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„INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA“
The Meaning of Life
Dear Agni Yogis,
today we shall be discussing a great, an eternal subject, one of the existential questions of mankind: What is the meaning of life?
We do not ask philosophically or abstractly: Why is there life in the Universe at all? Or: Why are human beings living on earth?
We are addressing concretely and practically you personally: What is the meaning of your life?
These days, the confusion is so great that people have no idea what the meaning of their lives is.
Forgetful about everything, man forgets his own destiny. (Fiery World II, 149)
However, you can act meaningfully in this world only when you know the goal you are aiming at.
Man must realize what he is striving for, and remember that he has good deeds to perform and a mission to fulfill here on Earth. (Supermundane 188)
1. Growth -
We can give the answer to this difficult question with one single word:
The meaning of your life is to grow, to become greater.
We see everywhere in nature: The destiny of that what is small is to grow greater. This applies in the physical as well as in the spiritual sense.
What is the meaning of the life of a chestnut? To grow into a big, strong tree!
Even the grass in its growth fulfills the Will of God. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 138 )
What is the meaning of the existence of a protostar? To become a powerful sun that gives life to an entire planetary system!
Is an aimless existence possible when even nature has its destination? (Infinity I, 84)
What is the meaning of a baby's life? To become an adult and acquire the skills that make a human being. If he does not succeed, he spoils his mission.
Your mission, therefore, is: Give the lie to Nietzsche, who complained:
We are unable to perceive anything today that aims at growing greater. (On the Genealogy of Morals) (Hans Olde "Friedrich Nietzsche")
2. Unfold your Potential
The key to answering the existential question of the meaning of life is comprised in one single notion:
Within you, as in every other human being, there lies dormant a gigantic potential.
It is the essence of a potential to strive for development. A potential exists in order to be realized. That means: It should be unearthed, used, built up and expanded as far as possible.
The goal and the meaning of existence is to strive upward beyond the limits of the known, and to help one another. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 160)
God Father, the Creator, nature, evolution or whosoever did endow you with this potential not arbitrarily or accidentally, but for a specific purpose: That you may unfold, use and exploit it!
The destiny of man on this planet is but little understood. A cosmic being certainly should have its predestination, but humanity is striving so blindly to its own narrow horizon that it cannot discern its cosmic destination. The creation of Cosmos grants a purpose for being to even the smallest worm. Everything in Cosmos creates with a purpose. (Infinity I, 316)
The unmanifested strives to manifest itself. He who carries a potential within himself, automatically carries a mission, too: Namely to realize this potential!
You are here on Earth to unfold the talents that are hidden within you. You carry the meaning of your life within yourself. That is why it was said:
Become, who you are!
A being (not just a human being!) that allows his inherent possibilities to remain unexploited presents a sad picture. We feel: He does not live up to his mission.
As so often, Goethe hit the nail on the head:
The desire to raise up as high as possible the pyramid of my existence – whose basis and foundation were given to me – outweighs everything else and can hardly be forgotten even for a moment. I dare not tarry. I am already at an advanced age, and perhaps fate will break me in the middle of life and the Tower of Babel will remain an incomplete stump. At least they should be able to say: It was a daring attempt. (Letter to Lavater, ca. 20.09.1780)
3. Strengthen your spiritual Powers, refine your inner Senses
Nicholas Roerich „Lotus“
When you have become aware of your Eternal Individuality – your soul – and when you have transformed from a material, transient to a spiritual, immortal being (see Series "Experiment Immortality"), the question of unfolding of the potential lying within you acquires a completely new dimension:
The possibilities of our physical body are limited and largely exhausted. The potential of our spiritual being, on the other hand, is immeasurable in the truest sense of the word. Its development is actually still in its infancy.
We are here only for the perfectment of the spirit. (Heart 400)
The spiritual powers of your Eternal Individuality are truly gigantic.
In infinity, we can infinitely increase our spiritual power.
The spiritual senses of your Eternal Individuality are unimaginably fine and sharp.
They can detect, that is to say sense realities, of which we do not even have an idea today. In infinity, we can infinitely refine our inner senses.
Let us repeat: What are the skills of a spiritual being?
A non-material being is not bound by the limitations of matter, time, and space. It can walk through walls and closed doors. Like X-rays it is capable of looking through dense objects and of reading in closed books. It can perform levitation, which means to rise from the ground like St. Joseph of Copertino and other saints, walk on the water like Jesus, sit on the water like a yogi (Nicholas Roerich “Lotus”), walk through fire and even fly (Nicholas Roerich "Higher than Mountains"). It is immune to diseases. It can practise telekinesis, that is, like Uri Geller move objects solely with its spiritual power. It is able to send thoughts like a transmitting station as well as to receive and to understand thoughts like a radio. It is capable of understanding foreign languages and of communicating, like St. Francis of Assisi, with animals (Nicholas Roerich “St. Francis of Assisi”). Like Jesus, it can heal with its spiritual power and predict the future like a prophet.
Only joy can reign about the wonderful opportunities for spiritual growth with which we humans are so richly endowed!
The joy of ascent must transcend any earthly joy. (Fiery World I, 638)
You remember our Broadcasting on "Psychic Energy" (Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga")? This spiritual power grants you new unheard-of abilities:
You can gain discernment that infallibly tells you what is good and what is bad for you. You can strengthen your vitality and joy of being, exert a directing influence on other people and your environment, as well as create an impenetrable spiritual protective net around you. You can cause higher phenomena to happen and grasp subtle realities such as the aura, the essence of a person or a situation, and the intervention of Higher Powers in earthly life. You can sense the impact of the moon, the planets or cosmic currents, and even conduct a spiritual conversation with a non-incarnated teacher.
What a joy to carry such a treasure within oneself! What a joy to unearth such a treasure! What a joy to consciously use such a treasure! What a joy to constantly expand this treasure!
The joy of the heart lies in striving upward. (Heart 39)
4. The Path to God
Selvarajan Yesudian „You are the Sun of your Life“
We had already said (Broadcastings "The Law of Evolution" and "The Hierarchy" of the Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga"): Evolution has equipped us with all we need for our infinite path. Within each of us there lies the potential of a saint, of a ruler over this earth like Jesus or Buddha, of an Angel or an Archangel, of a sovereign over solar systems, galaxies or Universes – and ultimately, of a god!
There is no God who was not man at one time. All gods must undergo human evolution. (Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. I, letter of 31.05.1935)
Let us follow this highest example! Then the meaning of your life is: Set off for the highest goal.
Get on the way to God!
Reveal what is hidden within you! Do not allow the talents entrusted to you to wither away! Gradually acquire the attributes of a god!
About the destination of man on the Earth: From times immemorial this question has occupied the minds of people. All religions have noted the affirmation about the destination of man as an image of the Highest Force. Wherein does an image of the Highest Force reveal itself? Only in perfectionment of the spirit may man become the image of the Highest Force. The destination of man cannot be regarded as something accidental. (Fiery World III, 110)
There is a bright future ahead of us; but only when we set out for the path that enables us to unfold the divine skills we are endowed with.
5. Prerequisite: Immortality
The question of the meaning of your life is inextricably linked to the cognition of your immortality (see Series "Experiment Immortality").
In the course of just one single short earthly life, you cannot unfold even approximately the gigantic potential that lies within you.
The Path to God drags on over countless existences in the most diverse material and non-material worlds. Only when you know that your soul takes with it beyond death on its further eternal path everything it has appropriated during this incarnation, you may strive for those highest goals that are worth so great an effort.
Whither should man strive? Whither should he direct the accumulated forces? Whither will perfectment lead? Is it possible that the manifestation of a mighty existence can simply disappear? The spirit must acknowledge that through its strivings it lives not for one life-round but for a cycle of Infinity. It is too great a struggle for one life. The scope of the abilities of man is too great to be exemplified in one lifetime. (Infinity I, 149)
On the other hand, if you consider yourself mortal and expect the annihilation of your entire existence within the near future, it will be pointless to even start this path: Why labour for something that has no possibility to develop and thus no future, because it is irreversibly destined to complete destruction?
6. Ascent on the Ladder of Hierarchy
To some of you, the goal of acquiring the attributes of a god may sound abstract and far-off. However, there are also stages of development which are closer to us:
Become a Raphael or a Mozart, a Plato, a Francis of Assisi, a Hildegard von Bingen or a Gandhi!
Keep in mind the earthly Hierarchy that culminates in the Mahatmas of the Brotherhood of Shambhala (see the Broadcasting "The Hierarchy" of the Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga"): Join in! Find your place there! Use the opportunities to ascend higher and higher on this ladder! Become a disciple, and then a co-worker of the Brotherhood, and finally a teacher of that what you have learned.
Those who search for Truth can find the significance of Be-ness only in the path of ascent toward Hierarchy. Otherwise life remains a vicious circle, and for millenniums the spirit will not find its liberation. Thus, the law of Hierarchy is the leading principle. (Hierarchy 420)
We had already said (Broadcasting "The Brotherhood of Shambhala" of the Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga"): The Mahatmas are desperately looking for persons who are qualified to step into their position as rulers of this earth. Only then will they be allowed to move on to those higher planets to which they actually belong in view of the level of their development.
I have told you that there is a present limit to my own evolution; that I must bring you to a certain point before I could go forward. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Dissention”)
Is this not a radiant goal that can give you vitality and joy of being every day? Follow the Masters of this earth, take off their shoulders at least a small part of their gigantic burden, and one day take over their office!
When Jesus will pass on to take up a higher mission, perhaps upon some other planet, its labors will fall upon the Ego which comes next in development. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 71 “The Glory of the Lord”)
7. Reach the next Level of Evolution
Let us address another aspect:
According to the law of evolution, your soul on its eternal path has developed from a stone to a plant, from a plant to an animal and from an animal to a human being.
This development is far from being completed. We are on the threshold to the next stage: Nietzsche's "Übermensch” or “Overman," the "godman" of Agni Yoga or, scientifically speaking, the immortal spiritual being of the coming 6th race.
Thus, the meaning of your life is: Shape and strengthen your Eternal Individuality so that it moves on to the next step of evolution.
Listen to your soul! It is like a child which has the next stage before its very eyes every day. It therefore urgently wishes to learn, to practice and to expand its knowledge as well as its abilities in order to become an adult – a Great Soul.
8. Perfect yourself
If this seems still too high-flying to you, we may say: Improve your qualities as a craftsman, artist or scientist, as a student or a teacher! Become a master in all professions, in your hobbies, in all areas of daily life, as a father or mother, superior or employee, as an athlete or a yogi, and so on.
The great cellist Pablo Casals was once asked why at the age of 90 he was still doing exercises on his instrument. He replied: "Because I can still get better."
This is the right attitude! The meaning of your life is: Perfect yourself more and more, in the middle of everyday life! As the principle of infinity applies, there are no limits to your growth!
The joy of the spirit is contained only in achievement. (Fiery World III, 55)
Expand not only your skills, but also your knowledge as well as your consciousness!
Can anything replace the joy of the growth of consciousness? (Community 216)
Become a better man by purifying yourself, that means by discarding bad qualities and acquiring good ones.
Why are you living? In order to cognize and to perfect yourselves. (Community 230)
9. Your personal Mission
Breughel „The Tower of Babel“
Finally, let us consider a last aspect:
Not only the individual man should develop his potential, humanity as a whole, too, must reach the next higher step of evolution. We are called upon to create not only the New Man, but also the New World.
Upon your incarnation, like any other human being, you were allocated a commission to contribute your part to achieving this high goal in a particular area. The fulfillment of this task, of your personal mission, is also part of the meaning of your life.
Everyone who is ready to incarnate is instructed to fulfill a task for the Common Good according to his individual capacity. (Supermundane 105)
Each one of you should ask himself every day: Which stone can I contribute to the New Creation today?
Each one must keep in mind that he has been entrusted to serve for the progress of the world. (AUM 374)
Agni Yoga and thus our school offers a complete program for the growth of your Eternal Individuality, for the strengthening of your spiritual power (your psychic energy) and for the refinement of your inner senses: See our Broadcastings "Experiment Immortality", "The 10 Pillars of the Practice of Agni Yoga", "Spiritual Exercises of Agni Yoga" and "Education".