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, Vol. II, page 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 recognise 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."
Now then, I was asked especially to make a few comments this morning upon the question of the Hindu Rishi Narada about whom under the Atlantean name of Pesh-Hun I spoke two or three weeks ago from this platform. 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. H. P. B. not being here to answer questions that she herself had a-roused, it falls upon me to do my best!
Who is Narada, who is this Pesh-Hun? In the first place he is a Rishi. He is also a Prajapati. You know what these names mean. Prajapati means a parent of offspring, 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 today 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 connexion 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, 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 by men, 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, to bring about war and to bring about 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 in the Occident 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 karman. 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 karman 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 over-shadows 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 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 mediaeval 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 karman, 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 our Theosophical teaching taught in the Christian form. These Angels carry out the decrees of destiny, and you even 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. I remember a Spanish writer, Ibanez, wrote a famous book The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. So even in Christianity you have the same teaching.
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; and through this ignorance even the uninstructed public could imagine that a Theosophist in speaking thus is saying something that he should not say.
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 karman 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. You 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 evil-doers 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. Do you get it? 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 sub-human.
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. I trust I make my meaning clear. Indeed, I personally do not like these three men, nor do I admire them in any sense.
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 turn-overs. 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. You 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.
I can only hint at certain things. Let me point out one thing which I don't know that Occidentals will understand very well. 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. Do you see? 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 you 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 the 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. You 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.
Now can you see why H. P. B. rather side-stepped all this matter of Narada and who he is and what he does? It is really extremely difficult even to attempt to explain Narada's work in the world.
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 understand-ingly 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 us Theosophists a word utterly devoid of all substantial meaning; and therefore that whatever happens has been caused — Karman. 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.
I do hope you will understand all this; otherwise I shall bitterly regret that I ever tried to answer the question.
— This address by the late Leader of the Theosophical Society was given on March 22, 1942, at a regular meeting of the Headquarters Lodge at Point Loma, shortly before the Society moved its headquarters to Covina. At that time the Lodge was studying certain pregnant passages from H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, and the talks that Dr. de Pu-rucker then gave are mostly incorporated in the recent posthumous publication, Studies in Occult Philosophy, issued by Theosophical University Press last September. Though this present article rightly belongs with that series, on correcting it, Dr. de Purucker asked that it not be published until the close of the war. — Eds.