AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA“
The Law of Evolution
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to Broadcasting 5 of our Series „Introduction to Agni Yoga“! In Broadcasting 4, we have spoken about the law of evolution. From this law follows the principle of hierarchy.
I would like to recall once again that it is not our private knowledge that we are presenting here. Rather, our Broadcastings are a summary and highest concentration of the main themes of the 15 books of Agni Yoga.
1. Life in the entire Universe
We have already said in the last Broadcasting: Everything in the universe, from the tiniest atom to the mightiest sun, lives, is animated and filled with a more or less high consciousness.
This means: Everywhere in the universe, even beyond the earth, there is life - on the smallest meteorite as well as on the myriads of the larger celestial bodies.
Today, you smile indulgently about the Middle Ages, when it was believed that the earth is the center of the universe around which everything else revolves. The idea, however, that in the infinite universe there is life only on earth, is just as childish and self-centered.
The search of the scientists for extra-terrestrial life has to be greatly expanded. It should not be limited to life forms similar to the earthly ones. The sentence: „On such and such a planet there might formerly have been water and thus life” shows the whole inadequacy of today's thinking: There can very well exist strange (or more spiritual) species that need no water at all!
2. Evolution in the entire Universe
Evolution is a universal principle. It is not limited to the earth.
If there is life everywhere in the universe, this means: There is evolution everywhere in the universe - not only on earth. Everywhere lower forms develop to higher and higher ones.
3. Man is not the highest Being
If there is evolution everywhere in the universe, it is again childish and self-centered to assume that of all beings man is the supreme creature which cosmos has produced on all the billions and billions of celestial bodies. Nothing but complacency entitles to such an assumption.
If you look without bias at the conditions on our planet, at all the injustice, violence and selfishness, you will, on the contrary, inevitably come to a different conclusion: Humanity, unfortunately, is still at a fairly low level of evolution! The technical development is more advanced than man himself. Possibilities are available to us, for the use of which we are not yet ripe ethically. The universe would be in a poor state if of all planets the earthly mankind were the culmination point and the model for all other life.
On the contrary, according to Agni Yoga, mankind even lags behind the general development. It has not yet reached the stage that was foreseen for this age for the earth.
So we have to admit: As there are lower creatures than man (plants, animals), so there are higher ones as well. Even the Bible speaks in the book Genesis (1. Moses 6, 1-4) about visits of higher beings on earth.
4. The higher Levels
Evolution develops higher forms of life naturally and step by step out of the lower ones. The same happens in case of man. The New Man is already moulding himself. The first beings of the next stage are already living among us.
Beings who embody the divine spirit to a greater extent than we average people are „sons of God“ such as Buddha, Jesus and Morya, the great spiritual leaders and world teachers like Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Elias, Confucius, Lao-tse, Pythagoras, Platon, Apollonius of Tyana, St. Paul, Seneca and Mohammed, the saints, martyrs and warriors of faith of all ages and cultures, such as Saints Francis of Assisi, Benedict, Dominic, Catharine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, Gerhard Tersteegen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Milarepa, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Tolstoy, Don Bosco, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and countless others.
On other planets, there are still far higher forms of life, so great that we cannot even form a picture of them: Rulers of planets, of solar systems, of galaxies and universes. It is said ironically that on Venus, the grass is more intelligent than we human beings.
It is unrealistic to assume that above man there is nothing; and it is contrary to nature to think that there is only God: Evolution does not make such a big leap. It is a better concept to recognize intermediate steps, mediators between man and God, as did the Middle Ages with its hierarchy of saints and angels.
The actual existence of these higher beings is the first scientific basis of all the religion!
5. Connection with the higher Levels
If there are higher levels of evolution, you should not assume that humanity lives offside and separated from them. Nature does not make leaps. On earth, the various stages - minerals and plants, animals and humans - live side by side and in a variety of connections with each other.
The lower levels are seeking the higher, as far as they are capable to do this: so the animals search for their master, man. Nothing is more natural than that man is also looking for his Lord and Master. This longing is the motivation for every religion.
Be confident: The Evolution gives each species, man as well as animals and all the others, the opportunity to find their master and to place themselves under his leadership. For your dog, for your horse, you are a god! These animals endeavour to approach you, and are happy to be able to serve you. It meets entirely the order of nature that you as well seek and find your God.
It would be absurd to believe that evolution has erected just behind man an impassable barrier that prevents any contact with the next higher levels.
The actual connection at least of some of the more subtle human beings with representatives of the higher spheres is the second scientific basis of all the religions!
6. Guidance through the higher Levels
We friendly and compassionately help the beings who stand on the evolutionary ladder below us, our younger brothers, the animals - if they are near to us and allow us to lead them. We train them and use them for our higher purposes as co-workers, for example as pack and riding horses, as sniffer dogs, shepherd dogs and guide dogs. Thereby we further their development.
Following the ancient principle „as below, so above“, you may be sure: Our own older brothers, standing on the ladder of evolution above us, are doing just the same: They look at us human beings and at our efforts partly with a smiling, partly with a tearful eye, but always with sympathy. They help and promote the development of those of good will, as often as they can and as the law allows.
High masters such as Jesus or Buddha and their representatives support us on our journey to the heights like parents support their children. But they are also constantly looking for suitable co-workers, whom they can use for their purposes, as we use the animals.
What a wonderful certainty: They really do exist, the consolers and guardian angels, in whom you may confide and who supervise your development. You need only to trust their leadership, then you will be going the right way.
7. Jacob's Ladder: Spiritual Hierarchy
From what we have seen so far, follows: Evolution brings forth a spiritual hierarchy, which is known not only to the esoteric, but also to the orthodox churches for millennia. Its biblical symbol is Jacob's Ladder (1. Moses 28, 10 et seq).
This ladder consists of a continuously ascending chain of souls: It starts at the bottom with small souls incarnated in minerals, plants and animals. It reaches man, and continues thereafter via increasingly higher souls, who appear as Mahatmas, angels and archangels, rulers of planets, solar systems, galaxies and universes. This ladder ranges up to that supreme being who is called God - but who is so far away from us that we cannot recognize him and should not try to form a picture of him.
The spiritual hierarchy is a chain. Each of us has his place in this order. Each one is connected to a chain link which is standing on the ladder above him. There hangs on each one a chain link which is situated below him. Everyone is on the ascending line the disciple of a higher being, and on the descending line the teacher of a lower one – as shown in the following picture:
He who stands in this chain takes up the divine will, conveyed from the utmost top, hands it further down and makes sure that it is implemented.
If you stand outside the chain, if you no longer obey, if you do not pass down the higher will, but block it on your level and pursue instead your own selfish goals, you lose the connection with the progress of evolution and harm yourself and those connected to you.
The steps of this ladder we climb step by step (we had already said in the last Broadcasting: Man is on the way to God!) - or we fall like Lucifer, who had already risen to the position of an angel prince, in order at this level to fall and to succumb to the earthly, material things (Matthew 25, 41;. 2 Peter 2, 4; Jude 6; Revelation 12, 5).
Hierarchy is a fundamental principle which applies throughout the universe. Everywhere leads what is above and follows what stands below, otherwise chaos would reign. Hierarchy and Infinity are the two basic pillars on which the New World rests. Teacher, disciple and imitation are central institutions not only of Agni Yoga, but of all religions.
8. Scientific Concept of God
We had already said: Agni Yoga is a synthesis of science and religion. On the basis of the principle of hierarchy we can form an idea of God that will satisfy both the scientist and the mystic:
Everything great is easy to understand. This applies to God as well:
He is none other than the end of the ladder, the top of the hierarchy. He is the culmination point, where in infinity all lines meet, to which everything strives and from which everything emanates: The top of the pyramid of evolution. Within God all things are one, in Him all opposites disappear.
Do not apply earthly measures. Do not form a human-like picture of Him. Do not be oxen who imagine their God as a particularly great ox. The more you approach Him on the ladder of hierarchy, the more you will be able to recognize Him.
9. The Principle of Imitation
We should never remain in the abstract. The principle of hierarchy becomes practical and the determining notion of your everyday life through imitation.
This means: If you want to move upwards, you have to find your teacher - the next higher chain link - and follow him on the path on which he is walking ahead of you. He who wants to move forward will be wise to follow those who already have reached the higher level.
It is a natural desire of every creature to imitate a greater being. This is true not only for humans, but for example also for the grey geese waddling behind Konrad Lorenz.
Each child has his hero. Unfortunately, these are today soccer players or pop stars. We should see to it that in future saints (such as Mahatma Gandhi) take that place.
It is a natural way to grow by approaching a greater one: Tennis players learn from Boris Becker, pianists from Arthur Rubinstein, and so on.
It is also easiest and most promising if you do not proceed on your own, but go the proven way on which someone else has already reached the next level.
10. Follow the Masters
The religions have so idolized Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed that ordinary human beings like you and me are no longer able to find any connection with them. They overlook that these masters have pointed out a path. The success of their mission depends upon their finding disciples who follow them on this path. If this is not achieved, all their sufferings and sacrifices were in vain!
The Great Masters do not wish to be worshiped. They want you to follow them! Jesus said: „If thou wilt be perfect, come and follow me!” (Matthew 19, 21)
If you want to be a „Christian“, you have to become „like Christ“, which means: Imitate Him and thereby become more and more equal to Him - as St. Francis of Assisi has demonstrated with his example.
The problem of the churches and of the esoterics is twofold: On the one hand, there are no life-teachers anymore, whom you can trust and follow; there remain only intellectual theorists who merely make a lot of words. On the other hand, the followers prefer the easy and abstract way of worshipping to the difficult, but living way of imitation. These days, which adult wants to become a student?
11. Imitation of the Teacher
You can never ever practice imitation specifically enough: This concept is to be applied to all the big and little matters of your everyday life:
When your teacher gets up early in the morning to do his prayer and meditation, you should follow his practice. If he eats little and simply, you should imitate him. If he meets smaller souls always patiently and lovingly, but if necessary also with severity, it is for your own advantage if you train yourself in this habit as well.
We shall speak in future Broadcastings about the details. Today, it is only important to recognize: The Spiritual Path, the ascent on the ladder of hierarchy to higher and higher levels, is actually quite simple; in particular, it requires little knowledge or theoretical teaching: You just need to find a teacher and imitate what he is showing you.
Let us finally come to the point which is the key when it comes to „hierarchy” from a practical perspective:
The West must adopt the Eastern concept of teacher and student, of guru and chela. You need to find your teacher and become his disciple. Otherwise there will be no progress on your spiritual path.
Every art, every skill is based on a teacher/student-relationship: No one harbours seriously the idea to become a good piano or tennis player without a teacher. If everyone would learn only through his own personal experience, we would still be at the level of the Stone Age.
All esoteric knowledge remains abstract and fruitless if you do not step into the chain of hierarchy and follow a teacher in daily life.
The teacher is your personal connection with the hierarchy. He is your true, spiritual father, the head of the spiritual family to which you belong. Your existence remains incomplete as long as you do not know your own father!
13. How to find your Teacher?
Now you might ask, „How can I find my teacher?”
This brings us to the first major hurdle on the spiritual path, where many already fail: Finding the teacher is no small matter. It is also a process so intimate that one can talk about it in public only with great caution. At least the following can be said:
The spiritual law says: „Once the disciple is ready, the teacher appears”. So the disciple must have developed a high and strong desire and a good bit of progress on the way to the great ideal that is embodied and demonstrated by the teacher.
This means: If you are a Christian, you should obey the commandments and walk the path which the highest Christian teacher - Jesus - has laid down in the Bible. Accordingly, Hindus or Moslems find the necessary instructions in the Bhagavad Gita or in the Koran. He who wants to become an Agni Yogi must first study the books of Agni Yoga and apply them to everyday life.
You can trust that you are under observation from Above, once you walk on this way. You can trust that your teacher will approach you to the same extent as you move towards him. And you can trust that he will not hesitate to reveal himself to you once you and the time are ripe.
Develop your intuition. Read the biographies of the heroes and saints of all nations and all times: With whom of them do you feel spiritually related? With whom do you think you might have previously lived together? Who speaks to you like a father speaks to his child?
14. Spiritual Teacher
Your search must not necessarily be directed to a teacher living today. You can be guided by a Francis of Assisi or Mahatma Gandhi, a Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena, who no longer physically reside on the earth: The spirit which they themselves followed, speaks from their lives, their words, their deeds and their writings in so clear a language that you, too, can follow it.
The connection to the teacher is timeless and spiritual and therefore not restricted by the limits of matter, space and time. When you open your heart, the teacher is always with you, even if his body has left the physical plane centuries ago. The lives of many saints, such as Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc or Margaret Mary Alacoque prove that spiritual guidance from the other world is possible.
Agni Yoga teaches: To be prepared for the New Age, we must acquire the ability to hear the voice of the invisible teacher!
In today's time, Helena Roerich has shown us how to practise this: She has received the teachings of Agni Yoga on a purely spiritual way: By the transmission of the thoughts of her teacher. Her diaries show that she has led almost daily a genuine spiritual conversation with her distant, not incarnated master.
15. Do not aim too high
Do not aim too high: you have to be worthy of the chosen teacher. So do not strive to an unattainable ideal, but stick to the next level.
Therefore, the veneration of saints is much more reasonable than the belief that each individual could turn directly to God. As below, so above: No beginner on the piano or as a tennis player would dare to address his request for admission as a student right away to highest masters such as Arthur Rubinstein or Steffi Graf. He must rather, through many intermediate stages, through intermediaries of the high art, through the student of a student of a student of the great master, slowly and painfully move upwards in order to become one day worthy of the highest consecration - that is, of the personal guidance by a Mahatma.
For the teacher, the disciple is a burden and a great responsibility. The high masters must therefore make a strict selection. They have only very few disciples, usually just a handful. Do not apply so high up that you have no chance of acceptance.
Finally, do not form unfulfillable ideas about the teacher: He is not a Saviour who will relieve you of all troubles and worries. A teacher is a good friend; someone who gives you an example and the best advice; someone who shows the shortest and best path.
16. Distinguish true from false Teachers
A myriad of self-proclaimed „spiritual teachers” is crowding the esoteric scene today. Many shepherds are looking for a herd - while it should be the other way round.
Therefore, you must learn to distinguish true from false teachers. If you follow a false guide, you will go into the wrong direction. All your efforts will be in vain, and even harmful.
The key question is: Does he show a path? Is it a high path, or does he address the lower self? Does he himself go the way he teaches?
A model can only be one who teaches not just abstract principles, but above all their application in everyday life, and who sets an example.
He who does not respect the free will of the student or is trying to earn money with his teaching will not be a true master.
Here we are at the end of today's Broadcasting. More details on the question of how to find one’s teacher must be reserved for personal dialogue.