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Vol. XXVII, No. 10 Hamilton, December 15th, 1946 Price 20 Cents
PEACE --- TO MEN OF GOOD WILL
It is impossible to say whether it was merely sentimentalism or some other reason that led the translaters of the Authorized Version of the New Testament to give the rendering of the angels' Christmas message which they did. In any case! they did religion a poor service, for religion has difficulty enough making its way in the world without being loaded with the reputation of sentimentalism. The tendency was established however to make Jesus a sentimentalist surrounded by sentimental angels and sentimental apostles. Jesus had hard and bitter things to say about Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites and Generations of Vipers. In practice these coarse words are not supposed to have anything to do with Nice Church People. This mis-direction served to account in no small measure for the ill success of the Church in this Wicked World. Yet these same sentimentalists would damn all humanity to hell for the sake of a dogma. The reversal of New Testament teaching is in fact the mission of the Church. Let us take an important example.
In the first chapter of Genesis we read in the brief sketch of the beginning of things how the seven Elohim, the Creative Gods, made man in their image. This was the beginning of physical and psychic man. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John we read how the spiritual element of Life became involved with physical man. "In the beginnig was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Word is the Logos or Verbum, the Christos or Universal Christ principle, "In him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men." verse 7, "That was the true Light, which Lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Some churches argue, even in face of this, that the Bible or Jesus is the Word and the Light. The 9th verse makes it clear that every human being has the light within him of the Christos, the True Light, and it depends upon each one for himself how he uses and develops it so that he may become a perfected Son of God, as they Power imparted to him enables him to be. There is no mystery nor priest craft about this, but merely the exercize of one's own free will to follow the universal inner Light as men have done in all ages. It is this birth of the spiritual life of the Christ Child in the hearts of men and women just awakening to the True Inner Light that we celebrate at Christmas, as the Druids did at Yultide and other great religions in various festivals according to their fashion. The Angels wished Peace on earth to men of Good Will, men who had begun to unite their wills with the Cosmic Will, men stern as Justice, merciful and compassionate as Love, and impartial
as Divine Truth. - A.E.S.S.
PRACTICAL OR IMPRACTICAL
By Ethel Trupp
When we heard it said that studying the Secret Doctrine was not practical and could not help us in everyday life, we nearly fell over with surprise. Theosophy, it was said, is too much "up in the clouds". We need something more "down to earth" that we can apply to our daily lives. These people glance through several books and put them away again murmuring something about the teaching being "too intellectual; not practical!" They listen to her students discussing Rounds and Races, Septenary Constitution, Kalpas or Atlanteans and then ask, what good is all that knowledge to anyone? Why not study something more practical?
In the first place, the study is not intellectual. It is spiritual. In the second place, it is practical, if we apply it, to ourselves and to world conditions. What could be more practical than Theosophy? Truth is not complicated. It only appears so, as anything does when we do not understand it. When we study and discuss Rounds and Races, Septenary Constitution, Kalpas and Atlanteans, the detailed understanding it brings makes Truth easier to apply in daily lives. The more knowledge of Truth we acquire, the easier it is to apply.
Knowledge of the Septenary Constitution helps us to become more introspective and, thus, become more careful of our daily habits. We can, through knowledge of ourselves, learn to distinguish the Real and the unreal. In other words, to distinguish between tile evils of the lower planes; the thoughts and emotions of the lower nature and between the pure of the higher. We learn to see it in conditions around us. We learn to accept our Karma and, by changing our attitude toward it, we make it easier to bear and can, therefore endure more of it. We can change the whole course of our series of lives by changing our attitude, which is instigated by knowledge.
Studying Kalpas of Cosmic evolution, and even at that, it can only be that of the solar system (S.D. ii-68fn), opens our minds and makes us realize that the minutes and years are not so long after all. It helps us to overcome the illusion of time in our thinking. It makes us realize that the little things that bother us are not so important. In fact, their importance is so diminished that they may cease to bother us altogether. What can be more practical than that?
If we study the Rounds and Races, does it not give us an entirely different viewpoint on our goal? It gives us something to think about and something to work for. It will change our daily habits of criticism of our fellow man. It brings us the realization that from the One we came and back to the One we go. It makes us strive and work in our daily life instead of the previous attitude of "Let George do it!" With knowledge, we do our own share and try to help "George" with his because we know that we are all One. In that way, we loosen the evil bonds of selfishness. We come to forget ourselves and work for others. Our continual thought is to help others. So, if we forget the little apparent miseries of our own minute lives, are we not helped? Is that not practical?
Well, surely, they say, studying the Atlanteans as a race will not help any. They were a race of people much like ourselves. The last phrase seems to be the key to mistaken notions. Atlanteans were ourselves. If we study Atlanteans as a race, we can see what is the cause of misery in the world today. We wonder if many of us have evolved very far out of our Atlantean lives. Madame Blavatsky speaks of the memory of Atlantean sorcery preserved in our dogmatic religions of today. (S.D. ii-503)
It seems to be a solution to the numerous questions which arise regarding the state of the world at the present time. Why do Protestant Sunday School teachers forbid the mention of evolution? Why are there so many wars? Why are there so many strikes? Who is trying to break up unions all over the world? Who is it that wants the minds of the "hoi polloi" to be in a submissive state? Why, for the first time in history, has the Pope of Rome made Cardinals in nearly every country? Study of ourselves when we occupied Atlantean bodies suggests an answer and we can act accordingly. Is the knowledge, then, not of practical use to keep ourselves and others from the possibility of being drawn into the net again?
Theosophy and its teachings are practical, if we learn the basic Truth and apply it. As members of the Theosophical Society we learn tolerance. It is easy to be tolerant because we know that some day, through our efforts of continual staunchness to the ideals of Brotherhood and our continued example of laying aside the pomp and ceremonies and the glorifying of earthly things, the good will win out and again we will be back to the state we started from but with the added greatness of knowledge. (S.D. ii-180)
But, some day, even if we do study Theosophy and apply it, we still have to use considerable discretion in our conversation with others, and sometimes things slip out that apparently hit a sore spot in the other fellow's armor; he becomes angry and we lose a friend. That is practical, too. It has its use as long as we did not intend to deliberately hurt another's feelings. When we study the Septenary Constitution, Reincarnation and Karma, we learn to know ourselves. We learn to know the lower natures of all. We can see that it is only an illusion, this apparent loss of friends, and it is a condition that will not last, because it is of the personal element. We also know that sometimes during our series of lives, we have to know great periods of loneliness, especially when our Initiations begin, so would it not be practical for us to learn right now to endure smaller periods of loneliness? What about the sore spot we unintentionally prodded in the other chap's armor? Is that of great harm? We do not intentionally want to hurt anyone's feelings but the result may be good in the way that if one is touched in any of us, there is a tendency to become angry. It is brought to our notice or consciousness. We begin to think about it. We run across words or ideas and immediately try to apply them as balm. Sometime they soothe. Sometime they sting. Eventually we are stirred to a greater activity over it. The result is that we grow in knowledge and we are out of the lethargic rut we were in when the vulnerable spot was hit. This friend we lost will eventually come to see that the cause of the tender place was within himself and he will still be our friend, if not in this life, then in some future one. He will realize, sometime, that we meant to help. We have to hold high, our ideal, even if it does mean a personal, transitory pain. Our effort has a practical result.
Not one of us can judge another's motive. When we learn that, and by our efforts, others learn it, not one can help practising tolerance and Brotherhood, so there is nothing impractical in learning the Teaching.
The Secret Doctrine was given to us pointing the way toward the Path. According to page 797 of volume ii, the work is a Prologue to Truth. Many of us, trying to eke out a living, do not have time for extensive study. Nevertheless, it is surprising what we learn by opening the Secret Doctrine when we do find a spare minute. It is equally surprising how practical the knowledge is once we begin to weave it into our
personal lives. It is well worth the effort.
From the Voice of the Silence we hear: "If Sun thou canst not be, then be the humble planet. Aye, if thou art debarred from flaming like the noon-day Sun upon the snow-capped mount of purity eternal, then choose, O Neophyte, a humbler course.
Point out the "Way" - however dimly and lost among the host - as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness."
And from the Masters we hear "TRY" !
11302 - 89 St., Edmonton, Alta., Canada.
All this - whatever there is in this universe - is pervaded by Deity. Renounce all and enjoy. Do not covet the wealth of another. - Ishopanishad
I suggest to you that the truth that is embedded in this very short mantra is calculated to satisfy the highest cravings of every human being - whether they have reference to this world or to the next. I have in my search of the scriptures of the world found nothing to add to this mantra . . . This mantra tells me that I cannot hold as mine anything that belongs to God. -Gandhiji in Harijan, January 30, 1937.
The whole of India and his many friends all over the world are celebrating the 75th Birthday of Gandhiji tomorrow - the second of October. We want to be among those who are saluting Gandhiji on this suspicious day and we wish him to possess in increasing degree the strength of the Soul on which the healthful life of the body depends and which exerts its own peculiar influence even in the death of the body.
The Aryan Path, unconcerned with power and party politics, has always discussed the moral and mystical ideas and tendencies underlying Gandhiji's attitude to life and labor. Today we are reviewing the religious outlook of this highly religious man, who has profoundly influenced the religious life of the twentieth century.
The activities of Gandhiji are many; the village and the city, men and women, old and young, rich and poor, with their problems of body, mind or Spirit, belonging to this country of India, have all received attention from him. And further afield, India as a part of the world, affecting and affected by it, has not been overlooked. To understand the life and work of Gandhiji in a true way we must try to see the intimacy subsisting between his inner character and his outer conduct; between his personal life and his public labor. As we ponder over this we find that in spite of some bifurcations and frustrations he has succeeded, in a unique measure, in bringing about a real harmony between these. He may well be described as a practising Advaitee or one who regards his own life and work as but an aspect of the One Life and his purpose as but an arc of the Great Purpose of the Universe - the Circle of Necessity.
This is the starting-point which will enable us best to perceive Gandhiji's outlook as an embodied Spirit. We all are embodied Spirits, but alas! possessing it, the Spirit is not heeded; It so little avails us. A man's true religion shows itself in his own inner attitude to his fellows and to Nature. The Bhagavad-Gita says that all men are shaped according to their craddha (heart-energy), faith; man is faith-formed; what his faith is, that verily is he (XVII 3). A man's religion is not that of his bodily birth or outward denomination. If it were, the churches would be full of true Christians - but we know that they are not; good thoughts, words and deeds would flourish in the consciousness of every Parsi, but they do not; Hinduism would be free from the curse of un-
touchability if even a majority of Hindus accepted and lived up to the Teaching of their faith, One Impartite Self shining in every human heart, but alas! untouchability persists!
Most men have two religions: one, the inner, manifesting in daily life, in one's character, ideation and action; the other is the religion of the family into which the body is born. An honest mind, an earnest heart, a really sincere man soon acknowledges to himself that the routine of his life is not in harmony with his highest aspirations, the yearnings of his Soul; these Soul-yearnings and inner aspirations may or may not be wholly in conformity with the teachings of the religion into which his body was born. Thus, a Brahmana by bodily birth may or may not find himself in agreement with the Brahmana-Dharma expounded in Holy Writ or the Shastras. Nor are his hopes and ideals realizable through the ceremonialism of his outward religion - going to a temple, wearing the sacred thread, putting on a caste-mark, performing this and that ritual. The inner religion of such a "Brahmana" may be what is called Free-Thought, whether of the tamasic, the rajasic or the satvic variety. Unmindful of his inner cogitations, his silent hopes and aspirations, he might "live" his religion through the dead-letter performance of the prescribed ceremonies on the appointed dates whenever these cannot possibly be assigned to a hired priest, through the outward observance of all traditional rites, but what of his inner life? What connection has his professed religion with his inner craddha or faith?
The evolution of the human Soul is to be measured by the degree of integration of the different constituents which compose man. In the unevolved Soul there is inner discord. The thoughts of his mind, the aspirations of his heart, the words on his lips and the millions of actions which result from these are in conflict. The resolving of this conflict so that the warring elements of his being are made to work in unison and harmony constitutes human progression. To integrate one's own self, to help others to do likewise, such is man's mission on earth.
In Gandhiji the inner and outer religions have become harmonized, not to perfection, as he himself has indicated, but in comparison with ordinary persons to a considerable extent. That is why to the people his life looks marvellous and his actions seem as if endowed with some magical quality. How he has achieved this is not difficult to comprehend; in fact, it is simple. What is difficult, nay, Herculean, is the application of what is perceived. Intellectual honesty, mental sincerity, is the requisite. That we all know. He has made applications of that principle of integration in his own living and in his own dealings with people, as all of us would like to do, while failing more often than not. It is not that we lack the perception to resolve righteously, or the will to achieve, but that possessing these we allow our desires to take us away from the task of application. "Behind Will stands Desire" says the ancient teaching. We must make all our personal desires lean towards and centre upon the Soul's desire. If that be strong enough our many desires will not take us away from the central task of life, viz., integration of our own self and the helping of others to such integration. The stage any person has reached in his evolutionary progress can be known by examining dispassionately the quality and the measure of the integration achieved between his head and his heart, his lips and his hands.
Thus, Gandhiji's Hinduism is not a mere belief in the performance of so-called religious deeds in the outer life, but an inner faith rooted in his own understanding of what he has learned of the religion of his own family and
country. He was born of Vaishnava parents, but he says: -
The Gandhis used to observe not only the Vaishnava but also the Shaivite vows, and visited the Vaishnava as also the Shaivite temples.
- My Experiments with Truth, Vol. II, p. 183.
His Hinduism is not acceptable to the orthodox Hindus. Orthodox Hinduism of today, says Gandhiji, "has become moribund, inactive, irresponsive to growth." And why? "Because we are fatigued" (Young India, April 10, 1924). Orthodox Hinduism has become static due to this fatigue. To vitalize it back into life and make it dynamic a Hindu has to become heterodox along a constructive line and that is precisely what Gandhiji has done. He calls himself a lay humble student of Hinduism, and claiming to be one desirous of practising Hinduism in the spirit and to the letter . . . . and yet adds: -
Let us not deceive ourselves into the belief that everything that is written in Sanskrit and printed in Shastra has any binding effect upon us. That which is opposed to the fundamental maxims of morality, that which is opposed to trained reason, cannot be claimed as Shastra, no matter how ancient it may be.
- Young India, October 20, 1927 So Gandhiji's religion is not dependent on any Shastra. His religion is a way of life and he but uses the Shastraic and other ideas to live his life whenever these ideas are not opposed to "the fundamental maxims of morality" and to "trained reason." Under what influence did Gandhijj evolve such views?
Gandhiji was directly influenced by the great spiritual forces which were streaming forth in the last quarter of the 19th century. The false concept of religion as a mere set of dogmas believed in by a certain number of people, large or small, was attacked and was being demolished. The very definition of religion underwent a revision, consequent upon the conception, also put forward and largely accepted, of Humanity as one and indivisible; superior to and more important than any nation or race. The human mind was being fecundated by the grand principle of Universal Brotherhood. It was pointed out that
The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mahomet, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church - the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way; the pure in heart see God. - Isis Unveiled (1877) by H.P. Blavatsky, Vol. II, p. 635.
And Religion was defined thus: -
A Religion in the true and only correct sense, is a bond uniting men together - not a particular set of dogmas and beliefs. Now Religion, per se, in its widest meaning is that which binds not only all MEN, but also all BEINGS and all things in the entire Universe into one grand whole. This is our Theosophical definition of religion. - Is Theosophy a Religion? (1888) by H. P. Blavatsky.
This was not a new discovery, but the uncovering and the reiteration of the old forgotten truth, eg., of the Mahabharata (Karna-parva)
That which supports, that which holds together the peoples, that is Dharma.
The ancient verities were coming into prominence again; the era of materialism was closing; the age of Spirit ascendancy was opening and among the comparatively few Gandhiji was directly touched by that current of spirituality. Under its liberalizing influence he became a channel for affecting the mind of the race along his own lines. To him "Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after Truth" (Young India, April 10,
To Gandhiji life became "an aspiration. Its mission is to strive after perfection, which is self-realization" (Harijan, June 22, 1935). And so a very natural unfoldment of his native Vaishnavism and Hinduism has been taking place. Under his fostering care has arisen not a new religion, but an expansion from within without of Vaishnavism and Hinduism, for he was not impervious to world-forces while holding fast to the old moorings. Born a Vaishnava, Gandhiji would bring within his spiritual fold a cow-killing and a beef-eating Westerner. Born a Hindu, he would not look upon any one as Mlechcha. He writes: -
There is no one so fallen in this world but can be converted by love. - Young India, August 8, 1929.
Indeed, Hinduism teaches us to regard the whole of humanity as one indivisible and undivided family and holds each one of us responsible for the misdeeds of all. - Young India, May 13, 1926.
So Gandhiji cannot be called a Hindu or a Vaishnavite in the ordinary sense. He may be compared to a tree whose roots are in the soil of Hinduism and Vaishnavism but whose foliage and fruitage are distinct and different. From the old soil the tree has grown, absorbing modern atmosphere, and under its shade millions are finding refuge from the oppresive heat of the twentieth-century civilization.
Curious it is that this forward-moving heterodoxy which is such a marked feature in Gandhiji's life is not generally noticed. He is even regarded as going back to old Naturalism. This misunderstanding has one grave consequence - people do not follow Gandhiji's Religion while trying to follow that which flows from it, thus meeting with frustration and failure. The soul of Gandhiji's policy and program is in his Religion; instruments and institutions (e. g., the Charkha or the Harijan Sevak Sangh) are but vehicles through which some manifestation of the inner current takes place; and these vehicles become soulless, and their functions produce poor results, if used when the religious ideation and imagination hidden in them have not been touched, not been felt, let alone been absorbed. Thus, to many, plying the Charkha is boring or vegetarianism a mere fad because they have not perceived the soul in and of them.
How did this Religion of Living come into being in and through Gandhiji? He says that he became entirely absorbed in service of the community in South Africa because he felt that "God could be realized only through service" (My Experiments with Truth, Vol. I, p. 371). In clarifying his own mind so that he could deduce definite propositions for his Religion of Service he undertook a comparative study of religions. That study has not been abandoned, is still being pursued. Writing in 1937 on the subject of different religions he says: -
But ultimately I came to the deliberate conviction that there was no such thing as only one true religion and every other false. There is no religion that is absolutely perfect. All are equally imperfect or more or less perfect. - Harijan, March 6, 1937.
Gandhiji sees Religion as a Tree and the many religions as branches on that one Tree. His own inner religion rejects without hesitation that which is not good in Hinduism and accepts that which is good in every creed. But who is to decide? Who is infallible enough to accept or reject this teaching or that idea pertaining to one religion or to another philosophy? Humility and confidence illumine these words of his: -
I claim to have no infallible guidance or inspiration. So far as my experience goes, the claim to infallibility on the part of a human being would be unten-
able seeing that inspiration too can only to one who is free from the action of pairs of opposites, and it will be difficult to judge on a given occasion whether the claim to freedom from pairs of opposites is justified. The claim to infallibility would thus always be a most dangerous claim to make. This, however, does not leave us without any guidance whatsoever. The sum-total of the experience of the sages of the world - available to us and would be for all time to come. Moreover there are not many fundamental truths, but there is only one fundamental Truth, which is known as Non-violence. Finite human beings shall never know in its fulness Truth and Love, which is in itself infinite. But we do know enough for our guidance. Weshall err, and sometimes grievously, in our application. But man is a self-governing being and self-government necessarily includes the power as much to commit errors as to set them right as often as they are made. - Young India, April 21, 1927.
In and through the service of humankind the True must be sought, and, when found, applied. And so we come upon another basic factor in Gandhiji's religion - Truth. This seeking he considers as true Bhakti.
Hence, in examining his religion, i.e., his method of integrating the different elements of his being, we must look at Gandhiji's conception of God as Truth. ''Numerous are the Symbols and the names given to Deity; and among these,
certainly God as the True and Truth as God have been repeatedly used. But Gandhiji defines this term in his own distinctive way, calling Love and Non-violence its synonyms. Let him speak on this very important item of his religion:
Generally speaking, observing the Law of Truth is merely understood to mean that we must speak the Truth. But we . . . understand the word Satya or Truth in a much wider sense. - From Yeravda Mandir, pp. 2-3.
To find Truth completely is to realize oneself and one's destiny, i.e., to become perfect. I am painfully conscious of my imperfections and therein lies all the strength I possess, because it is a rare thing for a man to know his own limitations.
- Young India, November 17, 1921.
The word "Satya" (Truth) is derived from "Sat" which means being.* And nothing is or exists in reality except Truth. That is why "Sat" or Truth is perhaps the most important name of God. In fact, it is more correct to say that Truth is God, than to say that God is Truth. But as we cannot do without a ruler or a general, names of God such as King of Kings or the Almighty are and will remain more usually current. On deeper thinking, however, it will be realized that "Sat" is the only correct and fully significant name for God. [* Philosophically "Being" is one of a pair; the other is "Non-Being." Deity must be above this pair and so it would be more appropriate and correct to say that Deity is "Be-ness."]
And where there is Truth, there also is knowledge, pure knowledge. Where there is no Truth, there can be no true knowledge. That is why the word "Chit" or knowledge is associated with the name of God. And where there as
true knowledge, there is always bliss (Ananda). Sorrow has no place there. And even as Truth is eternal, so is the bliss derived from it. Hence we know God as "Sat-chit-ananda," One who combines in Himself Truth, Knowledge and Bliss. - From Yeravda Mandir, pp. 1-2.
Now, it is this recognition and application of Truth which are considered by Gandhiji as the very first steps: -
Devotion to this Truth is the sole reason for our existence. All our activities should be centred in Truth. Truth
should be the very breath of our life. When once this stage in the pilgrim's progress is reached, all other rules of correct living will come without effort, and obedience to them will be instinctive. But without it, it would be impossible to observe any principles or rules in life. - From Yeravda Mandir.
Next to Service and Truth we come upon the factor of Non-violence; Ahimsa, - Non-injury to others spells passivity and without its positive pole of Love does not become dynamic. Ahimsa must be regarded as one aspect of Deity, Satya, Truth, and Seva, Service, being the other two aspects. Just as the Hindu Trinity of Sat-Chit-Ananda or Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva is one and indivisible, so also Service, Truth and Love (Non-violence) form a triad; Gandhiji's God is the Trinity of Service which creates, Love which sustains and Truth which regenerates and these three in unison make up Satya-graha which is like Parabrahman, the Absolute.
To worship this Trinity, i.e., to become worthy of relationship with Seva-Service, Truth-Satya and Love-Ahimsa, one has to have and to follow a Discipline of Life. If God within the Cave of the Heart is the Triad, its self-realization and outer expression require practice, true Yoga, if we may use the term. Yoga is the Yoke of Asceticism which leads to Self-realization or union with the Soul and it also enables us to show forth the Power (Shakti) of God in our daily life.
This Discipline of Yoga of the Gandhian ascetic is a fourfold one. The Triad of Service, Truth and Love requires a Quaternary for manifestation. This Quaternary Gandhiji has put forth as the Square of Swaraj. In Harijan of January 2, 1937, he speaks of "Ramraj, i.e., the sovereignty of the people based on pure moral authority" - and that can be realized by the nation only if a fourfold Self-reliance is practised.
Swa-raj, Self-rule, means the Triad of the Soul, the God within, the Inner Ruler, has become the Master of life and, of all possessions of life. Life in Matter, means a life of possessions and these are (1) Political, (2) Economic, (3) Social and (4) Spiritual. Writes Gandhiji:
Let there be no mistake about my conception of Swaraj. It is complete independence of alien control and complete economic independence. So at one end you have political independence, at the other the economic. It has two other ends. One of them is moral and social, the corresponding end is Dharma, i.e., religion in the highest sense of the term. It includes Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc., but is superior to them all. You may recognize it by the name of Truth, not the honesty of expedience, but the living Truth that pervades everything and will survive all destruction and all transformation. Moral and social uplift may be recognized by the term we are used to, i.e., non-violence. Let us call this the square of Swaraj which will be out of shape if any of its angles is untrue. In the language of the Congress we cannot achieve this political and economic freedom without truth and non-violence, in concrete terms, without a living faith in God and hence moral and social elevation.
By political independence I do not mean an imitation of the British House of Commons, or the Soviet rule of Russia or the Fascist rule of Italy or the Nazi rule of Germany. They have systems suited to their genius. We must have ours suited to ours. What that can be is more than I can tell. I have described it as Ramraj, i.e., sovereignty of the people based on pure moral authority. The Congress constitutions of Nagpur and Bombay for which I am mainly responsible are an attempt to achieve this type of Swaraj.
Then take economic independence. It is not a product of industrialization of the modern or the Western type. Indian
economic independence means to me the economic uplift of every individual male and female by his or her own conscious effort. Under that system all men and women will have enough clothing - not mere loin cloth, but what we understand by the term necessary articles of clothing - and enough food including milk, and butter which are today denied to millions.
This brings me to socialism. Real socialism has been handed down to us by our ancestors who taught, "All land belongs to Gopal, where then is the boundary line? Man is the maker of that line and he can therefore unmake it." Gopal literally means shepherd; it also means God. In modern language it means the State, i.e., the people. That the land today does not belong to the people is too true. But the fault is not in the teaching. It is in us who have not lived up to it.
I have no doubt that we can make as good an approach to it as is possible for any nation, not excluding Russia, and that without violence. The most effective substitute for violent dispossession is the wheel with all its implications. Land and all property is his who will work it. Unfortunately the workers are or have been kept ignorant of this simple fact. - Harijan, January 2, 1937.
One more factor in Gandhiji's Religion must be borne in mind - service of Humanity as a whole.
My religion has no geographical limits. If I have a living faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself. - Young India, August 11, 1920.
I do not believe that an individual may gain spiritually and those who surround him suffer. I believe in advaita, I believe in the essential unity of man and, for that matter, of all that lives. Therefore I believe that if one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him, and if one man falls, the whole world falls to that extent. - Young India, December 4, 1924. If by service of and in the village Gandhiji is trying to free India, so by service of the Motherland is he endeavoring to liberate our civilization fettered by militarism, industrialism and materialism. The Soul of the world needs a vehicle of expression and it can only be created by men and women who carry the Tathagata Light within their hearts. May that Light illuminate and guide the steps of an ever increasing number throughout the world! - From The Aryan Path, October, 1944.
WHAT INDIA IS FOR THE WORLD
In the midst of a crisis, such as the present, every effort must be made by those who have the inner knowledge to carry through one of the greatest triumphs the world shall ever know. Today is a supreme moment in the history of the world, and those who truly know must work from every part of the world to what is a common end. Whatever you may be doing for the one you must dedicate to the all. Try to perceive the Great Plan as a whole, however much you may be concentrated upon a particular part of it. It is all one Plan, and each part is but a part, however much it may seem to be a whole, all by itself.
India is the keynote. India is the centre of that great storm which shall usher in a splendid Peace. Wherever else you may be working, remember India, think of Her, know Her to be the true Hope of the Nations of the world. Think truly about India, without the slightest trace of racial, creedal or color prejudice. Drive these away, and know India as She is, as She is apart from, above, those who happen to be Her sons for awhile. They are not India. They are not the Mother. They are but the children, among Her children. Work for India as opportunity
offers. You hasten the growth of all that is dear to you as you hasten the growth of India. No true Theosophist, and certainly no one who is working for the Inner Government of the world, will be careless of India's welfare, for the sake of the people of India, but far more for the sake of all that India is, the mighty Power She is, as the veritable Holy Land of the world. Take away the people of India, and India remains. But help the people to become worthy of India.
We hear talk of apathy in India. But there is an apathy far more dangerous than that of the people generally, and it is the apathy of those who have been appointed to help and guide India. The apathy of those who know, and who have been entrusted with service which demands the most constant alertness, is infinitely more dangerous than the apathy of those who do not really know, even though many of them may think they know. The apathy of those who know destroys. The apathy of the ignorant is but an obstacle in the way. What answer can you expect to your call for unity, if there be absence of unity among yourselves - among you who know? What answer can you expect to your call for sacrifice, if there be absence of sacrifice among yourselves - among you who know? Will you not try to remember that just for this life, at least, you might give up living for yourselves, and lavish your all upon the common need? A need which has brought Our Lord Himself into your world, and Others with Him? Indeed you cannot offer better service to yourselves than this, though sometimes it may seem as if you are spending time upon apparently unremunerative activity, which could be more profitably spent upon yourselves individually. The more you lavish upon the common need, the greater is your claim upon the Higher Ones, and They well know how to be lavish towards those who know how to spend of their own substance in the service of others. The more intensely you strive for the Freedom of others, for the Freedom of the world, the sooner will you yourselves be numbered among the Free. You enter your own larger Self as you serve the larger Self in all. Apathy! Is there apathy in you? Is there apathy in those movements which should lead the way in enthusiasm and delighted absorption in the Great Cause they exist to serve? What comes first with you? Even if the smaller, the individual, must still dominate, shall it not dominate less, shall not the larger loom larger?
Brotherhood among yourselves, true, unclouded Brotherhood, is the need, the imperative need, today. And for this each one of you is individually responsible. You must establish and maintain Brotherhood in your own immediate surroundings, in every movement to which you belong. You must do this, at whatever cost to yourselves. Where you are, there must Brotherhood be. Dissension, quarrel, dispute, misunderstanding - of these must you be rapidly intolerant. You must be impatient of them, ruthless in crushing them. It is of no importance that you may not succeed. It is supremely important that you make ceaseless effort. If you are never dismayed, never despairing, never hopeless, never discouraged, success is yours. Challenge yourselves as to your membership of the Theosophical Society, as to your membership of the Co-Masonic Movement, as to your membership of any Association or Society which exists to promote Brotherhood. Do you bring disruption, or virility? Be utterly frank and true. Is there aught of disruption? Have you not then a share of the responsibility for it? Have you not contributed to it? Have you fought it with all your power? Have you been, above all else, a harmonizing influence, a strong unbreakable link in an otherwise crumbling chain? Have
ever shown a spirit of sweet reason and ever willing accommodation? Have you always given way, save in matters of vital principle, and even as regards these, have you maintained them gently, respectfully, in a spirit of true comradeship? Change if there be need for change. Do not hesitate. But maintain Brotherhood within. Brotherhood without depends upon the Brotherhood within. There would be little brotherhood but for the Great Brotherhood. India and the world shall not know Brotherhood save as there is Brotherhood in movement dedicated to Brotherhood. Unbrotherliness in the heart means disruption in the body. - From Adyar Bulletin, January, 1929.
THE INDIAN SITUATION
Every Theosophist throughout the world, and vast numbers of people who know nothing of Theosophy nor care for it, are interested in India and her destiny. Many know in a general way the struggle of Indians since 1886, when the Indian National Congress was organized, to achieve India's freedom from British domination. But the details of that struggle are difficult to follow today even by us who live in India. In order to give an outline of the present situation, it is sufficient to say that India has a population of 390 millions, of whom 90 millions are Muhammadans, and 300 millions Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Indian Christians, Indian Jews and others. In this vast population, some 40 to 50 millions are of classes now called officially "Scheduled Castes," but known as Depressed Classes, Pariahs, Harijans or "God's Children," a term coined for them by Gandhiji (Mr. Gandhi) to abolish the terms "depressed" and "pariahs". India is divided for administrative purposes into two divisions, British India and the India of the Princes. The Princes' dominions contain 90 millions; some 25 Princes are major Rulers, but there are also about 500 minor rulers in smaller territories. The Indian Princes have treaties with Britain, and are not subjects of the King of England but his allies. They are not independent in all matters, as each Indian State has a "British Agent" as a kind of watch and ward.
After decades of agitation, "reforms," and administrative changes, a scheme was launched by Britain in 1935 to make India into a Federation composed of (1) British India and (2). the States of the Princes, with a joint Parliamentary administration. India is composed of 11 Provinces, Madras alone containing 49 millions. In 1937, Indian Ministries, with Indian Cabinets and Prime Ministers, came into power in the 11 Provinces, while the All-India Central Administration was still directly under Britain. In 1939, soon after the War began, 6 of the Indian Ministries resigned at the call of Mr. Gandhi, on the technical point that war had been declared upon Germany by Britain on behalf of India, without a vote of the elected representatives of the people who should have been consulted on the matter. No greater setback to India's advance towards her goal could have happened than that these Indian ministries, created after decades of struggle to wrest power from Britain, should have given back the power gained. In this year of 1946 these six Ministries also are once again in charge of their Provinces, after a loss of opportunities during seven years to organize India.
All that has happened since 1939 to 1945 made wider than ever the gap that has existed between the two major communities, the Hindus and the Muhammadans. In 1945 and now in 1946, these two groups have refused to come together to share the power "at the Centre," with Indians in all the Cabinet posts, except at the moment that of the Commander-in-Chief who directs the Army, Navy and Air forces, though
there is to be an Indian as Minister for War to direct finances and supplies. The three members of the British Cabinet sent to India to offer to Indians a transfer of power proposed (1) to create at once a Cabinet of 14 for All India, with the Viceroy as chairman, composed of Hindus, Muhammadans, and representatives of the Scheduled Castes and other communities, to take chargee of All India's affairs, even Foreign Affairs; and (2) to elect a National Convention who shall create a Constitution for India. When the Constitution is created, and Britain is satisfied that the interests of certain minorities, especially those of the Scheduled Castes, composed of non-caste Hindus, are adequately safe-guarded, Britain will transfer to Indians every power that Britain now holds. This transfer gives the right to India to Complete Independence, including severance from the British Empire."
At the moment, both the Congress Party and the Muslim League Party have refused to make a joint Cabinet "at the Centre," each group claiming the right to appoint a definite number of Cabinet ministers, without the consent of the other party. But all groups have accepted the "long term plan" of an elected National Organization to create a Constitution for India.
The six States of` Australia, when they planned in 1887 to acquire the status of a Dominion of the British Empire, elected representatives to a National Convention to draft a Constitution. The necessary deliberations required a period of twelve years before the Constitution was finally drafted and accepted. But at the time the inhabitants of Australia were only 5 millions, and they were one people with one language (though there were the religious differences, of Protestant and Roman Catholic).
Meantime in India, since the two major parties have refused the responsibility of power, the Viceroy has appointed a "caretaker Government" of, officials - British and Indian - to be his cabinet; but they are to vacate their posts of office the day that Indians will get together sufficiently to make a joint Cabinet. When will that be? - Presi-dent Jinarajadasa in The Watch-Tower, The Theosophist for August.
THE THREE TRUTHS
There are three truths which are absolute, and which cannot be lost, but yet may remain silent for lack of speech.
The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour have no limit.
The principle which gives life dwells in us, and without us, is undying and eternally beneficent, is not heard or seen, or smelt, but is perceived by the man who desires perception.
Each man is his own absolute law-giver, the dispenser of glory or gloom to himself; the decreer of his life, his reward, his punishment.
These truths, which are as great as is life itself, are as simple as the simplest mind of man. Feed the hungry with them. - Idyll of the White Lotus.
BOOKS BY CHARLES JOHNSTON
- Bhagavad Gita ...... cloth $1.25 leather $1.75
- Crest Jewel of Wisdom ............. cloth $1.25
- Great Upanishads vol. i ........ cloth $1.50
- Parables of the Kingdom ........ paper .50
- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras ........cloth $1.25
- Song of Life ........ paper .75
May be had from JOHN WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C., 2, England.
EVOLUTION: As Outlined in The Archaic Eastern Records
The above may be had from The H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Road, Victoria, B.C., or The O. E. Library, 1207 Q Street N.W., Washington, D.C., or from The Blavataky Association, 26 Bedford Gardens, Campden Hill, London, W. 8, England.
"THE WIND AND THE SEA"
A copy of Dr. Ernest Fewster's latest book of poems has been sent me by J. Dent & Sons, Ltd., Vancouver. It is a neat volume of 113 pages with for frontispiece a remarkably fine photograph of the poet. The poems are divided into three sections, Wind-Song, A Poem of the Sea, and a miscellaneous section. The reader will find that the poems are really lyrical and not labored compilations of verbal rhetoric.
We cannot do better than quote Dr. Stevenson's Foreword, a fine summary of Dr. Fewster's work:
"Ernest Fewster is one of those poets, rare, in the modern world, who primarily are passionate philosophers, proclaimers of spiritual mysteries. He expresses himself in poetry in order to use the sensuous images by which cosmic visions may be embodied in a form comprehensible to the human mind. His long poems have a vastness and dignity that evoke profound respect; their rhythms seem genuinely adequate to the magnitude of his concepts. No matter how far he may range into the mystic or the occult, he never ignores the beauty of the material world and the value of the human experience. As well as serving for symbols of spiritual forces, his images convey his delight in nature and his affection for his fellow beings. Along with visionary poems of epic sweep, he has written delicate lyrics about flowers arid seasons, and ecstatic love songs.
The selection of poems in the present volume, grouped about two of the major themes of his inspiration, provides a characteristic impression of his work. Having lived for almost sixty years on the Pacific Coast, he is inevitably a lover of the sea and of the great winds that carry its breath to the mountains. These timeless forces of nature have become the medium through which he conveys the inner experiences of rapture and exaltation that seem to link our personal beings with some universal power.
He is not blind to the moods of terror and despair, but he shows how they can be resolved into richer lodes of intuitive understanding. For an age that cannot rest content with old faiths and yet suffers misery from its lack of a new one, Ernest Fewster offers an affirmative challenge of joy, courage and self-realization.
- Lionel Stevenson, Professor of English, University of Southern California."
During the month of November we received the following magazines: Theosophy, Los Angeles, November; The Link, Johannesburg, S. Africa, Oct.-November; The American Theosophist, November; Theosophy in New Zealand, Auckland, Oct.-November; Bulletin Theosophique, Paris, Oct.-November; The Aryan Path; Baroda, India, Oct.; Theosophia, 1 Aargang Bagavaerd, Denmark, November; The Bombay Theosophical Bulletin, August and October; The Theosophic Challenge, "Youth, Progress, Truth," Covina, Calif., November; Theosophia, Covina, Nov.-Dec.; Teosofia, Santiago de Cuba, November; The Theosophical Movement, Baroda, India, August and October; O Pensamento, S. Paulo, Brazil, October; O Naturista, Rio de Janeiro, October; The Christian Theosophist, Chorley Wood, Herts., England, December-March; The Modern Mystic and Monthly Science Review, 82 Victoria Street, London, S.W. 1, London, November; The Theosophist, Adyar, August; The Golden Lotus, Philadelphia, November; The Kalpaka, Coimbatore, India, April-June; The Maha Bodhi, Calcutta, May-June and July-August; The Middle Way, London, Nov.-December; Toronto Theosophical News, December; Evolucion, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September.
NOTES AND COMMENTS BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY
A beacon in the Antipodes is sending forth its rays with greater intensity for the nonce in that the New Zealand Section is holding a Convention to celebrate its Golden Jubilee. This section is very energetic and its doings have been constantly before us but "The things which justify its existence to the world is measured not by its external activities but by the fullness and richness of the spiritual life transmitted by it to the world", and this New Zealand has given in full measure. The T.S. in Canada sends its heartiest congratulations on its good work with fervent wishes for its continued prosperity in propagating the Light over the other side of the world.
We regret to announce the death of Mrs. Constance Garratt a long-time member of the Toronto Lodge who passed away after a long illness on November 5th, 1946. Also the tragic ending of a life in the person of Mrs. Mary Cordingley who was killed by a truck mounting the sidewalk on Saturday, November 9th. She was also a member of the Toronto Lodge. Our sympathies are extended to the families of both the deceased.
Mr. D.B. Thomas, President of the Montreal Lodge has been very active in connection with a revival of Theosophy in Ottawa and has found quite a number of people there who under his guidance have formed themselves into a group for study which may be the nucleus of another lodge.
It is with much interest and pleasure we learn that the Karachi Theosophical Society will celebrate its Golden Jubilee this month. Fifty years of endeavor is a big milestone in the history of any organization and one may well pause and survey the work that has been done in that period of time. Material wealth or success does not count in a case like this; it is the riches in heaven that we look to, and as Heaven is within us we regard the spiritual attainments as being what matters. Karachi has held the torch aloft these many years and, its light has illumined the souls of many in India and elsewhere and we are confident it will continue to do so for many more years to come. We send our heartiest congratulations.
Professor Ernest Wood has written me that he has been laid up with an acute attack of Asthma and that he must rest for three months before making a trip to Canada for purposes of lecturing to the lodges. In the meantime we are arranging an itinerary for him. With the exception of Edmonton none of the Western Lodges have notified me that they would like a visit from Mr. Wood. So I am arranging for him to visit the Eastern Lodges only, this precludes Edmonton unfortunately but distances being what they are the reason is obvious. His tour will begin on March 10th and will I hope include London, Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Each of the above will be contacted regarding dates but it is hoped they will fall in with those submitted in order that Mr. Wood will not have to unduly extend his travelling mileage.
Books by Wm. Kangsland
The Mystic Quest; The Esotetic Basis of Christianity; Scientific Idealism; The Physics of the Secret Doctrine; Our Infinite Life; Rational Mysticism; An Anthology of Mysticism; The Real H.P. Blavatsky; Christos: The Religion of the Future; The Art of Life; The Great Pyramid, 2 vols.; The Gnosis.
May be had from JOHN M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, W.C. 2, England.
THE CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST
- The Organ of the Theosophical Society in Canada
- Published on the 15th of every month.
- Editor - Albert E.S. Smythe.
- Entered at Hamilton General Post Office as Second-class matter.
- Subscription: Two Dollars a Year
OFFICERS OF THE T.S. IN CANADA
Albert Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton. Ont.
Dudley W. Barr, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
Washington E. Wilks, 925 Georgia St. W., Vancouver, B.C.
E.B. Dustan, 218 Albertus Avenue, Toronto
David B. Thomas, 64 Strathearn Ave., Montreal West, Que.
George I. Kinman, 46 Rawlinson Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Emory P. Wood, 12207 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, Alta.
Lt.-Col E.L. Thomson, D.S.O., 54 Isabella St., Toronto, Ont.
To whom all payments should be made, and all official communications addressed
Editor, The Canadian Theosophist
Albert E.S. Smythe, 5 Rockwood Place, Hamilton, Ont., To whom all letters to the Editor, articles and reports for publication should be sent.
Printed by the Griffin & Richmond Printing Co., Ltd., 29 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario
The Indian periodicals for August were greatly delayed in transmission and did not arrive in Canada till after the September and October issues had been delivered.
Last year I tried very hard to overtake and acknowledge the many lovely Christmas cards, greetings and remembrances that reached me but was quite unable to do so. This year my physical weakness leads me to forestall all such kindly attentions with my own warmest good wishes to all such friends and fellow pilgrims on The Path.
Isolated students and those unable to have access to Theosophical literature could avail themselves of the Travelling Library conducted by the Toronto Theosophical Society. There are no charges except for postage on the volumes loaned. For particulars write to the Librarian, 52 Isabella Street, Toronto, Ont.
Jean Delaire (Mrs. Muirson Blake) announces the publication of her new play in three acts, The Veil of Gold. "Fairy lore and a human love story are blended together making a fascinating play." It is to be had from the Theosophical Publishing House,, 68 Great Russell Street, London, W.C. 1. Mrs Blake has an excellent article in the current The Christian Theosophist entitled "A Theosophist Looks at Christianity."
An international whist tournament was recently arranged in which Toronto whist players who belonged to the international organization were preparing to take part. One of them, a student at the University of Toronto, had been born in the West Indies, and the Toronto Club was notified by a United States official that this gentleman could not be allowed to compete in the Tournament with pure-blooded Uncle Samites. The Toronto Club immediately took action to withdraw from the U.S. organization. We think this is a case which Secretary Byrnes might look into, for the sake of the reputation of the U.S. for common sense.
When Christmas gifts take the form of books they should be Theosophical books. Many of the Theosophical classics have recently been reprinted in fine and not too expensive editions. Catalogues may be had from the Theosophical Publishing House, London, England; the Wheaton Theosophical Press; the Theosophical University Press, Covina and from the U.L.T. offices in Los Angeles. Standard Blavatsky works may be had from the H.P.B. Library in Victoria, B.C., and from the Blavatsky Institute, Toronto. Second hand books may be had from
Millie Lukes, 3006 Lake Park Avenue, Chicago, 16, Ills.
It is wtih the deepest regret that I have to record the death of one of my most intimate and long time friends, John G. Chester of Scarboro village, of which his son George has notified me. When I met him first in the 'nineties he was in business in Toronto, and he, Will Ardagh and myself became close friends, three of a kind, about the same age, height and weight. We were all interested in Theosophy and members of the Toronto Lodge. When Jack married, his wife and mine were intimate friends and so continued till the last call came. Ardagh died about ten years ago; now Jack has gone at 83 and the 27th is my 85th birthday. Jack leaves two sons and I trust that time will not lessen the close relations our two families have maintained so long. In Theosophy there is a kindly affection that is deeper than sympathy. The younger generation should be aware of this.
Several kind friends have sent me the page of news-magazine Time, containing a review of Mrs. Williams' belated attack on the personal character of Madame Blavatsky. We have not seen her book but will venture to say that whatever induced the author to recommence her muckraking it was not simple devotion to the truth. In 1890 the New York Sun printed a broadside containing a collection of every known scandal, lie, or disreputable story that could conceivably by a wicked imagination be pieced into the Blavatsky record . . . . She immediately entered a suit for libel and the newspaper started investigations in preparation for defence. In 1891 Madame Blavatsky died and legally the case lapsed. But The Sun was honest and decent and continued its investigations. In September, 1892 it published an article withdrawing the charges, stating the allegations were baseless and should never have been printed; also making ample apologies. What an example for Mrs. Williams! After 55 years Blavatsky is still very much alive. But it is not she they are shooting at, but The Secret Doctrine which is unanswerable and gains new corroboration every year. So the policy is to blacken the author.
BESANT - CHAKRAVARTI - JUDGE
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
President: C. Jinarajadasa
November 20, 1946.
The Editor, The Canadian Theosophist:
Mr. C.J. Rsyan of Covina in his letter in The Canadian Theosophist, September, 1946, refers to "this mix-up which must be straightened out for future reference". I do not myself think there is much point in our trying to solve the riddle regarding an E.S. "apostolic succession" from H.P.B. downwards. Mr. Ryan says that H.P.B. in March 1891 wrote to W.Q. Judge that Annie Besant "is a most wonderful woman, my right hand, my successor". This letter was placed before the E.S. Council on May 27, 1891 and noted by them. But Mr. Ryan states that "part of the letter from which the above sentence is quoted was published in slightly but significantly garbled form to suit a certain point of view, not Judge's, during the troubles in the T.S. in 1894 and later. Mrs. Archibald Keightley showed me the original letter for comparison". I wonder if it is possible for Mr. Ryan to publish the original letter so that we may see if there was any garbling, as he states.
I should like to put on record three documents: (1) the Order of H.P.B., of which I send the Editor a photograph. H.P.B.'s notepaper has in the top lefthand corner the T.S. seal and motto, with "Esoteric Section" above, and her name "H.P. Blavatsky" underneath. The Order is as follows: "E.S.
Order. I hereby appoint in the name of the Master, Annie Besant Chief Secretary of the Inner Group of the Esoteric Section and Recorder of the Teachings. H.P.B. .'. To Annie Besant, C.S. of the I.G. of the E.S. and R. of the T. - April 1, 1891." Below the writing of H.P.B. there is the endorsement by Mr. Judge: "Read and Recorded April 11/91 William Q. Judge Sec. U.S."
When Mr. Judge issued his "E.S.T. 'Order" of November 3, 1894, he charged Annie Besant, declaring her to be under the Dark Powers whose agent was Mr. G.N. Chakravarti, with trying "psychic experiments on me and on two others in Europe". The Order said: "I now proceed a step further than the E.S.T. decisions of 1894, and, solely for the good of the E.S.T., I resume in the E.S.T. in full all the functions and powers given to me by H.P.B. .'. and that came to me by orderly succession after her passing from this life, and declare myself the sole head of the E.S.T. This has been already done in America. So far as concerns the rest of the E.S.T. I may have to await the action of the members, but I stand ready to exercise those functions in every part of it. Hence, under the authority given me by the Master and H.P.B. .'., and under Master's direction, I declare Mrs. Annie Besant's headship at an end."
(2) The superscription by H.P.B. on an envelope of a letter to Annie Besant. An exact reproduction of it is sent herewith. H.P.B. has written on the envelope: "Annie Besant, F.T.S. The one and THE ONLY ONE." I would particularly draw attention to H.P.B.'s double underlining, that is, capitalizing of the three words "the only one".
As I was in London in 1894 and 1895, I was fairly familiar with most of the events of what was later known as "the Judge affair". One document which swung Annie Besant to accept a dual headship for the E.S. was the famous piece of paper in the red Morya script, "Judge's plan is right", with a seal. She accepted its genuineness, as the other letters received by her through the intermediary of Mr. Judge. But as all know, she later refused to consider this message and the previous ones as genuine. We have here several letters in the M. script, and many more have been published in The Mahatma Letters. Not one of them has a seal mark. I presume that those which had them were sent through Mr. Judge as the intermediary.
It is worthwhile to put on record how when the committee of investigation called by Colonel Olcott met, Mr. Judge stated that any investigation into the charges against him would mean the commitment of the Society to a belief in the existence of the Masters. This demurrer was accepted as correct, and Colonel Olcott decided that the investigation was null and void. The situation was "as you were". A way out of the tangle was suggested, that Mr. Judge should meet a Jury of Honor and give explanations. He accepted the idea at first but finally refused. This all the more made the position "as you were". It was then that Mr. Walter G. Old, who had access to all the documents and had made copies, feeling that matters covered up should be brought out into the open, gave to a friend of his who was on the staff of the London afternoon daily The Westminster Gazette a copy of all the material of the "case". Day after day the newspaper published a highly sensational write-up of the events, not excluding the famous slip of paper with "Judge's plan is right". Later on the articles were published in book form with the title "Isis Very Much Un-veiled". The writer ended with a parody of Brett Harte's poem beginning:
"I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
I am not up to small deceit, or any sinful games;
And I'll tell in simple language what
I know about the row
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow."
(3) The last document on this matter to which I want to draw attention is the K.H. letter received by Annie Besant in 1900 in London. I enclose a print from the photographic block, made exactly the size of the letter. I have given the full history of the letter and its application to the Theosophical situation in The Theosophist for May 1937. I explained in The Theosophist that the parts omitted by me deal with the occult life of Dr. Besant, which is scarcely the right of anyone to pry into. This letter said:
"To Annie Besant. A psychic and a pranayamist who has got confused by the vagaries of the members. The T.S. and its members are slowly manufacturing a creed. Says a Thibetan proverb `credulity breeds credulity and ends in hypocrisy'. How few are they who can know anything about us. Are we to be propitiated and made idols of . . . .The intense desire of some to see Upasika reincarnate at once has raised a misleading Mayavic ideation. Upasika has useful work to do on higher planes and cannot come again so soon. The T.S. must safely be ushered into the new century . . . . no one has a right to claim authority over a pupil or his conscience. Ask him not what he believes . . . The crest wave of intellectual advancement must be taken hold of and guided into Spirituality. It cannot be forced into beliefs and emotional worship. The essence of the higher thoughts of the members in their collectivity must guide all action in the T.S. . . . We never try to subject to ourselves the will of another. At favorable times we let loose elevating influence which strike various persons in various ways. It is the collective aspect of many such thoughts that can give the correct note of action. We show no favors. The best corrective of error is an honest and open-minded examination of all facts
[[Facsimile here of H.P.B.'s E.S. Order to Besant]]
subjective and objective . . . The cant about `Masters' must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work . . . The T.S. was meant to be the corner stone of the future religions of humanity. To accomplish this object those who lead must leave aside their weak predilections for the forms and ceremonies of any particular creed and show themselves to be true Theosophists both in
inner thought and outward observance. The greatest of your trials is yet to come. We are watching over you but you must put forth all your strength. K.H." An interesting statement in this letter is the sentence, "The T.S. was meant to be the cornerstone of the future religions of humanity". This is a reference to a statement in the letter received by Mr. Sinnett from K.H., stated to be "An abridged version of the view of the Chohan on the T.S. from his own words as given last night". H.P.B. had a copy of this and naturally Mr. Sinnett. So did Dr. Besant, as there is a reference to it in her first Presidential Address, but so far as I am aware, no one else had known of this "abridged version" till I published the full letter in 1919.
Finally, I should like to state that during the last 12 years I happen to be, by written declaration of Dr. Besant, the present Head of the Esoteric School. I do not know whether the fact that I wear H.P.B.'s ring gives me any rights to the "succession". But I have no objection whatsoever to anybody else claiming to represent directly the Masters; one or all of them, and I know that the number of claimants is steadily increasing. There is Mrs. Alice E. Bailey, Mr. van Ryswijk in London, a Latin American who used to sign his pronouncements K.H. and claims to be "Pince Om Cherenzi Lind of Shigtze". Here in South India in Tanjore a gentleman (now deceased) claimed to be Mahatma Morya and his wife (still living) to be H.P.B. Then there are the I AM people, also the "Temple" of the Temple Artisan, an offshoot from the Theosophical Lodge at Syracuse under Mrs. La Due and Dr. Dwyer. Perhaps the evolutionary law of the survival of the fittest will decide among the claimants. Yours sincerely,
- C. Jinaraaadasa.
We are very pleased to have the President's letter, since forthright statements of this kind help to clear the air, and make for a better understanding. I hope he won't mind if I add a couple of notes for the benefit of readers not familiar with the circumstances. The story of the message, "Judge's plan is right," is usually told to leave the impression that the plan was adopted on the strength of the authority of the message. Mrs. Besant's account was that she had tied up a number of papers in her own room, brought them into the council room where they never left her possession. The Judge plan was introduced, debated and adopted. She then unloosed her bundle of papers and from their folds the message dropped out. It had nothing to do with the decision taken. With regard to Mrs. Besant and Mr. Chakravarti, I have already written of their visit to Toronto in 1893, immediately after the Chicago Congress of Religions. In her Watch-Tower series in 1904 she wrote that she had been following a certain course for eleven years and had now abandoned it, as it had not given the results she had anticipated.
ORIGINAL AND UP TO DATE
Students may borrow freely by mail all the early literature of the Movement, including the first years of The Theosophist, Lucifer and The Path Magazines, from the H.P.B. Library, 348 Foul Bay Rd., Victoria, B.C., who have also to lend, or for sale post free.
- EVOLUTION: AS OUTLINED IN THE ARCHAIC EASTERN RECORD, $1.25
- BUDDHISM: THE SCIENCE OF LIFE, This book shows that the Esoteric philosophy of H.P. Blavataky is identical with Esoteric Mahayana Buddhism. $1.25.
- THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE, Translated and Annotated by H.P. Blavatsky. A faithful reprint of the original edition with
an autograph foreword by The Tashi Lama of Tibet. Peking 1931. Cloth 75c.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY:, A GREAT BETRAYAL, A protest against perverted Theosophy. 50c.
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: HER LIFE AND WORK FOR HUMANITY, $1.00
- H. P. BLAVATSKY: AS I KNEW HER; $1.00
"THE WAY OF A PILGRIM"
"Discipleship, Chelaship, Acceptance, and the like, are matters utterly misunderstood by the vast bulk of nominal students. The idea of being `enrolled' in the Master's school, or being picked out in some way, persists. The truth is very different. The Master neither selects nor rejects. The neophyte comes to his Master by creating himself a responsible spiritual individual. When this is done, the Master who belongs to his particular stream of evolution `accepts' him - he cannot do otherwise, because the new disciple's spiritual nature is one with his own."
The little book from which this is taken is the most engaging, instructive ,and stimulating I have read of its kind since Letters That Have Helped Me was issued. It will recall for many the notable book, Sayings of the Ancient One, by the late Captain Bowen. The present little book of 105 pages has been compiled from correspondence with AE (George W. Russell), with comments of the compiler. Nothing could be better for readers not in touch with a senior student or students. The teaching differs in no way, it is stated, "from the Tibetan School, except in terminology, mode of expression, and some special lines of occult training." A helpful paragraph on Work (page 36) may spur some young students to further effort.
"In all true work, the Middle Way is the true Way. Buddha taught it explicitly. The most usual thing is to place too much importance on externals, and lose the spirit in the body, which is meant to be its instrument. That is what we see when loyalty to institutions and leaders, both of which should be but ready instruments of the spirit, has caused the spirit itself to be forgotten. Then comes the other fault: we react against this worship of forms, as, for example, . . . . did, and recede to the other extreme where we incline to throw away all instruments. The true way lies between these extremes. While living in the spirit, we have to work in and for the world, and need instruments for the task. Leaders and societies are wholly right and good, if kept in their places as instruments, things to be used, not to be worshipped or allowed to use you. We are not wiser than H.P.B. and her Teachers who founded the original T.S., but at the same time declared the object of its existence. We must see to it that our Wisdom teaching is not corrupted, but remains the perfect instrument. My attempt (not a very hopeful one), is to bring about what I say. The Hermetic Society, and a few small similar bodies, as little known, or even less known, are outside the larger societies, but are not outside the Movement."
This little book contains more suggestive and informative talk about the Masters than is to be found in many volumes. Here is a note to be considered, page 51.
"I may hint that the Aquarian age, which is to see an efflorescence of the spirit, may mean the advent of world disasters, even the fall of our present civilization. It is (if past experience means anything) out of material pain and suffering that the free man rises into his spiritual home."
There is a note on the two great and opposing Energies which govern the progress of mankind. One of these works by continually urging and helping man towards wider and deeper states of consciousness which will bring him individual awareness of his essential divinity. The other Energy does the reverse, pointing towards material ease and prosperity. In the late War these two Energies were ranged openly as never before in our World history. The great leaders of Totalitarianism aim at domination of the material world, but their ends can only be gained by the complete enslavement of the minds, of the individual wills of
those they rule. Democracy, full of faults and failings though it be, gives freedom to the individual man to develop and use his will and individual sense of responsibility. Part II. of the little book deals with Reincarnation; with Hatha Yoga, the Occult Science of Health. In this the body is treated as the vehicle of the Spirit which is the real Man. It should be maintained as long and serviceably as possibly. "The less the body intrudes itself on our attention, the more ideally healthy it is." Valuable advice is given to students as to change of diet on taking up occult studies. The compiler is only announced by his initials, E.A A., and this note - "Dedicated to the Memory of those devoted Workers in the Vineyard . . . .AE . . . P.G.B." The book is printed by W. Fay & Son, Ltd., Bridge Street, Guildford, England.
THE NEW DAY IN INDIA
Our last month's notes in this column were penned on the 7th of June. Since then a step forward has been taken and the Constitution-making body will begin its work soon. We must look forward with confident hope to the emergence of a plan for a free and independent India, laboring not only for the betterment of its own teeming millions but also for contributing its share to the stabilization of the tottering civilization of Europe and lending a helping hand to the progress of the race as a whole.
Ideas rule the world. While elected Indians will be forging a new Constitution for their Motherland and while the popular elected Governments in the Provinces are engaged in constructive work and in combating famine and lack marketeers, the important task of the near future, the tilling of the mental soil for right sowing, should not be neglected. The tendency of "educated" Indians to copy indiscriminately Occidental institutions, industrial and commercial, social and political, needs to be examined. Some detachment, vairagya, is necessary for this.
As an example industrialization. It is obvious that this era will not permit India to revert to the idyllic life of ancient days, such as was, say, the colorful Gokula of Krishna. But in planning industries a further impoverishment of the already impoverished 700,000 villages may result, if that planning is to follow the pattern of large-scale industrialization of Western countries. Indian conditions will not respond to such planning without bringing about moral degradation. Apart from this, the truth should not be over-looked that the present pitiable state of Europe is due to industrialization and over-production, leading to competition and war. What kind of industrialization will transform 700,000 groups of hovels into smiling hamlets? The answer to this question must be found, and it will be, if the problem is kept in the forefront.
India's great leader, Gandhiji, is an ardent lover of the poor; he has been planning for the uplift of the villages for some years past and has been attempting to develop a village mentality in the urban social servants. What is not realized as fully as it should be by most educated Indians, including many Congress Party reformers intent on serving their country, is the fundamental fact that the flourishing large-scale industries of the great countries of Europe and of the U.S.A. have not brought economic stability and peace, moral advancement or even bodily health to their populations.
No less a thinker and researcher than the late Alexis Carrel in his famous volume, Man, the Unknown (every Theosophical student should read this book with attention), has put forth this: - "We are unhappy. We degenerate
morally and mentally. The groups and the nations in which industrial civilization has attained its highest development are precisely those which are becoming weaker. And whose return to barbarism is the most rapid. But they do not realize it. They are without protection against the hostile surroundings that science has built about them."
But what makes modern industrialization so obnoxious to the bodily, moral and mental health of humanity? The real reason is not locked up in the machine; and the root reason is not that man has become the slave of the machine. Why has the machine become a foe of man's soul, mind and body?
Man has been a thief of Nature these many centuries. He has been robbing Nature, most of the time unconsciously to himself. Men of modern knowledge have become men of gross living. The so-called high standard of living (which it seems to be the purpose of many to introduce in India) is poor in idealism, devoid of high thinking and of that simplicity which is necessary for the perception and the expression of Beauty. The invisible worlds of the Psyche and the Nous are not taken into account by the moderns. Even the suffering of the last War has not awakened large numbers to the truth that their States have been the thieves of Nature. And now the recompense - poverty, disease and famine.
India is knit to the world. Intercourse and interdependence between the continents are peculiar features of our Kali-Yuga, the hard Iron Age; the soul and mind and body in man; the different castes and classes in a nation; the many countries of a continent; the lands and waters in the four quarters of the globe; the many, which are but aspects of the One, are brought into intimacy so that the progress of man, the small Cosmos, and of the System, the great Cosmos, may proceed apace.
The Golden Age of Leisure has yielded place to the Iron Age of precipitancy. India lived in peace and prosperity, looking askance at the black world of sense-living - near and afar. But it has been different now for many long centuries. The give-and-take process of this cycle has its ills, but also it is rich in affording the race the means of quick progress. The danger which is upon the race springs from the curse of separateness. Integration achieved in the collective life of the people of the Earth would lead to rapid, harmonious and all-round growth. That integration has many aspects.
One of them is that which should subsist between man and machine. These two are not friends and brothers at present. The machine is looked upon as so much dead matter brought to intelligent function by human intelligence. As iron and bronze and steel and copper are not forms of dead matter but Forms of Life, each with its own specific intelligence, these, maltreated by men, retaliate after their own fashion, and one of the results is enslavement of human brawn and blood and brain by the mineral kingdom. The root of the evils of the modern system of industrialization is false knowledge about Nature and about Mind in and of Nature. India's Vedic Bards, Upanishadic Philosophers, Puranic story-writers, have emphasized the truth of the Living Nature most profoundly, so profoundly that the modern mind, made gross by modern knowledge, looks askance at the truth and calls it a mythological fiction of old.
The hour is auspicious to apply the ancient truth to the modern problem of industrialization. During this month of August the Hindu world will celebrate the Birth of the Master Krishna. If there is any one particular teaching which the Bhagavad-Gita holds forth as supreme, it is about the Living Nature of the Cosmos. There is no dead matter.
Krishna, as the One Life, is omnipresent and manifests intelligence as the Many. In a very telling manner the Master, instructs us that unless the mortal recognizes the Power of the Wheel of Universal Nature and cooperates with Its eternal Motion he will suffer death. But Immortality is his when the human mind cooperates with the mind in nature - gives his best to it and receives for himself Its unimaginable bounty.
"Nourish the Gods, that the Gods may nourish you; thus mutually nourishing ye shall obtain the highest felicity.
"He who enjoyeth what hath been given unto him by the Gods, and offereth not a portion unto them, is even as thief.
"Those who dress their food but for themselves eat the bread of sin."
The present world of machinery, is one gigantic sphere of robbery. One Class of men have had the upper hand in thieving for many decades; it is known as - the Capitalist Class. Now on the other, so far the underdog, is trying to be on the top; it is known as - the Labor Class. In Communist Russia this is supposed to have been accomplished, and many believe that there the Capitalist is no more and that all men are equal and enjoy liberty of life in free pursuit of happiness. But Russia has now shown herself ruthlessly imperialistic and capitalistic, and its red record should be an eye-opener to all Indians, especially to the youths who shout slogans without study.
India must establish a new way of Industrialization in which human hands, heads and hearts cooperate to serve Nature, the Living Mother. The mystical aspect of the Religion of Industrialization needs to be understood if slavery of men to the machine is to be abolished. Through acts of sacrifce - Yagna, - using machines as utensils of the rites, India will receive from Her the Grace of Prosperity. - From The Theosophical Movement for August.
A STATEMENT OF BELIEF
[The creed which the well-known English novelist, Mr. J.D. Beresford, puts forward here has been even more succinctly phrased as `Good' and `Harmony,' and `Evil' and `Disharmony' are synonymous." Selfishness in one form or another lies at the root of all inharmony; from it all pain, all suffering springs. As an ethical formula Mr. Beresford's statement is unexceptionable, since he gives us by implication the metaphysical basis of the law of action and reaction without which no ethical formula is more than a pious hope. - Ed.]
The abandonment of the "self" is a fundamental principle, whether implicit or explicit, that dominates all true religions. It is the basis of all forms of Yoga and of the Chinese Tao; it is implicit in the esoteric teachings of the New Testament, and is the foundation of the Sufi form of Mohammedanism. It is the hardest of all principles to follow, because it necessitates the abandonment not only of all bodily desires but also of spiritual and mental complacence, and of every worldly ambition, including that of becoming a popular evangelist. The aspirations of those who would make the great refusal are not primarily concerned with the leading of "a sober, righteous and godly life," the highest goal of the orthodox Christian, for all such commonly accepted virtues are but the transient effects that will inevitably follow the pursuit of the final Truth, one and indivisible.
To understand what is intended by this principle, we have first to consider the nature of the "self" that is to be abandoned. The easiest approach to this is to realize that aspect of it which is known to modern psychology as the "persona." Broadly, speaking, this persona is the kind of person we believe ourselves to be and are therefore most anxious to present to the world about us. In its simplest form it becames a
process of self-dramatization that may find expression in such extreme forms as gangsterism or religious devotion. The initial impetus to such forms of expression derives from a balance of mental and physical characteristics, mainly congenital, but influenced and developed by our reactions to the circumstances of early life.
This idea, or ideal, of the self may be fixed and steady from a very early age or may vary greatly in the life-history of each individual. The first type is that which is more prominently successful in world affairs, and derives from the realization of personal ability in this or that direction and pride in its exercize. It is mainly intellectual and the process of self-dramatization is for the most part unconscious. The second is more emotional and, although it may be allied to a high degree of intellectuality, largely introspective. The result in every case is a presentation to the world of some aspect of the infinite variety of character that we recognize in our fellows.
This, then, is the human concept of the "self," whether virtuous or vicious, that we are called upon to abandon, for all such manifestations of "character" are no more than the ephemeral misconceptions in space-time of the immortal principle.
This immortal principle has been inferred, and frequently misrepresented, throughout the history of religion, under such labels as the soul or the true ego; and the ostensible aim of Yoga is to bring it into consciousness. It has, like God, been endowed with many attributes, but again, like God, is indefinable in those terms that are derived from our conception of human character. Only one thing may be safely posited, and this is its desire for ultimate unity with that one enduring reality which we speak of, for lack of a better term to reach the worldly understanding, as "spirit," or the One Mind.
On the material plane, as exhibited in the transitory expressions of human character, the influence of the immortal principle is recognizable as an aversion to "evil" and the desire for "good," the former term representing devotion to the service of the ephemeral "self," the latter what is often spoken of as "self-sacrifice." The expression of evil takes shape in such forms as hate, cruelty and the satisfaction of personal desire in any form, from the lowest animal lusts to the will for power, temporal or spiritual. Good is represented by the urgency to express universal love without any thought of personal advantage.
These are the simplest possible premises for the basis of a world-religion and, as was stated in the first paragraph of this article, are fundamental, either implicitly or explicitly, in the teachings of all the great Masters. There can be but one confutation of them, and this lies in the demonstration that, although they have been known and practised by a few inspired individuals for at least 5,000 years, the world today is not further advanced spiritually than it was at any known period of historical time. Indeed, it would seem that among all civilized nations, our present ethic is lower than it was in the Middle Ages.
Nevertheless, if we were to accept this argument as a denial of our premises, all human life would become purposeless and utterly without meaning. If we fail to accept any distinction between good and evil save in terms of the commonweal and for the establishment of relatively stable social conditions, mankind must inevitably lapse into a decadence even more marked than that which characterizes the world of today. If we are to assume that man is only some kind of slightly superior animal, he will end by reverting to an animal life, - an experiment of the creative purpose that has failed to achieve its object.
But, having assumed, as we very safely can assume, that our initial premises are true beyond all dispute, it will be worth while to examine very briefly how our present state has come about, beginning on what may be termed the highest plane with a reference to a form of Yoga.
Now, by our definition, any form of Yoga will fail in the true expression of the immortal principle when its practice demands the separation of the individual from the mass of humanity. The Yogi in separation from humanity may succeed in a complete domination of his physical body and desires and, in achieving that, may rise to the exercize of certain, to us, abnormal powers. But, having attained full spiritual independence, he will still be alone, unable to enter the unity, and his works are therefore evil, according to our definition, since he has failed to lose his separate sense of self in the One. The same failure is found also in most forms of Asceticism and monasticism.
We see a lower and more common expression of this separatism, and it is one of the causes for our present state of irreligion and brutality, in any form of sectarianism. When any body of belief asserts its particular form of righteousness and, whether openly, as in most Christian churches, or by implication, as in others, condemns those of different opinions, such a body proclaims its separation from the One Mind. The effect of this is shown on the material plane by the insistence on dogmas that have no foundation in the teachings of such great Seers as Gautama or Jesus, and this results in such gross forms of evil as persecution and religious wars. The simple statement of Jesus, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," has very rarely been put into practice by any of the Christian churches that profess to follow the precepts of their founder.
On the material plane, the evils of self-aggrandisement without respect to the welfare of others, whether in national ambitions or in the egotism of the individual, are too evident to need more than a passing reference. From this devotion to the desires of the false "self" derive all the wars, crime, mis-government and poverty of our present civilization.
This, in the briefest summary, is a statement of the belief that is the genesis of all faiths founded on the affirmation of man's spiritual origin. It is, however, very rarely put into practice, since to do that necessitates a mental effort, combined with a detachment from all worldly values and satisfactions, of which the mass of mankind is quite incapable. As a consequence, the disciples of the Masters, and subsequently, with decreasing regard for the original teaching, the priests of such re-igions as, say, Buddhism and Christianity, sought to make their gospel more acceptable to the people by preaching some form or another of an easier way to the final attainment. In the case of the Buddhist, this, logically enough, took the form of gradual advancement throughout a long series of incarnations, a teaching that failed in its effect upon the multitude chiefly by permitting the practices of temporizing and procrastination. It became so tempting to put off the arduous disciplines of Yoga until the next life!
The Christian priesthood fell into the far more grievous error of promising the goal of spiritual attainment on the easiest possible terms, by the practice of the worldly virtues allied with faith in the person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, they taught that the latter alone was sufficient at the last extremity, and that one who had led a consistently evil life might be "saved" 'on his or her deathbed by this long-postponed profession of faith, - a doctrine that to those who accept the premises given above, is the most fantastic absurdity. Coupled with
this teaching was the inculcation of the equally fantastic principle of immediate rewards and punishments, to be received at the death of the physical body, an absurdity mitigated by the Roman Catholics by the doctrine of Purgatory. And all these and similar teachings were founded on the assumption of a personal God of all-too-human character, who held the office of judge in the affairs of the particular mite of the universe, known as the Earth.
But, having admitted the failure of these two world-religions to raise the general spiritual standard of the average man and woman, we have to consider the possible alternative, to do which it becomes necessary in the first place, to consider what we mean by the inherent spirit of mankind. It has already been referred to as the immortal principle and, as such, must be assumed to have existed eternally, to have neither beginning nor end, to be independent of spacetime. By what influence this inherent principle appears to the human mind as having been separated from the One into which it ardently wishes to return, is beyond the reach of our limited intelligence. Although we may speak of the exhalations and inhalations of the breath of the cosmic principle, we cannot pretend to understand the reason for their necessity. These are mysteries beyond the scope of mortal knowledge, which is capable of dealing only with effects and may be endlessly misguided in its inference of prime causes.
Wherefore, abandoning all attempts to define the One Mind, or the Controlling Spirit of the Universe, in the terms of our limited experience, let it be assumed, since no other deduction from our first premises is conceivable, that all the exigencies of the immortal principle (in New Testament language "the Holy Spirit within us" or "the Kingdom of God") are expressed in what we recognize as "good," as opposed to all those material attachments that are ultimately "evil," since they represent those antinomies that contradict the laws of the spirit, the simplest possible test between these opposites being that one exhibits the desire for unity, the other, for separation. Thus, on the material plane, the works of the immortal Self are evidenced in wisdom, loving-kindness, generosity and sincerity, those of the false self in every form of personal aggrandizement, whatever its apparent object or justification.
This elementary statement of belief formulates the foundations of a creed stripped of all the dogmas and far-fetched assumptions common to those declining religions that have attracted so great a body of adherents in the course of the past 2,500 years. It is a creed that will never attract a priesthood, since it gives the priest no power over his congregation by the exercize of threats and promises; and, like the original teaching of Gautama and Jesus, deprecates the founding of a Church. The whole responsibility of final attainment rests upon the individual, whose every thought, word and act help to determine his own destiny, either by the effort to achieve reunion with the single reality of spirit, or by binding himself more closely to those ephemeral illusions of the apparitional world that must eventually fail him. - By J.D. Beresford in The Aryan Path for October.
THE CHRISTIAN THEOSOPHIST
offers valuable hints for the study of the Gospels in the light of ancient tradition and modern science. For specimen copy apply to the Editor, Mon Abri, Chorley Wood, Herts, England.
SALIENT FEATURES OF BUDDHISM
By the Rev. Yin Hsun
Translated into English by Li Yung-hsi
Buddhism is a religion which consists of both faith and reason. In Buddhism Religion is philosophical and philosophy Religious. Although the combination of religion and philosophy is a general tendency of all religious schools in India it only has its complete form in Buddhism. In fact all religions have the factors of reason and faith, but generally speaking, faith is the fundamental factor. Even in Christianity, which is a civilized religion, it is taught that one can only get his salvation by faith. As regards reason it is not only thought as unbeneficial to salvation, but it is injurious to it. Therefore the study of profound reason is not encouraged.
In the general schools of Indian religions reason is not clearly separated from illusion; it has always been included in the mysterious ontological theories. It is not so in Buddhism, in which it is reason that gives rise to faith. It is on this foundation of the combination of reason and faith, of which the former leads the latter, that this religion of virtue is established to guide the direction of the activities of mankind. This combination of reason and faith, one fundamental and the other secondary, is the motive which urges the performance of the right conduct between man and man in society and the physical and mental cultivation of individuals, in order to realize the object of perfect emancipation. It is said in the Samyuta Nikaya (Vol. 26): "Those who have achieved the root of wisdom can cultivate the root of faith. When the root of wisdom is achieved the root of faith is also achieved." This means that reason gives rise to faith, and by faith reason is completed. They help each other in a mutual way. It is also said in the same book, "Among the five roots of faith, diligence, mindfulness, mental concentration and wisdom, the last one is the fundamental root. For it comprehends the other four roots." In the coordination of reason and faith the former guides the latter, comprehends and supports it. Otherwise, when sentiment surpasses reason faith would be blind and enter into the way of irrationality. This system of thought is manifested in the Mahayana school by the saying that among the six paramitas the former five are like blind men with panna paramita as their guide. When panna paramita goes ahead of all actions the wisdom of all wisdoms is realized (Panna Sutra). It is a fundamental principle of Buddhism that wisdom guides faith and action, and it is characteristic of this religion.
What is the reality of religion? It is nothing but the self-reflection of human beings. This reply may be amazing to the general religious people who regard that the nucleus of religion is deity (God) and the relationship between man and God. We must know that the activities of all mankind, whether wise or ignorant, are connected with the natural and social environments and their own ego, in both the physical and mental senses. In these connections men feel that there are in every respect different obstacles and bondages which prevent them from realizing their desires completely. They seem to be under the control of some kind of force, but at the same time they insistently believe that the obstacles can be overcome and the bindings unfastened, and that this certain kind of force can be changed into a force which is beneficial instead of harmful to them. The recognition of binding and the possibility of liberation, and the ardent pursuit of freedom for mankind, are the meaning of life and the source and reality of religion. But as they lack reason, and their recognition of life is incomplete, and their pursuit of freedom is directed
by sentiment and will, their imagination and desire (arising from the function of their sentiment) cannot make the change complete, but gives them wrong knowledge, and thus the illusory world of God is created. Illusion, being regarded as reality, gives rise to the irremediable superstition of religion in general.
It is just like the illusion arising by seeing something hazily in the darkness under a few winking stars or the dim light of the new moon. You can't say that nothing is seen (the reality of religion is by no means completely lacking in reason), but it is certainly misconceived. Religious superstition rises in such a way. But the meaning of religion is also there - to study what actually is in the darkness and to gain freedom by unfastening the bonds. Religion is a picture representing the reality of mankind, and in religion mankind begins to sense the real meaning of life.
In his book, Faith of Christianity, D.F. Strauss said that the impulse of mankind to recognize ego is reason, and when it is guided by the gradual development of religion it gradually approaches truth. Although the reason (which is the impulse to recognize ego) is metaphysical and illusory, it is quite correct that religion does not frustrate the approach to truth. In ancient times religion was they life in which sentiment controlled reason. When reason is better developed religion becomes sublimated, and it approaches truth nearer and nearer and reaches a more perfect state. Generally speaking the religions of the Western people are lacking in reason and are confined in sentiment, illusion and desire. Therefore, Hegel's theory of the combination of religion and philosophy and of faith and reason, is attacked by the materialist, Ludwig Feuerbach, who said that the reality of religion is sentimental and irrational and that spiritual religion is humanism and God is created by the sentiment of man. That God is just and is all-loving is the desire of mankind for a perfect morality, and in sentiment, illusion and desire he is regarded as external. He correctly pointed out that religion is nothing but mankind themselves (in both the natural and spiritual senses), but being confined in the Western religious atmosphere he considered that religion could not be combined with reason.
If it is made so in an unnatural way it is not religion being rationalized, but philosophy deified. He also said that as the reality of religion is sentimental, when the virtue and reason of mankind are fully developed, it turns to the affairs of education, philosophy and even of politics, which do not need a religion of God.
Buddhism is a great religion, as it is quite different from the other religions, and it combines reason and faith into one element. Two thousand and five hundred years ago Buddha was a religious revolutionary. He swept away the mistakes of sentimental religion and pointed out the true meaning of religion. This may be explained in four points: -
(1) Buddhism lays emphasis on reason, as has been said before. From the Western point of view, when reason is emphasized it cannot be regarded as a religion. But Buddhism has been prevailing as a religion for the last two thousand and five hundred years in Eastern Asia. This reason is, of course, not void and biassed, but it consists of knowledge as its centre and includes the factors of sentiment and will. It is the profound wisdom which purifies sentiment and is at the same time completed by it.
(2) God is apparently the manifestation of the sublime ideal and the desire for a perfect moral of mankind, as everything belongs to man. But the religious people in general contemplated that God is eternal and is apart from
themselves. They create a god out of their own imagination, and then take refuge under him and seek salvation from him. This is because the objective ennvironments, in connection with the subjective ego, are governed by the unchanging law of cause and effect and cannot be altered according to one's own desire. So they regard the personified god as external and endow him with the power of determination and control. God is actually created by man and he resembles man, but in illusion he created man and man resembles him.
Thus, in order to suit the love of ego and the desire for the continuation of life of mankind, the internal nature, or individual spirit, the permanent, unchangeable and free ego, is regarded as being endowed by God. The thoughts of the ancient people were nearly all like this. For example, in the "Golden Means" of the Confucian school, it is said, "Our spiritual nature which is
intrinsic and consummate, is given by Heaven." From the Buddhist point of view the external god is the bigger ego and the individual spirit the smaller ego, both of which are the result of illusion. Therefore Buddhism insists on the theory of "non-ego," and it not only refutes the individual smaller ego, but thoroughly denies the external bigger ego of God which is said to be permanent, complete, omnipotent, creative and having the power of control. God is the shelter for the other religions, but Buddhism takes refuge under the Law. It is recorded in the Samyutta Nikaya that one of the Buddha's disciples, in depicting his mental state when he realized the truth, said, "The ego is no longer seen and what one sees is only the Law."
The ego of God is constructed on the illusory sentiment, and when it is put under the light of truth and wisdom it is completely denied and vanishes altogether. That which does not vanish is the true Law which expounds that the nature of everything is void and everything only exists on conditions. The Law is the universal principle, the principle of cause and effect. The sword of wisdom of Buddhism sets God apart from truth, the god which represents man's ideal wisdom, morality and freedom. These can only be achieved by our own exertion. The Law is not made by me, said the Buddha, nor is it made by any others (Vol. 12, Samyuttan Nikaya). It is not the nature of God, but it is the universal principle of cause and effect. On this Buddhism lays its emphasis, and what makes it quite different from the other religions is its taking the true Law as the centre of its doctrine.
(3) God is generally believed in by the other religions and he is believed to possess an extraordinary power, and his action and will are unrestricted by the way of cause and effect. When we are sick or encounter any difficulty the supernatural power of God may cure us and rid us from the difficulty if we pray to him with a sincere heart. This is not done according to the law of cause and effect, but according to the will of God. God wanted Mary to give birth to a son, and so she gave birth to a son, in spite of the fact that she was a virgin. Whatever is intended by the will of God, which surpasses the law of cause and effect, it is done, and this is just the imagination of the sentiment and will of man. It is not so in Buddhism. According to the Buddhist doctrine everything has its cause and condition of existence and is not without a cause, nor with a wrong cause. The sufferings of mankind have their cause, and when the cause is found and is got rid of, the sufferings are got rid of. In the Buddhist scriptures it is often compared with a physician curing a patient. When a man is ill the cause of his illness must be first found out, and then medicine is given him accordingly. Thus his illness will be cured. Pointing out the salient features of his teachings the Buddha said, "I discuss and explain the cause."
(Vol. 2, Samyutta Nikaya). As everything is based on cause and condition we can only understand everything by the comprehension of its cause and condition. Therefore no prayer is said in Buddhist ceremonies. The searching for the cause is a characteristic point of Buddhism.
(4) All the other religions believe in the existence of a god (or Brahma) and take God as the centre of their teachings, while man is under the control and mercy of him and should pray to him. In Buddhist doctrine man is the centre. The Buddha, however, believed in by the Buddhists, is only regarded as an Awakened One among mankind and a Perfect Realizer of human wisdom and morality. He was a man and was an example for all men in trying to attain his perfection, and he was not the master of mankind and did not award or punish us, but was only our model. "What we take example by is the Buddha, and what we try to accomplish is our personal character." This is the true meaning of Buddhism. This thought of taking man as the centre of his teaching is shown in the Buddhist scriptures. It is recorded in the Anguttara Nikaya: "All Buddhas are born among mankind and are not from the heavens." They are not deities, nor the sons or messengers of them. Therefore Buddhism is not a sort of revealed religion, but it is a religion of self-enlightenment.
The main difference between Buddhism and the other religions lies in the fact that the other religions are created out of illusion in which sentiment influenced the incomplete reason, while Buddhism is enlightening and in which sentiment is guided by reason. Buddha grasped the truth that religion is man himself, and taught us to understand life with reason and to realize the truth. He also taught us to break all bonds, both physically and mentally, by understanding the truth, in order to attain our emancipation. The way for the pursuit of our sublime personality and our perfect morality is clearly pointed out. They may be attained by understanding the universal Law and by practising them according to the Law. This is very reasonable. Our own affairs can only be accomplished by our own effort and can never be attained from the imagination of a god. We may ask how Buddhism is on a higher standard than the other religions and how it lays emphasis on reason and has grasped the true meaning of religion. This is because during his progress of attaining the truth the Buddha thoroughly realized the principle that all things which exist on conditions are void of a nature of their own. When this voidness of nature of all things is realized the conception of ego is denied and the real phase of religion is unveiled.
The characteristics of Buddhism, which make it different from the other religions, are its insight that all things are void of a nature, and that our freedom can be obtained in the harmony of reason and sentiment. This is the nucleus of the Buddhist teaching, and it deserves the contemplation of a Buddhist student. - From The Middle Way, November-December.
WORTH WHILE BOOKS
- Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky;
- The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence by H.P.B.;
- Magic White and Black by Franz Hartmann;
- The Perfect Way, by Anna B. Kingsford;
- The Ocean of Theosophy and Notes on the Bhagavad Gita by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Reincarnation by E.D. Walker;
- The Light of Asia, by Edwin Arnold;
- Light on the Path and Through the Gates of Gold, by Mabel Collins;
- Letters that Have Helped Me, by Wm. Q. Judge;
- Raja Yoga, a collection of articles by H.P.B.;
- The Mahatma Letters, by Two Masters.
FELIX A. BELCHER
The star is not falling, to the man who looks on high,
A star that shone so brightly is reaching higher in the sky,
But the lesser lights are climbing, as the new-born day reveals
Who can guess the greater glories that the higher vision seals.
We can ever keep on climbing! Oh how far it looks at first,
But the brighter Star has lit our path with a hunger and a thirst.
Who knows? Some day these little lights may mark another's way,
And meet on high our teacher with the radiant light of day.
- Arnold Wild.
This is sent for the C.T. at request of Mrs. Belcher.
LOOK TO THE DAY!
This is the day, the day of days is now
for growth, for joy; to call this day our own
in this brief space, to reap what has been sown
is to exist accepting, to endow
the vaguest dreams with magic and to place
regretful yesterday into a nook along with others - a
upon a shelf of beauty, there to grace
the Present with its blue, and green and gold,
the green of growth, and meditation blue,
the gold of dawn, for all is there to view
even the Future within its patterned mold;
happy the man who makes of this his day
a song of Joy, - there is no more to say.
- H.L. Huxtable.
- CALGARY LODGE: President, E.H. Lloyd Knechtel; Secretary, Mrs. Lilian Glover, 418, 10th Ave. N.W., Calgary, Alta. Meetings at 231 Examiner Bldg.
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- VULCAN LODGE: President, Guy Denbigh, Vulcan, Alta.
- ORPHEUS LODGE, VANCOUVER: President, R.H. Hedley; Secretary, E. Harper, 1952 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver. Lodge room, Room 15, 163 Hastings St. W., Vancouver.
- VICTORIA LODGE: President, Mrs. Minnie S. Carr; Secretary, George Sydney Carr, 33 Government St., Victoria, B.C.
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