Manas, or the individual soul, was born in man.

89.           The outcome of that special help was, as I have said, a great increase in the rapidity of human evolu­tion. And then was formed that vehicle known as Karana Sharira, or causal body. It is the “body of Manas” that lasts through the whole life of the reincarnating soul. It lasts from life to life, carrying on the result of each to the next. Therefore is it called the causal body, because in this body there are the causes which unfold themselves into effects on the lower planes of earthly life.

90.           Now the plan of human development from that time forward is this: the causal body being formed there was a vehicle in which everything could be laid up and accumulated, the receptacle and the storehouse of experience. Passing into earthly life and throwing out, in the way I explained to you before, a projection of itself, its earthly life is spent in the gathering of experience, in the collecting in the physical world of certain facts, certain knowledge, that which as a whole we call the experience of life. Passing through the gateway of death man has to assimilate the experience that he has gathered, and he lives a life out of the body, when he is no longer to be seen in the physical world, but is dwelling on the astral and the devachanic planes that lie beyond it. There he works out certain effects and assimi­lates the experiences he gathered on earth, working them into his own nature. Each life gives him certain results; these results are taken and worked up into faculties and powers. If a man for instance exercised during his physical life much power of thought, used much effort to understand, to accu­mulate knowledge, to develop his mind, then during the period that intervenes between death and birth, he is employed in turning all these efforts of his into  intellectual capacities, with which he will return for his next birth in this world; so also all his higher aspirations, his spiritual hopes, his spiritual longings, will be worked into the essence of his nature, during the time which intervenes between his death and his next birth. When he returns again to earth he will be born under circumstances which will facilitate his growth, and he will bring with him the developed spiritual capacities which he can use for further  development during his next life upon earth.

91.           You see how perfectly regular are the stages of growth in the body that lasts from life to life. The Karana Sharira puts out a projection from itself on the lower planes, and gathers a harvest of experience; then it withdraws it with its experiences towards itself, letting it remain in the lower regions of Devachan for the assimilation of that experience and the building it into faculty, into power, into capacity; then it withdraws it wholly into itself as the containing vehicle of consciousness; and then comes another putting forth of this now more highly  developed life, which shows on the lower planes the powers it has gained in this way. Thus there should be a steady and continuous advance, life after life, the Karana Sharira being the receptacle of all the experiences, and being the permanent man into which the whole of these experiences are built.

92.           Realizing that, you will understand what is meant by the “pilgrimage of the soul”: each life should find a man greater in his mind, greater in his moral powers, greater in his spiritual faculties. That is the plan of evolution. It is carried out very imperfectly, and hence the enormous length of the pilgrimage. It is carried out with many turns and twists and wanderings into by-ways and travelling along devious paths, instead of pursuing a straight and upward road. Therefore humanity is long in its journeying and the evolution needs such myriads of millennia to accomplish. None the less it shall be accomplished, for such is the Divine Will for humanity, and that cannot be finally frustrated how­ever much delay may be made in its accomplishment.

93.           Evolution proceeded through the second half of the Third Race and onwards into the Fourth. Now in the Fourth Race grew up that mighty civilization of Atlantis which reached its highest point in the great sub-race of which you have heard a few words even from Western science - the Toltec. It was a civilization which was marvellous in its accomplish­ments; but there was this difficulty in connection with it. Man was very low down on the ascending arc, and was deeply immersed in matter. His mental faculties were very largely what we should now call psychic, and it was necessary that they should be veiled for a time in order that intellectual power might be evolved and make a higher evolution in the future possible for humanity. Therefore the great kosmic law, that law that nothing can resist, swept the race into a great but a very material civilization. This disappearance of the psychic faculties was quickened to some extent by the deliberate action of the higher and ruling classes in the Toltec empire of Atlantis. They deliberately for their own selfish purposes tried to dwarf, tried to stunt, the use of the psychic faculties in the lower classes of the population, lower in evolution and therefore in the social scale: and in order to make them more apt instruments for their own purposes they used their occult knowledge for the deliberate dwarfing of their psychic faculties. In this way the faculties were artificially stunted in excess of the working of the great kosmic law; and this makes me remind you of one thing that is worth thinking out for yourselves at leisure. That is, that no man can resist the great sweep of kosmic law; no man can stop the mighty march of the divine evolution; but man may co-operate with it or work against it. He may work for good or for evil. Recognizing the wisdom and grandeur of the march he may work with it for duty’s sake and in submission to the divine will; or he may try to grip for his own personal gain some of these forces of nature, and use them for his own transient, for his own personal and selfish gratification, instead of for the carrying out of the divine purpose. Where a man uses for selfish purpose these great forces of the  Cosmos he makes his individual Karma bad, although the tendency of the great Karma of the race remains unaffected; thus the individual may mar his own future; while he is within the wide sweep of the kosmic law, he may make misery for himself in the narrow circle of his own individual development; for if he uses kosmic law selfishly he will reap a selfish harvest, and so within this one great law both happy and unhappy individual Karmas are made. I say that, recommending it to you for detailed consideration, for it may solve for you some of the puzzles men often feel how Karma can be a divine law by which man is swept onwards, seeming like a destiny imposed on him, while he yet knows that his own will is relatively free; he can choose his own path but within this mighty sweep.

94.           As I say then, in that civilization of the past, man used this great law of the  Cosmos for his own selfish purposes, and the final result was the destruction of Atlantis, the total sweeping away of that civilization, save for such wrecks of it as remained here and there in the world, especially in South America in the civil­ization of Peru, where some faint traces of its glory were left; so beautiful were these even in their degradation that when Peru was conquered by the Spaniards from the West they stood marvelling before the happiness of the community, before the sweetness, the gentleness, the purity of the people who lived there, the wisdom of the government and the prosperity of the nation as a whole; that civil­ization which was slain by the Spaniards, trampled under foot by their advancing hosts, that was the last faint gleam of the civilization that I speak of which was so grand at its zenith, which had so  great a fall, and was swept away by the catastrophe that made the Atlantic waves roll where once fair lands stretched.

95.           Passing onward swiftly from that, we come to the evolution of our own race. To follow the remainder of this evolution you must remember that the LOGOS of our system reveals Himself in three-fold aspect. You know that in every great religion the Trimurti, or the Trinity, is the representation of the manifested God; and you know also, at least the more thought­ful and philosophic among you know, that the Three are but a three-fold manifestation of the One; the three aspects of the one - unmanifested Existence, that can be known only as it is manifested in the Universe. And you know that in the three-fold LOGOS there is seen the aspect of Power, the aspect of Wisdom, the aspect of Love.

96.           Now all human activities bear the impress of this three-fold LOGOS; all human activities may be classed under one or another of these headings - they fall under the heading of power, of wisdom, or of love, and under these three all races of men are grouped, and all activities of nations and individuals are classed. I take that classification because in a subject so complex as is mine this morning the classification gives us a set of little boxes into which you may put the different parts of the subject of the lecture for your further thought and consideration. Remember that the three are one. Remember that they interpenetrate each other. Remember that these divisions are divisions of phenomenal appear­ance and not of essence; but inasmuch as we are in the world of phenomena and the separation is phenomenal, we may fairly take it, and we shall not be misled by it if we realize the fundamental unity from which all proceeds.

97.           Suppose then we take the three-fold classification and sub-divide a little more: under Love we shall find those activities of mind will naturally fall which have to do on the one side with religion, on the other side with philanthropy, using both the words in their widest sense, religion meaning the service of those above us, philanthropy meaning the service of those around us and below us; so that under this one head of Love we include the whole of the human activities which pay homage and service to Those who are above us in evolution, and give help and compassion and assistance to all who are below and around us. Taking the division of the Gods and men, religion would have to do with the direct service of the Gods - and how much that means you will see in a few moments - while philanthropy would have to do with the direct service of men, in this physical plane at first, of the men we see around us. Under the heading of Wisdom will come all those activities of the human mind, both lower and higher, that we can divide further into science, philosophy and art. There we have three great fields of the activities of the mind that fall under the heading of wisdom; not that knowledge itself is wisdom, but it is the material out of which, by a spiritual alchemy, wisdom is evolved, for spiritually transmuted knowledge be­comes wisdom; so we put all these activities of knowledge under the heading of wisdom as a whole. And then under the heading of Power will come all those human activities that have to do with the governing of man, with the exercise of administra­tive and executive functions, with the building of the nations, with the forming of communities, with every­thing in which power is exercised; and under this also come those creative faculties in man which are his by virtue of his birthright as the offspring of the Divine - those creative faculties that so few under­stand, that so few exercise with knowledge, which are the great means for human elevation, and the great force for human advance. All the efforts of the divine Teachers in the past and in the present are directed to bring these great fields of activity under intelligent human cultivation, so that they may be rightly tilled by man and that by such tillage his evolution may be ensured. All their efforts tend to give a right direction to these activities, that whether they be of love or of wisdom or of power, they may be sent along the right road for the general evolution of mankind. For this has every great re­ligion been founded; for this has every noble code of morals been proclaimed; for this has every strong impulse towards intellectual development been in­tended; and for this in our own days is man given the fuller re-statement of all the ancient truths, under that name of Divine Wisdom which, in its Anglicized Greek form, is now familiar to you as Theosophy. It is but another re-statement of the old truth, another effort of the same Teachers to guide those activities of human life.

98.           At the present time it is needed most especially; for if you look abroad in the world you will find that in each great department of human activity man seems to have come well-nigh to the limit of his powers. He has conquered the physical plane; he has so brought it into subjection that the physical is occupying far too much of his attention and interest, and the realities of the higher planes are veiled from his vision. If we look at the activities of life we find as to religion that materialism is fighting against it from one side and superstition is undermining it from the other; so that against religion there are turned two daggers in the hands of humanity each of which is menacing its life - the scepticism that disbelieves, and the superstition that misbelieves. Both are fatal to human progress along this particu­lar line of activity. When you turn from religion to philanthropy in the modern world, you find human misery too vast and too great for men to be able to grapple with it; where modern civilization is the most successful, where modern civilization is the most triumphant, there you find the greatest aggregate of suffering, and the most horrible misery which can crush human life; when you look at these miseries you not only see that philanthropy is helpless against them, but they are giving birth to resentment, to class hatreds, to threats of revolu­tion and of anarchy. Thus civilization is menaced from its very foundation, and men know not how to meet the danger, for they have lost the spirit of love.

99.           And if from love you turn to wisdom you find that there is difficulty everywhere in its three great fields. Science seems to have come to the end of its material resources. Its apparatus is so marvellously delicate that no further development seems within reach, its balance so marvellously accurate that it can weigh what seems an unperceivable part of a grain; and yet they say that there are substances imponderable even for their delicate balances. Science is almost at the end of its resources so far as its methods are concerned; and against its will it is being pressed upon by forces of a subtler and far more mysterious kind than it has been wont to recognize. If we look into the laboratory of the chemist, into the study of the scientific man, there seem to be pressing in forces that he cannot deal with by weight or measure; they puzzle him by their reality, while at the same time they are against every method of his science, they are against every­thing that he thinks he knows of nature. In philo­sophy you find the struggle between materialism which is proven to be inadequate and idealism which fails to find a steady and unassailable foun­dation; and you find also in the realm of art - that art is tending to barrenness, to sterility, that no great new things are being produced but only inferior copies of the old; sterile, barren, it has lost its creative power.

100.        And if you turn to the third great activity I have spoken of, the activity of power, what do you see in the modern world? Nation after nation trying ex­periments; they have lost the divine rulers that once were there, able to govern the nations and to guide them along the path of prosperity and of happiness; they are trying to make up for the loss of these divine kings by having a many-headed king that is called the People: instead of the divine king­ship of mighty Initiates they have what is called self-government and the methods of democracy - as  though by multiplying ignorance by a sufficiently big multiplier, you might be able to multiply it into knowledge. You find so far as the creative power is concerned that the very knowledge of it is gone, and people would be ridiculed who should speak of it, so far has man lost sight of his inheritance that is divine.

101.        What does all this tell us? It tells us that mankind as a whole is going to take another step onwards. It tells us that we have reached one of those transition periods, where the old being outworn must give place to the new growth and the new development; under all the turmoil and the trouble, under all the distress and the perplexity, there are slowly forming within humanity the seeds of its next advance, which shall give back to these three great types of activity the ancient power with a new development, the ancient definiteness with new lines of progress opening; for while evolution does not go backward, retracing its past steps and reproducing its ancient forms, it goes on a spiral which reproduces on a higher  level all that was best on the lower; and upon such a spiral humanity is treading now, to accomplish with new powers and wider possibilities that which in the past we see under different forms.

102.        Consider love. When humanity takes its next step upwards - and already there are signs here and there that it is preparing for it - having made the physical vehicle perfect, its work will be to perfect its second vehicle of consciousness, that in which it is to function freely on the astral plane. As thou­sands of years go by, mankind will develop this second vehicle of consciousness, and the majority will be able to function in it on the astral plane as easily and as readily as they function in the physical body on the physical plane today. Not quite the whole of mankind, for all men are not equal, as the modern absurdity pretends; but a great mass of men will take this step forward in evolution, will develop that astral body and function in it completely, and so the progress of humanity will go on.

103.        What difference will this step make? In religion the open vision of humanity will bring within its scope that plane of existence called the astral, where many of the greater Intelligences manifest themselves in form, for the helping and the teaching of men. Men will learn to see and know the Beings whose existence has been proclaimed to them by every mighty faith; they will know Them as now they know, or think they know, the physical bodies around them. They will know the beings of the at present unseen world. So that the majority of men will share with the advanced people of the present that first-hand knowledge that is now so rare, that first-hand certainty which will render scepticism for ever impossible. No man can be a sceptic as to the unseen world when he knows in his ordinary waking consciousness the existence of those beings surrounding us on every side, any more than you can be sceptical as to the existence ­of your fathers and mothers and your children. (I am not discussing the philosophic question of the Real and the Unreal; I am dealing with the phenomenal universe, and use words in the ordinary sense in which they are employed amongst us in our intercourse with each other.) When this step is taken, religion will so far change its character that that which is known and proclaimed by seers and prophets will be known by all men, and will be a matter within their experience and their daily cogniz­ance, and the result will be that scepticism will be impossible, as it is impossible as regards much of the science of the present day. Superstition will be slain as much as scepticism. Superstition lives in darkness. It lives by human ignorance; it lives and grows and flourishes, and is a curse to the nations because some men who have the tradition of know­ledge without its reality use that tradition for the enslavement of their fellow-men; and these, being ignorant, are terrified by the claim to knowledge and they bow down before those who assume to hold its keys, even though the keys be rusty and turn not in the locks at all. And we shall find, as you find today, that as men’s eyes are opened superstition becomes impossible. You do not know the mischief that superstition works on the other side of death. You do not know the misery and the terror that too many souls undergo when they pass from the body  into the world which to them is unknown, and is crowded for them with all the imaginary terrors with which superstition dominated by pretended knowledge has peopled it; especially is this the case in the West where men talk about eternal hell, and tell people that after death there is no growth and no progress, that a sinful man is plunged into the lake of fire and  brimstone, there to spend the countless ages of eternity without hope of salvation, without hope of escape. You cannot imagine what the effect of that is on souls passing into the other world through the gateway of death, and imagining that all this is, or even may be true, imagining that they may be victims of this horror that they have heard of from their ignorant teachers; great are the difficulties they have who help the souls on the other side, to gradually do away with the terror and to make them understand that law is everywhere, and that malice and malig­nity are not found amongst the ruling powers of the  Cosmos. So, as I say, scepticism will be im­possible, superstition will be impossible; there will be other difficulties, other problems, other obscurities, but these twin enemies of man, scepticism and super­stition, will be slain beyond resurrection when that day shall come for humanity.

104.        And with love also on its philanthropic side the gain will be great; so much more can be done for man from that plane than from the physical. Physical activities make a great fuss, and have comparatively small results. You see a man running about making laws, and doing this and that in the world of the state and of society, and you think how great is his work, how wonderful are his results. But how small and petty they are in comparison with the results which flow from unseen labour done in quiet­ness and silence, without speech of tongue, without effort of the physical body, done by the working of the mind in the subtler medium which affects men’s thoughts more than their bodies, which in­fluences their minds more than their outward frames. When humanity rises on to that higher plane, then this influence will be far more widely spread than it is today, and misery, crime and wretchedness will be met by working on the minds of men, purifying them and raising them, and thus lifting them above the possibilities that engulf them now. Do you realize, you to whom I am now speaking, that every one of you who generates an impure or revengeful or angry or sordid thought, sends out that thought into the world of society as a living force, as an active entity, which plays upon society, which is taken in by the weakest, by the most receptive, by the least developed, so that out of those thoughts of so-called respectable men there are scattered the seeds of crime through the lower masses of the people, and the sins of these which show out in actions belong very largely to the Karma of those whose thoughts have given them birth. That is not known as widely as it should be known. It is not believed as it should be believed. Every man who feels revenge sends out into the astral world a power for destruction; and when some weak creature comes along with a bad Karma behind him, and bad circumstances surrounding him, with impulses which are not under his control and passions which are stronger than his mind, these evil thoughts come down upon him, all these angry thoughts from men living in respectable conditions in society, and if he be stimulated by some wrong, maddened by some injury, these impel him to strike a blow which we call murder; though he holds the knife in his physical hand, the blow is largely struck by the thoughts of many men whose revengeful feelings are of the essence of murder, although they appear not in outward form. You will not get rid of crimes in the lower strata of society until you purify the thoughts of the higher classes, of those who are educated and can understand the nature of things. And when all this is seen and known, when the astral world lies open to men’s vision, there will be a new force available to help and to raise mankind; for men will no longer disbelieve in the power of thought, they will then appreciate their responsibility for the thoughts they generate, and will send out loving and helping influences instead of the degrading influences that go out so often today. Then also we shall find that direct help is possible, as it is indeed given now from that higher region; for the discoveries that men of science are making often come to them from that world by direct play on their minds. When a man of science takes a new departure, when a man, say like Sir William Crookes, discovers the genesis of atoms - one of the finest generalizations of modern science - do you think he has climbed up to that from below? I tell you that such ideas come from above and not from below. It is thus that the Teachers work on the minds of those who have some special capacity which is able to be utilized; and out of the world of thought, through the astral plane where thoughts are active function­ing entities, they occasionally influence particular individuals in order that the progress of the world may be quickened and the growth of humanity may be facilitated. The reason why this is not done more frequently today is this: that until man’s moral nature grows, it is not well that he should have too much knowledge of the unseen forces that lie behind the veil; he would misuse them instead of utilizing them, use them for oppression and for selfish pur­poses instead of for the lifting and helping of man.  Therefore it is that knowledge is not more widely given; therefore it is that science is not more helped. Science, as one of the Great Ones said, must become the servant of humanity for it to receive very much help from Those who are above all else the Helpers and Saviours of the race.

105.        In another way more rapid progress will be made in the days towards which we are looking. In education I suppose it has hardly struck you when dealing with children, when dealing with very young lads, how great are the possibilities that lie within them, if only their teachers had knowledge enough to directly foster the good and to dwarf and starve out the evil in them. You know that round every man there is visible to the trained eye, say to the eye of the Yogi, what is called an aura, which shows the development of the mind, the nature of the character, which gives definite information as to the stage of advancement reached by the soul that dwells in that body, and as to the characteristics and attributes of that soul. Every one of you bears around him this record of his own state, the clearly seen evidence of the stage that he occupies in evolu­tion; round each one of you there is this atmos­phere that shows your thoughts, that shows your character, that is as legible to the trained eye as are the physical features to the physical eye, and is far more instructive as regards the character of the man. Now when a young child comes into the world and passes through the early stages of its growth, there is this peculiarity about its aura: it brings with it the karmic outcomes of its past, but a large number of the mental and moral tendencies that it brings over from the past are present in it in germ and not in full fructification. If you take the aura of a young child it is comparatively clean; its colours are pure and transparent, not dense and muddy and thick as they are in grown-up men and women; within that aura lie the germs of tendencies which may be developed. Some are good and some are evil. The trained eye, distinguishing these characteristics, might cultivate the good and starve out the evil by bringing suitable influences to bear on the child. If you want a healthy plant from a seed, you must take it and put it into good soil, and you must water it and let the sunshine play on it. All the essentials of the plant are in the seed, but all the plant is not yet in manifestation, and according to the soil that you give it, the care you take of it, the air that plays upon it, the sunshine that warms it - according to these will be the greater or the less development of the seed; it may be made to grow into great beauty or it may be stunted and dwarfed in its growth. So it is to a great extent with the little child. A child is born; it has in it the germ, say, of anger, of hot and passionate temper. Suppose that those around it are endowed with know­ledge and wisdom, they will know how to deal with it. It should never be allowed to hear an angry word, it should never be allowed to see a passionate action. Every one around it should be gentle and loving and self-controlled; and there should never be sent to the germ that is within the child the stimulating force of the anger of older people that is like a force to make it grow more rapidly, to intensify it and force it to fructification. You should take care that round the children there should be influences that will stimu­late all that is good, all that is noble, and all that is pure. And if you did that for every child humanity would go forward at a racing speed, whereas it goes forward with the gait of a cripple at the present time. Ignorance clouds men’s minds and they know not how to train the young; there is failure round us, failure that will not exist when man rises to wider knowledge and educates by sight instead of blindly as he does today, educates with knowledge instead of ignorance. This need of real education explains why in the ancient days every boy was sent to a Guru. That ancient institution was meant to give to the child the advantage of a trained mind playing on his and the help of an insight that went beyond the insight of an ordinary man. The Guru used to be a man who knew: the Guru used to be a man who could see, and the child passed into his hands because under such training the evil was dwarfed and the good was developed. As the real Gurus have gradually dis­appeared mankind has lost that great advantage; but it will come back when knowledge is spread amongst the people, and when a higher stage of development makes this nobler education possible.

106.        All through the sphere of knowledge the methods will be changed. The doctor will no longer be obliged to guess at a disease from outside symptoms but will diagnose by vision and not by reasoning; men already are beginning to diagnose by the use of what are called clairvoyant faculties; instead of the doctor being shut out by the density of the physical body, he utilizes the clairvoyant whose sight pierces through physical matter, who can see the disease, who can see exactly what is wrong with any one of the organs of the body; he by this vision, giving the necessary information to the doctor, enables him to act with perfect definiteness and to trace the action of his drugs. Think how different all medical science would be if the doctor had that clairvoyant vision, and if what is now held only by a few were generally spread amongst them, so that they might diagnose with certainty and trace the  action of every remedy with the precision that comes from sight. So with chemistry: how much more might the chemist do than he can today if his eyes were opened, how much more if he could trace all the stages of the combination of his materials, if he could make his compounds by vision instead of very often by guess-work, waiting for the result of an experiment before he is a sure of the result coming about. How much of accident might be avoided, how much might this knowledge quicken the progress of science. A hint is given how such progress can be made in an article that can be found in the November (1895) number of Lucifer. You will see there how the limits of knowledge will enlarge when the mind has made manageable its vehicle upon the astral plane. And so with psychology: when men shall communicate with each other by thought in­stead of by the slow methods of pen and print, how thought will speed from brain to brain, com­municating ideas without the clumsy processes that we use today. You will see at once what that means to humanity from the mere standpoint of this lower world. It means that separation will be a thing of the past, no mountain or sea will be able to divide man from man, friend from friend, relative from relative. It means that when men have conquered this region of nature they will be able to  communicate with each other, mind with mind, no matter where they may travel, no matter in what land they may dwell; for to the mind there are no limitations of space and time as there are in the lower world. When man has perfected his astral vehicle he will always be within reach of those he loves, and separation will have lost its pain, as death also will have lost its power to divide. Take the life of man as it is today, take the life of nations as it is lived in the present, and you know that death and separation are two of the great sorrows that oppress humanity. Both of these will have lost their chief wounding power when man has taken this great step forward; both these will have lost their power to divide when man has reached that higher stage. That which only disciples have to­day shall then be shared by the majority; and how much fairer will be the lower life of man when these influences are swept away from disturbing him.

107.        So also, of course, with philosophy with its then keener knowledge of the possibilities of matter and its then keener insight into the realities of life. So too with the writing of history, when all history shall be written from the akashic records and not in order to gratify the passions of a political party or to sup­port some theory of human growth or to strengthen  some hypothesis of scientific imagination. All history lies in the akasha; its records are there imperish­able and indestructible; not one act of humanity that is past but is registered there, not one fact of human history that is not written there for the eyes that are able to see. The time will come when all history will be written from that, instead of in the ignorant way that it is written now, and men when they want to know the past will look back into the imperishable records and use them for swifter development, utilizing past experience to promote a swifter growth of humanity.

108.        And what art will be when these new powers come within the reach of man, only those perhaps can estimate who to some extent use them now. Possi­bilities of new forms beautiful beyond expression, of colours dazzling beyond all imagination, colours unknown in the physical world that take existence in the subtler matter of the astral plane - colours that none can describe because a colour that is not known cannot be understood by verbal description. All those will come within the region of art, and all marvellous possibilities of the subtler senses.

109.        And what of will and power? Then divine king­ship will return to earth; then men will take their places in society according to the stage of develop­ment that they have reached, and not according to mere guess-work as they do today. All men will be able to see what they themselves and others are, for, printed on each man’s aura, visible to all  men’s sight, will be his mental attributes and moral capacities, and therefore the place in human society that he is best fitted to take. Then we shall find young men trained for work for which their capacities fit them, for which their powers give possibility of achievement; there will not be the discontent there is today, for discontent arises out of faculties that are frustrated in their accomplishment and from a sense of injustice that works in the mind of men when they feel that they have powers and no opportunity of showing them, when they feel that they have capacities that they are not able to expand. If they were wise they would know, of course, that their circumstances were karmic. But now we are dealing with the masses, and not with the more thoughtful individuals. For them dis­content will be impossible when each man is in the place for which his visible faculties fit him, and so there will be again a really orderly society. Then also we shall know better how to deal with the lower types of humanity. We shall not punish our criminals but cure them; we shall not slay them but educate them. We shall be able to see the very point at which help is needed; and there will be wisdom to reform instead of anger to punish. Not only will society change by thus working on the very natures of men, but the entire outside world will also change its appearance; all the animal world will come under the moulding power of man. He will no longer be a tyrant and oppressor as he is now; but he will be a helper and educator and teacher of the lower animal world. He will do what he was meant to do - be the helper and the trainer of the brute, and not its ill-user and its oppressor, as he so largely is today. I need not say that forms of cruelty will gradually fade away; no longer will animal blood stain the earth as it stains it so deeply now; no longer will animals fly from man with dread and horror, knowing him as enemy instead of recognising him as friend; for we shall be passing onwards towards a golden age when all living things shall love instead of hate.

110.        I have given you what seems a fairy tale, but it is only the next stage of man’s growth, it is only the result of the conquest of the astral plane, of that­ which is next to the physical. What shall it be when man rises still higher, and occupies in full and waking consciousness the manasic or mental plane? I can only take one or two of the points and show you how the expanding consciousness will triumph. If in those far-off days there should be an orator and an audience, how different then would be the; oratory and how different would be the effect on the people. Instead of their hearing words, articulate sounds that reach the ears, and convey so imperfectly and inadequately but a small portion of the thought, they would see thought as it really is; thought springing out before their eyes radiant in colour, beautiful in sound, exquisite in shape, and they would be spoken to as it were in music, they would be spoken to in colour and in form, until the whole hall would be full of perfect music and perfect colour and perfect shapes. For that is the oratory of the future when men have conquered that higher plane of conscious­ness and of life. Do you think I dream? I tell you there are those today who can go to that plane of consciousness and know it and feel it and see it, who are behind the veils that blind the majority and shut out from their view the wider possibilities of life. For as a man standing on the top of a tower can see all the country round, and as from every part of the landscape there come to him colours and sounds and forms, but if he goes down the tower by the staircase he can only see as much of the landscape as a window in the wall may permit him to see: so is it with the life of man on the mental plane. Knowledge flows in to him on every side. Not through the senses as we know them, but through a single sense that answers to every vibration that comes from without. And as man goes down into the lower bodies it is just as though he descended into the tower; he can only see as much as the eyes and the ears and the nose - the little windows in the wall­ - enable him to know of the outside world; for the senses are only windows, and the wall of the body  shuts us in, and only as we rise above the body are we able really to see the world around us in its glory, in its beauty and in its wonders.

111.        Then again life will be so much mightier. All the greatest intellectual thoughts come from that region through the astral. The mightiest mental agencies for helping man in the physical world today are being sent down from the manasic region by those who are able to function there. The disciples of the Masters are there in waking consciousness, working for the helping of man, working, for the raising of humanity; and every one who has passed those  great portals of Initiation, about which yesterday I spoke to you, lives in that region working there for the helping of man. The disciple may work in the physical world; but he works far more in the higher and more effective region. There his greatest activities are carried on; there his furthest-reaching services are rendered. And when the majority of men rise to that region, how numerous will be the workers, how vast the congregation of the helpers! Only a few hundreds are functioning there today for the helping of the millions of mankind, and the work is imperfectly done because of the small number of the workers. But when the bulk of humanity rises there how swift will be the growth out of the lower stages in men. Mankind will be elevated with a speed that we can scarcely imagine today.

112.        Higher yet and higher to another region that man shall conquer; that region where all is one and man knows himself as one with every manifested thing; the region called Turiya, which man shall occupy ere the Manvantara closes, that region which is now open to the waking consciousness only in the last stage of discipleship that I spoke to you about yesterday; into this the Seventh Race of men shall climb and this shall occupy. In that extended consciousness there is no separation that divides man from man; each knows himself to be one with others; feels as they feel, thinks as they think, knows as they know - a consciousness that stretches out to embrace myriads; and then the brotherhood of man becomes an accomplished fact. There the essence of things is seen, and not only the appearances; there realities are seen, and not only phenomena. The one Self is recognised that lives in all; hatred is for evermore impossible to the man who knows.

113.        And above that still one step further, that no words of mine can image, that no phrase of mine can represent, that which the Sages have spoken of as Nirvana, which they have tried to explain and have failed, because human language is inadequate to the task, and from their efforts to impart their own knowledge only misunderstanding has resulted. It is consciousness so great that it is unimaginable, it is consciousness embracing the whole universe and therefore seems as unconsciousness to men’s limited apprehension; but I tell you that the life of Nirvana, the life of the mighty Ones that have attained it, is a consciousness beside which our consciousness is as that of the stone, in the limitations that bind it, in the blindness that darkens it, and in the incapacity of its methods. There is life there beyond all dreams of living, activity there beyond all possibilities of our thinking, life which is one and yet that spreads it­self forth in manifested activities, where the LOGOS is the manifested Light, the beams whereof shine out through all regions of the world. That too is man’s goal for this Manvantara, that too he shall know when the Seventh Race has run its course; and the first fruits of our humanity who know it now shall find Themselves surrounded by countless myriads who then shall know it. Then the Life of the LOGOS  for untold periods, then the perfect reflection of the LOGOS in Those who have grown into His image and likeness, until a new universe is to be born, until a new  Cosmos is to come into activity. And These, in Their turn a LOGOS, shall build a new universe, shall train a new humanity. Such is the future that awaits us; such the glory to be revealed. 

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