AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„THE 10 PILLARS OF THE PRACTICE OF AGNI YOGA“
4th Pillar: Obedience
Ladies and Gentlemen,
welcome to a new Broadcast.
Everything great is simple. Therefore, in essence, it is very simple to walk the spiritual path, the path of the soul: You just need to be obedient and follow the instructions from Above, that is all - no more and no less. Then you will ascent with certainty, how ever the circumstances look like in which you live.
In his great work "Resurrection", Tolstoy describes with wonderful words his revelation: Man must fulfill the will of God in order to attain the state of salvation for himself and for human society as a whole.
When he had read the Sermon on the Mount, which had always touched him, he saw in it for the first time today not beautiful abstract thoughts, setting forth for the most part exaggerated and impossible demands, but simple, clear, practical laws. If these laws were carried out in practice (and this was quite possible), they would establish perfectly new and surprising conditions of social life, in which the violence that filled him with such indignation would cease of itself. Not only this, but the greatest blessing that is obtainable to men, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth would be established. The Master's will is expressed in these commandments. If men will only fulfill these laws, the Kingdom of Heaven will be established on earth, and men will receive the greatest good that they can attain to.
Today, we will be talking about this exercise of obedience.
Let us start with a short repetition too make sure that we all know where we stand:
You remember the 10 pillars of the practice of Agni Yoga?
We had discussed in the last three Broadcastings the threefold spiritual discipline, namely defence of the higher consciousness, rhythm of the day and nourishment according to spiritual principles.
In today's and the following two Broadcastings, we shall turn to the three principles of a spiritual life, namely obedience, living in two worlds and selflessness.
2. Submission to the Cosmic Law
The old man has lost the consonance with the cosmic order. He fancies to be entitled to give himself his own laws and to be allowed to unscrupulously pursue his small, limited, personal interests. This attitude has dreadful consequences for the planet.
Our age suffers from the fact that people no longer believe in a higher law and in binding instructions from the upper world. It is not so long ago that at least our leaders knew that they were installed due to the "grace of God" and are responsible to Him.
We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5, 29)
The much-ridiculed and misunderstood term "sin" means nothing else than a violation of the cosmic order.
Humanity grows weak to such an extent, because it evidences disunion with the Highest Will. (Hierarchy 293)
Our higher mission requires that we adapt to the current of the evolution of the spirit. Evolution is the plan of God for the earth, for man and for cosmos as a whole. To this Higher Will we have to submit unconditionally.
There exists only one law which governs the entire Cosmos — the Higher Will; along this line the evolution of the spirit is created. (Hierarchy 88)
This is the only way out for today’s suffering, baseless, insecure and wavering humanity.
Only the realization of the Higher Will can lead the spirit toward its goal. (Agni Yoga 660)
It is only by carrying out the divine will on the material level, that man fulfills his task as a co-worker of evolution.
Man is the creative fulfiller of the Cosmic Will! (Hierarchy 72)
Without obedience there is no progress for humanity.
Thus, let us apply the higher laws to the earthly plan. (Hierarchy 291)
You are on the spiritual path, if you no longer live as you please, according to your moods, but if you allow the personal to be dissolved into the higher, the greater; if you give up your own will and submit to the divine will. So Jesus says:
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. (Luke 11, 2)
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6, 38)
And Agni Yoga: Personal desires are transformed into the all-guiding Universal Will. That is how cooperation with the distant worlds develops. (Heart 68)
Obedience means living rightly, disobedience wrongly. The latter leads to suffering.
Live aright today and the morrow will be right; live wrongly today and tomorrow will surely bring you remorse and discouragement. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 135 “Blood Sacrifice”)
People must learn that they harm themselves when they do something that violates the cosmic law, such as selfish acts, cruelty to animals in industrial farming, abortions, wars, etc.
When you violate the Law you bring violation upon yourselves. Only themselves can they injure. Every soul should order his life according to Higher Law. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “The Crossing of Swords”)
To obey means to live in harmony with the cosmic order and your own mission. Only thus you can act successfully. Every disobedience is a violation of this order, which inevitably leads to chaos.
3. Integration into the Order of Hierarchy
In addition to the principle of infinity - applied to us humans: of the immortality of the soul -, the principle of hierarchy is the second fundament of the New World.
The New Man must recognize the Hierarchy of the souls that ranges from the blade of grass to the Christ and beyond (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 139 [Part Two IV 12]). He must take his place in this line of development. The laws of cosmos imperatively require the subordination of the lower under the higher, the small under the great.
Verily, the sign of belonging to the Sixth Race will be the acceptance of the law of the Highest Leadership, the acceptance of Hierarchy in all its magnitude. (Helena Roerich, letter of 31.07.1937)
Without integration into the Hierarchy, there is no construction of the New World and no fulfillment of the human mission. In the temple of the Hierarchy, every single little stone has a function only by its place in the larger structure. So, if you want to take your place, you need to confidently assume the leadership of the Mahatmas who alone know the plan for the whole construction and therefore your place within it.
How can we expect to build anything strong if we do not accept the irrevocable Indications of Hierarchy? The Guiding Hand is the Uplifting Hand. (Hierarchy 32, 33)
The whole Hierarchy from the lowest up to the highest levels, is built upon the principle of obedience. Obedience is the foundation without which no hierarchy can exist. Everyone must be fitted in. He who does not want or is unable to achieve this, has no place in a hierarchy.
A Hierarch is a link of a chain and One who fulfills the Will of a Higher One. Only thus can one respond to the higher assignment. (Hierarchy 35)
Only obedience can ensure that the Higher Will is passed down from the highest point through the many intermediate steps of the ladder to the lowest everyday level. Here, the Higher Will is converted into material reality. Disobedience interrupts this flow of the Higher Will.
The Chain of Hierarchy is built by fulfillment of the Higher Will. (Agni Yoga 661)
The law of the Hierarchy states: The higher levels take the lead, and the lower ones follow.
Only contact with the Higher can give the direction. (Hierarchy 63)
If, as it is unfortunately often the case on earth, we allow the lower levels to guide us, it is chaos that reigns.
This severance from the Higher and submission to the lower, in other words, equation with the lower, is the menace of our time, and it is leading toward the deterioration of our planet and its possible premature destruction. (Helena Roerich, letter dated 10.09. [10.?] 1934)
4. Joyous Obedience
The real disciple loves to be led by a wiser man. This makes his life and the fulfillment of its tasks easier. In fact, it is a relief to be able to serve under the guidance of someone greater than you yourself.
Let us receive the command of the Cosmos not slavishly but impetuously! (Community 58)
He who understands this, obeys not grudgingly but joyfully.
Please try to understand that every cell of our being should rejoice when we fulfill the Higher Will, as only in this way can we learn and broaden our consciousness. The one who fulfills more precisely will approach closer. (Helena Roerich, letter of 21.01.1931)
The immutable integration into the chain of Hierarchy is a source of strength and a real support on the path.
On the Path of the Soul, the Crystal Path of the Higher Law, there is no support whatsoever, to grasp or lean upon, save direct obedience to the soul's own decision and command to stand within the Crystal Light, which gives it sheer power to hold, to walk upright and scale the sharp incline to the top. The slightest deviation from such course must invariably loosen the feet from their security, cause them to slip or fall. They fall because they deviated from principle, came under the spell of the Tempter for the slightest fraction of a second it may be, thus yielding to the doubts, subtleties, ambitions and snares of their lower nature, thereby losing their grip on the one sure support for spiritual mountain climbing, the support of obedience and faith. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “The Crystal Path”)
Only if you are on the right path of succession, support is flowing down to you from above. If you are integrated, you can be certain that the blessings of Hierarchy rest on everything you are doing. You can even make use of the power of the Hierarchy if you are working on their behalf and in their name on earth.
These, My people, can use My Power. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 285 [288; Part Three II 18])
Only if you yourself obey those above you, you can demand obedience from those beneath you.
A Master has won whatever power he possesses by means of obedience to the laws. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 41 “Our Natural Birthright”)
5. The Rule of the Disciple
We had repeatedly spoken about the need to choose a teacher and follow him. It is obvious that in the relationship between teacher and disciple, the duty to unconditional obedience applies even more: The teacher walks ahead. He knows the way better than you.
When I speak of the need of fulfilling My Indications, I ask you to fulfill them with complete precision. I can see more clearly, and you must learn to follow the Indication, which has in view your own good. (Fiery World I, 79)
He has a plan, which you do not fully grasp.
We should always remember that sometimes we have no idea what result the Teacher has in mind. A careful fulfillment of the command — that is all that is expected of us. (Helena Roerich, letter of 07.07.1932)
The only just woken up soul is still like a little child, who has no choice than to make his first insecure steps trustingly at the hand of an adult.
Small children, even without knowing the reason, tend to obey the guiding hand. (Agni Yoga 278)
Your teacher has already overcome the difficulties with which you are still struggling. He leads you on a safe path, which has been tested for eons again and again by himself and others.
One may remember that We lead those who have entrusted themselves to Us along the paths of well-tested magnets. One can trust a helmsman who has already crossed the oceans. (Agni Yoga 657 = Hierarchy 40)
It must be clear to the Agni Yogi: The concept of succession necessarily requires the concept of leadership. Without obedience there is no succession. Each teacher has his own requirements - if they do not suit you, you should turn elsewhere. What sense would it make to choose a spiritual teacher if you do not intend to follow his advice?
If you really want to be a chela[disciple], i.e. to become the recipient of our mysteries, you have to adapt yourself to our ways, not we to yours. (Mahatma Letter No. 30
Whoever enters the Ashram of a teacher has to submit to the rules in force there. Otherwise it will not be possible to live together in community with the teacher and the classmates. The student of higher wisdom differs from other people precisely in this, that he puts his entire life under the iron law of the disciple, under the rule of Inner Monastery. The small success of the pseudo-spiritual ones is due to the fact that they do not get serious about the integration into the Hierarchy and the compliance with the instructions from Above.
If you would pass beyond the masses, you must be subject to higher laws than those which govern material substance. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 21 “Prayer”)
The community of the teacher and his disciples is a fighting force with an almost military discipline.
What more nearly compares with Our Communit — a choir of psalm-singers or an armed camp? Rather the second. One can imagine how it must conform to the rules of military organization and leadership. (Community 183)
The teacher loves those disciples who are devoted to him. How can a servant please his master? Only through obedience. He must give the master what is rightfully due to him. The least that the Lord may require is obedience, otherwise there will be no fruitful cooperation.
Cooperation in the Great Work of the Brotherhood is possible only on Their terms. He who is unwilling to submit, is useless for Them. So it says in the Bible:
If you love me, keep my commandments. (John 14, 15)
Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6, 46)
And in Agni Yoga: My warriors, I can assemble you according to usefulness and devotion. (Hierarchy 118)
No one may expect personal leadership if he is not willing to subordinate himself. No spiritual teacher will undertake the effort of personally leading someone who is not even willing to follow the basic instructions, the most elementary laws of the spiritual path. Why should he spend his valuable time and energy on someone who in fact does not want to listen?
So that My Forces not be spent in vain, you should obey. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 186 )
He who does not obey deprives the Hierarchy of the opportunity to lead him.
Until the disciple is willing to accept the estimate of the Master as to the possibilities for profiting by the personal supervision of that Master, the latter would be wasting his time and effort. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “Attainment”)
Only if you are close enough to the higher powers, you can expect to receive reliable instructions.
The Higher Will is transmitted to the closest spirit. (Hierarchy 178)
Who is nearest to the teacher? The most devoted, the most obedient disciple!
The most devoted will be the greatest. Is it not said that Ananda, the most devoted disciple of Buddha, was a thousand times greater than the other Buddhist Arhats? (Helena Roerich, letter of 15.01.1931)
Therefore, not only for humanity as a whole, but also for the individual there is no progress without obedience.
In fulfilling My Will, thou givest Me the possibility to fulfill thy will. Where is the boundary line between the wills that strive toward Light? (Hierarchy 40)
6. The three Sources of Obedience
There are three sources of obedience:
First there are the Holy Scriptures - such as Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Koran and Agni Yoga. Here the necessities of the cosmic order are reflected.
Next you have to obey the instructions and orders of your immediate superiors, of your teacher and the masters of the higher degrees.
If in a particular situation concrete directions cannot be obtained, you need to learn to act in the spirit of the teaching and the teacher.
Ultimately, obedience is due to the law which you find within yourself: To obey also means to trustingly fulfill the commandments which are given by your own higher self.
7. Complete Devotion
The inclusion into the Hierarchy requires total devotion.
How, then, can one be affirmed in the Chain of Hierarchy? Only by complete assimilation of the Plan of the Lords. (Hierarchy 228)
The higher instructions must be fulfilled to the smallest detail.
Strive to fulfill the smallest instructions of the Teacher. This is the only way to victory. (Helena Roerich, letter of 17.12.1930)
That means: Fully, unconditionally and without the least qualification.
Devotion is of value only when it is manifested in the fullest measure possible, to such an extent that man cannot manifest it more strongly. Each half-measure in devotion must be attributed to the field of evil. (Supermundane 492)
Half-measures are inadmissible.
The worst of all is half-measured thinking and half-measured striving. Halfness shown by the disciples throws them back a millenium. (Hierarchy 302)
This is especially true for the one who decided to follow the spiritual path. He must not allow the slightest deviation of his daily practice from the chosen ideal.
It is most pernicious when halfness insinuates itself into one who is affirming himself upon the path, because then there results a conflict between thoughts and actions. Without wholeness there can be no construction. Hence, the disciples must understand how important it is to have complete striving. (Hierarchy 303)
Higher instructions must be carried out either completely or not at all, otherwise they miss their purpose.
If you are given a piece of cloth sufficient for only one garment, you will not be able to make a complete garment out of just half of it. Similarly, if you accept only half the advice you are given, you will not achieve a full result. People like to extract a part of given advice and afterward complain about their unfulfilled expectations. Wise advice is a medicine whose formula cannot be changed. (Agni Yoga 488)
He who, depending on how it pleases him, partly follows and partly dissents, is in truth disobedient and causes only damage.
A half-fulfilled instruction is like a house without a roof or a half-dose of a salutary medicine — either may bring harm or death. (Helena Roerich, letter of 13.05.1931)
The false friends are picking out of the law only those parts which are agreeable to them. Because of the other parts, which they reject, they are in fact apostates.
When they are told that sacrifice is the first key to this knowledge they begin to seek for some personal cause for the suggestion in the mind of the one who has given them the knowledge of that key. If they are told that personal purity is a requisite they begin to search for some way of minimizing the necessary degree or finding some method of indulgence which will modify the severity of the demand and still permit them to retain their standing. If they are shown their duty toward those who are pointing the way, they lose no time in trying to see how far they can go in an opposite direction without jeopardizing their chances of success, or in finding some excuse of a personal nature which will justify their recreancy. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 143 “Unity”)
If you are unable to accomplish this obedience, you rather should not start with the spiritual path at all, because otherwise he runs the risk of committing treason.
People hypocritically repeat the words of the Teaching and at the same time think without shame about inadmissible actions. The instructions that are sent can only be applied to life in full measure. Therefore We advise you either to approach with full devotion or not at all. (Supermundane 376)
Such an obedience is a difficult task. Unfortunately, usually only a small fraction of the instructions is being carried out.
Let everyone think and recollect how many instructions were not absorbed, how many were fulfilled only partially, and how many precious advices and hints were not applied at all. But usually a disciple does not see and does not fulfill even a tenth part of the instructions. (Helena Roerich, letter of 21.01.1931)
Obedience is the first step towards a conscious cooperation with the supermundane powers. The first tender bond between us and the Masters is woven by our following their commandments.
What is Hierarchy if not discipline? Obedience is the first step toward it. (Helena Roerich, letter No. 29 of 1937)
Here comes a very important sentence: Every executed instruction brings you one step closer to the Mahatmas. Any disregard of their decrees moves you away from them.
Each instruction applied in life is a step closer toward the Great Teacher. (Helena Roerich, letter of 12.12.1934)
When the teacher sees that you have fulfilled an instruction, he will give the next one. Only thus the cooperation with the higher spheres is growing.
The one who better fulfills the Cosmic Law will be closer to Hierarchy. (Agni Yoga 659)
Disobedience damages the Great Work of the Brotherhood: A co-worker is lost because he proved to be unsuitable for further tasks. The connection fades when that what is given is not applied.
Obedience is the first test for an Agni Yogi: Is he really ready to recognize the greater ones above himself, to trust and to follow them unconditionally? Or does he remain entangled in selfishness, does he continue to go on his own small, insignificant and unapproved ways?
The true total devotion to the Master is proved not by words, but by obedience. You are being tested by difficulties, whether you are reliable and worthy of your master.
Prove your ability for discipleship by obeying the laws of discipleship. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “Your Choice”)
Only if you have proven your ability to obey in all the small trials of everyday life, you recommend yourself for higher tasks.
Each entering member receives what he demands by his adherence to or repudiation of the said laws. He can rise to the apogee of his opportunity, or fall below the level and be placed accordingly by the Lodge in some other sphere of experience or activity. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 128 “The wise Man”)
In the chain of the Hierarchy applies: Those who cannot obey, will not be admitted to serve, and certainly not to rule. Each general must begin as a common soldier. Every leader and teacher has not only disciples beneath him, but also a Hierarch above him, whom he himself must obey.
The one who does not know the art of obeying will not attain the art of commanding. (Helena Roerich, letter of 19.10.1929)
Every leader must first of all learn to obey, otherwise how will he know what is a command and what is fulfillment? (Helena Roerich, letter No. 29 of 1937)
This means above all: He who is unable to rule himself, cannot be allowed to rule others.
How can we rule cities, nations, planets – rule with God – until we rule ourselves? (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “The Foundation Stones of the spiritual Temple”)
So everyone has to start the exercise of obedience with himself.
A youth asked a Sage to teach him how to be the ruler of a nation. The Sage said, “Willingly, but first you must become the ruler of your heart; when you have mastered that kingdom, come to me.” (Supermundane 658)
Larger power you will only get when you have proved that you are able to establish the rule of the spirit over yourself.
If you cannot be faithful to the vows you have taken to your Higher Selves, what security can you give to the Law that you will remain faithful? If you cannot obey the laws you have sworn to uphold, how can you sit among the Law-Givers and hand down just decrees to the executors of those laws? (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 34 “Fulfillment”)
10. Freedom and Necessity
The old man fancies that obedience is incompatible with his freedom. By freedom he means to be able to do and to omit to do whatever his lower self suggests.
The immortal, however, joyfully accepts the immutable laws of the Universe as a reasonable and equitable order and brings his thoughts and actions in accordance with them. Therein lies the true freedom.
The loftiest freedom can be realized in the Supermundane World, where laws are understood as a beautiful and immutable reality. (Brotherhood 3)
Obedience to the law by love for law and order gives highest freedom to the soul. (From the Mountain Top, Volume 3, Lesson “Freedom”)
Once again, Goethe has found the appropriate words:
Not that makes us free that we do not want to recognize anything above us, but on the contrary that we worship something that is above us. For by worshipping it, we rise up to it and reveal through our recognition of it that we ourselves bear the Higher within us and are worthy to be its equal. (Goethe to Eckermann, 18.01.1827)
Cosmos does not work according to desire, but according to necessity.
The torrent is rushing on not because of its own desire, but because of an inevitability born of necessity. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 205 [Part Two VII 16])
He who sees the observance of the cosmic laws and necessities as a restriction of his freedom, does not yet understand the order of the world.
It should be remembered that freedom requires a high discipline, and those who manifest disorder and confusion cannot be regarded as free. (Supermundane 832)
If you do not adapt to necessity, you must fail.
What is success if not the effect of the correct application of the law? (Hierarchy 230)
Really free you are only when you realize: The laws of existence are unchangeable. Whoever does not comply with them, will be forced to do so one day by sheer grief. Therefore, it is better to voluntarily accept them as a just order and to bring one's individual will in harmony with the global plan.
Man imagines that his will is unrestricted and begins to violate the fundamental laws. But the will is of value only when it is strictly in harmony with the laws of life. Most people do not understand this, for to them the will is equivalent to wilfulness, but a wise man knows that will and freedom can live only in safeguarding lawfulness. (Supermundane 327)
Of course, you have a free will. But that only means: You have at any given moment the option to proceed in accordance or in conflict with the Higher Will.
The point is that the will may be harmonious with the Higher Forces, or it may be chaotic and working against construction. Freedom of will is a prerogative of man, but without harmony with the Higher Forces it becomes a misfortune. (Brotherhood 103)
We can actually - seemingly paradoxically - say: Obedience is the price of freedom!
Freedom is the release of the soul from the ancient bondage of the lower self. Having paid the price demanded by the Higher Self, by perfect obedience to the Law it has previously broken, the soul is free indeed, free of all things save the Law; and having become one with the Law, through that perfect obedience, it is its own lawmaker thereafter. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 244 “The Cause of Failure”)
The recognition of the necessary should not be a restriction, but on the contrary a help to you.
A heroic act is a realization of a necessity. Only through consciousness of utter urgency will you swim across. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 205 [Part Two VII 16])
Because the recognition of the necessary means already half the way to the goal.
If one is imbued with a realization of the necessity, then more than half the obstacles in the way will be removed. (Community 136)
As long as you act in accordance with the higher plan, you will overcome all difficulties. But if you turn against the current of evolution, of necessity, you cannot succeed.
People realize that their heart is aflame. Thus it is, as it were, joined to something unalterable. In conformity with this immutable law it is possible to pass over the most dangerous abyss. (Fiery World II, 454)
A real master in the art of living makes conscious use of the existing laws in order to achieve his objectives.
By his powers of invention and mechanical skill man is able to take advantage of the divine laws to carry out his purposes. Yet those very powers are powers of the divinity in man, and his success in any field of life depends upon implicit obedience to the divine laws which govern that field. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 230 „A Supreme Being”)
11. No Compulsion
You must obey voluntarily. Obedience under compulsion is of no value.
Hierarchy has nothing in common with coercion. It is the law which is disclosed. We oppose any coercion. (Hierarchy 410)
Agni Yoga strictly rejects any constraint.
All compulsion is condemned. Compulsory slavery, compulsory marriage, compulsory labor, incites rebellion and condemnation. Each compulsion is doomed to a reaction, and the worst form of compulsion is doomed to the worst reaction. (Community 219)
The disciple obeys his master with enthusiasm.
Not the process of compulsion, but the smile of summons. (Community 108)
The freedom of choice, the free will must never be restricted, otherwise human dignity is violated.
The freedom of the will must not be violated. (Agni Yoga 220)
The principle of freedom of approach, freedom of service, freedom of labor must be safeguarded. (Community 259)
Agni Yoga rejects any fanaticism. It is a terrible mistake to try to enforce an ideal by force.
A man who affirms that in serving his own ideal he must destroy all others not coinciding with his path, is a destroyer of the fundamentals of evolution. The Cosmos requires expression of all that exists, and on the spiritual plane equalization cannot take place. (Fiery World III, 387)
Leadership there must be - but without any physical or psychical coercion.
What is the nature of the Bodhisattvas' compassion? Without coercing the will, They invisibly and patiently direct each suitable force toward good. (Agni Yoga 332)
12. Loyalty towards Yourself
Obedience to God is obedience to yourself - to your own higher self. If you obey, you remain faithful to yourself - to the law hidden within yourself. Then you are living out of your true, divine nature. Each deviation means betraying yourself - your higher mission.
Prove your willingness to serve God by serving the God in each other. If you will do these things you will be swept on in the flood tide of the White Lodge force to final success. If you will not do these things you will go down and out of incarnation, the world no better for your having been in it, your opportunities wasted. It is yours to choose. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson „Your Choice”)
This loyalty is the basis of your progress.
Until man can learn to be true to his Higher Self, true to his plighted words, true to the obligations he is under, he can make no great advance on the ladder of life, no matter what else he may do on other lines to effect such advance, for the foundation stone underneath that ladder is Loyalty and without Loyalty life has no meaning. Then the disciple may win the right to the title of Warrior of Light. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 146 “Soul Memory”)
As long as you remain faithful to yourself, you will overcome all difficulties.
There is but one virtue which can take a chela over all the obstacles the whole of the Black Lodge may lay in his pathway, and that is faithfulness. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson „Spiritual Triumph”)
The unconditional loyalty to yourself is the guarantee for achieving the highest goal.
A man or woman who persists in being true to the Higher Self, who cannot be deceived by the specious tales of others, that one takes his or her place with the Initiates of the White Lodge when his trial is over as surely as tomorrow’s sun will rise in the east. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 94 “The Soul Redeemed”)
13. Loyalty to the chosen Ideal
Basically, the spiritual path is about one thing only: To commit yourself to certain principles and to prove yourself by realizing these values in the vicissitudes and trials that life offers every day.
The Crystal Path, the Path of the Soul Direct, requires closer adherence to principle. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson „The Crystal Path”)
The greater the principles are to which you have pledged yourself, the higher is your path. To be a human being means to cultivate an ideal and to fight for its realization on earth.
If you could at all times remember the great ideals you have loved and longed to materialize in the days that are gone – ideals of courageous, selfsacrificing, noble Knights of the Holy Grail; of sweet womanly, tender and faithful Ladies worthy of the love and sacrifice of those Knights; of the unselfish, undying devotion, the charity, helpfulness, wisdom and beneficence of the Priests and Priestesses of the great Temples of antiquity, unweariedly pursuing the Path, sometimes by fire and flood, in the midst of carnage and blood, through years of martyrdom, on, on, to the topmost step of the great Initiation Stair;
I repeat, if you could always remember those ideals – remember what they meant to you when you made the first conscious effort to reach to some height of the ladder of self help, as well as what they have been to you on every upward step you have taken since; through every soul-scorching sorrow or great joy;
would you not be more careful how you debased them, how you dragged them in the mire and mud of a treacherous, unstable, unloving maze of mind ? (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 67 “Love of Ideals”)
It is really better to die than to be unfaithful to the chosen ideal. The body perishes anyway, while damage done to the immortal soul will continue to operate far beyond a single short earthly life. If you give up your ideal, you sell your soul!
The failure of men in religious, in business, in social life might all be traced back to their loss of faith in themselves or their ideas, and therefore a similar loss in the case of their associates. He would be conscious of a loss of something in himself that was the mainspring of his action. He would no longer be a magnet to attract success to himself or those associated with him. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 123 “The Responsibility of Leadership”)
We therefore need to unconditionally defend our vision.
Therefore it behooves you all to watch closely and protect the qualities in yourselves to which you look for success. Keep your ideals strong and pure, and reject the thoughts and influences which would tend to lower them. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 123 “The Responsibility of Leadership”)
Our loyalty must serve especially the Brotherhood of Shambhala. They are in urgent need of co-workers on earth, on which they can rely.
Accept every instruction with all your heart. Devotion and loyalty are the highest qualities. Only on loyalty one may build upon. Without loyalty there is no true greatness. (Helena Roerich, letter of 29.05.1931)
14. Knowledge of the Higher Will
Anyone wishing to serve the highest Lord, must endeavour to find out His will. If the disciple is unable to recognize what the teacher wants, he can neither follow him nor promote his plans. Do you want to follow the commandment "Thy will be done" (Luke 11, 2)? This presupposes the knowledge of that will.
The words "Thy will be done" do not mean to invite cowardly submission to circumstances and conditions. They should voice the cry of the Soul for perception of the nature of the divine Will and for strength to use that Will aright. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 144 “Only one Will”)
The first words of Saul, just having become Paul, to his new God were:
What shall I do, Lord? (Acts 22, 10)
This is also the crucial question of our life.
True attainments are realized by the striving to cognize the Will of Highest Reason. It is difficult to accept the cosmic direction without understanding the Will of Highest Reason. (Infinity II, 458 )
People are helpless to despair when they do not know where to go and what to do - when their Lord is silent and His will is not clear.
Where can the spirit direct itself without the Guiding Hand? (Infinity II, 548 )
Let us hear the distressing words of Jochen Klepper with regard to the "Soldier King" Frederick William I of Prussia:
God's will was not to be recognized. How could kings govern? (Jochen Klepper, The Father)
The disciple must in every detail, in the management of all the great and small matters of his private and public life, find out and enforce the Higher Will. Here always to make the right decision is our great creative task.
In some way one should combine the urgent problems of life with the highest resolutions. (Fiery World II, 176)
15. Inner Guidance
If you find an earthly teacher who reveals to you the Higher Will, the better. However, evolution requires that you learn to wake up the forces of cognition slumbering within yourself. You cannot rely forever on the instructions given by others.
The Temple student can at any time turn to his spiritual leader for advice. In many cases, the teacher will respond when called.
Often, however, it must suffice to withdraw to the higher self, and to look from this far-off height on the problem, in order then to find a solution out of one’s own inner intuition.
The language of the heart is the breath of the Supreme. (Heart 249)
Both possibilities are virtually indistinguishable anyway: The teacher, the higher guidance speaks to you through your higher self! The spirit tells you how the teacher would act in your place. The guide is within yourself!
And now regarding the Voice of Silence, or the voice of the Invisible Teacher. Most certainly, this voice may not necessarily be the voice of our higher Ego, but precisely the voice of the Teacher; for these manifestations are almost indissolubly linked with each other. Is it possible to hear the voice of the Teacher if our higher Ego is in a "somnolent" state? In true spiritual development our higher Ego is indeed receptive to the voice of the Invisible Teacher. Therefore, when we begin to hear the voice of the Teacher, we also hear the voice of our higher Ego. (Helena Roerich, letter of 05.09.1935)
The inner voice, our conscience, the voice of the Divine in us shows the true and right path.
Urusvati knows how decisively the voice rings from the depths of our consciousness. Only the one who can acknowledge this voice can consider himself to be on the path toward knowledge. Fortunate are those who have learned to harken to the voice of the depths of the consciousness. Listen to the forewarning and encouraging voice. Your judge – your friend – is always with you. (Supermundane, 629)
Let us therefore listen to our divine self!
There is an Angel in the heart of every human being. Ah ! children of mine, listen to the voice of that Angel. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 1, Lesson 217 “The World’s Travail”)
You feel very accurately when you behave unworthily. The fine sense of the heart is an infallible guide.
Doesn’t a child feel ashamed after his first feeble attempt to lie? 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)
The angel within yourself and the guardian angel who accompanies you - both cover their heads in sadness when you deviate from the path.
Man himself is fully aware when he does something unworthy. Old governesses used to say to children who had done something wrong: "Your angel will weep." (Supermundane 431)
You higher self speaks as an internal guide to you, with the greater clarity and precision, the farther you have advanced on the spiritual path.
There is within each and every disciple of the Lodge, even though he may have taken but the first step on the conscious march toward victory of the Higher Self over the lower, the instinct, intuition, or actual voice, according to the degree of his development, which warns, protects, counsels, guides aright, if time be given to silence the outer stir of emotions and listen to the word of light and command within. (Teachings of the Temple, Volume 2, Lesson “The Crossing of Swords”)
You must train yourself in order to be able to more and more perceive the voice of the teacher within you.
The Teacher watches the progress of the yogi. The sign of his progress will be the ability to hear the voice of the Invisible Teacher. (Agni Yoga 174, 181, 185)
The inner guidance is developed and strengthened when you rely on it and follow its call. However, if you hear the instructions of the Master, but do not execute it, then you corrupt the higher senses and deprive yourself of help from Above.
There is danger when an instruction is not carried out right away. This is also harmful to the heart itself, for what could be more destructive than commands to the heart that are not carried out? (Heart 486)
If you, on the other hand, get used to execute even the smallest order immediately and in full, you strengthen the connection, and your inner voice will gradually speak to you clearer and clearer. The more faithfully you perform what the Master requires, the more you will realize the Higher Will, and the easier it will be for you to receive and to implement the next instruction.
Striving toward fulfillment of the Higher Will leads to sensitiveness of perception. (Hierarchy 88)
Let us listen to the great Indian theosophist Taimni:
The ability to recognize what is right, can only be acquired through making it our unshakeable habit to do conscientiously and at all costs whatever is right, regardless of inconveniences or losses that may arise for the moment. Again, we are dealing with a virtuous circle. The more we adjust our lives to what we perceive as right, the easier and more clearly we can recognize what is right; and the more clearly we can see what is right, the easier it is for us to convert this perception into right action. (I. K. Taimni, Self-Education and Self-Realization, (Self-Culture in the Light of Occultism), 244, 245)
By this exercise of obedience, we nourish our higher nature, let it grow and gain power. As Sri Aurobindo says:
The soul begins to unveil itself, the psychic personality reaches its full stature. The soul, the psychic entity, then manifests itself as the central being which upholds mind and life and body. A guidance, a governance begins from within which exposes every movement to the light of Truth, repels what is false, obscure, opposed to the divine realisation: every region of the being, every nook and corner of it, every movement, formation, direction, inclination of thought, will, emotion, sensation, action, reaction, motive, disposition, propensity, desire, habit of the conscious or subconscious physical, even the most concealed, camouflaged, mute, recondite, is lighted up with the unerring psychic light, their confusions dissipated, their tangles disentangled, their obscurities, deceptions, self-deceptions precisely indicated and removed; all is purified, set right, the whole nature harmonised, modulated in the psychic key, put in spiritual order. (Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 941)
Thus, the path lies clearly before us: To become an ever more effective tool of the Master, an ever purer channel of His spirit. This path starts with the small exercises of obedience of everyday life. If you do not leave it, it continues up to highest cooperation. At the end, it is less and less you yourself and more and more the Master, the Divine Spirit, which acts through you on earth.
To conclude this Broadcasting, let us hear again Taimni with magnificent words:
We try to do even the most boring, unpleasant work with a song in our heart, if we feel that we are doing it for Him. And if we continue to act in this attitude, we will find that within ourselves takes place a very fine transformation. We feel that we become more and more a tool of His life and His love. We feel that His power, His love and His help flow through us to those with whom and for whom we are working, but regardless of our own person. We are becoming a mere channel; but through this channel flow His life and His love.
And then, on an even higher level, something more becomes clear. We feel that He dwells in our heart and guides all our activities. He has always done this; but we, in our selfishness and in the mistaken perception that we are the doers, were unaware of this. We put all kinds of obstacles in His way and inhibited the flow of His power and love. But now we have realized it and surrender entirely to this inner guidance and current. Henceforth, He reigns within us and we are happy to be His instrument. (I. K. Taimni, Self-education and Self-realization, (Self-Culture in the Light of Occultism), 248, 249)