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Full text of "The Path of the Masters"

L 




A1S231 108C 




THE AUTHOR 

A theologian and surgeon, Julian 
Johnson was also a keen pilot ami 
distinguished artist. Above all 
however, Dr. Johnson was an ar- 
dent seeker after truth. At the 
height of his worldly success, he 
abandoned all his activities except 
his search for truth; he answered 
the call of the East for the second time in his life . During his firs! 
sojourn in India he enthusiastically taught the gospel if Jesus Christ. 
When he came for the second time, it was as if the hand of God had 
picked him up from a remote corner of the world and was guiding 
him to the feet of the Master. 

He siduously carried out the spiritual discipline taught by one 
of the urcutest living masters, and was rewarded by the vision of the 
rep i vond all forms and ceremonies. He learned the ancient 

vvihuom which all messengers of God come to preach. 

'• liaison's love for his Master was unbounded, his faiili ii 
pliv i' his devotion unflinching. He never re turned lo the la i )> lot 
his bin orer meeting his preceptor here in India. 



Mr, 



fe. 






THE 




PATH 

OF 

THE 

MASTERS 

The Science of Surat Shabd Yoga 



The Yoga of the Audible Life Stream 



Julian Johnson, MA., B.D., M.D. 



VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY 

4100 VIRGINIA BEACH BOULEVARl 

VA BEACH, VA 23452 



RADHA SO AMI SATSANG BEAS 
PUNJAB, INDIA 



VA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY 5YSTEM-DUP 



A18231 108850 



PUBLISHED BY 

SEW A SINGH. SECRETARY 

RADHA SOAMI SATSANG BEAS 

P. O. DERA SABA IAIMAL SINGH 

DIST. AMR1TSAR, PUNJAB 143204. INDIA 



Copyright © 1939, 1957, 1972, 1985, 1993, 1997 by 
Radha Soami Satsang Beas 
All rights reserved 



First Edition (printed in France) 1939, 2,000 copies 

Second Edition (reprint in U.S.A.) 1951, 2,000copies 

Third Edition (revised) 1 957, 1.000 copies 

Fourth Edition (reprint in U.S.A.) 1 958, 1 ,000 copies 

Fifth Edition 1963. 2,000copies 

Sixth Edition 1965, 3,000 copies 

Seventh Edition 1969, 3,000 copies 

Eighth Edition (revised) 1972, 5,000 copies 

Ninth Edition 1974, 5,000 copies 

Tenth Edition 1975, 5,000 copies 

Eleventh Edition 1980, 7,000 copies 

Twelfth Edition 1980, 8,000 copies 

Thirteenth Edition (revised) 1 985, 12,000 copies 

Fourteenth Edition 1988, 12,000 copies 

Fifteenth Edition (revised) 1993, 15,000 copies 

Sixteen th Edition 1 997, 1 7,000 copies 



ISBN 81-8256-019-5 
Printed by: Baba Barkha Nath Printers New Delhi 110 015 



Contents 



preface to the Fifteenth Edition 
Preface to the Third Edition 
Preface to the First Edition 
Foreword 
Introduction 



xiii 
xv 

1 
7 



SECTION ONE 
A COMPARATIVE REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

Chapter 1 

The Philosophical Background 



1. The Noble Birthright of Man 

2. Man's First Duty — To Know Himself 

3. The New Social Order 

4. A Great Spiritual Awakening 

5. No Democratic Government Known 



21 
24 
26 
28 
34 



Chapter 2 

A Review of World Religions: 
Their Meaning and Analysis 

1. The Spiritual Plight of Mankind 

2. Does the Remedy Cure the Disease? 

3. The Religions of China 

4. What Is the Meaning of Tao? 

5. The Zoroastrian Faith 

6. Buddhism in India 



38 
42 
49 
52 
55 
63 



VI 



vii 



7. An Unnecessary Sacrifice 

8. The Bhagavad Gita 

9. Quotations from the Gita 

10. The Yoga of the Gita 

1 1 . The Four Vedas of the Hindus 

12. An Epitome of Vedic Philosophy 

13. The Yoga of Pataniali 

14. The Jewish Religion 

15. Jesus Christ and the Christian Religion 

16. Teachings Emphasized by Jesus 

17. Paul, the Founder of Christianity 

18. The Substance of the Teachings of Jesus 

19. The Church Needs a Living Master 

20. Islam, the Religion of Mohammed 

21. The Sikh Religion of India 

22. Theosophy 

23. Christian Science as a Religion 

24. Modern Spiritualism 

25. The Rosicrucians 

26. The Basic Elements of All Religions 

27. Love, the Essence of Religion 

28. Key to the Analysis of Religions 

29. Guarding One's Own Mental Processes 

30. Analyzing Religious Movements 



SECTION TWO 
THE MASTERS AND THE CREATION 

Chapter 3 

The Masters and Their Duties 



65 

70 

71 

77- 

81 

85 

90 

94 

107 

109 

113 

116 

124 

128 

135 

138 

145 

150 

155 

158 

161 

166 

169 

174 



1. Who and What Are the Masters? 

2. What Is a Genuine Master? 

3. The Master More Than Superman 



177 
179 
185 



4. The Master and the Supreme One 1 88 

5. Time Limit of the Master's Work 191 

6. How Shall We Recognize a Master? 195 

7. Objective Indices of Mastership 198 

8. Very Difficult to Find a Master 201 

9. Posiove Knowledge Versus Beliefs 203 

10. The Duties of the Masters 206 

1 1. Why Surrender to a Master? 208 

12. The Masters' Change of Policy 210 

13. The Function of the Spiritual Master 213 



Chapter 4 

The Creation and Order 
of the Universe 

1. The Cosmogony of the Masters 219 

2. The Four Grand Divisions of Nature 221. 

3. Sat Desh, the Highest Region 226 

4. Brahmand, the Second Grand Division 227 

5. Anda, the Lowest of the Heavens 229 

6. The Grand Division of Pind 230 



Chapter 5 

God and the Grand Hierarchy 
of the Universe 

1. The Perplexing Question of God 233 

2. A Word of Caution to Scientists 238 

3. Who or What Is God? 240 

4. Names of the Supreme Being 242 

5. Monothhsm, Polytheism, Monism and Pantheism 249 
6". The Grand Hierarchy of the Universe 253 
7. The Negative Power 257 



Chapter 6 

Analysis of Man; 
The Psychology of the Masters 

1. The New-Old Psychology 

2. What Is the Real Man? 

3. The Several Parts of Man 

4. The Analysis of Mind 

5. The Four Antashkarans 

6. A New Force Enters the Mind 

7. The Five Perversions of Mind 

Kam 
Krodh 

LOBH 

Moh 
Ahankar 

8. Antidotes to the Deadly Frvfi 



262 
265 
268 
272 
275 
284 
288 
289 
291 
295 
296 
299 
302 



Chapter 8 

4 

The Existence of Higher Worlds 

1. A New Concept of the Universe 

2. Quotations from Prominent Christians 

3. Inner Experiences Analyzed 

4. Inner Experiences of Mediums 

5. Inner Experiences of the Masters 



Chapter 9 

The Microcosmic Centers in Man 

L Man Himself a Microcosm 

2. The Microcosmic Centers 

3. The Meaning of Going Within 

4. The Release of the Kundauni 



346 
349 
356 
357 
360 



362 
367 
369 
370 



SECTION THREE 
THE MASTER AND THE DISCIPLE 

Chapter 7 

Karma and Reincarnation 

1. What Is Karma? 304 

2. Karma Binds the World Together 307 

3. What Is Reincarnation? 3 1 o 

4. Metempsychosis, a Bitter Pill 316 

5. Reincarnation Explains Much 320 

6. What Happens After Death 323 

7. How to Do Karmaless Actions 327 

8. Karma and the Vegetable Diet 331 

9. Reincarnation and Social Reconstruction 333 

10. Karma and the Nature of Evil 338 

1 1 . Love, the Passkey to the Kingdom 34 1 



. 



Chapter 10 

Mental Preparation for 
the Great Work 

1 . A Flawless Morality 

2. The Next Step Is Vivek 

3. The Christ Attitude of Mind 

4. The Gita Ideal of Discipleship 

5. Vairagya, the Next Step on the Path 

6. The Final Destruction of Desire 

7. That Which Kills Desire 



Chapter 11 

The Audible Life Stream: 
The Source of All Being 

1. The Central Fact in Sant Mat 



374 
376 
379 
380 
381 
385 
388 



392 



■r 



X 



2. Names of the Supreme Logos 

3. What Is the Audible Life Stream? 

4. The Life Stream Can Be Heard 

5. The Sufi Idea of the Divine Vadan 

6. The Only Means of Spiritual Liberation 

7. New Birth Through the Shabd 

8. Shams-i-Tabriz on the Life Stream 

9. Science of the Masters — In Six Words 



394 
397 
400 
403 
408 
410 
413 
416 



Preface to the Fifteenth Edition 



Chapter 12 

The Great Work of the Masters: 
What They Actually Do 



1. The Scientific Yoga of the Saints 


420 


2. Demonstrating Truth for Oneself 


425 


3. What Does this Science Offer? 


427 


4. The Surat Shabd Yoga 


433 


5, The Technology of this Yoga 


441 


6. Passing the Gates of Death 


443 


7. The Final Goal 


451 


Glossary 
Index 


455 
469 


Local Addresses 


483 


Books on this Science 


487 



It is now more than fifty years since Julian Johnson wrote The 
Path of the Masters. First published in France in 1939 under the 
supervision of Dr. Pierre Schmidt, the book has served as a bea- 
con of light by guiding many a storm-battered soul to the safe and 
tranquil haven of this path to God. It has run through fourteen 
editions and been translated into thirty languages, and its special 
and undiminished appeal to the spiritual seeker from a Western 
background has necessitated yet another edition. 

Dr. Johnson's book is unusual in several respects. It was written 
specifically for the Western seeker of God by a person of the West 
who had lived a rich and varied life before coming into contact 
with the mystic teachings of the East. He was thus in a position to 
communicate easily with others from the same background. It is 
perhaps the first modern book to record in English the esoteric 
teachings of the Eastern Masters with such clarity and compre- 
hensiveness. It describes in the simplest of terms that perennial 
philosophy which tells how the Supreme, the source of all, cari be 
realized through realization of the 'self. Most significandy, it was 
^vntten under the personal guidance of a spiritual adept of the 
highest order, a perfect Master, who himself stood witness to the 
spiritual truth expressed within the book. 

Truth at that level does not belong to any particular time, place 
°r people. It speaks direcdy to the hearts of all who are earnest in 
desire to know, irrespective of their individual backgrounds. 




311 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



That which man communicates from the level of his mind or ego, 
from his individual perceptions, may, however, be limited to a 
particular temporal or spatial context, and for this reason we need 
to bear in mind that the milieu in which the author lived was not 
the same as ours today. From this perspective some minor revi- 
sions have been made to the fifteenth edition which do not alter 
the substance of the teachings Dr. Johnson propounded. Foot- 
notes and a foreword have also been added by the editor to pro- 
vide an insight into Dr. Johnson's background and a glimpse of 
his times. 

The author has explained the universal science of spirituality, 
and its relationship to the many religious systems of the world, as 
he understood it from his years spent in India. Consequendy there 
are several Sanskrit and Hindi terms in the text. These words are 
italicized, and when their meanings are not made clear by the 
context, they are explained in the glossary. For ease of reading, 
terms which occur frequendy are italicized only the first time they 
appear. 

We must thank all those who have given their time and skills to 
the various editions and revisions of this book over the years. We 
wish to end with an offering of gratitude and praise to the su- 
preme Lord, who, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, and through 
his sons, the Masters, has chosen to give shelter to such unworthy 
souls as we on the tried and tested path to his most glorious 
home. 

Sewa Singh 
Secretary 



Radha Soamt Satsang Beas 

Punjab, India 

1992 






Preface to the Third Edition 



This book is now well known to the West and is almost a classic 
on Sant Mat in English. In fact, it has been instrumental in guid- 
ing many seekers to the path of the Masters. 

Dr. Johnson was a man of many parts, and besides being a 
distinguished surgeon, was also an artist, scholar, pilot and an 
ordained minister of the church, and had been in India before, as 
a missionary. 

He could not, however, rest satisfied with orthodox religion 
and church dogmas. His soul longed for truth and firsthand expe- 
rience. He felt keenly that no departed intelligence, however great, 
could be a substitute for a living teacher. But where was one to be 
found? 

His quest was soon rewarded, and the guiding forces brought 
him to the feet of the Great Master, whose picture adorns the first 
page of this book. At his feet this apt pupil imbibed the principles 
<w Sant Mat at firsthand, and under his supervision and guidance 

e practiced devotion and meditation; and this spiritual inter- 

ourse went on uninterruptedly thenceforth. 

he dVl USh hC WaS the reci P ient of considerable attention and grace, 

half " 0t aCCCpt thin8S bHndly and would 4 uite often sa y> ^ a 
tion S '*T PPreSSed m ^ e> t0 k* satsan 8 i friend s in private conversa- 
book am fr ° m Missouri "' And hereb lies the great value of the 

An 

^expressim whereby Dr. Johnson meant, "Prove to me that what you are saying is 



xiv 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



Being a man of strong conviction and penetrating judgment, he 
has expressed himself rather strongly here and there, but it is all in 
good faith. True to his profession, he has not hesitated to carry on 
the operation simply to spare the feelings of the patient. Had he 
lived longer, he might have softened some of his expressions, but 
he was destined to leave this world while the book was yet in the 
press. 

The Great Master, who inspired this book, is no more, and his 
successor, Sardar Bahadur Jagat Singh Maharaj, has also joined 
him on the other side after finishing his work. The steady demand 
for the book, however, continues and has necessitated a new edi- 
tion. The present Master, Maharaj Charan Singh, perhaps on ac- 
count of my previous associations with the learned author, has 
kindly entrusted to me the duty of revising and editing the book 
where necessary, before sending it to the press. In doing this, while 
I have taken note of the suggestions and criticisms, my aim has 
been not to mar the character and main trend of the book. May it 
continue to serve as a beacon light to all those struggling on the 
Path! 

Grateful acknowledgments are due to Mrs. Madelene Mutter 
for kindly correcting grammatical and typographical errors; to 
Mr. Harvey H. Myers, Col. C, W. Sanders and Dr. Pierre Schmidt 
for several corrections and useful suggestions; to Mr. and Mrs. P. 
Fripp, who happened to be visiting Dera at this time, for the 
considerable pains they took in revising and correcting the Index 
and for their help in going through the proofs; and last, but not 
the least, to Shri R. D. Ahluwalia and Rai Sahib Munshi Ram for 
kindly going through the manuscript with me and helping me in 
the difficult task of editing the book. 



Radii a Soami Satsang Beas 
Punjab, India 
April 1957 



Jagmohan Lai 




Preface to the First Edition 



None is poor, O Bhikha; 
Everyone hath got rubies in his bundle. 
But how to open the knot he doth not know 
And therefore is he a pauper! 

BHIKHA (an Indian saint) 



NO problem of greater or of more moving import confronts 
man than that of possible awareness of his own consciousness, the 
deep significance of the place he occupies in the world as a whole, 
and of the purpose he should first discover and then pursue. 

This consciousness of Self is the primal metaphysical experi- 
ence, which, whibt causing one to penetrate into one's inner- 
most being, at the same time causes one to penetrate into the 
universe. We cannot behold this universe as we could some 
spectacle before our eyes, for we ourselves are part of it; we aid 
in its formation; we are — as it were — fellow actors in a kind of 
drama, the variations of which depend on our subjective life 
which expresses its manifold incidents. Our affective states are 
not to be considered as mere accidents, of interest to no one but 
ourselves, to which the universe remains impassive, for thereby 
we penetrate into its intimacy and participate in the innermost 
workings of its life and gain the revelation of its mystery. 

LAVEIXE 



1. s 



Self, called by Brunton Overself ' and by Graham Howe '1* and 'Me'. 

XV 



XVI 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



PREFACE 



3CVU 



Human science is peripheric and essentially centrifugal; it makes 
a study of the visible part of the sensible world, the surface upon 
which — so to speak — thought reflects itself upon itself. Spiritual 
science is, on the contrary, essentially centripetal; it studies the 
internal thought from internal planes, thence to deeper and deep- 
er ones, approaching nearer and nearer the Absolute from which 
all life proceeds and which is the one and the only reality. 

It behooves us, wrapped — so to speak — in a kind of icy immo- 
bility, not to turn aside from all the tremors of our individual 
being in our efforts to perceive a world from which we are to be 
banished, and which is possible of contemplation only by an im- 
personal intelligence. On the contrary, it is by the very effort of 
our daily struggle to acquire the most acute consciousness of this 
perpetual debate with our self in which our 'me' constitutes itself, 
that we are ushered into the very heart of this reality. 

We moderns are so busy studying the external world that we 
have, to a great extent, forgotten to study the internal world. We | 
worry about the cure of our aches and pains, our asthma and 
rheumatism, and take no thought for the cure of our feverish 
desires and unworthy ambitions. 

It is strange that though all must tread the path of life, so few 
know whither they are going! 

How little do we know that which we are! 
How less that we may be! 

BYRON 

We wander from the cradle to the tomb, yet know not our true 
destination, which is not the tomb but rather the discovery of ot 
'super-self'. 

For long ages we have accepted the tradition of the existence 
two worlds: one, the world of appearances; the other, the world 
existences; and have assumed that as the knowledge of things al- 
ways means our linking them to our being, the appearances alone 
are accessible to us. But it is a mistake to imagine that behind 
those appearances there are real things perceivable to a more pen- 
etrating gaze, for a spectator can only behold the thing he con- 



templates from without. Everything therefore is necessarily an ap- 
pearance. In fact, reality can only be attained within and not with- 
out ourselves. Man should turn his gaze within in order to begin 
that most marvelous of all explorations, since happiness comes 
only from within. 

The divine strain hums all around us, yet we are of so gross a 
nature that we hear it not! Only by entering into the divine silence 
and closing our ears to the world of illusions can we catch the 
celestial melody, or else we are but yielding to the illusions of our 
imagination and reaping bitter misery. 

The discovery of 'self ' is first of all an act of inward retirement; 
it is what is termed the going in. "We penetrate then" — says 
Lavelle — "into an invisible world; but this discovery occasions an- 
guish and it is presumptuous to march to the conquest of this 
inner world without very definite directions, very precise coun- 
sels — hence the absolute necessity of a Master. 'Whoever goeth on 
a pilgrimage needeth a pilgrim for the way, be he a Hindu, a Turk 
or an Arab' (Maulana Rum). Then the outward universe with- 
draws and fades away as does the most beautiful scenery when the 
play is too dramatic, but soon we experience the joy of the revela- 
tion; the universe is now no longer an object outside of ourselves, 
an enigma to be solved; we no longer contemplate it from with- 
out, but from within. Its secret is our secret. This discovery, far 
from causing us a sense of misery, becomes a source of confidence 
and of light and we soon begin to suffer when we refuse to draw 
from this well! So then, after having lived long in the world as a 
stranger, he who takes refuge in solitude perceives a new world 
welcoming him, and by and by obtains the direct perception of 
superior planes." 

In the mystery of solitary intimacy — magna solitudo — the indi- 
vidual and the Supreme Being behold each other face to face, for 
™ former returns to his original Self. "It is"— says Hegel— "in 
he very heart of my own subjectivity that I discover true reality 

3nd not in the motley spectacle displayed to my eyes. It is contra- 
dict. 



°ry to seek for existence outside of myself, since outside of this 
e1 ' I can find only an appearance for me; hut I must seek for it in 






XVU1 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



the very depth of my being, since I, at least, participate in exist- 



ence. 



To understand this truth does not demand violence; it needs 
only an inward reverence and a willing ear. Truth reveals itself 
only to those who seek and love it. The great purpose of spiritual 
training is the absolute union with the primordial Self. 

This regeneration, this second birth, is what Christian theolo- 
gians have called 'the descent of the Holy Ghost'. The inner illu- 
mination is united to an infinite love for the divine — this inner 
flame, this simultaneous love and knowledge which, when born, 
rises and grows, until finally through a kind of impersonal ecstasy 
our whole being is kindled with a supreme desire for union. (We 
call 'impersonal' that state of intuition in which our thought is no 
longer divided into a thinking subject and an external world, but 
rather the outer world is abolished by its integration in our per- 
sonal consciousness. Our personal consciousness is by no means 
nullified. Nirvana is not the abolition of personality; on the con- 
trary, it is the completeness of personality.) 

"The summit of reality can only be realized within oneself," 
said Buddha. A great Sufi Master adds that "the source of truth is 
within and he himself is the object of his realization"; and accord- 
ing to Schopenhauer, "The essential to life's happiness resides in 
what one has in one's Self. Verily the principal source of human 
bliss comes from within, from the very depth of one's being." 

We cannot hope to possess other true riches than those we 
already bear within us, and we should use them and not neglect 
them, but they are, alas, so familiar to us that they no longer 
appear of any value; and we pursue other tawdry chattels whose 
possession is denied us. We are so weak that the world is some- 
times obliged to rebuff us to cause us to detach ourselves from the 

world. 

The kingdom of heaven is in the heart of those who realize 
God, and the whole purpose of life is to make God a reality. 
"Verily, it is simpler to find a way to heaven than to find one's 
way on earth" {Hazrat Inayat Khan). And how true is this sen- 
tence of the Bible: "The kingdom of heaven is within you"! 



PREFACE »x 

But how are we to discover this kingdom? Is this not the main 
object of philosophy as well as of religion? The former, alas, in 
spite of the numerous chairs where it is taught and the many 
writings of the greatest philosophers, has not proved to be the 
source at which the inquirer may quench his thirst. In the first 
place, philosophy is the heritage of an elite and appeals mostly to 
the intellect, the mind. It is a dry subject. Furthermore, philos- 
ophizing has been going on for ages. Thousands of arguments 
and theories have been put forth, but they are only lip-say— as the 
Indian saints say — for they have no life, and our knowledge of 
God hath not advanced even an inch! But we have religion. Alas, 
concerning the latter, we fully agree with the opinion of Kerneiz: 
"Religion, to the masses, means one of the most redoubtable in- 
struments of servitude of the human mind, and the founding of a 
new religion, however excellent it may be, is but to found a new 
prison in which to confine the spirit." The consolations religions 
afford are mostly platonic and the number steadily increases of 
those who nowadays can no longer believe or find any satisfaction 
in religion, for lack of manifest proofs and on account of the 
flagrant hypocrisy of so many false prophets or of their militant 
followers. 

Nevertheless, the existence of this science of the unknown — the 
science of the soul, we might say — is a fact, and sooner or later all 
will ardendy yearn for it. Some advanced individuals claim a knowl- 
edge of it, but those who approach this discovery realize that it is 
the heritage of an extremely limited number. 

Up to the present, the Occident had never been granted the 

privilege of having the revelations of the sages of this world in 

everyday language. Heretofore, the philosophical and spiritual 

teachings were veiled, and that is why such teachings were classi- 

ed as esoteric, knowable only to a limited number of the initiat- 

• this initiation was gained through secret revelations, allegori- 

and symbolic writings possible of interpretation only by those 

Possessing the key and the direct teaching of the Master to his 

^ sciple. Uninitiated mortals were unable to penetrate the arcanum, 

that only the advanced spiritual souls could grasp the imagery 






THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



of the language, the divulgence of which was prohibited, and the 
meaning of which without the key was impossible of interpreta- 
tion. 

Rare indeed are the Westerners possessing 'the knowledge', and 
this is but right, for the sages of this world considered it useless to 
cast 'pearls before swine' and to deliver the lucubrations of sterile 
discussion of this enfant terrible called 'the mind' — to non- pre- 
pared egos — directions, counsels, precepts, truths and lines of con- 
duct for spiritual ascension. 

Heretofore, it was the privilege of a particular class of society to 
penetrate into spiritual secrets. However, such knowledge has de- 
grees, and starts from the simplest counsels to attain the pro- 
foundest truths, enabling the future disciple to grasp the truth 
through his own personal experience; it is nevertheless true that 
the first steps and certain more advanced stages, known already to 
the priesthood, were safeguarded in a veiled form, in the secret 
books of the various religions of the world. 

Life refuses to yield up or to display its sublimest secret to the 
slothful. If you wish to discover the depth of its meaning, why 
then, you must break up the fallow ground and prepare to search 
for it, and the place to seek it is within, for its treasures will 
neither be found outside of one's being nor can the five senses lay 
hold on them. Are, then, the methods of the yogis hidden? 



Does a raja strew his jewels on the highway in a public display? 
No, he hides them in the deep treasure-chambers, in the vaults 
of his palace. The knowledge of the science of 'Self' is one of the 
greatest treasures a man can discover and possess. Is he forth- 
with to offer it in the bazaars for all and sundry? Let all who 
desire to attain and to lay hold of this treasure first ardendy 
long for and then seek it. That is the only way, and it is the right 
way. Knowledge is hidden in order to ward off the superficial 
curious enquirer, the mentally unprepared and perhaps also 
the spiritually unworthy. 



The following questions and topics are set forth and explained 
in this book in modern, simple and clear language: 



PREFACE 



XX] 



What is religion? What are its promises and its bestowals? Mono- 
theism, polytheism, monism, pantheism. The statement concern- 
ing the main religious movements of the East and of the West. 
The value of ceremonies, rites and sacred books. What is God? 
What are his names? The great spiritual hierarchies. The superior 
planes and high regions. The spiritual guides of the past and present 
time. The role of the Masters. True and false Gurus and how to 
recognize them. The way to realize union with the Supreme Be- 
ing. The various stages to be passed through by those who are 
willing to tread the pathway of the Master. How to become a 
disciple. Asceticism. The esoteric constitution of the human be- 
ing. The chakras. Kundalini. The problem of desire. The five per- 
versions, or passions, and their antidotes. The diverse karmas. 
Reincarnation and metempsychosis. Death and after death. The 
various yogas. The importance of the audible life stream. In short, 
all that concerns 'the science of the Masters'. 

The author has most satisfactorily adhered to the rule of Aristo- 
tle, viz.: "To write well, express yourself in the common language 
of the people, but think like a wise man." Here is a collection of 
spiritual wealth of the East revealed to the dazzled gaze of the 
West. Here we are not dealing with vain promises such as are 
given in most of the so-called philosophical societies and in so 
many books which lead to nothing and nowhere. Nor does one 
hear when at last nearing the long sought-for goal: "Oh, this is not 
lor you, you are not advanced enough, it is a secret," and where 
the soul flies away, just at the very moment when we seem to 
Hold its gleaming splendor in our hands and all we are left with is 
one more dead butterfly to add to our molding collection" (Shri 
^nshna Prem). No, from beginning to end it sets forth plainly the 
Path to be trodden in order to reach the highest goal, 'the su- 
preme union'. 

ormerly it was considered a violation to divulge the secret of 

revVJlT T tH accordin § to the W- This secret was only to be 
^^ *ed after having sustained the most difficult and rigid tests 

is con 0lmtei j teStS ' ThiS ' S qU ' te natUral where the Patan i ali system 
«rned because of the dangers of the tests submitted to by 




xxn 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



the chelas? In this exposition of Sant Mat, contrary to so many 
yogas, dangers and difficulties do not beset the disciple at any step 
in the course of his spiritual practices. 

"One reason this book is written now" — says the author — "at 
the express command of a great Master, is to give to all who may 
possibly be able to recognize its value some understanding of the 
priceless truth of the Masters of all ages. The ancient screen of 
profound secrecy is now removed. There is no longer any need for 
such secrecy. It was not many centuries ago that no saint could 
speak openly, except at the peril of his own life. The method of 
the saints expressed here is so safe in itself that no harm can result 
from giving it out to the whole world, provided it be guarded 
from any abuse or misuse." 

There is nowadays an incredible number of books written to 
build a bridge between the Orient and the Occident; there are 
innumerable books about yogas published in coundess languages, 
written by either Orientals who came to the Occident to familiar- 
ize themselves with its trend of thought, or else by Occidentals 
who essayed to penetrate the Eastern spirit. 

This publication is not an adaptation from others' thoughts but 
verily a revelation for all concerned. Neither is it a question of 
race or religious current to be adapted to suit the one or the other, 
nor is it the search for points of mutual understanding. No, it is 
indeed the very basis of religion, the revelation of a great mystery: 
the knowledge of our true origin and how once more to find the 
Father's home as did the prodigal son of yore, and this through 
the scientific self-experimental process that every sincere soul can 
verify for himself. 

The highway to be trodden is here traced, and we can repeat the 
sentence of the Sufi Master, "The supreme purpose of life is to 
make God a reality"; for this purpose, "give us all you have and we 
shall give you all we possess!" Do not the Masters teach that every 
gift offered by us without any thought of compensation is already 
returned to us? 



[ . Hindi and Sanskrit terms are italicized, and when their meanings are not made dear by 
the context, they are explained in the Glossary. For ease of reading, however, words 
which occur frequently are italicized only the first time they appear. 



PREFACE 



xxiii 



This book is not written with a view to satisfying curiosity or to 
please the mind or the imagination, but rather to quench the 
thirst of the true, sincere and humble seeker. Mental acrobatics, 
tortuous, complicated philosophical gymnastics are not requisite, 
nor is there any necessity to pore for hours over a page or an 
extract in order to ascertain the author's meaning. 

The plain truth is too simple for the seeker after complexity, 
looking for things he cannot understand. The intellect creates its 
own problems and then makes itself miserable trying to solve them ! 
Truth always expresses itself with the greatest simplicity Simplex 
veri sigillum! 

The writing and publishing of this book have the approval of, 
and are in accordance with the express wish of the Great Master 
whose life and teachings have inspired these pages. However, as 
Dr. Johnson wrote, "The Master himself must not be held respon- 
sible for any inaccuracy or other imperfections in this volume. 
The writer alone is responsible for these; he makes no claims for 
himself and takes no credit whatsoever." 

To practice yoga out of curiosity, in search of new sensations or 
in order to gain psychic power, is a mistake which is punished 
with futility, neurosis or even worse. None should seek initia- 
tion into the mysteries from unworthy motives, for disaster 
would surely result. 

BRUNTON 



Are we to believe without proofs? Is blind faith indispensable? 
Theoretically, he who perceives in himself the call of the Absolute 
should be supposed to quit everything: situation, family, friends, 
m order to answer this call, as in the "come and follow me" of the 
Bible. But in the Occident there is no place whither to resort to 
embrace a particular philosophical discipline. There is no place in 
°ur society for the sannyasi. 

The method exposed in these pages does not in any way require 
"* e seeker to leave everything and start out as a pilgrim with 
Sa ndals and pack, in order to submit to endless tortures and tests! 






XX!V 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



No, the part of the true adept consists in remaining in his usual 
surroundings and there to earn his living in a situation permitting 
him to live a simple, honest and decent life. It is therefore in the 
smoke of the battle of daily life that he has to make his way. 

The battle of life must be won and not run away from. Origen's 
act of self-castration did not enable him to attain that state that 
Hindu tradition terms brahmacharya, and rigid isolation in a 
mountain cave will not bring about that inner detachment 
from the passing show of things which is the soil in which alone 
the flower of true wisdom can grow. 

SHRI KRISHNA PREM 



Is it possible amid the agitation of our modern life to adhere to 
any spiritual discipline? The author's answer is categorically affir- 
mative. "The escape from one's surroundings can only be through 
isolation or flight. Certain people take refuge in themselves. So 
they find solitude in the midst of the crowd" (Dr. Alexis Carrel). 
"You can" — says Marcus Aurelius— "at any time you like retire 
into yourself. There is no retreat more quiet, more peaceful and 
less restless for man than the one that he finds in his own soul." 

The perfecting required by the disciple must be gained there 
where his karma has placed him. But he must progressively learn 
the value of renunciation of perishable things and find, even in 
success and terrestrial happiness, that bitter savor by which he 
recognizes he is but an exile in the world, and to experience even 
in the sweetest hours the poignant homesickness for a lost native 
land. Having reached this stage, the realization dawns that one 
can begin to hear and see only when the physical eyes and ears are 
closed, as "he who depends upon his eyes for sight, his ears for 
hearing and his mouth for speech, he is still dead" (Hazrat Inayat 
Khan). 

The author plainly sets forth, without any digression, the ne- 
cessity for every being seeking for truth, first to ardently desire it, 
then to search for a Master, a living Master. 






PREFACE 



XXV 



Now, truth is never a thing that one finds but it is always taught 
us by somebody. But it is essential that this teaching should not 
oppress us, but rather should it restore our 'Self, it should 
reveal to us our liberty as well as the very meaning of our 

existence. 

LAVELLE 

And this is precisely what is realized through the Surat Shabd 
Yoga. This yoga is also called ananda yoga — the yoga of happiness 
and bliss — or again, the yoga of the Master. It is founded on this 
cardinal and primordial notion of the Sound, the Word. Remem- 
ber the magical scene that Goethe placed in the beginning of his 
Faust; his hero took for his text: "In the beginning was the Word." 
The light reveals the world: it was created by the Word. To see is 
to discover the work of creation. To hear is to have a sense of 
complicity with the Creator. 

This divine melody — this heavenly bam — is the hyphen con- 
necting the disciple to the supreme being through the Master. 
This is the first and one of the most important pillars of this yoga 
whitn, says Dr. Johnson, "takes the student stage by stage from 
the earliest beginnings on the occult path up to the highest, the 
supreme goal; and by the virtue of that progress, he passes from 
the status of an ordinary man to the sublime degree of a Master- 
man!" 

The second pillar of the building of this yoga is the living Mas- 
ter. Dr. Johnson continues: "Before arriving at the Master's feet, 
We generally have to make our way through whole libraries of 
books on all sorts of themes. When we have gone through them 
a 'l and finally come to realize that they do not offer the ultimate 
solution of our problems, we come to 'the living Master'. It is only 
then that the dove finds rest for her weary wings!" 

And the third pillar is satsang, viz.: the presence or company of 
the living Master, who is alive to God. 






Only he is alive, O Nanak, 
Who is in tune with God. 
All others are dead. 



XXVI 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



He is a God-man. A word from him is a word from God. He 
has no need to teach. Even his presence alone is elevating, inspir- 
ing, stirring and life-giving. His very company is self- illumina- 
tion — living in his company is spiritual education. His tender smile 
radiates light, bliss, joy, knowledge and peace. He is a blessing to 
suffering humanity. All agonies, miseries, tribulations, taints of 
world illness, etc., seem to vanish in his mere presence and one's 
doubts are removed. He can awaken through sight, touch, speech 
and mere thought. He can transmit spirituality to the student as 
easily as one offers fruit to another. He is an ever- flowing fountain- 
head of the water of life. A thirsty man drinks only water. A thirsty 
aspirant who has implicit faith in his Master and who is very eager 
to imbibe his teachings can drink only nectar from him. The stu- 
dent imbibes from his Master in proportion to the intensity and 
degree of his faith in him and of his fervent receptive attitude. 

Spirituality cannot be taught but caught. Once one has learnt 
the secrets of spirituality at the feet of the Master and is enlivened 
with the life impulses received from him, he is no more required 
to be in constant physical association with him. He can have inner 
association with him anywhere and everywhere. He may, How- 
ever, pay frequent visits whenever possible, and report on his in- 
ward progress. 

Sat means 'true or unchangeable* and sang means 'union'. There- 
fore union with that which is pure and imperishable is satsang. 
On the material plane satsang will be the coming in contact of 
man with a Master, the Master being pure, relative to man. In the 
absence of contact with the Master, the study of the literature of 
Sant Mat may also be called satsang, for that also gives induce- 
ment to go within. Hence study of a saint's writing is satsang, 
company of a saint is satsang, hearing his discourse is satsang, 
going in and making contact with the sound current is satsang, 
and union of the soul with Sat Nam is satsang — all of which will 
be made clear in this book. 

This trinity of Sant Mat is technically called: 

Sat Guru - living Master, 

Sat Sang- his company, and 

Sat Nam - the true Name (Shabd, or heavenly bant). 



PREFACE 



xxv u 



Whenever there is a desire to develop spiritual awakening in 
order to attain the goal, one should yield to it. 

The most important fact which differentiates this mystical dis- 
cipline, this yoga, from all those known is the realization of God 
while living in this world. 

Dr. Johnson says: "All human hopes and efforts center about 
three things: (a) self-realization, (b) God-realization, (c) entering 
the kingdom of heaven, either in this life or in the next." 

"It is only in this book that it is shown how this is to be done in 
this life here and now" and "it is the first attempt in history to give 
this science to the West by a Western mind," continues Dr. 
Johnson. 

Whilst writing these lines we are deeply grieved in thinking of 
the author so recently departed in the middle of the preparation 
of this publication, leaving us the heavy responsibility of correct- 
ing the proofs of this book for which he worked with so much 
ardor and love. 

But our promise of modest collaboration will not have been 
given in vain. This task has not been accepted blindly but on 
account of the immediate pledge to satisfy our 'reasoning reason'. 
First, we read with delight and interest his work describing his 
meeting with the living Master, then his autobiography; finally, 
after much mutual correspondence, we were able to meet him and 
discuss every possible question concerning the very substance of 
this work. 

What interests us is that the author was an Occidental, nay, an 
American, not a dreamer but a practical man who was first a 
Baptist minister, for many years preaching the Gospel. Then he 
went to India as a missionary; oh, the irony, to bring to the Hin- 
dus the spiritual revelation of the Occident! He who went to teach, 
•earned with awe of his ignorance and was soon overwhelmed in 
ascertaining the limitations of the teaching he had received, in 
comparison to the incomparable riches of India concerning spiri- 
tual and philosophical matters. 

Dr. Johnson could no longer bear to teach and preach to those 
oward whom he felt more and more a pupil rather than a teacher, 



. 



xxvm 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



and so he decided to return to America. But soon the narrow- 
mindedness of his co-religionists obliged him to leave this intoler- 
ant and petty atmosphere. Then he followed a postgraduate course 
of theology at the University of Chicago and was deeply impressed 
by the broad-minded attitude and spirit of his professors. But 
more and more his mind was dwelling on all the things he lacked, 
and this feeling of spiritual emptiness became so acute that he 
gave up his theological career and began to study medicine, achiev- 
ing brilliant success. He then established himself as a surgeon and 
became so skillful that very quickly he acquired a large practice 
and a hospital where he was continually operating. He had his 
private motorcars and even his own airplanes. He was one of the 
first American amateur pilots. The foregoing is to satisfy the crit- 
ics and to show how thoroughly he was equipped in various prac- 
tical domains, having besides a broad general culture. 

His work, however, did not satisfy him as he felt the uselessness 
of this super-active yet purposeless life, and his constant preoccu- 
pation was to discover at any price a definite spiritual direction, 
and above all a living Master who would be able to lead him to it. 

One day he discovered the Master who could reveal to him 
what he exposes today in these memorable pages. He gave up all 
that he possessed— airplanes, motorcars, bis house, the hospital, 
properties, patients — all his material comfort acquired by hard 
work, and went back again to India, but this time as a humble 
disciple. 

To write a book is to tell oneself one's secrets, but through it, 
the reader must feel that he is discovering his own; this is the 
author's desire. 

In a first volume, 1 Dr. Johnson described his impressions after 
spending sixteen months at the feet of the Master. He then settled 
in India, this time not to teach but to learn. 

Dr. Johnson, the minister who preached, the physician at the 
head of a hospital and its staff, and one who gave orders, became 
the humble adept freed from all the baggage of the past, in order 



1. Julian Johnson, With a Great Master in India (Beas, India: Radha Soami Satsang Beas, 
1982). Originally published, 193.4. 



PREFACE 



XXIX 



to acquire 'the knowledge'. There the sick or crippled Indian broth- 
ers and sisters were given the advantage of his professional capaci- 
ties. He treated and operated free of charge. And there on the 
bank of the river Beas, at the feet of the Master, he wrote this work 
which today constitutes his spiritual legacy, the first of its kind 
revealed to the Occident. 

In the course of our stay in India we had the privilege of dis- 
cussing with him personally all the questions dealt with in this 
volume, and we render homage of deep gratitude to his unselfish 
and disinterested efforts, to his perfect uprightness, rectitude and 
probity, to his tolerance and his untiring goodness. Dr. Johnson 
was a scholar of philosophy as well as of literature; he was also a 
man trained in scientific disciplines, a precious token for every 
Occidental mind. 

He received us with open hands, not to take but to give. His 
warm, benevolent and most generous hospitality, and the acquain- 
tance with the Master he discovered in the north of India on the 
bank of this sacred river (from which at sunrise the impressive 
profile of the Himalayas is to be seen), all this will remain in the 
very depth of our heart as the most moving, happy and blissful 
experience, 

"God speaks to the ears of every heart, but it is not every heart 
that hears him"; nevertheless, he who seeks, finds — sooner or lat- 
er — and to everyone is given the meeting he deserves. It is the 
destiny of every being to germinate in the dark— -as the germ of 
wheat — and to die in the light. But this death, far from being an 
annihilation, is in reality 'a new birth'! 



The prophet said: God saith to me 

I do not live high or low at all; 

I live in the heart of the devotee. 

If thou desirest me, 

Then seek me from his heart. 

The mosque is inside the saints, 

And there resideth God for the homage of all. 

MAULANA RUM 



xxx THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



He who has found him, seeks no more; the riddle is solved, 
desire gone, he is at peace. Having approached from every- 
where that which is everywhere whole, he passes into the whole. 

BRUNTON' 

Pilgrim who treadest the mystic path, if thou searchest humbly 
and sincerely, thou wilst find in Sant Mat — -this voice of the 
silence — the resolution of the great enigma and the perfect union 
with the Supreme Being from whom thou issuest. 



Dr. Pierre Schmidt 



Geneva, Switzerland 
October 1939 






1. Paul Bninton, A Search in Secret India (New York, Weiser: 1981), paperback edition. 
Reference from sixth edition. 






Foreword 






Dr. Julian Johnson wrote The Path of the Masters under the spe- 
cific instructions and guidance of his Master, Maharaj Sawan Singh, 
to communicate the timeless teachings of the Masters to the Occi- 
dental world. If some of his personal statements seem strange to 
the modern reader, it is a measure of the way the world has changed 
since the book was written. His personal views lend their flavor to 
the style of the book, and for this reason it may be helpful to glance 
briefly at his life and background to understand his perspective. 

Julian Johnson was born in the southern part of the United States 
of America in the latter half of the nineteenth century, his father 
having served in the Union army in the Civil War. As a child he 
experienced a hard and demanding life, ruled first by bis father and 
then by his stepfather with the stick and the threat of hell-fire and 
damnation. His conventional education was squeezed between rig- 
orous duties in both home and farm, and was not given much 
importance. His autobiography, however, reveals that he possessed 
certain distinctive characteristics from his earliest childhood, and 
these served to shape the course of his rich and varied life. 

Dr. Johnson demonstrated a fiercely independent mind, and pre- 
ferred to depend for knowledge and understanding on his own 
observations and experience rather than on hearsay or the dictums 
S*w dogmas of others. He combined this independence with a high 
'evel of idealism and an intense and insatiable desire for knowl- 
eo -ge. His lifelong search for truth led him to pursue all manner of 
activities and professions, and included several periods of study 
^d introspection. His life was one of extremes — time and again 

owing himself wholeheartedly into a chosen field, exploring it 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



FOREWORD 



with passion and thoroughness, and then abandoning it and search- 
ing elsewhere when he could not find the satisfaction he craved. 

The very first job he chose for himself as a teenager was that of a 
cowboy on the great prairie lands of America, mastering the art of 
the lasso and the six-shooter. It was not long before he realized that 
he did not want to spend his life as nursemaid to herds of steer. 
Instead he decided to educate himself and worked his way through 
school. Influenced by his association with two ministers, he too 
became a licensed preacher of the Baptist Church, although he was 
not yet twenty years old. After a few years of preaching he became 
disillusioned and dissatisfied with what he perceived as "a daily 
round of activities designed to keep the physical body going until 
old age and the grave claim it." He was convinced there must be 
something more to life — some higher purpose in being human — 
and so he turned to more education in the hope that he would 
discover the nature of this calling. 

After several years spent in earnest study — this time in college — 
he was still dissatisfied. He records that he felt the college process of 
education to be overconcerned with words — words and ever more 
words — which rarely touched on the substance of the matter. He 
craved that personal and experiential knowledge which leaves no 
room for doubt. He decided to travel to India as a missionary — to 
go to the Orient to convert the heathen. At this stage of his life he 
perceived himself to be a superior, civilized person, an acknowl- 
edged member of the Christian Church, possessing the incontro- 
vertible right to salvation and entry into the kingdom of God. In 
his eyes all non-Christians were heathen, and unless they were pre- 
sented with an opportunity to hear and receive the teachings of 
Jesus, they would be barred forever from the gates of heaven and 
salvation. 

During his three years in India, contrary to his expectations, his 
belief in both himself and the exclusive infallibility of his religion 
was profoundly shaken. Circumstances brought him into contact 
with people who, he realized, were of superior education and spiri- 
tual understanding, and these were the very people he had been 
thinking of as inferior and heathen. He came to understand the 



I 



superficial nature of most religious conversions, particularly among 
the poor and illiterate, who seemed to gain little other than to 
substitute one set of rituals for another. He came across the doc- 
trine of Theosophy which, as an orthodox Baptist minister, he would 
previously have perceived as the workings of the devil. Now he had 
to acknowledge to himself that it was both reasonable and rational 
in its approach. 

After three years he was obliged to return to America on account 
of the ill-health of his wife. He likened himself to "a punctured tire, 
deflated and Bat, barely able to keep on going down the road of 
life." Suddenly he was questioning deeply all the dogmas and be- 
liefs which he had hitherto taken for granted and upon which he 
had based his life. Once again he decided to search for answers 
through study and scholarship, and he returned to university — this 
time to study theology and philosophy. At the end of five years he 
still was no wiser, had found no answers, and described himself as 
"a child lost in the wilderness, with a roll of diplomas under his 
arm." 

Circumstances led him to question ever more rigorously the role 
played by orthodox religions in people's lives. Finally he had come 
to the conclusion that they "command the very innermost impuls- 
es of mind and heart, throttling every free movement . . . driving 
one like a horse hitched to the chariot of dogmas, with the priest 
holding the reins." After his first marriage ended in divorce, Dr. 
Johnson and a colleague from the university decided to marry and 
spend their remaining lives together. When the lady in question 
came to know of his previous divorce, she decided against their 
marriage on the basis of her religious sentiments. On another occa- 
sion he came to know that he had been turned down from the post 
of preacher, or minister, in a suburban parish on account of his 
pinner of dress. Such incidents served only to reinforce bis grow- 
ln g conviction that orthodox religion was not concerned so much 
Wl th spiritual and transcendent realities as with the mundane pro- 
tocols of society. 

As a matter of principle he resigned as a minister of the Baptist 

lu rch and returned his ordination papers. He then decided to 



X 



4 THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 

study medicine so that he could continue to serve humanity. Once 
again he returned to college, but this time to acquire practical knowl- 
edge. By now he was becoming increasingly convinced that those 
ideals which he had searched so intensely to fulfill through earthly 
activities and relationships could only be realized by transcending 
the physical plane and searching in the realm of the soul. He was 
now certain that there was a higher wisdom to be known, but the 
question was how and where to find it. During the subsequent 
years he never lost sight of his primary goal to find and acquire this 
wisdom, notwithstanding the considerable wealth and success he 
achieved at the worldly level. Once he qualified as a doctor, he set 
up a private practice, which proved both successful and lucrative, 
and he also went on to learn how to fly, bought four planes, and 
established his own private airline. 

These were the 1920's — the years between the two world wars- 
years of intense social and political activity with much of the world 
in a state of ferment. Dr. Johnson had long been convinced of the 
idea that there was a deep power, or force, which arises within 
humanity from time to time to awaken man to his higher self and 
bring him into an age of enlightenment. This very subject had been 
the substance of his final thesis at university after his return from 
India. Having tried to find fulfillment on his own through every 
conceivable means known to him, he now began to feel the need of 
a teacher. He began to search in earnest for a Master, an enlight- 
ened being who, by embodying in himself this force of truth and 
knowledge, would be able to guide him to self-knowledge and hap- 
piness. Being a man of his times he linked his ideas of a spiritual 
renaissance with Gobineau's theory of the superior nature of the 
Aryan peoples, a theory which was being given much attention in 
those days. The doctrine was discredited later when it was used by 
Hider as a justification for his appalling anti-Semitic obsession, but 
when Dr. Johnson was searching for the way to truth, those terrible 
events had not yet taken place. 

They were days of rapid developments in all the fields of science. 
The atmosphere of intellectual ferment, of scientific progress and 
discovery, combined with Johnson's own unflagging zeal for knowl- 
edge to reinforce his optimism about the imminent glorious future 



POXEWORD 

f mankind. This optimism was validated for him when he finally 
m et his Master and saw, with his own eyes, a living example of his 
aspirations for all mankind. 

India had already proved to be the catalyst for the most signifi- 
cant period of change in his life, for it was during his years as a 
missionary that his minking had been so profoundly disturbed, 
and the process of liberation from the constraints of orthodox dog- 
ma had begun in earnest. Once again he felt drawn to the East as he 
became increasingly convinced that the Master he was looking for 
would be there. He had a forceful and premonitory experience of 
the presence of a Master in his life when, during one of his periods 
of intense introspection, he awoke one morning with the feeling of 
having been actually floating in an ocean of love— a blissful experi- 
ence which remained with him for several days. Very soon after 
this experience destiny brought him in contact with an elderly lady 
called Julia R. McQuillan, who was a disciple of Maharaj Sawan 
Singh of Beas, Punjab, India. When Dr. Johnson questioned her as 
to why she had not told him anything about her Master earlier, she 
informed him that he had not been ready to hear her until then. He 
wrote immediately to the Master, and within hardly eighteen months 
of this encounter he setded all his worldly affairs and left America 
for India, never again to return to his native land. 

When Julian Johnson reached the feet of his Master it was the 
culmination of an intense and life-long search. Finally and at last 
he found himself face to face with the object of his search, the 
fulfillment of his highest ideals, a being who could lead him to 
experience for himself the great truths of the creation. He had trav- 
elled far from his starting point in an orthodox Christian family in 
rural Kentucky, and for the rest of his life he always referred to 
those truths as the wisdom of the East. 

In keeping with his nature, Dr. Johnson applied himself whole- 
heartedly to his spiritual practice, and after seven years of constant 
personal guidance and attention from the Master he was requested 
°Y him to document his knowledge — to communicate this path of 
G od-realization to his fellow men. This book, The Path of the Mas- 
rer s> was the result. If anyone finds the book too blunt, too abra- 
SIVe . or too tacdess, let he or she bear the context of the book in 



stve 



6 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 






mind. A person of Dr. Johnson's nature, who said of himself, "I am 
not tactful, I am not orthodox, I never was" — someone who real- 
ized his objective after more than sixty years of hardships, false 
starts, counterfeit solutions, disappointments and disillusionments — 
such a person could not be expected to do anything other than give 
voice to his knowledge in the most outspoken tones. Such a man 
would never prevaricate nor beat about the bush for fear that oth- 
ers might then not hear and recognize the message contained in his 
words. It was a message which he himself had struggled to under- 
stand for so long, and which, to his overwhelming joy, he had 
found and realized. 

The reader may note that in his treatment of world religions, Dr. 
Johnson emphasizes those aspects of the religions which have im- 
pressed him the most. These short descriptions are not intended as 
comprehensive studies or analyses, but rather as a glimpse into the 
true spirituality imbedded in these religions. In this section Dr. 
Johnson also presents his opinion about the way religious institu- 
tions have or have not remained faithful to their original spiritual 
core. 

Whenever we hear Dr. Johnson's personal voice, it is the voice of 
a man who was fired by his personal contact with an omniscient 
human being, the embodiment of love, a true son of God. His own 
personal experience of the power and glory of this blessed associa- 
tion infused his writing and caused him both to strike out against 
all paths which he believed might mislead the seeker from the true 
way, and to make statements about an imminent time of peace and 
harmony on earth. All his personal assertions may be absorbed by 
the reader in the spirit in which they were made, for in a sense they 
are incidental to the substance of the book, which is a clear and 
comprehensive explanation of the timeless teachings of the saints. 



Faith Singh 



Jaipur, India 
November 1992 



Introduction 



THf SUBJECT matter of this book is so important, so far-reaching 
a ™Sonary, that the task of presenting it properly appears 
ffiSESfi beyond the powers of any ordinary m^ 
The writer realizes his lack of complete competency But** m* 
™ e tf the Masters had to be given to the world at this tune £ the 
Wish language, and no one appeared who was better qualified 
To have evaded the responsibility would have been to shirk a 
plain Zty After years of careful study, in close assoaation w*h 
t^Mu^beri*. much time spent witi > advance and 
learned disciples of the Master, this duty was assigned to me as it 
by common consent. , , , 

I wish to record my obligations and thanks to those noble souls 
who have given so much help, and who have been to me personal- 
ly a very great inspiration. They all reflect the light of die Master* 
They all go to make up that grand galaxy of spiritual luminaries 
pointing the starry way to higher worlds beyond all stars^ Inese 
men are not only learned in the lore of this path, but they are 
quite familiar with the various systems of Indian phdosophy and 
religion; and hence are able to make intelligent discrimination 
between all of them and this path of the Masters. They themseWes 
have chosen this path not blindly but in full light of knowledge. 
With their collaboration, this work has been earned forward to 

completion. . ~ 

It must be said here, as well as in the heart of this book, Uiat 
*is is not another phase of Hindu phUosophy. Neither is it Ve- 
Qantism. It is none of the schools and cults of India. This is not a 



8 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



cult, nor is it even a religion, in the historic sense of that term. 
What is it? It is a scientific method of entering and realizing the 
kingdom of heaven while still living here in the human body. That is 
the sum and the substance of this book. Is that too much to ex- 
pect? No. It can be done, and this book points the way. That is the 
great work of all the Masters and saints of all ages. In this book, 
for the first time in history, the complete story of the Masters' 
scientific path is given to the world in the English language, by 
one who was born among the English-speaking people. It is, there- 
fore, written from the Western viewpoint. The Master now wishes 
to meet the demands of that ever-growing number of students 
who will not be satisfied with formal and ceremonial religion. In 
this age of scientific achievement, the Master wishes to offer a 
spiritual system of self-realization and of God-realization which 
meets every demand of science. For the first time a definite meth- 
od or science is given to the English -speaking world, which shows 
the aspiring and yearning soul just how to enter and possess that 
kingdom of heaven spoken of by all prophets and all religions. 
Many books give hints, but they describe no definite method by 
which anyone may rise to the highest heavens during this life. 
Most of them cannot do so, because they themselves have neither 
the knowledge nor the method. Only the Masters have it, and this 
is the first time that they felt that the time was ripe for a general 
distribution of such a large portion of their science. 

For centuries men have been told that they themselves are the 
temples of God. But they have not been shown exactly how to 
enter those temples and there to meet God. This system offers the 
method. It gives the key to that temple. It bids the student open 
the door and enter. Ever since men began to speculate concerning 
what lies out beyond death, mankind has stood silent at the graves 
of its loved ones, shuddering at 'the dark unknown'. But to the 
Masters and their students there is no dark unknown. They know 
what comes after death as well as they know any ordinary fact of 
this life. How? Because the Master and his advanced students are 
able at will to pass through the gates of death, to see what is there, 
and then return to normal life at any time and as often as they 



INTRODUCTION 



wish. Thus they have, while still living in the body, conquered the 
last enemy. 

Whenever men have started to think and reflect upon the hu- 
man condition, they have found themselves drifting with the tides, 
helpless victims of a thousand ills, driven by apparently blind forces, 
obstructed and harassed at every turn, wounded and bleeding, 
heartsick and weary ; and there has been but precious little they 
could do to change the situation. Who has not realized his inabili- 
ty to cope with the thousand and one enemies constantly beset- 
ting his path? But the Masters and their disciples are not so help- 
less. They are not like the chaff driven by the winds. A Master is a 
Master indeed. He controls life and death, and he holds the forces 
of nature in his hand as a mechanic manipulates his machine. Life 
to the Masters holds no unsolved problems; death to them has no 
terrors. To them the future is an open book, and joy goes with 
them all the day long, like the sweet chime of bells. Since all the 
world is seeking happiness, here is the Royal Road to happiness. It 
is el Camino Real of the Masters. 

This book is not an encyclopedia of Oriental philosophy. Hence, 
but few quotations are given from the sacred books or so-called 
authorities. If the student felt any obligation to accept these 'au- 
thorities', he would not need this book. A short resume" of the 
different religions is given for the sake of comparison. The best 
features of each religion or system are given, and then an effort 
has been made to show just where and how the science of the 
Masters transcends them all and accomplishes something which 
no other system does. Each philosophy or religion is given credit 
tor fulfilling a need in the day and country when and where it 
evolved. Each religion usually runs its course and becomes obso- 
lete. One difficulty has been that no religion is willing to acknowl- 
edge the fact, of its own obsolescence. Only the moral precepts of 
a religions — which are essentially the same in all, remain as uni- 

r sal truth. Even these are subject to considerable change as the 

^es pass. But beyond all of them, the science of the Masters stands 

ut hke the majestic peak of Everest, defying the storms of the 

Uri es. And this is so because the science of the Masters is a 






10 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



universal science. It is not limited to any one country or time. 
Neither is it for any one group of people but for all mankind. 

These are some of the facts which this book attempts to eluci- 
date. We do not believe any apology is required for the manner of 
stating this science. Demonstrated facts of any science may be 
stated in positive language. Even though the statement may ap- 
pear dogmatic, yet it is not really so. Dogma is a declaration of 
opinion which the writer assumes to be fact, but concerning which 
he has no definite knowledge. But if a man should assert with 
Euclid that the square formed on the hypotenuse of a right angle 
triangle is equal to the sum of the squares formed on the other 
two sides, he is not stating a dogma, he is stating a fact which any 
mathematician may demonstrate for himself. The case is similar 
with the facts given out by the Masters. They tell only what they 
know, and they know because they themselves have demonstrated 
everything they teach. If we give to the world in this book some of 
the findings of the Masters, we are not giving out opinions nor 
dogmas nor theories. And this is why we must make certain state- 
ments which, on their surface, may appear dogmatic. In no in- 
stance is the mere opinion of this writer ever given, except where 
it is definitely stated as his opinion and nothing else. 

The volume of this teaching is given out as the findings of the 
great Masters, and the reader is referred to their writings for veri- 
fication of all that is given here. Their writings are mostly in Hindi 
and Sanskrit, but they can be read. Also, there is at least one great 
Master now living in the flesh, at whose feet this writer has had 
the inestimable privilege of sitting as an humble student for many 
years past, 1 Some of us believe that he is the greatest of all Masters 
known to history, and we have for this opinion what to us appears 
good and sufficient evidence. However, this is only an opinion, 
because we have not personally seen all of the great Masters of 
history. Be that as it may, he is a living exemplar of all that is 
taught in this book. Concerning these things, he speaks as one 
having authority, and not as the pundits. He has not only read 



1. The author is referring here to Maharaj Sawan Singh, who passed on in 1948. He was 
succeeded by Maharaj Jagat Singh, and then Maharaj Charan Singh. The present living 
Master is Maharaj Gurinder Singh. 



INTRODUCTION 



11 



them in a book, he has experienced them in his own life and he 
knows their reality. 

We may refer to such great Masters of the past as Shams-i- 
Tabriz and Maulana Rum of Persia; and in more recent times, 
Kabir Sahib, Tulsidas, Guru Nanak and his nine successors; and 
still more recently, Soami Ji, Baba Jaimal Singh, and Sawan Singh 
Maharaj of Beas, who is the living Master. Many others might be 
mentioned, scattered all through history. But then names would 
not be known to many of the readers of this book, and so they 
would carry no weight of authority. Of course, many students will 
ask: What about Buddha and Jesus Christ? Also, Zarathustra and 
Mohammed? Were they Masters of the highest order? Happily we 
are not called upon to pass judgment upon their degrees of mas- 
tership. However, let us accept them as Masters and give them all 
love and honor. It would have been a joy to know them. To meet 
any spiritual man or woman, even of the yogi degree, is no small 
good fortune. 

Personally, I feel so grateful for the privilege of associating with 
even a disciple of the Great Master that I would be willing to be 
his servant, if occasion required. This is because I have some little 
idea of what a real Master is. A story is told of Shiva, which well 
illustrates this point. Walking through a jungle, he suddenly 
stopped, and while gazing at a large stone, tears began to run 
down his face. When asked why he wept, he replied: "Ten thou- 
sand years ago a real saint sat upon this rock, and just to think, I 
*vas not here to see him!" It is only those who have known a 
Master who can appreciate a Master, So let us never speak lightly 
or any spiritual teacher or Master. Let us revere any advanced 
soul, past or present. All honor and love and praise to them. They 
are the salt of the earth. Their fives radiate the sweet perfume, 
w afted down through the centuries, to purify the air of history. 

But there is one vital point of importance which must never be 
overlooked when we are discussing the Masters of the past. That is 

* tact that the real work of the Master on this earth plane lasts 
y during his individual lifetime, and ends with the end of that 

* ine Master assumes human form in order to do a particular 




12 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 






INTRODUCTION 



13 



work which he could not do without human form. This being so, 
how can he do that work after leaving the human form? This is 
only common sense. Even the supreme being himself could not do 
the work of a Master on this plane, unless he took human form. 
This is not because the Supreme himself is limited, but because we 
are limited. We cannot receive what he wishes to give, except 
through a human body. 

This is one of the tragic mistakes of history. Millions of people 
today imagine themselves followers of some dead Master. But such 
a thing is quite impossible. Can a woman marry a dead man and 
live with him? Can a dead doctor give medicine? Can a dead judge 
decide a case at law? The relationship existing between Master and 
disciple is a personal one. It involves vastly more than a few in- 
structions that might be given in a book. Instructions in some 
code of ethics is not what men need. They require the personal aid 
of a living Master. 

If anyone imagines himself a disciple of a dead Master, he only 
deceives himself. He may revere the memory of a Master or read 
his writings. He may feel in his heart love and veneration for him. 
He may be willing to die for the honor of his name. But he can 
never be a real initiate of that Master. He must look to a living 
Master if he wishes to enter the path of the Masters. Without a 
living Master, no one can ever go beyond the uncertain influence 
of a ceremonial religion. The benefits of such religion are prob- 
lematical. 

Those who insist that one religion is as good as another, or that 
one road to heaven is as good as any other road, are many. And 
they are right, as far as they go. Among all the religions of the 
world, there is very little that anyone can boast of as superior to all 
others. Each one generally imagines he is right and that all others 
are wrong. Suppose all roads lead to heaven, as truly as all roads 
led to Rome. There was only one Rome, but there are many heav- 
ens. Vast numbers of them, one above another, the higher ones 
more beautiful and more extensive than the ones below them. Now, 
suppose all roads lead to the lowest heaven — -all roads leading 
from this physical plane. That does not imply that all roads lead to 



the higher regions. Those vast heavens stretch away to unimagin- 
able distances. And. the higher heavens are known only to the 
higher Masters. The lower ones are known to the yogis and Mas- 
ters of the lower degrees. If the lower roads lead to the lower 
heavens, there are higher roads that lead to the higher heavens, 
and these are known only to the great Masters, Consequently, if 
the student wishes to go to the highest of them, he must seek out a 
real Master to show him the way and help him to walk upon that 
path. 

And here is the essential point of difference between the path of 
the Masters and that of all religions and so called Masters of infe- 
rior degrees. The disciple must take his choice whom he will fol- 
low, the real Master who goes to the highest regions, or the yogi 
who goes into the lower regions. For it is a fact well understood by 
occultists that no one can go higher than his Master. It is with the 
greatest satisfaction that we are able to offer in this book some 
glimpses of the path that leads to the highest achievements. 

If you ask how we know that this path leads to regions higher 
than that of any other system, I will answer that the evidence is 
based upon experience. It is not a theory or a belief. If those 
different systems set forth their claims, and a disciple of the Mas- 
ters goes inside and traverses all regions mentioned by those sys- 
tems, and then goes on to some region far beyond anything they 
ever dreamed of, is that not sufficient evidence? Of course, it is 
not possible to present this evidence to the external senses. But to 
such as have gone higher, it is conclusive. The disciple of the 
higher path knows, while the religionist of other schools, never 
having gone up, simply guesses. 

Once a lady asked the Great Master how he knew that there was 
n °t some higher region or some path to a higher region than 
anything known to him. He replied, "Very well, if anyone can 
show me the way to anything higher than that known to the saints, 
1 M gladly go with him!" 



must call attention here to the one thing that, above all, dis- 
n guishes this system from others — its central theme and the vital 
-°ntent of this book. It is the audible life stream. It is the most 



14 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



INTRODUCTION 



15 



important fact of the entire universe, and yet it is not well known 
to any of the world religions or systems of thought except the 
Masters'. How this amazing fact has ever come about in history is 
not easy to tell. Without this factor in religion and philosophy, 
everything else is barren and useless by comparison. To bring this 
great fact to the attention of the thinking world is the most revo- 
lutionary and important announcement that has been made to 
the world in a hundred centuries. The fact that the Creator him- 
self can actually be heard vibrating through all space in musical 
vibrations of the most enchanting quality is a fact of supreme 
importance, and especially so when it is known that by following 
this enchanting music anyone may rise to the extreme heights of 
spiritual attainment. Is there anything else of comparable value? 

We hope the reader will keep this amazing fact in mind through- 
out his study of this book. It is the one thing of supreme value in 
the book. It is to make this great fact known that the book has 
been written. It should be always and everywhere known that with- 
out this one thing of supreme importance, no philosophy and no 
religion has any actual value. At the same time, let no one com- 
plain that this is merely a dogmatic assertion. It is not so. This is a 
fact which has been abundantly proved by the Masters. The entire 
thesis of this book is an attempt to elucidate this great truth. 

We may call attention to Chapter Two, in which a brief review 
of world religions has been given. This chapter is intended to meet 
the requirements of certain students. If different types of students 
do not find this chapter necessary or important in their studies, 
they may omit it and go direct to that section which deals with 
pure Sant Mat, 'the teachings of the Masters 1 . At least, they may 
do this at the first reading, and then go back, if they like, to that 
section which constitutes a comparative study. It is believed, how- 
ever, that this section will be of value to all students who wish to 
make a thorough study of the Masters' system. 

Every effort has been made to make this book as scientifically 
and historically accurate as possible. If the critic finds too many 
statements which emphasize this point, he will forgive us, I hope. 
It is an extremely important point. H. P. Blavatsky once said, speak- 



ing of her Eastern Masters: "They showed us that by combining 
science with religion, the existence of God and the immortality of 
man's spirit may be demonstrated like a problem in Euclid." And 
this is literally true. All men will acknowledge the importance of 
this demonstration, provided it can actually be made. This is ex- 
actly what the Masters and their disciples are doing aH the time. 
The great Masters of the East have been revealing the spiritual 
path in scientific terms for thousands of years, and even today 
Masters five and demonstrate their science in India. That the bulk 
of the Indian population is now in a state of retrogression has 
nothing to do with the above historical fact. 

Many intimate things intended for disciples alone, and which 
only initiates will find of value, are omitted from this volume. 
This is not because the Masters wish to withhold anything of val- 
ue from any honest student, but it is because some of those things 
would be of no use to the uninitiated and might result in confu- 
sion and misunderstanding. Hence, they are omitted here. Until 
one has become an initiate himself, and has made a little headway 
on the path, there are many things which appear so astounding 
and revolutionary, so unlike all that the Western people have been 
accustomed to believe as established facts in psychology and reli- 
gion, that they will be inclined to cast them aside as unbelievable. 
But when one has gone a little distance on the path of the Masters, 
he accepts these things with great joy because he has positive proof 
of them and is able to see their rationale and their great beauty. 
The strong food of an adult laborer cannot be given to an infant; 
neither can a man who never left the ground step into an airplane 
and take it through the skies with skill and precision. Philosophy 
and religion must come to the consumer in such doses as he can 
assimilate. 

" the modem scientist objects that we are trying to extend the 

held of science beyond its legitimate scope, let him remember that 

science has been for centuries extending its bounds, enlarging its 

"elds of operation. Why should we try now to limit it? Shall we 

eny that exact knowledge may be had concerning the soul and 

e hfe after death? Why should we so handicap our investiga- 



16 



THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 



tions? It were no part of wisdom to do so. Let all science remain 
free. It has fought with ecclesiasticism for centuries to gain the 
freedom it now enjoys. Shall science itself now turn and attempt 
to circumscribe its own activities? Shall it try to curb its own 
investigations? It cannot be so. 

Sir Arthur Eddington said: "I am not sure that the mathemati- 
cian understands this world of ours better than the poet and the 
mystic." Science should never become conceited. Why may we 
not treat of heaven and hell in mathematical terms? Sir James 
Jeans admits in his Mysterious Universe that science is not yet in 
contact with ultimate reality. And Professor Max Mueller said: 
"Who are the blind? They who cannot see the inner worlds!" Some 
go so far as to say that ultimate reality is beyond the ken of man. 
But that is a bold assumption, and is unbecoming to a scientist in 
these days of superachievements. It is then the aim and purpose of 
this book to take the hand of science and introduce it to ultimate 
reality. Does this sound like vain presumption? Nay, it is not so. 
Today there are living men, not one but many, who are in con- 
scious contact with ultimate reality. 

One living mystic says, "True religion consists in developing 
that attitude of mind which ultimately results in seeing one infi- 
nite existence prevailing throughout the universe, thus finding the 
same divinity in both art and science." This is the higher ideal of 
science. Why limit science to the test tube and microscope? Real 
science finds its ultimate domain in those broader and more beau- 
tiful worlds where only the mind and soul may enter, after being 
purified from the dross of materiality. 

Ouspensky has written a book in which he attempts to place 
side by side with scientific discoveries many spiritual realities. Thus 
he aims to show their proper relationships. That there is a very 
definite relation between the spiritual and the material should be 
understood as a fundamental premise of all investigations. How 
far Ouspensky has succeeded is a question. But the idea is a noble 
one. He might have done better if he had been in possession of the 
knowledge of the Masters concerning spiritual realities. He was a 
noble scientist himself. But he had to acknowledge that after his 



INTRODUCTION 



17 



most diligent explorations into the various fields of science he 
always found himself brought up against a blank wall. His A New 
Model of the Universe is only another attempt to explain that of 
which the writers themselves are entirely ignorant. Some are 
shrewder guessers than others. 

It is only when a man begins to rise above the world of sense 
that he actually begins to know. The Tertium Organum of Ous- 
pensky presumes to be a "key to the enigmas of the universe." But 
a man in possession of the knowledge of the Masters has that key, 
in fact. Doubt not that such a key exists. Every Master has it, and 
he offers it without money and without price to any sincere stu- 
dent. The science of the Masters is the only system in the world 
which offers a definite and scientific anthroposophy. Rudolph 
Steiner made a noble endeavor to discover such a science. He had 
some tight, but it is a pity that Steiner had not the clear vision of a 
real Master. Let us thank him and bless his memory, however, for 
the good work he did in calling the attention of the world to some 
of the higher truths. Doubtless he did much to prepare the way 
for a nobler science. 

Any doctrine which is to gain a lasting hold upon the thought 
of mankind or touch their lives to any degree must not only ap- 
peal to the emotions, but it must carry a spiritual uplift that will 
change the lives of its advocates. This is the great weakness of the 
prevailing religions. Their advocates do not in their fives demon- 
strate any great superiority over their fellow men who do not 
accept that religion. Not only so, but that doctrine which is to 
establish itself in the inner lives of the people must also have a 
definite appeal to the intellect. Gone are the days when thinking 
people will accept anything on the authority of a book or a priest. 
I must satisfy rational intelligence. It is just here where the sci- 
ence of the Masters makes its strongest appeal to mankind at 
ar ge. It is rational. It is scientific. 

ft of all, let us say, if the reader's impulses are sufficiently 
JJZ^jf and he wishes above all to be of service to mankind, 
^Pecially to those whom he loves, he can follow no wiser course 

n t( > qualify as a master scientist on this path. No matter if it 



18 



THE PATH OF THE MA5TERS 



takes him five, ten, or twenty years to qualify, it will pay him well. 
He will actually save time. For one who is well qualified in this 
master science can do more for humanity in one day than he 
could otherwise do in twenty years as an ordinary man. With 
assurance and high hopes we therefore send out this volume on its 
mission of love. 

The Master, the audible life stream, and spiritual liberation dur- 
ing this lifetime — these three constitute the substance of this book. 



The Path 

of the 

Masters 









1 



The Philosophical Background 



1. THE NOBLE BIRTHRIGHT OF MAN 

Judging purely from the trend of present-day events, noting the 
deep undercurrents of thought — religious* philosophical, scien- 
tific — it is the opinion of this writer that within three centuries 
from now the science of the Masters will prevail over the whole 
world. Not, indeed, accepted by everyone or even a majority; but 
it will constitute the dominant stream of thought and it will be 
generally acknowledged as the king of the sciences. By that time a 
high ethical standard of conduct will be adopted everywhere as a 
wholesome reaction from the present chaos in morals and stan- 
dards. This will come about by a universal increase in knowledge 
and an enlightened conscience. At that time the best there is in all 
systems of religion and philosophy will be separated from the 
worthless, as wheat from the chaff, and a new social order will be 
■stablished upon the foundation of rational and scientific demon- 
stration. As flowers and fruit adorn and glorify the plant, so upon 
» new intellectual, ethical and social foundation a great spiritual 
oiution will take place. This spiritual quickening will not be 

tainh by the nW S ° Cial ° rder * but wiU itSelf become the foun " 

fru*t £ f d ° f * e new order * Spirituality is not the flower or the 

i..-. etmcs and of social reconstruction, but sound ethics and a 

« order are good soil out of which spirituality may spring 



22 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



' 



up, when vitalized by the showers of living water. It will be the 
function of the Masters and their spiritual science to supply those 
living waters by connecting men with the audible life stream. 

This is the age of the intellect, but we are approaching the dawn 
of the age of the spirit. That spiritual evolution will then be ex- 
plained in terms of the science of the Masters. Is this a bold as- 
sumption? We think not. It is a rational calculation. This is the 
age of science — at least its beginning. For even science will merge 
its supreme glory in that age when spirit shall be enthroned. Soul 
and intellect should sit side by side upon the throne of world 
empire. Theological speculation is dead, or is about to breathe its 
last. Even the most religious care but Utile for dogma and meta- 
physical dissertations. They are searching for reality, for some- 
thing solid upon which to rest their tired feet. They are looking 
for reality in the realms of religion and the spiritual just as surely 
as they are looking for it in agriculture and trade. The scientific 
spirit must eventually lead mankind to adopt the scientific meth- 
od in religion. And there is but one scientific method in religion. 
There never has been but one. There never can be but one. That is 
the method of nature, the method of the Masters. There is but one 
universal God, and there has been but one way to approach him, 
and that is the method established by the Creator himself. This 
method cannot be altered or substituted by man. 

There will be congestions and fevers, when the bloodstreams of 
the nations will become impure. There will be years of stagnation 
and decades of intense activity. There will be moments of wild 
delirium. There will be the dark days of war and the bright peri- 
ods of peace. There will be retrogression and advance, but the 
retrogression will be only seeming, only temporary. In reality, the 
world will move on slowly but steadily toward the new Golden 
Age. Of course, that new satyuga' is yet many millennia distant. 
But the darkest days of this kal yuga — the Iron Age — have already 
passed. We need not be discouraged if a few stormy years inter- 
vene, when sections of the world will be war-torn by the most 

1 . Hindi and Sanskrit terms are i talicized, and when their meanings are not made clear by 
the context, they are explained in the glossary. For ease of reading, however, words which 
occur frequently are italicized only the first time they appear. 



THE NOBLE BIRTHRIGHT OF MAN 

23 

violent social eruptions known to history. When these terrible 
days have passed, all nations-chastened, cleansed and reorga- 
ruzed-wdl return to sanity and will settle down to a more steady 
advance. Only by bitter experience can man learn the foUy of 
fratricidal strife. It is utterly unthinkable that men will go on com- 
mitting suicide by wholesale slaughter, even under tie sway of 
mob psychology. T 

When the happy days of sound sense and scientific reconstruc- 
tion shall dawn, the human race shall move with quickened pace 
toward the era of light. In that new civilization the spiritual sci- 
ence of the Masters will be the guiding star. In truth, this great 
science win be and is now, the fountain source of all world civili- 
zation-though the world doesn't know it. But this science will 
come into its own by a general recognition, when men shall be- 
come sufficiently awakened to profit by it 

Nothing which is written here is to be construed as a prophecy 
Itis only an expression of the author's private convictions baseo" 
upon a careful study of history and the obvious trend of present 

great number of men who have studied the situation. One thL 

be 2ZZ\ fi n0 ! ^^ Th£ Wh0k WOdd Ca ™°t *> to the devil, 
°ecause the infinite one is guiding its destiny. 

°n digrii* i. th? ^?^° W n0t tbm tme Stance. They go 
^efTe VdotZ *5* T™' Whcn g ° ld "* oiamondshe 
•IthouJ TL t ?T ¥*° h3S n0t ytt arrived O" «* Pl^et, 
«»*> -hich bun^h aS ' ?* beinS Whidl ™ a ^ es h ^lf 

*"»° «p/«Jk Z? 8 Wh ° g ° eS ab0Ut caUifl g W^df 

Pensive 211 to ,? e WOrld ' S^** for *e ^t time a com- 

* e *** IZZZt^ MaW science in the En ^ h **m 

Prese «t the iS^ff T ite V S t0 hdp ^ m ** Promise A 
** that man has already arrived is the £«t illusion 



24 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



But that he will arrive in due time is the finest vision of the proph- 
et To prepare the way for his arrival, in ever-increasing numbers, 
is the dominating thought of the friends of man. 

All men are born to an inheritance far above and beyond their 
wildest flights of fancy. The Masters sometimes compare the soul 
to a beautiful queen who wanders away from her palace. Her 
mind becomes clouded She lays aside her royal robes, clothes 
herself in rags, and becomes an associate of the lowest of the low. 
This is a correct picture of the situation in respect to all souls, 
except those who have become really enlightened by contact with 
a Master. They have all descended from their original home in the 
kingdom of light. They are children of the King of kings. But they 
have lost all knowledge of their origin and of their noble inherit- 
ance. Their minds have grown clouded, their perceptions dulled, 
and now they have not the least idea of their innate powers and 
possibilities. Wandering about for ages in these lowlands of maya, 
they drag out a miserable existence surrounded by filth and dark- 
ness. 



2. MAN'S FIRST DUTY — TO KNOW HIMSELF 

It was, therefore, extremely appropriate that the ancient sages point- 
ed out man's first and primary duty. The Greek philosophers said, 
in substance: "Worship the gods, if you must; but your first duty is to 
find out who and what you are yourself." So they wrote over the 
doors of their temples, "Gnothe Seauton" — Know Thyself. And 
that is today the first command of the modern Masters. To know 
oneself, however, in the meaning of that phrase as given by the 
great Masters, is a very different thing from the meaning given it 
by the modern psychologist. This fact will become apparent to the 
reader as he advances into this book. So long as man believes 
himself to be only a creature of the earth, a worm of the dust, 
limited and bound by the physical, he will remain so. But he is 
only limited and bound because he chooses to remain so. When a 
man gets but a glimpse of what he really is now, and especially of 



I 



MAN'S FIRST DUTY — TO KNOW HIMSELF 2 5 

what he may yet become by a little effort, that knowledge will give 
him the greatest possible inspiration. 

Men are extremely proud of their intellectual achievements, and 
indeed they are considerable. But lying latent in man's brain is a 
capacity one million times greater than he is now using. Great 
scientists' now assert that the average man of today uses only a 
fraction of his brain cells. This is an amazing thing. What were 
those cells put there for? What would happen, what could man 
not do, if he should awaken to his possibilities and begin to use 
his brain at full capacity? Who can envision such an awakening? 
Truly, the real man has not yet arrived. 

If we but make note of only a few of the achievements of mod- 
ern intelligence during the last half-century, we may begin to catch 
glimpses of human possibilities. We are amazed to discover such 
gigantic and revolutionary changes in the earth as the diastrophic 
records show hidden away in subterranean rocks. But a more amaz- 
ing phenomenon presents itself to the student when he takes note 
of the current records, during his own lifetime, proving that greater 
changes have taken place during the last half-century in the daily 
life of man than in all the preceding centuries since the time of 
Christ. Progress has taken to the airplane. It doesn't walk any- 
more. It travels at three or four hundred miles per hour, and that 
will soon be exceeded. Yet all of the modern achievements of man 
m science and invention, in control of the earth itself and nature's 
forces, are as nothing when compared with what man may do 
when he comes consciously into his inheritance. The accomplish- 
ments of the mind, gigantic as they may now appear, are as the 
Pay of tittle children when compared to the possible triumph of 

can d souL If ever y brain W the world were working at full 

« pacity, even then the achievements of the intellect would be as 

tmng when compared to what may be done by mind and soul 

*mg together under the full fight of spiritual illumination. 

the con? 3 ? * sub J u S ated his Passions, brought his mind under 

ntrol of spuit, when soul stands unfettered and undimmed, 




«us Carrel, m.d., Man the Unknown (New York Harper, 1935). 



26 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



THE MEW SOCIAL ORDER 






it is then and then only that he wiH begin to get some idea of his 
exalted birthright 

The world has always gazed with awe upon a miracle. But to the 
highly developed man, the Master, miracles are like the play of 
children, as when a child blows bubbles. The real Master can ma- 
nipulate the forces of nature as a mechanic manipulates the levers 
of his machine. He is master of those forces. They must obey him. 
He is no longer a helpless drifter in nature's vortex. But how fallen 
from his high estate is the average man! How pitiable his plight! 
Bent as a twig by every breeze that blows, a prey to every hostile 
creature that crosses his path, a victim of poverty, disease, pain, 
death, he doesn't know that he is a god clothed in rags! He is 
master of the universe, going about begging a crust of bread. He is 
a king, prostrated before his own servants. He is a prisoner, walled 
in by his own ignorance. Would he be free? He has only to walk 
out of his self-constructed prison: "None holds ye, but yourself," 
says the noble Buddha. 



3. THE NEW SOCIAL ORDER 

Science is the keynote of this age of the intellect. Science is the 
magnum opus of this age. It may almost be said to be the habit of 
the age. It is the vogue. The practical or applied sciences are daily 
becoming more popular. To science, men are turning more and 
more for the solution of all of their material problems. A little 
more than three hundred years ago Sir Nicholas Bacon gave to 
modern science her firstborn son, in the days when Elizabethan 
England was in the zenith of her greatness. When that son, Francis 
Bacon, became Lord Chancellor, he was already recognized as a 
philosopher. In him was thus early embodied the synthesis of 
world thought. He then laid the foundations of modern science. 

The great Renaissance of learning began with Roger Bacon, 
almost three hundred years before Francis Bacon. The torch of 
genius was then taken up by Leonardo da Vinci. It was thrown 
into the sky by Copernicus and Galileo. Their bold stand, in spite 






of ecclesiastical suppression, gave hope to the timid spirit of the 
age. The research of Gilbert and Vesalius called out the slumbering 
genius of pre-Reformation days, and then came Francis Bacon to 
call together the training school of Europe. It was a time of general 
awakening from the dark night of medieval ignorance. Savonarola 
and Luther, John Knox and the Wesleys, came into the general stir 
not so much to inculcate science but to awaken the stupefied 
spirit. At about the same time, Kabir Sahib and Guru Nanak were 
doing the same thing in India. They were trying to quicken the 
religious and spiritual instincts. In America the pilgrims were at 
that time too busy fighting the Indians and building themselves 
homes to bother much about new concepts in religion and science 
That came later. It was an era when the whole world was just 
beginning to sit up and take notice. Nevertheless, it was the birth 
period of modem scientific thought. 

Science has always had to contend with three powerful obsta- 
cles to its progress, each of which was almost insurmountable 
These three are monarchist^ priestcraft and popular ignorance. Slow- 
ly and steadily science has been obliged to fight every step of its 
way against these three. Can anyone explain this obtrusive phe- 
nomenon of history? Science is today almost universally recog- 
nized as a great friend of man. Religion is supposed to be a friend 
or man, and yet the two have been in deadly conflict during nearly 
Uie entire period of known history. But science has had one strong 
«"y m philosophy. The function of philosophy has been to take up 
e ftnomgs of science and give them a place in rational thought. 
«*tt respect the services of such men as Bacon, Spinoza, Vol- 

^n o^r erS ° n, L BerkeIeyj ** He * el > S P encer > Schopenhauer and 
of sal NietZSche ' have ■« be «i of incalculable value to the genius 
^cience ln Its battles for freedom. 

^ a2 8aVe , t0 *** W ° rld a method of stud y- But Philosophy 
U ght that S iT t0 ° mUCh ab ° Ut evoluti °n- Now, thanks to the 
a ^ale v«?- T ^ dimmed ' monarc "isrn is dead. There is not 
t0 ° serio' 8C u V^ ° n earth m itS ° W form - We n <*d not take 
P 35 * as chin P S ° f m ° dem dtaaorship. They will soon 
age. n% autumn ™«k They are by-products of a passing 













28 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



The second enemy of progress, priestcraft, is now almost an 
absurd anachronism. H. G. Wells calls it "a funny old thing." It 
still exists in an anemic form, but time and science will finish it 
ere long. There remains now but one of the formidable three — 
popular ignorance — to block the progress of science, and even 
that is slowly passing away. In a recent tour of the world, this 
writer was amazed to find in almost every village of the remote 
corners of the glpbe that the English language is carrying the rudi- 
ments of enlightenment and establishing schools where the ele- 
mentary sciences are being taught. Truly, this is the age of science, 
the dawn of universal enlightenment. 



4. A GREAT SPIRITUAL AWAKENING 

To the discerning student one thing more is apparent in this gen- 
eral forward movement of world enlightenment. It is the fact that 
along with scientific education there is a parallel current of spiri- 
tual awakening. The student has to look a little deeper to see this. 
It is not on the surface Like the scientific wave and it has not 
affected so many people as the other. But today it is a tremendous 
force in the world. There was a time when Darwinism threatened 
to sweep all philosophy into the muddy stream of animal biology. 
Men were about to overlook the fact that souls existed. But again 
that light, which no superficial speculation could dim for long, 
has emerged from the fogs and now it daily grows brighter. Mater- 
ialism no longer sits upon her throne unchallenged. 

When Henri Bergson entered the arena of modem thought, he 
at once did something to smash the mechanistic theory of the 
universe and to see in the world a complex whole, throbbing with 
light and Life. 'Creative evolution' was to him not an orderly uni- 
verse evolving out of chaos by the blind impulses of physical force, 
but a thing of life and beauty and, above all, a thing of soul. Life is 
more than a piece of mechanism fortuitously thrown together by 
blind forces. Life is not simply protoplasm acted upon by chem- 
ical osmosis and electrical reactions. The duration of a living 



I 



A GREA T SPIRITUAL A WAKENING 



organism is dependent upon something more than a chance accu- 
mulation of cells, gotten together by natural selection and held 
together by the survival of the fittest. Bergson was ashamed that 
men should be thought of as machines. And Bergson ventures to 
hope that life may outlive mortal limits. No barriers can be set up 
before the onward march of life. He declares that the whole army 
of the living is sweeping on to some mighty achievement, and at 
last it may beat down resistance and clear the most formidable 
obstacles, perhaps even death itself." 

Bergson comes closer to the point of this book when he says: 
To explore the most sacred depths of the unconscious; that will 
be iheprtnapal task of psychology in the century which is open- 
ing. I do not doubt that wonderful discoveries await it there " If 
the psychology of the West would lend an ear to the Eastern Mas- 
by Ber^on™ ^ ^ " ""^ these discove ries P'esaged 

Thinking men have set up two radically opposed views in bio- 
logical science. They are vitalism and mechanism. Vitalism presup- 
poses a cause of life entering into matter from a plane of being 
above matter, as we know it. Professor H. H. Newman of the 
Unive rsitv of chica g0 thinks that the vitalistic view is op^os d to 

doubtThf i e T^t ha l Ied t0 * Sdentifk -hievementBut we 
SetV r ^ °. th f h ° WeVer mUch ** S° od P'° f *^ may 
ntr of L °* M f*u ** SdentiSt needs t0 ^^ tl * -derli 
of mal r Th e the Universalit y of kws operating in the world 
Cfte I ru ^ SUm H P tKm ls ™*Y m opposed to the vitalistic 

Sate 12 n?^ m 7 ^ Pr ° Ceed "** SeCurit y- But ^ 
to We ^ &C3i manifestations « quite another mat- 

^d w L aSSUme ■ that deCtridty W ° rks accordin S » a set of 
^rce -rfli ? SCIent,St "*■ queStion **• but ** <*™e or the 
ler ns of nhv i C ^^ Stm remalnS ° ne of m ****** P«*- 
itself, XZ^ SCienCe * S ° ll * m re S ard to *» s °urce of life 

*'p^K' we see m ' s raarvelous d ^y of acti ^ 

* hi *er I' en T C h C d ° eS n0t Pf sume »» say whence it comes nor 

m t0 be dfsco V Ji e K OUrCe ° f b ° th electricit y and life ™™™ 
^covered by science. Why is this so? Because physical 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 
30 

science has not yet the means of following either one of them to 
its ultimate source. Yet the Masters have such means 

OrTtrouble has been that the advocates of the vitahstic theory 
have assumed the existence of an unknown and unknowable force 
to which they attribute the phenomena of hfe. This has been the 
one weakness wHch has deprived them of any chance to estabh h 
Lit own theory in rational thought If this subtle force U indeed 
unknown and unknowable, then we may not blame the materialis- 
tic scientist for his mechanistic assumptions. The one theory is 
about as good as the other, or as bad. The fact remains that the 
position of the physical scientists is not proven; mtf& &** 
claim that it can be proven. They simply assume it and then be- 
lieve it unscientific and undignified for them to acknow edge the 
existence of any force which cannot be demonstrated in then lab- 
omtori . AndL cannot blame them for this attitude. Until they 
S something of the science of the Masters, their hypothecs is 
doubtless the more rational. But the Masters are no so tamted as 
are the physical scientists. Their science is more mckisive. Unhke 
all others who hold to the vitalistic hypothesis, the Masters do not 
assume the existence of an unknown and unknowable force giving 
rise to the phenomena of hfe. They assume nothing. Thi « not 
simply an hypothesis for them. They deal with forces which they 
S And the Masters know that life is due to a force extraneous 
to matter, and they know that biological phenomena cannot man- 
ifest as a result of the known laws of matter and energy On the 
contrary, these phenomena exist as the direct result of the action 
of spirit upon matter, through the intermediary action of efctremdy 
subtie substances or forces that science has not yet demonstrated- 
These finer forces are, in fact, the more refined forms of matte 
wSch up to this date have not been demonstrated m the physical 

kb That°mmd and spirit play a vital part in every ***^^f 
life upon this planet is, of course, not yet known to .ph^al sci- 
ence. But it is well known to the Masters. Physical saenceis in no 
position to deny this fact so well known to the Masters The Mas- 
ters are able to penetrate into the deeper substrata of nature. They 



A GREAT SPIRITUAL AWAKENING 



can see the inner workings of all laws and processes. There is not a 
blade of grass or an insect or an animal which is absolutely devoid 
of mind and spirit. Furthermore, mind and spirit are the activat- 
ing forces of all forms of life. Without them both, no living thing 
could survive for a single moment. When matter is quickened by 
the all-pervading, life-generating mind and spirit, working in har- 
mony, it begins to manifest the phenomena of life. When mind 
and spirit are withdrawn, life ceases at once and disintegration 
sets in. 

All that physical science knows is that life manifests in certain 
ways. It follows certain well-attested laws. Scientists do not even 
try to guess the ultimate causes of life. Only the Masters, having 
access to the higher planes of being where the phenomena of both 
mind and spirit can be seen by them, know that without mind and 
spirit both, no life can manifest on this physical plane or on any 
other plane where matter is a factor in such manifestation. As a 
matter of fact, no physical scientist can possibly prove that this is 
not so. They are simply obliged to say that they know nothing 
about it. Then to support their weakening prestige they naively 
assert that no one else can possibly know anything about it. They 
are loathe to allow the assumption of mind and spirit animating 
nature. But this is no assumption to the Masters. As said before, 
they know. It is just as 'unscientific' to assert that the mechanical 
laws of matter and energy can produce life as to assert that they 
cannot. Neither can possibly be proved by the physical scientist 
working alone. Therefore, one assumption is as good as the other, 
ev en from the viewpoint of the theologian who claims that an 
unknown and unknowable force does produce Hfe. But, as said 
before, the Masters assume nothing. They speak from perfect 
knowledge and they know that all biological phenomena on the 
Physical plane of hfe are due to the interplay of both mind and 
s pirit acting upon matter. The Masters know what the oldest and 

ost renowned scientists have always assumed as the fundamen- 
t^W of biogenesis. 

Lir masters of the laboratory must not any longer try to 'squeeze 



all the 



cosmos into a test tube'. It cannot be done. The spirit is 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



A GREAT SPIRITUAL AWAKENING 



abroad in the daylight and it must be heard. At the same time, we 
need not worry lest science run away with religion and bury it in 
the potter's field. Wl need not join with Rousseau in an effort to 
curb scientific thinking for fear it may snatch away our pet god. If 
they can take the god, let them have it. It is only a rag baby. We 
have no need to push aside the demands of science to enthrone 
religion and intuition. Science and religion are no longer enemies. 
Indeed the hour is approaching, and now is, when these two an- 
gels of light shall meet in mystic union, and then it will be seen 
that they are not enemies, not even friends, but are one and the 
same being. And then will dawn the new age, the Golden Age. 
That will be the age of reason spoken of by Thomas Paine. And it 
will be the age of the super-science, the period of the super-genius, 
the arrival of the superman, the man who has realized his true 
inheritance. 

Just as the physiological psychology of James and others can 
never reduce mind to the materialistic level of brain cells and 
nerve ganglia, "secreting thought as the liver secretes bile," so the 
established facts of science can never displace spirit from man or 
the universe. The most they can say is that they know nothing 
about it Science will eventually be obliged to recognize that spirit 
is the supreme force in nature, as well as the immortal spark in 
man himself. When science becomes vitalized by spirit, the age of 
true science will dawn. But at present, science has no way of dem- 
onstrating this fundamental fact of nature, and it is not to be 
blamed for its limitations. We would only suggest that it avoid 
dogmatism until the day of its enlightenment. The two currents 
are now running along side by side, and as men gain in scientific 
knowledge, a few are beginning to look for the solution of spirit- 
ual and religious problems by the scientific method. When the 
world's thinkers adopt the scientific method in religion, both sci- 
ence and religion will experience a new birth. Then it will be seen 
that all truth is one, its several aspects being but parts of the same 
radiant being. And this is exactly what the Eastern wisdom is now 
trying to bring about. As Francis Bacon threw into the sky the 
torch of science, and gathered about its blazing light the whole of 



thinking Europe, even so the scientific method of the spiritual 
Masters now offers to the world a system which will enable all 
men to enter the domain of certified knowledge in religion, just as 
truly as in chemistry or biology. When the masters of physical 
science shall, at the same time, qualify as spiritual Masters, the age 
of pure science will open up. All spiritual Masters are also masters 
of physical science; but up to the present they have been very few 
in number, and their own work very pressing. Besides, the teach- 
ing of physical science is not their mission. We believe, however 
that the time must come when the spiritual dimension of reality 
will be considered by all odds the most essential part of the curric- 
ulum to be undertaken by the student who aspires to be called a 
real scientist. 

Upon this splendid foundation the new social order will be 
established. Soul culture and mental culture and physical culture 
all working hand in hand, will produce the educated man With- 
out them all, no man can lay any claim to genuine culture. There 
must be a resetting of cultural foundations. Political and social 
ideals are changing; even ethical standards are not what they were 
half a century ago. This has led many good people to shiver with 
oread, lest the future witness the total wreck of civilization They 
need not worry. Out of the dying past, a brighter future will spring, 
ennched by a spiritualized science. 

AnS da £ ^ ? 0lltiCal dema » ( «ue are numbered, even in 
Ttt 'i Jt £ ! i ° f £Very dreamer ' from *• davs of p kto down 
upon th u ^ f 1001 W ' haS beCn t0 eStablish ** *** "topia 
thaTvT \ S , mtUral SdenCe - M0 ° re ** Pkt0 °**f "toed 
no idl 1S ! n ^ substratum of ev «y thinking brain; viz., that 
the fon a ° r ? Cr Can ^ be establist *ed until science is made 
the Do ^ °f government. And this can be done only when 

men em ^ mone y-™ n &* ™ thrown out of office and 

^en t h at T" m S ° eno t are S iven the reins of government. But 
Men of K &%** Safe ** sound m a working policy 

^nce eT S ' I ?„ "Kf ^^ experts ~ m ** branche * of 

m » si "CbeJ )f Y ^ SpCdalist in his own department, 
<*> be morally sound, that is, they must manifest soul as wen 



k 



34 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 






as intellect. And this will be an accomplished fact just as soon as 
religion is placed upon a scientific foundation — not before. That 
will mean an all-around development of our specialists. When 
that happy day arrives, such men as aspire to governmental posi- 
tions will first have to show that they are guided in all essential 
matters by an enlightened conscience, inspired by an unselfish 
love. After that, they will qualify in their several departments of 
science. A government by such experts, call it oligarchy, or what 
you will, shall constitute the first civilized government of history. 



5. NO DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT KNOWN 

Men talk and write much about democracy. I suppose many Ameri- 
cans fondly believe that they live under a democratic form of 
government. But that is a pet delusion, a tale to be told to children 
along with other pretty fairy stories. It may be good for Fourth of 
July orators or men seeking election to office. But it is no more 
than an illusion. It only appears real because men and women 
vote to elect their favorites. There is not a real democratic govern- 
ment in the world and there never has been one. There is nothing 
but oligarchy, and that is mosdy an oligarchy of wealth. It is not 
even an oligarchy of culture. That would be infinitely better. Vot- 
ers are simply manipulated. A few men rule the nation. The mass- 
es move like sheep and do as they are told. Can you imagine a 
hundred million people going to war of their own free choice? 
They are always led into war or driven into it by a few ambitious 
or misguided politicians. Of course, when one nation goes to war, 
the attacked must defend themselves. And that is the only time 
when a war is fully justified. But what starts the aggression? The 
five passions, ignorance and misunderstanding on the part of the 
leaders. The real people, the hoi polloi, are not governing them- 
selves. "A government of the people, by the people, for the peo- 
ple" has never existed, except in the noble heart of a Lincoln or 
some such friend of man. What we really have is an oligarchy of 
'the men of influence'. And that generally means men of money. 
We know that is so. 



NO DEMOCRA TIC GO VERNMENT KNO WN 

35 

Hence the ideal government, as herein suggested, would mean 
nothing more than the substitution of a noble oligarchy in the 
p ace of an ignoble one. But even that is not the ideal. It may be 
added here, as a matter of fact, that the real government is an 
absolute monarchy. But the difficulty about that is that in order to 
secure such an ideal monarchy, it would first be necessary to find 
an .deal monarch. There is the rub. There is but one class of men 
on earth who can qualify for that position, and they will not accept 
it-the great Masters. Their work is of a different sort. The next 
best plan >s a spiritualized, scientific oligarchy. That oligarchy will 
lay all the emphasis upon the spirit. 

Let us make a significant suggestion. Suppose a whole nation is 
inhabited by the great Masters alone. What would be their form of 
government? Shall we venture a guess? No government at all. And 
that is , after all, the ideal social body. But such an ideal can never 
be established until all men become ideal in character. All that 
such a body would need would be keepers of records and centers 
of exchange and directors of channels of communication The ex- 
pense of such a nation would be but a millionth part of what the 

St U f °? n ° W S ? Cnds for the P° orest government. Of course, 
such a body of men is but a dream in this time of Kal Yuga 

Pr sidenrU V ^ f T get ^ * "* Univerait r °f Chicago, when 
P esident McKinley was addressing a mass meeting of faculty and 

Phtsooh IT f " ^^ ' ^ h£ad ofth "department of 
Ph-osophy, sat by this writer. He was keenly mterested in every 

my elfTh r h by McKinJey * * W3S appareDt ' even » * novice Ii2 
yselt that here was a man alive with the fires of genius. McKin- 

X made some remark about the educated young men of the coun- 
Profe"? r? Saentlfk Spirft int ° * channels of s °^ activity. 

"nt pint 17 tU t T d k ^ 3nd Said ' ' <That ^ never be S 
of £he !£££$ VUali2e the P r ° cesses of sci ^ Spirit is the soul 

J^ot know if his later teaching bore out the import of this 

»* world. S and h[S lnn ° vatlv e ^tem which reformed the libraries of 



36 



THE PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND 



remark. If in his Democraqr and Education he fails to lay enough 
emphasis upon the point which he so eloquently declared that 
day, perhaps it was due to preoccupation with other and, to him, 
more immediately urgent matters. He had a profound interest in 
humanity and it was his wish to contribute somewhat to the build- 
ing of a better social order. His aim was to do this by means of 
rational, scientific education. It was natural that he should lay the 
emphasis upon scientific training in actual work. The culture of 
the spirit might be left to men whose speciality that was — the 
Masters. It seems such a pity, however, that Dewey did not know a 
real Master. He would have made a most illustrious disciple. 

So, when the day arrives that the work of the educators, the 
scientists, the philosophers, all converge and join with spiritual 
culture in a new and universal science of all sciences, that will 
herald the dawn of the new age. That will constitute the inaugura- 
tion of the new social order. If Dewey fails to give much credit to 
the Bergsonian £lan, it is perhaps because he does not feel the 
necessity of talking too much about irrelevant things. He was busy 
with other matters. If Dewey appears to be wholly Darwinian in 
his fundamental hypotheses, that does not mean that he has alto- 
gether forgotten the spirit. If he thought to establish the naturalist 
point of view in all fields of endeavor, it does not mean that he 
believes the universe to be a jumble of blind adjustments to envi- 
ronment. Dewey sums up his conclusions by saying: 



NO DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT KNOWN 



37 

the spirit and when it seeks enrichment of the spirit by the sden 
o"fo°ry' ^ ^ ** ** "*» * *« SS&S 

tins world is not his home, and thS B5S£552 
a feeder o swine among strangers, while far away the h'ht burns 
in fa* Fathers palace He knows that this world is or!y a Z 
outhouse ta the magnificent palace grounds of his Fair's kt* 
dom. The Masters tell us that above and beyond th !fi K 
this terrestrial m prt *rf a * r ■ "eyona tne confines of 

j ? ^ P , duSt he "Numerable worlds full of hVht 

and beauty To explore those worlds at will and t , p«L° 2E 
dunng this hfetime s only a portion of our he^^Sto 
But to most people that vast universe of finer worlds feSS 
unpenetrable. To manv it ft hnt a f.k • i ? cked and 



The only way to see the situation steadily, and see it whole, is to 
keep in mind that the entire problem (of all philosophy and 
endeavor) is one of the developments of science and its applica- 
tion to life. Moral philosophy returns to its first love: love of the 
wisdom that is nurse of all good. 

It may be added here, although Dewey did not have in mind 
that "the wisdom that is nurse of all good" is the wisdom of the 
great spiritual Masters, Dewey may have realized, or he may not 
have realized, that in the realm of the spirit lies that wisdom which 
is the very mother of all good. When mankind learns to enthrone 






THE SPIRITUAL PLIGHT OF MANKIND 



39 



2 



A Review of World Religions: 
Their Meaning and Analysis 






1 THE SPIRITUAL PLIGHT OF MANKIND 
There is no wonder that men take to religion, even if they have 
to invent one. Voltaire has said that religion is the solace of the 
weak™ etzsche has repeated this in substance. Be that as it may 
rteak need some support, and I would not take their rehgion 
away from them, even if 1 knew well that it was only an lUusionary 
Product Religion has been a haven of refuge for miliums who 
mourn dand%ered. It is undeniable that it has generally been 
ZZzM who sought surcease of sorrow in **£*£££ 
happened to be near them. And who can blame them? A drown 

^rwotdSXkTes, pain and grief. That fact could not 
beltpt from the noble prince Siddhaxtha, ***%£££ 
his father's palace. And when he saw it m all its ghastly features 
SSr mm in the face, he went forth, filled with compassion to 
S remedy. Every individual in the world must seek the path for 
himself, and walk upon it for himself. 



Spiritual darkness broods over the world and all men are sick 
from it. Spiritually, and often physically, the whole of mankind is 
sick, blind, deaf and dumb, and covered with sores. Cancers of 
moral corruption eat their way slowly into the vitals of the human 
race. Not a man escapes entirely. 

Truly the world is in a lost condition. This is a theological term, 
but we may use it because it is most applicable to the situation. 
Every man is not only sick, but he is lost in a dense wood, a 
tangled forest, without path or compass, no sun and no stars; 
because he is blind. Moreover, he is suffering from the worst case 
of amnesia ever known. He has no recollection of his original 
home or inheritance. In this deplorable condition, he wanders on 
from year to year. In addition to this mental and spiritual plight, 
many are suffering from physical ills; they are heartsick, worn and 
weary. 

This is a picture of the great majority of the human race in 
some degree or other. Are they not lost? They stumble on, gener- 
ally hopeless, pressing their weary way, they know not whither, 
and sometimes by the way they stop and pray. But there is no 
response from the rocks and the trees, and their gods are as silent 
as the cold, distant stars. Each night drags by, and the day brings 
on increased weariness. They cry for bread and there is nothing 
but stones. We are not speaking of the favored few, but of the 
masses of the poor and ignorant. Are they not lost? Even the 
majority of the rich and highly placed are not happy. Here and 
there an isolated individual laughs, while others seek relief in mad 
passion. 

This picture is not too dark. If you know the world as this 
writer has seen it during the last seventy years, you will agree. But 
why am I calling attention to the dark side of life? In order that I 
ma y point to the remedy. Nearly all men, in addition to their 
trier troubles, are beset on all sides by the five enemies, the pas- 
ions driven by them under the lash, sometimes almost to mad- 
^s- This affects the rich as much as the poor. When they cry for 
Ppeasement, for a little comfort, a little moment of respite, the 

^ons mock their victims with a tantalizing drop, a crust, some- 



40 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



times a moment of deceptive pleasure, and then they drive them 
on through the long days and the maddening years. The young 
grow old in the vain search for a little light, an hour of peace. 
Everywhere there is a constant fever of unrest, a never-ending 
search for what they never find. Most of them do not even know 
for what they are searching. 

If some dear optimist feels inclined to blame me for telling this 
truth, for painting a dark picture, let him know that I am diagnos- 
ing the case with one hand while I hold the remedy in the other. I 
am not a pessimist. Neither do I believe it wise to shut one's eyes 
to plain facts. Where is the man who can say he is happy? If 
anyone is a little less burdened today, who can say but tomorrow 
may find him again deep in the shadows? Where is the man or 
woman who can claim immunity from sin and the passions? Mor- 
al strength is practically nil, except in the case of a few superior 
souls. Of spiritual light there is no more than a feeble glimmering, 
a flickering candle here and there in the universal darkness. The 
bulk of humanity has neither morality nor spirituality. The masses 
are really sick, groping their uneasy way toward an unknown des- 
tiny. There is no freedom, not even physical freedom. Who can 
say he is master of his own body? The entire human race are but 
driven slaves. Truly the condition of mankind is deplorable. Men 
struggle up and down the world in a fever of unrest, all the while 
crying for something, they know not what. And then a few turn to 
religion for relief. If a man attains a little pre-eminence in some of 
the virtues, he is seized by one or more of the tormenting passions 
and is again dragged down to the common level. If not that, he is 
always trembling on the verge of collapse. There is no rest. From 
youth to old age, cares and anxieties multiply, while the angel of 
death always stands in the background awaiting his day and hour. 
There is no security. Wealth, health, power, momentary pleasures, 
pass in a flash and are gone. Happiness? Where is it? Who can say 
that he has not a single heartache or worry? Last of all, a man faces 
that dark unknown — at which he shudders and wonders. The great 
reaper mows him down and the night falls upon him, leaving him 
mingled with his kindred dust. 



THE SPIRITUAL PLIGHT OF MANKIND 



41 



At best, life offers only a few pleasant sensations, a brief deliri- 
um of power, a mad moment of passion. Then comes the lonely 
silence, the long silence, out of which no voice of consolation reach- 
es those who are left behind. Is it any wonder that in such a plight 
men turn to religion? Is it surprising that many desolate souls, 
seeking peace of mind and spiritual light, rush away to some con- 
vent or to some jungle cave? That is better than suicide. Religion is 
a very good anesthetic for the dull pains of life. But who can say 
that it cures the disease? 

Pressed by the common ills, the great majority seek one of three 
points of refuge: they either set up the mournful dirge of the pessi- 
mist, or rush into the mad whirl of the bacchanalian revel, or they 
take to religion. Of the three, the last is surely the best. No good to 
sit down and cry. No good to complain and indulge in self-pity or 
find fault with others. Still worse it is to commit suicide. It is al- 
ways "better to bear those ills we have than fly to others that we 
know not of." It is useless to preach pessimism to people with a 
healthy liver and good stomach. They simply will not have it. A 
torpid liver and a constipated bowel have led many people to seek 
comfort in religion or to hate their neighbors. 

If a man plunges into the whirl of passionate sensations, he 
emerges with bankruptcy staring him in the face. Always he is met 
with the stern demand: "Please remit." Every kiss has its price. 
Every pleasure comes with the bill attached, and sooner or later he 
is pressed to pay, pay, pay! We watch the passing show. We chase 
after the mirage. Finally the disillusioned soul goes out in search of 
reality. He is so tired of the sham and the counterfeit. But where 
shall he find reality? Frequendy he turns, like Noah's dove, home- 
ward again, finding no resting place in the whole world. Nothing 
ut a dreary waste and turbulent waves. At last the seeker comes to 
. 12e the aptness of the Master's picture of the man in mid-ocean 

a small boat, tossed and drenched by gigantic waves, with im- 
CQ ment deat h staring him in the face. This explains the situation 
fed r ° nting most of the human race. The more enlightened man 
b e , t S f mUch as SiIemis did when asked by King Midas what was the 

5t rate f or man . He replied: 



42 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Pitiful race of a day! Children of accidents and sorrows! Why 
do you force me to say what were better left unheard? The best 
of all is unobtainable— not to be bom at all. The next best is to 
die early. 

Many brave souls have quivered upon the brink of destiny with 
such an outlook. Many have gone voluntarily back into the dark- 
ness. 



2. DOES THE REMEDY CURE THE DISEASE? 

As a remedy for all of these ills, men have persistently turned to 
religion. But has it cured the disease? Is there less pain and sorrow 
in the world than before? At best, religion is no more than an 
anodyne, a palliative; in big doses, a sort of anesthetic. But there is 
no cure in it. Mankind, in pure desperation, has created religions 
to cool its fevers here and to escape hell in the next world. 

A guilty conscience must, of course, assume a hell of some sort. 
But did it never occur to you, as you read, that hells are all created 
for the other fellow? Like laws, they are created to regulate the 
other fellow. Out of the brooding shadows come the priest and 
the prophet holding a candle in their hands. Men fall at their feet 
and bless them for that candle of hope. It is no exaggeration to say 
that at least three thousand different forms of religion have ap- 
peared since history began, and each one has been eagerly grabbed 
up by hungering souls. The whole world, sick and weary, longs for 
a remedy for its ills. It seeks rest from its intolerable burdens. But 
where shall it find relief? That is the ever-recurring question. Thou- 
sands and thousands of answers have been given to this question, 
and still there is no answer — except one. 

While many have turned to religion, a few ultra-scientific minds 
have boldly declared that they find nothing in religion. They find 
no trace of a god, and nothing at all comes out of the silence 
beyond the grave. The ashes of the funeral pyre give no whisper of 



DOES THE REMEDY CURE THE DISEASE? 



43 



what has become of the life that once animated them. Men must 
just go on suffering and fighting bravely, and then lie down and 
die bravely. And that is the end. But such doubtful souls might 
profit by the words of Socrates of the old Greek dialectic school. 
In a moment of humble surrender he said: 

Perhaps what is not intelligible to me is not therefore unrea- 
sonable. There may be a realm of wisdom from which the 
logician is banished. 

And so the great Masters say. Perhaps there may be worlds of 
wisdom from which even the modern scientists are banished. If 
so, their banishment is self-imposed. At least it is not wise that 
these scientists should assert dogmatically that such worlds do not 
exist simply because they have not been able to see them. The 
Masters have seen them. And the Masters are prepared to point 
the way so that any scientist may see them if he wishes and has the 
humility to accept the necessary conditions. 

But in the absence of knowledge, the multitudes have generally 
turned to religion. Out of the common need, many forms of reli- 
gion have sprung up, each struggling toward the light. But even a 
candle is better than no fight at all. It may be accredited to the 
infinite mercy of the great Oversold that so many religions have 
been given to the world, each one serving its purpose in its own 
day and time, when people were not ready for anything better, 
the greatest trouble with these religions has been that they exhibit 
deplorable tendency to live too long after their day of usefulness 
035 passed. 

sollff m l ant ' S nourished b y a lovin S mother when it cannot take 
Md d : A boun dless love shelters and supports the human race 

oruV VC k "' m e3Ch day and age * What U can best ^im^te. It is 
of I lI I day of its ma i orit y that it is drawn to the banquet table 
we king where the Master presides. 

"ien n o f diffiCUlty haS been that the founders of religions, usually 

subtle f Pmtual msl ^ lt ' who themselves had penetrated to some 

Plane, were obliged to leave the world so soon. Their work 



44 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



was not complete; they left it to immature disciples who generally 
made a mess of it. Life is so short. So seldom do the disciples 
become real Masters. The Masters tell their disciples that they 
have realized God in themselves, but as soon as they depart, the 
disciples begin to say that they feel God in themselves. Therein lies 
a vast difference. The Masters see God. They do not feel him. And 
that constitutes an essential difference. Feeling is more or less 
blind and wholly unreliable. The Masters actually enter and ex- 
plore the kingdom of heaven, the supraphysical regions, but the 
disciples read about it in books and begin to speculate. 

Religions have been fostered through feelings and metaphysical 
speculations. But in every case, the founders of such religions claim 
that they got their knowledge by sight and hearing, not by feeling. 
Thus they speak from personal knowledge. Hence the ever-recur- 
ring need for living Masters. Let us not assert that we have no 
need for a living Master, How does anyone know that he has no 
such need? He is judging a thing about which he knows absolutely 
nothing. It is idle to plead that we have a book, and that all revela- 
tion is closed. You will not find any such statement in any reli- 
gious book; and who is so wise as to make the assertion? That is 
the most unwarranted assumption that has ever gone down into 
history. A sick man may, with as much reason, assert that he has 
no need for a doctor because he has a book which gives him the 
prescription. The living Master is the great physician who diag- 
noses our individual cases and then administers the medicines. 
That is exactly the difference between all world religions and the 
scientific system of the living Masters. 

Before giving the teachings of the Masters, it appears fitting, 
even necessary, to sketch briefly the several world religions and try 
to point out not then faults or weaknesses but their best elements, 
and also the services which they have rendered to mankind. If we 
indicate incidentally some of their shortcomings when compared 
with the system of the Masters, that will be done only to enable us 
to offer constructive suggestions. As said elsewhere, the best way 
to indicate the deficiencies of anything is to set by it something 
which is perfect. The difference then becomes apparent. 

No religion is to be condemned. No religion is to be denounced 



DOES THEREMEDYCURE THEDISEASE' 

45 

as false. It may be said, we believe, that all religions are gifts from 
the great superintendent of world history. The world is not run- 
ning wild without a director. Let us not be so pessimistic. Neither 
is the devil the captain of this ship. Let us not think so poorly of 
supreme wisdom The world has been benefited by all religions in 
the days of their inception. If some of their adherents have mis- 
used their religion, that is perhaps no fault of the religion itself 
Neither should we condemn or disparage any of their brave and 
ardent champions Much less should they be persecuted because 
of their beliefs There is no greater or more heinous crime in 
history than religious persecution. 

Each period in world history has had its own peculiar needs. 
Generally a religion has sprung up, apparendy automatically, to 
supply that need. But we should never imagine or assume that any 
religion 1S the last word. Only the science of the Masters is all 
encompassing, and that is so because it is not a religion. It is the 
path by whch men in any age of the world may enter the king- 

lv dav Th VeD - ' " " SC1 T e Whkh may be d — trated anew 
any day. Thus i is ever alive and fresh, because it is always in 
touch with the ultimate source. Any system based upon science 
d monstrat.on must be the same in all age, Its estabLedltfof 
nature c^not change. Hydrogen and oxygen have combined to 
form water ever since the earliest mists began to hover over the 
Pmtme rocks. And so it has been that the method of approach to 

M£j" rs^ by the creator Weif > S aC 

*e P-tuXndmes^ * "^ * ^ " *" ***** « * 

«,Md°Sr t '° rCmember ¥" W ° rds ° f Viveka ^da about church- 
iMote hi^r 0118 m 8enerai - We COUld DOt ■« il bette '> *> ^t us 



"The end of all religions is the realization of God. 

^Xlhe JSJ2! mean *" ° ne must <fee1 ' h ™> f «Hn g is 
Y me result of suggestion.) He says: 



46 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

There may be a thousand radii but they all converge at the one 
center, and that is the realization of God. Something behind 
this world of sense, this world of eternal eating and drinking 
and talking nonsense, this world of false shadows and selfish- 
ness. There is that beyond all books, beyond all creeds, beyond 
the vanities of this world — and that is the realization of God 
within oneself. A man may believe in all the churches in the 
world; he may carry in his head all the sacred books ever writ- 
ten; he may baptize himself in all the rivers of the earth — still if 
he has no perception of God, I would class him with the rankest 
atheist. And a man may have never entered a church or a 
mosque, nor performed any ceremony; but if he realizes God 
within himself, and is thereby lifted above the vanities of the 
world, that man is a holy man, a saint, call him what you will. ... 
I will add that it is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die 
there. It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. 
Churches, ceremonies, symbols, are good for children; but when 
the child is grown up, he must burst either the church or 
himself. 



Since the great swami so strongly emphasizes the realization of 
God, it is fitting that we should try to make plain exactly what that 
means. In most writings on the subject, there is but little clearness 
of statement. That is because the writers themselves have never 
experienced it and they have but a hazy idea of what it means. 

First of all, it is not a feeling. Secondly, it is not a metaphysical 
speculation nor a logical syllogism. It is neither a conclusion based 
upon reasoning nor upon the evidence of books or persons. The 
basic idea is that God must become real to the individual, not a 
mental concept but a living reality. And that can never be so until 
the individual sees him. Personal sight and hearing are necessary 
before anything or anybody becomes real to us. I have never seen 
Montreal, hence that city is to me only a mental concept. But I 
have seen London, and so that city is to me a substantial reality. 
To practically all men, God is simply an abstract idea, a mental 
concept. How can one worship and love a mental concept? When 



DOES THE REMEDY CURE THE DISEASE? 



47 



most people say they love God, it simply means that they have a 
certain emotion superinduced by suggestion. It has not the least 
thing to do with God-realization. 

Now, the purpose of all religions is, according to the swami, to 
convert that mental concept into something that is real to experi- 
ence. It is only then that the worshipper can sing, "Cognosco unum 
Deum Patrem omnipotentem!" — "I know the one God, omnipo- 
tent Father," But the poverty of all religions has been their inabili- 
ty to make God real to their devotees. Can you imagine that men 
would live as they do, think and act as they do, if God were real to 
them, if they had actually seen him and loved him? It is unthink- 
able. 

It must be confessed, sad as that confession is, that no one soul 
in all history has been able to realize God by and through religious 
doctrines and ceremonies, not even by prayers and mental devo- 
tions to an ideal. We know this is so, because such realization can 
never be achieved by such means. In the very nature of the case it 
is impossible. The best they can do is to enable one to feel a little 
closer to reality or to quicken the imagination a little. If by prayer — 
smarana, or simran, and concentration — one gets into subtle re- 
gions, even to some small degree, he will experience a little uplift. 
And that is good, so far. But that feeling will never carry him to 
complete God-realization. What then is to lead him to that su- 
preme desideratum? The Masters can give you the answer, without 
equivocation. There is but one method of making God real to the 
seeker — that is, to make him see God and hear him. If you say that 
it cannot be done, that is because you are unacquainted with the 
path and the method of the Masters. When the disciple of the 
Master enters the higher planes and there beholds with his own 
finer vision some majestic embodiment of God clothed in divine 
Power and beauty; and when he hears the enchanting music of the 
nad-bindu, the audible vibrations of the Lord himself, he then 
°egins to realize God. But that realization is not complete, even at 
£) a t point. When he rises by the aid of that life stream to the still 

l gher planes, and there in great joy blends his own spiritual being 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



with the supreme Sat Punish, it is then that he experiences perfect 
God-realization — not before. 

From this fact, it must be manifest that no religious ceremony 
can accomplish so much. No mental process can do it. It is a 
personal experience that cannot be had upon this earth plane. It is 
not an experience possible to physical consciousness. One simply 
must enter the supraphysical planes to get it. Not only so, but he 
must rise to very exalted regions; and this can be accomplished 
only with the guidance of a Master. 

When the disciple of the Master ascends the inner worlds, one 
after another, until he enters Daswan Dwar, the third heavenly 
region on this path, he there beholds himself as pure spirit, stripped 
of all materiality. And that is 'self-realization'. After that, if he 
advances to the fourth and the fifth regions, he there beholds one 
or more of the most sublime manifestations of the supreme one, 
and then, merging himself with these manifestations of God, he 
comes to know God. And that is genuine God-realization. There 
is no other. No man can ever know God until he consciously 
becomes one with God. Anything short of that is more or less 
speculative, imaginary, visionary and imperfect. 

This is the summing up of the whole matter. Churches, formal 
religions, belong to the immature periods of human thought and 
evolution, that is, to the childhood of the race. Each religion serves 
its own purpose in its own day and time. But each must eventually 
give way to something more complete as mankind advances. 
Throughout the whole of human history, the very essence of reli- 
gion has been an effort to realize God. But how few have succeed- 
ed! Only the great spiritual Masters have had the perfect system by 
means of which it can be done, and the Masters have been very 
few among men. Efforts toward God- realization have always failed, 
except and only when they have followed the path of the Masters; 
for there is no other way. 

If now we pass in review each of the great religions for a few 
moments, we shall be in a better position to see exactly what good 
purpose they have served, and wherein and how they have failed 
in the supreme objective of all religion. If ardent devotees of cer- 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA 



49 



tain religions insist that many people have succeeded by their own 
methods, that is because they overestimate a partial success. Some- 
thing is gained, no doubt, by nearly all forms and ceremonies, by 
prayers and deeds of charity. But not complete God-realization — 
not even perfect self-realization. 



3, THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA 

The religions of China which invite attention here are Confucian- 
ism and Taoism. Confucius is generally regarded as a great teacher 
and founder of an ethical system, a scheme upon which he hoped 
to build his ideal government, his perfect social order. It was not 
exactly Plato's republic, but it was to be the ideal monarchy with 
an upright citizenship. Ethics, however, is not religion, and there 
is but littie among all the ethical systems of the world which is 
unique or individual. To know how to live properly among one's 
fellow men is not the same as being able to realize God. The two 
things are fundamentally different. 

In the early periods of Chinese history, a form of religious cere- 
monies and occult practices came to be known as Taoism. Its 
inception is shrouded in obscurity. We believe it dates back to 
extremely remote periods, when some real Master gave it out as 
an elucidation of the Sant Mat of his time. But when it first ap- 
peared in history, it had already undergone the usual degenerative 
changes. In spite of that fact, it still has some of the earmarks of 
me fundamentals of the Masters* system. All scholars agree that 
Tao means the Way. But this Way has been badly obstructed by 
me usual rubbish of ceremonies and superstitions. Then came Lao 
Ase, a great philosopher and reformer, who gave to Taoism some- 
what of its original interpretation. He appeared to see in It the 

ee per and more vital meaning. Lao Tse wrote a famous book 
cal led Tao Teh Chtng. This book is an exposition of the Way, 

ccording to Laotsean understanding. In it are echoes of many of 
e precepts of the Eastern wisdom, chief among which is the 
yeaning of Tao itself, the nad-bindu of the Vedas, the divine shabd 
ot me modern saints. 



5Q A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

It will be noted that Lao Tse was not satisfied with the mere 
ethics of any system. Ethics can never constitute the Way. By eth- 
ics no man can escape the eternal awagawan, the coming and 
going in regions of matter. To gain the heavenly kingdoms, escap- 
ing forever from material worlds, the student must leave the walks 
of men and go where ethics have no meaning. He must transcend 
the field of ethics, for ethics has to do solely with human relation- 
ships. In the regions of light, where God is to be realized, there is 
no ethics, no right and no wrong— there is nothing but pure love. 

Lao Tse had a great disciple who wrote the following beautiful 
words; "The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps 
nothing; it refuses nothing. It receives, but doesn't keep. Thus he 
can triumph over matter, without injury to himself." 

The idea is that when we become too closely bound up with 
matter, we descend to its level, much to our own injury. This 
brings to our attention the great precept of the Indian Masters— 
vairagya, meaning complete detachment from the world, while 
still living in it. Do not allow it to cling to you. Do not allow 
yourself to be dragged down into the mire of it. Keep the self 
above all worldly entanglements, like the lotus flower, which holds 
its beautiful head above the muddy waters, even though its roots 
are buried in them. This is the wu-wei of the Chinese sages, the 
doctrine of the non-assertion of the self. There can be no doubt 
but if we could get down to the pure and original Taoism, we 
would find a system very closely allied to, if not identical with, 
that of the Masters. 

Taoism emphasizes the doctrine of karma. The Chinese term 
for karma is yin quo. Nothing in all nature is more certain than 
the fact that no single thing or event can stand alone. It is attached 
to all that has gone before it, and it will remain attached to all that 
is to follow it. It was born of some cause, and it must be followed 
by some effect in an endless chain. That which is set in motion by 
any individual, be that individual man, dog, tree, or river, must in 
effect eventually return to that individual. It is a fixed law of na- 
ture. Attention and love are the means of connecting us with ob- 
jects external to ourselves. Whatever we desire begins at once to 



THE RELIGIONS OF CHINA 



51 



travel toward us unless a stronger desire from a different source 
attracts it. Everything in the universe is subject to Newton's laws 
of motion. By desires we are bound to objects of desire. This is 
why the complete detachment of self from every worldly object is 
necessary. It avoids bondage to those things. This is why we should 
love nothing with a desire to possess it. The moment we do so, we 
enter the first stages of slavery. We should not even desire rewards 
for our actions. He who looks to rewards will become a slave to such 
rewards. So long as a man craves rewards, he is bound to those 
rewards, and yin quo is his master. 

From complete vairagya, perfect mental detachment, one enters 
nie-pan, the blessed nirvana. He then becomes one with the Tao, 
the eternal whole. So Tao means not only the Way but the su- 
preme goal as well. A man must attain that state of mind which is 
like the sun, shining upon all alike, yet asking nothing in return. 
The soul lives forever by giving, not by receiving. And this is the 
grand paradox, not only of Taoism but of all philosophy — you get 
most by giving most. Conversely, by receiving much you impover- 
ish yourself. By selfish accumulation you become bankrupt. As 
Emerson says, "You run in your own debt." For, in the long run, 
you can never get something for nothing. Every farthing must be 
paid. The law of balance in the moral and spiritual realms is just as 
inflexible as the law of gravitation. To give and give only, not once 
thinking of rewards, is the beginning of immortality. No man be- 
comes a Buddha, a Kakusha, a Tathagata or a Bodhisattva by flee- 
ing from pain or by seeking comforts, or by demanding rewards. 
Accept alike all that comes to you, and go on giving, giving; be 
indifferent alike to reward or blame. Only give. And all the while 
you are giving, make the mind one with the Tao, the universal 
°ne, whose musical vibrations fill the universe. Of course, that 
Universal one is none other than the audible life stream, the cre- 
ator and preserver of all. It is written: 



When every phase of our minds shall be in harmony with the 
mind of Kakusha [the Sat Punish] there shall not be one atom 
of dust lof our dust! that shall not enter into nie-pan. 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 
52 

This is a fathomless precept of vnsdom 

That noble ^^J^^^Sa^ 

self-righteousness. 

For your true self is the whole of life, and the ™J <*■» 
omers are your own guilt. Do not blame men when they er 
but Wy your own heart. Do not be angry when the whole 
£££L *e law and ceases to abide by the Tao. Look for 
the fault in yourself. The root of all evil is m you. 

jaaBKsasSKBcs 

that is why we emphasize it here. 



4 WHAT IS THE MEANING OF TAO? 

the key to that -^J**** '^ not see ta Taoism the real 

stream. I am aware that aU «hotodo ^ ^ ^ 

^hahd- as said before, that is oecausc uicy "<* 

Stderiin, Macauliffe J^ »^££*1£££ 

reUpon and translated the Gran* S^tb bu * "£ ^ rkwith . 

the most precious content of that book. He eta* 

out an inkling of the real value of the Ad. .G™^ b0 f cours4 , 

with m os, commentators ol *£%£ £££„ been the 

this was because they had not the Master Key. 

fate of nearly all the sacred books. 



WlfA T IS THE MEANING OF TAO? 53 

The audible life stream combines in itself the meanings of near- 
ly all of the interpretations which have been given to Tao. It is law, 
it is life, it is God. It is the real om. It is the supreme atman. It is 
the moving life of all dharma, and it is the universal alaya. It 
should have been translated into English as 'Word', although that 
is not an exact translation. It is the divine Word which supports 
the whole creation, which was in the beginning with God, and 
which was itself God, by means of which all things were created. It 
is Sound, the vibrating Shabd, whose heavenly music enlivens all 
worlds. And it is this Shabd which constitutes the central theme of 
the great Masters of all ages. And this is Tao, as it is understood by 
this writer. 

One of the meanings of dharma, according to the Mahayana 
school of esoteric Buddhism, is ultimate reality. It comes from 
dhar, 'to uphold'. It refers to the all-creative current, the audible 
life stream of the Masters, which not only creates but sustains all 
things. It is the fountain of life, out of which springs all life in any 
world and all biological phenomena upon this plane. Hence it has 
come to mean also the form of all things, the sum of all phenome- 
na. Underlying all of these meanings is the central idea of the 
creative current, the life stream. 

This translation of the word dharma is exactly equivalent to 
Tao. If we translate Tao as atman, it is also correct. For it is the 
supreme atman, or spirit, which again is the creative life stream, 
the causeless cause of all. If we translate it as om, we have the same 
meaning. Om was, to the ancient Hindus in general, the highest 
and most sacred sound symbol of the Brahm. And Brahm was to 
them the supreme being. Thus it would appear, however we may 
approach it, that Tao is no more nor less than the supreme Word. 
°/ course, it is the Way. It is the Royal Highway of the saints. 

anslating the word as Way, we have the same meaning, because 

e audible life stream is pre-eminently the Way. It is first and 

^temost the Way of the great Masters. It is the path by which the 

ers and their disciples travel homeward. Without this life 

iravTi there " no way back to the feet of the Su P reme - A 11 saults 
e oy the sacred sound current. They ride upon it. It is that 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 
54 
K- t, Hraws them up and which carries them upward on their 

Twuh it. It is that powerful enchantment by ^means of winch they 

So, it lao is me ay* certainly does not mean a 

th*> saints For there is no other Way. it cerwuuy 
the saints, mr been covered QVer b & t 

some »fl--X ncept om d ^ fa noble ethics of Con- 
the ruins of the old empire, vu however, it must 

But no ethical system, no precept of ***£g£^ ^nd of 
£ u t„^ ;tc^lf ran endure against the disintegrauug ikr«« 

the Way dynamic for them ^ 

most ancient <^ tt ^™£™££ cred it to the nation that 
^S^ = a «« 
of fatalism and ancestor W^^^^^tS 
could not be stopped even by ^^^ nations do the 
doctrine of the Tao. But why blame China? All nations 
same thing, give them time enough. 



THE ZOROASTRIAN FAITH 



5. THE ZOROASTRIAN FAITH 



The Zoroastrian faith was founded by the great Persian or Iranian 
sage Zoroaster, or more correctly speaking, Zarathustra. He lived 
around 6oo or 1000 b.c. To him is attributed the religion of the 
magi, though doubtless the teachings and practices of the magi 
were a much later modification of the real teachings of Zarathus- 
tra. Its modern representatives are the Parsees of India. They are 
sometimes called fire worshippers, though incorrectly. This is be- 
cause they look upon fire, and especially the sun, as symbolical of 
the supreme one. Fire is regarded as an appropriate symbol of 
God for many reasons, and the symbolism is rich in thought. Fire 
converts everything into itself. The flames always try to ascend 
heavenward. Fire is the great purifier, destroying all that is unfit to 
endure. It also suggests the purity of heart which alone can pre- 
pare one to see God. Jesus and all the Masters agree on this point. 
Fire also cooks the food that nourishes us, just as the holy Shabd 
gives us the spiritual nourishment, fitting it to our requirements. 
As fire warms us when we are cold, so the divine current gives us 
life, light and warmth — which means love. Much more is includ- 
ed in this beautiful symbolism if one cares to pursue the subject. 

A collection of the sacred writings of Zarathustra and those of 
his early disciples now comprise the Zend Avesta, the bible of the 
Zoroastrian faith. After the departure of the great teacher, a group 
of Zarathustra' s followers formed what came to be known as the 
magi or 'the wise men of the East'. These magi were probably the 
original Sufis. It was from among these men that messengers went 
to see Jesus at the time of his birth. For all truly wise men know 
when another mahatma is coming. 

Zoroastrianism prevailed over the ancient gods of Babylon and 
Nineveh from the time of Cyrus, although it gradually drifted into 

decline. When sifted down and washed of its accretions, many 

u ggets of golden truth will be found in the teachings of the noble 

banian. And this fact links it definitely with the work of the great 

s ers. As to whether Zarathustra himself was a real Master or 

a • the best way to answer that is to invite you to the living 



56 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



THE ZOROASTRIAN FAITH 



57 









Master, who himself will give you the method by which you may 
know all about it yourself, without even taking the word of the 
Master. The same may be said regarding Jesus or any of the great 
religious characters of history. The Master can give you the key by 
means of which you may win the right to a personal interview 
with any of those men. You will then know of a certainty their 
standing, not only at the time of their life on this earth but of their 
present status. You may meet them personally and converse with 
them. 

One of the central truths of the Zoroastrian faith is its doctrine 
of the universal brotherhood of man. Zoroastrians believe in one 
supreme being, notwithstanding many assertions to the contrary. 
The superficial student may readily fall into the error of believing 
that they taught two gods, one good and the other bad, a state- 
ment which may be found in some books. We know that the great 
Zarathustra never taught such a thing. The idea of two supreme 
beings is self-contradictory. No great teacher has ever suggested 
such a thing. Zarathustra taught that the supreme Lord was Ahura- 
Mazda, or Ormuzd, and that he was the origin and embodiment 
of all good. At the same time he mentions the existence of a nega- 
tive power called Ahriman. This dark power ruled over the world 
and was the focal point of all that we call evil; the sum, the em- 
bodiment, of all that affects man adversely; in quality — dark- 
ness. 

Here is a gem of truth not to be overlooked. It is strongly sug- 
gestive of the teachings of the Masters, for they frequently men- 
tion the existence of a negative power; but he is a subordinate to 
the supreme one, and he rules over the regions of mind and mat- 
ter, representing the darker side of creation. This does not mean 
that he is altogether bad, but in the very nature of things, what we 
call evil ' inheres in negativity. It is simply a lesser good. 

There can be no doubt but this religion came to Persia and the 
surrounding country like the falling of showers upon a dry land. 
Its restorative action came during that period when modern civili- 



1 . The nature of evil itself will be discussed in Chapter Five, Section 7, and Chapter Seven, 
Section 10. 



zation was but an infant in its Mesopotamian cradle. The founda- 
tions of culture were laid by the Sumerians, and then by the 
Sumerian-Akkadian empires, more Semitic in character, under 
Sargon I and his successors. The first empire known to history 
made Erech its capital at the head of the Persian Gulf. That em- 
pire was fed by the fertile valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates. 
In this valley many tribes contended for supremacy during a peri- 
od of fifty centuries or more. Into its gathering populations poured 
streams of Dravidians, Semites, Chaldeans and Aryans, the latter 
being mostly Medes and Persians. The old Assyrian empire gave 
way to the new when Nineveh fell into the hands of the more 
vigorous invaders in 606 b,c. 

At about this time came the great saint, or sage, Zarathustra, for 
when the teachings of the Masters become obscured and corrupt- 
ed, a new Master comes. In Mesopotamia a score of contending 
tribes, confusing languages, and conflicting customs then found a 
new and unifying influence in the philosophy of Zarathustra. The 
one great message of the ages found a new statement. When Cyrus 
the Great established a broad empire upon the basis of the new 
culture, he prepared the way for the impetuous Alexander to spread 
its influence to the remotest bounds of the known world. Degen- 
erate as Alexander himself was, he had been prepared for that very 
mission by the tutoring of Aristotle. Hence the chief service which 
Alexander rendered to mankind was to break up the old crusts of 
world thought, or rather of non-thought, and then cultivate the 
soil of the intellectual world for a new seed-sowing. The seed was 
o be the wisdom of Zarathustra, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, 
acn of which bore in its core the germs of the Eastern wisdom. 
tuihT 7° U ^ but the one thin ^ &# has given life and perpe- 
threH f u ph0os °P hv of ** Greek M asters is its central golden 
Mast Eastern .wisdom: the wisdom of the great spiritual 

IT 

thustT T% ^ f0re Alexander came > ** P^e teachings of Zara- 

least t dy under § one tie usual degenerative changes, at 

was d ° S ° me eXtent When ** P hilos <>Phy of Plato and Aristotle 

sseminated throughout the world, the religion of the magi 



58 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



had already become covered over by a mass of senseless ceremony 
and corrupt practices. When Alexander was born, his mother was 
steeped in this poison of magian superstition. But the great Iran- 
ian had done the work for which he had come. His teaching had 
given a new impetus to philosophy and religion. The dull minds 
of the masses had been forced to do a litde thinking. All future 
civilization was to profit by its wholesome influence. It is thus that 
thought, philosophy and religion are reborn from age to age, as 

stated in the Gita. 

But one thing must not be overlooked in this connection. When 
any Master leaves his theater of action, the doors of the kingdom of 
heaven are automatically closed for new seekers so far as he is con- 
cerned. This may at first appear to be a very strange thing, even 
unjust. But it is not so; because every Master is succeeded by 
another, and to him all may go who are ready. We may not forget 
that this world is never without a Master. To him all will go who are 
'duly and truly prepared, worthy and well qualified '. 

The rest are then like the five foolish virgins who brought no oil 
in their lamps. Whenever and wherever men run after creeds, 
priests and organizations, they may find a religion of some sort; 
but they will never find the way to enter the kingdom of God 
spoken of by all the great Masters. Only a living Master has the 
key to that kingdom, and he alone can help the student to enter it. 
In the religion of the noble Iranian, two or three features must be 
emphasized because they bear a very close relationship to the teach- 
ings of the Masters. The most lofty ideal, the highest concept of a 
perfect life, was expressed in the Avesta by the word asa, which in 
the Vedic terminology is equivalent to rita. It is closely related to 
the Hindu dharma and to the Muslim word Islam. Its central idea 
is righteousness, a life in complete harmony with the great law, 
meaning, fundamentally in harmony with God. The supreme Fa- 
ther, law-giver, life-giver, they called Asura Pita Nah, the same as 
Ahura-Mazda. The way of approach to him was ash, the way of 
righteousness. From their sacred scripture comes the unequivocal 
declaration: "There is none besides the Creator, Ahura-Mazda: 



THE ZOROASTRIAN FAITH 



59 



everything emanates from him and merges back into him at the 
end." 

Thus he taught a definite monotheism. This supreme one was 
formless, all : pervading and beyond all attributes known to us, like 
the Nirguna Ishwara, the Lord without attributes. 

According to Zarathustra, there are six different ways the 
supreme one can make himself known to men. They are also called 
rays of light from the Supreme. They are spoken of at times as if 
they were personalities, Amesh-Spenta, 'Holy Immortals'. They are: 
(1) Asa- Vahista, supreme will manifested in the world; (2) Vohu- 
Mano, good mind, divine wisdom, pure-mindedness; (3) Khas- 
hathra-Vairya, the all-creative, all -sustaining power; (4) Spenta- 
Armaiti, perfect piety with single-minded devotion; (5) Haurvatat, 
absolute wholeness, perfection, spirituality; and (6) Ameretatat, 
immortal life, freedom from death or dissolution. 

These six represent both the maternal and paternal qualities of 
God; the first three the fatherly and the last three the motherly 
nature of the Supreme. If we add to these six the great central 
figure of Ahura-Mazda, we have the sevenfold Lord, as taught by 
the prophet Zarathustra. 

To students of the royal path of Sant Mat, there is one thing 
more in the system of Zarathustra which is of peculiar interest In 
addition to the above-mentioned seven rays of the divine one, he 
mentions another ray or power which he calls sharosha or sraosha. 
The name is derived from the Sanskrit root sru, meaning 'to hear'. 
This is most significant. It is quite clear to the student of the 
Masters that this ray of the divine one is something that can be 
heard. Of course, this refers to the Shabd-dhun of Sant Mat. It can 
be nothing else. It is the audible life stream of the saints. And we 
ttiay well infer that this important fact was not unknown to Zar- 
athustra. Perhaps, if we had his teachings in their purity, it would 
e found that he made this sharosha his central theme. He dis- 
m ctly says that this is the supreme thing for man to seek and to 

tivate. He says that when one fully attains to sharosha, the way 

salvation stands open before him, all obstructions being re- 
This is in exact accord with the teachings of the Masters. 



In 



a prayer composed by Zarathustra himself (see the Zend 



60 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Avesta), he says: "Oh, Mazda, may sharosha go, together with 
Vohu-Mano, to the person whom thou lovest!" He thus gives 
emphasis to sharosha as if it were the one thing of supreme impor- 
tance. This is again perfectly consonant with the message of the 
saints. The person whom the supreme Lord loves, he always brings 
into contact with the holy Shabd, and then his mind is purified, 
after which he is taken up to his own home. The saints all agree 
that the audible hfe stream is the only path of mind purification 
and final approach to God. This is only another instance of how 
all world religions, when properly understood, support the funda- 
mentals of Sant Mat. 

The way in which the problem of evil is explained in Zoroastn- 
anism has already been referred to. In harmony with the system of 
the Masters, the Iranian taught the existence of a negative power 
who ruled over the regions of mind and matter, as subordinate to 
the supreme Ormuzd. This places evil in the category of pure 
negatiou. It has no actual existence. It is a lesser light. When light 
is abundant, there is no shadow; and in absolute darkness, there is 
no shadow. So it is with evil. The Masters see in evil only a shad- 
ow, a state of incompleteness, a phase of growth, perhaps a neces- 
sary concomitant of evolution. But in our ignorance, believing the 
darkness to be something real, we grope about in the shadows. 
But it is only a negation. The man who never saw light or heard of 
it would not suspect that he was in darkness. To him that dark- 
ness would be normal. So it is with evil. It is only because we 
know of a greater good that we feel the pain of the evil. 

To sum up the entire philosophy of evil, we must conclude 
that, as a matter of fact, there is no such thing as evil Evil as a 
reality is philosophically unthinkable, and there the matter must 
end so far as metaphysics is concerned. The assumption that evil 
is a reality has caused much confusion in philosophy and religion. 
It is of no use to deny the difficulty; we must assume that if evil 
exists, God is responsible for it. And such an assumption lands us 
in a maze of philosophical difficulties from which there appears to 
be no escape. Driven to the wall by this stern fact, many thinkers 
have declared that there is no God. How can there be a good God 



THE ZOROASTR1AN FAITH 



61 



in charge of a world full of woe and sin? It is only the illuminating 
philosophy of the Masters that removes the difficulty. In a uni- 
verse created by an all-wise God, whose fundamental essence is 
goodness and love, there is no room for such a thing as evil. It 
simply does not exist. But there are many degrees of good, of the 
light. In its final aspect, there is nothing bad in the world, neither 
is there sin nor fault in anyone. What appears so is due to our 
limited understanding. 

But just what is it that we are all worrying about so much? 
What is it that we call evil? Whatever it is, it appears quite real to 
us. The answer is that anything which we do not like is evil to us. 
This is, of course, the narrow and egoistical viewpoint. And it is 
just this obtrusive ego that plays all the mischief in our thinking. 
But it is the common way of looking at things. 

A little boy is called in from play to have his face washed. He 
doesn't like the procedure. To him, that is an evil. He howls his 
displeasure. He disobeys his mother and has to be punished. To 
him, that is another evil. He sees nothing in it but evil. To him the 
whole world is a theater of evil simply because it has so many 
'don'ts* in it and so many washbasins. A man allows his passions 
to get the upper hand over him, and he commits a crime. He has 
to go to prison. To him that prison is an evil. But society does not 
regard that prison as an evil. A man gets an appendical abscess. 
He has to go to a hospital and undergo an operation. It may be 
difficult for him to decide which is the greater evil, the appendici- 
tis or the operation. To him it is all bad enough. But society 
regards the hospital as a real blessing. It all depends upon one's 
viewpoint, and there is the key to the whole question. A man who 
w as cruel to his wife and five small children got accidentally killed. 
Jo that wife, his death was a terrible blow, for it left her with an 
^tolerable burden on her hands. To her, his death was an evil, a 
calamity. But looked at from an impartial, higher viewpoint, his 
death was probably the best thing that could have happened, not 
0n |y to society but to the family itself. A thing becomes an evil 
y from the narrow egoistic viewpoint. But we cannot follow 



62 A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

the subject further at this time. The great Masters sum up the 
whole matter by saying: "Whatever the Lord does is best." 

From the exalted viewpoint of the supreme one, there is no 
such thing as evil. For he knows what is best for all. 

It may prove suggestive to us if we remember that it is only by 
bitter experience that men can be brought to the path of love and 
light. The sooner that change is brought about, the better, even if 
much suffering is required to impress the lesson upon one's mind 
or upon the minds of the entire human race. And so it often 
happens that the more keenly men suffer, the better it is for them. 
Then suffering is a great blessing in disguise. It is safe to assert 
that everything which men call evil in this world, involving suffer- 
ing of any sort, has its ultimate objective to bring the sufferer to 
the path of love. That means the path of the Masters. When we 
enter definitely upon that path, all semblance of evil disappears, 
even as the night flees before the rising sun. If there were no other 
reason in the world to account for the presence of suffering, this 
one reason would appear to be sufficient. It is equally certain that 
just as soon as all men, the whole human race, come to the path of 
love, evil will disappear from the world. 

Here is at least one rational solution for the problem of evil. 
This is the thesis: evil, suffering in any form, has as its primary 
object to impel people to turn toward the path of love. This we are 
not giving as the word of the Master, but as a suggestion. There 
may be deeper reasons also. But in any case, we may rest assured 
that the plan of human life, including what men call evil, is the 
best possible plan for the human race under present conditions. 
We may be permitted to make a suggestion: it is our opinion that 
germs, bacteria, are here to assist in dissolving, eliminating the 
weak within a species, and they wul not successfully attack the 
strong and healthy. They may appear to be an evil, but are not so. 
Many other things appear to be evil because of our ignorance 
concerning their proper place in the general scheme. 



BUDDHISM IN INDIA 



65 



6. BUDDHISM IN INDIA 

Gautama Buddha appeared almost simultaneously with Zarathus- 
tra in Persia and Confucius in China. Lao Tse also belonged to the 
same period. It was a time of awakening in world history. Always 
when the time is ripe for the sages to get a hearing, they come. 
What impression do you think an Emerson could have made upon 
uncivilized people? Saints always come when there is a fair chance 
of their getting a hearing, and today there are more saints mani- 
festing than ever before. When more people are ready for them, 
more will come. We are sometimes asked why no saints come to 
the big European centers or to America. The answer is that when 
those people are ready for the saints, they will go there. It is often 
said that among those people there are surely many good people, 
even better than some who come to the Masters in India. And that 
may be so. But moral goodness is not the only qualification for 
meeting a Master. Certainly, great intellects are not the primary 
qualification. The fundamental requirements for meeting a genuine 
Satguru are humility, love, and freedom from the bonds of creeds. If 
a soul has nothing else and still has these three, he is close to the 
path of the Masters. There is one thing more, however, which he 
must have in addition to these three. He must have earned that 
right during his past life or lives. If his past karma is not good 
enough, if he has not earned that supreme good fortune, he can- 
not get it no matter how saindy he or she may be in this life. But if 
a person is particularly worthy during this life, it means that al- 
most certainly he will meet a Master in his next life. 

Today there is a better chance than ever before in this yuga for 
me Masters to get a hearing, and more people are coming to 
them. When still more people are ready for them, more saints will 
come in different parts of the world. No enlightenment can possi- 
bl v take place until the people are sufficientiy awakened to listen 
to the teacher. This is self-evident. 

Ages upon ages the higher faculties sleep. Men live the life of 
f^rnals. You may shout your divine message into their ears, and 

^iU only annoy them. They don't want to be disturbed. They 



64 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



AN UNNECESSARY SACRIFICE 



CO 






will probably drive you away or kill you. They cannot hear what 
you say. They are engrossed in sensuality while all of the spiritual 
instincts are covered under the rubbish. It is only a waste of time 
to attempt to enlighten them. And that is the chief reason why the 
great Masters have not been able to give their message to the 
whole world. They simply could not do it. The people would not 
have it. When a new teacher comes, he is always obliged to adapt 
his message to the capacity of the people. He cannot always give 
his complete message to them. But the people get a little glimpse 
of the light, a few glimmerings of the truth. The teaching, even if 
not the highest, gives a new impulse to right living and thinking- 
One step is gained toward the goal. Gradually the soil is prepared 
for the coming of a real saint who is able to give them the highest 
truths. Then history once more repeats itself. After that saint is 
gone, his teachings are, in time, corrupted and forgotten. 

At the time Buddha appeared, India was suffering from a stag- 
nant Brahmanism. Life in that country had been fairly secure ever 
since the great Aryan invasion. This is the blessing of a strong 
government. Even if it is a foreign government, it gives the coun- 
try security against foreign invasion and safety from internecine 
strife. So India, under the early Aryan regime, had peace and secu- 
rity. But when a people have periods of rest that are too long, they 
grow fat and lazy. The people of India became measurably pros- 
perous, peaceful, happy, dreamy and lazy. The priesthood grew in 
numbers and powers, speculated and, of course, collected their 
revenues. Many of them became quite rich. Rajas endowed them 
with great wealth. Then the rajas turned over to the priests then- 
own sins and worries and went hunting for big game in the jun- 
gles. The common people told love stories, ate their sweetmeats, 
and lay down to sleep. They awoke the next day to spin more fine 
theories, make love and eat. 

Into this sort of life came the noble prince of the Sakya clan, 
Siddhartha by name. He became known later as Gautama Bud- 
dha. He was bom about 650 b.c. From his father's gardens he 
could look up to the snow-covered summits of the Himalayas 
while the rest of India, hot and dusty, stretched away toward Cey- 



lon — -at that time called the Golden Lanka. As the boy grew up, he 
was carefully guarded even from the sight of any evil or disagree- 
able thing. But later, when old age, suffering and death came to his 
notice, he resolved to seek release from these sorrows, not only for 
himself but for all mankind. It was an ambitious but noble adven- 
ture. He left his father's palace and his beautiful young wife and 
son. Mounting his white horse in the stillness of the night while all 
in the palace slept, he rode forth 'in search of the way'- — the Way, 
the Tao of liberation. After six years of rigid asceticism, painful 
struggle and deep meditation, light came to his inner sight, and he 
became the great apostle of the Enlightenment. He had found the 
Way and was overjoyed, fairly singing his triumph. Thus the en- 
lightened prince began to teach. The Deer Park in Banares rang 
with his inspired voice, revealing to all comers the Four Great Truths 
and the Eightfold Path. 



7. AN UNNECESSARY SACRIFICE 

There are more people in the world today who follow Buddhism 
than any other religion, and these millions regard the sacrifices of 
Buddha as the noblest example of unselfish love ever manifested. 
It is true that the grandeur of that sacrifice cannot be overestimat- 
ed. It was beautiful beyond all words. But in the light of the Mas- 
ters teaching we know that such a sacrifice was quite unnecessary, 
h was unnecessary, even for his own enlightenment, because he 
could have gained full and complete enlightenment at home. As- 
ceticism is not at all necessary for spiritual development, as Bud- 
dha himself discovered after much suffering. 

Salvation is an individual problem. Every man in this world 
roust find that path and walk on it for himself. No one else can do 
P for him, any more than one man can eat for another. All these 
things the science of the Masters will make clear to the student. 
nd m ev ery age there has lived a real Master who was able to 
P°mt the way to the highest attainments. But Buddhism was suc- 
cessfully disseminated, and it became known the world over 
r °ugh the system of itinerant monks sent out by the Master. 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



The Masters teach that any system or religion which cannot be 
followed by all mankind is not an essential part or component of 
real religion. If a spiritual science is to be of use to mankind, it 
must be a universal science. If it is not suited to all men, under 
any and all conditions of life, then it is not universal. The role of 
the ascetic monk, the hermit, the wandering $adhu> may be spec- 
tacular. But it is not a spiritual role. To put on a distinctive garb 
and set oneself apart frc m the rest of mankind may be flattering 
to the vanity of that class, but it is not spirituality. It is no part of a 
universal religion. Anything which cannot be made a part of the 
daily regime of all men cannot be an essential element of any 
religion, which is to appeal to mankind as a whole. 

The Masters teach that austerities are a waste of time and ener- 
gy and lead to little else than increased vanity. It is true that the 
Masters often undergo great self-denials, and in the past have 
suffered persecutions and death; but they do not purposely tor- 
ture their own bodies, nor do they undergo needless hardships for 
exhibition purposes. The Masters lay down a definite method by 
means of which the inner enlightenment may be gained by any- 
one, just as certainly and just as fully as Buddha gained it. A few 
hours daily given to the proper exercises as outlined by the Mas- 
ters will lead to the inner enlightenment in due time with unfail- 
ing certainty. And the beauty of it is that by this method not one 
or two isolated, exceptional individuals in history may find the 
Way, but unlimited hundreds and thousands of men and women 
may gain it. Under the directions of one of the greatest of the 
Masters, they are doing so now, as personally witnessed by this 
writer. The way is open for any number more. If Buddha gained 
anything at all to justify his sacrifice, it was to recover some knowl- 
edge of the Path, knowledge that had been almost entirely lost 
among his people. 

There can be no doubt that in esoteric Buddhism, knowledge of 
the sound current is shown. But how many Buddhists know that 
path? So far as spirituality is concerned, the whole world today is 
just about where it was before Buddha came, so what did his 
sacrifice accomplish except to found another religion? The ethics 



AN UNNECESSARY SACRIFICE 



of Buddhism are good; they provide one of the best moral codes. 
However, the same things had been taught before, and they have 
been taught by many other religions since his day. But ethics alone 
have never yet opened the way to the inner kingdoms, for though 
they may clean the mind and prepare one to knock at the inner 
door, they will never open that door. That can be done only by 
one of the great Masters. 

To know that sorrow exists, that the cause of sorrow is desire, is 
not to rid the world of sorrow or of desire. The same thing had 
been taught in the Gita, by Krishna, long before the days of Bud- 
dha. If all the world knows that sorrow is bom of desire, what is 
the good of that knowledge unless one has a cure for desire itself? 
But the world has no cure for desire, nor has any religion such a 
cure. Only the Masters have the remedy. And that remedy must 
be applied individually and directly to the disciple by the Master 
himself. To read about it in a book, or to listen to a lecture on the 
subject, will never remove desire, nor will it alleviate sorrow. The 
cure is in the audible life stream, and that can be made available to 
the individual by the Master only. 

I may know that my pain is due to the sting of a scorpion, but 
that knowledge does not lessen the pain. Buddhism can tell you 
how to live a wholesome life; but few religions, if any, can tell you 
how to get in touch with the audible life current, and thereby 
escape from the mad vortex of desires. Only the Masters can do 
that. The beauty of it is that the Masters not only tell you about it, 
they themselves administer to you its healing waters. They do not 
write a prescription or read to you a chapter out of a book as 
doctors and priests do; they give you the real medicine itself You 
drink of it and live. There is the entire thing in a nutshell. 

The life stream is the only means of escape from the fatal wheel 
of eternal coming and going, desiring and suffering. And not a 
soul can find his own way to that stream, but every soul whom the 
Master connects with that stream must find his way to liberation 
from all desire and suffering. He cannot fail. It is quite useless to 
ell any man that he must overcome desire. He cannot do it unless 
you g lve hj m t j ie p TO p er means of accomplishing such a stupen- 



68 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 






dous task Only the Masters can supply the means. And this fact 
explains why Buddhism ceased to be dynamic soon after the de- 
parture of its illustrious founder. The same fate has overtaken all 
other religions without exception. It must always be so. 

The example of a noble individual making a great sacrifice ap- 
peals to the imagination and sympathies of mankind. Buddha's 
sacrifice gained him much admiration and a great following, and 
the same may be said of the death of Jesus on the cross. The pity 
of it is that the whole world fixes its attention upon the sacrifice 
itself rather than on the life and teachings of the Master, as if that 
were the all-important fact of his life. But Jesus knew that his 
death on the cross was not the thing for which he had come. He 
prayed: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." 
He had brought upon himself the wrath of the Sanhedrin by do- 
ing so many miracles, contrary to the long-established rule of the 
Masters, His bleeding hands and feet made a powerful appeal to 
public sympathy, yet, influenced by the age-old doctrine of hu- 
man sacrifice, the people did not question what would be achieved 
by such a death. If Jesus himself had remained with his disciples 
for a period of forty or fifty years, he might have perfected his 
disciples in his own system of development and finally sent them 
out into the world to give that method in its original purity, as he 
had received it from his Indian Masters. How infinitely richer 
would have been the world with such a treasure carried every- 
where by the whole Jewish people! The history of the world itself 
might have been much brighter. 

As to the teachings of Buddhism, both ancient and modern, we 
do not think it wise to take up space here to give them in detail. 
Our purpose in this book is not to describe other religions, but to 
mention some of their salient features so as to afford us an oppor- 
tunity to introduce the system of the Masters by way of compari- 
son. There are many good books which give excellent elucidations 
of the Buddhist system. 

One thing we may mention is of peculiar interest to the mod- 
ern student. Buddhism is receiving much attention nowadays by a 
certain class of students who have been most keenly disappointed 



AN UNNECESSARY SACRIFICE 

69 

hi CMstianity Not knowing where else to go, they are turning to 

^Jn* ■ ° Pe ° f £?* •* Which S ^ckingTn 5* 
own and otfier religions. Some few believe that a revivd o Z 
Buddhism m what the world needs now. History may repeat tsetf 
in succeeding ages, but history never runs backw ards. Buddhism 
h.done its work, and it wiU pass, as all other religions mus^S 

Buddhism is now divided into two main branches, the Maha 
yana, or great vehicle', and the Hinayana, or 'little vehkL^The 
former prevails m the north, and the latter in the southerner 
^ration of the fact that religion is often a matter of geography 
The difference of doctrine between these two schools if SS 
though many think it is. ' 

I "ai d t7r7 t hyh ^ en " ncemed ^^ na ^° f ^ 

real, and the relation between the real and the unreal, the 
phenomenal and noumenal; and speculation on this problem 
has ranged from the most extreme forms of realism wh" 
verted tins phenomenal world to be the only reality, to the 
™st extreme form of idealism which denied aU reahty o Z 

X nh ^ SCh ° 01 ' " CXiStenCe * «" ■*« ^ 

one transcendental, eternal reality, which unified them both. 

** beholdThe ^Th ^ aDS - lD marked C0Dtrast to *« of 
mt "Pon spec u J t r P u *""* statem «*s of the Masters, based 

science. P erson % expenenced-facts reduced to an exact 


















70 



8. THE BHAGAVAD GITA 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



One of the most meaningful and interesting of all the sacred books 
of Indian literature is the Bhagavad Gita, meaning 'the Song Celes- 
tial'. It comprises the instructions given by Lord Krishna to his 
favorite disciple and friend, Arjuna, on the battlefield, before the 
great war recorded in the immortal classic, the Mahabharat. 

I am going to give a few quotations from the Gita as a special 
concession. This 'Song Celestial' is so highly regarded by so many 
people, both East and West, that it appears fitting to reproduce 
certain portions of it here. Moreover, it sets forth about the clear- 
est and most explicit statements concerning the mental prepara- 
tion for the path of the Masters. No earnest student of the path 
can fail to profit by reading these extracts from the Gita. They are 
of universal interest. They do not mark out the Masters' path, but 
they indicate the mental preparation for that path. 

Those who regard ethics as the chief thing in religion will find in 
the Gita about the highest standard of ethics ever written. If the 
moralist would accept the Gita as his standard, he would never 
need any other book to guide him on the path of moral rectitude. 
If the whole of human society would adopt the Gita as its stan- 
dard textbook of ethics, there would follow the most revolution- 
ary and wholesome reconstruction of society the world has ever 
known. 

The Gita leads the student up to the very gateway of the path of 
the Masters. All it lacks is the living Master himself to open the 
gates and go in with the student. But just here lies all the differ- 
ence between success and failure. No matter how perfect your 
preparation may be, no matter if you have memorized the whole 
of the Gita, the Bible, the Koran, and all the moral precepts of a 
thousand sages, yet if you have no means of actually making the 
entry into the kingdom of heaven within you, your preparation is 
useless, except to give you a little better placement in the next life 
and a little peace of mind in this fife. Remember always that it is 
not 'right living' here that counts first in importance. It is the 
actual entry into that kingdom which lies within. Doctrines and 






QUOTATIONS FROM THE GITA 

71 

theories will not help. The cleansing process alone, which comes 
through right living, will never open to you the door to those 
mner worlds. The Master alone holds the key to that door That 
upward journey itself can never be made except by the aid of a 
hvmg Master. If an earthen vessel is cleansed, that is only prelimi- 
nary o fining it with the elixir. The living Master, and he only 
can fall the vessel with the water of life ' 

The following extracts are a few of the finest portions of the 

(_i 1 1 a . 



9. QUOTATIONS FROM THE GITA 

The wise grieve neither for the dead, nor for the living. (n:n) 

The contacts of matter, O son of Kunti, giving heat and cold, 
pleasure and pain-they come and go; they are impermanent 

Endure them bravely. , 

7 dm) 

This dweller in the body of every one is always invulnerable, O 
Bharata; therefore, thou shouidst not grieve for any creature. 

(11:30) 

Seifn?^ ^ CanD ° t i? haraed either h » or in death, 
a*re is no reason to worry about what may befall anyone. 

Taking a s equal both pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory 
**» defeat, gud thee for the battle. (^ 

£L V atS ^ t* * *""*"» [atoibut ^ Be *& ^ove 
-*£ Z ^ ' '2"T ^^ the ^ S of °PPOsites, ever 
supreme s^ PUnty ' "**" ° f P ossessions - &* of the Self [the 

2? !£S" T the ac * m onIy ' never ** * ** *». let 
^S^" 17 **** be % motive; nor * •* * 

(n->47) 



72 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Perform actions, O Dhananjaya, dwelling in union with the 
divine, renouncing attachments, and balanced evenly in suc- 
cess and failure. Equilibrium is called yoga. (11:48) 

Far lower than the yoga of discrimination [vivdt] is that of 
action, O Dhananjaya. Take thou refuge in the pure reason 
[buddhi]. Be united to the pure reason. Pitiable are they who 
work for fruits. (11:49) 

One abandoneth here both good and evil deeds; therefore cleave 
thou to yoga. Yoga is skill in action. (n:$o) 

The sages united with the pure reason. They renounce the fruit 
which action yieldeth and, liberated from the bonds of birth, 
they go to the blissful seat, (11:51) 

When the mind, bewildered by the scriptures [reading too 
many books] shall stand immovable, fixed in contemplation 
[samadhi] then thou shalt attain unto yoga [union with the 

Supreme]. {11:53) 

When a man abandoneth, O Partha, all the desires of the heart 
[literally manas, 'mind'] and is sustained in the Self [Supreme] 
by that Self, then he is called stable in mind [pravna\ . He whose 
mind is free from anxiety amid pains, indifferent amid plea- 
sures, loosed from passion, fear and anger [the five foes of 
man] is called a sage [muni— one who observes the vow of 
silence] of stable mind, (11:55,56) 



He who, on every side, is without attachments, whatever hap- 
pens fair or foul, who neither likes nor dislikes, of such a one 
the understanding is well poised. (11:57) 

It may be well to remember that this does not imply a callous 
indifference to all things. It is something vastly higher than that. It 
means a soul serenely detached from the love of material things or 



QUOTATIONS FROM THE C1TA 



73 



events, from all concern about them. The student attains this atti- 
tude because his love is centered upon that which is above the 
things that perish. 

Man, musing on the objects of sense, conceiveth an attachment 
to these. From attachment ariseth desire; from desire, anger 
[ krodh] cometh forth. From anger proceedeth delusion; from 
delusion, confused memory, from confused memory, the de- 
struction of reason [buddhi — discrimination, ability to rea- 
son]; from destruction of reason he perisheth. (11:62, 63) 

Here is a marvelous analysis of the downward path, step by step. 

But the disciplined self, moving among sense objects, with the 
senses free from attraction and repulsion [interested only as a 
spectator of the passing show], mastered by the Self [supreme] 
he goeth to peace. (11:64) 

That is the path of the real yogi, so beautifully contrasted with the 
downward path of self-indulgence. 

In that peace the extinction of all pain ariseth for him; for of 
him whose heart is peaceful, the reason soon attained) equilib- 
rium. (11:65) 



Such of the roving senses as the mind yieldeth to, that hurrieth 
away the understanding, just as the gale hurrieth away a ship 
upon the waters. (11:67) 

He attaineth peace unto whom all desires flow as rivers flow 
into the ocean, which is filled with water, but itself remaineth 
unmoved. ( II:70 ) 

« remains unmoved just because it is filled with so much water, 
wiilarly if a man is filled with the life stream, he cannot be moved. 



74 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



This is the eternal state, O son of Pritha, having attained there- 
to, none is bewildered [meaning that all knowledge is clarified]. 
Whosoever at the death hour is established therein, he goeth to 
the Nirvana of the Eternal. (11:72) 

This is true only of those who by the aid of the Master have 
conquered first the lower and then the higher worlds. 

In this world there is a two-fold path — that of yoga by knowl- 
edge, and that of yoga by action. (111:3) 

This again directs attention to the gyan marg of the pundits and 
the dharma marg, so persistently emphasized by certain schools of 
thought, both East and West — the path of good works. But this 
leaves out the third path, so urgently taught by the Masters. It fails 
to call attention to the supreme path, that of the surat shabd marg. 
But the bhakti marg is referred to elsewhere in the Gita. That is the 
path of devotion. 

Balanced in pleasure and pain, self-reliant, to whom a lump of 
earth, a rock or gold are all alike, the same to loved and un- 
loved, firm, the same in censure and in praise, the same in 
honor and ignominy, the same to friend or foe- — he is said to 
have crossed over the qualities [gunas]. (xrv:24, 25) 

He from whom comes no disturbance, who cannot be dis- 
turbed by others, who is free from joy [free from exhilaration 
over ordinary pleasure], from anger, fear and anxiety, such a 
one is my beloved. He who does not depend on anything, who 
is pure and active, who does not care whether good comes or 
evil, and who never becomes miserable; who has given up all 
efforts for himself alone . . . such a one is my beloved bhakta. A 
man winneth not freedom from action [fcarmal by abstaining 
from action; nor by renunciation doth he rise to perfection. 
Nor can anyone for an instant remain wholly actionless. For 
helplessly is everyone driven to action by the attributes [gunas] , 



QUOTATIONS FROM THE GITA 

born of nature [pmkriti, which means matter out of which all 
creation is evolved]. (xn:i$-i6; 111:45) 



75 



He who controls the senses by mind, O Ariuna, with the organs 
of sense uninterested, he performeth yoga by action. He is 
worthy. (111:7) 

It still remains a fact of history that not one man has ever 
controlled his organs of sense just by the power of his own mind, 
simply by willing it so. By willpower one may hold impulses in 
check, follow or not follow his desires. But if one is to overcome 
the desires and impulses completely, one must find something 
which the mind likes better. It can never be accomplished by ne- 
gation alone. This supreme need is supplied only by the heavenly 
melody, the bani. That is the audible life stream, and it is found 
only upon the path of the Masters. 

It is desire, it is wrath, begotten by the guna of motion [ rajas) — 
all-consuming, polluting— know this to be our foe here on 
earth. A flame is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, as an 
embryo by the amnion, so this [the whole world] is enveloped 
by it [the whirlpool of motion, engendering desire]. Enveloped 
is wisdom by this constant enemy of the wise, in the form of 
desire which is as unstable as a flame. (tn:37S9) ' 

Thus understanding him, as greater than the reason [buddhi], 
restraining the self by the Self, slay thou, O mighty armed, the 
enemy in the form of desire, difficult to overcome. (111:43) 

This imperishable yoga I declared to Vivasvan; Vivasvan taught 
it to Manu [a prehistoric sage, or rishij; Manu to Ikshvaku told 
it. Thus handed down the line, the king-sages knew. Thus yoga, 
by great influx of time, decayed in the world, O Parantapa. 

(iv.1-2) 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



And so it is today. Who but a true Master has any knowledge of 
the yoga which leads to the heights of spiritual attainment? 

This same ancient yoga hath been today declared to thee by me. 
For thou, O Arjuna, art my devotee and my friend. It is the 
supreme secret. (iv:$) 

And yet this supreme secret offers no more than a good prepara- 
tion for the real yoga of the saints. 

Whenever there is decay of righteousness [dharm^ O Bharata, 
and there is exaltation of unrighteousness [adharmdi, then I 
myself come forth. For the protection of the good, for the 
destruction of the evildoers, for the sake of firmly establishing 
righteousness, I am born from age to age. (rv.7-8} 

Nothing could be more definite than Krishna's own words con- 
cerning his mission in the world. But saints come to deliver men 
from this world-bondage, not to improve the world itself. Thus it 
will be seen that there is a vast difference in their missions. It is 
the duty of the negative power to keep this world in a livable 
condition. Although bad enough at best, it must not be allowed to 
become too bad. The saints often compare the two missions, the 
one of the negative power and the other of the positive power 
represented by the saints, by referring to a big prison. The inmates 
may be in need of all sorts of things to make their lives more 
tolerable. So a charitably inclined man comes along and offers 
them better food or better clothing. Another man makes improve- 
ments in the sanitary conditions. But the poor devils are still in 
the prison. Finally comes another man armed with power from 
the governor, and he opens the prison cells, swings wide the doors 
and tells them all to go free. Which one do you say was the real 
friend of the prisoners? The Master is the great liberator, while the 
agents of the other power seek only to ameliorate the conditions 
of prison life but do nothing to set free the prisoners themselves. 

Note carefully Krishna's own words as to his. mission. They are 
the authority which no man can question. He says he comes not 



THE YOGA OF THE GITA 



77 



only to establish righteousness but to destroy the evildoers. Masters 
redeem evildoers; they never destroy them. If the student is not 
exceedingly alert, the real significance of this passage from the 
Gita will escape his attention. Krishna comes from age to age to 
establish righteousness and to destroy evildoers. But the great Mas- 
ters come not to destroy, but to save sinners. Jesus said: "For the 
Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" 
(Luke 9:56). 

Saints pick up the desolate souls, hungry and weary, and by the 
aid of the Shabd they deliver them from earthly bondage and take 
them back home. And this constitutes the essential difference be- 
tween the work of the real Masters and the powers which incar- 
nate to restore balance in the world. 



10. THE YOGA OF THE GITA 



As to a method of yoga or meditation, Krishna says: 



Let the yogi constandy engage himself in yoga, remaining in a 
secret place by himself, with thought and self subdued, free 
from hope and greed. In a clean place, established on a fixed 
seat of his own, neither very much raised, nor very low, made of 
cloth, black antelope skin, and kusha grass, one over the other; 
there having made the mind { manas] one-pointed with thought, 
and functions of the senses subdued, steady on his seat, he 
should practice yoga for the purification of the self. Holding the 
body, the head and neck erect, immovably steady, looking 
fixedly at the point of the nose, with unseeing gaze. The self 
serene, fearless, firm in the vow of brahmacharya [keeping the 
vow of continence, celibacy] , the mind controlled, thinking of 
we, harmonized, let him sit, aspiring after me. (vi: 1-14) 

Here is the secret method of the Krishna yoga. If we add to his 
method the ancient custom of repeating the sacred word om, you 
w ill have about all that the ancient or modern yogis have ever 
employed in then meditations. In fact, Krishna himself says: 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Om, the one-syllable eternal, reciting, thinking upon me, he 
who goeth forth, abandoning the body, he goeth on the highest 
path. (viir.13) 



Besides this method of yoga, there is no yogic system of any 
great importance except that of Patanjali. Even that is scarcely an 
improvement upon the Gita method. 

Now, if the student undertakes his practice on this basis, he will 
surely get some results. If he is lucky enough to escape the risks 
which frequently attend such practices, he will get some light and 
increase of powers. He will gain some degree of mental poise and 
he will rind increase of joy in living. He will soon feel assured that 
he is on the right path leading to full realization. He will be stimu- 
lated to more love and charity toward all. He will, in other words, 
become a better and more useful citizen, while a serene hope will 
fiU his heart as he approaches life's sunset. He will at the same 
time earn a long, quiet sojourn in the astral heavens, but to return 
at last for a rebirth in regions of matter. In other words, that 
student will become a real yogi, with a yogi's understanding and 
powers. And let it be emphasized always that this is no small 
thing. But we must also remember that a yogi who has not gone 
beyond the Brahm Lok is not a Master or a saint. This is a very 
important distinction to be kept in mind when studying this path. 

There is one more danger which besets the path of the yogi. He 
may be misled into believing that he has actually attained the 
highest there is on the spiritual path; that he has reached the 
regions of immortality, beyond the play of birth and death, be- 
yond the fatal 'wheel of eighty- four'. Many noble souls have so 
believed, only to discover their mistake when it was too late. Some 
have not yet discovered their error. It may be after thousands or 
even millions of years, they will suddenly find out that they must 
return to the scenes of their former struggles. It is somewhat like a 
man earning a sum of money and then going to a foreign country 
to spend it. He may live there for many years, in the enjoyment of 
all that the country can give him, but when his capital has been 
spent, he is obliged to return again. Just so the law of karma works 



THE YOGA OF THE GITA 



out on the astral and causal planes. There is no real immortality 
there. 

By the method of the Gita alone no soul has ever yet escaped 
from the regions of mind and matter. It is quite impossible. Such 
escape can never be effected by any means within the powers of 
any man, except a true Master. Millions of noble souls rise to 
beautiful planes of the two lower worlds of light, and there experi- 
ence prolonged periods of rest and enjoyment of earned good 
karma. It is all a clever scheme of the negative power. Even the 
Gita itself says that for such a yogi there is no more rebirth or 
death. Many have labored under this delusion. It is a pity. So 
cunningly arranged is this system, leading to the belief that they 
have found the perfect way, while the negative power still holds 
them prisoners within his empire. 

The path of the yogi may be recommended so long as there is 
nothing better in sight. But the path of the Masters is infinitely 
better. It alone leads to complete liberation and absolute immor- 
tality. He who wishes to escape for all time and eternity the wheel 
of birth and death, this eternal cycle of coming and going, let him 
seek a living Master and enlist with him on the path of Surat 
Shabd Yoga. No need to quarrel with fate because there is no 
other way. Why should you wish any other way? The Creator has 
established a royal highway to the supreme regions. Isn't that good 
enough? It is only on the path of the saints that anyone ever has 
risen or ever can rise to regions beyond the play of karma, beyond 
the downward drag of mind and maya. 

The length of life upon the Brahm plane is very long indeed. It 
often extends to thousands and millions of years. But the saints 
are familiar with vast regions far beyond and above the highest 
regions known to ancient yogis or rishis. Moreover, the Brahm 
region itself must sooner or later come to an end, when the peri- 
odic dissolutions take place. This is taught by both the Vedas and 
the Gita, and it is repeated in the Upanishads. If that region itself 
I s destined to come to an end, how shall its inhabitants enjoy 
immortality? There is no assured immortality until the soul has 
reached the regions of pure spirit, far beyond all materiality. Only 



80 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



THE FOUR VEDAS OF THE HINDUS 



81 



then is the soul above the complications of mind and beyond the 
grasp of karma, beyond all dissolutions and grand dissolutions. 

Let us note now the final instructions of Krishna to his disciple, 
especially to his beloved bhakta, Arjuna. This is his great word, the 
supreme word of the Gita. 

It is called the Mahavakya, the crowning note in the grand scale 
of the Song CelestiaL It is this: 

With the Lord in thy heart, with all thy being, with his grace 
thou shalt attain to the supreme peace and the eternal status. So 
have I expounded to thee a knowledge more secret than that 
which is hidden. Further, hear the most secret, the supreme word 
[mahavakya] that I shall speak to thee — Become my-minded. 
[Compare — "Let this mind be in you," which was also said by 
Christ Jesus.] Devoted to me, to me do sacrifice and adoration. 
Infallibly thou shalt come unto me; for dear thou art to me. 
Abandoning all laws of conduct, seek refuge in me alone; I will 
release thee from all sin. Do not grieve. 

(xvrn; 62-66) 

In closing this section on the Gita, we must drop one word of 
caution. It is referred to in many places in this book but it cannot 
be overemphasized Do not imagine that you may become an 
accepted disciple of Krishna or of Buddha or of Jesus by reading 
instructions in a book and saying a prayer to him in your imagi- 
nation. It can never be done. Their messages were spoken to th^ir 
own disciples. 

Truth itself may be universal, but a spiritual Master can func- 
tion here as a Master only so long as he lives in a physical body. 
How do we know? Because the Masters all say so; besides, the very 
reasons that impelled him to take a human body in the first place 
suggest that such work as he has to do can be done only in a 
human body. If it were otherwise, then he never had any need of 
coming in human form. This is not because the Master is limited, 
but because the disciple is limited. He cannot receive help from a 
departed Master. To try to make a departed saint one's own Mas- 






ter now is only to hug a fond delusion. There is no spiritual liber- 
ation without conscious contact with the Shabd-dhun, and that 
you cannot possibly get without a living Satguru. As will be seen 
in Chapter 11, Section 9, the three links of the golden chain are 
absolutely inseparable. They are: Satguru, Shabd-dhun, and jivart 
mukti — the Master, the audible life stream, and salvation during 
this life. If you want salvation, you must first secure the other two. 
There is no other way. 

When Krishna said those lovely words to Arjuna, promising 
"infallibly thou shalt come to me," they applied to Arjuna only or 
any other of his beloved disciples, but not to the public in general 
nor to any future time when someone just imagines himself to be 
a disciple of Krishna. And the same applies to all other past Mas- 
ters, all other sacred books and all other religions. In every case, 
the living Master is necessary if we are to pass beyond the thresh- 
old of the heavenly kingdom, beyond the gates of materiality. Every 
student who has gone to higher regions knows that the higher one 
goes, the more difficult it is to go without a Master with him. 
Soon the stage is reached where it is quite impossible to go anoth- 
er step without the presence and aid of a Master. 



1 1. THE FOUR VEDAS OF THE HINDUS 

The Vedas are among the most notable of the ancient scriptures, 
generally conceded to be the oldest literature in existence. How- 
ever, long centuries before the Vedas were reduced to writing, 
perhaps before there was a Sanskrit alphabet, the Vedas were re- 
peated from father to son, almost in whispers, so sacred were they 
considered. The Vedas are venerated because they are old, as well 
as for their contents. But if one were looking for a book of knowl- 
edge, he would not go back to the childhood of the race. Sant Mat, 
antedating the Vedas by vast eons of time, is the oldest system of 
spiritual philosophy in existence. Yet I fear if it depended upon its 
age for veneration, it would get but scant consideration from mod- 
ern thinkers. That system is today much appreciated because it is 
hv »ng truth. 



82 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



The four Vedas are: 



i. The Rig Veda 
2. The Yajur Veda 

3- 
4- 



The Sama Veda 
The Atharva Veda 



In the Vedas we are confronted with the same difficulty that 
puzzles us in regard to all old scriptures. It is very difficult to 
determine what was originally written and what has been added 
during the succeeding centuries. All scriptures have suffered such 
additions and modifications during the centuries. 

The Vedas contain one hundred thousand shlokas, or couplets, 
of which eighty-six thousand deal with problems concerning life 
tn this world. Fourteen thousand deal with spiritual problems, 
God and the gods, and the heavens beyond this earth. There are 
many lofty precepts in the Vedas, but unfortunately mixed in with 
much that is not so elevating. But even that is due to the fact that 
they were written for a people who were low in the scale of spiri- 
tual evolution, and human relationships were necessarily used to 
illustrate spiritual truths. Doubtless, if we had the pure original 
songs of the great rishis, we would have a very beautiful spiritual 

literature. 

The Vedas exhibit a definite knowledge of the audible life stream. 
In them it is called nad, or nada. Doubtless their authors had 
experimental knowledge of certain phases of the holy nad. This 
life current manifests on all planes, and it may be heard in Sahas- 
radal Kanwal, the Turiya Pad, and the Brahm LoL 

A revival of interest in the Vedas has come out of the life and 
work of Ramakrishna and his illustrious disciple, Swami Vive- 
kananda. In fact, it was Vivekananda, more than anyone else, who 
stimulated interest in the Vedantic philosophy throughout the 
world. The writings of Max Mueller have been widely read, but 
chiefly among scholars, even as the lucid expositions of Shn Au- 
robindo Ghose, who had given to the Gita a new birth in the land 

of its origin. , 

The Upanishads are some of the finest portions of the sacrea 



THEFOUR VEDAS OF THE HINDUS 83 

writings of India. Most of the original writings of this class have 
been lost, according to some authorities. One hundred and eight 
have been preserved, and of these not more than twenty are of 
superior value from our viewpoint. Out of that number, thirteen 
have been translated and discussed by Robert E. Hume. This work 
ought to be read by all who wish to make a careful study of the 
Upanishads. Duessen, a great German student of Indian litera- 
ture, says: "To every Indian Brahmin today the Upanishads are 
what the New Testament is to the Christian." 

Schopenhauer said that the Upanishads had been a lifelong in- 
spiration to him; but his recommendation is not so valuable as 
that of philosophers who, abandoning the darker aspects of things, 
exalt their own fives by the nobler precepts of the Indian litera- 
ture. 

Clearly the Upanishads teach that the path to spiritualization is 
fundamentally self-abnegation. Added to that, they enjoin vivek 
and vaimgya, quite in harmony with the teachings of the great 
Masters. By all these means they teach the disciple to know the 
supreme Brahman, knowing whom, the disciple becomes Brah- 
man. But we insist that mere knowledge never leads to liberation. 
The jnana yoga is not the chief means of enlightenment. But the 
Upanishads lay down some other aids to spiritual attainment 
Among them are sama, dama, uparati, titiksha, samadhan, shrad- 
dha, and mumukshutva. The latter two, which mean faith and 
longing, are also enjoined by the Masters as excellent aids on the 
path. Especially is the last one regarded by the Masters, as well as 
the Upanishadic pundits, as the driving force on the spiritual path. 
Of course, the object of longing must be so ardently desired that 
all else becomes of small importance. 

In Mundaka (II. ii. 3-4), the Upanishads give an apt simile for 
the devotee: 



Taking the great weapon, the bow, fix the arrow sharpened by 
meditation. Drawing it with the mind, rapt in the Immutable, 
pierce that target, that very Immutable. Om is the bow, the soul 
is the arrow, and Brahman is the target. One must pierce irwith 
a concentrated mind and so become like the arrow, one with it. 



84 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Of course, this applies to such as go no further than Brahm Lok, 
and to whom om is the most sacred word. 

Again we must call attention to the important fact that the 
Upanishads, however rich in knowledge, lack the living Master 
and audible life stream, both of which are absolutely necessary to 
full spiritual realization. Karam kanda and jnana kanda, either 
singly or together, can never bring to any student jivan mukti, 
which is the goal sought by all. Surat Shabd Kanda is an absolute 
necessity. So the Upanishads, like all other sacred books, belong to 
past ages, and lack the quickening power of a living Master. Even 
supposing that the Upanishads, like other sacred books, were writ- 
ten by Masters or inspired by them, why not go to a living Master 
now? We must always beware of the illusion that a mere knowl- 
edge of a thing will bring to us its benefits. 

In the Nad-Bindu Upanishad of the Rig Veda-^some claim that 
this is not in the original Rig Veda, but of a later date— the audi- 
ble life stream is plainly referred to and partly described: 

In the beginning of practice, the devotee hears many loud 
sounds, ten or more. They gradually increase in pitch and are 
heard more and more subtly. At first sounds are like those 
coming from the ocean, from the clouds (like thunder) and 
from cataracts, In the middle stage, such as proceed from the 
mardang, the bell and the horn. At the last stage, those proceed- 
ing from tinkling bells, the flute and the bitta. Thus he hears 
many sounds, more and more subtly. 

It is thus that the old Hindu scriptures definitely speak of the 
inner sounds. Then this same Upanishad enjoins: 

The mind, having at first concentrated itself on any one sound, 
fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it. The mind, becoming 
insensible to external impressions, becomes one with the sound, 
as milk with water. Having abandoned all thoughts and being 
freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his atten- 
tion on the sound. Just as the bee drinks the honey and does not 



AN EPITOME OF VED1C PHILOSOPHY 85 

care for anything else, so the chitta [the mind], which is always 
absorbed in the sound, does not long for sensual objects. 

And so the Masters teach that the Shabd, the Sound, is the only 
thing that will cure the mind from wandering after sensual ob- 
jects. "The sound proceeding from Pranava, which is Brahman, is 
of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it." 

All this is in full accord with the teachings of the modern Mas- 
ters. But most of the present-day sannyasts have lost all practical 
knowledge of the sound current. This in spite of the fact that they 
claim to follow the Upanishads as their bible. Instead of listening 
to the Sound itself, they read some book that tells about it. And 
then, because they cannot hear the Sound themselves, having lost 
all knowledge of the method, they try to explain it away as a mere 
figure of speech. This is now being done by most of the Sikhs 
regarding their Granth Sahib, which is full of mention of the holy 
Shabd. The same has been done by Tagore, the beloved poet of 
Bengal, in his translations of Kabir Sahib. 

The Samhitas is a collection of Vedic hymns sung in praise of 
the various gods and devas — Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Parjanya, etc 
Hymns sung to the gods while they — both gods and men — drank 
their soma juice and frolicked. These are perhaps the oldest speci- 
mens of Indian philosophy ever reduced to writing. 



12. AN EPITOME OF VEDIC PHILOSOPHY 

We believe that the entire substance of the Vedic philosophy, which 
has stood the acid test of rational criticism, may be summed up in 
one of the classical sentences. It may give us the key to the under- 
standing of all Vedic literature, besides much that is modern. Note 
« well: 

Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti. 

means: "That which exists is one; sages call it by various 
ame s.' This was first written probably ten thousand years ago. It 



g , A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

has run through all Indian philosophy like a golden thread. It 
teaches not only that there is unity in the supreme one but unity 
among men and in all life. In fact, all that lives is one life, one m 
origin, one in essence, and that essence is permeated and vitalized 
by the one universal spirit. It is in that One that all things live and 
move and have their being. 

If Hindu philosophy had never done anything else than give to 
the world this one sentence, it would have justified its existence. It 
has modified all philosophic thought from prehistoric times down 
to this day. Out of it has grown modern monism, which is so 
profoundly affecting all recent thinking. Until we see nothing in 
the world but the infinite one, all of these evils of which men 
complain will continue to beset our path and harass us. We shall 
make much of distinctions, and selfishness will take precedence 
over altruism. It is only in the Lord, in the spirit, in the life stream 
itself, that we come to know of a certainty that we are all one. 
When our entire consciousness blends into that divine current, 
then we shall see nothing but that light and hear nothing but that 
music. We shall become one with it. Until we see the beloved one 
and hear the enchanting melodies of 'the all-embracing Sound', 
we shall wander through the universe like stray comets. 

Until we see and hear him in everything, even in evil, perfect 
unity will not exist for us. The very heart of this doctrine of one- 
ness is love. Love is the divine cement which unites all living 
beings into one temple of light. The higher we go into the inner 
worlds, the more apparent this oneness becomes. Sitting in Sat 
Desh, the supreme region, one beholds the King of kings and says: 
"I am He!" Love is the holy bond that holds all worlds together. 
What a pity that individuals should war ignorantly and blindly 
against each other. 

Side by side with this sublime concept, which teaches the one- 
ness of all that exists, is another Sanskrit expression which sums 
up in three words the entire philosophy of our kinship with all 
that lives. It offers a philosophical basis for universal love. It does 
away with distinctions. It then prepares the mind to enter the 
path. It is, "Tat twam asi." It means, "Thou art that" Its underly- 



A N EPITOME OF VED1C PHILOSOPHY 87 

ing concept is identical with the other sentence just quoted. It has 
a twofold actual meaning. First, it means this individual is that 
individual — no distinction. Second, it means that each individual 
is the supreme Lord. 

There is a point in the upward travels of the student of the 
Masters when he beholds the majestic beauty and grandeur of one 
of the great lords of the upper worlds. His name is Sohang. When 
the student sees him, the consciousness comes to him with an 
overwhelming joy — "I am that" This is the meaning of the word 
sohang. At that moment of sublime realization, the student knows 
that he is one with the Supreme. That is pure Sant Mat; but it 
finds a distant echo in the Vedas. 

It was scarcely necessary that Spinoza should enlarge upon this 
basic truth. His entire philosophy was no more than a thesis found- 
ed upon this ancient text. That text embodies the original idea of 
all modern dissertation upon the unity of things. It is the legiti- 
mate mother of the doctrine of universal brotherhood of man and 
universal fatherhood of God. If we all sprang from one God and 
are still one in him, we must be very close brothers. If all men had 
remembered that golden ideal, they would never have persecuted 
or sought to destroy one another. And this is today one of the 
noble precepts of the Masters. Whatever my brother is, I am, 
whether good or bad. Into this sublime concept, if we pour the 
stream of universal love, the world itself will become a paradise. 
All that ails this old world today is its lack of love. But men forget, 
and so they suffer. As said in another section, when all men turn 
to the path of love, suffering will cease. 

All Vedantic systems agree on three things: first, a belief in God, 
or the gods; second, that the Vedas constitute the revealed mes- 
sage of God, or the gods; and third, a belief in the cycles of world 
history. 

i he Vedas are divided into two portions, two currents running 

jjjrough all four of them — the karam kanda, or work portion, and 

e jnana kanda, the knowledge portion. This is the gyan marg, or 

he yoga of knowledge. The Upanishads belong to the jnana kanda 

c^f!?"' They are intended to give enlightenment. They are also 

ca Ued Aranyakas, or the Forest Books. 



88 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



The yoga of works and the yoga of knowledge are both taught 
in the Vedas; but the yoga of devotion, the bhakti marg, does not 
seem to us to be sufficiently emphasized. The bhakti marg, when 
vitalized by the nad-bindu, the divine Shabd, is the supreme yoga 
of the saints. It is their path back home. 

The Vedas teach another thing of great importance, a vital truth; 
namely, that all men should seek to know one thing, knowing 
which, all else is known. What is that one thing? The inner self. 
Hence the importance of the injunction, "Know thyself." 

The Vedas offer a very beautiful simile: 

Multitudes of people are like the million dewdrops in which the 
one sun is reflected. Untold millions of them, but only one sun. 
So is our relation to the eternal One. 



The Vedic idea of creation is worth our mention here. In San- 
skrit the word which is commonly translated as 'creation' is liter- 
ally 'projection'. The ancient sages could not conceive of some- 
thing being created out of nothing. The supreme one projects 
himself into form and material substance. Therefore he is still in 
it, still its life and essence. Everything that exists is then a unit in 
the universal being. In material things it means that his vibrations 
are lowered to the material plane in order that he may manifest 
upon that plane. 

This ts illustrated by the phenomena of mind. Manas, buddhi, 
all of the elements of mind, are simply the projections of the 
cosmic mind, the mahat. This mahat then becomes manifested in 
vibrating thought. Nothing is ever created new except in its form. 
Its substance is as eternal as the Creator himself, and through 
everything the creative essence runs. 

The Vedas teach that from stone to intellect all is the product of 
one substance, akash. The difference lies solely in the greater or 
lesser degree of its manifestation. As there is but one substance at 
the substratum of all things in the material universe, so there is 
but one primary force from which all other forces are derived. Its 
name is prana. Prana, acting upon akash, produces all forms. To 



AN EPITOME OF VEDIC PHILOSOPHY 89 

gain control over all forces and materials in nature, one has only 
to gain control over prana, the primal force. And therein lies one 
of the big secrets of the yogi. Yet that is only half the problem. To 
gain control over prana, one must first gain control over his own 
mind— therein is the secret of secrets. This is the order of nature. 

Mind is superior to all other material forces and substances. 
Mind controls all else. In fact, mind is the primary motive power 
throughout nature. We do not see it as mind because we are not 
able to observe mind in action. It is like electricity — we can only 
see its manifestations, not the thing itself. Mind controls all, but 
mind must act through some agency, some intermediary. There 
are many of these intermediate substances and forces in a series 
graded from fine to coarse. At last we arrive at electricity, 1 well 
down on the scale; yet it is the highest in the series that science has 
been able to grasp and manipulate for its own uses. 

Science has already come near to proving that electricity is the 
one substance into which all other substances resolve themselves, 
everything ending at last in protons and electrons. But the practi- 
cal point for us is, if we wish to control the forces of the material 
world, we must begin with mind control. Gaining complete mas- 
tery over the mind, we then direct the mind toward the prana. 
Controlling prana, we compel it to manipulate the lower substances 
with which we have to deal. Among those lower substances, the 
first one to become visible to us, that is, visible in its manifesta- 
tions, is electricity. Gaining that, we may play with nature's forces 
as we desire. And this is the secret of all miracles. There have been 
thousands of yogis or mahatmas of different degrees, in every age 
of the world, who have been able to do so-called miracles. Any 
Master can do them. Many of his disciples can do them. Guru 
Nanak said: "Conquer the mind and you conquer the world." 

And this is a truth known to everyone who has made some 
advancement upon the path. The practice of real yoga arouses the 
atent powers in everyone — powers possessed by everybody, but 
ymg dormant in most people. When fully awakened, such powers 
enable the individual to transcend the limits of reason and sense 



Here Dr. Johnson is referring to particles and fields, in today's terminology. 



90 A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

perception. This suggests the very great value of true yoga. Her- 
mann Keyserling says: "It is amazing that the enlightened West 
has not made study of yoga a part of its public school curricula." 

Every careful student knows that one of the greatest handicaps 
to progress is the lack of ability to concentrate upon the task in 
hand. Yoga teaches people to concentrate. The average mind is 
like a pool of water violently agitated by windstorms: storms of 
passion, of desires, of duties to be done, of a hundred demands 
upon one's time, of restless hurrying to and fro, of irritations, 
anxieties, worries and a thousand other ills of mind. Concentra- 
tion is the cure. Do not allow yourself to be deceived into imagin- 
ing that you will concentrate when you have circumstances shaped 
to suit your convenience. That time will never come. But if you 
will concentrate first of all, you will soon be able to shape circum- 
stances to suit yourself. There is practically no limit to what may 
be accomplished by concentration. 



13. THE YOGA OF PATANJALI 

The following is the system of yoga according to the Patanjali 
interpretation of the Vedas. It is not part of the Masters' system, 
but since it is so well known to students of the occult in all Orien- 
tal countries, we wish to give it here simply as a study. But we 
must warn all students not to attempt to use it, except under the 
directions of a true yogi. It has its dangers. It is given in eight 
stages, as follows: 

(1) Yama — Restraint. The non-killing of animals or men; truth- 
fulness, honesty, continence, non-acceptance of gifts, but giving 
freely to all who need. 

(2) Niyama — Internal and external purification; study, worship. 
(3} Asana — Sitting in the proper posture, body erect and the 

mind in perfect poise. 

(4) Pranayam — Controlling the prana, the vital force. This is 
generally done by the old yogis, mostly by controlling the breath, 
together with the exercise of the will. The result of the perfect 



THE YOGA OF PATANJALI 



91 



practice of pranayam is udghata, the awakening of the kundalini 
This point has been much emphasized by the yogis. The Masters 
say only a little about it, except to warn students against dabbling 
with forces which they have not mastered. Pranayam is not a part 
of the system of the saints and is not recommended by them. All 
of its beneficial results the Masters gain in another way, as will be 
shown later in this book. Kumbhaka is attained by restraining the 
prana through concentration on internal and external objects. This 
is supposed to remove all coverings of the chitt, and give one- 
pointed sight. 

(5) Dharma — Perfect concentration of mind by drawing it to 
one point and then holding it there, keeping the mind one-point- 
ed. This is much emphasized by the Masters. 

(6) Pratyahara — Withdrawing the attention entirely from all 
external objects of sense, then going into the inner world. This 
means, in the language of the Masters, 'closing the nine doors'. It 
is like going into a room and then shutting all the doors and 
windows so as to avoid disturbances from without. Mind becomes 
calm after it is withdrawn from the sense world. It is then ready 
for the next step. 

(7) Dhyan — Holding the mind in fixed contemplation upon 
one object. This may be the Master or any other object; but in the 
system of the saints, it is the Master only. 

{8) Samadhi — Going beyond the sense world and entering the 
region of inner reality, that is some supraphysical plane of con- 
sciousness. The body being now senseless, the mind and spirit rise 
to a state of superconsciousness. Samyam is an exalted stage of 
samadhi wherein the consciousness is only aware of the inner 
meanings of things. It is at this point that the student penetrates 
into the hidden mysteries of the universe. The whole world then is 
clear as crystal, and all knowledge stands naked before him. This 
15 pure samyam. But there is a state of consciousness even above 
that. It is called nirvikatpa, that changeless state of mind when the 
mind rises above all time changes, and itself changes no more, 
possessing all. This is as far as yoga can go with the Vedantists. 

On the path of the Masters the student rises above nirvikalpa 



92 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



into that state where mind itself is dropped as of no further use, 
and the pure soul — unfettered by any instrument — knows all things 
by direct perception. But this is a state entered when the soul 
passes above and beyond all materiality, even beyond the cosmic 
mind itself. 

On the way to the higher attainments, there is one exalted state 
of mind much emphasized by the Vedantists. That state is gained 
when the mind is not disturbed by any sort of opposition or any 
evil thing. If attacked, the mind remains quite undisturbed, calm 
as the still waters. There is then no sort of resistance, no antago- 
nism, not even in thought; no hatred, no fear,' no anger, not a 
ripple on the calm surface of mind. This very exalted state of 
mind is called by the pundits titiksha. But in actual practice it is 
hardly reached before the degree of Master has been won. To the 
ordinary yogi it is mostly theoretical. 

The student is taught by the Vedas, and by the Masters also, to 
practice vivek, 'discrimination'. But there is a very high degree of 
discrimination which is not attained until the soul illumines the 
buddhi. When the ordinary faculty of discrimination is quickened 
by the direct rays of the spirit, we generally speak of that as intui- 
tion. But when this process is carried to perfection and the mind 
is completely illuminated by spirit, then it is called by the pundits 
nityanitya vivek, meaning that it is a degree of discrimination be- 
yond which there is nothing more to see. The ordinary discrimi- 
nating powers of the mind, the buddhi, are not able to rise to the 
same height as when lit up by the spirit itself. The Western psy- 
chologist may call this reason combined with intuition. But it is 
simply the buddhi, the intellect, quickened by spirit to an unusual 
degree. Until they enter the path, only a few individuals are so 
endowed. 

Perfect nityanitya vivek can hardly be attained until the soul is 
free from all coverings and is able to operate by direct perception. 
It may begin this state while yet a film of mind hangs over it. Only 
when the soul has passed beyond that sphere where matter ob- 
scures its vision, does it gain the true pratyaksham — direct percep- 
tion and true knowledge. This leads us somewhat beyond the field 



THE YOGA OF PATANlAll 



93 



of the Vedas. The regions of pure spirit, beyond all matter and 
mind, are unknown to the Vedas. They are known only to the 
Masters. 

There is a degree of spiritual illumination which comes to the 
individual as a result of purity alone. The world has seen many 
such characters. Let us call them natural-born saints, although 
they are not real saints in the technical meaning of that term. 
When a person never thinks an evil thought, never dwells upon 
things of the sense world, nor desires any pleasant sensation for 
self-gratification, that person spontaneously attains a degree of 
spiritual illumination called by the pundits pratibha. This is the 
light of the supreme genius, the great poet, the great artist, the 
great philanthropist. But such as these are bom, not made so by 
their own thinking. 

The above classes are closely related to those who are said to 
radiate a fight and a knowledge called dharma megha. The soul 
appears naturally to be clothed in light and virtue. This is spoken 
of as 'a cloud of virtue'. Such a great soul, wherever he goes, is 
clothed in this mantle of glory. It can be seen by all who enjoy 
astral vision. But such people are very rare. 

Ahimsa is that attitude of mind which makes it impossible, for 
one who possesses it, ever willingly to cause pain of any sort, 
mental or physical. This is a very noble virtue and it is a decided 
step forward on the path. He who has attained it is close to the 
Kingdom. 

Abhava is that form of yoga in which the yogi sees, himself as 
zero, nothing, having no commendable virtue, void of all vanity. 
This is good but it is a negative virtue. It only serves to purify the 
vessel but puts nothing into it. 

Then comes a still higher yoga called mahayoga. This means a 
more exalted state of mind in which the yogi sees himself not 
simply as nothing, but as one with the supreme one, free and 
blissful. This is to be attained while cherishing the most perfect 
humility. Otherwise it is useless to think about it. 

There are three concepts which it would be good to under- 
stand: desa, kala, nimitta — space, time and causation. This is the 



94 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



composition and order of the universe. Other and higher univers- 
es may know no such limitations. It is well known to the Masters 
that in the highest regions both time and space disappear auto- 
matically. This would go to show that they are simply limitations 
of material worlds. In those higher worlds all events and things, 
which we see in time and space, stand forever present before the 
observer. Then two of the fetters which bind us here are gone. 
There is no absolute reality in time and space. They are simply our 
method of separating things and events. But when we are free, 
those limitations naturally disappear. When the soul has all knowl- 
edge, all power, and is itself the very essence of love, what is there 
to limit it? Time and space are limitations. The free soul is unlim- 
ited. Therefore, to it there is neither time nor space. It is one with 
the Supreme. This conscious oneness is then the basis of the most 
perfect liberty, as well as perfect joy. 

We have given extremely brief sketches of the highlights of Hindu 
philosophy, and we have given those portions which we believe 
are of the greatest value to the student on the path of the Masters. 
We are not concerned with those speculative portions which have 
no practical value for us. We have given those sections, those 
gems of thought, which coincide more closely with the teachings 
of the Masters. This we have done not to throw light upon the 
teachings of the Masters but to offer corroborative evidence. The 
science of the Masters does not contradict or negate any of the 
good things of the old scriptures. It simply offers additional light. 
It accepts what has been proved true in the old systems and then 
uses them as stepping-stones to go higher. 



14. THE JEWISH RELIGION 

The Jewish people have a unique and distinctive history. Abra- 
ham, his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob, were the founders of 
Judaism. Abraham was Chaldean by birth, of the city of Ur. Ur 
was then noted for its philosophical speculations, its astrology and 
its occult sciences. Judaism was almost wholly borrowed, absorbed 



THE JEWISH RELIGION 



from the people among whom they lived. By them it was modified 
and reconstructed into what is now known as Judaism. The world 
does not seem to understand, especially the Christian world, that 
the Jewish religion was taken almost bodily from heathen reli- 
gions. The Jewish religion is as much heathen as is Brahmanism. 
It was born out of heathenism. But from our viewpoint that is 
nothing to its discredit. All religions evolve from those that were 
extant in the culture prior to their emergence, for they aspire to 
fulfill the needs of a time, and a people's needs do not change 
radically overnight. A religion usually absorbs into its structure 
and doctrine those elements of the preceding religions which are 
still relevant to the people it serves, and the essence always passes 
from one religion to the next. Truth belongs to no race, class or 
country. It is universal. 

The early Jews were semi-nomadic shepherds, ranging the lands 
between Babylonia and Syria, Abraham had imbibed some of the 
Eastern wisdom, we believe, and had combined it with the pre- 
vailing manner of sacrificial worship of the deity of his people, 
Yahveh, or Adonai. In those days religious practices throughout 
the world were primitive in form and streamed with animal blood. 

There seems to be something deeply rooted in human con- 
sciousness which has always led man to make bloody sacrifices. 
What is it? It is doubtless the subconscious recognition that sin 
must be atoned for, or in other words, that every debt must be 
paid. And that is nothing more nor less than the Indian doctrine 
of karma. Karma is only the practice of sacrifice reduced to a fixed 
law of nature. Amongst the earliest peoples, they could not gener- 
alize that much. They only felt that something must be done to 
pay off the debt. Reduced to its concentrate, the law of karma is 
nothing more than that. 

Sacrifice in some form appears in the Vedas and is a concomi- 
tant of all early forms of religion. This amounts to an almost 
universal recognition of the stern fact that nature demands full 
payment for everything. But the great mistake of man has been to 
"nagine vainly that he can escape payment by any such trick or 
subterfuge as offering a sacrifice as a substitute, a payment by 



96 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



proxy. Early man tried to hoodwink nature by a clever scheme of 
substitution. Only in the childhood of the race could such a thought 
ever have entered the human brain. By such a scheme men only 
deceived themselves. They certainly could not deceive nature or 
the lord of justice. Not only did this naive plan fail to accomplish 
its purpose, but it also added to the guilt of the sinner. Instead of 
cancelling his debt, it doubled it. It worked backwards. By sacri- 
ficing an animal or a human being for the sins of the living, fresh 
sins were committed and more debt incurred. Instead of getting 
rid of past obligations, the sacrificer added to his debts. His load 
of karma grew heavier instead of lighter. 

Abraham was a shepherd patriarch among the wandering tribes 
of Amorites, Chaldean in origin. But we are concerned here only 
with the Jewish religion. That religion is so mixed in origin that it 
is difficult to trace it. Before the Babylonian captivity, the religion 
was not very well defined. About the year 600 b.c, the Jews were 
taken to Babylon in virtual slavery. During the following seventy 
years, partaking of the culture and philosophy of their masters, 
they absorbed their customs and their more refined way of life. 
Before their return home, under the gracious patronage of Cyrus, 
they had become a very different people. And right here is a point 
of much historic significance, especially for Christians. Since the 
Christian religion was, and is, so completely a reconstructed Juda- 
ism, it must be of interest to know that Judaism itself was so 
largely derived from the religion and culture of Babylonia. We 
may even go one step further back — the Babylonian world view 
itself was founded upon the teachings of the noble Persian, Zara- 
thrustra, with some modifications. Thus by a direct line, the Chris- 
tian religion, as it found its way into history, may be seen as a 
modified Zoroastrianism, with the figure of Christ taking the role 
of the sacrificial lamb, although sacrifice, except that of a pure and 
consecrated life, had been no part of the teaching of Zarathustra- 
If Christian theologians and historians resent this statement, they 
may do well to examine the history more closely. In further proof 
of this statement, the pure and original orthodox Judaism will be 
found to resemble very closely the teaching of Zarathustra, as set 
forth in the Zend Avesta. 



THE JEWISH RELIGION 



The Jews rebuilt their holy city, Jerusalem, and began a new life, 
stimulated by the culture, awakened by new ideals. For the first 
time in history, something like national unity cemented them into 
a people possessing manly attributes. Henceforth, three moral and 
political intoxicants stimulated Jewish activity: (1) The promise 
made to Abraham by Jehovah that he would exalt the Jews above 
all nations and give them world empire. They would have domin- 
ion over all other nations — they were to rule the world. (2) Jeho- 
vah, who was first regarded as the greatest of many tribal deities, 
was now proclaimed God of all gods, and with time was conceived as 
the one and only God. This notion took centuries to crystallize, 
and with it came the conviction that the Jews were God's chosen 
people. (3) finally, they believed that a great deliverer, a messiah, 
would soon appear to lead the chosen people to a full realization 
of all that Jehovah had promised. The cherished vision of world 
empire for a chosen people could not be realized any other way. 
Now, after three thousand years of weary waiting, there appears 
less and less likelihood that those promises will ever be fulfilled. 
National delusions are often endowed with very great longevity. 

There is one thing about the Jewish religion which interests us 
here — the esoteric teachings of its sacred scriptures. In the Tal- 
mud and the Torah, from which the Pentateuch of the Bible was 
taken, there are traces of the teachings of the Eastern Masters. 
There is an esoteric meaning, they say, in every chapter (some 
claim, in every sentence), quite incomprehensible to the ordinary 
reader. Only the initiates could understand that deeper meaning. 
It wholly escaped the casual reader. Neither was it ever intended 
for them. The majority could not understand; yet the treasures 
must be preserved for the worthy. In that hidden teaching, there 
are many glimpses of the Shabd of the Indian Masters; also, a 
more or less clearly outlined method of concentration, by means 
of which the student could penetrate the inner kingdom of light. 

It is a fact of supreme importance, which all men should bear 
IS mind, that no system of ethics, no culture, no spiritual philoso- 
phy, no information concerning the inner kingdom, is of any val- 
ue to the student unless he is at the same time provided with the 



98 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



means of entering that kingdom. But that is the great oversight of 
all religions. OnJy the science of the great Masters offers the defi- 
nite means, the precise method. It is also known that there have 
been many prophets and sages among the Jews besides those men- 
tioned in the Bible. Some of them were doubtless well advanced 
on the path. Gradually, however, the Jewish faith, like all others in 
history, deteriorated into a formal and ceremonial institution dom- 
inated by a priesthood. Priestcraft, the great menace of history! 

There is another point which we wish to make clear regarding 
the Jewish faith and its relation to the path of the Masters. That is 
the very definite marking of the higher path running through all 
of the old Jewish scriptures. We have neither time nor space to 
trace that in detail. But we wish simply to call attention to it. 
Perhaps someone else may give it a more detailed study. 

There is no conflict between ancient Judaism and the science of 
the Masters. The latter science simply carries the student further. 
For example, the Masters speak of the second region on the higher 
path, and they name it Trikuti. This is the Brahm Lok of the 
Vedas and the Gita. It is the highest world or plane known to 
ancient yogis or rishis. It is the supreme region today to practical- 
ly all religions. In the Jewish Kabbalah it probably corresponds to 
the plane known as 'the Atzilotic world'. The entire Kabbalah is 
replete with hints and references which cannot be understood* 
except in the light of the Masters' teachings. 

In the Kabbalah there are six distinct stages in the body and 
four above. This corresponds to the Vedic system, where there are 
six chakras below l and four in the superphysical regions— they 
are the sun worlds, the moon worlds, the lightning worlds, and 
finally the Brahm Lok, regarded by it as the supreme region. In 
the Kabbalah they are named from below up, Malcuth, Yesod, 
Hod, Tiphereth, Netzach, Gevurah, Chesed, Binah, Chocmah, and 
Kether. They are regarded as the ten manifestations of God, each 
with a name; in each of these regions, the deity takes certain quali- 
ties and is named accordingly. They are, in fact, ten different 
stages of the manifestation of the deity. These several stages are to 
be attained by meditation upon the corresponding centers. 

1 . The six lower chakras are named in' another section. 



THE JEWISH RELIGION 






Kether is the crown region, the supreme, where the soul unites 
with Eheyeh, attaining what the Hindus name nirvana. At each of 
the stages upward, the soul gains certain virtues and powers, and 
realizes the deity in an ascending scale of glory from stage to stage. 
For example, in the highest region the soul realizes union with 
God. In Chocmah, he gains perfect wisdom, and understanding of 
the whole universe. In Binah, he gains understanding above ordi- 
nary men; in this region the deity is Yahveh Elohim, In Chesed, he 
is imbued with mercy as a cliief virtue; in Gevurah, strength, se- 
verity, justice, law; in Tiphereth, beauty, harmony, rhythm; in 
Netzach, victory — God is known there as Jehovah Sabaoth, the 
Lord of Hosts. In Hod he is glory, splendor; in Yesod, the founda- 
tion of all things, that out of which life flows. This corresponds to 
the generative center, the indri chakra of the Hindus. Last of all, 
the lowest is Malcuth, meaning the inner kingdom, the lowest 
subtle plane, and it is there that the deity is seen as Adonai- 
ha-Aretz, the lord of the earth, which corresponds to Ganesh of 
the Hindus. 

An important mystical philosophy or theosophy of the Jews is 
called the Kabbalah. The word is derived from the Hebrew kabal, 
signifying 'to receive", because it is the doctrine received from the 
elders. The word has sometimes been used, in an enlarged sense, 
to include all the explanations, maxims and ceremonies which 
have been traditionally handed down to the Jews. In its more 
limited acceptation, in the symbolic science of Freemasonry from 
which standpoint we may interpret it, the Kabbalah may be de- 
fined as a system of philosophy which embraces certain mystical 
interpretations of scripture and metaphysical speculations concerning 
the deity, man and spiritual beings. In these interpretations and 
speculations, according to the Jewish teachers, were developed the 
most profound truths of religion which, to be comprehended by 
finite beings, are obliged to be revealed through the medium of 
symbols and allegories. 1 

"The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select com- 

l - The following extracts are from the article "Kabbalah" in Albert G. Mackay, m.d., 33, 
An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (New York: The Masonic History Company, 1921). 
Copied by Harvey H. Myers, Orange, California. 



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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



pany of angels who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After 
the fall, the angels most graciously communicated this most heav- 
enly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the pro- 
toplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and 
felicity. , . . From Adam, it passed over to Noah, and then to 

Abraham . . . Moses . . . David and Solomon No one, however, 

dared to write it down till Simeon ben Jochai who lived at the 
time of the destruction of the second temple. R. Eliezer . . . then 
collated R. Simeon ben Jochai's treatises and out of these com- 
posed the celebrated work called Zohar which is the grand store- 
house of Kabbalism. 

"The Kabbalah is divided into two kinds, the Practical and the 
Theoretical. The Practical Kabbalah is occupied in instructions for 
the construction of talismans and amulets and has no connection 
with Masonic science. The theoretical Kabbalah is again divided 
into the Dogmatic and the Literal. The Dogmatic Kabbalah is the 
summary of the rabbinical theosophy and philosophy. The Literal 
Kabbalah is the science which teaches a mystical mode of explain- 
ing sacred things by a peculiar use of the letters of words and a 
reference to their value. Each of these divisions demands separate 
attention. 

"L The Dogmatic Kabbalah. The origin of the Kabbalah has 
been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent 
of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are 
found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day. It 
has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of 
Zarathustra. 

"The Kabbalistic teaching of emanation is best understood by 
an examination of the doctrine of the Sephiroth. 

"The supreme being, say the Kabbalists, is an absolute and in- 
scrutable unity having nothing without him, and everything with- 
in him. He is called En Soph, 'the Infinite One'. In this infinitude, 
he cannot be comprehended by the intellect nor described in words 
intelligible by human minds so as to make his existence percepti- 
ble. It was necessary, therefore, that to render himself comprehen- 
sible, the En Soph should make himself active and creative. But he 



THE IEWISH RELIGION 



101 



could not become the direct creator; because, being infinite, he is 
without will, intention, thought, desire or action, all of which are 
qualities of a finite being only. The En Soph, therefore, was com- 
pelled to create the world in an indirect manner by ten emana- 
tions from the infinite fight which he was, and in which he dwelt. 

"These ten emanations are the ten Sephiroth, or Splendors of 
the Infinite One, and the way in which they were produced was 
thus: At first, the En Soph sent forth into space one spiritual ema- 
nation. This first Sephirah is called Kether, the crown, because it 
occupied the highest position. This first Sephirah contained with- 
in it the other nine, which sprang forth in the following order At 
first a male, or active potency, proceeded from it, and this, the 
second Sephirah, is called Chocmah, or wisdom. This sent forth 
an opposite, female, or passive potency, named Binah, or intelli- 
gence. These three Sephiroth constitute the first triad, and out of 
them proceeded the other seven . . . Chesed, or mercy . . . Gev- 
urah, or justice . . . Tiphereth, or beauty . . . and these constitute 
the second triad. From the sixth Sephirah came forth the seventh 
Sephirah, Netzach, or firmness. This was a male potency and pro- 
duced the female potency named Hod, or splendor. From these 
two proceeded Yesod, or foundation, and these three constituted 
the third triad of the Sephiroth. Lastly, from the foundation came 
the tenth Sephirah, called Malcuth, or kingdom, which was at the 
foot of all, as the crown was at the top. 

This division of the ten Sephiroth into three triads was ar- 
ranged into a form called by the Kabbalists the Kabbalistic Tree or 

«^ ree °^^^ e l- as shown in the diagram on the next page]. 

In this diagram, the vertical arrangement of the Sephiroth is 

called pillars. Thus the four Sephiroth in the center are called the 

Middle pillar, the three on the right, the pillar of mercy, and the 

three on the left, the pillar of justice. They allude to these two 

qualities of God, of which the benignity of the one modifies the 

gor of the other, so that the divine justice is always tempered by 

ri Vk* mercy ' C W " King ' m his Gmstks (P- 12 >> refers •■ 

the PM PUlar t0 the P01ar ]zchin > and the Ieft " hand piUar to 
ular Boaz, which stood at the porch of the Temple; and 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 




Archetypal Man 

ACCORDING TO THE JEWISH KABBALAH l 



1. Ibid.,Vo!. Lp.77. 



THE JEWISH RELIGION 



103 



"these two pillars," he says, "figure largely amongst all the secret 
societies of modern times and naturally so; for these illuminati 
have borrowed, without understanding it, the phraseology of the 
Kabbalists and the Valentinians." But an inspection of the ar- 
rangement of the Sephiroth will show if he is correct in his general 
inference that he has transposed the pillars. Firmness would more 
naturally symbolize Boaz, or Strength, as Splendor would Jachin 
or Establishment. 

"These ten Sephiroth are collectively denominated the arche- 
typical man, the microcosm, as the Greek philosophers called it, 
and each of them refers to a particular part of the body. Thus the 
crown is the head; wisdom, the brain; and intelligence, the heart, 
which was deemed the seat of understanding. These three repre- 
sent the intellectual; and the first triad is therefore called the Intel- 
lectual World. Mercy is the Right Arm and justice the Left Arm 
and beauty is the Chest. These represent moral qualities; and hence 
the second triad is called the Moral World Firmness is the Right 
Leg, Splendor the Left Leg, and Foundation the Privates. These 
three represent power and stability; and hence the third triad is 
called the Material World. Lastly, Kingdom is the Feet, the basis 
on which we all stand, and represents the harmony of the whole 
archetypal man. 

"Each of these Sephiroth was represented by a Divine name and 
by an Angelic name, which may be thus tabulated: 



SEPfflROTH 


DIVINE NAMES 


ANGELIC NAMES 


Crown 


Eheyeh 


Chayoth 


Wisdom 


Jah 


Ophanim 


Intelligence 


Jehovah 


Arelun 


Mercy 


El 


Cashmalim 


justice 


Eloha 


Seraphim 


Beauty 


Elohim 


Shinanim 


Firmness 


Jehovah Sabaoth 


Tarshishim 


Splendor 


Elohim Sabaoth 


Beni Elohim 


Foundation 


ElChai 


lshim 


^ngdom 


Adonai 


Cherubim 



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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



"These ten Sephiroth constitute, in their totality, the Atzilotic 
world, or the world of emanations, and from it proceed three 
other worlds, each having also its ten Sephiroth, namely, the Bri- 
atic world, or the world of creation; the Jetziratic world, or the 
world of formation; and the Assiatic world, or the world of action; 
each inhabited by a different order of beings. [But to enter fully 
upon the nature of these worlds would cany us too far into the 
obscure mysticism of the Kabbalah.] 

"These ten Sephiroth, represented in their order of ascent, from 
the lowest to the highest, from the Foundation to the Crown, 
forcibly remind us of the system of Mystical Ladders which per- 
vaded all of the ancient, as well as the modern, initiations; the 
Brahmanical Ladder of the Indian mysteries; the Ladder of Mith- 
ras, used in the Persian mysteries; the Scandinavian Ladder of the 
Gothic mysteries, and, in the Masonic mysteries, the Ladder of 
Kadosh; and, lastly, the Theological Ladder of the Symbolical de- 
grees. 

"II. The Literal Kabbalah. This division of the Kabbalah being, 
as has already been said, occupied in the explanation of sacred 
words by the value of the letters of which they are composed, has 
been extensively used by the inventors of the high degrees in the 
symbolism of their significant words. It is divided into three spe- 
cies; Gematria, Notaricon and Temura." Q.EJ>. 



Much more might be given but it is foreign to our purpose. We 
have given this much to show that the Jewish Kabbalah, corre- 
sponding very closely with the teachings of the old rishis, has 
many similarities with the esoteric teachings of the East when it is 
understood at a higher level which is coincident with the teach- 
ings of the Masters. 

The Jews, as all know, were finally dispersed and scattered among 
the nations. Many times they ran the narrow gamut of utter ex- 
tinction. At the same time, their religious principles underwent 
changes, now fading out and now reviving; at one time the Jews 
almost lost their identity and then they gained a new birth. Dur- 
ing the Middle Ages, exiled Jewry kept itself alive by various mys- 



THE JEWISH RELIGION 



105 



tical interpretations of its mission and destiny as expressed in a 
vast Kabbalistic literature, which ultimately found its most uni- 
fied, most perfect written expression in the Zohar, The Book of 
Splendor, which rediscovered the kingdom of the soul. Inventing 
a wholly new terminology, it did this in a specific sense, not then 
known in mystic Jewry. Says the Zohar: 

Believe not that man consists solely of flesh, skin and veins. The 
real part of man is his soul, and the things just mentioned are 
only outward coverings. They are only veils, not the real man. 
When man departs this life, he divests himself of all the veils 
which cover him. 



The author of this was surely close to the Eastern wisdom. It 
sounds much like the language of a Master. The Zohar, even be- 
fore its author's death in 1305, had exerted a very great influence 
not only upon Jewish thought but also upon Christian thinking. 
How much it may have had to do with the general awakening of 
that critical time, it may be difficult to determine. But by and by, 
even the Zohar failed to keep alive the vigor of the Jewish spiritual 
ideals. Materialistic world currents were constantly undermining 
spirituality everywhere among both Jews and Gentiles the world 
over. It has always been so. It must always be so. 

Religion is like a man or a nation — it has its periods of incep- 
tion, its infancy, its youth, its manhood and its decline. At last, old 
age and dissolution claims everything from man to star. Today the 
Jewish religion, like many others, has little left to offer the hungry 
seeker after spiritual light except a code of ethics, the best part of 
which is common to all religions. Jews and Gentiles alike are obliged 
to search for a more dynamic religion which can meet all the 
requirements of an enlightened era. That new religion can only be 
the teachings of the Masters, their science of spirituality which is 
not a religion at all. 

Christianity, one of the world's foremost religions, sprang from 
the fertile soil of Judaism. But strangely enough, the Jews have 
never been inclined to take any credit for this gift. They have 
•^inherited their own child and steadfasdy refused to give paren- 



106 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



tal recognition to their illustrious son. Many Jews, however, ac- 
cept Jesus as one of their prophets. There can be no doubt that if 
the disciples of Jesus had not attributed to him miraculous powers 
and dogmatic statements, Jesus would have passed down into his- 
tory as one of the greatest of the prophets, with his Jewish learning 
enriched, as it was, by a practical knowledge of the Eastern wis- 
dom. 

The Jewish people have been persecuted more than any other 
religious body in history. Throughout the ages they have been the 
object of the world's scorn, that world which so easily overlooks 
its own muddy face, and even seems reluctant to acknowledge 
that some of the world's greatest thinkers and philanthropists have 
come from amongst the Jewish people. Above all, there has been 
a historical mistrust between Christian and lew, although it would 
appear more logical that Christians, instead of hating the Jews, 
would give them credit for the gift of their own Lord and Master. 
A whole people cannot be blamed for the actions of a few of their 
members in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Didn't Christians 
burn and butcher thousands of other Christians during the reign 
of the Spanish Inquisition? Didn't our own forefathers bum witches 
and persecute to the death all who didn't believe as they did? 

Religious prejudice is always blind and full of hate. The capital 
crime of all history, in the eyes of the people, has been the preach- 
ing and the practicing of any doctrine subversive of the estab- 
lished institutions. It is safe to say that more people have been 
murdered for that one offense than for all others put together, 
including executions for crime. And do you know the psychology 
of this procedure? Vanity. The "holy inquisitors" imagine them- 
selves to be very godlike, very saintly, because they are defending 
their own religion. But in fact, they exhibit the most fiendish qual- 
ities, the exact antithesis of saintliness. There is nothing more 
devilish than a thirst for blood, fired by a religious zeal. If any 
man wonders how human beings can commit such crimes while 
exhibiting religious zeal, let him be reminded again and again that 
religion and morality have no relation to each other — none at all. 
It is only genuine spirituality, as taught by the great Masters, which 
becomes the very soul of pure ethics. 



JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION 



107 



15. JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION 

Let it be understood at the very beginning of this discussion that 
there is a very great difference, a fundamental difference, between 
the Christian religion of history, that is, institutional Christianity, 
and the precepts and practices of Christ himself. 

In the modem Jesus of the Christian church, we find the ideal 
of the imaginative Ireneus, not the adept of the Essenes — the 
obscure reformer of Galilee. We see him under the disfigured 
Plato-Philonean mask, not as the disciples heard him on the 

Mount. 



It is one of the saddest aspects of religious history that the 
original lesus had to disappear to give place to an ecclesiastical 
icon. The historic religion of that name was not founded by Jesus 
Christ. It was formulated and given to the world by St. Paul, an 
educated Jew, He was schooled in the Hebrew law, also in the 
neo-Platonism of the Alexandrian school. It was Paul who gave to 
the world the Christian theology. His central idea was based upon 
the old Judaic system of sacrifice, and that itself was handed down 
from time immemorial, a bloody stream that has colored all histo- 
ry. When the new religion was formulated and given out, it was 
but little more than an allegorical metamorphosis of Judaism. Jesus 
was now made the sacrificial offering, "the lamb slain for the foun- 
dation of the world." It was his blood that was to take away the 
sins of the world. Thus the real mission of Jesus, which was to lead 
his disciples to realize the kingdom of heaven within themselves, 
was turned into a bloody tragedy. The whole system was made 
into a complicated mixture of spiritual precepts and material prac- 
tices, and the lofty ideals of Jesus were dragged down to the material 
ceremonies of the sacrificial altar. Human blood was mixed with 
love and spiritual precept. This was a gross insult to the sublime 
idealism of the Masters. 

One of the strangest systems of theology took shape as the dog- 
matic religion of historic Christianity. The clean and gracious life, 



108 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



teachings, and deeds of Jesus offered to the world something very 
different. Almost from the day of his departure, his spiritual mis- 
sion and teachings began to undergo the usual corruptions and 
misstatements. The Master was not understood even by his most 
intimate disciples, and later his very name was seized by a corrupt 
priesthood to be utilized by them as an instrument of self-aggran- 
dizement — history repeating itself once more. 

According to the most authentic sources, Jesus was a Jew, son of 
Mary and Joseph, who was a member of the Essene Brotherhood. 
The biblical story of 'the immaculate conception' may not be tak- 
en too seriously. That Jesus had no earthly father, but "was begot- 
ten of the Holy Ghost" was doubtless invented to fit in with the 
theology which was at that time being formulated. Upon this the- 
ory the theologian could claim that Jesus was "the only begotten 
Son of God." The responsibility of his parentage was assumed by 
Joseph after some explanations were given to him in a dream. That 
Jesus was born according to natural law cannot be doubted by 
anyone who is acquainted with the Eastern wisdom or with the 
principles of human genesis. Even the greatest of saints come into 
this world just as other people do. 

Jesus himself bore the name of Joseph until he was grown up 
and received his initiation. He did not assume the name of Jesus 
until his spiritual mission was declared. It was probably given to 
him by his later disciples. The title of Christ was generally used for 
him once he was no longer living. Nowhere is it recorded as his 
own statement that he laid claim to any quality or character not 
possessed by all men. On the contrary, he definitely asserted that 
the work which he was doing could be done by his disciples. And 
it must be kept in mind that miracles are not proof that he who 
does them is something more than a man. It means only a devel- 
oped man. Later statements making Jesus a demigod by birth bear 
all the earmarks of interpolations. Jesus was brought up as a car- 
penter, living with his parents in the humble village of Nazareth, 
according to the New Testament, 

Probably a year following his first reported discussion with the 



TEACHINGS EMPHASIZED BY JESUS 



109 



elders of his people at Jerusalem, he was taken to India by one of 
'the wise men of the East' who had visited him at the time of his 
birth. Those men were the magi of the Mesopotamian school. But 
there is no doubt that they had communication with India, from 
where many spiritual teachings had emanated since the beginning 
of history. It seems probable that the one who took Jesus to India 
was an Indian yogi who at the time of the birth of Jesus was 
visiting in Persia and Mesopotamia. 

It is certain that Jesus was deeply imbued with both the spirit 
and the method of a part, at least, of the Eastern wisdom. So far as 
his own words can be separated from the mass of additions and 
other changes made in the record, his entire life and words were 
in perfect harmony with the teachings of the Oriental Masters. 
Only one thing in his life differed radically from the method of 
the saints — his doing of so many miracles. That is never done by 
the saints although they have plenary powers to do them, and they 
can do whatever they like; but they do not believe it a wise policy 
to do them, except in rare instances. 



16. TEACHINGS EMPHASIZED BY JESUS 

There are two things emphasized by Jesus which are also stressed 
by all the great Masters. They are: 

(1) The vital importance of love, without which there can be 
neither wisdom nor religion; 

(2) The immanence of the kingdom of heaven, which is to be 
found only within man himself. 

These two great precepts are cardinal in the teachings of the 
saints. Whether Jesus had ever contacted a real saint in India or 
had met only yogis is another matter. From his life and words it 
would appear that he had as his Master a highly advanced soul. 
ut he returned to his own country and found people burning 
*wft enthusiasm and love. When he returned to Palestine, he was 
m ore an Indian yogi than a Jewish prophet. He had picked up 
much of the teachings of the magi in Mesopotamia and of the 



110 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



Pythagoreans in Egypt. He was not unacquainted with the philos- 
ophy of Plato and Aristotle, Being of pure heart and noble pur- 
pose, impelled by a very great love, he at once set to work healing 
the sick and preaching the good news of the immanence of the 
kingdom of God. 

This heavenly kingdom was by no means a far-off thing to be 
realized after death, but a very present reality to be entered upon 
here and now. As Masters of all countries and ages have taught, so 
Jesus too insisted that the people should immediately depart from 
the ways of sin, and look for the kingdom within themselves, not 
in heaven. But alas! His message was but poorly received and 
meagerly understood even by his own disciples, much less by the 
multitudes. They were quite unprepared for such lofty idealism, 
such refined perceptions. Least of all could they understand the 
main point in it — that the kingdom of heaven was a present reali- 
ty to be known and entered upon in this life. 

And it has always been so. Even today, among the most enlight- 
ened in the world, but few can grasp that sublime idea. They can 
imagine a heaven to which people may go after death, but, when 
they are told that they can pierce the dark veil and enter upon that 
kingdom now while in the body, in full possession of their senses, 
they hesitate. Most of them set the whole thing down to an over- 
wrought imagination. Yet this very thing was the heart and soul of 
the message of Jesus, as it has always been a cardinal point in the 
teachings of the saints. 

Here lies, in fact, the great stumbling block of all religions. They 
simply cannot believe it. They cannot imagine how anyone can 
possibly enter the kingdom of God while in the body. Only the 
Masters, differing from all churches and religions, offer a definite 
method and point to an exact path by which the kingdom may be 
entered now. With them it is no theory, but a vital experience. 

In the time of Jesus, the Jews specially looked for a temporal 
kingdom, and they prayed for a messiah, a great warrior, who 
would deliver them from the Roman yoke and make them the 
rulers of the world. But Jesus spoke of a kingdom inside of them- 
selves, which to most of them was rank nonsense. They were not 



TEACHINGS EMPHASIZED BY JESUS 



111 



interested in his fancies, impractical and subversive of all of their 
fond expectations. How could they be expected to break away the 
material crusts that bound their minds and look inside for a king- 
dom which they deemed only a mirage of an impractical dreamer? 
Jesus told them that the great kingdom was closer than hands or 
feet. But they turned away their incredulous ears. Jesus taught the 
Way, the Tao, the heavenly bani, the bhakti marg, the Surat Shabd 
path, but the people could not grasp it. Even his disciples scarcely 
comprehended. Jesus insisted on the divine Logos, the Word, which 
was the prime factor in all creation. But it went over their heads. 
He taught them as one having authority, and it only ruffled their 
feelings. 

Naturally, his teachings brought Jesus into conflict with the 
authorities, especially the high priest and the Sanhedrim His early 
death was a foregone conclusion. After the merest mockery of a 
trial, he was condemned to death on the cross, the most ignomin- 
ious method of execution. The death sentence was approved, un- 
der a mild protest, by the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. At 
the last dark hour the great compassionate teacher expired, crying 
out at being forsaken by his heavenly Father. 

Just why he was forsaken at the last dark moment by God, in 
whom he had trusted, is still one of the profound mysteries re- 
maining to be solved by the theologian. But to the Eastern science, 
the explanation is clear. He had assumed the bad karma of too 
many sinners whom he had healed, a radical departure from the 
method of all great Masters. It is a well-known law that if we do 
too much for people who have not themselves earned such favors, 
the giver must assume a part of the burden of the karma of the 
recipient. If you give a thousand dollars to anyone who has not 
earned it and who may misuse it, you yourself must be prepared 
to suffer the loss, not only of what you have given away but of a 
double amount in addition. Possibly you may suffer other penal- 
ties as well. 

The day dawned sinister and gray over the Judean hills. The 
streets of Jerusalem were packed with the mob assembled for the 
annual Passover. The noise and the clamor surged back and forth 



112 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



while a slow procession made its way toward the north gate. The 
condemned prophet was compelled to carry his own cross, but fell 
under its excessive weight, his face grimy with perspiration and 
dust. Lucky was that Cyrenian whom they forced to help bear the 
cross. Great his good fortune that he was selected for that service. 
Better for him than if he had ridden out of the city in a chariot 
escorted by Roman legions. How glad we think we would have 
been to render that service, to have stood by that wayside, lifting a 
portion of the heavy cross, perhaps also wiping the sweat and dust 
from his face — that face which had smiled with compassion upon 
so many sick and weary. I think it would have been a pleasure 
almost to have taken the nails in our own hands if we could have 
saved the noble one a single pain. 

Over and over we have asked ourselves, why is it that the best 
friends of man have so often to suffer most at the hands of the 
ignorant mob? And then they drove the nails into his hands and 
feet — those hands which had so graciously dispensed food and 
health to those multitudes. Yet they crucified him, and they hung 
a thief on either side of him. Better the good fortune of one of 
those thieves, dying by the side of Jesus with a prayer on his lips — 
far better his good fortune than that of the high priest and the 
Roman procurator. Dreary are the years to come for them when 
the law shall demand payment in toiling up the long and rugged 
hills of time while bearing their burden of karma. Far better the 
fate of the thief dying by the side of Jesus with a prayer upon his 
lips. 

Religious bigotry, ignorance and blind prejudice, fired by the 
five passions, know not the terrible fate of karma they weave for 
themselves. And so the gentle Son of Mary died on the cross, but 
it would have been better for his murderers if they had not been 
born. 

Jesus perished before his work was fairly begun. He left behind 
a small band of spiritually immature disciples, their training in- 
complete and feeling bitterly disappointed. From that terrible 
shock, few of them ever rallied. It does not appear that any of his 
disciples, except possibly Matthew and Luke, could have written 



PAUL, THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY 



113 



the books attributed to them. The four Gospels themselves bear 
the stamp of Alexandrian influence, and one authority makes bold 
to declare that all four Gospels were written by Alexandrian monks 
three to four hundred years after the death of Jesus and his first 
disciples. There appears to be no certain knowledge on the sub- 
ject. There is positively no contemporaneous history to support 
the story of the Gospels. To assume that they are true history, just 
because one wishes to believe them or has been ta tight that they 
are sacred scriptures, is to go around in a circle. 



17. PAUL, THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY 

The Epistles of Paul belong in a different category. They were 
written much earlier than the Gospels. They exhibit an effort to 
remodel the old Mosaic system into a religion based upon Jesus as 
the sacrificial lamb. The ancient idea of bloody sacrifice prevailed 
in both. Paul now made an attempt to resuscitate the Jewish sys- 
tem, unite it with the stories about Jesus, and then combine them 
into a new religion which might possibly be acceptable to both 
Jew and Gentile. Of course, Jesus was slain for the sins of the 
whole world. This was the central theme. Judaism and Christiani- 
ty could now combine in a reborn and rechristened world reli- 
gion. The Jewish scriptures would find their fulfillment, and the 
disappointed followers of Jesus could rally around the new inter- 
pretation. 

In this manner Paul founded a reconstructed Judaism, which 
went into history as Christianity. The pure spiritual philosophy of 
the Eastern wisdom was submerged in a mass of dogmas which 
was neither Indian nor Jewish nor even Christian. It was neither 
Egyptian nor magian. Neither was it Platonian nor Pythagorean, 
« was neither spiritual nor material. It was neither sacrificial nor 
was it intellectual. It was nothing definite. It was made of a little of 
everything that had preceded it. Had it not been for the powerful 
organization of Rome first persecuting and then embracing it, it is 
"oubtful if this strange mixture would have survived the age of 



114 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



mystic speculation in which it was born. That gentle spirit who so 
loved his people had wasted his pearls at the feet of ungrateful 
swine, and then died a victim of his own gracious energies. Had 
he followed the long-tried method of all the great Masters, history 
might have taken a different turn. 

We cannot here trace the history of the Church, nor can we go 
at length into the dogmatic theology of the creeds. For three hun- 
dred years the followers of Jesus met in secret places and quiedy 
spread the doctrine of the redeeming blood of their crucified Mas- 
ter. At first stunned and rebellious at the unexpected death of 
their Lord, after they had so confidently looked forward to his 
kingship of the world following the destruction of the Roman 
power, they then rallied under the new stimulus. 

Paul had explained the dark mystery. There was an old saying 
that it was fitting that one should die for the whole people. And 
the world has always adhered to that principle. Even so late as in 
old Mexico, human blood ran freely — they declared— "for the ben- 
efit of the whole people." It is the age-old doctrine of sacrifice 
which was made a part of the teachings of the Vedas. Sacrificial 
deaths had always been accepted as a matter of necessity; of course, 
Jesus had died for the sins of his people! Why had they not thought 
of that before? Now the death of Jesus found its justification and 
its rational explanation. After all, their faith had not been in vain. 
They had simply not understood the divine method. But now it 
was all clear. Although Jesus was their long-expected messiah, he 
was, in a more vivid sense, their sacrificial lamb. He had died for 
the sins not only of the Jews but of the whole people, the whole 
world. This latter concept, however, was an enlargement upon the 
original idea. It was a generous expansion of the first idea, and 
this made the new faith a world religion. 

To an uncultured and emotional people, this new appeal was 
very powerful. With minds fixed upon the nail prints in his hands 
and feet, his disciples were ready to die in the name of the cruci- 
fied. The doctrine spread until no inconsiderable portion of the 
Roman Empire were Christians. They were found even in the roy- 
al family. Many of them died for their faith, and yet their numbers 



PAUL, THEFOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY 



115 



increased until finally the religion was made official by the decree 
of Constantine in the early part of the fourth century. The climax 
of that evolution was the crowning of the head priest in Rome as 
the pope-emperor of all Europe. But by that time the religion of 
the Church bore but slight resemblance to the simple and pure 
spiritual philosophy of Jesus, who gave it the initial impulse. Paul 
only needed Gregory the Great to set up his religion as the sole 
arbiter of human destiny, backed by the most powerful religious 
organization ever created. The religion which the empire had so 
bitterly persecuted now rose phoenix-like from the ashes of a 
burned and vanishing Rome, to set up for itself a throne of uni- 
versal empire. 

When Jesus came, there was no virile religion in the world. 
Paganism had already run its course, and most of the world was in 
a dream of moral and spiritual lethargy. It enjoyed its soothing 
ceremonialism and drank its wines with untroubled conscience. 
Spirituality was practically nil. In Greece the people had set up an 
altar to the unknown god. That was surely the climax of religious 
liberalism. The devotees of every religion found what suited them 
in the Pantheon. Only Greek philosophers could have thought of 
that. And they showed a keen sense of humor. The gods were for 
the mob and the old women. Let them each have the god he liked 
best, while the philosopher calmly looked down upon them from 
his serene heights of self-complacency. What could the mob know 
about philosophy anyway? Let them have their pet gods. There 
was no harm in it. 

The spirit of the times was reflected in a remark made by Pilate 
when Jesus was brought before him. When the humble Nazarene 
spoke of bearing witness to the truth, the Roman asked, "What is 
truth?" (John 18:38). And then, turning away, as if he knew that no 
man could answer the question, he gave permission to murder the 
only man in the Roman Empire who could have told him what 
truth was. 

It ever the world needed a spiritual teacher, it was at that time. 
In that hour of need the gentle Son of Mary came, and they exud- 
ed him. Filled with wisdom and love, he had just returned from 



116 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 









the Orient. He would have embraced the whole world, banished 
its pains and filled it with joy. It was like the beautiful dream of 
the Sakya prince. But they would not listen to him. They shut 
their eyes and cried out: "Away with him! Crucify him!" Love — 
mocked and crucified! Was there ever a sadder spectacle in all 
history? The heart that ached for his people was pierced by a 
Roman spear. Both Jew and Roman conspired to kill the best man 
in the Roman Empire. Such has always been the nature of reli- 
gious bigotry and blindness. 



18. THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS 

What new teachings did Jesus offer to the world? What was his 
special contribution to spiritual world-enlightenment? Like all the 
saints, he restated some of the old truths with such clearness and 
beauty that they went direcdy to the hearts of his people with the 
force of new truth. We may assume that he spoke from the con- 
viction of personal experience because that is the only way that 
any man can speak with authority. There is no doubt but Jesus 
had personal contact with the audible life stream. He had doubt- 
less traveled inward upon it. 
As said before, Jesus laid stress upon two points, viz.: 

(1) The vital importance of love as the soul of religion, 

(2) The immanence of the kingdom of heaven. 

In these respects, the message of Jesus was in exact accord with 
the Eastern wisdom, from which he had derived his inspiration. 
The dogmatic assertions of his disciples in later years need not 
concern us here. The following are a few of his most pertinent 
sayings, rich in moral and spiritual values: 

Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of 
heaven, (Matt. 5:3) 



THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TEACHINGS OP JESUS 



Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. 



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(Matt. 5:8) 



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(Matt. 5:43,44) 

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(Matt. 12:50) 

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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 
118 

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, 
the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 18:4) 

How often do the Masters emphasize the sweet humility which 
makes a strong man, like a little child! Humility is one of the first 
essentials of citizenship in the kingdom of light. 

Then Peter came to him and said: "Lord, how oft shall my 
brother sin against me, and I forgive him, till seven times?" 
Jesus saith unto him: "I say not unto thee until seven times, but 
until seventy times seven." (Matt. 18:21-22) 

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus 
said unto him: "Thou shah love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the 
first and great commandment And the second is like unto it: 
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two com- 
mandments hang all the law and the prophets." 

(Matt. 22:36-40) 

In this one statement of Jesus we have the summing up of bis 
entire teaching. In all philosophy and religion there is nothing or. 
any importance except love. If every book in the world were de- 
stroyed, every code of ethics, every sacred scripture-nevery print- 
ed line on earth--except this one quotation from the lips of the 
humble and loving Galilean, the world would still have aU it needs 
as an ethical code. Its only other need would be a living Master to 
lead it into the inner kingdoms. There is nothing in the world that 
anybody needs, except love and a little food, clothing and shelter. 

This is my commandment, that ye love one another. 

(John 15:12) 

As if to impress this great law upon his disciples, he embodies it 
in one direct command. Here is the solution of all social prob- 
lems— tow for God and man. He who can measure up to this 



THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS 



119 



standard will be the ideal citizen of the ideal commonwealth in 
any age of the world. 

Then Jesus gave to his disciples the supreme test of discipleship. 
As if he knew that many would not live up to the great law, he gave 
them a definite criterion, a perfect measure, an infallible mark of 
discipleship, which should hold good in any day and age of the 
world, and in this regard it may well be accepted that Jesus speaks 
for all true Masters: 

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have 

tove for one another. (John 13:35) 

We believe it safe to say that if the disciples of Jesus had lived up 
to this test throughout history, three-fourths of the world's popu- 
lation would today be Christians, And it is equally true now that if 
any other body or group of men and women would emphasize 
love as the sole law of their lives, living up to its ideals universally 
and unfailingly, that body — no matter by what name — would sweep 
the world like a prairie fire. This is the standard so urgently em- 
phasized by all great Masters. It is almost unthinkable, incredible, 
that a man so filled with loving-kindness, and preaching and living 
a gospel of love, should himself be cruelly murdered by a blind 
mob of his own people. We believe there is nothing in the world 
so hellish as religious bigotry and blind fanaticism. 



Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto 
you. (John 15:3) 

Here indeed is a puzzle to most thinkers. How can a word or a 
teaching make anyone clean? A more correct understanding of 
that sentence might be: 

Now ye are clean through the Word of which I have spoken to you. 

What is that Word? It is the supreme cleansing agent of this 
n °- all worlds. It is the all-purifying audible life stream, men- 



120 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



tioned in the first chapter of St. John as the prime Word out of 
which everything has emanated. That is what purifies the mind 
and nothing else known can purify it. This is taught by all the 
Masters. And all history is full of failures, for men have tried to 
purify the mind and gain spirituality without knowledge of this 
current. When the disciple of any Master enters upon that stream 
consciously, he is cleansed of every earthly impurity and made fit 
for higher worlds. 

If ye abide in me, and ray words abide in you, ye shall ask what 
ye will and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father 
glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As 
the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in 
my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my 
love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide 
in his love. (John 15:7-10) 



Here is a stumbling block to most Christians: 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what 
ye will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7) 

It is only the science of the Masters which makes the meaning 
of this sentence clear, but very few Christians believe it true or 
possible of realization. Yet it is true that if any disciple lives up to 
the instructions of the Guru, the Master, and does the practice as 
the Master directs, abiding always in the love of the Master, stead- 
fastly thinking of the Master and his words, very soon that disciple 
reaches the degree of development when his least wish or act of 
will is automatically fulfilled. Not only will he get whatever he asks 
for but he has only to will the thing and it is done. But how sadly 
has the Church lost the real meaning of these words! Words of 
infinite value, and yet so meaningless to most people. This again 
shows the familiarity of Jesus with the Eastern wisdom. 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. 



THh SUBSTANCE OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS 

As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 



(John 13:34) 



This is only reiterating what he said earlier with so much em- 
phasis. Yet again he repeats the divine admonition: 

He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that 
loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, 
and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 

(John 14:21) 

How clear is this; how identical with what all the Masters teach- — 
that if any disciple loves the Master and practices what the Master 
teaches him, he will surely enter that kingdom of light where he 
will see the Master in his Radiant Form. And that is what Jesus 
meant when he said: 



I will manifest myself to him. 

The disciple will actually see the Master inside. This is one of the 
rewards for faithful practice. Anyone who has had that experience 
will tell you that there is no joy in this world so great as that which 
the disciple experiences when he first beholds the radiant Master. 
It is the culmination of ages of struggle. It is the signal of victory in 
his long battle with mind and matter. He is then halfway to the 
end of all his labors for spiritual liberation. I know scores, even 
hundreds, of disciples of one great Master who daily sit in their 
own rooms in silent meditation, go into the inner realms, there 
behold their radiant Master and converse freely with him. This is 
the manifestation referred to by Jesus. The Master always mani- 
fests himself to those who love him and walk in his light. 

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever Iiveth 
and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26) 



122 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



This is literally true of all disciples of any saint. To them there is 
absolutely do death. 

The last enemy to be conquered is death. 

To every disciple of a living Master, death is an occasion of 
rejoicing, for the liberated spirit simply steps out of the body as 
one would put off an old garment. Death utterly vanishes. It is 
finally conquered during the normal course of his development 
when the disciple learns to leave his body voluntarily to travel 
abroad in the higher regions. Thus, by entering the regions of so- 
called death while in full consciousness, with great joy, the fear of 
death disappears. 

If ye continue in my Word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and 
ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. 

(John 8:31-32) 

The full meaning of this passage can never be realized until, 
rising upon the life-giving stream to the regions of truth, one 
crosses the threshold of the higher planes. Only then can anyone 
know the truth, and only when one knows the truth can one be 
free. Knowing the truth and attaining freedom are parts of one 
and the same process. Rising to higher planes liberates the soul as 
naturally as mounting to the skies in an airplane relieves one from 
the drudgery of walking on the ground. 

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk 
in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12) 

Every Master is the light of the world. He brings with him the 
light of the eternal one. If anyone centers his attention upon the 
Master and walks in his light, there can be no more darkness in 
him . If the disciple opens the gates of light in himself, as the 
Masters urge him to do, he walks unobstructed into the kingdom 
of heaven. But he can do this only by the light of the living Master. 
It was this elementary truth which Jesus was trying to inculcate. 






THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS 123 

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he 
cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3) 

Here again is an extremely important message which has re- 
mained in obscurity among Christians, although men continue to 
write books on it. It simply means being brought to light from the 
darkness, from ignorance to enlightenment, from blindness to sight, 
by the action of the creative life stream within. This will be ex- 
plained more fully in the section which treats specially of the Shabd. 

Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not 
for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, 
Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little 
child, shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:14,15) 

No one can possibly carry with him a load of vanity through 
the narrow gates of light. 

If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this 
sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root and be thou 
planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6) 

How well every yogi in the world knows the truth of this state- 
ment. Much more is this true of the great Masters. It can be done 
by every disciple of a great Master who has made even a little 
progress on the Path. No need of a series of mental gymnastics to 
dispose of this statement of Jesus. Accept it as it stands. Don't try 
to wriggle around it. It is a glorious truth. But the great trouble is 
that practicing Christians have all lost the method of realizing it 
You have to go to a living Master to get that secret 

There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till 
they see the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:27) 

This latter quotation is given here for a special purpose. It is to 
° w that Jesus expected his disciples, some of them at any rate, 



124 A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 

to enter the inner kingdom during their lifetime, just as all Mas- 
ters expect their disciples to do. This definitely shows that Jesus 
was acquainted with the sound current and had a system of yoga 
which should enable them to go inside during this fife. 

The above examples of the teachings of Jesus will, we think, be 
sufficient to give their general import. His religion was smothered, 
almost in the hour of its birth, by its overenthusiastic nurses. Had 
not the life and teachings of Jesus been covered over by dogmas 
and superstitions, it might have been handed down for all time as 
an illustrious example of the Eastern wisdom. Instead of that, a 
clever substitute was brought forward long after the days of Jesus 
and christened with much pomp and ceremony. 



19. THE CHURCH NEEDS A LIVING MASTER 

Concluding this discussion of the Christian religion, let us not 
lament the present-day loss of prestige suffered by the Christian 
churches. It is a good sign. It presages a day of increasing light 
What the Church needs today is to rediscover its own Master, but 
the key to that rediscovery is in the hands of a living Master only. 
Will they go to him for it? Theological dogma, elaborate ritual and 
meticulous ceremony are no longer able to hold the attention of 
thinking people. 

The loving Jesus himself is even today a brighter star in the 
firmament of thought than he was on the cross of Golgotha. To 
understand him as a real spiritual Master enables one to appreci- 
ate and love him; but to think of him as the theological prodigy of 
the Church is to make him impossible to comprehend. The light 
of his life shines with a luster not dimmed by time, if we can see it 
free from theological dogma. But it is a pity that he is not under- 
stood by his professed followers. They are quite unable to see him 
apart from his theological robes with which the Church itself has 
clothed him. He has now left this theater of action, and because he 
has left it, he cannot take new disciples. That work is in the hands 
of his successors. 



THE CHURCH NEEDS A LIVING MASTER 



125 



Students must now turn to the living Master, who alone can 
initiate them and take them up to regions of light. If you have 
found solace in contemplating Jesus in your imagination, then 
place your destiny in the hands of a living Master, whom you can 
see and whose voice you can hear, and with whom you can walk 
on the path of liberation. Come direct to the living Master, and he 
will show you the way. The gates will swing wide to him who gives 
the right knock. 

Finally, permit me to say that you will never understand the fife 
and teachings of Jesus until you come to a living Master. You may 
hold diplomas from all the theological schools in Christendom, 
but you will never understand the fife and method of Jesus until 
you learn them from a living Master. If you wish to gain admis- 
sion to that inner kingdom of light, so much stressed by that 
humble preacher of Galilee, you will gain it only by the science of 
the Masters under the direction of a living Master. But just so long 
as the Church hugs an ecclesiastical image of Christ, it wul be 
extremely difficult to get it turned loose long enough to discover 
the real Christ. 

Only this week I had a letter from a good missionary. The gist 
of his letter was that he had experiential knowledge of Jesus as his 
Lord, and that I could not have had any such experience or I 
would never have given him up. Therefore, I never was a real 
Christian. This letter shows two things: first, that the good mis- 
sionary had been thoroughly saturated with the theological dog- 
ma of St. Paul, and that has so colored his vision that he cannot 
see any other system; second, that he is basing his "experiential 
knowledge of Jesus as his Lord" upon his feelings. He has seen 
nothing, he has heard nothing, but he has had a lot of feeling. By a 
long course of suggestion through early and late teaching, he has a 
superinduced emotional attachment to an imaginary image, and 
that emotional attachment he calls his experiential knowledge. 

1 have had the same experience. I am not speaking ignorantly of 

these things. Neither would I speak lightly of such an attachment 

know how much it means to those who still hold to it. I had all 

me feeling, all the emotional worship that I ever heard of anybody 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



having. I was as thoroughly 'converted' as anyone. I preached 
Jesus as my 'crucified Savior' as earnestly and as sincerely as any- 
one could ever do. But after many years of study and critical 
analysis, I found that the whole system would not bear analysis, 
and that my own feelings were not sufficient proof of the reality of 
my faith. 

Since then I have conversed with many men of different faiths, 
and I find that they all have feelings which they allege as proof 
positive of their religions. A devoted Muslim told me only recent- 
ly that he "felt in his soul that the Prophet was with him daily and 
was leading him to the true God, Allah the Merciful." In Honolu- 
lu I talked with a very fine Englishman who assured me that "the 
spirit of the Lord Buddha was all-sufficient to guide him on the 
path of enlightenment." His inner feelings were to him proof pos- 
itive that Buddhism was the best of all paths leading to spiritual 
regeneration. 

As said before, ft is perfectly certain that feelings are no safe 
guide. Anybody may have feelings in plenty, in proof of anything 
which they have imagined to be so. The only safe guide is to look 
for information which can be corroborated by three of the five 
senses: sight, hearing and touch. Then add emotional experiences 
to that, if you like. And this conviction is why I began to look for a 
Master whom 1 could see and hear and touch, and then he put me 
in line with a definite program during which I was taught to see 
and hear on the inner planes of fight, quite independently of any 
feelings or emotions. It was then that I began to walk by sight and 
knowledge, not by faith alone. (I hope the reader will pardon this 
personal reference, but my missionary friend could not account 
for my change of faith except by challenging the genuineness of 
my former religion.) 

The main point is that anything can be 'proved* by feelings. A 
dear devotee insists that she has experiential knowledge of her 
Savior. An equally devoted Muslim or Buddhist has the same 'ex- 
periential knowledge' of Mohammed or of Buddha. And what 
does it all mean? It means that feelings are not a reliable guide in 
such matters. Every religion has its devotees who are just as sure 



THE CHURCH NEEDS A LIVING MASTER 



127 



of their experiential knowledge. On the path of the Masters, how- 
ever, the student enters the superphysical worlds of reality in full 
consciousness, even superconsriousness — more wide awake than 
he is upon this plane. There he beholds the radiant lord, he hears 
the enchanting music of those higher planes, he converses freely 
with his own Master upon that plane where deception is impossi- 
ble, and there he comes to know, not believe. If he has been a 
Christian and is still devoted to Jesus, he has an opportunity, on 
those exalted planes, to meet Jesus in person and talk with him. 
And this is no emotional reaction. It is genuine experiential knowl- 
edge. 

Last of all, let it be kept in mind that no one has to give up his 
devotion to Jesus because he walks on the path of the living Mas- 
ters. By this path, in fact, he becomes a far better Christian be- 
cause he comes to understand the real Jesus instead of the man- 
made one. If a man objects that he cannot have two Masters, we 
may say that no such claim is ever made by one who understands 
this path. This writer has lived during the reign of five different 
British sovereigns. I may still have a feeling of admiration and 
profound regard for any one of those four who have gone. I pro- 
fess loyalty to the one who now occupies the chair so long as I am 
under the protection of his flag. But that does not imply that I am 
now devoted to five British kings. My relations, as a loyal subject, 
are with the one who is now living. 

In like manner, we have to do only with a Master who is now 
living, or at least was living in the body at the time of our initia- 
tion. We cannot possibly have any relation with a Master whom 
we never saw, any more than we can now be a loyal subject to an 
emperor who has long ago passed from this plane of action. To be 
a loyai subject to the reigning emperor does not imply any disloy- 
alty or lack of love and devotion toward the one who has gone. 
Neither does devotion to a living Master imply any lack of love for 
the departed Master. But in the very nature of the case, we can 
have no dealings with him, except that of loving memory, while 
w e are on the earth plane and he is on some plane of the heavenly 
worlds above. 



L28 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



20. ISLAM, THE RELIGION OF MOHAMMED 

The word Islam means 'submission' (to the will of God). Islam's 
founders and advocates regard it as an exposition of the law of 
God. Islam, like all other religions, came to fill a gap, to supply a 
need. It closed up a gap in history. Arabia had been for more than 
fifteen centuries a reservoir of Semitic tribes, born and nurtured 
'sons of the desert'. They were nomadic, warlike, vigorous and 
restless. In religion they were idol worshippers. Mecca, even then, 
was a noted center of pilgrimage, and the sacred Kaaba was al- 
ready an object of worship. 

While Mecca thrived upon its revenues from pilgrims, the peo- 
ple derived some religious notions from Judaism and Christianity, 
both of which had their devotees in Mecca and Medina. They 
were a jolly lot, and merry went their songs, mingling with the 
tinkling of the camel's bells. Into this medley of religions, this 
hodge podge of beliefs and sensual pastimes, Mohammed was 
born in the Christian year of 570. He was a poor shepherd boy. He 
was imaginative, enterprising and deeply religious. He married a 
rich widow named Kadejah. That marriage gave him prestige, and 
when his wife became his first disciple, his real work began and 
rapidly gained in momentum. 

At first timidly, and then more boldly, Mohammed began to 
preach against the prevailing idol worship. "There is one God, 
AHah the Merciful." This was his first public declaration, and cer- 
tainly that pronouncement was gready needed in Arabia. Of course, 
this antagonized those who profited from the idol-worshipping 
pilgrims. That struck at the tender spot among Meccans. Did they 
not prosper and drink their wines at the expense of idol worship- 
pers? Such disloyalty to the city was not to be tolerated. Moham- 
med was finally driven from his home in Mecca. He and his clos- 
est friend and best disciple, Abu Bekr, barely escaped with their 
lives. But they were welcomed in Medina, to which a good num- 
ber of his followers had already fled. This is called the Hejira, or 
Hijrah, and it occurred in the year 622 a.d. 

Gaining a considerable following in Medina, the now-ascend- 



ISiAM, THE RELIGION OF MOHAMMED 



129 



big Prophet returned to Mecca at the head of an army. He had but 
little difficulty in convincing his former enemies that they had 
been mistaken — of course, Mohammed was the true Prophet. They 
had not understood him. That was all And what was more im- 
portant, Allah was superior to their idols. They must now give 
them up and follow the one God and his Prophet. 

Then followed eleven years of vigorous proselytizing. The mat- 
ter was urgent. Strong arguments had to be used. It was no time 
for hairsplitting metaphysics which the illiterate Arabs would have 
never understood. Mohammed knew that he was giving them 
something infinitely better than what they had. He came to Arabia 
like a great physician with a cleansing purgative. All Arabia came 
under the sway of the new Prophet. The desert stood up as one 
man and declared for the new order of things. 

And then Mohammed died. His work was not finished — it had 
hardly begun. His devoted friend and disciple, Abu Bekr, became 
his caliph and carried on in his name — Abu Bekr the Faithful. The 
new caliph was the soul of the movement from that time forward. 
He was the will and the strength of the campaign. Under him the 
religio-political conquests were carried forward to an amazing suc- 
cess. When Othman, the third caliph, died twenty-four years after 
the death of Mohammed, the empire of the Prophet extended 
over all Persia, the valley of the two rivers, almost to the Indus on 
the east and as far as the western border of Egypt in the other 
direction. It embraced all Syria, wresting vast territories from the 
enfeebled hand of Rome, and extending northward as far as the 
Oxus. 

Thus, almost eager to die in the holy cause, the more virile 
tnbes of the desert, fired by a hitherto unknown zeal, fought for 
AUah and his Prophet. Islam swept, like a prairie fire, over adja- 
cent countries. The weak, unorganized and apathetic governments 
a^uy fell before the sturdy, driving hosts of the new faith. The 
moribund civilizations of the whole of Asia Minor and a part of 

new I 6 ™ 63 " C ° aStS n ° W feU under IsIam and found fa il a 

set fir"? u S and invi g° ratin S P° wer - Truly, the torch of Islam 

■ we to the religious rubbish of extensive regions and restored a 



130 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



measure of health to an enfeebled civilization. Besides that, it set 
people to thinking. 

There is one good thing that war does — it awakens the slum- 
bering mentality and quickens the circulation in the rheumatic 
limbs of an aging morality. At that time the greater part of Europe 
was in a state of mental torpor. It had entered the dark age of 
European history. Religion as a formal organization flourished; 
but that period marked the low tide of intellectual activity and 
spirituality. Torpid Europe was badly in need of some sort of 
stimulant. Then Islam came to them like the wine of life. 

It took a long time to quicken the enfeebled circulation of a 
decadent period but eventually the learning, fostered by Islam in 
its chief centers like Alexandria, Cordova and Baghdad, gave the 
stimulus to the great Renaissance which was soon to shake all 
Europe. Judaism had lost much of its former vitality. The dark age 
of Christendom had spread its black wings over the remnants of 
the Roman and Byzantine empires. Europe itself was stagnant. 
Islam prevailed, not only because it was pushed by armed forces, 
but because it deserved to prevail. Again it was simply a case of 
the survival of the fittest. 

Islam offered more appealing ideas and a better social order 
than anything else to be found at that time. Let it be remembered 
that Islam was born among a barbarous people in a barbarous 
age. The stern and relentless creed of Islam was more or less a by- 
product of the times. What else could be expected? If the need is 
urgent, the remedy must be heroic. It is well to remember also 
that the supreme one is in charge of world affairs, and whatever 
he does we may accept as the best thing that could be done under 
the circumstances. Can you imagine the effect upon those wild 
desert people if Mohammed had preached to them the sublime 
idealism of the Gita, or the compassionate Sermon on the Mount? 
They would not have had the least idea what was being said. Mo- 
hammed gave them the teachings they could comprehend, and no 
one may doubt that it worked well. 

When the Muslim invasions had worn on to a close, when the 
Islamic organization itself had become enfeebled by too much 



ISLAM, THE RELIGION OF MOHAMMED 



131 



success abroad and by strife at home, when unparalleled absorp- 
tion of conquered wealth had given the conquerors moral and 
intellectual indigestion and auto-intoxication, then Islam began 
its own inevitable decline. For this is the history of all such move- 
ments from the beginning of time. 

The empire of the Prophet now extended from the Indus on the 
east, Turkestan and the Caucasus on the north, over all northern 
Africa, and into Spain on the west. When, in 1453, Constantinople 
fell to the final rally of the armies of Islam, the old church of Santa 
Sophia was converted into a mosque and the last Greek Christian 
wept bitter tears as he fled from the city of Constantine. Had it 
not been for the strong hand of Charles Martel at the battle of 
Poitiers, the victorious hordes of the Prophet undoubtedly would 
have passed the Pyrenees and swept through all Europe. In that 
case — who shall say? — perhaps our fathers would have bowed to 
the Prophet and today we ourselves might have been saying five 
prayers daily with our faces turned toward Mecca. The teachings 
of the camel driver of the desert, instead of the carpenter of Naza- 
reth, might have been preached in all the churches of Europe and 
America. After all, religion is not only a matter of inheritance and 
habit but also of geography. 

And so, what is Islam, that virile religion which even today 
dominates the minds of so many of the human race? Let us give it 
a little careful study. Its theology is not complicated. We know of 
no world religion so simple, direct and unequivocal. Its principles 
are few and clear-cut: 

(a) First of all, a firm adherence to the belief in one God, the 
utnty of the supreme one. "There is but one God and his name is 
Allah/' 

(b) "Mohammed is his Prophet." Other prophets had come 
and gone but Mohammed was the last and the greatest of them 
gj. h was, therefore, the duty of all the faithful, aye, of the whole 
w orld, to give him their undivided allegiance, their utmost devo- 
tl »n and veneration. 

ic) The faithful are offered a double reward: riches and honors 
in this life and a paradise of delights in the next. That had the 
a Pproval of the all-merciful Allah. 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 
132 

(d) The Koran, or Quran, is the holy book of Islam. It is made 
up of a collection of revelations, or messages received direct from 
Allah himself for the edification and control of the faithful. The 
Koran is written in beautiful Arabic language. It contains much 
that is wholesome, stimulating and inspiring. Its substance is a 
code of ethics and laws, mostly suitable to the peoples of the day. 
Like any wise physician, Mohammed gave them what was best 
suited to their needs at that time. 

The Prophet must be given credit for the great service he ren- 
dered to his people. He gave himself to the task of pulling them 
out of the mire of superstition, a fact which cannot be doubted by 
any unprejudiced student of history. 

Today, if a seeker for the light goes to a Muslim and demands 
to know just how he may enter the kingdom of heaven here and 
now, he will "discover that Islam, just like all other religions, has 
no answer to that question. In this respect all religions stand in 
the same category, and Islam is no different. At best it offers a 
guide to right living among men— that and certain promises of 
rewards in the future life. It enjoins devotion to one God instead 
of many. That there have been real saints among Muslims is a fact 
of much importance. Saints are not limited to any particular coun- 
try or to one people or one religion. The saints never got theu 
higher knowledge from the Koran or from the Bible or from any 
other book. They never got it from priests. Masters get their in- 
structions and their initiation from other Masters. Then they dem- 
onstrate it for themselves. That is a fixed law. 

The Surat Shabd Yoga has been known to some great Muslim 
saints. Among them were Hafiz, Shams-i-Tabriz, Maulana Rum 
and Kabir Sahib. But the orthodox Muslims do not credit these 
men because they were not altogether orthodox in their teachings. 
The point of greatest importance is that this central truth is not 
derived from any fixed and organized religion but is given from 
mouth to ear by saints who have themselves experienced it. It is 
quite impossible that this all-important knowledge should be in- 
corporated into a book and given out by a priesthood. It cannot 
be handed down that way. Hence the vital necessity of an unbro- 
ken line of Uving Masters. 



ISLAM. THE RELIGION OF MOHAMMED 



133 



There is one very important principle which we should all learn 
and hold fast. It should constitute the mariner's compass when he 
starts out to explore the wide sea of world religions. It is this: 

Any religion which at present bases its authority upon one 
man or one book, and fails to indicate the way for any other 
man to gain the same truth and the same spiritual eminence, 
fails to meet the most urgent spiritual needs of mankind. 

In the light of this principle, all world religions will be found 
wanting. Only the science of the Masters can meet the inflexible 
demands of this principle. The Masters do not tell you how to live 
among your fellow men and then inform you that if you so live, 
you will go to heaven when you die. On the contrary, they tell you 
that if you live rightly among men, and then devote yourself to the 
practice of the Surat Shabd Yoga, you will enter the kingdom of 
heaven while you are still living in the body. And that constitutes a 
world of difference between the spiritual science of the Masters 
and all religions. 

The followers of Islam have had the same difficulty to contend 
with as the followers of the Bible. But their devotees do not realize 
that, and they would probably resent the suggestion. This has al- 
ways been the case with formal religions, where it is laid down in a 
book just what one is to believe. No one can then go beyond the 
book. Thought becomes crystallized and progress ceases. How can 
it be otherwise? As soon as a man joins a formal religion, he ceases 
to look for anything new or better. He is bound. It has always 
been so since the earliest days of the Vedas. There has always been 
a tendency to crystallize religious thought and finally to write it 
d °wn in a book as the very last word to be said. This means 
Agnation, ossification. 

This tendency has in it another deadly menace. The next logical 

i e P is to try to compel all men to accept what is written. Then 

ollow persecution and murder in the name of God. Can history 

°w a more ghastly tragedy? Usually when people accept a book 
* the authoritative word of God, then they assert that all revela- 



134 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



tion is closed. The last word has been said. BeUeve it now or be 
damned. This has been the supreme tragedy of history. The Ve- 
das, the Shastras, and the Puranas, the Gita, the Mahabharat and 
the Ramayana; the Zend Avesta; the Bible and the Koran; and 
other religious scriptures — all these are books to be worshipped 
and obeyed. They are declared, ex cathedra, to be the inspired 
word of God. Ergo, it is the duty of all men to accept and believe 
them. And all of them are fetters to intelligence, no matter how 
good they may be in and of themselves. They become fetters be- 
cause their followers insist that all revelation is closed. All spiritual 
instructions are finished. Instead of listening to a living Master in 
each age, their respective books are considered to be the infallible 
word. Crystallization of thought always goes before moral stagna- 
tion. Without a living Master spirituality wanes, as a lamp goes 
out when the oil is exhausted. As soon as a religion becomes fixed, 
static, crystallized, upon that foundation a corrupt priesthood is 
established, and at once the whole thing begins to decline into an 
insipid formalism. This is history. It is no theory. 

Only when the living Master comes with a vitalized and dynam- 
ic science, only then can he speak as one having authority. After 
all, what is a holy book at best? It is a statement of the inner 
experiences of a living Master. Then why not listen to the living 
Master now? Why not see him and hear him yourself instead of 
reading about some Masters who lived centuries or thousands of 
years ago? In every age, if you are prepared in your heart to stand 
before a Master, you will have no great difficulty in finding one. 
You must find him, for he will find you. Let me assure you that if 
you never meet a Master, it is your own fault. You have yourself 
shut the door against him and barred him out. 

Every true Master says, in substance, just as Jesus did, "The 
works that I do, ye may do also." 

There is no monopoly on the path to the kingdom of heaven. 
The doors always swing wide open to all who give the right knock. 
They are closed only to the unworthy. If your religion is true, if it 
is the word of a living Master, it will show you how to enter the 
kingdom of heaven here and now. It became very tiresome for me 



THE SIKH RELIGION OF INDIA 



135 



to hear about what I was to get in heaven if I believed so and so, 
and what I would get in hell if I didn't believe. When the Great 
Master told me so graciously that I had it in my power to enter 
that kingdom of light here and now, my heart fairly leaped with 
gladness. That is what we aU want. 

The real Master always teaches you that the kingdom of God is 
within you, and also that whosoever seeks shall find. He does still 
more: he always shows his disciples the exact way to enter that king- 
dom. More than that — he helps them to find it. For this very im- 
portant reason a living Master is always essential. No matter how 
great your past Master, he cannot now act in that capacity. The 
disciple in a human body must have a Master in the human body. 
That is a fixed law. At the time of his passing, a Master turns over 
his work to another Master who is in the body, and he carries on 
until his time comes to go. 



21. THE SIKH RELIGION OF INDIA 

The religion of the Sikhs in India is distinctive. It has never gained 
world reputation. Although now numbering several million ad- 
herents, it is still practically limited to the Punjab in India, though 
Sikhs are scattered all over the world. Yet this religion is most 
universal in its fundamental principles, and is nearer to Sant Mat 
than all other teachings. 

This religion was founded by Guru Nanak, who was bom in 
1469 a.d., and died in 1539. He was contemporaneous with Kabir 
Sahib. After Guru Nanak came his nine successors. When the last 
°f the ten. Guru Gobind Singh, died, the rumor became current 
? at "° more living Gurus would come, and from that time on, 

Srkh Granth ' the sacred book of the Sikhs > would be Guru *> all 

as HH ThUS ^ e SikilS bound themselves in exactly the same way 

aid the Christians— the orthodox body of the Sikhs accepted 

J e religious dogma of an inspired book and a closed revelation. 

Ww? tHat day t0 this> that dogma has been their chief handicap, 
nout a living Guru, deterioration must follow as the night 



136 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



succeeds the day. For this is the history of all religions from the 
beginning of time. It would appear that men will believe almost 
anything if propounded by some religious authority whom they 
have accepted When the SUchs accepted the Adi Granth, they 
assumed that the book contained the entire truth ever needed, 
and also that it would do the work of a living Guru. This assump- 
tion of the Sikhs is no more extravagant than the positions of both 
Christians and Muslims, who cling so tenaciously to their holy 
books. 

As intimated above, the content of the Sikh religion is so nearly 
identical with that of Sant Mat that there is but little reason to 
attempt a separate analysis. Guru Nanak and his spiritual succes- 
sors were saints, Satgurus in the true sense of the word, and conse- 
quently their teachings coincide with those of all other saints. There 
can never be any difference between the teachings in any age of 
the world. A hundred thousand years from now the science of 
chemistry will certainly teach that hydrogen and oxygen combine 
to form water in the relation of two to one. So it is with the 
teachings of the saints, because their teachings are as much a 
science as is chemistry. The only problem to be solved now is 
whether the man is a real saint or not, and that is usually an easy 
problem. 

There are certain cardinal and distinctive teachings and practic- 
es emphasized by all saints. If a man teaches and practices these 
things, that is presumptive evidence that he is a Master. He may 
be accepted provisionally as a saint, subject to further corrobora- 
tive evidence. If he does not teach and practice these fundamen- 
tals, he cannot be regarded as a real saint no matter what his other 
qualifications. He may be a good yogi, a rishi; but he has not gone 
to the heights attained by all saints. 

Some of the cardinal precepts arer 

(1) First of all, the necessity of a living Guru, a genuine saint 
who has been appointed by the supreme Sat Punish to act as 
Guru. By living we mean one who is still in the physical body. It is 
a fixed law of nature that only a humanly embodied soul can act 
as Guru for those who are still in their physical bodies. After his 



THE SIKH RELIGION OF INDIA 



137 



death, or departure from his body, the Guru will still take care of 
all whom he has initiated; but he cannot accept new disciples. 
This is not because the Guru is limited, but because the disciple 
himself is so limited that he cannot receive the instructions and 
initiation from a departed Guru. Only man can teach man, and 
more especially, only 'man 5 can initiate man. If a departed Guru 
could take care of new disciples, then there would be no need of 
Gurus at all on this earth plane. The supreme Father could do all 
that work himself without assistance. But a living, physically em- 
bodied Guru is absolutely necessary because a man cannot be 
taught by any other known agency. 

If we stop to think for a single instant, we would know that if 
God himself could not reach and instruct a man and lead him 
upon the upward path, then surely no departed Guru could do it. 
The fact remains that a humanly embodied Guru is necessary 
because of our limitations; and that difficulty cannot be surmount- 
ed in any possible manner except for the supreme one himself to 
come in human form or send someone else. As suggested in many 
other places in this book, the fatal error of all world religions is 
their dependence upon a departed Master and the instructions left 
in the holy books. 

(2) The second fundamental of this system of the Masters, the 
pure Sant Mat, is the vital fact of the audible life stream. Masters of 
all ages have emphasized this stream as the central fact in their 
system. This stream is in fact nothing less than the supreme one, 
projecting himself on all planes of life in a constant stream of 
musical vibrations, through which flows the most incomprehen- 
sible power, life-giving and creative. These vibrations can be heard, 
distinctly heard, by all students of the Master after their initiation 
and a little practice. This stream is the all-creative power of the 
entire universe. It is the life of all that lives, and it is the chief 
means by which the student returns to his original home on the 
highest planes of existence. It is also the one and only successful 
means of mind control by which the student overcomes his pas- 
sions and liberates himself from all downward drag. This current 
ls also the central factor in liberation and salvation from the end- 



138 



A REVIEW' Of WOULD RELIGIONS 



less rounds of births and deaths. This great fact of nature is dis- 
cussed elsewhere in this book more completely. (Chapter Eleven, 
Section 3.) 

(3) The third general truth emphasized by the saints is complete 
liberation and spiritual triumph while still living in the physical 
body. There is no waiting until after death to attain freedom. It is 
accomplished by and through the method of yoga as taught by the 
Masters. It is a central precept of Sant Mat that nothing can be 
accomplished after death in the way of spiritual liberation unless it is 
at least begun during this life. In every case, when the individual has 
not been initiated during his lifetime, he must return to earthly life 
for another chance to meet and follow a living Guru. Why? Be- 
cause that appears to be the plan of" the Creator and no man can 
change it. 

(4) Unless a man is able to give initiation and lead his disciple 
upon the inner planes, he is not a Master and should not be ac- 
cepted as such. And it must be remembered that initiation is of 
first importance. No one can travel far on the path until he gets 
initiation and none but a true saint or Satguru can give it. It is 
therefore the gravest misfortune if a man finds himself wandering 
after some man or religion without a Master. 

Now, all these points are taught by every saint, by every real 
Master. There has never been an exception. If they are not taught 
by anyone considered to be a Master, then it is best to look 
elsewhere. The test is infallible. And all these things are taught 
with great clarity and force repeatedly in the Adi Granth. Yet the 
cardinal principles outlined by the Gurus in the Adi Granth have 
been abandoned, and thus the very essence of the teachings has 
been forgotten. 



22. THEOSOPHY 

Theosophy (theos, 'God', and sophos, 'wisdom') is a system of 
religio-philosophical teachings, together with a certain degree of 
personal experience, which purports to be a summing up of a 



THEOSOPHY 



139 



portion of the Eastern wisdom. But it is based almost entirely 
upon the Vedas and other scriptures of ancient India. It does not 
deal at all with the science of the Masters. There can be no doubt 
that its leaders and founders had some knowledge of the Shabd, as 
may be seen in The Voice of the Silence and other writings of 
Theosophy, but the all-important fact of the real Sant Mat has 
been completely sidetracked by the bulk of Theosophical writings. 

The system was founded by Madame Blavatsky and her coadju- 
tors, Colonel Olcott and others, during the latter part of the last 
century. Theosophy claims to embrace all philosophy and reli- 
gion, embodying all wisdom concerning God or spiritual matters. 
But in that regard it may be compared with the more recent move- 
ment called Anthroposophy— which claims to be a complete ex- 
position of the sum of wisdom relating to man. Rudolph Steiner, 
the founder of the latter movement, discovered that all wisdom 
might not be couched in Theosophy, and he decided that if we 
could not know all about God, at least we might discover some- 
thing more about man. This may be a less ambitious undertaking, 
but certainly a more practical one. 

The world must acknowledge that Steiner has done much. It 
was an unhappy day for Theosophy when Steiner withdrew from 
it, But perhaps it was better for philosophy itself. Steiner was 
brought up as a careful student of the natural sciences. He was no 
impractical dreamer, as many have imagined him. He sought real- 
ity, however, through recognition of the spiritual in nature. He 
was anxious that the vital connection between our common phys- 
ical life and the occult should be known and recognized. By this 
means he hoped to enrich both the physical and the spiritual sides 
of human life. 

Plato looked for truth in spiritual ideas and ideals, while Aristo- 
tle placed the emphasis upon truth as revealed in this world. It 
was the noble ambition of Steiner to combine the two and thus 
enrich them both. And this, we believe, was a decided step toward 
we ultimate solution. It appears a pity that the great movement of 
Theosophy, so auspiciously inaugurated, could not have had the 
advantage of Steiner's splendid personality and rare gifts to enable 



140 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



it to achieve a nobler destiny. As it was, that organization lost its 
most brilliant member. 

We do not believe that even the Theosophists themselves would 
claim to have discovered a perfect science of God, any more than 
Steiner would claim to have developed a perfect knowledge of 
man. And there is no doubt but both have contributed somewhat 
to European understanding of many occult truths. If the Theoso- 
phists had developed a perfect science of God, then we might all 
adopt the policy of Omar when he ordered the Alexandrian li- 
brary to be burned. If they disagreed with the Koran, they were 
pernicious. If they agreed with the Koran, they were superfluous. 
Therefore, why encumber the ground with them? Let them be 
burned. 

Theosoph/s main precepts are: 

(a) The underlying principle that the manifest universe is the 
only way or means by which the supreme one can be known; that 
the supreme one embraces all, is infinite, eternal and unchange- 
able. 

(b) That divine and universal principle manifests itself as man 
on this plane; then the individual man attains his evolution by 
successive reincarnations under the law of karma. 

The system is taken mostly from the literature of the East, and 
may be said to embrace the best there is in the Vedas, the Shastras 
and the Puranas. In fact, Theosophy is an attempt to formulate 
the teachings of the Vedas in modern language, adapted to the 
requirements of the Western civilizations. 

(c) The unity of all life-consciousness runs through the Theo- 
sophical discourses. Theosophy does not accept metempsychosis 1 . 
This appears to be a concession to European sensitivity on the 
subject. But metempsychosis cannot rationally be separated from 
karma and reincarnation. It is a third leg to the tripod. 

Theosophy speaks with apparent authority concerning 'the Great 
White Brotherhood', who make their headquarters in the depths 
of the Himalayas. That is said to be the governing body not only 
of the Theosophists but of the Rosicrucians also. Its functions are 
said to extend to the spiritual government of the whole world, 



1. Reincarnation, possibly into a lower species. 



THEOSOPHY 



141 



while keeping a vigilant eye upon the physical aspects of world 
evolution. Its hierophants, arhats, bodhisattvas, mahatmas, lords, 
etc., all busy themselves chiefly in world betterment They are said 
to control the stream of evolutionary influence among all races 
and nations. To what extent this claim is justified by the facts, we 
are not called upon to say. The policy of all great Masters has been 
from the beginning, as if is now, not to judge others. That this 
brotherhood and all similar organizations have their mission to 
perform, beneficial to mankind, may not be doubted. Also, that 
their mission is identical with that of Krishna, as stated in the 
Gita, may not be questioned. This fact definitely places them. 

The visible headquarters of the Theosophical Society are in Ma- 
dras. Annie Besant was the guiding genius of the Society for many 
years. Bishop Leadbeater and others have written voluminous ex- 
positions of its doctrines and methods of operation. There was a 
time in the history of this writer's study when he regarded the 
teachings of Theosophy as the best summing-up of the Eastern 
wisdom. But that was before he knew anything about the real 
Masters and their science. Yet there can be no doubt but that 
Theosophy is a decided step forward in spiritual knowledge as it is 
generally available to Western students. It is a pity it stops so early 
in its work of marking out the path, and it is a greater pity that it 
has no readily accessible Masters. It is but little comfort to a hun- 
gry soul crying in the wilderness to be told that in some distant 
day, if he works hard enough and lives long enough, he may be 
granted a momentary glimpse of some of the great ones. If a man 
feels the need of a living Master now, he will cry in vain to the 
noble hierarchy in their snow-covered Himalayan retreats. 

One word more may be said here concerning the stated pur- 
pose of the Great White Brotherhood. They claim that their most 
important work is to guide the world in paths of peace and righ- 
teousness, in other words, to so regulate the destinies of mankind 
as to make always for world betterment. This is certainly a laud- 
able aim, and doubtless many great souls believe they are doing 
the noblest and most unselfish service when so engaged. But in 
the light of the Masters' teachings there is seen to be a very grave 



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misunderstanding concerning world betterment. World betterment 
is no doubt a good thing to keep in mind. It is a noble incentive 
for work, but as a matter of fact it is but little more than a fond 
delusion. 

Permanent world betterment can never be accomplished dur- 
ing the present world cycle. The world will improve slowly, but 
this improvement will not come about by any human effort. The 
change will come by means of a greater spirituality being diffused 
through the whole human race, as the new Golden Age approach- 
es. But there is very little that any of us can do to speed its com- 
ing. And yet, of course, we should continue to do all in our power, 
if only for our own sake. Philanthropy is its own reward. It regis- 
ters good karma in all who devote themselves to it. It cleanses the 
mind and purifies the heart. But we should never forget for one. 
moment that our chief concern is to seek our own spiritual evolu- 
tion. This is so for two reasons: first, because we can do but very 
littie for others until we ourselves are qualified; second, self- 
improvement is what we are in this world for — it is our first duty, 
our most sacred obligation. 

All these facts are well known to the Masters; therefore, they do 
not waste their time in premature efforts at world betterment. The 
great saints work on individuals, rather than masses, aiming to 
remove them forever from this 'wheel of eighty-four' instead of 
trying to improve the prison in which they now live. In these 
material regions, sorrows, pains, disease, death, and what men call 
evil are all inevitable. They can never be eliminated entirely from 
earthly life. In the Golden Ages these evils are reduced to a mini- 
mum, but they are inherent in material regions. The great saints, 
knowing this, propose to remove souls from this region forever 
instead of trying to improve their conditions. That exalted world 
of light to which the saints take us is infinitely above and beyond 
Triloki, or the Three Worlds, known to the Great White Brother- 
hood. Those superheavens are known only to saints and their 
students, who are themselves on the way to becoming saints. 

The mission of the Great White Brotherhood, as declared by 
themselves, is identical with that of Krishna as stated in the Gita, 



THEOSOPHY 



143 



namely, to destroy wickedness and establish righteousness. There 
is therefore a perfect fellowship and unanimity of purpose be- 
tween Krishna and the Brotherhood. But the far higher mission of 
the saints is to remove souls forever from the regions of evil. If 
you find a child stuck in a mud hole, wouldn't it be better to pull 
him out of the mud hole, clean him up and take him home, rather 
than engage all of your energies in cleaning up the mud hole itself, 
while the child is left in the mud? 

And so, this constitutes the chief difference between the mis- 
sion of the saints and that of mahatmas of other grades. 

One of the great difficulties now with Theosophy lies in the fact 
that if a neophyte goes to one of their representatives to ask for a 
definite method of yoga by means of which to rend the veil and 
enter the inner kingdoms, he gets a reply couched in vague allu- 
sions and indefinite postponements. Its Masters are too difficult 
to approach. But any man who comes from the four corners of 
the earth to see a real Master may walk right up to him, sit down 
and talk with him face to face. That is a very vital difference to a 
hungry student. How earnestly did this student knock at the Theo- 
sophists' doors, only to be told that if he worked and waited long 
enough, it was just possible that someday he might be granted a 
glimpse of one of the great ones. But when he arrived from Amer- 
ica and sat down at the feet of one of the greatest of saints, he was 
welcomed with love and full instructions. 

Of course, this is not intended as a criticism. Theosophy is 
simply a different method. Let each carry on according to his own 
plans. But it is the extreme good fortune of any man who finds a 
saint, a real spiritual liberator, instead of a world builder. Con- 
stantly referred to in Theosophical literature, the 'Masters' sit se- 
renely in their far-off Himalayan retreats and offer but little com- 
fort to beginners. At best, the chances of ever advancing to full 
fellowship with those august beings are quite remote; they are 
neither tangible nor visible. When a student is struggling hardest 
with his own complicated problems, he is told by some outpost 
subordinate of those exalted ones to just go on struggling. If he 
wins the battle, he may ultimately be granted the boon of the 
mahatma's darshan. 



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But how different when the weakest and the poorest may come 
and sit down at the feet of the Great Master, look into his eyes and 
receive his fatherly encouragement! Priceless pearls of wisdom fall 
from his lips, free to all who can receive them — no guesswork, no 
dark uncertainties, no vague hopes, no long waiting and wonder- 
ing. The great father simply takes his children home, wrapped in a 
mantle of light. 

But there is something of still greater importance to the stu- 
dent, even if he succeeds in gaining the darshan of the Theosophi- 
cal Masters. Theosophy has not grasped the full import of the 
audible life stream. Yet that is the most vital of all considerations. 
It is alluded to in The Voice of the Silence and some other litera- 
ture. But its great importance is not brought out. This great cen- 
tral fact so vital to the student is covered over by a mass of details, 
which has but minor value, if any at all. Neither does Theosophy 
introduce you to a living Master who is able to 'tune you in' with 
the great life stream. Yet this is the main precept of the Masters. 
Nowhere in all the Theosophical literature is that central fact of 
nature set before the aspirant as the sine qua non of spiritual 
attainment 

Many people talk loudly and write voluminously about mind 
control. Yet they know absolutely nothing about the most impor- 
tant factor in mind control. The saints tell us, and many of us 
know by personal experience, that mind control is never accom- 
plished except by and through the Shabd, the audible life stream. 
Indian history is full of instances of noble yogis who sat in medi- 
tation, even for centuries, striving after mind control, but failed at 
last when confronted by temptation. 

Far back in an early age, one great rishi, Vishvamitra, is said to 
have sat for several thousands of years, and then, all of a sudden 
one day, he fell for a pretty girl. He had tried to control his mind 
by negation. But it cannot be done. The mind must have some- 
thing which it likes better, or these worldly temptations will in- 
variably sweep one off his feet. Any system which does not make 
the Surat Shabd Yoga the central portion of its scheme in spiritual 
exercises can never withstand the downward drag of mind and 



CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AS A RELIGION 




145 




matter, with its numberless appeals to the senses. And what is still 
more important, without the Shabd the student cannot go far on 
the road of spiritual liberation. That is the great oversight of Theos- 
ophy, as it is of all other religio-philosophical systems. 

Finally, the highest goal of Theosophy falls short of the objec- 
tive of the saints. According to their own literature, the greatest of 
Theosophical Masters go no further than the first, or possibly in a 
few instances the second, station of the saints. This is only a be- 
ginning on the path of the Masters. It is apparent then that where 
Theosophists stop, the saints begin their upward journey. From 
that point they proceed to the highest planes, and to the highest 
individual achievements. The mahatmas of Theosophy, great and 
noble as they are when judged from the viewpoint of ordinary 
men, are only beginners when compared with the great Masters. 
This is not a matter for disputation or argument. It may be deter- 
mined in the most scientific manner by personal sight and hear- 
ing. 

Attach yourself to one of the great Masters; then go inside and 
see for yourself. On the inner planes all things are made clear. 
Masters of the lower order do not even know of the supreme 
heights attained by the saints because they themselves have never 
gone that far. They generally imagine that they have gone to the 
highest regions when they reach Brahm Lok, the second region on 
the path of the Masters. In that respect they are like the followers 
of the Gita and the Vedas. This is because they are not able to go 
further than Brahm Lok without a real Master to take them. They 
believe also that Brahm is the supreme deity of all. For the Theo- 
sophical Masters themselves the assumption may work out very 
well, but for their students it is extremely unfortunate. 



23. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AS A RELIGION 

Christian Science is one more of the considerable number of off- 
shoots from orthodox Christianity. There are vastly increasing 
numbers who realize that modern Christianity is not the genuine 



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teaching of Jesus. Loathe to give up the Christian system altogether, 
yet imbued with the scientific spirit of the age, great numbers of 
conscientious Christians have sought some sort of reconciliation. 
Mary Baker Eddy, a brilliant student, began to study, write and 
lecture on what she regarded as a reconstructed Christianity. She 
built up her system—perhaps unconsciously — upon the law of 
suggestion, and gave it the catchy name of Christian Science. 

Her idea appeared to be to combine the essential elements of 
the Christian religion and then infuse the compound with a whole- 
some decoction of modern science. She recognized, as many reli- 
gious thinkers realize today, that any religion which appeals to the 
emotions alone, depending upon them for the renovation of char- 
acter without satisfying the intellect, cannot long endure. If she 
could offer a religious system acceptable to modern thought, adapt- 
ed to modern needs, it would be the greatest boon of the age. It 
was a noble conception. Her system was a heroic attempt to bridge 
the old gap between religion and science, to mollify their warring 
antagonisms. 

The new doctrine spread rapidly. Many of the most intelligent 
and awakened people of America embraced it gladly. It was a 
distinct advancement and, had it not been for the new system 
itself falling into philosophical niceties, that system might have led 
its votaries out into the light, ready to follow a real Master. Alas! It 
would be difficult now to say which of the two, the dogmatic 
theology of the Church or the metaphysical postulates of Chris- 
tian Science, is the more difficult for the intellect to accept. 

Of course, one of the most virile and appealing tenets of the 
new faith was its emphasis upon the healing of bodily ills, at once 
and without medicines. Its amazing record of cures cannot be 
doubted by any honest investigator, although a very considerable 
percentage of them were not permanent. (Neither are the cures of 
doctors always permanent, any more than those of Christian 
Science.) But some were permanent. 

The system still adheres to Christ as the great healer of disease. 
Christian Scientists do not agree that their cures are made through 
mental forces acting under the law of suggestion. Jesus is still the 






CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AS A RELIGION 



147 



healer. In grappling with the age-old problem of sin and evil ver- 
sus a good God, Christian Science tried to escape from one horn 
of the dilemma only to be impaled upon the other. The new doc- 
trine denied the very existence of evil, insisting that evil was no 
more than a delusion of the carnal mind. All sin, all pain, all 
sickness, all evil of every sort, are only mental illusions. But since evil 
seemed to be tied up with matter in some sort of inseparable 
connection, it became necessary to do away with matter itself in 
order to get rid of evil. Evil was only the darker side of matter, and 
matter itself was only an aberration of mind, a dark phantasmago- 
ria, incidental to this mortal existence. 

Thus Mrs. Eddy made a clean sweep of the entire problem, and 
it was doubtless a master stroke if only it could have found a place 
in rational thought. There is neither evil nor matter. Still people 
kept on believing that they had bodies, and what was worse, they 
continued to feel pain in those bodies — even Christian Scientists 
themselves. How could they get rid of that? Mrs. Eddy replied that 
since neither matter nor evil existed, pain could not exist, even if 
you did feel it. What people believed to be pain, the thing they 
longed so to get rid of, was only another delusion of the mortal 
mind. If there were no body, it was clear that there could not be 
any pain in that body. The pain was only a small delusion within a 
big delusion. That was logical enough. 

Logically it should have been clear sailing from that time on. 
When confronted by bodily sickness, or what people persisted in 
feeling as such, the calm practitioner simply told her patient that 
she had nothing at all but a mental illusion. Drop it Forget it. The 
prescription was simple enough. Just correct your t hink ing, and 
evil automatically disappears. It was a beautiful theory, and it 
seemed to work in some cases. But people kept on getting sick and 
dying, Christian Scientists as well as others. Even Mrs. Eddy her- 
self had to pass the same way as all others. She couldn't entirely 
dispose of the errors of her mind. 

There is still a powerful appeal in the system. Suffering human- 
ity will grasp eagerly at anything which offers relief. Incidentally, it 
tiers one of the most serious indictments of medicine. If medical 






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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



therapy were as efficient as its advocates claim, Christian Science 
would probably never have come into existence. If religion and 
physical therapeutics can be combined in one palatable dose, what 
more can anyone ask? Its religious aspect is but little more than a 
new attempt to restate orthodox Christianity in practical terms. 
Christian Scientists have been too busy with their healing work to 
think much about theological problems. Anyway, those problems 
have only a remote interest for them. 

The student of first principles will ask what the key is to that 
large measure of success which Christian Science has enjoyed. As 
said before, the answer lies in the well-known laws of suggestion. 
Mind is the greatest power operating in this physical universe — 
mind activated by spirit. Of course, all mind is vitalized by spirit, 
but once activated by spirit it is mind that controls all physical 
forces through prana, the primary force. 

Mind is the chief instrument of spirit for all contacts with the 
physical universe. Mind has its methods of operation. In what is 
called the subconscious reservoir of mind, there lies an almost 
limitless store of energy. If by any means that reserve power can 
be made available for our use, there is practically no limit to its 
scope of action. It has been found that by and through suggestion, 
the conscious mind may draw upon the subconscious for its re- 
serve power. Christian Science offers a method of applying that 
power to human needs. If the conscious mind can be made to 
accept the dictum that there is a power available to remove pain 
and cure disease, beneficial results must follow. 

But the new system added one more factor to the healing pro- 
cess. It taught that this latent power did not reside in all men to be 
drawn upon at will, but it was given by the Lord on occasion. If 
we have faith, the power comes when we offer the proper prayers. 
This appealed to the religious sentiments. Many people to this day 
have no idea that it is simply a method of suggestion and auto 
suggestion. They firmly believe that they are healed by direct in- 
tervention of the Lord. And so this is the explanation of that 
considerable degree of success which has attended the spread ot 
Christian Science. It is also the key to the success of all other 



CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AS A RELIGION 



healing cults and systems, no matter what their names, including 
New Thought and the much-lauded Oxford Movement. 

Christian Science has been so preoccupied with its own reforms 
and especially with the healing of the sick, that it has had but litde 
time to devote to the major problems of the soul. Every soul 
hungers for its release from this region of 'mental illusions'. We 
all have had enough of them. We are more than fed up with them. 
It may be accepted as a metaphysical apperception that there is no 
body, and therefore no pain or disease. It may be conceded that 
all of these things are only errors of the mind — misled and trouble- 
some mind — yet the great majority of people do not seem to en- 
joy their illusions. They are still looking about for some means to 
get rid of them. They would like so much to find some means of 
escape. 

But now, after many decades of trial, Christian Science offers 
no escape. The world is right where it was before Mrs. Eddy was 
born. Twenty-six centuries ago the noble Buddha thought he had 
discovered a method of escape from sorrow by pointing out the 
cause of sorrow. But nothing happened and sorrow went on, like 
the flowing of rivers. Now Christian Science tries to get rid of it by 
denying its existence. 

Still the whole world goes around seeking a pill to stop its pain. 
What is the trouble? I have myself seen many good Christian Sci- 
entists crying piteously for an anodyne. What is wrong? The old 
discrepancy between theory and fact. Cures come and cures go 
but human ills go on for ever. And they will go on. The new 
system has done nothing at all to provide for the future happiness 
of mankind when they pass the gates of death. The new system is 
an excellent ethical society. It inculcates clean living as well as 
c 'ean thinking. But it has nothing superior to the old church dog- 
mas to offer to the dying man. 

When it comes to a study of that kingdom of heaven spoken of 

y all the prophets and Masters, the book Science and Health has 

n °t a single new suggestion to offer. In this respect it drops to the 

common level of all religions. Humanity is left to its eternal cycle 

bl rth and death, its endless coming and going, desolate and 



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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



weary, to go on nursing its mental illusions, while the ages come 
and go. It is only the science of the Masters which offers the cer- 
tain way of liberation from all woes and all illusions. 



24. MODERN SPIRITUALISM 

This movement can hardly be called a religion. Yet in recent years 
it has built churches and appointed ministers. Its central theme is 
the medium and some sort of communication between this world 
and the superphysical planes. If we set aside ninety percent of the 
findings of modern Spiritualism as unreliable, still there are enough 
authenticated facts to prove its hypothesis. The International So- 
ciety for Psychical Research offers data to satisfy the most incred- 
ulous. If a single well-authenticated communication between this 
world and that of disembodied spirits can be established beyond 
all possibility of doubt, then the fundamental hypothesis of the 
materialists is forever swept aside. And yet not only one instance 
but thousands of them have been given. In this regard modern 
Spiritualism has justified its existence. 

That movement has proved conclusively, incontrovertibly, as 
fully as any fact of science has ever been proved, that the death of 
the body does not terminate the existence of the intelligence which 
occupied that body. From its vast accumulation of data, the Soci- 
ety for Psychical Research has made substantial contributions to 
knowledge. The movement has thus given to mankind a certain 
assurance which nothing else has ever given on such a large scale. 
The public consciousness, while recognizing the service which Spiri- 
tualism has rendered, yet hesitates to approve of it because it rec- 
ognizes that Spiritualism is not free from serious defects. The phe- 
nomena may be acknowledged, but Spiritualism's methods are not 
above criticism. 

It is well known to students who have become familiar with the 
seance performance that many serious evils accompany the prac- 
tice of mediumship. It is no argument to say that such evils are 
not the legitimate results of mediumship but are due to the abuse 



MODERN SPIRITUALISM 



151 



of it. The fact remains that evils of a grave sort do attend the 
practice of mediumship. And the worst disasters fall upon the 
medium. This alone is sufficient to condemn the practice. The 
knowledge gained through mediumistic process may be desirable, 
but that knowledge is gained at too great a sacrifice. Moreover, it 
can be gained by a better method unattended by any harm to 
anybody. 

Far superior information may be gained by the independent 
method of the Masters, with no untoward results to anyone. In 
fact, becoming a medium is not a development in any sense of the 
word. It is the exact antithesis of development — it is a decided 
disintegration, a deplorable degeneration, an absolute loss. But 
the method of the Masters, while proving vastly more than Spiri- 
tualism ever can prove concerning the higher worlds, at the same 
time leads to the most splendid development in all that raises the 
inferior man to the exalted status of the superman. If anyone 
wishes to follow this subject, he may profitably read The Great 
Psychological Crime by John E. Richardson, at that time known as 
T. K. This book certainly shows in the most conclusive manner 
the destructive nature of hypnosis and mediumship. It should be 
read by every student of the phenomena of mediumship and 
hypnotism. 

While the Eastern wisdom universally condemns mediumistic 
control as a bad thing and a decidedly unreliable method of get- 
ting messages from the dead, yet the findings of Spiritualism gen- 
erally coincide quite accurately with the teachings of the Masters 
as far as those findings go — but they are generally extremely limit- 
ed in their scope. The knowledge gained through mediumship 
seldom goes beyond the outskirts of the intermediate regions be- 
tween the earth spheres and the very first region of the Masters, 
that is to say, the pure astral. Hence, the revelations made through 
tediums are extremely limited. 

Contrary to the teachings of the Masters, Spiritualism persists 

111 the fond belief that mediumship is a gift. But in fact it is a 

errible loss. Richardson shows in the most incontrovertible man- 

e r that the greatest crime which can be committed against indi- 



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vidual intelligence is to deprive that intelligence of the right and 
power to control itself. It is a distinct humiliation, a decided deg- 
radation, to reduce the medium to the level of only an 'instru- 
ment' to be played upon at will by some other intelligence. 

The real Master is never an instrument. He is never a medium. 
He enters the spiritual regions on his own right and by his own 
powers. He is never controlled. He has nothing to do with con- 
trols. He controls himself. He sees and hears whatever there is to 
see and hear, independently and freely. There is not the slightest 
element of subjection in the process of mastership. It is the exact 
opposite. All his faculties and powers are unfolded and strength- 
ened, and they remain always under his own sovereign will. This 
constitutes the essential difference between the subjective process 
of the medium and the independent method of the Master. 

Someone may raise the objection that the Masters exercise sub- 
jective control over their disciples. But this objection is due to very 
serious misunderstanding of the facts. It is true, we speak of per- 
fect obedience to the Master. But that does not imply that the 
Master exercises arbitrary control over the disciple. The Master 
never controls his disciple except by love. He very seldom, if ever, 
gives a command. He generally offers advice, and he does that in 
the most unassuming manner. It is a fundamental law among all 
Masters, even among good yogis, that the disciple must be left 
wholly free to exercise unhindered his own powers. If the Master 
can ever be said to rule at all, he rules witii love, not with author- 
ity. The slightest wish of the Master is law to the disciple; but that 
is because he loves the Master, and also because he knows that the 
Master is always right. It is a fact, as every advanced disciple of a 
saint will attest, that there is no such thing in this world as perfect 
freedom for anyone unless and until he learns to follow a real Master. 

One other subject should not be overlooked in this connection. 
While the medium seldom goes beyond the very lowest planes ot 
the subastral regions, yet that is not even the beginning point of 
the upward penetration of the higher worlds by the Masters. Hence, 
mediums know absolutely nothing about the pure spiritual re- 
gions and, in fact, they very rarely contact even the pure astral 



MODERN SPIRITUALISM 



153 



zones. Their fields of operation are far below that. Their activity is 
generally limited to the subastral regions or what may be termed 
'the magnetic fields'. These he just above the physical world, and 
yet far below the purely astral. 

In those lower regions it is generally a lower order of spirits 
which are contacted by the mediums. We believe, and we have 
good reason to assert, that no high-level intelligence, such as any 
of the great and noble characters of history, ever comes back to 
communicate through mediums. Therefore, when some spirit 
claims to be Socrates, or Abraham Lincoln, it is better to dismiss 
the matter at once. It is only a pretense of some designing intelli- 
gences, floating about the lower magnetic planes connected with 
the earth and who wish to attach themselves to mediums or sit- 
ters, or who wish to have some fun at the expense of people who 
cannot detect their fraud. It is a most pathetic thing that the me- 
dium is not in a position to save herself from such imposition. 
She can see and hear only what her controls wish her to see and 
hear — nothing more. She is in no sense independent. 

When some fond mother is supposed to come and communi- 
cate with her family, gives advice and messages of love, such ad- 
vice should be taken with extreme scepticism. When a medium is 
led to believe that a mother or father or some noted historical 
character is her guide or her Master, such a claim should be set 
down as false. No real Master ever works through a medium. It is 
quite unthinkable. Nor does any other highly developed spirit ever 
use a medium. Such a thing is quite impossible. He knows that 
such a process is wrong. When we are told that a particular person 
is one of the guides, we may accept that as a possible fact. In truth 
this is one of the most common of all procedures. But how much 
is such communication worth? If you are seeking advice on some 
°f the most important concerns of life, would you go to an igno- 
rant person for such advice? Certainly not. And do not imagine 
that because a person has passed to some of the lower superphysi- 
cal planes, he has thereby acquired vast stores of knowledge which 
he is anxious to communicate to you. The only difference be- 
tween a dead person and a living one is the simple fact that the 



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A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



155 



dead one has laid aside his physical body. He has neither gained in 
wisdom nor improved in character by the change. 

Aside from its contribution to the knowledge of survival after 
death, Spiritualism has but little to offer. Its findings only confirm 
to some extent the teachings of the saints. In fact, Spiritualism is a 
sort of echo, a distant echo, of what are said to be old Tan trie 
teachings, with some additions. But the system lacks the exalted 
idealism of the Eastern wisdom. It lays its stress upon phenomena, 
instead of the unfolding of spiritual powers and increase of wis- 
dom. It wants to develop mediums instead of Masters. In fact, it 
lacks utterly the method for the development of Masters. If it had 
such a method, it would never tolerate mediumship. Instead of 
going inside and witnessing real phenomena, as Masters do, it 
prefers to bring the phenomena outside where it can sell the show 
for a dollar per seat. (It is only fair to the better sort of Spiritual- 
ists to say that such things are not approved of by them. In case of 
honest mediums who never seE their services, but who firmly 
believe that they are serving humanity, we commend their mo- 
tives but deplore their methods.) 

Spiritualism lacks the lofty vision of the yogi. His calm self- 
abnegation is quite unknown to the average medium. And no 
medium has any increase of natural powers. He suffers a distinct 
loss of his powers, just in proportion as he falls a victim to the 
control of others. In all cases, the medium is quite helpless to 
distinguish between the true and the false. He sees and hears only 
what his controls wish him to see or hear. Not infrequenUy medi- 
umship ends in total moral bankruptcy, and occasionally in the 
insane asylum. 

It will be seen that while both Spiritualism and mastership ar- 
rive at the same conclusions regarding the persistence of the con- 
sciousness beyond the death of the body, they have very different 
methods of arriving at their conclusions. The one class — the Mas- 
ters — work by a normal, natural method, a constructive method, 
resulting in genuine development and vast increase of wisdom 
and powers; yet the other class — the mediums — fall victims to the 
most destructive psychological process which has ever been in- 




THEROS1CRUCIANS 

vented by the negative powers to mislead men. The method of the 
Masters is independent and constructive, while that of the medi- 
ums is wholly subjective and decidedly destructive. 



25. THE ROSICRUCIANS 

The Rosicrucians are a society of occult students said to have 
originated in Germany in the fifteenth century. It is now a world- 
wide organization with headquarters in San Jose, California. Like 
Theosophy, it has derived most of its tenets from the Vedas. It has 
its system of meditation and promises its students inner light. In 
this regard it goes beyond many other systems. Just how effective 
this yoga may be, we cannot speak definitely, except to say that 
after two years of faithful practice of these methods, no noticeable 
value was discovered by this writer. Perhaps it was my own fault. 
However, looked at now in the fight of my personal experience 
upon the path of the Masters, the Rosicrucian system has its own 

limitations. 

The Rosicrucian Brotherhood claims allegiance to the same Great 
White Brotherhood as do the Theosophists. Whether it considers 
itself a twin sister to Theosophy is not clear; but if so, one of the 
twins was born a long time after the other. Theosophy is still in its 
infancy when compared with the mature years of Rosicruciamsm. 
To choose between them presents much the same problem as that 
which confronted the young man who had to decide which of the 
twins he would marry. He finally decided he would leave them 
both alone. Since he could not tell them apart, complications might 
develop in the future. 

These two great organizations are both good. They have both 
done a noble service. But this writer, after years of courting the 
two, trying to understand them both, finally decided that he had 
better look for an outstanding system which had no rivals. But 
this he never found until he met the Great Master. After that 
event, all other religions and philosophies took their places in the 
background. The science of the Masters has no rival Once it is 



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THE ROSICRUCIANS 



157 



known, all other systems are seen in their relative importance, just 
as a candle loses its value at the rising of the sun. Yet in the 
absence of the sun, the candle may be very useful. 

The most serious shortcoming of the Rosicrucian system, like 
that of its sister Theosophy, is its lack of a real, living Master to 
whom the student may go. Its literature says much about Masters, 
hierophants, mahatmas, and arhats, and whets the spiritual appe- 
tite without producing the nourishment. Most of these Masters 
lead an elusive life far beyond the busy haunts of men, in the 
silent depths of the Himalayas, and when an anxious student in- 
quires just how he may find one of them, he is told that no ordi- 
nary sinner may approach them. 

The case is much the same as with a man who is very sick and is 
told that the great physician is so occupied with important mat- 
ters that he cannot see an ordinary man. But if he can hold out 
until he is well and strong, he may eventually be permitted an 
interview. Of all men in the world who are sick and weary, it is the 
sinner, the struggling soul down in the depths, who needs the 
strong hand of the Master. Both Rosicrucians and Theosophists 
promise the student that someday, if he fives long enough and 
works hard enough, he may get a glimpse of one of these great 
ones. 

Once I wrote to a man who claimed to have spent years with 
some of the Indian Masters. I asked him how I could find one. He 
replied: "When ye have gained perfect self-mastery, ye are then in 
the presence of the Masters." 

There is no doubt about the technical accuracy of this reply. 
Sending out his 'wireless' vibrations to the whole world, that calm 
and passionless mahatma, who sits serenely in his Himalayan re- 
treat, may do some good, but what I wanted was a living Master 
who would give me some personal attention. 

I was not much interested in world vibrations just then. I want- 
ed a living Master whose face I would see with these physical eyes, 
whose cheering voice I could hear, whose gracious hand I could 
take in mine. There is no doubt but Rosicrucianism is in touch 
with some of the remnants of ancient yogism, floating more or 



i 



less loosely through many lands. But as a teacher of successful 
yoga it lacks the clear markings of a definite path to attainment, 
and it lacks a living Master to guide one. This writer speaks from 
personal experience, not hearsay, just as he speaks from personal 
experience concerning the path of the saints. 

One fact should make the discerning student pause and think— 
if he should be able to attain all that the most advanced represen- 
tatives of Rosicrucianism claim, it is even then but a mere glimpse 
into the higher realities. It is only a beginning on the path of the 
saints. None of them go beyond the very threshold of the real 
kingdom of light. All this we are saying not to find fault, nor to 
disparage these organizations, but because it is much better for 
mankind if the facts are boldly made known by one who is in a 
position to know them. If any earnest student feels inclined to 
challenge these statements, let him come to a real Master for the 
proofs. He may have them in great abundance. 

Let us give credit to these two organizations, as to all others, for 
the good they have done, and let us love them for it. But at the 
same time, let us recognize their limitations. Let us then seek a 
path which has no limitations, and which leads to the very highest 
spiritual goal. A student who enters upon the study of a spiritual 
philosophy and selects a definite path should, if possible, know of 
a certainty that he is entering upon the main highway of the Mas- 
ters and not upon some bypath. As a matter of fact, as anyone 
may prove for himself, if a student should gain all that is promised 
on any of these lower paths, even becoming one of their greatest 
mahatmas, he will still be only a beginner on the path of the great 
Masters. Let us give them full credit for their help to mankind. It 
would be a very great blessing indeed, if all men had attained a 
half of their development, a tenth of their wisdom and powers. 
Let no one be offended at this statement. It is made in humility 
and love, but it had to be made became great issues are at stake. 

Everywhere men are seeking a way, and with them all, the great 
question is to enter upon the main highway to the city of light and 
not to go astray on some other path, leading to a blind alley. It is 
doubtful if those great souls themselves know of the higher attain- 



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meats of the saints or of their higher path, leading to regions to 
which the Masters alone have access. How many of earth's mil- 
lions actually know of the regions attained by these mahatmas of 
the White Brotherhood? Likewise, there are many who are now 
on the planes of the Brotherhood who know of nothing higher. In 
any case, we are not to despise the matriculate because we our- 
selves have the degree of master of arts. We are all brothers and 
we are all striving as best we know. 

One more point of importance may be mentioned here. It may 
help to explain the method of all occult brotherhoods, which op- 
erate differently from the Masters. The occult brotherhoods are 
not seeking to give their light to mankind. It is not their chief 
mission. They accept but very few disciples and these they train to 
become their successors. Their work is world betterment and not 
especially to liberate individuals from the world and its entangle- 
ments. However, the work of the great Masters or saints is to take 
people up and out of this world to a better world. The world- 
uplifters come to destroy evil and establish righteousness. The saints 
come to take people to their eternal home. Working alone — that is, 
without a living Master — as all have to do in churches and occult 
societies, students can make but very little headway at best. Finally 
they must all slip back into the fatal rounds of births and deaths. 
From this ever-rolling wheel, no man can hope to escape without 
the help of a living Master. 



26. THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF ALL RELIGIONS 

It is now in order to sum up the teachings of all religions and try 
to point out their several positions in the scheme of the Masters. 
Let us hasten to say in the first place that the Masters condemn no 
religion. None of them are to be set aside as false. If they had not 
some good, they would not have survived. In fact, they would not 
have come. If they had not come to fill a real need, they would not 
have come at all. 
There is a decided inclination in these days to insist that all 



THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF ALL RELIGIONS 159 

religions are equally good and effective, that they all constate but 
different paths leading to the same goal. This is a very chantable 
and LS view, and is to be heartily commended. Tins .MM 
So forward toward the much desired universal brotherhood, with 
an end to religious wars and contentions. Many attempts have 
been made to establish an ecumenical council of all rehgions. World 
ngr^es have been held. This should be encouraged, by * n» 
ft would be a delightful conclusion to the whole matter if we 
ould say here and now that all rehgions are equally good and that 
all of them lead to the highest goal. In that case, there woul lb : no 
more advantage in discussing the subject-no need at all for fur- 
Aer books The saints themselves would have no further mission. 
Just turn over the world to a congress of priests and let us all go to 

*£*ESS& is not the case. We may frankly admit 
that one religion is about as good as another, that they are aU 
equally effectk On that basis aU may be admitted into one grand 
amalgamation. But after that has been done and the compound 
has been tested, it will be found to have two senous defec s. There 
m to vital points at which all religions fail. One is the lack of a 
hvinTMaster That is a need which none but the saints can sop- 
pW No religion has it. That requirement, an absolute sine qua 
I, marks fhe poverty of all world rehgions. A -cond lack suf- 
fered by all rehgions is their loss of all conscious conta with *e 
audible life stream; and they do not know how to find it /to that 
is the most vital consideration on the path of spiritual hberanor. 
We may truly say that without this conscious contact, °ne s lite is 
in vain; it would have been better not to have been born. It will be 
practically useless, except as a pleasant social fraternity. 

There are three great links in the golden chain of-^n-the 
living Satguru, the audible life stream, and spiritual hberanon. These 
will be discussed more fully in their proper places. They are re- 
peated here for the sake of emphasis. 

If we analyze all historical religions, we shall find that they con- 
sist of five basic elements. They are: (1) superstitious assumptions, 
(2) emotional extravaganzas, (3) ritualistic ceremonies, (4) meta- 



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lOVE, THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION 



161 



physical speculations, and (5) ethical principles. The proportions 
of these elements vary from the lowest type of fetishism up to the 
sublimest ethics of an Emerson. But all religions bear the stamp of 
these five in differing degrees. Whatever small degree of bhakti, 
'devotion', or dharma, 'good works', may be found in any of them, 
they all fit into the framework of these five central ingredients. In 
some of them vague references to the audible life stream are to be 
found, but for the most part they have lost any adequate knowl- 
edge of it. It is quite evident that in these five elements of world 
religions, there is but little, if any, genuine religion. 

What then is genuine religion? Religion is an individual experi- 
ence. It is a realization. No man can say exactly what beauty is. It is 
an experience based upon a relation between things and indivi- 
dual intelligence. Beauty is a joy springing up out of that relation- 
Beauty is a step toward reality. In essence, beauty is a form of love. 
It is a ray of light from the infinite heart of things. So is religion. It 
is a light. It is love. It is joy. True religion exists only when the soul 
finds joy in the infinite. Religion is not found in creeds or ceremo- 
nies. Again, let us emphasize the fact that religion is an individual 
experience. And just as each individual's experience is different 
from that of all others, so his religion is different from that of all 
others. Ergo, there are just as many religions in the world as there 
are individuals. 

Religion is not an outward expression. It cannot be expressed 
outwardly. It is an inner experience. For this reason religion can 
never be couched in forms and ceremonies. It can never be bot- 
tled up in creeds, like canned beans. It can never be given by one 
man to another. Neither can it ever be written down in books. 

One reason why there is so much confusion in religious under- 
standing is because every man's experience is different from that 
of every other man. My religion is not the religion of any other 
person, unless that person has had exactly the same experience as 
I have had. In some clumsy manner, primitive man began to cre- 
ate a form of propitiation, a ceremony, a sacrifice. He watched 
with terror the driving storm and he concluded that there must be 
some sort of malignant power behind it. It is significant, in inter- 





preting human psychology, that man's first conception of God 
was that of a malignant being. It was eons of time later that love 
entered into the idea of God. As man got favors from men and 
animals by doing something to please them, his next thought was 
to do something to please those gigantic forces which lie behind 
natural phenomena. Out of the ceremonies and sacrifices which 
he then instituted he got some sort of personal experience, and 
that constituted his religion. But the religion of that primitive 
man was a different sort of religion from that of a modern Kabir. 
Yet it was his religion and it should be respected. It was the best 
he could do. 



27. LOVE, THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION 
It should not be difficult now for us to bridge the gap of the 
centuries and arrive at some sort of conclusion as to what genuine 
religion is. Let it be said with all due emphasis, that there is no such 
distinction as true and false religion, for every man's religion is for 
him true and genuine. It is his experience. But just what consti- 
tutes the differences, which we all know exist? That difference lies 
in the degree of objective reality which lies behind our individual 
experiences. If we build a religion upon our own mental images, 
upon a long period of suggestion and autosuggestion, our experi- 
ences will not be founded upon objective reality. If we build up a 
form of religion upon assumptions, superstitions, speculations, 
our system will be like the house built upon sand. When tested, it 
will not stand. But if our religious thinking and experiences are 
founded upon reality, our religion will stand every test. 

Such a man will experience religion upon the highest possible 
plane. That religion will yield the finest fruitage because it is nour- 
ished in the soil of reality. The logical lesson to be derived from 
this fact is that everyone should do his utmost to assure himself 
that his religious theories, his thinking and his personal experi- 
ences are founded upon reality, upon facts. And it cannot be too 
strongly emphasized that no such assurances can be had unless 



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IOVE, THE ESSENCE OF UEUGION 



163 






feelings are ruled out, and our convictions are based upon actual 
sight, hearing and touch. If you think that such a foundation for 
our religion is not available to you, that is because you have not 
met a real Master. 

And now, what is the content of that religion which will stand 
all tests? It is the religion experienced by the Masters and their 
disciples. Its content is love. In the infinite heart of things, love 
and reality will be found to be one and the same thing. The ab- 
sence of love means the absence of reality. Everything else is illu- 
sory. A full realization of this sublime fact is genuine religion. It is 
a great joy. If there is any one thing that distinguishes a Master 
from all other men, it is love. The thing passeth all understanding. 
The Master is the only man in the world who experiences religion 
in its full and complete sense because he loves most. Hence, if we 
concentrate the entire discussion into one fundamental thesis, there 
will remain nothing but love. Love and religion, then, are one and 
the same thing. Religion, love, reality, are all one. 

Having now discovered the precious radium content of reli- 
gion, it is a simple and logical conclusion that there is no such 
thing as genuine religion in the creeds and formalities of world 
religions. Only the living Master can open the doors of light for 
us. Only he can give us the waters of life. He is the embodiment of 
infinite love, and he alone can open for us the fountain of love. 
When he does that, we discover for the first time that there is no 
other religion nor can there be any other. When we drink of that 
fountain, we have life eternal. We have a religion which embraces 
all other religions, a religion of perfect oneness with boundless 
love. 

Some teachers say that we should begin religion by loving man- 
kind. That will lead us to love God, so they insist. That is a very 
nice theory, and surely anything that leads us to love our fellow 
men is a good thing. There is nothing we need more than that. 
But will this theory work? How many people have you seen who 
have actually proved this theory in practice? I have never met one. 
But I have seen many who found their way to God by the shining 
path of a living Master, and after that they became great lovers of 



mankind They learned to love even the lowliest of animals, every 
nlant and flower. Their whole lives became flames of creative love. 
And that is genuine religion. There is no other. But this religion is 
attainedonlyonthepathoftheMasters. 

The Masters alone can tune the soul in with the heavenly bam 
the audible life stream. After all, this life stream is the source of all 
love in the world. It is because the Master is one with that stream 
that he manifests so much love. It is when we meet a real Master 
and he unites us with that stream, that love is bom, and with it, its 
twin self— religion. When a man has once gained this inner expe- 
rience he has the dynamic life within himself to meet all tempta- 
tions successfully and live the life called for by the finest code of 
ethics Never otherwise. To make morality a means of attaining 
religion is to work backwards. Ethics is a means of mind cleans- 
ing although not a perfect means at best. But that only prepares 
one to start on the path of God-realization. What is still more 
important, ethics never generated love. Therefore, ethics is neither 
religion nor the soil out of which it grows. Genuine ethics is the 
fruit of love and love is the life-giving fruit of the great current. 
We treat our fellow men properly because we love them. We do 
not love them because we treat them right. 

Ethics can never form the basis of a universal religion, for ethics 
cannot create love. This is why we so often witness the strange 
phenomena of intensely religious people manifesting so much 
hatred. Their theories about God, the heavens and spiritual libera- 
tion are worthless because they are not founded on knowledge. 
Take out of any religion its code of ethics and it would not survive 
a single month, except in those forms where its participants value 
ceremony for its psychological effect. All primitive civilizations 
love ceremony for its own sake. 

We may indeed contemplate a lofty example of loving service to 
the extent that we feel ready to offer ourselves to it, giving up 
everything, even life itself. If we do so, it is inspired by the love 
which wells up in the soul in response to that pull. But that sort of 
love is not of the highest order. It is mostly sympathy, an appeal 
to the emotions. So much love is so much religion. We must not 



164 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



deny that many noble souls, with hearts overflowing with loving 
sympathy and deep interest in a certain cause, have laid down 
their lives for that cause. But the perfect love, with perfect light, 
comes only when one melts his soul into the infinite soul at the 
feet of a living Master. 

It is true that most religions preach love as the vital factor in 
religion. Upon love toward God and man they base their ethics. 
But with those religions it is mostly a theory. Everybody preaches 
and desires love, but he wishes his neighbor to begin first. Here 
again it has been proved times without number in history that 
institutional religion and fundamental ethics do not always travel 
together. 

The human mind takes many a twist and turn. Some of the 
worst characters in history have been among the most religious. 
Nothing is more conspicuous in history than the incessant preach- 
ing of love and the incessant practice of hatred. But the preaching 
of love makes a very strong appeal to intelligence, because we all 
recognize that love is the saving essence of life. All religions, there- 
fore, make love their foundation, in theory. It makes good mater- 
ial for sermons. But few ever build character upon that founda- 
tion. The reason for that is they lack the essential dynamics of 
religion. They have not the all-powerful stream of love to give life 
to their religion. Their love is generally stored away in the library. 

Men build beautiful Gothic cathedrals, fill them with music and 
ceremony and go on preaching ethics and love. But after the cere- 
mony is over, a throng of well-dressed men and women hurry 
away to their big dinners, their banks, their farms and their secret 
passions. Where is the love? Where is the religion? And yet Jesus 
said that love should be the due guard and sign of discipleship. 
This is the central point of emphasis in the system of the Masters. 
But unlike all the rest, the great Masters practice love. 

In the end, all know that the core of religion is the experience of 
the individual when he has found the great love. It can be nothing 
else. Religious corporate bodies come and go, but ethics abides. It 
will abide. But genuine religion is quite another matter. It is not to 
be confused with any system of ceremonies. It is a thing to be 




LOVE, THE ESSENCE OF RELIGION 



165 



X 

I realized only in the deep chambers of the soul when the mystic 

contact has been made with the divine bani and the soul learns of 
a certainty that there is nothing in the world but love. 

But in all the prevailing religions, this one essential content is 
conspicuous by its absence. If an isolated individual here and there 
is filled with love, unselfish service being the rule of his life, that 
does not imply that his religion should have the credit. On the 
contrary, his love has enriched his religion. If it were not for the 
loving souls all through history who have brought to their several 
religions the contributions of their own individual love, those reli- 
gions would have made a very poor showing. When some noble 
individual shines out in history, then the priests turn and say: "See 
what our religion has done!" As a matter of fact, they performed 
their noble service actuated by a love that sprang up in spite of 
their religion. Ceremonial religion has never done anything to 
enrich anyone's life, except for the ethical and aesthetic culture of 

1 refined ceremony and music. But why offer that in the name of 

religion? Real culture is far above all religions. 
Most religions are like a combination salad — they are made up 
of a number of evergreen virtues, a choice set of handsome dog- 
mas, a little oil of beauty, a few slices of wholesome philosophy, 
seasoned with the salt and pepper of good works, flavored with 
the dressing of prayer, garnished with an attractive ritual, and 
served by a polished waiter called a priest. This may have some 
value as a cleansing diet, but the bread of life is not in it. When the 

• hungry soul contacts the audible life stream, then and then only 

does he enter upon life everlasting. And only then does he experi- 
ence perfect love, vibrating through every fiber of his being. 

When all institutional religions are abandoned, true civilization 
will dawn. They have always been the most serious handicaps to 
progress. They have always acted as brakes to the wheels. What 
then will take the place of those religions? Nothing. The house will 
be clean. What will men put into the house then? Love will fill 

« every room in it. Love will furnish it and light it. Love will spread 

its tables. Love will sing its songs. Love will play its games. "From 
its happy doors, love will go forth to subdue the world — nay, to 



loo 



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KEY TO THE ANALYSIS OF RELIGIONS 



167 









embrace the world. And then all men will know what religion U 
because they will know what love is. 

If you ask again just how the coming civilization is to attain this 
summum bonum of philosophy and religion, I will say, as is said so 
often in these pages, by and through the scientific method of the' 
great Masters. For theirs is the path of love, the prem marg, the 
hhakti marg, the shining path of the ages! 






28. KEY TO THE ANALYSIS OF RELIGIONS 
To the student of history, especially the history of religions, it 
must often occur that there ought to be some explanation of the 
multiplicity of religions and of their many conflicting elements. 
Where and how did they originate? What is the soil out of which 
they have grown? If they are so many paths to God, as they all 
claim, why do they wage such incessant wars against one another? 
Is there any substratum of truth common to them all? If so, how 
shall we discover their fundamentals? These and many other simi- 
lar questions fairly thrust themselves upon the impartial student 
We believe there must be an answer to these questions. When all 
religions are analyzed, there will be a residuum showing a com- 
mon origin and exhibiting common properties. 

To avoid going into the matter at any great length, let us go 
straight to the heart of the question. Religion, any religion, is the 
inner experience of the individual That we have already discussed 
at some length. To get that experience, he must leave the outer 
world, in thought at least, and go inside. How does one go inside. 
By detaching himself from the outer or sense world and with- 
drawing his attention from all sense objects, then concentrating 
the attention upon something inside. This appears simple enough, 
and it is the method of acquiring all religious experiences— leav- 
ing the outer world and entering the inner world of conscious 
ness. To this rule there can be no exceptions. No matter what the 
religion is, one must go inside to get it. 

To state the matter more explicidy, concentrating the attention 



upon something inside of oneself is the way to all religious experi- 
ences. This is true of the system of the Masters and it is true of all 
other systems which yield any sort of religious experience whatso- 
ever. But here is the crucial point — as the methods differ, so will 
the experiences differ. The method of the Masters is scientific and 
exact. All other methods are more or less haphazard and uncer- 
tain. This very fact explains why the results of the Masters' method 
are uniform, no matter how many thousands of times the experi- 
ments may be performed and no matter how many millions of 
years apart they are performed. It also explains why there is such 
endless variety and confusion in the results obtained by all other 
methods. 

There is a vast difference also in the degree and extent to which 
one penetrates the inner worlds, and so there must be a corre- 
sponding difference in the results obtained. This fart further ac- 
counts for a great variety of inner experiences and a variety of 
religions based upon those experiences. One may leave the outer 
world and enter very slightly into the regions of thought. If he 
concentrates at that point, thought-forms will build up about him, 
and his problems will be solved so far as his own thought can 
solve them. These thought-forms can be seen by anyone who has 
astral vision. This is the region where mind plays its greatest dra- 
mas. It is on this plane that mind goes on creating and molding 
and shaping as it desires. All the while there is a constant stream 
of suggestion pouring in upon the individual. This helps to mold 
his thought-forms. Finally, many of such souls who are more sen- 
sitive are actually able to see their own thought-forms and they 
imagine they have seen some great characters outside of them- 
selves. Those thought-images will often talk to them out of the 
depths of the subconscious self. 

There has never been a religion founded, never a good book 
written, never a good picture painted, never a good poem com- 
posed, never a good invention developed, except by going inside to 
some extent, and there concentrating on the task in hand. Even if 
one is not conscious of the exact thing he is to accomplish, he gets 
results by concentration. That is the great thing in the process — 



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GUARDING ONE'S OWN MENTAL PROCESSES 



169 



perfect concentration, becoming oblivious to the outer world of 
sense and centering attention upon that which is to be found 
inside of man. This is the way of attainment, no matter in what 
line of endeavor. No matter what one is to achieve, this is the one 
and only method leading to success. Concentrated attention is the 
key that unlocks all stores of wisdom, of truth and of spirituality. 

But there is one difficulty in this process. It is when the student 
comes face to face with his own mental creations. It is then that he 
is almost helpless unless he has the guiding direction of a living 
Master. It has been the unfortunate experience of thousands of 
good men and women who have entered to some degree into the 
inner consciousness that they got the impression that God or some 
angel or relative was leading them. They hear "the voice of God," 
they say. Or they get the impression that God himself is giving 
them some command or instruction. But as a matter of fact, such 
visions or voices or impressions are, as a rule, their own mental 
creations. 

This process is plainly visible to anyone who has independent 
astral vision, but the individual himself is rarely able to make the 
distinction because he has not such independent vision. He fondly 
believes God is speaking to him directly when he is actually hear- 
ing nothing but the faint whisperings of his own mind, coming up 
out of his subconscious self. He is deceived, self-deceived. And so 
often he announces that he has received a message from God or 
that God is leading him to do certain things. 

Many people say that God has ordered them to commit murder 
or do all sorts of atrocities, but it is their own disordered mind. I 
recall a man and a woman who were my fellow passengers on the 
steamer crossing the seas to Hong Kong. They were going to Tibet 
as missionaries. They were going to that almost inaccessible re- 
gion, solely on the strength of a personal "command from God. 
To the student of psychological phenomena, it was quite apparent 
that their "command from God" was nothing more than the 
creation of their own minds, superinduced by a long course of 
suggestion. 

So it has happened many times in history. New cults are start- 



ed, movements inaugurated, sacrifices made and books written 
solely on the strength of such "commands from God." These indi- 
viduals themselves are not to be blamed for their mistakes. They 
are to be pitied. Most of them are very sincere devotees of their 
religions. The trouble is that they have no safeguard; they have no 
reliable guidance. They cannot see inside so as to detect the fraud 
that is being perpetrated upon them by their own minds. As soon 
as a person enters only a little distance inside, he is always con- 
fronted, and fairly assaulted, by multitudes of his own thought- 
forms. Aided by the suggestions of others, they have nearly all 
taken shape out of his own past training and the ideas he has held 
for long periods of time. They spring up out of his own long- 
cherished desires. In the end, they mislead him into all sorts of 
bypaths. 

This psychological process, we believe, is the real source of most 
of that endless variety of experiences which people call religious, 
and which accounts for the great variety of religions. No one is 
safe from such misfortune until he is directed by a living Master, 
who himself is able to watch, with clear vision, all internal experi- 
ences of both himself and his disciples. Moreover, at the time of 
initiation, every student of a living Master is given ample safe- 
guards which make such unhappy experiences quite impossible. 



29. GUARDING ONE'S OWN MENTAL PROCESSES 

Every student of the Masters is obliged to keep a vigilant eye upon 
his own mental processes. When he begins to enter the inner 
planes, even to the slightest degree, he must beware of his own 
misleading mental creations. In all of his waking consciousness he 
is to remember that this mind is his worst enemy, as well as his 
most useful instrument. But the main point is that he must keep it 
under control every moment. The mind is a useful servant, but a 
very bad Master, 

ft is only the student of a real Master who is given every safe- 
guard against being deceived by his own mind. It is only the fol- 






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GUARDING ONE'S OWN MENTAL PROCESSES 



171 



lower of a real Master who can differentiate between the true and 
the false, as he begins to enter those subtle regions of the mind. 
He cannot dispense with the leadership of the Master in such 
dangerous zones. Without the Master, he is almost sure to go 
astray. The mind plays a thousand tricks. It is most unreliable, 
and it is habitually beset by its own thought-creations, harassed by 
its own desires and dominated by its own passions. 

In the light of all of these facts, is it any wonder that the world 
is filled with conflicting notions on religions, as well as on other 
subjects? But as said above, the method of the Masters offers a 
perfect safeguard against such disasters. That method indicates 
exactly what your attention is to be concentrated upon and where 
it is to be centered It also gives you the most precise and effective 
means of testing every experience inside. And lastly, it takes you 
into the inner regions with eyes wide open, with the consciousness 
more intensely awake than at any other time; and most important 
of all, the Radiant Form of the living Master is right there with the 
student to instruct and guide him. 

Under such conditions, the student cannot go wrong or make 
mistakes, neither can he be imposed upon by his own mind or 
that of anyone else. On the inner path, the student must under- 
stand, he will be met and tempted by a thousand and one differ- 
ent sorts of spirits and conditions. He will be attracted in a hun- 
dred ways. Every emotion will be played upon to mislead him. 
Only with the Master is he perfectiy safe. 

Again let it be emphasized that everything good comes from the 
light within. Nothing of value can possibly come out of terrestrial 
matter or material forms. All these are perishable and of tempo- 
rary value. The deeper one penetrates into those finer regions of 
truth and reality, the more perfect is his light. If he has the help of 
the Master who has himself penetrated those regions and knows 
every step of the way, he cannot go astray. He never gets a false 
impression and he never organizes a misleading cult out of his 
own disordered impressions. He never imagines himself led by 
God. God never talks direcdy to people in that way. The sooner 
we learn that fact .the better for the world and our own individual 
souls. God has his way of leading men to the light. 




There are just two methods used by the supreme one: first is the 
method of the whole world, led by natural law, personal experi- 
ence, and experimentation — trial and discard. The whole world is 
going on this way. They have no Master. They have to look out for 
themselves. They go on treading the wheel through successive lives 
and from age to age. They accumulate knowledge by experience. 
If they live up to the best that experience has taught them — their 
own experience and that of others — they will rise in the scale of 
evolution. 

The second method is that of following a Master. The supreme 
one has so designed it that the Master is to lead all men to the 
perfect light. It simply cannot be done any other way. We cannot 
find our way alone. The Master, and he alone, can lead the soul to 
the perfect light and to the original home of the soul in the su- 
preme region. The plan seems to be that common experience shall 
lead the people up to where they meet the Guru, and after that the 
Guru takes them home to the eternal regions. 

Outside of these two methods of dealing with the human race, 
God never interferes in the affairs of men. He never speaks to 
anyone, he is never seen by anyone, nor does he impress anyone's 
mind. If one gets impressions or hears voices or sees visions, he 
must understand that the supreme one has nothing to do with it. 
An individual may be impressed by or spoken to by someone — 
some inferior deity, some angel or some ordinary disembodied 
soul — but never the supreme God If you imagine that he is doing 
so, believe it not. To get to where you see or hear the supreme one 
is an exalted attainment, far above that ever experienced by any 
mortal, except a real saint or Master. And real Masters are ex- 
tremely few in this world. 

One further word of warning must be given here. Even if you 
see visions inside, beware of them. If you meet individuals — men, 
angels, even someone appearing as God or claiming to be God, or 
any saint — beware that you are not deceived. If you were a disci- 
ple of a real Master, you could not be deceived. You would have a 
definite and infallible method of testing each vision or appearance 
to prove if they are genuine as claimed. But if you have not this 
armament, you are almost sure to be misled. 



172 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



The mind is most treacherous; and besides that, the lower sub- 
tle worlds are filled with millions of other minds who are just as 
treacherous as your own. BeUeve them not. The Great Master says 
we should not even salute them or speak to them unless the Mas- 
ter introduces them to us. If you imagine you see the Lord him- 
self, any lord whom you regard highly, do not allow that vision to 
carry you off your feet. If you have not the Master's test, you are 
more than likely to be imposed upon. The vision may be a cre- 
ation of your own mind or it may be the creation of some other 
intelligence or an impersonation. Beware of it. 

Once when I was passing through a severe storm in the Medi- 
terranean Sea, we expected the ship to sink any minute. Of course 
we prayed, as we believed in prayer. I was amused to hear one 
man actually swearing at his bad luck. Our thoughts naturally 
turned to that world beyond this world of storms. Being a Chris- 
tian, my mind naturally turned to Jesus. Long hours I meditated 
upon Jesus, and prayed occasionally. My poor wife sat by me and 
prayed, while tears ran down her face. Finally, tired out by long 
waiting and suspense, I leaned back against the wall of the dining 
saloon and tried to relax the tension. A lovely vision presented 
itself to me. The heavens opened and I saw Jesus descending to- 
ward me with great light and a host of angels about him. His arms 
were extended to me in welcome. I was wild with delight. Then 
the scene was suddenly shut out, and I was brought back to the 
physical plane by a great plunge of the ship and a hard bump on 
the back of my head. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind 
now that I did not see Jesus at all, but only an image of him 
created by my own mind. 

I remember that several months ago, a woman got up in satsang 
here and related that she had seen Lord Krishna many times. She 
said she had been a follower of Lord Krishna for forty years. Asked 
if he had ever talked to her, she said, "Many times"; but she was 
puzzled because he did not always tell the truth. He often told her 
things which did not come true. The fact is quite apparent that the 
lady had never actually seen Lord Krishna at all, but had seen only 
her own mental creations of him. Of course, such creations are 



GUARDING ONE'S OWN MENTAL PROCESSES 



173 



not reliable communicants. And so it is with thousands of visions, 
numberless messages, and hosts of guides and controls — most of 
them are nothing more than the mental creations of the people 
themselves, who have no means of protecting themselves from 
such impositions. 

On the other hand, it may well occur that some visions are 
based upon fact and are genuine. Take the well-known instance of 
the founder of Mormonism. Joseph Smith, a religious youth, try- 
ing to determine after long prayer and deep meditation which of 
the many conflicting religions was the true one for him to follow, 
had a clear vision. He saw an angel and was told by that angel that 
there were some plates hidden in a rock in the mountainside, the 
exact place being shown to him. He went there and found the 
plates and translated them into the Book of Mormon. He might 
have had a genuine vision of such an angel. Those plates could 
have been placed there centuries before by wandering tribes who 
were early Christians, descendants of some of the lost tribes of 
Israel. The angel might have wished that they be restored to the 
knowledge of man, and so directed the boy. The boy was a good 
subject for such a contact. He was of pure mind, singleness of 
purpose, and he concentrated deeply. Under the circumstances, it 
was not difficult for him to enter the subtle regions sufficiently to 
gain a clear vision of the angel. 

The main point is that without the clear vision of the Master or 
the infallible test given by him, no one can ever be sure of what he 
sees or hears. Until one has the assistance of the Master, it is wiser 
to avoid all inner experiences. Above all, one should discount all 
voices that he hears. Even in the case of disciples of a real Master, 
it is not wise for them to assume that the Master is leading them 
unless they have something better than impressions to go by. Nine 
chances to one they will be impressions of their own minds. It is 
only when the disciple actually sees the Master inside, and even 
then only after applying the test which the Master gives, may he 
follow. After the test, if it is the Master in fact, he will remain and 
manifest himself. If he is a fraud, he will disappear. For there is 
not a single deceiver in all the subde worlds who can stand the 
Master's test. 



174 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



ANALYZING RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS 



175 



Take no chances on being deceived, either by your own mind 
or by anyone else, for it is certain that many will try to mislead 
you. Not only 'earth-bound' spirits, but many agents of the nega- 
tive power lurk about the physical plane with the sole purpose of 
preying upon the ignorance and credulity of the inexperienced. 
Trust them not. Until such time as you can really see the inner 
Master and give him the official challenge, and he responds to it 
properly, you should never follow an uncertain lead. Get your 
instructions from a Master, either personally or by proxy. It is 
much safer. I have known so many good people misled by some 
such impostor, and when asked why they do not go to a real 
Master they are sometimes offended, saying they have a Master 
inside. In all such cases, they are deceived, for no real Master ever 
works that way. 

It is only after you have conquered all barriers and stood before 
your radiant Master on the inner planes at a place known as Asht- 
dal Kanwal — only then you may safely follow his leadership in- 
side. From that point on you cannot be deceived. Then you can 
talk to him, face to face, as freely as you can talk to anyone in the 
body. Again we say, follow no impressions or voices. Never. Go by 
sight and military challenge. Remember, you are passing through 
a very strange country about which you know nothing, and no 
language could ever describe to you the multiplicity of ways and 
means that are employed to lead visitors astray in order to keep 
them from going higher. Prove all things; hold fast to that which 
is good. 



30. ANALYZING RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS 

Keeping in mind these principles, one may study critically all an- 
cient and modern religious movements insofar as the data can be 
obtained. You have been given the key that will unlock the mys- 
teries of them all. The perfect science of the Masters will be your 
criterion. Apply that yardstick to all religions. Apply the test to all 
such movements as modern evangelism, proselytism of every form 






and variety, missionary enterprises, the revivalism of Moody and 
the Wesleys. Analyze the work of such men as George Jeffrys and 
the Oxford Movement of Buchman. Study the work of the Doweys, 
the Glen Volivas, the Salvation Army, the New Thoughtists, Unity, 
and all of the little denominations springing up among the churches 
as well as in all other religions. 

Every world religion is full of differing sects. All these have their 
psychological interpretations. They are expressions of some phase 
of religious experience. How many of them may be due to the 
mental aberrations of their founders we are not in a position to 
say. But in each and every case, they have arisen out of some sort 
of inner experiences, even though it is altogether possible that 
some of these inner experiences may be attributed to paranoia. 
(But even then, they may have certain psychological and religious 
value.) A careful analysis should be made in all cases and the 
phenomena should be studied impartially as a doctor would study 
a new disease. 

There is another important class of religjo-philosophkal move- 
ments of modern times which demands special attention. Those 
religious movements referred to as evangelism make their appeal 
almost entirely to the emotions. They generally misinterpret their 
own emotional outbursts as the work of the divine spirit. They 
believe and pray and exhort, and read the Bible and sing. They 
seldom think. They have faith. 

But there is another class which makes its appeal more directly 
to the intellect and seeks substantiation from science. In this group 
may be mentioned Max Heindel, Rudolph Steiner, Ouspensky, 
Krishnamurti, Vivekananda and Hermann Keyserling. Seeking re- 
ality in the spiritual nature of man and the universe, these men all 
endeavor to inculcate some aspect of truth, while at the same time 
they regard the physical world as more or less illusory. The ulti- 
mate appeal of such movements is to spirit instead of matter, to 
an enlightened understanding rather than to religious emotions. 
We may well concede that each of these men has had personal 
experience of a higher reality, at least glimpses of something more 
substantial than the passing material show. Each of them may be 



176 



A REVIEW OF WORLD RELIGIONS 



given a seat of honor in the great brotherhood of light. They have 
each had their own inner experiences, and each has written down 
his findings as best he could in the hope of contributing some- 
what to the general enlightenment. As soon as anybody goes in- 
side, even to the slightest extent, and brings out a new truth or a 
new interpretation of an old truth, he will get a following. People 
hunger for truth and reality even though but few of them know 
what it is that they want. 

This process of re-examination and shifting of emphasis must 
go on just so long as the world lacks the scientific system of the 
Masters by which to travel on the path of certitude. The Masters, 
unlike all the rest, guess at nothing — neither do they speculate nor 
follow impressions. They follow no 'guides'. They hear no voices 
calling to them out of the darkness. They walk on no untried 
paths. The Masters speak from personal experiences, based upon a 
knowledge which was first handed down to them by their own 
Masters and then proved by themselves. Each fact, experience, or 
hypothesis is tested by them and proved. After that it becomes 
their own knowledge and then they can speak as one having au- 
thority. They then teach their students to follow the same path of 
scientific experimentation. 

Challenging every phenomenon presented for their consider- 
ation, they work also with an awakened consciousness and in broad 
daylight. When they have tabulated and tested all the facts, they 
go forward on the basis of certified knowledge. They take nothing 
on belief. They accept nothing simply because it is written in a 
book. The book only records the experiences of other men. They 
seek their own experiences and write their own books. Whatever 
is not definitely known to them is set aside for further investiga- 
tion. With the Masters, only positive knowledge has final value. As 
a matter of fact, in the process of becoming Masters, all knowl- 
edge is mastered by them. The net result of their method is that all 
the Masters are in perfect accord with one another; and that is 
because they all have found the truth in its completeness, and the 
body of truth is one, no matter in what age or by whom it is 
discovered. 




) 



The Masters and Their Duties 



1. WHO AND WHAT ARE THE MASTERS? 

The terms used to designate Masters and other highly developed 
men are many. Master, as the term is used in this book, is equiva- 
lent to saint (sant, in Sanskrit). It is also the same in meaning as 
Satguru, although there is an additional meaning to Satguru. All 
Satgurus are saints, but all saints are not Satgurus. A Satguru is a 
saint who has been appointed by the supreme Guru, Sat Nam, to 
act as Guru on his behalf. The Guru is a sort of viceroy, or execu- 
tive officer, who does his work on this plane. 

Satguru (sat, meaning 'true', and guru, 'light-giver') is the chief 
instrument of the supreme ruler to contact this world of human- 
ity. It is also the same as mahatma, if we refer to the highest order 
of mahatmas. (This word is often used rather loosely in India, 
generally meaning anyone who has attained some degree of emi- 
nence in spiritual or religious matters — mahatma, from maha, 
great', and atma, 'spirit'.) A yogi is a mahatma of a lower order 
than a true saint. The original meaning of yogi was 'one who had 
attained union with God'. The system of practices by means of 
which he attained that union is called yoga. But the great majority 



177 



178 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



WHA T IS A GENUINE MASTER? 



179 



i 






of yogis, both ancient and modern, are men who have reached 
only the first degree or less on the path of the Masters. 
The Masters themselves divide all mahatmas into four classes: 

1. A sikh {shishya), meaning 'disciple', one who has gained the 
first region. 

2. A sadhu, one who has attained the third region. By courtesy, 
one who has gained the second station may be called sadhu. 

3. A sunt, one who has definitely gained the fifth region, there 
being eight regions in alL 

4. A param sant, meaning 'supreme saint', or one who has 
reached the highest possible attainment in the supreme region. 

It will be noted that these degrees are based upon personal and 
individual attainments. They are not conferred degrees. They are 
degrees which one has to grow into by hard work. 

A rishi is one who has attained considerable development, simi- 
lar to that of the yogi. There is a general understanding in India 
that a true rishi ranks higher than a yogi. This may be so in theo- 
ry, but in actual practice we doubt if there is any difference. But in 
both theory and practice the Masters or saints rank far superior to 
either yogis or rishis because their attainments are far higher. The 
Vedas were given out by great rishis. Maha rishi is simply a 'great 
rishi'. 

Muni means somewhat the same as rishL The Hebrew word for 
rishi or muni or yogi is ro'eh. The Greek equivalent is episcopoSj 
meaning a superintendent of spiritual ceremonies or practices. It 
also has an esoteric meaning, indicating one who looks down with 
clearer vision upon all things and has a higher viewpoint than 
others. The ancient rishi was half priest and half prophet. He was 
the prohita of the Vedic age, the high priest — counselor of kings. 
Noted examples of such were Vishvamitra and Vasishtha, high 
priests to kings. All of these were mahatmas but not Masters. 

Among Muslims and Sufis, a Master is spoken of as murshid, 
murshid-i-kamii, fakir, shaikh-ul-mashaikh, or pir-o-murshid. These 
terms are intended to be equivalent to saint, although they have 
been much misused in these later days. They are now often ap- 
plied to men who are neither saints nor Masters, but may be on 
their way to mastership and have accomplished something. 



As said earlier, in the technical terminology of this science a 
■ saint, or a Master, is one who has reached the fifth region, called 
Sach Khand, there being eight principal planes in all. 

A Satguru is a saint who has been appointed by the supreme 
Lord to perform the duties of giving nam, or initiation, and of 
leading the disciples back to their home in Sach Khand. He is then 
the executive officer of the supreme Lord. 

A param sant, or supreme saint, is one who has advanced to the 
highest possible degree, the supreme region of pure spirit. These 
several degrees can be obtained only by hard work and individual 
development. 

In this book the terms Master, Satguru and saint will be used 
synonymously, but meaning in all cases one who has gained the 
exalted status of saint, rising to the fifth region by his own efforts 
with the aid of his Guru. If the student is to gain any proper un- 
derstanding of this teaching, he must keep this fact always in mind. 
A saint, as the word is used in this book, has absolutely no refer- 
ence to a canonical saint of the Church. Such saints are made saints 
by decree of the highest authority of the Church, while the real 
saints develop into saints by their own hard work, under the direc- 
tions of their Gurus and by their help. There is no other way to 
become real saints. 



2. WHAT IS A GENUINE MASTER? 

The Master is the most highly developed man known to history, 
and consequently, by virtue of his development, he has become 
the most splendid specimen of manhood, the noblest of the noble. 
Not so much emphasis is ordinarily laid upon physical perfection, 
but his body must be a good one. A skilled workman must have 
good tools if he is to do his finest work. It is generally understood 
that no man with a defective body, any serious deformity, can 
ever become a real Satguru. His mind also must be of a very high 
type — keen, penetrating, quick of wit, and sound of judgment. He 
may not have been educated in the schools, but his mind must 
have undergone the severest training and discipline. A Master at- 



180 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



tains all knowledge which could possibly be given in the schools, 
and vastly more. In all respects, the Master is the highest type of 
man, when judged as man. In him all of the excellences of the 
civilized man reach their highest expression. He must be the su- 
perman in all respects, not in one aspect alone. In him all the 
virtues recognized by the world are carried to the highest degree 
of perfection. 

If I were looking for a Master, I would first of all make the most 
critical inspection of the man's life to determine if he had any of 
the ordinary imperfections of character usually manifested by the 
average man. If I found him to be a perfect man, when studied as 
man, I would then begin my study of him as a Guru. But if he 
failed to pass inspection as a man, I would at once give up the 
search in him for Guru, or Master. 

The Master is the only man manifesting in history in whom 
individualism and universalism are combined in their full expres- 
sion, in spite of the assertion of some philosophers that such a 
combination is impossible. That is, the Master stands alone, is a 
law unto himself, does what he pleases, has what he wants, comes 
and goes absolutely at his own will, and asks favors of no man. 
Neither can any man hinder him in the execution of his will. He is 
the only man who has no need to ask favors of others. He has all 
things at his own command. If he suffers hardships or inconve- 
niences, that is because he chooses to do so for some purpose. He 
is the supreme giver, not a receiver; that is, he always pays for 
what he gets. He is slave to no one, is no time server, is bound by 
no rule or custom outside of himself and is a citizen of the whole 
world. At the same time, he is an ideal citizen of the common- 
wealth in which he fives. He merges himself into the social order 
and serves all without becoming subservient to any. 

The Master is the teacher of all, the light and inspiration of all, 
whether they know it or not. Everyone who meets him is fortu- 
nate, whether he realizes it or not. His own great love alone binds 
him to all men and animals, to every living creature. He is both 
the master of men and their servant, yet he is never fettered by 
human bonds. He never shirks an obligation or fails to perform a 



WHAT IS A GENUINE MASTER? 



181 



duty. He loves, but with serene detachment. Loving in this man- 
ner, he can give greater love than any other man without becom- 
ing a slave to the objects of his affection. 

There is but one to whom the Master bows in humble submis- 
sion — the supreme Lord, Sat Punish. His sovereign will is the 
only law the Master recognizes, that and the universal law of all 
laws — love. Yet the Master breaks no law of man, but supports all 
good governments. His life and teachings are universal. He be- 
longs to no race or time, but to all nations and all times. He is a 
citizen of the world — more correctly speaking, having come down 
here to bring fight, he is a friendly visitor in this world. He is the 
ambassador plenipotentiary of the King of kings. It is the Master, 
any Master, together with the life stream manifesting through the 
Master, that was referred to in the statement: 

That was the true light, which lighteth every man coming into 
the world. (John 1:9) 



The Master is the best example for all men, king or peasant. He 
is generally a man of family, though not always. He is no ascetic 
and does not encourage austerities. He does not consider it a sin 
to keep the body comfortable, well fed and healthy, in fact, he says 
that it is a duty. 

The Master lives in the world though he is not of it. He enters 
the stream of human life to help others, yet he himself stands 
aloof from the waves of human passion. He has attained all vir- 
tues, yet he does not partake of the weakness attributed to virtue 
by such philosophers as Nietzsche. He believes in developing the 
highest possible degree of strength, yet that strength must never 
be separated from the moral qualities. Strength minus love and 
humility produces a brute. The Master has become strong, stron- 
ger than any giant of body or intellect — for he has unlimited pow- 
er; yet he combines with that strength the noblest virtues of the 
humble and the gentle. The tenderest sympathies of the mother 
do not excel the all-embracing love of the Master. He thus be- 
comes the ideal of both Plato and Nietzsche. All people find in 



182 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



WHAT1SA GENUINE MASTER? 



183 



him inspiration for the building of noble character. At the same 
time he is equally the ideal for the warrior going forth to defend 
his country. He is the ideal of poetical song, the genuine romantic 
character of all idealists. 

Lastly, the Master is the ideal in religion. In the innermost re- 
cesses of the soul, in every aspect of life, he is everywhere and 
always king. In short, he is the strong man with no weaknesses, 
the good man with no faults. In the realm of religion, the Master 
is a paradox. He has no theology, teaches none, yet he is the most 
religious man on earth. His system is not a religion, yet it leads to 
the most complete religious experience, and the most happy. He is 
absolutely universal in all his teachings. He has no creed, yet he 
never antagonizes any creed, sect or institution. He never con- 
demns any man or any system. He finds no fault with anybody or 
anything, yet he draws the sharpest lines between the good and 
the bad. To the saint, there is really nothing bad in the world, 
neither is there real fault in any man. What we generally point out 
as faults, the Master considers weaknesses, illness. For them he has 
only pity, not blame. He never criticizes nor scolds nor abuses nor 
lectures, not even the vilest of sinners. The Master teaches that the 
habit of criticizing others, or faultfinding, is one of the most seri- 
ous weaknesses. Besides, it advertises both the vanity and the ill 
temper of the faultfinder. 

The Master lives and teaches positive truth. He overcomes evil 
with good. To correct faults in his disciples, he simply points out 
the opposite virtues. He teaches that to point out a fault is only to 
advertise and strengthen that fault; it never removes the fault. It 
only accentuates it and at the same time awakens other evil pas- 
sions in both the faultfinder and his victim. Nor does the Master 
ever hold ill will, not even against his enemies. He literally obeys 
the injunction of Jesus to love one's enemies. For he loves every- 
one, regardless of character. Are not all men sons of the common 
Father? He gives love to all and seeks to serve all. He is always 
master of the situation, no matter where he is placed. He is never 
disturbed by the whirlwinds of passion surging about him. Se- 
renely he watches the mad show and seeks to guide others in the 
ways of sanity. 






Nietzsche warns us that the superman has not yet arrived, and 
so we have said in the first few paragraphs of this book, but we 
were referring to the masses of mankind, and Nietzsche had never 
seen a Master. The Master has arrived; in fact, he has always been 
here, since the very beginning of human life on this planet. If 
modern philosophy must make war against tenderness, let such 
philosophers behold in the Master the best refutation of their ar- 
guments. All men must concede that if strength can be combined 
with tenderness, wisdom with love, the ideal is attained. Even 
Nietzsche, in his more lucid moments, acknowledged that Parsi- 
fal's gentleness was as necessary as Siegfried's strength. Strength, 
standing alone, is only half a man at best. It takes the two to make 
a real man. So the mastership of our superman consists in com- 
bining strength with all of the finer virtues, plus something which 
is above strength and above virtue. Nietzsche did not know how 
to combine the two in one man. He had never seen a Master, and 
perhaps would not have believed that such a being could exist on 
earth today. If any of our materialistic critics, in a fit of rebellion 
against what they consider the weakness of the purely 'feminine 
virtues', disparage religion and discourage love, let them look to 
the real Master. If they are inclined to look upon Christ as an 
impractical dreamer, let them make the acquaintance of a real 
Master. 

There is no doubt in the mind of this writer that European 
philosophy has waited long enough for some definite knowledge 
of a genuine Master in order that it may perfect its idealism. If 
materialistic scholars, exaggerating Darwinism, hold that the fu- 
ture welfare of the race demands that all emphasis shall be placed 
upon strength — strength of body and of mind — without reference 
to the spiritual man, then let them take note that in the Master we 
have the super-genius of their dreams, without losing the moral 
and spiritual values. If they feel inclined to kill off the weak and 
degenerate specimens of the human race, in the interests of the 
race itself, then let them watch the Master solve that problem. Let 
them observe how the Master, with superhuman love, wisdom 
and power, beyond the ken of the scholar, takes hold of the moral 
degenerate and makes a strong man of him. 



184 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



He who advocates such barbarities in the name of social refine- 
ment is much like a man with a defective arm having it amputated 
at once, when with a little rational treatment it could have been 
restored to normal usefulness. How shall society answer, on the 
day of karmic reckoning, for the murder of the poor degenerate 
who is called upon to die in order that the human race may be 
strong? How shall he be compensated for the loss of his life in 
order that others may not partake of his weaknesses? A civilized 
social order must think not only of itself but of the least of its 
members. The old platitude "the greatest good to the greatest num- 
bers" is one of the greatest insults to real civilization that has ever 
been advocated. It has been made an excuse for the cruel murder 
of untold thousands of helpless victims of a shortsighted policy. 

If, like the Roman, the modern philosopher must make bravery, 
courage and manhood synonymous with virtue, then let him be- 
hold the living Master, in whom humility is combined with majes- 
ty and strength in such perfect chemistry that, like atoms of car- 
bon in the diamond, they form the purest gem of human charac- 
ter. Finally, if men insist that the goal of evolution is the develop- 
ment of brute strength rather than morality, why not look for an 
ideal superman who combines unlimited power with a flawless 
morality? Either that, or take the opposite extreme: set to work 
under government regulations to breed giants of mind and body 
by scientific methods. If that were done, what do you think would 
happen? At the first provocation they would start a war to destroy 
one another. 

If you have so far believed that a combination of gentleness and 
love with great strength is impossible, that is because you have not 
seen a living Master. We know he is a reality. We have lived and 
worked by his side for many years. Like Jesus, we too can say: 

We testify to that which we have seen, and bear witness to that 
which we know. 



This book is not a compilation of theories. It is a statement of 
facts. 



THE MASTER MORE THAN SUPERMAN 



185 



3. THE MASTER MORE THAN SUPERMAN 
Of course, the Master is a superman. But he is more than a super- 
man; that is, he transcends all of the limitations of mere man. His 
field of activity reaches out beyond that which the eye can see or 
the ear can hear. This, of course, takes us out of the physical 
laboratory. We must go where the microscope cannot follow, where 
the scalpel cannot dissect. Just as the astronomer could not find 
God with his telescope, so you will not find our Master with your 
X-ray. That there is an inner and finer world, numberless worlds 
which physical science cannot bring down into its test rubes, may 
be disputed by our materialist. But that is because he has not seen 
them and he does not know how to get at them. At the same 
time, his egotism is loath to acknowledge the possibility of any- 
thing beyond the grasp of his forceps. This may be called the 
mental habit of the age. Always there is the danger that science, 
like theology, may become too dogmatic. The individual scientist 
himself may not be blamed for this tendency. Yet, not only do 
these inner worlds exist and are well known to the Masters, but 
any student who follows the formula of the Masters may prove 
the same tiling for himself. 

The Master is the super-scientist. The best of our physical sci- 
entists, when compared with a real Master, is no more than a 
child trying vainly to fit together his blocks to build a toy house. 
Real knowledge is gained only when a man surpasses the achieve- 
ments of the superman and enters the regions of reality. But those 
regions lie far above and beyond the outermost confines of the 
physical universe. The mass of phenomena making up the specta- 
cle of this world are but feeble reflections of the sublime reality. 

The physical scientist will at once object that it is impossible for 
any man to leave the theater of this physical plane and enter that 
of the superphysical regions. He insists that the physical universe 
is the limit of the legitimate field of science. Hence he concludes 
that beyond this field, there is nothing; if there is anything there, it 
is unknowable. This word unknowable is not a word that sounds 
well in the mouth of a modern scientific student. It is high time 
that this word be declared obsolete. 



186 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



The physicist declares that everything relating to such higher 
worlds, being quite beyond the legitimate sphere of science, must 
be set down as mere speculation. Why? Simply because he has not 
been able to include such experiments in the routine of his labo- 
ratory work. But let us ask, is this the scientific attitude? Is it 
'scientific* to assert that anything cannot be done, just because it 
has not been done? Or because he himself has not seen it done? 
When, a hundred years ago, men boldly asserted that flying through 
the air without the wings of a bird was contrary to the laws of 
nature and so could never be done, was that the scientific attitude? 
Today men are making headway by using one law of nature to 
overcome the action of another law. The same thing is being done 
in the work of the great Masters. They are super-scientists. The 
business of the true scientist is to make due investigation first, 
then give his judgment afterwards or withhold judgment for fur- 
ther light. The greatest of modern scientists are as yet only in the 
kindergarten classes of the school of science which is now being 
built up. 

This world is the theater of intellect; at least this is one of its 
fields of operation. It is the play of the mind. In this field, science 
has made many a conquest and will doubtless make many more. 
But there is a vast field far above and beyond the play of the mind, 
where the developed spirit alone may enter. It is into this higher 
region of the spirit where the Master goes, and it is there where his 
real achievements are made. Entering there by methods well known 
to him, he finds that this earthly world is nothing more than the 
mud-silt of nature's vast and complicated structure. Above and 
beyond this world of shadow and pain lie innumerable worlds of 
intense light. They are real worlds, full of beauty, color, rhythm 
and joy. 

Escaping for the time being the limitations of the body, the 
Master travels in those higher worlds, in full consciousness, and 
then he returns to report what he has seen and heard and other- 
wise experienced. He knows, among other things, that death is 
only an appearance, an illusion. When a man leaves his physical 
body at the time of what we call death, he simply steps out into 



THE MASTER MORE THAN SUPERMAN 



187 



other and higher worlds. He takes with him a finer body, which he 
now uses unconsciously, and on that higher plane he uses the 
finer one just as he uses the physical body here. Going about 
wherever he pleases, clothed in a godlike vesture of light, wisdom, 
power and beauty, the Master explores the higher regions, wholly 
unknown to the common earthman. This is but a glimpse of the 
real Master. To understand a real Master fully, one must oneself 
become a Master. Can the insect comprehend the man? 

So many people find it difficult to believe in Masters. One of 
the strangest freaks of the human mind is its tendency to discredit 
all modern things, especially those relating to religion, and to give 
the emphasis and glory to that which is ancient. It cannot accept 
that which is right before its own eyes, but it will swallow instantly 
what was written in a book two or three thousand years ago. It 
cannot believe in a living Master, but it finds no difficulty at all in 
accepting the story of some Master who lived in the dim and 
distant past. 

That men should ever have developed the strange notion that 
all mastership and aU revelation of truth should belong to past 
ages is one of the anomalies of history. And it is one of the most 
unfortunate. Isn't it more reasonable to look for knowledge to 
come out of modern experience, rather than to look for it among 
a people belonging to a civilization of long-past ages? Surely, if we 
were looking for expert technique in plant culture, we would not 
go back to primitive man wandering along the shores of some 
primeval sea. We would think of Burbank, the first thing. But if a 
man wants expert information on religion, he refers to some proph- 
et or yogi who wandered about the world before man ever dreamed 
that the earth was round and traveled around the sun. If past ages 
could produce a Master, a Christ, a Buddha, why may we not look 
for one now? 

Let us be sincere and practical about the matter. It is idle to say 
that Masters are not needed now because we have a book that tells 
us about a past Master — as much reason to assert that man does 
not need food today because he has a printed menu that tells him 
about the food that was served a year ago. Besides, we know it is a 



188 



THE MASTERS AND THETR DUTIES 



fact that Masters are here today. We have seen them, conversed 
with them and lived by them for years. The fact that great spiritual 
Masters live on earth today is the most important, the most cheer- 
ful and the most hopeful announcement that has ever been made. 
And the light of the modern Master, is in no way dimmed by 
comparison with any of the past Masters. Whatever wisdom, love, 
compassion or power of miracles which were possessed by any of 
the old Masters, these same qualities will be found in the modern 
Master in no respect diminished. 

This book may be regarded as a challenge and an invitation to 
modern intelligence to seek a living Master, and for men to see for 
themselves whether these things are true or not. You will not find 
the Master hidden away in some Himalayan retreat. He will meet 
you as a man among men. 



4. THE MASTER AND THE SUPREME ONE 

There is one quality of the great Masters which I hesitate to write 
down here because it is so difficult to avoid misunderstanding on 
this subject; yet it must be written. It is a fact that there is no 
difference between the real saint, or Master, and the supreme be- 
ing himself, that is, there is no difference, except that a saint is 
humanly embodied and is to some extent limited by that embodi- 
ment. And when we say that the supreme one is embodied in this 
man whom we call a saint, let no one be troubled. We do not 
mean to say that the whole of the supreme one is so embodied. 
We could not be accused of suggesting that the infinite one has 
abandoned the presidency of the universe and enclosed his entire 
godhood in this one poor human body! The supreme one is the 
infinite, limitless whole of spiritual existence. It would be absurd 
to suggest that the universal soul of all souls, of all worlds, could 
be wholly centered in and limited to this one physical body. But it 
is nevertheless true that the supreme soul has taken form in this 
body. 

Only a few days ago I had a letter from a good missionary in 



THE MASTER AND THE SUPREME ONE 



189 



India, accusing me of idolatry and "blasting my monotheism" by 
worshipping a Guru. I replied that I am not worshipping the Guru 
in the sense that he meant. I love him; and love is akin to worship. 
It is about the only kind of worship I know anything about. If he 
means by 'worship' any sort of fear, then I must confess I do not 
'fear 1 either the Guru or God. I love them. I revere them and love 
them. The old saying quoted from the Bible that "the fear of God 
is the beginning of wisdom" I regard as one of those terrible mis- 
apprehensions which have crept into literature unawares. Fear, 
rather than being the beginning of wisdom, is the beginning of 
destruction. It is love which is the beginning of wisdom — that 
wisdom which is of the highest order. 

Suppose we agree that the supreme being is all love, wisdom 
and power, that he is omnipresent, all-pervading. The Master is 
exactly the same, except as to his physical limitations. Spiritually 
he has no limitations. But the body is not the Master, It is only a 
covering, one of his ready instruments. He may, at will, leave the 
body and work upon any of the higher planes; each plane that he 
ascends to gives him greater freedom and scope of action. He 
himself, being one with the infinite, has no limitations. Only the 
materials through which he works limit his actions; in like man- 
ner they limit the actions of the supreme being himself. Can God 
himself converse with you, as man with man, without first becom- 
ing man? The omniscience of the Lord may not be able to express 
itself through the physical brain of the Master. But the Master 
may, in a single minute, rise to regions above the sphere of brain 
activity, where his consciousness automatically expands even to 
the limitless. 

The real Master is as ubiquitous as the infinite himself. And this 
is no illusion. For example, if a Master has a hundred or a thou- 
sand disciples, each disciple will see the living Master in the inner 
chambers of his being, no matter where he may go. Of course, to 
do this, he must have attained a litde development of his higher 
faculties. The disciple knows his Master as the giver of all life, the 
Lord of the universe. That is so because on the inner planes the 
Master is identical with the supreme one. 



190 



THE MASTERS AND THEIK DUTIES 



TIME LIMIT OF THE MASTER'S WORK 



191 



\ 



-<. 



If one must ask, "How can these things be?" the answer is, 
"Because the Master is one with the Supreme, and the supreme 
one is expressing himself through the Master's form." The Mas- 
ter's form is the Lord's form. Whatever the universal spirit is, the 
individual Master is, identical in substance and attributes. There is 
a beautiful and inspiring concept associated with this idea of the 
Master being one with the Supreme. Each man is a potential saint 
and is therefore potentially identical with the Supreme. He only 
needs development and realization. Sainthood is therefore the su- 
preme goal of all human evolution. 

The Christian theologian may not be so far wrong when he 
assumes that Jesus was the true God in his very essence. Jesus 
himself said: "I and the Father are one." So all the Masters teach. 
But the Christian falls short of the grandeur of his own philoso- 
phy when he limits that divinity to just one Master in all history. 
This narrow view robs the noble concept of all its value. But that 
principle, in order that it may fertilize the entire field of philoso- 
phy, must be extended to include not only numerous Masters, but 
it must include all men as a potentiality. 

That scripture which speaks of Jesus as "the only begotten Son 
of God" need not be taken too seriously. It has all the earmarks of 
an interpolation slipped into the original record to support the 
contentions of some later disputant. Besides, if this passage is to 
be taken literally, it proves entirely too much. If Jesus was begot- 
ten of God in a manner different from that of any other man, then 
God himself must have descended to the human level to perform 
such a function. Certainly the part played by his mother was not 
different from that of any other normal mother, according to the 
record itself. Will any theologian go that far? The more comfort- 
ing fact remains that there have been many sons of God, and there 
surely will be many more. But when they come into human life, 
they come according to the method prescribed by the Creator 
himself. Do you think the Creator would himself disdain to use 
his own method? If it is unworthy of a 'God-man' to have a mere 
man for a father, it must be equally inappropriate for him to have 
a woman for a mother. One is just as human and as sinful as the 
other. 









In the process of their development, all Masters simply expand 
the godlike qualities with which they, in common with all other 
men, were born. Any true Master is a divine man, a real son of 
God. Moreover, every man has in him the latent possibilities of 
such expansions to become a son of God. He. only requires a 
living Master to help him develop it. He needs but the flames of 
mastership in another man to light the fires in himself. 

When any Master attains sainthood, he gains conscious oneness 
with the Supreme. It is true that all men have that oneness to a 
degree, but few of them are conscious of their noble inheritance. 
The real Master is conscious of it. That is one of the distinguishing 
qualities of a Master. He knows his relationship with the supreme 
Oversold and is consciously able to exercise his powers and pre- 
rogatives as a son of God. He is then more truly and accurately 
named a son of God than is any earthly man a son of his father. 
Partaking of his qualities, ipso facto, one and the same in essence 
and endowed with the same attributes, he is literally part of the 
all-embracing Father. That means that henceforth, while the Mas- 
ter may speak and act through his body much the same as others 
do, yet in reality he is the supreme one who is acting and speak- 
ing. He is no longer a mere man with clouded and limited under- 
standing, but a man who has become God, and a God who has 
become man. And then, out of a boundless love, the Master says: 

This is for any man who wilt walk on the path of the saints. 



5. TIME LIMIT OF THE MASTER'S WORK 

There is one very important consideration regarding the work of 
all Masters, which appears never to have been understood by West- 
ern people. This is the fact that their work is time-limited. This 
means that each Master has a definite period in which to do his 
work. When that time has expired, his work on earth is finished. 
That limited period is during the life of their physical bodies. That 
being the case, logically they cannot work among men without 



192 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



TIME LIMIT OF THE MASTER "5 WORK 



193 



I I 






their body. When that body passes or they pass out of it, their 
work on earth is finished. 

Let us assume now that your Master of ancient days was a real 
saint, a Master, a prophet, or whatever title you may wish to give 
him, and that he had all the powers ascribed to him by your 
religion. What then is the difference, whether you follow him Or a 
living Master? There is a vital difference — you simply cannot fol- 
low the departed Master — not at all. Neither can he initiate you 
on the spiritual path. If you think you can follow him, you only 
deceive yourself. It cannot be done. You only imagine you follow 
him . You may read his precepts and try to obey them, but in that 
you are not following the real Master. He has nothing at all to do 
with the matter. He himself does not know you. You may try to 
put into practice the precepts taught by him. To some extent you 
may do that. But the teachings of that Master were not his alone- 
He didn't originate them. They belong to universal truth. He did 
not need to come into the world just to give out those teachings. 
They were here long before his time. 

Ages before the time of Jesus or of Buddha, every single precept 
taught by either one of them was well known in the world and 
formed a part of the fundamental code. If you five up to those 
teachings, you are not thereby following that particular Master or 
any one Master. If a given precept has been taught by seven Mas- 
ters during different ages of the world, are you thereby a disciple 
of all seven of them? You are simply walking in the light of uni- 
versal ethical principles, regardless of individual Masters. You will 
doubtless say that your Master is taking care of you today, but 
that is no more than an assumption unsupported by a single shred 
of proof. Your feeling is no proof. Anything can be proved by 
feelings. The devotees of ten different religions, each claiming to 
follow a different Master, will all declare with equal emphasis that 
they all feel their Lord inside of themselves. 

Where then is the real crux of the problem? Something besides 
feeling, something besides the authority of a book, is needed. And 
that need is a living Master. No man living today can possibly 
follow a departed Master any more than a Hannibal or Alexander 







or a George Washington can lead troops to battle today. The period 
of their activity on earth has passed. It is the same with spiritual 
Masters. A child cannot get nourishment or learn vital lessons 
from a dead mother. A sick man cannot obtain medicine from a 
dead doctor; neither can a dead jurist try a case at law. The Master 
of past ages has gone from this field of action, and thus he has 
finished his work here. Why did he ever come here? To do work 
which he could not possibly do unless he came as a man. He had 
to have a physical body to do his work. When his work was finished, 
he left his body and turned over his work to his successor. And 
this is the method of the supreme Father. We need not quarrel 
with it. We did not order it so, nor did the Masters themselves 
create it. It is an arrangement ordained by the supreme Lord him- 
self. God's method of working among men is by and through 
living men. How could it possibly be otherwise? An animal could 
not teach us, and we cannot see any being higher than man. 

Now, suppose we look to a book. Wasn't that book written by 
some man, and wasn't it simply a record of that man's experiences? 
What then is the harm if some man living today has a similar 
experience and then tells us about it firsthand? Books long-ago 
handed down always suffer changes and appear at last having but 
little resemblance to the original record. How can we believe them 
or depend upon them? And even if those records were absolutely 
true and perfect, it is not the precept we need half so much as the 
living Master to take us by the hand and help us where we cannot 
walk alone. No matter if all the wisdom of all the ages were writ- 
ten down in a book, it still remains a fact that the student can 
make no headway without a living Master to help him put that 
teaching into practical effect. It simply cannot be done any other 
way, as many of us know by experience. 

Even if the ancient Master, present in spirit as claimed by so 
many, were ready to assist us, it is impossible for us to receive his 
help. If we must depend upon feelings and impressions, we are 
mixed up with so many feelings and impressions that it is quite 
impossible for us to distinguish between them so as to know which 
are from God or the old Master and which from our own subcon- 



194 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



scious minds. There is, therefore, no safe method, except to walk 
by sight in the full light, when and where we can see our Master 
and listen to his well-known voice. This requirement is for today 
just the same as it has been for all ages. It can never be otherwise, 
so long as men do not have clear vision on a higher plane. 

If it were possible for a departed Master to reach us now, then 
there never would have been the need for a Master at all. The 
Creator himself could have come to us and done all that was 
needed. The very fact that a Master was ever needed is sufficient 
proof that one is needed today, because the conditions are the 
same in all ages. Leaving out of consideration the question of the 
book, the daily and constant guidance and help of the Master is as 
much needed now as ever. Assuredly, if a departed Master can 
help now, the Creator could do as much without the help of any- 
one. 

We may concede that neither the Creator nor the departed Mas- 
ter is limited, but we are limited. We cannot with safety or cer- 
tainty receive help from one we cannot see. Hence, it still remains 
a fact of nature that not even God himself can instruct us or give 
us the needed help on the upward path without a Master in hu- 
man form to act as his agent and spokesman. Our ears are too 
dull, our eyes too dim, to hear and see his manifestations. This is 
the greatest stumbling block of all religions. Trying vainly to fol- 
low him in their imagination, their adherents cling desperately to 
the dead Master while they reject the living Master. 

If you insist that your dead Master is not dead, then I will 
cheerfully agree with you. He is not dead, but he has left this 
theater of action. He is no longer in touch with humanity. His 
present work is elsewhere. There is no doubt that departed Mas- 
ters have certain work to do in connection with their disciples, but 
not in other worldly matters. 

If you insist that your departed Master is here with you because 
you can feel him in your soul, then I must insist again that your 
feelings are a very unreliable guide. Most of such feelings are but 
the play of one's own mind, a deceptive play of a fond imagina- 
tion, probably worked up by centuries of theological suggestion. 



HOWSHAIl WE RECOGNIZE A MASTER? 



195 



Let us illustrate this point, for it is of extreme importance. Once 
the famous Billy Sunday, an American evangelist, told a seeker for 
spiritual light that he could feel Jesus in his soul. This he offered 
as final proof that Jesus was actually present in him. He thus 
assumed that there was nothing more to be said on the subject. 
But the seeker replied, "In like manner the devotees of all religions 
can prove the truth of their several claims. They all feel their Mas- 
ters inside. No religion has a monopoly on feelings." The reverend 
gendeman had no answer. 

All men will recognize, if they think of the matter at all, that 
feelings are no proof in religious matters. Still, your devoted be- 
liever goes on never doubting that his feelings are conclusive proof 
that his religious assumptions are true to fact. The wise man will 
learn to discount feelings as proof of religious dogmas. What then 
is left? Upon what shall a man rely as proof? There is but one wise 
course, but one way to know what you are doing: go to a living 
Master whom you can see and hear, whose hand you can take in 
your own, and then use your common sense. The Master does not 
ask you to take anything for granted or to believe what he says just 
on his statement alone. He offers you a definite method by which 
you can prove things for yourself, not by feeling but by sight and 
hearing. Fortunately there is a scientific spiritual path wherein 
men may walk by sight with a firm and certain step. 



6. HOW SHALL WE RECOGNIZE A MASTER? 

Having said so much about the Master, it is now quite appropri- 
ate to ask: How shall we recognize a true Master if we find one? 
How shall one distinguish between the genuine and the counter- 
feit? Or by what means shall we find a Master? Whither shall we 
go to look for one? These and many other similar questions present 
themselves and demand rational answers. 

In reply, the first point of importance is what we may call cu- 
mulative evidence. I have never seen the city of Paris and so I do 
not positively know that Paris exists, but judging from the cumu- 



196 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



lative evidence, I believe it does. Accordingly, examine all the evi- 
dence supplied by others. Give it careful analysis. Note also the 
credibility of the witnesses. That is important. Consider their in- 
telligence and general character and take special note of their mo- 
tives. If many people of high standing and good intelligence be- 
lieve in a certain man as a Master, then at least you may proceed 
to look into the matter further. 

When you see him, give him the most critical study. For one 
whole year, I lived and worked and traveled right by the side of 
my Master and took note of everything he said and did, even 
watching the expression on his face during crises, such as when he 
was attacked by opponents with fierce arguments and abuse. I 
watched his reactions when people came before him confessing 
their sins. I watched him when he went into the hovels of the poor 
to see the sick, and I studied him carefully when he entered the 
homes of the rich. I observed him carefully when dealing with two 
rajas who tried to bow at his feet. I took careful note when streams 
of people came along offering money for some public building, 
like the satsang hall; also when people tried to give him money or 
other things for himself. Under all conditions, I found him a per- 
fect man, as a Master is supposed to be. A perfect character — as a 
man — is the foundation of spiritual mastership. If a man has not 
that to begin with, one had better let him alone. 

See if a man appears to be all that has been suggested in the 
preceding pages about Masters. Compare notes. Take plenty of 
time to find out the facts. Be always on your guard against hasty 
conclusions, either for or against. Hold an open mind, even long 
after you think yourself convinced — a little more convincing will 
do no harm. The matter is extremely important. You cannot af- 
ford to make a mistake. It is unfortunate to go to a counterfeit 
Master. But it is far more unfortunate to allow yourself to be 
turned away from a real Master by some hasty judgment. That is 
in fact a real disaster. Finally, never mind if you are convinced 
against your will or predilections. Let facts direct your conclu- 
sions. 

Secondly, listen to the voice of intuition. If you are not suffi- 



HOW SHALL WE RECOGNIZE A MASTER? 



197 



ciently convinced by the previous considerations, let your own 
intuition give its testimony. That, like impressions and feelings, is 
not conclusive, but it helps. If you are at all ready for the path of 
the Masters, your intuitive faculties will be well developed. Use 
them. How does he appear to you? How does he impress you? 
What effect does he have upon you while in his presence? When 
you leave him, do you appear to yourself a better man than before 
or do you feel depressed? Of course, feelings are not at all conclu- 
sive. This we have already emphasized at some length. But they 
may be considered for what they are worth in the sum of evidence 
to be weighed. How does he impress you the next day? The next 
month? Does it appear to you that you might possibly love and 
honor him and be exalted in character by such devotion, or do 
you feel depressed after leaving him? Do you have to reason your- 
self into liking him or do you like him in spite of your predilec- 
tions? These you may weigh well. 

And yet all of these things are not conclusive proofs. There is 
but one way to know beyond all peradventure that a man is a 
Master — that is to see him on some higher plane, where deception 
is impossible. See him where spiritual qualities are manifest to all. 
If you see the Master there in his radiant form, you have nothing 
more to worry about. You have found your Master and you know 
it just as certainly as you know that you exist. If you go to that 
higher plane, however, and fail to meet your Master there, then 
you must look further. 

There is one more very encouraging truth that must not be 
overlooked in this connection. If you are seeking the Master, he is 
approaching you, and you must meet him. It is only a question of 
getting ready for that great event. One of the oldest sayings of the 
Eastern wisdom is: 



When the disciple is ready, the Guru appears. 

In these latter days the writer has had sufficient proof of this 
ancient maxim. We know it is true, just as we know of the truth of 
other points in this teaching. Let no hungry soul be discouraged. 



198 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



You simply must meet the Master if you are ready for him, and to 
be extremely anxious to meet him is fairly good evidence that you 
are ready for him. There is nothing within or beyond the seven 
seas that can keep you away from him. But look well to your 
preparation. Remember, the vessel must first be cleaned before 
the water of life can be poured into it by the Master, 

Having now found the Master, what next? Follow him with 
unwavering faith and determination. In other words, after you 
have once accepted a man as a Master, accept his formula also and 
work it out with absolute fidelity. If you run up against many 
problems which cause your boat to rock, hold a steady hand upon 
the oars of self-mastery and wait while you work. At first there 
will be puzzling questions. At times you may be inclined to say 
outright, "I cannot believe it." But just hold such things in reserve 
and wait. Do not jump at conclusions. Let them come to you. 
Wait and work. By and by, your questions will answer themselves; 
you will be surprised how very easily. When the light becomes strong, 
the darkness vanishes. 

Remember that your entire life's thinking has now to be reorga- 
nized. Do not make the mistake of trying to fit the Master's teach- 
ing into your old thinking. It will not work. Neither can you bring 
your old notions into the new system. Drop them all and start 
anew. Later on you can pick them up again, if you do not like the 
new. Suspend judgment until all evidence h in. Work upon the 
principle that truth cannot be damaged by the light. Make the sci- 
entific method your own, and then go on gathering evidence, all 
the while holding an open mind. Guard well against vanity of 
opinion; that only obstructs the path of knowledge. Opinion is of 
no great value. Only facts count on this path. Do not allow an old 
opinion to block your way to the facts. Remember, this is the path 
of scientific demonstration, not a system of beliefs. 



7. OBJECTIVE INDICES OF MASTERSHIP 

We mean by objective indices that sort of evidence which other 
people, anybody, may see and understand. In addition to all that 



OBJECTIVE INDICES OF MASTERSHIP 



199 



has been said about the Masters, there are a few infallible indices 
which serve to distinguish real Masters from all others who may 
pose as Masters. Some of them are: 

(1) First and most noticeable is the important fact that real Mas- 
ters never charge for their services, nor do they accept payment in 
any form or any sort of material benefits for their instructions. 
This is a universal law among Masters, and yet it is an amazing 
fact that thousands of eager seekers in America and elsewhere go 
on paying large sums of money for 'spiritual instruction'. Masters 
are always self-sustaining. They are never supported by their stu- 
dents or by public charity. 

(2) Masters never boast of their mastership or of their spiritual 
powers or attainments. If any man claims to have attained the 
highest in spiritual development, that claim of itself may be taken 
as conclusive proof that he has not attained so much. Masters 
always show the utmost humility, but they never make their hu- 
mility obtrusive. They never do anything to advertise their humil- 
ity or to exhibit it to public gaze. 

(3) Masters never complain of their treatment at the hands of 
others. Even if you abuse one, he will not reply angrily nor will he 
speak of it afterward. They never speak of their hard luck or of the 
ingratitude of their beneficiaries. 

(4) Masters never find fault or blame others either to their faces 
or behind their backs, no matter what the provocation. They speak 
no ill and they never lecture others concerning their shortcomings. 
They exalt the positive virtues, keeping silent about the evil, ex- 
cept to answer questions or give necessary warnings. 

(5) Masters never punish anybody, even their worst enemies or 
those who have mistreated them. They leave the punishment of 
evildoers to the negative power, whose business it is to administer 
justice. Their lives are governed entirely by the law of love. They 
give of their light and love, even as the sun gives its light and heat, 
and ask nothing in return. 

(6) Masters are never given to ascetic practices or unreasonable 
austerities. This is one quality which differentiates them from cer- 
tain types of yogis. Masters insist that everyone should give atten- 



200 






THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



VER Y DIFFICULT TO FIND A MASTER 



201 



tion to his health of body as well as of mind and soul. They always 
teach that it is a duty to keep the body clean, healthy and well 
nourished. Of course, they teach that it is wrong to eat too much. 
And nothing should ever be taken into the body that is not a 
wholesome food or drink. They teach also that the body must 
never be made an instrument of passionate enjoyment just for the 
sake of pleasurable sensations. When you see anyone given to self- 
torture or to self-indulgence, you may know at once that he is not 
a Master. Some yogis seek to control the mind by torturing the 
body, but that is a vain effort. Mind can never be subdued that 
way. 

(7) Masters never go about begging for their living. They are al- 
ways self-supporting. The Master is always the giver, but never a 
beggar. Neither does he permit his disciples to beg their living 
while sitting around in idleness. So when you see anyone begging 
his living or charging for his spiritual instruction, you may know 
that he is neither a Master nor even a disciple of a Master. Guru 
Nanak says: "He who earns an honest living and gives away some- 
thing out of it in charity, knows the Way." 

(8) A real Master never performs miracles for public exhibition. 
He may do miracles on special occasions and for particular rea- 
sons, but in every case it is kept a secret from the public. It is a 
fixed law with real saints that they will never do miracles to win 
disciples. Yogis often do miracles, healing the sick and other things, 
but real Masters never do them, except on very special occasions 
and for urgent reasons. 

(9) All genuine Masters teach and practice the audible life stream, 
or sound current, called in Hindi the Shabd. That is the central 
theme of all their discourses, the very core of their meditations. As 
this current is the life of the world itself, so it is the life of every 
Master throughout all his daily practices. It is the paramount theme 
of which he talks at all times. If a man preaches and practices the 
life current, it is presumptive evidence that he is a Master, al- 
though it is not conclusive. But if a man does not preach and 
practice it, does not mention it in his discourses, that alone is the 
most conclusive evidence that he is not a Master. This is the uni- 






versal teaching of all Masters, most conspicuous in their teachings 
and practices. Let this, then, be your chief test of all men posing as 
Masters and of all systems offering to guide you to higher worlds. 
If they have not the life stream as the very essence of their system, 
they have nothing. 

(10) If any yogi, or other man claiming to be a Master, teaches 
that Brahm Lok, or the region of Brahm, is the highest of all 
heavens and that Brahm is the supreme God, then you may know 
of a certainty that he is not a Master. For Brahm Lok is only the 
second of the higher regions, or planes, while above that are six 
other planes, in an ascending scale, each higher and greater than 
the one below it In the grand hierarchy of the universe, Brahm, 
the ruler of Trikuti and the Three Worlds, is but a humble subor- 
dinate under the supreme one. 

The above are only a few of the outstanding indices of master- 
ship. There are many others. But a careful study of these will act as 
sufficient safeguard against deceit by pretenders. The counterfeit 
Master will always show his cloven foot if he is carefully watched 
for a short time. 



8. VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND A MASTER 

We have already said that if one is ready for a Master, he cannot 
fail to find one. And yet we must say that it is extremely difficult 
to find a Master. How are we to reconcile these two statements? It 
is, in fact, the most difficult of all undertakings for the man who is 
unprepared, and yet it is the easiest thing in the world for one 
who is prepared. As a matter of fact, if one is ready for the Master,- 
he cannot fail to find him. To some of us here at the Great Mas- 
ter's little retreat, it appears simple enough. Anybody from the 
four quarters of the globe may come to him. There is no secrecy, 
no mystery about him. He is quite tangible and visible. He fives an 
open life before the world. He travels in motorcars and trains, as 
others do. He sits before his disciples and talks to them in groups, 
large or small. And yet how very few are they that find him ! How 



202 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



very difficult to discover him! I think it may be said, in all truth, 
that unless the Master himself wishes to be found, no one will ever find 
him. And he wishes only those to find him who are ready for him. 

It is true, people may hear his name. They may even be told 
that he is a Master. But they will never discover him as a Master. 
There are tens of thousands who come and go the whole year 
around, even listening to his discourses, but many of them never 
make the great discovery. Villagers living within two miles of him, 
who have met him scores of times, have never discovered his mas- 
tership. We write about him to friends in distant lands, but even 
though we write pages about him it never dawns upon them that 
here is a living Master. They simply cannot see it. Educated, think- 
ing men and women come here, attend the satsangs, listen to the 
Master's words, ask searching questions, and then go away 
without discovering the Master. They simply cannot see him un- 
less they are ready for that critical point in their long course of 
evolution. 

I remember a man from Europe who came here a few years ago 
and remained a month. He had no fault to find, and even asked 
for initiation. But, as later events proved, he had never a glimpse 
of consciousness that here was a real Master. To this man the 
Master was just an interesting teacher of spiritual philosophy, one 
among many whom he had seen. The fellow wrote me long letters 
afterward, telling in rapturous hyperbole how God was speaking 
to him in the flowers and singing to him through the birds. But he 
had no inkling of the divine music which was dynamic in the 
living Master. He had never discovered the Master. Why? Because 
he was too full of himself. He believed himself a reincarnation of 
the poet Wordsworth. He could hear God calling to him in na- 
ture, he said, but his ears were deaf to the voice of the supreme 
one speaking to him through the living Master. He was obsessed 
by certain ideas, all revolving around himself, and that obsession 
blinded bis eyes. 

A man once built his cabin in the gold fields of California. He 
lived there and raised a family. He prospected over and through 
the hills all about his cabin and at last died in poverty. But his son, 



POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE VERSUS BELIEFS 



203 



digging down to lay the foundation of a new house, struck a rich 
lead and became a millionaire. Plenty of gold was right under the 
veranda of his old house, but he died in poverty. Such is often the 
case in spiritual matters. Those who cannot see the Master be- 
cause they are self-blinded die in spiritual poverty, while vast spir- 
itual riches are closer than the house they live in. 

Many will read this book, of which the main theme is the living 
Master, yet they will put the book down without catching a glimpse 
of the reality. They will never discover the Master. Why? Filled 
with their own ideas, blinded by their own preconceptions, they 
will pick up the book and will not be able to see anything in the 
book. No one can discover the Master until certain inner prepara- 
tions have been made. This is the secret of the whole mystery. You 
must be prepared "in your heart." Whenever and wherever a man 
is so prepared, is "of lawful age and well recommended," is willing 
to disrobe himself of his own rags of self-righteousness and then 
come humbly before the Master as "a poor blind candidate," know- 
ing his own blindness and knocking for admittance to the cham- 
bers of light, then and then only will the Master order the door 
opened to him. Then and then only will he discover the Master 
coming "out of the East" to give him light. 



9. POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE VERSUS BELIEFS 

Before concluding our discussion about the Masters, it is in order 
to say that the Masters, being what they are and knowing what 
they know, never guess or speculate concerning the great truths 
entrusted to their care. Their science is based upon positive knowl- 
edge, not theory. They care nothing for mere beliefs or opinions. 
Their system is a definite and exact science. They therefore speak 
with the authority of incontrovertible experiential knowledge. Con- 
sequently, if a body of great truths — facts — are boldly set down in 
this book with an apparent dogmatic assumption of finality, let it 
not be attributed to the egotism of a sophomore. If a man goes to 
Alaska and later writes to his friends that he has discovered a gold 



204 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE VERSUS BELIEFS 



205 



mine and already has in his possession one hundred thousand 
dollars worth of nuggets, he would not be accused of egotism 
because he made the announcement. He would just be considered 
lucky. If this American writer has discovered, and now writes down 
in a book, certain revolutionary truths worth more than millions 
of gold nuggets, he need not be accused of unreasonable assump- 
tions. Let the reader take time to investigate these claims, prove 
them for himself. Apply the acid test. 

Some of these facts in the science of the Great Master, never 
before made known to Western people by a Western man, are 
indeed so extraordinary that they may at first provoke incredulity. 
They are amazing and they are extremely significant, more than 
they may at first appear. The unqualified statements herein made 
are due to the simple fact that the writer is only serving in the 
humble capacity of an amanuensis, a literary assistant, to write 
down exacdy what the Great Master teaches in the language of his 
own people. And he has done the most critical study of the Master 
and his teaching after more than six years of sojourn right with 
the Master, and was aided in these studies by a number of Indian 
gentlemen who were both scholars and long-time disciples of the 
Master. 

The most painstaking effort has been made to correctly formu- 
late a statement of these teachings and present them in a way to be 
easily comprehended. Therefore, let it be kept in mind that what 
is written here is neither a set of opinions nor a metaphysical 
scheme spun out of the web of fancy. It is exactly what the Mas- 
ters themselves have seen, experienced and therefore known. No 
more, no less. This account is based neither on hearsay nor de- 
rived from books. But very few quotations are given in this work 
because this book is not intended as a compendium of book learn- 
ing. The substance of this work was given direct to the writer by a 
very great living Master, which is at the same time identical with 
that which has been taught by all true saints in all ages. This latter 
fact has been tested by comparison of the living Master's word 
with the writings of all saints, so far as they are available in San- 
skrit, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. 



i 



The writing and publishing of this book has been done after the 
approval and according to the expressed wish of the Great Master, 
whose life and teachings have inspired these pages. The writer 
makes no claims for himself and takes no credit whatsoever. He 
has simply done his best to prepare these materials for publica- 
tion. In doing so, he wishes to record at this place his gratitude to 
the Master and his everlasting obligation for the privilege of living 
in daily association with him for all these precious years. During 
all that time, the Master never tired of giving instruction, patiently 
listened to the many questions — endless numbers of them — and 
carefully elucidated all problems with limitless patience and untir- 
ing endurance. Hours upon hours, day in and day out, a small 
group of us have sat around the Great Master, asking questions 
and listening to his words of wisdom. 

Men and women of keen minds and unflagging zeal have come 
here from all quarters of the earth, plying the Master with every 
conceivable question, covering every problem in philosophy and 
religion. To all these discussions we have listened and made notes 
of the Master's replies. We have never seen the Master fail to have 
ready a logical and convincing answer; his science is clear and 
rational. He speaks with equal clearness and convincing force, no 
matter whether he is talking to an ignorant peasant or a Sanskrit 
pundit. We have often been amazed to see them all go away con- 
vinced and perfectly satisfied, many returning later to ask for ini- 
tiation. Not infrequently, we have seen the keenest critics come 
purposely to find fault, but remain to worship. 

Last of all, the Great Master himself lays down the challenge to 
the whole world to come into the laboratory of individual experi- 
ence and experiment, and prove for itself the truth of the teach- 
ings of the saints. That must constitute the final test, and the 
Master welcomes such a test. 

We must not fail to publish here one more word concerning 
the substance of this book and the Great Master, who has been its 
inspiration. That is, the Master himself must not be held responsi- 
ble for any inaccuracies or other imperfections in this book. The 
writer alone is responsible for these. 



206 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



10. THE DUTIES OF THE MASTERS 

A word may be said regarding the duties of the Masters, although 
much is to be said elsewhere concerning their functions. The Mas- 
ters have many duties in this world, but we shall mention only 
four of them at this time: 

(1) The first and foremost and the primary duty of the great 
Masters is to connect souls with the audible life stream and then 
take them up and out of this world to their own original home. 
This is done by a process one might describe as 'tuning in'. 

By many ages of self-indulgence in these regions of gross mat- 
ter, everyone has gotten himself out of tune with the infinite stream 
of life. This stream, wave, or current is comparable to the electro- 
magnetic wave of the radio. It fills all space around us and within 
us, but we do not know it and cannot hear it until we are tuned 
into harmony with it. Being so out of tune, man wanders on for 
ages in 'the prisonhouse of maya\ And no man can ever get him- 
self into tune again, unaided. It is in this regard that the saint, the 
Master, becomes a real savior, redeemer and deliverer. It is a work 
which cannot be done by anyone except a living Master; and with- 
out it being done, no one can ever escape the painful cycle of birth 
and death in material regions. This is the great work of the Master. 

(2) The next work of the Master is to teach the Way to his 
disciples. So the Master is the great teacher as well as the great 
physician and deliverer. He alone has the key to the kingdom of 
heaven within. He alone can guide the wandering soul to the open 
door. Without a Master, no soul can ever find his way out of the 
circle of births and deaths. It simply cannot be done. He may rise 
a little distance. He may gain the first, possibly the second, region 
on the upward path, but there he is automatically stopped. Fur- 
ther than that he can never go alone, and none but Masters know 
the way beyond that. The wisdom and personal help of the Master 
are both absolutely essential if one is to advance any farther than a 
mere start on the path. 

The secondary function of the Master is that of a teacher. But 
we should always remember that the great work of the Master is 



THE DUTIES OF THE MASTERS 



207 



that of a rescuer, a redeemer — to liberate us from 'the eternal 
wheel 1 . While his secondary function is that of a teacher, yet the 
former is by all odds the more important If the student were 
given every precept of this science and had the most detailed in- 
structions that could be given of all the secrets of initiation, they 
would avail him nothing without the personal help of the Master. 
And this is the main reason why no book can ever take the place 
of a living Master. 

(3) The Master is a perfect exemplar for all mankind as to char- 
acter, nobility and spirituality. He is the ideal man, and to him all 
may look for the one perfect example of character and conduct. 
All may imitate him, follow him implicidy, and then they may rest 
assured that no mistake will be made. The Master is not only a 
great spiritual light, he is also a perfect man. 

(4) The fourth function of the Master is to bring light and love 
into the world, so that all men, not simply his disciples alone but 
the whole world, may profit thereby. This is a part of his secret 
work No one may follow him into the secret chambers of his 
retreat and there see all features of the great work that he is doing. 
His special work is for individual disciples, but he works also for 
all mankind. Let us state this point in the most concise language, 
so that it will be understood. There is not a living being in all the 
world who does not receive benefit from the Master. This statement 
may not be easy to understand at first, but it is literally true. The 
Masters are sometimes criticized for "not coming out and doing 
something for the world." But how little do such critics know 
about what the Masters are doing! The Master is 'the light of the 
world '. The Master increases the sum total of the fight and the 
love of the whole world, and every sentient individual gets some 
benefit. We need not worry over the method. The fact of greatest 
importance to us aJJ is that the supreme Father illumines and 
blesses the whole world through and by the agency of the Master. 
And he liberates every individual soul by the same instrument- 
ality. This is his method. If the critic insists on knowing why he 
has adopted this method, he may be referred to the Creator him- 
self for the answer. It is out of the sphere of my knowledge. I am 



208 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



content to know that it is so, and that knowledge is a source of 
great joy to me. 



11. WHY SURRENDER TO A MASTER? 

I am sure many of our critics will say: Why surrender your indi- 
vidual will or personality to a Master? Isn't that going back into 
voluntary slavery? Isn't that another way of crushing individual 
initiative and strength of character? 

The answer is that complete surrender to the Master is the only 
avenue or path to complete liberation. This may sound rather para- 
doxical, but it isn't if you understand what complete surrender to 
the Master actually means. First let us say that the word surrender 
is not a suitable term for what is meant in this connection, but it 
is about the best term we have. It would be better to say that one 
fully trusts the Master. That is equivalent to saying that a person 
trusts his higher interests in the hands of an expert. It is as if a sick 
man were to go to a skilled surgeon. An operation is needed. He 
has thought over the entire matter. He has decided on the compe- 
tency of the surgeon and then places his life in that surgeon's 
hands. 

Another illustration may help. Suppose you are lost in a dense 
forest You haven't the least idea of the way out. You might wan- 
der around in there for days or weeks and finally die of starvation 
and thirst. But along comes an expert woodsman fully acquainted 
with the woods. He offers to show you the way out. Now, will you 
quibble about surrendering your own will to his? You gladly ac- 
cept his offer. But suppose, in addition to being lost, you have 
become very ill and weak, quite unable to walk out. Now our 
strong woodsman kindly offers to cany you out. Will you quibble 
about surrendering your individual will to the woodsman? That 
would be the height of folly, certainly. Yet this is an exact parallel 
to the plight of the soul, which is lost in the mazes of this world of 
mind and matter and does not know how to make its way to 
spiritual liberty. 

Even if while you were lost in the forest you had all the neces- 



WHY SURRENDER TO A MASTER? 



209 



sary maps and charts and knew which way to go, you could not 
get out because of your illness; and for that reason you need the 
help offered. So it is with the Master. He not only shows us the 
way out, but he offers to help us where we could not possibly 
make our way alone. This is why no book is of any use to us and 
nothing else is of any value, unless we can get the actual help 
needed. The greatest friend we could possibly have is one who not 
only tells us how to escape from our difficulties, but who offers us 
the needed help. This is the real Master. 

Again, another illustration may help to clarify the matter. A 
man is to make a journey to a foreign country. He considers the 
means of travel. He studies the different ship lines, the railroads 
and the airlines. After careful discrimination, he chooses his means 
of travel. He enters, let us say, the particular airliner and sits down. 
The plane takes off. Now his period of individual judgment and 
discrimination is finished. He surrenders himself to that ship and 
its pilot. He cannot dictate. His duty is to sit down and trust all to 
the pilot. The skill of the pilot and the trustworthiness of the ship 
are now depended upon to take him safely to his journey's end. 
He can no longer dictate. His period of independent choice is over 
and the time of absolute trust has come. So he makes his journey. 
The same situation confronts everyone who wishes to make the 
journey to higher regions and escape this world of darkness and 
pain. He may use all the reasoning powers, all the keen intellectual 
discrimination he possesses in selecting the Master; but after he 
has done that, he must trust the rest to the Master. The reason is 
that the Master is expert about those things of which he himself is 
totally ignorant. And if he is ever to make the journey, he simply 
must trust the Master. 

The surrendering of the individual will is only a bugaboo. It is a 
cry of the ego, a vain alarm. It has no value at all. You really 
surrender nothing to the Master which you ought to keep. It is 
merely a case of entrusting your higher interests to the hands of 
an expert. You accept his aid and guidance over a path quite 
unknown to yourself. How could you ever get out of the wilder- 
ness if you objected to the proposition of your friend who wishes 



210 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



to save you? How could the man make his trip in the airliner if he 
persisted in his right to pilot that airplane himself when he knew 
nothing about it? A man is sick, and an expert physician offers 
him medical aid. If the sick man says, "No, I will not allow anyone 
else to give me medicine; I will be my own doctor or surgeon," 
such assertion of the ego is not only foolish but suicidal. 

It is a well-known fact that no true Master ever imposes his 
own will upon any student. It is a cardinal principle with all true 
Masters never to cramp the freedom of their disciples. Of this they 
are extremely careful. The Master is the last man living to domi- 
nate any other intelligence. He seldom ever gives a command. He 
simply advises. 

What is really meant by complete surrender to a Master is this: 
Out of perfect confidence and great love, the disciple gladly fol- 
lows where the Master leads. That is the sum of it all. No need of 
quibbling over something that has no value and no meaning. Let 
it pass. Use common sense. By perfect surrender to a Master, in 
this sense, one gains everything, ending in the most perfect liber- 
ty. This is well expressed by one great Sufi, who said: "Give us all 
you have and we will give you all we possess!" By surrendering all 
to the Master, you gain everything. 



12. THE MASTERS' CHANGE OF POLICY 

One very important change in the policy of the great Masters has 
recently taken place and many may wonder at it. This change of 
policy relates to their method of accepting disciples. In ancient 
times, even down to the last few centuries, the great Masters were 
very exclusive in their choice of disciples. Hence novitiates were 
few. Disciples were accepted only after the most severe tests, the 
most trying ordeals. The select few who passed these tests received 
initiation. But now that policy has been modified. The Masters, 
during the last hundred years or so, have accepted practically all 
who applied, unless their karmas were too bad. Soami Ji and Baba 
Jaimal Singh each initiated about four thousand during their Iife- 



THE MASTERS' CHANGE OF POLICY 



211 



times. But the living Master, Baba Sawan Singh Maharaj, has al- 
ready initiated approximately eighty thousand. This is a marvelous 
record, far beyond anything recorded until today. In one single 
month, April 1933, he initiated four thousand nine hundred. 1 

What is the meaning of this change of policy? First, because so 
many more have applied for initiation in late years; and that is 
undoubtedly because so many more are ready for the path. Sec- 
ond, the Masters have now abandoned the rigid tests formerly 
imposed upon applicants and are now willing to accept disciples 
of lesser qualifications. Why? The Masters themselves know best. 
But we may offer a suggestion or two here which will explain the 
matter, in part at least. 

In this Kal Yuga, the Dark or 'Iron* Age, the ills of life upon this 
planet have greatly multiplied. Hence, the mercy and loving sym- 
pathy of Sat Purush, the great Father, has led him to meet the 
willing-minded more than halfway. Now practically every person 
who feels inclined toward the Satguru and wishes to follow his 
path is accepted by him. To reach that momentous decision is the 
one thing of paramount importance in all one's life. What is the 
result? Many initiates, entering the path halfheartedly and but ill- 
prepared, naturally fall by the wayside when assailed by severe temp- 
tation. But what is the harm? Some good has been done. The pre- 
cious seed has been lodged in their minds and souls. Sooner or 
later they all must return to the path. That return, according to the 
Masters' teachings, cannot be later than three or four subsequent 
incarnations. In the meantime, they have been greatly helped in 
their upward struggles. This is done out of great mercy and loving- 
kindness of the Satguru himself and the supreme one. 

The main point is that each individual who gets initiation, after 
ages of pain and struggle, has at last come to the decision to place 
his destiny in the hands of the Guru, and of his own free will and 
accord has asked for initiation. He then meets the Satguru, the 
executive officer of the Supreme, and the Satguru takes over the 
charge. The final liberation of that soul is then absolutely assured. 
Nothing in the universe can possibly defeat that end. It is only a 

'- The total number of disciples initiated by Maharaj Sawan Singh during his lifetime was 
•25,375- 



212 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



question of a little time. What does it matter if that soul does 
stumble frequently before he learns to run alone? 

One more significant point must not be overlooked. The critic 
has no right to demand perfection in the character and conduct of 
every initiate. Beginners on this path are all struggling in the clutch- 
es of mind, pursued and harassed by the five passions. It must be 
expected that these passions will get the better of them occasional- 
ly. The only important point is that if they do stumble and fall, 
they fall with their faces toward the light. No man who is once 
initiated into this path can possibly get the consent of his own 
mind to turn the whole of his life into channels of evil. If initiates 
fall, they have only to get up again and go on, that is, if the critics 
will let them alone or, better still, give them a little love and sym- 
pathy. If they fall, the Master himself never condemns. The sinner 
is just as sure of the love and help of the Master as is the most 
saintly disciple. The only difference is that the sinner loses what he 
has gained and slips backward on the path. 

The attitude of the Master toward the offender ought to be an 
example to us. We must always scrupulously avoid laying the blame 
either upon the disciple or upon the system itself. No matter what 
anyone does, initiation itself carries no instant and radical change 
of character. It alone confers no perfection of character. Perfec- 
tion, requiring possibly years of hard work and close application 
to the task, is a matter of slow growth. 

Still another point, if properly understood, may help us to be 
more charitable toward our erring brothers. It is a fact of com- 
. mon experience, well known to the Masters and other careful 
students, that among thousands of people who appear for initia- 
tion, many otherwise very noble souls will have a one-sided mind. 
That is, one side will be highly developed, trained, of a noble 
quality, while the other side may still be under the sway of the 
vilest of the passions. This fact has often proved a great stumbling 
block to observers. 

Remember, the mind is a part or an agent of the negative pow- 
er. The negative power is the universal mind. But the soul is a 
spark from the supreme one. Every mind is what it is from ages of 



THE FUNCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER 



213 



past experiences. It is rare that any person has an all-round devel- 
opment. Nearly all are one-sided to some extent, and not a few are 
terribly warped. These are to be pitied, not blamed. Negative traits 
will appear so long as there is not an all-round and well-advanced 
disciplinary training. 

In the meantime, the divine spark in each one, always strug- 
gling for freedom, striving hard against adverse currents, reaches 
out a feeble hand toward the Master. In great kindness the Master 
takes that hand, unclean though it may be. After that, it may 
require years of patient study and hard work to build up the char- 
acter, to strengthen the will and throw off the evil passions. To 
such as these, let us give cordial sympathy and ready assistance, 
not forgetting the time when we ourselves were passing through 
the fires. Happy the day when everyone shall learn never to find 
fault with any other person until he himself is faultless. 



13. THE FUNCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER 

Far back in the Vedic age, the great rishis said: "Three things 
which are rare indeed are due to the grace of God, namely, a 
human birth, the longing for spiritual liberation, and the protect- 
ing care of the perfect Satguru/' 

The question is so often and persistently asked: "Why the need 
of a Master?" It comes to us from all parts of the world and it will 
not be denied an answer. The egotism of the average man, the 
Western student in particular, is always ready to assert that he 
needs no help. He says proudly: "I am the architect of my own 
fortune. I shall direct my own destiny. I demand the right of 
direct approach to God. No one else has any right to stand in my 
way." 

This is a proud and bold declaration, worthy of the bravest 
Castilian. It reminds me of a little kitten which I once met on a 
mountain path. He was feasting on the remains of a lizard. When 
I came near him, he bowed up his back and began to growl at me 
in a very threatening manner. Out of respect for his rights, 1 walked 



214 



THE MASTERS AND THEJR DUTIES 



around him at some distance. So, if the bravest of men see fit to 
announce their independence — even of the Master — I must not 
quarrel with them. I respect their position, but I am very doubtful 
of their security when the deep waters overwhelm them. In the 
day of his opportunity, such a man shuts the doors of the king- 
dom in his own face. 

I believe this proud attitude is partly a reaction of modern in- 
telligence against the useless intervention of the priest. As such, it 
is a wholesome reaction. But the position of the Master, relative to 
his disciple, is as different from that of the priest as day is different 
from night. At best, the priest is only an imitation Master with a 
commission to act as a teacher. He teaches not what he himself 
knows but what he has read in a book. The Master occupies a 
unique position, even as a teacher. He teaches not what he has 
read in a book or learned in a school, but what he knows from 
personal experience. Besides, the Master is more than a teacher — 
much more. Teaching, while extremely important, is the least im- 
portant of the Masters' work. The entire field of the activity of the 
Masters is vitally important and we must spare no effort to under- 
stand it. In this book we must make it clear to the reader, if 
possible. 

Perhaps the matter may be further elucidated by the use of an 
illustration, a comparison, Let us suppose that a man living on the 
plains of the Punjab wishes to make an airplane trip to Lhasa, the 
capital of that almost inaccessible region of Tibet. We will assume 
also that everyone who makes that trip must fly his own plane. A 
modem airplane, equipped for flight, now stands on the field ready 
to take off. But our man knows nothing at all about flying. He was 
never in an airplane in his life. What can he do? Get into that 
plane all by himself, pull the throttle and take off? The chances are 
nine to one that he will wreck the plane and break his own neck. 
So he hesitates in spite of his own egotistical impulses. 

Now comes an experienced pilot. He has been over that route 
many times and he has a license to enter that region, also for 
stopping at intermediate stations. He offers his services. But the 
man proudly replies: "No, thank you; I shall fly my own plane. I 
need the help of no one else." He doesn't even know how to get 



THE FUNCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER 



215 



into the plane, nor how to start it if he were in it. Its doors are 
locked and he has no key. The pilot has wisely left the plane locked, 
for if an inexperienced man should undertake to start it before he 
knew what he was doing, he would surely bring disaster upon 
himself. And that is exactly the situation regarding those people 
who imagine they can ascend to spiritual heights without even 
knowing anything about how to start. In any case, even if he were 
to get started, the man never could make the journey. A hundred 
difficulties stand in the way, absolutely insurmountable difficul- 
ties for the inexperienced man. But finally coming to his senses, 
he humbly says to the pilot: "Take me as your pupil and teach me 
to fly." It is a momentous occasion when a man or woman comes 
to this attitude in spiritual matters. 

The two of them now enter the plane. The experienced hand of 
the pilot now guides the plane as it leaves the ground, while the 
beginner, getting the touch gradually, also holds the controls. They 
make a short journey into the sky and return. The student has had 
his initiation. He has begun a new life; but he is not much of a 
flyer yet. The lessons are repeated daily. The flying sense of the 
student grows little by little. He becomes 'air-minded', as they say. 
Gradually he becomes more independent. Now he can take off by 
himself and travel through the air for long distances. But he does 
not dare to go alone yet. Flying is no child > s play. One has to grow 
into it. By and by, he is able to fly independently and alone. 

Anyone who has ever learned to fly an airplane will never forget 
the day and hour when he first ascends the sky all by himself. 
Then he gets his license. He divests himself of every impediment 
and is prepared to go higher than ever before to make the journey 
which he had in mind from the beginning. He is keen to start on 
that long and perilous journey, although he cannot make this trip 
alone. He has never been over that way and he has not the remot- 
est idea of the course he is to take. Neither can it be told to him in 
advance. There is no map, and the directions cannot even be re- 
duced to writing. So here again he is helpless without the pilot. 
And even if he knew how to go, there is still another difficulty. He 
is unknown to the watchmen along the way, and he has no license 



216 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



to enter those regions. He will not be recognized and will surely 
be turned back at the first landing. 

The very nature of this trip is such that he must first make the 
journey and meet the authorities of the various regions before he 
can get his license to enter alone. This he must do in company 
with an experienced and licensed pilot, who will introduce him 
and recommend him. There is still another difficulty. If he were to 
undertake the journey alone, the chances are ninety-nine to one 
he would be led astray into some dangerous region far off the way. 
The way he can learn only by traveling over it in company with 
the experienced pilot. 

Still another difficulty confronts our traveler. He has to land at 
four intermediate stations, at each of which his entry will be chal- 
lenged; and when admitted, he will require special information 
concerning the journey, which no one will give him except the 
pilot who travels with him. Without that he will certainly be obliged 
to turn back At each of these intermediate stations, he is obliged 
to rest for a time and accustom himself to the rarer atmosphere of 
those higher regions. It is now manifest for many reasons that he 
cannot make the trip at all without the experienced pilot, even 
though he is able to fly his own plane. The experienced pilot 
therefore sits in the plane with him; together they cross moun- 
tains, valleys and many regions never before traversed by him, 
rising higher and higher. 

At length he approaches his first landing, and he looks down 
upon a wonderful sight: a great city, more beautiful than any he 
has ever seen before. He is enchanted; a thousand varicolored 
lights, gleaming brilliantly in one grand cluster. So he lands and 
looks around the city. His pilot -companion meets all challenges 
and opens the way for him. He is so delighted that he would like 
to remain there forever, but his pilot urges him to advance. They 
must go higher without too much delay. The journey has only 
fairly begun. So they enter the plane once more and climb the 
luminous sky, the air filled with millions of diamond-like particles 
resembling Stardust. They come to a second landing, more beauti- 
ful than the first, with new colors affecting them like strains of 
beautiful music. But again the pilot orders an advance after a 



THE FUNCTION OF THE SPIRITUAL MASTER 



217 



short rest. The third and the fourth landings are made, each grow- 
ing more beautiful than the preceding. Now they are in extremely 
rare and pure atmosphere, the snow-covered peaks of the Himala- 
yas gleaming in the sunlight. 

Finally, they look down upon the old city of Lhasa itself, the 
end of their journey. They come to rest and the watchmen chal- 
lenge the newcomer. How did he manage to find this region, and 
for what purpose has he come? By whose authority has he entered 
these sacred precincts? Then the pilot himself steps forward and 
vouches for the visitor. The watchmen recognize the pilot and 
bow low before him. They know him as the executive officer of 
their supreme lord. His power and authority to enter that and all 
other regions are universally recognized. They proceed then to the 
court of the king himself, where our visitor is made welcome, and 
the pilot is affectionately embraced by the king. It is then for the 
first time that the newcomer knows that the pilot was no ordinary 
man. 

This is but an imperfect yet apt illustration of what actually 
takes place when a disciple is taken up to Sach Khand by his 
Master. The airplane is the life-giving Shabd, and upon that both 
Master and disciple ride upward to their home in the supreme 
region, crossing all of the intervening regions. By this journey the 
traveler is emancipated from the slavery of crawling upon the 
earth. Of course, the pilot is the Master. So the Master performs 
the double function of first teaching his disciple and then of actu- 
ally taking him upon the upward journey. After all contacts have 
been made on behalf of the pupil, and he stands before the King 
of kings, he receives his power and authority to travel in the fu- 
ture on his own responsibility and by his own right. But the first 
journey simply must be made in company with the Master. It can 
never be made any other way, for reasons suggested in the narra- 
tive. 

Our illustration falls short in one respect — while the trip to 
Lhasa may possibly be made on foot, even though it is laborious 
and difficult, yet the trip to the higher regions, more subde worlds, 
cannot be made by any other means than the life current, symbol- 
ized by the airplane; and the student must have the company of 



218 



THE MASTERS AND THEIR DUTIES 



the Master on his first journey up. Those subtle regions lie far 
above and beyond the remotest bounds of the physical universe, 
as we measure distances. And the Way no man knows, nor can he 
ever know by intellectual activity alone. He simply must travel 
over that path in person and he must have the company of a living 
Master to take him where he could not possibly go alone. That 
path of light to the city of light no man has ever yet traveled 
except in company with the master-pilot. 

There is one more point to which it may be well to call atten- 
tion. It is known to all Masters that many good yogis, rishis, etc., 
have made the journey to the first region, corresponding to the 
first landing in our illustration. By the slow and laborious, some- 
times perilous, methods of pranayam, of Patanjali, and other sys- 
tems, they have made their way to the first region, known as the 
astral. They have made the trip on foot, so to speak. And this is no 
small achievement. They deserve much credit. But the one sad 
feature about their achievement is that there they are automatical- 
ly stopped. They can never go beyond that region by their own 
unaided efforts. Many of them, being quite satisfied there, do not 
even wish to go further, while many others do not know that there 
is anything further on. Some great religious and spiritual leaders, 
well known to history, are to be seen there today doing their 
meditations, and they are quite happy. But as a matter of fact, 
they have made no more than a fair start on the upward journey. 
Eventually they all must return to earthly life for a new birth in 
order to meet a genuine Satguru. Without such a Master they can 
never enter those many higher regions of incomprehensible light 
and beauty. 

From our illustration it will be clearly seen that both the mas- 
ter-pilot and the airplane, the Satguru and the Shabd, are abso- 
lutely necessary if one is to make the complete journey to those 
bright worlds of immortality. It can never be made in any other 
way. It is a logical conclusion, therefore, that the chief concern of 
human life is to seek a true Master and place one's destiny in his 
hands. If one fails to do this, one's life is spent in vain, no matter 
what else one may accomplish. 






4 



The Creation and Order 
of the Universe 



1. THE COSMOGONY OF THE MASTERS 

The science of the Masters, in dealing with man and his desti- 
ny, must also deal with the universe of which man is a part, a unit. 
No one can gain even an intellectual understanding of his own 
interests until he has some comprehension of the universe of which 
he is an integral part, and with every part of which he is in some 
manner related. By the word universe, as it is used in this book, we 
mean vastly more than a few galaxies of stars, suns and planets 
pointed out by astronomers. We must include an almost endless 
series of higher and finer worlds above and beyond the sweep of 
the telescope, or of any telescope that can ever be made. These 
worlds are utterly beyond the borders of the physical universe. 

Any science which ignores those higher and more subtle worlds 
cannot claim to be an all-inclusive science. In fact, the real scien- 
tist has no more than learned the alphabet of his science until he 
passes beyond the last star that glimmers in space, and he enters 
those regions where the physical eye cannot function. Happily, 



219 



220 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



every man is endowed with a finer vision, which may be awakened 
and used on those higher planes. 

The cosmogony of the Masters will be found quite different 
from that of all other systems. This is so because the Masters have 
a far greater range of knowledge than all other men. Their fields of 
operation he far out and away from all physical suns and moons. 
They know about the creation and order of this universe of so 
many parts from personal study and exploration. Beginning from 
the lowest stratum of earth and ranging upward to the highest 
heavens, the Masters know every foot of the ground. The nonma- 
terial and the suprasensuous are just as familiar to them as are the 
rivers and the mountains of this terrestrial sphere. Besides their 
ability to see the universe as it is today, they are also able to see the 
entire past history of the universe like an open book. 

The great Masters do not concern themselves too much with 
how or when this universe came into existence. They know this 
also, but they do not hold this knowledge of any great value to a 
student beginning on the path. They do not care whether the 
entire universe came into existence by a word of command out of 
nothing, or whether it all came into existence as a 'projection' 
from the Creator. (The latter view was held by the old rishis and 
other Indian philosophers. It may be that worlds appear and dis- 
appear like bubbles on the waters of an infinite ocean; or it may be 
that universes appear and disappear like a tortoise extending his 
feet and then drawing them into his shell again. The old Sanskrit 
scholars could not conceive of something coming out of nothing, 
hence their word for creation is accurately translated by our word 
projection.) The Masters do not attach any great importance to the 
problem of whether there ever was a time when the universe did 
not exist or if a time may come when it shall cease to exist. Al- 
though they do know these things, they attach but little practical 
importance to them. They set themselves the far more important 
task of liberating human souls from this world bondage. They 
seldom discuss the ultimate problems of the infinite. 

let us accept things as we find them and try to make the best 
use of them here and now. This appears to be the working principle 



THE FOUR GRAND DIVISIONS OF NA TURE 



221 



of the Masters. When we have had the good fortune to ascend the 
supreme heights, when all knowledge is ours by and through the 
orderly expansion of our capacity to understand, all of these ques- 
tions will doubtiess be answered to our entire satisfaction. They 
are already matters of common knowledge to. the saints them- 
selves, but they find it almost impossible to convey that informa- 
tion to the ordinary human intelligence. Fortunately, we are able 
to grasp something of the creation and order of this universe, 
including all universes of a higher order, and we are able to corre- 
late them all into one grand system. This is due to the grace of 
those great Masters who have broken the bonds of time and space. 



2. THE FOUR GRAND DIVISIONS OF NATURE 

The entire universe of universes is divided into four grand divi- 
sions, each marked out and differentiated from the rest by certain 
characteristics of the substances composing them and the nature 
of the phenomena to be seen there. 

(1) Beginning with our own world as the point of departure, the 
first grand division is the physical universe, called in the language 
of the Masters Pind. It is composed chiefly of matter of varying 
density, coarse in quality, but mixed with a small percentage of 
mental and spiritual substance — just enough to give it life and 
motion. Spirit is the only self-acting substance in existence. With- 
out spirit, matter is dead, inert. In fact, there is nothing in all 
creation wholly devoid of spirit, for without spirit, matter itself 
would cease to exist. Matter is not therefore a thing apart from 
spirit, but it may itself be considered as spirit in a much-depleted 
form. So it may be said of mind. 

A comparison may be made with the oxygen in our atmosphere. 
Fifty miles above the earth's surface there is insufficient oxygen in 
the air to sustain human life; its percentage in the compound is so 
small. This is somewhat similar to the percentage of spirit in com- 
pounds of the physical universe. The lower end of creation, of 
which the physical universe is a part, may be called the negative 



222 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



pole of all creation, in which spirit — although it inheres as the 
essential element of its existence — is in a highly expanded, uncon- 
centrated form. To enable us to get a mental grasp of the situa- 
tion, suppose we imagine the pre-creation substance to have exist- 
ed somewhat in the form of an egg. The large end may be thought 
of as the positive pole, in which the original substance existed and 
still exists in a highly concentrated form. So it is polarized. The 
small end is the negative pole, in which the same substance exists 
in a less concentrated form. 

In the process of creation, the smaller end, or negative pole, 
becomes not separated but differentiated from the original mass, 
and then subdivided into three distinct portions. The uppermost 
of these subdivisions is Brahmand, the middle portion is Anda, 
and the nethermost one is Pind, the physical universe. All this end 
of creation, this lower section, is composed of coarse matter, while 
the higher sections are much finer in substance, as one advances 
to higher regions. This lower section has a much lower rate of 
vibration than any section above it. 

(2) As said earlier, the grand division just above the physical 
universe is Anda. The word means 'egg 5 , referring to its shape. If 
we must place it in space, let us assume that Anda lies just above 
and beyond the physical universe. But here the terms above and 
beyond have but little meaning. The fact is that these higher worlds 
are separated from this world more by their ethereal qualities than 
by their location in space. It is just as accurate to say that those 
worlds lie in the same space limitations, separated by their quali- 
ties only, but when a person passes from one to another of them, 
it appears that he traverses immense space. 

We may say that he ascends from one set of three dimensions 
to a higher set, from a lower plane of consciousness to a higher 
one. But all that is not so easy to comprehend. Those expressions 
convey but little idea of what actually takes place. For convenience 
of expression, we may as well speak of these regions as planes, one 
above the other. They are certainly above in the quality of their 
substance, in vibration, and in their light and beauty. 

The substance of Anda is much finer in the structure of its 




THE FOUR GRAND DIVISIONS OF NATURE 



atoms, in its vibratory activity and its degree of density. The con- 
centration of substance increases in degree as one ascends to high- 
er worlds, and it becomes more positive. 

Anda is also much more vast in extent than the physical uni- 
verse. The central portion of that universe makes up what is com- 
monly spoken of as the astral plane. Its capital or governing center 
is named Sahasradal Kanwal by the saints. In that grand division 
lie many subplanes, so-called heavens and purgatories, or refor- 
matories, all abounding in an endless variety of life — numberless 
continents, rivers, mountains, oceans, cities and peoples. All of 
them are of a higher order than anything known on earth, more 
luminous and more beautiful, except the reformatory portions, 
which have been specially designed and set apart for that purpose. 
They are both schools and purgatories, intended in every case to 
rebuild character. To these schools many of earth's people pass at 
the time of their death. 

Of course, all these are invisible to the physical eye because of 
their higher vibrations. They do not, for that reason, come within 
the range of our vision. In terms of the solar spectrum, they lie 
above and beyond the ultraviolet of science. But the students of 
the Master develop a higher instrument of vision, by means of 
which they see those regions as plainly as they see this world with 
the physical eyes. 

(3) Next above Anda lies Brahmand, the third grand division. 
This term means 'the egg of Brahm\ It is egg-shaped, like Anda, 
but is much vaster in extent. It is also more refined and full of 
light, markedly more than the physical universe. This third grand 
division is composed mostly of spirit substance, but is mixed with 
a refined sort of matter. As Anda contains more of spirit sub- 
stance than Pind, in like manner, Brahmand is richer in spirit 
than Anda. In fact, spirit predominates in Brahmand just as mat- 
ter predominates in Pind, while Anda is rather on the dividing 
line between the two. 

(4) Last of all, we arrive at the highest grand division in all 
creation, the finest and purest, composed entirely of pure spirit. 
This region is definitely beyond the sphere of matter. There is no 



224 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



mind in this region. The plane of universal mind is the lower end 
of Brahmand. Just as mind is the highest order of matter in exist- 
ence, it is left below the pure spiritual regions. It is excluded from 
the supreme grand division. The lower end of Brahmand is made 
up almost entirely of mind substance. It is so conveniently situat- 
ed that when a soul descends into material regions, it may take on 
its necessary mental equipment, required for all contacts with ma- 
terial worlds. 

In this last and highest grand division we discover the region of 
universal spirit. Its name is Sat De$h> which means in our lan- 
guage the 'abiding country* or 'real country'. It is the region of 
truth, of ultimate reality. Of course, this grand division is much 
vaster in extent than any region below it, also far more beautiful 
and full of light. The light of that world is so intense that no man 
on earth can form any sort of estimate of it. If we say that one 
single soul living there radiates a light equal to that of sixteen 
times the total light capacity of our sun, it is true, but utterly 
beyond all comprehension. The lord of the lowest section of that 
exalted region, whose name is Sat Punish, radiates a light from his 
body equal to many millions of our sun. But who can form any 
sort of mental picture of it? 

Whatever may be said of that region, the Masters, who have 
themselves seen it, tell us that no words can convey an adequate 
idea of what is there. It is inhabited by countless multitudes of 
pure souls who know no stain of imperfection, no sorrow and no 
death. The happiness of its inhabitants is perfect. What more can 
one say? Perfection means there cannot be anything better. Sat 
Desh is itself divided into four distinct planes, the highest and last 
of which is the supreme seat of the infinite, the absolute, the source 
and creator of all that is. 

As said before, the creation and division of the whole of exist- 
ence into four separate sections may be due to the polarization of 
the pre-creation substance, the primordial element of all worlds. 
This primordial substance may be called God, if the monists in- 
sist, or whatever term the reader may prefer. The upper portion 
was the positive pole, and the lower was the negative, while the 



THE FOUR GRAND DIVISIONS OF NA TURE 



225 



middle portions were neutral zones, partaking of the properties of 
both, but growing more positive from below upward. When the 
creative impulse was given, the positive pole became more con- 
centrated, while the nether pole became correspondingly deplet- 
ed. Then out of the negative pole — its extreme end — were fash- 
ioned all material worlds, these constituting the suns and planets 
with which we are familiar. 

The two intermediate grand divisions are subdivided into al- 
most numberless worlds or zones, each having its own forms of 
life. Among these lower subdivisions, especially in Anda, are to be 
found nearly all the heavens and paradises of the various religions. 
It will be remembered that the top, or zenith, of the positive pole 
is charged with spirit substance to an extreme degree, while as we 
descend toward the nadir, the extreme negative end, spirit sub- 
stance undergoes a gradual diminution. As a result of that thin- 
ning-out process, those zones experience a corresponding dark- 
ness, until finally they take on more and more of those qualities 
which we associate with evil. 

All that human consciousness classifies as evil, or bad, is made 
so by a diminution or a depletion of spirit. This means darkness, 
of course, lesser life, lesser light. Man cannot live happily without 
spirit, and the more he departs from spirit, the more he experi- 
ences what to him is evil. As with an individual man, so it is with 
worlds themselves. The less spirit substance in them, the darker 
they are and the more troubles are experienced by their inhabit- 
ants. 

We have now given but a mere outline sketch of the four grand 
divisions of creation. We will now take them up in greater detail. 
A knowledge of these worlds is of great value to us in many re- 
spects; besides, the subject is extremely fascinating. A Master could 
write a book or many books on each of these great worlds. 

Again, let us remind the reader that what is written here is not a 
web of fancy, but is literal fact based upon the experience of the 
Masters and their disciples. They have traversed those regions times 
without number and are as familiar with them as we are with 
portions of this world over which we have traveled. 



226 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



3. SAT DESH, THE HIGHEST REGION 

Beginning from above and going downward* we come first to Sat 
Desh (sat, 'true 1 , and desk, 'country*). Many other names have 
been applied to it, such as Nij-Dham, Sat Lok, Muqam Haq and 
Sach Khand. These names are usually applied to the lowest section 
of Sat Desh, but occasionally to the entire grand division. This is 
the region, or plane, of pure spirit. All enjoying the greatest con- 
ceivable happiness, its inhabitants are pure spirits in such count- 
less numbers as no man can estimate. It is the supreme heaven of 
all heavens, but it is quite unknown to many of the world reli- 
gions because their founders had never reached that exalted re- 
gion. It is known to saints only, who alone can enter it. It cannot 
be described. In substance and arrangement it is wholly unlike 
anything known in this world. Neither can the human mind imag- 
ine it. This section is so vast in extent that no sort of understand- 
ing of it can be conveyed to human intelligence. No mind can 
grasp it. 

All that the saints can say of Sat Desh is that it is limitless. It is 
the only region which the great saints insist is practically limitless, 
We may say, although no mind can grasp the thought, that it 
embraces all else, and is both the beginning and the end of all else. 
It is the great center about which all other worlds revolve. Any- 
thing which we might say about it would be incomplete and only 
partially true, so declare the saints. If the entire physical universe 
with its countless millions of suns and their planets were all gath- 
ered together in a single cluster, each sun being a million light- 
years distant from any other sun, yet this entire ensemble would 
appear no more than a few dark specks floating in the clear and 
luminous sky of Sat Desh. In that happy country, a sun such as 
ours, but a thousand times larger, would appear as a tiny dark 
spot, so very great is the light of that world. 

This region is the grand capital of all creation, the center of all 
universes, and the residence of the supreme Creator — Lord of all. 

From this center of all light, life and power, the great creative 
current flows outward and downward to create, govern and sus- 
tain all regions. It passes out from this region somewhat like the 



BRAHMAND, THE SECOND GRAND DIVISION 



227 



radio emanations going forth from a great broadcasting station. It 
is the audible life stream, the most important factor in the system 
of the Masters. This stream permeates the entire system of uni- 
verses. A thing of great importance to us is that the music of this 
ever-flowing current, the stream of life, can be heard by a real 
Master and also by his students who have advanced even a little 
on the Path. And let us reiterate that unless a Master teaches his 
students how this current is to be heard, he is not a Master of the 
highest order. 

This grand headquarters of all creation is the region of immor- 
tality. It is unchangeable, perfect, deathless. It is forever untouched 
by dissolution or grand dissolution. So are its inhabitants. This 
region will be referred to many times in this book. It is subdivided 
into four distinct planes, each having its own characteristics and 
its own lord, or governor. But the difference between these sub- 
divisions is very slight. From above downward they are named: 
Radha Soami Dham, meaning 'home of the spiritual lord'; it is 
also called Anami Lok, meaning tameless region'. The next plane 
below the highest is Agam Lok (agam, 'inaccessible', and lok, 
'place'). The third plane is Alakh Lok {alakh, 'invisible', and lok, 
'place'). The last of these higher planes is Sach Khand (sach, 'truth', 
and khand, 'home'). The last one is also called Sat Lok, 'the true 
place 1 . By the Muslim saints it has been called Mukam Haq, mean- 
ing the same as above, 'the home of truth*. 

The light of all four of these regions is so very intense that it is 
impossible for any mortal to get an understanding of it. It cannot 
be described. The great Soami Ji sums up his statements regarding 
this region by saying simply that it is all love. 



4. BRAHMAND, THE SECOND GRAND DIVISION 

The second grand division from above downward is Brahmand 
(meaning 'the egg of Brahm', as said before). This refers to its 
shape and also to the governor or lord who is its ruler. Brahm is 
supposed by most of the old rishis to be the supreme being of all 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



creation, because they knew of no one higher. But the saints know 
that there is not only one Brahm, but countless numbers of Brahms, 
who are governors over so many Brahmands. For it must be un- 
derstood that there are countless Andas and Brahmands, each cir- 
cling about the supreme region in its own orbit, and each of them 
has its own governor or ruler. Brahm was the highest god known 
to the ancient rishi or yogi, and so the name of Brahm is retained 
by the saints to designate the ruler of the Three Worlds, which 
include the physical universe, Anda, and the lower portion of Brah- 
manda, named Trikuti. The upper portion of Brahmand is called 

Par Brahm. 

As said before, this grand division is mostly spirit in substance, 
but is mixed with a certain amount of pure, spiritualized matter; it 
is the finest order of matter and includes mind. This is called the 
spiritual-material region because spirit dominates the region. The 
substance of that division gradually becomes less and less concen- 
trated as we descend toward the negative pole of creation. The 
lower portions become coarser in particle, and more and more 
mixed with matter. In the lower end of Brahmand, mind is su- 
preme. It is practically all mind, for mind itself is matter of the 
finest order. Of course, even mind is mixed with spirit substance 
to some slight extent, otherwise it could not exist All worlds be- 
come a shade darker as we descend, because there is less and less 
spirit substance in the composition. Trikuti, the lowest section of 
Brahmand, is the home of universal mind. It is from that region 
that all individual minds are derived, and to that region all minds 
must return when they are discarded during the upward flight of 

the spirit. 

Brahmand is extremely vast in area when compared with the 
physical universe, but small when compared with the first grand 
division. It is itself subdivided into many distinct regions or planes. 
Some mention six subdivisions; but as a matter of fact, there are 
scores of subdivisions in that one grand division, almost number- 
less subdivisions, each constituting a separate and distinct world- 
Divisions and subdivisions shade into one another so impercepti- 
bly that it is not easy to say just where one ends and another 



ANDA, THE LOWEST OF THE HEAVENS 229 

begins. This accounts in part for the many different descriptions 
of those regions and the great variety of names assigned to them. 



5. ANDA, THE LOWEST OF THE HEAVENS 

Anda lies nearest to the physical universe. Its capital is called Sa- 
hasradal Kanwal, meaning 'a thousand-petalled lotus'. Its name is 
taken from the great cluster of lights which constitute the most 
attractive sight when one is approaching that world. This great 
group of lights is the actual 'powerhouse' of the physical universe. 
Out of that powerhouse flows the power that has created and now 
sustains all worlds in our group. Each of those lights has a differ- 
ent shade or tint; they constitute the most gorgeous spectacle as 
one enters that magnificent city of light. In that city of splendors 
may be seen also many other interesting and beautiful things. 
Also, here may be seen millions of the earth's most renowned 
people of all ages of our history — many of them are residents of 
this great city and country. Naturally they are quite happy. It is far 
superior to anything ever seen on this earth. Yet this is but the 
first station on the upward path of the Masters. 

This region constitutes the negative part of all the supraphysical 
zones. That is, it lies most distant from the positive pole of cre- 
ation. This region is sometimes classified as a part of Brahmand, 
but the saints prefer to consider it as a separate grand division of 
creation. It has many distinctive features of its own. Lying nearest 
to the physical universe, it forms the port of entry for all the 
higher regions. All souls who are passing to still higher regions 
must pass through it. The great majority of human souls at the 
time of death pass to some subplane of this region. But very few, 
comparatively, go direct to this central portion of the Sahasradal 
Kanwal region. It is through all of these regions that the Masters 
and their disciples must travel on their way to higher worlds. 

This section of creation is not immortal or imperishable — nei- 
ther are its inhabitants. Many of its inhabitants believe that they 
have attained immortality because their lives there go on for 



230 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



extremely long periods of time, but there is no assured immortal- 
ity until one reaches Sat Desh. All below that is subject to death 
and dissolution. 

There are two kinds of dissolutions. The one, simple dissolution, 
which reaches up to the lowest section in Brahmand, a region 
called Trikuri; this occurs after many millions of years. The other 
is the grand dissolution, which occurs after immeasurably long 
periods of time and extends up to the top of Brahmand. Of course, 
both of these dissolutions include the entire physical universe — 
every sun, moon and planet in it. At that time every star and its 
satellites are wiped out, and then follows a period of darkness 
equal in duration to the life of the universe. When the period of 
darkness has expired, a new creation is projected, and the heavens 
are once more alive with sparkling stars. With each new creation 
begins a new Golden Age for each planet and its inhabitants. But 
between minor dissolutions there are also periods of renewal for 
the life of each planet, when Golden Ages succeed dark ages. 

There is a general idea, finding its way into most religions, that 
this world is to come to an end. And so the Masters teach. But the 
end is a very different proposition to what it is generally supposed 
to be. It will come at a time when all worlds of the physical uni- 
verse will be dissolved, and, after periods of darkness and silence, 
new worlds will take their places. The inhabitants of all of those 
worlds to be dissolved are drawn up to higher regions in a sort of 
comatose state, to be re-placed upon those worlds when they are 
ready for human habitation. Those souls will then begin a new life 
here under more favorable conditions. These periodic dissolu- 
tions come to the physical universe after many, many hundreds of 
millions of years. No man need worry now, lest that time is near 
at hand. It is many moons away yet. 



6. THE GRAND DIVISION OF PIND 

The fourth grand division, beginning from above, k called Pind. It 
is the gross material or physical universe. Here coarse matter pre- 



THE GRAND DIVISION OF PIND 



231 



dominates, there being but a small percentage of mind and a still 
smaller amount of spirit. Our earth is a small and insignificant 
member of Pind. It embraces all the suns and their planets known 
or unknown to astronomy. It extends out into space far beyond 
the reach of any telescope. Astronomers have never been able to 
count these worlds— although as their instruments become more 
perfect, the range of their observations is extended. Who shall set 
limits or indicate bounds to those starry depths? Who can number 
the numberless? Who can circumscribe the boundless? To the far- 
thest extent of space, wherever there is a material sun or a speck of 
dust, they are all included in this fourth grand division which the 
Masters call Pind 

In this division, coarse matter predominates. Permeating this 
coarse matter are many finer substances, including mind, and last 
of all there is a modicum of spirit to give life to all the rest. In this 
lowest of all divisions of creation there is but little light and a very 
low grade of life when compared with Brahmand. But if com- 
pared with Sat Desh, this world is pitch darkness, and the life 
here, in comparison to that, is scarcely knowable at all. Its sub- 
stance is coarse, clumsy, inert and full of all manner of imperfec- 
tions. These imperfections, as said before, are due to the paucity 
of spirit at this pole. This condition of negativity is the soil out of 
which all evil grows. 

Evil, then, is simply darkness, the absence of light, which means 
the absence of spirit. However real it may seem to us, negativity is 
the absence of reality, and the absence of reality is the absence of 
spirit. Food is a reality to us, but hunger is also a real condition to 
our consciousness. Hunger is due to the absence of food In its last 
analysis, all pain, all longing, all desire, is only a cry of the mind 

1*1? iS f ° r m ° re Hsht ' more spirit - In like maiuier > evil is due to 
tne absence of spirit. And the reason we have so small a percent- 
age of spirit substance at this end of creation is because this is the 
negative pole of all creation. Pind is the extreme negative pole. It 
w consequently so far depleted of spirit that it lies in a state of 
srTd ath> a condition of heavy inertia over which broods deep 



™ 



232 



THE CREATION AND ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE 



Out of this condition rise all the manifold difficulties experi- 
enced by mortals on this plane of life. As one leaves this lowest 
plane and begins to ascend toward the positive pole of creation, 
the light increases, and hence there is more life, more beauty and 
more happiness. This is all entirely due to the increase in the 
percentage of spirit on the respective planes. Love, power, wis- 
dom, rhythm, perfection of every sort, take the place of negative 
conditions which prevail in the lower sections of the universe. 

It should be said here, with all possible emphasis, that just in 
proportion to the degree of spirit substance prevailing in any re- 
gion, world, person or thing, will its perfections be manifest. And 
vice versa: In proportion to the lack of spirit, imperfections will 
show themselves. In proportion as matter predominates, those 
states which we call evil will become manifest. A depletion of 
spirit is, therefore, the one fatal disease of the physical universe. 
Out of that state all other diseases spring up. In the last analysis, 
we believe there is but one disease in the world — spiritual anemia. 



D 

God and the Grand Hierarchy 
of the Universe 



1. THE PERPLEXING QUESTION OF GOD 

The biggest and oldest question ever propounded to human 
intelligence is: "Is there a God? If so, who or what is he? Where 
and how may he be contacted, and has he any word of himself for 
mankind?" Although trainloads and mountains of books have been 
written in attempts to answer these and similar questions, there 
has never been but one answer given, and there never can be but 
one. That is the answer given by the Masters. Why? Because only 
the Masters know the answer to any of these questions. All others 
only guess and speculate. 

You hear much about meeting God, as if he 1 were merely a sort 
of king-emperor, and all you required was a priest to give you an 
introduction. Men philosophize about 'God- realization'. Men of 
all schools of philosophy agree that the summum bonum of all" 
existence is "to realize God'. But they have no idea how to go 
about it. So they read and talk, and many set themselves up to 
teach the way. But nobody on earth has ever met God or realized 



233 



234 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



God except by the method of the Masters or the path of the Mas- 
ters. It cannot be done any other way. The Masters are the only 
men in the world, therefore, who are qualified to discuss the sub- 
ject of 'meeting God*. 

Groping after the truth in all ages, men have attempted to find 
their way to God, or to catch at least some glimpses of under- 
standing on the subject. But their success has been problematical. 
They have carried on their search by many and devious paths, and 
over far-reaching fields. Yet the search itself has led mankind slowly 
toward the light. From the rishis of old, from Zarathustra and the 
magi, from Hermes and Plato, down to Kant and Edwards and 
Northrup, these questions have been repeated in plaintive wails, 
and a lonesome echo has been the only answer. Who can really 
know God but one who has himself ascended to the spiritual 
heights, where God is openly manifest to sight? 

At the same time, throughout history men have gone along 
creating gods in their own image. To the material scientist, God is 
a mere abstraction, silent as the sphinx. Many sincere students 
take refuge in agnosticism. They say, with lngersoll, that man stands 
between two great mountain peaks, the eternal past and the eter- 
nal future; and no man can see beyond either of those peaks. Only 
hope may give a little encouragement. Theologians, in a frantic 
effort to prove the existence of God, point to the construction and 
order of nature, the rhythm of the universe, its fixed laws and its 
onward flow, which they say suggest an all-wise and all-powerful 
Creator. But after all, any argument based upon logical premises 
is just as likely to lead us astray as the dogmatic assertions of the 
theologians. 

Just as one cynic has said, "There is no lie like history"; so it 
may be said that there is nothing more misleading than logic. God 
can never be made a reality to any man by mere logic, by books or 
by feelings. And I sincerely believe that anything which has to be 
proved by long processes of logic is not worth proving. In other 
words, if the thing is not self-evident, it is of little use. If any 
theory or teaching has to be established by laborious processes of 
reasoning, I think that very fact shows that we are on the wrong 



THE PERPLEXING QUESTION OF GOD 



track and should seek new methods of establishing the hypothesis. 
The only method of proving the existence of God which is worth 
our time is the experiential method of the great Masters, because 
no other method has ever succeeded and none of them can ever 
succeed. 

Did it ever occur to you as a very strange thing that God has 
not given to mankind any definite and easy method of knowing 
about him? Yet as a matter of fact, he has given out such a method 
and it is accessible to all, but men have blinded themselves to that 
path through ages of self-indulgence, and now they stumble along 
in the darkness which they themselves have created. And yet the 
method is here and it is well known to the Masters; all others may 
have it if they will accept it. Men blame God for their own blind- 
ness, when they will not enter the doors of light which stand open 
right before them. 

Hearing no voice of the supreme one in all the dark caverns or 
starry galaxies of nature, some of our best scientists and philoso- 
phers have come to the conclusion that there is no answer to our 
original question. They declare that this universe is built upon the 
laws of physics and chemistry, and that all life, including man, is 
the product of a vast mechanism, guided solely by fixed laws and 
predetermined processes. It is only a broad ocean throwing up the 
multiform phenomena of this world, as whitecaps on the sea are 
thrown up by the winds and the waves. Even human thought, they 
claim, is nothing more than evanescent and useless flames emitted 
by the heat of cerebral commotion. God, they say, is an invention 
of the fearful, a refuge of the coward. Men create him in order to 
propitiate him in the hour of trouble. Man himself is only a physi- 
cal accident tossed into the vortex of existence so that he may eat, 
sleep, breed, and then die. Because men can find no God with 
their telescopes or their microscopes, because they cannot locate 
him in the nervous system of the cadaver, they decide with a 
grand flourish that there is no God! C'estfini, un point, c'est tout! 
The discussion is at an end. 

Only a few weeks ago, I read in the papers a statement by Pro- 
cessor Julian Huxley, a scientist of a distinguished family. Like a 



236 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



man who has drunk deeply of fresh water, and for that reason 
feels no thirst, he said that he felt no need of the God hypothesis, 
and could find no proof of God. It is our notion that the satisfac- 
tion gleaned from knowledge sometimes blinds man to the full- 
ness of his inheritance. If only he has definite knowledge of the 
path of the Masters, then new worlds of thinking and rejoicing 
open up to him. 

I must note here an extremely interesting coincidence. At the 
very time that the Enghsh papers were announcing that this grand- 
son of the distinguished scientist, Thomas H. Huxley, felt no need 
of the God hypothesis, a great-granddaughter of another immor- 
tal scientist, Alexander Agassiz, was actually here in India to seek 
definite knowledge of God through the science of the Masters. 
Thus the various currents of history run along their several courses. 
In spite of all doubts and blind alleys, the world will never give up 
its search for God. As Saint Augustine said: 

Thou, O God, hast made us unto Thyself, and the heart of man 
is ever restless, until it rests in Thee. 

A year or so ago, there was a noted Indian, an Arya Samajist 1 
who had spent the greater portion of his life in public. lectures, 
devoted to God, religion and human service. He had a fine char- 
acter. But just before his death he made the astonishing announce- 
ment that he had spent his life teaching something of which he 
had no proof at all, and that he was approaching his end, gazing 
into blank darkness. This is pathetic indeed. If only for a single 
moment he had placed his hand in that of a living Master! There 
is no other means or proof which can stand the final test. He who 
walks upon the path of the Masters knows about God, and he 
knows about the home of the soul to which he is traveling. He 
walks in the light all the way, in increasing light! 

Mechanical and materialistic concepts are perhaps no better 
and no worse than the doctrines of God derived from religion. 
The one set believe in God without rational proof, and the other 



l. Arya Samaj is the name of a Hindu reformist movement. 



THE PERPLEXING QUESTION OF GOD 



237 



set deny the existence of God without rational proof. I imagine 
that a gracious, infinite Father would look with equal pity upon 
both classes; for they are like children stumbling along in the 
darkness, too proud to place their hands in the hands of their 
father that he may guide and support them. 

The many doctrines of God — both for and against his exist- 
ence — are only the inevitable by-products in the manufacture of 
the superman, in that age-long struggle for the truth that shall 
strike the last shackle from the superman and set him free. It is 
good that men so struggle and speculate, even write books when 
they have nothing else to do. It is better than playing in the mud. 
Never mind if they do not contain a shred of truth. Out of all 
these labor pains, the superman will be born crying pitifully for 
the milk of life which only the Masters can give. That cup of 
bounty the Masters hold in their hands, inviting the thirsty world 
to drink. Already the reaction had set in, even before the material- 
istic wave had half spent itself. Before the flowers of sweet charity 
had covered the graves of Darwin, Hegel and Spencer comes Berg- 
son to tell the philosophers: 

The rapid adolescence of Spencer's philosophy is due largely to 
the replacement of the physical (fixed and mechanical) by the 
biological standpoint in recent thought; by the growing dispo- 
sition to see the essence and secret of the world in the move- 
ment of life, rather than in the inertia of things. And indeed, 
matter itself has in our day almost taken on life [a truth taught 
by the Masters during all the ages] . The study of electricity, 
magnetism, and the electron has given a vitalistic tinge to phys- 
ics — so that instead of a reduction of psychology to physics — 
which was the more or less conscious ambition of English 
thought — we now approach a vitalized physics, and an almost 
spiritualized matter. 



This is a heroic struggle toward the position of the Masters. 
When physical science has had its labor pains and enjoyed them, 
it will perhaps sit still long enough to see that it was only suffering 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



from pseudocyesis. Possibly it may then listen to the voice of the 
Masters, who alone can tell them with certain knowledge that the 
moving force in all nature is spirit, and that the fountain source of 
all spirit is the supreme one, whom men have named God. 



2. A WORD OF CAUTION TO SCIENTISTS 

Some modern scientists boldly assert that they do not believe in 
God, and they give as reasons the two following assertions (they 
cannot be called more than assertions): First, they say that there is 
no evidence to support the contention; and second, they say they 
do not need the theistic hypothesis to explain the existence of the 
universe. Of course, they leave out of all consideration the more 
gentle voices of faith and intuition. These, they say, have no place 
in real science. Thus the whole subject is relegated to the attic of 
metaphysical junk. 

But surely this is an unfair as well as an 'unscientific' disposi- 
tion of the matter. Underlying this attitude is, of course, the gra- 
tuitous assumption that the existence of God is both unknown 
and unknowable. It is therefore, so they assume, at best no more 
than an hypothesis invented by an unscientific age to try to ac- 
count for the universe. This school of scientists declares that no 
one can know anything about God. But I suggest that this assump- 
tion itself is no more than another hypothesis based upon their 
own lack of knowledge. Why should any scientist assume that 
because he knows nothing about God, nothing is known or can be 
known? This is surely not the scientific attitude. Secondly, stand- 
ing securely, as they believe, upon the mechanistic theory of the 
physical universe, they serenely declare that they no longer need 
the theistic hypothesis. And because they do not need it, therefore 
it is useless. Ergo, they do not believe in God; that belief is an old 
woman's superstition. 

If God's existence were no more than an hypothesis, and noth- 
ing definite or certain could be known on the subject, then we 
may as well concede that the position of the mechanistic school is 



A WORD OF CA UTION TO SCIENTISTS 



239 



unassailable. But fortunately the knowledge of the Masters is not 
founded upon hypotheses. They have certain knowledge on the 
subject, as definite and as scientific as anything in mathematics or 
physics. Of course, there are many hypotheses which await dem- 
onstration on the part of the beginner. I remember well when my 
professor in mathematics gave me the old problem in Euclid: "The 
square formed on the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle is equal 
to the sum of the squares formed on the other two sides." I had to 
demonstrate it, prove it, before it was real knowledge to me. And 
that is exactly the method of the Masters. They know of God 
because they have made the experiment and have the proof. The 
Masters know that there is a supreme and all-sustaining one, whose 
chief attributes are wisdom, love and power. 

It must also be understood that the knowledge of the Masters is 
not a slow product of evolution, an accumulation of learning gath- 
ered up during long ages of study. It is not the sum of knowledge 
accumulated in libraries to be memorized by students. It is not a 
record of acquired information. The method of the Masters is 
unique. Every Master gains the entire sum of knowledge, de novo, 
during his development That knowledge is gained by a definite 
line of individual endeavor and personal experience. It is not some- 
thing gathered up by him from many sources, but it is gained 
from within himself by the expansion of his own consciousness. 
Any man may gain this development and this knowledge, provid- 
ed he has the scientific method of the Masters. In the light of this 
illuminating fact, one of the assumptions of physical science dis- 
appears. A definite, certain knowledge of God can be acquired. 

May we now venture a word of caution? Is it not possible that a 
mechanistic hypothesis is no better than a theistic? May it not also 
turn out to be true that even if some physical scientists know 
nothing about God, nor even recognize the need of one, yet in 
spite of that, others may know something about him? Remember 
that the great Masters do not speculate. The God of the Masters is 
not a God invented by metaphysics, nor is he a creation of theo- 
logical dogma. If some man or class of men, like the Masters, 
should eventually be found who declare that they have certain 



240 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



WHO OR WHAT IS GOD? 



241 



knowledge of God, knowledge that has been obtained by and 
through a method just as scientific as any known to the physicists, 
may we not give them credit for their great achievement? Will the 
scientific world be fair enough to give them a hearing? Shouldn't 
the physical scientists tread a little more cautiously upon ground 
with which they are not familiar? 

Besides, what is the harm if men should give a little more kindly 
consideration to the voice of hope, of intuition, of faith? If love 
whispers to them in the secret chambers of the soul, shouldn't 
their intellect be willing to listen? It ought not to be considered 
beneath their dignity. But over and above all other considerations 
come the great Masters, who give us the most positive assurance 
that some certain knowledge of God has been gained by them. 
Shall we not at least listen to them? If some obscure astronomer 
should announce that he has discovered a new nebula far out in 
space, the whole scientific world would sit up and take notice. 
Why this painful lethargy in matters of the greatest importance? A 
listening ear is one of the first qualifications of a genuine seeker 
after knowledge. 



3. WHO OR WHAT IS GOD? 

The most common concept of God is that of a creator. We can 
only think of a creator as doing something, and so we picture him 
as creating and managing the universe. We are obliged by the urge 
of our own minds to account for things as we find them, or at 
least to try; and so the most natural conclusion is that some power 
has created them. For the present we may leave out of consider- 
ation the curious query as to whether God created man or man 
created God. History proves the latter contention; logic assumes 
the former. But we have already said that both logic and history are 
unreliable. 

If we steal back into the shadow of dim prehistoric ages and 
there watch our ancestors puzzle over the multiform phenomena 
of nature, we may readily conclude that God, or the gods, sprang 
out of the imaginative faculty of man. Most of the gods, even in 




the Vedas, are so like men in character that their parentage is 
quite unmistakable. To the careful student of history there is noth- 
ing more clear than the fact that mankind has been busy con- 
structing gods after its own image. Yet when we read, even in a 
book so modern as the Bible, that God created man in his own 
image and likeness, we find ourselves not so highly flattered after 
all. If the God who made us is not greatly superior to our image 
and likeness, we need not feel so proud of our lineage. The job, so 
far as we can judge it at present, is not so complimentary to the 
Creator if we are supposed to be like him. Of course, this may be 
due to the fact that we are still in our sprawling infancy. We may 
yet grow up more in the image of our Father. Let us hope. 

So the world is full of gods. In India alone there are said to be 
many millions of them. The rest of the world is not so rich in gods 
as India. A man can always have plenty of gods when he hasn't 
much else. The Western world is more interested in pounds and 
dollars than it is in gods. After all, perhaps the Western viewpoint 
is more practical. Pragmatism is the watchword of Western civili- 
zation. Too many gods, anyway, like cooks, spoil the broth. And 
this writer is doubtful if any mere man can use in his philosophy 
more than a few dozen higher-level gods. Perhaps one is enough. 

But so much depends upon what one means by the word God. 
Here, in fact, is the very heart of the question. The big discussion 
about God and the gods is mostly a display of words and ahankar, 
Vanity'. Seldom does the writer on such subjects know even the 
alphabet of what he is trying to discuss. How can he know? He has 
never listened to the message of the only one who really knows — 
the living Master. What is the practical value of going around in a 
circle talking about God? If you were going to study any other 
important fact of nature, you would go to an expert who himself 
has reduced that subject to an exact science, if such person and 
such science could be found. If there is no science of it or even 
reliable knowledge, then why take up time and energy discussing 
it? The Masters are the only men on earth who possess accurate 
knowledge of mind, of spirit, and of the way of approach to God. 
And their science, like all other real sciences, is based upon actual 
individual experience. 



242 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



4. NAMES OF THE SUPREME BEING 

In the literature of the saints, God is expressed by many words, 
such as Soami, Ekankar, Nirankar, Radha Soami, Akal, Nirala, 
Anami, Agam, Alakh, Sat Punish, Prabhu, Prabhswami, Hari Rai, 
Akshar, Parameshwar, Akshar Purush, etc. All of these words have 
been coined in an effort to convey to human intelligence some 
idea of what the saints think of God, or Lord God, the highest 
power. Ekankar means the 'one oneness', the body of oneness. 
Nirankar means 'without body or form'. Soami or Swami means 
the 'all-pervading lord'. Radha Soami — radha, 'soul', and soami, 
'lord' — 'the lord of the soul'. The word radha, in Hindi, when 
reversed becomes dhara. This means 'current' or 'stream of ener- 
gy', the attribute of the soul. When the dhara is reversed, when it 
turns upwards away from the creation, it becomes radha, the soul. 

Akal means 'timeless', Nirala means 'peerless', having none like 
him. Anami means 'without name 5 . Agam means 'inaccessible'. 
Sat Purush, 'true lord', is the really existing Lord as distinguished 
from all hypothetical gods. That which is not sat does not really 
exist. Sat means 'truth', 'reality', 'existence'. Hence the fundamen- 
tal idea of truth is existence. The untrue does not exist; the true 
does. Hence truth and existence are synonymous terms. Purush 
implies 'being', and 'being' implies 'creative energy 1 — predomi- 
nating and presiding Lord, the source of creative energy. Prabhu 
means 'lord, having power and control'. Prabhswami means 'all- 
pervading lord, having power*. Hari Rai means the 'lord who has 
real power', the actual king of all, like Sat Purush. This is used in 
contradistinction to Dharam Rai, the negative power, who con- 
trols the Three Worlds. It implies law and order. Dharam is 'law', 
'order', 'system', and it is used also to designate religion or any 
religious system. Hari Rai is Sat Purush, or Akal Purush, while 
Dharam Rai is Kal Purush, Kal, or Brahm. 

The whole universe is considered as one, the true Ekankar. There 
is perfect oneness in the universe, which is also coexistent with 
God — infinite, unlimited. Hence, the Soami is nirankar, that is, 
formless. As such, he is without personality, hence without name. 







NAMES OF THE SUPREME BEING 

He cannot be said to be 'anywhere* as he is everywhere. Since he is 
everywhere, aU and everything, he must be impersonal. Of course, 
he may assume any number of forms, but none of these forms 
embrace his entire being any more than one sun embraces the 
sum total of physical matter. 

When Soami limits himself to some extent, however slightly, he 
becomes Agam Purush. If a little more limited, he is Alakh Pu- 
rush, and when he takes a definite form for the purpose of admin- 
istering the affairs of the universe, he then becomes Sat Purush, or 
Sat Nam. Sat Nam then becomes the first definitely limited mani- 
festation of the supreme one. But he is not limited, except as to 
form. Sat Nam, 'true name', is that which defines his individuali- 
ty, and points definitely to the first personal manifestation of the 
infinite one. 

The names of the supreme being in other languages besides the 
Sanskrit and Hindi are as many as are the ideas of him. God is an 
Anglo-Saxon adaptation of 'good*. He is the chief good or the 
sum total of good. Deus is the Latin name, signifying something 
like 'supreme emperor'. Theos is the Greek appellation, meaning 
the chief of those august powers who sat upon Mount Olympus 
and ruled the world. Adonai Elohim or Yahveh are some of the 
Hebrew names assigned to the god who was first a tribal deity of 
the Jews, but was later proclaimed Lord over all gods and worlds. 
He was the supreme lawgiver, the commander of all the armies of 
Israel. He was the majestic warrior whose wrath was so much to 
be feared. This is the God to whom Sir Richard Burton refers 
when he writes in his Kasidah of Abdul el Yezdi: "Yahveh, Adon, 
or Elohim, the God that smites, the man of war!" Fancy the psy- 
chological reaction of tender childhood under the teaching which 
daily held up such a god to them! No wonder Kingsley, in Alton 
Locke, says: "Our God, or rather, our gods, until we were twelve 
years old were hell, the rod, the ten commandments, and public 
opinion." 

How true it is, as most of us know by experience, that these are 
the four shapes assumed by the God who presided over our child- 
hood! I was brought up in a very strict orthodox Christian home, 



244 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



NAMES OF THE SUPREME BEING 



245 



but not once do I recall ever being told that God was a being of 
love. Of course, I read in the New Testament: 

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. 

(John 3:16) 

God loved the world, of course, but he hated me, and it was 
always a toss-up whether I was to land in hell or heaven. Accord- 
ing to most of my relatives, the betting was about ten to one it 
would be hell for me. It was always a mystery to me how God 
could love the world, nasty and wicked as it was so much better 
than he loved his own son whom he allowed to be killed. And if 
God was all-powerful, why did he allow his own son, whose inno- 
cent blood flowed down his side where the spear had pierced it to 
be nailed on the cross, to pay for the sins of the world? If he had 
more power than the devil, he could easily have told the devil to 
stay in his own hell and leave the world alone. 

I would have been ashamed to acknowledge, with Kipling, that 
such a God was the God of our fathers. How accurately he por- 
trays this same God in his "Recessional" when he says: 

God of our fathers, known of old — 
Lord of our far-flung battle line- 
Beneath whose awful hand we hold 
Dominion over palm and pine- 
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet 
Lest we forget— Lest we forget! 

The saints are not sticklers for names. They frankly concede 
that the supreme one is anami, 'nameless', and so they say, * 
substance, "Take your choice as to names.'' 

There is Allah the Merciful, of Islam, who sent his ; last and 
greatest Prophet, Mohammed, to gather into one army the desert 
Sbes and break up all their idols. There are Indra and V-runa, 
the ancient gods who shine out in great majesty among *eh«8 
of gods mentioned in Vedic literature. There are Brahm, Brahma, 




Vishnu, and Mahesh, and a host of others, all gods of the sacred 
books. There are Akshar, Parameshwar, Purush, and Purushot- 
tam, Sanskrit names for the creative and governing power. Zar- 
athustra spoke of Ormuzd, and the Norseman spoke of Thor. 

Om is the Sanskrit sound symbol for the supreme one. The 
North American Indians speak of Manitou, the father of them all, 
who ruled over all the tribes. It is a significant fact, worthy of 
more detailed study, that among all of the North American Indi- 
ans the prevailing idea of God was that of a father. To them he 
was never an angry deity waiting to strike them down for the least 
disobedience. He was never thought of by them as a wrathful god 
to be propitiated and worshipped by bloody sacrifices. 

The saints have given many names to the supreme being, ac- 
cording to the country in which they lived and the language used 
by them. But all saints recognize that no name is adequate. No 
name can ever describe God or convey any fair conception of his 
attributes. It is n Osgood to contend for a name. What is the 
difference whether we say Radha Soami or Ram or Allah? It is 
quite immaterial whether we say pani (Urdu), eau (French), amma 
(Cherokee Indian), hudor (Greek), aqua (Latin) or water. They all 
mean exactly the same. 

So we see that among all peoples and in all languages, not only 
is the name itself different but the fundamental ideas of the deity 
are different. In almost every land, the people, in total ignorance 
of God, have gone on creating anthropomorphic gods to their 
heart's content. These gods, their recording secretaries at their 
tight hands, are all given high seats in the heavens, from which 
they keep a vigilant eye upon erring mortals. Nothing escapes 'the 
recording angels'. How I disliked those prying mischiefs when I 
was a boy. Of course, the idea must be right, as by the law of 
kanna we must pay for each offense in due course. A knowledge 
of the karmic law is certainly the source of all such ideas as re- 
cording angels or punishments for sin. 

In spite of all the confusion regarding names and characteristics 
among the gods, there runs like a golden thread through all the 
accounts the central idea of a great overruling power which is 



246 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



greater and better than man. That much has been universally con- 
ceded ever since the race emerged from prehistoric times. The 
gods are mightier and better than man. Therefore, we should look 
up to them with fear and trembling — in some instances with rev- 
erence. A few great teachers, like Jesus, taught that God was to be 
loved. All the Masters throughout history have taught that love of 
God was the central virtue of all virtues, and at the same time they 
have all taught that God was love itself. The old idea that he was a 
being of wrath to be feared was nothing better than a survival of 
primitive savagery. 

That the supreme Father, now in this age of semi-civilization, 
should demand that his innocent son, pure-minded and loving, 
pour out his blood upon the tree to wash away our sins, appears 
to me so utterly inconsistent with any idea of a spiritual God 
whose chief quality is love, that I am amazed that civilized man 
could think of it for a single moment. And yet I used to believe 
and preach it with great zeal. I wanted to snatch a few souls from 
the impending fires of divine wrath! I hope my loving Father has 
forgiven me for such crude notions of him. It was all due to igno- 
rance and wrong teaching. 

But no one has ever given any description or analysis of the 
divine attributes. Nor has anyone ever imagined himself capable 
of doing so. We must give the theologians credit for such modes- 
ty. God bless them. Nothing more than shrewd guesses have been 
offered. About the best we have been able to do is to attribute to 
the Creator human virtues in infinite degree. And this is not 
illogical. Since man was created by an infinite good, he must have 
derived his good qualities from that infinite good. We may con- 
cede, as a matter of fact, that man himself has created most of the 
gods or devils known to history; yet in spite of this, the supreme 
reality stands out far above all sham gods. He is truly the sum of 
all good. 

No sooner, however, are we comfortably settled in these whole- 
some convictions when the knotty problem arises as to whence we 
got our evil propensities. These are so painfully manifest that they 
must be explained. Shall we attribute them to that same infinite 



NAMES OF THE SUPREME BEING 



247 



good? The one conclusion is just as logical as the other. If we 
didn't get our evil qualities from the creator and author of all 
good, where did we get them? Again we must be careful that our 
logic doesn't prove too much. Right here lies one of the most 
difficult problems of all religion and philosophy. Frantic efforts 
have been made to reach some sort of a satisfactory conclusion, 
but so far in vain, It is only the knowledge of the Masters which 
offers the key to this knotty problem: What is the origin of both 
good and evil, and what are good and evil, per se? 

The old-timers could think of no way to solve this problem of 
evil, except to call on the devil to account for it. So the burden was 
laid upon him without the slightest proof that he was the guilty 
party. So far, they have never been able to produce him in court to 
answer to the charge, for the simple reason that they have not 
been able to find him. They only assume that he is; secondly, they 
assume his guilt. 

We all find ourselves in possession of two opposite sets of qual- 
ities, the one we call bad and the other we call good. These two 
sets work in opposition to each other. They tend in exactly oppo- 
site directions, and they end in totally antagonistic results. Hence, 
life is largely made up of wars waged incessantly between these 
two opposite sets of qualities and tendencies. This much is gener- 
ally conceded by all schools of thought. But where did we get 
these antagonistic qualities? What appears to be still more impor- 
tant, since we all know we have them, is — how are we to get rid of 
them? These are big questions. It is neither logic nor common 
sense to assume that such opposite qualities can be derived from 
the same source. Can men gather both figs and thistles from the 
same tree? The answer to these two enigmas will be given in Chapter 
Five, Section 7. We repeat here that only the wisdom of the Mas- 
ters holds the perfect solution to these problems, 

But the Masters do not attempt any sort of analysis of the su- 
preme being. In that they are wiser than many others. Men have 
written voluminously; laboriously, about God. They have talked 
about him as if he were their next-door neighbor. These fellows 
remind one of the little princess who was asked by the archbishop 



248 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



to go for a walk with him. She replied: "All right, I will go, but if 
you are going to talk about God, you needn't bother. I know all 
about him already!" As a matter of fact, the less men know about 
God, the more familiarly they talk of him. The great Masters, who 
know most, are content to sit in silent reverence, even at the 
thought of the supreme Father. 

No description of God can ever be given to mortal man. That is 
because no man could understand such a description if it were 
given, and secondly, because no language in the world contains 
the thought- forms necessary. Man on this plane is too limited in 
comprehension. The reason the Masters know so much more about 
God than anyone else is because they have fewer limitations than 
anyone else. Their capacity to know has been vastly increased dur- 
ing the process of becoming Masters. 

Let us be satisfied to say that there is a supreme Creator and 
that he is the source of all that exists. This much the Masters 
know, and this much may be told to us. But for anyone to assert 
that he has full knowledge of God is equivalent to saying that he is 
equal to God. The Masters know a great deal concerning the man- 
ifestations of God, but I have never heard one of the Masters 
claim to know all about the Supreme. The great Masters have 
explored the entire universe, from the physical plane to the pure 
spiritual, and they have reported many of their observations. Be- 
sides, we know that their knowledge is practically unlimited, yet 
they find it impossible to describe in words all that they see and 
know of the higher regions. Nor could they find words to express 
it if they could bring it down to this level. 

What then is the answer of the Masters to our original question, 
who or what is God? All the saints agree, and the inhabitants of 
the higher worlds say, that there is one supreme, infinite essence; 
that he or it is composed of pure spirit substance; that he resides 
in and permeates the supreme region as his headquarters or capi- 
tal, from where he projects himself into and permeates all regions 
throughout creation. He is in no way limited. Even if he takes 
form — which he often does — that form does not limit him, be- 
cause he is not limited to that form. That form is only an infinitely 



MONOTHEISM, POLYTHEISM, MONISM AND PANTHEISM 



249 



small fragment of himself. He is universal spirit, moving forth in a 
living stream, vibrating through all space, entering in and vitaliz- 
ing all that exists. He is the dynamic life of everything that lives. 
Thus he is impersonal, universal, all-permeating, omnipresent, and 
all-sustaining. He is the life, the very existence of all. He is exist- 
ence absolute. 

But to this all-embracing, au-sustaining force no name can be 
applied which is at all descriptive or expressive. There is, however, 
universal agreement among the world's best students that the su- 
preme, central power is benevolent; that in it or him love, wisdom 
and power are combined in their highest conceivable expression. 
And this is the highest ideal of God ever conceived or formulated 
in the minds of men. And this is the teaching of all great Masters. 



5. MONOTHEISM, POLYTHEISM, MONISM AND PANTHEISM 

We are now in a position to call attention to one of the most 
unique features of Sant Mat, the teaching of the Masters. This 
information at the same time solves once and for all the much 
debated question of monotheism versus polytheism. We have spo- 
ken of the supreme Creator as the one all-embracing essence. We 
have said that from him proceeds the creative hfe current which 
not only creates but preserves the entire universe. Now, this should 
constitute a sufflcientiy virile and definite monotheism to satisfy 
the most scrupulous champion of orthodoxy. Let us agree then 
that monotheism is an established and concrete fact. Anything 
that we may say hereafter cannot modify or alter this fact. There 
is, and can be, only one supreme, infinite essence, creating and 
intermingling with all that exists with its life and the foundation 
of its perpetuity. We need not be disturbed by that class of theists 
who insist that God is not immanent in his creation hut sits apart 
on his imperial throne, separate and distinct from his universe. In 
any case, the monotheism of the system remains undisturbed. 

Many students are alarmed over the words monism and panthe- 
wm, but these words are not so threatening as they may sound. 



250 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



After all is said, these systems of philosophy only mean to suggest 
a way or a method by which the Creator keeps in touch with his 
creation. In all cases the Creator is the supreme one, the same 
universal essence. No man can say that pantheism is not a fact, 
because he cannot prove that God is not present everywhere and 
that all things which exist are not parts of him. If a few students 
follow the supreme one down into his creation and there lose 
sight of him, that need not discourage us. 

No man can say that monism is not a fact, because no one can 
separate God from his visible universe. Who shall say that there is 
anything in existence but God? It would be a bold assertion. The 
moment we introduce anything into the world which is not a part 
of God, we introduce a bewildering duality into the scheme of 
things, landing ourselves in a maze of philosophical difficulties. In 
any case, there remains the supreme essence who brought this 
entire system into existence and is still its Lord. What does it 
matter whether he has made the universe his body or whether he 
stands outside of it and, like a master musician, controls his or- 
chestra? In any case, the music is his product. We need not worry 
too much about technicalities or methods. 

If the monotheism of the great Masters smacks of the panthe- 
ism of Spinoza, let it be acknowledged that Spinoza was not far 
from the truth. "God-intoxicated man," as he was called, he was 
groping near to the great reality. We may go even a step further — 
if the teaching of the Masters is not pure monism, then it leads us 
very close to that position and reveals the element of truth that 
lies concealed in the theory. After all, who can assume a second 
creative principle in the universe? Is there any force outside the 
supreme one? If so, what is that force and whence its origin? How 
can there be anything in nature which is not a product of the 
monogenetic process of the supreme one? If there is, then there is 
no all-inclusive supreme one. Any other conception appears un- 
thinkable and only carries the student around in a whirl of empty 
words. 

After all is said, the cosmos is one, and the creative power oper- 
ating it is one. It may manifest itself in diverse ways and forms. 
Who can separate the cosmos itself from the force which brought 



MONOTHEISM, POLYTHEISM, MONISM AND PANTHEISM 



251 



it into existence and now sustains it? But that form of monism, 
which goes so far as to identify spirit and matter and make all of 
these identical with God, is not accepted by the Masters. If that 
sort of monism insists that the physical universe is itself God, then 
the Masters will not agree. They will not agree even if they include 
all higher universes in the grand cosmos and make it identical 
with the supreme one. While the infinite cannot be separated from 
his creation, even in the innermost recesses of thought, yet the 
infinite spirit is not the universe. That essence is something vastly 
more. 

In a very true sense the universe may be said to be the body of 
God, but the body of a man is not the man. It is only his physical 
covering. Such an assumption is not only a very clumsy hypothe- 
sis but is also rank materialism of a sort. The body is not the man, 
yet the body, down to its last cell, is permeated and governed by 
the spirit which is the real man. If the spirit is withdrawn from the 
body, that body dies at once. In like manner, if the infinite essence 
were withdrawn from the universe, the whole thing would disin- 
tegrate. Just as human bodies die and suffer dissolution, so certain 
portions of the material universe grow old and dissolve, only to 
reappear charged with new life and vigor. This is in every instance 
due to spirit substance being withdrawn from that portion of cre- 
ation. But spirit itself is not subject to any such change. The soul, 
like its Creator, is eternal, deathless. 

The sum of this discussion is that there is absolute unity in this 
universe, organic unity and oneness throughout, and there is but 
one universal force, creative and all-sustaining, which is never 
separated from it, nor can it be separated. It is an organic whole. 
If you wish to call this universal force 'God', then you have your 
monotheism in perfection, absolute and unassailable. And you 
have at the same time a monism which recognizes but one sub- 
stance in the universe, manifesting itself in an endless variety of 
forms. 

There remains but one philosophical difficulty, and that is due 
to the inability of our minds to see ultimate reality. The difficulty 
lies in our inability to reconcile the doctrine of one substance with 
me manifest differences which we see to exist between substances. 



252 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



At the extreme poles of existence, it is not easy to see how wood 
or stone can be one with spirit, how a tree can be one with an 
angel, and still be different from each other. But physical science 
has given us an illustration which may help us to grasp the idea. It 
has already proved that substances which show very different prop- 
erties are composed of identical electronic particles, the difference 
being due to a different arrangement of those particles. This at 
least may suggest that what is pure spirit at the extreme positive 
pole of creation may at the negative pole appear to be something 
quite different — this difference being due to a thinning out of 
particles and a different arrangement of what is left. 

But this leads us beyond our depth. An analogy may be drawn 
from another fact of nature known to the Masters. Looked at 
from this end of creation, each individual man appears to be a 
separate doer, acting on his own impulses and being responsible 
for his own actions. But the same man, looked at from the top of 
creation, the supreme region, disappears as an individual actor, 
and in his place the supreme one appears to be the only doer. Our 
difficulty lies in being unable to get a comprehensive view of the 
entire problem from a single standpoint 

As the pundits say that akash is the primary substance out of 
which all worlds are formed, and prana is the primary force which 
moves all creation on material planes, so now we may have al- 
ready demonstrated that all matter is resolved into electricity. And 
the grouping of the electrons with their nuclei is simply the meth- 
od which nature has adopted to present us with all the many 
varieties of matter and material things as we see them. This is only 
one step nearer to an understanding of the all-inclusive unity of 
nature. Working backward in the reverse order from the way in 
which the present universe has come down to us, we must at last 
arrive at the one primordial substance out of which the entire 
universe has been evolved. And when we find that one universal 
essence, it will be seen that it is identical with the supreme essence 
which men have named God. In no case can it ever be conceived 
that any one part of this world can be wholly separated from the 
rest of it. It is an organic whole. It is one. 






THE GRAND HIERASCHYOF THE UNIVERSE 



6, THE GRAND HIERARCHY OF THE UNIVERSE 

In the above discussion, we imagine we have disposed of the ques- 
tion of monotheism versus polytheism. But what we have now to 
say may at first appear to disturb our monotheism. Yet the distur- 
bance is only superficial. Up to this point this chapter has been a 
preparation for what remains to be said. 

What is the grand hierarchy? It is that grand galaxy of lords, 
rulers, creators, and governors of all the heavenly spheres. We 
have spoken of the four grand divisions of creation, and brief 
mention has been made of the many subdivisions. Now, in every 
subdivision, sphere or plane, from the highest down to the lowest, 
there is a lord or ruler or governor. These lords, rulers and gov- 
ernors are great souls who have been appointed by the supreme 
one to discharge the duties assigned to them in their respective 
regions. They are each endowed with certain godlike powers and 
prerogatives, among which is the power of creation. 

To obtain a better understanding of the whole scheme, let us 
sketch very briefly the creative process as it is taught by the Mas- 
ters. When the supreme one wished to bring the universe into 
being, his primary move was to create the first focus of action, 
which may be regarded as one step downward toward the nether 
pole. This was done, of course, after the initial concentration of all 
pre-creation materials at the positive pole and the resultant lesser 
degree of concentration at the negative pole. This first focus of 
action was called Agam Lok; and its lord, Agam Purush, who was 
brought into existence at the same time, was the first individual 
manifestation of the supreme one. All subsequent creation was 
now to be carried on through this first individual manifestation. 
The supreme creative energy, now working through him, brought 
into existence the next region below him, which the saints have 
named Alakh Lok, and its lord, named Alakh Purush. Then, work- 
nig through him, the fourth subdivision and its lord are created, 
this region the saints call Sach Khand, and its governor they call 
^t Purush or Sat Nam. 
Sat Purush is now to carry on all creative activity below him. In 



234 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



precisely the same manner every region comes into existence, and 
at the same time the lord of each region is created and assumes 
charge of his station. This process goes on until the last substation 
is reached, just above the physical universe. This is Anda, as we 
have already seen. The lord of that region, Kal Niranjan, now 
exercising the powers assigned to him, brings into existence the 
entire physical universe, and the whole creative process is com- 
plete. 

But the program of creation was not so simple as it may appear 
from the above statement. It was extremely complicated. Not only 
were a few grand divisions created, but numberless subdivisions, 
zones and subzones, region after region, plane after plane, each 
differing from the rest, and each one ruled over by a lord or 
governor appointed by the Creator, each with powers in propor- 
tion to the duties assigned to him. For example, there is not only 
one Brahm Lok, the region so prominently spoken of in the 
Hindu scriptures and believed by them to be the highest plane of 
spiritual existence, but there are numberless Brahm Loks, each 
with its Brahm ruling over it There are great numbers of subordi- 
nate worlds, each one revolving about a higher plane or world 
much as planets revolve about the sun. Each sphere has its ruler. 
There is not only one physical universe but countless physical 
universes, and each one of them has its own governor. There is 
not only one world like this but, as you may suspect, numberless 
such worlds revolving about their respective suns, and each one 
has its own spiritual ruler. The number of planets thus inhabited 
is so great that no mathematician could count them in a thousand 
lifetimes, even if he could see them. 

Thus it will be seen that from the highest subdivision of all 
creation down to the last and smallest planet or planetoid that 
may be inhabitable, floating about among the countless stars, there 
are lords and rulers appointed by the supreme one through his 
hierarchy of subordinates. The duty of each of these is to carry out 
the will and purposes of the Supreme. They are all his executives, 
his viceroys, his duly appointed governors. As said before, each ot 
these rulers is subordinate to the one next above him, deriving au 
of his powers from that one. 



THE GRAND HIERARCHY OF THE UNIVERSE 



255 



It is thus that the entire universe of universes was created and 
organized, and is now governed by the grand hierarchy. The low- 
est member of this governing body is the governor of a single 
planet, and the highest one is Agam Purush, who was the first 
individual manifestation of the universal power. Each individual 
member of this grand hierarchy is Lord God over all below him, 
and through each one of them all powers flow to the one next 
below him. Upon each planet there are also many subordinates 
working under the orders of the planetary ruler. At the foot of this 
grand hierarchy stands man himself. He has his own individual 
sphere of action — each member of the entire human race; and 
among all the men of the world are vast numbers of individuals 
who are selected by the planetary ruler to perform certain func- 
tions and duties. As a rule, they are not aware that they have been 
so selected and empowered. Nevertheless, they are working under 
orders, whether they know it or not, and they must serve the 
supreme power whether they will it or not. This world is not 
jogging along in a haphazard, chaotic manner. It is moving on 
according to the will of the Supreme. It must attain the final des- 
tiny willed by the Supreme, and no one can defeat his purposes. 

In this grand hierarchy, the great Masters occupy a unique po- 
sition. They are the greatest among men. Not only so, but they 
work not under orders of the planetary ruler or any subordinate 
of the grand hierarchy but under the orders of the supreme Sat 
Purush himself. They are his chief executives on earth and they 
have a special duty different from that of all others of the hier- 
archy ; that is, to rescue souls from the maelstrom of material 
worlds and take them up to Sach Khand, from the bondage of the 
wheel of transmigration to spiritual liberty in the supreme region. 
That is their chief duty and that they are doing, as said before, 
under the direct supervision of the Supreme himself, quite inde- 
pendently of any of the subordinates, rulers or governors of sub- 
ordinate regions. They have this unique service assigned to them 
because there is no other way that human souls can escape from 
this bondage, this prisonhouse of maya. 

Without the Masters, every soul would be doomed to circulate 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 



through these regions of matter, worlds of pain and shadow, for 
endless ages. It is thus that the loving kindness of the Supreme has 
provided the means of escape for all who will avail themselves of 
it, and at the same time the Supreme has converted this material 
region into a training school for us. If we meet these conditions 
bravely and do the work as assigned by the Master, we become 
God-realized ourselves and rise above all material bondage to 
worlds of light and joy. 

Into this general scheme, according to the earnings of his own 
karma, every individual man and woman takes his place, does the 
work which he must do, and creates new karma according to the 
individual liberty of choice which he possesses at the moment. 
When his work is finished, he departs to some other scene of 
action according to his karmic earnings. And so the entire scheme 
carries on from age to age, from yuga to yuga. 

An interesting question now arises. Are we to call all of these 
members of the grand hierarchy 'gods'? If not gods, how shall we 
designate them? For we must not offend our rigid monotheists. If 
man is a part of the supreme one, issued from his very being, a 
projection of his very self, then the individual man is no less than 
a god, even if a very humble specimen. The son of an animal is an 
animal; the son of a man is a man, and so the son of a god must 
be a god. What then shall we call all those great lords and rulers? 
If we call them gods, then our jealous monotheist will call us bad 
names for introducing another sort of polytheism. After all, what 
danger is there in a mere name? Why should it worry us so? We 
cannot just call them men. They are much above men, as we know 
ourselves. 

Just what is a god, anyway? Let us define the word, if only to 
clarify our discussion. A god is a great being endowed with super- 
human powers and prerogatives, among which are the creation and 
governance of worlds. We acknowledge that this definition is some- 
what original. You will not find it in the dictionary. But it suits the 
purposes of this book and it accords with the teachings of the 
Masters. It will help us to keep our meaning clear when we use the 
term god. There are, therefore, many gods, with varying powers 
and degrees of authority; and still there is, presiding over them all, 



THE NEGATIVE POWER 

257 

but one God in supreme authority. More accurately speaking, all 
gods in existence are so many individual manifestations of the 
supreme one. This should be acceptable to our monotheists. 

One other point requires a word of explanation. We are not 
accustomed to thinking of any but the supreme being as endowed 
with creative powers. This was because we were not acquainted 
with the teachings of the great Masters. They know that many of 
the grand hierarchy have creative powers— practically all of them 
to some extent. For example, it has been stated above that Kal 
Niranjan is the creator of the physical universe. For this very rea- 
son he has been often mistaken for the supreme God of all cre- 
ation. Many devotees who go no higher than his region firmly 
believe him to be the supreme God. But as a matter of fact, he 
occupies a comparatively humble seat in the grand hierarchy In 
spite of this, he is the creator of this entire physical universe and 
he remains its governor. He carries on here according to the will 
and the orders of the supreme one, as handed down to him by his 
superiors. He is generally referred to as the negative power be- 
cause he is stationed at the negative pole of creation. Yet his pow- 
ers are very great when compared with man's. 

It may be mentioned in passing that every real Master has cre- 
ative powers. He has the powers of life and death. Creations and 
dissolutions are in his hands. The powers of any real Master far 
excel those of Kal Niranjan, who actually created this world. But 
tfie function of a Master is not creation. His work lies in another 
direction. He can do whatever he likes but his work is definitely 
outlined. It is no part of his duties to create or govern worlds He 
lives in this world as a friendly visitor, and while here he does not 
interfere with the routine management of affairs. This is one rea- 
son why he seldom does a miracle; he does not wish to contravene 



7 - THE NEGATIVE POWER 

n Sant Mat> frequem mention is made of ^ negative pow£r Wg 
- now in a position to explain exactly what is meant by that 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 
258 

term It refers to that individual in the grand hierarchy who occu- 
STth position of creator and governor nearest to the negative 
Sta of creation. He is not the lowest in the hierarchy. Under hun 
S many subordinate, But of all the negative powers, he is su- 
preme. The rest may be called his agents and subordinates , They 
S on under his orders, just as he carries on under the orders of 
nTIuperiors. His name is Kal Niranjan, and his headquarters he 
a X slmit of Truoki, commonly called the Three ^Worlds- 
diat is, the physical universe, Pind; the astral world, Anda; and the 
caJsal world, Trikuti, or Brahm Lok, which .the lower end of 
Brahmand (designated as Trikuti or Brahm Lok). 

These three great subdivisions of creation, m the minds of die 
andent rishis, constituted the entire sum f """^^Z 
thev knew of nothing. Kal Niranjan was then regarded as the su- 
£l^d over ail Lation. But to the saints, he is the negaUve 
pow" , so named because he is at the negative pok of crea ion 
Sh many regions above him. The ™™J™^™^< 
occupies a subordinate position in the grand hierarchy. They know 
dso of his imperfections when compared with members of the 
grand hierarchy who occupy higher positions. 
^Contrasted with this negative power the saints speat .of Sat 
Purush as the positive power. He rules the whole of crea^on from 
the positive end of all the universe of universes. Whilehe himsett 
^ no?^ very highest of all the manifestations of the supreme 
one yeThe i7generaUy regarded by the saints as our supreme 
Famer and CreL, He is, in fact, Father and ■<*<£» £™ £ 
significant fact that below him no member of the ^^chy 
hTpower to create souls. They have creative powers over ^eiy 
thing else, but no power to create a soul and no power to desttoy 
Hotl. in Sat Purush, the supreme creative energy comes to per 
fe manifestation for the first time in all Sat Desh. Aganv P^ 
and Alakh Purush are so close to the universal, so ^J^ 
entiated, that Sat Purush is generally «^^^^. 
complete expression of the supreme one. He t^n becomes mam 
fesTas theTupreme executive power of the whole cation. H* 
Sot Sach Khand, may then be known as the governing cent* 
of the entire system of universes. 



THE NEGATIVE POWER 



259 



Sat Purush is in reality the supreme one taking form and estab- 
lishing his throne as the King of kings at the very gates of the 
supreme region. He is the sovereign Lord with whom saints have 
to deal most in carrying out their sacred mission of returning 
souls to their final home. To him all subordinates pay homage 
and from him they all take orders. He is the great Father, the 
supreme Guru, the fightgiver of all saints. To him we must all 
return if we are ever to re-enter our original home. He is our true 
heavenly Father. He is our God. All gods, lords or rulers below 
him we may love and honor, but our supreme devotion belongs 
to Sat Purush, for he is the real Lord God of all worlds in exist- 
ence. Alakh Purush and Agam Purush, the invisible one and the 
universal, are so utterly incomprehensible, so fathomless and 
impersonal, that we cannot approach them even in thought. But 
Sat Punish stands midway between the infinite light and the cre- 
ated universe; and so in time, when we have been purged of every 
imperfection, we may approach him as our Father, see him with 
our glorified eyes, and receive his gracious welcome back home. 

In the meantime, while we sojourn in this dark region of mat- 
ter, we have to deal with the negative power. With him we must 
contend in our struggles for spiritual freedom. It is his duty to try 
to hold us here, while it is our duty to try to escape. The resulting 
struggle purges us and makes us strong, and fits us for our home- 
ward journey. This everlasting fight, this struggle in a welter of 
pain and blood and heart cries, is designed by the supreme Father 
to purge us and make us clean, ready for our homeward ascent. 
Let us never become discouraged. All of this is designed by the 
Father for our benefit. It fs much as if one enters a gymnasium to 
take exercise. If we meet these difficulties in the right spirit, we 
shall greatly profit by them. The idea of pain and struggle is to 
purge us and inspire in us a longing to rise above the regions of 
pain and shadow. 

At the present time we are sojourners in the country of the 
negative power and our first duty is to find our way back to our 
own home. While here, we are subject to the laws of this country. 
It is to these laws of the negative power that we refer when we 



GOD AND THE GRAND HIERARCHY 

speak of the laws of nature. He is the author of all natural laws as 
we know them. For he is the creator and lord of the physical 
universe He is the God of practically all the religions, for none 
but the saints and their students know of any other god; yet this 
negative power, so exalted and so universally worshipped as the 
supreme Lord God, is in fact only a subordinate power m the 
grand hierarchy of the universe. He is the negative power, and as 
such he must have some negative qualities. Of course, when com- 
pared with man, he is very exalted, full of light, goodness, wisdom 
and power. It is only when compared with the positive power that 
his lesser light becomes manifest. To this very fact we may trace 
the origin of what we call evil; for evil is but a lesser good. This 
problem will be discussed more fully in Chapter Seven, Section 10. 
Subordinate to the great negative power, there are three others 
whose names must be mentioned here. They are the famous Hin- 
du trinity— Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. These are called sons of 
Kal Niranjan. Oriental cultures explain abstract concepts in terms 
of human relationships to make them more easily understood. So 
these three are said to be sons of Brahm, whose other name is Kal 
Niranjan. The female counterpart of Kal Niranjan is Shakti, who 
in fact represents another creative current. Out of the union of 
these two great currents, three subordinate currents flow into the 
lower worlds, and to these are attributed the creation of all lower 
worlds. These three became creators, lords and governors of the 
lower worlds under their father, Niranjan, and their mother, Shakti. 
They are said to be more directly under the supervision of their 

mother. , 

In fact, these three represent creative currents; they carry me 
creative impulses from the greater powers above. But they have 
been given these individual names as persons. It is well to remem- 
ber that all creative currents may become personal, that is, tak< 
individual form and assume individual duties. Now these three 
have generally been accepted as the Hindu trinity of gods, most 
commonly known in their pantheon. Millions worship them 1 
spite of their subordinate position. They each perform a certain 
function in carrying on the work of the world, in producing human 



THE NEGATIVE POWER 



261 



bodies, and in keeping those bodies going. They are agents of the 
supreme power in serving mankind. They are not gods to be wor- 
shipped. Who will worship his servants? They are subordinates in 
the grand hierarchy. But each of them has certain powers and 
prerogatives, and within his own sphere he is all-powerful. He 
carries on according to definite laws and rules laid down for his 
government. These again are laws of nature. Brahma, Vishnu and 
Shiva may be regarded as servants of the negative power, or his 
working committee. In all respects, they do his bidding, each in 
his own department. 

Still lower than these three, there is another current or god or 
power who is also one of the working forces, helping to carry on 
the administration of the physical universe. His name is Ganesh. 
He stands practically at the foot of the list of subordinates whose 
business it is to serve mankind and help to carry on the work of 
this world. In the subtle regions close to the earth, there is a great 
host of beings called devas, devtas, spirits, etc. These are generally 
called angels in English. They are beings something above ordi- 
nary men and help to serve man in many ways. They have great 
powers and are quite willing to serve people who live in harmony 
with them. 

Last of all is humanity itself, at the very foot of the grand hier- 
archy. If man works in harmony with all those powers above him, 
he will surely receive their help and will eventually rise to the 
position where he will find a Master and then accomplish his final 
return home. 

It may be said with emphasis that between man and all those 
exalted beings who compose the grand hierarchy there is no dif- 
ference at all in quality, that is, in the essential character of the 
soul. There is a difference in degree only, a difference in the full- 
ness of endowment. The fundamental qualities of spirit are wis- 
dom, power and love. The larger the measure of these three a soul 
possesses, the higher does it rank in the grand hierarchy. 



6 



Analysis of Man: 

The Psychology of the Masters 



1. THE NEW-OLD PSYCHOLOGY 

In order to discuss intelligibly some of the most important teach- 
ings of the Masters* it is necessary to offer at least a brief outline of 
their psychology. And let us say at the outset that what we mean 
by psychology is not what that term has come to signify in the 
modem schools. As the word is used in this discussion, it includes 
the science of mind and soul— what they both are in fundament^ 
structure and function, and the relation between the two, as well 
as their reactions under test conditions. 

This psychology of the Masters is both the oldest and the new- 
est psychology known. It is the oldest because its main points have 
been known and taught by the Masters ever since they began ft 
instruct students on this planet. That was so long ago that no 
historian can even attempt to trace it. It was old ages before the 
Vedas were ever heard of, and it was only when the pure teachings 
of the saints began to be obscured and corrupted that the Vedas 
came It was old long before the Chinese sages began to speculate 



262 



THE NEW-OLD PSYCHOLOGY 



263 



upon the abstruse and the unknown, the occult and the mystical. 
It was old long before the great cataclysm changed the face of the 
continents and raised the Himalayan mountains to their present 
height. It was old when the first known empire, stretching back 
into Sat Yuga, the Golden Age, built its civilization upon the great 
plateau which is now Tibet and the Gobi desert. It was old before 
the Sanskrit language was spoken in that central empire of prehis- 
toric civilization; for the Masters' system has watched the decline 
of Sanskrit and the simultaneous decline of all known civiliza- 
tions. 

It must be remembered that mastership is not a product of 
modern civilization. It has been the chief factor in producing all 
civilizations, including the modem one. Masters have existed in 
this creation for millions of years, and the system now outlined in 
this book has been taught by the Masters to their disciples for 
millions of years. Always during prehistoric eras, while the major- 
ity of the race was on the decline, descending toward what we now 
call primitive savagery, the Masters held aloft the torch of spiritual 
truth, pointing the way for all who had eyes to see it. To those as 
would listen to them, in every age the Masters have taught this 
age-old psychology and at the same time given exact knowledge of 
the yoga of the audible life stream. 

The psychology of the Masters is also new, because today scarcely 
a single scholar in Europe or America has ever heard of it. It has 
never found its way into any of the modern schools or into any 
accredited book. Up to the present, few representatives of English- 
speaking peoples had ever lived with a great Master long enough 
to learn his science and to write it down in a book. This may be 
one of the first attempts in history to give this science to the West 
by a Western man. The teachings of the Masters have scarcely 
been heard of in the West. 

It must, however, be kept in mind that this is not another state- 
ment of the Vedantic philosophy. It is no more Vedantism than it 
is Islam or Christianity. The real science of the Masters, as pre- 
sented in this book, must never be confused with the various 
Hindu systems, philosophies or religions. It is none of them. This 



264 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



writer was once accused of "going crazy over some Hindu reli- 
gion." But this is no Hindu religion. It is not a religion at all. 
Hindu philosophies have many features in common with Sant 
Mat; but the most essential elements of this science are quite unique 
and not widely known even in India among the vast majority of 
Indian scholars. This is because the Hindu pundits have been so 
preoccupied with their own systems of learning that they have 
never taken the trouble to investigate the real science of the Mas- 
ters. Learning often stands in its own light. 

What then is the psychology of the Masters? This is almost 
equivalent to asking what is man himself. Because in order to 
answer the question we must first analyze man. In spite of the oft- 
quoted statement of Pope, that the greatest study of mankind is 
man, how amazingly little does man know about himself! The 
great body of modern psychological dissertations by psychologists 
is based upon the phenomena of human consciousness as are man- 
ifested in daily life or in the laboratory. Man himself they scarcely 
attempt to analyze. They are not to be blamed for this, because 
they are not equipped to do the work; besides, they do not believe 
that complete knowledge of the constitution of man is available to 
science. They know nothing of the Masters or of their science. 
Indeed it is doubtful if the great psychologists have the facili- 
ties to make such analysis. They have neither the faculties nor the 
method. 1 

Of late years, much emphasis has been placed upon psycho- 
analysis — far too much, we think. What means have the psycholo- 
gists for a genuine analysis of the psyche? They have written many 
books on psychoanalysis, which sound so very profound, all at- 
tempting to explain mental phenomena in terms of physics and 
physiology — hence the physiological psychology of MacDougall 
and others. Great and painstaking efforts have been made to cata- 
logue mental reactions to given stimuli and to establish the rela- 
tions of each reaction to all others. Out of this more or less fruit- 



1. Since the 1930 's the varied fields of psychology have devebped extensively, from 
behavioral and mechanistic systems to richer, humanistic approaches which lead to a 
fuller understanding of the human consciousness. In the final analysis, however, it 15 the 
living Master alone who can lead the individual to self-realization. 



WHAT IS THE REAL MAN? 



265 



ful soil grew the far-reaching postulates of Dr. Sigmund Freud, 
upon which was founded the so-called science of psychoanalysis, a 
system once so popular but which appears even now to have en- 
tered upon its decline. 

And so the psychologist continues to study these phenomena, 
but he has not even touched the more important facts of the 
constitution of man himself. He is not to be blamed for this, as 
said before, because he has not the facilities for such a study and 
analysis. At this writing, we believe that there is not a single noted 
Western psychologist living who can speak with assurance of ac- 
tual knowledge as to whether man has either mind or soul apart 
from his body. 

While a man lives, we can examine, record and study his phe- 
nomena. When he dies, the scientist puts him on the table, dis- 
secting instruments in hand — and what does he find? Neither mind 
nor soul, nor any consciousness. No response to his instruments. 
He finds only an inert thing, a bundle of muscles and bones, of 
brain and nerve tissues, which gives no response to his technical 
apparatus. The scientist walks out of his laboratory puzzled and 
dejected. What has become of his man, that being who only yes- 
terday thought, hoped, loved, and then died? Certainly it isn't that 
thing which lies there on the table, that thing which you can cut 
with your knife, that thing which you can slice off and place under 
your microscope. Man surely isn't that helpless thing which you 
wrap in a shroud and lower into the grave to become food for 
worms? Surely not that! 



2. WHAT IS THE REAL MAN? 

What are the component parts of the real man? This question will 
never be answered in your laboratories. Neither will you ever find 
in your hypothetical psychoplasm the real basis or the genesis of 
consciousness. The sad fact is that modern psychology knows noth- 
»ig at all about the real man, nor does it even claim to know so 
much. Let us give it credit for that. Psychology is not to be blamed 
tor its limitations. We do not blame a baby because it cannot 



266 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



WHAT IS THE REAL MAN? 



267 



walk. The science has struggled heroically to gain what little knowl- 
edge it has, and we cannot deny that it has accomplished much 
that is of value. It is a pity, however, that its present knowledge is 
not converted into practical values. Let us thank its tireless work- 
ers. Neither can we blame psychology for its failure to solve the 
most important problems of its own science. It could not do so. It 
never can do so. It is working under too great a handicap. It can 
never solve these problems by the method of the schools. It must 
eventually turn to the Masters for help. 

Who can solve the mystery? Who can tell us with certainty just 
what is man or his inmost constitution and component parts? 
When shall the world be startled by the announcement in the 
morning papers that a man's mind and soul have been isolated 
and demonstrated as fundamental realities which science must 
henceforth recognize? We fear that announcement is yet some 
distance in the future. 

But there are men today who can tell exactly what man is in 
every aspect of his being. There is only one class of men in the 
world who are equipped to give us this information, and they are 
not known to the body of scientists. They are the great Masters. 
They are the super-scientists. How does it come that they know so 
much more than the schools — the great schools of the modern 
age? It is because they alone are equipped and able to separate 
themselves from the physical body, look upon themselves apart 
from that body, and, last of all, separate themselves from the mind 
and look upon themselves as pure spirit. They are then able to 
look down from their lofty viewpoint and study the entire phe- 
nomena of their own lives as well as the lives of others. Thus they 
are able to observe the behavior of bodies, of minds, and then of 
pure spirit detached from all coverings. 

The Masters are able to do all this in full consciousness and can 
report their findings and record them. The Masters can actually 
see their own minds and the minds of others, and observe their 
behavior. This process, strictly scientific, may be done under the 
most rigid test conditions, and may be repeated as often as may be 
desired and by as many different people as may be qualified for 



\ 



the experiment. Their findings are in all cases exactly the same 
when done under the same conditions. Certainly the Masters are 
the only qualified scientists or psychologists. They alone compass 
the entire field of science, and nothing ever escapes their scrutiny. 
The very word psychology, taken from the Greek psyche, means 
'the science of the soul'. That assuredly was the meaning attached 
to it by the old Greek Masters. But modern scientists have made it 
almost exclusively a study of the mind, and even at that they are 
practically limited to psycho -physiological phenomena. They 
never know whether they are dealing with chemico-physiological 
reactions of brain and nerve tissues or with something which is 
independent of brain and nerves. No psychologist can tell you 
with assurance what thought is. But the Masters can tell you be- 
cause they are able to see thoughts and watch them form and 
disappear. Mental reactions, under all sorts of stimuli, are just as 
visible to the Masters as physical reactions are visible to other 
scientists. Finally, the Masters are able to detach themselves even 
from the mind itself and observe themselves and others as pure 
spirit It is only then that the Master obtains perfect knowledge as 
to what man is. When he actually observes himself as spirit only, 
free from all coverings including mind, then he knows that he 
is essentially spirit and that mind and all bodies are but instru- 
ments, coverings needed only for contacts with matter in material 
regions. 

Let us now set down a few of the observations of the Masters 
concerning the actual constitution of man. In doing so, we invite 
the psychologists of the schools to enter the laboratory of the 
Masters and make the experiment for themselves. It would be best 
for them if they came in the spirit of the great scientist Alexander 
Agassiz, who said: 

Let the scientific student sit down before the facts, as a little 
child, and enquire of them. 

It is useless to come to the great Masters unless one comes in 
that spirit 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



3. THE SEVERAL PARTS OF MAN 

Beginning with the lower stratum, we may say that, first of all, 
man is an animal. He is a physical body, called in Sanskrit sthut 
sharir. This much will not be disputed, except perhaps by those 
who deny the existence of all matter. At any rate, we all know that 
we have something which we call body, which sometimes gets 
hurt or sick, and which finally dies and returns to the soil. 

There is then another man inside of this physical man, a much 
finer body called by the Masters the sukhsham sharir, or 'subtle 
body', nuri sarup, or 'fight body*. It is commonly called the astral 
body by Western students who have a little knowledge on the 
subject. It is so called because when seen, it appears to sparkle 
with millions of little particles resembling Stardust. It is much 
lighter and finer than the physical body. This body every person 
possesses and uses here and now, although he may be uncon- 
scious of it; and it is through and by means of this finer body that 
the mind and soul are able to make contact with the physical body 
and the outside world. This finer body takes shape in harmony 
with the character of the individual. On the plane where the astral 
body functions, no deception is possible. Everyone is seen just as 
he is. This astral body has its five senses just the same as the 
physical body. When the physical body dies, this finer body 
remains as the instrument of expression upon that higher plane 
of life. 

Inside the astral body, and quite distinct from it, there is still 
another body much finer and more subtle than the astral. It is 
called by the Masters the karan sharir. That means 'the causal 
body', so named because in it is the real cause or seed of all that is 
ever to take place in that individual's life. It is also called bij sharir, 
meaning 'seed body'. This body is as much finer than the astral as 
the astral is finer than the physical. It may be divided into two or 
more strata, each of which is given a different name. It is some- 
times called the mental body. It may be regarded as a portion of 
the mind itself, acting as a sort of sheath around the soul, very 
sensitive to impressions from the soul. Its function is to receive 



THE SEVERAL PARTS OF MAN 



269 



and transmit impressions between mind and soul on one side, 
and between the mind and the astral body on the other side. 

In this body a perfect record is left of every experience of the 
individual, running through all of the countless ages of its exist- 
ence. Out of all of these experiences character is formed, and from 
that character all actions flow. If one is able to read those records, 
as the Master and many others can do, he can see exactly what 
that man has done or had done to him during his entire past — 
also what he is going to do in the future. It is all there, the future 
in seed form, the past in visible record. 

The karan sharir is man's highest and finest instrument of ac- 
tion, except mind itself, and it is not easy to differentiate between 
this body and the mind, as they are both parts of the same thing. 
It is through this body that the soul contacts all the lower levels of 
life, working through the still lower bodies, as mentioned above. 
Both belong to and are taken from universal mind and both must 
eventually be returned to universal mind. Both are of extremely 
high vibrations, and both are full of light and endowed with great 
power. That endowment comes, however, from soul. 

The mind is the fourth unit in the construction of man. We 
have already said that it is so closely related to the karan sharir 
that it is not easy to distinguish between them. For clearness of 
thought, let us assume that mind is something finer than karan 
sharir, more subtle and in closer proximity to the soul itself. It is 
also endowed with much greater powers, because it is in closer 
relation with the soul. 

So long as we are in material regions, we must retain the mind 
and the karan sharir. If we are to manifest on the astral planes we 
must also have both the karan sharir and the sukhsham sharir, the 
causal and the astral. And if we are to manifest on the physical 
plane, we must have all three of the above instruments. Finally, 
when an individual rises from the physical to the astral, then the 
causal, and finally leaves the causal on his upward journey, he 
discards all three instruments. This is because he no longer needs 
them. When he reaches the region next above the causal plane, he 
finds himself clear of all instruments and beholds himself as pure 



270 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



spirit. He then knows aU things, rejoices in all things, by direct 
perception — without instruments of communication or media- 
tion. That region is known to Masters as Daswan Dwar. 

It may be difficult for us to understand how a person can dis- 
card his mind and still know anything. This is because we have 
been so accustomed to regard mind as the instrument of knowing, 
but as a matter of fact, it is not mind that knows. Mind alone is as 
powerless to know as is an automobile. But it is a good instrument 
used by the soul to contact objects of knowledge on material planes. 
But the soul alone does the actual knowing. For this reason, when 
the soul rises to Daswan Dwar and above, it has no need of the 
mind or any of the material bodies. It knows, as said before, by 
direct perception. All knowledge is open to it without any sort of 
instrument. 

The mind itself is sometimes divided into different sections ac- 
cording to the plane upon which one is operating. The nijmanas, 
'inner mind', carries the seeds of all actions within itself. It carries 
the sanskaras, i.e., Impressions of all former lives. Sometimes we 
speak of the causal mind, the sukhsham mind, and the physical 
mind, according to the region or plane upon which the mind is 
operating; but it is only a distinction for convenience. A more 
detailed discussion of the mind is given in the next section. 

Last of all, we come to the real man — the soul, or the spirit 
These two terms we use synonymously. This is the very core of his 
being, and it is the fifth unit in the structure of the being we call 
man, as we see him in this fife. Remember, he has all five of these 
elements while living here now. But all the lower units, which are 
only instruments, he discards one by one as he advances upward. 
This is because he has no use for them on the higher planes, each 
instrument being suited for expression only upon a particular plane 
of life. 

The soul is the real man, the atman, or as some prefer to call it> 
the punish. The individual soul is a spark from the infinite light, a 
drop from the ocean of being. As such it is one with Him — one m 
substance, one in qualities. It is in the soul that all consciousness 
and all power resides. AU below the soul, even the mind itself, is 



THE SEVERAL PARTS OF MAN 



271 



unconscious, automatic, and mechanical in action. In fact, every- 
thing in existence is entirely dependent upon spirit for its life and 
activity. Even the humblest plant or the smallest insect lives and 
carries on its activities by virtue of spirit, the tiny spark of spirit 
that gives it being. All else in man passes away or is discarded by 
him on his upward flight toward perfect freedom. 

Were it not for the soul's temporary sojourn in these material 
regions, there would be no need for any of these instruments — 
these bodies and the mind. Owing to the extreme fineness of spir- 
it, it cannot contact the coarser worlds without an intermediate 
instrument. Hence it is obliged to clothe itself in some sort of 
medium of contact. For this very reason the supreme being him- 
self cannot manifest on these material planes or appear to men 
and give them instructions. A material body is necessary in all 
cases. This again is one reason why a living, embodied Guru is 
necessary. It is the only way the supreme one can manifest himself 
to man on this plane. 

A soul is a soul, no matter how high or low may be its status. Its 
status is generally measured by its instruments, especially its mind. 
In any case, the soul is a derivative of the Supreme and identical in 
substance. The Masters tell us that the entire universe is filled with 
souls. There is no vacant space where souls are not. Some of them 
have better minds and better bodies than others. In other respects 
there is no difference between amoeba and man, between an insect 
and a savant. This fact makes clear the significance of the teaching 
of the Masters concerning transmigration. Metempsychosis is not 
so easy for the Western mind. But when carefully studied, it be- 
comes not only a rational explanation of many mysteries but it 
offers a most beautiful spectacle. 

I look out upon my garden vegetables, fruits and flowers. In 
that garden are thousands of precious souls kindred to myself, 
struggling by means of their tiny sparks of intelligence, striving 
always toward the light, each one slowly rising to something a 
little higher than itself. They are all ascending the scale of evolu- 
tion, as our physical scientists would describe the situation. This 
phenomenon emphasizes the common brotherhood, the fundamen- 



272 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



tal kinship, between all living beings, including animals. It offers a 
sublime picture, this grand procession of all living forms, slowly 
moving toward that "far-off divine event" spoken of by Tennyson. 
It is the best consummation of all evolution when the last grain of 
dust shall enter the light of immortality. 



4. THE ANALYSIS OF MIND 

We are now in a position to go to the very center of our psycho- 
logical problem. We are ready to analyze mind itself, to discover 
its several parts and its functions. If modern psychology were pre- 
pared to tell us exactly what mind is, it would be in a position to 
give the world a real scientific psychology. But as said before, the 
Masters alone are able to tell us exactly what mind is. In the re- 
gion of Trikuti, the causal world, the mind is acquired. The soul 
in its descent through that region picks up the mind as its equip- 
ment for use on the lower planes. That region is the seat of uni- 
versal mind. It is the region from which all mind is derived. Just as 
the soul originates in the region of universal soul, so now the 
mind is acquired in the region of universal mind. Mind is joined 
to the soul, not in a permanent union but in a time union. Let us 
say, after a fashion, it is wrapped about it, covering the soul, and at 
the same time obscuring much of its light and hampering its activity. 

I remember once I put on a diving suit while I was connected 
with the United States Navy during the Great War. I had to see 
just what it was like to walk on the bottom of the sea, I know not 
how much that suit weighed The boots alone were so heavy that I 
had to have help to walk to the edge of the boat from which I was 
to slide down into the sea, sixty feet below. But when I was walk- 
ing on the bottom of the sea, I felt no particular weight in those 
boots. But it was equipment I had to have. In like manner, the 
numerous bodies which the soul acquires on its way down consti- 
tute an enormous handicap if one wishes to go up again. But if he 
wishes to go down or remain down he is obliged to have them- 

Now the soul, equipped with this necessary handicap, begins its 



THE ANALYSIS OF MIND 



273 



career in regions of mind and matter. At that moment it begins to 
accumulate karma. Before that it had no karma, except that which 
the Eastern wisdom calls adi karma. This is the primal karma, and 
it consists of the action of the creative force, the real Shabd, whose 
function it is to bring souls to the material planes in order that 
they may begin to accumulate experience. Now the soul begins to 
acquire experience upon its own initiative. Its era of swabhava, or 
swadharma, 'self- regulation', now begins. This means that it be- 
gins to establish an individual law of its own life, its own regime, 
and to create its own destiny. It begins to enjoy, to suffer, to reap 
rewards and to pay penalties. And this is the beginning of its own 
karma. Thus it inaugurates its long, long series of earth lives. By 
each and every act from that time on, it stores up karma. Even 
when it is least active, still it is making karma. And in all of this 
activity, its mind is its chief instrument. It is the mind working 
always under the law of cause and effect that creates karma. 

The mind is not self-conscious or self-acting. It has no power of 
automotion or of initiative. It is simply a machine, though highly 
sensitive and extremely powerful when motivated by spirit. As a 
machine, it can be made to do what it was intended to do, and 
that only just like any other machine. It will never do anything 
different from what it was fashioned and trained to do. Of course, 
all machines are automatic in action, but we speak of the mind as 
an automatic machine for the sake of emphasizing that point. 
This is an important fact which must be made as clear and as 
definite as possible. It is a new thought to the Western world. 

We are not accustomed to tnink of mind as a machine. We 
have always been taught that if there was anything that had pow- 
ers of origination and initiative, it was mind. But that was because 
we had been taught a wrong psychology. Mind and spirit have 
been greatly confused in Western psychology. Only spirit can think, 
originate, and take the initiative. Mind works only when activated 
by the soul. But in Western psychology mind and spirit are gener- 
ally confused. But few, if any, know the difference between them. 
Divine mind' is a common expression among certain students. 
But there is no divine mind. The supreme divinity is far above all 



274 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



mind. Only the negative power and his subordinates have minds 
just like human beings. The fundamental difference between mind 
and spirit, between the soul and the instrument, must be under- 
stood if we are to comprehend the psychology of the Masters or to 
understand ourselves. Much depends upon this point in our un- 
derstanding of the fundamental problems of this science. 

We have now seen that mind is only an instrument which en- 
cumbers the soul, obscures its light and impedes its progress, but 
it is absolutely necessary while we are operating on these material 
planes. In the second place, as we have said so many times, the 
mind is only a machine. Mind alone cannot think, cannot will, 
cannot love. It cannot remember nor suffer nor enjoy. To do all of 
these things it must, in every instance, be activated by spirit. 

Spirit alone is the motive power to mind, just as the electric 
current is the power that moves the machinery. Just as we cannot 
see the current moving the machine, so we cannot see the spirit 
moving the man. We think only of the machine which we can see. 
We see the human body and we have become accustomed to think 
of the mind as the chief power moving it. But every activity in the 
universe is carried on by spirit, and spirit only. Spirit works through 
many intermediate substances on these planes. Without spirit, mind 
is as inert as steel. Mind is matter just as truly as steel, but infinite- 
ly more refined. Thus it stands next to spirit in all of its essential 
qualities. The chief function of mind is to serve as an instrument 
of spirit for all contacts with the material worlds. 

Of course, mind is a most useful instrument, provided it is kept 
under the control of the spirit. Mind is an excellent servant but a 
very bad master. Your automobile or your airplane is a fine in- 
strument for travel. But you must keep it under control and guide 
it. It has no will but your will. So it is with your mind, exactly so. 
If your car is permitted to run wild, under full power, it is sure to 
come to grief. It knows no better than to run on as it has been 
trained to nm. It cannot see and it cannot reason. So it is with 
mind, in every particular. It is your servant, but if it becomes your 
master it may speedily bring disaster upon you. We have always 



THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 



275 



been taught that mind reasons, but it does not reason. It acts with 
automatic precision exactly as it is stimulated to act. 

Mind is able to carry on deductive processes, but it has no 
power of induction. How often this is demonstrated in the case of 
hypnosis. Give the subject certain premises, no matter how ab- 
surd they may be, he will act upon such premises with automatic 
deduction. But such a mind has no power of synthesis and ra- 
tional induction. Spirit alone has light in it, and spirit alone can 
work independently and rationally. We have only to observe a 
little the actions of people the whole world over. Everywhere and 
all the time, people act more like machines than they do like 
rational beings. And that is because they are moved by mind in 
grooves, just as they have been taught to act. It is the rare individ- 
ual who does independent thinking, and when one does that it is 
because his spirit has to some extent become emancipated from 
the domineering control of mind. 



5. THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 

This subject is so very important that we must devote a little more 
time to it. We must make ourselves fully acquainted with the 
mind in all of its faculties and its several modes of action. Mind is 
divided into four parts, called in Sanskrit antashkarans, or antah- 
karan. This means 'inner modes of action'. We may say it has four 
primary attributes, faculties or qualities. These four divisions of 
mind are named manas, chitt, buddhu and ahankar. 

(1 ) Manas is 'mindstuff , per se. It is that which receives and 
registers impressions through the senses of smell, taste, hearing 
and feeling. Its chief function is taste. It tastes, relishes, enjoys or 
rejects what it doesn't like. Feelings and taste are practically the 
same thing. All of its reactions are automatic. The manas enjoys 
what it has been trained to like, and its reactions are instanta- 
neous. It either likes a taste or rejects it automatically. It then 
passes on its findings to the buddhi for final judgment. 

(2) Chitt is that faculty which takes cognizance of form, beauty, 



276 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 



277 



color, rhythm, harmony and perspective. It enjoys those thing , 
and whatTdoesn't like it rejects. It receives its impressions most- 
y through the eyes as its instruments of perception. It then passes 
on its findings to the buddhi. In all of these reactions its processes 
are as regular and automatic as are the reactions of chemistry. 

(3) Buddhi is the intellect proper, that power the soul uses as its 
chief instrument of thought. When empowered by spirit, it pro- 
duces thought. It discriminates and decides. It then passes J udg-. 
ment upon^l the findings of the other two faculties Its decisions 
are then passed on to the final court of execution ahankar. 

(4) Ahankar accepts the decisions of the other faculties handed 
on to it by buddhi and executes its mandates. It is the executive 
faculty of mind. It is also the I-ness of the individual. I is the 
faculty by which the individual differentiates self from all else and 
it is die faculty which enables the individual to ^tmguish be- 
tween his own interests and that of others. It is the faculty which, 
when exaggerated, becomes vanity or egotism. 

To sum up the above: 

manas — receives and tastes 
cf, iff— takes notice of form and beauty 
&M^/i^-discriminates and decides 
ahankar— executes orders 
This leads us to one of the most important and most pracftcal 
of all the facts and operations of the mind. The mind has .not only 
four fundamental faculties or attributes but it has five des^ve 
modes of action which manifest themselves when the above-rnen 
tioned faculties becomedisarranged, abnormal or P«^™^ 
five destructive modes are perversions of the normal ^*s due 
to the downward impulses of maya, the world of matter and amses. 
That is to say, those very faculties which were designed 1 by 4e 
Creator for man's use may become so perverted by ^j h 
they become destructive instead of constructive, bad instead o 
good. We call them the five destructive passions^ It is ^ 
fmportant that we understand them. We may think of them 
diseased conditions of the mmd ultimate soheres of 

When the mind is working normally in its legitimate sptier 



1 



action, it is carrying on the work it was intended to do. But when 
the least perversion of its normal faculties takes place, these five 
destructive modes take possession of one or more or all of them, 
and control the mind. So long as spirit controls the mind, the 
four faculties perform their proper function and these passions 
cannot manifest themselves. But when the mind runs wild, out of 
control, under the impulse of one or more of the five passions, it 
generally heads for destruction. 

These five destructive passions are: kam t krodh, lobh, moh, ah- 
ankar. In English they are sex passion (which has become lust), 
anger, greed, attachment to material things, and vanity. These five 
passions really include all other evil moods of mind which can be 
thought of. These passions take possession when mind is allowed 
to run wild, out of the control of the spirit. 

Fire is a good servant. But the moment it is out of control, it 
may become very destructive. It is the same with the mind. Gen- 
erally the more useful and powerful an instrument is when prop- 
erly controlled, the more destructive it may become when out of 
control. It is so with mind. It is the most powerful instrument 
available to spirit, but it must be controlled. 

Let us not condemn nature, but try to understand and obey 
her. She is our best friend if we first learn to obey. Understanding 
her, we may work in close cooperation with her to our very great 
advantage. It may be assumed that all pain and all suffering, men- 
tal or physical, which men are ever called upon to endure, have as 
their chief function to drive us toward a more perfect cooperation 
with nature. If only we could learn that lesson, it would save us 
many a ruined life, many a heartache, and many a wrecked body. 
But so long as we do not obey nature, we must go on suffering 
endless ills. 

We marvel at the powers of electricity. We stand in awe before 
the gigantic energy let loose at the explosion of a ton of tnt. We 
rind ourselves helpless before the onward sweep of a mighty cy- 
clone or avalanche. But all these forces are feeble when compared 
with the fully awakened powers of mind. The chief difficulty is 
that but few people know how to awaken or invoke the powers of 



278 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



mind. And it is a good thing that more don't, in their present 
state of moral and spiritual evolution. But when men become 
morally responsible, their powers will automatically increase. 

There is practically no limit to what mind can do when proper- 
ly awakened and trained and vitalized by spirit. A trained yogi, 
knowing how to awaken and control the powers of his own mind, 
can stop a train at any place he may wish it to stop. He can start a 
downmsh of rain in five minutes out of a clear sky, or he can dry 
up a flood of water. He can do almost anything he likes. But this 
is only playing with natural forces. All miracles are but the play of 
mind. They are not the operations of any divine power, as most 
people believe. But to do these things he must learn two things- 
he must become morally responsible and then he must learn how 
to control his own mind. After that he can do what he wishes. Of 
course, he will not wish to break any moral law. If he were to do 
so, he would lose his powers at once. 

It stands to reason, and it is substantiated by our daily experi- 
ences, that if such gigantic powers were let loose, out of control, 
or if they could be invoked by an evil mind, it might bring disas- 
ter of the most terrible sort. It is, therefore, a most gracious provi- 
sion of the Creator that no man is able to invoke such powers 
until he has first learned to control his own passions, check all evil 
tendencies and all selfish impulses. Otherwise such a man might 
wreck the whole world. But the Masters can do these things— not 
only the Master but many of his advanced disciples. 

The essential point here is that the mind is a very great power 
and it must be kept in control. Rightly used, it may be made to 
work marvels, but if allowed to assert itself in a lawless manner, it 
may bring unspeakable disaster to its owner, and sometimes t< 
others as well. Whenever any of the five evil passions is allowed to 
run wild, it means in each and every case that a mighty tore* 
which was meant for our good has been turned into an instru- 
ment of destruction. No faculty of mind ever works of itself. It is 
motivated by spirit, and it is as automatic in its action as is me 
explosion of a stick of dynamite. It is only when spirit takes con- 
trol that mind is directed in safe and sane channels. It may ther 
be compared to a fine car with a good driver at the wheel. 



THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 



279 



Every agitation, stimulation, or excitation of mind in any of its 
functions creates thought-forms which may be seen on the subtle 
planes. Thoughts are things, just as much as clouds or houses. The 
four faculties mentioned before, when set in motion by any sort of 
stimulus, begin automatically to create thought-forms and set waves 
in motion. And the mind will do these things with the precision of 
chemistry or machinery. It cannot do otherwise. It has no power 
to originate independent thought, nor can it reason upon any 
proposed course of action. 

We are well aware that this is all contrary to our Western psy- 
chology. But Western psychology does not understand the mech- 
anism of mind. Mind can never will to depart from its beaten 
path, any more than a locomotive can will to leave the track upon 
which it has been set. Habit is the chief method of mental action. 
Habits are likened to grooves in which actions run. The first thing 
which mind does, after it is agitated and brought into action, is to 
establish a groove, which we call habit. After that, it is much easier 
for it to go on. After many repetitions, the mind runs on very 
smoothly in its grooves and enjoys it. And it much resents being 
disturbed and compelled to get out of its grooves. Each time mind 
is agitated by the same thing, it will react just as it did earlier. 

We often hear people blaming others, insisting that they could 
do differendy, if they would. Yes, but they cannot will to do dif- 
ferently. They can choose only what their minds have been predis- 
posed to choose, unless a new impulse comes in from the spirit. 
And that is not frequent in the average life. People are usually 
driven slaves of habit and custom. 

Mind will never select a new course of action unless a new force 
enters into it from without itself. Otherwise, it will go on indefi- 
nitely doing exactly what it has been trained to do. Mind does not 
want to do differendy from what it has become accustomed to 
doing. It resents innovation. It dislikes change. It likes variety of 
action, yes, but it wants that sort of variety which it has already 
learned to like. Mind accepts without question what it has been 
taught to believe as truth or right. It will never accept anything 
else, unless the new thing is forced upon it Note the unreasoning 



280 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



action of mind under hypnosis. Hypnosis deadens the action of 
the buddhi, and then the mind cannot act, even on the basis of its 
own individual experiences. It readily accepts and fully believes 
whatever it is told s no matter how absurd. 

Mind may be trained to a very high degree of skill in any line of 
activity. And this marks one very great advantage of its automatic 
quality. Its habits may be turned into great achievements as, for 
example, in music. But at first the mind must be compelled to do 
as desired, and it must be forced to continue in that way until it 
has become accustomed to it. Then it likes to go on doing it. 

The mind, when activated by spirit, forms thoughts, and each 
thought takes a definite shape on the astral plane. They may be 
seen there by anyone who enjoys astral vision. Often this occurs 
on subtle planes much lower than the pure astral, for there are 
many such. After the mind has become accustomed to create a 
certain routine of thought, it likes to go on creating thoughts in 
exactly the same way. It always loves its own way, and it can never 
believe that any other way is quite as good as its own until that 
other way has been forced upon it by personal experience. 

Mind adores routine. Can you teach a machine to believe that it 
is not good to run into a tree? Can you convince it that the 
highway is better? You may argue with it half a day, and then turn 
it loose on full power and it will go straight into a tree if that tree 
happens to be in its path. So it is with most people. They will 
usually go on doing as they did before in spite of all rational 
persuasion. If a little light filters in from the spirit, a person may 
change his course of thinking or acting, but never otherwise. If 
the mind enjoys a certain sensation, it wishes to repeat that sensa- 
tion as often as possible, quite regardless of whether that sensa- 
tion is good for the person or not. And this is why we have so 
many drunkards, libertines and dope fiends. It is also why people 
indulge in anger, vanity, etc. Mind will usually do what it likes, 
regardless of consequences, unless checked by fear or some higher 
impulse from the spirit. 

It is only when buddhi interferes that mind will forgo an indul- 
gence offered to it. Of course, if it feels pain from a certain perfor- 



THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 



281 



mance, it instantly rejects that mode of action regardless of its own 
ultimate good. It is not easy for a man to stick a lance into his 
own abscess or allow someone else to do it, even though he knows 
it is best for him. It is only when the reasoning spirit asserts itself 
that one will do such a thing for his own ultimate good. Unrea- 
soning children will never consent to be hurt, even when they 
know it is best for them. Perhaps in such cases the buddhi has not 
reached sufficient development for the spirit to make use of it. 

Mind alone is neither moral nor immoral, any more than your 
automobile is. It is a machine as truly as your car. Cannibals can 
see no more sin in killing and eating a man than you do in killing 
and eating a chicken. To some other people both are sinful. Mo- 
rality, sin and righteousness are largely matters of custom and 
geography. Social customs, ceremonies, rites, religions and poli- 
tics are all based upon mental habits and are usually handed down 
from one generation to another. 

Customs make it wrong in one country to enter a temple with 
shoes on, while in another country it is wrong to keep your hat 
on. Custom makes it wrong in one section to have more than one 
wife, while in another it is a sign of poverty or inferiority to be so 
limited. Mental habits have all the inflexibility of an iron machine. 
In fact, iron may be bent; but you try to change a long-established 
custom and your neighbors will seek your immediate destruction. 

The whole human race is a slave to custom. Every single indi- 
vidual in the country may condemn that custom, but at the same 
time everyone will do his best to perpetuate it. All of this is be- 
cause mind, both individual and social, is machinelike in its ac- 
tion. It cannot reason. Can you imagine vast armies going out 
with deliberate aim to destroy each other if they had the power to 
reason? Crime and moral rectitude are both mental habits. Interna- 
tional strife is only blind personal passion run wild, en masse. 

There are some advantages in this machinelike action of mind, 
but there is one very grave menace in it. If the mind, through a 
gradual process of suggestion and experience, becomes accustomed 
to certain grooves of action, it often leads to the wreck and ruin of 
the individual in spite of himself. That is an extremely pathetic 



282 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



aspect of the matter. How many are the cases of this sort within 
every man's observation! People become entangled in the net of 
habits and customs, while deep in their hearts they ardently wish 
to get out of them but have not the power of will or strength of 
character to extricate themselves. They go deliberately and know- 
ingly to destruction in spite of themselves. 

The more a habit is indulged in, the more easily and certainly 
the mind will run in that groove. Even indulgence to the point of 
utter exhaustion never conquers the mental bond of a passion. 
That rather establishes it all the more firmly. At the same time, the 
soul itself becomes less and less able to impress itself and its wish- 
es upon the mind or even to get a hearing at all. Finally the habit 
becomes so strong, so overpowering and dominant, that it simply 
runs wild when fired by some passion, sweeping all before it to 
ruin. 

I recall once I was walking along the streets of St. Louis with 
another man. He was a pitiable drunkard. He had been entrusted 
to my care by the hospital management where he was being treat- 
ed. We passed by saloons, and in every such instance he hesitated, 
gazed longingly into the saloon, while his whole body stiffened 
and trembled. An awful struggle was going on in his mind. The 
old mind wanted to take him into the saloon. But for my mind 
and my strong right arm acting in an opposite direction, he would 
have gone into the saloon in spite of his own better judgment. But 
his power of judgment had become weak. Reason no longer sat 
upon its throne. It lay paralyzed in the wreck of his manhood. 
Passion for drink had usurped the throne. 

It must be known that the soul is an exceedingly fine and deli- 
cate thing. It has tremendous power in its own sphere of action. 
But on the fields of coarse material, it has but little power of self- 
expression. On the other hand, if the soul has a trained and re- 
sponsive mind, it may do almost anything it decides to do. That is 
why mind control, through spirit, is so important and is so insist- 
ed upon by all the Masters. 

Mind may again be divided in another way, besides the four 
faculties. It may be spoken of as the higher and the lower mind. 



THE FOUR ANTASHKARANS 



283 



This is a common classification. But it is not a scientific classifica- 
tion. There is only one mind acting on different planes. It may 
also be divided into three parts: the pmdi mind or the lower-world 
mind — that mind which manifests itself in the common affairs of 
this world; second, the sukhsham mind — that mind which works 
on the astral plane; and lastly, the karan mind or the nijmanas— 
the true inner mind, or the causal mind. 

These three correspond to the three bodies of man and the 
Three Worlds in which the three bodies operate, each in its own 
sphere. But with equal logic we may say there are six minds, be- 
cause each of the above-mentioned three may be divided into two, 
a higher and a lower. In this world, for example, we may speak of 
a higher mind, which engages itself in the highest forms of thought 
activity, such as philosophy, literature, music and art. The lower 
mind engages itself in grossly material things — money-making, 
eating, drinking, and the indulgence in any of the passions. But in 
any case, there is only one mind functioning on different planes 
and upon higher or lower things on each plane. 

At the top of all, the mind which lies next to spirit is the real 
nijmanas t ihe purest and best. Below that, each substratum of the 
mind becomes more and more adulterated with coarser and lower 
substances. Last of all, at the very lowest stratum, there is a sort of 
mind which is but little more than electromagnetism. When the 
attention is on this lower plane, it is the lower mind which works. 
It is here engrossed in its own desires, its passions and its plays. 
When the attention is on the astral plane, it is the sukhshammmd 
which is used, and when the attention is on the causal plane, it is 
that mind which is working. But in each and every case, it is the 
same mind playing upon different planes of existence. 

The higher mind, the nijmanas, is a sort of pilot or gyroscope, 
whose function it is to receive the impressions of the soul and pass 
them on to the subordinate minds for their regulation. But the 
important point is that all aspects of the mind are automatic. 
None of them ever calculate results or assign a moral content. 
Each of them accepts what is given to it and reacts upon it without 
question or consideration. Neither does any aspect of the mind 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



ever consider what is best for the individual, except just what it 
has been taught by experience to like or dislike. In other words, 
mind is not a rational entity. It reacts automatically and always 
upon the basis of what it likes or dislikes; it never considers what 
is best. If any element of calculation enters into the process, you 
may be sure that a little of the Light of spirit is entering into the 
affair. The mind, if given a stimulus, or as we say, a temptation, 
will always act in accord with the sum total of its own past experi- 
ences. It cannot act in any other way. It cannot even will to act any 
other way. 



6, A NEW FORCE ENTERS THE MIND 

The reader may now ask, very appropriately: If the mind always 
acts automatically, and in exact line with its own previous train- 
ing, how do we account for any new or radical departure from the 
beaten path of its habits and desires? The answer is: on the basis of 
a new driving force entering the machine from without. How can 
a child quit, its play, wash its face and go to school? Only because a 
driving force from outside of itself enters the machine. How does 
a man check himself from something he wishes to do, turn around 
and do the exact opposite? Because a different driving force enters 
the machine, and he obeys — has to obey — the stronger of the two 
impelling forces. 

A friend of mine was in mortal combat with the enemy on the 
battlefield. One of the enemy had drawn his bayonet to pierce a 
comrade of my friend. My friend shouted to him to halt, at the 
same time leveling his gun on the man. That man was bent upon 
destruction. His whole impulse was to kill. He supposed it was his 
duty to kill. Then why did he stop and drop his bayonet? Simply 
because a new force had entered the combat — the fear of losing 
his own life. The stronger of the two forces prevailed, compelling 
him to drop his weapon and hold up his hands in a token of 
surrender. It is always so. 

Physics is the best groundwork for the study of mental phenom- 



A NEW FORCE ENTERS THE MIND 



285 



ena. There is not a single action of mind which cannot be reduced 
to Newton's laws of motion and the reactions of chemistry. It is 
no wonder that modern physicists are inclined to bring all mental 
reactions under their mechanistic theory of the universe. In the 
absence of complete knowledge, they are fully justified in their 
conclusions. If we had to deal always with mind alone, and spirit 
never entered into the problem, the mechanistic theory would 
apply with perfect accuracy. It would fit every fact of experience. 
But when intelligent spirit begins to enter the play, there is no 
foretelling what may happen. Spirit operates by its own light. And 
mind must follow whether it likes or not. 

If now we can fully recognize the astonishing fact that mind is 
only an automatic thing, insentient and nonintelligent, subject to 
the laws of physics and chemistry, we are prepared for the next 
great truth in the psychology of the Masters. It is the illuminating 
fact that all intelligence, light and power come from the soul This 
statement is without qualification. It is literally and universally 
true. All light, all intelligence, harmony, rhythm, beauty, wisdom, 
love, morality and power come from the soul. They are all derived 
from the spirit and are all imparted to the mind by the spirit, 
just as the electric current gives power to the bulb to make it 
incandescent. 

The soul, however, often works under a serious handicap, as 
previously suggested. This world is not its native habitat. Here it 
is obliged to work under and through a series of coverings, analo- 
gous to my cumbersome diving suit— coverings of mind and mat- 
ter. Though mind is a refined sort of matter, we are accustomed 
to speak of it as apart from matter. Under all of its coverings, the 
soul finds it exceedingly difficult to express itself and have its own 
way. It often finds itself quite unable to control its own mental 
instrument. Its ability to express itself at all depends upon the 
responsiveness of its chief instrument. If that instrument becomes 
unruly, defective or diseased, the soul is powerless. 

All the coverings worn by the soul serve to burden it and to 
weaken its powers of expression. Mind may be called the cere- 
brum of the soul. If that instrument has become perverted, 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



misshapen, distorted, diseased, then the soul cannot work nor- 
mally through it, any more than the mind can work through a 
diseased brain. The finer forces of mind and spirit simply must 
have fit instruments of expression, or they cannot function on the 
material planes. The mind can become diseased just as much as 
the brain. Then the soul is helpless. It can only sit back and watch 
the wreck and suffer in silence. 

The balance of adjustment between mind and soul is exceed- 
ingly fine. It can easily become disturbed by throwing into their 
delicate structure a foreign body. These foreign bodies are the vile 
passions. 

The Great Master sometimes compares the uncontrolled mind 
to a camel without a guiding string. It is likely at any moment to 
stampede and run away. It may then run on madly to its own 
destruction. Remember that the soul sits in the innermost cham- 
bers of being like the captain in his ship. He sits there in the cabin 
and controls his ship. But his control depends upon his ability to 
keep open the lines of communication with all parts of his ship, 
and then upon the instant response of all subordinates to his every 
word of command. But if mutiny breaks out due to a keg of 
whisky being brought on board among the crew; if the pilot is 
imprisoned and replaced by an enemy, and the captain locked in 
his cabin, then that captain is helpless even though he be the king 
himself. He is only a prisoner in his own ship. This is precisely the 
situation of the soul when the five mutinous passions run wild 
and take possession of the ship — the mind and body. 

Remember that the soul is in the enemy's country and is always 
surrounded by those five faithful servants of the negative power, 
the passions; and besides, these five are much addicted to intoxi- 
cation. These five are commissioned to mislead the soul and mind 
and make trouble for them. It is their business. The worst feature 
of this is that the mind itself rather enjoys being swayed by them. 
It has a close fellowship with them and it lends a ready ear to their 
whisperings. They seek constantly to stir up mutiny, all the more 
so when one of them or all of them together become intoxicated 



A NEW FORCE ENTERS THEMIND 



287 



with some new temptation. It is then that they all cooperate to set 
all of the faculties of the mind in a whirlwind of rebellion against 
the spirit, the real captain of the ship. Of these five foes we shall 
speak more particularly in Chapter Six, Section 7. It is sufficient to 
say here that both mind and spirit must be forever on guard against 
them. 

The soul and the mind may be likened to the captain and his 
mate, the chief executive officer. If they relax discipline for a sin- 
gle moment, the enemy may gain the upper hand. One must be 
always keenly alert. A little bird lands in my garden to seek food. 
While doing so, I notice that it never relaxes attention for a single 
instant, but is keenly watchful lest a cat or other enemy might 
approach. It is always ready to take flight So it should be with us. 
We must be ready any moment to retreat into our haven of refuge 
where the five enemies cannot come, the sacred chambers of the 
soul and the holy Shabd. 

There is one thing in particular which the soul shduld guard 
against — that is, the insidious creeping-up, serpentlike, of bad habit. 
All habits tend to grow stronger with repetition, as we know. All 
indulgence fastens the chains of habit. At the beginning habits 
may be easily checked and broken by a determined will. But by 
and by they become so strong, the outward and downward move- 
ment so impelling, that the soul is quite helpless. It then rushes on 
to disaster. Every one of the five enemy passions uses the method 
of habit to fasten its claws in the heart of its victims. 

A man in a small boat was drifting down the Niagara River just 
above the falls. People on shore shouted a warning to him, but he 
paid no attention to their warning. When, a little later, he felt his 
craft impelled forward with increasing -speed, he awoke to his 
peril, but it was too late. He was then quite powerless to escape 
the current. So it is with all bad habits. There is a point, a fatal 
moment, a deadly crisis, when the soul is no longer able to handle 
the situation. It cannot reach the mind, and the mind itself is in 
the grasp of a relentiess fate created by its own conduct. 



288 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



7. THE FIVE PERVERSIONS OF MIND 

Any outline of the psychology of the Masters would not be com- 
plete without particular mention of the five modes of destructive 
mental action called the passions. We have said that these are 
perversions of the normal faculties. They are so. If a mind is kept 
strictly within its legitimate field of action, doing its duty only, it 
will never become subjected to these five destructive processes. 
They are really mental diseases superinduced by the misuse of 
normal faculties. They are a species of psychological morbidity. 
But they play such a tremendous part in the average human life 
that we must study them as we would study a cancer in the hope 
of finding a cure. 

The Masters teach that there are five different modes of de- 
structive mental activity. They are modes of obsession. They are 
deadly diseases, each giving rise to a distinct pathology in the 
character of the individual. They destroy by insidious infection 
and dissolution. Their end is darkness and despair. But we must 
insist that nature, or the negative power, shall not be blamed 
for these mental carcinomata. These evil passions cannot take 
root in man unless they are invited. This fact must not be 
forgotten. Unless, through self-indulgence, man invites them to 
become his guests and friends, they can never enter the premises. 
Unless he willingly plays with them they can get no hold upon 
him. 

Self-indulgence, the worst of all sins, is a flaunting invitation to 
these five to come in and take up their abode. And where they 
enter they at once begin to forge the chains of evil karma. When 
once a man has turned over his conduct to these passions, they 
place every sort of temptation before him, assuming all possible 
forms attractive to the senses. They make false pretenses and hold 
out alluring promises. To gain a firmer hold upon their victims, 
they give a modicum of pleasurable sensations. They try to make 
victims believe that these pleasures will go on forever. When dis- 
appointment comes, as it must always come, they promise that 
just around the corner, after a few more struggles, all difficulties 



THE FIVE PERVERSIONS OF MIND 



289 



will vanish. An endless round of delights will then carry them to a 
serene old age. 

Always the ultimate good is just ahead; yet you never overtake 
it. They hold up the mirage of wealth, of love and pleasures, of 
power and position, only to draw us on into the valley of death. 
The end of all of this is an endless circle of births and deaths, 
stretching on through the countless yugas, treading the eternal 
wheel. The end finds us just as securely bound as the beginning. If 
a man by heroic struggle gains a little higher ground, these five 
soon drag him down again, driving him under the fatal wheel, the 
wheel of eighty-four. And thus the weary ages come and go. 

These five deadly passions are: kam, krodh, lobh, moh and ahan- 
kar. These denote: kam— sex passion; krodh — anger; lobh— greed; 
mo h — undue attachment to material things; ahankat^-vamty or 
egotism. We must now examine them in some detail. 

(1) Kam, or lust, is a normal function, but when allowed to run 
into an abnormal demand, it becomes destructive, degrading. In 
its broader meaning kam includes all abnormal desires. It may 
include drugs, alcoholic drinks, tobacco or even tasty foods which 
are eaten simply for the sake of enjoying their tastes — any sort of 
appetite which seeks indulgence for the sake of enjoying a pleasant 
sensation. In some respects this is the strongest of the five and so 
the most deadly. It is dominant over the vast majority of man- 
kind. It holds them as if by iron chains. It drags them along all 
through life. Day and night it haunts and taunts them. At every 
turn it displays its attractions. It appears in the most alluring garb 
and it steps out in unadorned seductive abandon. It blinds the 
mind. It makes man forget every moral obligation. 

Diverse are its methods of intrigue. Various are its blandish- 
ments. 'Alluring and false are its promises. Last of all, when you 
have wasted your vitality in its indulgences, it tosses you upon the 
rubbish heap. It coarsens its victim to the level of the animal. It 
clouds the perceptions and dulls the wits. In return for all of this 
terrible loss, what has it to offer? A pleasant sensation, a mad 
moment of delirium, which is called "having a good time." A 
passing frenzy, and an hour later you, the victim, find yourself 



290 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



sitting alone in the gathering darkness, with new chains forged 
about your neck, wondering why you were ever such a fool. 

The chief function of kam is to pull men and women down to 
the common animal level and keep them there. It obliges them to 
fix their attention upon that which is common to both man and 
brute. It is a principle of psychology verified by the experience of 
everyone that whatever the mind dwells upon, that thing becomes 
a part of the individual. We grow like that which we contemplate. 
The more vividly the thought dwells upon anything, the more 
that individual becomes like the thing he thinks about. 



For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. 

(Proverbs 23:7) 

But this law of mind can be utilized for good as well as bad. 
The Masters utilize the same law in their spiritual exercises. If our 
attention is absorbed in the good, we partake of that good. If we 
daily contemplate the Master, we become like him. If we think 
long and earnestly upon the supreme Father, our love for him 
increases and we become more and more like him. But if our 
thought dwells upon the bad, the same thing takes place — we 
partake of it, become saturated with it and grow more and more 
like it. Then we are attracted toward it and crave it. 

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, 
As to be hated, needs but to be seen; 
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace. 

POPE 



This is a warning against the fatal creeping- up of habits which 
fix themselves in our inmost being. It is like the habit-forming 
drugs. The hidden object of all this is to blind the mind and bind 
the soul, reducing them to the animal plane. The net result is that 
man is thereby reduced to the animal level. 

If sex were used for its legitimate purpose, it need not become 
an instrument of degradation. But when we fall into the trap of 



THE FIVE PERVERSIONS OF MIND 



291 



self-indulgence, we begin to descend toward the animal plane. 
Nature has given us something which is necessary for the perpetu- 
ation of life upon this planet. It is within our control, or should 
be. But if we reduce it to an instrument of self-indulgence, we 
simply waste our energy and cloud our minds, ending at last in 
blank stupidity, like any ordinary animal. When sex controls the 
individual instead of him controlling it, the degeneration of that 
individual is already an accomplished fact. He is then simply a 
biped. How can he call himself homo sapiens? 
There are many minor phases of this passion. A few are: 

(a) the craving for alcoholic drinks, 

(b) the drug habit, 

(c) the tobacco habit, 

(d) gluttony, 

(e) the abnormal talk habit, especially telling dirty stories, 

(f) sex books and obscene cinemas, morbid sex fanta- 
sies, dwelling upon sex pictures, 

(g) useless games, cards and billiards, which have no 
value except to defeat an opponent, a morbid sort of 
self-gratification feeding one's vanity; the habit of 
laziness, or killing time by just lying around in idle- 
ness. 



All of these are phases of kam, whose central core is self-indul- 
gence, which is the principle of evil in all these things. That in any 
form is an evil. Every single act of self-indulgence lowers one's 
moral status and binds him to the world of sense. This is the worst 
poison for the spirit. These phases of kam pull one down toward 
the animal plane when one should be rising toward the spiritual 
plane. Sensuality is an unmitigated evil, no matter what form it 
may take. It is all kam, and kam is one of the five deadly enemies 
of the soul. 

(2) Krodh, anger, is the second of the deadly five. Its action is to 
stir up strife, cause confusion and scatter the mind. Then it can- 
not concentrate. It is a fact of experience that no person can possi- 



292 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



blv concentrate his mind at the center of concentration as given 
bv the Master so long as he indulges in fits of anger. It is an utter 
impossibility. The two cannot go together. Anger destroys peace, 
neutralizes love, engenders hatred and turns individuals and groups 
into enemies. And all for what purpose-to satisfy a fiendish im- 
pulse toward destruction. ... £ n 
Anger is the extreme opposite of love. As love is the sum of all 
good, so anger must be the sum of all evil. It is certainly the most 
destructive of the vile passions. It tears down, destroys, weakens, 
and annihilates every finer quality of mind and soul. It burns up 
all that is noble. It is a consuming fire, born of the fires of destruc- 
tion At the end, it leaves the victim nothing but a wreck of his 
better self, bumed-out, blackened and dead, like forest trees over 
which a great fire has swept. 

Such is anger, the destroying, consuming passion. Of course, its 
ultimate object is to destroy the individual who indulges it. Its 
destructive action is aimed at others, but its most destructive ac- 
tion falls upon the one who indulges it. It creates for him bad 
karma and binds him more securely to the fatal wheel. If it leads 
to crime, as it often does, then the shackles of slavery are made 
that much stronger, the burden that much heavier. 

Krodh is a very useful servant of the negative power. So long as 
it dominates the mind, it is impossible for that individual to make 
any headway on the spiritual path. Its end is darkness and deatn 
and rebirth under the wheel. 

Some of the minor phases of krodh are: slander, eyil gossip, 
backbiting, profanity, faultfinding, peevishness, irritability, quar- 
relsomeness, surliness, grouchiness, jealousy, malice, impatience, 
resentment, combat, malicious mockery, destructive criticism^ a> 
gument for the sake of defeating the other party, haughtiness wtffi 
Ul will, etc. All of these and more are the bastard brood of their 
parent krodh, a filthy titter of snarling pups 

The law of the Masters, being the law of nature, is absolute . U 
cannot be evaded. It must be obeyed or one must reap pain ana 
anguish. That law is: 



THE FIVE PER VERSIONS OF MIND 



293 



Never criticize, never find fault, never abuse; 

Never even blame anyone, either to his face or behind his back; 

Never hurt the feelings of anyone, man or animal; 

Never let a harsh or unkind word escape your lips, 

But speak always words of love, truth and kindness. 



A rule laid down by the noble Buddha is a most excellent one 
for all men to follow. He said that if you propose to speak, always 
ask yourself: Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? 

This is one of the most inflexible of all laws for such as seek 
spiritual advancement. Let no one imagine that he can ignore this 
law and still make headway on the path. It cannot be done. The 
path of love leads to enlightenment and liberty and the highest 
heavens; but the way of anger and an evil tongue leads to the 
darkest hell. 

We believe that anger may aptly be compared to cancer. It is, in 
fact, mental carcinoma. In its effects it is more deadly to the mind 
than cancer is to the body. It is an ailment which afflicts such a 
large percentage of mankind, and its agonies are often drawn out 
over the whole of a lifetime. Then when physical death comes, the 
mind has become so poisoned that there is no moral value left in 
it. Strangely enough, this terrible affliction has received but slight 
attention in the literature of mental therapeutics. It has had but 
little consideration even in ethics. Yet it is one of the deadliest of 
human ills, and leads to some of the most horrible disasters. We 
believe it brings more pain and grief into the world than any other 
disease or perhaps all other diseases. 

It must not be forgotten that this mental disease is also a factor 
in producing many of the common physical ills. Its flood of suf- 
fering is worse than any imagination can picture. It is simply ap- 
palling. This mental cancer eats its way into and through the in- 
most mental fiber. The great pity is that it doesn't kill outright. It 
would be better for mankind if its deadly action were instanta- 
neous, like the fumes of a lethal gas. 

This disease of anger, leaving everywhere a trail of suffering, of 
nausea and of terrible heartaches, generally drags on for years. 
This disease manifests itself by the following set of symptoms: 



- 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



(a) thinking ill of others, 

(b) taking offense easily, 

(c) criticizing the actions of others, 

(d) lecturing or discoursing on the mistakes of others 
either to the person himself or to others about him, 

(e) chronic faultfinding or pointing out the defects of 
character or conduct of others, making them out to 
be really bad, 

(f) scolding, nagging or haranguing others, 

(g) habitually blaming others for all that goes wrong, 
(h) vile abuse and cursing others, 

(i) actual fighting, quarreling or trying to inflict injury 
upon others. 

And the student should always remember that a mental injury 
or wound is often more painful than a physical wound, and some- 
times slower to heal. These nine symptoms are some of the most 
common manifestations of this deadly disease. It is generally des- 
ignated 'the evil tongue'. Compared with this evil tongue, the plague 
is a mild affliction. Of all bad habits, of all defects of character, 
there is nothing that smells of corruption and death so badly. 
Unlike most physical disorders, which make their victims suffer 
the brunt of the disease, this affliction reacts upon others even 
more painfully than upon the patient himself. It is like a poison 
gas, spreading deadly fumes in the whole neighborhood. 
' One unique feature of this foul disease is the fact that its victims 
are generally unwilling to concede that they suffer from the dis- 
ease, but generally insist that it is others who have the disease and 
they themselves are the innocent victims of the malevolence of 
others. This is an almost universal manifestation of the disease. To 
even suggest that the patient is suffering from the disease is usual- 
ly sufficient to throw him into a violent spasm. You never can tell 
when this foul abscess is going to explode in your face. It erupts at 
the smallest provocation, and its malodorous fumes fill the whole 
neighborhood. It is not infrequent that those who surfer from 
advanced stages of this disease become sick of life and commit 



THE FIVE PER VERSIONS OF MIND 



295 



suicide, even if they do not kill someone else. Many times the 
victim commits suicide, rather than endure the tortures of living 
near such a person. 

One of the most pathetic features of this terrible disease is that 
death does not end it. In that respect it is so much worse than any 
mere physical ailment. It is in the mind, and the sufferer takes his 
mind with him at death, so that even in the next world the disease 
continues its ravages. It will continue to afflict him until, through 
suffering and self-control, he learns to remove the ailment him- 
self. This is one disease that no doctor can cure. It must be cured 
by the patient himself. Suicide only aggravates the trouble. But let 
us close this discussion. It is unfitting that our minds should dwell 
longer upon it. This much has been said only to place the terrible 
thing open to the gaze of all men, in order that they may under- 
stand its nature and so learn to avoid it. Every person should shun 
it as he would the most deadly, the most savage, jungle beast. 

(3) Lobh, greed, is the third member of this unholy group. It is 
one of the most poisonous of them all. The function of greed is to 
bind us to material things, and so cloud our minds to all higher 
values. It ties us to the baser things of earth. As kam binds us to 
the animal plane, so lobh binds us to the mineral plane, one step 
lower. Hence greed is even baser than lust. It makes for us a god 
of gold and silver and jewels. It identifies us with them by fixing 
our attention and affections upon them. The end is slavery to 
them. Wealth then becomes master, instead of servant. Like all 
the other passions, it slowly forges its chains about us. 

Man automatically drops down to the plane of the thing he 
loves. A miser soon becomes but little more than an incarnated 
heap of gold and silver, of bonds and securities, of lands and 
houses. One who thinks of nothing else but money and making 
money gradually becomes hard of heart, and even takes on a facial 
expression of relentless driving force. Such a person is pitiless. 
Nothing counts but money. He drives other men, even women 
and children, in his factories, grinding wealth out of them. He 
goes on grinding more gold out of them. Pity, love and kindness 
have long ago departed from his mental processes. He can see 



296 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



nothing but profits. What matters it if human flesh is fed to his 
mills? The blood of those men and women is to be turned into 
streams of revenue. 

Happily, we believe this picture does not apply to a very large 
percentage of people engaged in commerce. But it does apply to 
some. As kam degrades and krodh consumes, so lobh hardens. 
This passion is probably the most relentless slave driver of them 
all. A mind under the sway of lobh is but litde less than petrified 
intelligence. Lobh has many minor phases, such as: 

* 

(a) miserliness, 

(b) falsehood, 

(c) hypocrisy, 

(d) perjury, 

(e) misrepresentation, 

(f) robbery, 

(g) bribery, 
(h) trickery of all sorts. 



These are all the usual ways and means of picking up easy mon- 
ey. The poorest man in the world is he who spends his time trying 
to get something for nothing. It can never be done. His time is 
wholly wasted. No man has ever gained permanent benefit with- 
out paying the price. John D. Rockefeller said just before his death: 
"The poorest man in the world is he who has nothing but money!" 

If the time ever comes when men give thought only for what 
they actually need, this passion will die of attrition. Civilization 
will take a tremendous stride forward. If men will think more of 
giving, and less of receiving the human race will stand close to 
mastership. The Master is the supreme giver. 

(4) Moh, attachment, which means delusive attachment, infatu- 
ation, is the fourth of the destructive passions. This is perhaps the 
most insidious, the most deceitful of them all. It creeps up slowly 
upon its victims, like the others, or it comes with flares of trum- 
pets like the fanfare that goes before the approach of a nobleman. 
It generally comes with the appearance of well-dressed respect- 



THE FIVE PER VERSIONS OF MIND 



297 



ability. It has a noble bearing. It comes as a gentleman, with good 
credentials. It announces itself as your friend and ally. Its ideas are 
plausible. So it readily gains a place in the family as a close friend. 
It does seem so very reasonable and proper that one should have 
and enjoy spouse, children, positions of honor and of public ser- 
vice, money, houses, lands and securities. Indeed, we may concede 
that such things are necessary and proper. The individual knows 
that, and then our gentle friend, moh, steps in with such benevo- 
lent airs and says: "Yes, surely you must give diligent attention to 
these things; it is your duty." 

Right there and then moh begins its deadly work under the 
guise of a most respectable friend. Its method is to blind you to 
the relative values of your surroundings and associations so that 
you may begin to set a false valuation upon them. After you have 
become quite absorbed in them, then you will have no time for 
anything ebe. That is exactiy its purpose. There is the crucial point 
of the whole matter. No time for self-improvement. No time for 
spiritual devotions. No time for altruistic service. You are kept 
forever on the go most of the time between your home and office, 
busy with your family and affairs. You hardly have time for eating 
and sleeping, not to speak of self-culture or loving service. 

Remember that the liberation of your own soul is the one thing 
for which you are in this world. Nothing else counts. But it is the 
sole purpose of this moh to keep you from doing that one thing; if 
it can keep you from even thinking about the matter, it is well 
pleased. If, however, you do think about it, it at once steps up and 
tells you that just now you have no time for that sort of thing. By 
and by, when circumstances are more favorable, you may attend 
to it. 

It is for the very purpose of keeping us blinded to our own 
higher interests that the negative power has employed all of these 
five passions to dog our paths all the days of our fives. For this 
reason moh will tell you that you must not neglect your routine 
duties. They simply have to be attended to. At the same time, to 
pacify you, it promises that the time will soon come when your 



298 






ANALYSIS OF MAN 



burden of duties will grow less, when circumstances will grow 
more favorable. Then you may attend to your spiritual interests. 

Moh is the king of procrastination. You must wait for a more 
convenient season. But at the same time, it keeps you busy with 
trifles. Why worry about spiritual matters now? They will take 
care of themselves when the time comes. No need to worry about 
them until you are dead. Then they will automatically solve them- 
selves! All the while this smart friend is slyly adding to your bur- 
dens and complicating your life. It sees to it that the promised 
leisure never comes. 

Worries, anxieties, and business complications follow everyone 
to the grave. Seldom does one ever get away from them. Almost 
the whole of your life is spent in trying to perpetuate the physical 
existence, the animal self. The real object for which you came into 
the world has been forgotten. Perhaps you never even knew why 
you came. Indeed, but very few people know why they are here. 
Most of thern seem not at all interested to know anything about it. 

You are a slave even to your cows, dogs, horses, and cars — 
ninety-eight percent of your precious time is spent in penal servi- 
tude to the animal body. And for what purpose? Just to keep it 
going. And why keep it going? In order that you may continue 
being a slave to it. When they come back from the cemetery where 
they have left you in a pretty velvet-covered casket over which 
they have shoveled the dirt, they settle down to divide up what 
you have left, and forthwith forget you in that same mad scramble 
which monopolized all of your attention, until the final darkness 
overtook you. 

And this is exactly what your smooth friend, moh, does for you. 
It skillfully holds your nose to the grindstone until the very mo- 
ment when the doctor says it is all over and pulls up the sheet over 
your face. You have been so very busy all your life, and yet you 
have not had a moment's time to do the one thing that was really 
worth doing. You have, in fact, been very busy all your life doing 
nothing. You have worked like the battle of Gettysburg, but what 
has it brought you? Only increasing worry, pain, and then the 
final darkness. You return to the wheel that grinds away through 



THE FIVE PER VERSIONS OF MIND 



299 



all the yugas. Naked and empty-handed you came here; empty- 
handed and naked you depart. Results? Nothing, simply treading 
the wheel. You return to the eternal cycle perhaps even more 
securely bound than before. Moh has scored heavily for its master. 

The only thing worth doing in this life, but few people ever do 
that, is to find the path of spiritual freedom and walk on it. 

(5) Ahankar, vanity, or egotism, is the last of the deadly five. 
The word ahankar has two meanings. First, it is the faculty of the 
mind which gives us the power of awareness of the self, self- 
differentiation, the I-ness. It is that faculty which executes the 
mandates of the buddhi in the interests of self. But the abnormal 
exaggeration of this faculty becomes ahankar, which is vanity or 
egotism. It is the enlargement of the ego which becomes a cancer 
by cell-proliferation. 

You know a cancer is a condition in which normal body epi- 
thelial cells become much enlarged. So it is here. The normal ego 
is all right, but when it begins to swell up out of all proportion, 
then it takes on the nature of a disease. So vanity is an overgrown 
ego. Ahankar is a malignant enlargement of the T. That faculty, 
which is quite necessary for the preservation of the individual in 
this life and for the proper placement of that person in relation to 
all others, becomes so overgrown that the normal self becomes for 
him the center of the universe. This is malignant selfishness. This 
passion is the worst of all in some respects, although it is difficult 
to say just which is the worst one. Once the Master was asked 
which of the five was the worst, and he laughingly replied, "Each 
of them is worst." 

Ahankar has a thousand claws by which to dig into the minds 
of its victims. Its deadly poison infiltrates the entire being. Begin- 
ning generally in infancy, it seldom ceases to operate until death. 
It feeds upon its own refuse, and it waxes strong upon materials 
furnished by the other four. In fact, it often feeds upon the decay- 
ing carcasses of the others. How often vanity is nourished by the 
death of the others! How vain people become over a partial subju- 
gation of the other passions. Not infrequently do they become 
vain over their own humility. One of the commonest manifesta- 



300 



ANALYSIS OF MAN 



tions of vanity is a pretended humility. This may be conscious or 
quite unconscious. 

Ahankar is the most sturdy and masterful of the lot and it has 
the greatest longevity. How often we hear old men and women 
talking garrulously, recounting their former exploits. Nothing can 
check them. Vanity holds the field and continues to operate long 
after all the rest are dead. As a matter of fact, it often kills the rest 
in order to have something to boast about. How many times men 
are swelled up over some trifling victory or virtue, and women 
grow vain over their own virtues! Ascetics, posing as the humblest 
of people, grow vain over their apparent saintliness. Self-righteous- 
ness is one of the most prevalent and most malignant of these 
mental diseases. 

It is well known to those who are on the path that egotism is 
the last of the hateful five to surrender. Its method is to distort the 
viewpoint, to present everything out of proportion, making itself 
the center of the world. It destroys all sense of humor. You never 
see a vain person with any real sense of humor. If he had, he 
couldn't be vain. Vanity will set a crown upon its own head and 
wonder why all men do not rush to acknowledge it king. It will 
bray like an ass and imagine itself singing in a grand opera. It 
cannot see itself because it sees nothing but self. It will strut like a 
peacock with only cabbage leaves for tail feathers. But it can never 
see its own imperfections. It sees all of its own shortcomings re- 
flected in others, while it imagines itself perfect. 

The chief function of ahankar is to block the path of truth. It is 
the bosom friend of error. It completely deceives its own victims, 
making them self-satisfied, when they ought to be seeking their 
own improvement. It will prevent people from seeking new things. 
It is the main friend and supporter of ancient superstitions. It 
establishes creeds, appoints a priesthood and builds up organiza- 
tions to propagate its own dogmas. It then assumes that out of its 
own superior wisdom it has selected the only perfect system of 
truth. It will not then acknowledge that it could be mistaken and 
goes on hugging its assumptions. It defies the whole world, de- 
manding unqualified support for its declared dictums. And worst 



THE FIVE PERVERSIONS OF MIND 



301 



of all, it often seeks the instant destruction of all who oppose it. 
Its one big assumption is: I am right; he who opposes me is wrong; 
to sustain the right, I must destroy my opponent. 

This assumption has soaked the pages of history with innocent 
blood. Today it is busy fomenting strife among nations. Blind 
egotism and its bastard child, selfishness, are today sowing the 
seeds of international dissatisfaction and germinating wars. God 
knows what the harvest shall be. 

Ahankar bitterly resents all effort to enlighten it. How can it 
admit that it is wrong or that it needs enlightenment? It will go to 
war at the drop of a hat to defend its own self-asserted rights. It 
never thinks of the other person's rights. It takes offense easily, 
like krodh. It is extremely touchy— sensitive, they call it. It sees no 
weaknesses in itself, but it never ceases to point out the faults of 
others. It is the boon companion to krodh. Thus, blowing its own 
horn, it struts across the stage of life. And it blows so loudly that it 
cannot hear anyone else. The minor phases of ahankar are: 



(a) Bigotry. 

(b) Self-assertion; in season and out of season, it thrusts 
itself forward. 

(c) It makes obtrusive show of wealth or power, it is 
gaudy in dress, exhibits a domineering attitude, is 
bossy, scolding and faultfinding. In this phase it joins 
hands with krodh. Its fundamental assumption is its 
own infallibility. Man under the influence of ahan- 
kar imagines he is advertising his own virtues by 
pointing out the faults of others; while as a matter of 
universal experience, he is only advertising his own 
shortcomings. So it is with all faultfinding. He as- 
sumes superior airs, demands his own wishes, which 
he calls rights, and tries to punish others if he is 
opposed. He tries to attract the attention of others 
by noise or other show of self, loud and constant 
talking, or tries to impose his own opinions upon 
others. He loves office and power over others. 



302 ANALYSIS OF MAN 

(d) He frequently interrupts others when they are talk- 
ing. 

(e) He likes to make public speeches, is eager to see his 
own name in print, makes a show of his own piety, 
loves to make long prayers in public, and he makes it 
a point to let the world know about it if he gives a 
penny to charity. 

(f) He dearly loves .titles, honors, college degrees, and 
enjoys seeing the mob bow down to him- 

(g) In many other ways he exhibits the constantly recur- 
ring T, ad nauseam. 



8. ANTIDOTES TO THE DEADLY FIVE 

To sum up the discussion of the five mental diseases, let us place 
them and their antidotes side by side. The Masters classify all 
mankind into two main divisions — manmukhs and gurumukhs, 
This means those who follow the dictates of their own minds and 
those who follow the Guru. The manmukh is the one who follows 
the mind, obeys its every whim, and does just what it likes. He is a 
slave to the mind and its passions. But the man whose face is 
always toward the Guru is the free man and the one who is devel- 
oping his own powers to the greatest extent possible. He is not 
under the ever-grinding wheel of birth and death, the grinding 
wheel of desire and karma. 

But this sublime achievement is accomplished only by the help 
of the Master {the Guru) and the Shabd— the regenerating Dhun, 
the audible life stream. No one can ever do it alone. There is 
positively no other cure for the passion— none but the voice of 
God ringing through the soul. When that holy symphony is heard, 
these miserable five lose their power and drop away. Positively, 
the only sure cure for these five deadly diseases is the life stream, 
opened up to the disciple by his Master. Some help may be had 
from contemplating the opposite virtues. But one must never de- 
pend on such contemplation for the final reconstruction of char- 



ANTIDOTES TO THE DEADLY FIVE 



303 



acter. The soul must become absorbed in that luminous reality, 
and it must forget all else. That reality gives strength and will until 
the man becomes something more than man. He becomes a living 
power, reborn and exalted. Then these five evils slink away like 
beaten dogs. This is real liberty. 

Just as the five passions may be regarded as the five agents of 
desolation, so the five virtues may be looked upon as five angels. 
They hover over us always, ready to extend their aid if we look to 
them for help or comfort. They will gready assist in the upward 
struggle. Weave them into the fiber of your character. They will 
help much. As those five evil passions include in themselves all 
other evils, so these five virtues include in themselves all other 
virtues. They should be contemplated long and deeply. Here they 
are set opposite to one another, the virtues and the vices: 



Passions and Their Remedies 



VICES VIRTUES 

kam shii, chastity, continence 

krodh kshartiOy forgiveness, tolerance 

lobh santosha, contentment 

moh vivek, discrimination 
vairagya, detachment 

aharikar dinta, humility 



WHAT IS KARMA? 



305 



7 



Karma and Reincarnation 



1. WHAT IS KARMA? 

The two doctrines of karma and reincarnation are important 
considerations in the science of the Masters. They are accepted as 
facts of nature not only by the Masters but by practically all schools 
of Oriental thought. More than half of the human race today 
accepts karma and reincarnation as established facts of nature. 
Since reincarnation depends on karma, let us discuss that first. 
Karma (from kr, in Sanskrit) means that law of nature which 
requires that every doer shall receive the exact result, or reward, of 
his actions. In its last analysis, it is nothing more nor less than the 
well-known law of cause and effect. It is known in physics as the 
law of compensation or balance or equilibrium. In jurisprudence 
it is the law of justice. All the courts of the civilized world give 
official recognition to the law of karma every time they mete out 
rewards and punishments. In ethics, as in civil and criminal law, it 
is the basis of rewards and punishments, the decisive principle of 
right and wrong conduct. 

Right actions are those which create good karma. Bad actions 
create bad karma. This is the simplest possible solution of the 






many questions of right and wrong. In the ethics of Jesus, karma 
is reduced to the simple question of receiving what one has earned, 
reaping what one has sown. In the law of Moses, it was reduced to 
the rule of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. This is an 
exact, even if crude, conception of the law of balance. In employ- 
ment of labor, it is the principle of fair wages. In barter and ex- 
change, it is the basis of the square deal. In spiritual science it is 
called karma, but it is the same law. 

The underlying principle is that every act performed by any- 
body must be followed by its natural and legitimate results. This is 
a law so universal that it is amazing why all men have not grasped 
its general significance and applied it in ethics, the same as in 
mechanics. It is recognized in physical science. Without it there 
could be no science. It is recognized also in social fife. All the 
world over, everybody recognizes that he must pay for what he 
gets. It is only the fool who tries to get something for nothing. 
Even the man who imagines that he has succeeded has only run in 
his own debt, as Emerson says. 

It is only the Western people who have not yet awakened to the 
application of this law to ethics, psychology and spirituality. The 
Eastern wisdom, however, recognizes the universality of the law 
and instead of calling it the law of compensation, they call it kar- 
ma. Anyway, why should the Western world be frightened at the 
word karma? If the student will pick up any book on physics, he 
will discover the working of this same law in every problem con- 
fronting him. For example, a car is moving along the road at a 
speed which bears a definite ratio to its weight and the amount of 
power applied. If you wish to increase the speed, you must either 
reduce the weight or increase the power. In every case, the law of 
compensation is the chief factor to be dealt with; one must pay for 
what he gets. From that fixed law of the universe, there can be no 
deviation, no exception. 

Go back to Emerson again. Read his essay on the law of com- 
pensation. He shows how the same law operates in every field of 
human thought and endeavor, the moral and the spiritual as well 
as the physical Emerson was not ignorant of the Eastern wisdom. 



304 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



KARMA BINDS THE WORLD TOGETHER 



307 



The light of his genius came out of the East. And this is the law of 
karma according to the Masters. It is upon the universality of the 
action of this law that the Masters construct their ethics, just as 
definitely as the engineer is guided by that law in building his 
bridge. Directly applied, the law of karma demands that every 
living being, every creature, from primordial protoplasm to hu- 
man brain, from amoeba to archangel, from mind and soul to the 
creator of the Three Worlds — everyone must receive the exact 
balance of accounts, the precise compensation for each and every 
act. And so, this is karma. 

Let it be kept in mind that no act whatsoever, no matter how 
apparently trivial or unimportant, can be performed without its 
correlated karma. Let fall a billiard ball upon the earth, and the 
entire globe is affected by it. The world is never again exactly the 
same as it was before the falling of that ball. It is karma. Let a 
single word escape from one's mouth, and not only is the hearer 
affected by it, but by the law of action and reaction a portion of 
the effects will return upon the speaker. Then as these two are 
affected, all mankind will be affected to some extent, no matter 
how slight these effects may be. The law is there. The whole of 
humanity is never again quite the same as it was before that word 
was spoken. This ought to make us all stop and think before we 
speak idle or ill words. Remember, the whole of mankind are 
linked in one mental, spiritual and karmic bond. What affects 
one, whether for good or bad, affects all, to some extent. Hence 
our karmic responsibility. The law of karma is the underlying 
principle of personal responsibility. 

It is a well-known law of physics that action and reaction are 
equal, but opposite in directions. This is the law that brings back 
upon the doer, in spite of himself, the legitimate results of his 
conduct. He must gather the fruit of his own actions. That re- 
action he cannot possibly escape. Hence, every action performed 
has its double karma based upon this law of action and reaction — 
it affects the recipient and it returns upon the doer. The doer is 
always a recipient of the same act. So action and reaction are the 
dual forms of karma. This extends to the smallest motion of a leaf 






quivering in the breeze to the sway of a planet in its orbit. It binds 
the lizard that devours its insect and it binds the philosopher 
giving his lecture. Karma is a universal law embracing every unit 
of the living throughout the numberless worlds of the universe. 

No need to go into lengthy details. The central fact is not diffi- 
cult of apprehension. It is sufficient to remember that every act of 
every individual must register its correlated effects. And this ap- 
plies to every individual in existence, from amoeba to man, from 
cavern rock to milky way. This law holds sway just as relentlessly 
and definitely in the vegetable and animal kingdoms as in the 
human. Nothing that exists is exempt from this law. We may 
mention, however, that the law of karma extends only up to the 
region where mind and matter cease. In the empire of mind and 
matter, karma is universal; but there is a higher universe of worlds 
where pure spirit governs all, and there is no karma there. How is 
that? Because in that world there is a higher law which supersedes 
all other laws — that is the law of love. 



2. KARMA BINDS THE WORLD TOGETHER 

The universality of the law of karma is one of the chief factors 
which binds all of life together, not only human life but also the 
animal with the human. Animals and humans compose one big 
family with a complicated but inseparable history and an insepa- 
rable karma. Hidden away in this great law is the main reason why 
men should not kill and eat animals — also why men should not 
mistreat animals. 

The great fact of importance to us all is that according to this 
law we are all constantly creating karma, incurring debts, and all 
of these debts must be paid off. That is the whole problem in a few 
words. It is a pity that all mankind cannot grasp the full signifi- 
cance of this law. If they could, the whole social structure would 
be remodeled. Every debt must be paid. To put it otherwise, no 
man can possibly get something for nothing. He may go in debt; 
but if he does, that debt must be paid by him sooner or later. The 



308 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



exact day and hour of payment is not always noted by us. It may 
not be known when we are to pay; but the one fact of importance, 
which stands absolutely unalterable, is that everyone must pay. 
That is the essence of the matter. 

Not only does nature frequently allow much time for the pay- 
ment, but it may be extended over long periods, in installments. 
After all, nature is generous. She very graciously allows the sinner 
plenty of time for repentance and compensation. If men were 
wise, they would never run into her debt. And if they did run into 
her debt, they would seize the first possible moment to pay off the 
debt. In any case, men should always bear in mind that they can- 
not possibly 'beat the game 5 . It can never be done. Sooner or later 
full payment must be made, often with heavy compound interest 
This very fact of nature's generosity with time for payments some- 
times leads to terrible misunderstandings. The wrongdoer himself 
is often led to believe that he has actually beaten the game. He 
imagines that he has contravened the law. But he only deceives 
himself. 

The observer too often complains that there is no justice in the 
world. He notices the sinner going apparently unpunished, while 
the righteous are unrewarded. Justice apparently miscarries daily 
right before our eyes, and there seems to be no hand to right the 
wrongs. It is just there that the scheme of karma and reincarna- 
tion comes to the rescue and offers a rational explanation. 

It may happen, and it certainly does frequently occur, that a 
man's life accounts are not balanced at the time of his death. Is 
the law then of no avail in his life? Has he really defeated the law 
and mocked the administrator of the law? By no means. That law 
itself is inviolable. It can never be set aside. No one can defeat it. 
But, as said before, nature is generous and gives us plenty of time 
for payment. The death of any individual is not the end of his 
career. It is only the end of one chapter in his long history. But. so 
long as he owes one farthing to the law, he must return to make 
payment. Also, if there is any karmic relation between two indi- 
viduals, that relationship can never be terminated until all ac- 
counts are settled between them. And this brings us to the associ- 
ated law of reincarnation. 



KARMA BINDS THE WORLD TOGETHER 

In Yoga and Western Psychology by Geraldine Coster, we read 

It is our custom to regard this philosophy of karma as one of 
indolent, easygoing fatalism, and to attribute to it many of the 
evils of Eastern social life. But it is in reality the complete 
negation of fatalism, in that it deletes chance, destiny, in the 
colloquial acceptation of the word, and the idea of an overrul- 
ing Providence, all three fairly common conceptions in the 
West. It represents man as the sole and absolute master of his 
own fate forever. What he has sown in the times of his igno- 
rance, he must inevitably reap; but when he attains enlighten- 
ment, it is for him to sow what he chooses and reap accordingly. 



This is a point that deserves the special attention of the student. 
This great doctrine, instead of leading to a dull -fatalism, is in fact 
the only teaching in the world that shows exactly how man is the 
architect of his own fortune, the creator of his own fate. In this 
system there is not room for the arbitrary decrees of a capricious 
deity. 

In the law of karma there is the perfect solution of our social 
and economic difficulties. How? Note well the underlying princi- 
ple. The whole world, the Western world in particular, is profit- 
mad. Human energies are devoted to heaping up profits. But the 
worst feature of this is that people do not care how they get profits 
or whether they have to give value received. Now suppose this law 
of karma became deeply rooted in the public consciousness, what 
would result? Suppose every man knew in his inmost conscious- 
ness that he simply must pay for all he gets, what would happen? 
No man would even attempt the irrational and impossible task of 
trying to accumulate a fortune for which he has given no equiva- 
lent. What then would become the modus operandi in all business 
transactions? Every man would seek first to render a service for what 
he expects to get. He would know that he has to pay. His first 
consideration would then be: How can I make adequate payment? 
Now he thinks first of all: How much can I take from others? How 
much can I make this business yield? He does not consider wheth- 
er he is to earn money but only how he can get hold of it. 



310 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



It may be said now with the utmost assurance of truth that just 
so long as this system prevails, the whole world will present a 
gigantic scramble of robbers, each trying his best to take from all 
the rest, but the robber does not stop to think of the day of pay- 
ment. Neither does the average businessman. But if he were famil- 
iar with this great law of karma, of the basic law of justice which is 
automatic in its administration, he would not engage in this mor- 
al scramble, but would first of all qualify himself or establish some 
enterprise whose sole object was to render a service. Then in re- 
turn he would expect only a just compensation for that service. 

This is the fiindamental law of a rational economics, of a world 
interchange of commodities, and of a social equilibrium that will 
stand all tests. Modern business methods are nothing more nor 
less than a belated survival of the days of lawless plunder, pillage 
and the destruction of the weak And most of this due to a lack of 
understanding of the law of karma — that is, people do not realize 
that they simply must pay for what they get. They go on blindly 
trying to take from others what they want, regardless of moral 
principle. 



3. WHAT IS REINCARNATION? 

When death overtakes a man, he is simply transferred or trans- 
ported to another field of action. That is the sum of it. And his 
accounts go with him. That is a point generally not known, or at 
least it is ignored. To most men death is like a plunge into total 
darkness. They have no idea where they are going or what is to 
happen to them. But the Masters know exactly what is to happen 
to each one after death. And among other things, they know that 
everybody takes his accounts with him. Settlement has to be made 
sometime. And so, if their accounts are not settled before death, 
they simply must return to this world for the settlement. No soul 
can ever detach itself from its accounts until they are settled. Stored 
up in each karan sharir, the causal body, is the seed of all his 
karma, an infallible record, in which the recorder never makes a 



WHAT IS REINCARNATION? 



311 



mistake. He can neither leave this record behind him nor can he 
conceal it. Wherever he goes his record goes with him, just as 
truly as a dog's tail always follows him! It is a part of him. Wher- 
ever he goes he must face this record and pay it. This is a fixed law 
of nature, as unfailing as the revolutions of a star in its orbit. 

When a soul arrives in the subtle region, he must there appear 
before a judge whose justice never wavers, who cannot be bribed, 
and before whom the records cannot be falsified. There he must 
answer to every item and there he must pay in full. If he finds 
himself bankrupt in that court, if debts hang heavily upon him, he 
is assigned to another life under conditions which permit him to 
make payment. This, however, is the divine justice which is flavored 
with mercy. If his past has been very dark, he may be obliged to 
undergo a remedial punishment to impress upon his inmost con- 
sciousness that crime does not pay. Then he has another chance. 
In the subsequent life or lives, even if he does not remember his 
punishment, its effects remain deeply embedded in his subcon- 
scious mind, and so in that subsequent life, instead of liking the 
thing which brought him so much grief, he wiU have an innate 
aversion toward it. He will avoid it. This accounts for many of 
those deep-seated aversions, likes and dislikes, with which people 
are born. 

If a person's life has been full of good deeds, kindness and love, 
he is assigned to a heaven or a paradise or some sort of delightful 
environment — by whatever name one wishes to know it — where 
he enjoys the full reward of all he has earned. In every case, his 
karma is met and fully satisfied. He gets exactly what he has earned 
and nothing else. Remember that karma includes the good as well 
as the bad. If one earns the good, he must get the good. Nothing 
can possibly defeat that law. When one's karma has been worked 
out on any of the subfle planes, and the time is ripe, he returns to 
earth in a new birth, that new birth and its entire setting being 
also determined by his good or bad karma. So again he gets exact- 
ly what he has earned, but now he has another chance to improve 
his karma. 

There is an old saying that though the mills of the gods grind 



312 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



slowly, yet they grind exceedingly fine. That is only another way of 
saying that one can never escape his own karma. It suggests that 
although nature may be generous as to time, in the end full pay- 
ment must be made. 

Why is another life on earth necessary? Why cannot all ac- 
counts be settled on the subtle planes to which one goes after 
death? The answer is that everyone must return to earthly life in 
order that he may reap what he has sown, and make all payments 
under identical conditions of life, which ensures perfect justice; 
also, to permit the individual to improve his karma to the point 
where he may eventually escape from the karmic wheel of birth 
and death. This escape can never be accomplished until his accu- 
mulated good karma outweighs his bad and brings him to a living 
Master. For this is the supreme reward of good karma — meeting 
the Satguru, who will eventually take him out of the arena of 
struggle, out of the reign of karmic law. This latter achievement is 
always the remote object held in view by the supreme Father. That 
is, in fact, "the one far-off divine event toward which the whole 
creation moves" — final liberation of the soul from the wheel of 
birth and death and a triumphal entry into the home of the soul 
beyond the reach of karma. 

Now the great Masters, who view this drama of human life 
from the higher planes, know that the individual must return to 
this fife, and that he does return again and again in order that he 
may answer the demands of this universal law. And this consti- 
tutes the round of births and deaths which we caU reincarnation, 
or the wheel of birth and death. When the hour of destiny strikes, 
everyone must leave this theater of action. In the same manner 
and by the same law, every soul who resides temporarily in any of 
those upper regions must close his eyes upon that scene and come 
down again to a new birth called for by his karma. The time, the 
location and the parents for his new life are all arranged by the 
same law — the law of his own karma. He is then to get what he 
has earned here, in addition to what he has experienced over there. 
He is not getting a double karma, as was suggested by one student. 
Part of his karma is paid over there, and the unpaid portion he is 



WHAT IS REINCARNATION? 



313 



to get here in his new life. He is bom into a new body and slowly 
awakens to the consciousness of a new life on earth. He lives this 
new life and accumulates a new set of karmas besides paying off 
the old scores. 

There is one other very interesting point to be remembered 
here. In the new life of a reborn child, the parents are meeting 
their own karma, just as the child is. So perfect is that system of 
karmic law, that all individuals concerned meet at exactiy the right 
time and in exactly the right relationship so as to meet and pay off 
their karmic debts. Suppose that a married couple are under a 
karmic debt to someone with whom they were connected in some 
way in a previous life. Now they pay off that debt by their services 
as parents and the years of care and labor they must give. So the 
parents are working under the law of karma as truly as is the child 
in returning to this life. Both are meeting its stern demands, which 
no man can ever escape. 

This constitutes the eternal awagawan, so often spoken of by 
the Oriental student of spirituality. Awagawan means 'coming and 
going*. So long as the individual lives and operates under the law 
of karma, he cannot escape this coming and going. This is called 
by the Masters the chaurasi ka chakra. It means 'the wheel of 
eighty- four'. And this is a marvelous phenomenon. The idea ac- 
cording to Eastern mythology is that the individual, accompanied 
by the mind and its load of karma, moves on through almost 
endless ages from birth to birth, passing through the eighty-four 
lakhs ! of different kinds of living beings. The Eastern scriptures 
explain that in this world there are approximately eighty-four lakh 
species of living beings: 

Three million species of plant life; 
Two million, seven hundred thousand of insect species; 
One million, four hundred thousand kinds of birds; 
Nine hundred thousand kinds of water animals; 
Four hundred thousand kinds of land animals, including men 
and other beings just above men but closely related to them, 



A lakh is equivalent to 100,000; eighty- four lakh amounting to 8,400,000. 



314 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



such as devas, etc. These are generally known as angels and 
demons by Western people. They are sometimes seen by us 
when conditions are favorable. 

This makes 8,400,000 species, each with its uncounted millions 
of individuals. A wandering soul, making its way from birth to 
birth, may be required to pass a long and tiresome course through 
all of them, provided its karma calls for that. It may pass through 
only some of them, then return to the human status, but, in all 
cases, just as its earnings may allow. The round of all of these 
forms of life, as said before, constitutes the wheel of eighty-four. It 
depends upon the individual entirely as to how many of these he 
or she may have to pass through. The Masters tell us that there is 
no escape from this wheel until one meets his Guru and learns to 
contact the audible life stream. This is more fully explained in 
Chapter Eleven, Section 6. 

Let us now return to the subject of karma. The two subjects, 
karma and reincarnation, are so interrelated that they cannot be 
separated. In discussing either one, we must refer to the other. 

There are three kinds of karma recognized by the Masters: 

(1) The first is called pralabdh or prarabdh karma, which means 
'fate karma 1 . It is that which has been earned in one or more 
previous lives, and upon which this present life is based. This sort 
of karma the individual must pay off during this life. He must live 
it out to the full extent. There is no escape from it, as a rule, not 
even if one has a Master. The Master can destroy it but generally 
does not. That is because this type of karma must be met and paid 
by the individual. It is compared to an arrow shot from the bow — 
when once shot into the air, it must go where the force of the bow 
has determined that it shall go. There is no changing that after it is 
once shot forth. 

(2) The second kind is called sinchit karma. This means 'reserve 
karma'. It may be compared to money deposited in a bank, in a 
savings account. But in this case it is drawn upon not at the will of 
the individual but at the will of the lord of karma. He may draw 



WHAT IS REINCARNATION? 



315 



upon that and assign it to be lived out at such times and places as 
he may determine. The individual has nothing to say about it. 

(3) The third kind of karma is kriyaman, the 'daily karma', 
which we are making from day to day during this life. Now, this 
sort of karma may be disposed of in several ways: We may suffer 
or reap its payment at once or at some other time during this life; 
or we may have it stored up as sinchit karma to be drawn upon at 
some future time according to the will of the lord of karma. In 
that case, it may become fate karma for a future life. 

It may be said here in passing that when a Satguru takes over 
anyone as his disciple, that fact materially alters the disciple's karmic 
status. His whole destiny undergoes a complete change. That all 
depends upon the will of the Master, for then the Master is his 
karmic lord. The Satguru is superior to all other lords of destiny. 
He may do whatever he pleases with the karma of his disciple; but 
as a rule he does not interfere with the pralabdh karma of anyone. 
That is generally considered fixed and final. It must be endured or 
gathered as what one has sown. With all of the rest, the Master 
may do as he likes according to whatever he thinks is best for the 
disciple. He may require the disciple to live out all his sinchit 
karma which has been stored up against him, as well as that which 
he is creating from day to day. In this case one may be disposing 
of all three sorts of karma at the same time. 

If a disciple finds himself obliged to endure much, he may con- 
sole himself that the Master is doing all he can to clean the vessel 
as soon as possible. When life ends, his record will be clean, and 
he will be free forever. If the Master does this, it is out of great 
love, knowing that when the disciple is at last free, he will be 
thankful that the Master put him through it all at once and finished 
it. But the Master will never allow the burdens to become too 
heavy. Often he even bears a portion of them himself, out of great 
love and sympathy. In any case, the Master always does what he 
knows is best for his disciple, for he is himself the embodiment of 
loving-kindness. 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



4. METEMPSYCHOSIS, A BITTER PILL 

Transmigration is apparently a nasty pill for the Western student. 
For this reason, in order to please our theosophical friends and 
those whom Theosophy is trying to please, we would he glad to 
leave this out, even though it is a part of the Eastern wisdom. But 
since it is a part of the teachings of all great Masters, it cannot be 
left out to please anyone. The Creator has not left it out of his 
scheme; how can we leave it out? The Masters say it is a part of life 
itself and it must be reckoned within any scheme of philosophy 
that tells the whole truth. It is not a question of what we like, but a 
question of the facts of nature. It is like death itself. None of us 
appear to like that any too well, but we all know that we must 
accept it as a part of the routine of life on this planet. 

Our egotism ought not mislead us. The concept is not so bad as 
it may at first appear. We know we are related to the animals in 
many ways. We know that our conduct is often like that of ani- 
mals, sometimes pitiably lower than that of animals. Isn't it a 
disgrace for your beautiful body to have to return to the dirt, to 
crumble into a filthy mass of decaying carbon, calcium and h 2 o? 
Yet, that is exactly what happens. It is because that is the way of 
nature, and none of us can change it. That beautiful child, inno- 
cent and joyous, pure as the lily, sweeter than the rose, must re- 
turn to earth and become food for worms. Is there anything more 
appalling? Yet that is nature. Shall we dare accuse nature of cruel- 
ty? Nature is always generous and kind, even though we may not 
always like her ways. 

If the mind leads an animal life, thinks like an animal and acts 
like an animal, isn't it quite natural that it should return to the 
animal form whose character it most resembled during life? The 
disgrace lies not in descending to the animal form, but in so con- 
ducting oneself that it becomes necessary to take the animal form. 
There again is the operation of the eternal law. You must in every 
instance get just what you have earned. If you have not lived like 
an animal, it is certain that you will never return to the status of 
an animal. We know that degeneration is as much a law of nature 



METEMPSYCHOSIS. A BITTER PILL 



317 



as is growth and evolution. And if a man does go down, is that a 
more deplorable thing than the descent into the grave of a fair and 
beloved form to decay into a shapeless mass of corruption? They 
are both nature's processes. They are not within our control, but 
by obeying the laws of nature we can avoid descending to any 
lower status. That much is certain. But no man can violate nature's 
laws and escape her penalties. 

You know it is a fact that a man's conduct may be much worse 
than anything of which an animal would be guilty. Where then is 
the incongruity if that man returns to the lower level, as the fruit 
of his own actions? At the same time, isn't it an inspiring thought 
that an animal which you have loved may gain human birth and 
rise to nobility? Doesn't that seem to be more in accord with the 
love of the supreme one? You will concede that there is no objec- 
tion to the lower orders of life rising to something higher. Your 
theory of evolution has prepared you for that. But you worry 
much over the idea of a man going down. Isn't there an incessant 
rise and fall, as concomitants of evolution? Isn't there ebb and 
flow, progression and retrogression, advance and retreat? Degen- 
eration and dissolution is just as much a part of nature's processes 
as is evolution. Of course, it is not fitting that a man should de- 
scend to assume the animal form. But the real misfit lies in his 
conduct which obliges him to go down. 

You do not object to the doctrine of evolution. If you could 
look back into some prehistoric jungle and there see yourself as a 
wild animal, later rising to the human status after satisfying the 
law of karma by suffering and enjoying as an animal does, wouldn't 
you feel inclined to bow in reverence to the majesty of that law 
which is slowly but surely bringing all forms of life to the higher 
levels? If we admit the ascent of living forms, we are obliged to 
admit the descent of forms. That is so even if we think of the 
forms of species themselves, the mere physical forms. We know 
they are capable of very great improvement. No one objects to the 
idea that this human form has evolved from the more human 
animal forms of lower species. Why should we object to the rise or 
fall of the minds and souls of individuals? They are subject to the 



318 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



same general laws of improvement and degeneration. Building up 
and crumbling down are but the two sides of one process. We see 
the two processes going on side by side in all nature. 

Catch but a glimpse of the sublime spectacle! Eight million and 
four hundred thousand living species, untold billions of individu- 
als, in each of whom is a spark of the divine essence — their tiny 
lights glowing in the darkness, but slowly awakening to a higher 
consciousness! Can there be anything more inspiring? Each one is 
working on, tirelessly awaiting the day of final liberation from the 
wheel. If you are a lover of animal life, can you conceive of a more 
inspiring truth? 

You insist that you do not object if the lower forms rise to the 
higher because your theory of evolution has prepared your mind 
for that. But you do not fancy the retrograde movement Again, 
let me urge that a man does not need to go down, and he will not 
do so if his conduct has been worthy of his status as a man. But if 
being a man so richly endowed, he deliberately chooses to act like 
an animal, he forfeits his dignity and invites degradation and hu- 
miliation. Even then, ail is not lost. If he descends to the animal 
level by force of his animal-like conduct, he may rise to the hu- 
man level again when he has expiated his sins and purified his 
mind — in other words, when he has paid his karmic debt. 

The mercy of the Supreme is never-ending. He is long-suffering 
and patient. No matter how long it may take the prodigal son to 
come to his senses and return, always the light is kept burning in 
his Father's palace, waiting for him. He must come home when 
the full measure of his karma has been paid. If a man sinks down 
by unworthy conduct, he may come up again by suffering and 
good deeds. If my dog or my horse serves me faithfully and with 
love, that is sure to stand to his credit. Life is full of giving and 
taking. If the giving is more than the taking, then by just that 
much the individual rises toward a higher life. This is the unfail- 
ing law of karma, the principle of eternal balance. 

In studying the law of karma and its operation, one thing more 
must not be overlooked. It is the very important fact that no indi- 
vidual can ever pay the debt for another. Theologians have made 



METEMPSYCHOSIS, A BITTER PILL 



319 



the terrible blunder of ignoring this fixed and immutable law of 
nature. They have built up their theological dogma of the vicari- 
ous atonement in contravention of the law of karma. If Jesus could 
pay the debt of the whole world by his death on the cross, then the 
great law of justice itself becomes inoperative. By that very fact, 
the Creator would annul his own law. Even if Jesus were himself 
the incarnated Creator, and if he should take upon himself the 
sins of mankind, the entire scheme of justice would collapse, and 
the old plan of animal and human sacrifice would be justified. 

At best such a doctrine is a virtual acknowledgment that the 
Creator was disappointed in man's conduct. After man had creat- 
ed a debt which he could not pay, the Creator himself had to pay 
it for him. But to whom did he pay it? Who held the mortgage? To 
say that he paid it to himself makes the death of Jesus on the cross 
no more than a grandstand play or a bid for public sympathy. To 
say that he paid it to the devil exalts that worthy to the status of an 
equal partner in a questionable transaction. It makes the Creator 
an absurd actor, obliged to make the best of a bad muddle. To say 
that he paid the debt of all mankind to the law of justice itself is 
but a subterfuge of words. 

The whole dogma is built up on the old rule of sacrifice and 
substitution, which was but a trick of ancient man to try to escape 
the legitimate consequences of his own actions. By that means 
they only deluded themselves into thinking that they had escaped 
their karma; but as a matter of fact, they greatly added to their 
karmic burden. Sacrifice is a very old and almost inseparable con- 
comitant of the slowly awakening consciousness of the inviolabil- 
ity of the karmic law. They knew they had to do something to 
escape the consequences of their moral debts, but they didn't know 
what to do. The whole scheme rests upon the assumption that 
God and the devil are running a dual empire: the devil in the 
ascendancy most of the time in this world, the Lord himself being 
but little more than a nominal sovereign obliged to keep up ap- 
pearances under an embarrassing situation. If the Jews and partic- 
ularly St. Paul, who created the Christian theology, had been well 
informed on the immutable law of karma, the idea of the vicari- 



320 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



ous atonement would never have been dreamed of. It is directly 
opposed to the eternal law of justice which runs throughout 



nature. 



5. REINCARNATION EXPLAINS MUCH 

If karma and reincarnation are a little difficult to understand, 
especially among Western people to whom the whole idea is rath- 
er new, on a little reflection it will be found the only rational 
explanation of some of the most complicated problems of life. For 
example, why does some useless old man linger on for years, a 
burden to himself and everyone else, while a beautiful child, full 
of promise and joy, has to die suddenly? Only karma and reincar- 
nation offer any satisfactory explanation. To explain it as the in- 
scrutable decrees of a deity, arbitrarily interfering in the affairs of 
human life, is to invite despair and unbelief. As a matter of fact, 
the parents are to understand that the child, due to his own past 
karma, was from the very beginning allotted just that brief span of 
life, and they must be thankful that the child was 'loaned' to them 
for that brief period. The child, due to his own karma, had been 
allotted just that length of life and no more. That time being 
finished, he had to go. His short life was only one scene, just a 
brief appearance, upon the stage of his career. This little act had 
to be played. It was also one episode in the life of the parents. 
That much of karma in the lives of both parents and child had to 
be paid. When it was paid, there was no further need for the child 
to remain there, any more than an actor should remain on the 
stage when his act is finished. 

Again, why do some people enter this life with such terrible 
handicaps, while others, apparently less worthy, are born in the 
lap of fortune? Why are some children born with superior intelli- 
gence, while others are hopelessly dull? Why are some born with 
criminal tendencies, while others come into life with a lively sense 



1. It may be emphasized here that saints can and do take upon themselves karmas of 
others in certain cases. This, however, does not apply to those who lived either 
before or after them. 



REINCARNATION EXPLAINS MUCH 



321 



of purity, justice and love? These and a hundred other questions 
press themselves upon us all, and they have no answer, except in 
the scheme of karma and reincarnation. This is not the first life of 
all of those people, and so each one enters this life bringing with 
him all of his inherited tendencies — sanskaras, the Master calls 
them. 

Each one comes with a definite program outlined for him, ac- 
cording to his past record. This is his fate karma. That program he 
must carry out When the last act of that program has been per- 
formed, the scene closes. The end comes. It must come. More- 
over, the end cannot come until the last act of his preordained life 
has been performed. He then passes to another life. There again 
his future is assigned to him on the basis of his own earnings. In 
this manner every individual marks time in the grand calendar of 
the ages. The only thing that can ever bring this monotonous 
routine to an end is the meeting with a living Master. When a 
man has this opportunity, it implies a good fate karma and that 
the supreme crisis of his long career has come. His deliverance is 
close at hand. 

If a student feels inclined to ask why all men have not the 
opportunity to meet a Master, the answer is again, their karma. 
They have not earned that privilege. (No man can meet a Master 
until he has earned the right.) And when they have earned the 
right, there is no power in the world that can keep them away 
from the Master— not even the stormy waters of seven seas. There 
is no injustice in this thing. Never mind if you think some who 
never meet the Master are much better people than some who do 
meet him. We have not sufficient data to judge who is most worthy. 

If some people are favored in India, while so many good people 
in Europe and America have no such opportunity, it is because 
these people in India have earned the right. God only knows how 
many long and weary ages they have waited and suffered and 
worked, only to be bom in India with but little of this world's 
goods, and even poor mental equipment, yet with hearts filled 
with love, ready to follow the Master with no misgivings, no men- 
tal pulling back. They may have nothing else, many of them. They 



322 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



may be poor and ignorant, but they have much good karma, and 
so they find themselves at the Master's feet. On the other hand, a 
man in Europe or America may have great intelligence, wealth 
and position, yet his karma of past fives may not have entitled him 
to meet a Master in this fife. That is why such men do not meet 
him. It is not because they live so far away. 

It may be asserted without qualification that if a thousand men 
and women, or even one alone, in America were fully prepared to 
meet a Master, they would find him, even if he had to come across 
the seas to them. When any man or woman has earned the right 
to stand before a Master, there is no power in the universe that 
can keep him away from the Master. The two must meet. But in 
every case it is good karma that brings the soul to the Master. It is 
well known among advanced students of the occult that: 

When the disciple is ready, the Guru appears. 



We may be asked, what is the final goal of good karma? The 
answer is that it will bring the individual to the Master, That is the 
extreme good fortune, the very highest reward of good karma. His 
early liberation from the wheel is then assured. 

However, reason as we may, the final and only conclusive proof 
of the doctrine of karma and reincarnation comes when one en- 
ters the inner worlds and there beholds its operation for oneself. It 
is then not a question to be settled by elaborate academic discus- 
sions, by logic or belief. Like all other teachings of the Masters, 
this is founded upon observation and personal experience, upon 
sight and hearing, upon positive knowledge. These things are as 
well known to the Masters as are the common phenomena of 
wheat growing or house building. They behold them in operation, 
and therefore they need not guess. 

When anyone enters the higher fields of knowledge, he is able 
to watch the operation of karma and reincarnation. With clear 
vision he is able to see its application to others as well as to him- 
self. At that stage everyone is able to see clearly his own past lives. 
He distinctly remembers them. It is then that he knows that he 



WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH 



323 



has lived before, and he knows just where and when he lived. 
Also, he knows his karmic earnings and losses. He can see exactly 
how the law of karma and reincarnation works out in his long 
succession of lives — how he came and went, times without num- 
ber, always bringing with him his unsettled accounts. He remem- 
bers just how he suffered or enjoyed, according to his debits and 
credits. He knows that always he had to pay, pay to the uttermost. 
The great law is then no mere theory to him. 



6. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH 

After a person dies, he or she is taken by the messengers of death 
to the subtle regions where Dharam Rai, 'the righteous judge', sits 
enthroned to judge every individual according to his deserts. 

In the Christian lands these messengers of death are very ap- 
propriately called the angels of death or the dark angels, for dark 
indeed they are, but in India they are called yamdoot or the mes- 
sengers of Yama, the king of the dead. This judge is always in 
court to take care of all comers — no long waiting, sitting in some 
jail cell. 

No one ever questions the judgment. No comment is made, no 
long-winded oratory for the defense, no pretended righteous con- 
demnation of the prosecution. The prisoner himself makes no 
complaint and asks no favors. He knows he is getting justice and 
consents to the judgment. He is then taken to the region or condi- 
tion where he has earned his residence, be that good or bad. He 
remains there for a fixed time according to the judgment just 
rendered and handed down to him. After that period has expired, 
he is returned to this world or some other world to begin a new 
life. This is the routine procedure. He may enjoy a rest in some 
heaven or paradise, some pleasant region perhaps many times 
more beautiful and delightful than any portion of this world. There 
he may remain for one year, a thousand or a million years, all 
depending upon his karma. The higher he goes, the longer the 
period of his residence there. 



324 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



But if one's life has been of a lower order, he may be taken to 
some purgatory or reformatory, often called a hell— there to en- 
dure the punishment earned by him during his lifetime. If his life 
has been one of gross misdeeds, of cruelty and greed, of murder 
and robbery, of slander and debauchery, he cannot escape the 
legitimate results. He must meet the appropriate punishments. 
But there is one feature about all such punishments that must be 
understood— they are remedial and not vindictive. They are in- 
tended for his good, to produce a reformation of character. And 
they are not eternal. But the law is inexorable; each one must get 
just what he has earned and just what is needed to impress upon 
his inmost consciousness that crime does not pay. 

Dante's "Inferno" is not all imagination. In the lower subtle 
regions are many sections adapted to serve as reformatories and 
training schools for evil-minded individuals who have passed on 
after leading lives of wickedness. In those regions all souls must 
meet the just rewards of their deeds. There is no possible escape. 
These purgatories may be severe or mild, according to the earning 
of the individuals who go there. 

The hell of the Jonathan Edwards type is a horrible finality. 
Happily that doctrine is now almost a thing of the past. It is no 
longer used to threaten and horrify sensitive children to make 
them obey. It is said that actually at times people in the church of 
Edwards would involuntarily catch hold of the benches to keep 
from slipping into hell, as it was so vividly portrayed by Edwards 
in his sermons. But of course, such teaching is supported by the 
Bible, and we cannot blame Edwards. He was conscienttous- 
used to preach it myself, but I noticed that not many people ever 
took it very seriously. Now the inclination among religious people 
is to expurgate their religion of all sorts of hells. That is going to 
the other extreme. . 

The problem must be met and rationally solved. Facts are tacts, 
no matter whether they are agreeable or not. We must face them 
And the Masters know the proper solution. They know that au 
souls meet in the next life exactly what they have earned, anfl 
there they must face their karmic debts and pay them. If they nave 



WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH 



325 



filled their minds with evil, that evil must be eradicated in some 
way. Infinite love holds on to the erring one and takes measures 
to reform him, to purify his mind and bring him up to a higher 
plane. How else can it be done if not by a course of remedial and 
disciplinary punishment and training? But when his period of 
training and discipline is over, he is free to work his way to higher 
planes and better conditions. Having been duly impressed with 
the evil nature of his former conduct, he will not readily return to it 

When a man begins the next life, he enters it chastened and 
humbled, more inclined to mercy and good deeds. He then has an 
opportunity to make good karma. In going to those disciplinary 
regions, there is no such thing as despair, no hopeless finality. 
There is kindness even in such punishments, kindness and infinite 
love. The punishment is for the good of him who endures it. If he 
had not earned it, he could not have been called upon to endure 
it. The supreme Father never forsakes an erring soul, not even in 
his darkest hour. 

After his period of discipline is over on the subtle planes, he 
may be required to re-enter earthly life in some lower form, to 
finish up his karmic schooling. If he has lived his earthly life on a 
very low plane, in degradation and shame, he may be obliged to 
come back in some animal form, bitterly humiliated and chas- 
tened. But in any case that soul, that tiny spark of the infinite 
light, is never extinguished. It is simply obscured and humbled. 
The mind is circumscribed and limited to suit the limitations of 
the animal brain. When he returns to the human plane again, the 
mind is naturally expanded to suit the new brain. In the animal 
brain we may say the mind is simply darkened, imprisoned, and 
its light obscured. 

Each tiny bit of mindstuff, drawn from the universal mind, is 
just what that individual needs for the normal expression of his 
life in the body he has. The same mind goes with each one through 
all of his karmic career, but in each body it is obliged to adjust 
itself to the instrument it has. In the brain of a dog, for example, 
the mind is circumscribed and limited. It is cramped into such 
narrow confines that it cannot exercise its full capacity. But as 



326 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



soon as it takes human form again, it automatically expands to its 
full expression as a human. When the mind of a higher level man 
is liberated from the narrow limits of the human brain, it is then 
expanded to its full powers of expression upon a higher plane. 

Students often ask: What is the explanation when one person 
suffers injustice at the hands of another? The answer is that there 
is no such thing as innocence suffering injustice at the hands of 
another. Let us explain: It only appears so because we cannot see 
the entire drama at one glance. We see only isolated acts, unrelat- 
ed episodes. It must be remembered that this law of karma is 
universal. In every case a soul gets exactiy what it has earned, no 
more and no less. There is no such thing as innocence suffering at 
the hands of tyranny or cruelty. Do not accuse the Creator of 
mismanagement of his affairs. What seems injustice in so many 
cases is only an appearance. How do we know? Because on the 
inner planes those who are qualified can observe the workings of 
the law. 

If not in this life, then in a previous one, that 'innocent' person 
had done something to earn exactly what he is now getting. If he 
had not earned it, he could not now get it. It is impossible that 
anyone should suffer an injustice, though it often appears as if one 
is suffering the grossest injustice. But as said before, that is be- 
cause we see only an isolated act of the entire drama. Whatever 
one gets, he has certainly earned in some period of his long career. 

When someone imposes upon another what appears to be an 
injustice, and looked at from all aspects of the affair known to us 
it is an injustice, we know the recipient has earned it at some time, 
somewhere — yet that does not excuse the one who inflicts the 
apparent injustice. He may be ever so guilty. Even if he is admin- 
istering a just punishment to the other, it does not excuse him for 
the act. He should rise to a higher law and give out love and 
kindness instead of an eye for an eye — if he did so, he himself 
would earn good karma. But this way he incurs further obliga- 
tions which he must pay at some later date. 

It is injustice from the standpoint of the man who inflicts the 
injury. Nevertheless, he may be returning some act of injustice or 



HOW TO DO KARMALESS ACTIONS 



327 



injury which he suffered in some previous life. This actually hap- 
pens in many instances. These transactions are often extremely 
complicated from our limited viewpoint. But if the actor had re- 
turned good for evil instead of stern justice, he would himself 
have fared much better in the long run. In no case is a man justi- 
fied in injuring another, even if he has been injured by the other. 
In no case is anyone justified in returning evil for evil; but in every 
case the wrongdoer must suffer for his evil conduct, even if the 
suffering must come by what is called an act of God, like a storm 
or railway accident, where no one individual is responsible. (A 
storm may come and blow his house down and break his bones; 
karmic debts are paid that way very frequently.) 

The moral responsibility of a bad act is in no wise lessened 
because his victim had earned the ill luck far back in some un- 
known past. Bear in mind that there is always an automatic execu- 
tion of karmic debts. It must come, and it generally comes with- 
out the conscious participation of the parties concerned. Only one 
who has inner vision can see its workings. 



7. HOW TO DO KARMALESS ACTIONS 

There is one more extremely interesting phase of karma which 
ought not to escape our attention. We have now seen how it binds 
us. We shall be interested to know if there is any possible escape 
from creating karma, even in the case of disciples of the Master. 

There is no escape from karma once it is created. When the 
debt is incurred, it must be paid. But there is a way of living 
without creating karma at all. We have already said that all living 
beings create karma by every act of their lives. The Gita says that 
inactivity itself creates karma, and no one can escape it. But there 
is a way. What is that way? By acting always in the name of the 
Master.The Master himself is karmaless. He has met and satisfied 
all of his own karma by the aid of his own Guru. After that, he 
rises above the action of the karmic law. He is no longer subject to 
that law because he has risen above the plane of its action. He is 



328 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



free from the laws of all regions where karma operates. He can 
never again be bound by that law. All work which he does is now 
done in the name of the Satguru whom he serves, seeking to please 
him only. He has no desires of his own. He does nothing without 
the full approval of the Supreme, and all he does is constructive. If 
he made any^ karma at all, if such a thing were possible, it would 
be good karma, and good karma elevates one. But the Master has 
already attained the supreme status. How can he go higher? Hence 
karma could have no effect upon him. 

Now, if the Master's disciple wishes to escape the creation of 
karma of any sort, let him do whatever he does in the name of the 
Master, acting as his agent. So long as he does that, he will not 
create new karma, because he is acting solely as the agent of an- 
other, and always the principal is responsible for the acts of his 
agent. But he must do this not merely in a ceremonial way but 
with his entire thought and soul in it. In deep earnest let him do 
all things, every detail of bis life, in the name of his Master. This 
will, per necessity, oblige him to do only what he thinks his Mas- 
ter will approve of. When he approaches a task or a proposed act, he 
will remember that it is to be done in the name of the Master. He will 
fix his mind on the Master, and then in love and devotion he will 
do the work as a genuine service to the Master and in his name. 
He will remember that nothing is his own. All belongs to the 
Master because he has dedicated all to the Master— even his mind 
and his body, as well as his property. So he must use them all as if 
he were using the property of another, and use them exacdy as he 
believes the owner would like to have him use them. 

Everything then is used only in the service of the Master. Even 
the eating of one's own food is to be done as an act of service to 
the Master. Your whole life belongs to the Master and is to be 
spent in his service. Then you eat in order to keep the body in 
good condition, that it may go on rendering good service. There is 
a very meaningful sentence written by Guru Nanak, which says: 

Body, mind and wealth; give all to the Guru; obey his com- 
mands, and reap the reward. 



HOW TO DO KARMALESS ACTIONS 



329 



If the critic objects that this is going too far, that it sounds like a 
scheme to get the disciple to give up his property to the Master, 
let him know that the Master never under any circumstance takes 
over the property of a student No real saint or Master ever ac- 
cepts a penny from his disciples. The Master accepts the disciple's 
money just as he accepts the disciple's mind and body, as a gift of 
love and trust. Now the Master holds a moral tide to them; the 
student goes on using them just as he did before, but he uses 
them in the name of the Master, who is now the real owner. They 
are used for a noble service and cannot be used for any selfish or 
unworthy purpose. If he is about to commit an unworthy act, the 
student will remember that his mind and body are the Master's 
property and* he cannot use them improperly. So this is a protec- 
tion for the disciple. 

But the main point under consideration here is that if the disci- 
ple uses his mind and his body and his wealth all in the name of 
the Master, he is not creating any karma. Essentially it is the Mas- 
ter acting and not the disciple. The disciple is only the agent of the 
Master, So long as he is acting sincerely and wholeheartedly as the 
agent and disciple of the Master, it is really the Master who is 
acting. When our lives are sincerely dedicated to the path, we give 
up all to the Guru and we think only of doing his commands. 
Jesus said: 

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. 

(John 8:31) 

And this is so regarding the disciples of any Master. Inayat 
Khan, a noted Sufi, says: 

Give us all you have, and we will give you all we possess. 



And in that saying there is much wisdom and a great promise. 
It means that if the disciple gives up all— mind, body, wealth and 
soul — to the Master, the Master will in return give the disciple 
such wealth as no king ever possessed. The Master will give him 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



riches that surpass all else on earth, and in exchange for the sur- 
render of himself to the Master, he will gain a freedom that makes 
him master of a limitless empire. It is not that the Master wants 
the disciple's mind or body or property. It is for the benefit of the 
disciple alone that the Master asks him to dedicate all to him. 
Such a gift on the part of the disciple generates more love in the 
disciple and enables the Master to do more for him, and at the 
same time it protects the disciple from making mistakes. 

All this means that the big T must be eliminated from the 
disciple's innermost thought. Humility and love must take its place. 
Perfect devotion to the Guru will lead you into the fight. The 
supreme advantage in following the Guru is that you wiU never 
make mistakes, for he knows what is best and correct in every 
possible emergency. In no sense is the personal liberty of a disciple 
ever circumscribed or limited by surrender to the Guru. The dis- 
ciple is more free than ever before. He has no more fear of any- 
thing. He goes where he pleases and does what he likes with the 
most perfect assurance. 

Here is a divine paradox — by surrendering all to the Guru, you 
gain your liberty. By giving everything to him, you gain every- 
thing. Only that man is free who walks behind the Guru. Only 
that man is free who always does the will of the Master. For the 
will of the Guru is the will of the supreme Father. And that is 
really the secret of this whole matter. The Master is the represen- 
tative of the Supreme. By following him, we follow God. 

It may be well to note here that there are two different adminis- 
trations of karma — that of Kal, the negative power, and the other 
of Dayal, the merciful. Guru and Dayal are the same, and both 
refer to the supreme being, the Lord of the infinite universe. Kal is 
the lord of karma for this world and all regions up to the sec- 
ond — Trikuti. Karma is administered by him to the great bulk of 
humanity. In fact, in case of all who have no Guru, they follow the 
routine outlined above, and karma holds sway over their lives 
from age to age. From the wheel of karmic destiny there is no 
escape, except when one meets a living Master. But the very mo- 
ment a person is initiated by a Guru, that is, becomes his disciple, 
all his karmic accounts are transferred to the Guru's keeping, au- 



KARMA AND THE VEGETABLE DIET 



331 



tomatically passing from the hand of the negative power. After 
that, the Guru, working under the directions of the supreme posi- 
tive power, administers the karma of his disciple. From that horn- 
forward, Kal, or the negative power, has nothing to do with his 
accounts and has no power or control over him. The agents of 
death cannot approach him, nor can he ever be called into the 
courts of Dharam Rai for judgment His destiny in this life and in the 
next rests entirely in the hands of his Guru. The Master then admin- 
isters the karma of his disdple just as he thinks best for the disciple. 



8. KARMA AND THE VEGETABLE DIET 

It is well known that the majority of the Indian population do not 
eat meat. (The Muslims and a few modern Hindus do eat it.) This 
is not altogether because they cannot afford meat. Most of them 
object to it because it involves the taking of life. Underlying that 
objection is the law of karma, which has been familiar to Indians 
for many thousands of years. Saints and their disciples do not eat 
meat, fish, eggs or any sort of animal food for the same reason. It 
involves the slaughter of animal life, and that means the assump- 
tion of karmic debts. Let us now see how it works out both in 
theory and in practice. 

In vegetables there is but one active tattwa, or elementary con- 
dition of matter. That is jal, which means 'water'. It refers to the 
liquid state of any substance. In insects there are two active tatt- 
was t agni or 'fire', and vayu or 'air'. Agni refers to the resolving 
state, or heat; it means a transitional state of matter. Vayu refers 
to the gaseous condition of matter. In birds there are three active 
tattwas: jal, agni and vayu. In the higher animals there are four 
active tattwas: prithvi (earth), jal, agni and vayu. But in man, and 
in man alone, all five tattwas are active. As a matter of fact, all five 
tattwas are in everything in the world, but they are not active. 
Akash is the last one, which is active in man alone. 

Now, the law by which we are governed is this: The greater the 
number of active tattwas that are combined in the living individu- 
al, the higher he is in the scale of evolution and also the greater 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



the responsibility involved in killing that individual — hence, the 
greater the burden of karma assumed in killing. But since man has 
to eat something in order to continue his life here, the ancient 
sages and Masters selected the least harmful substances, that is, 
those things in the killing and eating of which there is the least 
karma to be assumed. They decided on vegetables; no animals at 
all. Of course, there is some karma to be assumed in eating vegeta- 
bles, as there is life in them too. But in vegetables there is the 
lowest form of life, and hence the least karma involved. This is the 
chief reason why the saints do not approve of killing and eating 
animals. 

The second reason is that the eating of animal food interferes 
with one's spiritual refinement. It drags a person down toward the 
animal plane. It is a fact that so long as one eats animals, he will be 
more or less like animals. It is unavoidable that we should become 
like what we eat, just as we become like that of which we constant- 
ly think. We must absorb its qualities to some extent. How could 
it be otherwise? That is but common sense, and I believe most 
people will agree to it. It may be tested by anyone. A heavy animal 
diet will always awaken the animal passions and drag one's thoughts 
down to the animal plane. But the disciples of the saints have as 
their chief aim and effort in life to rise above the animal plane and 
to unfold their spiritual powers. Hence they must not eat that 
which will pull them down to the animal level. 

Another reason is that an animal diet is an unhealthy diet. It 
fills the body with impurities, the purine group especially — uric 
acid and other by-products of animal-food digestion. All these 
bring on their train of evils — rheumatism, mental dullness, heavi- 
ness and laziness, appendicitis, etc. The refuse in the intestinal 
tract from animal foods develops soluble poisons that are them- 
selves deadly, and if a person goes on manufacturing and absorb- 
ing them, they may lead to disease, an enfeebled old age or an 
early death. 

But the student of the Masters wishes to keep his body in as 
perfect a condition as possible. This is one of the oft-repeated 
commands of the Master. Then it stands to reason that he must 



RF1NCARNA TION AND SOCIAL RECONSTR VCTION 



333 



select the purest and least harmful foods available. This means a 
diet of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, and all dairy products. 

Students of the Masters are strictly enjoined not to indulge in 
intoxicating drinks. This is because they confound the intellect, 
vitiate judgment and almost destroy discrimination, leading to 
creating bad karmas. Under its influence, one may do things which 
result in a heavy karmk debt that can only be wiped off in several 
incarnations, besides bringing shame and dishonor here. Both body 
and mind suffer, the resulting mental slavery being a great imped- 
iment in the way of spiritual practice. 



9. REINCARNATION AND SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION 

Connected with this great fact of nature is a problem of vital 
interest to society in general. It is this: Reincarnation and karma 
offer society a sound basis upon which to proceed in dealing with 
all sorts of human irregularities. They give the courts a clue to the 
problems of the criminal. They offer a working principle in apply- 
ing the law of justice to all offenders. And what is of still more 
importance, they suggest how society may greatiy improve itself 
by establishing a more healthy environment for its unfortunate 
members. And lastly, they offer a most salutary suggestion as to 
the best methods of education and the building of character. 

The first suggestion offered is that the weak, the criminally in- 
clined mental children in grown-up bodies, must all be treated as 
patients for the physician rather than as victims for the hangman. 
They are not fully responsible, not in the later stage of their de- 
generacy. Many of them have long since passed the status of per- 
sonal responsibility. Then is the time for society to step in and 
apply the methods of a father, to the end that his son may be 
restored to normal health. Society should never be frightened at 
the word nepotism. Let hidebound conservatism talk. What is wrong 
if society does play the part of grandfather to a weak member of 
its family? It is far more humane than acting the part of the tyrant 
executing a weakling. So much the more credit to it. It is certainly 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



more to the credit of the social order to play the part of a grandfa- 
ther than to revert to the law of the jungle. The one method is the 
crown of civilization, while the other is only an anachronism in 
the long struggle for the survival of the fittest. It is simply a linger- 
ing remnant of barbarism. 

All systems of education should be so adjusted that the weak 
shall be made strong, even as a weak muscle is strengthened by 
exercise. The right sort of impulses must be encouraged, while all 
destructive tendencies may be checked by a rational application of 
science. There should be an applied science of ethics as well as of 
agriculture. 

Sympathy should take the place of vindictive punishment, the 
aim being to restore the individual to a state of health and nor- 
mality. The purpose should be always to change him into a good 
citizen. But it should be known to all by this time that no one has 
ever yet been made good by punishment. The universal experi- 
ence of criminal institutions is that the criminal comes out more 
hardened than ever, and more criminally inclined. He feels he 
now has a real grievance against society. If in rare instances a man 
comes out of prison with a reformed character, it is because of his 
own inner nobility, and the reform has been fostered in himself in 
spite of his prison career. His better nature has found time to 
assert itself in spite of the hardening tendencies of prison life. 

A knowledge of reincarnation will make a great difference in 
our treatment of both men and animals. It will teach us that we 
are all bound up in one karmic bond. We cannot then mistreat 
animals, neither can we go on killing and eating them. Knowing 
that we are all in one common brotherhood, this great truth will 
inspire more love and kindly consideration toward every living 
being. 

All these points will be clarified in our understanding if we 
remember that this is not our first and only life here, nor will it be 
our last — unless we meet a Master. This understanding will help 
the courts and the educators. It will show them how people bring 
with them into this life all sorts of tendencies and inclinations not 
otherwise to be accounted for. These qualities must then be dealt 



REINCARNATION AND SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION 



335 



with on a rational basis, keeping in mind that the ultimate aim is 
to eliminate the destructive tendencies of delinquents instead of 
trying to destroy the delinquents themselves. Society must en- 
deavor to develop constructive ideals and build character. Only in 
this way can society build for itself a structure worthy to be called 
a civilized state. 

Civilization and governments have changed from age to age, in 
each age taking shape to correspond with the inner development 
of its citizens. Not only do the saints teach that there was a Golden 
Age from which the human race has descended, but they point 
out the more important fact that such descent has been marked 
by a gradual degeneration of mankind from their pristine glory, 
also, that this degeneration has resulted in establishing different 
sorts of governments and totally different social orders. The Maha- 
bharat says: 

At first there was neither state nor ruler; neither punishment, 
i nor anybody to administer it. The people used to protect one 
another by or through innate righteousness [dharma] and a 
lively sense of justice. Santi LLK: 14 



It is a fact which must sooner or later be acknowledged that 
kings, rulers, courts, judges, priests, policemen, lawyers and legal 
punishments are all marks of racial degeneration and not indices 
of a high degree of civilization, as many fondly believe. We would 
much like to discuss this subject more fully, but this is a statement 
of Sant Mat and not a treatise on education and government. 

All the sacred literature of ancient India teaches that kings, states 
and civil laws came about because of the degeneracy of mankind. 
Of course, this is a new idea to the West. But the West may do 
well to ponder over it. As evil tendencies became more and more 
manifest in society, some regulations had to be adopted to protect 
society. Then a system of laws was worked out to suit the condi- 
tions. Manu became the great lawgiver for India as Moses was for 
the Jews. Laws were made suitable to the people and the times. A 
definite code of conduct was established, a sort of constitutional 



336 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



law. In Manu Samhita (VU'.iq-yi), the code is set forth as the 
concrete will of God, the foundation and support of society. It is 
the cornerstone, the pillar of the state. 

It is an old trick of priests and kings to teach the mob that 
whatever they give out is the will of God. It makes a better impres- 
sion. A moral code serves the will of God by restraining the evil 
tendencies of men, protecting the weak, and to some extent devel- 
oping the higher impulses by inculcating higher ideals. It then 
aids all well-disposed people to establish a wholesome self- regula- 
tion in their own lives. If a state or an individual is governed by 
this fundamental code or law of life, it must follow the divine law. 

The most successful stroke of statesmen was to make the people 
accept their laws as identical with the divine law. If a state is once 
established upon the supreme law, it is in a position to carry out 
the will of the Supreme. This was really the underlying principle 
upon which kings used to claim their 'divine rights'. But that was 
a misuse of the whole idea of a law of life. The real code could be 
only a righteous law. The real code had in view just as much the 
divine rights of the people as it had the divine rights of kings. 
Over this bar of divine rights even the king could not trespass. 

We cannot fail to make note of the fact that as the human race 
entered upon its decline in civilized standards, there was a transfer 
of the center of government from within man to enacted stat- 
utes — in other words, from moral standards deeply embedded in 
the inner consciousness of the people to laws written in books. 
When the time came that the fundamental law of Ufe was no 
longer in the hearts of the people but in books, then the decline of 
civilization had already set in. When the time comes, if it ever 
does, when fundamental law will again become established in the 
public conscience, enacted statutes with courts, judges and pris- 
ons will pass away as useless adjuncts of a more sane government. 

The division du travail of which Durkheim speaks is a com- 
monwealth in which every citizen shares in the general responsi- 
bilities and rewards of good government. And this is the only 
stable, as well as the only just, government — be that government 
either monarchy or democracy. This was the sort of government 



REINCARNATION AND SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION 



337 



Manu had in mind, as well as Plato. But their ideas found a differ- 
ent expression in different times and among different peoples. It 
may be said also to embody the highest ideals not only of Plato 
and Manu, but of Moses, of Karl Marx and of Eugene Debs. Mod- 
ern socialism is only a phase of the old, old struggle toward the 
realization of a civilized government. We believe that when this 
long struggle, worn on to its final conclusion, has reached its 
ultimate solution, society will finish up just where it began in the 
Golden Age— with no government at all, except that which has its 
fundamental code in the hearts of the people. 

Most modern writers fail to call attention to the gradual change 
in governments and social orders due to the progressive degener- 
acy of mankind. They keep thinking too much of our ascent from 
the jungle beast. And they are right as far as they can see. But 
there was a period of descent, long ages of descent, before the 
comparatively modern era of ascent began. That earlier period the 
evolutionist cannot see, for he has not sufficient data at hand. It is 
only the great Masters who are familiar with that period. When 
the Golden Age had long passed, and the Silver Age also, the 
Copper Age witnessed many degenerative changes. Kings and 
priests and manifold weaknesses made their appearance. Slowly 
then came the Iron Age, marking the lowest ebb in individual and 
social degeneration. It was during that period that modern laws, 
governments and social regulations began to appear. The anar- 
chist is quite correct in theory. But for anarchy to prevail with 
social equilibrium, it would be necessary for the whole race to 
become ideal citizens, individually governed by the fundamental 
law. Their self-regulation must come from a pure heart and an 
all-embracing love. Unfortunately, that condition -does not now 
prevail. But it will prevail, if ever the time comes when all men, 
having first deeply fixed the Great Law in their hearts, shall set out 
upon the path of the Masters. Shall we dare hope for that? 

Coming back now to our starting point, the establishment of 
the principles of Sant Mat— with full knowledge of the whole 
scheme of karma and reincarnation — must clarify and rationalize 
all philosophy. Upon this new interpretation of fundamental law a 






KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



KARMA AND THE NATURE OF EVIL 



339 



new state and a new social order will be established in which every 
man, woman and child will receive the best sort of treatment and 
protection, looking in every instance to their ultimate good; and 
the keynote of that philosophy will be love. And the path of love is 
the path of the Masters. 

Last of all, knowing the law that every man must reap what he 
sows, and that he can never escape the law, no rational being will 
go on ruthlessly mistreating his fellow beings and indulging him- 
self in vile passions. That would be equivalent to suicide. No man 
in his right mind will injure himself. This great science of the 
Masters teaches us that to injure another person is only another 
form of suicide. 



10. KARMA AND THE NATURE OF EVIL 

Karma is bound up with all forms of sin and evil, as well as of 

righteousness. 

sin — righteousness — karma 

These three cannot be separated. Both sin and righteousness 
create karma. It may be of use to give a httle more careful study to 
these three. In the sacred literature of India, dharma, 'righteous- 
ness', is doing right, obeying the law, and this means doing 'what 
is to be done 5 . Adharma, 'unrighteousness', is disobedience of the 
law of dharma. The same teaching runs through all religions: the 
Law of Moses, the Eightfold Path of Buddha, the Will of Allah— m 
fact, the Commandments of God. No matter by what name the 
system may be called, they are all the same. Finally, to do what- 
ever is written in the law is regarded as righteousness. To disobey 
is sin. But nowhere is it told exactly what sin and righteousness 
are, per se. And that is because all people go by a book of laws. No 
one except the Masters has attempted to tell what the substance ot 
evil is or the essential content of doing right. When the time comes 



that mankind will look within their own souls for the fundamen- 
tal law, and not in a book, all of these difficulties will be avoided. 

Just why it is that certain conduct is wrong and forbidden and 
why certain other conduct is good can be known only from the 
teachings of the Masters, for no one else has ever told us. This is 
going to the bottom of the problem, but it has not been done in 
any religion. Religious leaders simply write down their command- 
ments in a book and assign penalties for their violation. Nearly all 
of them sum up the matter by saying: "Do the will of God." And 
when we come to a little closer investigation of the matter, we find 
that the commands of the lawgiver are assumed to be the will of 
God. Who is to tell us exactly what the will of God is? Of course, 
the priests and the prophets and the kings. But if we challenge 
their credentials to speak for God, they call us bad names. Ask 
them just why any given thing, like stealing, is wrong, and they 
will give you many reasons, but not the fundamental reason. Ask 
one of them why adultery is wrong, and he will tell you because it 
is forbidden in the Ten Commandments or some other book of 
law. And that is as far as he can go. What constitutes good con- 
duct? What constitutes bad actions? No clear conception of the 
fundamental nature of these transactions can be gathered from 
the literature. 

But in all discussions which claim to be of a scientific character, 
these deeper problems must be met. Otherwise we shall only cloud 
our subject, ending just where we began, in a maze of meaningless 
words. The science of the Masters is able to offer an exact defini- 
tion of all terms relating to the science and to reach down to the 
very inmost substance of the questions under discussion. For that 
reason, we are endeavoring to give underlying principles here rather 
than superficial definitions or rules. The reader may then make 
his own rules and laws. The first of these fundamental principles 
is that which explains what is fundamentally evil or wrong. It is as 
follows: 

Whatever bears the quality or character of any of the five 
evil passions, or in any way hinders or delays the soul in its 




340 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



progress toward spiritual freedom, is wrong. Whatever rais- 
es the consciousness is right 

This principle may be elaborated to suit the reader. Another 
guiding principle is: 

To keep on the path of spiritual progress, the mind must be 
maintained at its center behind the eyes; any action pulling 
it down from there retards progress and can, therefore, be 
called wrongdoing. 

We must not forget that the doer is not the only one to be 
considered in any study of right and wrong conduct. The doer 
and the recipient both must be considered. If a certain act has the 
effect of delaying anyone else on the path of spiritual liberation, 
then that course of action must be considered wrong. The simple 
sum of the matter is that no one is to be impeded on his way to 
the light. Any given act that has the effect of helping another party 
in his spiritual progress is to be considered good. The ultimate 
effect upon the higher interest of all concerned must be the prime 
consideration. 

Do not be misled by that old but erroneous maxim: the greatest 
good of the greatest number. That is one of the most unfortunate 
slogans that ever gained recognition. It sounds plausible but it is 
utterly misleading. That saying has been used for centuries to jus- 
tify murder in the name of society. Nothing can be moral or good 
if a single individual has to be sacrificed to gain it. Who is going to 
make good to the victim? Who shall compensate him for the dep- 
rivation of his natural rights? If a man misuses his liberty or his 
privileges, he may forfeit that liberty or those privileges, but by no 
means or upon any sort of pretext should he be deprived of his 
life. Society can take away a man's liberty and society can restore 
it. But society cannot restore one's life. Moreover, such a sacrifice 
is not necessary to protect society. 

Last of all, what is evil itself? We believe there is no better 
definition than that given by some discerning students of both 



LOVE, THE PASSKEY TO THE KINGDOM 



34] 



East and West, who say that evil is only a lesser good. In other 
words, there is no such thing as evil, per se. Perhaps a clearer 
expression of the same truth may be found in the statement: Evil 
is but a shadow, a lesser light. The shadow well illustrates the 
nature of the thing that troubles us so much and about which we 
talk so much and know so little. Let us analyze it. 

A shadow is simply less light, nothing else. In total darkness 
there is no shadow. Total darkness is nothing. Neither is there 
shadow in the perfect light. But if some obstruction shuts off a 
portion of the light, then we have shadow. There is a spot or 
surface where there is less light than that which shines upon the 
surrounding region, and that is a shadow. The final conclusion of 
the whole matter is that just as shadow is a lesser light, so evil is a 
lesser good. We feel some pain in the lesser good because we crave 
the perfect good. A misguided ego thrusts itself into the fore- 
ground and obstructs the perfect light. Just how this works out in 
detail I think may be left to the reader. It will not be difficult to 
follow it. 

It is a logical corollary that the cure of evil is unobstructed light 
When this occurs, as in the case of the Master, then all evil vanish- 
es as darkness disappears in the perfect sunlight. 



U. LOVE, THE PASSKEY TO THE KINGDOM 

One of the most amazing and thought-provoking of all pheno- 
mena in the work of the Masters is the gathering of the simple and 
the lowly at their feet. How have they managed to find him when 
so many millions of 'the best people' of the world have failed to 
do so? How have they come, these who understand so little? What- 
ever moved them to seek spiritual liberation when they scarcely 
know any more than to eat, sleep and work a little? It is doubtful 
if many of them even know what they seek. What inner urge has 
brought them on such a strange quest when the flame of their 
intellect is so very low? Herein is a divine mystery. Read slowly 



342 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



LOVE THE PASSKEY TO THE KINGDOM 



343 



and carefully the following suggestion, lest you miss the main 
point: 

The key to this mystery is the great mercy of the Supreme; that 
and the great love of these people. Remember that the best thing in 
the world is not a matter of superior brains. We need not set 
ourselves upon a pedestal because we have more intellect than 
some others. I once knew a strange couple — a man and a dog. The 
dog was one of the most lovable and loving of animals. But the 
man was an ordinary reprobate. To see these two together and 
witness the unselfish devotion of the dog, it was not difficult to say 
which had the superior soul. In like manner some of the poorest 
and roughest-looking specimens of human beings may have supe- 
rior souls. 

We should remember that no one can come to the Satguru 
until his good karma brings him. So these poor people must have 
a lot of good karma, even though appearances may not indicate it 
Their good karma was not utilized to purchase worldly position 
and wealth, but it was applied to secure something vastly more 
important — the darshan, 'meeting and beholding', of the Great 
Master face to face. They come not with good bodies and prosper- 
ous environments, but with an inheritance of infinitely greater val- 
ue — a love, a capacity to love, like that poor dog, an inheritance 
which brought them directly to the Master's feet. They had but 
one idea; namely, that a loving Master would take them up out or 
the miseries of this world. That idea was all they required. They 
did not need to know anything else. Even though they did not 
have any of this world's goods and came as the humblest of mor- 
tals, very great is their good fortune. To find one's way to the Guru 
is far better than to be bom an emperor. 

But look at these people! Do they appear as if fortune had smiled 
upon them? Some of them have misshapen bodies; some are poorly 
developed, have distorted features; some with faces drawn and 
haggard, weary and old-looking at the age of twenty. If old in 
years, the poverty and misery of centuries is stamped all over 
them. Ask them a question which requires an intellectual answer 
and you get only a blank stare. How like Millet's "Man with the 



Hoe." Edwin Markham should be here to paint a word-picture of 
these people. 

But Markham blames the tyranny of governments for that slant- 
ed brow and extinguished light. This is wrong. Every man has 
made himself just what he is, in spite of the mistakes of govern- 
ments. Poor as these people appear, they are among the luckiest of 
men. They have come up out of the darkness to be enfranchised 
sons and daughters of the King of kings. They have hit upon a 
direct route to the palace of their Father. And what has brought to 
them such good fortune? Their love. Again you will ask: How 
have these poor and lowly ones come to the Satguru, when so 
many millions of the world's greatest and most privileged, with 
keen critical minds, care nothing for the Master? Or if they do 
care, they seem to have no opportunity to 'meet him. How has this 
paradox of life come about? Mercy and love — the mercy of the 
Supreme and the love of these lowly ones. A capacity to love is a 
nobler quality than the capacity to rule. These poor people have 
nothing else, but they are rich in love. 

While you travel about in your beautiful cars, these humble 
people trudge along over dusty highways, weary of limb, bearing 
their roll of bedding and a morsel or two of food. Two, three or 
four days some of them walk, determined at any cost to see their 
beloved Master. Some of them cannot afford even a third-class 
ticket, but they are determined to be at the monthly satsangs and 
sit before the Master. Today they sit in one grand concourse, per- 
haps twelve thousand. Here these poor and lowly mingle with the 
rich and the educated. I watch them. Suddenly that dull face loses 
its blankness. A flash of light changes the whole countenance. 
They smile; the whole face lights up with joy. They fold their 
hands. The Master has come. They gaze at him with rapt attention. 
Their whole being is agitated, joyous. It is their Satguru, the light 
of the world! That is love, adoration, devotion! No matter how 
poor they came into the world as men, now they are multimillion- 
aires in love. 

We know that love is the passkey to the kingdom of heaven. It 
may be that the conduct of some few of these people may turn out 






344 



KARMA AND REINCARNATION 



LOVE, THE PASSKEY TO THE KINGDOM 



345 



to be a trifle shady at times. But after all, they are but 'little chil- 
dren of the law'. Always there is that two-sided aspect of charac- 
ter. And it is very difficult to eradicate, even amongst the highest 
types of men. The other aspect is made up almost entirely of a 
great love. Humble and simple, with minds of little children, such 
people have nothing to block their way to the Master, like the 
worldly-wise have. Jesus said: Unless men become as little chil- 
dren, they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3). 
Love and faith and humility: These virtues they have, these poor 
and lowly people. 

Love will admit you to all heaven-worlds. Love is the golden 
coin current in those worlds. That sort of love has brought these 
people to the Master. It has opened to them the doors which ever 
remain closed to the selfish and the vain. They may be beggars in 
rags here, but over there they are princes of the realm. 

How great a thing is love! 1 think no man can write it down. No 
man will ever understand it until he himself arrives in the king- 
dom of love. If our good karma, running through a thousand 
centuries, should bring us nothing more than a capacity to love, 
then it were not in vain to suffer and toil up the long steep grades. 
The love of the humblest soul is so great a thing that it exalts and 
ennobles not only that individual himself but everyone else in the 
world. The whole of human life upon the planet is exalted, and to 
some extent purified, by the love of one noble soul. If it were not 
for the love that is in the world, the entire fabric of human and 
animal life would crumble into darkness and chaos. Every person 
who loves even a little in purity and unselfishness contributes that 
much toward the elevation of the whole of humanity. 

The question is often asked; When all the mists have cleared 
away, when a poor and uneducated man stands side by side with a 
man of great intellect and learning upon the bright shores of Sach 
Khand, what will be the difference between the two? What advan- 
tage will the man of learning have over the other? The answer is— 
none at all His intellect has never taken that man to Sach Khand. 
Intellect will never take anyone to the higher regions. Love and 
love alone will do it- — love and the help of the Master. 






Mind goes only to the second region and is there discarded as a 
thing of no further use. When the soul of this poor man shall 
stand by the side of an Emerson or a Plato on that fair shore, there 
will be no difference at all between them. Both are drops from the 
same infinite ocean. And that entire ocean is love. Nothing but 
love. Pure spirit and pure love. There is not a single drop of mind 
in all that ocean. There is no intellect there — nothing of the ordi- 
nary earthly man, except spirit — only pure soul and a boundless 
love! 






8 



The Existence of Higher Worlds 



1 . A NEW CONCEPT OF THE UNIVERSE 

To the Oriental mind, there is nothing new or startling in the 
idea of higher or inner worlds. The people of the East have been 
accustomed to such ideas for countless centuries. Neither do they 
question the ability of a man to enter those finer worlds during 
his lifetime. He simply has to be qualified under a Master who has 
himself accomplished the task. The East has had such ideas, and 
many of its mahatmas have worked them out in individual experi- 
ence during untold thousands of years. And not only have they 
worked out those ideas in practical experience but they have re- 
duced those experiences to an exact science. This was done ages 
before the first pages of history were written. 

The Sanskrit technical terminology of this science bears silent 
witness to its authenticity and something of its venerable age. In 
this volume many Sanskrit terms have been used, and such use 
could not well be avoided. This is to be regretted in some respects. 
Many people object to the use of Sanskrit in a book printed in 
English. But they do not realize the difficulties involved in trying 
to do without it. Would you try to write a book on medicine 



UA 



A NEW CONCEPT OF THE UNIVERSE 



347 



without using Latin and Greek words? In a work which deals with 
a science more accurate and exacting than that of medicine, we 
cannot dispense with technical terms. In that ancient language are 
many terms giving the minutest shades of meaning to almost 
every psychological and spiritual experience possible to man. This 
is conclusive proof that psychology and spiritual experiences had 
been reduced to a science when Sanskrit was a spoken language in 
its formative periods. Today Sanskrit sustains the same relation to 
spiritual science as do Greek and Latin to medicine or any of the 
other physical sciences. 

But it is the very idea itself which concerns us most at this time. 
I remember as a young man it took me four or five years to 
develop the ability to entertain the idea of inner worlds, or the 
finer worlds above the physical, and of the possibility of actually 
learning anything reliable concerning them. Due to my old ortho- 
dox training, the very idea itself was almost beyond me. It all 
appeared to me the most visionary dream, fantastic, the rankest 
folly of a biased mind. But in the East it is not so and never was, 
so far as we know. They have always had the idea. 

Meditation and seeing and hearing of things within oneself, 
trance, samadhi, leaving the body and going out to travel in higher 
and finer worlds, are all to the Oriental mind quite normal ideas. 
The actual accomplishment of such things has generally been left 
to those who are specially qualified. The Masters, however, tell us 
that the way is open for any man to do these things if he will train 
himself for them. To the West this entire subject is still more or 
less bizarre, abnormal and fanciful. Such things are often attribut- 
ed to some mental peculiarity or to some pathological state of 
brain and nervous system. The practical Western man regards 
such things as produced by a morbid state of mental excitation, 
more or less unwholesome. Of course, they do not concede that 
such experiences can be reduced to a science. This is unfortunate 
for the West itself. Kipling may have been right when he said: 



East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. 



348 



THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 



But it will be a fortunate day for both East and West when each 
shall impart to the other the vast wealth that is in them both; 
when the West shall give to the East its magnificent scientific spirit 
and method, its marvelous achievements in manufacturing, in com- 
merce and industry, and above all, its splendid and masterful for- 
ward movement in all things that make for material betterment. It 
will be an equally happy day for mankind when the materialistic 
West shall imbibe from the East its scientific method of mental 
and spiritual demonstration. The psychology of the Orient is just 
as much needed in the West as the science of the West is needed 
in the Orient. Today the West thinks that the East only has a 
psychology. It doesn't even think there is a science of the soul. 

But the point we wish to emphasize here is the importance of 
the Oriental view in regard to spirit and mind. The very idea of 
'going inside' of oneself and there seeing and hearing things called 
occult, or experiencing a state of superconsciousness resulting in a 
super-refinement of mind and soul, are all difficult for Western 
thought. This is because the whole subject is new to the West. It 
has never been a daily routine among us as it has been in the 
Orient Long before the days of Herodotus, or even of Manu, the 
subject was familiar to every child in the East. Among us such 
notions, even today, are limited to men and women who are gen- 
erally called impractical dreamers or visionaries. 

It is also a fact of history, though almost universally ignored, 
that all religions in all ages have had their own methods of silent 
meditation and of going inside and developing inner experiences. 
And they have all achieved something along these lines. Out of 
those experiences the various religions themselves have sprung 
up. Devotees of every religion in the world have, to some extent, 
tapped the fountains of the inner life. This is true in Christian 
history as well as in all other religions. 

Among most modern Christians, the method of going inside 
has been lost, just as it has been lost among the followers of all 
other religions. It is only the saints of the East who have kept alive 
this knowledge and transmitted it as a pure science. However, 
isolated experiences are to be met with here and there among the 
devotees of all religions; but they are more or less sporadic and 



QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT CHRISTIANS 



349 



uncertain, both as to method and results. There was no system of 
teaching everyone how to do it. Mankind, in the great mass, has 
almost forgotten that men have souls or, more accurately speak- 
ing, are souls. 

Let us never assume that civilization itself is the cause of the 
diminution of such experiences. It is rather a terrible loss which 
civilization has imposed upon itself through ignorance and self- 
indulgence. Civilization is suffering from overemphasis upon ma- 
terial values. But when a civilization arises which understands both 
material and spiritual values, and combines the two and carries 
them forward side by side, a real civilization will be born to super- 
sede the present. 



2. QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT CHRISTIANS 

To support the statement that some forms of concentration and 
inner experience have been practiced by devotees of the Christian 
religion, we wish to give a few statements taken from the history 
of saintly persons of Christianity. They are all the more valuable 
because they coincide exactiy, so far as they go, with the inner 
experiences of the saints and their disciples of today. The follow- 
ing are a few accounts taken almost at random from Mystic Expe- 
riences of Medieval Saints. 1 

(1) Vision of St. Francis Xavien 

After this prayer I once found myself inundated with a vivid 
light; it seemed to me that a veil was lifted up from before my 
eyes of the spirit, and all the truths of human science, even 
those that I had not studied, became manifest to me by an 
infused knowledge. This state of intuition lasted for about twen- 
ty-four hours, and then, as if the veil had Mien again, I found 



1. A. Poulain, S. J., Mystic Experiences of Medieval Saints (Kegan. Paul. n.d.). Translated 
from the French, Des Graces d'Oraison. 



350 THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 

myself as ignorant as before. At the same time, an interior voice 
said to me: "Such is human knowledge; of what use is it? It is I, 
it is my love, that must be studied." 

How truly this corresponds to the Masters' experience as far as 
these experiences of the Christians go! But of course, the Masters 
go far beyond this experience into worlds far more vast, into rich- 
es of the spirit immeasurably greater. 

(2) Vision of St. Ignatius: 

As he was going to pay his devotions at the church of St. Paul, 
about a mile out of the town of Manrea, and was sitting on the 
banks of the Gardenera, his mind was suddenly filled with a 
new and strange illumination, so that in one moment, and 
without any sensible image or appearance, certain things per- 
taining to the mysteries of the faith, together with other truths 
of natural science, were revealed to him, and this so abundantly 
and so clearly, that he himself said that if all the spiritual light 
which his spirit had received from God up to the time when he 
was more than sixty years old could be collected into one, it 
seemed to him that all of this knowledge could not equal what 
was at that moment conveyed to his soul. 

This experience is also identical with that of every student of 
the Masters who enters upon the threshold of the astral zone. 
Note the 'enlightenment' of Gautama Buddha so loudly proclaimed 
to the world. Yet many of the great Masters and their disciples 
have had similar experiences since then. It is a common experi- 
ence here on the banks of the Beas River in this good year of 1939. 
What a pity that these good men and women of the medieval ages 
did not have the method of the Masters, so that they might have 
gone forward with their inner experiences instead of being limited 
to a single sporadic flash of the inner light. Under a real Master 
this power may be developed so that those experiences may be 
repeated at will, and then one goes far beyond them. 






I 







QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT CHRISTIANS 351 

(3) Vision of Herman Joseph: 

And as he stood there praying, he was suddenly raised above 
himself in such a wonderful manner that he could not after- 
wards account for it, and the Lord revealed to him the whole 
beauty and glory of the firmament and of every created thing so 
that his longing was fully satisfied. But afterwards, when he came 
to himself, the Prior could get nothing out of him than that he 
had received such an unspeakable rapture from his perfect 
knowledge of the creation, that it was beyond human under- 
standing. 

This also accords fully with the experiences of the Masters and 
their disciples. They sit in meditation with mind one-pointed at 
the inner center, fixed upon the supreme Lord and the higher 
worlds; then the light comes, and with it their inner longings for 
light and understanding are perfectly satisfied Great joy fills their 
whole beings. 

But there is one important point which we ought to mention 
here. It is said in Herman Joseph's experience that "the Lord re- 
vealed to him ..." This takes the matter out of the category of 
scientific experiment and makes it depend upon the grace of the 
Lord. But the Masters know that such experiences are available to 
anyone who knows the scientific method and devotes himself to 
the practice. Those medieval devotees simply stumbled into these 
experiences through their extraordinary love and devotion. How 
much more they could have done if only they had been familiar 
with the proper method! Besides, then they could have repeated 
those experiences any day and hour they chose. 

(4) Vision of St. Benedict: 

He saw a light which banished away the darkness of the night — 
upon this sight a marvelous strange thing followed. The whole 
world, gathered — as it were — under one beam of the sun, was 
presented before his eyes. For by that supernatural light, the 



352 



THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 



capacity of the inward soul is enlarged. But albeit the world was 
gathered together before his eyes, yet were not the heaven and 
earth drawn into any lesser form than they be of themselves, 
but the soul or the beholder was more enlarged. 

This is a fact of common experience among disciples of trie 
Masters. The entire universe seems to stand directly before the 
beholder, and whether the universe itself is brought in to lesser 
space or the capacity of the beholder is enlarged, the effect is the 
same. The vision appears quite normal. 

(5) Experience of Santa Theresa: 

When our Lord suspends the understanding and makes it cease 
from its actions [by this she means that the normal activity of 
the mind is brought to a standstill, made motionless], He puts 
before it that which astonishes it and occupies it; so that with- 
out making any reflections [without reasoning things out] it 
shall comprehend in a moment more than we could compre- 
hend in many years, with all the efforts in the world. 

The disciples of the Master know that in a single moment of 
inner illumination vast stores of knowledge are received, running 
through years and ages of our time, and including many worlds. 
Also, in one instantaneous flash one may receive a complete vi- 
sion of historical events stretching over months and years. Again 
Santa Theresa says: 



In an instant the mind learns so many things that if the imagi- 
nation and intellect spent years in trying to enumerate them, it 
would be impossible to recall a thousandth part of them. Al- 
though no words are pronounced, the spirit is taught many 
truths. If, for example, it beholds any of the saints, it knows 
them at once, as well as if acquainted with them for years. 



There appear to me two things in this spiritual state [inner 
raptures]: the longing to see God, obscuring all else, which might 



QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT CHRISTIANS 353 

even endanger life itself, so intense is the desire; the other is an 
excessive gladness and delight, which is so extreme that the soul 
appears to swoon away and seems on the verge of leaving the 
body. 

Now let the critic explain how such an intense longing for God 
can be generated by an hallucination, a thing which the individual 
never felt, nor even thought of, in his normal state of conscious- 
ness. The Masters know that such longing is induced by coming 
into closer rapport with God during samadhi. There is an affinity 
between every soul and the deity. In samadhi, when the world is 
shut out, God attracts the soul with great force, due to the natural 
affinity. The Masters say that if a person were cleansed of his 
earthly attachments, and all of the coverings were removed, the 
soul would go up to God like a skyrocket. Nothing could hold if 
back. The soul is drawn to him as an iron filing is drawn toward a 
great magnet. It is the love of the soul set free from the bonds of 
matter. The Masters say that if a soul, untrained and undisci- 
plined for such experiences, were to be suddenly transported to 
one of the higher regions, there to come near to the throne of the 
supreme Father, the upward pull upon that soul would be so strong 
that its physical life would be terminated at once. It could not 
endure it and remain in the body. 

(6) Angela of Foligno says: 

There is nothing then that the soul understandeth or compre- 
hendeth to be compared with the rapture to which she can 
inwardly attain. For when the soul is lifted up above herself by 
the illumination of God's presence, then she understandeth 
and taketh delight and resteth in those good things of God that 
she can in no wise describe, for they are above the understand- 
ing and above all manner of speech and above all worlds. But in 
these the soul swimmeth in joy and knowledge! 

It is the common experience of devotees of the Masters that 
they do really "swim in joy and knowledge!" It is also their com- 



354 



THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 



mon experience that they cannot put into words their experience. 
These are above all manner of speech. There is yet one feature of 
these inner experiences, just as she says, which astonishes the dev- 
otee. It is the fact that they transcend all other experiences of one's 
life in the depth of their joy and the sublime radiance of their 
light. Again she says: 

And I was so full of charity [love] and with such joy did I have 
understanding of the power and will and justice of God, and 
not only did I have knowledge of those things about which I 
had enquired, but I was also satisfied with regard to all things. 
But this I cannot make known in any words whatsoever, for it is 
wholly above nature. 

How will the materialist explain such marvelous flooding of the 
soul with love, such love and joy, if they are derived from an 
hallucination? If they are so derived, then it were well that all 
mankind should live in a perpetual state of hallucinations. Let the 
critic explain how such vast stores of knowledge can come from a 
pathological state. If, as we know well it is possible, a man may 
enter samadhi an ignoramus and come out a sage, it were well 
that all men could suffer such 'intoxication of the cerebrum' for 
the whole of their lives. 

(7) Marina de Escobar says: 



When in a deep ecstasy, God unites the soul suddenly to his 
essence, and when he fills her with his tight, he shows her in a 
moment of time the sublimest mysteries. And the soul sees a 
certain immensity and an infinite majesty — the soul is then 
plunged, as it were, into a vast ocean which is God and again 
God, It can neither find a foothold nor touch the bottom. The 
divine attributes appear as summed up in one whole, so that no 
one of them can be distinguished separately. 



QUOTATIONS FROM PROMINENT CHRISTIANS 



355 



Those who would attribute such experiences to mental aberra- 
tions, let them explain how such majesty, such love, such joy, such 
numberless wonders never before seen or even heard of, quite 
unknown to these saintly Christians during the whole of their 
earthly lives, can all be laid before the soul so suddenly. It is well 
known and universally recognized among medical specialists and 
psychologists that in all pathological psychoses nothing new or 
totally different from the patient's former experiences can be in- 
troduced into the dream or hallucination. Yet in nearly all of these 
spiritual illuminations, the experiences transcend all sights, sounds 
and ideas ever before had by the subject; and not only that, but 
they go beyond anything known or experienced by any person on 
earth during his normal life. The soul is lifted up into supercon- 
scious states utterly unlike and beyond anything ever before known 
or even imagined. And then, with them all, a great joy is felt such 
as no earth-limited mortal has ever felt. Again this same good lady 
says: 

After some very thrilling inner experiences, she exclaimed to 
God: "Lord, how incomprehensible are thy judgments! Who 
shall understand them?" And then God answered: "The little 
and the humble of heart, those who have left all for me, and 
who seek only to please me." 

This sounds almost like an echo from the Gita. It is also a 
paraphrasing of the words of Jesus, and it is in full accord with the 
fundamental teachings of the Masters, 

(8) Brother Giles of Assisi says: 



After asserting that faith is converted into knowledge by inner 
experiences, and being asked by a priest how he could then sing 
the "Credo" at High Mass, he replied by singing in a loud voice: 
"Cognosco unum Deum Patrem omnipotentem!" — I know the 
one God, omnipotent Father , . . 



356 



THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 



INNER EXPERIENCES OF MEDIUMS 



'357 



In other words, he declares that he no longer believes, but he 
knows. And this knowledge is always based upon inner experienc- 
es—mind you, not upon feeling, which is always of doubtful and 
uncertain value — but upon sight and hearing on the inner plane. 



3. INNER EXPERIENCES ANALYZED 

In this hypercritical age, when materialistic science dominates the 
public thought of the West, there is a tendency to attribute all 
inner experiences which are out of the ordinary to the imagina- 
tion or to some pathological condition of the brain and nervous 
organism. But after reading the above extracts, which, in the main, 
as far as they go, coincide with the experiences of the Masters and 
their students, let us ask one or two pertinent questions. 

It will be admitted by psychologists that all experiences due to 
pathological conditions or to abnormal imagination, superinduced 
by suggestion or autosuggestion, must fall within the range of that 
person's past experiences, or of suggestions made to him, or with- 
in his inherited tendencies. He can never see, hear or otherwise 
experience anything totally foreign to his own past history or to 
some combination of such experiences. Nothing entirely new can 
be introduced into the experience. 

After reading the accounts of these inner experiences, as cited 
above, let us ask how we are to account for such vast and sudden 
increase of knowledge never before possessed or even heard of by 
the individuals, or even known to any of their ancestors. Also, 
how are we to account for such intense joy, the like of which no 
mortal ever feels in a lifetime of usual routine? How are we to 
account for a vision of things, of beauties and glories such as no 
mortal ever saw on this earth — things which cannot even be de- 
scribed in human language? These and many other points in- 
volved may well be considered by the investigator. 

The Masters teach that such experiences are superinduced by 
reality, in actual worlds lying on a plane higher and finer than our 
earth, planes quite beyond the grasp of material science. They are 
just as real, however — aye, much more real — than the routine 







phenomena of earthly life. When a soul, even in the smallest de- 
gree, separates itself from this dull earth, it rises into realms of 
unimaginable beauty, joy and light. And with that holy vision 
comes an understanding so all-comprehensive that the soul is lost 
in wonder. 

The student, contemplating this path, should let the very idea 
of inner worlds and inner experiences of supramundane reality 
sink into his consciousness. Let him remember that our common 
everyday worldly sight and worldly understanding are at best 
only feeble reflections of the sublime reality which lies within, in 
an endless series of finer worlds. Then let him hold fast in his 
mind the practical fact that such higher and finer worlds may be 
entered and possessed by the student while he still lives in his 
present body. Let us not sell tins birthright for a mess of pottage. 

Those devotees of the Church have been able to do no more 
than to enter the outer borderlands of those higher worlds, while 
the real Masters pass at will above those borderlands and go on up 
to the supreme heights. And they do all of this by a definite scien- 
tific method, while religionists are working under a great handi- 
cap because they have no welt-defined method. Most of them just 
'happen onto' their experiences by force of their love and devo- 
tion but without knowledge of the Way. Also, in marked contrast 
with these sporadic and haphazard experiences of the religionists, 
the saints and their disciples have complete control over their 
inner experiences, being able to come and go at will, to remain on 
those upper regions as long as they wish, and to return to them 
whenever they desire. This is a vital difference. 



4. INNER EXPERIENCES OF MEDIUMS 

The whole world is more or less familiar with that class of phe- 
nomena known as Spiritualism. It is manifested through medi- 
ums. The inner experiences of mediums must be noted here. Many 
prominent men and women have lent themselves to the most 
searching investigations of these experiences. The world is full of 



358 



THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 



INNER EXPERIENCES OF MEDIUMS 



359 



mediums and half-mediums of all grades and conditions, some 
good and some questionable. Some of them produce the most 
astounding phenomena, while others turn out to be little more 
than pretenders. Taking the genuine productions of mediums, let 
us analyze them very briefly in the light of the Masters' knowl- 
edge. They alone know the facts, and it is highly important that 
some of those facts concerning mediumistic phenomena should 
be told. 

In the first place, mediumship is a misfortune. It is not a gift, as 
some claim, nor is it a development It is a misfortune. Its pro- 
cesses are destructive to the best interest of the medium. It is 
closely allied to hypnotism — a destructive psychological process, 
destructive to both victim and operator. No matter if it is used to 
try to cure disease. It is nevertheless destructive. The net results 
are a distinct moral and psychological loss to both parties. Medi- 
umship is a species of hypnotism performed by disembodied spir- 
its upon the sensitive medium. Even so-called automatic writing 
and allied phenomena, which are believed by Spiritualists to be 
quite free from all hypnotic obsession, are nevertheless a partially 
subjective process. If practiced for a long time, they lead to com- 
plete obsession. Mediumship is a breaking-down process, never 
developing or up-building. The medium always remains under 
the control of her guides. She can see nothing, hear nothing and 
do nothing, except just what her controls wish her to do. She is in 
no sense an independent actor. She is only their 'instrument'. The 
underlying principle of evil in the processes of mediumship and 
hypnotism is that no person can be controlled by another intelli- 
gence without injury. Therefore, no one should ever be subjected 
to the control of anyone else. The only way that any intelligence 
can ever develop itself is to have freedom to assert itself. 

Secondly, the results of mediumship are not always reliable or 
dependable. They may or may not be true experiences. Her mes- 
sages may or may not be based upon facts. Her predictions are not 
reliable. Sometimes they come true, but more often they do not 
The writer is speaking here from abundant experience with medi- 
ums of all sorts. 



Thirdly, the medium's guides or controls are generally of a low 
order of intelligence, often from the ranks of the worldly minded 
and passionate mob, but seldom of any high order of intelligence 
or moral character. This is a lamentable fact now becoming more 
and more recognized by all who visit the seances of mediums. If 
some dear relative or noble character of history is supposed to be 
one of the controls, it is never certain, but the medium is being 
imposed upon even if she herself is not trying to impose upon her 
sitters. She is not in a position to detect the fraud because she can 
see only what her guides wish her to see. 

And last of all, the mediumistic contacts are all on the subde 
planes below the astral, sometimes much below, where only a 
lower class of spirits are to be contacted. There are many sub- 
planes far below the true astral zone, and it is to some of these that 
most people pass immediately after death. There they linger for 
their allotted time. The pure astral plane is very high and refined 
when compared with the lower regions, and it is only a very high 
class of people who go there at the time of their death. This fact 
may be understood when it is known that most of the founders of 
world religions, great yogis and mahatmas known to history, are 
still within the limits of the astral regions, and up to this day have 
not been able to go beyond them. If they cannot go farther than 
the astral plane, how can we expect an ordinary man or woman to 

go beyond them? 

Vast multitudes which no man can number, of all sorts and 
conditions of souls, inhabit those planes and subplanes lying be- 
tween the earthly and the pure astral. Most of them will never see 
the astral until they return for a new birth and then practice con- 
centration under the direction of a Master. 

It is no small achievement to attain the pure astral region. Its 
capital is the famous city of 'the thousand-petalled lotus'. Medi- 
ums talk of the astral plane, but as a matter of fact very few medi- 
ums, if any, ever get a glimpse of the pure astral regions. Have you 
ever heard of a medium who even claimed to have seen 'the moun- 
tain of light' called the Sahasradal Kanwal? I have never known 
one who had even heard of it. That is proof positive that they had 




360 THE EXISTENCE OF HIGHER WORLDS 

never entered the astral zone. If they had, they could not fail to 
mention this, the most conspicuous feature of all astral worlds 
Then fields of observation he far below the astral— in one or more 
of the numberless subplanes, some of which are only a fraction 
above the earth plane, barely invisible to the physical eye Roam- 
ing about through these subplanes are that vast multitude of souls 
whom we speak of as 'earthbound*. Out of that number a few 
appear to men occasionally as ghosts. 

It must be kept in mind that higher-level spirits will never take 
any part m the practice of mediumship. They know it is not a 
wholesome thing. Besides, they live on a plane far above and be- 
yond anything ever contacted by mediums. We must never be- 
lieve their stories when they tell us that some great historical char- 
acter, a fond father or a mother, or some world benefactor has 
come to hold communication through a medium or to act as a 
guide or control. If we accept five percent or even ten percent of 
medmnustic revelations as genuine, then all the rest may be set 
down as rubbish. In any case, it is not a wise thing to indulge in 
the practice of mediumship or even to attend their seances. There 
is a far better way of approaching the higher world-a saner and 
safer method. The way of mediumship is the way of subjection, of 
degradation. 

But the way of the Masters is the way of independent develop- 
ment, of soul culture and of spiritual mastership. It is the only 
right way, and it is the only possible way except that of the yogi, to 
go beyond the lowest subplanes of the subde worlds. The yogis 
may go to the pure astral, but only the saints, the Masters, go to 
the higher regions of pure spirit. 



5. INNER EXPERIENCES OP THE MASTERS 

Now, what is the difference between the inner experiences of the 
mediums and those of the Masters? All the difference in the world. 
While those of the mediums are subjective— i.e., controlled by 
others— the inner experiences of the Masters are constructive, they 



INNER EXPERIENCES OF THE MASTERS 



361 



are always under the control of the Master himself. The Master is 
never controlled by anyone. What he sees and hears, he sees and 
hears by his own powers and in his own right. He does not need 
or accept the help of anyone. He rises freely and by his own pow- 
ers to any one of the subtle planes or worlds whenever he so wills. 
When he has arrived there, he goes about at will, explores those 
regions to his own satisfaction and returns to the physical plane 
whenever he wishes. Moreover, while sojourning in any of those 
higher regions, the Master is acknowledged lord of those regions; 
and this is so because he represents the supreme one wherever he 
goes, and he has all powers to go where he pleases and do what he 
wishes. 

If the Master wishes to leave this earth plane, he simply concen- 
trates, and by his own will leaves the body and goes up to whatev- 
er subtle world he may wish to visit. Arriving there, he visits with 
the inhabitants there, looks over the country, and then returns 
here when he chooses. The going and the coming are not difficult 
for him — no more than stepping from one room to another here. 
And he remembers his experiences while up in those higher worlds, 
although it is often very difficult for him to tell about them on 
account of our lack of sufficient language and mental imagery. 
Thus the Master goes and comes at his own will and keeps in 
touch with any and all of the higher worlds, just as he may wish to 
do. When his work here is finished, he simply steps out of his 
body and leaves it. 



MAN HIMSELF A MICROCOSM 



363 









9 



The Microcosmic Centers in Man 



1. MAN HIMSELF A MICROCOSM 

This part of our subject has been purposely left for special con- 
sideration. It might have been made a subdivision of the constitu- 
tion of man, a division of psychology. But it is so very important 
that we wish to give it more emphasis. 

A very comforting fact known to the Masters is that the Creator 
has so constructed man that he is able, when properly informed 
and trained, to place himself in conscious communication with 
the entire universe. At first thought, this would appear but a flight 
of fancy, but it is literally true. It can be done. This is so because of 
the way man has been constructed. And this is why we speak of 
man as a microcosm, a little world. He is in fact a replica of the 
entire universe of universes on a very small scale, and for that very 
reason he is able to reach consciously the entire universe lying 
outside of himself. It is because he has in himself a definite some- 
thing which bears a special relation to every separate part of the 
oudying universe. This is a marvelous thing. It is so very wonder- 
ful that we approach it with deep reverence. Men do not ordinari- 
ly imagine that they are so remarkably endowed. They feel them- 



' 



selves to be shut off from the rest of the universe — those vast 
unknown regions inhabited by numberless hosts of beings like 
ourselves or superior to us. But it is nevertheless a fact that we 
may get in touch with the whole of that outlying universe if we 
choose to do so. 

And as said before, in order to fit us for such conscious com- 
munication, we have been organized, put together and adjusted 
by the Creator so as to constitute a small universe within ourselves, 
with certain parts or centers which correspond with certain por- 
tions of the oudying universe. Hence man himself, taken as a 
whole, is a true microcosm, a little world or universe. We are 
indeed 'fearfully and wonderfully made' (Psalm 139:34). We need 
not go into detail here. The student may do so if he likes. Let this 
be his clue: Every individual part of man, of his physical or astral 
or causal body, holds a definite relationship with some particular part 
of the outlying universe. This is the key. This relationship is the 
key to all possibilities. In every man there is a center moresubtie 
than the physical, invisible to the physical eye, which is so adjust- 
ed that it may serve as a means of communication with a corre- 
sponding section of the macrocosm, the great world. And this is 
our opportunity, our one and only means of contacting diose 
subtle worlds. If we had not these centers within ourselves, we 
could never know that those regions existed. Every student would 
do well to pause here and think. For the sake of emphasis, let us 
repeat a portion of what we 'have just said. The whole thing must 
be made so plain, so clear, that no one can fail to comprehend it. 

Microcosm means 'small world', and macrocosm means 'large 
world*. Man is the microcosm, and inside of man are several oth- 
er still smaller microcosms, each one of which has a definite rela- 
tion to some portion of the oudying universe. We are not isolated 
from the big world as we feel ourselves to be. We have the ability, 
when our faculties are awakened, to actually hold conscious com- 
munication with the most distant heavens, to explore the utmost 
regions of space. This applies not only to all physical worlds of 
starry galaxies, but to all the astral and the higher spiritual re- 
gions. There is no limit. What marvels are in man! How little does 
the average man realize his noble inheritance! 



362 



364 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS IN MAN 



The entire existence of man is wrapped up in a larger being. He 
himself is but a cell in the body of the cosmos. Yet, taken as an 
individual, man is a small universe. More accurately speaking, 
man, all within himself, is a cluster of universes. Take his nervous 
system alone, for example. Dr. Alexis Carrel says that the cerebral 
substance contains more than twelve thousand million cells. These 
are associated several trillion times in a manner most complicated 
by means of fibrils. Every smallest particle of this vast system 
works in harmony with every other part, so that the entire mass 
behaves as one single unit. And this complicated system of brain 
and nervous threads is the instrument of thought on the physical 
plane of consciousness. 

But Dr. Carrel is not aware that the marvelous play of thought 
is upon a plane just above the physical and can be seen by a finer 
instrument of vision. He knows it cannot be seen with the physi- 
cal eye. If only he could weigh thought with his laboratory scales! 
But there is a way for him to actually see thoughts. The Masters 
see them. The dynamic energy of thought is derived from a source 
which cannot be standardized in the laboratory. Yet the working 
of thought- forces is plainly visible to the Master, even to many 
who are not Masters but who have awakened this faculty. 

Dr. Carrel speaks of the mind as "the most colossal power in 
the world." And in this he is in perfect accord with the teachings 
of the Masters. Little do men suspect the colossalness of that pow- 
er. Yet the great scientist asks with simple naivete if thought is 
produced by the cerebral cells, like insulin from the pancreas. Of 
course, he doesn't understand the mechanism of thought because 
he has no knowledge of the constitution of man above the physi- 
cal plane. This is a pity, for such a great student of nature would 
go far on the path if he once gave himself to it. Could such a 
colossal force, as he declares mind to be, arise from the physiology 
of the brain? That noble scientist has, we believe, one foot upon 
the doorstep of the temple of wisdom. Many other earnest stu- 
dents are timidly approaching that temple. They have reached the 
limit of present ability in material research, and so they stand 
amazed, wondering if there may not be something beyond the 



MAN HIMSELF A MICROCOSM 



365 



reach of their material instruments, something which transcends 
in value all that they have thus far achieved. 

Man is indeed the microcosm, complicated and wonderful in 
structure. In him lies hidden the sum total of all universes. How 
true it is that the greatest study of mankind is man! The pity is 
that so few have ever taken the advice of the sages. If, as scientists 
say, 1 the average man of today does not use more than one- 
millionth part of his brain cells, it is equally true that man has not 
yet explored a millionth part of those numberless worlds which lie 
out before him, to whose riches and beauties he is still a stranger. 
But he may make such explorations if he finds the method. 

As intimated above, man is not only a living microcosm, relat- 
ed to the whole vast universe, but he is himself a whole system of 
universes. Each cell in his body is a still smaller universe, and each 
atom in each cell is a still smaller one. Note the nucleus of each 
atom, surrounded by its electrons. The relative distances between 
those electrons, when compared with their sizes, are quite as great 
as those between any central sun and its planets. Thus the body of 
man is a vast and complicated system of universes, even millions 
of universes, clustered together in a single unit. And at last, this 
single unit itself is but an electron in the great macrocosm of the 
heavens. Man is indeed a complete replica of the vast system out- 
side of himself, In that fact lies a great hope. It is a gracious 
promise. 

This marvelous microcosm has been offered to the soul, not 
haphazardly, but so scientifically adjusted that he may take hold 
of it and through it come into possession of his noble inheritance. 
He can do this by the study of self, not by dissecting the body of 
his colleague. He must go inside of himself and see what is there. 
This will awaken all his sleeping faculties and liberate his latent 
powers. Doing this, he will then come into conscious touch with the 
entire system of worlds, both physical and subtle, filling endless 
space. The exact process by means of which this is to be accom- 
plished will be revealed by the Master to each of his students. 
The Master himself has accomplished this stupendous task, and 



1. Akxis Carrel, Man the Unknown (New York: Harper, 1935). 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS IN MAN 



he is now in a position to guide others who wish to do the same 
thing. Most men are entirely ignorant of this great gift with which 
a benevolent nature has endowed them, but everyone may be- 
come conscious of it if he wishes to and will take the right steps. 
He has only to look for a living Master to open the way for him. 

The important point for us now is that because of this marvel- 
ous construction of man himself, he is able to open conscious 
communication with the entire universe of worlds, both physical 
and spiritual. This any man may do, if properly guided, and if he 
is willing to do the work required. It is simply the method which 
he needs, and that he can get only from a living Master. Each and 
every man, when properly trained, is able to detach himself from the 
physical body while still living in that body in perfect health and 
then travel to all parts of the outlying universe. Everyone has this 
ability whether he is conscious of it or not 

During long ages and many successive births in regions of coarse 
matter, the majority of men have lost the knowledge of how this is 
done. They have now to releam the lost art from the Master. They 
may regain all the forfeited prerogatives. The inner faculties must 
now be reawakened and their proper functions restored. As the 
physical brain is in touch with all parts of the body through its 
nervous system, just so there are in the astral body certain impor- 
tant centers by means of which the intelligence may get in touch 
with the entire astral world. In like manner, other centers act as 
points of departure for communication with their corresponding 
higher and finer worlds. This contact is established, and the prop- 
er centers awakened, by means of concentrated attention at the 
point or center chosen under the direction of the Master. And this 
is the secret of all yoga, the objective of all occult exercises. By 
concentrated attention at any given center, the consciousness is 
awakened at that center, and from there the awakened conscious- 
ness moves upward toward those subde worlds which are corre- 
lated to that center. 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS 






367 



2. THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS 

Beginning from below, the microcosmic centers are: 

(1) The mul chakra, 1 called also the muladhara or theguda chakra, 
and the chardal kanwal. This first chakra is situated near the rec- 
tum. It governs elimination. These centers are shaped somewhat 
like the lotus flower, more or less round, and the number of dis- 
tinct parts are spoken of as petals. This lowest one has four petals, 
the higher ones increasing in number. It is an interesting fact that 
these body chakras taken together have exactly fifty-two petals, 
corresponding to the fifty-two letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, and 
each petal gives out a sound, a distinct musical note, correspond- 
ing to one of the Sanskrit letters. These sounds can be heard by 
any person whose finer sense of hearing has been awakened. He 
can then see these chakras and listen to their sounds. It is claimed 
that these fifty-two sounds comprise all the sounds which can 
possibly be made by the vocal organs of man. They say that the 
ancient rishis, listening to those fifty-two sounds, fashioned a char- 
acter for each one, and that is the way the Sanskrit alphabet came 
into existence. 

(2) The second chakra is called indri chakra, 2 or linga chakra. It 
is also called shatdal kanwal? It is situated near the sacral plexus 
and it has six petals. It has to do with reproduction. 

(3) The third chakra is named nabhi chakra,* It is also called 
ashtadal kanwal 5 It is situated at a point near the solar plexus. It 
has eight petals and mostly has to do with general nutrition. 

(4) The fourth center is the hrida chakra. 6 It is also named 
dvadasdal kanwal. It is situated near the cardiac plexus and it has 
twelve petals. It is related to the general circulation of the blood 
and breathing, so far as the heart is a part of the breathing appara- 



1 . Mul 'root', and chakra, *wheeT. Guda means 'rectum*, and chardal kanwal means 'the 
lotus of four petals'. 

2. Indri relates to 'sex*, and chakra, to 'wheel'. 

3. Shat, 'six', and kanwal, 'lotus'. 

4. Nabhi, 'navel'. 

5. Ashta, 'eight'. 

6. Hrida, 'heart', and dvadas, 'twelve'. 



368 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS IN MAN 



THE MEANING OF GOING WITHIN 



369 



tus. (This function is not yet recognized by physiology, but we 
know that if it were not for the heart, the oxygen inhaled by the 
lungs could not be conveyed to the whole body.) 

(5) The fifth center is the kanth chakra. 1 It lies near the cervical 
plexus. It has to do with respiration. It is also named the shodasdai 
kanwal the lotus of sixteen petals. 

(6) The sixth center is called dodal kanwal, the two-petalled 
lotus. It is situated behind the eyes on a level with the lower part 
of the eyeballs, but exactly in the center of the brain cavity at a 
point in the subtle body corresponding to the position of the 
pineal gland. That is the seat of the mind and soul. That is the 
center of control over the body. All centers below this one are 
subordinate. All 'deities' or forces which are said to govern the 
body are themselves subordinate to the mind and spirit of man, 
which reside at this center. 

Just above this center is another center, called chardal kanwal 
whose function is to supply the fourfold antashkarans (mental 
faculties) of the mind with faculties of action. These four faculties 
are manas, buddhi, chin and ahankar. Each of the petals of this 
lotus has its own sound, and these four complete the fifty-two 
letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. This is the lowest of the six centers 
in Anda and lies nearest to Pind. 

Just above the antashkaran four-petalled center comes the tisra 
til the third eye, at which point the Master teaches us to concen- 
trate all attention when we meditate. Thus the soul resides perma- 
nently in dodal kanwal the highest center in Pind, and from this 
center the concentrated attention is fixed on the tisra til center, 
skipping the antashkaran center. The attention in this manner 
crosses the line between Pind and enters Anda, whence it departs 
On its upward journey. The tisra Jil is also called shivanetra, 'the 
eye of Shiva', and nukta-i-saveda, 'the black point'. In the system 
of the Masters, all concentration is begun at this point and is held 
there until ready to go higher. All the lower centers are disregard- 
ed. This is one of the fundamental differences between the system 
of the Masters and that of all yogis following the Patanjali method. 



1. Kanth, 'throat', and shodas. 'sixteen'. 




Thus the Masters actually begin their work where the other sys- 
tems leave off, for few, if any of them, go above this center. While 
the Masters know of the lower chakras, or centers, they disregard 
them as unimportant. 

There are many centers still higher in the brain, each corre- 
sponding to a region in the higher worlds. There are twenty-two 
important centers in man's subtle body, besides almost number- 
less smaller ones which may be likened to the smaller nerve gan- 
glia in the body. They all have certain functions. But in the system 
of the Masters we are not much concerned with more than ten or 
twelve of these centers. 

We have given the six centers in Pind, the body below the eyes, 
not as a part of the Master's teachings but as a study. This is 
because so many yogis emphasize these and use them. But the 
Masters do not use them. They begin their concentration at the 
tisra til, and from there they go on up. If one begins there, the 
next station above tisra til is ashtadal kanwal, the lotus of eight 
petals, and then the next above that is the true center of all the 
astral worlds. Its name is sahasradal kanwal, and this is the first of 
the great regions traversed by the Masters on their upward jour- 
ney. At this point almost all the yogis stop, many of them fully 
believing that they have attained the highest. But it is, in effect, the 
starring point of the Masters on their upward journey toward the 
supreme region. That lies eight distinct stages above — or seven, 
exclusive of Sahasradal Kanwal. 

Sahasradal Kanwal lies just below the Brahm Lok of the Hin- 
dus, known in the technical language of the Masters as Trikuti. 
That is the second stage in their path. But to the ancient Hindus 
and the Vedas, that is the end of all, the residence of the supreme 
God. In the science of the Masters, Brahm is known as the nega- 
tive power. 



3. THE MEANING OF GOING WITHIN 

One point may be mentioned here to avoid confusion. The Mas- 
ters and their students often speak of 'going inside'. They speak of 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS IN MAN 



worlds inside man's body. They speak of going inside in order to 
begin their upward journey, and that this going inside is accom- 
plished by concentration at the tisra til. All this, if not properly 
understood, may he confusing. We must know exactly what is 
meant by 'going inside'. Many prophets, including Jesus, speak of 
the kingdom of God which is in man. These expressions need not 
cause us to wonder if they are understood. They do not mean that 
there are actually worlds or kingdoms inside of man's body or 
brain. If these teachers had that in mind, then we would know of a 
certainty that such worlds were only creations of a fertile imagina- 
tion. But what is meant is that those other and higher worlds are 
gained by first withdrawing the attention from the outer world 
and then centering it within oneself. 

In the case of the Masters' system, the attention is centered at 
the tisra til When such concentration has been gained, the atten- 
tion is all inside. The whole of the mind and soul have left the 
outer world and gone inside. Only the inner worlds exist for us, 
the outer world having been completely shut out from our con- 
sciousness. Then we go on holding our attention at the inner 
center. Slowly and gradually the soul and mind gather all their 
forces at that inner center and, finally leaving the physical world 
entirely, penetrate through some inner aperture and enter a high- 
er region. We may call it a higher dimension. At that moment, the 
soul passes through the inner 'gates of light' and steps out into a 
new world. Those higher and finer worlds, which occupy limitless 
space to the uttermost bounds of the universe, are then spoken of 
as 'inner worlds'. They are the worlds 'inside of man'. They are so 
referred to because one must first go inside, take his attention 
inside, in order to reach them. This is then a convenient method 
of referring to these finer worlds. 



4. THE RELEASE OF THE KUNDALINI 

Since this matter has become so weE known and so generally 
discussed by all writers on occult themes, it appears needful to 



THE RELEASE OF THE KUNDALINI 



371 



mention it here in order to explain why the Masters do not deal 
with it in particular. It has long been regarded by students of the 
occult sciences as unwise and even dangerous to write down or in 
any other way reveal to the uninitiated any of the secrets of the 
inner path. It is today regarded among yogis as a breach of trust, a 
violation of one's personal responsibility. Hence the yogis are very 
reserved about imparting their secrets until after the most rigid 
trials and tests. And indeed that is the only safe and sound course 
on the path of the yogis. But this precaution does not apply with 
equal force to people, or about secrets* on the path of the Masters. 
Those who work under the PatanjaU system of yoga must beware. 
Why? Because the yogi's path is beset by many pitfalls, while that 
of the Masters has no dangers unless a person turns deliberately to 
wickedness after his initiation. And the path of the Masters is 
safeguarded by its very own nature. 

Let us illustrate. Under the pranayama exercises, the kurtdalini 
is released or awakened from its dormant state in the indri chakra 
or swadhistana center. It lies near the sacral plexus and is associ- 
ated with the function of reproduction. It is the creative center in 
man. This kundalini is said to be a great power. When awakened 
by the proper exercises, this force rises through the central canal 
of the spinal cord known to anatomists as the sixth ventricle; but 
to occultists it is the sushumna path with two smaller canals, one 
called tda, on the left, and the other called pingala, on the right. 
When the kundalini rises to the brain, fully aflame, there is a series 
of important changes which take place in the consciousness, espe- 
cially in the feelings and emotions. The individual is 'on fire', so to 
speak. He has also a very great increase of powers — powers over 
the forces of nature and powers over other people. If, however, 
that individual has not been properly prepared for these changes 
by a rigorous process of training in self-control and mind purifi- 
cation, the results may be disastrous. Even insanity or death may 
follow. 

But no such difficulties can possibly attend the practice of the 
system of the Masters. Why? Because the science of the Masters 
does not permit the awakening of the kundalini until the disciple 



372 



THE MICROCOSMIC CENTERS IN MAN 



THE RELEASE OF THE KUNDALINI 



373 



has gained self-control and mental purity. It cannot be done until 
that inner cleansing has taken place. This is a vital point. In the 
system of the saints all development is attained by a natural, slow- 
growth and reconstruction. It is not a forced process; and for that 
reason it sometimes takes longer to see the light on this path than 
upon that of the yogi. But in the long run, this path of the Masters 
leads upward by a much more rapid climbing than can possibly be 
done on the yogi's path, and it leads to heights never dreamed of 
by the yogi. 

The student of the Masters unfolds his powers as easily, as nat- 
urally as a flower opens its petals to the sunlight. This path may 
therefore be followed and its exercises may be practiced by anyone 
from childhood to old age. But this work must be done under the 
supervision of a living Master, That must never be forgotten. If 
anyone presumes to go his own way alone, even with this book as 
his guide, he is foredoomed to failure. If you have all the knowl- 
edge in the world and have not a Master, you have nothing. 

But let no man think that because the path of the Masters is 
slow and comparatively easy, the final results will be less than 
those to be attained by the more difficult path of the yogis. The 
contrary is true. The path of the saints includes in its accomplish- 
ments all that any system has ever promised or attained, and then 
goes far above and beyond anything ever dreamed of by ancient 
yogis. It is well to repeat here for emphasis that a good yogi is one 
who has gained the first region on the path of the saints. This is 
the pure astral. It lies above the sun worlds and the moon worlds 
of the yogis and the rishis. The Sahasradal Kanwal center is some- 
times called the lightning world by the Vedic writers. 

A real saint or Master is one who has attained the fifth region, 
called Sach Khand, four distinct regions or universes beyond the 
highest achievements of the yogi. The saint has also correspond- 
ing increase of powers and understanding beyond those of the 
yogi or the rishi. The Masters gain all that is ever accomplished by 
the more laborious and even dangerous method of the yogis, and 
they gain it in much less time. After that they go on up to heights 
never dreamed of or imagined to exist by any of the old yogis or 






Vedantists. If any man feels inclined to doubt these statements, 
there is a way to prove them. Come to a living Master and test the 
truth of them for yourself. The way is open and an invitation is 
hereby extended to any honest investigator. 

Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

(Matthew 7:7) 







Mental Preparation for 
the Great Work 



1. A FLAWLESS MORALITY 

That every man must come to this work "duly and truly pre- 
pared, worthy and well qualified" is a primary fact. If he is not so 
prepared in his heart, he need not come. Neither money nor pow- 
er, nor worldly honors nor position nor learning will avail him 
anything. The inner preparation simply must be made. 

Let us now examine briefly what that preparation consists of. 
By the phrase 'flawless morality* is meant that he must be on the 
level with his fellow men; he must be honest, sincere, truthful, just 
and kind. He must be unselfish in his relations and dealings. He 
must never live off others if he is able to work, and this applies to 
women as well as men. It applies to everybody. One must earn his 
own living if that lies within his power. He must always seek to do 
whatever service he finds at hand to do. He must use his wealth, if 
he has any, to do good, and never for selfish gratification. He 
must lead a simple, straightforward life, and become a noble 
example to all others. He must be chaste, both in mind and in 



r 




A FLAWLESS MORALITY 



375 



practice. Even in the marriage relation, he must not be given to 
overindulgence of his passions. In other words, he must be what 
the world generally calls a good man, not given to any form of 
self-indulgence. And when he has attained that much, he is ready 
for the next step on this path. 

It is quite useless for any but men of good intention to ap- 
proach the Master. Yet there is encouragement for those whose 
past has not been up to the standard. A man may have had a 
checkered career, even a criminal record. Many of the best men of 
history cannot boast of the most exemplary conduct during the 
first period of their lives. But the point of supreme importance is 
their present attitude of mind — that and their present conduct. If 
they have definitely left behind them all shady paths and now 
stand firmly upon a platform of righteousness, determined to live 
properly in the future, they are suitable candidates for the gift of 
initiation, provided they have a deep and abiding desire for the 
Master and his path. This desire is taken for granted in all who 
seek initiation. As to whether one is ready for initiation or not, 
that can be determined only by the Master himself. But in actual 
practice, among people of a high order of intelligence, it seldom 
happens that anyone applies who is not fit for the path. If they are 
not ready, they will not knock at the door. Even Jesus said: 

Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

(Matthew 7:7) 

All students will do well to remember that we are not to expect 
perfection of any beginner. That were to turn the whole process 
around. Perfection comes of long practice on the path, and not at 
the beginning. Therefore, it is a great mistake to demand that a 
person shall have perfected his life before he applies for initiation. 
He seeks initiation that he may perfect his life as a disciple of the 
Master. A starving man does not wait until he is strong before he 
takes food. He takes it in order to get strong. 



376 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



2. THE NEXT STEP IS VIVEK 

This is really the first step on the path of the Masters. For a genu- 
ine morality, a well-ordered life is taken for granted as the prima- 
ry consideration and as a foundation upon which to become a 
disciple. But in becoming a disciple or in approaching this path 
the first requisite is vivek. This means right discrimination. It takes 
in a broad field. Simplified, it means that one is to use all of his 
intelligence properly. He must think out things thoroughly, espe- 
cially regarding this path and his own spiritual interests. No one is 
to advance blindly. He must think long and deeply. He must care- 
fully discriminate between that which is good and what is less 
good, between the true and the false, the useful and the useless. 

While too many books usually confuse the student, yet one 
must read all that is available which promises to help make the 
path clear. Underlying the entire problem will be found certain 
great universal truths and principles which should be learned well 
and kept always in mind. Great general truths help one to decide a 
multitude of details. Get a firm grasp on a few fundamentals and 
then use them in deciding all else. All this and more is included in 
the technical term vivek. 

A few fundamental principles may now be offered. But first of 
all, keep in mind that a well-established morality is the foundation 
upon which we build; without that we cannot even start. But as- 
suming that, we must now begin a very thorough exercise of the 
rational intelligence in order to determine just where we stand 
relative to this path. If it will not stand the most searching inquiry, 
it is not worth our time. Explore its depths, examine every philo- 
sophical principle and compare the principles of this science with 
all others, and then draw conclusions on the basis of facts and 
sound judgment. 

The first general principle to be examined here is that which is 
couched in one of the oldest classical sentences known to the 
Vedic literature. It should be of immense value to any student of 
philosophy In Sanskrit it reads: 

Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti. 



T 



THE NEXT STEP IS VIVEK 



377 



Translated, it means: "That which exists is one: sages call it by 
various names." 

This was written by a great rishi, probably ten thousand years 
ago. Tt has run through all Indian philosophy, and it has pro- 
foundly modified the thought of all thinkers. It teaches that there 
is perfect unity in the supreme one. It teaches also that there is 
perfect unity in all life in the entire world. All that lives is one life, 
one in essence, permeated and vitalized by the one universal be- 
ing. It is in that universal one that all things live and move and 
have their being. 

If Hindu philosophy had never done anything else than give to 
the world this one sentence, it would have justified its existence. 
Out of it has developed the modified monism of modern thought. 
Until we see nothing in the world but the supreme one as the soul 
and life of all, every sort of evil will continue to beset our path. 
We shall make much of distinctions. We shall continue to set 
ourselves apart from all other beings and develop selfishness. It is 
only in the great universal one, in the spirit infinite, that we come 
to realize that we are all one in interests with a universal kinship. 
Until we see the infinite good everywhere, even in evil, this perfect 
unity will not exist for us. 

More important than all else, the very heart of this doctrine of 
universal unity is love. That is, the whole infinite universe is held 
together in one bond, and that bond is love. If we can bring our- 
selves to a full realization of this great fact, then we are ready for 
the path. If we come to know that the infinite one, all beings of 
this world, and ourselves, all make up one being, that being gov- 
erned by the great law of love, then we are ready to go forward 
with faces to the light. 

Side by side with this noble concept is another Sanskrit expres- 
sion, which in a general way supports the same fundamental idea. 
It sums up in three words the entire philosophy of our kinship 
with all that Uves. It forms a rational basis for a universal love. It 
lays the foundation for a common interest and a universal broth- 
erhood, including all living beings. It is: 

Tat tvam asi. 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 

It means: "Thou art that," and has a twofold practical meaning. 
First, it teaches that this individual is that individual. This is not 
nonsense. It means that every individual is so closely akin to all 
others that no real distinction can be made between them. In a 
very real sense each one is identical with every other one and they 
are all of the same divine essence. Their interests cannot possibly 
be antagonistic. 

Secondly, this Sanskrit epigram means that each individual is 
the supreme one. There is no essential difference, then, between 
the supreme good and the individual man. They are one spirit, 
one essence, and we should regard ourselves as living a part of the 
infinite life and as expressing divinity in every act of our lives. The 
man is just a spark from the great central sun, but identical in 
substance. There is a time in the upward journey of the students 
of the Masters when they behold the majestic beauty and gran- 
deur of one of the greatest lords of the upper worlds. His name is 
Sohang. When the student beholds him, he is amazed to find 
himself in such perfect oneness with that wonderful soul. At that 
moment the consciousness comes to him with overwhelming joy — 
"I am that!" This is the real meaning of the word sohang. As the 
student advances upward on this path, he has an increasing con- 
sciousness that he is himself one with the supreme one. This is 
pure Sant Mat, but it finds an echo in the Vedas. 

This doctrine of universal oneness, and founded upon it a uni- 
versal love, is probably the most important philosophical princi- 
ple that enters into the mental preparation of the student for this 
path. If he can accept this and make it a part of his thinking in all 
of his relationships, he is ready to go forward. His faculty of dis- 
crimination is already accomplished. 

As a part of one's searching discrimination, he should be ac- 
quainted with the four modes of mental action. He will then be 
able to see clearly what must be done to handle any situation. 
From then on, he can act always with clear-cut understanding. 
They are: (1) Scattering, running out after all sorts of objects, plea- 
sures, works, friends, properties, etc. This is the way the mind acts 
most of the time. For a student of the Masters this is one of the 




THE CHRIST ATTITUDE OF MIND 



379 









most troublesome qualities, and it must be overcome before con- 
centration can be effected. (2) Darkening, dullness, laziness, then 
injury, evil of all sorts, ending in destruction. (3) Gathering, striv- 
ing to overcome the scattering and darkening tendencies and re- 
versing the processes, and beginning to gather the mind at one 
point. This is the first step toward concentration. The beginning is 
made by confining the attention to one thing at a time, then se- 
lecting a center of attention. (4) Concentration, the one-pointed 
form of mental action which, when perfected, leads to samadhi, or 
going within. It is only the superior soul, after long practice, who 
attains the fourth form of mental action. But that is the goal for all 
who enter the path of the Masters. Out of that the genius is born, 
and the crown of all genius is mastership. Those who seek to enter 
this path must decidedly bring the mind under such discipline as 
to rid it of the first and second forms of its habitual action com- 
pletely, and then gain the third and fourth forms. 



3. THE CHRIST ATTITUDE OF MIND 

His whole life being one of devotion and service, Jesus is a very 
inspiring example to anyone approaching the path of discipleship. 
It is well that we seek to find out his mental attitude toward the 
whole of life, and especially toward the kingdom which he assert- 
ed lies inside of man. His fife indicates the way of discipleship. If 
one tries to live and think like Jesus, he will thereby fit himself to 
enter the path of the Masters. 

The very core and substance of the teachings of Jesus is love 
to God and man. If one has not this love, at least to some 
extent, it is quite useless for him to approach the Master. Jesus 
said so beautifully: 

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have 
love one to another. (John 13:55) 

And so this is really the supreme test of discipleship — love for 
all that lives. We have already given some of those great philo- 



j 



380 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



T 



sophical principles of oneness upon which to base a universal 
love. 

The amazing love which so characterized the life of Jesus is well 
emphasized in Pascal's Mystere de Jesus. "I have loved thee more 
than thou hast loved thy defilements," said Christ to Pascal. Truly 
this sort of love is characteristic of the genuine Master. If the 
Masters did not love us better than we love our defilements, there 
would be but little hope for any of us. This is the love of the 
Master which passeth all human understanding! 

Finally, when Jesus was undergoing his long fast, he bravely 
resisted temptation, showing the most splendid loyalty and the 
highest type of manhood. The disciple entering this path must 
always maintain such a mental attitude in the presence of tempta- 
tion. He must never waver or weaken in his love or his loyalty. 1 



VAIRAGYA, THE NEXT STEP ON THE PATH 



381 



vessel is equivalent to filling it They read the Gita and other books, 
imbibe many of their sublime precepts, and then sit down con- 
tentedly to imagine that they are well on the way toward the goal. 
This is a delusion. Those books and ideals will never lead anyone 
to spiritual liberty. The reason is that they can never take the place 
of a living Master. The ideals, even if thoroughly assimilated, only 
serve to cleanse the vessel, to prepare the mind for something real. 
The student is just then ready to begin the great work. When that 
preparation is made, the living Master will then give to the stu- 
dent the nectar of immortality, which is to fill the vessel anew 
after its cleansing. 

If the disciple has attained the mental attitude suggested above, 
he is then ready for his initiation by the Master. If he does not 
attain this attitude until after his initiation, he must certainly at- 
tain it before he can advance very far on the inner path. 



4. THE GITA IDEAL OF DISCIFLESHIP 

Lord Krishna, in the Gita, has given some of the finest ideals of 
discipleship to be found in all literature. If anyone approaches the 
path of the Masters in the mental attitude taught by the Bhagavad 
Gita, his success will be assured. Read them over, these exalted 
statements, and imbibe them, live them, make them your daily 
bread, and you will surely approach the light on swift wing. 2 To 
the student who wishes to enter upon this path, we believe there is 
nothing better as a mental preparation than the ideals set forth in 
the Gita. They offer an ideal not easy to acquire, but by persistent 
effort one can attain it. Then he is qualified, in fact he is duly and 
truly prepared, to begin his upward journey. 

But the student must know that this attitude of mind, no mat- 
ter how exalted it may be, is not itself the final goal. It is not the 
ultimate means of ascending the ladder of attainment. That alone 
will never cany anyone to the spiritual heights. That is one fatal 
mistake that many have made — believing that the cleansing of the 



1 . For the essential substance of the teachings of Jesus, the reader may refer to Chapter 
Two, Section 16. 

2. See Chapter Two, Section 9. 



5. VAIRAGYA, THE NEXT STEP ON THE PATH 

It is our conscientious aim not to confuse the student with too 
many technicalities or details. We wish to so emphasize the essen- 
tial points that they may be readily grasped and never forgotten. 
Hence, many things which are interesting and good must be omit- 
ted. The bulk of Indian literature is full of such things. But the 
great mass of it is more or less confusing, except to the pundits 
who have spent their lives in its study. Even they do not all agree. 
Happily, most of it is not at all essential on the path of the Mas- 
ters. It is more or less like a great storehouse of curious antiques. 
So let us stick to the essentials. 

Vairagya is the next important step in mental preparation for 
the path, after vivek, 'right discrimination', has been achieved. We 
believe the vivek through which most Western students pass be- 
fore arriving at this path includes a search, often a very long one, 
through the literature of nearly all the occult movements of mod- 
ern times as well as the sacred books of the East. Before arriving at 
the Master's feet, we generally make our way through whole li- 




382 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



braries of books on all sorts of themes. When we have gone through 
them all, and finally come to realize that they do not offer the 
ultimate solution of our problems, we come to the living Master. 
It is only then that the dove finds rest for her weary wings. 

Even after coming to the Master, many students keep on read- 
ing every sort of book they can get hold of on similar subjects. 
This is partly from habit, partly from desire to find a more perfect 
clarification of their own thoughts. Some books help and some do 
not. But up to the present, almost no book has been prepared in 
English which gives any satisfactory exposition of Sant Mat. Be- 
fore taking up the real work of the inner path, the student will do 
well to seek a clear understanding of the essentials of the path, 
what it is and what he is to gain by it, what to do and what not to 
do. He should imbibe and assimilate the ideals of the great Mas- 
ters, so far as he can, and his higher intelligence should be so far 
satisfied as to place himself gladly under the directions of the 
Master. Ideals are of much greater value than detailed plans and 
working rules. 

Having the mind saturated with the highest ideals, and fully 
satisfied as to the underlying principles of this system, he is then 
ready to proceed to get some actual experience on the path. At 
this point, his next step is what Masters call vairagya. This means 
the mental detachment of oneself from the external world. This is 
real vairagya. It does not in any way teach or imply that one 
should physically detach himself from the world. He need not 
leave his family or society, his public or private duties. The Mas- 
ters never teach that sort of vairagya, although it has been fol- 
lowed by many yogis. 

It must be kept in mind that the path of the Masters is not that 
of yogis. The Masters do not encourage asceticism among their 
disciples. Detachment, as taught by the Masters, does not imply 
austerities. Vairagya means that one is to detach himself in his 
affections, in his innermost feelings and interests. Essentially, this 
means that one is to cease to identify himself with his possessions 
and environment. He must not make them the substance of his 
life and thought. In other words, he must always keep his own 



VAIRAGYA, THE NEXTSTEP ON THE PATH 



383 



independence of them. And this applies to one's own family as 
well as to all else. 

This, however, does not mean that one is not to love his family, 
but he can love with detachment. One may love while keeping his 
own independence. Then, if he loses them, which is always a pos- 
sibility, his life is not utterly wrecked, and at the same time he is 
able to make progress on the path, knowing that is of more im- 
portance than family, friends, or all worldly possessions. A man 
must remain in the world so long as he has a single duty to per- 
form, but he is not to love the world. He must not become so 
bound up with duties, family, or worldly interests that he forgets 
his more important interests. He should never forget that one day 
he has to leave family, friends and all possessions. And he knows 
not what day he will be called upon to leave them. 

He must leave not only his wealth and loved ones but he must 
leave his own body. He can take nothing with him, except his 
inner possessions. Material things and people all belong to the 
passing show. They all have but a temporary interest. They are not 
his own, and his attachment to them is only temporary. He must 
regard them not as his own but as loaned to him for the day, the 
moment, that he may both serve them and use them. This is vair- 
agya in the real sense of the term. The deeper meaning of vairagya 
is very beautifully borne out in some of the quotations from the 
Gita, as given in Chapter Two, Section 9, of this book. 

One word of caution must be uttered here. The student who 
gains the attitude of mind outlined above and who detaches him- 
self from the love of the world must never assume an attitude of 
self-righteousness and set himself up as something above others. 
He may not regard himself as having attained, while he looks 
down upon all others as his inferiors. This would automatically 
defeat his aims and nullify all progress made. He must always 
keep his ahankar, 'vanity', subdued, and he must allow the sweet- 
est charity and humility to have full sway over all his thoughts and 
actions. 

It is a principle of nature that whatever we desire or love begins 
at once to travel toward us, unless a stronger force from a differ- 



T 



384 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



ent direction draws it away. Attention and love are the means of 
connecting us with objects external to ourselves. When we are 
bound to objects of desire, they tie us down to them and to the 
world. How can we get up again? By vairagya, detachment. By 
desire, we are bound to objects of desire. This is why the complete 
detachment of the mind from every worldly object is necessary if 
we are to enter upon the upward path. That detachment avoids 
bondage to the world and its objects of sense desire. This is why 
we should not love anything with a desire to possess it. The mo- 
ment we do that, we enter the first stages of slavery. This applies 
even to wife or family as well as to worldly goods. But as said 
before, this does not exclude love of family. 

A detached devotion to family may not be so easy. But it can be 
acquired. We believe that a detached love is a much higher and 
nobler sort of love than that which demands possession, and then 
that possession goes on to self-identification with the objects of 
one's love. When such identification takes place, the person is 
completely 'lost'. He is not himself anymore, and he is even less 
able to serve the objects of his affection while he is a slave to them. 

We must not even desire to get rewards for our services. So 
long as a man craves rewards, he is bound to those rewards, and 
yin quo (karma) is his master. This is the sage advice of the Tao. 
By all means, he who seeks liberation must cultivate complete 
detachment from all objects of sense, and he must harbor no 
desire for them. He must hold no concern at all about the rewards 
of his actions. He must attain that state of min d which is like the 
sun, shining upon all alike, yet asking nothing in return. This is 
what the Master really does. And this is our ideal. The soul lives 
forever by giving, not by receiving. This is the grand paradox. You 
get most by giving most. Conversely, by receiving much you im- 
poverish yourself. By selfish accumulation you become bankrupt- 
Therefore, detach yourself from all that is perishable and from all 
thoughts of love for them. To give and give only, never once think- 
ing of rewards, is the beginning of immortality. 

No man becomes a Kakusha or a Buddha or a Tathagata or a 
Bodhisattva by fleeing from pain or by seeking comforts and sense 
pleasures or by flattering attachments with worldly people; neither 



THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF DESIRE 



385 







can he attain to such degrees by self-immolation. Serene detach- 
ment is the last step in the separation of the self from worldly 
bonds before entering the pathway to liberty. But when a disciple 
has attained this sublime degree of self-detachment from a cor- 
rupt and illusory world, he must still continue to regard his less 
fortunate fellows with loving sympathy in which there is no taint 
of vanity or self-righteousness. All Masters have taught: 

Man shall not glory in his own enlightenment while he looks 
down upon others struggling in pain and ignorance, holding 
himself upon a pinnacle of self-righteousness or vainglory. One's 
true self includes the whole of life, and the wrongs of all others 
are your own guilt. Do not blame men when they err, but purify 
your own heart. Do not get angry when the world forgets the 
Way and ceases to abide by the law, but look for the fault in 
yourself. The root of all evil is in yourself. 

This is a very high standard, no doubt. But it is true vairagya. It 
is an excellent preparation for the path of the Masters. 



6. THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF DESIRE 

The last step in the attainment of perfect detachment is to get rid 
of desire itself. This is where many noble men and women have 
failed, even some great yogis. They could not get rid of desire 
itself, even after they had separated themselves from all connec- 
tions with the world. But real detachment is not attained until all 
desire itself has been overcome. This is perhaps the most difficult 
of all undertakings. Desire has been declared by all Indian pun- 
dits, yogis, and other Indian scholars generally, to be the greatest 
evil that besets a disciple on the path of spiritual attainment. Then- 
universal verdict is that desire must be gotten rid of at all costs. 
The yogi seeks to gain peace of mind, true shanti, or santosh, by 
getting rid of desire. 

This is surely a shortcut to wealth. If one wants nothing, he has 
everything. When the great prince Siddhartha went out to seek the 



386 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



way of deliverance from sorrow, he came to the conclusion that 
desire was the cause of all sorrow. That is one of his 'fourfold 
noble truths'. From the days of Buddha to the present, the pre- 
vailing teaching in the Orient has been that desire is the cause of 
all sorrows and other ills of man. Hence, the cure of all iUs is the 
destruction of desire. But just how to accomplish this stupendous 
task has been the big question of the sages. Desire has been pic- 
tured as a wild beast roaming the country, seeking whom it may 
devour. It is our worst enemy, the chief instrument of the mind to 
bind us to this material world. Desire draws us to objects of sense. 
The senses overwhelm the mind and the mind enslaves the soul. 
Following desire, the mind goes on creating karma and entangling 
itself in the net. 

Desire never ceases its demands. It doesn't let a man rest, day 
or night. It follows him into his inner chamber and torments him 
in the midst of his prayers. It never relents, nor does it ever slack- 
en its chains or cease to apply the lash, even though its poor 
victim lies weak and spent upon his deathbed. Even then, a desire 
to live, that overwhelming trishna, still holds on to its victim. 
When all other desires are subdued, even the last remaining wish 
to continue living in this world is a chain on the spirit. That also 
must be overcome, and in its stead, a happy surrender to the 
Master — that he may do as he wishes — should possess the whole 
consciousness. 

The soul, or the mind wrapped in its desires, forgets the fact of 
anitya, the impermanence of all things earthly. He imagines the 
passing show to be the ultimate reality. He forgets all real values 
and grasps at the shadow. Always that black and ominous cloud 
hangs over us, that archenemy of the human race — avidya, 'igno- 
rance'. When ignorance darkens the intelligence, then desire creeps 
up and makes its demands. Raga (or him), 'desire', is always fol- 
lowed by her brood of evil passions, dosh (or krodh), moh, lobh 
and ahankar. They all aid each other in enslaving man. 

Now, the paramount question is, how shall the student get rid 
of desire? The whole world is full of lectures on the evils of desire, 
but none of them gives any clear or certain recipe for getting rid 
of it. Only the Masters have the cure. In a word, the Masters get 



THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF DESIRE 



387 







rid of desire by placing before the mind something which has 
greater attraction. If the student objects that this is not getting rid 
of desire at all, but is simply substituting one desire for another, 
then we shall cheerfully agree with him. It is quite true. But the 
word desire, as we use it in this discussion, refers to that attraction 
which the mind holds for things and sensations of a worldly sort, 
for things which belong to the animal plane, which hold us upon 
that plane and monopolize our attention there. Therein lies the 
evil of desire. Our business is to rise above the world of sense, the 
world of lower desires. If we are to enter the path of the Masters, it 
is absolutely essential that we detach ourselves from sense objects 
and from all desire for them. We may go away from the things 
themselves, but that is not getting rid of them. If we do not get rid 
of the desire itself, we are no better off than at first. 

If we can fasten our attention to something which is not of the 
sense world, something which is imperishable, something which 
instead of binding us here actually liberates us from this bondage, 
draws us in the opposite direction and takes us up to liberty and 
immortality, then that thing becomes our chief good. A desire for 
that is not an evil. It is our very salvation. The evil lies not in 
desire, per se, but in the nature of what is desired. This distinction 
is often overlooked by Oriental as well as Western students. How 
can the mind conceive the desire for a good thing to be an evil in 
and of itself? The good or the evil lies in the direction toward 
which a desire pulls us. 

Let us illustrate. Place upon a table some iron filings, and a 
small magnet close to them. The filings will move toward the 
magnet. But if you place a larger magnet on the opposite side of 
the filings, they will ignore the small magnet and move toward the 
larger one. It is the old problem in physics — the stronger of two 
forces must prevail. Now if we go back to our problem of desire, 
we shall see that the same law operates with equal precision in the 
realm of mind. The strongest attraction will always prevail. There 
can be no exception to this law. It is universal, or it would not be a 
law of nature. What then is the student on the spiritual path to do 
to get rid of the desires which he does not wish to cherish? There 
can be but one way to get rid of them — manifestly, to set before 



^ 



388 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



the mind something which can outpull the lower desires. They 
must be overcome by a stronger force acting in the opposite direc- 
tion. There can be no other way. 

The task can never be accomplished by negation. Suppose one 
of those iron filings had intelligence enough to say, "I will not 
yield to the pull of the magnet." Suppose it should say to that 
attraction, "Leave me alone." Do you think the attraction would 
cease? Never. Because it is acting in accord with a universal law. 
The attraction can be neutralized only by a stronger pull in the 
opposite direction. An airplane goes up into the heavens. Does the 
attraction of gravity cease to act upon the plane? By no means, but 
the downward pull of gravity is neutralized by a greater pull of the 
engine in the opposite direction. The case is precisely the same in 
the mental world. The only way to kill an unwholesome attraction 
is to establish a desirable one in the opposite direction. 

If this law in psychology and ethics could only be grasped by 
the general public and its principles applied to individual and 
social problems, it would revolutionize society. And this is the 
teaching of all great Masters. They do not waste time and effort in 
lecturing their disciples on the evils of unwholesome desires, but 
they at once place before the disciple something to take the place 
of the lower desires, something which lifts the soul and the mind 
upward instead of pulling it downward. And that is the crux of the 
whole matter. This is where the wisdom of the Masters excels. It 
holds the only effective cure for all human ills arising out of lower 
desires. It places before the tempted individual something which 
will tempt him with a greater force in the opposite direction. 



7. THAT WHICH KILLS DESIRE 

There is but one thing known to human experience which will 
destroy all lower desires. That is the audible life stream. It is the 
supreme instrument of deliverance from bondage. It is the one 
means of detaching us from worldly objects that perish and of 
lifting us up to liberty and light. This life stream is placed before 
us by the Master and we are invited to make use of it. This has 









THA T WHICH KILLS DESIRE 



389 



been the one remedy in all ages of the world for the cure of world- 
ly desires. We shall attain perfect detachment only when we enter 
into that divine stream consciously. 

At first we have to content ourselves solely with controlling 
desires; but controlling and destroying are two very different things. 
We may refuse to yield to the pull of desire and go on doing what 
we know is best. This is temporary mastery. Even if we cannot 
destroy it at first, we can subdue it, hold it in check and refuse its 
demands. This we may do, provided bad habit has not destroyed 
or weakened the willpower too seriously. Then, by centering our 
attention upon that which is within us, following the Master to 
those higher and more attractive worlds, there we contact that life 
stream in its fullness and its maximum power. When that is con- 
sciously entered, when we hear its heavenly music and feel its 
overwhelming attraction, then we automatically forget all else. The 
lower attractions cease. We have no desire for anything else. That 
current absorbs our entire being. We go with it, hoping never to 
be separated from it for a single moment. 

To help us up to that point we have the Master himself. We see 
him; we learn to love him; we come to delight in following him, 
for we know that he is leading us toward the fountain of life. As 
the love for the Master grows, the pull of worldly attractions slack- 
ens, until by and by it is no longer difficult to deny all lower 
desires and follow the Master to the inner regions. There the great 
life stream is contacted, the soul is merged into it, and after that 
there is no more difficulty widi desires. They simply disappear, 
swallowed up in the great stream. Liberation is then an accom- 
plished fact. As soon as a person becomes one with that luminous 
reality, all his problems are solved. He is a free man. 

Let us understand this crucial question. How to destroy evil 
desires? It can never be done by negation, and yet negation is the 
method employed by ninety-nine percent of the human race, by 
parents, by teachers, by reformers, by the courts. They all forbid 
things. They tell people what they must not do. They write in their 
laws, "Thou shalt not." A few understanding ones offer something 
better to attract the minds of the disobedient. But the goal can 
never be achieved by negation. We must always set before the 




390 



MENTAL PREPARATION FOR THE GREAT WORK 



mind something which has a greater power of attraction. If all 
men could realize the folly and emptiness of worldly sensations, 
they would then be ready for the Master and for the great reali- 
ty — the holy Shabd. When the attraction for that great reality be- 
comes dominant in one's life, then all lower attractions cease. And 
this is the end of desire. It is the beginning of immortality. 

The world rushes madly along, the vast majority driven under 
the lash of one or more of the passions, urged on by desire, hun- 
gering and thirsting after the things of sense. This is surely a spec- 
tacle to make the gods weep. This is the fatal disease of karma 
bandhana — bondage to works, bondage to pleasures, bondage to a 
thousand things of sense. Habitual yielding to kam, to objects of 
sense desire, creates heavier bondage and at the same time it fur- 
ther inflames the desires. The individual sinks deeper and deeper 
into the mud and mire of sensualism. How shall he ever escape? 
By attaching himself to a power that is mightier than all sense 
desires — the divine melody, the life-giving stream. The student 
can do this only by the aid of the Master. 

Such a man is in a position analogous to that of a motorcar 
stuck in the mud. It is unable to extricate itself. But when it is 
attached to a powerful truck which stands on firm ground, it can 
be pulled out of the mud at once. In like manner the soul may 
attach itself to the Master, who is himself free from all bonds and 
is endowed with power unlimited. The Master unites the soul 
with the audible life stream. Now the entire process is reversed. 
Instead of going on down deeper into the mud, he begins to climb 
toward the higher ground of light and liberty. He now has the 
power to rise, for in the life stream is power abundant. 

This is the shabd marg, the way of emancipation. The whole 
situation of the mind and senses is well illustrated in an analogy 
taken from the Upanishads: 

Know the soul as the rider, the body as the chariot, the buddhi 
[intellect] as the charioteer, and manas [mind] as the reins. The 
sense organs are the horses, and the sense objects are the roads 
over which the chariot runs. The soul, joined to all of the above, 
is the experiencer. 



THAT WHICH KILLS DESIRE 



391 



This condition of slavery to the senses is well developed by one 
of India's best writers, Shri Aurobindo Ghose. He says: 

There are two possibilities of action of the intelligent will. It 
may take its downward orientation toward a discursive action 
of the perceptions and the will, in the triple play of prakriti 
[material nature] , or it may take its upward and inward orien- 
tation toward a settled peace and equality in the calm and 
immutable purity of the conscious, silent soul, no longer sub- 
ject to the distractions of nature. In the former alternative, the 
subjective being is at the mercy of the objects of sense; it lives in 
the outward contacts of things. That life is the life of desire. The 
senses, excited by their objects, create a resdess, or even a 
violent, disturbance, a strong or even a headlong outward move- 
ment toward the seizure of those objects and their enjoyment, 
and they carry away the sense mind, as the winds carry away a 
ship upon the sea. The mind, subjected to the emotions, pas- 
sions, longings, impulses, awakened by this outward move- 
ment of the senses, carries away similarly the intelligent will, 
which therefore loses its calm discrimination and mastery. Sub- 
jection of the soul to the confused play of the three gunas of 
prakriti, in their eternal entangled twining and wrestling, igno- 
rance, a false sensuous objective life of the soul, enslavement to 
grief and wrath, and attachment and passion, are the results of 
the downward trend of the buddhi — the troubled life of the 
ordinary unenlightened, undisciplined man. Those who, like 
the Vedevadins, make sense enjoyment the object of action, 
and its fulfillment the highest aim of the soul, are misleading 
guides. 

The opposite course of action, as said above, is to join one's 
whole being to the self-active, all-embracing power, under the 
directions of a living Master. From this bondage of works and 
enslavement of passions, nothing in the universe can ever free a 
soul except the living Master and the life current. 






11 



The Audible Life Stream: 
The Source of All Being 



t- THE CENTRAL FACT IN SANT MAT 

JfTK AU J rBLE ?? STREAM * ^ Cardbal > centraJ fert in the science 

of tt it- v sth i keystone ° f the »*■ rt *■ ^ «"- 

of the structure It « the structure itself. And it is the path of the 

£SC233K7 that i e Master and the ■* st - m c °^ ! 

S*£Z£ °f the Masters. The great spiritual current is not only 

te2S f ^ SaCnCe ° f *" MaSterS but * ^ ^ supreml 

of 51* t " £ntire UniverSe - Tt is *» vei ? esse «ce and life 
of all things. It is perhaps less known than any other important 
fact of nature yet it is the one determining factor of all nature. 
That is mdeed a pity. This great truth or fact is significandy spo- 
ken of in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint John: 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God 
and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with 
God. All things were made by him and without him was not 
anything made that was made. 

(John 1:1-5) 



THE CENTRAL FACT (N SANT MAT 



393 



Here it is definitely stated that something which is called 'Word* 
ts identical with God, the Creator. 

Although not at all understood by the Christian church, this 
statement is an important announcement of the stupendous fact 
of the audible life stream. It is often called the sound current, but 
that is not a good name for it because it is not sufficiently defini- 
tive. The Indian name is simply shabd, meaning 'word' or 'sound', 
but that is not definitely clear. There are many words and sounds. 
Logos was the Greek term used by the Neoplatonic school, whose 
Masters were familiar with portions of the Eastern wisdom. Logos 
means 'the divine Word'. It is this divine current, wave or stream 
going forth from God himself and flowing throughout the uni- 
verse. It is not only an emanation from God but it is God himself. 

When any man speaks in this world, he simply sets in motion 
atmospheric vibrations. But when God speaks, he not only sets in 
motion etheric vibrations, but he himself moves in and through 
those vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all through 
infinite space. God is not static, latent : he is superlatively dynam- 
ic When he speaks, everything in existence vibrates, and that is 
the Sound, the Shabd; and it can be heard by the inner ear, which 
has been trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of 
manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is, in fact, the only way 
in which the supreme one can be seen and heard — this mighty, 
luminous and musical wave, creating and enchanting. 

Now, this great fact of nature, so httle known to either ancient 
or modern thought, is the vital substance of the science of the 
Masters. It is cardinal and central in all their teachings. It is the 
one thing which distinguishes Sant Mat from all other sciences or 
systems. It is the very foundation of the Masters' system of yoga. It 
is the key to all of their success in unfolding their spiritual powers 
and controlling their minds. It is the one sign by which a real 
Master may be known and recognized from all others. No one is 
or can be a genuine Master unless he teaches and practices the 
audible life stream, because it is impossible for anyone to become 
a spiritual Master of the highest order unless he consciously uti- 
lizes the life stream to gain his development. 




394 THE A UDIBLE LIFE STREAM 

2. NAMES OF THE SUPREME LOGOS 

The supreme logos is commonly called sound current in India, 
among those who speak English. But the best translation which 
we have been able to discover is 'audible life stream'. This appears 
to carry its deeper meaning and is more comprehensive and inclu- 
sive. It is, in fact, a stream — a life-giving, creative stream — and it 
can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely important, 
and that idea must be conveyed, if possible, in any name that is 
applied to it. This current or wave contains the sum of all teaching 
emanating from God. It is his own Word. It includes everything 
that God has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression. It 
is the method of God in making himself known. It is his language. 
It is his Word. 

This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit or Hindi, 
nam. 1 But in English we are not accustomed to put so much mean- 
ing in the word name. It is only correct if we understand that 
Name or Nam stands for all that the supreme being is. It is just 
another way of saying Word, and Word is what God says. It is 
equally what he does. It is the whole of the divine being in action. 
To distinguish God in action from God as divine essence, we call 
him Shabd or living Word. The name of anything or anybody is 
the sound symbol which stands for the reality itself. The name 
conveys to thought everything which belongs to the reality for 
which it stands. When the Master is said to give Nam, it means 
that he gives the current, the reality for which Nam stands. He 
literally gives the audible life stream itself. (Just how the Master 
can give it is discussed in Chapter Twelve, Section 4.) 

This divine Nam, Sound, or Word stands for aU that God is or 
has ever said or done. It includes all of his qualities. As said be- 
fore, it is the only way in which the universal spirit can manifest 
itself to human consciousness. So when the supreme being mani- 
fests himself as Sat Nam in Sach Khand he there becomes fully 
personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation all of the 
qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he becomes personal Creator, Lord, 
God and Father. There be becomes the fountain out of which the 

l. Pronounced rutam. 




NAMES OF THE SUPREME LOGOS 395 

audible life stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived and 
heard by all who participate in it throughout all worlds. It may be 
seen and heard by such as attain an awakened consciousness un- 
der the training of a Master, When a man hears it, he hears God. 
When he feels it, he feels the power of God. This Shabd is, there- 
fore, the divine being expressing himself in something that is both 
audible and visible. This current must not be understood to be 
like a river running in one course. It is more like a radio wave 
flowing out in every direction from the grand central broadcasting 
station. In fact, it comes from the supreme creative center of the 
universe of universes. 

This wave has two aspects, a centrifugal flow and a centripetal 
flow. It moves outward from the central dynamo of all creation, 
and it flows back toward that dynamo. Moving upon that current, 
all power and all life appear to flow outward to the uttermost 
bounds of creation, and again upon it all life appears to be return- 
ing toward its source. It is the latter aspect of it with which we 
have to deal mostly. 

Upon that wave we have to depend for our return to our original 
home. When the Master makes the connection or, so to say, 'tunes 
us in', it is then that we begin our homeward journey, leaving all 
perishable worlds behind us. 

This Word is called nod in the Vedas. In Vedanta, sound is 
always spoken of as creative. Sound, or anything that sounds, is 
the creative energy. It is referred to as the nad-brahm, meaning 
the primal Word of Brahm. By this nad-brahm all creation was 
brought into existence. The whole of the visible and invisible uni- 
verse is the manifestation of this primal nad. The nad is the grand 
symphony out of which all other symphonies flow. It is the primal 
music of the universe. Every musical chord of this world is an 
echo of that primal chord. It is the vadan of the Sufis and the 
shabd of the Hindus. 

But all Sufis do not distinguish between the primal Word and 
the manifest word, between the original music and its echo. They 
are not able to point out the difference between the dhunatmak 
sound and the many varnatmak sounds. While we may truly say 



396 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



WHA T IS THE A UDIBLE LIFE STREAM? 



397 



that all music in the world is a manifestation of the original sym- 
phony of the primal vadan, yet there is a difference between them, 
a very important difference. The all-creative nad is that Sound out 
of which all other sounds arise, while at the same time its heaven- 
ly strains linger in all material worlds as echoes of the original 
melody. It is only these echoes that we hear when we listen to a 
great orchestra produced by man. Those who love music should 
remember that they are listening to the distant echoes of the infi- 
nite chorus of the universe every time they hear a musical sound 
upon this plane. But we should always take care to distinguish 
between the echo and the original. The original cannot, however, 
be heard by the physical organ of hearing. A finer sense must be 
developed for that. 

This nad is shabd in Hindi. It is spoken of as the shabd-dhun, 
'the melodious sound'. Again it is called akash bant, 'heavenly 
utterance'. Kabir Sahib speaks of it so beautifully as 'the pure 
white music'. All Muslim saints generally refer to it as sultan-ul- 
azkar, 'king of the ways', ism-i-azam, and kaima or kalam-i-ilahl 
It is also called swat shabd yoga, anand yoga or anahad shabd, and 
anahad yoga. So it has been called by many names in many lan- 
guages. It is the 'still small voice' (1 Kings 19:12) and 'the voice of 
the silence'. It is the same divine sound wave, no matter by what 
name it may be known. Let no one say it is not a sound because it 
cannot be heard by the physical ear. The radio electromagnetic 
waves cannot be heard by the physical ear until they are converted 
into atmospheric vibrations by the receiving instrument; yet when 
they are traveling through space they are just as truly sounds. The 
Shabd is in any case a sound because it can be heard by a finer ear 
attuned to its higher vibrations. 

This divine Logos is the real 'Lost Word' of the Masonic Order. 
It is that Word for the restoration of which every Master Mason is 
taught to look forward into the future ages. Those 'future ages' 
have now arrived. That 'Lost Word' is now in the mouth of the 
true Satguru, or Master. He is the real Master, compared to whom 
all other Masters are only substitutes, just as the word they give is 
only a substitute for the true Word. 




The real Master now awaits the opportunity to restore the Lost 
Word to the fraternity. But it remains to be seen if they will open 
their ears to it. If they can receive it now, "on the five points of 
fellowship," it will mean a new birth to the fraternity. They need 
no longer content themselves with the substitute, because the orig- 
inal dynamic Word is now available. They have only to indicate 
their readiness to receive it. That priceless treasure is now ready 
for them. But their representative must present himself before the 
Grand Master of Masters in a manner similar to that of every 
candidate who knocks at your doors. He also must be prepared in 
his heart, divested of all rags of self-righteousness; he must come 
knocking at the door as a poor blind candidate seeking the light. 
Do not forget that, just as in your lodges, it is only the Master who 
comes out of the East, who is able to give this Word. But your 
Master can give only the substitute, while the real Master is pre- 
pared to give you the original Word, which was lost to the frater- 
nity in past ages. 

Let us repeat now that the future ages referred to, and for which 
you have been so long waiting, are now here. Will the brother- 
hood listen to the challenge of the Master who bids them come 
and get the Word? In the great drama of the Third Degree almost 
every precept of the path of the Masters is foreshadowed. The 
ritual makes you a substitute Master. But the great work of the 
real Master makes the candidate a real Master. This takes place 
when he has absorbed the Lost Word into his very being and 
becomes one with it. 

The Lost Word is now found again, and it is the life stream, the 
audible Word so emphasized by all the saints. 



3. WHAT IS THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM? 

It is not easy to explain exactly what the audible life stream is. It 
cannot be defined or explained in words. This is so because it is 
beyond the capacity of any language, and it is also beyond the 
capacity of this writer. We have never known anyone who could 



WHA T IS THE A UDIBLE LIFE STREAM? 



399 



398 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



put it into words, because language is limited. If we could sum- 
mon all the languages ever spoken by man, extracting from them 
their utmost powers of expression, it were a vain effort even then 
to undertake to describe and explain this primary fact of nature. It 
is a story which is never told because it cannot be told. It is a 
language which has never been spoken or written. It is the ever- 
living melody which cannot be recorded on bars and spaces. Its 
notes are beyond the strings of any earthly instruments. Its inspir- 
ing chorus rings through every chamber of the soul, but there is 
no way to convey the idea to other people who have not heard it. 

Its glorious light cannot be pictured on canvas. One sees its 
feeble reflections in the morning sky or that of the setting sun, or 
in the silvery moon. But its colors are quite beyond the compre- 
hension of any mortal artist; while in its pure state, above the 
regions of matter, it simply blends into one infinite perfection 
which no man can describe, except to say with Soami Ji, "It is all 
love!" It is the dhunattnak Word of those regions where language 
is useless. It is the smile of the lover which finds its home in the 
heart but cannot be expressed in words. When it is heard, the 
enchanted listener is silent and filled with a great joy. 

Stated in the simplest words we can employ, the audible life 
stream is the supreme Creator himself vibrating through space. It 
is the wave of spiritual fife going forth from the Creator to every 
riving thing in the universe. By that current he has created all 
things, and by it he sustains them. In it they all live and move and 
have their being, and by that same current they will ultimately 
return to their source of being. 

Try now to get a picture of that luminous reality, the grand 
orchestra of the universe. Its heavenly strains are not only fining 
all interstellar space but they are ringing with far more enchanting 
music through all the higher worlds beyond the utmost bounds of 
the physical. The higher we go, the more enchanting the music. In 
those higher worlds the music is less mixed with matter, and so it 
is not dulled. After passing the third region on the path of the 
Masters, this sublime chorus becomes so overwhelmingly attrac- 
tive that the soul grows impatient to go on up. It is absorbed in it. 



I 



It lives in it day and night. It is its life, its joy, its spiritual food. 
There is not a cubic millimeter of space in existence which is not 
filled with this music. Sweeter and sweeter its heavenly strains 
vibrate through every living being, great or small, from world to 
world, and from universe to universe. Its life-giving melodies may 
not be consciously heard by those who are not trained to catch 
them, but there is not a living being in all creation which does not 
derive its life from this current. All joy that has ever thrilled a 
living soul has come out of this divine harmonic. How great is this 
luminous reality! 

If you still think much of the word religion, then you may say 
that this current is the only real religion. Or better, it is the giver 
of all genuine religion. It is the one and only thing in the world 
which actually binds men back to God. That is the meaning of our 
word religion — something which binds the soul back to God. With- 
out this stream, nothing could live for a single moment or even 
exist. All life and all power come from it. From the crawling ant to 
the thunderbolt, from the tidal wave to the solar cycle, every man- 
ifestation of dynamic energy comes from this stream. From the 
burning orbs of the Milky Way to the flicker of a candle, all take 
their light and energy from this grand central power. The pull of 
gravity, the flash of lightning, the building of thought-forms, and 
the love of the individual soul — all come from this current pri- 
mordial. 

That which physical science calls energy, which in Sanskrit is 
called prana, is only a manifestation of this life stream, 'stepped 
down' to meet material conditions. Like electricity in the air, it is 
omnipresent. It is also omnipotent. In it lies all energy, either 
latent or dynamic. It only awaits the proper conditions to express 
itself as dynamic force in one form or another. It has many forms 
of expression, most of which are not yet known to physical science. 

Of course, it has to be stepped down, and at each step down it 
takes a different character or quality to which we give names if we 
can demonstrate them at all. Science has not yet discovered most 
of them. But every force known, from primal energy called prana 
down to electricity and magnetism, are all modified forms of the 




400 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



same eternal current. Its stepping down is necessary to serve the 
common cosmic and human needs. But at last it is all one force. It 
is the supreme one, manifested and manifesting. 

The tremendous heat, energy, and light of our sun and of all 
suns are all derived from this stream. Every ray of light in the 
universe is a phenomenon of this infinite stream of light. Upon its 
power hangs every star in its orbit. Not a single rose may bring 
forth its buds without this power, and no little child smiles with- 
out manifesting this power. If we speak of attributes, let us speak 
cautiously. Who can comprehend it or assign qualities? Who can 
analyze it? But we know from its manifestations that it has at least 
three very wonderful attributes: 

love — wisdom — power 

And the greatest of these is love. It is believed by some to be 
quite true if we say that this self-luminous reality has but one 
attribute — love. And this would coincide perfectly with the teach- 
ing of Jesus when he said, "God is love." (1 John 4:8). What more 
can be said? God is love and love is God. They are the same and 
they are identical with this life stream. The theme is too deep for 
words. Language fails us. Thought itself is lost in a blaze of light! 
And that light is the audible life stream, the one self-luminous 
reality! 



4. THE LIFE STREAM CAN BE HEARD 

We come back now to that particular phase of the audible life 
stream which concerns us most — the fact that it can be heard. 
This is an amazing thing, marvelous to contemplate! This idea is 
so utterly new, to the Western world in particular. It amounts to 
the most important discovery of modern thought, and yet it is not 
a modern discovery. It is a fact of nature well known to Masters 
during the most remote ages. It is the loss of this important knowl- 
edge that has left most of the world in spiritual darkness. From 



THE LITE STREAM CAN BE HEARD 



401 






age to age, the great Masters come to revive this knowledge, after 
materialism has obscured it. 

As said before, it is not heard with the physical ear. But it can 
be heard, and everyone has the capacity. It only requires the de- 
velopment of an inner and finer organ of hearing, which every 
person possesses. It is developed under the instructions of a living 
Master. This fact of hearing the Sound is our supreme joy, for it 
points direcdy to our ultimate spiritual freedom. The Masters teach 
their students exactly how to develop this inner hearing. After 
that, the life stream can be heard as distinctly and perfectly as we 
can hear anything on this plane by means of the physical ears. 

If it be true that no man has ever seen God (1 John 4:12), it 
means that he has not seen him with the physical eyes. Yet on the 
inner and higher planes of seeing and hearing, God may be both 
seen and heard. To accomplish this marvelous achievement, it is 
necessary to seek first a living Master and then place ourselves 
under his instructions. You must then succeed. God is seen and 
heard by all initiates of a living Master who devote themselves to 
the practice as given by the Master. This is one of the demonstrat- 
ed facts of the science of the Masters. It is not theory. It is a fact of 
experience verified over and over again many thousands of times. 
There are many people personally known to this writer who have 
demonstrated this fact in their own experiences. God is seen and 
heard by all who try according to the method of the Masters. 
They cannot fail if they do the work. 

This creative current, filling all space, may be likened to the 
electromagnetic waves of the radio. The receiving set is the human 
body, more accurately, the astral body within the physical. The 
receiving set, standing on your table, simply has to be 'tuned in' 
in order to receive the music. Each individual man or woman is a 
receiving set. As soon as he is tuned in by the Master, he is ready 
to receive "the pure white music" spoken of by Kabir. It then 
remains only to keep the instrument in proper order to go on 
enjoying this melodious bani Of course, but few get the music at 
once after their initiation. It takes a httle time to develop the inner 
hearing. The entire body, and more particularly the mind and 



402 



THE AU1 mtl.E LI Ft" STREAM 



astral body, must be cleaned and purified and then attuned to the 
higher vibrations. After that, the music comes clearly. When one 
begins to hear it, he is filled with a great joy; for there is nothing 
in the world to be compared with it. 

The full chorus of a Handel, the sublimest strains of a Wagner, 
are all dull when compared with this bani. If we put into one 
composition all the values of a Bach and a Beethoven, let the harp 
and the violin, the pipe organ and the flute combine to interpret 
the music of all the masters of music, even then you could not 
produce one minor chord of this sublime enchantment. It takes 
possession of the soul of the hearer; it re-creates him, and then he 
finds himself a citizen of a new world. The attractions of sense 
disappear. He is exalted. His heart is purified and his mind is 
renewed. He lives anew. He has become immortal. How can the 
shadow of death ever cross his path? He has definitely entered the 
stream of everlasting life! 

When it is time for him to leave the body, he goes as one who 
throws off an old garment. Upon the divine wave he ascends to 
the bosom of God. No sorrow of earth can ever again submerge 
him. He rises above all turbulent waves of passion, as a man mounts 
the sky in an airplane, while the floods of muddy water roll by 
beneath him. He rises triumphantly above every evil. One can 
never again be unhappy after he has once participated in this life- 
giving music. Long after the melody itself is shut out by attention 
to things of this world, the joy of it goes on ringing through one's 
entire being. But the same ringing delight may be heard again any 
moment that the student wishes to listen to it. He has only to 
withdraw his attention from the outer world and concentrate a 
little. 

From the sacred hour when the student hears this music, he is 
never again alone or lonely. He may wander far from home or 
friends, but he is never lonely. In a true sense he enjoys the com- 
panionship of God himself. The supreme one is always present 
with him, playing for his delight the grandest chorus of the uni- 
verse! Its sweet tones are calling him, tenderly calling him back 
home. And he longs to be on the way. 



THE SUFI IDEA OF THE DIVINE VADAN 



405 



5. THE SUFI IDEA OF THE DIVINE VADAN 

The Sufis are divided into two classes — the Ulvis, who know of 
and often hear the primal music, or at least they did in the early 
days, and the Siflis, who have lost all knowledge of it or perhaps 
never had it. The latter class now speaks of the heavenly sympho- 
ny in figurative language, like Rabindranath Tagore trying to ex- 
plain the rhapsodies of Kabir Sahib. Having no understanding of 
the inner symphony, they fix all attention upon its outward ex- 
pressions in the manifest universe. Doing this, many of them be- 
come great lovers of music, and sometimes they are great musi- 
cians. They love the harmonies which the physical ear can hear, 
but they have lost the greater harmonies of which these lower 
sounds are no more than a feeble reflection. At any rate, if they 
know of them, they do not speak of them publicly. They speak 
much of the outer music, however. 

One noted Sufi, Hazrat lnayat Khan, says that the physical uni- 
verse is all music, that it is all a manifestation of music, and that if 
was created by music. How true this is, although he does not him- 
self seem to understand the full significance of his own statement. 
He intends his words to be taken figuratively, when in fact they 
should be accepted in the most literal meaning of the words them- 
selves. The universe was literally created by the great Shabd, the 
primal music of all worlds. This divine symphony or chorus is 
everywhere in all men and in all things. Indeed, the whole uni- 
verse is one grand vadan. He agrees with Vedanta that the uni- 
verse was created by the nad-brahma,and this is exactly what all 
the Masters teach. But lnayat Khan does not realize how much he 
misses by looking to the manifest universe for his great vadan 
instead of looking inside for it. Doing this, he has to be contented 
with the reflection, the faint echo, of the pure original melody. 

But the great Masters make contact with the pure primal cur- 
rent itself, and thus enjoy the most perfect satisfaction, being ab- 
sorbed in it. That creative primal music is vibrating through all 
the universe, and it may be sensed to some extent by many of the 
finer types of men and women. And this is why some of them 







THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



become very great lovers of music. The greater the refined sensi- 
bilities of any person, the nearer he or she is to the primal current, 
It permeates everything, as said before, from rosebud to star, and 
it is the life of everything. But this varnatmak music, so deadened 
and dulled by contact with matter, is not to be compared with the 
original. That original is the only genuine vadan, the audible life 
stream. 

An extremely interesting Sufi effort to interpret the Surat Shabd 
of the Masters is the following extract by Hazrat Inayat Khan. 1 It 
shows how this central idea of the great Shabd has taken hold of 
all mystic thought, even if it is not clearly comprehended 

"Abstract Sound is called mute surmadi by the Sufis. All space is 
filled with it. ... It was the saute surmadi, the sound of the ab- 
stract, which Mohammed heard in the cave of Gar-e-Hira, Moses 
heard this very sound on Mount Sinai. ... It was heard by Christ 
when his Heavenly Father manifested to him in the wilderness. 
Shiva heard the same anahad nod during his samadhi in the cave 
of the Himalayas. The flute of Krishna is symbolic of the same 
sound. This sound is the source of all revelation to the Masters. . . . 
Whoever has followed the strains of this sound has forgotten all 

earthly distinctions The sound of the abstract is always going 

on within, around and about man. Man does not hear it as a rule, 
because his consciousness is entirely centered in his material exist- 
ence. ... In comparison to it, the sounds of the earth are like that 
of a whistle to a drum. When the abstract sound is audible all 
other sounds become indistinct to the mystic. 

"The sound of the Abstract is called anahad in the Vedas, mean- 
ing unlimited sound. The Sufis' name is surmadi, which suggests 
the idea of intoxication. The word intoxication is here used to 
signify upliftment, exaltation, freedom of the soul from its earthly 
bondage. Those who are able to hear the saute surmadi and medi- 
tate on it are relieved from all worries, anxieties, sorrows, fears 
and diseases; and the soul is freed from captivity in the senses and 
in the physical body. The soul of the listener becomes the all- 




THESUFI IDEA OF THE DIVINE VADAN 



405 



pervading consciousness. Some train themselves to hear the saute 
surmadi in the solitude of the seashore, on the riverbank, and in 
the hills and dales; others accomplish it while sitting in the caves 
of the mountains, or when wandering constantly through forests 
and deserts, keeping themselves in the wilderness apart from the 
haunts of men. Yogis and ascetics blow singhi (a horn) or shankh 
(a shell) which awakens in them this inner tune. Dervishes play 
nai or algoza (a double flute) for the same purpose. The bells and 
gongs in the churches and temples are meant to suggest the same 
sacred sound, and thus lead a man toward the inner life. 

"This sound develops through ten different aspects, because of 
its manifestations through ten different tubes of the body. It sounds 
like thunder, the roaring of the sea, the jingling of bells, the run- 
ning water, the buzzing of bees, the twittering of sparrows, the 
vina, the whistle, or the sound of shankha, until it finally becomes 
the hu, the most sacred of all sounds. This sound hu is the begin- 
ning and the end of all sounds, be they from man, bird, beast or 
thing. A minute study will prove this fact, which can be realized 
by listening to the sound of the steam engine or of a mill; the echo 
of bells or gongs gives a typical illustration of the hu sound. 

"The supreme being has been called by various names in differ- 
ent languages, but the mystics have known him as Hu (Arabic), 
the natural name not man-made, the only name of the Nameless, 
which all nature constantly proclaims. The sound hu is most sacred; 
the mystics of all ages called it isme-i-azm, the name of the Most 
High, for it is the origin and end of every sound as well as the 
background of each word. The word h u is the spirit of all sounds 
and of all words, and is hidden under them all, as the spirit in the 
body. It does not belong to any language, but no language can 
help belonging to it. This alone is the true Name of God, a Name 
that no people and no religion can claim as their own. This Word 
is not only uttered by human beings, but is repeated by animals 
and birds. All things and beings exclaim this Name of the Lord; 
for every activity of life expresses distinctly this very sound. This is 
the Word mentioned in the Bible as existing before the light came 



1. Hazrat Inayat Khan. Mysticism of Sound (California: Hunter House, 1979 ). Chapter 8. 



406 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



T 



into the world: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word 
was with God, and the Word was God.' ' 

"The mystery of Hu is revealed to the Sufi who journeys through 
the path of initiation. Truth, the knowledge of God, is termed by 
a Sufi hak. If we divide the word hak into two parts, it becomes 
hu-ak. Hu signifying 'God', or 'truth', and ak in Hindustani mean- 
ing 'one', both meanings together expressing one God and one 
truth. Hukikat in Arabic means the essential truth, final reality. 
Hakim means master and hukim means knower; all of which words 
express the essential characteristics of life. 

"Atuk is the sacred word that the Vairagis, the adepts of India, 
exclaim as the chant. In the word aluk are expressed two words, 
aL meaning 'from', and huk, 'truth'; both words together express 
God, the source of all truth. 

"The sound hu becomes limited in the word hum, for the letter 
m closes the lips. This word in Hindustani expresses limitation, 
hum means T, or 'we', both of which words signify ego. The word 
humsa is the sacred word of the yogis which illumines the ego with 
the light of reality. The word huma in the Persian language stands 
for a fabulous bird. There is a belief that if the huma bird sits for a 
moment on the head of anybody, it is a sign that the person will 
become a king. Its true explanation is that when man's thoughts 
so evolve that they break all limitations he becomes as a king. It is 
the lack of language that it can only describe the Most High as 
something like a king. It is said in the old traditions that Zoroast- 
er was born of a huma tree. This explains the words in the Bible: 
"Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter 
the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). In the word huma, hu represents 
spirit, and the word mah, in Arabic, means 'water'. In English the 
word human reminds us of two facts which are characteristic of 
humanity — hu means 'God', and man means 'mind', which comes 
from the Sanskrit manah, mind being the ordinary man. In other 
words, Hu, God, is in all things and beings, but it is only man by 
whom he is known, or who is capable of knowing him. Human, 



THE SUFI IDEA OF THE DIVINE VADAN 



407 



1. John 1:1 



therefore, means the God-conscious being, God-realized, or the 
God-man. The word humd means 'praise', humid, 'praiseworthy 1 . 

a Hur, in Arabic, means 'the beauties of the heavens. . . . Ahura 
Mazda is the name of God as known to the Zoroastrians. In this 
first word, ahur suggests hu, upon which the whole name is built 
All of these examples signify the origin of the idea of God in the 
word hu, and the life of God in everything that lives. . . . Huva is 
the origin of the name of Eve, symbolic of manifestation of deity 
in womankind. . . . The words found in the Bible — Eloi, Elohim, 
and alleluya — are all corruptions of the original word Allah-hu. 

"The more a Sufi listens to the saute surmadi, the sound of the 
abstract, the more his consciousness becomes free from all the 
limitations of life. The soul then floats above the physical and 
mental planes without any special effort on man's part, which 
shows its calm and peaceful state. A dreamy look comes into his 
eyes and his countenance becomes radiant. He experiences the 
unearthly joy and rapture of wajad (ecstasy). When ecstasy over- 
whelms him, he is neither conscious of the physical existence, nor 
of the mental. This is the Heavenly Wine, to which all Sufi poets 
refer, and is totally unlike the momentary intoxications of this 
mortal plane. A heavenly bliss then springs in the heart of a Sufi, 
his mind is purified from sin, his body from all impurities, and a 
pathway is opened for him toward the worlds unseen; he begins to 
receive inspirations, intuitions, impressions and revelations, with- 
out the least effort on his part. He is no longer dependent upon a 
book or a teacher, for divine wisdom, the light of his soul, the 
holy spirit, begins to shine upon him." 

Of course, the holy spirit referred to just above is the divine 
vadan, the audible life stream. 

It is indeed quite refreshing and inspiring when one can enjoy 
the harmonies of this world, can feel in his innermost conscious- 
ness the divine melodies that float like the whispered words of 
God through all space. But the grandest of them all is the anahad 
shabd. The gentle echoes of that sublime music are floating through 
all lower worlds. They are but the whisperings of the real music, 
the supreme vadan. But we lose much if we are limited to these 



408 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



echoes, however sweet they may be. We should not fail to grasp 
the primal current from which all other music is derived. 

But this primal Shabd can be heard only by going inside, and 
that again requires a Master to lead the way. The vibrations of the 
outer world may be sensed only while the genuine primal current 
may be actually heard by the finer sense of audition. This inner 
music is so enrapturing, so captivating, that all who hear it be- 
come exceedingly joyous, so much so that they often forget all 
else; and then they are drawn upward with such force that the 
whole physical world becomes unreal and uninteresting. By the 
power of this music, a man is literally pulled upward toward the 
highest heavens whence that music has descended. And so this 
becomes the chief means of deliverance from this world and its 
sense bondage. 



6. THE ONLY MEANS OF SPIRITUAL LIBERATION 

The Masters all teach that there is no other means of spiritual 
liberation except the Shabd. Without actual, conscious participa- 
tion in the audible life stream, no one can ever escape the net of 
karma and reincarnation or ever become free and happy. If any- 
one feels inclined to deny this statement, ask him if he is himself 
free and happy, or if he knows anyone else who is. Ask him if he 
knows of any other way a man can free himself. Ask him if he is 
master of his own body or if he has conquered the last enemy, 
death. If he is honest he must say no. But all of this and much 
more is accomplished through the divine wave of spiritual power- 
which we call the Shabd. Hence all the saints lay the strongest 
emphasis upon this great reality. 

In fact, without this life stream, no saint could ever manifest 
upon this earth, and hence the whole world would continue to sit 
in darkness through endless ages. No soul can ever escape from 
this dark material world without conscious participation in and a 
personal relationship with this current. He should knowingly merge 
himself in that Life stream, and upon it he will rise to liberty. It 



THE ONLY MEANS OF SPIRITUAL LIBERATION 



409 



cannot be done in any other way. By this stream alone one is 
enabled to transcend all lower regions and rise to the highest 
heavens. This stupendous fact having been proved by the saints — 
and they have demonstrated it times without number- — they offer 
that path, that fountain of life, as the only actual means of spiritu- 
al Liberation. Saints know that there is no other way. By other 
means men may advance some distance toward the light. But 
sooner or later they reach an impasse. Without a perfect Guru, 
and through him attaining conscious union with the audible life 
stream, no one may hope to go farther than the first region of 
light, commonly spoken of as the astral plane, possibly a little 
beyond that in a few rare instances. Then they are confronted 
with such insuperable difficulties, such gigantic obstacles, that they 
simply cannot go farther. The Guru is then the absolute sine qua 
now of further advancement. 

This path is known as the Royal Highway of the saints, el Cami- 
no Real. It is the only path that leads to spiritual light and com- 
plete emancipation. This is the gospel of the life stream. He who 
drinks of this stream can never thirst again, for in him is a well of 
water springing up into life everlasting (John 4:14). This was the 
water of life which Jesus offered to the woman at the well of Sychar, 
of which, he said, if she would drink, she would never thirst again. 

Truly, when one begins consciously to participate in this life 
stream, there is in him a weU of water ever springing up, sufficient 
to supply the whole world. There is a fountain which cleanses 
him, and then goes on giving life to every soul who comes in 
touch with it. It purges both mind and soul, making them whiter 
than snow. It is the real nectar of immortality. It flows on forever, 
a healing stream for the nations. He who drinks of it will never 
again go about the world seeking food for his spirit. He will not 
look elsewhere for the light. A man in the broad sunlight will not 
go about seeking a candle. It is the medicine which cures every 
sickness. It is the one remedy which the great physician, the Mas- 
ter, offers for the relief of all ills. It is the universal elixir, the 
solace of all. It soothes away pain and gives rest to the tired. This 
is indeed the true light which lighteth every man who comes into 



410 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 

the world. It is God, the supreme Father. It is wisdom, power and 
love. And this is the audible life stream, known and practiced by 
all of the great Masters of the East during untold ages of time. 



7. NEW BIRTH THROUGH THE SHABD 

It may be of interest to the student who was brought up in the 
Christian faith to know that Jesus himself very definitely mentions 
the sound stream and teaches that the new birth is to be attained 
by means of it. This is exactly what is insisted upon by all great 
Masters. Jesus himself says it can be heard, and yet the Church has 
entirely lost the meaning. In the first chapter of the Gospel of 
Saint John, it is called the Word, through which all creation came 
into existence. If only the Christian disciples had once grasped 
this fundamental fact and held on to it, it would have meant a 
very different history for the Church. But, unhappily, the real 
meaning which Jesus had in mind was wholly lost. In the third 
verse of chapter three, Jesus speaks of contacting the current and 
of actually hearing it. Then he distinctly says the new birth is 
attained through it. All of this is exactly in line with the teachings 
of the Masters. But it is a pity that the churches have never under- 
stood this reference of Jesus to the most important experience 
which can possibly come within the range of human life. To the 
Church this new birth is a mysterious operation not in the least 
comprehended. In some way it is supposed to be performed by 
the Holy Spirit. But the exact process is quite unknown to them. 
The Masters alone can explain this statement of Jesus, for the 
Masters alone know exactly what the new birth consists of. 

Bear in mind that birth means bringing out into the light. Jesus 
says: 

That which is bom of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of 
the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6) 

Holy Spirit, Spirit, and Shabd — all mean exactly the same thing. 



NEW BIRTH THROUGH THE SHABD 



411 



Then in the eighth verse, Jesus clearly mentions actually hearing 
the sound of the spirit which gives the new birth. He says: 

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound 
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it 
goeth: So is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8) 

In this manner Jesus makes it very definite that just as the body 
of a man is born from woman, body from body, so the spirit of 
man is born — brought to light out of the dark womb of matter 
and its foul corruptions, through the action of the divine spirit in 
the form of the audible life stream. We know that it was to this life 
stream that he referred because he so definitely says it can be 
heard. When that birth takes place the soul actually hears the 
Sound just as definitely and distinctly as one can hear the rustle of 
the wind in the tall pines. But as no one can tell exactiy where the 
wind comes from, so no one can tell where that inner Sound 
comes from, nor where it is going. 

It would be difficult to make a more definite confirmative state- 
ment in support of the audible stream than this one of Jesus, and 
yet the theologians have never had the remotest idea of its mean- 
ing. If they had ever grasped this one fundamental truth, the whole 
theology of the Church would have been different. There is no 
new birth without this holy Shabd, and there is no such thing as 
contacting the current until one has first found a real and a living 
Master to 'tune him in' with it. So there is the entire matter in a 
few words. In the Bible, wherever the term Holy Spirit is used, it 
refers to this sound current and nothing else. It cannot possibly 
mean anything else. If it is a thing of spirit and if it is to be heard, 
as Jesus so distinctly says, then the spiritual sound current is the 
only thing to which it can possibly refer. 

The much-discussed Holy Trinity of the Church is nothing niore 
nor less than the gracious trinity of all the great Masters — the 
supreme Father, the Master and the Shabd. These are literally and 
exactly the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is much to be 
regretted that the Church itself never knew the real meaning of 




412 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



SHAMS-I-TABR1Z ON THE LIFE STREAM 



413 



the Trinity, about which so many of its debates have raged and 
books have been written since the days of Athanasius down to the 
present time. If rightly understood, there is no difficulty at all in 
the idea of these three in one. The supreme Father is the universal 
one. The Master is a man who has made himself one with the 
supreme Father, and the Shabd is the supreme spirit in process of 
manifestation throughout the universe. The Master is now the 
representative and the spokesman of the supreme Father on this 
earth plane. He is the real son of God. All Masters are real sons of 
God. In fact, all men are, but the Master is a perfected son. There 
is not the slightest philosophical difficulty in this concept. It is a 
sublime reality. 

Had the disciples of Jesus finished their training and become 
one with the life stream — in other words, if they had themselves 
become Masters — the whole course of history might have been 
very different. But instead of that, their Master was snatched away 
from them by death before their course of development had more 
than fairly begun, after which the pure spiritual science which 
Jesus taught was soon obscured and lost. With that vanished among 
Christians the last remnant of knowledge concerning the audible 
life stream. The history of Jesus and his teachings were covered up 
in a mass of dogmas and superstitions. 

In the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles an account is 
given of what happened on the day of Pentecost. They heard a 
sound "as of a mighty rushing wind" and then they saw lights, like 
"tongues of fire" sitting upon the heads of the apostles, and then 
they "were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (the sound current), 
and they began to speak in foreign tongues. Now, this is a phe- 
nomenon which may happen, and often does happen, with dis- 
ciples of any great Master. But it is an experience which comes in 
the very beginning of their development. 

Often it is as if one is standing between two buildings, and then 
a sound comes like that of a train rushing by, heard for a moment 
and then vanished. This is something like the "rushing mighty 
wind" spoken of in the Bible. Other sounds are heard from time 
to time — eight or ten of them. AH these sounds are heard before 




the true Shabd is heard. Again, one of the lights seen by all stu- 
dents of the Master appears much like the "tongue of fire" spoken 
of in the New Testament. Later the student sees many more lights 
and hears much more of the heavenly melody. As a result of these 
experiences, the disciple is filled with increased light and power. 
Among other things, he is able to understand all languages. He 
understands them all, as if each one was speaking his own lan- 
guage. This is the universal experience of students of the Masters 
and is encountered in the first region on the path of the saints. 
Everybody understands the language of all others no matter what 
it may be. To become 'filled with the Holy Spirit' is simply to hear 
and participate in the audible life stream and to become absorbed 
in it, to become one with it. In becoming one with it, the student 
comes into possession of many of the higher powers of that life 
force. 



8. SHAMS-I-TABRIZ ON THE LIFE STREAM 

In the writings of all the saints there is frequent mention of the life 
stream. Kabir sings of it in rapturous strains. In the Granth Sahib, 
the holy book of the Sikhs, there is frequent mention of it. Every 
saint who has written anything at all has spoken of the holy Shabd 
as the chief thing of importance. In the Sar Bachan of Soami Ji 
there is constant reference to it. We cannot reproduce the writings 
of the saints here. They would not mean so much to the Western 
reader as they do to the Indian student. But we wish to mention 
one in particular who speaks so delightfully of the audible life 
wave, corroborating the words of Jesus and of all other saints. 
This is Shams-i-Tabriz, a Persian saint of the later Middle Ages. It 
is difficult to say which of the two, Kabir Sahib or Shams-i-Tabriz, 
speaks more lovingly of the life stream. Their songs are most in- 
spiring. Tagore has translated many of the songs of Kabir; but 
himself having no knowledge of the life stream, he does not seem 
to have grasped the real significance of Kabir's teachings. 

The following was translated from the Persian by Judge Munshi 



~r 



414 THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 

Ram and Professor Jagat Singh ' and was arranged in its present 
form by this writer, great care having been taken to preserve its 
original meaning. It is full of beauty and rapturous appreciation 
of the heavenly bani, the Shabd. 

To me came the Sound incomparable, which comes 
Neither from within, nor from without 
Neither does it come from the left, nor from the right, 
Nor from the bade, nor from the front. 

You will ask then, whence does it come? 
It comes from the direction you are seeking to go. 
You will ask then, which way shall I face?— 
The side from which the bridegroom cometh. 

That direction whence ripeness comes to fruit; 
That direction from which stones become diamonds. 
Be silent and listen to the five sounds from Heaven, 
The Heaven which is beyond all senses and directions. 

Every moment of life this wondrous Sound 
Reaches down from the courts of Heaven. 
Fortunate above all the children of men 
Is he who hears its enchanting melodies. 

Speaking in the identical poetical spirit of that same Sound 
incomparable, Jesus says it may be heard in the direction whence 
the wind blows (John 3:8). 

And this is one of the greatest sayings ever uttered by Jesus or 
by anyone else. 

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be bom again, he 
cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3.3) 

In order to see the inner kingdoms of light, a man must be 



I . He became the appointed successor of Maharaj Sawan Singh in 1948. 




SHAMS- 1- TABRIZ ON THE LIFE STREAM 



415 



born or brought to light by that stream whence all power flows. 
That stream is inside of man himself, as the kingdom of light is 
within man. For this very definite reason Jesus says, as do all 
Masters, that this kingdom of heaven is within man (Luke 17:21). 
One has to go inside to get at it. That kingdom may be entered 
and explored only by the light and the power of the divine bani, 
which is also within man. Yet all the world is busy seeking it 
outside of man. Even the very nature of that kingdom is a dark 
mystery to most people. They have only the haziest notion of it. 
But that kingdom is no allegorical, imaginary or metaphorical 
kingdom. It is real, concrete. It includes vast and numberless worlds 
of inconceivable splendor and beauty. And all of this kingdom, or 
more correctly speaking, kingdoms, are consciously entered and 
enjoyed by the Master and his disciples. To make the momentous 
discovery of those higher kingdoms, man must go inside, must 
enter a plane of higher consciousness and higher dimension. This 
means that he must withdraw his attention from the sense world 
and lift his consciousness to a finer world. All of this he does with 
the aid of the audible life stream and the Master. Hence its vital 
importance in the scheme of the Masters. 

In every age of the world, time and time again, the saints have 
repeated those significant words of Jesus: 

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 

(John 3:7) 

When the soul is connected with the life current at the time of 
his initiation by the Master — when he is 'tuned in' — it is the su- 
preme moment of his 'new birth*. But the completion of that 
birth is usually a slow process, a very gradual coming into the 
light. The Master often refers to the physical birth of the individu- 
al as more like a death because it involves going down into dark- 
ness. When the soul leaves any of the higher regions and comes 
down to the physical, it means descent into darkness. But the real 
birth takes place when one is connected with the great luminous 
reality, and by its regenerating action is brought into the light. 
This is the new birth spoken of by Jesus and all other Masters. 



416 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



9. SCIENCE OF THE MASTERS— IN SIX WORDS 

We believe that the entire essence of this science may be summed 
up in six words. Each word is a gigantic pillar of light. These sis 
words, expressing three great truths, are subjoined to give expres- 
sion to the greatest system of truth ever revealed to the conscious- 
ness of man. They are like the three great mountains in Trikuti, 
which grouped together form one gigantic mountain of light. These 
three truths are so vital and so central that if we should forget all 
else, remembering them only, we would still possess the essence of 
Sant Mat. These three great facts stand out in letters of light at the 
very entrance to the Royal Highway of the saints. They constitute 
the triple beacon of light to guide every soul on his way to free- 
dom. They offer the basic concepts of the teaching of the Masters. 
They give the vital substance of this book in six words. They should 
be on the walls of the home of every student in blazing letters. 
They are: 

Sat Guru — Shabd-dhun — jivan mukti 

(1) Sat Guru, the Master, the saint, 

(2) Shabd-dhun, the audible life stream, the melodious 
sound, the sound primeval, 

(3) Jivan mukti, spiritual freedom here and now, mean- 
ing perfect liberation during this lifetime. 

Let us now take careful note of the relationship existing be- 
tween these three. The three are absolutely inseparable. This is 
one of the most important points to be kept in mind. You simply 
cannot have any one of them without the other two. This is a 
sacred mystery — all of them or none. And there is no possible 
exception to this rule. There is not only a definite rule that one 
must have them all or none, but there is a very definite order in 
which they must come, and this fixed order cannot be changed. 
Their sequence is fixed by an immutable law of nature; it admits 
of no variation. It lies not in the power of any man to modify this 




SCIENCE OF THE MASTERS— IN SIX WORDS 



417 









law and this sequence. The Satguru must come first The Shabd- 
dhun comes second, and then comes jivan mukti. This is the order 
established by nature or God. No man can alter it. 

All men wish liberation, or what theologians call salvation. Their 
sort of salvation is, however, a very different article from that of 
the Masters. The salvation of the Masters is liberation from the 
wheel of transmigration, from the ills of this life or of any life, and 
last of all, freedom to live forever in some heaven of unalloyed 
bliss. This is salvation as it is generally understood by the students 
of this path. It must never be confused with the theological salva- 
tion of the churches. 

Suppose now that people know nothing at all about the Shabd- 
dhun, and they object to the idea of a Master. Yet they would like 
to be spiritually free. Well, they simply cannot get jivan mukti, 
and there is no help for it. You may sit on the fence and weep all 
the days of your life, but nothing can be done for you. You may 
call upon all the religions known for help, but you will get noth- 
ing. You may pray to all the gods on record, and they will not hear 
you. It remains a stern fact of nature that no man has ever gained 
or can gain freedom from the ills of this life and escape the uncer- 
tainties of the next life until he has the good fortune to meet a 
living Master. If he has not that good fortune, he simply must 
return again and again to this life until he does meet a Master. 
That is the sum of it and that is final. Without the help of a Master 
no one can ever gain permanent release from this wheel of birth 
and death. His eternal and monotonous cycle of birth and death 
must simply go on until the time arrives when his good karmas 
bring him to a Master, with his mind prepared to follow him. 
Why? Because, as said before, these three links in the golden chain 
of salvation are absolutely inseparable. 

No one can possibly gain spiritual freedom except by and 
through the Shabd-dhun, and no one can possibly get that Shabd- 
dhun without first placing his life in the hands of a Satguru. On 
the other hand, if you do get a Satguru, you cannot fail to get jivan 
mukti, redemption from all ills of this or any other life. And this is 
because the Satguru never fails to connect his disciple with the 



418 



THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM 



NEW BIRTH THROUGH THE SHABD 



419 



Shabd-dhun. And so, having both Satguru and Shabd-dhun, one 
cannot fail to get spiritual freedom, which is here called jivan 
mukti. Let us repeat the fact here, that these three can never be 
separated — never under any circumstances. And we must not for- 
get that the Satguru comes first. It is a natural and logical conclu- 
sion, therefore, that the first duty and most important concern of 
any mortal in this world is to find a true Satguru. If you fail in that 
one regard, your life is a complete failure, no matter what else you 
may gain. 

Here then is the formula: First find a real Satguru who can tune 
you into the life current, the melodious Dhun. Then take hold of 
that current, merge yourself into it. Listen to its enchanting melo- 
dies, feel its gracious uplift, experience its cleansing powers, float 
upon it upward and onward to the city of freedom. After you have 
once passed the outermost frontiers of the material and impure 
worlds, when you have actually entered the regions of pure spirit 
and have grown godlike and fit for the highest regions, you will 
never again return to these lowlands of birth and death. You have 
attained jivan mukti — life everlasting. Therefore, let these three 
great truths be engraved upon your waking consciousness and 
upon your subconsciousness— think always on these three — Sat- 
guru, Shabd-dhun and jivan mukti. 

To put the matter in a little different way, there are three things 
of supreme importance to anyone contemplating this path. They 
are the Satguru, the satsang and the audible stream. Of course, the 
Satguru comes first; but when the disciple comes to the Satguru, 
he must attend satsang. That means he must converse with the 
Satguru, listen to his discourses, and so get full instruction. He 
may or he may not attend public meetings. The point is that he 
must see enough of the Master to become well informed as to the 
great truths of this path. 1 This prepares the student for entering 
upon the path. After that, he is ready for initiation, which brings 
him into vital contact with the life stream. It is taken for granted 



All this implies the possibility of every seeker reaching the Master in person. Such 
personal meeting is not always necessary. The present Master has representatives 
throughout the world who can instruct disciples and, with his approval, give initiation 
on his behalf. 



that if he once comes to the Satguru, he will sit in satsang and 
listen to the instructions of the Guru. Hence we say, three things a 
man must do— he must find a Guru, he must attend satsang, that 
is, inform himself as to the path, and he must consciously enter 
the life stream. To put it in another way, three things a man must 
have — he must have a Satguru, he must have the life stream, and 
he must have spiritual liberation. 










12 



The Great Work of the Masters: 
What They Actually Do 



1. THE SCIENTIFIC YOGA OF THE SAINTS 

This chapter brings us to the very heart of our theme. What are 
the Masters doing for their disciples on this path? We have now to 
point out first the particular method by means of which the Mas- 
ters reach their goal, and when that is done our work will be 
finished. The saints have a definite work to perform, and we shall 
call that their great work. There is no greater work known. Let us 
now try to see just what that work is. The saints have no secrets to 
keep from the world which the people of the world could possibly 
use to their own advantage. Anything which would do the world 
good, the Masters will never keep from the world. The difficulty 
now is, and has always been, that many of the teachings of the 
Masters cannot be appreciated by all and cannot be used by them. 
If some things are not told here, let it be known from the start 
that those things which are withheld would be of no use to anyone 
who is not an initiate of a Master, 

Otherwise the Masters are quite ready and willing to lay their 



l 




THE SCIENTIFIC YOGA OF THE SAINTS 



421 



treasures before the whole world and invite any hungry soul to 
help himself. But let no one blame the Masters if they withhold 
certain things for which the world at large is not ready and which 
people could never understand if given to them. One reason this 
book is written now, at the express command of a great Master, is 
to give to all who may possibly be able to recognize their value 
some understanding of the priceless truths of the Masters of all 
ages. The ancient screen of profound secrecy is now removed. 
There is no longer any need for such secrecy. It was not many 
centuries ago when no saint could speak openly, except at the 
peril of his own life. Moreover, the Masters do not teach pranaya- 
ma, or any other system fraught with dangers, to the ignorant. 
The method of the saints is so safe in itself that no harm can result 
by giving it out to the whole world, provided people would not 
abuse it and misuse it. But this can never be ascertained in ad- 
vance, if the teaching is given out indiscriminately. If everything 
were written down here, it would only cause confusion and mis- 
understanding. There are certain detailed instructions available to 
initiates only, and even they can make no good use of them except 
by the help of the Master. 

Before offering the yoga of the Masters, it might be well to call 
attention very briefly to the other systems of yoga which have 
been practiced by students in the East. They are all interesting but 
we do not need them — the system of the Masters is complete. But 
it is good to know about them. Below is a brief description: 

(1) Hatha Yoga. This aims at the control of the mind and the 
acquisition of siddhis, or what are called psychic powers, chiefly 
through asana, or physical postures and exercises such as control 
of the breath. The asanas undoubtedly give a very beneficial effect 
upon the health and are believed to bring the vital as well as the 
mental processes within the control of the student. Hatha Yoga 
has also been defined as the union of the sun and the moon. 

(2) Raja Yoga. This does not follow the rigorous disriphne of 
Hatha Yoga, but seeks to concentrate and still the mind by easy 
and natural methods of mental discipline and control. The em- 
phasis in Raja Yoga is upon the mind rather than the body. 



422 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



(3) Ashtang Yoga. This is a comprehensive scheme of yoga train- 
ing. As its name implies, it consists of eight elements, the first five 
of which — yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara — refer to 
the body. The last three — dharana, dhyana and samadhi — refer to 
the mind. The aim of this school is to merge the soul into God or 
the universal soul. Pranayama, chiefly consisting of breath con- 
trol, and by that means the control of the prana, plays a very 
important part in the scheme. 

(4) Laya Yoga. Laya means 'absorption', and Laya Yoga consists 
of the absorption of the mind in the astral light. This is generally 
achieved through the practice of mudra, five special postures of 
Hatha Yoga. 

{5) Karma Yoga. This is essentially the yoga of action. It enjoins 
upon its followers the necessity of doing one's duty, whatever that 
may be, but without fear of blame or expectation of rewards. The 
essence of Karma Yoga is the ideal of duty well done and the spirit 
of detachment. It rejects the idea of renunciation and insists upon 
playing one's part to the fullest extent without looking to the fruit 
of actions. 

(6) Bhakti Yoga. This is the yoga of devotion, and it appeals 
most of all to people of an emotional temperament. It discards all 
rites and ceremonies and seeks union with the Master or the Lord 
through the force of love only. 

(7) Mantra Yoga. This system aims at the acquisition of psychic 
powers and spiritual or astral regions by constant repetition of 
certain formulas which are supposed to set up particular vibra- 
tions, especially when repeated with the mind fixed upon certain 
centers. The formulas, as such, are believed to have an efficacy of 
their own. 

(8) Sahaj Yoga. This is the Surat Shabd Yoga, the central theme 
of this book — the system of the great Masters. As said repeatedly 
in these pages, this is the essence of them all. It contains the best 
in them all, but it was not taken from any of the others. The yoga 
of the Masters is the oldest of all systems. From age to age the 
different yogic methods have been derived from the yoga of the 
saints and changed, in many cases, to suit men's own ideas. But 
the yoga of the Masters cannot be changed, except at great loss. 





THE SCIENTIFIC YOGA OF THE SAINTS 



423 



Various sects have from time to time adopted methods of their 
own because they had lost the original system of the Masters. This 
fact accounts for the variety of systems in vogue in India during 
the last few thousand years. But the system of yoga as taught today 
by the saints is the one which has been taught and practiced, 
without modification or alteration, during the tens of thousands 
of years since man first began his career on this planet. It is now in 
order to present that system of yoga in as much detail as we are 
permitted to give it. 

The scientific yoga of the saints is really one of the most vital 
portions of their science. It is that to which all else leads; and after 
all else has been assimilated and all other preparations are made, it 
is this scientific yoga which is to lead the student to the full reali- 
zation of all that he is expected to gain by this science. As is so 
often said in these pages, the system of the Masters is not a reli- 
gion, nor does it interfere with any man's religion nor seek to 
undermine it. Whatever he may have that is good he keeps, and 
this adds to his treasures. This much may be accepted without 
question. It does not seek to uproot or supplant any religion. The 
inner experiences to be gained on this path far excel in value any 
experience to be had from the practice of any religion. But at the 
same time, it does not interfere with any man's religion. It does 
not touch religion. 

The system of the Masters is called Sahaj Yoga. It is the yoga 
that opens the doors of the supreme regions. It is called also the 
Surat Shabd Yoga. This is the yoga which is carried on by means 
of the life stream. In this science it refers to a definite system of 
exercises worked out by the Masters, by means of which the stu- 
dent is to attain conscious union with God. It is also called Sound 
practice, because it consists mainly of following the inner Sound. 
This is the one point which distinguishes the yoga of the Masters 
from all other systems. This is the supreme test which must always 
be kept in mind while studying all other systems. If this Sound 
practice is not a vital part of them, then they are not the system of 
the great Masters and they are limited. Let this be made very 
emphatic, for many people insist that one system is about as good 
as another since all are intended to lead to the same goal. But as a 



424 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



matter of experience, they do not all lead to the same goal. Far 
from it. No other system leads to the goal of the Masters, the 
highest regions in existence. Besides, you will generally find that 
the person who says that one religion or one system of yoga is just 
as good as another is himself practicing none of them. 

Let the investigator understand that the Master, or the so-called 
Master, who does not teach and practice the science of the audible 
life stream is not a Master of the highest order. Nor does his 
system lead to the highest achievements. Every real Master in all 
history has taught and practiced the yoga of this life stream. It 
could not be otherwise, for this is the system established by the 
Creator himself. He who knows nothing about it is ignorant of the 
most essential and elementary facts of all yoga. This system of the 
saints admits of no alterations, substitutions or subtractions. 

Students of Indian yoga in general agree that most or all of the 
old systems are very difficult, requiring much time, rigid asceti- 
cism and great self-abnegation. And this is true of them all. In- 
deed, the path of the ordinary yogi is a rugged one. But the meth- 
od of the Masters is not the way of the yogis. It never has been. 
Before there ever was a yogi's practice, the science of the Masters 
was known and practiced among men. But the exact method of 
the Masters has, from time to time, become obscured or even lost 
in times when real Masters were few or unknown to the general 
public. Then, trying to substitute for the path of the saints, yogis 
developed methods of their own. The two systems then have been 
running along parallel courses throughout history. 

Not only are the methods of the yogis different from those of 
the saints, but their final objective is different. Most of the yogis, 
even the best of them, know of nothing beyond the astral plane, 
commonly termed Turiya Pad, with the possible exception of a 
very few who may go to Brahm Lok. There they are automatically 
stopped unless they have a Master who himself goes farther. Stop- 
ping there, most of them believe that they have attained the su- 
preme heights. There they accept the Brahm of that region as the 
supreme God. But the great Masters go so far above and beyond 
Brahm Lok that when they reach that region, they have only fairly 





DEMONSTRATING TRUTH FOR ONESELF 



425 



begun their upward journey. While most of the yogis and imper- 
fect Masters regard Brahm as the supreme deity, the saints know 
that Brahm is only a subordinate in the grand hierarchy of the 
universe. While the om of the Vedas and the Gita is regarded as 
the most sacred word in all Hindu philosophy because the Hindus 
believe it to be the sound symbol of the supreme being, the saints 
know that it belongs to one of the lower lords. He is himself a 
created being, subject to the same laws of all created beings and 
must carry on under the wishes of the supreme Sat Punish. He is 
by no means the ultimate Lord. 

The yoga of the saints accomplishes that which the yoga of the 
Vedantists can never do. It is therefore vastly more efficient. More- 
over, it has been adapted to the needs of the modern man. This is 
its great glory. It is modern in method and yet it meets all the 
requirements of all ages. In every age of the world, the saints have 
used a system exactly suited to the needs of the people and the 
times. People change to some extent from age to age, and so the 
saints give them, in each age, exactly that system of yoga which is 
best suited to their requirements. But the yogis hold on to their 
archaic systems, which are now out of date and wholly unsuited 
to the average man of this age. The nervous constitution of the 
modern man is somewhat different from that of the men of ten 
thousand years ago. The yoga of the Masters may now be prac- 
ticed not only by the ascetic but by all men in all walks and 
conditions of life, while carrying on their routine duties at home. 
This makes it a universal science. No possible harm can result 
from its practice, provided one does not degenerate into evil prac- 
tices while he is pretending to follow the path of the Masters. 
Against such a possibility every student is warned. You cannot 
mix the path of the Masters and the shaded way of evil. 



2. DEMONSTRATING TRUTH FOR ONESELF 

The yoga of the saints utilizes and embodies a system of scientific 
demonstration, offering the most positive proofs of all that is 



426 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



claimed by any religion; and then it goes far beyond them all. 
Now, on the face of the matter, why loiter along with uncertain 
systems, even admitting all the good they claim, if you can have a 
system that positively offers all the good that is claimed in all 
other systems put together? This is because it is a universal science 
and in it are universal possibilities. It includes them all and then 
goes far beyond them all. This is not simply an idle claim. It is a 
challenge to all men to prove the claim for themselves. 

This system does not leave the disciple with blind beliefs, nor 
does it limit him to faith alone. We know of no religion which 
even claims to offer anything more than a system of teaching 
which must be accepted on faith. But by the method of the Mas- 
ters, one gains the most positive knowledge and so becomes abso- 
lutely certain of his ground. Not only is this degree of certainty 
absent from all religions, but it is not believed by them to be 
possible in the field of religion. In this manner, religion deprives 
itself of the one and only thing which could make it worthwhile — 
actual knowledge. Yet knowledge is the only genuine appeal to 
modern intelligence. The world is no longer interested in finespun 
theories. 

It must be admitted by thoughtful students that all elements of 
the many world religions are of doubtful value (except their eth- 
ics) for the very good and sufficient reason that they are depen- 
dent upon ancient books and metaphysical speculations. This takes 
the matter out of the category of knowledge, and so robs it of its 
chief value. Beliefs and speculations offer a very weak support for 
the hope of immortal life. But if any system is able to make scien- 
tific demonstration the basis of its conclusions, that system will be 
delivered from all handicaps. And that is exactly what the science 
of the Masters does. It is in this respect that the wisdom of the 
East differs from all other religio-philosophical teachings. 

It is this scientific method which the Masters now offer to the 
world, and this constitutes their unique gift to mankind. When 
people are ready to accept the scientific method of the Masters, 
religion as well as philosophy will be delivered from its habit and 
its handicap of fruitless speculations and blind beliefs. 



WHA T DOES THIS SCIENCE OFFER? 



If any man feels inclined to challenge the Masters to prove that 
they are able to demonstrate such high and mystic truths, then let 
that man come into the laboratory of the Master and make the 
demonstration for himself. That is exacdy what the Master invites 
and prefers. The Master will gladly give him both the method and 
the materials with which to make the demonstration. And in pass- 
ing, I may say freely that no man has ever yet failed to make this 
demonstration for himself who has undertaken the demonstra- 
tion according to the method given him by the Master. 



3. WHAT DOES THIS SCIENCE OFFER? 

If we refer back to a careful study of all world religions and philos- 
ophies, we shall see at a glance that they all talk much about 
realizing God and gaming salvation. But if you ask them just how 
they are to accomplish all that, they will reply, in substance, "Be- 
lieve the book and follow the priests." To state the matter a little 
more accurately, we may say that all human hopes and efforts 
center about three things: 

(1) self-reahzation or self-knowledge 

(2) God-realization or knowledge of God 

(3) entering the kingdom of heaven either in this fife or 
in the next. 

It is only the Masters who show how this is to be done in this 
life, here and now, while all religions point to the hope of it after 
death. Of course, the end and purpose of all of this is individual 
well-being. We call it happiness. Now, these three are the very 
things which the science of the Masters offers to the devotee, but 
the method by which the Masters propose to accomplish that 
great work is entirely different from that of any and all religions. 

We may then ask, how do the Masters propose to place to one's 
credit such inestimable treasures, such kingdoms of wealth? The 
answer is, by their scientific method of yoga, their system of exer- 
cises by means of which they open the treasure houses of the 
universe. When these treasures are presented to the disciple, he 



428 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



WHA T DOES THIS SCIENCE OFFER? 



429 



experiences spiritual realization. And this includes both self-real- 
ization and God-realization. It includes all of the values of any 
religion and much more. He gains entrance to the kingdom of 
heaven, here and now. While he may continue for a time to so- 
journ here, he is at liberty to enter and explore the greater king- 
dom and return to this plane whenever he wishes, any day, even 
many times a day. 

This spiritual realization frees the disciple from the age-long 
coming and going and from the pains of the eternal wheel. It 
makes him a master not only of himself but a master over all the 
forces of nature. He has mastery over those passions and all an- 
tagonistic forces and influences which tend to pull him down. He 
is really free. From the status of a poor blind beggar, he becomes 
king over a limitless empire. From a common sinner, he becomes 
a saint. It relieves him of all sorrows, worries, doubts and fears. It 
endows him with amazing powers and all-comprehensive knowl- 
edge. He is emancipated and filled with unutterable joy. What 
more can one ask? And yet the system of the Masters accomplish- 
es much more than all of this. To understand it, one must experi- 
ence it. No language can describe it 

If some skeptic feels inclined to say that the science of the Mas- 
ters cannot offer so much because his own studies and experienc- 
es do not substantiate such claims, then I must refer him to the 
principles of his own science. It does not become a real scientist to 
say that anything is impossible. He will acknowledge this prin- 
ciple. In this age of scientific demonstration, the 'impossible' has 
been accomplished so many times that even the scientists them- 
selves have grown more humble. If the claims of this science are 
doubted by the physicists, it is because they are not familiar with 
this science or its methods or possibihties. They have no idea what 
it can do. It is true that science tries to adhere to ascertained or 
ascertainable facts of nature. And in this, it is quite right. But even 
the best of scientists cannot always say in advance exactly what is 
ascertainable and what is not. If they insist, as they generally do, 
that whatever is done must be in accord with natural law, the 
Masters will agree right gladly. Nothing can ever be done which is 




contrary to the established order of nature. But there may be a 
vast field of natural law which is> as yet, quite unknown to the 
scientists. 

I sit here in my room and look away to the towering summits 
of the Himalayas. Their snow-covered peaks look majestic in the 
morning sun. I am told that science is able to calculate the exact 
heights of those peaks without actually climbing them and mea- 
suring them. Suppose that I assume an air of wise incredulity and 
say, as our ancestors would have said in the distant long ago, that 
no man can perform such feats. How can anybody tell the height 
of a tree without measuring it? And further, suppose I say to one 
of the laborers working in my garden that men have actually gone 
above the highest peak of those mountains in an airplane. He will 
probably look at me as if he doubted my sanity. So it may be 
regarding many of the achievements of the Masters. 

It may be stated emphatically that whatever the Masters do, 
they do it not by the violation of any natural law but by working 
in harmony with the law. It must be remembered, however, that 
the Masters are super-scientists. They have knowledge of laws which 
the physicists have never discovered. Their field of operation is 
not limited to the narrow range of the physical plane. It is, there- 
fore, more in accord with the scientific spirit of this age if the 
reader will agree to hold the matter of spiritual demonstration 
under observation and, in the meantime, try to go ahead and 
conduct the experiment. That is all that the Masters ask. They ask 
no blind beliefs. They ask no more than is required of any man 
who proposes to build a bridge or make a chemical analysis. In 
every scientific experiment, one must accept something as a work- 
ing hypothesis. He is then ready to proceed with his practical 
demonstration. In the process of the demonstration, he gains defi- 
nite knowledge. 

No man ever gained spiritual freedom, power and happiness by 
a process of logic, by a priori ratiocination, by metaphysics, by 
reading books or by listening to lectures. Yet these are the meth- 
ods employed by the majority of mankind. The Masters solve all 
their problems by a scientific method as exact and exacting as 



430 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



WHAT DOES THIS SCIENCE OFFER? 



431 



mathematics. They get their information not by analysis and syn- 
thesis but by sight and hearing. Even after they have proved a 
proposition, they establish no authority except that of truth itself. 
Authority hampers truth, it throttles free investigation. Authority 
is an enemy to progress. The Masters have no infallible dictator to 
pronounce dogmas ex cathedra. This science makes personal expe- 
rience the final and only court of appeal. Its processes are simple 
and direct. They can be understood by the most ordinary intelli- 
gence, and for that reason the intelligentsia need not become of- 
fended at them. Hence this is a universal science available to all 
classes of every nation and people in the world. 

Nearly every people and every religion known to history has 
had some sort of yoga, i.e., some form of meditation or spiritual 
exercise. These range all the way from the most elaborate ritual to 
the most simple prayer. For example, note the experiences of the 
Christian mystics quoted in Chapter Eight, Section 2, It is well 
known that nearly all of the Church fathers, early and late, had 
their own systems of meditation, and they got results which were 
highly valued by them. Gibbon reports a certain abbot of Mount 
Athos of the eleventh century commenting on a system of medita- 
tion, as follows: 

When thou art alone in thy cell, shut thy door and seat thyself 
in a corner; raise thy mind above all things vain and transitory, 
recline thy chin on thy breast; turn thy eyes and thy thoughts 
toward the middle of thy belly, the region of the navel, and 
search the place of the heart, the seat of the soul. At first, all will 
be dark and comfortless; but if you persevere day and night, 
you will feel an ineffable joy and no sooner has the soul discov- 
ered the place of the heart, than it is encircled in a mystical 
ethereal light. 

This, of course, shows that they had knowledge of how to go 
above the lower chakras. Maurice Philipps, a Christian, says: 

We have followed the stream of Aryan religious and speculative 
thought, in all of its ramifications, through the mantra, Brah- 





man, and Upanishad stages, noting its descent. We have con- 
sidered the Hindu Aryan conception of God, their speculations 
on the creation of the world, and their notion of the origin, 
nature and destiny of man, in each of those stages. We have 
pushed our enquiries as far back in time as the records would 
permit. And we have found that the religious and speculative 
thought of the people was far purer, simpler and more rational, 
at the farthest point we reached, than at the nearest or latest in 
the Vedic age. The conclusion, therefore, is inevitable, viz., that 
the development of religious thought in India has been uni- 
formly downward and not upward — deterioration and not evo- 
lution. . . . We have seen further that the knowledge of the 
divine attributes possessed by the Vedic Aryans was neither the 
product of intuition nor experience, but a survival, or a reminis- 
cence. We are justified, therefore, in concluding that the higher 
and purer conceptions of the Vedic Aryans were the results of a 
primitive divine revelation. 

This points exactly and very definitely to the earlier times in 
those far-off ages when the 'divine revelation 1 spoken of here was 
given out by the Masters. It has always been the rule of history to 
see that divine revelation obscured in later periods. The saints 
have in every age called attention to the path, the way to the 
kingdom of God. But no sooner do they pass from the stage of 
action upon this plane than the people drift away from the path. 
Their work deteriorates in the hands of their followers. This' is a 
pathetic aspect of all history. 

Asceticism is one of the regrettable features of modern degener- 
ation and is a radical departure from the pure teachings of the 
path of the Masters. It has been practiced by men of nearly all 
countries and religions in the mistaken notion that it will aid 
them in acquiring spiritual perfection. Buddha practiced it in ex- 
treme forms until he almost lost his life, and when he gave it up, 
his old friends condemned him. Medieval Christians practiced it. 
Vast numbers of Indian yogis have practiced it, and many are 
doing so today. But the Masters have never taught asceticism, and 
they do not teach or practice it today. 



432 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



The path of the Masters is for all mankind and, as such, it must 
be available to all men in all walks of life. Of course, we are not to 
condemn anybody for practicing asceticism, even in its extreme 
forms, if they choose that way. It is their business and they mean 
well. They are seeking desperately for their release from material 
bonds. But they seek that release in the wrong way. They do not 
know the rational path of the Masters. We admire their courage. 
We often feel humbled in their presence. When a man is willing to 
leave home, friends and wealth, and at times even a kingdom, and 
go into the jungle, there to endure all manner of hardships and 
suffer cold, hunger, and be isolated from all that the world loves, 
when he does all of this in pursuit of a spiritual ideal, it means 
that he is far above the ordinary man. It indicates a genuine nobil- 
ity that is highly commendable. It is godlike; it is the very cream of 
nobility and the essence of greatness. 

When the great Buddha was a poor hungry beggar in pursuit of 
his spiritual objectives, his true nobility stood out far more than it 
did when he was in the midst of his father's royal splendors. When 
Jesus, who might have commanded any army — so great was his 
mental energy — walked the dusty streets, tired and hungry in or- 
der that he might carry the bread of life to the multitudes, his 
greatness eclipsed all the splendors of Rome. When a man gains 
such self-mastery that he can sit for hours, or even days, at a time 
upon a block of ice, we must admire his courage, even if we do 
not approve of his method. It indicates a greatness of spirit and a 
strong power of will. This sort of thing requires a heroism far 
greater than that which impels a man to sacrifice his life on the 
battiefield. We must admire that man's devotion to his own ideals. 
And we must love him for showing what a man can do through 
mental discipline. The true yogis have done much to bring light 
and hope to a dark world. I would count myself fortunate to be 
permitted to sit at their feet if I had not a real Master whose 
spiritual greatness eclipses that of all yogis. 





THESURATSHABD YOGA 



4. THE SURAT SHABD YOGA 



433 



This is the genuine yoga of the Masters. It is this for which we 
have been getting ready in all of the preceding pages. The reader 
will now refer back to Chapter Ten, in which the mental prepara- 
tion for this great work was discussed. Read it all over again and 
then meditate upon it long and deeply. When you have adopted 
all of that into your innermost thinking and then made it a part of 
your life processes, you will be ready for the actual work of this 
path. The practice of this Surat Shabd Yoga is the great work of 
the saints. It is that for which all men have been born into the 
human body. It is the supreme duty and privilege. It is the one 
work without which no man can ever escape the ills of this life 
and return to his original home. It constitutes the great work of 
the saints. Let us now give it the most careful consideration. 

The very first step on approaching this path is to get initiation 
from a living Master, a genuine Satguru. This point we have so 
often emphasized, but it cannot be overstressed. It is absolutely 
necessary. Without initiation, one may as well stop before he be- 
gins. He will get nowhere on the path. He may gain a little intel- 
lectual understanding of the principles, but that will do him but 
little good. Then supposing that he has received initiation, he has 
not to leam a lot of rules and regulations; he has not to study any 
rituals nor to read any books — not even this one. He may read 
only to get his mind clear on certain principles. That is all. He has 
now first and foremost to get down to work on the exercises. 

He must select a suitable room, as completely as possible ex- 
cluded from all noise and all sorts of interruptions. At fixed hours 
he is to sit in meditation, as prearranged, with body erect and 
comfortable. The posture used in the East is given to him at the 
time of his initiation, but he probably cannot endure that position 
if he is a Westerner. He will sit in a comfortable position, as he 
may select. The main point is that he is to keep his mind on the 
center in the head. If he is in pain from a cramped position, he 
cannot concentrate. His attention is then fixed upon a point in- 
side of his head, called tisra til, meaning 'the third eye'. This is 



434 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



between the eyes and on a level with the eyebrows. He may simply 
think of this center, imagining himself to be there. The attention 
is to be held at this point continuously and without wavering. No 
thought of the outside world is to be entertained, nor of any past 
experience, event or person. Perfect concentration at this center is 
the objective. It is the all-essential. The mind must be held still at 
this point. Make the mind perfectly motionless. Do not think at 
all, except of the Master, at this inner center. All other mental 
activity is to cease. The mind must be held perfectly quiet, but it 
must hold to the center. If any thought at all is to be allowed, it 
must be only of the Master and what is inside of the center. All of 
the mind and soul are to be gathered at this point. Remember that 
the mind and spirit are scattered all over one's body. But they 
must now be gathered and concentrated at this one point in the 
head. To make this concentration perfect is the first great task to 
engage the attention and effort of the devotee. Compared with 
that, nothing else in the world is to be considered of any impor- 
tance at all. 

Just how all this is to be done to the very best advantage is told 
to the disciple at the time of his initiation. Details of the process 
cannot be given here; they are given at the time of initiation. This 
is not because the Masters are not willing to give out these pre- 
cious secrets. They would be glad to give them to every man and 
woman on earth if only they could use them. But they could not 
make use of them. Those secrets would be of no value to the 
uninitiated. Absolutely none. They would only confuse him and 
possibly lead to serious mistakes. Only after one has found a living 
Master and received initiation are these secrets of any value to 
him. After that, they are priceless. In this book our aim is to give 
the student a definite outline of the general principles of the Mas- 
ters' science. It is not intended to do away with the need for a 
Master. That would be the utmost folly. 

Before beginning his exercises, the disciple is presumed to have 
gained perfect vivek; that is, he is supposed to have considered the 
matter thoroughly from the intellectual aspect of the subject. His 
mind is presumed to be convinced and in full accord. He should 



THESURATSHABD YOGA 






435 



be satisfied that he is on the right path, that he is adopting the 
right method, the best there is. He must be satisfied that this is the 
path for him. Also, he should fully accept his Master with com- 
plete confidence and trust, with readiness to follow him at all 
costs. 

He must never for one moment presume to set up his own 
ideas as superior to the instructions given by the Master, even in 
the smallest details. If he could know better than the Master in 
any detail, then he would have no need for a Master, nor should 
he think that general instructions given to others by the Masters 
do not apply to himself. The science of the Masters is universal. It 
applies to all with equal force. He must never imagine that any 
particular instruction given by the Master is not so important as it 
is held to be. That were to make a grave error. The Master gives 
no instructions that are not important. 

Then one should follow the Master implicitly. If a student ob- 
jects that this is giving up his own individuality too much, this 
point may be illustrated. A man is to make a long journey by ship. 
Now his first business concerning that trip is vivek — determining 
the best way to go. That is, he must select his ship and his route. 
When he has done that, his discrimination ceases. His indepen- 
dence of choice is now narrowed down. He has delegated his in- 
dependence. The captain of his ship is now in command. When 
he steps aboard that ship, he is no longer able to exercise the 
freedom of choice he once exercised. He must henceforth obey 
the captain and follow the regulations laid down for the govern- 
ment of that ship. He does that voluntarily and solely because he 
has once and for all decided that the ship will take him to his 
destination. The situation is much the same in the journey we are 
to make with the Master. He is the great captain, and to go with 
him we must obey him. 

This much being determined, he embarks upon his journey. He 
is also presumed to have gained vairag, complete mental detach- 
ment from the love of the world and all sense objects. A man 
simply cannot take this world with him on his journey to higher 
worlds. In his innermost thoughts, he must be detached from the 
bonds that fetter him. He is then ready to proceed. 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 

When he has done all of the above, and properly has seated 
himself for the allotted time to be given to the exercises, he begins 
on simran (smarana). This means the repetition of certain words 
given by the Master, which we may call keynotes, for want of a 
better term. The object of simran does not involve any idea of 
charms or words of magical powers. It is simply a method of 
helping the mind to come to complete rest and remain at rest m 
the given center. Simran is used by all the world in one form or 
another. It simply means concentrating the attention upon one 
thing, then going over and over it until it is made a part of the 
very fiber and substance of one's being. It is only in this way that 
success can be attained. 

Since the student is now to enter the inner worlds, he fixes all 
attention upon that which is inside and which belongs to those 
inner worlds. When the mind wanders away, the repetition ot 
those keynotes will bring it back to the center. The outer world is 
to be completely forgotten. Any means which may be adopted to 
that end may be helpful. But the Masters give us the best means. 
No man can improve on the Masters' method. It is a method that 
has been proved and tested for untold thousands of years. No 
man can enter those higher worlds so long as his mind lingers 
upon things of the outer world. Hence the Masters speak of clos- 
ing the nine doors of the outer world. The nine doors referred to 

are: 

the two eyes, 
the two ears, 
the two nostrils, 
the mouth, 
the sex organ, 
the rectum. 

These are the chief means of holding communication with the 
outer world. All these must be closed-that is, all attention must 
be removed from them. 

When all the outside world has been shut out, even in our 
innermost thoughts, with attention fixed upon the inner center, 



THE SURA T SHABD YOGA 



437 




then we begin to concentrate at that center. All the powers of both 
mind and soul gather at that inner center, and as a result the 
bodily extremities become feelingless. We lose all feeling or sense 
of the life and existence of the body. We forget it. The entire being 
now moves toward the center and the inner worlds to be invaded. 

When every ray of attention is inside, concentrated at the prop- 
er center, with no wavering thought lingering outside, then the 
student is in a position to get results. He must get results. He 
cannot fail to get them. He will at first experience flashes of light 
or hear sounds — perhaps both. But no matter what he sees or 
hears, he should not allow his mind to wander from the center. In 
other words, he must never go out after any sound or sight. Let 
them come to him at the center. If you leave the center, you will 
lose the lights and sounds also. By and by, with the gathering of all 
the life currents of the body at the center, the powers of the mind 
and soul will greatly increase. 

When this concentration has reached its maximum within the 
ability of the individual, the soul has sufficient force to penetrate 
the tenth door. That is an opening in the subtle body near the 
middle of the forehead. At first, one only looks out through this 
door. But by and by he goes out through it and leaves the body 
completely. He then steps out into a new world which he never 
saw before. This new world will probably be some subplane of the 
astral zone. It is a new dimension to us. Let us call it the fourth 
dimension, if you wish; yet the term has but little meaning. 

There is in the greater universe an almost endless series of sets 
of three dimensions, one above the other, reaching up to the high- 
est worlds. Each set is separated from the one just above or just 
below it by the differences in the substances, the fineness or coarse- 
ness of particle and the different rates of vibration. These differ- 
ences make one set invisible to people living in another set, be- 
cause the eyes of people inhabiting one region will have a limited 
range of vision, making it impossible for them to see a region 
much above or much below their own region, to which they have 
been adapted. This is the reason we cannot see the astral worlds 
by or through our physical eyes. But with the astral eyes, we can 



438 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



THESURATSHABD YOGA 



439 



see on that plane just as well as we can see on the physical plane 
with the physical eyes. So with the still higher worlds. With each 
higher world, or set of dimensions, the light and the beauty in- 
crease materially ; also the happiness of the inhabitants. 

At the sublime moment when the disciple steps out into the 
higher world, he begins to realize that he has acquired a vast in- 
crease of powers, as well as joy. It appears to him, and it is a fact 
too, that he can do almost anything he may wish to do. Not only 
has he increase of powers, but his knowledge and understanding 
have expanded proportionately. At this time, the whole material 
universe appears as an open book to him, and all dark mysteries 
have vanished. In other words, he finds himself in possession of 
all knowledge of these lower worlds. He now knows them, and he 
has power over them. From here on up, each world gained gives 
one complete knowledge and power over the world below him. 

The disciple is now free to proceed on his way to still higher 
zones. He may not allow himself to be unduly detained in order to 
enjoy the new world he has just entered. He must proceed. Be- 
tween the physical and the pure astral planes there are many sub- 
planes. Vedantic pundits speak of the sun-worlds first. Then come 
the moon-worlds and, after that, numerous subzones and finally 
what Vivekananda calls, the lightning- worlds. This corresponds to 
the plane of the Sahasradal Kanwal, as it is known to the Masters. 
It is commonly referred to as the astral region. It is full of light 
and is very beautiful when compared with this world. It is that 
region which is commonly considered by many yogis as the su- 
preme heaven. That is as high as they are able to ascend, as a rule. 
The lord of that region they regard as the supreme being. The 
saints speak of him as Kal Niranjan, while most Hindus think of 
him as Brahm, the supreme God. He is, in fact, regarded as the 
supreme being by nearly all religions. This is because they know of 
nothing higher. It is only the great Masters who know of the high- 
er regions and the higher deities, going on up to the universal one, 
out of whom all others come. 

At a point between the sun-worlds and the moon-worlds and 
the pure astfal zone, the disciple of the Master enters a zone called 







Ashtadal Kanwal. At that place something happens which changes 
the whole course of his life and also his method of procedure 
from that point on. It is the meeting with his. own Master in his 
radiant form. This is the Master's nuri samp or 'light form'. It is 
the Master, his own Master, appearing just as he does in physical 
life, except that his body is now much more beautiful and full of 
light, brilliantly illumined. The radiant Master then and there re- 
ceives his disciple with much love, to the great joy of the disciple. 
From that moment on, the two are never separated throughout 
the journey to still higher regions. Of course, this form is always 
with the disciple from the moment of his initiation, but the dis- 
ciple cannot see him. But from here on, the disciple can see the 
Master on the inner planes as well as the outer. 

At this time another new feature enters the journey of the stu- 
dent. A new stage marks his career. So far his success has been 
only partial, but very great, He has accomplished much, but he 
has only fairly begun his upward journey. Up to that time, he has 
been doing simian, repeating the keynotes. And that has given 
him fair concentration. But from now on, he will discontinue the 
simran. He will not need it. He now has the presence of the Mas- 
ter whom he may behold constantly. This is called dhyan. This 
sight inspires much love and adoration. It is the most perfect 
dhyan and it is more effective than simran for concentration. In 
fact, at all times, even before the disciple goes inside, his best 
possible exercise is to look steadily at the Master's form, and par- 
ticularly his eyes. If one will take advantage of every moment to 
look steadily, with no shifting of vision, right at the Master's eyes, 
he will find himself concentrating and going inside quicker than 
any other way. This is one very great advantage a disciple has in 
being personally near the Master. So we now have simran and 
perfect dhyan. These are two of the essentials in the exercises. 

At this point something else of great importance happens. You 
will contact the audible life stream perfectly and consciously, and 
its music will begin to work changes in you. You get a little of it 
before this point, but here you get it more perfectly. Here it begins 
to fairly enchant you and to pull you up with increasing attraction 



440 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



and power. You will find yourself listening to it with rapt atten- 
tion and deep delight, completely absorbed in it. You will never 
wish to leave it or to miss a single note of its marvelous strains. 

Of course, your upward progress will be much accelerated from 
here on. It is said that the student who reaches this point may 
consider that one-half of his work is finished for the whole of his 
journey. While formerly you had to exert your will to hold your 
attention upon the focus, now you will find it equally difficult to 
withdraw your attention from it. The Master and the divine melo- 
dy are so extremely attractive. You will most ardently wish to go 
on forever looking at the one and listening to the other. 

You will now go with the Master into the capital, the great 
Sahasradal Kanwal. It is the center of the astral worlds. It is the 
famous city of the 'thousand-petalled lotus'. It is a marvel of light 
and beauty, which I think no one has ever attempted to describe 
in much detail simply because it is beyond human language. One 
thousand and one gorgeous fights (one large central light and one 
thousand small ones clustered about), each light of a different 
tint, and all clustered together somewhat in the form of a gigantic 
lotus flower. It is sometimes called 'the mountain of light'. It is in 
fact the real powerhouse of the physical universe. From that gi- 
gantic dynamo goes forth the power that creates and sustains the 
entire creation below it, galaxies after galaxies, without end. Fur- 
ther than this we may not here attempt any sort of description. He 
who arrives there will see it. Then let him try to describe it. 

Entering that region, the disciple will be so overjoyed that he 
will wish to remain there forever. Living in that region are to be 
seen many millions of the best men and women known to history, 
even founders of world religions, sitting and enjoying their medi- 
tation or walking about amidst the beauties and splendors of that 
region. Much as we would delight to go on with our descriptions 
of this and still higher regions, we must stop here. We could not 
describe them if we would, and would not if we could. That con- 
cerns only those students who have made progress up to that 
point. Its knowledge does not belong to one who is still confined 
to the earth plane, nor would it do him the least good if given to 
him. 



THE TECHNOLOGY OF THIS YOGA 



441 



5. THE TECHNOLOGY OF THIS YOGA 

It has already been said that a good moral life is the very first 
prerequisite to becoming a disciple of the Satguru. This may be 
called the dharma of this path, called by Muslim saints the shariat, 
the law of fife, that which is to be done or ought to be done. All 
this is taken for granted, even before one starts on the path of the 
Masters. Of course, every student must be well grounded in the 
fundamental laws of righteousness. He must also practice the real 
dharma in all his life. Without it, he cannot even make a start. 
Sitting in the proper position, with mind detached from the world, 
is the asana of this path. There is no pranayama in this yoga, as it 
has no place in the system of the Masters. Fixing the mind at the 
prescribed center, bringing it to one point, is the dharana of the 
yogis of Patanjali. Of course, this has to be done if one is to go 
inside. Beholding the Master with a loving gaze, either in the phys- 
ical form or the radiant form, is the dhyan of this path. This has to 
be done in any case. But in this yoga, simran comes first, before 
dhyan. Then after simran and dhyan comes bhajan, a form of 
exercise not known to any other system. It consists of listening to 
the Sound, the audible life stream. The reason that no other sys- 
tem has this is because they know nothing of the audible stream, 
the Shabd-dhun. Thus they miss the most vital thing in the whole 
process. 

All these things enumerated above lead one up to samadhi, to 
actually going inside and stepping out upon the astral regions, as 
suggested above. 

The highest form of samadhi is nirvikalpa. This is gained by 
disciples of the Master when they enter the third region. It is there 
that they behold themselves as pure spirit, after leaving behind all 
material coverings. But this stage is never attained by the ordinary 
yogi. His so-called nirvikalpa is on a much lower plane, is a nega- 
tive state and is not real nirvikalpa at all. It is only a reflection of 
the real. All the rest of the terms used by yogis are descriptive of so 
many mental states experienced on the astral plane or on some 
plane below that. But the most important thing about all yogic 



442 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



systems is the complete absence in them of all knowledge of the 
Shabd and reliance upon it for entering the higher regions. With- 
out it, no one can advance very far on the inner path. 

This, then, is the system of yoga as taught and practiced by all 
saints since the beginning of time. We have given only a few hints 
of it, so that the general reader may not be wholly in the dark 
concerning it. Further details cannot be given to the general pub- 
lic, but will be given by the Master to all whom he initiates. Of 
course, in undertaking this system of practice, the mental prepa- 
rations discussed in Chapter Ten are supposed to have been gained 
as completely as possible. This preparation should, in fact, be ac- 
quired before one comes to the Master or seeks initiation. If it is 
not gained before initiation, it certainly must be done afterward. 
But now, out of great mercy and kindness, the saints usually give 
initiation first, so that it may help the weaker ones to make better 
progress in self-preparation. It is a fact much to be regretted that 
some students misuse this very great privilege; that is, some of 
them get initiation and then lapse into idle indifference — either 
that or they look to the Guru to do it all for them. In this way 
many spend the whole of their lives making practically no head- 
way on the path. And yet, even if some of them do fall by the way 
entirely, they will do better in the next life if they have to return 
here due to their own lack of effort. 

It may be mentioned, by the way, that the great Masters say but 
little about the technical terms used to designate the several steps 
on their path. They generally tell their students in the plainest, 
simplest words just what they are to do. Interest in technical terms 
is limited mostly to scholars. But as this book has been under- 
taken to give the teachings of the Masters in a scientific statement, 
it has been thought best to give the more important technical 
terms used by scholars, and then explain their meanings, so that 
the scholarly student may have no difficulty in placing the system 
in its relation to all other systems. This science of the Masters is 
far and away the most efficacious system. This scheme takes the 
student, stage by stage, from the earliest beginnings on the occult 
path up to the highest, the supreme goal; and by virtue of that 



PASSING THE GA TES OF DEA TH 



443 



progress, he passes from the status of an ordinary man to the 
'sublime degree of a master-man'. 

Many subdivisions could be made in this scheme, but it is not 
deemed wise to confuse the study with too many unimportant 
details. Let it be repeated here also that this system of yoga is not 
to be undertaken without first getting initiation from a real Mas- 
ter. If you try to make use of it without a Guru, you will be sure to 
fail, and besides, you may run into unforeseen difficulties. Either 
with or without this book, no one can ever make his escape from 
the net of karma until he places his destiny in the hands of a living 
Satguru. 



6. PASSING THE GATES OF DEATH 

It will be apparent to the careful student that this system of spiri- 
tual exercises, taught and practiced by all the Masters, carries the 
student actually through the gates of death. After that he enters 
regions above the play of death, as we know it. He is also able to 
return to this plane at will, retaining perfect memory of all he has 
seen and heard. This is one of the minor achievements of the 
student. The samadhi of this science takes the student through 
and beyond death. Of course, this solves once for all the most 
serious problem which has ever confronted the human race — the 
problem of death and what lies beyond it. This fact of experience 
has not remained wholly unknown to the world's greatest think- 
ers. Plutarch, for example, said: 

At the moment of death the soul experiences the same impres- 
sions, passes through the same process as those who are initiat- 
ed into the Great Mysteries. 



This is the exact teaching of the Masters, and it is the common 
experience of all initiates who make some advance on the path. 
But instead of the ancient initiation by means of which the neo- 
phyte was merely shown a momentary glimpse of something above 



444 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



and beyond the physical world, the Masters initiate students into 
the path and give them the method by means of which they can 
go and come at will between this and higher worlds. This is what 
is called dying daily, or dying while we live. It is a part of the daily 
routine of advanced students. The student leaves his body much 
in the same way a dying man leaves it, except that the student 
does it voluntarily and the process is always under his own con- 
trol, and he can come back into the body any moment he wishes 
to return. Otherwise, his passing out of this body is practically the 
same as that of the dying man. He thus learns what death means, 
and also what lies beyond death — even becoming acquainted with 
the future home to which he is to go when he finally leaves his 
body. He may also converse with friends who have long ago left 
their bodies. 

This masterful achievement cannot fail to interest the student, 
since it solves the gravest problems of life and destiny. This is one 
phase of the great work of the Masters. They have broken the seal 
of death, and so to them and their students there is no more 
death. And all of this is positive knowledge, not speculation or 
guess. Neither is it interpretation of any book. All the world, the 
Western world in particular, has been accustomed to thinking 
that no man knows or can know what lies beyond the portals of 
death. They assert, with apparent finality, that death lands us upon 
some mystic shore from "whose bourne no traveler ever returns." 
Of course, a few assume that death ends the individual career of 
man. But these need not concern us here. They will learn their 
mistake in due time. It is time that men cease to think of death in 
such a gloomy mood. In fact, there is no death at all. There is 
simply a shifting of the scenes, an awakening in a new world. 

Death is a glaring deception. The Masters and thousands of 
their students know precisely what death is and what lies beyond 
it. They know it is only an appearance. They have themselves 
'crossed the Great Divide' many times, and they can tell us all 
about it. But they find it difficult to get people to believe them. 
The whole world has for ages shuddered at this ominous but inev- 
itable fate which hangs over us all. They dread it because they do 







PASSING THE GA TES OF DBA TU 



445 



not understand it. It is like a child crying at the darkness. It is 
afraid because it cannot see what is there. People fear death be- 
cause they do not know what it involves. 

In spite of the general ignorance on the subject, the Masters 
know what death means, and they are ready to impart their knowl- 
edge to all who will listen to them. Not only are they ready to 
impart their knowledge concerning the matter, but they are ready 
to show the investigator just how he may acquire the same knowl- 
edge. 

The Masters and many of their students pass daily through 'the 
gates of death' and hence they know all of the problems connected 
with the matter. They have explored worlds upon worlds beyond 
the gates of death. All of this they do in full consciousness as a 
direct result of their practice of Surat Shabd Yoga. The Master 
leaves his body at will in almost exactly the same manner as the 
dying man leaves it. This has been said many times. It is repeated 
here for the sake of emphasis. The idea is not easy to put over. But 
as said before, the Master has complete control over the process 
and may return at will, while the ordinary man in death is a 
helpless victim of the process. The Master never loses conscious- 
ness, and when he returns to his body, he has complete memory 
of every experience he had during his absence from the body. Of 
course, this is a bold achievement, the most marvelous of all 
achievements of man. But the beauty of it is that this accomplish- 
ment lies within the power of any man. He requires only the 
knowledge of how to go about it and then a little application to 
the task. 

After one is able to leave his body voluntarily, there is not only 
no death for him in the ordinary sense of some dreadful catas- 
trophe, but there is not even a moment of unconsciousness or a 
shadow of darkness. One steps out of this body at will and in full 
possession of all of his faculties. He knows exactly what he is 
doing and remains always in fill] control of the process. Is this not 
an accomplishment worthy of any man's effort? Of course, the 
Master and all his disciples leave their bodies when the time comes 
for them to go. But when that time comes, they go as they did 



446 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 




I 



before, only at that time they sever all connection with the body 
and discard it finally. Then they go as liberated souls rising on 
wings of power and delight. They simply step out of their bodies 
and go, as one would step out of a close, stuffy room into a beau- 
tiful garden. 

When the Master leaves the physical plane, he goes where he 
wishes, for he is Master of all higher regions. If he pauses on the 
astral plane, he there uses his astral body. If he goes on up to the 
causal plane, he functions there in his causal body. And if he goes 
up to the third plane he discards all bodies, and from there on up 
he acts as free spirit, unlimited and unhindered. As pure spirit, he 
knows all things by direct perception, without any sort of instru- 
ment of contact such as he was obliged to use on all the lower 
planes. The dying man, of course, breaks all connection with his 
body when he leaves it; but the Masters, when they leave the body 
as a part of their daily work, leave a sort of connection with it so 
that they may return to it at will. This connection is poetically 
called in the Bible "the silver cord." We read: 

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be 
broken. . . , (Ecc 12:6) 

That is never broken by the Master or his disciple until they are 
ready to leave the body for all time. Then they of their own will 
break the silver cord and pass on up to perfect freedom. And this 
is all there is to that much dreaded thing that men call death. 

Now, after death, what happens? Where do we go and what 
happens to us? To answer this question, we have divided mankind 
into four distinct classes or groups; and the reason is that each of 
these four groups meets with a different sort of experience after 
death. 

(1) The first class includes all who have no Master, or Satguru. 
This, of course, takes in the great bulk of mankind. All of these are 
obliged to meet the emergencies of death unsupported, unescort- 
ed, absolutely alone and helpless under the law of their own kar- 
ma. They are now to receive payment in full for what they have 



I 



PASSING THE GA TES OF DBA TH 



447 




earned in their life just finished. Of them the messengers of death 
ask not when they shall come, neither do they listen to their cries 
of distress. They are relentless, merciless. They operate under the 
orders of their master, the negative power, whose duty it is to 
administer absolute justice with no favoritism. As we all know, 
this class includes the vast majority of mankind. No matter to 
what religion they may belong, no difference between king or 
peasant, no matter how good or how bad, all alike must face 'the 
dark angel' and follow where he leads. They must go when the 
hour strikes, whether they are ready to go or not. Their individual 
wishes are not consulted. There is no remedy, no escape. No man 
can stay the hand of death when the inevitable moment arrives. 
All must face death alone and meet its issues. 

Let no one imagine that his Lord of some past age will come to 
his relief at the moment of death. It is not so. His religion and the 
founder of that religion will do him but little good when he faces 
the Dharam Rai of that court to which he must go. That sum- 
mons he must answer and there he must appear in person to 
answer the stern demands of the law— the law of karmic justice. 
Each and every soul of this class is escorted to the court of the 
king-judge, there to "give an account of the deeds done in the 
body," as the book says. 

This accounting is not postponed until some future time when 
all mankind is called up and judged. Each one is judged immedi- 
ately after death. There is no such thing as a general judgment 
day. Every man's judgment day comes immediately after his death. 
That court is always in session, and before that judge there will be 
no attorney for the defense. Each one is judged according to his 
own record, and the sentence is pronounced in strict accord with 
justice. But it is a justice in which there is no mercy or clemency 
of the court. From that sentence there is no appeal and no release 
on probation. If a person has been very bad, living a selfish life, 
indulging his evil passions, his sentence will send him to some 
region of remedial and disciplinary punishment. 

This sentence is not final, like that of the orthodox hells. It is 
intended to purge that soul of his evil mind. He himself will know 



448 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



and fully approve of his own sentence, for he will know that it is 
exactly what he has earned. When the period of his discipline 
expires, which may be years, a century or a thousand years, he has 
another chance to make good. He returns to earthly life for anoth- 
er birth and another chance to create for himself better karma. 
The deep impressions of his bitter experiences will be retained, 
and he will bring them with him into the new life, although he 
may not actually remember the details of it. Automatically he will 
then shun those paths of evil which formerly brought him to grief. 
In the next life, he is then sure to have a better record. 

If one has lived a better life, he will be sent to a better environ- 
ment, to some sort of paradise where he may enjoy the good 
which he has earned, there to rest and recuperate, so to speak, 
until the time arrives for him to return to earthly life once more. 
But in each and every case one receives exactly what he has earned, 
and in each case he must sooner or later return to be bom once 
more on this or some other earth. If one has lived a very exalted 
and noble life, he earns thereby the privilege of a long sojourn in 
some region of pure delight, there to await his eventual return to 
earth. He may thus enjoy a thousand or a million years in some 
heaven; but as certainly as time rolls on, he must finally return to 
earthly life after his earnings have been spent. Thus each and every 
one must tread the wheel of birth and death, age after age, until 
his good karma eventually brings him to a living Master. 

(2) The second class are they who have received initiation from a 
living Master, but who have done but little or nothing in the way 
of spiritual exercises. A few may have actually indulged their pas- 
sions in unworthy conduct. As a result, they have made no progress 
on the path. Yet they have a Master. What happens to them after 
death? In what respect do their experiences differ from the com- 
mon lot of mankind? There is a very important difference. The 
Master meets them at death or a little before. That is, he makes 
himself visible to them and he notifies them that their time is up. 
They must go. They respond with joy. At least we have never 
known or heard of one who was not glad to go with the Master at 
the time of his or her departure, and that without hesitation. They 




PASSING THE GATES OF DEATH 



449 



fear nothing, have no regrets at having to leave their families or 
the world. 

No matter if they live ten thousand miles from the Master in 
the body, he is there in a form visible to them, to receive them and 
go with them. He comes to them in his radiant form, his astral 
form. As soon as they leave the physical body, the Master himself 
takes them to that region or locality which they have earned. There 
he places them in a sort of training school where they make good 
progress under his directions. If they have done very wrong, the 
Master himself administers whatever punishment or discipline he 
may deem necessary. They then continue in their training school 
until the time comes when they are fit to go higher. But in no case 
does any disciple of a true Master ever go before the king-judge, 
nor does the black angel of death ever approach him at the time of 
death. He cannot approach a disciple of a real Satguru. The Mas- 
ter himself is there to take care of his own. The Master is always 
lord of the situation. There is no power above him. The Satguru is 
the embodiment of the supreme one, and as such he has power to 
do whatever he likes, and no one can obstruct his path. 

(3) The third class are they who have made good progress on the 
path of the Masters, but have not yet attained sainthood them- 
selves. All of this class know the day and the hour when they are 
to go long before it comes. The entire process of death is under 
their control, and there is never a shadow of difficulty or distress 
during the process of passing. Neither do they lose consciousness 
for a single moment. They pass out of the body as easily as one 
would lay off an old garment. In their daily practice, they have 
already gone through that process many times, so the whole per- 
formance is quite familiar to them. Many times already they have 
visited the region to which they are now to pass. It is just like 
going back home. The only difference between their former visits 
to that region and this final exit from the physical world is that 
now they break the silver cord and release themselves from the 
body forever. Separation being now complete, they are free to go 
where they wish without bonds of any sort. They go directly to 
that region, under the escort of their Master, where they are to 



450 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



abide for the time until they are ready to go higher. Of course, the 
Master is with them during all of this change. They make it in 
great joy and of their own free will. There is no compulsion. Of 
course, they have absolutely nothing to do with the dark angel or 
with the king-judge. Like the second class, they are taken care of 
by the Master. It is an occasion of joyful homecoming. 

These two classes never return to earthly life again, unless it is 
so willed and ordered by the Master. Generally, they are taken on 
up, grade by grade, until they reach the highest. It is extremely 
fortunate for any student if he has been able to reach Sach Kfaand 
before he leaves the physical body. The way to this is open to all, 
and they can do it if they do the required work. But in actual 
practice, not a very large percentage ever accomplish so much. 
But in every case, disciples of the Master are saved from the mo- 
notonous rounds of reincarnation. Their dreary cycle of birth and 
death is finished. 

(4) The fourth and last class are the Masters themselves. When 
the time comes that a Master wishes to leave his body for all time, 
he simply lays it down of his own will and steps out of it, as he has 
so often done before, only now he breaks the cord and discards 
the body as an instrument for which he has no further use. His 
disciples prepare it and take it to the funeral pyre. The entire 
process of his passing, as well as all circumstances connected with 
it, are under his own control, and there is never a momentary 
shadow of unconsciousness. He remains Master even through the 
process of his own death. The Masters are lords of life and of 
death, a truth so often emphasized in these pages. They may do 
exactly as they please at all times, and no one can interfere. After 
leaving their bodies, they rise at once above all physical or mater- 
ial worlds, above all lower heaven-worlds, and take up their resi- 
dence wherever they may see fit, according to their duties and 
responsibilities, entering upon their higher duties as these may 
have been assigned to them by the supreme one. 

It may be said in passing that the Masters do not generally 
remain in their physical bodies much, if any, longer than the usual 
time allotted to ordinary mortals. They generally let nature take 



THE FINAL GOAL 



451 



its course in all matters physical, although they have plenary pow- 
ers to interfere with the usual routine if they see fit to do so. It is 
not generally their plan to interfere. They could remain in their 
bodies for centuries or even thousands of years if they wished to 
do so and deemed it wise. But as a rule they do not. 

Many yogis have been known to keep their bodies for centuries, 
and any higher level yogi can do it. But yogis are not Masters of 
the highest order. The Masters observe the laws of this world and 
carry on their work in harmony with those laws as closely as pos- 
sible. Their work is strictly of a spiritual nature, and they do not 
wish to interfere with the rules governing a foreign country in 
which they have but a temporary interest. They come to this world 
for a definite purpose and they stick to that purpose and work as 
closely as possible. After all, what advantage would it be if they 
should five in the body for a few centuries or even thousands of 
years? They go on to a higher work, leaving their successors to 
carry on here. The supreme Sat Punish does not wish to have one 
of his beloved sons remain here in this dark region, the nature of 
which is more like a prison. When they have finished the work 
assigned to them, they are welcomed home to enjoy their reward. 
It would be a very great sacrifice to remain here indefinitely. While 
they would be willing to make that sacrifice, yet the supreme Father 
does not wish them to do so. 



7. THE FINAL GOAL 

In every age, there is one vital point of distinction which sets that 
age off from all other ages. That is its degree of spirituality. Spiri- 
tuality is in fact the very soul and substance of civilization. Every 
civilization in every age of the world, whether high or low, corre- 
sponds in exact ratio to its degree of spirituality. Nothing else can 
ever make a civilization. Mental superiority produces no real civi- 
lization. Culture, literature, art, do not make civilization. Refined 
tastes do not make civilization. There is a vast difference between 
aesthetics and ethics. Even ethics, in its highest development, does 



452 



THE GREAT WORK OFTHE MASTERS 



not constitute civilization. Love alone makes civilization, and love 
is of the essence of pure spirit. 

As the world becomes depleted of its spirituality, all manner of 
evils beset it, affecting both the individual and the race, even the 
world itself. Degeneration is brought about through the destruc- 
tive action of the five passions, which never cease their inroads 
upon the individual and the whole world in general. 

There is always the ebbing of the tides. We must not overlook 
that. Periodicity is a law of nature, just as much as the survival of 
the fittest. During the ages of decline, there is less effort to curb 
the passions, until at last they become dominant. Little by little, 
men lose the light of understanding; they no more hear the inner 
inspiring Shabd, and they lose all knowledge of the higher worlds. 
Materialism covers the world in a dark mantle, for superstition 
always follows upon gross materialism. First the mind becomes 
fiercely self-assertive, then dogmatically materialistic; and lastly, 
when learning dies out, it is followed by all forms of superstition. 
Man sinks into stupid savagery. As conditions of life become more 
and more hostile to man's comfort and welfare, man's numbers 
decrease. Finally, a mere remnant of the race is left, battling hard 
for its existence in a hostile environment. At this point the entire 
race is threatened with extinction. Then a peculiar thing happens. 
At the very moment when men are driven to the wall, compelled 
to fight for their very existence, that very struggle begins to lead 
toward salvation. 

As too much ease and comfort lead to degeneracy, so hard 
battle develops more sturdy qualities. The fight was forced upon 
mankind by its own degeneracy and inefficiency. But the fight, 
now having grown very keen, begins to awaken in man his higher 
faculties, new powers of thinking and acting, faculties which his 
degeneracy had dulled and deadened. And this is the turning point 
for the human race. Timed to suit the struggles of man when he 
fights for self-existence, there is an increase in the spirituality of 
the whole human race. This spirituality becomes the motive pow- 
er of his newly awakened efforts. It is the beginning of a new era. 

For ages the race has been moving downgrade, but now man 



THE FINAL GOAL 



453 



begins his slow ascent. He begins to climb back towards true civi- 
lization. In other words, the age-long degenerative process is re- 
versed, and the human race slowly retraces its steps back to the 
heights whence it descended. It is a fact of great interest that the 
depletion of spirituaUty in the whole world runs parallel to the 
progressive degeneracy of mankind. Likewise, the regeneration of 
mankind runs parallel to the fresh charging of the world itself 
with new spiritual force. The beginning of the upward march of 
mankind is then due to two great factors — his enforced struggle 
for existence and the simultaneous replenishing of the world itself 
with new spiritual life. That these two events of such world signifi- 
cance should occur at the same time is in the order of nature, and 
belongs in the rhythmic cycles of the universe. 

I can almost hear some Western critics say: "Why don't Masters 
take measures to prevent the downward drift of mankind?" The 
answer is that the Masters do not interfere with the natural order. 
It has been on the program from the beginning of time. These 
ages must come, as they are ordained by the Creator. It is no part 
of the duty of the Masters to interfere in world processes. Their 
duty is to help individuals to escape this melee of troubles. And 
one thing we should always keep in mind — the Supreme is in 
command in this world and he will manage affairs to the best 
advantage. We need not doubt it. Just as certainly as the planets 
move in their orbits, so surely will this world go on as the Creator 
wishes it to. No man or group of men can wreck the world. No 
nation or group of nations can wreck the world. No nation or 
group of nations can make the Creator's plan miscarry. It is folly 
to become an alarmist. And in all this confusion and strife, the 
Masters are doing all they can for the world, while their chief 
attention is centered upon the relief of individuals who are ready 
to make their way up and out of this world of conflict. 

The world has never been without a living Master. Beneath all 
other impelling forces in the creation, spirituality is the primary 
cause. That, and that alone, is the driving force that always leaps 
up to join its source. In every living being, from tiny plant up to 
man, the spiritual flame of life is struggling upward and onward 



T 



454 



THE GREAT WORK OF THE MASTERS 



toward its source of being, and this process and this struggle must 
go on until the last speck of dust returns to the central fires of 
infinite being. 

The message of the Masters fills the world with hope, and at the 
same time it offers a rational foundation for such hope. It not 
only tells people what they should do, but it offers them a definite 
method of doing it. In the march of the ages, cycle after cycle, in 
every planet where human beings reside, the great Masters are the 
light bearers of that world. Until the end of the ages, they will 
remain the friends and saviors of those who struggle toward the 
light. 

Be led from the unreal to the real, 
Be led from darkness to light, 
Be led from death to immortality. 

UPANISHAD 

THE END 






Glossary 















Adi Granth Original (adi) Scripture [granth) ; sacred scripture of the Sikhs; 

Granth Sahib; contains the teachings of Guru Nanak, his 
successors and other saints. Compiled chiefly by Guru Arjan, 
the fifth Guru in the line of Guru Nanak, about the year 1604. 

adi karma Original ( adi) action causing reaction ( karma)* karma of the 

beginning, not earned by the individual, but established by 
the Creator in the beginning. See also: karma. 

AgamLok Inaccessible (agam) Region Uok); the name of the seventh 

spiritual region. Agam Purush is the supreme being presiding 
over Agam Lok. 

ahankar Ego or I-ness; one of the 6ve deadly passions (lust, anger, 

greed, attachment, ego); pride and vanity; also one of the four 
divisions of mind, its function is to separate self and self- 
interests from all else. See also: antashkaran. 

ahimsa Nonviolence, not hurting any living being, by either word or 

act. 

Ahura Mazda Ancient Persian name for the lord of life iahura) and lord of 
wisdom { mazda), especially in Zoroastrianism. 

Altai Punish Timeless {akal) Being (purush); the one who is beyond the 

sphere of birth and death; the supreme positive power, as 
opposed to Kal, the negative power. 

akash Sky or heaven, 'ether 1 , the highest of the five elements, which 

remains dormant in all living forms except the human. See 
also: tattwa. 



Allah 

Anhad Shabd 
or Anahad Shabd 

Anami Lok 



456 THE PATH OF THE MASTERS 

Akash Bani Sound or voice ( buns) from the sky { akash); heavenly musiq 

Word or Logos; audible life stream. See also: Shabd, 

akshar Indelible; imperishable; Akshar Purush is the appellation for 

God, the creative power. 

A lakh Lok Invisible (aUtkh) Region ( lok); the sixth spiritual region, A la- 

kh Purush is the supreme being presiding over Alakh Lok. 

Imperishable; beyond dissolution. See also: Shabd. 

The Islamic name for God. 

Limitless (anahad) Sound {shabd): the Word or divine cre- 
ative power. Also called the unstruck sound. Logos. See also: 
Shabd. 

Nameless (anami) Region (M); the eighth spiritual region, 
presided over by Anami Purush, Radha Soami, the supreme 
being. 

Egg; the astral region, the grand division of the creation lying 
immediately above the physical realm, Pind. 

antashkaran Mental organ or mind; combination of the four faculties of 

or antahkaraD the mind. See also: manas, buddhi, chit and ahankar. 

Posture; in spiritual practice, a meditative pose, with body 
erect, mind in pois