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Personal Letters to William Q JudgeThe Letters written to William Q. Judge in New York, are copied from the originals in the Archives of the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, and have been reproduced literally. In regard to the specially significant Letters II, III, IV, and V, the reader is referred to the prefatory note to ”A Hindu Chela's Diary” in the Appendix.
Letters To W. Q. Judge
Bombay 5th October 1879.
My dear Mr. Judge,
I am very sorry to hear you write so disparagingly to Madam Blavatsky about your feelings and the state of your mind. Is it not surprising to see that a man like you after having made some progress in the study of Theosophy should despair at the very moment he is about to enter the very threshold of true knowledge? It seems to my mind ridiculously strange that a very thirsty man should be in quest of water and that when he has found it he should instead of drinking it, turn his back against it and fly from the only place where he can quench his thirst. You have read in ”Isis” various facts to which the noble author attests as having seen personally. I am positively sure you have so high an opinion of this awe-inspiring Lady that you will not hesitate in the least to accept even a tittle of evidence she may bring forward to establish any circumstance which she knows for certain to be a fact. The more so, because she simply corroborates what was taught by my forefathers and what is still found in the ancient Hindu Literature but which is now regarded as superstition by ignorant men, they being unable to find the key which opens the box containing these hidden treasures. But this key you will get, only if you will continue the study of Theosophy.
In ”Isis” the author has shown what powers man is endowed with and how he can use them. The use depends upon their development which occultism teaches us how to cause to effect in us. In order to show that the study of occult sciences has enabled certain persons to develope their powers, a few of the performances of these mysterious personages have been quoted. She has clearly proved that there live to this day adepts who have obtained a thorough control over themselves and over the forces in nature, and have guarded from time immemorial the sacred writings of the venerable sages of the past who found out the Spiritual Powers of man and the only way in which he can develope them. But have these adepts succeeded in developing their powers at once when they begun? Is it possible for a person to get to the top of a house without using any means by which he can do so? Or again does it not appear absurd that a man can climb a tree without proceeding step by step? Do you expect a child to be a philosopher as soon as it is born? Are not these illustrations sufficient to convince you that in order to succeed in any thing you must proceed gradually? You know any thing rashly done is sure to be imperfect. In undertaking any thing the first thing required is perseverance. ”Try again” should ever be our motto. A child will never learn how to walk if it were never to try to do so, simply because in its primary attempts it suffers failures and falls every now and then. But the instinct of the child urges it nevertheless to continue in its efforts until it succeeds. Does not the same Spirit which gives the child the instinct illuminate the child after it grows into manhood? Is it not shameful for every person that, although in childhood he acts in obedience to the instructions of the Divine Spirit, he after coming to maturity should become deaf to the teachings of that Spirit which once gave him success in his childhood notwithstanding all the primary failures? If we understand all these things why should we not proceed cautiously and patiently? If you see before your eyes a thing which you were hunting after for a long time, why should you not try to grasp and tenaciously cling to it? Should you give it up simply because you do not succeed for the first time? Is all the trouble you took in finding it out and getting at it to go in vain? Should you not at such a trying moment summon the assistance of moral courage? Is it not degrading for us that we can not even follow the footsteps of our ancestors who discovered the true path to Spiritual Enlightenment, although their footprints are so clear that they can be vividly seen by any one who cares to do so? How very difficult would it then have been if the task of discovery had involved upon us? Not only are these footprints still preserved but we can find to this day guides who have trodden upon these steps and have nearly attained the same end which these discoverers did. The question naturally arises where can these guides be found? The answer is of course India. But are they accessible to all? Can any body employ them as other guides are? What are their charges for employment? One answer is, it is presumed, sufficient to answer all these queries. The fact that they retire from the busy world necessarily proves that they do not care for any thing pertaining to it. What else then can induce them to come over to you to guide you through this path? It is the proper performance of certain duties which a man ought to do. But what are these duties is a question which springs from this answer. If I were to go minutely into all these details it would take me too long before I finish this letter and I would therefore cursorily glance at what these duties are. We must consider the whole mankind as one brotherhood for the whole creation has emanated from that eternally Divine Principle which is everywhere, is in every thing and in which is every thing and is therefore the source of all. We should therefore do all we can to do good to humanity. You know the soul of man is composed of Spirit and Matter and thus forms a distinct individuality. Our chief end should be to preserve this individuality until the Soul is freed of all the Matter that stuck to it and mixes into that Principle which gives it birth or rather from which it proceeds. One of the various things you must do in order to accomplish this is to leave off as much of worldly consideration as possible. Your only desire should be to do everything for humanity and not for yourself, i.e., although you are in the world, your inner man should be out of it. When you do this much, you will know other means of accomplishing your aim from the Adepts. You must neither despair, nor think that there are no adepts simply because you have as yet seen none. If you have not met with any, you should know that it is because you have not properly performed your duties. You would perhaps think that these personages stop in India and you have therefore no chance of finding any in America. But then you must remember that for a person whose Spiritual Sight is opened time and space can offer no obstacle. He can travel any distance whenever he pleases in no time. Such men are actually in search of persons who truly and sincerely desire to go to them and study occult Sciences. Why should they not go to you if you are honestly working with that desire? If you produce a certain cause will it not have its effect? Man is endowed with a power by which he can produce a certain cause, but the production of the effect rests with that force in Nature to which the cause is directed. But does this force go against its laws? Certainly not, for if it were to do so, it would be a miracle, but you know that there can be no miracle. If you therefore perform your duties as you ought to do, you will certainly rouse the good Spirits (Forces) in Nature who will compel an Adept to come to you and teach you what you so ardently desire to learn. If you despair after making some progress and learning certain things what should I do? Am I not a beginner? It is only two months that I have been admitted into the Society. What I have said above are the aspirations of a Hindu and should be of every person of whatever creed or colour, for castes and races are but the invention of man to suit his convenience. Do not therefore despair but go on with confidence, and success is at hand. If after performing your proper duties you do not meet with an adept you will at least have the consolation of having done what you are in duty bound to do. All your good actions in this world will help you in after-life. I therefore ask of you, my dear brother, to proceed cautiously and patiently with what you have begun. Despair not, and you will shortly trample the foe under your feet. Bear in mind the motto ”Try again,” and apply it in your case.
I hope you success and conclude
Most truly Yours
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR.
F. T. S.
Bombay 24th January 1880
My dear Sir and brother,
I read with great interest yours of 8th November which I received on the 20th ultimo while I was at Benares. I left this place on the 2nd ultimo with H. P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott for Allahabad whence I proceeded alone upon my arrival, to Benares to see Pandit Dayanand Saraswati Swamiji, on the business of the Ritual. Col. Olcott and Madam joined me there after about ten days; and when I showed your letter to them, Madam ordered me to write to you all I had personally witnessed at Benares. Having, however, left that place shortly afterwards for Allahabad where I stopped only for two days, I could not find leisure to give you the whole account. After I came to Bombay I was engaged for a long time in doing my work and could not spare time to write to you, for which I hope you will excuse me. I once or twice attempted to do so, but I did not know what to write. Because if I were to give you simply an account of what I had seen at Benares, it might read simply but as a sort of story. Again I found myself incompetent to add to the account any reflections of my own. Not that I doubt what I have seen, but quite the reverse of that. I know that Madam Blavatsky whom I revere as my Guru, esteem as my benefactor, and love more than a Mother, and others whose mere recollection gives my heart a thrill that makes me quiver with veneration, have done me favours I am not the least deserving of. I therefore look down with perfect contempt upon myself when I see how much they have done for me and what opportunities they had given me for bettering myself, and how very foolishly I let those opportunities slip by. It is about six months since I was admitted into the Society and now I do not think I am a bit better in any way than I was before. I therefore consider myself as the lowest of all the Theosophists for although there may be some (if any, at all) who may be as bad as myself, they are not yet to be blamed for their actions as they had no such opportunities of improvement which I had. Being so very low as I have shown myself to you, I can not comment upon what I mean to write to you. I shall simply give you mere facts as they were personally witnessed by me – Gather what moral you may from them, I cannot give you my reflections on this matter for the reasons already stated to you, and because (judging from your letter) I find you are far superior to me in intellect and have made a greater progress.
About a month after I joined the Society I felt as it were a voice within myself whispering to me that Madam Blavatsky is not what she represents herself to be. It then assumed the form of a belief in me which grew so strong within a short time that four or five times I thought of throwing myself at her feet and beg her to reveal herself to me. But then I could not do so because I thought it would be useless, as I knew that I was quite impure and had led too bad a life to trusted with that secret. I therefore remained silent with the consolation that she herself would confide the secret to me when she would find me worthy of it. I thought it must be some great Indian Adept that had assumed that illusionary form. But there a difficulty occurred to me. I knew that she received letters from her aunts and that she communicated with persons almost in every part of the globe. I could not therefore reconcile my belief, as I thought she would then have to practise the illusion all over the world. Various explanations suggested themselves to me except the right one. I was, however, right (as I have subsequently ascertained) in my original conception that she is some great Indian Adept. At various times I talk to her about these adepts, because that is the one subject I am interested in, although I fear I am not, and shall not be for many years to come or perhaps this life, worthy of their company. Since I was a child of seven years, my inclination has almost always been in this direction. I always thought of retiring from this world and giving myself up to devotion. I also expressed several times to Madam my intention of retiring from this world and studying this philosophy which alone can make man happy in the true sense of the word. But then she usually asked me what I would do there alone. She said that instead of gaining my object I would become perhaps insane by being alone in the jungles without any body to guide me; that I was foolish enough to think that by going into the jungles I could fall in with an adept; and that if I really wanted to gain my object I should have to work in the Society and when the Higher ones whom I dare not mention by any other names, and who had started this Society, would be satisfied with me, they would themselves call me away from the busy world and teach me in private. And when I foolishly asked her many times to give me the names and addresses of some of our Brothers she said to me once: – ”One of our Brothers has told me that as you are much after me, I better tell you once for all that I, being a European, have no right to give you any information about them; but if you go on asking Hindus what they know about the matter, you might hear of them; and one of those Higher ones may perhaps throw himself in your way without your knowing him, and will tell you what you should do.” Having received these orders I had but to obey and wait; although having an implicit confidence in H. P. Blavatsky I knew that I would have my object fulfilled only through her, and through her alone. I thereupon asked one or two of my Hindu friends, who were inclined in this direction, if they knew any such persons. One of them said he had seen two or three such men but that they were not quite what he thought ”Raj Yogs.” He also told me that he had heard of a man who had appeared several times in Benares but that no body knew where he lived. My disappointment grew bitter and more bitter but I never lost the firm confidence I have that adepts do live in India and can still be found among us. Shortly afterwards I was ordered to Benares to see Swamiji on that business of the Ritual.
A few months before we left Bombay, Pandit Mohunlal Vishnulal Pandea, one of the Councillors of our Society, had written to Madam that there lived in Benares a woman called ”Maji” who practised Yog and was his Guru. I had known from Madam that Swamiji also knew that science and that he knows ”Maji.” Being, however, ordered not to let him know what I knew of him, I could not say to him anything directly but when I made indirect references to these things, he pretended to laugh at me for believing in the powers attained by a Yog. And when I asked him if he knew a woman named ”Maji,” he replied – ”If there be such a woman here at all, she is not known.” – Whenever I asked him any thing in regard to these matters, he gave evasive answers. I was disappointed when I saw that all my expectations in going to Benares were but castles in the air. I thought that I had gained nothing except the consolation that I was doing a part of my duty as a Theosophist. Consequently I wrote thus to my most revered Guru: – ”As directed by you I have neither let him (Swamiji) know what I know of him nor what my true intentions are. He seems to think that I work in the Society to make money. I have as yet kept him in the dark as regards myself and consequently am myself groping in the dark – Expecting, however, enlightenment on the subject from you.”
Shortly afterwards Madam and Col. Olcott accompanied by two or three European members of our Society joined me at Benares. To my great surprise, when asked by Madam, Swamiji mentioned the place where ”Maji” resided and offered to take us there, adding that he knew her well and that she very often came to see him. The Europeans that had come to Benares from Allahabad were Mr. Sinnett, the Editor of the ”Pioneer” (a government organ and one of the most influential newspapers in India), and his wife, and Mrs. A. Gordon, the writer of the article ”Missions in India” in the January number of the Theosophist, the wife of a Colonel in Bengal, also a Theosophist; who had come on purpose from Calcutta to Allahabad – thus crossing all India, – to be initiated. They all wanted to see some great phenomenon performed by Madam, and especially the former two had come down to Benares for that purpose, as Madam had refused to show them any such thing unless permitted by Swamiji. Swami having declined to grant the permission asked for, was consulted by Madam and Col. Olcott as to the best way of satisfying these two persons, as it was found that the interests of the Society would be greatly increased, if the full sympathy of Mr. Sinnett was secured, who had already done so much for us by making the Viceroy issue an order published in the November Number of the Theosophist, which set us all right in the public estimation, and who had made the Viceroy promise to write to Madam a letter approving of the plan of the Society, which will be published in the next number. It was then resolved that we should see ”Maji” for the purpose. But when we went the next day to her she gave the same reply as Swamiji that it was too sacred a science to be thus treated as a ”Tamasha” (Show). Madam could not accompany us at that time as she did not feel well, but when we told ”Maji” accordingly, she turned a glance of significance at Col. Olcott who returned it, thereby asking her to remain silent, as they alone had then felt Madam's presence near them. ”Maji” then said that though she had never visited Europeans, she would herself come to see Madam once or twice before our departure from Benares. Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett being thus disappointed were talking at night about the matter with Madam and Col. Olcott. Mrs. Gordon also formed one of the company. During the course of conversation some one made reference to flowers and immediately afterwards a sound was heard as of something dropping from above. It was found that a number of flowers were thrown by invisible hands on the table around which they were all sitting. When I had gone to Swamiji a short time before the occurrence, I found him in an unusual state, such as he was always in, whenever explaining the Ritual. And I found that the phenomenon exactly corresponded to the time when I saw Swamiji in the strange state of ”Samadhi” described to you above: ”Samadhi” being, as you perhaps know, that state when the adept leaves his body. There was therefore no doubt left for me as to what and how it had happened. The next day Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett left for Allahabad and we three with Mrs. Gordon remained at Benares. The next day came ”Maji” (who never speaks of herself but as ”This body”) to see Madam, and I alone was then with them, as Col. Olcott and Mrs. Gordon had gone with Swamiji to see the girls' school. I then gathered from what she said that she had been first in the body of a Fakir who, upon having his hand disabled by a shot he received while he passed the Fortress of Bhurtpore, had to change his body and choose the one that was now ”Maji.” A girl about seven years of age was dying at that time and so, before her death, this Fakir had entered her body and taken possession of it. ”Maji” is not therefore a woman but a real Hindu Fakir in the body of a woman. It is but one by one that I gathered all these particulars. In his former body, this Fakir had studied the Yog science for 65 years, but his study having been arrested and incomplete at the time his body was disabled and consequently unequal to the task he had to perform, he had to choose this other one. In his present body he is 53 years, and consequently the ”Inner Maji” is 118 years old. She then asked Madam whether she knew that they had had the same man for their ”Guru.” But Madam desiring her to give some proofs of what she said to me, she readily furnished them. She said that Madam's Guru was born in Punjab but generally lives in the Southern part of India, and especially in Ceylon. He is about 300 years old and has a companion of about the same age, though both do not appear even forty. In a few centuries he will enter the body of a ”Kshatriya” (the Warrior caste among the Hindus) and do some great deeds for India, but the time had not yet come. When Madam and Col. Olcott had gone last summer to Karley Caves, they saw a certain Sannyasi with a five-legged cow, who took Col. Olcott aside and gave him the Theosophical grip. He had then told Col. Olcott that he was ”Maji's” disciple. I communicated this fact on this occasion to ”Maji” who laughed and replied that it was none other than Madam's Guru in the Fakir's body, who had given Col. Olcott the grip, and that if we were to see that Fakir again, he would not be able to give us the sign again, as he was for the time being, taken possession of, by Madam's Guru who often performs such things. Then she went home, promising to see us again before our departure.
I must state here that about a fortnight before I left Bombay Madam had asked me how I knew that it was not an Indian adept who took occasional possession of her body and who did all these things which are attributed to her. My inference then is that the real H. P. B. is nothing but either a paralyzed soul or a dead body under the control of some adept. I shall now continue the thread of my account.
”Maji” then came for the second time and on this occasion all of us were present except Swamiji and Madam who came afterwards. Col. Olcott then asked ”Maji” some questions about Madam. And ”Maji” said that Madam was not what she seems to be. Her interior man had already been twice in a Hindu body and was now in his third. She also said that until that time she had never seen a European but, having got the information from her Guru, about Madam, she had come to see her. I then asked her if the real H. P. B. was still in the body, but she refused to answer that question, and only added that she herself – ”Maji” – was inferior to Madam. She then told Col. Olcott that he had once been a young Hindu in the Southern part of India, but had died and had to be reborn again. She then explained to us the meaning of the action of the Fakir in having brought a five-legged cow at Kar1i when he saw Col. Olcott there and gave him the Theosophical grip. She said that every person has a right to repeat the Gayatri Mantram which consists of three ”Pads” (Metres) but a Brahmachari has a right to repeat one ”Pad” more while a Yog could repeat as many as he liked and thereby perform wonders. Thus a Yog has a right to repeat a Mantrarn consisting of five ”Pads” which is equal to ”Om tat Sat,” and as the word ”Pad” also means a foot or a leg, he had purposely brought a five-legged cow to signify this meaning. And she moreover said that this symbol was with Madam on her seal-ring, although neither she (Madam) nor any of us had intimated to ”Maji” the fact. You will have thus seen how Indian instructions are conveyed by means of symbols and one who can decipher the ancient Aryan symbols will find a vast field to be explored. She first tried to tempt me, trying to make me relinquish my object; but when all this failed, she told me that if I wanted to make any spiritual progress and see any of our Brothers, I must depend entirely for that upon Madam. None else was competent to take me through the right path. If I were to go alone anywhere, I may wander about here and there for years together but that will be quite useless. I must stop entirely with Madam and lay my full and only confidence in her. She told me to work in the Society and practise regularly twice a day what Madam had ordered me to do. In every respect I must act in obedience to her instructions. Then she told me that I should go once with Madam to the mountains of Junagad where these adepts usually live and even if I were not to see any body the first time, the magnetized air in which they live, will do me much good – She said that they do not generally stop in one place but always shift from one place to another. They however, all meet together on certain days of the year in a certain place near Bhadrinath in the Northern part of India, of which you can read in the January Theosophist. She remarked that as India's sons are becoming more and more wicked, they (these adepts) have gradually been retiring more and more toward the north of the Himalaya Mountains. I have written here as far as I can recollect what ”Maji” had told us –
You will thus have seen of what a great consequence it is for me to be always with Madam. From the beginning I felt all that ”Maji” had told me. Only two or three days after I applied for admission into the Society I said to H. P. B., what I really felt, that I regarded her as my benefactor, revered her as my Guru and loved her more than a mother. Ever since I have assured her of what I then told her. And now ”Maji” tells me the same thing, strengthens my faith and asks me to confide in her (Madam). And when I afterwards consulted Swamiji in regard to myself, he, without my telling him a word of what ”Maji” had said to me, urged me to do the very same thing, that is to say, to put my faith in H. P. B. All along I have felt and do still feel strongly as if I had already once studied this philosophy with Madam and that I must have been once her most obedient and humble disciple. This must have been a fact or else how can you account for the feeling created in me about her only after seeing her not more than three or four times. All my hopes and future plans are therefore centered in her and nothing in the world can shake my confidence in her, especially when two Hindus, who do not speak English and could not have pre-arranged these things, tell me the very same things without previous consultation and what I all along had myself felt. My trip, therefore, to up-country did me one good, that of strengthening my belief which is the chief foundation on which the grand structure is to be built.
Before concluding I shall speak of an incident that happened in my presence at Benares. The night before we left that place seven or eight persons were in the drawing room when I was present. We were all sitting around a table. Madam was talking with me and a Benares Pandit, the writer of the article on ”Brahma, Ishwara and Maya” in the October Number of the Theosophist. On one side was Col. Olcott talking to a pleader in Benares, who has since joined our Society. Near them was Swamiji sitting silent in his chair. On the other side was Mrs. Gordon talking to Dr. Thibaut, Principal of the Benares College. Near them was a disciple of Swamiji sitting silent in his seat. In the course of conversation Mrs. Gordon happened to talk of flowers. Madam then said to the Benares Pandit that she would try if any of our Brothers would give him a sign – And lo! and behold! within two seconds a shower of flowers at his feet, thrown by invisible hands. I immediately looked at Swamiji and found that he looked no better than a dead man. His cheeks were pale and the flush of life gone. It was evident that his inner man was not then in his body. I then asked Madam who had done the phenomenon of flowers, and her only reply was ”One of our Brothers,” but which one she left for me to find out. All of us then took a flower for ourselves but the smallest of all fell to the lot of Dr. Thibaut, the Principal of the College. At the time of going he asked Madam if he could have another that was lying on the table. When she said, – ”You may take as many as you like, You will have many more.” She repeated this twice or thrice and I looked up to see from which direction they came. But I found that they came down directly from the ceiling and fell right near Dr. Thibaut's feet. All then left the place and as it was dark outside I took a lamp to show them the way out. By the time they came in the outer veranda the light was almost out. Mrs. Gordon was surprised and wanted to bring another lamp. But I said that there was no matter with the lamp, but that it was Madam that was doing something with it. When Col. Olcott heard the words that thus passed between us he called back all the visitors who were by this time near the steps, to see the phenomenon. When they returned, Madam came out, took the lamp from me, and placed it on the table. Then she said ”What is the matter with you, come up,” and immediately it shone with an unusual brilliancy. She then said ”Go down” and within a short time it was almost dark. Afterwards she brought it up again, thus clearly establishing to the visitors what a Yog can do by his will power. The next day I asked Swamiji who it was that had twice thrown the flowers the night before. But he first refused to answer my question, saying that I had to do nothing with it. I told him that I wanted to know it, because I could explain it in two ways and I wanted to know which one was correct, viz., – (1st) that Madam herself did the thing; or (2nd) that some body else did it for her. He replied that even if it were done by some body else, no Yog will do a thing unless he sees the desire in another Yog's mind. I said it was quite true but that I wanted to know which of these was a fact. And then he told me that it was not Madam but some body else that had thrown the flowers. Who that some body was he would not tell me, and it is quite evident he should not tell me when it was done by himself.
I suppose I have sufficiently tired your patience and therefore beg to conclude, especially as I do not see that I have got to write to you any thing more for the present.
Hoping soon to see you here, in whom I take so much interest, I beg to remain, My dear Sir,
Yours in life and after death
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR F. T. S.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE ”THEOSOPHIST,”
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA, 5th June, 1882
A. P. Sinnett, Esq.,
My dear Sir,
When Mme. Blavatsky left for Calcutta she left with me (March 30th) a letter for Mr. O'Conor with instructions to forward it to the addressee during the first week of June, if not otherwise ordered. I was accordingly to forward it by tomorrow's mail but I have just been ordered to forward it to you. I therefore enclose it to you now. Please excuse haste – no time to lose – the mail is about to close.
I hope you have received the two telegrams.
DAMODAR K. M.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE ”THEOSOPHIST”
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA, 26th August, 1882
My dear Sir,
It is with the greatest pain and reluctance that I write this letter but I beg of you the indulgence to give this a patient and careful reading.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE ”THEOSOPHIST,”
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 14th June 1881.
My dear Judge
I will now begin where I stopped last. I told you there about my being at a certain place where they have their Council. After that I saw twice or thrice alone on the same business and very rarely he said to me a few words of encouragement and good advice as to how I should go on. Happy were those moments when alone at midnight we thus had conversation! Nothing or no body to disturb us! We were to ourselves during that time. Once he took me to some other place in Ceylon. In that particular village, H. P. B., Col. Olcott and myself were the only three persons that stopped one night, the rest of our party having gone to a further place. We were all busy there initiating people and forming a branch of our Society till about 12 in the night. H. P. B. and Col. Olcott went to bed at about one. As we had to stay in the village only one night we had got down in the Rest House where comfortable accommodation can be had only for two travellers. I had therefore to lay down in an arm-chair in the dining room. I had scarcely locked from inside the door of the room and laid myself in the chair than I heard a faint knock at the door. It was repeated twice before I had time enough to reach the door. I opened it and what a great joy I felt when I saw again! In a very low whisper he ordered me to dress myself and to follow him. At the back door of the Rest House is the Sea. I followed him as he commanded me to do. He brought me to the back door of the place and we walked about three quarters of an hour by the seashore. Then we turned in the direction of the sea. All around there was water except the place we were walking upon which was quite dry!! He was walking in front and I was following him. We thus walked for about seven minutes when we came to a spot that looked like a small island. On the top of the building was a triangular light. From a distance, a person standing on the seashore would think it to be an isolated spot which is covered all over by green bushes. There is only one entrance to go inside. And no one can find it out unless the occupant wishes the person to find the way. After we reached the Island we had to go round about for about five minutes before we came in front of the actual building. There is a little garden in front we found one of the Brothers sitting. I had seen him before in the Council Room and it is to him that this place belongs. seated himself near him and I stood before them. We were there for about half an hour. I was shown a part of the place. How very pleasant it is! And inside this place he has a sort of a small room where the body remains when the Spirit moves about. What a charming, delightful spot that is! What a nice smell of roses and various sorts of flowers! I wish I were permitted to visit that place again if I should go to Ceylon another time. The half hour was finished and the time for our leaving the place was near. The master of the place whose name I do not know, placed his blessing hand over my head and and I marched off again. We came back near the door of the room wherein I was to sleep and he suddenly disappeared there on the spot. And following his example as a true disciple I too will now disappear abruptly until the next mail when I shall resume the subject.
Yours very truly & Sincerely
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 21st June 1881
My dear Judge
In my last letter I omitted to mention to you the two other places where I was taken before the one mentioned in my last. But as I am not at liberty to describe them I shall abstain from doing so for the present, until I am permitted. I shall only say that one of them is near Colombo, a private house of and the other one near Kandy, a library. I can now think only of these four places where I was taken while in Ceylon. Of course, as said before, I saw and others on various occasions. One evening after dressing myself for dinner on the Steamer on our way back to Bombay, I took out from my trunk my coat to be put [on] after dinner. As is my habit, I examined its pockets and put it on my bed. The dinner table was exactly opposite my cabin so that I could easily see any one going in or coming out from there but I saw none; neither did any one else at table. After we finished our dinner I went in and put on the coat. Without thinking I put my hands into my pockets as I usually do and lo! in the right hand one I felt some paper while, when I first examined it, there was nothing inside. I took it out and to my surprise I found a letter addressed to Mme. Blavatsky. I took it nearer to the light and found in the corner the initials . The cover was open and on it were written in red the words: ”For Damodar to read.” I then read the letter and saw that it was about the same business. Thinking all the time of this matter I lay down in my bed. Absorbed in deep thought I was startled on the sound of footsteps in the cabin which I had locked from inside. I looked behind and there was again and two others! What a pleasant evening that was! Speaking of various things in regard to knowledge and philosophy for about half an hour! Those were the happiest moments in my life! But that was only for that time and I determined to make myself worthy of enjoying it always!
But enough of it now:
Very truly & Sincerely yours
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 28th June 1881
My dear Judge
Last time I spoke to you about what happened to me on my way back to Bombay from Ceylon. After arriving here you know very well that within a very few days the ”Kitchen row” occurred and there was a split. Shortly afterwards (Aug. 27–1880) H. P. B. and Col. 0. left Bombay for Simla and other places in the North on the business of the Society and I was almost alone at the Headquarters. I suppose you know very well that since my leaving off my caste I have been staying with H. P. B. Mr & Mme. Coulomb also stayed and have been staying with us but they are not much interested in these matters. I worked all alone in H. P. B.'s compartments and there not a single soul came to disturb me. On the evening previous to my birthday (in September) I went as usual for dinner in the evening. The dining room was just opposite the Bungalow where I had my table. The outer door of the compound was locked from inside. We were all three in the dining room. After dinner we removed to the verandah in H. P. B.'s Bungalow. A sudden peculiar sensation came over me and the brilliant moonlight reminded me of my trip to –– where Col. O. & I were magnetised, of which I think I told you. Presently Mme. C. heard footsteps in H.P.B.'s room, and somebody trying to open the cupboard. I did not hear any such thing but I did not dare go in as H. P. B. before her departure had told me not to do so in case I should hear any noise or voices there. For the same reason I prevented them from trying to enter there as they wanted to do for fear there might be some thing. After some time all that stopped and both of them went to bed. I went into my writing room the window of which opens into the verandah where we were sitting after dinner. And just above the table in front of the clock was a big triangular note. When I left the room for dinner there was nothing there as I always when going in or coming out referred to that clock and if it had been there before I could not have seen the figures on the clock and consequently should have noticed it before. I took it up and opened it and inside was a triangularly folded cap which the Fakirs and the people in Northern India wear. Inside was written ”To Damodar” and then were the Initials It is a gift I shall always preserve and have it still. In that place I slept all alone, Mr & Mme. C. sleeping in the room Miss Bates occupied before, which is in the opposite bungalow. After that I very often received communications from and others by post or in some mysterious way. One night after despatching the Theosophist I went to bed at about one in the morning. As usual I searched my table and after putting every thing in order locked the drawers. I got up in the morning & after taking my bath I opened the middle drawer of the table & the 1st thing I saw was a note addressed thus: ”Damodar K. Mavalankar S. By order of I opened it and it was written in pure and very high Hindustani so that I could not understand it and within a few days I got its translation into English by post. If I were to mention to you all such communications received by me I would fill a small volume. I will therefore mention to you one very important thing which happened within a few days from that time. At about 2 in the morning after finishing my work I locked the door of the room and lay in my bed. Within about 2 or 3 minutes I heard H. P. B.'s voice in her room calling me. I got up with a start and went in. She said ”some persons want to see you” and after a moment added ”Now go out, do not look at me.” Before however I had time to turn my face I saw her gradually disappear on the spot and from that very ground rose up the form of By the time I had turned back I saw two others dressed in what I afterwards learned to be Tibetan Clothes. One of them remained with in H. P. B.'s room. The other one I found seated on my bed by the time I came out. I saluted him & asked him if he had any orders to give. He said: ”If there are any, they will be told to you, without being asked.” Then he told me to stand still for some time and began to look at me fixedly. I felt a very pleasant sensation as if I was getting out of my body. I can not say now what time passed between that and what I am now going to relate. But I saw I was in a peculiar place. It was the upper end of Cashmir at the foot of the Himalayas. I saw I was taken to a place where there were only two houses just opposite to each other and no other sign of habitation. From one of these came out the person who had written to me the Hindi letter above referred to and who has been subsequently corresponding with me. I may mention to you his name since he has allowed it to be published in Mr. Sinnett's book called ”The Occult World” which has just come out. Mr. Sinnett has dedicated the book to this person ”Koot Hoomi ” It was his house. Opposite him stops Brother K – ordered me to follow him. After going a short distance of about half a mile we came to a natural subterranean passage which is under the Himalayas. The path is very dangerous. There is a natural causeway on the River Indus which flows underneath in all its fury. Only one person can walk on it at a time and one false step seals the fate of the traveller. Besides this causeway there are several valleys to be crossed. After walking a considerable distance through this subterraneous passage we came into an open plain in L––-k. There is a large massive building thousands of years old. In front of it is a huge Egyptian Tau. The building rests on 7 big pillars in the form of pyramids. The entrance gate has a large triangular arch. Inside are various apartments. The building is so large that I think it can easily contain twenty thousand people. I was shown some of these compartments. This is the Chief Central Place where all those of our Section who are found deserving of Initiation into Mysteries have to go for their final ceremony and stay there the requisite period. I went up with my Guru to the Great Hall. The grandeur and serenity of the place is enough to strike any one with awe. The beauty of the Altar which is in the centre and at which every candidate has to take his vows at the time of his Initiation is sure to dazzle the most brilliant eyes. The splendour of the CHIEF'S Throne is uncomparable. Every thing is on a geometrical principle & containing various symbols which are explained only to the Initiate. But I cannot say more now as I come now under an obligation of Secresy which K–– took from me there. While standing there I do not know what happened but suddenly I got up & found myself in my bed. It was about 8 in the morning. What was that I saw? Was it a dream or a reality? If a reality, how could I traverse the whole of the Himalayas even in my astral body in so short a time? Perplexed with these ideas I was sitting silent when down fell a note on my nose. I opened it and found inside that it was not a dream but that I was taken in some mysterious way in my astral body to the real place of Initiation where I shall be in my body for the Ceremony if I show myself deserving of the blessing. My joy at that moment can be easily conjectured than described – But enough
Very t––- yours,
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
Letter VI[Portions of this letter appeared first in The Platonist, and later in The Theosophist, June, 1884, under the title 'Reincarnation,' and in The Path, January, 1896, under the title ”Some Views of an Asiatic.” The valuable footnotes, signed EDITOR, which Mr. Judge appended in The Path, have been added to the present transcription of the original MS. – EDS.]
6th September, 1881.
My dear Judge
I have received your favour of the 11th July. You ask me what is my belief about ”re-incarnation”? Well, as it is a complicated question, I must give you a plain statement of my full belief.
To begin with, I am a Pantheist and not a Theist or a Deist. I believe that the whole Universe is God. You must however well understand that the word ”God” does not convey to me any meaning attached to that word by the Westerns. When I say God, I understand it to be Nature or Universe and no more. Therefore, I might more appropriately be called a ”Naturalist.” To my mind there is no possibility of the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity. For if there were such a possibility the harmony or equilibrium in nature could not be preserved and the whole Universe instead of being one harmonious whole would be but a Tower of Babel. This harmony can be kept only by the working of the Immutable Laws of Nature. And if the Laws of Nature are Immutable, they must be blind and require no guidance.**Allowance must be made all through for a lack of complete knowledge of the English language. What is here meant is that the inherent impulse acts according to its own laws without any extra-cosmic power meddling with it as a guide. – EDITOR [Damodar himself appends a similar note at this point in the Letter where it appears in The Theosophist, and calls the attention of the reader to his article ”The Metaphysical Basis of Esoteric Buddhism.” See Chapter II of this volume. – EDS.]
Hence the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity is impossible. This, as far as I can understand, is the Chief teaching and principle of Aryan Philosophy. The Aryan and the Shemite Philosophies differ from each other in this fundamental Idea, viz., that while the former is pantheistic, i. e., not acknowledging the existence of an extra-cosmical God, the latter is Monotheistic, i. e., admitting the existence of an intelligent Creator existing outside the cosmos. How far either of this is true I cannot say. But, as I think the former to be a logical position while the latter merely a matter of blind faith, I accept the former. Now some of the Pantheists recognise the existence of two distinct existences, viz., Matter and Spirit. But thinking deeply over the Subject has led me to the conclusion that this position is not quite logical. For, as far as I can understand, there can be but one Infinite Existence and not two. Call it either Matter or Spirit, anything you like, but it is one and the same. For who can say that this is Spirit and this is Matter? Can you draw any where a line between the two? Take an instance. Ice is a gross form of matter. Suppose it is a little rarefied, you will have water, which you will still call matter. Higher still, you have vapour, but it is still matter. Higher again, it becomes atmosphere, but still it is matter. Furthermore, it becomes ether, but still it is matter, and thus you may go ad infinitum. Thus becoming more and more sublimated it will reach its climax of the process of spiritualization. But still it does not become nothing. For if it does, there must come a time when the whole Universe will be nothing. If it is so, it is not infinite as it has an end. If it has an end, it must have a beginning. If it had a beginning, it must have been created and thus we must asssume the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity, which, as said above, is not a logical position. Then we thus find logically that this highest sublimated form of matter cannot be nothing. In this case matter has reached that climax of Sublimation or Spiritualization when any further action would make it grosser, not finer. What is commonly understood by the word ”Spirit” then is nothing but that highly etherealized form of matter which we with our finite senses can not comprehend. But it is still matter in as much as it is still something and liable to be grosser. Some argue that these terms are adopted to signify the two extreme conditions of matter. But then I can not with my finite senses comprehend where you can draw the line between Matter and Spirit. And the gradations being infinite, I give up this task as hopeless for me, an imperfect finite being. Well then, there is only one eternal Infinite Existence, call it either Spirit or Matter. I will however designate it by the latter name as that term is most suited in its common understanding for what I am to state. Matter, as you know, we call Maya. Now some say that Matter, when assuming form and shape and being temporary, is illusion and therefore does not really exist. But I do not agree there. In my opinion – and such is that of every rational metaphysician – it is the only Existence. And it is called Maya simply on account of these Transformations. It is never steady. The Process is ever working. The one Infinite Agglomeration of matter is in some of its modes becoming grosser and grosser, while, in others, becoming more and more sublimated. The Circle is ever turning its round. Nothing goes out of that Circle. Every thing is kept within its bounds by the action of the Centripetal and the Centrifugal Forces. The forms are changing but the Inner substance remains the same. You will naturally ask what is the use of our being good or bad, if Nature has her own course? Our souls will be etherealised in their proper time? But then, what is a Soul? Is it material or immaterial? Well it is material for me as there is nothing immaterial as said above. Then what is it? Well, as far as I can think, it is an agglomeration of all the attributes together with that something which gives us the consciousness that we are. And just as Thought is Matter, so is every attribute Matter. It might be then asked, will not our souls be etherealised in their proper turn? Well, then take here again the instance of Ice. It is the grossest form of matter. We say it then becomes water. But will it be so unless it comes in contact with heat? Decidedly not. The action of the Centripetal Force is strong and it keeps up together the particles of Ice. It requires the action of Centrifugal Force, which is done by the supply of heat. If that piece of Ice be left in a cold place it will remain so until by accident Sun's rays might penetrate there or in some such way heat might be supplied. Just so then with man. The action of the Centripetal Force keeps us to our gross forms. And if we have to etherealise ourselves we must supply the Centrifugal Force, which is our WILL. And this is the first principle of OCCULTISM. Just as the etherealisation of our Souls is the result of the action of our Will, so is everything else the result of something else. The action of the working of the Circle of Matter is regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect. Nothing can be without it. And everything is at the same time in itself a Cause and an Effect. Take, for instance, heat. It is the cause of the melting of ice into water and at the same time it is the result of some other force. It did not come out of nothing. Then, how can we etherealise ourselves? By studying the action of Causes and Effects and acting accordingly. Or, in other words, by obtaining knowledge of the Forces of Nature – in one word, by studying occultism. You might ask, Can we not rise higher and higher without being Occultists? I reply, decidedly not to that extent to which an Occultist will rise. You will simply desire to rise higher? Well, as said above, this is only the first principle of occultism. And just as one step leads you to certain progress, more Knowledge will lead you to a greater progress; for every result must be in proportion to the cause producing it. As said above the action of matter is always going on. And we are every instant emitting and attracting various atoms of matter. Now a person who is not an occultist will have various desires and unconsciously to himself he will produce a Cause which will attract to him such atoms of matter as are not suited for his higher progress. The same way, when he is emitting others, he may give them such a tendency that they will mix with others evilly inclined and thus other Individualities which are thus formed will have to suffer for no fault of theirs. While an Occultist directs both. He is the Master of the Situation. He is not guided by the blind Forces of Nature. He guides them. And by knowing their action, he produces such conditions as are favourable to his attaining ”Nirvana.”* [*It is said that Buddha attained to Nirvana before he left this earth, hence he was always free.] But what is Nirvana? By Nirvana I do not mean any locality but a state. It is that condition in which we are so etherealised that instead of being merely a mode of the one Infinite Existence as at present, we are merged into Totality or we become THE WHOLE. There is also another reason why an advanced occultist is superior to one who merely is content with the first step mentioned above. The more he studies and understands the action of the Forces of Nature, the more is he in a position to benefit Humanity. While the one is merely content with his own advancement – the other one, the advanced occultist, places his happiness in the good of Humanity which he practically assists and benefits. Perhaps you might ask that as the Universe is evolving, there must come a time when this process of evolution must cease and involution begin; and when the latter process has done her course, everything will be in Nirvana; and therefore what is the use of troubling oneself with the study of Occultism, etc., if we can be just as well in that state? But then there are two reasons why we should do it. The first is, we do not know when the process of involution will begin and perhaps millions and billions of years might pass before everything is in Nirvana, and who knows through how many transformations we may have to pass, for, as said above, Matter is never steady but is ever changing forms. A practical occultist reaches that state in a comparatively very short time. The other reason is – When everything will be in Nirvana, it will not be me that attains Nirvana. And here I must state I believe that a man can attain Nirvana only in this life and no other. If I do not go to Nirvana some time after death, where do I go in the end, you will naturally ask? My reply is that if I do not keep up my Individuality, I lose it. My Ego remains; but my Individuality is lost. I lose that something which at present furnishes to me the consciousness that I am Damodar, that I exist as such. My Spiritual Soul or Ego if pure and good may be ethrealised and reach Nirvana state but it will no longer be the Individuality of Damodar that will attain that state. Therefore I must keep up that Individuality until I reach Nirvana state. And how to do it is taught by occultism. I did not come out of Nothing. The particles of which I am formed have always existed, and yet I do not know in what form they existed before. Probably they have passed through millions or billions of Transformations.* [*That all the particles of the matter of our universe have passed through millions of transformations, and been in every sort of form, is an old assertion of the Adepts. H. P. B. in Isis Unveiled, and the Secret Doctrine points this out as showing how the Adept may use matter, and it will also bear upon the protean shapes the astral matter may assume.] And why do I not know it now? Because I did not retain my Individuality. I did not supply the action of the Force that would not have allowed the disintegration of my Individuality.* [*This word is used to mean the personalities; the person in any birth. Since the letter was written, individuality is much used to mean the indestructible part.] Occultism furnishes that Key. And if I act up accordingly I may attain Nirvana. But then I shall not be eternally in that state. For it is unjust that the actions of a few years should be rewarded or punished eternally. At the most, how long can a human life last? Not more than four hundred years. Would it then be just that my actions of so short a period should be punished or rewarded eternally? For what are even billions of years compared to eternity? Well, then you might say what is the use of our attaining Nirvana if we are to come back again? The reasons are twofold. The first is – I shall be in Nirvana for some time, so long as the action of the Force keeps me there, or, in other words, I shall be there until the completion of the result of my endeavours to attain it, the effect being always in proportion to the Cause. Here again you might ask, but can we not keep up this process ad infinitum? Certainly you can not, because the Law of Exhaustion must assert itself.* [*If this be right – and I agree with it – Nirvana has to come to an end, just as Devachan must; and being ended, the individual must return to some manifested plane or world for further work. – EDITOR] Everything you do must be to the detriment of another, or, in other words, you exhaust a certain amount of Energy to produce a certain Result. The other reason is that while you are passing through this process of etherealisation you all along give a certain tendency to the particles of which you are formed. This tendency will always assert itself and thus in every Cycle, i. e., in each Circle of your transformation or Re-incarnation, you will have the same advantages which you can always utilise to be soon free, and, by remaining longer in Nirvana State than the generality of Humanity, you are comparatively free.* [*The comparison made is with the general run of men in all races. They are not free at any time. In the writer's opinion there is a certain amount of freedom in being in Nirvana; but he refers to other and secret doctrines which he does not explain. – EDITOR] So every consciousness which has been once fully developed must disintegrate if not preserved by the purity of its successive Egos till the attainment of Nirvana State. Now I believe that the full development of my consciousness as Damodar is possible only upon this earth* and therefore should a person die before his consciousness is developed, he must be reborn on this earth. And this is possible only in two states, viz., if one dies in childhood, or as a congenital idiot. Or there is a third state possible, which is this. Suppose I am studying Occultism and I reach a certain stage where I am able to retain my Individuality suppose my body should be incapacitated for my practical purposes. Then with my Knowledge I can choose any body I like, for, as I said above, Nirvana State is possible of attainment only in this earthly life. I may be in any other body, but my Individuality will be the same as now and I shall know myself as Damodar.*This has always been accepted, that only on earth could we unify the great potential trinity in each, so that we are conscious of the union, and that when that is done, and not before, we may triumph over all illusions, whether of name or form, place or time, or any other. – EDITOR [It is interesting to note that in the sentence in the text to which this note is appended, Mr. Judge in his Path publication uses the name Krishna instead of Damodar, as also at the end of the paragraph. This same substitution is found in The Theosophist article, which seems to indicate that Damodar himself may have suggested the change. – EDS]
And now I suppose this is sufficient for you. It is very difficult to put such ideas on paper, for the process is tedious. Such things are to be understood intuitionally and therefore our conceptions of them are more ethereal. The first thing I have to do is to materialise my thought, put it into shape and then write down. I have also to think of the objections that might be naturally raised. And therefore in such matters I find it easier to discuss orally than write or speak. I must have missed many points but I have given you the principal ideas so that you may put your questions and I will be most happy to answer them. I must however ask you to hold me alone responsible for any mistakes. I have merely read ”Isis Unveiled” and heard H. P. B. talk often with others as also The Higher Powers on some few occasions. I have got hints from them. But the subsequent working is entirely of my own making. If you think it good and correct, all credit is due to them – our Brothers – for having got the hints from them and H. P. B. If there are any mistakes, the whole fault rests entirely with me for not having properly understood their teachings. And this would but show that I am greatly lacking in my intuition.
You ask me what my opinion about the West is? Well, to be candid, I can not think very highly of a Theosophical Society that can not go on without the child's toy of a ritual! This very fact itself proves to me that the West is not
[Here the MS. ends abruptly, but it is evident that at most a paragraph or two only have been lost. – EDS.]
A Hindu Chela's DiaryNOTES ON ”A HINDU CHELA'S DIARY”The series called ”A Hindu Chela's Diary” was published by William Q. Judge in four parts in The Path, beginning in June, 1886. It was a specially attractive and significant feature in his then recently started magazine, and has commanded the attention of earnest Theosophical aspirants for light and wisdom ever since. It contains rare glimpses of the relationship between an 'accepted chela' and his Guru described as plainly as was permissible by one who was receiving instruction while living a normal and very busy life in the outer world.W. Q. Judge did not publish the name of the Hindu chela whose experiences are described in the 'Diary,' but from the Letters addressed to Judge and preserved in the archives of the Theosophical Society (Point Loma) which are reproduced in Chapter V of this volume, it is clear that the chela was none other than Damodar K. Mavalankar.Comparison of the contents of the above-mentioned letters with the contents of the 'Diary' shows that the latter was far more than a mere record of certain events in their natural order. It was a piece of skilful literary workmanship, in which facts described in the letters and others not mentioned therein were woven into a record of enthralling interest. Certain incidents described in the 'Diary' are omitted or only casually referred to in the letters, and vice versa.In regard to the authorship, the letters are of course by Damodar, and are plain statements of fact, including the real names of persons mentioned written as from one chela to another with open heart and profound sincerity and impersonality. As to the 'Diary,' we have no definite evidence of authorship. It may have been written entirely by Damodar from his own recollections modified sufficiently to conceal his personality, but it seems more likely that W. Q. Judge compiled and reconstructed the material supplied by Damodar, for at the end of the 'Diary' the editor (”Trans.”) says he was left with discretion to give out certain matters. Probably there was another letter (or letters) now lost, from which Judge derived information, because Damodar refers in one place to a fact (the Council Room) evidently familiar to Judge but not previously mentioned in the letters. W. Q. Judge received the letters more than five years before he published the 'Diary.' Damodar says on January 24, 1880, that he was admitted into the Society about six months earlier, and the writer of the 'Diary' says that it is about seven months since he began to listen to Kunala. Who was Kunala?This leads to the question of identification of the Hindu names given in the 'Diary' with the names given in the letters, an easy task in nearly every case.”A certain X,” living at Benares was Maji or Majji. Swamiji K. was Pandit Dayanand Saraswati Swamiji. Vishnurama was Pandit Mohunlal Vishnulal Pandea. The English 'officer' is A. P. Sinnett. The Rest House ”in B.” is in Ceylon. Kunala is certainly H. P. Blavatsky, but the name also appears in connection with some occult experiences in Ceylon, where 'Kunala' appears to have been overshadowed by, or at least taken on the appearance of, one of the Masters, probably the Mahatman Morya, H. P. Blavvatsky's Guru, who is said to spend much of his time in Ceylon. 'Nilakant' in one place is also H. P. Blavatsky, but in the other two references may be Damodar himself. The latter are the two occult letters received by the chela. They are prefaced by the word 'Nilakant' as if addressing him by name. – C. J. RYAN
A Hindu Chela's DiaryThe original MS. of this Diary as far as it goes is in our possession. The few introductory lines are by the friend who communicated the matter to us. – [ED.]
In the month of December he arrived at Benares, on what he hoped would be his last pilgrimage. As much as I am able to decipher of this curious manuscript, written in a mixture of Tamil – the South Indian language – with Mahratta, which, as you know, is entirely dissimilar, shows that he had made many pilgrimages to India's sacred places, whether by mere impulse or upon actual direction, I know not. If he had been only any ordinary religiously disposed Hindu we might be able to come to some judgment hereupon, for the pilgrimages might have been made in order to gain merit, but as he must long ago have risen above the flowery chains of even the Vedas, we cannot really tell for what reason these journeys were made. Although, as you know, I have long had possession of these papers, the time had not until now seemed ripe to give them out. He had, when I received them, already long passed away from these busy scenes to those far busier, and now I give you liberty to print the fragmentary tale without description of his person. These people are, you know, not disposed to have accurate descriptions of themselves floating about. They being real disciples, never like to say that they are, a manner quite contrary to that of those famed professors of occult science who opportunely or inopportunely declare their supposed chelaship from the house top.
* * * ”Twice before have I seen these silent temples standing by the rolling flood of sacred Ganges. They have not changed, but in me what changes have occurred! And yet that cannot be, for the I changeth not, but only the veil wrapped about, is either torn away or more closely and thickly folded round to the disguising of the reality. * * * It is now seven months since I began to use the privilege of listening to Kunala. Each time before, that I came to see him, implacable fate drove me back. It was Karma, the just law, which compels when we would not, that prevented me. Had I faltered then and returned to the life then even so far in the past, my fate in this incarnation would have been sealed – and he would have said nothing. Why? Happy was I that I knew the silence would have not indicated in him any loss of interest in my welfare, but only that the same Karma prevented interference. Very soon after first seeing him I felt that he was not what he appeared exteriorly to be. Then the feeling grew into a belief within a short time so strong that four or five times I thought of throwing myself at his feet and begging him to reveal himself to me. But I thought that was useless, as I knew that I was quite impure and could not be trusted with that secret. If I remained silent I thought that he would confide to me whenever he found me worthy of it. I thought he must be some great Hindu Adept who had assumed that illusionary form. But there this difficulty arose, for I knew that he received letters from various relatives in different parts, and this would compel him to practice the illusion all over the globe, for some of those relatives were in other countries, where he had been too. Various explanations suggested themselves to me. * * * I was right in my original conception of Kunala that he is some great Indian Adept. Of this subject I constantly talked with him since ––- although I fear I am not, and perhaps shall not be in this life worthy of their company. My inclination has always been in this direction. I always thought of retiring from this world and giving myself up to devotion. To Kunala I often expressed this intention, so that I might study this philosophy, which alone can make man happy in this world. But then he usually asked me what I would do there alone? He said that instead of gaining my object I might perhaps become insane by being left alone in the jungles with no one to guide me; that I was foolish enough to think that by going into the jungles I could fall in with an adept; and that if I really wanted to gain my object I should have to work in the reform in and through which I had met so many good men and himself also, and when the Higher Ones, whom I dare not mention by any other names, were satisfied with me they themselves would call me away from the busy world and teach me in private. And when I foolishly asked him many times to give me the names and addresses of some of those Higher Ones he said once to me: 'One of our Brothers has told me that as you are so much after me I had better tell you once for all that I have no right to give you any information about them, but if you go on asking Hindus you meet what they know about the matter you might hear of them, and one of those Higher Ones may perhaps throw himself in your way without your knowing him, and will tell you what you should do.' These were orders, and I knew I must wait, and still I knew that through Kunala only would I have my object fulfilled. * * *
”I then asked one or two of my own countrymen, and one of them said he had seen two or three such men, but that they were not quite what he thought to be 'Raj Yogs.' He also said he had heard of a man who had appeared several times in Benares, but that nobody knew where he lived. My disappointment grew more bitter, but I never lost the firm confidence that Adepts do live in India and can still be found among us. No doubt too there are a few in other countries, else why had Kunala been to them. * * * In consequence of a letter from Vishnurama, who said that a certain X [I find it impossible to decipher this name] lived in Benares, and that Swamiji K knew him. However, for certain reasons I could not address Swamiji K directly, and when I asked him if he knew X he replied: ”If there be such a man here at all he is not known.” Thus evasively on many occasions he answered me, and I saw that all my expectations in going to Benares were only airy castles. I thought I had gained only the consolation that I was doing a part of my duty. So I wrote again to Nilakant: ”As directed by you I have neither let him know what I know of him nor what my own intentions are. He seems to think that in this I am working to make money, and as yet I have kept him in the dark as regards myself, and am myself groping in the dark. Expecting enlightenment from you, etc.” * * * The other day Nilakant came suddenly here and I met Sw. K. and him together, when to my surprise K at once mentioned X, saying he knew him well and that he often came to see him, and then he offered to take us there. But just as we were going, arrived at the place an English officer who had done Kunala a service in some past time. He had in some way heard of X and was permitted to come. Such are the complications of Karma. It was absolutely necessary that he should go too, although no doubt his European education would never permit him to more than half accept the doctrine of Karma, so interwoven backward and forwards in our lives, both those now, that past and that to come. At the interview with X, I could gain nothing, and so we came away. The next day came X to see us. He never speaks of himself, but as 'this body.' He told me that he had first been in the body of a Fakir, who, upon having his hand disabled by a shot he received while he passed the fortress of Bhurtpore, had to change his body and choose another, the one he was now in. A child of about seven years of age was dying at that time, and so, before the complete physical death, this Fakir had entered the body and afterwards used it as his own. He is, therefore, doubly not what he seems to be. As a Fakir he had studied Yoga science for 65 years, but that study having been arrested at the time he was disabled, leaving him unequal to the task he had to perform, he had to choose this other one. In his present body he is 53 years, and consequently the inner X is 118 years old. * * * In the night I heard him talking with Kunala, and found that each had the same Guru, who himself is a very great Adept, whose age is 300 years, although in appearance he seems to be only 40. [there is a peculiarity in this, that all accounts of Cagliostro, St. Germain and other Adepts, give the apparent age as forty only. – [ED.]] He will in a few centuries enter the body of a Kshatriya [the warrior caste of India] and do some great deeds for India, but the time had not yet come.”
”Yesterday I went with Kunala to look at the vast and curious temples left here by our forefathers. Some are in ruins, and others only showing the waste of time. What a difference between my appreciation of these buildings now, with Kunala to point out meanings I never saw, and that which I had when I saw them upon my first pilgrimage, made so many years ago with my father.” * * * * *
A large portion of the MS. here, although written in the same characters as the rest, has evidently been altered in some way by the writer, so as to furnish clues meant for himself. It might be deciphered by a little effort, but I must respect his desire to keep those parts of it which are thus changed, inviolate. It seems that some matters are here jotted down relating to secret things, or at least, to things that he desired should not be understood at a glance. So I will write out what small portion of it as might be easily told without breaking any confidences.
It is apparent that he had often been before to the holy city of Benares, and had merely seen it as a place of pilgrimage for the religious. Then, in his sight, those famous temples were only temples. But now he found, under the instruction of Kunala, that every really ancient building in the whole collection had been constructed with the view to putting into imperishable stone, the symbols of a very ancient religion. Kunala, he says, told him, that although the temples were made when no supposition of the ordinary people of those eras leaned toward the idea that nations could ever arise who would be ignorant of the truths then universally known, or that darkness would envelop the intellect of men, there were many Adepts then well known to the rulers and to the people. They were not yet driven by inexorable fate to places remote from civilization, but lived in the temples, and while not holding temporal power, they exercised a moral sway which was far greater than any sovereignty of earth.* And they knew that the time would come when the heavy influence of the dark age would make men to have long forgotten even that such beings had existed, or that any doctrines other than the doctrine based on the material rights of mine and thine, had ever been held. If the teachings were left simply to either paper or papyrus or parchment, they would be easily lost, because of that decay which is natural to vegetable or animal membrane. But stone lasts, in an easy climate, for ages. So these Adepts, some of them here and there being really themselves Maha Rajahs, (King or Ruler) caused the temples to be built in forms, and with such symbolic ornaments, that future races might decipher doctrines from them. In this, great wisdom, he says, is apparent, for to have carved them with sentences in the prevailing language would have defeated the object, since languages also change, and as great a muddle would have resulted as in the case of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, unless a key stone had also been prepared; but that itself might be lost, or in its own turn be unintelligible. The ideas underneath symbols do not alter, no matter what might be the language, and symbols are clear immortally, because they are founded in nature itself. In respect to this part of the matter, he writes down that Kunala informed him that the language used then was not Sanscrit, but a far older one now altogether unknown in the world.*In the ancient Aztec civilization in Mexico, the Sacerdotal order was very numerous. At the head of the whole establishment were two high priests, elected from the order, solely for their qualifications, as shown by their previous conduct in a subordinate station. They were equal in dignity and inferior only to the sovereign, who rarely acted without their advice in weighty matters of private concern. (Sahagun Hist. de Nueva Espana, lib. 2; lib. 3 cap. 9 – Torq. Mon. Ind. lib. 8 cap. 20; lib. 9, cap. 3, 56; cited by Prescott in vol. 1, Conq. Mex. p. 66).
From a detached sentence in the MS., it is shadowed out that Kunala referred to a curious building put up many years ago in another part of India and now visible, by which he illustrated the difference between an intelligent construction and unintelligent one. This building was the product of the brain of a Chandala [a low caste man, e. g., a sweeper. Such a building can now be seen at Bijapur, India. – ED.], who had been enriched through a curious freak. The Rajah had been told upon some event occurring, by his astrologers, that he must give an immense sum of money to the first person he saw next day, they intending to present themselves at an early hour. Next day, at an [un]usually early season, the Rajah arose, looked out of the window, and beheld this Chandala. Calling his astrologers and council together and the poor sweeper into his presence, he presented him with lacs upon lacs of rupees, and with the money the Chandala built a granite building having immense monolithic chains hanging down from its four corners. Its only symbology was, the change of the chains of fate; from poor low caste to high rich low caste. Without the story the building tells us nothing.
But the symbols of the temple, not only those carved on them, but also their conjuncture, need no story nor knowledge of any historical events. Such is the substance of what he writes down as told him by Kunala. He says also that this symbology extends not only to doctrines and cosmology, but also to laws of the human constitution, spiritual and material. The explanation of this portion, is contained in the altered and cryptic parts of the MS. He then goes on:
* * * ”Yesterday, just after sunset, while Kunala and X were talking, Kunala suddenly seemed to go into an unusual condition, and about ten minutes afterwards a large quantity of malwa flowers fell upon us from the ceiling.
”I must now go to ––– and do that piece of business which he ordered done. My duty is clear enough, but how am I to know if I shall perform it properly. * * * When I was there and after I had finished my work and was preparing to return here, a wandering fakir met me and asked if he could find from me the proper road to Karli. I directed him, and he then put to me some questions that looked as if he knew what had been my business; he also had a very significant look upon his face, and several of his questions were apparently directed to getting me to tell him a few things Kunala had told me just before leaving Benares with an injunction of secrecy. The questions did not on the face show that, but were in the nature of inquiries regarding such matters, that if I had not been careful, I would have violated the injunction. He then left me saying: 'you do not know me but we may see each other.' * * * I got back last night and saw only X, to whom I related the incident with the fakir, and he said that, 'it was none other than Kunala himself using that fakir's body who had said those things, and if you were to see that fakir again he would not remember you and would not be able to repeat his questions, as he was for the time being taken possession of for the purpose, by Kunala, who often performs such things.' I then asked him if in that case Kunala had really entered the fakir's body, as I have a strange reluctance toward asking Kunala such questions, and X replied that if I meant to ask if he had really and in fact entered the fakir's person, the answer was no, but that if I meant to ask if Kunala had overcome that fakir's senses, substituting his own, the answer was, yes; leaving me to make my own conclusions. * * * I was fortunate enough yesterday to be shown the process pursued in either entering an empty body, or in using one which has its own occupant. I found that in both cases it was the same, and the information was also conveyed that a Bhut [an obsessing astral shell; the Hindus consider them to be the reliquiae of deceased persons. – ED.] goes through just the same road in taking command of the body or senses of those unfortunate women of my country who sometimes are possessed by them. And the Bhut also sometimes gets into possession of a part only of the obsessed person's body, such as an arm or a hand, and this they do by influencing that part of the brain that has relation with that arm or hand; in the same way with the tongue and other organs of speech. With any person but Kunala I would not have allowed my own body to be made use of for the experiment. But I felt perfectly safe, that he would not only let me in again, but also that he would not permit any stranger, man or gandharba [nature spirit or elemental], to come in after him. We went to ––- and he * * The feeling was that I had suddenly stepped out into freedom. He was beside me and at first I thought he had but begun. But he directed me to look, and there on the mat I saw my body, apparently unconscious. As I looked * * * the body of myself, opened its eyes and arose. It was then superior to me, for Kunala's informing power moved and directed it. It seemed to even speak to me. Around it, attracted to it by those magnetic influences, wavered and moved astral shapes, that vainly tried to whisper in the ear or to enter by the same road. In vain! They seemed to be pressed away by the air or surroundings of Kunala. Turning to look at him, and expecting to see him in a state of samadhi, he was smiling as if nothing, or at the very most, but a part, of his power had been taken away * * * another instant and I was again myself, the mat felt cool to my touch, the bhuts were gone, and Kunala bade me rise.
”He has told me to go to the mountains of ––- where ––- and ––- usually live, and that even if I were not to see any body the first time, the magnetized air in which they live would do me much good. They do not generally stop in one place, but always shift from one place to another. They, however, all meet together on certain days of the year in a certain place near Bhadrinath, in the northern part of India. He reminded me that as India's sons are becoming more and more wicked, those adepts have gradually been retiring more and more toward the north, to the Himalaya mountains. * * * Of what a great consequence is it for me to be always with Kunala. And now X tells me this same thing that I have always felt. All along I have felt and do still feel strongly that I have been once his most obedient and humble disciple in a former existence. All my hopes and future plans are therefore centred in him. My journey therefore to up country has done me one good, that of strengthening my belief, which is the chief foundation on which the grand structure is to be built. * * * As I was walking past the end of Ramalinga's compound holding a small lamp of European make, and while there was no wind, the light three several times fell low. I could not account for it. Both Kunala and X were far away. But in another moment, the light suddenly went out altogether, and as I stopped, the voice of revered Kunala, who I supposed was many miles away, spoke to me, and I found him standing there. For one hour we talked; and he gave me good advice, although I had not asked it – thus it is always that when I go fearlessly forward and ask for nothing I get help at an actual critical moment – he then blessed me and went away. Nor could I dare to look in what direction. In that conversation, I spoke of the light going down and wanted an explanation, but he said I had nothing to do with it. I then said I wanted to know, as I could explain it in two ways, viz: 1st, that he did it himself, or 2d, that some one else did it for him. He replied, that even if it were done by somebody else, no Yogee will do a thing unless he sees the desire in another Yogee's mind.* The significance of this drove out of my mind all wish to know who did it, whether himself, or an elemental or another person, for it is of more importance for me to know even a part of the laws governing such a thing, than it is to know who puts those laws into operation. Even some blind concatenation of nature might put such natural forces in effect in accordance with the same laws, so that a knowledge that nature did it would be no knowledge of any consequence.* This sentence is of great importance. The Occidental mind delights much more in effects, personalities and authority, than in seeking for causes, just as many Theosophists have with persistency sought to know when and where Madame Blavatsky did some feat in magic, rather than in looking for causes or laws governing the production of phenomena. In this italicized sentence is the clue to many things, for those who can see. – [ED.][A footnote to the title of the section appearing in The Path for August, 1886, reads: ”In reply to several inquiries as to the meaning of Chela, we answer that it here means an accepted disciple of an Adept. The word, in general, means, Disciple.” – EDS.]
”I have always felt and still feel strongly that I have already once studied this sacred philosophy with Kunala, and that I must have been, in a previous life, his most obedient and humble disciple. This must have been a fact, or else how to account for the feelings created in me when I first met him, although no special or remarkable circumstances were connected with that event. All my hopes and plans are centred in him, and nothing in the world can shake my confidence in him especially when several of my Brahmin acquaintances tell me the same things without previous consultation. * *
”I went to the great festival of Durga yesterday, and spent nearly the whole day looking in the vast crowd of men, women, children and mendicants for some of Kunala's friends, for he once told me to never be sure that they were not near me, but I found none who seemed to answer my ideas. As I stood by the ghaut at the river side thinking that perhaps I was left alone to try my patience, an old and apparently very decrepit Bairagee plucked my sleeve and said: 'Never expect to see any one, but always be ready to answer if they speak to you; it is not wise to peer outside of yourself for the great followers of Vasudeva: look rather within.'
”This amazed me, as I was expecting him to beg or to ask me for information. Before my wits returned, he had with a few steps mingled with a group of people, and in vain searched I for him: he had disappeared. But the lesson is not lost.
”To-morrow I return to I–––.
”Very wearying indeed in a bodily sense was the work of last week and especially of last evening, and upon laying down on my mat last night after continuing work far into the night I fell quickly sound asleep. I had been sleeping some hour or two when with a start I awoke to find myself in perfect solitude and only the horrid howling of the jackals in the jungle to disturb me. The moon was brightly shining and I walked over to the window of this European modeled house threw it open and looked out. Finding that sleep had departed, I began again on those palm leaves. Just after I had begun, a tap arrested my attention and I opened the door. Overjoyed was I then to see Kunala standing there, once more unexpected.
”'Put on your turban and come with me,' he said and turned away.
”Thrusting my feet into my sandals, and catching up my turban, I hurried after him, afraid that the master would get beyond me, and I remain unfortunate at losing some golden opportunity.
”He walked out into the jungle and turned into an unfrequented path. The jackals seemed to recede into the distance; now and then in the mango trees overhead, the flying foxes rustled here and there, while I could distinctly hear the singular creeping noise made by a startled snake as it drew itself hurriedly away over the leaves. Fear was not in my breast for master was in front. He at last came to a spot that seemed bare of trees, and bending down, seemed to press his hand into the grass. I then saw that a trap door or entrance to a stairway very curiously contrived, was there. Stairs went down into the earth. He went down and I could but follow. The door closed behind me, yet it was not dark. Plenty of light was there, but where it came from I cared not then nor can I now, tell. It reminded me of our old weird tales told us in youth of pilgrims going down to the land of the Devas where, although no sun was seen, there was plenty of light.
”At the bottom of the stairs was a passage. Here I saw people but they did not speak to me and appeared not to even see me although their eyes were directed at me. Kunala said nothing but walked on to the end, where there was a room in which were many men looking as grand as he does but two more awful, one of whom sat at the extreme end.”
* * * * *[Here there is a confused mass of symbols and ciphers which I confess I cannot decipher, and even if I had the ability to do so, I would check myself, because I surmise that it is his own way of jotting down for his own remembrance, what occurred in that room. Nor do I think that even a plain reading of it would give the sense to any one but the writer himself, for this reason, that it is quite evidently fragmentary. For instance, I find among the rest, a sort of notation of a division of states or planes: whether of consciousness, of animated, or of elemental life, I cannot tell – and in each division are hieroglyphs that might stand for animals, or denizens of the astral world, or for anything else – even for ideas only, so I will proceed at the place of his returning.]
”Once more I got out into the passage, but never to my knowledge went up those steps, and in a moment more was I again at my door. It was as I left it, and on the table I found the palm leaves as I dropped them, except that beside them was a note in Kunala's hand, which read:
” 'Nilakant – strive not yet to think too deeply on those things you have just seen. Let the lessons sink deep into your heart, and they will have their own fruition. Tomorrow I will see you.' * * * *
”What a very great blessing is mine to have had Kunala's company for so many days even as we went to –––. Very rarely however he said a few words of encouragement and good advice as to how I should go on. He seems to leave me as to that to pick my own way. This is right, I think, because otherwise one would never get any individual strength or power of discrimination. Happy were those moments, when alone at midnight, we then had conversation. How true I then found the words of the Agroushada Parakshai to be:” 'Listen while the Sudra sleeps like the dog under his hut, while the Vaysa dreams of the treasures that he is hoarding up, while the Rajah sleeps among his women. This is the moment when just men, who are not under the dominion of their flesh, commence the study of the sciences.' (See Agroushada Parakshai, 2d book, 23d dialogue.)
”The midnight hour must have powers of a peculiar nature. And I learned yesterday from glancing into an Englishman's book, that even those semi barbarians speak of that time as 'the witching hour,' and it is told me that among them 'witching' means to have magic power. * * *
”We stopped at the Rest House in B––- yesterday evening, but found it occupied and so we remained in the porch for the night. But once more I was to be blessed by another visit with Kunala to some of his friends whom I revere and who will I hope bless me too.
”When every one had quieted down he told me to go with him to the sea which was not far away. We walked for about three quarters of an hour by the seashore, and then entered as if into the sea. At first a slight fear came into me, but I saw that a path seemed to be there, although water was all around us. He in front and I following, we went for about seven minutes, when we came to a small island; on it was a building and on top of that a triangular light. From the sea shore, the island would seem like an isolated spot covered all over by green bushes. There is only one entrance to go inside. And no one can find it out unless the occupant wishes the seeker to find the way. On the island we had to go round about for some space before we came in front of the actual building. There is a little garden in front and there was sitting another friend of Kunala with the same expression of the eyes as he has. I also recognized him as one of those who was in the room underground. Kunala seated himself and I stood before them. We stayed an hour and saw a portion of the place. How very pleasant it is! And inside he has a small room where he leaves his body when he himself moves about in other places. What a charming spot, and what a delightful smell of roses and various sorts of flowers! How I should wish to visit that place often. But I cannot indulge in such idle dreams, nor in that sort of covetousness. The master of the place put his blessing hand upon my head, and we went away back to the Rest House and to the morrow full of struggles and of encounters with men who do not see the light, nor hear the great voice of the future; who are bound up in sorrow because they are firmly attached to objects of sense. But all are my brothers and I must go on trying to do the master's work which is only in fact the work of the Real Self which is All and in All.
”I have been going over that message I received just after returning from the underground room, about not thinking yet too deeply upon what I saw there, but to let the lessons sink deep into my heart. Can it be true – must it not indeed be true – that we have periods in our development when rest must be taken for the physical brain in order to give it time as a much less comprehensive machine than these English college professors say it is, to assimilate what it has received, while at the same time the real brain – as we might say, the spiritual brain – is carrying on as busily as ever all the trains of thought cut off from the head. Of course this is contrary to this modern science we hear so much about now as about to be introduced into all Asia, but it is perfectly consistent for me.
”To reconsider the situation: I went with Kunala to this underground place, and there saw and heard most instructive and solemn things. I return to my room and begin to puzzle over them all, to revolve and re-revolve them in my mind, with a view to clearing all up and finding out what all may mean. But I am interrupted by a note from Kunala directing me to stop this puzzling, and to let all I saw sink deep into my heart. Every word of his I regard with respect, and consider to hold a meaning, being never used by him with carelessness. So when he says, to let it sink into my 'heart,' in the very same sentence where he refers to my thinking part – the mind – why he must mean to separate my heart from my mind and to give to the heart a larger and greater power.
”Well, I obeyed the injunction, made myself, as far as I could, forget what I saw and what puzzled me and thought of other things. Presently, after a few days while one afternoon thinking over an episode related in the Vishnu Purana [an ancient Hindu book full of tales as well as doctrines], I happened to look up at an old house I was passing and stopped to examine a curious device on the porch; as I did this, it seemed as if either the device, or the house, or the circumstance itself, small as it was, opened up at once several avenues of thought about the underground room, made them all clear, showed me the conclusion as vividly as a well demonstrated and fully illustrated proposition, to my intense delight. Now could I perceive with plainness, that those few days which seemed perhaps wasted because withdrawn from contemplation of that scene and its lessons, had been with great advantage used by the spiritual man in unraveling the tangled skein, while the much praised brain had remained in idleness. All at once the flash came and with it knowledge [these flashes of thought are not unknown even in the scientific world, as, where in such a moment of lunacy, it was revealed to an English scientist, that there must be iron in the sun; and Edison gets his ideas thus. – [ED.]. But I must not depend upon these flashes, I must give the brain and its governor, the material to work with.
”Last night just as I was about to go to rest, the voice of Kunala called me from outside and there I went at once. Looking steadily at me he said: 'we want to see you,' and as he spoke he gradually changed, or disappeared, or was absorbed, into the form of another man with awe-inspiring face and eyes, whose form apparently rose up from the material of Kunala's body. At the same moment two others stood there also, dressed in the Tibetan costume; and one of them went into my room from which I had emerged. After saluting them reverently, and not knowing their object, I said to the greatest,
” 'Have you any orders to give?'
” 'If there are any they will be told to you without being asked,' he replied, 'stand still where you are.'
”Then he began to look at me fixedly. I felt a very pleasant sensation as if I was getting out of my body. I cannot tell now what time passed between that and what I am now to put down here. But I saw I was in a peculiar place. It was the upper end of ––- at the foot of the ––- range. Here was a place where there were only two houses just opposite to each other, and no other sign of habitation; from one of these came out the old faquir I saw at the Durga festival, but how changed, and yet the same: then so old, so repulsive; now so young, so glorious, so beautiful. He smiled upon me benignly and said:
”'Never expect to see anyone, but always be ready to answer if they speak to you; it is not wise to peer outside of yourself for the great followers of Vasudeva: look rather within.'
”The very words of the poor faquir!
”He then directed me to follow him.
”After going a short distance, of about half a mile or so, we came to a natural subterranean passage which is under the ––– range. The path is very dangerous; the River ––- flows underneath in all the fury of pent up waters, and a natural causeway exists upon which you may pass; only one person at a time can go there and one false step seals the fate of the traveller. Besides this causeway, there are several valleys to be crossed. After walking a considerable distance through this subterranean passage we came into an open plain in L–––K. There stands a large massive building thousands of years old. In front of it is a huge Egyptian Tau. The building rests on seven big pillars each in the form of a pyramid. The entrance gate has a large triangular arch, and inside are various apartments. The building is so large that I think it can easily contain twenty thousand people. Some of the rooms were shown to me.
”This must be the central place for all those belonging to the ––– class, to go for initiation and stay the requisite period.
”Then we entered the great hall with my guide in front. He was youthful in form but in his eyes was the glance of ages. * * * * The grandeur and serenity of this place strikes the heart with awe. In the centre was what we would call an altar, but it must only be the place where focuses all the power, the intention, the knowledge and the influence of the assembly. For the seat, or place, or throne, occupied by the chief –––- the highest ––––- has around it an indescribable glory, consisting of an effulgence which seemed to radiate from the one who occupied it. The surroundings of the throne were not gorgeous, nor was the spot itself in any way decorated – all the added magnificence was due altogether to the aura which emanated from Him sitting there. And over his head I thought I saw as I stood there, three golden triangles in the air above – Yes, they were there and seemed to glow with an unearthly brilliance that betokened their inspired origin. But neither they nor the light pervading the place, were produced by any mechanical means. As I looked about me I saw that others had a triangle, some two, and all with that peculiar brilliant light.”[Here again occurs a mass of symbols. It is apparent that just at this spot he desires to jot down the points of the initiation which he wished to remember. And I have to admit that I am not competent to elucidate their meaning. That must be left to our intuitions and possibly future experience in our own case.]
* * * * * *
”14th day of the new moon. The events of the night in the hall of initiation gave me much concern. Was it a dream? Am I self deluded? Can it be that I imagined all this? Such were the unworthy questions which flew behind each other across my mind for days after. Kunala does not refer to the subject and I cannot put the question. Nor will I. I am determined, that, come what will, the solution must be reached by me, or given me voluntarily.
”Of what use to me will all the teachings and all the symbols be, if I cannot rise to that plane of penetrating knowledge, by which I shall myself, by myself, be able to solve this riddle, and know to discriminate the true from the false and the illusory? If I am unable to cut asunder these questioning doubts, these bonds of ignorance, it is proof that not yet have I risen to the plane situated above these doubts. * * * * Last night after all day chasing through my mental sky, these swift destroyers of stability – mental birds of passage – I lay down upon the bed, and as I did so, into my hearing fell these words:
”'Anxiety is the foe of knowledge; like unto a veil it falls down before the soul's eye; entertain it, and the veil only thicker grows; cast it out, and the sun of truth may dissipate the cloudy veil.'
”Admitting that truth; I determined to prohibit all anxiety. Well I knew that the prohibition issued from the depths of my heart, for that was master's voice, and confidence in his wisdom, the self commanding nature of the words themselves, compelled me to complete reliance on the instruction. No sooner was the resolution formed, than down upon my face fell something which I seized at once in my hand. Lighting a lamp, before me was a note in the well known writing. Opening it, I read:
”'Nilakant. It was no dream. All was real, and more, that by your waking consciousness could not be retained, happened there. Reflect upon it all as reality, and from the slightest circumstance draw whatever lesson, whatever amount of knowledge you can. Never forget that your spiritual progress goes on quite often to yourself unknown. Two out of many hindrances to memory are anxiety and selfishness. Anxiety is a barrier constructed out of harsh and bitter materials. Selfishness is a fiery darkness that will burn up the memory's matrix. Bring then, to bear upon this other memory of yours, the peaceful stillness of contentment and the vivifying rain of benevolence.*' ” * * * *[*The careful student will remember that Jacob Boehme speaks of the ”harsh and bitter anguish of nature which is the principle that produces bones and all corporification.” So here the master, it appears, tells the fortunate chela, that in the spiritual and mental world, anxiety, harsh and bitter, raises a veil before us and prevents us from using our memory. He refers, it would seem, to the other memory above the ordinary. The correctness and value of what was said in this, must be admitted when we reflect that, after all, the whole process of development is the process of getting back the memory of the past. And that too is the teaching found in pure Buddhism as well also as in its corrupted form. – [ED.]
[I leave out here, as well as in other places, mere notes of journeys and various small matters, very probably of no interest.]
”In last month's passage across the hills near V––-, I was irresistibly drawn to examine a deserted building, which I first took for a grain holder, or something like that. It was of stone, square, with no openings, no windows, no door. From what could be seen outside, it might have been the ruins of a strong, stone foundation for some old building, gateway or tower. Kunala stood not far off and looked over it, and later on he asked me for my ideas about the place. All I could say, was, that although it seeed to be solid, I was thinking that perhaps it might be hollow.
”'Yes,' said he, 'it is hollow. It is one of the places once made by Yogees to go into deep trance in. If used by a chela (a disciple) his teacher kept watch over it so that no one might intrude. But when an adept wants to use it for laying his body away in while he travels about in his real, though perhaps to some unseen, form, other means of protection were often taken which were just as secure as the presence of the teacher of the disciple.' 'Well,' I said, 'it must be that just now no one's body is inside there.'
”'Do not reach that conclusion nor the other either. It may be occupied and it may not.'
”Then we journeyed on, while he told me of the benevolence of not only Brahmin Yogees, but also of Buddhist. No differences can be observed by the true disciple in any other disciple who is perhaps of a different faith. All pursue truth. Roads differ but the goal of all remains alike.”
* * * ”Repeated three times: 'Time ripens and dissolves all beings in the great self, but he who knows into what time itself is dissolved, he is the knower of the Veda.'
”What is to be understood, not only by this, but also by its being three times repeated?
”There were three shrines there. Over the door was a picture which I saw a moment, and which for a moment seemed to blaze out with light like fire. Fixed upon my mind its outlines grew, then disappeared, when I had passed the threshold. Inside, again its image came before my eyes. Seeming to allure me, it faded out, and then again returned. It remained impressed upon me, seemed imbued with life and intention to present itself for my own criticism. When I began to analyze it, it would fade, and then when I was fearful of not doing my duty or of being disrespectful to those beings, it returned as if to demand attention. Its description:
”A human heart that has at its centre a small spark – the spark expands and the heart disappears – while a deep pulsation seems to pass through me. At once identity is confused, I grasp at myself; and again the heart reappears with the spark increased to a large fiery space. Once more that deep movement; then sounds (7); they fade. All this in a picture? Yes! for in that picture there is life; there might be intelligence. It is similar to that picture I saw in Tibet on my first journey, where the living moon rises and passes across the view. Where was I? No, not afterwards! It was in the hall. Again that all pervading sound. It seems to bear me like a river. Then it ceased, – a soundless sound. Then once more the picture; here is Pranava [the mystic syllable OM. – [ED.]]. But between the heart and the Pranava is a mighty bow with arrows ready, and tightly strung for use. Next is a shrine, with the Pranava over it, shut fast, no key and no keyhole. On its sides emblems of human passions. The door of the shrine opens and I think within I will see the truth. No! another door? a shrine again. It opens too and then another, brightly flashing is seen there. Like the heart, it makes itself one with me. Irresistible desire to approach it comes within me, and it absorbs the whole picture.
”'Break through the shrine of Brahman; use the doctrine of the teacher.' ” [There is some reference here apparently to the Upanishad, for they contain a teacher's directions to break through all shrines until the last one is reached. – [ED.]][There is no connection here of this exhortation with any person, and very probably it is something that was said either by himself, in soliloquy, or by some voice or person to him.I must end here, as I find great rents and spaces in the notes. He must have ceased to put down further things he saw or did in his real inner life, and you will very surely agree, that if he had progressed by that time to what the last portions would indicate, he could not set down his reflections thereon, or any memorandum of facts. We, however, can never tell what was his reason. He might have been told not to do so, or might have lacked the opportunity.There was much all through these pages that related to his daily family life, not interesting to you; records of conversations; worldly affairs; items of money and regarding appointments, journeys and meetings with friends. But they show of course that he was all this time living through his set work with men, and often harassed by care as well as comforted by his family and regardful of them. All of that I left out, because I supposed that while it would probably interest you, yet I was left with discretion to give only what seemed to relate to the period marked at its beginning, by his meetings with M––-, and at the end by this last remarkable scene, the details of which we can only imagine. And likewise were of necessity omitted very much that is sufficiently unintelligible in its symbolism to be secure from revelation. Honestly have I tried to unlock the doors of the ciphers, for no prohibition came with their possession, but all that I could refine from its enfolding obscurity is given to you.As he would say, let us salute each other and the last shrine of Brahman; Om, hari, Om! TRANS.]
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