Tag Archives: disciple

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.”

Sambhogakaya

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
Experience
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.”

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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The Karma of Intention, a Force in Nature

THE act of true intending is widely misunderstood, because there are hidden aspects of so-called intent consisting solely of desire for personal fulfillment.

Seducing the public to desire beauty, riches and power is the undisguised theme of thousands of self-help books written by so-called gurus seeking money and fame.

But there is a higher, purer and more unselfish level of intention in true occultism. It is the unseen power to bring to pass desired results without selfish, personal motives.

Success at this higher level requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of falsehood, and the evocation of a dynamic spiritual force inherent in man and universal nature. Those who practiced the art it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise ones called “Magi” — the source of the word “magic.”

The author of The Intention Experiment, Lynn McTaggart, is described in Dan Brown’s Book, The Lost Symbol, through the character of Katherine Solomon:  

… human consciousness, as Noetic author Lynne McTaggart described it, was a substance outside the confines of the body. A highly ordered energy capable of changing the physical world.

lost-symbol

Katherine (Solomon) had been fascinated by McTaggart’s book ‘The Intention Experiment’, and her global, Web-based study – theintentionexperiment.com— aimed at discovering how human intention could affect the world.

Dan Brown, “The Lost Symbol” (Random House, 2009)

A Force in Nature

It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky writes in her article Practical Occultism, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”

But the force of selfish human desire only awakens darker powers, Theosophy says. Unless the motive is pure, and the intention unalloyed, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others and to nature.

In her article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky cautioned her readers about this development: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic, and unless the intention is entirely unalloyed…

the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintained, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”

Zen Samurai

“Sow a Thought, Reap an Act;
Sow an Act, Reap a Habit;
Sow a Habit, Reap a Character;
Sow a Character, Reap a Destiny.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

ξ

Spiritual Knowledge

“Cut asunder with the sword of spiritual knowledge,
this doubt which existeth in thy heart.”

 – Krishna, (Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. IV)

Karma and Intent

Excerpts from Occultism
by H. P. Blavatsky

“The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving.

“The powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart, and this is DIVINE MAGIC.”

“In reality, there is no such thing as ‘Separateness’ — and the nearest approach to that selfish state, which the laws of life permit, is in the intent or motive.”

“It is an occult law, moreover, that no man can rise superior to his individual failings, without lifting, be it ever so little, the whole body of which he is an integral part. In the same way, no one can sin, nor suffer the effects of sin, alone.”

“True occultism or theosophy is the ‘great renunciation of SELF,’ unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action.”

“And, although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad karma.”

“It is altruism, not egoism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little self in the universal selves.

“It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain theo-sophy, divine wisdom and knowledge.”

Mind Control

As with any spiritual work, controlling the thought-producing mind is the first step. The necessity of discerning reality from illusion, is taught in the Voice of the Silence.

And recognizing the false superiority of matter and form, sensing instead the energy and reality of consciousness.

“Having become indifferent to objects of perception,

the pupil must seek out the rajah of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.”

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real,” repeats the Voice: “Let the Disciple slay the Slayer”— because it is our minds that create our illusions.

Awakenings

Gradual awakenings are a hallmark of H. P. Blavatsky’s teachings in The Secret Doctrine. “As we rise in the scale of development we perceive that during the stages through which we have passed,” she writes, “we mistook shadows for realities.”

®

“… and the upward progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have reached ‘reality.'”

“But only when we shall have reached the Absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be free from the delusions produced by illusion.”

Healing Intention

Centers of Attraction

But what practical measures can we take to achieve freedom from delusion? An example of the popular idiom “be careful what you ask for” is the law of attraction, described first in the article Karma, by William Q. Judge:

Directing our mind to the physical world and desires, he warns, “a ‘fire’ or centre of attraction, is set up there, in order to feed and fatten it.”

“The energies of the whole upper plane [intentions] are drawn down and exhausted in supplying the need of energy which exists below due to the indulgence of sense gratification.”

If 0ur energy is centered instead in our highest intentions, “then all the needed energy goes there,” he says, “to result in increase of spirituality.”

“It must be remembered that Nature is all bountiful and withholds not her hand. The demand is made, and the supply will come.”

gautama

“Resolve to be tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant with the weak and wrong.
Sometime in your life,
you will have been all of these.”

~ Gautama Buddha


The Unconditional Renunciation of our Personal Self

THE word magic is largely misunderstood, because there are various kinds of so-called magic, much of which is deception and trickery.

But there is a magic which might be called the unseen and hidden power to bring to pass certain desired results, without revealing its methods. It is called intention.

Its successful use requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of trickery, and is based on an innate spiritual force in man and nature.

Those who practiced it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise, called Magi — the source of the word magic.

It is relatively easy to learn tricks and spells, Mme. Blavatsky writes, “and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature.”

The force of selfish human desire awakens darker powers, Theosophy says. Unless the motive is pure, destructive passions are often aroused, and even unconsciously will do harm to others and to nature.

In the article Practical Occultism, H. P. Blavatsky warns of this: “it is the motive alone which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic,” she writes, “and unless the intention is entirely unalloyed…

“the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it.”

“It is impossible to employ spiritual forces, she maintains, “if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness [or separateness] remaining in the operator.”

Continue reading

Intention, a Force in Nature

buddhayogaTHE act of true intending is widely misunderstood, because there are hidden aspects of so-called intent consisting solely of desire for personal fulfillment.

Seducing the public to desire beauty, riches and power is the undisguised theme of thousands of self-help books written by money seeking modern gurus.

But there is a higher, purer and more unselfish level of intention in true occultism. It is the unseen power to bring to pass desired results without personal motives.

Success at this level requires a knowledge far beyond any kind of falsehood, and is based on knowledge of an innate spiritual force in man and nature. Those who practiced it in ancient times were the initiates, the wise ones called “Magi” — the source of the word “magic.”

Lynne McTaggart, author of The Intention Experiment, featured in Dan Brown’s Book – The Lost Symbol: “…human consciousness, as Noetic author Lynne McTaggart described it, was a substance outside the confines of the body. A highly ordered energy capable of changing the physical world.”

lost-symbol

“Katherine (Solomon) had been fascinated by McTaggart’s book ‘The Intention Experiment’, and her global, Web-based study – theintentionexperiment.com— aimed at discovering how human intention could affect the world.”

Dan Brown, “The Lost Symbol” (Random House, 2009)

Continue reading

The Aeolian Harp

JANUARY the 4th is the day of Mercury, or Hermes-Buddha, the ancients taught. They also taught the birth of the year signals a unique energy upgrade.

“The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter,” Blavatsky wrote, and “those who form their wishes now, will have added strength to fulfill them consistently.”

And Truth, like the Life Force, springs eternal. What was taught 2,500 years ago by Buddha is still studied today.

And what the Master Krishna taught his disciple Arjuna in The Bhagavad-Gita, 2,500 years earlier, is a cautionary teaching humanity needs most now.

“The Self is the friend of self,” Krishna tells Arjuna, and added paradoxically: “also its enemy.”

In an article with the same title, theosophical teacher W. Q. Judge explains: “this sentence in the Bhagavad- Gita has been often passed over as being either meaningless or mysterious.”

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

…so ready and willing to denounce, maim and kill non-believers.


Continue reading

Of Two Minds

TRUTH like hope springs eternal, and what was taught 5,000 years ago by Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita, still works today.

“The Self is the friend of self,” Arjuna’s instructor asserts paradoxically, “and also its enemy.”

In his article of the same title, the theosophical teacher W. Q. Judge noted that “this sentence in the Bhagavad- Gita has been often passed over as being either meaningless or mysterious.”

But why else would religions, touting harmony and peace, be so ready and willing to denounce and harm non-believers?


The medieval Crusades were replete with atrocities under this mind set, just as are some extremist religious sects still today — priests, popes and kings all willing to kill for their God. Murder, intrigue, assassination and war have despoiled our human history, and are still with us!

Krishna’s doctrine postulates two selves, each an enemy and friend of the other. The “pushmi-pullyu” character of religions results in the ethical and moral inconsistencies evident in modern-day fundamentalism.

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

δ

“For two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste,” writes one of Mme. Blavatsky’s teachers about priestly craft, “brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land.”

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