Tag Archives: Judge

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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The Silent Center

THE Sanskrit word “Dharana” is defined as “the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object.”

This intense focus is “accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.”

Further, The Voice of the Silence instructs its aspiring students: “from the stronghold of your Soul, chase all your foes away—ambition, anger, hatred, e’en to the shadow of desire—when even you have failed.”

The devotional books Light on the Path, (“Kill out ambition…”), and The Voice of the Silence,  (“let the Disciple slay the Slayer”), are metaphors for self-control as we pursue a spiritual path.

Similarly, the setting of the Bhagavad-Gita is on the plain of a great battlefield called “Kurukshetra.” This plain is considered sacred, and is symbolic, W. Q. Judge says in his essay, “of the body which is acquired by karma.”

This metaphorical “killing” or “slaying,” is not contrary to the Buddhist and Hindu doctrine of “Ahimsa” (harmlessness). It refers rather to inner control over our physical senses, ambition, intellect, etc.—and to resolving our personal karmic challenges, including non-violence and non-separateness.

Dharana, or focused meditation, is all about slowing the ‘mental noise,’ or what is called the ‘monkey mind,’ and regaining our lost rulership.

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Our spiritual soul is the silent center, according to this old teaching, and for this True Self to always be in charge, it must be the ever-present decision maker in our lives.

Thus the Voice of the Silence teaches a paradoxical doctrine in which the intellectual, striving and desire-ridden mind, becomes its own savior through its higher counterpart, the light of intuition—the soul-mind—accompanied by occult sound vibrations:

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.
Let the Disciple slay the Slayer.”

for…

“…when to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams–when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE  the inner sound which kills the outer.”

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Mahatma of the Himavat

ASANGA gave up. Twelve long years of meditation and spiritual practices, and still no vision of the future Buddha Maitreya.

He yearned to connect with Maitreya to receive teaching directly, which would accelerate his progress on the Bodhisattva path.

“Every new Bodhisattva or initiated great Adept is called the ‘liberator of mankind,’ Helena Blavatsky explains in footnote (20) in The Voice of the Silence:

“Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva,” she wrote, “Compassion speaks and saith: ‘Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?’”

Asanga

After the first three years of spiritual practices to no avail, Asanga left his solitary cave, disheartened. But then he saw a little bird pecking a hole in a rock to build a nest in it, and he felt ashamed at his lack of persistence. He went back up to his cave.

birdnest

After the next three years, Asanga gave up again. As he descended the mountain, he met a man who was grinding down a thick rod of iron with a cloth to make needles. When the man showed him some needles he’d already made this way, Asanga hung his head and went back up the mountain.

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The Soul Center

THE Sanskrit word “Dharana” is defined as “the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object.”

This intense focus is “accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.”

Further, The Voice of the Silence instructs its aspiring students: “from the stronghold of your Soul, chase all your foes away — ambition, anger, hatred, e’en to the shadow of desire — when even you have failed.”

The devotional books Light on the Path, (“Kill out ambition…”), and The Voice of the Silence,  (“let the Disciple slay the Slayer”), are metaphors for self-control as we pursue a spiritual path.

Similarly, the setting of the Bhagavad-Gita is on the plain of a great battlefield called “Kurukshetra.” This plain is considered sacred, and is symbolic, W. Q. Judge says in his essay, “of the body which is acquired by karma.”

This metaphorical “killing” or “slaying,” is not contrary to the Buddhist and Hindu doctrine of “Ahimsa” (harmlessness). It refers rather to inner control over our physical senses, ambition, intellect, etc.—and to resolving our personal karmic challenges, including non-violence and non-separateness.

Dharana, or focused meditation, is all about slowing the ‘mental noise,’ or what is called the ‘monkey mind,’ and regaining our lost rulership.

ς

Our spiritual soul is the silent center, according to this old teaching, and for this True Self to always be in charge, it must be the ever-present decision maker in our lives.

Thus the Voice of the Silence teaches a paradoxical doctrine in which the intellectual, striving and desire-ridden mind, becomes its own savior through its higher counterpart, the light of intuition—the soul-mind—accompanied by occult sound vibrations:

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.
Let the Disciple slay the Slayer.”

for…

“…when to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams–when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE  the inner sound which kills the outer.”

Continue reading

Jnana Yoga

THE Sanskrit word “Dharana” is defined as “the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object.”

This intense focus is “accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.”

Further, The Voice of the Silence instructs its aspiring students: “from the stronghold of your Soul, chase all your foes away—ambition, anger, hatred, e’en to the shadow of desire—when even you have failed.”

The devotional books Light on the Path, (“Kill out ambition…”), and The Voice of the Silence,  (“let the Disciple slay the Slayer”), are metaphors for self-control as we pursue a spiritual path.

Similarly, the setting of the Bhagavad-Gita is on the plain of a great battlefield called “Kurukshetra.” This plain is considered sacred, and is symbolic, W. Q. Judge says in his essay, “of the body which is acquired by karma.”

This metaphorical “killing” or “slaying,” is not contrary to the Buddhist and Hindu doctrine of “Ahimsa” (harmlessness). It refers rather to inner control over our physical senses, ambition, intellect, etc.—and to resolving our personal karmic challenges, including non-violence and non-separateness.

Continue reading

Never Ending Life

LOOKING past our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy views the soul as eternal. Further, we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are souls, the wisdom tradition teaches.

There are many human beings who live to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2009 there were 455,000 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 says 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 — yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.”

She refers here to the Earthly body, not the Spiritual Body that high adepts have learned to occupy and control, thereby achieving self-conscious immortality — albeit invisible to uninitiated mankind.

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its fruition and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that he still remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.

Not only Gautama, but a “Wall of Protection” is built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints and Adepts,those Buddhas of Compassion

who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

They do this “by influencing him 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.”

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Visions or Illusions

THE Sanskrit word “Dharana” is defined as “the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object.”

This intense focus should “be accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.”

Further, The Voice of the Silence instructs its students: “from the stronghold of your Soul, chase all your foes away—ambition, anger, hatred, e’en to the shadow of desire—when even you have failed.”

Whenever the Voice of the Silence, or the Bhagavad-Gita, refer to “killing” or “slaying,” this is to be understood a primarily metaphors for control over our physical senses and intellect—and resolving past karma.

Dharana, or focused meditation, is all about slowing the ‘mental noise,’ or what is called the ‘monkey mind,’ and to regain our lost rulership.

ς

Continue reading