Copyright © 1974 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
As to the occult teachings regarding the precessional motions, the following two diagrams may clarify the real causes why the pole of the earth, owing to the clockwise rotation of the signs of the zodiac around an axis, makes a complete revolution around the pole of the ecliptic during the zodiacal year of 25,920 terrestrial years.
In Diagram I let the plane of the paper indicate the plane of the ecliptic (the plane of the earth's orbit around the sun); the large circle shows this orbit, and the central point of it is the sun. The four small circles, each containing the signs of the zodiac in their proper serial order, represent four positions of the earth in its orbit around the sun. The earth globe is represented with its usual conventional meridians and parallels, showing in perspective the inclination of the earth's axis towards the plane of the ecliptic, which inclination or obliquity is at the present time (1936) equal to 23°26'51" (mean value). The direction of the earth's motion around the sun is indicated by arrows placed along the orbit; and the direction of rotation of the signs is shown by arrows placed along the circumference of the signs.
Now then, let it be stated first, that the auric egg of the solar system contains within itself the orbits of all the known planets, or rather planetary chains, as well as of other invisible planetary chains which belong to our own solar system. Next, consider the position of the pole of the ecliptic as remaining virtually stationary for immense ages of time; it has, indeed, minute but cumulative movements of its own, but of these modern astronomy knows almost nothing. Let us concentrate our attention for the time being on our earth.
The auric egg of the earth globe is of course the real earth globe; and our physical rocky globe is merely its lowest or most physically material or concrete deposit. The auric egg of the earth globe is a spheroid, or rather ovoid, whose axis or poles and equator coincide with and are inseparable from the poles and equator of our physical globe. Not only are the terrestrial poles identic with the poles of the earth globe's auric egg, but precisely because the auric egg is inclined to the plane of the ecliptic, the poles of our rocky globe are inclined identically, its various movements slavishly reflecting the movements of the earth globe's auric egg. In other words, the physical globe follows everything, both in movements, inclination, and in inversion, that the auric egg of the earth globe does.
The signs of the zodiac have their real positions in 'realms' or 'kingdoms' or 'segments' of the auric egg of the earth globe, as shown by the small circles of the diagram. The auric spheroid or ovoid containing the signs rotates clockwise to the extent of only 50 seconds of arc in round numbers during one annual revolution of the earth around our sun, and of course this small part-rotation, of only 50" of arc, makes little change in the direction in which the earth's poles point during one year. Therefore, the four positions of the earth in Diagram I show the same orientation of the signs, an orientation which has changed only to the extent of about 50" of arc within one year, and cannot be easily represented on a rough drawing.
Position A indicates the place on the ecliptic at the time of the vernal equinox when the sun, as viewed from the earth, stands in the first point of the sign Aries — this first point being at present projected approximately against the eleventh degree of the constellation of Pisces; position B shows the place and the time of the summer solstice, when the sun stands in the first point of the sign of Cancer, and is projected against the eleventh degree of the constellation of Gemini; position C shows conditions prevailing at the autumnal equinox; and position D indicates those prevailing at the winter solstice.
But this small change of 50" of arc is cumulative, obviously, and amounts to one degree of arc in some seventy-two years, or to 90º of arc in 6,480 years. Hence — turning now to Diagram II — whereas at one time in the past the first point of the sign of Aries (position A) coincided with the first point of the constellation of Aries at the vernal equinox, 6,480 (2,160 x 3) years later the same first point of the sign of Aries coincided with the first point of the constellation of Capricorn at the vernal equinox also (position B), owing to the rotatory motion of the ovoid of the earth globe in the opposite direction to the natural sequence of the constellations of the celestial zodiac. In another 6,480 years, the sign of Aries will have coincided with the constellation of Libra (position C); and in yet another 6,480 years, with the constellation of Cancer (position D); and the great zodiacal year is finally closed with a fourth period of 6,480 years which will bring the spheroid or ovoid of the earth globe back to its original position with regard to the constellations. Thus, one complete circuit of the zodiac is made — one complete zodiacal or precessional year has elapsed.
In the Tibetan Buddhist mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, Om, the Jewel in the Lotus, the lotus flower is the human being, the soul, likewise the entire constitution of man; more accurately, his auric egg with its different layers of substance combined each with the others, like the closed petals of the lotus flower. The jewel within the lotus is the diamond heart, the vajradhara, as the initiate of ancient days was called — a mystical term signifying the expression in action of the inner god, the divine radiance or flame, sparkling, glorifying, and vivifying the one through whom it shines.
It is small wonder that Tibetans of all classes, whether quasi-initiates or merely the vast rank and file of the populace, have cherished this invocation and recite it with the spiritual longing arising in the aspiring soul. It is a way of saying, just as H.P.B. phrases it, "I am in Thee, and Thou art in me." When intoned with an understanding of what it represents, and with a yearning of the heart and mind always toward union with the divine within, it has a strong effect in purifying one's channels of thought and keeping one's aspirations constantly alive.
As to the pronunciation and significance of this mystic syllable OM or AUM: either way of writing this word in European characters is correct, and the meaning is practically identic. The pronunciation, however, is not the same. OM is pronounced O-M, but AUM is A-U-M, the two vowels being sounded distinctly, and the M in both cases sounded vibrating within the skull. The sectarian, modern Brahmanical devotee will say that AUM is emblematic of the three persons of the Hindu triad, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; but this is a lame attempt to explain in what we may call ecclesiastic fashion something more profound. A-U-M — spelling and pronunciation and sound — is the higher form of the word, and is perhaps the more effective when one knows how properly to sound it; OM is the simpler of the two, and in the beginning equally effective.
The vowel O, or the fluid diphthong A-U, combined with the sounding of the M within the skull, have a particularly strong effect upon the human aura; and when the aspiration is high, and the heart lifted with reverence and love, and the mind itself is allied with the sun, the influence of the 'sounding of the word' can be very great. It stills, calms, and refines the entire sphere of the auric egg, so that the differing vibrational periods in separate portions of the auric egg are reduced to one harmony. Then the inflow from the god within is easy; and, at such times, a man may receive the very inspiration of divinity.
The Jews also had a word of somewhat similar character, used by their initiates in much the same way, and this was 'Amen — the common Amen.
More important than the correct pronunciation is the sounding of the word. That verily can work magic if rightly done: its correct pronunciation combined with the proper reverberating resonant sounding made by one who understands, works magically. It is the physical sound of this sacred word which is used in the art of practical magic solely for the purpose of tranquillizing the atoms, as far as it is possible for that sound to do this. As I have said, when uttered by one who knows how to do it and who understands the meaning of the act, its power is very great; it tranquillizes and soothes the entire auric envelope, and makes much easier the passage of the soaring soul up towards the spirit and back to the human consciousness.
Let us remember this, however, that it is not the senseless repetition of words that will do anybody any good. The pattering of prayers would be of equal value. The singing of hymns and the chanting of chants and the muttering of mantras are in themselves all useless. What is important is to know, and knowing to do.
To one who knows, sound is perhaps the most important factor in cosmic workings. As H.P.B. has written in her Secret Doctrine (I, 464), the "magic of the ancient priests consisted, in those days, in addressing their gods in their own language. . . . sound being the most potent and effectual magic agent, and the first of the keys which opens the door of communication between Mortals and the Immortals." Verily it is so. We must learn to talk the language of the gods before we can confabulate with them; learn to control the elemental beings before we have mastery over them. We must learn to reach the hearts of our fellow humans before we can ever help them. And this speaking the language that is understood is, above everything else, through the instrumentality of sound, the great magic agent in the universe. For everything that is, great and small, visible and invisible, sings a song of life, and this is its vital keynote; and if one can strike that keynote, he has mastery over it.
But let us beware of black magic, and touch not the individuality or destiny of any other than ourself. The magic potency of sound is widely known. Political orators, the orators in the churches, sway the hearts and minds of multitudes, and do it not necessarily by words, though greatly by words at times, but by sound and intonation.
Those who teach the Law, the Dharma, however, use the wisdom and knowledge that have been placed in their hands as a sacred trust. It is by sound more than by words that the messages of truth and wisdom are carried into our consciousness through the crevices and crannies of the armor of personal selfhood built around the soul.
I might add that the members of the Brotherhood are continuously acting as a Guardian Wall shielding, protecting, mankind from dangers of cosmic and terrestrial character. The method used by these Great Ones is to 'sing' these dangers away from us, through the akasa — by sound. Now please do not misinterpret these words and picture a row of the Great Teachers standing there, clad in white garments, and opening their mouths and yelling and bellowing and squawking and squealing, as we human beings sometimes do and speak of it as singing! The singing may be utterly soundless to our ears, but it is a song, a song of which the mystics spoke, charming the evil away — charming means here to sing, to chant, to 'sound' it away.
Now what are these dangers? Let us not think for a moment that they are only material. No; they are of many kinds: spiritual, intellectual, psychical, astral, physical. They are cosmic dangers reaching our earth from outside, from other planets of the solar system, and from dead planets, our moon in particular, and the so-called Eighth Sphere or Planet of Death. Indeed, there are in constant movement along the circulations of the solar system, rivers of lives having as much right to be as we have; but inimical to us in our present evolutionary state, or dangerous at least, and which, if they could enter our earth's atmosphere and impinge upon us, would wipe out the human race overnight. Not a single human being would be left alive upon the earth when morning came.
We humans are pilgrims; we are not forever and unto eternity chained to our globe, nor linked to our planetary chain. We are transients here, although our sojourn is of an exceedingly long time period when judged by human standards. Consequently, there are dangers arising even in this planetary chain, and therefore in globe D of it, which could be highly inimical to man's well-being were they allowed to impinge upon us without a shield or barrier of some sort. These are the terrestrial hazards, and they are of many kinds and on all planes.
Incidentally, one of the greatest of these that we human beings are facing in our own era is the psychical crazes which are sweeping over the world, distracting our minds and diverting us from the thoughts of spirit, of spirituality. This is a psychical danger, which is fraught with tremendous perils because it can mislead human souls.
But let us remember always that we are protected by song, by sound, albeit the most powerful sounds are those which are inaudible to us. The sounds which the human ear can take in, on account of its present imperfections, are but a small part of the octaves of vibration. The greater by far is the inaudible sound. The Music of the Spheres, for instance, is so immense that our ears cannot take it in. Every smallest atom sings its keynote of life as it lives. It is thus by sound, inaudible to us, that it grows; it is thus by sound, inaudible to us because of its magnitude, that the planets and the suns follow their pathways of destiny, and weave their web of being and so grow to grander things.
Sound is a form of radiation. Radiation is but a form of sound. It was no vain way of speaking, when some of the ancient European peoples told us that their ancient magicians sang the storms away, sang diseases away, sang men into health and sanity, sang men into goodness and wisdom.
There are four periods of the year which, from the standpoint of the initiation ceremonies, are considered to be particularly holy: the Winter Solstice, the Spring Equinox, the Summer Solstice, and the Autumnal Equinox.
Each year at the time of the Winter Solstice one of the greatest phases of the ancient Initiatory Cycle has always taken place. There is at the time of the Spring Equinox, or at and during the Eastertide, an initiation which in one sense is more holy and sublime even than that of the Winter Solstice. There is another Initiation Cycle at the time of the Summer Solstice, which is the loftiest in one sense of all four; and the fourth is at the time of the Autumnal Equinox, and to this I will merely point by allusion, for of all the four it is the most sublime.
It may be as well to point out that these four so-called Sacred Seasons are in direct, and therefore necessarily intimate, connection with the four Maharajas mentioned by H.P.B. in The Secret Doctrine as guarding the 'four quarters of Space.' Now the year, in its cycling turn or wheeling, mystically to the mind passes through the four different 'quarters of Space,' and when the four points of the year, which are the four Sacred Seasons, reach these 'four quarters of Space' occult powers and forces are at these times framed for corresponding consequences to ensue upon those who are ready.
The Winter Solstice is the mystic birth of the individuality, of the inner Buddha. In some countries it is called the Initiation into the Sun. In the Mediterranean countries at about the time of the beginning of the Christian Era it was called the birth of the Christ.
A certain conjunction of two of the planets, Mercury and Venus, with the Moon and the Earth, allows the passage along the mystic circulations of the Solar System of great spiritual forces having their native home in the Sun; and the human aspirant undertaking this course of the initiatory trials, either fails, or rises from his trance clothed with the Mystery Sun literally, enfolded as in a glory with the splendor of the inner Buddha, the inner god. In some cases this clothing of glory remains for many days. Usually, however, it is but a passing phase. But he who has passed through this most holy event in human mystical history ever afterwards lives and works among men as one who has in actual truth met his own inner god face to face, and is therefore called a Buddha or a Christ.
These statements please accept as literal truths, and not as metaphorical expressions. Each human being is a child of the Sun, a Son of the Sun; and this most holy of initiations is simply the allying of oneself with the god of the Sun, and for the time being the aspirant becomes omniscient because his consciousness is then universal.
Thereafter in the same or likely in a future year, at the time of the Spring Equinox, the aspirant enters individual spiritual activity, and dies to the world of men. In the Summer Initiation Cycle, the initiation is one which pertains to him as an individual worker in the ranks of the Guardians; and if he pass that Trial successfully, he is assigned his duty in the world of men.
At the time of the Autumnal Equinox the aspirant breaks the link with material existence entirely and is indrawn and withdrawn to his Parent Star.
The holiest of these four periods of initiation, so far as chelas are concerned, is that of the Winter Solstice; for on that occasion the man becomes the 'risen Christ' — the birth of the Christ out of the man, and this is the mystical birth. At the time of the Spring Equinox the aspirant takes up his duties, no longer in the world of men but in the world of the cosmic spirits belonging to our solar system, and more particularly belonging to our planet, Earth. At the time of the Summer Solstice he is assigned his duties as a Savior and Helper of men; and at the time of the Autumnal Equinox — he 'passes.'
When one of these sacred Initiatory Cycles opens, the proper astronomical conditions must prevail. The moon should be new so that the Initiant, winging his way through planes and spheres does so during the fourteen days of the waxing moon. It is at the time of a total solar eclipse, when such coincides with the time of one or the other of the solstices or equinoxes, that the greater of the Initiations take place. The ideal condition is thought to prevail when the initiation chamber is within the path of the moon's shadow as it passes over the earth.
There is still another aspect of the Avatara doctrine which explains the psychological wonder that H.P.B. was, and I will now give in substance part of an address delivered at Visingso, Sweden, in 1931, to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of her birth:
Does any Theosophist imagine for a moment that H.P.B. came to the Occidental world by chance, outside of Nature's laws and rigid concatenation of cause and effect which produce everything in due order? H.P.B. came in obedience to a law, one of Nature's laws, because it was time for her to come, one of the series of Teachers who come at certain stated periods throughout the ages, one Teacher after the other, and always when the time is right and ripe, and never by chance. H.P.B. was one of the links in what the ancient Greek Initiates called the living Chain of Hermes, the Golden Chain, in connection with the passing on of mystic and esoteric light and truth. One of this serial succession of Teachers, she came in the rhythmical order of the laws which control our planet. She came indeed at the beginning of one Messianic Cycle of two thousand one hundred and sixty years and at the end of the preceding cycle of the same term. She was the Messenger for her age, that is, for the age to come.
In a certain very true but little known sense, she was an Avatara — an Avatara of a certain type or kind, for there are different kinds of Avataras. Every Teacher who comes to teach man comprises not only his or her body and an unusually received psychological apparatus, but is likewise at times infilled with the holy fire of a greater Soul, and therefore is de facto an Avatara of a kind. Just as Jesus was an Avatara of one kind for his age, so was she, our beloved H.P.B., an Avatara of another kind for her age. Roughly speaking, some two thousand one hundred and sixty years before her birth, Jesus inaugurated for Europe the particular Messianic Cycle which, as its centuries followed one the other, plunged European countries into the darkness of the Middle Ages. Today, more or less 2,160 years afterwards, a new cycle opened when she was born, a rising cycle which should bring light, peace, knowledge, wisdom, to men.
A mighty power came into the world and worked and wrought, and the weaving of the web which she wrought has played a great part in producing the better conditions we find among us today. H.P.B. was of course a woman in body, but invigorating and inflaming this body with its brain-mind was the inner divine Sun, the inner Buddha, the living Christ within. But between this divine fire and the receptive and mystically-trained and educated brain of the woman, there was a psychological apparatus, commonly spoken of in Western parlance as the 'human soul,' which in the case of her — for she was an Initiate of the Order of the Buddhas of Compassion and Peace — could at times step aside and allow the entrance into the vacancy thus left of a 'human soul' loftier by far than even hers. It was this Buddhic Splendor which thus infilled the vacancy that she so gladly left for use, which in large part was responsible for the works of wonder that H.P.B. wrought.
You may remember that in her writings she often makes a distinction between what she calls H.P.B. and H. P. Blavatsky. H. P. Blavatsky was the woman, the chela, the aspiring, learning, splendid, noble, courageous chela. But H.P.B. was the Master's mind speaking through her: body and spirit, one entity, then the intermediate psychological apparatus, commonly called the 'soul,' temporarily removable at will. In fact, when H.P.B. was sent as the Messenger, that psychological apparatus in large part remained behind. This fact accounts for the so-called contrarieties and contradictions of her character that the people who attempted to write about her saw — and saw very plainly, because they could not help seeing — but which they did not understand, and by which they oft misjudged her and misunderstood her. At times she was strong and virile, so that, as her friends said, it seemed verily as if man incarnate were manifesting through her — not any one man, but Man. There was a divine flame within her that occasionally seized her brain as it were — and then she spoke like a pythoness, like a prophetess, like an oracle at Delphi. And similarly so at other times, when she was infilled, as the Avatara, with the holy flame of one of the Great Ones, then there was H.P.B., the Teacher, the Sage, the Seer, the Teacher of great natural scientific truths which modern science today is but beginning to show to be true, the Teacher of a great hope for mankind, the giver of a Vision to men, the framer and former of a new Philosophy-Religion-Science for men. There is a psychological wonder, a mystery, in H.P.B., for H.P.B. was a mystery. Thus was she an Avatara of her kind. — Cf. The Theosophical Path, December 1931
Ever since H.P.B. made the statement that "no Master of Wisdom would himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America . . . until the year 1975," speculation has been rife as to what type of teacher or messenger would then appear, and would he or would he not work among the formal theosophical organizations then in existence during the closing decades of this century.
We reproduce hereunder the major portion of G. de Purucker's interpretation of H.P.B.'s statement, as given by him to his esoteric students in the 1930s. — Ed.
It is not infrequently stated that the stream of inspiration from the Lodge of the Great Teachers ceased with the passing of H. P. Blavatsky, and that there will be no recurrence of the flow of that stream of inspiration and light until the Teacher comes whom she spoke of as coming about the beginning of the last quarter of the century. That idea is entirely erroneous.
All of you are doubtless familiar with the following passage from H.P.B.'s "First Preliminary Memorandum" issued by her in 1888 to the members of the E.S.:
Let every member know, moreover, that the time for such priceless acquisition is limited. The writer of the present is old; her life is well-nigh worn out, and she may be summoned "home" any day and almost any hour. And if her place is even filled up, perchance by another worthier and more learned than herself, still there remain but a few years to the last hour of the term — namely, till December the 31st, 1899. Those who will not have profited by the opportunity (given to the world in every last quarter of a century), those who will not have reached a certain point of psychic and spiritual development, or that point from which begins the cycle of adeptship, by that day — those will advance no further than the knowledge already acquired. No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America after that period, and the sluggards will have to renounce every chance of advancement in their present incarnation — until the year 1975. Such is the Law, for we are in Kali-Yuga — the Black Age — and the restrictions in this cycle, the first 5,000 years of which will expire in 1897, are great and almost insuperable.
As a few words of help, I would like to point out that H.P.B. was writing at a critical time in the history of the T.S.; and furthermore was writing to what she called her Esotericists. She pointed out very clearly that she was soon to pass away. She gave a hint so broad that few have noticed it, so wide that it has escaped observation, so deep that nobody has felt it, to the effect that someone would take her place. She called attention to the obvious fact that those who, belonging to the E.S., did not reach a certain stage of inner development, of understanding; in other words, as she phrased it, who did not put their feet on the pathway leading to Adeptship, would be sluggards and would have to wait and bide their time, not merely some eighty-five or ninety years ahead, or whatever the number of years may be from the time when she wrote to, let us say, 1980; but they would have to bide their time perhaps until the next life.
No Master of Wisdom came before H.P.B. came, nor while she was alive, nor has come since her passing; and it is in the highest degree improbable that any Master of Wisdom will come openly until the next great epoch of spiritual rejuvenation — and the great epoch I have in mind will not come so soon as 1975. Messengers, however, will come regularly, as long as the 'link is unbroken.' But, as H.P.B. points out, none was 'sent' to Europe or America either while she was alive or after she passed on. And why should such come? As she herself points out in substance: someone will follow me in all likelihood. (1) For you, your time for learning from me these precious truths is now.
Writing to her then Esotericists, was she writing to people of the future, who would be esotericists twenty or thirty or forty or fifty or more years after she passed away: "If you do not take your chances now when I write — I a sick and dying woman soon to pass away — you will not learn from me"? Certainly not!
No Master of Wisdom will come himself or send anybody to Europe and America as H.P.B. was sent. Once in a century is enough in order to do propaganda in that way. Once the link is established, and the connections made between the Great Lodge and the outside world, the inner esoteric life begins to flow and the teaching is given for those who prove themselves ready to receive it — who come and knock at the door of the Temple.
The Messengers do not come and advertise themselves in the newspapers. They come quietly and in the silence, not with flashes and blaring of trumpets. Their message is to the hearts of men, to those who are ready at any time; for none is neglected. The Masters of Wisdom and Compassion are always ready and always waiting and always working. The door is never shut against those whose feet are on the pathway. The Great Ones work among men continuously, uninterruptedly; and have done so for ages. Anyone whose feet are on the path, who shows even the smallest glimmer of the Buddhic Splendor, is watched, guided, helped; and if he succeeds, he finally is openly received into the Brotherhood.
The Masters are working in the silence constantly; and the supposition that their work, the Theosophical Society in the world, and the E.S. which their Messenger H.P.B. founded, were to be left without guidance and light is a monstrous perversion of the truth.
Nor will it be a Master of Wisdom who will be that particular one of the Messengers to appear or to be at work (not necessarily to 'appear') during the last quarter of the century.
Yet, lest my words be misunderstood, I call upon you to bear witness in the records to what I am now going to tell you. Do not be too ready to receive anyone who may come with mere claims. Be not too ready to reject anyone who may be able to teach you. Do not fasten your minds upon a certain particular kind of Teacher or Messenger; for the high probability is that you will guess wrongly. Be awake; be alert; be earnest; be devoted; be loyal and steady; be compassionate; be forgiving; be loving; cultivate the virtues. Then, when the new effort of the end of this century begins, you will be good material to work with if you are still alive, and you will know whither to turn.
For I tell you now, and I warn you, that there will in all probability be conflicting claims. Even my present words will be quoted. Be awake, be prepared; cultivate the inner vision, the inner light.
Nor will the work of this particular Messenger — who in all probability will not be greater than those who have already come, but whose work will be a particularly precarious and difficult one, and who will merit all your devotion and help — necessarily begin in the month of January, 1975. Remember that he may not begin his work exactly on the New Year of 1975, or on the esoteric New Year. He may begin a little before or a little after, or much before or much after. But his work will be during the last quarter of this century.
So far as that Messenger to come is concerned, there is a danger in building up too idealistic and too lofty a conception of who and what that Messenger will be — for his work will be greatly impeded, hindered, if there be among Theosophists of those days at the time of his coming an expectation, a conception, a notion, an idea, that an incarnate divinity has come to walk upon the earth and teach men. You will find that he will be — those of you who may be still alive — a quiet, simple, kindly, devoted, individual, who will be of course fully prepared and fitted for the work that he will have to do. Nor is it probable that he will be greater or farther advanced than are the Messengers who have already come.
I have no right to tell you anything that I am not sure of, but I think that Brother Judge was perfectly right when he suggested that it is very likely that H.P.B. herself will be the new Messenger who will come back at the end of this century. I think that it will be H.P.B., or rather the spirit-soul who in her last imbodiment was known as H.P.B.
In 1889, William Q. Judge, who was at that time secretary to H.P.B., wrote as follows:
If we succeed in carrying the T.S. well along into the twentieth century, there is a very great possibility that we can transmit it pure and undogmatic to such successors as will, after our death, keep it in being until the next twenty-five year cycle. At that time another messenger will come. In my opinion he will be the same being as now directs our efforts. In such an event there would be ready for his further work a Society that might be fit for greater things than our present T.S. is, and if so, all our efforts now will be crowned with success. If, on the contrary, the members fail now, great will be the responsibility upon every one of us then. In view of this, it is expected that the Section shall strive to become the life and core of the Theosophical movement, so that it may carry the spirit and genius of the movement through the seventy-five years which will begin at about the year 1900. If this shall be accomplished, then in 1975 there will be an instrument ready at hand for the returning Messenger to use during the last twenty-five years, instead of having to construct it anew amid jars and discords such as have surrounded H.P.B. for fifteen years. Now in the Key to Theosophy she plainly states that the strength and power of this ideal Section will not rest so much in the technical occult knowledge of the members as in the spiritual development, coupled with good common-sense, which they shall have attained. . . .
Let everyone, then, who reads this listen to the call. A mental sacrifice is demanded, an abandonment of self, a complete renunciation, an entire devotion to this cause. Altruism must be made the line of our lives, for by that alone can the end in view be reached. We are not associated in this Section for our own individual profit, nor for the glory of H.P.B., nor for the making of new mysteries or dogmas, but only that men and races of men after us may become brothers such as we should be. — Suggestions and Aids
The important thing about it will be that he will come at a cyclical period and will be greatly helped by the beginning of that cyclical period, a very short period but a very important one in each century; and therefore did H. P. Blavatsky, and therefore does every Messenger preceding him, point to that period as an important one. Cultivate within your own selves love, and you will understand the love that he will give you. Cultivate within your own hearts forgiveness, and you will then understand the forgiveness that will flow forth from him to you. Be truthful and you will recognize truthfulness when you hear it; and you will recognize his truthfulness when he comes.
In real Esotericism no appointing such as is often supposed is ever made in the ordinary way, by paper and ink, or by print, or by ribbons and seals and notarial certifications, and what not. That method is childish. Such documents can be destroyed or forged, laid aside or lost. The method is too uncertain altogether — too uncertain. The Successor is known by his life, by his teachings, and by the way in which his predecessor treated him. There may be, in addition to all this, a declaration, written or spoken, or there may not be such, but the written or spoken declaration would add not one feather's weight of importance to the reality.
A strange and curious situation; and some of you may say that it is a very parlous situation: "How are we to know?" The situation is usually deliberately left as I have told you. Think about the matter. Suppose that a Mahatman came to you with a legally drawn document with an imposing red or blue seal, and with a blue or black ribbon sealed upon the paper, the legend on the paper saying, or having words, something like this: "To all whom it may concern: Be it known that I, Maha-Chohan of Sambhala, hereby certify that ------ is my fully authorized agent to do such and such work in the Theosophical Society, and to be successor of so-and-so in the E.S." What would you think? Your first instinct would be one of amusement, perhaps. The second would be one of suspicion.
On the other hand, consider a man who comes among you, or who has been among you: he is quiet, unobtrusive, kindly, perhaps through the years you watch him; you see that he does no harm, that he is studious, that he is gentle, that he is forgiving; that he lives the life as far as you know; that he is faithful to duty, and that he carries out all the rules and regulations of the station of life in which his karma puts him. You hear him speak. You may or may not be impressed by what he says, but you are impressed at least with the feeling that he is an honest man. Then when the time comes, you suddenly realize that things are in safe hands; that there is strength in this man, strength of judgment, strength of will, that there are wisdom, knowledge, spiritual power. In other words, you are keenly conscious that the insignia of reality and of authority are in the man himself. Which of the two would you then choose to follow: the man who comes bringing a paper, or the man whom you know?
Remember also that the Servants of the Lodge come quietly and go quietly. They work quietly and they live quietly. Whatever they do, however public it may be, on however grand a scale, on however small or apparently insignificant a scale, it may be, in which they work, whatever they do carries a mark of power and ability.
I am writing in this way with great deliberation, because the time is coming in the future when you may have to make your choice — and mark you, I don't say that you will have to. It may be that events will follow some other path. But in emphasizing my words thus, I want to awaken intuition in your minds. I want to acquaint you with how things are conducted in the Esoteric Life, as far as I can do so.
Did H.P.B. bring anything except herself? No; she herself was her own proof. If H.P.B. had appeared in the world with a formally witnessed and attested document certifying her status as a Messenger of the Lodge, would she in any wise have been greater than she was? Would her position as a Messenger from the Lodge thereby have been 'proved'? The answer is an obvious No. H.P.B. proved what she was by what was in her.
There is in the exterior world, and outside the Great Lodge, this succession of Teachers, following each other in serial order — called in Sanskrit the Guru-paramparya, i.e. the Guruparampara — each one authorized to teach, each one capable of teaching, and each one therefore teaching. But will the succession continue, or will it be — even if temporarily — broken? If the call of your hearts is strong enough, and if the appeal of your minds is sincere enough, the line of succession will continue, and will endure, if these conditions prevail, throughout the ages of the future. Should it [not] happen, then make the call anew. If the call is strong enough and sincere enough, it will be answered.
No Teacher has ever passed on what Mystics and Occultists call the Living Word and Knowledge — in other words, the authority in the line of succession of teachings and Teachers, which line of succession always prevails in every truly occult School — by merely formal documents. The Successor is his own proof; and once you know the real man, nothing that is written against him or for him thereafter will cause you to change your mind. The man himself carries in himself the proofs of his high authority and lofty mission. It is a matter solely of merit and of spiritual standing of one called forth by the heart-cry of those who are hungry for truth and spiritual leadership.
[An address given by G. de Purucker on March 22, 1942, at Point Loma, California, but not included previously in any of his published works.]
Narada is here, there, and everywhere; and yet, none of the Puranas gives the true characteristics of this great enemy of physical procreation. Whatever those characteristics may be in Hindu Esotericism, Narada — who is called in Cis-Himalayan Occultism Pesh-Hun, the "Messenger," or the Greek Angelos — is the sole confidant and the executor of the universal decrees of Karma and Adi-Budh: a kind of active and ever incarnating logos, who leads and guides human affairs from the beginning to the end of the Kalpa.
"Pesh-Hun" is a general not a special Hindu possession. He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to, and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events. He is Karma's visible adjuster on a general scale; the inspirer and the leader of the greatest heroes of this Manvantara. In the exoteric works he is referred to by some very uncomplimentary names; such as "Kali-Karaka," strife-maker, "Kapi-vaktra," monkey-faced, and even "Pisuna," the spy, though elsewhere he is called Deva-Brahma. — The Secret Doctrine, II, 48
Narada as the Hindus call him, Pesh-Hun as the Tibetans call him, is in the world. That agent of destiny, whom Christians I suppose would call the agent of the vengeance of the Lord, is abroad in every land. His karmic work is proceeding: reaping in order that future crops may be sown. Terrible agent of what the Christians would call divine vengeance, and yet Narada or Pesh-Hun is man's greatest friend for the men who will recognize him. His work is not that of fate, it is that of destiny, which man himself weaves. If he is a disturber of man's ways in order that the mandates of divine justice shall be carried out, he is also the bringer of peace, and the restorer of harmony. To use a beautiful Jewish phrase, it is, ultimately speaking, Narada or Pesh-Hun who "will wipe away all tears."
H.P.B. speaks of Narada, as the Hindus call him, or Pesh-Hun as she calls his name from Atlantean times (he is known by other names in other ages and lands), but she says very little about him indeed for the simple reason that his functions in nature are so difficult to explain to a world which is utterly unaccustomed to the spiritual and intellectual teachings of theosophy, that she just pointed to certain facts and left the matter there.
Who is Narada, who is this Pesh-Hun? In the first place he is a Rishi. He is also a Prajapati. Prajapati means a parent of offspring; it does not say what kind of offsprings, maybe mind-born children, it may be children born of the body, for Prajapati means either or both. He is also a Manu when his functions concerning the human races alone are involved. He is a Dhyan-Chohan or what the Christians would call an Archangel. Of course this reference does not mean much today because the Christians themselves hardly know what they mean by the term. But I am giving a few names in different systems of thought. In Greek and Latin mythology he would be a god or perhaps one of the highest of the Daimones, cosmic spirits. Put it this way: Narada is a Dhyan-Chohan, also Prajapati because of certain functions he performs, also a Rishi or great spiritual teacher because of certain functions he performs. Also a Manu because of the intimate connection with the destinies of the human race. That is why these three names are used, each name being appropriate to different sections of his activity. He is a Dhyan-Chohan of the highest or the next to the highest class. I am not now referring merely to the three great classes of Dhyan-Chohans higher than the humans. I am referring to classes in a different category. Every possibility of Dhyan-Chohanic type considered, Narada belongs to the next to the highest type.
What are the functions of Narada? Typically those of carrying out karmic destiny. There you have a key to all his activities. What the Lipikas have written down, Narada as an individual agent or as an individuality, as an Archangel, sees are carried out. He is the agent of karmic destiny. The consequence is that, just because destiny to us humans is often so unpleasant due to our own faults and failings in the past, Narada has been given very uncomplimentary titles by those who have seen his work in the world and in the world of men and who do not like it. When they do like it, when it is something that humans like, he is given very complimentary titles: the Benefactor, the Kindly Helper, the Warrior for Mankind, the bringer about of all the good things in destiny. But when as an impartial, impersonal agent of karmic destiny he brings about trouble on the human race, then he is given very uncomplimentary names, as for instance he is called Kali-Kara, the Strife-Producer, because in the course of human destiny it is his work to bring about war and peace.
Now can you see why H.P.B. has side-stepped this very function, duty, character of Narada? It is a ticklish thing because in the Occident we do not want to believe that the world is conducted by cosmic and spiritual laws, nor do we want to believe that the horrible things that happen to us are infallibly and inevitably our own self-earned destiny. We prefer: it is his fault. That is the way we pass the buck, and yet show me anything that happens to you as far as you can see that is not the result of your own action. There is the law.
So the functions of Narada are to act as the agent of karma. How does he do this? Being a Dhyani-Chohan he cannot come amongst us and work as a human being does, because he belongs to a much higher kingdom, among the very highest of the three Dhyan-Chohanic kingdoms. He is an impersonal, impartial agent of destiny. His duty is to see that the world is protected, that karmic law, destiny, be carried out irrespective of consequences; for it is the only way to re-establish law, order, equilibrium, justice, and ultimate wisdom and peace. Otherwise there would be Nature piling up a vast accumulation of unexpended karma which sometime or in time might flood the human race and utterly destroy it. No wonder H.P.B. side-stepped this question.
How does Narada therefore work? Sometimes he overshadows men of the proper psychological, spiritual, intellectual, and even physical temperament and works through them. These men then are called by H.P.B. Men of Destiny. They may not in themselves be even good men, which is another reason why Narada is often spoken of in uncomplimentary terms; but they may be good men, these Men of Destiny. But they are used as instruments and tools to carry out, to bring to pass, certain things that are lying in the womb of time and must come out, and there must be a guiding spiritual power to see that the performing of these events shall take place without the complete wrecking of mankind. This is Narada's work: a protector of mankind and also an avenger.
The Occidental for centuries has been trained in a religious and philosophical system which is since early medieval times so utterly contrary to the facts of Nature that we have lost touch with how the world is ruled and governed. It is governed by spiritual and highly intellectual powers. For instance our own globe is, globe D of our chain. Not a thing takes place by chance, by hap, by hazard or by fortuity. Everything that takes place on this globe or in the solar system or in the sun or in the galaxy takes place according to law; and it takes place according to law because the agents of law, the agents of karma, are there to hold it firm, to prevent as it were the earthquake or the tidal wave or the cyclone, from going crazy and destroying indiscriminately. Do you see what I am trying to say? Destiny is held firmly in the hands of the gods; or as the early Christians phrased it in their own phrasing, a phrasing which has lost sense today, the world is ruled by God Almighty through the hierarchy of angels, which is the theosophical teaching taught in the Christian form. These Angels carry out the decrees of destiny, and we have remnants in Christian teaching today of this old Theosophy of early Christianity, as for instance when they speak of the Angel of Death or the Angel of Destiny or the Angel of Disease — or turning to the New Testament, the Four Angels of the Apocalypse. You might ask what are they now? War, disease or pestilence, starvation, and death: you remember the Spanish writer, Ibanez, wrote a famous book The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Now it is Narada who is in charge of these karmic productions of destiny. No wonder he is called Kali-Kara, the Strife-Producer. He does not produce it out of nothing, out of a diabolic wish to injure mankind. He is simply the agent of karmic destiny bringing about, for instance, the breaking up of old crystallized conditions which are becoming a spiritual opiate for mankind, or stopping things that are threatening to injure mankind. You see, a teaching like this also could be dangerous if it fell into the minds of irresponsible or weak men who would twist it to personal and selfish uses. Such men have no conception of the profundities and intricacies of theosophic truths, which are the archaic wisdom-religion of mankind.
Once more let me ask what or who is Narada? Narada is not only the agent of karmic destiny but is mankind's savior, the bringer about of man's evolutionary progress, the bringer about of change tending upwards to nobler things, and likewise paradoxically enough the bringer about or restorer of spiritual and intellectual stability. Because there can be no stability when an accumulated reservoir of karma is waiting and threatening to burst the dam and cause devastation, destruction indiscriminately.
Take into your minds some of the consequences of these thoughts. They will make you charitable, less inclined to hate and misjudge other human beings. Take Napoleon for instance, or Julius Caesar or Alexander — three men who if you judge them in the balance of ordinary human justice are three evildoers because they were all upsetters, all destroyers of convention and of established things. But the world lived through them, and yet who were they? Average men, each one with a peculiar cast, psychological and other, which Narada could work through to bring about the karmic changes. In other words Narada is a kind of Siva, destroyer and regenerator, but his destructions are always beneficial, he is always on the side of liberty, absolute justice to all irrespective of anything, and on the side of progress. If there is one thing that Narada abhors, it is cruelty, cruelty of any kind, cruelty to friend or cruelty to foe. You immediately put yourself under the watchful eye of Narada if you indulge in anything that is subhuman.
In passing, let me say that my reference to Alexander, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon, is not because I think these three men are patterns of human conduct, for I do not, very much to the contrary. But they are notable historical instances of men of destiny, who were used almost as pawns precisely because of their weaknesses and distorted strength to bring about noble things despite these men themselves.
It is a peculiar thing that if you will study the history of mankind you will find that the great plays of Narada, the great activities of Narada, are always accompanied by or followed very closely by a great manifestation of moral and religious life. The greatest religions are always established at the time of the greatest human turnovers. Narada's work both of them. Narada prepares the ground, guides the loosening of karmic destiny, and as it were beckons with his hand to the gods of teaching to come in along the pathway he opens.
Some may wonder if Narada is the same as the Silent Watcher. No, the Silent Watcher is above all. We may perhaps at least figuratively say that Narada is the Siva-aspect of the Silent Watcher. Narada is a kind of Logos for this globe throughout the entire kalpa. And what is the function of the Logoi, greater or smaller, higher or lower? Each one to guide all its children into the future of glorious achievement.
Let me point out another aspect. Suppose there were a great religion in the world which had lost the original inspiration, the theosophic inspiration of its Master, of its Founder, and it had become ecclesiastical and theological instead of continuing to be living and vital, a mighty and spiritually controlling power in the life of its followers. Suppose this religion — one of the noblest motors of human thought and conduct — had become mere formalism and rites, and there were even disputes whether the teaching of the Founder was really meant to be taken as we have received it. What does Narada do? Narada breaks that shell, releases the imprisoned spirit once again. Of course there is lots of trouble. Men on religious points are almost fanatic; you break up their crystallized beliefs, they can even become almost demons at times. But Narada has a bigger work in view than the merely conventional feelings of numbers of these coryphaei and their millions of followers. Narada in such instance works to release and restore to its pristine power and influence the imprisoned and perhaps forgotten spirit of the Founder. It may be done quickly in a crash, in a disaster. Or it may be done through years and years and years of slow expansion and breaking of the old shell. Narada works in various ways always according to destiny and always in the kindest way that he can work, because he is a regenerator and a builder. That is the most important. Here you have an example. Religion had become a danger in a case like that. It had become a drug. People were going to sleep. The souls of men were so somnolent, so negative, as dominant factors in human life, that men actually were no longer truly ensouled by their souls. They were little more than bodies, blindly following merely conventional practices. But Narada re-ensouls these men. Their souls awaken. They begin to think and to question. They want the spirit. They burst the shell; overthrow the forms. And we have a great religious revival or regeneration in a case like that.
But of course it is a painful process. The coryphaei don't like it. Millions of their followers don't like it. Their quiet, comfortable, smug beliefs are overthrown. They don't know that they are exchanging old soiled clothing for the garments of life, of spirit, exchanging the body for the spirit. They have not realized it yet. It is only after Time, the magic agent, has softened the woes of adversity, of the bursting shell, and has brought even those who are hurt to see and to say: "Why, it is the very best thing to happen. Now we understand the Master's teaching. Now religion has become a vital moving thing in my heart. It guides my life. It is something to believe in and to live by." Do you see? The work of Narada! But during that time, what did Narada do? He was a Kali-Kara, Strife-Producer, he had to break the shell.
And that is the work of the Logos too, whichever Logos you mean, the Logos of our globe or of our chain or of the solar system. But mark you, distinguish between the work of Narada and evil men. Evil men may be used by Narada for karmic purposes, and that is done constantly, just as Narada will use good men. And be careful lest you set yourselves up as judges. But the distinction between the work of a bad man who is not guided by Narada and Narada's work is this: that the bad man is always working for himself, egoistic selfishness, the root of all evil; whereas the work of Narada, no matter what the channel, is always for the world, even though his human instruments imagine they are working for their own ends. We may not always see it but it is there. For instance, when Narada smashes a great organization by regenerating it, the bursting of the shell and the tortures suffered by those involved is torture for them, and they think it is hell. But actually it is not, it is a salvation, and they grow to know it after a while; but the process is to them a hell. So we have to be very, very careful in judgment, very charitable and understanding.
Narada's functions therefore are so essentially spiritual and intellectual as well as psychic, that a preliminary study of the wisdom-religion is almost essential to prepare people to receive understandingly just who Narada is and what his functions in the world are. The main point to grasp first is that our universe is governed by law and by order emanating from intelligent and spiritual sources, and consequently that everything that happens in that universe is within that sway of law and under the sway of that order, and in consequence there is no chance, which is to theosophists a word utterly devoid of all substantial meaning; and therefore that whatever happens has been caused — karma. The first thing this teaches us is to stop sitting in the judgment seat upon other men. It teaches us to stop arrogating to ourselves the all-capacity to condemn others. Judge not that ye be not judged. But keep it in mind that Narada so works, call him an Angel of Destiny, an Archangel of Destiny, or a Dhyan-Chohan whose work in the world is just that, guiding mankind and the other kingdoms too, guiding mankind's steps through tribulation and suffering from their own folly, towards freedom and wisdom and love, with his immensely strong hand of the friend, upwards and onwards through suffering and pain, through joy and peace, through war and disturbance, through attainment and progress, upwards and onwards forever.
Main Table of Contents
1. ". . . due to her being sent out alone into the world to gradually prepare the way for others." — K.H. in The Mahatma Letters, p. 203. (return to text)