RE: on "Bhakti Yoga"
Feb 08, 2003 05:04 AM
Feb 8 2003
Perhaps the following might be of some use in this consideration:
Devotion -- Bhakti-Yoga
Mr. Judge on p. 64 of Notes on the Bhagavad Gita advises Arjuna "to
become devoted" In his "Letters That Have Helped Me," p. 111, we find
" Devotion and aspiration will...help to bring about a proper atti-
tude of mind, and to raise the student to a higher plane; also they
cure...help which is unseen by him, for devotion and aspiration put
student into a condition in which aid can be given to him, though he
as yet, be unconscious of it." WQJ Letters, p. 111
[ see also Letters, p. 38, on devotion ]
We could consider it a matter of importance to observe our
surroundings. Can we notice in our lives whether such "aid" is being
This may already be present and available to us. Is it not also being
given to others around us? HPB gave her students of 1888 in London, a
valuable hint on this matter in a letter she wrote to them from
Ostende. There she indicates that Adept influence and presence could
be noticed by those attentive to unusual coincidences, and curious, or
subtle events in a students' life and being.
Also, on page 77 of Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, Mr. Judge draws our
attention to the relationship between heedlessness and attention in
strong words. He says "I call freedom from heedlessness immortality."
It is the capacity developed to remain aware and attentive regardless
of the condition of the physical body, whether it is "awake," or
"asleep." It is continuous consciousness.
Of this he writes further in Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, p. 98-100,
using the phrase "the One Consciousness." And, quoting from an
ancient text, he adds "it pierces up and down through all the states
or planes of Being, and serves to uphold the memory--whether complete
or incomplete--of each state's experiences."
Bringing these two ideas together, HPB wrote in The Secret Doctrine :
"...the evolution of Spirit into matter could never have been
achieved; nor would it have received its first impulse, had not the
bright Spirits sacrificed their own respective super-ethereal essences
to animate the man of clay, by endowing each of his inner principles
with a portion, or rather a reflection of that essence." SD II 273
[ additional suggestive references: SD I 210, II 79-80, 281 ]
One might also consider this to be a key to understanding the one of
the meanings of the Gayatri verse: " Unveil, O Pushan, the face of
the True Sun, now concealed in a golden vase, that I may see my whole
duty on my way back to the Sacred Seat." ( WQJ Articles, I. 583)
and, perhaps, thereby, grasp with greater certainty the concept of the
"god (Atman) within."
It is but a step, then, to grant the same condition to every one of
our fellows. They, too, are innately "bright Spirits." Thence, we
may further agree that our ability to secure and exercise clear vision
(true clairvoyance) is shielded from our usage at present by the gross
matter of our physical bodies, and the focus of awareness and
consciousness being so continually and voluntarily fixed on the
separateness of our respective psychic natures. Perhaps it is for
this reason that Mr. Judge indicates that a true "Yogi" acts on behalf
of his brother's needs, wishes and perceptions of actions that are
necessary to be done. True clairvoyance provides for this. The power
of the need brings forth righteous assistance.
May this not have reference to the teaching that the Spirit--Atman--
needs as "vehicle," Buddhi--wisdom--in order to act through
Manas--Higher Mind. Then we may understand why it is that HPB states
in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 79-80, that some of the egos now
working through humanity were "returning Nirvanees" from earlier
Manvantaras. The higher, or moral Mind, that lives and works with and
through karma, has now because of its vow to assist all beings, to
live, work and view life's efforts through the agency of the embodied
mind, the "Lower Manas," also sometimes called Kama-Manas, when it is
involved in the toils of passions and desires. From this, can we not
derive the idea, that for the perception of any spiritual truths the
lower Manas needs, to thoroughly understand, an honest "interpreter" ?
In Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, H.P.B. speaks of the "PTR" or "petroma" as
such an interpreter, and indicates that this condition prevails
everywhere in Nature where the more advanced serve the less as
instructors, and assist them in their developing their own
self-consciousness. [ Isis I, xxxiii, II 92-3, 392.]
Mr. Judge discusses the Bhakti-path of devotion--which in the outer
world is pursued by many without much thought. Such, might be
considered an inner urge, which will eventually lead to the great
Goal. But, in our way of life, do we not find that the use of the
devotional "Path" to the "Goal" can be abridged in time, as we add the
active mental faculty of purified understanding and attention to our
heart-devotion ? Further, should these not be augmented by
discrimination tutored by spiritual intuition ? Is this not one of
the reasons why a sincere student may not spend some regular time in
examining his nature, his capacities, the action of the "three
qualities" within himself; and finally, his own motives ?
Universal and spiritual ideas, as Krishna observes, can then be seen
springing up spontaneously from within, when we act to quiet the lower
mind and the "thousand chords of desire."
Should this not be considered a further proof of the indivisible
fundamental Self within? If we have the capacity to se examine our
minds, our hearts, our feelings and desires, then we are none of
those. We are the unmoved Spectator, the Perceiver, the Examiner,
and all the rest are our perceptions and inclinations. We observe
them and can decide to alter and change them. It is this individual
spiritual power, the will, that enables us to progress.
Certain "ceremonies," "rites" and "rules" were at one time in the
distant past designed and instituted to assist those who became aware
of the nature and power of their true spiritual selves. These were
originally designed to take advantage of the "power of the vow," of
the devotional method, which kept the vision of the aspirant focused
on the supreme Self of all creatures, the Krishna within himself, and
the law of cycles.
Would the results produced not depend on the quality of the motive?
Cyclic energies would also seem to play a part in this. And, this is
what organized, and authoritarian sects take advantage of as they
depend on most of their adherents not inquiring too closely into the
real nature of their own being and inquiring into these facts.
If we view the "Three Qualities" [Sattva, Rajas and Tamas] and
consider them to each be, polarized and dual, then we have the 6 + 1 =
7 "principles" of Nature and see that the Real Man--the One
Consciousness-- being the 7th, unites all together (Gita Notes, p.
98-100). The physical body is based on the astral body. Prana, the
life principle, serves as a basis for the Kamic nature, the passions
and desires, that flow through us. The Manas serves as a base for
wisdom: Buddhi; and Atman, the "ray" of and one with the Spirit
presides over all.
Over these 7, which constitute the actor in the field of matter, may
we not see brooding the primal Trinity, the "One-in-Three" reflection
of the ABSOLUTE ONE. The totality is thus 10, the "perfect number" of
Pythagoras. [The "3 Qualities," are detailed in Gita, pp 100-4,
115-118.] Applying the principles that are able to refine every
aspect of the lower nature, we find in the 18th Chapter, (p. 129) that
Krishna states: "abandoning egotism, arrogance, violence, vanity,
desire, anger, pride and possession, with calmness ever present, a man
is fitted to be the Supreme Being."
Should we not understand from these words that Krishna means: a
Mahatma, a purified individuality--a "Great Soul," which, as a
being-unit, is for ever a conscious and responsible active part of the
UNIVERSAL BEING ? This implies that there are still further stages of
growth and responsibility for all Mahatmas in the general progressive
and infinite scheme of development. Historically, HPB writes of the
period when, from Central Asia the early Aryans invaded India (about a
million years ago), and those who became the pupils to learn the
wisdom of the Raja-Rishis, the King-Sages, individuals who ruled as
wise, and spiritual Kshatriyas. Of these Janaka was one. Krishna,
himself, belonged to this lineage.
Our "mind" is not the ultimate "we." The "power of mind and the real
meaning of meditation" are to be understood (p. 65-6) and used if we
are to rediscover " the real root of his [our] being." If we use the
mind to meditate, we are other than the mind. Should we not say that
we use as a primary correlation, the will?. We set it in motion and
direct its work with the tools of this plane of life. And this
includes the "brain-mind" which is able to effect this work for and
within its own nature--that which we call our personality. This work.
seems ideally designed, to assist those "tools" of our psychic, and
mental natures deepening their intelligence and perception. This
sensitivity leads us to perceive the true nature of brotherhood. Mr.
Judge gives us the wide and complete view of this in his Ocean of
Theosophy, p. 60. [Indian Edn. p. 64-5.]
Aspiring to improve our understanding, and approaching this from the
point of view of embodied experience, the highest outpost of which is
in our lower Manas, would this not be what Krishna means in asking
Arjuna to invoke the "mysterious power of meditation" (p. 66), which,
when first seen in operation, is often assumed, passively, to be the
power of the Karma of our past ? Is it not this that we are to work
in and on, so that we may adjust and purify it ? If we are able to
direct it, then we are on the "path" to become, eventually, a "Master
of Mediation and of Devotion."
This cannot be done without strain and reaction generated by the
habits set by us in the past of this life and of earlier lives:
"...for the whole load of ancient sin rushes to the front and the
events succeed each other rapidly; the strain is terrific, and the
whole life fabric groans and rocks."
( Letters That Have helped Me, p. 21. )
This situation is that which enables us to clear up the old karma of
"unfinished business." It is natural that in our embodied mind
consciousness we find we become fearful, and may seek to avoid the
trials and changes needed. But if these are not met and mastered, it
is only natural to anticipate that they may return later in a more
terrible form. We cannot escape our choices and the effects we
started. But we can balance and adjust them.
Most of this past Karma cannot be adjusted in one life, so there is a
"hold-over" to the next, when the bodily apparatus is reformed in
which much of that which has been lying in wait can be balanced. This
invokes for us, the need to develop and exercise patience, calmness
and a willingness to accept all that comes with a minimum of strain or
anxiety--these are ideas Mr. Judge develops in many places in Letters
That Have Helped Me.
To withstand this assault (which comes in the form of a battle from
his own "lower nature"), Krishna advises Arjuna to practice
dispassion, non-attachment, and never to be anxious, or hope for a
reward. As we progress, have we not noticed that we have been helped
by old companionships, and we often assist one another, or find
ourselves assisted with ideas and views, sometimes "in mysterious
ways" that evoke an increased appreciation of their worth ?
If abnegation (a surrender of self-interest) is difficult to
understand, some thought and meditation on these concepts may make it
easier. It is the embodied mind, us as kama-manasic natures, that
have by information and reason to assure ourselves of our continuity
and base in immortality. The next concept to grasp and hold is
brotherhood. Every being in the universe around us, supports us--our
food, the air and water, the earth, our friends and the whole
environment is part of this support, which is often unrecognized.
Life and living are evidence of the cooperative nature of all Nature
and Life. No one can be "an island unto himself," since without this
cooperation we could not exist in a body. Is this realization not
part of our "life's meditation ?" This is universal brotherhood in
action. This is the universal significance of devotion.
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- Re: on "Bhakti Yoga"
- From: "Katinka Hesselink <firstname.lastname@example.org>" <email@example.com>
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