The Tathagata Light
[Ancient Philosophy] 

B.P. Wadia   

© 2003 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö 

The light of the spirit is the eternal Sabbath of the mystic or  the occultist. That which is meant by the allegorical sentence, FiatLux is – when esoterically rendered –  "Let there be the 'Sons of Light.'"                                          —   H. P. BLAVATSKY 

Without spiritual afflatus the miraculous communication of supernatural knowledge— the mind remains the playground of the senses and falls prey to the sweet-tongued voices of illusion. The mind needs not only breadth and depth but also points to draw it to the Supreme. To help aspiring minds, teachers of soul wisdom have always presented simple but profound images that awaken the mind, assisting it to assimilate one or more aspects of the eternal verities. 

To continue our study of some of these images which energize us to high endeavor: last month ["Ye are the Salt of the Earth."] we wrote of the first of the four which Jesus used to exhort his admirers to right practice – "Ye are the salt of the earth." The next three bring in the imagery of Light, which almost every teacher has used in instructing the few elect or the many less ardent. The image of Light is profound and may well be compared to the ocean, shallow enough at the shore for a child to paddle in, but gradually deepening until it may drown the most expert of swimmers. The light of the eyes, the light of the mind, the light of the Soul, are the phrases most commonly used. But there are philosophical and mystical aspects to them, which make the understanding and interpretation of the image of light most fascinating. 

"Ye are the light of the world," exclaims Jesus and calls upon his devotees not to hide the light within them, but to let it shine so that some at least among the hoi polloi, struck by the radiance, may be emboldened to kindle their own small lamps. Why does he address his intimates thus? How did they come to possess the Divine Light? In silence and secrecy, listening to his words, reflecting upon his parables, perceiving the "miracles" he wrought which drew their attention not only to the existence of the worlds invisible but to the fact that the laws governing them could be mastered by the humble yet persevering learner provided his heart was pure. 

But the human tendency to hide the knowledge of such experiences, lest they be doubted and scoffed at, prompts many who know to hold their tongues, to compress their brain and slow down the beats of the heart. How many men of today do we not know, who, aware of the mystical urges of their mind, seek knowledge in secret like the good Nicodemus? And again, how many are there who keep mum about their quest, findings, and realizations of spiritual things, lest they be laughed at by their colleagues of the business world for "getting religion," or by their club friends for "becoming odd!" The followers of Jesus had more reason to "light a candle and put it under a bushel" – the suspicious, tyrannical Sanhedrin! Jesus demands that they let their divine light shine so that all may know of their real Self, the Christos, the Buddha, the Krishna within. And such showing would not be out of egotism but as a sacrament which would give an outward and visible sign of the grace of Light Supernal within, ever ready to preside in the heart of the meek, the humble, the aspiring lover of mankind. This is the Light of all lights. ( Gita, XIII, 17)

The light of the mind is different from the light of the Spirit. Even the light of the Thinker, the real man, does not shine equally in all mortals. Ordinary education gives breadth and depth to the mind and increases mind light. Extraordinary instruction is necessary to make the Spirit Light manifest through the human mind. It is the self-imposed task of the divine avataras and the real gurus to offer special knowledge and to light that which is named the Tathagata Light – to create in the mortal man a Son of Light by whose grace that mortal can become immortal. 

The Wisdom-Religion, Bodhi-Dharma, teaches a way of living founded upon a moral philosophy. That philosophy is a very definite body of knowledge, called in the Gita the Kingly Science and the Kingly Mystery. It is ageless. Ever does it move silently and secretly in the midst of ignorance begotten by false knowledge. The study of its doctrines stirs the depths of the human mind. The application of them stirs the depths of the heart, causing it to respond to the higher morality of the Universal and the Impersonal. When the altruistic service of teaching ignorant or proud minds and empty or depraved hearts is undertaken, the glorification of "the Father which is in heaven" takes place. In the process the Light of the Buddhas and the Christs – the great Sons of Light – begins to glow in us – the Tathagata Light – the Light of the Illustrious Predecessors. Of such are the words of the image: 

"A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." 



From "Thus have I heard", pages 128-30. Utgiven av Indian Institute of World Culture, 1959.


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