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RE: Theos-World More on Karma

Mar 18, 1999 05:00 AM
by Peter Merriott

Hi Jerry,

You wrote:
> However, karma can be
> consumed or eliminated in a single lifetime as evidenced
> by both Hindu and Buddhist teachings as well as the lives
> of Milarepa and others. HPB chose not to go into this.
> Hope this helps, Peter.

Well.. I don't see how it helps or supports your view that self forgiveness
dissolves our individual Karma which is what you seemed to be saying at the
begining of this thread.  This is what I was responding to, and what I
believe Dallas and Louis were questioning.  Have I misunderstood you?

With  regards to single lifetime enlightenment.  Virtually everything that
HPB and the Masters gave out encourages us towards understanding the grand
design; the evolutionary development of humanity and all nature (spiritual,
mental & physical) over aeons of time.  This includes the various comings
and goings of the Great Breath -  universes, solar systems, planets, races,
and incarnations.  Whatever the level of the cycle,  Karma is the 'guiding
hand', the Law of Laws behind it.   HPB points out to us that we are at the
begining of one such cycle, the Kali Yuga Cycle (a very difficult time for
humanity), lasting aproximately 400,000 years.  Given HPB's and the Masters'
concern for the suffering of humanity, would they not have spent at least
some time encouraging us to eliminate our Karma and become 'enlightened' in
this single lifetime if that were possible?

The single lifetime approach may be the view of some religions, and we are
each entitled to whatever views we hold.  But as far as I can see it is not
the view of Theosophy.

On the other hand, in the life of the would be Initiate there must come a
point when s/he nears 'the  goal'.  As you no doubt know, The Voice of the
Silence refers to the....

"Srotapatti or "he who enters in the stream" of Nirvana, unless he reaches
the goal owing to some exceptional reasons, can rarely attain Nirvana in one
birth. Usually a Chela is said to begin the ascending effort in one life and
end or reach it only in his seventh succeeding birth. "
(Glossary Fragment 2)

If this is the case you are referring to then you are right to suggest HPB
did not go into the "exceptional reasons" mentioned (unless someone else on
the list knows where she does?).   And with the above qoute I find it useful
to keep in mind that when HPB states "it is said" she is sometimes alerting
us to the fact that this is the exoteric and not the esoteric view.  But
even if we just take it as stated, if we take into account what HPB and the
Masters had to say about Chelas, then this 'beginning stage' alone seems
lifetimes away for the vast majority of us.

And when the 'seventh birth' comes, what then?  In the eyes of onlookers
this individual (perhaps someone like Milarepa, as you suggest) will appear
to have reached Nirvana in a single lifetime.  From the Theosophical view
such onlookers will be mistaken.  Theosophy would say that what is gained in
this life for that individual is the result of many, many, lifetimes of
effort.  Even then that individual consciousness is not entirely 'free' of
Karma.  What is the Karma for one who enters Nirvana and leaves the rest of
Humanity to suffer?  For the Law will call it back into rebirth at the
appropriate stage of the ongoing cycles and call it into account for that
which was done, or left undone, in the previous cycles.

It is especially with regards the latter that I think your point is very
relevant, Jerry, ie about determining what we mean by Karma, and 'Karmically



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