Monthly Archives: November 2017

Kwan-Yin, the Compassionate Rebel

Kwan Yin, Artist Vitthal Das Rathore

“IT is unfortunate that Buddhism’s most enduring (and universal) contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is ‘karuna,’ which holds within itself traces of the fragment ‘ru,’ meaning to weep. While the Oxford dictionary describes compassion as pity bordering on the merciful, karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own.

“Over centuries, Kuan Yin’s visual depictions have highlighted her lithe, flowing form, much like the willow tree itself, which has the ability to bend during the most ferocious winds and then spring back into shape again. Indeed, who wants to stand rigid like the tall oak that cracks and collapses in a storm? Instead, one needs to be flexible like the willow, which survives the tempest.”

(Kuan Yin, The Compassionate Rebel)

H. P. Blavatsky’s definition of Compassion, in The Voice of the Silence, remains the favorite of Theosophists:

Yet, one word. Canst thou destroy divine compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute.

Such is the Ârya Path, Path of the Buddhas of perfection.

“Never will I seek nor receive private, individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world.”

Buddha Fields

(The Mandala Offering)

“First, we need to understand what a Buddha-field or pure land is. It is a place where everything is conducive for being able to study and practice the Dharma twenty-four hours a day.”

The Child State

“You don’t have to work; you don’t have to eat; you don’t have to sleep; you don’t have to pay rent; you don’t have to go to the toilet – you don’t have to do anything except study and practice all the time. It’s not a place that you go, hang around the swimming pool, and play cards all day long.

“Buddha-fields are filled with Arya Bodhisattva, those Bodhisattva who have had nonconceptual cognition of voidness, and there they are taught by Sambhogakaya forms of Buddhas, physical forms that Buddhas manifest in that make full use of the Mahayana teachings. That’s what happens in pure land Buddha-fields.”


The Three Buddhic Bodies:

1. Nirmanakaya.
2. Sambhogakaya.
3. Dharmakaya.

“The first is that ethereal form which one would assume when leaving his physical he would appear in his astral body — having in addition all the knowledge of an Adept. The Bodhisattva develops it in himself as he proceeds on the Path. Having reached the goal and refused its fruition, he remains on Earth, as an Adept; and when he dies, instead of going into Nirvâna, he remains in that glorious body he has woven for himself, invisible to uninitiated mankind, to watch over and protect it.

“Sambhogakâya is the same, but with the additional lustre of ‘three perfections,’ one of which is entire obliteration of all earthly concerns.

Manushi Buddha

“The Dharmakâya body is that of a complete Buddha, i.e., no body at all, but an ideal breath: Consciousness merged in the Universal Consciousness, or Soul devoid of every attribute. Once a Dharmakâya, an Adept or Buddha leaves behind every possible relation with, or thought for this earth. Thus, to be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvâna, “renounces the Dharmakâya body” in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakâya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmânakâya body. The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

“Although ‘Nirmanakaya’ is technically the name for the body or ethereal vesture of a Bodhisattva – being described on p. 45 of The Voice of the Silence as the ‘Bodhisattvic Body’ – it’s also often used simply as a synonym for the Bodhisattva himself or herself.

“This is the acquirement or attainment of a permanent astral, closely linked with the attainment of unbroken continuity of consciousness. According to Theosophy, this is the true immortality.”

(Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK, “The Permanent Astral”)

Offering the Mandala

Here is the great Earth,
Filled with the smell of incense,
Covered with a blanket of flowers,
The Great Mountain,
The Four Continents,
Wearing a jewel
Of the Sun, and Moon.
In my mind I make them
The Paradise of a Buddha,
And offer it all to You.
By this deed
May every living being
The Pure World.

Idam guru ratna mandalakam niryatayami.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field, explains what she learned from her  intention experiments. These involved hundreds of participants focusing healing intentions towards otherwise complete strangers — and how the healings reportedly healed the healers themselves.

The Intention Experiment: How Healing Healed the Healers:

After participating, an overwhelming majority of our participants not only felt better about themselves and the world; they also tended to get along better with the people with whom they came into contact, most especially perfect strangers.Many made profound changes in their lives and directions, and even sought to radically change direction or careers .Others found it easier to cope with setbacks and downturns in their lives, including their  current financial difficulties. Most of all, they found it easier to accept people or ideas that clash with their own.These preliminary results suggests that using this kind of altruistic intention not only may help to grow your own sense of compassion and tolerance, but also may help you to heal your own life.It accords with much of the research I have studied on intention. Altruistic intention heals the healer as much as the healee.

Thoughts are Things

By Lynne McTaggart

Next are excepts from instructions inspired by the greatest of all spiritual teachers and healers, The Buddha.

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: How to enjoy a life of great meaning and altruism

Course VII: The Vows of the Bodhisattva

Even just wishing you could stop
A headache another person has
Can bring you merit without measure
Because of the helpful intent you feel.
What need then to mention the wish
That you could stop the immeasurable pain
Of every being, and put every one
In a state of measureless happiness?

There are many methods for achieving the “Great Compassion.” Each person strives in his/her own way, but there are useful contemplative truths. In The Voice of the Silence, one finds an important teaching about compassion. It is not an individual “virtue,” but rather a universal law of life.

The Law of Life

The Asian Classics Institute
Middle Way Philosophy (Madhyamika), Level Two
Course VII: The Vows of the Bodhisattva

Reading One: Bodhichitta, the Wish for Enlightenment Tsongkapa

The following selection is taken from the Commentary on the Three Principal Paths, an explanation by Pabongka Rinpoche (1878-1941) of the famous root text by Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419).

The Vows of the Bodhisattva:

To actually gain the wish for enlightenment he must first contemplate it. To contemplate it, he must first learn about it from another. “Loving-kindness” is an almost obsessive desire that each and every living being find happiness. “Compassion” is an almost obsessive desire that they be free of any pain.

Think of how a mother feels when her one and only and most beloved son is in the throes of a serious illness. Wherever she goes, whatever she does, she is always thinking how wonderful it would be if she could find some way of freeing him quickly from his sickness.

Mother Theresa

These thoughts come to her mind in a steady stream, without a break, and all of their own, automatically. They become an obsession with her. When we feel this way towards every living being, and only then, we can say we have gained what they call “great compassion.”

Once you develop great compassion, then you can develop the extraordinary form of personal responsibility, where you take upon yourself the load of working for others’ benefit. And the wish to achieve enlightenment for every living being comes from this.

H. P. Blavatsky 1877


We close with H. P. Blavatsky’s inspired reminder to all aspiring student-disciples from her The Key to Theosophy, on how to help others:

The Theosophical ideas of charity mean personal exertion for others; personal mercy and kindness; personal interest in the welfare of those who suffer; personal sympathy, forethought and assistance in their troubles or needs.

We Theosophists do not believe in giving money (N. B., if we had it) through other people’s hands or organizations. We believe in giving to the money a thousandfold greater power and effectiveness by our personal contact and sympathy with those who need it.

We believe in relieving the starvation of the soul, as much if not more than the emptiness of the stomach; for gratitude does more good to the man who feels it, than to him for whom it is felt.

H. P. Blavatsky, The Key toTheosophy

“That Secret Path leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead, and helpless pity for the men of Karmic sorrow.”

Help to Color the Day for Others


Life Divine

“THOREAU pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can change the colour of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact,” H. P. Blavatsky once wrote:

“We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts.

“Is it not the greatest art of all, this which affects the very atmosphere in which we live?

“That it is the most important is seen at once, when we remember that every person who draws the breath of life

…affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world,
and helps to colour the day for those about him.”

“If all our readers … endeavored to learn the art of making life not only beautiful but divine, and vowed no longer to be hampered by disbelief in the possibility of this miracle, but to commence the Herculean task at once, then [2018] would have been fitly ushered in…


“Man’s life is in his own hands, his fate is ordered by himself. Why then should not [2018] be a year of greater spiritual development than any we have lived through?

“It depends on ourselves to make it so. This is an actual fact, not a religious sentiment. In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns towards the light. Why not so with us?


“And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it — and as a day can be coloured so can a year.”

(Excerpted from H. P. Blavatsky, “1888”)

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Changing Lives from Selfishness to Altruism

“But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.” -Shakespeare

TRUTH springs eternal, unstoppable as hope, love, and the universal life force.

The life-loving truths taught many centuries ago by the great saviors and reformers of humanity are still with us, but still not consistently practiced.

What the Master Krishna taught Arjuna in The Bhagavad-Gita, 2,500 years before Buddha, is a cautionary teaching about the spiritual self-mastery our humanity today most needs.

“The Self is the friend of self,” is how Lord Krishna explains the dual force to his disciple Arjuna (who symbolizes every person as applied to their daily life), but adding: “and also its enemy.” 

It is the old story of the ongoing struggle between our higher spiritual vs personal material selves. “In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns towards the light,” but Mme. Blavatsky asks: “Why not so with us?” (Article 1888)

Referring to Lord Krishna’s teaching about the Self in its title, Blavatsky’s colleague W. Q. Judge explains how “this sentence in the Bhagavad-Gita has been often passed over as being either meaningless or mysterious.”

But it is only this uniquely human duality which explains why so many religious sects, while publicly espousing harmony and peace, are at the same time

…so ready and willing to denounce, terrorize and murder non-believers!

The medieval Christian Crusades were rife with atrocities, just as certain extremist religious sects are today—priests, prophets, popes and kings all willing to kill for their God. Religious murders, intrigues, assassinations and wars, have disgraced human kind through history, and tragically are still with us, as the briefest glance at the world’s daily news media confirms.

Our Two Selves

Krishna’s doctrine positions two selves, each an enemy and friend of the other. The “push-me-pull-you” character of many modern sectarian religions that foster ethical and moral inconsistencies, the soulless face of modern-day fundamentalism.

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real,” declares the Book of the Golden Precepts, “let the disciple slay [purify] the Slayer.”


One wonders what kind of feeling is evoked when the lower personal mind is purified, figuratively and literally, and the Spirit within released—when the Higher Self (‘voice of the silence’)  is heard for the first time? Let’s allow the Polish music masters Anna and Arkadiusz Szafraniec help us enjoy a joyful answer to the question.

The Angel Organ: The largest glass harp in the world, its range covers nearly 5 octaves.

“What revolution is experienced by the ear, which attempts to find associations with those tones?” ask Anna and Arkadiusz Szafraniec, the glass music duo from Poland. “What we try to capture, wanders somewhere,” they say, “is at the verge of our ideas of angelic music, a mythical world–and instruments which sound only in our dreams.”

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Esoteric Theosophy and the Masters of Wisdom

THE most intelligent being in the universe, man, has never been without a friend, but has a line of elder brothers who continually watch over the progress of the less progressed.

The term Mahatma has come into wide use as Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, when many Hindus flocked to the Theosophical movement, the name Mahatma was brought into use, inasmuch as it has behind it an immense body of Indian tradition and literature.

The ancients taught that the course of evolution is the drama of the soul and that nature exists for no other purpose than the soul’s experience.

There must be beings in the universe whose intelligence is as much beyond ours as ours exceeds that of the black beetle, and who take an active part in the government of the natural order of things.

They preserve the knowledge gained through aeons of trial and experience, and continually seek for opportunities of drawing the developing intelligence of the human race on this or other globes to consider the great truths concerning the destiny of the soul.

Divine Compassion

They keep the knowledge they have gained of the laws of nature in all departments, and are ready when cyclic law permits to use it for the benefit of mankind. They have always existed as a body, all knowing each other, no matter in what part of the world they may be, and all working for humanity in many different ways.

It would be subversive of the ends they have in view were they to make themselves public in the present civilization, which is based almost wholly on money, fame, glory, and personality.

For this age, as one of them has already said,
“is an age of transition.”

Every system of thought, science, religion, government, and society is changing, and man’s mind is only preparing for an alteration into that state which will permit the human race to advance to the point suitable for these elder brothers to introduce their actual presence to our sight.

Ancient Greece

They may be truly called the bearers of the torch of truth across the ages. They investigate all things and beings.

They know what man is in his innermost nature and what his powers and destiny, his state before birth and the states into which he goes after the death of his body.

They have stood by the cradle of nations and seen the vast achievements of the ancients, watched sadly the decay of those who had no power to resist the cyclic law of rise and fall. While cataclysms seemed to show a universal destruction of art, architecture, religion, and philosophy, they have preserved the records of it all in places secure from the ravages of either men or time.

Hypatia in the Alexandrian Library

But, asks the busy man of the nineteenth century who reads the newspapers and believes in “modern progress,”  if these elder brothers are all you claim them to be, why have they left no mark on history nor gathered men around them? Their own reply, was published some time ago (First Letter):

“The major and minor yugas [cycles] must be accomplished according to the established order of things. And we, borne along on the mighty tide, can only modify and direct some of its minor currents.”

“We never pretended to be able to draw nations in the mass to this or that crisis in spite of the general drift of the world’s cosmic relations. The cycles must run their rounds. Periods of mental and moral light and darkness succeed each other as day does night.


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The Sacred Animal Souls in Nature

A Light at The Center

HALLOWEEN is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Known also as a harvest festival, called Samhain (“Summer’s End”), it is rooted in Celtic polytheism. The word is also the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name for November.

It was the beginning of a “darker” season on Earth, with less sunlight and shorter days. In place of the usual psychic horrors and scary costumes, we chose instead to consider the symbol of an inner spiritual sun, symbolized by a flaming candle placed inside the pumpkin.

The spiritual sun consciousness manifests, by degrees, and is the inheritance of all kingdoms of nature as befits the plan of their particular hierarchy — from an atom to a star — not humankind alone.

Samhain, origin of Halloween, is similar to the Gothic samana, and the Sanskrit sámana — the Hindu God Krishna, symbol of the Higher Self, who incarnates cyclically at mankind’s darkest times. The whole of nature, visible and invisible, benefits from these cyclic, wisely appointed spiritual impulses.

In the Bhagavad-Gita (IV:31), Krishna assures his disciple Arjuna that as a world benefactor he is reborn to nature and humanity. “I produce myself among creatures whenever there is a decline of virtue and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world,” says Krishna, “and thus

I incarnate from age to age for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of righteousness.”


It is only those who are called selfish Buddhas, the “Pratyekas,” who remain in the their selfish state desiring only personal salvation, and who decline to reach out to help suffering humanity.  The Voice of the Silence, Fragment II, The Two Paths explains:

“He who becomes Pratyeka-Buddha makes his obeisance but to his Self. The Bodhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion: ‘For others’ sake this great reward I yield’ — accomplishes the greater Renunciation. A Saviour of the World is he.”

Our daily sleeping and waking cycles are strengthened by the universal impulse of the Spiritual Sun which nightly transports us to our true home, the Higher Self. This is during Dreamless Sleep, a state “in which even criminals commune through the higher nature with spiritual beings, and enter into the spiritual plane,” wrote W. Q. Judge in his article: Three Planes of Human Life.

Animals have many dream states too, and dreamless states where they commune consciously or unconsciously in varying degrees, depending on the kingdom to which they belong, with the spiritual hierarchies of their particular degree. For human beings, W. Q. Judge wrote:

“It is the great spiritual reservoir by means of which the tremendous momentum toward evil living is held in check. And because it is involuntary with them, it is constantly salutary in its effect.” 

In an ideal world, perfect harmony and balance between man and nature would be the norm. Thus, the keynote of Mme. Blavatsky’s worldview was the just and moral treatment of all the beings in nature, the First Object of the Theosophical Society, Universal Brotherhood. (Our Three Objects)

This universal unconditional Principle of Theosophy is expressed in The Secret Doctrine, Summing Up #5, which states that “everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious,” and is

“endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception.”

Consequently, Mme. Blavatsky was adamant in opposing animal cruelty. She spoke out forcefully against sport hunting, foxes, birds and big game, and most strongly against vivisection — animals in biological experiments.

“If these humble lines could make a few readers seriously turn their thoughts to all the horrors of vivisection,” she declared, “the writer would be content.”

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