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Re: Theos-World Re: on "Bhakti Yoga"

Feb 09, 2003 09:43 PM
by leonmaurer

Hi Katinka,

I think you are right about individual spiritual development to attain self 
realization by one's own self devised and self determined efforts, and not 
through devotion to a guru, in the sense of worshipping, loving, or becoming 
dependent on him/her. But, I don't think that's what WQJ meant by devotion. 
That word, at its root, has many meanings other than personal "Love" or in 
the sense of Bhakti-type worship or adoration of a living or dead God, guru 
or teacher. 

When I was a beginning student of Theosophy, WQJ was my guru -- who taught me 
through his writings, and by pointing me to the writings of HPB. At that 
time, I chose to devote myself to him as the teacher, and thus accept his 
guidance with full confidence. That sort of devotion is what I always 
thought Judge meant when he said to find oneself a guru. In fact, by 
following that line we can have many gurus at different times on our path. 
When I first read that advice by Judge, I then chose HPB as my guru and 
become devoted to her teachings, and thereby became devoted to theosophy (as 
I assume both you and Dallas have done). Also, when we seriously study the 
Bhagavad Gita, we can become devoted to Krishna as our guru. Or, to the 
Buddha, when we study the Dammapada. In addition, we can even choose a living 
teacher for our guru whom we believe can lead us further on the path, even if 
it's to point us to the proper passage in a book to study, or a meditation to 
practice devotedly. In that sense, many theosophoists I have met over the 
years, and even here, such as Dallas and yourself, have become my gurus. 

For the benefit of newcomers to theosophy, the following definitions might be 
helpful to consider and understand so as to interpret Judge's advice 

de'vote v. tr. de'vot'ed de'vot'ing de'votes 1. To give or apply (one's time, 
attention, or self) entirely to a particular activity, pursuit, cause, or 
person. 2. To set apart for a specific purpose or use: land devoted to 
mining. 3. To set apart by or as if by a vow or solemn act; consecrate: a 
temple devoted to Apollo. 
1. [v.] To give over by or as if by vow to a higher purpose 

2. [v.] To occupy oneself or one's efforts to something
3. [v.] To intend or set aside for a specific purpose

4. [v.] To use time in a particular way
-spend-employ-expend-fill-idle-invest-kill-pass-put in-take up-while away
5. [v.] To provide gratuitously-give-bestow-donate-give away-dole-give 
out-hand out-present
(American Heritage Dictionery and Thesaurus)

Best wishes,


In a message dated 02/08/03 3:55:52 PM, writes:

<< This is actually one of the very few places where I sort of disagree 
with Judge, though you haven't quoted the most extreme that he has to 
say on this subject.

He suggests, in the beginning of Letters that have Helped Me, that a 
would-be chela should find him/herself a guru, whatever the qualities 
of that guru. That devotion itself will help make the relationship 
Devotion which is Love is never a bad thing, and maybe that is what 
he means, but all in all I don't think many people are capable of 
that kind of devotion, unconditionally. And forcing yourself to that, 
all the while struggling with yourself is simply not worth it. 

The truth has to be found on a solitary path - I am absolutely 
convinced of that. That the Mahatmas may find the chela there, when 
the chela has progressed to such a state of inner purity that 
communion with the mahatmas becomes possible, is another matter. A 
student of such purity cannot but be devoted to the even greater 
purity of the Mahatma. It is a natural thing, not something forced 
and adulatrous the way it was suggested by somebody else. Also, when 
right, not something that will rob the student of independent 
thinking, making their own choices etc. Some of my favourite quotes 
show that this last was always meant:

>> Coll. Wr. Vol. X, p. 96
>> It is this pernicious doctrine of ever relying upon extraneous 
help that leads to the collapse - physical, mental, moral, andental healer, 
the neophyte of 
the sorcerer, and the dilettante of Reform. Neither success nor 
safety is to be found outside self-development. >>

>> Letters from the Masters of Wisdom, second series, letter 51, p. 97
>> [chelaship] is an educational as well as probationary stage, and 
the chela alone can determine whether it shall end in adeptship or 
failure. Chelas, from a mistaken idea of our system, too often watch 
and wait for orders, wasting precious time which should be taken up 
with personal effort. 

For, to work for mankind is grand, its recompense stretches beyond 
this brief dream of life into other births. So now, you my chela, 
choose and grasp your own destiny. You wish to heal the sick, - do 
so; but remember your success will be measured by your faith - in 
yourself, more than in us. Lose it for a second, and failure will 


Have faith in your soul power, and you will have success. >>

>> Mahatma Letters, letter 54, p. 311; chr. letter 92. p. 299
>> Every human being contains within himself vast potentialities, and 
it is the duty of the adepts to surround the would-be chela with 
circumstances which shall enable him to take the "right-hand-path" - 
if he has the ability in him. We are no more at liberty to withhold 
the chance from a postulant than we are to guide and direct him in 
the proper course. >>

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