AGNI YOGA WEB TV
„THE 10 PILLARS OF THE PRACTICE OF AGNI YOGA“
7th Pillar: Communion with the Higher World (Meditation)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
how nice that I may welcome you back to our program.
Today we shall be talking about meditation, or, as Agni Yoga says, about the connection, the communication of man with the Higher World.
We shall deal with this subject in great detail - why?
First of all, because here Agni Yoga really opens up new magnificent possibilities for all of us. Keeping discipline, serving selflessly, perfecting oneself - this is being practiced by many others as well. But actually getting in touch with the spiritual world, truly leading a conversation with a non-incarnated teacher - this has so far been reserved for the few "chosen ones". Now the Teaching opens this path to all human beings.
Each man has within himself a potential force that can bring him into direct contact with the Highest World. If this communion is lost, man is limited to the life of a beast. (Supermundane 200)
Herewith Agni Yoga paves the way to a new, higher stage of human development.
A new step approaches for humanity—communion with the far-off worlds. (Infinity I [II], 351)
Secondly, it is of paramount importance that the central message of Agni Yoga: "Transform into an immortal, spiritual being!" is actually turned into earthly everyday reality. For this, meditation is crucial.
The purification of religions presupposes a new direct relation with the spiritual world. Christ, Buddha and their closest co-workers did not use magic formulas but acted and created in full blending with the spirit. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 114 [Part Two III 7])
The non-material part of your being, your soul, has its home in the world beyond. It actually longs to call in there regularly even during the stay on earth and to maintain the connection to its true relatives, its soul mates.
You are only then a spiritual being, if you do what your soul wants in this regard as well. Let us be epicureans - but in spirit. The pleasure of the soul is - meditation!
Section I: Theory
We start with the theoretical foundations, without the knowledge of which the Higher Communion is hardly to achieve. In Section II, we shall learn how to practice meditation.
Apollo of Belvedere
The Greeks called man "anthropos" - "he who looks to the heights". Thus they have very nicely expressed our longing for communion with the higher spiritual spheres.
Encourage people to at least glance at the starry skies. Only pigs cannot raise their heads. (Supermundane 646)
Can man live without raising his eyes towards the stars or thinking once about Infinity? (Supermundane 448)
2. Opening of the Higher Senses
Man has not only the five material, but spiritual senses as well.
Through the senses, man contacts the different grades of universal substance, material and spiritual. By the material senses, he contacts the material world. By the spiritual senses he contacts the spiritual world. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. II, Lesson “Light and Wisdom”)
Our further development requires that we revive the crippled organs of our spirituality, the higher centers or chakras.
The metaphysical faculty in you is only dormant but would fully develop were you but to awake it to its full action by constant use. (Mahatma Letters, letter No. 37 of January 1882)
This happens, as in the case of any other capacity, by using them. Without regular exercise they wither away, like any other unused organ.
The spiritual ear must be opened independent of earthly conditions. An experienced person is in possession of a conductor to the Supermundane and can use it at any time. (Supermundane 824)
The old man is materially so rich, but spiritually so poor exactly because he allows the more important part of his nature, his higher senses, the organs of his spiritual being, to remain unused.
Foolish man! God never ceases to speak, but man has destroyed his true sense of hearing by listening too intently to the muffled thunders of the sound waves of human passion pounding against his inner ear. (From the Mountain Top, Volume I, 95, Lesson “The Voice of God”)
The overemphasis on intellect, unfortunately, leads to our neglecting the development of the spiritual senses, in particular of the heart knowledge.
The ignorant sceptic asks, "Why make assumptions about some sort of higher worlds? I have never heard of anything of that kind." It is fitting to answer, "If someone has never once felt the approach of the invisible world, it means that one's nerve centers have become atrophied." (AUM 77)
3. The Heart as a Bridge to the Higher World
The main center for the Higher Communion is the heart. Not by magic, rituals or intoxicants, but through a sensitive heart, the New Man gets in touch with the otherworldly spheres.
One should not seek the artifice of a ritual, or forcing. The natural blending with the Highest is achieved only through a naturally kindled fire of the heart. (Hierarchy 362)
The heart is the link, the bridge between the material and the spiritual world.
The heart should be understood as the unique natural link between the visible and invisible worlds. Only the thread of the heart can lead into the Infinite. (Hierarchy 449)
You have to learn to open your heart to the influences, the energies, and the messages from the higher spheres.
How is lofty Communion possible for a man if his heart is closed to inspiration! (AUM 593)
For this, you must protect and keep perfectly pure the heart.
Rather than regard the heart as personal property, it is preferable to convince oneself that the heart is not entirely one’s own organ but has been granted one for attainment of the highest communion. Perhaps if people began to think of the heart as something on loan from Above they would handle it with greater care. (Heart 389)
So let us strive to educate our hearts, to refine our natural feelings, to expand our capacity to receive higher energies!
Each step in educating the heart opens a gate to the Higher Worlds. (Heart 514)
4. Spiritual Food
Your higher self requires care and food in the same way as the physical body. Look at it as at a subtle creature which has its own needs and demands, which you have to provide for, as in the case of the body.
Consciously must the spirit be nurtured. (Agni Yoga 27)
The people of the world are starving for want of spiritual sustenance. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 64 “Let there be Light!”, Chapter “The Message of Hope” )
Your soul needs the exchange with the spiritual world as your body needs bread, water and air.
One cannot remain without water even for a day. It is likewise difficult for the consciousness to survive without enlightenment from far-off worlds. (Agni Yoga 407)
It is useful to consider communion with the Higher World to be as necessary as pure air. (AUM 89)
Just as you do not leave the house in the morning without having eaten, you should not neglect the feeding of your soul either. Physical food you get at the bakery. Spiritual nourishment you receive - for free - in meditation.
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. Let us magnify our thoughts, and let us think of the fundamentals of Yoga as our bread and milk. (Agni Yoga 357)
Like the body, your higher nature decays if it does not receive sufficient food.
The heart demands constant nourishment; without it, the heart is deprived of the highest link and begins to decompose. (Heart 9)
The plight of the old man is more spiritual than physical. For coping with daily life, you need, above all, spiritual strength: Consolation, knowledge and guidance. He who does not find them, suffers. The source from which they flow, is meditation.
The fact that the soul of man requires nourishment no less than the body, and also requires it at stated intervals of time, and in sufficient quantities, is not always recognized or accepted; consequently in the majority of cases that nourishment is very inadequately and intermittently supplied, and the result of such neglect is to a close observer evident in the faces and forms of the people he meets. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 59 “Transmutation”)
Food for the soul are ideas, high thoughts and noble feelings. He who does not cultivate ideals any more within himself, will find his spiritual fire going out due to lack of nutrition.
The Soul is dependent for its nourishment, and therefore its life, upon the force of its high ideals. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 62 “The Murder of Ideals”)
5. Currents of Higher Energies
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Northern Midnight"
Scientifically speaking, spiritual food consists of higher energies.
Blessing is in the acceptance of the Supermundane energy. It is available to everyone who desires to turn to it. (Supermundane 709)
Imagine currents of energies constantly pouring down from the spiritual plane onto the material world, superabundantly, in every moment, like a warm rain.
Eternally beating, ever beating, the rain of spiritual influences falls ceaselessly on humanity, refreshing, quickening and awakening the human more and more to interdependent greatness, spiritually, morally, and materially, with all that is. (From the Mountain Top Vol. II, Lesson “Eternally Beating”)
This blessing is everywhere and at any time "in the air" and therefore available to everyone. This explains why so often ideas and inventions emerge in various parts of the world simultaneously but independently of each other.
The Fiery World brings us flashes of illumination, similar to lightning flashes in the coarse manifestation of a thunderstorm. Just as storms always supply Earth with a purified store of prana, so does the Fiery World constantly pour out waves of influences. It is a pity that the receivers are few, but if one were to begin to exercise the consciousness for communion with the Fiery World, then such a receiver could naturally be confirmed. (Fiery World I, 103)
In meditation, you create a condition that allows you to consciously absorb these currents of energy.
The true power comes when the whole being is overwhelmed by silence and an energy is generated that permits communion with the Higher World. We know these hours of surging energy. (Supermundane 89)
There is an exchange of energies between Above and below. According to the law of correspondence, the higher world responds to your aspirations.
When humanity fills the space with its quests space responds by sending higher energies. (Infinity II, 841 )
The more you make your vessel ready to receive, the more you move on to meet the Upper World, the more you will be able to attract from Above.
Even as in life one hastens to meet the postman, in the same way must one stretch out one's hand towards Our sending. By keeping the aura pure help the messengers to reach you. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 33 [Part One VIII 3])
The sunlike heart of the Agni Yogi absorbs all cosmic energies as in a spatial funnel, feeling each vibration. The impetuous heart goes to meet each fiery energy half-way. (Fiery World III, 287, 288)
This exchange must be cultivated. The receipt must take place consciously. He who does not know or does not want to know anything about these currents of higher energy, will benefit from them to a very limited extent only.
Even under the impact of these cosmic currents the human will has a great significance. He who does not wish to accept these currents will experience a very moderate reaction, but voluntary acceptance will give a very accelerated effect. When the link with Hierarchy is firm and conscious, then, both for the Sender and for the receiving one, the manifestation of best obtainable effects is easy. (Fiery World II, 3)
Most transmissions, unfortunately, are lost because they are were not taken up.
The supermundane current works incessantly, but it is man himself who rejects the valuable messages. (Supermundane 946)
So you have to open your heart consciously to receive the higher blessing.
The stream of life produces a continuous inflow of energy. When one's receptive centers are open, nothing can impede this inflow. (Agni Yoga 382)
Let nothing escape from this treasure that is destined for you personally! People call this receipt inspiration. From it, they derive their greatest possibilities - as artists, thinkers, statesmen or inventors, but also as "normal men" in need of consolation, elevation and knowledge.
Not being linked in spirit with the higher energies, man truly destroys his best possibilities. (Infinity I, 136)
All honest creators, for example the great composers, have always acknowledged that their work is entirely based on inspiration from Above.
One is, so to speak, just an instrument on which the universe plays. One does not compose, one is being composed. (Gustav Mahler)
According to the law of correspondence, you can adjust the harp of your being to the higher currents so that you vibrate in harmony with them.
Each one should attune first of all his own instrument. Only then is receptivity acquired. If receptivity will not be developed, then man will lose his most precious apparatus. (Brotherhood, 48)
You can respond like a tuning fork or a well-tuned string to a higher vibration. Then the spirit resounds through you. But it is nevertheless your string that vibrates, and your sound that is being produced.
What is the treasure of the heart? Consonance with the Cosmic Consciousness when the heart, besides its own rhythm, even partakes in the cosmic rhythm. (Hierarchy, 106)
The reception of the blessings of the higher spheres requires the tuning of your organism to these higher energies. This is similar to setting a radio on a certain frequency. If you do not vibrate on the frequency at which the higher energies are being sent, you will not be able to receive them. If you are tuned to a lower frequency, you will receive only lower transmissions of lower beings from the lower strata of the Subtle World.
In order to receive a thought or an answer from space, it is necessary to reach a complete correspondence of vibrations – the same principle as in the radio. People catch thoughts from space much more often than they think, but these thoughts are not always lofty. Space is filled with all sorts of mental messages, and we receive exactly what is in correspondence with our own mental receiver. That is why the Teaching insists so much upon the purification of the heart and thought, so that we may resound with the thoughts from the higher world. The so-called inspirations often are from nothing else but this harmony of vibrations. (Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. I, letter of 08.05.1935)
You must consciously attract the higher currents and reject the lower ones.
At times it is useful to sit calmly, directing one's spirit to Infinity. It is like a shower from the far-off worlds. Thought is a magnet which attracts positive currents, and it is like a shield which refuses admission to negative currents. (Fiery World I, 344)
7. Purification of our Being
Painting: Titian "Annunciation"
We had already said and will see again and again:
Everywhere labor and experience. (Agni Yoga 225)
This also applies to the communion with the Higher World. About it there is nothing mysterious or unscientific. We are getting closer to it according to the quality of our striving.
Thus, not in the manifestation of a special world, but through the quality of daily labor do we approach the Fiery World. (Fiery World I, 307)
The adaptation, the attunement to the higher vibrations takes place through our purifying our being, through our bringing the divine within us more and more to expression, so that we become more and more similar to the higher powers, from whom the transmissions emanate.
How can one expect sendings when the spirit does not unfold to meet the Light? (Hierarchy 127)
The purer and the more selflessly you approach the higher spheres, the clearer and the more abundant will be what you receive from there.
The measure of devotion determines the measure of receiving. (Agni Yoga 87)
He who climbed up the highest on the ladder of Hierarchy, will be entrusted with the best gift.
The Spatial Fire is assimilated by the centers of an Agni Yogi. Who can transmit to humanity the subtle currents? Only an Agni Yogi through his high thought. Each refined sensation means contact with the Spatial Fire. Therefore, only the highest Agni Yogi transmits to humanity the subtlest receptivity. The entire evolution is based on refinement. (Infinity II, 774 )
If you want to become a channel for the higher energies, you must purify and refine yourself in such a way that you are able to absorb these finest currents.
Response can be given only to the pure in heart. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 26 [Part One VII 2])
A dirty vessel is not suitable for the reception of pure Manna (bread from heaven).
All psychically subtle organisms assimilate the cosmic currents. The sensations of a psychically subtle organism differ greatly from the sensations of coarse organisms. Hence, only the refined receptivity can respond to the higher currents. (Infinity II, 761 )
Only he who is finest, is qualified to receive the highest.
The subtlety determines the quality of each reception. (Infinity II, 747 
Sensitiveness applied by the spirit gives clarity of perception. (Infinity II, 765 )
Who resounds most intensely to the currents of space? He who is most refined and most elevated. (Supermundane 291)
8. Refinement of the Organism
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "The Miracle"
We actually need to change the chemistry of our organism, to let it become more subtle.
While dwelling in a dense body, it is still possible not to manifest just coarseness. When the body admits the fiery currents, its whole substance is changed. The basis of this experience of fiery transmutation of the centers is this refinement. True, only to the subtle is the subtle accessible. (Fiery World III, 173)
The normal physical body is unable to endure currents of a higher vibration. Just as it is today, our body is not suitable for the absorption of higher energies. It will be damaged or even destroyed by encountering them. It is liable to burn up when approaching a higher, radiant being.
A fiery current can be assimilated only by a refined organism. (Fiery World III, 174)
That is why Jesus, appearing in his subtle body, warned Mary Magdalene not to touch him (John 20, 17).
The Sublime One said, "Touch me not." The earthly body is consumed by contact with a Fiery Being. (Fiery World I, 337)
Remember how Christ would not allow Mary Magdalene to touch Him, for touching a High Spirit appearing in a subtle body may cause death because of the difference in vibrations. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. II, letter of 02.09.1937)
About saints it is reported that their hair turned grey from one moment to the other through their coming in contact with a higher being.
Fiery manifestations cast earthly beings into trembling. Currents and rays of the Fiery World agitate even refined beings. This correlation must be deeply realized. Even some strongest in spirit have fallen into unconsciousness and have turned gray, have become blind and dumb, and have lost the power of movement in the extremities. In the near future, through their consciousness, people will cultivate their bodies in the receptivity of higher energies. (Fiery World II, 312)
We need to assimilate our bodies to the more subtle conditions of the other world, if we want to get in touch with its emanations. The upcoming 6th race will be characterized by a greater subtlety of the organism.
The greatest coordination underlies the fiery assimilation of an Agni Yogi. Therefore, We strongly affirm the cosmic coordination. (Infinity II, 852 )
9. Implementation of Currents
Man is a transformer: He is called upon to transform the higher currents which he received into earthly energy: Warmth of the heart, benevolent smile, compassion, spiritual help and saving action.
Man is the most powerful transformer of cosmic forces. The symbol of the transformer must live in the heart. On the path to the Fiery World let us strive for the attraction and transformation of spatial energies. (Fiery World III, 306)
What he has absorbed from Above, he can radiate into the world as cheerfulness, serenity, peace and joy.
There are strong examples of great saints who nourished the far and near with a wealth of currents. The Agni Yogi is such a nutritive agent. (Fiery World III, 62)
A sensitive person cooperates with the Higher World in order to further evolution, that is, to construct what is predestined from Above. He is not only a receiver, but also a conveyer of these currents of energy. He turns what he received into earthly reality. Thus he realizes the Divine Will on earth.
The attracted energy can take form in a vital application. The fiery energies are absorbed by the Agni Yogi out of space and directed into a vital orbit. Therefore, when the thought of a fiery Agni Yogi strives to creativity, all the energies acquire vitality. Thus can each possibility be asserted in life. (Infinity II, 841, 842 [441, 442])
Progress is achieved when man takes up inspiration from the spiritual world and implements it on the material plane.
Success does not come only from without. It is created by the collaboration of human hands with spatial thought. For them the yogi is the primary channel, the primary receiver of the energies of space, luminous as a beacon fire. He builds that which should be built. He lays together the intended stones. (Agni Yoga 375)
If you cooperate in this way with the Higher Spheres, they make their forces available to you for your confirmed projects.
So many powerful forces are awaiting reception and application. (Fiery World III, 183)
The inspiration revealed, the ideals transmitted have to be implemented through concrete action in earthly reality, otherwise they miss their purpose.
Each thought given to humanity is for execution. Otherwise, why saturate the space? The lack of executors complicates the creation. Each thought given for saturation of the consciousnesses must find executors. The great spirit is a creator and each thought must enter into life. Vital action is the application of the thoughts of the great creators. Thus, the step of evolution is built by the thought of the creators and its vital application. Every applied thought will bring growth to the spirit. (Infinity II, 776, 777 [376, 377])
According to the age-old principle "as above, so below - as in heaven, so on earth", there applies, as in physics: Only those who have energy, can do something. Only those who receive something can give away something. So you need to recharge regularly your spiritual "battery" in meditation.
Who is the giver? The one who possesses. But lest one become exhausted one should receive from the inexhaustible Source. Let us turn toward Hierarchy. (Hierarchy 367)
Best is constant meditation in the sense of an uninterrupted connection to the Higher World. Then you are being fed by higher energies not only at certain times, but throughout the day, in the middle of your everyday material life and work.
The man who is filled with harmony is always receiving and always giving. His being is always strengthened by an uninterrupted current. There is no giving without receiving. To break such a current is the death of advancement. (AUM 580)
10. Deadlines of the Currents
Paris Gare d'Orsay
These powerful, beneficial, creative cosmic currents reach the planet at a specified time only and then move on.
Agni Yoga is not just the progressive development of human abilities; it should also bring forth the connection with the fiery cosmic energies that reach our planet at the prescribed time. (Agni Yoga 220)
If we are unable to absorb them, they pass by the earth. Then they are lost to humanity, and we fall behind in our development.
We ourselves must attract the currents, otherwise they may glide by without leaving a trace. (Fiery World I, 344)
Currents that remain unused are even dangerous!
When humanity rejects the possibilities sent by the Cosmic Magnet, destruction ensues. The planet is covered with the emanations of these unaccepted transmissions; hence, all creative tensions are not expressed according to predestination. (Infinity I, 312)
The terrible conditions on earth are due to the fact that we separate ourselves from the cosmic development and thus fall behind the evolution as planned from Above.
I want to remind you about the absolute inevitability of the New Era. The fiery energies are in their greatest tension attracted toward Earth, and if not accepted, realized and assimilated they will cause terrific earthquakes and other cosmic perturbations, and also revolutions, wars and new epidemics. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 28.08.1931)
It is frightening to see how many possibilities people allow to let go by through laziness and ignorance, instead of attracting and using them.
In Cosmos, all consists of emitting and attracting forces. If people could see all transmissions of the rays, they would be horror-stricken at the realization of how much they have failed to accept. The striving spirit is attracted to these sendings. (Infinity I, 133)
11. Cleaning of the Atmosphere
According to the law of correspondence is valid: As long as the aura of the earth as a whole is negative, humanity will attract mostly negative cosmic influences.
Pure energies cannot be attracted to the earthly plane without transmutation of the accumulations which are stifling the planet. (Fiery World III, 193)
Furthermore, the higher currents cannot penetrate down to an individual human being, even if he may be ever so pure, through the dense aura of the planet saturated by negative energies.
The accumulations around the planet are so very dense that it is difficult for the rays to penetrate this mass. Therefore, the spatial ray can contact only those who have diluted the sphere by their striving. The spirit, by straining its aura, attracts the cosmic rays from space. Thus, the striving attracts the cosmic rays. (Infinity II, 625, 626 [225, 226])
Therefore, we have no choice but to urgently concern ourselves with the task of cleaning the aura of the earth.
The condensation of such strata above the earth forms a solidly compressed sphere. This sphere is so filled with the display of lustfulness that rays piercing these strata must be increased three-fold. On the path to the Fiery World let us affirm the consciousness in the necessity for purifying space. (Fiery World III, 326)
12. Study of the Holy Scriptures
Let us enlarge our topic a little further and speak of the contemplative life in contrast - or better: in addition - to the active life.
In this sense, the indispensable basis of a contemplative life is the study of the Holy Scriptures of mankind, especially the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Thora, the Bible, the Koran, and today the Agni Yoga. In these books, the Highest himself speaks to us. No traveller on the spiritual path can do without His teachings and instructions.
If you have received a message from the emperor on earth, you have no rest nor peace and allow yourself no sleep as long as you do not know what he has written to you. Now, however, the ruler of heaven, the Lord of men and angels, has sent you letters, affecting your life, but you, vain son, fail to read these letters with passion. Set about, I beg you, to carefully deal with them, and to meditate every day the words of God. (St. Gregory the Great, letters V, 46)
The word of the Lord is given to be heard by us humans every day. For this practice, room must be reserved each day.
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)
This spiritual nutrition is even more important than physical food.
One should receive Us as daily nurture. (Hierarchy 179)
The sacred hour dedicated to the study of the Teaching must not be given up for anything else.
Let us count the days we spend unworthily and be stricken with remorse. Let us count the hours not given to the Teaching and bewail. Can the hour dedicated to the Teaching be sold for a sack of gold? How can we devote our days to ordinary routine, when treasures are strewn along our path? (Agni Yoga 377)
13. Study of the Lives of the Saints
Painting: : Pordenone „Laurenzo Giustiniani and other Saints“
Furthermore, an important part of the contemplative side of our existence is the study of the lives, the deeds the writings and the sayings of the great saints, martyrs, religious fighters and spiritual leaders of human history.
Concentrate with all your soul and body on studying the lives of the great saints. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 10.12.1936)
The instructions on the spiritual path may easily sound or be understood abstractly. This path becomes concrete only by the example of those who are actually walking it on earth. The lesson these heroes give us is indispensable. Only their leading the way makes the spiritual path practicable for us as well.
The spreading of the Teaching must go flamingly side by side with a clarifying of the Great Figures. (Fiery World III, 200)
The saints are witnesses for the existence of the higher worlds and for the possibility to commune with them. They are trailblazers for the enforcement, down here on earth, of the principles in force above there. In them, the divine spirit is embodied and assumes human, fleshly form. For us, they are true intermediaries to the higher levels.
How does humanity expect to approach the Highest without acknowledging the entrusted earthly representatives of Hierarchy? (Hierarchy 338)
The lives of saints like Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Bernard, Teresa of Avila, Nicholas of Flue and all the others, of the great spiritual warriors of all people and all times, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa, of the martyrs for truth, as Thomas More and Count Stauffenberg, of the great teachers of humanity like Moses, Elias, Krishna, Hermes, Zoroaster, Pythagoras and Plato, of the Russian Starets, and of apostles like St. Paul, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, offer wonderful treasures, living examples for us for contemplation and imitation.
The examples of the great warriors of faith can encourage and infuse new forces. (Community 272)
It is in the nature of man that he feels drawn to something greater than him - to the Saints.
Ask all who dwell on Earth if there was ever a time in which they had no heroic image before them. Every schoolchild will acknowledge that he has always cherished in his heart a chosen one. Great deeds inspire the best impulses. Children will also acknowledge that although no one taught them to revere a hero, this feeling developed from within. (Supermundane 463)
If you wonder how the Mahatmas of Shambhala may probably live and work, you will most likely find an answer, if you study the life and the deeds of their earthly representatives.
The Inner Life of the Brotherhood will be understood when we are able to comprehend the details in the lives of the heroes. (Supermundane 187)
Celebrate every day as the commemoration day of a hero! The calendar of saints of the churches will provide an initial basis. Immerse every day for a moment into the life and work of the saint of the day, and you will find support and guidance for your own striving.
Remember the many who have toiled for the Brotherhood. (Brotherhood 575)
Those who honor Hierarchy reverence also its Messengers. (Brotherhood 188)
However, let us apply a broad notion, which goes beyond that of the fighters canonized by the Catholic Church: There are saints of the protestant church as well, such as Gerhard Tersteegen and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We should also consider the saints and spiritual leaders of other faiths, such as Confucius and Lao-tse, Apollonius of Tyana, Seneca, Sergius of Radonezh, Gandhi and many others. The Mahatmas had and have their envoys, messengers and co-workers at all times, in all nations and in all religions.
Humanity pays tribute to many of Our Brothers, although under different names. One could compile whole books on the veneration of Our Brotherhood. People think that their heroes have no connection with Us, little realizing that among the most revered and worshipped giants of mankind were the very Founders of Our Brotherhood. (Supermundane 125)
14. In Heaven
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Star of the Morning"
In meditation, you free yourself from the earthly cares and from the desires of your lower self. You draw your consciousness out of the body and move it into your higher self. The spirit flees the prison of the body. It leaves behind the bonds of the material plane and its restrictions and darkness. It throws off all loads and rises weightless to the eternal, celestial spheres like a bird into the air.
Any earthly sensation appears as nought compared with the flight into the Infinite. (Agni Yoga 148)
Only during meditation your soul can live, even while incarnated on earth, in its homeland, in its heaven. You come home to the Ashram of the spiritual community of the other world to which you belong. You feel the happiness of being close to your spiritual father and to your true brothers and sisters.
No special incantations are needed; the spirit striving to its Motherland, attracted by the Great Magnet, is enough. Give freedom to the spirit; do not bind it with human limitations. It will soar up by itself and return triumphant; thus man becomes attuned to the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 759)
Meditation gives you the possibility to consciously enter the realm of the spirit - which otherwise is only possible in sleep, in trance or at death.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Himalayas"
Meditation is contemplation - but with eyes closed, that means: With the inner senses of your higher self, within which you are dwelling during this time.
You look at yourself, at your surroundings, and at the life, in which you are involved, from the perspective of your eternal individuality, as from a mountain peak, from outside and above, objectively and abstractly. You put yourself (your higher self) face to face to your physical earthly incarnation, as if to a stranger.
The entire earthly existence must be comprehended from the point of view of the Higher World. (Fiery World I, 508)
The meaning will be clear when you look from the mountain top. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 34 [Part One VIII 4])
So your own and the true nature of people, things and situations around you become clear. You recognize the relativity, the deceptive of the perishable world. You distinguish the important from the unimportant. You gain definiteness, you find truth, order and orientation. You participate in the clarity of the higher spheres.
Usually cognition is acquired along with the growth of consciousness. Man raises himself with difficulty, as if climbing toward a mountain top. But there may be another means of cognition—man heroically uplifts his consciousness and then observes manifestations from above. Thus, the most complex manifestation will turn out to be below his consciousness and will be easily apprehended. The second means of perception is the path of the Brotherhood. By austere and inspired measures it awakens the consciousness and leads it upward. (Brotherhood 595)
The meditative sight of the soul unveils to you the eternal view of things, frees you from the limited timely perspective, and leads straight to the heart of the matter, to the essential.
Each day man must reflect about something eternal. Such meditation will be useful on the path to the Fiery World. (Fiery World II, 441)
Only in this way, from above, independent of the ever changing earthly conditions, you may rise in spirit above the material world and thus gain strength, steadfastness and invincibility.
Painting: W. Perow „Dostoyevsky“
A most important point is: Meditation is a path of realization. The divine within yourself and around you, the essence of things, the higher spheres, the divine will - all this you cannot grasp from books, but only by means of the immediate heart knowledge. Wisdom, insight and the ability to distinguish are something quite different from mere intellectual knowledge. Those you will not attain with your external senses or with the brain, but only with the higher senses of your higher self.
Meditation is the means to gain such knowledge, which goes beyond the boundaries of reason.
When the heart is at rest, when the consciousness is unfolded, then truth is perceived. (Buddha; see Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. II, letter of 09.08.1937)
Sub specie aeternitatis, from the perspective of eternity, of the immortal soul, you may assess life and the world much more accurately.
During the ascent, in courage, firmness and creativeness, one should remember that the Summit itself is small but the horizon vast. The higher one ascends the broader and more powerful is the vision; and the more powerful the vision the stronger the fusion into oneness. (Fiery World III, 19)
Meditative realization allows you the immediate apprehension of the essence, the inner truth of a person, a thing or a situation.
By understanding that all things in manifestation are symbols of eternal truths, and by taking any one visible object and fixing the mind upon that, first by an effort of will, then by stopping the fluctuations of the mind, the soul can make itself heard as it tries to impart to the mind some inner truth in relation to the object under investigation. In fact the consciousness of observer and observed becomes identified. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 50 “Zones of Color”)
Meditation offers you the opportunity to receive teachings that you can obtain otherwise only after death in the spiritual world.
Let people learn to apply the loftiest supermundane instructions in their earthly life. Let people draw enrichment in their lives from the supermundane source. (Supermundane 518)
When you practice regularly, you will learn: You really become more sagacious, your realization actually grows with each meditation! This is the way to become wise.
Meditation is the hour of inspiration: When your heart is at rest and opened towards Above, it is susceptible to the higher knowledge of the spiritual world, which is "in the air" and just waiting to be received.
Youth, do not forget prayer! Every time in your prayer, if it is sincere, a new feeling will be awakened, and with it a new idea that you did not know until then and that will give you new courage; and you will understand that prayer means education. (Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov)
Gaining such knowledge is infinitely more important than all the worldly matters that use to deter us from meditation.
People attempt to excuse themselves, claiming that because of their earthly duties they can find no time for higher communion. But let us compare their most important earthly duties with the sparks of even the least enlightenment. Let us examine them from a distance of several decades, and we will find that while the earthly affairs have faded, the enlightenment has remained clear and even grown more vivid into a beautiful affirmation. Such a comparison between earthly affairs and illumination can reveal the true values. (Supermundane 440)
17. Experience of God
Painting: Michelangelo "The Creation of Adam", Sistine Chapel, Rome
Meditation means actually to approach the supernatural world and its inhabitants in spirit. So we can get to know them from our own experience. This is the way to gain, in a materialistic world, an idea of the higher reality.
Nothing can transmit an understanding of the Invisible World, except the direct sensation of it. (Heart 298)
During contemplation, your teacher is really present. To this experience you must break through, if you want to progress in spiritual practice.
Be assured that I am close to you. (Heart 314)
Strengthen the awareness of Our Presence in your life. Invoke Our Power for your deeds. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 13 )
With the rough five senses you are unable to grasp this spiritual reality of the presence of the teacher. But with the higher senses (the centers) of your true nature - in particular with the heart -, this becomes possible.
In all moments of your life, learn to remember that you are watched continuously by the Eagle Eye and the Flaming Heart of the One who called you! Our gross body and the insufficient refinement of our senses are the only obstacles that prevent us from realizing His Presence. (Helena Roerich, Letters Vol. I, letter of 08.11.1931)
The spiritual practice lets the immortal experience that he is a link in the chain of Hierarchy, a member of the timeless community of all those who walk the Spiritual Path and serve the common good. With the teacher, among the other brethren of this order, you are safe.
The best remedy, the best weapon, is your understanding of Our Care. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 320 )
Man will ask, "Are You always with us?" We can be, but man must want it. (Supermundane 72)
Thus is to be understood Jesus' promise:
And behold, I am ever with you, even to the end of the world. (Matthew 28, 20)
(Painting: Rembrandt, Head of Christ)
Man seeks instinctively, like any other creature, to associate himself with the higher levels, to lean on a teacher, ultimately to approach God. In the contemplative practice, this elementary need finds fulfillment. It is promised that God will allow himself to be found if we seek Him - which means, if we approach Him in spirit, in meditation.
Agni Yoga says: By whatever paths ye come to Me, I shall meet ye. (AUM 584)
Similarly, the Bible says:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4, 8)
And ye shall find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 29, 13, 14)
Love for the Higher Spheres is the ultimate reason for treading the Spiritual Path. How can it arise? Only from being close to the teacher. Let us strive to approach the great Masters, then love for them and the desire for even greater closeness, for succession, will germinate by itself. Greater proximity will lead to more burning love, the ascent caused by this love will lead to even greater closeness, and so on in Infinity.
In addition, you can feel during contemplation that you yourself are being loved by your Elder Brothers. If you in turn respond to their love with your love, a connection will be created quite naturally.
We cannot send back a return wave to the Love that has knocked at our hearts in those hours which I have mentioned, without making a lasting connection with Its Source. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. III, Lesson “Nirvana”)
18. Source of Strength
The connection to the spiritual world is a source of strength, from which you can draw at any time. This food keeps the fire of your inner light burning. Everything you need - comfort, strength and love - is present more than abundantly in the higher spheres of space. In meditation you open your heart for these transmissions and let them draw in your being.
If it were possible for one of the doubters to perceive the waves of energy – prayer or aspiration, whichever you choose to term it – rolling out to the inhabitants of some of the higher spheres, and the return waves of exquisite light and color, easily interpreted by the trained disciple, their doubts as to the efficacy of prayer would vanish. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. III, Lesson “The Spoken Prayer”)
In contemplation, you fill your being with the spirit of the Master: The spirit of work and discipline, of struggle and ascent, of purity, wisdom and power, of serenity and joy, of pride and dignity, of peace and tranquility, of the conquest of the world, of selflessness and patience. If you want to think, talk and act in this spirit in the material world, you first need to assimilate it perfectly within yourself.
The communion with the Higher World will result in a renewal of forces. (Supermundane 89)
The old man is able to renew these energies, without which he would perish in a few days, only unconsciously during sleep. The spiritual disciple learns to scoop them consciously in meditation.
Only open your heart. In meditation, you assimilate with every breath the divine Spirit and fill yourself with vitality and joy.
When our consciousness is completely transported into the domain where there is no fear and depression, then we are invulnerable to any filth. (Fiery World II, 72)
You can actually “tank up” the force the Hierarchy, act with its help on earth, and thus be much more successful than if you would rely on your own weak powers alone.
I know that my power is multiplied when I appeal to Heaven. May Heaven provide me with a particle of its power. (Supermundane 382)
In a world in which the spiritual man must make do without any external assistance, without the physical community with his teacher and his classmates, the meditative connection to the homeland is his only support. You will succeed to build up your own world, to defend and to consolidate it, only on the secure basis of this spiritual foundation. Detachment from the world, loneliness and self-sacrifice are hardly bearable without the power that flows from the higher communion.
Painting: H. G. Leiendecker "The Comforter"
Of course, man always needs consolation. Distress and worry are known in abundance to the saints as well. The question is: Where do you turn to, to material or to spiritual comforters?
In the world there is no peace. The basis of meditation is the realization that we have to look for this vital achievement nowhere else than within ourselves. There lies its source, and contemplation opens it up. Peace is within you. There you have to find it.
One may add a most useful exercise: to preserve silence and direct one's thoughts to the Most High. A wonderful warmth suffuses one. (Fiery World III, 516)
Meditation is the true comforter, which is adequate to your higher being: If you consider your earthly existence long enough from the broader perspective of the higher self, the concerns and needs with which you are struggling every day on the material plane will become smaller and smaller, until finally - in the face of eternity - they fade away into nothing. Comfort and strength are "in the air" - you just have to draw from there.
In all disturbing mental or emotional conditions therefore indraw the consciousness by deliberate quiet breathing and seek to correlate with the Sixth Breath on its own plane of force and consciousness. If this is done, there will immediately result a balanced state and a feeling of inner calm and peace, with control of outer conditions. Motions and Emotions cease more and more as we go in consciousness toward the Centre of Being, for the Kingdom of the Divine Rhythmic Breath – Heaven – is Within. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 240 “The Sixth Breath”)
If you regularly collect yourself within your higher nature and commune with the spiritual spheres. If you make it a habit to acknowledge the primacy of the spirit in trouble and temptation and to resort to meditation - then you soon will need no longer earthly comforters such as cigarettes, alcohol or chocolate. You overcome these desires of the lower self in a natural way, namely on the higher path of true spiritual consolation.
Thus, in silence, without wasting time, one can receive a stream of refreshment. Only developed spirituality can uplift the human consciousness in a single sigh. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 303 [307; Part Three IV 1]
It is certainly a healthier, higher and worthier way to procure love, strength and comfort, of which we are so desperately in need in everyday life, by connecting with the higher spheres, rather than by trying, like the old man, in vain to obtain them by distraction or material pleasures. We must only practice the new path and make a firm habit of it, then we will soon be able to dispense with the unreliable worldly pillars.
20. Purification of the Soul
Painting: Tintoretto "Baptism of Christ"
It cannot be said clearly enough: Meditation is no "Eastern musing". Rather, it has a clear, earthly, material goal: To change our nature and make of us other, better men!
A single vision of the distant worlds is enough to transform one's entire life. Few have approached this step, nevertheless these transfigurers of life do exist. (AUM 18
Meditation is the most important spiritual exercise for the purification and refinement of our thoughts and feelings, of our eternal individuality, the soul. It actually transforms our entire being.
You know this from your daily life: Staying in a pure and holy place - for example a cathedral or concert hall - actually purifies you from the accumulations of the garbage with which you get in contact daily. It removes lust, fear and doubts, darkness and dejection from your heart. For example, in a church, you are hardly overcome by the desire to drink alcohol.
Meditation is the only natural way, compatible with human dignity, to suppress these evils not only externally, but internally by the root and completely get rid of them.
Spotted and oppressed from everyday life you enter the session - purified and elevated you raise from it.
Out of useful meditation is molded complete attainment. (Fiery World II, 376)
Meditation really changes the very substance of your spiritual being. It puts it in a state of higher vibration. In this state, you are receptive for higher energies and no longer respond to lower ones.
For example: The bottle of whiskey or the pack of cigarettes on the table in front of you cease to exert any attraction to you: Their coarse emanations do not find resonance any longer within your being which is now vibrating finer and higher.
The essential nature of man can be transmuted by the invocation of better vibrations. (Fiery World III, 253)
To put yourself in a state of higher vibration, and the influx of higher energy from the spiritual world actually remove unwanted coarse particles from your spiritual being - namely those which are unfit to resound in common with higher vibrations.
By purification or expulsion one can eliminate this harmful lower matter. (Agni Yoga 512)
Instead, your higher nature is being filled with finer particles that respond to higher vibrations. Thus, you actually change the composition of your soul!
So we can see that during a natural higher communion, no loss occurs, but a saturation with a high substance. (Supermundane 431)
This purification of the soul, you should perform as regularly as the cleaning of the body. You will experience the recovered natural childlike purity as a happy feeling - just as you feel better when you have showered the body or once again cleaned thoroughly your study.
The endeavour of the disciple must be to consciously create this fiery state of purity, strength and joy in moments of contemplation and then to continue to keep it up even after the descent down to the everyday material life - with the aim of remaining even there unresponsive to lower vibrations.
21. Elevation of our Being
Painting: Titian "The outpouring of the Holy Spirit"
We now come to the most important point: In meditation you take up heavenly peace, joy, purity and strength. You drink the divine, universal love which fills the whole space and connects all that exists.
Thereby, you yourself become a loving, peaceful, strong, happy and pure creature. You absorb the divine spirit. The spirit thus becomes flesh. It takes human form. So the flesh becomes divine. That is the mystery of meditation.
One may even suffuse one's heart with the Holy Spirit. (Fiery World I, 336)
When you get up from your seat, you radiate love, peace, strength, joy and purity into your environment.
In life, these achievements are constantly in danger. In meditation they must be consolidated over and over again in order to survive in the harsh wind of material reality.
Meditation should be the center of your life: There you take refuge, when you are in danger to lose the higher vibrations and to be overwhelmed by lower ones. There you restore your higher dignity as an immortal. There you actually transform into a spiritual being!
22. What is prayer?
Drawing: Albrecht Dürer "Praying Hands"
What is a prayer? To start with, no more than a sublime idea:
Prayer is expression of best thought. All beliefs prescribe praying to the Highest in the best expressions. It is correct to advise people to approach the Highest with the most exalted thoughts. We always point out the high utility of exalted thinking. To whom then can one send thoughts if not to the very Highest? (Fiery World III, 495)
An idea of the essence, of the final cause, of the Supreme; a thought of veneration, humility, gratitude, love, unification and selfless dedication; a pledge of loyalty, steadfastness and service.
In prayer existence is uplifted and made better. (Fiery World II, 280)
Prayer is the realization of eternity. In prayer there is beauty, love, daring, courage, self-sacrifice, steadfastness and aspiration. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 303 [307; Part Three IV 1])
Prayer is indeed a declaration of love!
If I say, "I love Thee, O Lord, and I am devoted to Thee, O Master, and I reverence Thee, Teacher," into what a mighty choir will this song of praise be transformed in the far-off worlds! (Hierarchy 176)
The everyday life, every true, meaningful, good work requires prayer - namely asking for the blessing from Above for that what we perform on earth according to the best of our knowledge and ability in the name and on behalf of God. Prayer is an alliance with the higher powers and thus in itself a real power.
There are ignorant ones who assume that prayer is generally out of place in practical life. They should be asked what sort of business they consider incompatible with prayer—that which is evil and greedy? Every good work is in need of prayer—that which reveals the Higher Forces. (AUM 58)
Prayer and work, contemplative and active life are inseparable: "Ora et labora", "pray and work" used to be the mantram of the spiritual fathers of the Middle Ages.
An opinion exists that prayer is something apart from daily life, whereas it is the foundation of life. (AUM 42)
23. Do not Ask for Yourself
Painting: G. Dou "Hermit in Prayer"
Spiritually developed people will not bother the higher powers with personal wishes. These know anyway, of what we are in need (Matthew 6, 32)
Prayer is exaltation and ecstasy. Self-seeking prayer is a more modern practice. How can man pray for himself? Does not the Higher Wisdom know what a man needs? (AUM 35)
The right prayer is addressed to the good of the whole world.
A savage in his prayers mainly pleads that mercy be shown to himself, while wise hermits pray for the welfare of the entire world. It is neither proper nor useful to plead on one’s own behalf. Only a crude heart assumes itself to be the most important. It is much wiser to plead on behalf of the world, in which the pleader as well will find a drop of weal. (Heart 554)
Selfish prayers only disturb the connection, which is based on selfless devotion.
We say to people, "Do not ask." We know your needs. People do not know how to concentrate upon the most important, and their requests are only disturbing. (Supermundane 72)
Incidentally, we must primarily help ourselves on our own. We must not rely on the Masters in those matters which we have to carry out ourselves.
There is no need to implore Divinity. One should contribute oneself the best deed. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 111 [Part Two III 4])
According to the laws of karma and of correspondence, each one receives sooner or later what is due to him. We should not believe that we can persuade the Higher Forces with a prayer to grant something that is not yet due to us. It would also be unwise to give something for which we are not yet ripe, to place us higher than we have already grown. Because to a higher position are bound higher duties that we are not yet able to meet.
24. In Need
Painting: V. van Gogh "Mourning Old Man"
In need applies:
People do not know how to invoke the Forces of Light when threatened with danger. On the contrary, they cast their doubts, regrets, and even accusations into space, even though they are fully aware that such faintheartedness does not help them.
The ancient people acted far more sensibly. In times of danger they turned instantly to Heaven, and in silence and without thoughts opened their hearts in receptivity to the Higher Forces. They understood that earthly words are useless in such circumstances and could not express the acceptance of help. They allowed the rays sent from above to flow unimpeded into their consciousness. They were certain that in time of need benevolent help would come. (Supermundane 384)
Or we speak very briefly a fast and fervent prayer:
If help is needed, it suffices to express oneself with: "Help!" But even for such a simple word attraction is needed. (Fiery World II, 38)
You should connect yourself to the currents of salvation, to the higher energies, in order to be able to advance in this force and to find a solution.
Prayer is a conduit to the current of weal. The current flows abundantly, but it is necessary to be united with it. One must find in one's own heart a concordance worthy to meet and welcome the highest and most sacred treasure. (AUM 35)
25. How to Pray?
How should we pray? Not the formulas, not the words are important, but the pure striving, the worship, the utter devotion of the heart.
Magical invocations involving coercion are all unsuitable. The heart’s prayer goes straight forward. Not the words but the feeling of the heart is what works miracles. (Heart 550)
It is inadmissible to limit oneself to the gesture of outward prayer; such hypocrisy is the most dangerous blasphemy. (AUM 267)
The act of stepping forward to the face of the teacher is carried out in spirit beyond all outward appearances and material circumstances.
Stepping forward to the presence of the Master can be experienced only by the heart. Nothing external replaces the filling of the heart with the Master. (Fiery World IIII, 138)
As below, so above. Just think of yourself: Would you pay attention to someone who approaches you with phrases repeated from memory without the involvement of the heart? Will not the same apply to a Master?
People are rarely able to communicate mentally when appealing to the higher spheres. Through all ages help has been offered in various verbal formulas, but many of these have lost their original meaning in the course of time and are repeated by people with little understanding.
Let your expressions and your way of thinking be your own; why use the memorized words of another when you can freely express your own feelings? When people speak to each other they rarely use the words of others, and in addressing the Highest should speak in their own individual way. People should judge according to their own habits. Would they like to be addressed with conventional formulas or memorized verses when a direct appeal from the heart is more personal? In everything a heartfelt expression should be used without embarrassment, for the simplest words are always the most potent. (Supermundane 410)
Let us make sure that our little brothers, the birds, do not expressive worship with their singing better than we with our formulas!
You have heard the prayer of the birds—the little brothers know how to welcome the light. They summon their most rapturous expression before the grandeur of light. Plants reach out toward the light. Only people dream about their stomachs when their spirits should be filled with the grandeur of the Highest. Thus they commit a sacrilege similar to suicide. Noblest hymns have been written, but people recite them without heart tremor, like the clatter of broken crockery. (AUM 36)
Not necessarily is a lot of time required for a good prayer.
One can spend hours in aspiration, but there may be a prayer of lightning speed. Then instantaneously, without words, man places himself in continuity with the whole chain into the Infinite. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 303 [307; Part Three IV 1]
Do not hesitate to use even the smallest break in your work for the renewal of the higher connection.
Let us not be in doubt as to what to do in moments between labors. Let us not forget that each particle of time can be used for higher communion. There is joy in that the thread of the heart can be in constant communion with the most Beloved. I affirm that the voice of love requires no length of time. As a field of grass is filled with different flowers, so, too, the calls of the heart are radiant amid labors; they signify approach to the Brotherhood. (Brotherhood 555)
Painting: C. H. Bloch "The Transfiguration of Christ"
In meditation, the soul communes beyond all dogmas and conventions directly with its home, the upper world. It calls in there regularly and communicates thoroughly naturally beyond the limits of time and space with other immortal souls - just as Jesus, in a transfigured state, talked to Moses and Elias (Matthew 17, 1).
It is precisely the generally-accepted religiousness that is unnecessary. The facts of conscious Communion with the Abode of Light are needed. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 130 [Part Two IV 3])
According to Agni Yoga, meditation is no introspection, no fixing the tip of the nose and no search for Nirvana, but above all a conversation.
True prayer is communion with the Infinite. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. III, Lesson “The Center of Being”)
You should, however, not aim too high and immediately think of a conversation with an Archangel or even with God. Such supreme beings have more important things to do than to personally take care just of you. But a conversation with your link to Hierarchy, your teacher, your true spiritual father, with whom there is a millennia-old spiritual connection - this will be a natural concept.
27. Call and Response
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Moses the Leader"
The pure, innocent child within you turns confidently to his father in heaven. It is comforting to know that you can expect response from there.
A call of love will bring response from the Beloved. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 83 )
Can one cite an example when the quest of a pure consciousness was not answered? (Agni Yoga 93)
However, the answer depends largely upon the quality, that is, the purity and strength of your invocation.
As you call, so shall the call be answered. (Fiery World I, 123)
According to the law of correspondence, a response must be given if the seeking one implores it selflessly.
If from the higher point of renunciation, the soul while in a perfect state of relaxation sends forth a prayer to the Infinite – not for some personal favor, but of faith, of love for that Infinite – the same law which compels one pole of electricity to respond to the other will compel a response from those Infinite domains, and the response will be in accordance with the real needs of the aspiring soul. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. I, Lesson 21 “Prayer”)
Not unlike the earthly, the otherworldly powers as well react with more certainty, the more urgently they are invoked.
In case of an appeal to the Hierarchy of Light, the significance is in the call of the prayer. One should remember that even earthly forces do not respond unless addressed. (Fiery World I, 268)
Verily, it would be easier for the beings of other worlds to pierce through the stifling atmosphere of Earth if toward them were coming appeals from earthly incarnates. (Community 32)
Just try it! You will see that Agni Yoga is not promising too much!
28. Conversation within the Heart
Painting: Gambarelli "St. Catherine of Siena praying with Jesus the Divine Office", Basilica di San Domenico, Siena
All of us may, like the saints, talk to the higher powers, invoke them adoringly, and, when all else is silent, hear their voice in our heart.
The language of the heart is the breath of the Supreme. (Heart 249)
Harken to the Voice of Eternity, which leads to Bliss and Light. (Hierarchy 38)
A receptive heart really converses with the Higher Spheres. One of the most beautiful paragraphs of Agni Yoga runs:
Sometimes let your heart converse with the Higher World. This conversation can be held in various languages. It could be that the heart will gather together memories of hours from many lives. Or perhaps the conversation will be a silent one without instructions or advice, only elevating and strengthening the ascent. And there may be the silence of gratitude or the silence of the power of readiness. The flame of the heart flares forth in striving to unite with the Highest World. (Heart 41)
Concretely, you should contact especially your spiritual father, your teacher.
Let the heart accustom itself to conversing with the Teacher. Like the wise ones of old, let the heart know only communion with the Master, so that nothing trivial may intrude while the heart is talking with the Highest. The conversation with the Teacher should be guarded as a treasure. (Heart 254)
Without a living exchange there can be no question of a teacher-disciple relationship. How could anyone possibly be your "teacher", to whom you have no contact?
No dogma can forbid conversing with the Highest. The more beautifully this is done, the nearer He will be. (Fiery World II, 38)
You may start by creating your own spiritual reality, actually visiting the Teacher - in spirit - in his Ashram, stepping forward to his presence, and speaking to him.
Command your heart to come as close as possible to the Teacher. If you have to affirm the Teacher in words, begin to converse with Him as if He were right beside you. (Heart 285)
This is far more than just an illusion: In the Supermundane World, everything is created by your thoughts - so that what you imagine becomes a reality there!
Hours of happiness — thus We call that step in the development of consciousness when, without turning away from life, Our co-workers are given the opportunity to join Us in Our Abode. (Agni Yoga 338)
It is one of the most important signs of the progress on the path that this spiritual conversation with the not-incarnated teacher becomes more and more a living reality.
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 teacher actually answers all your questions, if you just learn to listen to your inner voice - and then carry out what he says. If you do not implement the advice transmitted, you corrupt the higher connection.
Many who have never made a practice of listening to or obeying that inner voice frequently exclaim: "I would do right if I only knew how; I cannot develop myself without assistance." Within the heart of every normal human being lies hidden the Door that leads to the Temple Gates. He who will knock at that Door by earnest desire and walk into the silence and listen, will hear the answer to his every question, so far as that question relates to the soul's immediate need. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. III, Lesson “The Center of Being”)
Do not expect just words, however. The answer may also consist of the most various signs of life.
You should not expect that the Teacher’s reply only comes in the form of ordinary words. The answer may appear in a multitude of signs, some of them obvious, some of them far away. (Heart 285)
The difficulty is, first to identify these signs and then to accurately evaluate them.
An appeal to the Brotherhood does not remain without a response, but there are many ways of answering. Everyone has had opportunity many times to convince himself that the response of the Brotherhood has come in signs which are outwardly very insignificant. It can be boldly affirmed that a great majority of indications either glide over the consciousness or are incorrectly interpreted. (Brotherhood 26)
May the heart exchange of your immortal being with its peers, with your soulmates in the higher world, be the noblest expression of your existence.
Do not lose direct communion with Us. Let it be the highest expression of your being. Do not permit such a communion to become a formal performance of a duty. (Supermundane 18)
As a shining example of Agni Yoga meditation stands before us Helena Roerich: She managed to so far develop and refine her inner senses, to so wide open her spiritual centers that she was able, in hour-long spiritual conversations with her not-incarnated teacher, to receive and write down the thousands of pages of the books of the Teaching.
If we set out for this path, we, too, will one day acquire this wonderful ability.
29. Silvery Thread
Photography: Svetoslav Roerich
The exchange of energy between Above and below, if regularly maintained, may lead to a permanent, fixed connection. Agni Yoga calls this line to the Supermundane World the "Silvery Thread". It connects the disciple to the teacher.
The most wondrous thread is the silver one uniting the heart of the Hierarch with his disciple. Hence the sacred union of the Hierarch with the disciple is evidenced when the disciple's consciousness is striving toward the consciousness of the Hierarch. (Hierarchy 156)
The Silvery Thread is an almost physical connection between the worlds, which is nearly visible - as shown by the photograph of Svetoslav Roerich at the beginning of this chapter. The clearer we recognize the actual existence of this line and the more consciously we cultivate it, the more real and the stronger it will become.
People should not imagine the Silvery Thread to be something abstract, for it exists just like a tornado in which heaven and earth have been joined. 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. You should get used to seeing and sensing this light-bearing link. (Heart 250)
Through this conductor, Hierarchy provides us with everything we need for our earthly service: Strength, comfort, joy, knowledge and guidance.
Unselfish service, sincere devotion, and gratitude weave a strong thread by which all that is needful comes to us. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 24.09.1935)
Never forget this magnificent promise! Everything you need, you will get from Above! It is possible, though somewhat unlikely, that the Mahatma might even send you money if you are in need of it. But do you just need joy? Then procure it via the Silvery Thread! Or you lack strength? Then obtain in this way the power of Hierarchy from space.
Only when a spirit accepts all transmissions from Above can he broaden his consciousness. Thus, the connecting thread is the ladder of spirit upon which the power of the spirit ascends. Creativeness is realized through this wondrous thread. Thus, the ascent of the spirit proceeds through the connection with the Master. (Hierarchy 155)
How often are you unable to find within yourself comfort or knowledge. Then there is only one way: Obtain them from Above, from the teacher, from Hierarchy, through the Silvery Thread!
Verily, the path of the heart is light when through the silver thread the current of courage and joy passes incessantly. (Letters of Helena Roerich, Vol. II, letter of 16.08.1937)
You must strive not to allow the Silvery Thread to be torn up, to maintain it continuously especially in the chaos of material life. This connection is a great treasure, and needs to be protected accordingly.
We should not console ourselves with the thought that the silver thread is sturdy; let us rather safeguard it as if it were something fragile. (Brotherhood 565)
There are countless resistances, distractions and obstacles, against which you have to defend your personal line to the top. If the connection is interrupted, there is nothing flowing down to you any longer, and then you have nothing anymore what you can give.
Therefore it is essential to guard the current of the heart. When the current strives upward myriads of small sendings rush forth to impede it. Not only conscious and malicious sendings but also chaotic particles move to restrain the rising current. But if we are aware of it our consciousness will not admit the unbidden guests. (Fiery World II, 108)
He who is not worthy of the connection, will not bring it about. With an aura full of earthly desires, you cannot approach a Master and cannot expect any high but at most low transmissions from lower beings of the lower spheres of the Subtle World. It is therefore of paramount importance that you behave at every moment in such a way that your connection to the top is not disturbed or interrupted by unworthy thoughts, words or deeds. You must not congest with dirt the channel to the teacher, otherwise, nothing can flow through it down to you.
I entrust you to reject all that demeans the communion with Us. (Agni Yoga 183)
You cannot imagine the Silvery Thread concretely and figuratively enough: The teacher, too, is tied to this cord, it connects teacher and disciple to form a unit. Via this line flow not only currents from the top down, but also from you to the top. Therefore, the teacher is forced, in order to protect himself, to cut the cord, if you send in his direction coarse energies that violate his so much finer essence.
Resist the Fiery World with the least carnal desire and the whole relationship will be violated. But the courageous hero will not belittle himself with carnal thoughts. (Fiery World III, 483)
30. Help through Thoughts
Welt-Spirale "Star for Help through Thoughts"
A special form of prayer is intercession, help through thoughts for people in need. This ancient practice has a scientific basis: A thought sent into space acts there, if it is good, helpfully.
Let us take as an example a person who writes many letters. If he writes with only himself in mind, he will not achieve the right results. And he is mistaken if he thinks that he is writing to only one person in particular. A letter full of lofty thoughts does not belong only to the author, or to the one to whom it is addressed, but to all of humanity.
We should not be concerned with who will benefit from our thoughts. In addition to our personal intent, the letter is being sent into space, and it is not for us to worry where the thought it contains will find shelter. The only concern we ought to have is that our thought should serve for good. (Supermundane 246)
You can hardly imagine what your seemingly small, insignificant thought can bring about:
Perhaps it will be received somewhere in an entirely unexpected language, or enter the consciousness of a child and be expressed by him in later years. Perhaps the thought will reach a person who is leaving the earthly state and will be applied in the Subtle World, or it may be of help to that person during the crossing. Perhaps workers will be inspired by the thought, spiritualizing their monotonous work. The thought will help a sick person by giving him faith in his physician, or elevate a woman far beyond the boundaries of her domestic duties. The thought will whisper to the warrior opportunities for heroism. The thought will point out to the farmer the planetary significance of his labor. (Supermundane 246)
You cannot underestimate the power of your thoughts! They have global effects, both good and evil.
A person who elevates himself in spirit is of substantial aid to others. But a person falling in spirit may thereby even kill someone. One can cite numerous examples, such as how one who became insane in Asia was the cause of the death of another in Europe, or how one who rose in spirit in America healed another in Egypt. (Agni Yoga 168)
Most effective is help through thoughts if several people come together and pray jointly for the good of the world.
If thought contains creative energy, how useful it is to send a good thought out into space. Once humanity agrees to send forth good thoughts simultaneously, the infected atmosphere of the lower spheres will clear up right away. Even if it is only a few times a day, you should make a point of sending forth thoughts not about yourself but about the world. May the world be well! (Heart 300)
Spiritual communities, united over large distances of space, may send conjointly at the same time good energies into the world.
It is useful to advise friends to send out mutually good thoughts at a definite time. In such an action there will be not only a strengthening of benevolence but also a disinfection of space, and the latter is extremely necessary. Good thoughts will be the best purifier of one's surroundings. Such sendings need not be made up of definite words but only of a directed good feeling. (Brotherhood 195)
In most cases, you yourself will not even recognize the benefit caused by your thought transmissions.
A yogi may not know whom his luminous thoughts will help, but he will not tire of sending them out into space, like a purifying offering. (Supermundane 891)
But the good that you send into space is somewhere gratefully received.
No one knows whom his goodness has helped. It may be assumed that a thought of good reaches a definite person, but this is only a supposition. It may be that this thought has greatly aided someone unknown to us. Such a thought is a messenger of good, and the rescued man may not know his savior; so his gratitude is turned toward the Higher World. (AUM 325)
And you for your part benefit in a moment of weakness from good thoughts sent by others. Refine yourself, develop your inner senses and learn to feel how you are being supported!
A certain warrior came under the protection of a revered hermit. After a victory he came to the hermit and expressed his gratitude for two marvelous rescues. But the hermit said: "Ungrateful warrior, you were saved not two but twelve times. You did not recognize the most important rescues." Usually people notice the lesser rather than the greater. (Fiery World III, 578)
You may be sure: No energy emitted by you is ever lost! You make these currents available to the rulers of the earth who can use them there where they are most needed. In this way you little man achieve a real cooperation with the Higher Powers!
Each instant, someone somewhere is undergoing terrible misfortune. Let us not forget these perishing ones; let us send them thoughts of help. Perhaps people do not realize that afflictions are forever taking place, without end. In the Brotherhood they are known, and benevolent arrows are being sent. Even if you cannot determine precisely the place of its destination, nevertheless send your salutary thought into space. It will find the right course and will be joined magnetically with Our Help. Beauty is found when, from diverse quarters of the world, thoughts of salvation come flying—in this each one will emulate the Brotherhood. (Brotherhood 585)
The old man mocks prayers and help through thoughts. But who knows where the world would stand without them?
Of course you hear people complain about the uselessness of prayer. They say, "Why hermits and monasteries, when the world sinks in misfortune?" But no one wants to think what the world would turn into without prayer. Therefore all blasphemy against the deeds of the spirit should cease. (Fiery World II, 39)
Section II: Practice
Now let us start practicing meditation.
We are showing you a method of Agni Yoga meditation which has proven itself for over 20 years in Tabenisi. Of course, everyone must find the practice that is most suitable for him in his individual life situation. Listen to, try to imitate what we propose to you, and then introduce your own improvements.
Let me stress once again: When we speak of meditation, we mean an exchange of energy, a conversation with a being belonging to the Higher Spheres.
1. The Place
The first practical question is: Where do you want to meditate?
The best is, of course, if you can reserve a small room just for meditation: A private chapel, where you do not admit any worldly vibrations that might disrupt your Higher Connection.
If that is not possible, you may be able to erect a "family altar" in a corner of your room: A small table with a candle and the pictures of your teacher and the saint of the day.
When there is no room even for this, a prayer rug is sufficient, which is standing rolled up in a corner during the day.
2. The Time
The next practical question is: When you want to meditate?
Best three times a day: In the morning for about an hour, briefly at noon, and again in the evening an hour.
If that is not feasible, you should try to reserve, in the morning before and in the evening after the worldly day, at least fifteen minutes to care for your soul.
The important thing is to establish a certain rhythm. Not only you have to adjust your instrument regularly during the day, so that it remains receptive for the higher currents. The Higher Powers as well have to adapt to you: If you sometimes call Them urgently several times a day, and then do not send a word for months, you cannot expect that a natural connection is being created.
One should pray each day, otherwise it is better not to pray at all. (Fiery World I, 379)
So, one way to start with the regular practice of meditation might also be to reserve fixed times for example on Wednesdays and Sundays only.
Therefore do I entreat you, if you value life and its opportunities, to give room in the program of the days for hours of pause, meditation, and communion with your own soul, with me, and with those under me who would lead you through safe waters. Not once but frequently do I ask you to follow such course. It must be a steady, constant practice, not occasional and erratic or in some sudden moment after winds and storms are upon you. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. II, Lesson “The Crossing of Swords”)
We describe in this Broadcasting only meditation as such. We remind you that it is embedded in the monastic rhythm of the day (see 2nd pillar "Rhythm of the Day"). Accordingly, before the Higher Connection, there is half an hour of gymnastics outdoors, and after it follows an hour of studying the books of Agni Yoga, which is actually also part of meditation.
3. The Position
A difficult question is: In what position do you want to meditate? Again, we can only pass on our experience, then each one of you must see for himself what works best for him.
Meditation while lying down is hardly to recommend, because that easily leads to sleepiness. You want to have a conversation with the Higher World. For this, you have to be alert, focused and ready to perceive even the smallest, finest signs. Therefore it is best to keep the back perfectly straight upright.
Some meditate sitting down - I cannot make it to sit still for such a long time. In the Middle Ages special chairs were used, so called prie-dieus - but that causes pain in the knees. Today all sorts of cushions and support equipment is offered.
The ideal meditation position is the lotus posture. In this pose, you can sit, on a folded towel or a small pillow, for almost an indefinite length of time, without that the body hurts.
There is the perfect positon with mutually folded lower legs
and the "small" posture, in which one lower leg is placed upon the other:
For me, the perfect position will remain unattainable during this lifetime. It took me about seven years to learn the "small" posture. Initially, the knees point skywards, but with time and a lot of practice, it is possible to pull them down more and more. Start trying, it is well worth the effort!
Painting: Titian „Annunciation“
An indispensable condition of any meditation is purity.
A pure prayer reaches the goal. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 20 )
Pure hearts will perceive the Highest. (Fiery World III, 576)
This applies first of all physically: Ideally, you shower before the session, in order to wash away the dirt of the day or the remains of the night. You will then put on pure white clothes, reserved for meditation only.
In antiquity it was required that before praying the priest should bathe and put on clean garments. Now the reverse has come about: luxurious outer garments are displayed, but cleanliness beneath is forgotten. Many books have been written, yet hearts become silent. Thus, it is necessary to remember that you need not luxury of dress, but purity. Let the purity of the path lead to purity of the heart. Prayer cannot rise from a stained heart. (AUM 30)
Above all, however, spiritual purity is required: You must banish all impure thoughts, because they render the connection with a Higher Being impossible. With an aura contaminated by desires or petty, personal, earthly energies you should not dare to approach a Master.
The process of the creation of a pure atmosphere is like creating a channel for the reception of fiery energies. (Fiery World III, 339)
Pure thinking will guarantee cooperation. (AUM 270)
This requires a high level of control of your thoughts, which can be reached only gradually with a lot of practice.
The main condition for establishing contact with the Higher World is silence.
This applies first externally: Make absolutely sure that you cannot be disturbed during meditation by anything or anyone. The door must be closed and the mobile phone turned off. Your family and flatmates must learn to respect this hour of retreat.
Above all, you have to come to rest internally. You have to banish all thoughts dealing with your worldly projects, challenges, concerns and difficulties.
Should you wish to study the depths of a well, you must have a calm surface and clear water. (Supermundane 447)
Your higher, spiritual nature can unfold only if your perishable self remains silent. If you want to connect with the Highest, you must retreat to your inner self. Only if you manage to bring the earthly hustle and bustle to rest, you will be able to hear the voice of silence.
Let us learn to harken to silence! (Infinity I, 80)
The wings of the spirit grow in silence. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 52 [Part One IX 10])
The higher connection is a fruit of silence.
It is in silence that the Essence is found. (Agni Yoga 380)
Let us not believe that in silence emptiness embraces us: When the material world keeps calm, the subtle sounds of the Higher Spheres make themselves heard.
There is no silence, because once the earthly sounds are still, the echoes of the Subtle World begin to be heard. (Heart 330)
As the manifested world disappears, one awakens to the voice of the Subtle World. (Fiery World II, 10)
Then the inner, the spiritual world begins to speak to us.
But amidst attainment devote time to silence of the spirit. Then shall I approach thy inner being. Then are you approached by the Messenger of the Instruction. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 304 )
Painting: A. Böcklin „Holy Grove“
The Higher Connection should be celebrated like a church service! It is the only pleasure that an immortal has on earth.
Let the possibility of approaching the Lords of Light become our daily joy; verily, this possibility is within ourselves and we alone can hasten its realization. (Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. I, letter of 12.12.1934)
Do not hesitate to fully enjoy the feast of this moment: Arrange the place worthily, with fresh air, fine fragrances, candles or flowers. Look forward in advance joyfully to the hour of contemplation. Shape your day in such a way and make absolutely sure that before the appointed time nothing can touch you, which would interfere with the conversation, for example overeating or excitement.
The holiday of the Yogi is communion with the Higher Forces. (Hierarchy 451)
You may savour the beauty of this hour: What a relief to return to the sanctuary and to be able to leave the dirt of the world behind! What a joy to join again the auras of your master, brothers and sisters, together with whom you are toiling for centuries, if not millennia, for the great work!
May these be the best moments of your day which you spend in the temple at the feet of the teacher! Allow nobody and nothing to spoil this "hour of happiness" (AY 338)!
A spiritually minded person needs pleasures, too, he only seeks higher ones than the man of the world. He who thinks that asceticism is self-torture, is wrong: Applied correctly, it is only a purposeful renunciation of lower, physical pleasures with the aim to attain higher, spiritual ones.
Earthly joys leave us. But much higher and deeper joys come to take their place. (Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. II, letter of 19.07.1937)
Earthly happiness is replaced by the realization of the wisdom of a higher happiness, which comes to the disciple only in rare glimpses. (Letters of Helena Roerich Vol. II, letter of 17.05.1937)
A solemn atmosphere allows your soul to flourish.
Solemnity is nourishment for the heart. (Heart 462)
It creates a connection to the Higher World.
Solemnity is the best bridge to Us. Our help reaches people most easily through the channel of solemnity. (Supermundane 104)
Preserve solemnity. Surround yourself with solemnity. A mood of solemnity will be the best guide to the Brotherhood. (Brotherhood 602)
A sublime state of mind allows the inflow of higher, helping energies.
Man was striving to create a particularly exalted state of mind, promoting the reception of higher energies. (AUM 4)
The attraction of fiery energies from space has as its basis every exalted feeling. (Fiery World III, 384)
7. First Step: Purification
Painting: A. Dürer „Charles the Great“
Let us now carry out such a meditation together.
The Agni Yoga meditation, which we are practicing daily in Tabenisi, consists of seven different steps, each of which is accompanied by a body position of its own. Overall, the higher connection takes about an hour.
The first pose is a well known yoga position:
You are performing here at the same time a physical exercise by trying to pull the knees more and more to the ground.
This phase serves to prepare you for the conversation. You become aware that you will meet a highly placed person in the next few minutes. Even in your earthly life, if you are going to have for example an audience with a king, you would make a special effort to concentrate for the event:
You need to be up to the dignity of the moment; you want to create the best possible impression; you want to use the short time, allowed to you, to put forward the concerns that you have and to obtain answers to your questions.
At this first step, you carry out the purification of your thoughts already discussed. You bring your transient, earthly personality to rest and put yourself in a solemn mood.
Now is the hour for the life of your Eternal Individuality, the soul. It returns to its homeland, the world beyond. On the way upwards you must not allow any worldly matters to tie it down to earth. This detachment from the material plane is of paramount importance. Many meditations, especially by beginners, remain fruitless brooding because ultimately only the intellect remains concerned with the worldly issues of everyday life.
8. Second Step: Prostration
At the second step you prostrate
and build up the connection.
First, you address the Higher Powers and recite - of course in spirit - seven times "Morya Maitreya" (see Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 332 ).
Herewith you express your willingness to integrate yourself into the Hierarchy and to subject yourself to the higher, the Divine Will. You profess to be one of those who recognize the Mahatma as the ruler of the earth, and promise to obey Him.
Next, you turn to your personal teacher and recite once again seven times in spirit: "Master, I love you".
Neither concentration, nor command of the will, but love for Hierarchy produces direct Communion. And what can more strongly unify than the mantram: "I love Thee, O Lord!" In such a call it is easy to receive a ray of cognition. (FW II, 296)
Thus you strengthen your desire not only to submit your actions to the Higher Will, but also to build up a real, personal relationship to your teacher - which is possible through love only.
Urusvati [Helena Roerich] loves communion with Us. It cannot be ordered, it cannot be intellectually evoked, only the power of love can bring it into life. (Br II, 337)
9. Third Step: Flight to the Teacher
At the third step we rise a little on all fours:
Now we go to the teacher. That means: We visit him - in spirit - in his Ashram. We actually carry out a flight of our spiritual being (which is not bound to the limitations of matter, space and time) into the spiritual world; to the place where the non-incarnated teacher lives: to the Himalayas, to Shambhala; hardly to the stronghold itself, but to that outpost which is accessible to us.
The soul, our Eternal Individuality detaches itself - like at death - from the body which remains down below in the material world.
Let us start our journey in Munich. We turn south and cross the Alps. We fly along the Italian Adriatic coast and the "boot heel" of Italy, pass Sicily and cross the Mediterranean Sea, until we reach the African coast.
There, we continue to the east, always along the shoreline. We recognize the Delta of the Nile, after which we turn south, following the Suez Canal. On the left, we see the Sinai Peninsula, before we fly over the Red Sea and circumnavigate the Arabian Peninsula, where there are the mountains with the beautiful name "Hadhramaut".
We cross the Strait of Hormuz and fly further east along the coastline of the Indian Ocean. Where the Indian subcontinent turns south, we go over land to the northeast, to the Himalayas.
We pass Simla, the old summer residence of the British viceroys with its Victorian-style houses, then the small town of Naggar, and finally reach the Kulu Valley, where Helena and Nicholas Roerich spent the last 20 years of their lives near the Mahatmas.
From here on we have to rely on our intuition.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "En-no-Gyoja, Friend of the Travellers"
We fly further uphill. We meet an envoy of Shambhala on his way down to the people - which shows us that we are on the right track upwards.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Krishna in Kulu"
We have a vision of Krishna in the Kulu Valley - so we get closer to the Gods.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Path to Kailash"
We pass the last human settlements and climb the highest peak at the end of the valley.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Kanchenjunga"
What do we see from there? The sacred Mount Kanchenjunga, this symbol of purity and power.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Shambhala"
What do we see next? The seven peaks of Schambhala.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Mount Shatrovaya"
We raise into the air to search from above for our ashram - there it is!
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Stronghold of the Spirit"
We touch down in its vicinity. The last few meters we have to walk on foot.
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "Star of the Morning"
Finally you reach the destination of your flight: your home, the Ashram of your teacher. From here you came to earth. There you wish to return after the death of the body.
Remember: You can only be admitted if you are worthy to enter this holy place. That means especially: In the last few hours (or days) that you have spent down in the world since your last stay above here, you must have conducted yourself as a well-mannered member of this exquisite community.
You speak thus:
Master, your faithful servant is at the gate - I ask to be let in.
Now comes the great moment for which you have worked all the time in the world: Will the door open or not?
You see how everything comes down to this very moment. You realize how crucial it is for you in the world to be aware constantly: You must behave down there in such a way that you find the gates open on your return above here.
We are now entering the Ashram. Imagine how it looks like in there:
Painting: Nicholas Roerich"Madonna Laboris"
or like this,
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "And we bring the Light"
or like this?
Painting: Nicholas Roerich"Combustion of Darkness"
After completion of the flight and reaching the goal, let us now take a short break and turn to discuss some details.
11. Reality of the Flight
Drawing: F. Kugler „Joseph v. Eichendorff“
To one or the other of you, the flight to the Himalayas might appear as the product of an overwrought imagination and completely unrealistic. However, we had already discussed (Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga", Broadcasting 10 "The Supermundane World"): In the spiritual world everything is done and created by our thoughts. There, you move in spirit from one place to the other. Therefore, such flights are perfectly normal there.
For your Eternal Individuality that awakens to its life during meditation, such a flight is completely real. This is a spiritual reality, which is no less real than a material reality. If you do not get accustomed to accept this kind of spiritual realities, the life of your soul will not become true.
You have to make the experience: Your soul actually flies! Do you remember the wonderful citation from Agni Yoga:
The spirit will soar up by itself and return triumphant. (Supermundane 759)
The poet Joseph von Eichendorff describes this spiritual experience with beautiful words:
Und meine Seele spannte
weit ihre Flügel aus,
flog durch die stillen Lande
als flöge sie nach Haus …
And my soul spread
its wings out wide,
flew through the silent land
as though it were flying home ...
12. Real Effects of the Flight
The fact that this spiritual flight is a reality, you can recognize from its effect, which is exactly the same as in the case of a physical visit to a sanctuary, such as a cathedral, a concert hall, or a mountain peak:
One of the great insights that Agni Yoga bestows upon us is: It does not matter whether you visit a holy place physically or in spirit in mediation (so you can save the effort of an arduous physical journey):
In both cases, your soul is purified, freed from desires and negative thoughts, and returns in an elevated state back to everyday life. Through this stay in higher realms, you actually transform into a being filled with purity, power and joy.
If that is not reality, then I do not know what is supposed to be reality.
13. Difficulties of the Flight
You will be surprised how difficult such a spiritual flight is. As a beginner, you will be distracted again and again: If you fly over Italy, for example, you might think of your last holidays there; crossing the Sinai Peninsula, the armed conflict there comes to the mind.
It requires maximum concentration to conduct such a flight. Those who are unable to think clearly and consistently, will not reach the goal.
That is the way it is in the Upper World: As soon as your mind strays, you get off the road and end up in another sphere. Therefore, this meditative journey is at the same time a very useful exercise and preparation for the thought creation which you will have to master in the other world after death, if you want to operate there in a meaningful way.
Your soul has to learn to fly, as a baby has to learn to walk.
14. Abbreviation of the Flight?
One of you might object: "Why this arduous journey? Could I not transfer myself in a moment from my current location directly to Shambhala? "
Of course, this is possible if you already have a clear picture of your home and the place where you have to look for it. But better safe than sorry. Better memorize initially the way, pass through it several times, and only then try to skip the track with one leap.
15. Preparation for the „Last Journey“
Painting: A. Böcklin „The Island of the Dead“
Also bear in mind: You will have to undertake the same journey after the death of the body: We had already said (Series "Introduction to Agni Yoga", Broadcasting 8 "Death and Rebirth"): At transition into the world beyond, you must make every effort to ascend to as high as possible a sphere and not to be caught down in the lower levels near to earth.
What a better goal could there be for your soul than the Ashram of your spiritual father? In all the confusion that reigns in the first hours after death, when you have yet to find your way on a new level of existence (initially, many do not even notice that they are dead and now living in the other world!) - will it then not be helpful to be able to go on a trip that you have already practiced for years every day?
Let us now continue our meditation.
16. Fourth Step: Invocation
You have reached the Ashram of your teacher. You have a room in this sacred place: Your eternal room, which is reserved exclusively for you and which remains only temporarily unoccupied during the short time when you have business in the material world.
First, look around in this room. Rejoice at the magnificent views of the mountains. Rejoice about returning home to the sublime life in a holy place. Enjoy the happiness to be allowed to stay again in your father's house. This alone is a delight, even if nothing else happens, even if it does not come to a conversation.
Again is important that you keep your consciousness in your higher self and realize: You - your true, spiritual being - are now actually in Shambhala. Your Eternal Individuality really dwells in this moment Above here and is secure in the community with your teacher and your classmates.
In this room, you take the fourth meditation position:
Now you invoke the teacher, restore the Silvery Thread of the connection with him, report for service and training, ask for instructions and orders and reaffirm your position as a disciple:
Master, I connect my strength to your ray.
Master, you have called me, what do you want me to do?
Master, guide me, enlighten my knowledge.
I am a servant of God.
I am a disciple of the Brotherhood.
I am a spiritual warrior.
I am a messenger of the Mahatmas.
17. Fifth Step: First Part of the Conversation
Painting: Gambarelli "Saint Catherine of Siena praying with Jesus
the Divine Office", Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena
At the fifth step, you take the lotus position. Now the real meditation begins.
Imagine that you actually - in spirit - participate in the life of the ashram. How will life look like in such a holy place? Practice to build up your own world in your imagination unselfconsciously like a child!
You are now leaving your eternal room at the supermundane ashram and take a walk in the old building. Try to form an idea of how it looks like there. Western man may find an analogy to the situation in a Tibetan monastery, for example, in the winding staircases and courtyards of an old Cambridge college.
You go to the room of your teacher, you wait until he comes out, you prostrate before him, and then you go together with him to the morning meeting of all members of the ashram in the assembly hall (which is called by the disciples mockingly "Great Hall of the People", in allusion to the meeting place of the Chinese communists in Beijing).
In Shambhala, the seven Mahatmas and their first seven earthly disciples sit opposite each other. Behind these seven disciples (for us, they are of course great teachers!) sit their respective disciples, one after the other, according to their initiation stage and their proximity to the teacher. This seating arrangement is a true reflection of the Hierarchy. There you, too, need to find your place and integrate yourself behind your teacher, who in turn is sitting behind his teacher.
In our ashram, there will be sitting opposite to us, of course, not (or only very rarely) the Mahatmas Themselves, but their representatives at that place, who chair the meeting and run the ashram according to Their instructions and in Their spirit.
Possibly one of the chairmen gives a brief speech: About world events, about today’s pending tasks, or to encourage the disciples. Perhaps there will only be the “silence of the power of readiness” (Heart 41).
In any case, a brief mental prayer is being held: The members of the community connect with each other and with their leaders, the Mahatmas. They report for service and training. And they send good thoughts into the world.
Do you feel within you the exalted solemnity of the atmosphere? Do you notice to the right and to the left of you Plato or Pythagoras, Thomas a Kempis or St. Catherine of Siena, Helena Blavatsky or Gandhi? Note that you are being elevated solely by the fact that you may dwell in such a community of saints, amidst so illustrious spirits!
Painting: Pordenone „Laurenzo Giustiniani and other Saints“
Together with your classmates you step forward. You reaffirm in the morning before the start of a new day your request to be accepted as a disciple and to be admitted into the community of the ashram.
You promise to observe today again the rule of the ashram (mainly the 10 Pillars of the Practice of Agni Yoga, which we are just now about to discuss).
You reaffirm your transformation from a perishable material into an immortal spiritual being.
You take over your cosmic office: First and foremost that of a disciple, and may be also certain additional functions within the community, such as porter, cook, teacher, gardener, translator, envoy to the world, etc.
Let us have another short break. Of course, what you have just experienced, is only an example. That was the order of events in my ashram. Elsewhere there may be other customs. But a short morning meeting and prayers will probably be held everywhere.
Important is again: The actual participation of your soul in the life of the Upper World, of your true home, the ashram, has to become a living reality for you! This is a spiritual reality which you can and must experience and live through - in the same way as your material life on earth in a physical building within an earthly community; otherwise the life of your soul will not progress.
Man should develop a conscious awareness that he participates continuously in the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 738)
The spiritual reality - your supermundane Eternal Individuality, your identity as a disciple, your stay at the ashram - must determine your life more than Maja (the illusion of the perishable material world); exactly already now, while you are incarnated on Earth.
Your visit to the Upper World has to proceed as naturally and self-evidently as your moving from one room to another. Only then the 5th Pillar of the Practice of Agni Yoga, "Living in Two Worlds", becomes a reality.
Again he is wrong who speaks of fantasy: As you are thinking today on earth, so your life will really be after the death of the body in heaven. Therefore, it is good to form already now a most concrete idea of how you want to live later in the other world.
Indeed, great is the joy when one can enter these new conditions as if into a welcoming home, to find there all those for whom one has yearned, and to sigh with relief that one more earthly journey has been fulfilled. But such a state of mind can only be the result of conscious imagination. (Supermundane 380)
Anyway, imagination is not something unfounded. Rather, into your imagination naturally enters what you have actually experienced during your last stay in the Upper World before your birth.
One may find the core of the imagination in the "chalice," as the precipitation of many lives. However, the imagination is nourished not only by the remembrances of past lives, but also by the action of the present. When the spirit participates in the life of the far-off Worlds, then frequently the memories of these experiences are reflected as imagination. (Fiery World III, 62)
I know the conditions Above there; I am sure: So it must look like there - not because I am gifted with special visionary forces, but because I have previously experienced the life in such an ashram: Perhaps in the Middle Ages in one of the many monasteries, when they were not yet degenerated, but true centers of a holy life; and then before my birth in the ashram of my teacher in the Subtle World.
The imagination allows us to gradually wake up, at least in part, those memories of previous existences.
You are experiencing now what we have so far discussed in theory only: You can define yourself the spiritual world in which you want to live. For this, however, it is essential that you form a very clear idea of that world.
Great is the bliss of the one who enters a Subtle World which is already known to him. (Supermundane 391)
However, you still need to learn to keep your Eternal Individuality firmly established in the world of the ashram. You will experience again and again: As soon as your thoughts are no longer focused on the life in this place, you go astray and find yourself in a quite different world.
19. Continuation of the Conversation
Painting: Gambarelli "Saint Catherine of Siena praying with Jesus
the Divine Office", Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena
Let us now continue our meditation. After the brief morning ritual, the community splits into small working groups, consisting of one or two teachers and several disciples.
Now the actual meditative conversation begins. Its first part is dedicated to service. What do you have to do today?
You make sure what your task is on earth. You consult with the teacher and your classmates about what you need to do today in order to fulfil your mission.
The great creative task is: To use as far as possible every day the prevailing material conditions, characterized by family, professional work and the like, to promote the progress of evolution and the construction of the New World.
How this can be done, has to be discussed with your superiors again and again. Only they know the Great Plan to the implementation of which you want to make your contribution this day.
Let us have a final break. How can you lead such a meditative conversation with a non-incarnated teacher? Of course, not in the way that a loud voice rings from the ceiling and physically speaks to you.
Imagine: You sit with some classmates opposite the teacher (thereby, you create a corresponding spiritual reality). Imagine further: You raise in this circle a question concerning the service of the coming day or concerning a detail of the fulfillment of your earthly mission (thereby, you create another corresponding spiritual reality).
In most cases, you basically know yourself quite well, how a High Master would answer, if you would physically meet and question him. For example. If you have children, there will be little doubt that he will instruct you to use large parts of the day for making a livelihood and materially and emotionally caring for them.
To listen to this inner voice is the first step towards a real conversation within the heart. The more attentively you listen and the more accurately you carry out what you have been told, the more clearly the teacher will speak within your interior. Over time, you will find that the conversation becomes a reality, and that you get an answer to most of your selfless questions.
The voice of his inner God must always speak to him first through his conscience, and when he has learned to obey and endure, in many other ways. (Teachings of the Temple, Vol. III, Lesson “The Center of Being”)
But do not brood with the intellect. What you wish to receive in meditation, you will not get by turning over and over again a problem in your mind. Open your heart, if you are hoping for inspiration!
I always go with a paper and pen into the conversation, because often - not always - so many inspirations, thoughts and ideas come that I would not be able to remember them all. Better, write them down in between, than to lose something of the precious treasure that is offered to us.
21. End of the First Conversation
At the end of the first part of the conversation we rise cautiously and make one or two brief stretching exercises in order to loosen a little bit the stiff, undexterous Western body.
22. Sixth Step: Second Part of the Conversation
Painting: Gambarelli "Saint Catherine of Siena praying with Jesus
the Divine Office", Basilica di S. Domenico, Siena
Again we take the lotus position (this time the other lower leg down). The second part of the meditative conversation is devoted to education (or self-perfection).
Again you are sitting - in spirit - with some classmates at the feet of your teacher (and thereby create another corresponding spiritual reality).
Ask yourself - your higher self - and the teacher: What is to be done today in order for your Eternal Individuality to take another step of growth?
Again, you will first of all know yourself exactly which of your characteristics and habits are unworthy of a spiritual being, of an immortal, of a spiritual disciple, and therefore need to be cast off. Imagine that you physically meet an incarnated teacher: Then you will be able to conceive of a lot of "homework" which he would give you on the way.
The possibilities for service on the material plane may be limited in certain circumstances. But your own nature, you can raise infinitely at any place, under all circumstances and at all times. Here you can make a further step each day. Here you can obtain a new instruction every day. The more reliably you actually carry it out, the more clearly you will hear the teacher's voice at the next meeting.
23. Seventh Step: Parting
In the seventh and last part of the Agni Yoga meditation we take again the position of the first step. We consciously take leave of the teacher and the community. We send a thought of gratitude for having experienced an "hour of happiness" in a temple of the Brotherhood.
The mantram reads, "Father, thank you for the presence of your spirit. I follow you. May your portrait always stand before my eyes."
Even if there should have been no message today, we have spent a wonderful time in a better world - a relaxing holiday from the earthly toils.
We promise again to abide, in the material world as well, by the rule of the ashram and to carry out faithfully the instructions and orders which were given to us.
We are looking forward to returning to the sanctuary at noon, or at the latest in the evening. Then we will be held accountable for how we have used the day which lies ahead of us.
24. Return to Earth
Painting: Nicholas Roerich "From Beyond"
Your soul, your Eternal Individuality, is now leaving its home, the spiritual world. It returns to the material level and moves back into the body. This is a descent from Above downwards - as at birth.
The wonderful painting "From Beyond" by Nicholas Roerich expresses this step very nicely:
Painting:Nicholas Roerich "From Beyond"
As a stranger, as an alien from a Higher World, as a spiritual being, you - your real self - cross the narrow bridge to the material side, from one sphere of life to the other: In order to learn, to ascend, to fulfill your mission and to help others who are already sitting waiting for you.
At night you return via the same bridge back to the other world, to your homeland.
That is you, this white-robed ambassador, this spiritual being - not the earthbound transitory personality such as Mr. Smith or Mrs. Miller!
May your mantram for the next few hours on earth sound happily and confidently:
"Up to battle!"
"Up to heroic deeds!”