Teachings of the Master
The Master stood on a great ledge of rock extending far out over a precipice that seemed miles below. With his face lighted by the first rays of the coming day that shot across the peaks above him and with his hands clasped behind him he waited in silence for the coming of the pupil to whom he had signalled. A Brother lying on the grass not far removed from the natural platform upon which he stood, questioned kindly the possibility of so long a journey by so feeble a student – but the Master waited looking piercingly across the distance. His eyes gazed intently before him turning neither to the right nor to the left, and when in the far azure of the clouds he saw approaching the soul that had projected itself at his bidding, he impelled his thought to his Brother who instantly recognized the approaching visitant. The Soul gaining in velocity every moment was in the presence of the Master before the twinkling of an eye could be noted – and prostrate before him could only articulate: "Master! Master!"
A touch of the purified hand pacified the terrible emotions of the new comer, who in suppliant attitude awaited the command of the Beloved Guru. "Rise my child," came from the lips of the Teacher; who, when he was obeyed continued:
"Your progress is clogged by your indifference to duty. There can be no relations between us unless you disembody your desires and spiritualize every thought. Imprison the latter when they wander, and live to teach the lessons so often inculcated in your higher mind. Help your fellow-beings to better comprehend the capabilities of the inner, living Self.
"By the known laws of attraction and repulsion illustrate to them the impossibility of a higher life on earth for any but clean souls. There can be no mutuality of thought between clean and unclean natures – and the only hope of advancement is by casting off the latter and enveloping the real self in the shelter of noble thoughts. Teach that it is matter that is illusionary – life that is a transitory vision – earthly vanities that blind the eyes of the world.
"Try to speak of these secret things to the lowly and the burdened who are often endowed with a wisdom not to be found among the other and opposite classes. Tell them that the Spirit does have a real existence here in matter – does exercise absolute philanthropy, divine goodness – supreme self-sacrifice; does know the power it possesses. Return to your duty refreshed. Let the sunlight now breaking over the hills and the mountains of Himavat radiate through your transparent spirit. Drink of the dew of the morning and feed upon the honey of wisdom that flows in upon your hungry Soul. Thus will you be strengthened to meet the conflict in the plain of action wherein you are constrained by your weakness to work. Thus will you escape from it and find in the mountain the repose and intuition for which you are yearning."
The Brother whose form had lain in repose on the grass now approached and looking intently at the disciple entranced with delight and gratitude – said in stronger tones than the Beloved Master:
"In the land where your body lies secure from an intrusion that would result in your absolute separation from it -- the great conflict is about to be fought. All the preliminary preparations have been made. A people freed from many chains – fast sinking into a materialism only recognized absolutely when some momentary impulse to generosity moves them – is to rise or fall with this closing cycle. To such a Babe as you is revealed a fact not perceived by the best minds among them. Go back there to work! Obey the impulse to throw aside every barrier – to do away with subterfuges deemed best for the personality, and go the rugged way lone and alone. In the time of greatest need we will comfort you and send the comforter to those whose Karma leads them to do battle in the same field. To you the sustaining force of our Fraternity will be contributed so long as the battle is waged for the race: the conquered rescued from their low estate and the Light of the Logos offered to every one who walks in the night of earth-life without guide and compass." – Then there was silence.
The Beloved Master touching the speaker's uplifted head said in softest accents: "Go now. If ye love me keep these commands."
The path of Wisdom is the path of duty. They are not separate roads as many erroneously conclude. Men fail to associate wisdom with duty – they consider them as apart. The disciple performs the action (duty), and in so doing finds wisdom.
There is, in each incarnation, but one birth, one life, one death. It is folly to duplicate these by persistent regrets for the past – by present cowardice or fear of the future. There is no time – it is eternity's Now that man mistakes for past, present and future.
The forging of earthly chains is the occupation of the indifferent, the awful duty of unloosing them through the sorrows of the heart is also their occupation. Both are foolish sacrifices.
As mortal conscience is within, so also is the evidence of the spirit's omnipotence. The soul of man is a tangible proof to his bodily senses that he is immortal. The existence of soul is not susceptible of proof on any but its own plane.
Compromise in the service of the weak. The starving must have food suited to the limitations of the irritated system – but be thou firm in thine own place of duty.
Liberate thyself from evil actions by good actions. The man accustomed to actions cannot at once become a Muni; he must work out his action-impelling qualities, and thus he transforms them into higher energies.
Meditation is but a name to the bewildered; the word is not understood until it is translated by the hungry spirit.
Fight the unknown force within you – it is evil. The good that is in you is written without, and is apparent.
Inquire of the stranger the earthly road you seek, but ask your higher self for the torch that will light you on your way. In the silence of one's own being, is lighted the candle of will and aspiration. No wind can put it out, no heat can melt it. The flame is of the spirit's quality – pure and of even temperature.
There is no vacillation in the mind of the initiated. Half-knowledge is the pitfall of the student.
Do not run aimlessly about saying lo, here is the light – lo, there is the truth. The light that illuminates the Atma is kindled in the mountain heights. It is the symbol of divine truth.
Wait in the morning for inspiration, at noon for guidance, and in the evening for a full understanding of the road thou hast travelled.
Man's higher nature is invisible or rather the Divine Principle is. The individual human soul is universal: a right comprehension of where there is difference and where identity between the 6th and 7th Principles in man will free the subject of much confusion and misapprehension.
There is real affiliation as well as an occult connection existing between the seven principles in man and the seven classes of minerals under the earth. There are truths connected with the properties of the latter which man may find out by learning the constitution of his own seven-fold nature.
The law of embodied principles is to follow magnets. Is this not also true of the higher nature? We draw to us the attention of the Mahatma by a purified heart and a right development of will. From his heights he sees the valleys below and reaches out to give to him who is straining every faculty to receive.
Agitation that comes from mortal qualities affects the physical body alone: this deep unrest is not felt by the Atma, for the Atma is Spirit or pure bliss. But the ocean of matter, which includes the Soul, feels these waves of trouble and thus is the soul bewildered, ignorantly imagining that the spirit is affected. Learn to know the distinction and to realize that the spirit is eternally unaffected.
Life is a compromise – hasten to acquit yourself of the debt contracted in a former life, and remove its oppressing influence in this sphere.
When you re-enter the world of mortals again, let it be without the three disqualifications for enlightenment, fear, passion and selfishness: the sea of rebirths is half crossed already by the man who has overcome these three drawbacks.
Meat for the thoughtless, wine for the weak, but devotion for him who has overcome the appetites.
To be lord of self is to be selfless, a condition of perfect tranquility.
Forget not this lesson – that every one is so placed in this world as to exhibit his worst qualities. The purpose of this life is to strengthen the weak places of the spiritual man. His external life is for this only, therefore, all are seen at a disadvantage.
A lesson in meekness may be learned of the little child. It has come so recently from its previous field of life that it walks with the air of a stranger in a strange country and as one who must be led.
The divine quality is charity. Whenever it has been attained, the remainder of the spirit's work with the lower nature is to acquire a contrite heart.
The master walked beside the river at evening-time. In the instant that his signal was recognized he walked no longer alone. By his side appeared one – as a little child clinging close to his garments. The master said – "When you have obtained mastery over the senses then you will no longer totter in your step or falter in your flight. Realize the divine Atma within you. Realize it!" he repeated, and then raising his hand slowly upward, the stature of the child lengthened until a man's proportions were outlined. Only this form could hold the expanded soul. Disenthralled, the soul perceived a world with every pulsation and in every faculty there was absolute harmony. This was divine. This is man's rightful condition into which only the Mahatmas have fully come; but to which everyone is heir. The Mahatma teaches with the thought unexpressed, but formulated in his own mind and sent with sudden power into yours. It strikes with resounding force against the spirit's prison house. In great agony the pupil cried out: "Master! Master! redeem me from this state with your great power." The Master answering said: "Burst by concentration of spiritual energy the bonds that bind you." No pen can describe the force of the Master's thought. For the instant it seemed possible; a moment's hesitation to make the effort through mortal fear, and the supreme moment was passed. The Master looked sadly upon his suffering disciple and then was alone again.
The latter had gone back to try again through duty – if need be through death.
The pupil goes to the Master without conditions. He goes, but not to return. The illusions of matter are dispelled for him and thenceforth he is a stranger in the world of actions, even though he should be in it again.
Fiery is the furnace of probation, and great is the danger when the neophyte has reached the 'states of exaltation.' About each advance step wait the enemies of the spirit – to overthrow its sovereignty and hurl it back to the plane of matter. These enemies live in matter and are persuaded that their existence is confined to it – hence their determination to keep matter from a knowledge of spirit. In darkness and sin is their safety, for they are children of these conditions and will cease to exist when the lamp that is lighted from within is turned upon the world.
Temptations are in the way of those who would demand much without deserving even a little. So soon as the student comes in contact with the occult he encounters on the threshold the demons who loiter by – the demons of worldliness, inconstancy, suspicion and faint-heartedness.
The student should find in his own intuitions all the proof needed of the existence on this earth of the Wisdom teachers. Behind the screen of the senses reposes the soul of man – an unfathomable factor in the Universe – as unknown to its possessor as to its observers. Intuition is its only avenue of communication, and the language it speaks is known only to him who understands arcane knowledge or occultism.
When the Master has initiated his pupil he puts the seal of the mysteries upon his lips and locks them even against the chance of weakness or indiscretion.
It is the sense of personal isolation that brings on death; genuine philanthropy puts the individual en rapport with the Divine Spirit and thus gives him the eternal life. The Divine Spirit being all-pervading, those who put themselves en rapport with it, necessarily put themselves en rapport with all other entities in the same rapport. Hence, the Mahatmas are necessarily in constant magnetic relation with those who succeed in extricating themselves from the lower animal nature. It is by this means that the Mahatmas must first be known.
Until the Master chooses you to come to Him, be with humanity and unselfishly work for its progress and advancement. This alone can bring true satisfaction.
What is a Mahatma? Is it His physical body? No; for that must perish sooner or later – though it can be preserved through what is to us an endless age. A Mahatma is one who lives in His higher individuality, and to know Him truly, He must be known through the individuality in which He is centered.
Knowledge increases in proportion to its use – that is, the more we teach the more we learn. Therefore, seeker after Truth, with the faith of a little child and the will of an Initiate, give of your store to him who hath not wherewithal to comfort him on his journey. A whisper of the divine mystery into the ear of a weary wayfarer frees you from the stain of many evil deeds done in your migrations through matter. Philosophy can never be learned through phenomena. Try to break through the desire for it. Occult students the world over have been warned by their teachers that it is a habit which grows with gratification. It is better to abandon the study than to risk the dangers of black magic.
What is Self? Only a passing guest, whose concerns are all like a mirage of the great desert. Man is the victim of his surroundings while he lives in the atmosphere of society. The Mahatma may be willing to befriend such as he has an interest in, and yet be helpless to do so. The will of the neophyte, also, must be the magnet which alone can compel a Mahatma's notice. He follows his attractions as the needle does the poles. Will and Purity – these are the qualities which open the arcane to the presence of an adept – mere enthusiastic regard has no effect.
Feeble souls content themselves with wishes; great ones have wills.
In every man lie concealed the germs of faculties that are never unfolded on earth, and which have no reference to this state of knowledge.
No man can judge another, save by the measure of his own understanding: do not injure your own chance for growth by condemning in others the possession of faculties not known to yourself.
Thought runs swifter than the electric fluid; every bright aspiration sparkles and attracts the attention of the distant, but ever-watchful Master.
"Lay your burden upon the Lord" – that is, put your reliance in the Higher Self. Use the body as a means of strengthening the connection with the spirit and opening the road for its descents.
Slay Ambition: it is a deadly and cowardly foe, whose power over you is augmented by the apporbation of others.
It is Karma that sends you into this world – to which you come alone – that leaves you alone in it and which takes you out of it alone. The law of Karma is the law of the conservation of energy on the moral and spiritual planes of nature.
The body is the mind's portrait. The artist seeing its inharmonies regrets his failure, but knows not how to improve upon it. This is the spirit's work, which, accomplished, leaves the outward a reflection of the indwelling Soul.
The manna that feeds the spirit is hidden from sight. The universal spirit supplies it.
Duty is the River that flows through life. Its tide is silvery to those who are on it, but threatening to those who approach it seldom.
Seek to recover your soul. It is the hidden treasure lost in the caverns of sense. Its recovery is redemption from many rebirths.
The vain and the arrogant demand our pity – the weak and erring our forbearance – the indifferent our sympathy – and the wise, alone, our admiration.
You have learned of Krishna that death is better than the performance of another's duty. In persevering in the erroneous idea that we were put here to do the duties of others, woes have resulted that follow one through many lives.
Your perception of the inner self is clearer than the vision of the natural eye.
Earnestly regard the plane upon which you seek truth, do not expect to secure soul knowledge through the avenues of the senses.
Karma is like the vine that gathers strength through uninterrupted years, and which fastens its tendrils so closely that it is as strong as the structure to which it adheres. There is no way to destroy its power except by the separation of the parts, these parts renew themselves in other forms of life, but the structure is freed when its root is destroyed.
Evil thoughts corrode the character. Only the spirit has power over character to purify it.
We carry the accumulated results of many lives from one to another. This is the clue to the perfect fairness of nature. The apparent injustice of all differences of well-being are explained by the fact that we have known former states of existence. Every spiritual effort now made will tell not only now, but in the next incarnation as well.
The clue to many of the great mysteries of life is to be found in reincarnation; it is the only possible solution of the enigmas of existence.
The rule of the Mahatma is to approach every one where there exists even only the slightest glimmer of the true Light within him. None are left to perish who desire to be succoured.
We write in every aspiration for truth, in thought and deed by day, and in soul-struggles by night, the story of our desire for spiritual development. Upon the pages of the Book of Karma are written the minutest particulars of individual efforts: when the feeble will is strong enough to prevent further births in this world, which is the spirit's dream life, we shall find in Real existence all the chapters that we have written in all our transitions. Only then will we be able to read the whole book through and know the nature of the long journey out of spirit through matter and back again to the All.
The conflict of intuition against intellect has covered mankind in the crumbling ruin of despair. Man will never surrender himself to be the permanent vehicle of any set of ideas unless it completely satisfies the whole of his nature; the union of intellect and intuition only will end the conflict.
Take what you can of the teachings, and in developing devotion keep before you your example – THE TEACHER.
Vol 1, No 8, November 1886 and continued in Vol 2, No 9, December 1886