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Extracts from B.P. Wadia Letters

© 2001 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö 

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It was once explained: "There are those who labouring for the Cause come to love the Cause" (i.e., become wholly devoted to it and Those behind it). Then, "there are those who love the Cause and learn to labour for it, more and ever more." The Cause and the Masters are one; They and Their Teachings go together. Old chelas in new bodies love Masters and so learn anew, the Philosopliy called the Esoteric Philosophy – Gupta Vidya; new aspirants proceed from the Teachings to the Teachers. They cannot be separated. The Twelfth Chapter of the Gita gives the picture of the complete chela-devotee; it serves as a model for willing and determined aspirants. Effort counts; errors matter little. (See Voice, p. 68)

No one, not even a Divine Incarnation, can root out evil: but the Gurus point out the ways whereby it can be overcome. The real inner work of the Lodge of Masters is to affect the mind of the race by the reproclamation of old wisdom and as a result individuals transform themselves. It is the individual who rises to be the Adept, the rare efflorescence of any race and civilisation.

The Guru can but adjust the mind of the disciple; the latter must learn the real significance of that adjustment. Even to become a chela one must have already developed the right inner attitude and the right outer behaviour, appropriate to and required by Chelaship. The good man must be active and moral principles must be to the fore. Presently his tests and trials will begin and will make heavy demands upon his character. How will he fight?  That depends on his already developed moral stamina.

Real chelaship may be far off, but the Himalayas are not climbed in a day. Patiently we have to persevere. Devotion of the heart, vigilance of the head and piety of the hands – that is the triad we have to develop. Devotion flows when disturbances are absent from the mind; and they can be absent only when the mind looks to and attends to its real functions, finding positive expression in pious deeds, holy acts. This it is which makes all functions sacramental – outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace. Reflect on that triad; it has a fine potency.

Light on the Path has something that at this stage you will find useful; let your mind dwell on it: "The would-be disciple (we may say "lay chela") has to arouse himself by a fierce and resolute and indomitable effort of will." Any person can become a lay chela; he may feel in himself who his Master is, but in silence about this he has to labour for the Cause. If out of egotism he gives out his inner belief, or even faith, he will have taken the first step towards a failure. On the side of the Master, He of course knows, but He works in silence of His own. That, as far as lay-chelaship is concerned. Accepted chelaship is very different and implies knowledge on the part of the chela of his acceptance by his Guru.

Yes, the Master uses even the lay chela's Karma to draw out hidden forces of good as well as of evil. But the chela does not know, often does not even suspect this. Dispassion is the starting point. How each values and how each judges men matters and eve
nts is related to his inner attitude. Desirelessness at every turn implies our power to give the correct value to all these. It is not merely running away! In this the principle of "Resist not evil" and the higher resignation play important parts.

One need not be an actual accepted chela to experience all chela-life activities. The period of probation is preparation for accepted chelaship. Therefore we must theoreticallv live as if tomorrow we would be ready and willing to offer ourselves for chelaship. Take H.P.B.s article on Practical Occultism in which she quotes several Rules of Chelaship, e.g., about shaking hands, pet animals, etc. Now for us these are most difficult to practise, almost impossib
le. But we must know what is expected of us and so aim at right preparation, using discrimination. To use Viveka in practising Vairagya is one of our tests – now and here.

Now come to the next point: we are required to develop higher resignation, indifference, inward patience, etc.; to meet and pass our Karmas, saying, "This is what I desire and not only what I deserve"; to resist without resisting and to be trul
y brotherly. All this requires not only belief but faith, belief which is elevated into faith by true knowledge. Theosophy tells us about Masters' teaching pupils – we accept that mentally and theoretically; but how to apply it? If we develop nearness to the Great Teachers, and as a result of our study They become more and more real to us, we ultimately come to look upon our life – i.e., all our Karmas – as somehow related to Them. connected with Them. As we deepen our devotion and They begin to be a presence in all our tasks, at all our waking hours, as we begin to live dharmically in facing Karmas, we see how the feeling of Karma coming from Them naturally arises. There is strength in this attitude. We are not overpowered and overthrown by our weaknesses; also we are not puffed up by our merits. That is the line of reasoning I offer you for your consideration. It is, as you say, an  inspiring idea, and so what are you going to do with it? You may not have surrendered yourself, body and soul, to the Masters but are you not attempting a surrender? What means application in reference to the Path of Chelaship? Their Movement, in every age and cycle, deals with the Karmas of Humanity, and one striking variety in that Motion is the selection of chelas who are ready to become channels for Them.

I do not agree that we will need a long time to arrive at the stage of probationary chelaship. The whole tremendous effort of H.P.B. and her Mission would then become a fanciful plan. If  we, students, cannot apply the fundamental proposition that "All life is probationary" to our own incarnation, then her arrival on the stage of the world is robbed of serious meaning. Those Rules in Practical Occultism are purposely given; of course not for our present and immediate application but do they not enable us to make our mental and moral luggage ready – especially by discarding those pieces of the luggage which will prove a burden or worse? Remember that chelaship has grades – the probationer or the lay chela is the first and from there we proceed to the Adept-Chela ready to be "Initiated" and to become a Brother, a Member of the Great Fraternity. Now, the first stage has this for its fundamental and foundational principle: Live as a chela; overcome your own Karma; presently trials and tests will precipitate themselves; do not expect to see or hear from the Guru; cultivate the Self in the self. For this purpose instructions are given and what each should select for study, suitable to his temperament, is left to himself and in a sense constitutes his first test. In what is given is present work for future days and stages; the map of the road which we are walking and which is to be walked is offered and we should be thankful for it. Also, please remember that many grades of human Intelligences live and strive side bv side; milk for babes and meat for men are provided. Again mind-temperaments are numerous and provision is made for each. It is like a buffet supper; 20 dishes are offered; we can eat what we find suitable for us. Some eat what is tasty and get pain; some sample all 20 dishes and very probably go away hungry, dissatisfied and full of complaints!

The Theosophical Movement, september 1960, Vol 30, # 11, p 431.



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