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Theosophy for Masses

Apr 07, 2012 11:24 PM
by Ramanujachary

                    Theosophy for the Masses

The Sun of Theosophy must shine for all, mot for a part.
For our doctrines to practically react on the so-called moral code or the ideas of truthfulness, purity, self-denial, charity etc. we have to preach and popularize a knowledge of Theosophy.
[ Mahatma Letters(Chron.ed. p. 133 &477)

Theosophical movement was, and is, aimed at an intellectual body of men and women of the world to inspire, enthuse and empower them to work for the masses. The curtain over the universally Ancient Wisdom Teaching, earlier concealed, is lifted in a corner so that some more applicable parts of it are made available to the intellectuals who are expected to have risen to the degree of their understanding.
The doctrines of Theosophy were introduced for careful study, examination and assimilation so that they could gradually be inculcated into the public mind. This should not be done in manner `explosively' but in `radiation' of the Light of the Wisdom. The intellectual mind needs to be `arrested in its attention'; the lay public mind only gets repelled by it.
The doctrines of the globes, rounds and chains may not be talked to the masses at a preliminary stage, but the intellectuals need this much of information. These hold the key for the knowledge needed by them to understand the `rightful place of man in the scheme of the universe', the effective possible gradation of intellect to intuition and to respond well to the code of `universal morality.'
"Ethics are the soul of the Wisdom-Religion, and were once the common property of the Initiates of all nations. Buddha was the first to embody these lofty ethics in his public teachings, and to make them the foundation and the very essence of his public system. --- This accounts for the resemblance; amounting almost to identity, between the ethics of Theosophy and those of the religion of Buddha," asserted Madame Blavatsky in her book `The Key to Theosophy' (p.18). She, earlier, stated that `not one of the ancient nations ever imparted through its priests real philosophical secrets to the masses, but allotted to the latter only the husks.(ibid. p.8)
The doctrines of Theosophy received mixed responses in the public mind `much interest and much animosity at the same time'. (ibid.p.35) Madame Blavatsky did not hesitate to suggest the causes and reasons for that. In brief, she said:
1.	Great reaction from the crassly materialistic theories now prevalent among scientific teachers.
2.	General dissatisfaction with the artificial theology of various conventional religions and the number of daily ceremonies increasing and conflicting sects.
3.	Ever-growing perception of the fact that the creeds which are so obviously self ? and mutually ? contradictory cannot be real. These creeds have failed to preserve morals and to purify society and the masses.
4.	Conviction on the part of many, and knowledge by a few, that there must be somewhere a philosophical and religious system which shall be scientific and not merely speculative.
5.	A belief that such a system must be sought for its teachings for antedating any modern faith.
Madame Blavatsky also asserts that `had the formation of the Theosophical Society been postponed a few years longer, one half of the civilized nations would have become by this time rank materialists and the other half anthropomorphists and phenomenalists.' (p.36)
She continues:
 `The Teachings of both (Buddha and Christ) are boundless love of humanity, charity, forgiveness of injury, forgetfulness of self, and pity for the deluded masses. --- Their desire was, without revealing to all the sacred mysteries of initiation, to give the ignorant and the misled, whose burden in life was too heavy for them, hope enough and an inkling into the truth sufficient to support them in their heaviest hours. But the object of both Reformers was frustrated, owing to excess of zeal of their later followers. The words of the Masters having been misunderstood and misinterpreted, behold the consequences!' (p.78-9)
Madame Blavatsky devotes a section for the topic "Theosophy for the Masses" in her book "the Key to Theosophy" where she says thus:
It does not require metaphysics or education to make a man understand the broad truths of Karma and Reincarnation. Look at the millions of poor and uneducated Buddhists and Hindoos, to whom Karma and Reincarnation are solid realities, simply because their minds have never been cramped and distorted by being forced into an unnatural groove. ---
[Things have changed much since she wrote the above lines. Literacy has increased, no doubt, and added to that the emulation of Western systems of style of living, lack of attention to the `native' behavior and culture. The position is not that positive today as was indicated by her. But efforts are on by various bodies and associations to remind the general public of the right values, right means and right ends for which the Eastern countries have stood all the while. Too much of consumerism and commercialization of value systems is ailing the nations now.]
We see selfishness, crime, immorality, and all the evils imaginable, pouncing upon unfortunate mankind from this Pandora's box which you call an age of progress, and increasing pari passu  with the growth of your material civilization.---
[Unfortunately, the so-called educated classes are more involved in the activities cited; suggesting that what they are receiving is not the right kind of education. Moral instruction, civic sense, humanities and public spirit are not visible part of the curriculum.
To the masses, who need only practical guidance and support, they (metaphysics and mysticism) are not of much consequence; but for the educated, the natural leaders of the masses, those whose modes of thought action will sooner or later be adopted by those masses, they are of greatest importance. It is only by means of the philosophy that an intelligent and educated man can avoid the intellectual suicide of believing on blind faith; and it is only by assimilating the strict continuity and logical coherence of the Easter, if not exoteric, doctrines, that he can realize their truth. ---
The chief point is, to uproot the most fertile source of all crime and immorality ? the belief that it is possible for them to escape the consequences of their own actions. Once teach them the greatest of all laws, Karma and Reincarnation, and besides feeling in themselves the true dignity of human nature, they will turn from evil and eschew it as they would a physical danger.
Madame Blavatsky concludes her Section XII (What is Practical Theosophy?) thus:
At present, the main, fundamental object of the Society is to sow germs in the hearts of men, which may in time sprout, and under more propitious circumstances lead to a healthy reform, conducive of more happiness to the masses then they have hitherto enjoyed.
Will it not be the work of the theosophical movement to create the `more propitious circumstances' indicated above? 
It was some 120 years back that the remarks of Madame Blavatsky were made. Undoubtedly the world has changed much all these years. Poverty alleviation is the main program of action the world over. It must be noted that such alleviation is not confined to the `material objects and nature'; it needs to be addressed to the moral, ethical and spiritual areas of human living and behavior. The intellectuals have this great role before them. The so-called development schemes they envisage have to be sustainable and holistic.
Dr N C Ramanujachary

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