AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„ASPECTS OF THE PRACTICE OF AGNI YOGA“
Initiation to Agni Yoga
Dear Agni Yogis,
often I am asked:
"Is there an initiation to Agni Yoga?"
Well, not in the sense that, after many severe trials, you are admitted to an elitist secret society at an obscure nocturnal ceremony in a dark cave after sacrificing a hind (or even a virgin!) with all sorts of magic formulas and abracadabra. Better let us say:
You initiate yourself.
"Impossible! I can't elevate myself!"
You can, by working on yourself and thus ascending ever higher. A stage of initiation is nothing other than a higher degree of perfection or the next rung on the ladder of Hierarchy.
It is ridiculous to read about the highest degrees of initiation that can be attained in contemporary occult schools. The highest degrees are attained only through inner perfectment, which no contemporary esoteric school can give. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 07.01.1937)
Initiation is a portal which, if you fulfil certain conditions, you can pass through and enter a new life in a higher world. (Nicholas Roerich "And we are opening the Gates")
But the necessary steps you have to take yourself. No one can or will carry you through this gate!
A High Spirit can do no more than help us in our efforts to reform our inner beings. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 09.07.1935)
I say to you, "follow me" (for I cannot carry you), and I point you to the mile – stones along the Path which I have travelled. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 25 “Selflessness, the one Thing needful”)
1. Minimum Programme
Furthermore, I am often asked:
"I am busy from morning till night providing for myself and my family. I don't even have time to read the Agni Yoga books. What is the absolute minimum programme I have to go through in order to practise Agni Yoga and to participate in the New Construction?”
Here is the very least every Agni Yogi must and can do even if he is ever so busy:
Get up fifteen minutes earlier every morning and go through the 7 steps of the Initiation to Agni Yoga. After that in the course of the day you can devote yourself to your earthly duties. The crucial work takes place on the inner level.
The busiest people can devote an hour each day to their approach to the Teaching. We cannot believe that there is not a moment available for the most essential, for that for which we live. (Agni Yoga 357)
"What actually is an initiation?"
An initiation always has two aspects:
1. It is a transformation into a new man, and
2. It is a reception into a spiritual community.
There is a short, simple ritual by which you can confirm your transformation into the New Man of Spirit of the 6th Race as well as your membership in the Supratemporal Community of those who, under the guidance of the Mahatmas, are advancing evolution on this earth.
"Are there any conditions? Or does everyone get initiated?"
No, you must be well prepared for this step.
True initiation does not need any rituals. It comes when the inner man is ready and only the Great Teacher is present, as He directs that transmuting ray which must be assimilated by the disciple. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 01.08.1934)
There can be no initiation for the impure.
All degrees of initiation are in ourselves. When a disciple is ready, he receives a Ray of Illumination, which corresponds with the degree of purification he has achieved, as well as of the broadening of his consciousness and the fiery transmutation of his centres. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 16.01.1935)
You must therefore have made good progress on the path of purification, of spiritual discipline, of the mastery of your four mortal bodies, your perishable personality.
In ancient times obedience was a step toward the next initiation. The one who was unable to realize entirely the discipline of obedience could never reach the higher degrees. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 17.12.1930)
There can be no initiation for beginners either.
You must know a lot in order to be initiated.
Initiation to Agni Yoga requires that you are well advanced in the study and understanding of the books of Agni Yoga.
Furthermore, you should have absorbed the essential teachings from our previous Videos and know the basic laws of existence, such as evolution, hierarchy, karma, reincarnation and the reality of the Higher Worlds (see the Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga I: Basics").
You must have a lot of abilities in order to be initiated.
Initiation is only possible if you have practised a lot in order to implement the higher knowledge in everyday life. Above all, you must have made progress in transforming into the New Man, that is, in the exercises we have presented in the Series "Experiment Immortality".
We cannot repeat all this here. Therefore, in the written text of this Video, there are many references to earlier videos, with the help of which you may, if necessary, deepen what was previously explained.
By the way, this applies to all Videos of Agni Yoga Web TV: When I say: "We had already said", "We repeat" or "You remember", you will usually find in the written text of the Video a reference to the video where you can look up the details.
Now let us perform together the ritual of an Agni Yoga Initiation.
4. Stepping before the Teacher
Svetoslav Roerich "Sacred Words”
The initiation takes place at the feet of your Teacher in his ashram.
It begins with your stepping before him in the morning of each day (see the Videos "Communion with the Higher World – Meditation" and "Become a Disciple!"). The Teacher helps you to transform into a New Man. He receives you into the community. He accepts your promise.
Initiations take place face to face, between a Great Teacher and the disciple; the next degree of perception of the higher energies, or rays, is the result. Therefore, such initiations always take place unexpectedly and often simply in the bedroom or workroom of the disciple. These Festivals of the Spirit have nothing in common with the sham initiations described in some occult books. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 07.01.1937)
"And what if I do not know my Teacher yet?"
You are well aware that your Spiritual Father exists. You can turn to him without knowing his name and call him:
"Father of my soul"
As in every Agni Yoga meditation, you first pronounce in your mind seven times the words "Morya Maitreya" and then seven times "I love you, Father" (see the Video "Communion with the Higher World – Meditation").
In this way you offer complete devotion and obedience to the Brotherhood of the Mahatmas of Shambhala, and love to your Eternal Father.
You will experience: It is not at all easy to speak these few words and to show these simple feelings.
"Yes, indeed, my mind keeps straying, even during these few seconds."
Try this remedy: Visualise the images of the Mahatma and of the Teacher and concentrate completely on them: As if you were sitting at their feet, as if they were standing in front of you in the flesh.
The "7 words" must not be rattled off as a tiresome fulfilment of duty. They must come from the heart and create a living connection! When you say "I love you" to a woman, you are not thinking about the football results or the prices at the stock exchange either!
The Initiation to Agni Yoga consists of seven steps, which we will now go through one after the other:
First step: You transform into a Being of Spirit
Nicholas Roerich "Glory of the Himalayas"
In the first step of your initiation, you transform into a non-material, invisible, immortal being of spirit.
The individual soul then knows it is one of the sexless spiritual beings which came from higher spheres to redeem gross matter. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Twin Souls”)
The initiation is an act of creation!
You turn into a completely new being, into the spirit-man of the 6th race, of the next higher level of evolution.
Now We assemble the spirits of the sixth race, and Agni Yoga is the Call! (Infinity I, 188)
In a real metamorphosis you transform yourself, just as a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
A dream comes true: Nietzsche's Overman becomes reality!
Your transformation into an immortal being of spirit is the basis both for your personal progress and for the advancement of humanity as a whole.
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. (Lao-tse)
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. (Tolstoy)
You yourself must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Gandhi)
1. You transfer your Consciousness into the Higher Self
"How does this transformation take place?"
Man is what he thinks! (Buddha)
Indeed, thoughts create our inner being. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter dated 21.01.1936)
You change your consciousness and no longer think: "I have a soul", but:
"I am a soul". (Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains")
You become aware:
I am not the body I see in the mirror. I am the invisible being of spirit that uses on its eternal path on the most diverse planes of existence an infinite number of transient bodies as vehicles. (Manet "Woman in front of a Mirror")
You drag your consciousness out of your body and transfer it into your soul, into the non-material, invisible part of your being, into your Eternal Individuality, into your Higher Self. (see the Video "The Secret of Immortality Part I")
Your consciousness rests now in the rider, no longer in the donkey, in the puppet, not in the marionette, above the clouds, in Heaven, not on earth. (C. Tauser "The Puppeteer")
Now you perceive the world with completely different eyes, namely with the eyes of your soul.
You take a higher standpoint. (Nicholas Roerich "Tsong kha-pa")
From up there you look at what is happening down on earth, at your fellow men and also at you yourself – your transient personality. (Caspar David Friedrich "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog")
You look at things on the material plane sub specie aeternitatis, as the ancient Romans so beautifully said: from the perspective of eternity.
From up there you steer your tools (the four perishable bodies: physical body, body of feelings, body of instincts and body of thoughts) like the driver of a quadriga controls his steeds.
In this Higher World you are not affected by the confusion, adversities, distress and suffering which reign on the material level.
2. You bring the ideal Image to Life
Uta of Naumburg
To carry out this exercise you must form a picture of the spiritual creature into which you wish to transform.
You have to form an ideal pattern, and then mould the soul substance by or into that ideal. (Teachings of the Temple Vol II, Lesson “The seven Builders”)
"Where am I going to take this picture from?"
Develop an idea: How, in what shape does your Eternal Individuality wish to appear after death in the World Beyond? Who or what do you want to be in all worlds, at all times, not only on earth? Think not so much of a person, but more of an office.
Do you want to be a disciple of the Brotherhood, a teacher, a queen of the spirit, a healer or a spiritual warrior? (Nicholas Roerich "Pearl of Searching", Piero della Francesca "St. Jerome and a Disciple", Uta von Naumburg, Nicholas Roerich "Pantaleimon", "Sword of Peace")
With the power of your spirit – namely with your imagination, your thoughts and your will – you create a subtle reality around you: You clothe yourself in the hologram of such a personality.
You equip this ideal image with consciousness and bring it to life with the help of your psychic energy.
We already talked about this process in the Video "Participation in the Life of the Higher World".
When you express this vision on the material plane, you are a disciple, teacher, healer, spiritual warrior or king of the spirit. This your true Self may not be visible, but it is a subtle reality and as such it can be felt.
3. New Name
You change your identity: Previously you were a material creature. Now you are a spirit-man.
In order to give evidence of this second birth, you receive a new name at the initiation. Until now you were Mary Smith or James Baker. These names, however, denote your old, transient personality, which will no longer exist in just a few years from now.
Call your new Self, which lives eternally, for example Anima.
4. You bring your Soul to Life
"Endowing a hologram with consciousness is quite difficult to understand and seems hardly practicable to me."
Well, instead of transformation into a being of spirit, we can also say: You awaken your soul to its life.
You bring to light a creature that already exists but is slumbering deep within you: Anima.
Your individual soul, different from all others, which is alive since times immemorial.
"How exactly do I proceed? What should I do? How can I awaken my hidden Eternal Individuality?"
A baby becomes aware of himself and awakens to his life when he discovers his body and notices what he can do with it.
A soul becomes aware of itself and awakens to its life as soon as it perceives itself and realises that it has spiritual senses and spiritual powers which it can use.
You learn to lead the life of your soul!
The life of the rider, not that of the vehicle, the donkey, which you have led until today!
The life of the soul alone is worth living. (Tolstoy "Anna Karenina", Part 8 Chapter XIII)
5. You let your Soul think, feel, speak and act
Oswald Dubach "The Initiate"
You lead the life of your soul by letting it appear in the material earthly world.
"How does this happen? What does 'appear' mean?"
You not only think and feel on the inner, but also speak and act on the outer plane like a spirit-being – that is, as your Eternal Individuality wills.
Anima thinks, feels, speaks and acts, no longer Mary Smith or James Baker.
"Could you please explain this in more detail?"
We had already talked about many examples (Videos "The Secret of Immortality" and "Mastery of Thoughts"): Your body thinks: "I am hungry." Your soul thinks: "My vehicle is requesting fuel. Is it really absolutely necessary to supply it again?" Your lower Self thinks: "I am wounded." Your Higher Self knows better: "I am invulnerable and inviolable."
No longer your transient, but your Eternal Being reveals itself in material everyday life. It becomes a real factor, an acting entity making an impact on earth. Your mantram is:
I reveal the Divine only!
"How do I know what my spirit being wants?"
You pause and listen to the voice of your heart.
You direct all your thoughts, feelings, words and acts through the heart!
Who is unaware of the warnings the heart gives every time an unworthy act is about to be performed? Such actions of the heart transmit the best calls, but often people force the heart to be silent. This is a grave crime. (Heart 367)
Above all, your heart tells you: Your soul does not long for material things or pleasures, but for spiritual ones.
6. You develop and use the Potential of your Eternal Individuality
Your perishable personality is still small and weak: constantly hurt, violated, offended, irritated, full of fear and worry about its survival.
As an immortal you are great and strong: imperishable, invulnerable, invincible, fearless, free and full of joy of being.
These are qualities of the New Man which you are to establish in the morning meditation and to express in the course of the earthly day.
You unearth the immeasurable potential of your Eternal Individuality.
You develop and use the higher skills of your being of spirit.
"What kind of skills are you referring to? Levitation? Telekinesis? Walking on water? Mind-reading?"
No, that is for later. Let us start with the much more important abilities which you can use in everyday life:
You open your inner senses. You perceive with the eyes of the soul much more of the whole reality consisting of material and non-material aspects than with the physical eyes!
You use your spiritual power, psychic energy, with which you can achieve much more than with your physical forces.
You sharpen your spiritual senses by listening to your heart.
You strengthen your spiritual powers by enforcing what the heart tells you to do.
"Enforce against whom or what?"
Against your own lower Self. And against the manifold resistance that opposes every attempt to realise an ideal in the material world.
Every applied thought will bring growth to the spirit. (Infinity II, 777 )
Second Step: You build your Being of Light
You unfold the whole hybrid being of man, which consists of a physical and a non-material part. (Veronese "Centaur")
1. You unfold your Body of Light
Matthias Grünewald "Resurrection of Christ”
The higher aspect of your being is not a physical, but a subtle, spiritual reality of the fourth dimension, which consists of waves and vibrations (see the Video "Participation in the Life of the Higher World"). In the second step of your initiation, you unfold this body of light (see the Video "Exercise The Fiery Condition").
"How do I achieve this practically?"
You light the fire of your soul on the spark of the divine spirit that burns within you until you are all aflame!
Here you see a picture of this process:
I believe that we carry within us a spark of that eternal light which must shine at the bottom of our being and which our weak senses can only surmise from afar. To let this spark in us become a flame and to realise the divine within us is our highest duty. (Goethe)
Around the inconspicuous shell of your physical body, you unfold a glorious, golden aura. (Matthias Grünewald "Resurrection of Christ")
Like an artist you create a work of art: A great, beautiful and strong being of light.
The crowns of the Masters are in their royally beautiful radiations. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 08.11.1934)
By setting up your Fiery Body, you rise to your full greatness.
You are now big, a Cosmic Giant, with your feet on earth and your head reaching up to Heaven.
2. You establish the Fiery Condition
You create the ideal condition of your soul, the Fiery State.
We had already discussed this process in detail in the Video "Exercise The Fiery Condition": You tighten the strings or fibres of your being (purity, wisdom, power, joy of being, light, love and others) and thus put yourself in a state of high vibration.
A higher being is a creature with a higher vibration!
You fill yourself with the spirit of purity, wisdom, power, joy of being, light and love. The result will be:
You are, you embody purity, wisdom, power, joy of being, light and love.
You radiate purity, wisdom, power, joy, light and love.
What you think, you are. What you are, you radiate. What you radiate, you attract. (Buddha)
3. You defend the high Vibration
This must not remain abstract. Feel the radiance of your body of light, the state of high vibration – but notice also when your vibration drops!
In the initiation meditation you establish a state of higher spirituality of your Self.
The New Man is a state of the consciousness!
At this moment you actually are the man of the future, of the new evolutionary stage, of the 6th race: a spirit-being.
You really did transform!
Now “only” one task remains: Confirm, assert and defend this achievement in the midst of normal material earthly everyday life.
This inner work takes precedence over everything else!
It is exactly your life’s mission to take your transformation into a man of spirit a significant step forward during this incarnation!
You avoid all that poison which lowers this high vibration and makes your soul small, weak and ugly.
For example, too much or too heavy food, alcohol, irritation or dejection.
Every time your vibration drops, the beautiful hologram of your Fiery Body dissolves!
Just as vapour turns to water and finally to ice when it cools down.
Swearing and cursing disfigures your aura, however justified your anger may be.
Constantly examine yourself:
Am I shining? (Fiery World I, 615)
Third Step: You build the World of the Soul
Your Eternal Individuality, as a subtle being, cannot live in a material, but only in a spiritual world.
As your soul is your true Self, its life in its world is your true existence!
Man as a hybrid being lives in two worlds at the same time: With the body on earth and with the soul in Heaven. With the construction of the Fiery Body, the highest, the Fiery World becomes accessible to you.
As you have just built your body of light, so you are now forming around you a world of light of wonderful beauty in which your Eternal Individuality can live.
Like an artist you are creating a work of art: the glorious home of your soul.
Each spirit creates his own world, and the beauty or ugliness of the created world depends upon the quality of his consciousness. (Infinity II, 719 )
1. You build an Interior Temple
There where you stand you build an Interior Temple (see the Video "The Path of the Interior Temple").
You create around you a world of purity, peace, tranquillity, joy and solemnity, such as they reign in a sanctuary! Here there are no violence, irritation, depression, lust or other evil thoughts, feelings, words or deeds.
The stronghold of a yogi is in the heart. (Supermundane 912)
"How do I build a temple in my heart?"
The world of the soul, like the sphere which you enter after death, is created by your own thoughts and feelings.
Through pure, solemn thoughts you create in your surroundings a pure, solemn aura, a sphere of high vibration.
Thereby you shape the ethereal matter, the subtle reality around you into the hologram of a sanctuary (Messina "St. Jerome") (see the Video "Participation in the Life of the Higher World")
This is at the same time the highest achievement and the greatest happiness: You build a wonderful world and live in your paradise – always, everywhere and independent of the external circumstances.
The dream of Heaven on earth becomes reality.
You never have to leave this sanctuary again!
Create a cell in your heart and never leave it! (St. Catherine of Siena)
You form a picture of your Heaven. Then you animate and move into this hologram in thought, in spirit. The more persistently you succeed to perpetuate this thought-construction around you, the more surely it will grow with time to an ever more material reality, which other people sense when they enter it.
2. You build the World of the Holy Mountain
Nicholas Roerich "Schambhala"
Like the peacock unfolding its train, you raise the hologram of the Holy Mountain of Shambhala behind you, around you. (Nicholas Roerich "Mount of five Treasures") (see the Video "Living in the Ashram of the Teacher")
You visualise the whole reality and thus create it in spirit.
You imagine the subtle reality above the material one:
A mountain strewn with sanctuaries; your teacher's ashram, the dwellings of many other teachers around and above it, and at the top the bulwark where the Mahatmas themselves reside. (Nicholas Roerich "Potala")
Your physical earthly life takes place at the foot of the Holy Mountain. (Nicholas Roerich "Shambhala")
3. You attach your Abode to the Ashram of your Teacher
Nicholas Roerich "Star of the Morning”
You attach your material place of residence and work to the ashram of your Teacher, which is extant in the Subtle World. Your abode is now a part of the physical base of Shambhala. (See the Videos "Living in the continuous Presence of the Teacher", "The Path of the Interior Temple" and "Living in the Ashram of the Teacher")
Initiation is daring to attach oneself to the Face of Light and not fearing to look at it. Attachment to Light requires courage, and such a step of self-denial is in itself a beautiful initiation. (Supermundane 232)
"I still don't understand. How exactly do I establish a connection with a place of the Higher World?"
You tune in to the vibration that reigns up there.
Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality. This is not philosophy. This is physics. (Albert Einstein)
You step into the area covered by the ray of your teacher.
Initiation consists of the assimilation of higher rays of various strength and qualities. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 12.08.1934)
Your Spiritual World, your Eternal Home, your Heaven looks like this: You as disciple at the feet of your Teacher, your smaller brothers and sisters below and your fellow disciples, friends and co-workers beside you.
4. You participate in the Life of the Higher World
Nicholas Roerich "Zvenigorod"
In the Fiery Body it is possible for you to participate in the life of the highest, the Fiery World.
As after death, you are already now living together with your Eternal Family, with the Teacher and your soulmates! You feel their presence. You are never alone. But they are also watching you.
It is one thing to discuss abstractly distant worlds; it is another to realize oneself a participant there. (Community 30)
The awareness of the continuous presence of your Teacher completely transforms your life.
I will endeavour to realize the presence of the Avatar as a living power in my life. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “The Avataric Mantram”)
You work together with your invisible friends, with the members of the Supratemporal Community to which you belong (see the Video "Participation in the Life of the Higher World"). They help you. You help them with their work. In distress, your mantram is:
I take refuge in the Teaching, in the Teacher and in the community.
5. You defend your Heaven
The initiation has only succeeded if you really love the glorious vibration of your Heaven and if you are really sad about every crash which will inevitably come to pass in the course of the day!
Defend the dignity of the temple in earthly life! Do not allow anything to desecrate the sanctuary, neither from your part (from your lower Self) nor from others!
This inner work is more important than anything else!
You will not let yourself be dragged down to a lower world by anything or anyone, not by repugnant circumstances and not by the many hands that greedily reach for you. (Bosch "Heaven and Hell", Rubens "The Fall of the Damned", Bouts "Hell", Bosch "Hell")
With every decrease in vibration, the hologram of paradise dissolves and you sink down to a lower environment!
The spirit that rules determines the world in which you live.
This spiritual battle against low vibrations is the adventure of today’s time! (Archangel Michael, Kiev)
You submit to the Order of your Supratemporal Community
In the fourth step you submit to the order of the Supratemporal Community into which you are received by the initiation.
As a member, you must integrate into the culture that prevails and observe the rules, laws, customs and traditions that apply there – not only after death in Heaven, but already now during your stay on earth.
If you are satisfied to evolve with the masses, well and good; if you would pass beyond the masses, you must be subject to higher laws than those which govern material substance. (Teachings of the Temple Vol I, Lesson 21 “Prayer”)
If you do not observe them, you will lose the connection to your paradise and fall down to a lower world.
The incarnation is also a test: You must prove that you are able to live in all worlds and under all circumstances according to the higher laws of your homeland.
The initiation is a vow for the coming day!
A promise to yourself, to the Teacher and to Hierarchy to follow the instructions they gave you.
"What rules, laws and customs are you talking about?"
Of course, of the 10 Pillars of the Practice of Agni Yoga, which we had addressed in a separate Series of Videos:
The threefold spiritual discipline: defence of the higher consciousness, rhythm of the day and nourishment according to spiritual principles; the three principles of life: obedience, living in two worlds and selflessness; and the four spheres of life by which these rules become practical.
1st Sphere of Life: Communion with the Higher World (Meditation)
Gambarelli, Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena.
"St. Catherine prays the Liturgy of the Hours with Jesus"
Agni Yoga meditation is a conversation with your Teacher. You set fixed times for this practice in the morning, at noon and in the evening. If necessary and if possible, you may have a short communion also in between, in the middle of your earthly work. You strengthen your connection with the Higher World!
You use every day for weaving a new fibre into the Silvery Thread of the connection with your Teacher.
2nd Sphere of Life: Service to the Common Good
You strive each morning to receive a personal assignment from Above for your service in the world.
You use every day for contributing a stone to the construction of the New World.
The Service is so great that each step already constitutes a heroic deed. Each day, with each thought, something significant is done. (Fiery World II, 465)
"What does this great project require practically?"
You establish the Rule of the Spirit in the world.
You enforce the Cosmic Order, truth, justice, beauty and love, in the place where you are living and working as well as in your surroundings!
You ask your Teacher and yourself what exactly you can and must do today. You draw up a work schedule on how you want to use this day to fulfil your mission.
Life is service for evolution. (Supermundane 305)
3rd Sphere of Life: Service to the Neighbour
Rembrandt "The Good Samaritan"
You make the motto of the Boy Scouts your own:
Do a good deed every day. (Robert Baden-Powell)
Life itself will give you plenty of opportunities to carry out this resolution.
4th Sphere of Life: Education, Self-improvement
Every morning you strive to receive a personal task from Above for your education, your ascent, your self-improvement.
You use every day for moving up one rung on the ladder of Hierarchy and becoming a little bit greater.
"What does that mean practically?"
You establish the Rule of the Spirit over yourself.
You discard a bad quality or habit and form a better one.
Purify your thoughts, and after determining your three worst traits, sacrifice them to be burned away in fiery striving. (Agni Yoga 185)
Like an artist on a masterpiece, you are working on the realisation of the ideal of a great, strong and beautiful soul according to which you wish to mould yourself.
You unfold the immeasurable potential that lies hidden within you!
You are walking the path of unlimited growth, the path of the Great Soul, the path to God!
The word Mahatma is translated as Great Soul. Some imagine the Mahatmas as a completely distinct race. One should not conceive a Great Soul to be entirely distinct. Each Mahatma began his ascent from the very midst of the people, having only dared to choose the difficult path of the Great Soul. (Hierarchy 304)
You refute the upsetting words of Nietzsche:
We can perceive nothing today that wants to grow greater. ("On the Genealogy of Morals") (Hans Olde "Friedrich Nietzsche")
You ask your Teacher and yourself what exactly you can and must do today to achieve this aim. You draw up an education schedule on how you want to use this day to fulfil your mission (see our Series "Education").
5. In the Evening Accountability
In the evening you return to your Teacher and give an account of the day:
Have you done what you were told and what you set out to do? Have you fulfilled your work- and education-schedule?
Has the relationship with your Teacher become closer, the Silvery Thread of the connection stronger? Is the building of the New World greater? Is one of your fellow men a little happier because of you? Have you grown a little?
The initiation meditation in the morning and the accountability meditation in the evening are the least you have to do (and can do in all circumstances) for the strengthening of your soul.
You never fail to brush your teeth at least twice a day, however overloaded with duties you may be and however late it is in the evening.
The care for your Eternal Individuality is even more needful and must be carried out with the same regularity – in particular if you want your soul to grow greater.
Daily we partake of food, and without it regard the day as miserable. But our spirit also requires nourishment of thought, and it is a crime to pass one’s day without it. (Agni Yoga 357)
Fifth Step: You Take over Your Cosmic Office
In the fifth step of your initiation, you take over an office in the community into which you are received: Your Cosmic Office; for example, that of a co-worker or disciple of the Brotherhood, a teacher, healer, king of spirit, priest, judge or spiritual warrior.
At least in the Subtle World, in eternity, in your true existence, you are now a disciple, a teacher or a king of the spirit. With this identity you must also appear in the material world: Your body, your perishable Self, is only the lowest level of this overall personality:
Materially you are a baker or a shoemaker and subtly-spiritually a disciple or a king.
“Why do you always emphasise the office of a disciple?”
Because everyone who walks the Spiritual Path, whatever other office he holds and however high he has already ascended – even a Mahatma, even a World Teacher like Jesus or Buddha – is always also the disciple of someone even greater (see the Video "The Hierarchy").
1. You become a Link in the Chain of Hierarchy
You take your place in the chain of Hierarchy.
On your level, in your place, in your area of responsibility, you are a part of the World Government.
Whether you bear responsibility as a kindergarten or a school teacher, a doctor or in any other position: Through you the Hierarchy acts on the material plane.
You are a great Lord, a Hierarch, a Spirit Ruler – even if according to earthly standards you might be a small cogwheel only. (Nicholas Roerich "Archat")
As a member of Hierarchy you participate in its power. You can appear like a prince, expect and instil the respect due to your position, because you are a representative of the Mahatmas on earth and They stand behind you.
My people may use My Power. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 285 )
2. You put on your Official Attire
Your Teacher dresses you in the subtle robe that belongs to your office (see the Video "The Invisible Toga").
Just as a doctor wears his gown, a priest his vestment, a philosopher his cloak, a monk his cowl, a judge his robe, a fighter his armour and a soldier or policeman his uniform.
You put on the white robe of a Hierarch – in spirit, of course. (Nicholas Roerich "Guru")
Wear this garment with the sign "Community of Maitreya" over the heart with pride and dignity!
Do not underestimate this exercise! The "Invisible Toga" reminds you that in the world you are always in office and must set an example. It helps you to maintain your dignity.
Your aura is decisively determined by your official attire, even if it is "only" virtual. (Liebermann "Dr. Sauerbruch")
You must be recognisable as a spiritual person among the worldly ones!
3. You take over the Duties of your Office
The Brotherhood entrusts you with an office. It is your greatest happiness and honour to be allowed to serve as a helper and co-worker of the Mahatmas!
You conscientiously carry out the duties associated with your position. Your only concern is to fill your office with life and to embody the ideal of an office bearer.
Your person steps back in favour of your office.
Mortals like to profess noncommittally that they want to become a better man. We say in more concrete terms: You strive to be a good disciple, a good doctor, a good judge, a good craftsman, a good mother, a good father or a good president.
The duties of your office tell you in every situation how you should behave and what you should do or not do.
Böcklin "Sacred Grove”
The priest at divine service, the teacher in front of his class, the doctor in his practice or the fireman on duty are completely transformed: Personal concerns fade into the background, earthly worries fall off them. They joyfully serve only their vocation and no longer think of themselves.
It is your office that transfigures your life!
Your true greatness lies in your Cosmic Office.
Even if, like the saints Alfons Rodriguez or Konrad von Parzham, you are only acting as a porter at the monastery gate.
Like a soldier or a policeman, you are proud of your important task and of your position in the Hierarchy.
5. You preserve the Dignity of your Office
Holbein "St. Thomas More”
On the material plane you preserve the dignity of your subtle office and defend the position you have reached in the Hierarchy. The king of the spirit or the disciple of wisdom, who you are in your true existence in the Higher World, must prove himself as such in all circumstances, also in a foreign country, in exile, among barbarians or enemies, even in prison or on the cross.
No harm should be inflicted to the office by unworthy behaviour of the person.
Sixth Step: You Tighten the Silvery Thread to the Teacher
In the sixth step of your initiation, you create the Silvery Thread, the heart connection to your Teacher. You establish your personal attachment to Hierarchy (see the Video "Living in the continuous Presence of the Teacher").
1. How to create the Silvery Thread?
"How am I to create the Silvery Thread?"
As on earth, so in Heaven: You strengthen the connection by regularly stepping before your Teacher, repeatedly conversing with him, listening to his words and carrying out his instructions.
Once the energy of the heart swells up with love and devotion, the luminous spiral will whirl out into space and, naturally, will encounter the Teacher’s ray due to the law of attraction. (Heart 250)
You can condense the Silvery Thread to such an extent that it becomes a subtle reality that can be felt, almost seen.
The higher we ascend, the closer becomes our bond with the Teacher. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 14.08.1936)
2. Inflow of Strength, Joy, Light, Love, Comfort, Hope, Courage, Knowledge and Guidance
Now you are truly living in symbiosis with your Teacher! The Silvery Thread is a spiritual umbilical cord.
Through this interconnection, everything you need flows to you from your Spiritual Father via a personal channel:
Strength, joy of being, light, love, comfort, hope, courage, knowledge and guidance.
You become enlightened and enlighten your surroundings.
Unselfish service, sincere devotion, and gratitude weave a strong thread by which all that is needful comes to us. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 24.09.1935)
It is easier to cross an abyss if the link with the Master is strong. (Hier 85)
The man of the future can rely on the spiritual guidance by his teacher, which is realised through intuition, knowledge of feeling and the voice of a pure heart.
You go through life trustingly like a child at its father's hand. (Titian "Tobias and the Angel")
Preserve the attachment to this inexhaustible source of strength in your earthly everyday life!
The New Man is continuously connected.
3. You cultivate the Love Relationship
van Dyck "The Mystical Betrothal of Blessed Hermann Joseph"
It is a love relationship that binds you to your father.
There is an ancient religious symbol for this: The mystical marriage of an earthly bride, for example St. Catherine of Siena or St. Catherine of Alexandria, to Jesus. (Giovanni da Paolo "The Mystical Wedding of Catherine of Siena")
You seek the beloved's proximity. You suffer when he is away from you.
As in a marriage, you constantly work on this love: You nurture the relationship so that it becomes ever firmer, stronger and more beautiful. The Silvery Thread is a fine, highly delicate tissue that must be carefully protected.
You deepen the connection to such an extent that it outlasts all changes of existence.
The contact with your Teacher must continue uninterrupted beyond all changes of planes of existence, after death in the Higher World and after a rebirth in the next life on earth.
Only thus will your soul immediately find its way in all worlds; it will no longer, as in the present incarnation, have to search for decades for its true identity, its spiritual guide and its mission.
4. You do not burden your Teacher
You make sure that your Teacher, who already has to carry an enormous load of responsibility, is not faced from your side, from below, via the Silvery Thread, with even more burdens such as dejection, irritability or aggressiveness.
Do not force your Teacher to break off the connection for the sake of his own protection!
You always ask yourself:
"Is my Teacher smiling happily or crying over me?"
You strive to relieve him at least of some of his burdens.
The best people are under obligation to ease the Brotherhood’s excessive burden. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 31.05.1935)
Seventh step: You kindle the Fire of Enthusiasm for the coming Day
We are coming to the last step of the initiation:
You kindle the fire of enthusiasm for the coming day!
You must be on fire, only then are you a Fiery Being.
"Enthusiasm for what?"
Well, if your life is to succeed, you must find the solution to this existential question yourself: For what purpose are you on earth? Your existence down here only makes sense if you know what you want to joyfully use every hour for.
1. You get enthusiastic about your true Existence
First of all, you simply get enthusiastic about existence as it is – without conditions, without evaluation, without the desire for change. You must, as the saying goes,
Be in the being.
"Yes, I know this quote: Living in the here and now – esoteric rubbish! Where else am I supposed to live?"
Well, what it means is: You love the moment with all your heart. In the deep, unshakeable, childlike confidence that it is good, right and beneficial for you – just as it is right now; even if it brings you nothing but worries, obstacles and difficulties.
However, you will not succeed in forming this attitude if you limit yourself to the material sphere, which often is everything else but pleasant. Only your soul, which lives in its true existence, in Heaven, in the most beautiful of all conceivable worlds, can be enthusiastic about every moment.
Then man will begin to rejoice at life, perhaps not at his earthly life, but at his real existence. (Supermundane 281)
You just live there, on the Holy Mountain – that is all you have to do. (Nicholas Roerich „Path to Schambhala“)
As a disciple in the ashram of your Teacher or as a king of the spirit in your castle. (Nicholas Roerich " Star of the Morning". Hohenzollern Castle)
Whatever happens on the physical plane:
You are a beautiful soul and you live in a beautiful world.
You do not allow anything or anyone to spoil this attitude. This is the true art of living!
The enthusiasm for your true existence is the very basis of your life.
You are always full of joy of being, even if you are unable to do or to achieve anything else.
Without expectations, without performance, without demands, without requirements, without work and without results!
From my own experience I implore you: You will not find happiness if you make it dependent on success, being healthy, being loved, changing yourself and the world etc. – these are only conditional, external, earthly standards which do not apply to your Eternal Individuality.
You can continuously preserve the radiant shine of your true existence, even though everything goes wrong in your life; even if you are being crucified. (Tintoretto "Crucifixion")
It is only when you have managed to rejoice in your true existence without pursuing a purpose that we come to the worldly tasks: You get enthusiastic about the 4 Heroic Deeds of an Agni Yogi, which we had already talked about in the Video "Exercise The Fiery Condition".
2. You get enthusiastic about working on the Artwork of the New Man
Nicholas Roerich "Lama”
First feat: You get enthusiastic about the immeasurable possibilities of an immortal to grow without limits, to become greater and greater!
You get enthusiastic about the creative work on yourself: About the creation of a masterpiece: a Great Soul! (Nicholas Roerich "Lama")
Everyone you meet must perceive:
Here is the New Man!
3. You get enthusiastic about working on the Artwork of the New World
Nicholas Roerich "Holy City”
Second feat: You get enthusiastic about the creative work of building the New World, about creating a masterpiece: a paradise!
You transform your place of residence and work into a stronghold of the New World.
Chaos rages in the world around. In your bulwark, purity, tranquillity, peace, joy, light, love and solemnity reign. (Nicholas Roerich "Holy City")
An Ashram of the Brotherhood embodies on the material plane, establishes so to speak a branch down here.
Your house is a realisation of Shambhala in the material world. (Nicholas Roerich „Stronghold in the Mountains“)
You at least are already living in the world of the future. Everyone you meet must perceive:
Here is the New World!
"Why is a place a paradise?"
Because here the Cosmic Order (truth, justice, beauty and love, selflessness and solemnity) prevails on the material level as well.
The superstructure of a temple, the Spiritual Order of Shambhala stands like a scenery behind or arches over your material dwelling and sanctifies the earth and everyday life.
The Ideal hangs over our heads, like the weaver's pattern above his loom. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 62 “The Murder of Ideals”)
You are living in a higher culture. In your home the customs, laws and traditions of the Supermundane World are introduced on earth as well.
Shambhala is the indispensable site where the spiritual world joins the material. In order to work in a place where the spirit has descended to matter, you have to meet the conditions of both planes. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 88, 91)
Thus you unite the worlds and create Heaven on earth.
4. You get enthusiastic about spreading the New Man
Third feat: Through the initiation you acquire the ability to inflame other people with the fire of your spirit.
You ignite the fire of the soul in your fellow men.
The radiant shine of your aura illuminates everyone you meet. Your very presence alone fans the flame of fieriness.
The Teacher himself must be enflamed and by his presence alone impart the fire. (Brotherhood 471)
Your own high vibration raises the vibration of those you come into contact with.
Like Prometheus the physical fire, you bring to humanity the fire of the spirit! (Heinrich Füger "Prometheus brings fire to humanity")
"Is there an example from our time of such a light-bearer?"
A modern saint is the Japanese Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki healing method. He went to the slums of Kyoto to give Reiki, spiritual energy (in the language of Agni Yoga: psychic energy) to the poor and sick. In this way, he gave them back their vitality and joy of being, which also improved their physical and spiritual condition.
In the same way, you can pass on your own fieriness to others and thus spread the New immortal Man.
The moment you leave your meditation room in a Fiery State of high vibration, you are already descending into a world full of need, worry, misery and suffering. There you will inevitably meet very soon in your family, at your workplace or elsewhere in your environment low vibrating fellow men who are in urgent need of uplifting. (Nicholas Roerich "From Beyond")
We love to pass through spheres that are in need of light and spread sparks of fire there. Every man, no matter in what condition, can be a source of Light. (Supermundane 386)
You get enthusiastic about the gigantic task of creating a new species:
Homo immortalis, who is greater, stronger and more beautiful than the old Homo sapiens.
A creature that expresses much more perfectly our higher nature, our divine core.
Wherever you step, you bring to flourish a new race of human beings!
The increase of vibration in the body of an advanced disciple who has, as it were, come out from among the masses and started on the upward arc, is what makes it possible for such a one to become a progenitor of a new race. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Life Waves”)
You transform and help others to transform.
5. You get enthusiastic about spreading the New World
Nicholas Roerich "St. Francis of Assisi”
Fourth feat: Wherever you go, you take your Inner Temple with you. In every room you enter, Heaven on earth is realised.
Your own high vibration raises the vibration of all your surroundings.
Wherever we are, wherever we go, we take our cell with us. (St. Francis of Assisi) (Nicholas Roerich "Francis of Assisi")
A dream comes true: The Kingdom of God actually appears on earth! In your sphere of influence you establish the Cosmic Order and enforce against manifold resistance the reign of truth, justice, beauty and love. This is how you spread the New World!
Wherever you step, there flourishes a new culture!
You are a supermundane creature who lives in Heaven and brings the heavenly conditions down to the people on earth.
Every day is a day of creation! You are a creator of people and a builder of worlds – what could there be greater?
How, then, does a Hierarch create on Earth? By elevating all the surroundings. (Agni Yoga 663)
Your greatness, your beauty and your attraction do not lie in outward features such as your looks, your clothes or your choice of words, but in the enthusiasm you radiate.
This fieriness attracts people like a magnet and makes them follow your example.
Wherein lies the success of a yogi? It is not in the attraction of crowds, not in the conversion of multitudes. But, near the works of the yogi, one can observe how others emulate him. Consciously or unconsciously, voluntarily or involuntarily, people begin to do the same thing. Even his enemies, while cursing him, are drawn in his wake.
It is as if a special atmosphere had gathered about the actions of the yogi. This is a true success, when neither money nor multitudes, but the invisible fire kindles human hearts. Desiring to emulate him, these ignited hearts enter the yogi’s atmosphere and bear away with them some drops of the creative dew. (Agni Yoga 375)
7. Joy over Obstacles! Joy over Battle!
Mont St. Michel, Archangel Michael
You embrace with enthusiasm everything life throws at you. Especially the obstacles and difficulties which alone enable you to grow and to progress on the Spiritual Path!
Have you finally learned to rejoice at obstacles? Can We be assured that what seems like an obstacle will multiply your resourcefulness tenfold? Can We accept you as conquering warriors? (Agni Yoga 72)
You go joyfully into the battles which you have to wage with yourself and against hostile worldly powers. You will emerge victorious from them! Your mantram is:
Onward to battle! Onward to heroic deed!
8. You guard the Fire of Enthusiasm
In the course of the earthly day, you watch vigilantly that the aura, the high vibration, the hologram of the New Man and the New World remain intact.
You do not allow the fire of enthusiasm to go out!
Always remember: In everyday life your first and most important task is:
The Sacred Fire must always be alight. (Fiery World III, 526)
Not for a single hour should one extinguish within oneself the flame of lofty thinking. The highest sage loses his power if he ceases to think about the future Abode. It is beautiful if someone can always preserve lofty thinking within himself. (Supermundane 651)
Keep your vibration high!
Only after that you devote yourself to the earthly worries.
With the 7th step the initiation ceremony is completed.
Nicholas Roerich "Ecstasy”
"How can I tell whether I have performed the ritual correctly?
This meditation fills you with an indescribable elation: Now you actually are a Higher Being, a great, beautiful and strong soul, living in a Higher World, in a Paradise, in an Ashram of the Brotherhood.
Kingship and sanctuary! What could be greater?
You have attained what the Teaching calls "Fieriness".
This is the true happiness of your soul! (Nicholas Roerich „Krischna“)
Compared to that, all material pleasures are stale and unattractive. Once you have experienced this bliss, you will long to taste it again and again and never to miss it.
For all joy wants eternity, wants deep, wants deep eternity! (Nietzsche "Thus Spoke Zarathustra")
This is impossible with physical pleasures, but very much so with spiritual ones!
2. Taking Leave
Andrea Sacchi "The Vision of St. Romuald”
As after each stepping before him, you take leave of your Teacher with the formula:
"Father, thank you for the presence of your spirit. I follow you. May your portrait continuously stand before my eyes." (see Video "Communion with the Higher World - Meditation")
Following the initiation, you descend to the earthly world in order to affirm and make material reality what you have resolved and promised to do. Never forget:
You go back to the world as an initiate! (Andrea Sacchi "The Vision of St. Romuald")
Now begins a new, the true life of your soul! Your old life, which was oriented above all towards the desires of your body, comes to an end!
Defend during the day the level you have reached in the morning! Whether you have passed the initiation examination will come to light in the evening only.
Once you have mastered the initiation meditation, you may interpose a "short run" every now and then during the day and go through the 7 steps in a matter of seconds.
Thereby you create a state of high vibration of your soul in which it no longer responds to lower vibrations.
This exercise works reliably against bad moods such as depression, irritation or aggressiveness as well as against temptations, bad habits and desires of the body such as the craving for alcohol, tobacco, sweets, meat and other material things.
You create your own personal Nirvana, a state of supreme bliss in which you desire nothing more.
Not even happiness – because precisely this desirelessness is your greatest happiness!