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SERIES

 

THE  10  PILLARS  OF  THE  PRACTICE  OF  AGNI  YOGA“

 

 

8th Pillar: Service to the Common Good

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

what does an Agni Yogi do all day? As we had already said (Introductory Broadcasting “Overview”): His life is divided into four spheres, namely meditation (connection with the higher world), education (self-perfection) and work, that is service to the neighbour and to the Common Good.

 

People are attracted by beauty and by luminous knowledge. Only that Teaching which contains all hope, which makes life beautiful, and which manifests action, can promote true evolution. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 330 [334])

 

If you want to tread the Spiritual Path, you must find a way to serve the progress of evolution. He who does not work is not an Agni Yogi.

 

People, in striving for spiritual development, forget that without active service to the General Good this development will be one-sided and unstable. Our inner fires are kindled only through contact with people. Only thus can we test ourselves; only thus shall we be able to sharpen and temper the blade of our spirit. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 24.09.1935)

 

This means in concrete terms: You should contribute a stone to the creation of the New World every day. What is to be done in detail is described in our Series "The New World".

 

 

1. Reconcile active and contemplative Life

Tintoretto „Maria and Martha“

 

One of the most difficult tasks of the immortal is to balance the physical and the spiritual side of his nature. For this you must strive for a reasonable reconciliation of activity on the one hand and contemplation on the other hand.

 

The biblical symbol for this is the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10, 38): Of the one sister who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to him, and the other who served him actively.

 

The most difficult thing for people is to combine the utmost spiritual exaltation with tireless action. (Heart 35)

 

That is why the supreme principle of any spiritual life is and has always been:

 

Ora et labora - pray and work!

 

Work has already been called prayer. Each labor contains within itself the concept of the Beautiful. (AUM 322)

 

On the one hand, in the face of the terrible hardship around you, you must not withdraw behind the walls of a well-protected paradise, neglect your worldly duties, and spend the day in meditation.

 

On the other hand, without a living connection with the Higher World, without an unshakable standpoint, without a secure anchorage to something above the worldly life, without the higher knowledge of the path and the goal of man, without the realization of the Divine Will, and above all without higher guidance you are unable to act successfully and meaningfully on the material level.

 

*****

 

Every thought, every word and every deed should correspond to the cosmic laws and bring you a step closer to fulfilling your earthly mission.

 

The foundations of life should be expressed in every human action. (Supermundane 303) 

 

When action presupposes a great goal, each step must conform to the destination. (Fiery World III, 313)

 

You must not allow a gulf to arise between your spiritual aspirations and your practical actions in everyday life on earth.

 

There must not arise a split between thinking and acting. (Hierarchy 303).

 

At the beginning of the Spiritual Path, contemplation and work are separated into hours of meditation and hours of service. Later, you succeed in combining both: You meditate during work. You continue to be attached to the higher world and stay connected with your teacher during your earthly activities.

 

The ignorant may suppose that uninterrupted communion with Hierarchy can distract one from striving for the work itself; but, on the contrary, constant communion with Hierarchy lends a higher quality to one’s labor. By not wasting time upon oneself, it is possible in the midst of labor to become linked to Hierarchy. (Fiery World II, 118) 

 

 

2. Realization of the Ideals of the Higher World

 

Your inner development must reflect itself in the outer world. It must bear fruit, leave traces on earth. The Spiritual Path has a worldly purpose: To create on the material plane the heaven that you have seen and visited in contemplation.

 

The Teaching of how to walk upon Earth is revealed to those who consider heaven to be alive. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 107)

 

From the abyss of chaos to celestial harmony the way is indeed long. This is why the Great Teachers are also the Great Toilers. (Supermundane 152)

 

The ideals of our homeland, the spiritual world, must become a tangible material reality in everyday earthly life.

 

Faith without works is dead. (James 2, 26; Fiery World II, 336)

 

Verily, just as faith is dead without deeds, so the Teaching is useless without its application in life. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 22.07.1935)

 

You will not want to

 

go down and out of this incarnation, the world being no better for your having been in it. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Your Choice” 352)

 

The good, the eternal, the divine in man, strives to express itself in good deeds.

 

That man is good who creates good. (Fiery World II, 286)

 

The good in people is usually not operating and therefore remains inactive. If we want to advance we must apply active goodness. We must understand that we can replace a pit with a true temple. Step by step we must fill the abyss with strongholds of Light. We must put together the stones of good, over and above any personal moods. (Fiery World I, 592)

 

One of the most beautiful paragraphs of Agni Yoga says:

 

One should sow the good with every glance, every touch. And the heart will grow in this exercise of goodness. (Heart 410)

 

The mission of man as an intermediary between the worlds, as a conscious co-worker of evolution, requires work both on ourselves and in the world. The divine plan of creation is far from being completed. It awaits its further execution on earth. Everyone is called upon to participate in the construction of this great temple and to contribute his stone every day.

 

It is ordained for each one to adorn the course of evolution. (Infinity I, 15)

 

There are few who are willing to labor eternally for the creation of new forms. Is it not better to serve the great eternal re-working and transformation from the lower to the higher than to be slave to stagnation? (Infinity I, 28)

 

So you will offer to the Masters of this planet, the Brotherhood of the Mahatmas of Shambhala, your cooperation in the great work for the transformation of the earth. This is the worldly service to which you are being called.

 

Each one must keep in mind that he has been entrusted to serve for the progress of the world. (AUM 374)

 

With Us, the Teacher is worshipped through action. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 277 [280])

 

By this work, you are being assessed.

 

People’s striving is always measured by their service. (Hierarchy 302)

 

The sum total of each life cycle elevates or degrades one in his progress according to the use and the service he has given. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Service”)

 

The true measure of a toiler is the extent of his labor for the Common Good. (Supermundane 659) 

 

 

Section I: Responsibility

 

The responsibility of man is immense. All is one. All your thoughts, words, and deeds contribute to that what is being created on earth. You are, therefore, responsible for everything that is happening here – if only because you are paying taxes; or because you allow something to happen that should not have happened.

 

In Cosmos everything is linked, and for this reason humanity bears the responsibility for each created sphere. (Infinity II, 729 [329])

 

Man, the salt of the earth (Matthew 5, 13), the greatest power, the representative of the spirit down here, is responsible for the fate of the planet.

 

Each person is a living particle of humanity, which is the most powerful force on the planet. The “master of the planet” must not be an idler. He carries an immeasurable responsibility. (Supermundane 641)

 

Young hearts will not feel as ants upon the earth’s crust, but as bearers of the spirit responsible for the planet. (Community 110)

 

Unfortunately, most people do not want to recognize their responsibility.

 

People try to accept the concept carrying the least responsibility. Sympathy may be limited to words, but unity necessitates action. Each action is in itself frightening to cowards. Man fears responsibility, and with this he falls into heartlessness. (AUM 276)

 

They prefer to live carefree and for the moment only:

 

"I don't believe in anything, I don't know anything. There is no God, no Heaven, no Hell – nothing but blind force. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Protection of the Helpless”) 

 

 

The Significance of the Individual

 

You must not hide and think that what you little man are doing is irrelevant. You are being observed by others. You influence your environment in a multitude of ways. It is one of the worst mistakes to do nothing, because one is afraid of achieving nothing.

 

*****

 

Every effort for good has its effect. Every, even the smallest step in the right direction advances not only you yourself, but also your fellow human beings. A good solution becomes inevitably known, finds imitators and spreads. Likewise, anyone who stays behind obstructs the progress of the whole of humanity. Humanity as a whole must reach the higher level. Your victory, your achievement is a partial victory for all on this path.

 

Let people not be visited by the pernicious thought of the hypocrite: “What does my thought matter to the world?” Anyone who has thought in this way has yet to renounce the self. True, each warrior shoots just one arrow, but if everyone saves his arrow, the army will end up defenceless. (Heart 301)

 

For each one of you, depending upon his karma, his past lives and his achievements, a place in the hierarchy and thus a necessary task is reserved. It is crucial that you recognize and fulfil it to the best of your abilities. If your place remains empty, if your contribution is missing, the great work cannot be fully accomplished.

 

Each loose stone weakens the tower. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 327 [383]) 

 

In a well-designed machine each of its parts is indispensable. One should more often imagine oneself as a part of the Universe. (Supermundane 627) 

 

 

Section II: Work

Georges de La Tour „St. Joseph as Carpenter“

 

Agni Yoga is a philosophy of work: inner work to achieve mastership and outer work in the service of the common good. The great dream of the New Man and of the New World can be realized only by strained, infinite work.

 

It would be demeaning to others not to let them participate in the labors that fill Our whole existence. (Supermundane 483)

 

To many work, the everyday toiling, is an abomination, which they try to avoid or take upon themselves with the utmost repugnance only. This attitude is inacceptable from a spiritual point of view. Every work that is necessary in the community or for the progress of evolution must be carried out with joy and love, otherwise it has no value and will not yield any good results either.

 

People do not think about the quality of their labor. They are unable to acknowledge the joy of creativeness. To them it may seem like chains. They are unable to love their daily labor and are unaware of the spiritual ascent that comes from it. No one ever informed them that great wings are created in great labor. (Supermundane 937)

 

One must understand work as a natural process that enriches life. Thus, every kind of work is a blessing, while the apparent cleverness of inaction is extremely harmful in a cosmic sense. Love for the endlessness of labor is in itself an initiation of considerable degree. (Heart 79) 

 

 

1. Work as the Foundation of Life

 

Endless work is one of the basic conditions for entering the Spiritual Path.

 

The community, being a fellowship first of all, sets as a condition for entrance two conscious decisions: labor without limit and the acceptance of tasks without rejection. (Community 133)

 

Not pleasure, but joy in eternal labor is the destiny of the great and ascending one. (Fiery World I, 385)

 

Work is the only valid foundation of life. We have to provide for our physical needs (food, clothing, housing) every day through work. An improvement in the material conditions can be achieved by nothing else but work.

 

In the education of the heart the first concept to be put forward is work. From the earliest years labor is established as the one foundation of life, as a process of perfectment. This approach eradicates the notion of labor being selfish, and at the same time the child acquires a broad understanding of work for the common good. (Heart 411)

 

Without work, not one creature in the universe has a right to exist.

 

Species adaptable to evolution must maintain their aptitude by labor. Animals must work, they must win the right to life. If even animals have to labor, then how consciously must human toil be applied! (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 350 [354], 351 [355])

 

 

2. Laziness harmful

Breughel “The Land of Cockaigne”

 

Laziness is a major obstacle on the Spiritual Path.

 

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. (Rule of St. Benedict 48, 1)

 

It is most dangerous to indulge in the sweet poison of idleness. It undermines the discipline and weakens the power of the spirit, the psychic energy.

 

Indolence is dreadful and can border upon crime. It is difficult to see the consequences of laziness, but it transforms a man into an animal. I confirm that it is one of the chief obstacles on the path. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 247 [250])

 

Inactivity is unworthy of a spiritual disciple.

 

One thing is unknown to Us — rest in inaction. (Agni Yoga 311) 

 

Even making mistakes at work is better than doing nothing at all.

 

Even a misguided action is better than passivity. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 256 [292])

 

Laziness is worse than errors. (AUM 351)

 

 

3. No Exertion is ever in vain

 Franz von Stuck „Sisyphus“

 

You should know: None of your efforts will ever be in vain. No striving remains without benefit, even though you might not recognize it.

 

Know that no effort will be without benefit. Indeed it may be of service to entire nations! (AY 656)

 

Your work will not be lost. Every particle of love and courage you have put into it will be returned to you a thousand fold. Remember, I promise this. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Spiritual Triumph”)

 

In the present or in the future, for you or for others, in this world or in the world beyond, in this life or in a later incarnation, every work of quality must bear fruit.

 

None of our efforts are ever wasted, and if not in this incarnation, such strengthening of the will will bring good results in the next one. The followers of the Teaching of Life live for the future in the realization of Infinity, and therefore they know that no striving, no rhythmical, or continuous effort will remain without results. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 19.11.1937) 

 

 

4. Circumstances require Work

Nicholas Roerich " Signs of Christ (With human Hands and Feet)"

 

The awful earthly conditions require endless work: Distress, suffering, dirt and imperfection, which surround us in abundance, can only be got rid of by work. There is no other way.

 

Each labor is a battle with chaos. (Brotherhood 542)

 

Without work you will not attain anything in a material world. Agni Yoga insists again and again: Down here on earth everything has to be built up stone by stone with human hands and feet.

 

All in this world is built by human hands and feet. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 30.04.1935)

 

Verily, the Earth is to be saved by earthly hands. (Community 53)

 

For the Earth, all must be done by earthly means, in earthly conditions. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 28.12.1935)

 

Laudable resolutions, good intentions, great words and thought constructions alone are by no means sufficient.

 

Let them not fall into conceit, believing that it is sufficient to build mentally. No, the wayfarer will realize his achievement by human feet and human hands. (Brotherhood 582)

 

The rulers of the earth want to see and have to require tangible results in everyday life!

 

The acceptance of Our Testaments must be expressed by immediate, undeferrable action. The disciple must not be satisfied with a bad result and a good intention. (Agni Yoga 647)

 

All We need is a good result. (Community 222) 

 

 

5. Work for the Progress of Evolution

 Nicholas Roerich "The Burning of Darkness"

 

Evolution, that is, overcoming chaos and perfecting the conditions of life, can only be effected by arduous and incessant labour. A state of the earth in which there is no longer any need for work, in which there is nothing left to be improved, to be refined and to be elevated, is inconceivable for the time being.

 

All have heard about the coming of the New Era. Can the new arrive in inaction? (Agni Yoga 142)

 

To imagine Earth without workers is to see a reversion to chaos. (AUM 322)

 

One must get used to a state of constant work, endless and untiring, for the limitless process of perfection. (Heart 162)

 

The good, the better is created only through deeds.

 

Labor, create good, reverence the Hierarchy of Light”—this Our Testament can be inscribed even upon the palm of a newly born child. Thus simple is the principle leading to Light. In order to adopt it one must only be pure in heart. (Hierarchy 373)

 

Agni Yoga is service to good. Learn to serve good. Choose for yourself the heaviest labors, and be an example for all. (Supermundane 586)

 

As the popular wisdom so beautifully says:

 

Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es.

There is nothing good, unless you do it. (Erich Kästner)

 

Know how to be good. In this one word is contained an entire world outlook. There cannot be any good without action. There cannot be any good where there is no labor. There will be no good where there is no opposition to evil. Let the co-workers show who is good and who is bad. Let them show who is ready for action and who prefers the lazy twilight. Darkness is not far from it. (Supermundane 57)

 

Every good work, however modest, contributes a stone to the construction of the temple of the world of the future.

 

Every good deed transforms some particle of chaos. Each good action is a burning away of chaos. (Supermundane 168)

 

 

6. Do not rely upon the Masters

 

The conditions will not improve by themselves.

 

Only utter madness whispers that everything will fall into place of its own accord — that cannot happen! (Heart 380)

 

You cannot expect other people, and certainly not the Mahatmas, to take off your shoulder the task of making the necessary changes in your environment.

 

Let us not lull ourselves with the idea that certain minds will solve the problems for everyone. (AUM 310)

 

People have become too accustomed to the idea that someone will do their thinking for them and that the world is obligated to take care of them. But each one must bring in his own cooperation. (AUM 386)

 

We must not rely upon the higher powers in the sense that we burden them with the whole workload.

 

The one who relies on others is dead, but the one who follows is alive. We did not promise to transport dead bodies, We vouched to lead courageous followers. One must ponder very attentively in order to discern the boundary between courageous following and faint-hearted reliance. (Hierarchy 179)

 

It was never said to burden everything on the Master. On the contrary, it was repeated, “Be imbued with the Master!” There is a great difference between timid and inactive burdening on and imbuing the entire being with the consciousness of the Master. (Hierarchy 149)

 

Hierarchy must not be burdened. This should be remembered by those who misunderstand Service as loading everything on the Master and the Hierarchy. (Hierarchy 303)

 

All too easily we succumb to the temptation to remain idle and to hope that the "Higher Providence" will fix everything. This is a fallacy. Without the cooperation of us humans, nothing has ever been achieved on earth.

 

People attempt to preserve their lack of concern. They will say cunningly, “If we have faith, the rest will follow.” In this way, they create for themselves a lazy indifference. They will not be happy to hear that concern and constant striving are required. (Supermundane 833)

 

The best will always be: Rely on yourself and engage yourself to the limits of your strength. All who lead us have acted in the same way.

 

In all worlds it is best to rely upon one’s own consciousness and strength. (Fiery World I, 402)

 

 

7. Self-Sufficiency

 van Gogh „The Sower“

 

Despite being integrated into the Hierarchy, a spiritual warrior must be able to act largely self-sufficiently. Instructions of the teacher may not be available in every situation.

 

It is needful for each one to walk self-reliantly. Say to each one, “Walk alone until you receive the command of the Teacher.” (Community 74)

 

Humanity must learn to realize self-reliantly all thoughts affirmed by the Teacher. (Hierarchy 30)

 

The view that hierarchy and self-sufficiency are incompatible is wrong. On the contrary, the principle of hierarchy requires that orders given are being executed self-reliantly. The Mahatmas cannot possibly take care of all the details themselves. They have to rely on their co-workers.

 

To those who do not understand, Hierarchy and self-reliance appear as contradictory concepts; whereas Hierarchy requires precisely the development of self-reliance. He cannot approach Hierarchy who does not understand self-reliance. On the steps of ascent, the first condition will be self-reliance and resourcefulness. (Fiery World II, 315)

 

Furthermore, it is not the task of the teacher to do that what is to be carried out by the disciple.

 

It is bad when the concept of the Teacher is not realized. But it is still worse when, after its realization, one burdens on the Teacher what should be performed by oneself. It would be better to combine reverence for the Teacher with the self-reliant application of one’s own entire force. (Agni Yoga 362)

 

So let the co-worker first work independently before he calls for help.

 

One should depend upon the assistance of Hierarchy only when all one’s self-acting ability has been strained. (Fiery World II, 315)

 

When we will train ourselves to sense the current of Infinity, then people, instead of praying, will command the elements. Instead of “God working for us,” we, through our own labor and psychic energy, will help ourselves. (Infinity I, 9)

 

The co-workers understand that self-reliance must be developed to the fullest. Before turning to the Guide, each co-worker will first ask himself whether he can still accomplish something on his own. (Supermundane 546)

 

 

8. Transfiguration of Work

 

We had already mentioned (Series “The 10 Pillars of the Practice of Agni Yoga”, Broadcasting "Selflessness"): You can transfigure your possessions by handing them over in spirit to the Hierarchy and managing them selflessly in trust in the name of the Mahatmas. In the same way, you can surrender your work to the top as well, consecrate it to the Hierarchy and dedicate it to serve the Great Plan.

 

It should be remembered that all one’s earthly labor can be dedicated to the Supermundane World. May each one labor in the name of the Supermundane World. (Supermundane 775)

 

Then, you are labouring in the name of the Brotherhood. You will sign each of your deeds so to speak "on behalf of" the Hierarchy. You are no longer working for yourselves, but for the good of the world, for the progress of evolution.

 

Labor may be of four kinds — toil with repulsion, which leads to decomposition; unconscious toil, which does not strengthen the spirit; toil devoted and loving, which yields a good harvest; and finally, toil which is not only conscious but also consecrated under the Light of Hierarchy. (Fiery World II, 118)

 

Any work, even the simplest, the lowest and seemingly most boring, can mean worshipping God, if only it has been commissioned by your Master, and serves the realization of His aims.

 

Labor may be regarded as a victory over everyday routine. Each hard-working man is a benefactor of humanity. (AUM 322)

 

The most wretched being can find the access to Infinity; for each labor of quality opens the locks. (Community 102)

 

Any work that you manage to shape as a step towards this high goal will be a feast.

 

Only a free consciousness can transform labor into a festival of the spirit. (Agni Yoga 347)

 

Any necessary work can be done joyfully, even if it seems boring or unpleasant. Why? Because, if it is necessary, it helps to establish the Rule of the Spirit on earth. Because, if it is necessary, your Master has sent you to perform it. Because, if it is necessary, it has to be done – that is, if you do not carry it out, someone else would have to do it. Because, if it is necessary, you have taken this load off the shoulders of your Master!

 

He who performs the most wearisome labor most joyously will be the resolute victor, for he overcomes the burden of boredom. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 358 [362])

 

If our daily labor is consecrated in the Name of the Teacher it cannot be ordinary or tiresome. If we forget for what we labor, boredom will cover us with its shroud of decay, and all the jesters of the world will not be able to provoke a smile in us. (Agni Yoga 467)

 

Here again transpires the new approach of Agni Yoga: Transfiguration of life through the proper mental attitude: The external conditions remain the same, but if you change your consciousness and carry out your everyday work with the right attitude, your life is completely transformed.

 

 

Section III: Service

 

1. Serving a high Purpose

 

To dedicate itself to the service of a high goal is the real meaning, the mission, the fulfillment and the highest joy of every human life. All men of good will are longing to make their forces available to the service of a great cause.

 

A Yogi feels his destination in bringing service to the world. (Hierarchy 451)

 

Great Service can be the lot of every man. New life is poured into him who dares to toil in Great Service. Each one defines his entrance himself. Each one may pledge himself, not to small but to Great Service, and thus irrevocably dedicate himself to the Higher World. Thus Great Service is a duty and an honor. (AUM 81)

 

The principle of service brings about a true transfiguration of your entire existence.

 

It was the loss of this concept of service that turned earthly life into slavery and insanity. The concept of service is the solution of the tasks of life. (Supermundane 305)

 

The actual existence of your spiritual being, your soul, is indeed proved by the fact that you are unhappy and suffer when you are unable to find a way to apply your abilities to a higher purpose.

 

A frightful emptiness appears, as it were, when there is no application of one’s forces for Common Good. Without Great Service, life itself, like a wilting blossom, loses its meaning. (Fiery World II, 247)

 

As for those who do not consciously apply the most important energies, their failure will give rise to harmful results, not only for themselves but for everyone else as well. (Heart 493)

 

The spiritual man, the warrior, the saint and the artist: They all dedicate their lives to the realization of an ideal: truth, justice, freedom, beauty, humanity – or today immortality, rule of the spirit and progress of the evolution.

 

When the spirit understands that Service to Cosmos means bringing into life the higher principles, it strains its best levers. (Infinity II, 781 [381])

 

By realizing the principles of the higher world we approach the material level to the spiritual spheres.

 

Service can be a miraculous bridge between the Worlds. (Fiery World III, 135)

 

To participate in this service is the true adventure of a time and of a life, the liberation from the monotonous, grey everyday life.

 

The full understanding of service dispels the atmosphere of the commonplace and leads to the harmony necessary for the fulfillment of one’s tasks. (Agni Yoga 452)

 

There is so much beauty and joy in a life dedicated to cooperation with the Forces of Light for the General Good! And, first of all, this joy is a result of a great liberation from the attachment to the trifles of life. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 07.03.1935)

 

Service in the name of a powerful achievement bestows beauty upon existence. (Infinity II, 902 [502])

 

If, on the other hand, you promote the small, selfish, personal concerns of individual people, you are not on the Spiritual Path and your work is without value.

 

Service is not in furthering ordinary well-being but in bringing benefit to humanity. (Brotherhood 102)

 

Strive to the guiding thought about help to humanity. Think clearly that you are performing not a personal act, nor a group act, but an absolutely useful act. That becomes a labor for the unification of the worlds. (Community 137)

 

 

2. Mahatmas are looking for Co-Workers

 Albrecht Dürer „Der Höllensturz

 

Anyone who pursues a great project on earth is grateful for every helper who joins him, carries the idea further, and supports him in its execution. As below, so above: Do you not think that the Mahatmas will feel just like that? Even They are unable to realize Their Plan without earthly co-workers. They, too, will be happy about each collaborator whom They can recruit.

 

You can imagine Our joy in finding workers worthy of Our trust. (Supermundane 27)

 

Many weary centuries have passed since we took up our present position to wait for the few who would be able to carry out our instructions and assist in performing the great mission entrusted to us by the Dhyan Chohans of the present human race. (From the Mountain Top Vol II, Lesson “Shepherdless Sheep”)

 

The Brotherhood is continuously looking for suitable co-workers. There are not many who are offering themselves.

 

We watch diligently to discover where the ray of self-sacrificing achievement will flash. (Supermundane, 18)

 

The Masters are only too thankful to find a man or woman, or a body of people, through which They can work for the benefit of humanity; a vehicle a Master can use for transmitting force or instruction. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “The Gulf between”)

 

Both sides, the forces of light and the powers of darkness, are in urgent need to gather collaborators on earth in order to realize their goals. Let us make sure that we ourselves and together with us the strongest and most worthy forces serve Heaven and not the wrong side.

 

There is a story about a devil encountering an Angel. The Angel said, “Thy servants are bitter.” But the devil replied, “Mine are bitter, Thine are sour; we both must look for sweet ones.” And the Angel was crestfallen for He could not prove that they had not turned sour. (Fiery World II, 193)

 

The lack of suitable co-workers obstructs the execution of the Great Plan of the Hierarchy of Light.

 

It is terrible to see how few are those who respond to the call without evasive excuses and complaints. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 291 [295])

 

How rarely does one find in life toilers who have dedicated themselves to the service of the Higher World! (Supermundane, 722) 

 

 

3. Become a Co-Worker of the Mahatmas

 

Read again the wonderful legend of St. Christopher and follow his example! He was content with nothing less than to seek and to serve the highest Master on earth.

 

There is no task more successful than Service to Hierarchy. (Hierarchy 212)

 

Blessings to those who even once have reflected over the fact that possibilities are being given them for Service. But it is joyful to think—“This, too, I can offer to Thee, Master!” (Fiery World II, 136)

 

So get started and serve the Brotherhood and its aims on earth! Dedicate yourself like a Samurai completely to your Lord and Master – with the sole difference that your loyalty then does not relate to the selfish goals of a small provincial prince, but to the cosmic plans of the rulers of this planet. This highest service to the highest Lord on earth will be your highest pride.

 

When the spirit is accustomed to respond to the call of Service in conformity with higher predestinations, the connection of the spirit with the Higher Will is established. (Hierarchy 56)

 

You cannot imagine this co-operation vividly enough: Ask yourself: What is the Divine Plan? What are the tasks of the Brotherhood on earth? Where can I help? How can I best support Their efforts?

 

Let each one ponder on how better to serve Hierarchy, eliminating all evidences of selfhood, disparagement, levity, and the standardized formulas of the crowd. (Hierarchy 218)

 

How, then, can one be affirmed in the Chain of Hierarchy? Only through the heart and endless striving toward Service, only by complete assimilation of the Plan of the Masters and through creativeness of the spirit. (Hierarchy 228)

 

Try to take off from the Brotherhood at least a small part of their gigantic responsibility. Be a sherpa, help the Lord to carry his cross! This will really mean worshipping God!

 

We take into account each effort to remove the burden from the Hierarchy; as in the great, so in the small. We affirm reverence not in words but by deeds. (Hierarchy 295)

 

The Community [of the Brotherhood] is the lighthouse and the sole anchor of humanity. Thus, the best people are under obligation to ease their unbearable burden. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 31.05.1935)

 

Will it not give you the greatest happiness to be able to assist your teacher?

 

Could there be a greater joy than that during the fulfillment of a Mission of the Brotherhood? (Fiery World II, 393)

 

Can I be so fortunate as to have the privilege of helping my Teachers? (Supermundane 257)

 

May your mantram be:

 

My heart I give to Thee, Master. Sacrifice it for the sake of the World. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 270 [317])

 

Teacher, let me become Thy helper. (Supermundane 717)

 

In this way you little man can make your Older Brothers happy.

 

Give Us reason to rejoice! (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 86) 

 

Is it not joyous to perceive true co-workers around oneself? The joy We feel at each co-worker is not small. (Brotherhood 108) 

 

 

Section IV: Help is given

 

1. Under Observation by the Mahatmas

 

He who knows the higher world is aware: All our thinking and acting is being observed from up there. God does not allow even one of his children to run out of sight.

 

The co-workers should not give way to despair. We note each of their steps. (Supermundane 508)

 

There are observers who watch how a man makes use of his knowledge. (Heart 115)

 

All assistance to Our Work is appreciated. (Supermundane 33)

 

Every striving for elevation, that is, the effort to leave the lower planes and to approach the higher spheres, is being noticed.

 

Like the light in the sombre valley seen by the mountaineer from his peaks, every bright thought in your mind, my Brother, will sparkle and attract the attention of your distant friend and correspondent. Thus we discover our natural allies in the Shadow-world — your world and ours outside the precincts — and it is our law to approach every such an one if even there be but the feeblest glimmer of the true 'Tathagata' light within him. (Mahatma Letters No. 45 of February 1882)

 

 

2. Help from Above

Francesco Botticini „The Three Archangels and Tobias“

 

It is a mysterious but nevertheless obviously effective law: Inasmuch as you turn to the Mahatmas and work for Their goals, you will receive support from Them in return.

 

If we act within the sphere of the general welfare with sincere intentions, then in support of us stands the entire reservoir of cosmic accumulations. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 328 [332])

 

With every sincere effort made by a disciple, there is a corresponding effort made by the Lodge to aid. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Concentration”)

 

My Hand is with you in each courageous action. (Community 197)

 

The Brotherhood notices any striving for good and will, if possible, support it.

 

Each wholesome transformation of life will be noted and supported. (Agni Yoga 175)

 

This is not dark mysticism, but simply reality, which each of you can find confirmed if you take the trouble to observe your life scientifically, accurately and without prejudice. You cannot imagine this intervention vividly enough.

 

Is it impossible to imagine how diversely is assistance given? It should not be thought that the means of assistance are limited only to the methods of charitable institutions. The best help arrives unexpectedly, but one must accept it. There are many meetings; there are many unknown letters; many unexpected books are sent, as if by chance. He who possesses a searching mind will send his thankfulness to the unknown Guardians. (Brotherhood 572)

 

Let Me recall: Once We succeeded in saving a man from a fire, but he did not harken to the signs and broke his leg. At another time, to save someone from penning a disastrous signature, there had to be applied, besides spiritual influence, such a muscular force that his hand became numb for a long time. In order that a man be saved from a dangerous beast he had to be pushed off a footpath. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 276 [279])

 

If you are working for "Those up there," you may confidently expect help from Them.

 

Union with Hierarchy means that one is not left to advance alone. Verily, when our hearts are linked to Hierarchy we shall not be abandoned. (Fiery World II, 334)

 

As below, so above. After all, we ourselves as well turn lovingly and helpfully to the beings beneath us. Why should our Elder Brothers act differently towards us?

 

An alarmed child nestles close to its mother’s knee, not in supplication but with a feeling of firm support and protection. Likewise, sooner or later, a man in distress turns to the Higher World. He will have nowhere else to go. (AUM 131)

 

We save worthy people at moments of danger. By gentle contact We draw the attention of seekers, whom We forewarn about their harmful decisions. We help to create and assist the Good. We help each useful worker. (Supermundane 18)

 

More important: If you fulfill an order, you may always count on the support of the one who gave the instruction.

 

Since each man carries his own mission, no one can be left without help — and so it is. (Brotherhood 569)

 

We cannot let a messenger go hungry. (Heart 588)

 

If you are working selflessly for the Brotherhood, it is only goal-fitting for Them to see to it that you receive the assistance which you need and deserve.

 

One must become accustomed to the fact that Our cooperation brings all that is needed. (Hierarchy 434)

 

 

3. Help only through the Channel of Action

 

True cooperation with the higher powers can only come to pass through the channel of action. Who could help you how if you do not do anything yourself?

 

Yoga provides a conductor to space and Our aid in all useful actions. An understanding of cooperation gives the only true approach. It is most important to understand Yoga in its practical application, in order to give Us the possibility of responding in a practical way. (Agni Yoga 206)

 

Our help is ready to pour forth, but it must stream to someone and into something. (Heart 103)

 

The participation of cosmic forces occurs through their attraction into the channels of action. Thus, quest endlessly for the channel of action. (Infinity II, 505 [105])

 

We must set something in motion, to which the Hierarchy can add Its energy.

 

We can say to those who ask for help, “Act!” for then it is easier for Us to help, since We can then add Our energy to the energy shown by you. (Supermundane 73)

 

The archer shoots his arrow, but the distance it flies can be tripled if the supermundane link is strong. We have already indicated that higher Help can be added to a voluntary decision. Only in this way is cooperation developed. (Supermundane 879)

 

Where there is true striving, help is more easily granted. (Supermundane 298)

 

Use the power of higher spheres! Thereby you multiply your strength.

 

If people only realized how much they can increase their strength by cooperating with the Brotherhood! Everyone can add his strength at each moment. (Supermundane 8)

 

One of the most wonderful promises of the Mahatmas is:

 

My people can use My Power. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 285 [288])

 

Every worker receives help from the Subtle World, and people would be much more successful if they realized that this invisible cooperation exists. (Supermundane 214)

 

When you are proceeding with the authority of the Hierarchy, your fellow human beings will notice that higher forces are standing behind you.

 

Active Silence, this is what We call the brief silence sent by a yogi prior to the beginning of his labor or speech. The yogi is sending a sign into the Supermundane World, asking for cooperation and guidance. The yogi knows how to send his energy both downward and upward. An experienced Guide will come if the work is directed to the Common Good. One can discern by the yogi’s emanations how the influence of the Masters affects him. One may be sure that a moment of tense silence can immediately summon High Help. (Supermundane 918) 

 

 

4. Help only at the last Moment

Gustave Courbet „The Chasm at Conches

 

Another law is: Help only comes at the very last moment and after we ourselves have strained all our powers.

 

Devotion will receive its answer if all forces are applied. Our help, as you know, comes at the last hour. (Hierarchy 179)

 

At a time of great danger the Guide will protect and warn, but only at the very last moment. (Supermundane 128)

 

One of the reasons for this is: The Mahatmas will not relieve you of any work that has been imposed on you so that you may learn from it and grow by carrying it out.

 

You are right to note that we must do many things for ourselves. In this fact lies the reason why help comes at the last moment, for otherwise it would be impossible to perfect the spirit. (Heart 400)

 

This means: If you would strain your forces to the utmost at once and not at the edge of the abyss only, you would receive the support from Above earlier.

 

Why is it on the edge of the abyss that help comes? Tension of the heart is necessary if one is to cooperate with the Higher Forces, but usually cooperation only begins when that tension has reached an extreme stage. This means that if the heart energy were manifested as it should be, cooperation would take place much sooner. (Heart 497)

 

Cooperation with the higher energies can only be achieved if you make your contribution and do not give up. By unwavering striving, despite all difficulties, you attract it.

 

Many would consider Our commissions beyond their abilities. Such people measure everything in life by ordinary standards. They would not attempt to develop adamant striving in themselves. We do not commission Our messengers to perform impossible tasks. We can just expect the highest degree of striving from Our messengers. When there is such intensity Our Magnet is active and serves as a strong shield.

Let man recall how many dangers he escaped when he was striving forward with all his heart, and how many gates that seemed to be locked were transformed into curtains of light! Let people recall how successful they were because of Our Help, and how they actually felt that a Leading Hand had touched them. Strong are those who are filled with gratitude. (Supermundane 140)

 

 

5. Helpers from the Higher World

Titian “Tobias and the Angel”

 

In the Broadcasting on the Law of Correspondence (Series “Introduction to Agni Yoga”) we have seen: Fear attracts fear and joy attracts joy. Now we go a step further and say: The material and the spiritual world are interconnected to such an extent that each of our thoughts and actions, depending on the intention behind it, attracts good or evil beings from the Subtle World.

 

Not a single earthly action remains unanswered on the part of the Subtle World. Each earthly thought arouses either joy and assistance, or malevolence and destructive sendings from the Subtle World. (AUM 105)

 

There are indeed helpers from the world beyond who are close to us and stand by us: good creatures in the case of good and dark ones in the case of bad deeds.

 

The Invisible Friends from the Higher World will help where trust is strong. (Supermundane 588)

 

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity! Through good works, you literally attract the support of the higher powers!

 

Replace desire with the irresistible command of a pure thought. In this command you invoke all the powers of Light, and make their currents act in correlation with your pure striving. (Hierarchy 96)

 

One must have such confidence in Our Help that the magnet of faith will attract the most irresistible energy. (Supermundane 141)

 

Then, you are no longer alone, but do work together with mighty assistants from the otherworldly sphere.

 

Help can be immeasurably increased where there is no room for discontent, complaints, depression, and mistrust. People, give your Invisible Helpers the opportunity to stretch out their hands! Pure, enlightened striving can certainly attract help. (Supermundane 136)

 

It is not often that people can strain their will for the sake of good. No one told them in childhood what a powerful weapon they could possess, and how many supermundane helpers would be attracted by their benevolent command. (Supermundane 739)

 

 

6. Help only on the right Path

 

The Higher Powers can further nothing but the progress of evolution. Their intervention therefore requires that you are on the right path.

 

There cannot be two directions of progress. There can be but one true direction, and all other efforts will be errant. (Fiery World I, 396)

 

In safeguarding My Instructions will you find protection. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 139 [156])

 

When you are swimming with the stream of evolution that leads to the future, you will proceed more easily. You are already strengthened by your being in harmony with the general development. The surrounding stream carries you with it.

 

Strive for the future and many forces will be summoned to your aid. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden I, 115 [128])

 

A man goes with the wind or the current and preserves much energy. When the man enters the right current of evolution, he passes over obstacles with miraculous ease. (Community 225)

 

However, he who has left the Spiritual Path and goes in the wrong direction cannot count on any assistance from Above.

 

Darkness is capturing those who have lost the path to Light. (Brotherhood 391)

 

We protect only those upon the right path. When someone wavers in darkness, he falls out of the area of the Ray. (Hierarchy 413)

 

On the contrary, he runs the risk of luring dark beings who strive to make use of him for their destructive purposes.

 

Let us always remember that all possibilities come only with the Ray of the Teacher, through the way illumined by this Ray. But if we are full of doubt, if we deviate in lack of confidence and in fear, then of course we fall out of the path illumined by the Ray and fall into darkness. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 21.08.1931)

 

Such a cowardly deserter has stepped from the line and position that evolution had placed him upon, and like the falling star has left his own orbit, has fallen out of the circle of Lodge protection. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. I, Lesson 65 “Some of the Heroes of Life”)

 

This is the scientific background of the admonition to abandon one's own will and to subordinate oneself entirely to the Higher Divine Will.

 

My Children: I have tried to keep you very close to me in storm and tests. It is not always possible, for despite your wish not to do so, you wander off into paths that lead elsewhere. When you have wandered off elsewhere you make it impossible for me to reach you, and the results of such wanderings are invariably the same – alienation from us and temporary oblivion. (Teachings of the Temple Vol. II, Lesson “Supply and Demand”)