The Theosophical Forum – June 1947

ISVARA — Marion O. French

Isvara is the preceptor of all, even of the earliest of created beings, for He
is not limited by time. — Yoga Aphorism 26 of Patanjali

Ineffable Spirit of Truth garbed in the effulgent glory of radiant robes, we can but touch the outermost hem of thy garment. Yet, this is enough, for the fringes thereof are the Divine Monads, the Immanent Christs in each of us. Through them, Thou speakest with infinite patience and compassion, repeating through time without end the lessons that we all must learn. Coaxing with the secret pleasure of the generous act, admonishing with the suffering that comes of evil as live spelled backwards, Thou leadest on. Truly, Thou art the loving Mother and stern Father without whom we, Thy children, must perish.

So we might state almost the whole of the lesson of life. Down through the Hierarchies to each of us cometh the instruction of Isvara, Light of the Darkness, and Voice of the Silence. Into each a ray shineth, lighting The Way up from the lower to the Higher Self and on into an unspeakably beautiful Beyond. Through the Spark of the Flame, the Christos within, that Higher Self under the guidance of Isvara seeks ever to lead us upward to reunion with our own Divinity. This is tuition, that of the parent for the child, of the teacher for the pupil. In ever expanding spheres of consciousness it continues on forever toward Isvara. Through cycle after cycle that pass like the seasons of the year, the blossoms of successive lives bloom forth upon the planes of manifestation from Saptaparna, the man-plant. These are our lives, fragrant and graceful, or alas, fetid and disgraceful.

Let us remember, while we are under tuition, that we do not come back to exhibit the proficiencies that we have acquired by lessons well learned. No instructor, let alone the Higher Self, keeps a student in the same grade indefinitely for the sole purpose of permitting him, or her, to shine as brilliant in one subject. We are brought back to remedy deficiencies and can never advance very far until we do so. It takes moral stamina to return to rectify a failure. A wilful and rebellious pride seeking applause for some particular ability that repetition has made almost automatic will hold us here until aught in the way of mundane glory begins to pall upon us. Such self-adulation as is engendered by success in some highly specialized skill is a great temptation and one that leads on in ceaseless circles with the lure of subtle sophistries. Nonetheless, it binds us as securely on the wheel of life as do the cords of sodden sensuality. The tuition to which we are subjected has but the one object of developing the in-tuition. Then, we can return and take conscious direction of our lives and cease to be led like little children. Then, in simile, the golden stamen that rises in each flower will have become pollinated by pollen wafted from higher spheres.

Compassionately, when a human life has been a good one, the Higher Self drowns with the waters of Lethe all memory of some special proclivity. This is done in order that we may come to circumstances which will render it necessary for us to correct our lack of knowledge in essential prerequisites for further evolution. Kill our ambition and all sense of separateness sayeth the ancient doctrine, lest it hold over from life to life in every greater terrestrial achievement in this or that, and nothing else. This is the price we pay for pride, for the ruthless ambition that leads us on to an ever narrowing circle of consciousness in a selfish determination to excel our fellow men as though they were separate from ourselves. Surely, we should strive to be as skillful as we can in whatsoever task we are called upon to perform, or that into which our lives lead us. We may have an impersonal ambition to do extremely well any duty that will benefit the world at large. This is a sort of professional ambition that finds its highest recompense in contributing to the advancement of a trade, an art, or a science. This will not bind us ever tighter upon the wheels of lives. Intuition will develop soon under this uninhibited tutelage that is not self-centered. Manifold skills will come as direct cognition replaces the laborious necessity for studying out each detail. The influx of illumination will be in direct proportion to our selflessness.

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