Category Archives: Avatars & Karmic Agents

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.”

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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 Mysterious Powers of Karma and Reincarnation

childs-candle-lightsREINCARNATION is “one of the most important issues faced by philosophy, religion and science that have very significant implications to the understanding of human life,” the Reincarnation Research declares.

Theosophy agrees. “Reincarnation used to be a subject confined to religion. Since the 20th century, however, the inquiry has moved into the field of science.

This comes about “as a result of ground-breaking researches about people, particularly children, whose memories of previous lives have been validated by independent investigations,” the site reports.

“Many of these cases involved birthmarks or physical characteristics at birth that matched the manner of death of the claimed previous life. Some of them also could speak an unlearned language but which corresponded to the language learned in the claimed previous life.

“The concept of reincarnation, however, goes against the mainstream doctrines of a number of major religions. This has created conflicts and has led to raging debates on the pros and cons of reincarnation.”

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H. P. Blavatsky and her Adept Teachers, Founders  of the modern Theosophical Movement, were fully committed to the  prime directive of introducing Western civilization to the the twin Eastern doctrines of Reincarnation and Karma.

The importance of their directive can be seen in H. P. Blavatsky’s Letter 3 to the 4th Annual American Convention in April, 1890, where she declared:

We are outwardly creatures of but a day; within we are eternal. Learn, then, well the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races. 

(H. P. Blavatsky, April 27-28, 1890)

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Karma and Reincarnation Alone Can Save Humanity

lotus-girl

Symbol of Rebirth

LOOKING beyond our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy teaches that the soul and spirit alone are eternal.

Further, the perennial wisdom tradition declares we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are Souls. (The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter One)

Yet, there are many human beings who live physically to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2012 there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky wrote  in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age,” she said, “yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.” Mme. Blavatsky refers here only to the outward earthly physical body.

But the Spiritual and Astral Bodies that wise adepts have learned to occupy and control — achieving what is termed self-conscious immortality — have no expiration date.

Such Masters as Buddha remain fully alive while occupying their spiritual form (or Bodhisattvic Body). They are called Nirmanakayas, and remain invisible to the uninitiated. Such enlightened masters live a “secret life” of service to humanity.

One who selects the Path of Renunciation is described as a Bodhisattva, a “Buddha of Compassion.” The term literally means “one whose essence is wisdom” or “one of enlightened essence.”

A Buddha of Compassion

The Buddhist sage Aryasangha refers to Gautama Buddha as “the Supreme Nirmanakaya.” H. P. Blavatsky echoes his assertion, writing in a footnote: “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 for mankind, there is none known.”

(The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its rewards and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that

“he remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.” 

And the Buddha is not alone. What is called a living, spiritual Wall of Protection still exists established to protect humanity, built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts …

The Watcher

“… those  Buddhas of Compassion who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

The “Guardian Wall” may also be called the “Wall of Protection.” 

Those Masters are likened to ‘stones’ which go to form this spiritual Wall: “Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow.”

The “Guardian Wall”

The “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts, especially of the Nirmanakayas, have created, so to say, a wall of protection around mankind, which wall shields mankind invisibly from still worse evils.” (Voice, fn 28)

These advanced beings assist suffering humans “by influencing them to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness.” Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.

 (The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

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The Birthday of Modern Theosophy

BIRTH on this physical plane, of the modern Theosophical Movement, occurred in New York City 141 years ago on November 17th in the year 1875.

Its reemergence had been carefully and wisely planned, behind the scenes, by those called the Elder Brothers of Humanity.

Pointing to Them, Theosophical pioneer William Quan Judge declared in his article Elder Brothers and Mahatmas, “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 because Mme. H. P. Blavatsky constantly referred to them as her Masters who gave her all the knowledge she possessed, he said.

They were at first known only as the Brothers, but afterwards, after 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.

Krishna-Arjuna

Krishna-Arjuna

“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.” And Judge assured his readers “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.”

“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.”

“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 and her Library at Alexandria

“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 Mahatma Letter):

“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.

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.”

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God in a Box, a Hundred Versions of It

falling-lightCHRISTOS is the Greek word from which the term Christ is derived. It is an archaic term that was applied to every Initiate of a certain degree within the Mystery Temples of old.

St. Paul, echoing the Gnostic belief in the saving grace of the indwelling spiritual essence in man, refers to “the Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

The Christos principle is never some thing or person outside or separate from us. Isis-Osiris is the symbolic image of spirit guarding the good and holy mind of humankind.

Every human being is a potential Christ, the unfolding of the Christ-life a major feature of the Gospels, esoterically understood. Christos is called “the WAY,” the glorified Spirit of Truth, and the reunion which makes the soul (the Son) One with the (Father) Spirit. But in truth, gender as we understand it plays no part in this drama of spiritual awakening.

“There is only one religion, though
there are a hundred versions of it.”

 – George Bernard Shaw

The Ankh

Christ is confirmed, by H. P. Blavatsky, as “the divine principle in every human being.” She also wrote in her article The Esoteric Character of the Gospels: “He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the ‘sepulchre’ of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him.”

natural_psychic

Kristas

As with the Christos, the Father Spirit, God, is never a separate being, but exists everywhere. “Our DEITY is neither in a paradise, nor in a particular tree, building, or mountain,” Blavatsky wrote, “it is everywhere, in every atom of the visible as of the invisible Cosmos — in, over, and around every invisible atom, and divisible molecule:

“…for IT is the mysterious power of evolution and involution, the omnipresent, omnipotent, and even omniscient creative potentiality.”

“The worship of the dead-letter in the Bible,” Mme. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, “is but one more form of idolatry, nothing better. Hence, the Bible is not the ‘Word of God,’ but contains at best the words of fallible men, and imperfect teachers. Yet read esoterically, it does contain, if not the whole truth, still, ‘nothing but the truth,’ under whatever allegorical garb. Only: Quot homines tot sententiœ.”

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Roerich’s Shambhala: A Land of Mystery

Nicholas Roerich with Guga Chohan

CELEBRATING over seven enlightening years of research and Theosophical journalism, we gratefully republish the late co-editor Kara LeBeau’s article “Roerich’s Shambhala,” one of our most popular posts.

A naturally spiritual and talented journalist Kara’s presence always seems alive. She was a huge fan of Roerich. And her editorial skills on behalf of Theosophy Watch are deeply missed.

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“Over 120 years ago, it was Helena Blavatsky who introduced the legacy of Shambhala to Western seekers, otherwise it might have remained hidden in the domain of a few scholars.

‘Shambhala’ means ‘source of happiness’ in Sanskrit — ‘a place of peace and tranquility.’ (Wikipedia)

James Hilton, in 1933, further popularized the idea of Shambhala in his novel Lost Horizon about the mythical kingdom ‘Shangri-la.’

losthorizon

Movies based on the novel in 1937, 1942, and 1952 introduced the ‘Shambhala’ ideal to more people around the world than HPB might have ever imagined.

Google ‘Shambhala’ today and you’ll get over a million hits of pages that explore the Buddhist legendary paradise that intrigues so many people now. Some endeavor to find its physical location—others seek it within themselves. Nicholas and Helena Roerich asserted that

“Shamballa is the indispensable site where the spiritual world unites with the material one.”

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