Tag Archives: Bhagavad-Gita

Of Two Minds

TRUTH like hope springs eternal, and what was taught 5,000 years ago by Krishna in Bhagavad-Gita, still works today.

“The Self is the friend of self,” Arjuna’s instructor asserts paradoxically, “and also its enemy.”

In his article of the same title, the theosophical teacher W. Q. Judge noted that “this sentence in the Bhagavad- Gita has been often passed over as being either meaningless or mysterious.”

But why else would religions, touting harmony and peace, be so ready and willing to denounce and harm non-believers?


The medieval Crusades were replete with atrocities under this mind set, just as are some extremist religious sects still today — priests, popes and kings all willing to kill for their God. Murder, intrigue, assassination and war have despoiled our human history, and are still with us!

Krishna’s doctrine postulates two selves, each an enemy and friend of the other. The “pushmi-pullyu” character of religions results in the ethical and moral inconsistencies evident in modern-day fundamentalism.

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real,” say the ancient stanzas of the Book of the Golden Precepts —”let the disciple slay [purify] the Slayer.”

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“For two thousand years India groaned under the weight of caste,” writes one of Mme. Blavatsky’s teachers about priestly craft, “brahmins alone feeding on the fat of the land.”

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The Deathless Self

EVOLUTION as defined in the occultism of Theosophy, is a triple-faceted scheme — a blend of spirit, mind, and matter.

They are, Blavatsky wrote, “inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point.”

True and lasting self-knowledge is acquired gradually and lovingly — and largely unawares at first — through a long, but finite series of reincarnations in human form.

A major factor in our self-development lies in recognizing the continuity of life, Theosophy says — and that for the soul, there is really no such thing as death.

Self-knowledge evolves gradually out of the recognition, as the philosopher-mystic Teilhard de Chardin famously claimed, that we are “spiritual beings having a human experience,” not the other way around.

We are first and foremost spiritual beings, and humanity is our field of experience. But what happens to our human self after death? Does our consciousness die with the body?

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Dreaming the Future

WHEN our rational brains are all heated up, arguing life’s complexities, that’s usually the best time to kick off our shoes and give it a rest.

“Ever drifting down the stream, lingering in the golden gleam,” Lewis Carroll wondered: “Life — what is it but a dream?”

At times, when we are faced with a critical decision, or stuck on a complex problem, sleeping or napping on it, researchers find, often leads to the right answer.

The notes of a song, the smell of burning leaves, the babbling of a mountain stream, a day-dream—all can open a door to the the non-rational, poetic mind. They can also arouse unexpected vistas when we are children.

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Lighted from Within

HALLOWEEN is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Known also as a harvest festival, called Samhain (“Summer’s End”), it is rooted in Celtic polytheism. The word is also the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name for November.

It was the beginning of a “darker” season on Earth, with less sunlight and shorter days. In place of the usual psychic horrors and scary costumes, we chose instead to consider the symbol of an inner or spiritual sun, represented by a flaming candle placed inside the pumpkin.

Samhain is similar to the Gothic samana, and the Sanskrit sámana. The Hindu God Krishna, symbol of the Higher Self, notably incarnates cyclically at mankind’s darkest times.

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New Spiritual Patterns 1

Kids in the first Dutch cropcircle of 2010

ACTIONS that call upon our nobler mind and innate spirituality, will surely spark the growth of true self-knowledge within us.

Old intellect-driven habits of thinking and acting do not work, and naturally fade away of their own accord.

Spiritual motifs become more deeply ingrained in us as we serve others, Theosophy says, and practice genuine compassion for  humanity, and the planet.

“Help Nature and work on with her,” is one important way, says the Voice of the Silence, “and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance — she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, and

... lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom.”

“Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit,” says the Voice — “the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.”

Fosbury nr Vernham Dean, Wiltshire, UK, July 17, 2010

“Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call ‘self-analysis,’ Helena Blavatsky affirms, “it is not reached by reasoning or any brain process:

…it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.”

And “to obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future,” she adds … Continue reading

A New Order of Ages 2

THE gods are not without employment, wrote the Greek bishop Synesius of Cyrene (c. 373 – c. 414) – but their “descent to this earth” is not continuous.

They descend according to orderly periods of time, he said, “for the purpose of imparting a beneficent impulse in the republics of mankind.”

“For this providence is divine and most ample,” quotes W. Q. Judge in Cycles —”which frequently one man pays attention to, and affects countless multitudes of men.”

Describing the Gods, Synesius writes: “For there is indeed in the terrestrial abode the sacred tribe of heroes who pay attention to mankind, and who are able to give them assistance even in the smallest concerns:-

“This heroic tribe is, as it were, a colony from the gods established here, in order that this terrene abode may not be left destitute of a better nature.”

The Mahatmas

mahatma gandhi - Sharang and Prash 2007

These “gods” are also known in India as Mahatmas. No better description of these sages can be pointed to than  W. Q. Judge explaining the Sanskrit terms in his article The Mahatmas as Ideals and Facts:

“The whole sweep, meaning, and possibility of evolution are contained in the word Mahatma,” Judge writes. “Maha is ‘great,’ Atma is ‘soul’ — and both compounded into one, mean those great souls who have triumphed before us:

“Not because they are made of different stuff and are of some strange family, but just because they are of the human race.”

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Never Ending I

EVOLUTION is spiral, Theosophy teaches and the path of spirituality turns “corkscrew-like.”

Soul experiences are layered securely “within and around the physical, semi-physical, and supra-physical.”

Man’s immortality and the existence of God, are the two primary doctrines that H. P. Blavatsky determined to prove.

Analogizing in her Preface to Isis Unveiled, her first Theosophical opus, she sets the bar to its highest level,  posing immediately the keynote question:

“Who ever saw the Immortal Spirit of man, so as to be able to assure himself of man’s immortality?”

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Often it is only the clear-eyed children, unfettered by dogmas, who are the ones able to perceive spirit, not their parents or teachers.

Please note, this post has been updated and republished at:

The Unwrapped Soul

HPB: Spiritual Traveller

EVERY year on what is called White Lotus Day, May 8th  theosophists all over the world celebrate, the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy and a leading intellect behind the occult revival in the West, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888 as her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

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Closer to Home

GALAXIES form groups from few to a few dozen, to large clusters up to several thousands.

These vast star systems are called “Local Groups,” and all the galaxies they hold, like cells, are in mutual attraction and interaction with each other.

On a lesser scale our solar system, the home of our Earth the other planets, calls the Milky Way Galaxy its home.

Correspondingly, just as the Earth is home to us humans, so our human bodies are habitats and landscapes to billions of microbes — all interconnected with a common mission in the vastness of inner space.

View from Outer Space

At the request of Carl Sagan, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft — having completed its primary mission and now leaving the solar system — to turn its camera around and take a photograph of Earth from outer space. Continue reading

Nothing to Lose

THE classic struggle between hero and villain, the “good guys vs the bad guys,” is a staple of our entertainment and literary culture.

Without this persistent duality, there would never have been Hercules, Batman, Spiderman or Superman — or the Lone Ranger on his white horse Silver.

Nor would we be enjoying productions of Macbeth or Hamlet, or any of the riveting psychological dramas of Shakespeare.

Daytime television, also, would be soap-free. (Hey, can’t you leave us with something?) Continue reading

Never Ending Life

LOOKING past our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy views the soul as eternal. Further, we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are souls, the wisdom tradition teaches.

There are many human beings who live to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2009 there were 455,000 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky says in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age — yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.”

She refers here to the Earthly body, not the Spiritual Body that high adepts have learned to occupy and control, thereby achieving self-conscious immortality — albeit invisible to uninitiated mankind.

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its fruition and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that he still remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.

Not only Gautama, but a “Wall of Protection” is built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints and Adepts,those Buddhas of Compassion

who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

They do this “by influencing him to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness. Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.”

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Following The Wheel of The Good Law

Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws – eternal Harmony…

The Voice of the Silence

Dharma Wheel (Dharmachakra, Wheel of Law)

Dharmachakra

Dharmachakra

So much “original” writing is done today, so much “self-expression” is indulged in that, in the glamour that is raised, the chants of the Gods remain unheard. One of our tasks is to bring home the truth that it is not derogatory to respect the old age facts of the science of the soul.

The study of the wise ancients convinces us that our forefathers knew better and more than we do. …It is one of the tasks of this journal to awaken an intelligent appreciation of the hoary past so that an intelligent adaptation of some of the old truths to modern life and conditions may take place. -B.P.Wadia, “The Aryan Path”

THE KARMIC HEART

False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the Winds by the good Law. Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. … The wheel of the good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour. The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart.

True knowledge is the flour, false learning is the husk. If thou would’st eat the bread of Wisdom, thy flour thou hast to knead with Amrita’s [immortality] clear waters. But if thou kneadest husks with Maya’s dew, thou canst create but food for the black doves of death, the birds of birth, decay and sorrow. … Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and kin, to friend and foe, and close thy mind to pleasures as to pain. Exhaust the law of Karmic retribution. Gain Siddhis for thy future birth. -The Voice of the Silence

THE SACRIFICE

Sri Krishna

Sri Krishna

“Those who dress their meat but for themselves eat the bread of sin, being themselves sin incarnate. Beings are nourished by food, food is produced by rain, rain comes from sacrifice, and sacrifice is performed by action. Know that action comes from the Supreme Spirit who is one; wherefore the all-pervading Spirit is at all times present in the sacrifice.”

The Bhagavad-Gita – Krishna, Chapter 3, “Devotion Through The Right Performance of Action.”

“This Law — whether Conscious or Unconscious,” says H. P. Blavatsky, “predestines nothing and no one. It exists from and in Eternity, truly, for it is ETERNITY itself; and as such, since no act can be co-equal with eternity, it cannot be said to act, for it is ACTION itself…Karma creates nothing, nor does it design. It is man who plans and creates causes, and Karmic law adjusts the effects; which adjustment is not an act, but universal harmony, tending ever to resume its original position.”

H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine 2:304-5

At this time of “Thanksgiving,” all students of Theosophy feel an extra impulse to recognize the sacredness of life, and teach by example. To perform “sacrifice” by action, as Krishna says,  we avoid the unnecessary suffering and destruction of living beings. When the fruits and vegetables provided by Mother Gaia are so plentiful and nutritious, is it necessary to butcher millions of helpless animals for our sensory pleasure? Just a question, and we would be remiss if we did not raise the question on Theosophically inspired pages.

xmas-tree-revenge_150Each of us, semi-self-conscious humans, has the power of choice that other beings living here with us do not. With that comes moral responsibility. We were shamed, and strongly impressed by a Mike Adams article in NaturalNews.com dated Dec. ’07 “Revenge of The Christmas Trees.” Sorry if this seems raw, but the occasional straight talk can be a useful wake up call:

I’ve noticed that the people who are killing all the trees are the same people eating all the meat at Christmas dinners, too! How do those Christmas dinner prayers really work for meat eaters and tree harvesters, anyway? “God, please bless this family, bless this house, bless all the people on Earth… but MURDER ALL THE FREAKING TREES AND ANIMALS!” I guess those people believe God somehow supports animal factory farms that produce mass suffering and mass animal murder just so they can have their pretty nitrite-enhanced Christmas ham dinner.

THE WHEEL OF RECIPROCITY

“In other places and ages food is produced, but it does not in everything come up to the required standard. In this age we have to submit to these difficulties, and can overcome them by following Krishna’s instructions….

“In the verse above quoted the distinction is made between food naturally produced without, and that due to, sacrifice, for Krishna says, “For, being nourished by sacrifices, the gods will give you the desired food.”

“They are not the mere idols and imaginary beings … but are certain powers and properties of nature which leave the world when the Kali-yuga or dark age, as this is called, has fully set in.

“There is, however, another meaning to the “revolution of the wheel” spoken of by Krishna. He makes it very clear that he refers to the principle of reciprocity or brotherhood. And this he declares must be kept revolving; that is, each being must live according to that rule, or else he lives a life of sin to no purpose.

“And we can easily believe that in these days this principle, while admired as a fine theory, is not that which moves the people. They are, on the contrary, spurred by the personal selfish idea of each one becoming better, greater, richer than his neighbor. …

“And it was to counteract this that the Theosophical Society was founded, with the object of inducing men to once more revolve this wheel of brotherly love.”

Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, Ch. 3, William Q. Judge


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