Extracts from B.P.Wadia Letters
© 2005 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö
Steadfastness is an important quality. No doubt you will be cultivating it. Let nothing disturb you. Keep Masters alive in your heart. Their Teachings in your mind. Keep close to the Great. Ideas which nourish the embodied soul and purify it of all dross. Elation and depression must and will come like the heat of May and the cold of January, but it is we who feel heat and cold; in themselves heat and cold are natural conditions in the right place; so also with elation and depression and all other pairs of opposites. The very best antidote to these pairs is to be found in the 12th Chapter of the Gita – numerous pairs are mentioned and by rising above them Devotion, true Bhakti, results. Steadfastness is not possible without a deepening devotion.
So build your Inner Centre. Do not wait. Study and reflection, self-examination and right resolves daily considered will form that Centre. By all means go slow, but emphasize “go” not “slow”! Live in the Centre within, not only in hours of study and reflection, but try even when you are eating food, doing chores. Our food feels better to the tongue, our pots and pans shine brightly by an inner radiance of their own. Believe me, it is true that we can and should bring out the radiance inherent in every person, in every object and in every event. This enriches life, makes it good and beautiful and true.
All the time we must try to take whatever Time develops – the sweet with the sour and even the bitter. It is most annoying when trifles interrupt work, but that too has its value; our spiritual Will develops as we remain steady and calm and are able to turn from one to the other thing, to execute a duty and then to return to the previous one. Spiritual Will requires this and incidentally teaches us to look upon all jobs as of value, and from and through each Karma fulfils itself. Patience is a great virtue and is needed at every turn, almost every hour. Do not allow anything to cause annoyance in you. You are building a centre within yourself – a centre of thought, feeling and will in consciousness. Unless we stand the shock of outer impacts by the thousand we are not pukka fellows! This is a most important exercise and I know we fail a million time. So take care of the Inner Centre and do not allow things to ruffle you. Put your attention constantly on the Masters, the Great Gurus, who are so patient and forgiving with us personally and with the race as it goes through civilizations. Devotion to the Blessed and Holy Ones who are perfect has to be developed, and They watch with joy as we overcome our small foibles and weaknesses. And are these really small? So piety and patience as holding powers are essential. There is psychic cohesion and not only bodily. In the last chapter of the Gita there is something valuable for us on cohesion and steadfastness.
I find it more and more necessary to live within and to value the outer, including the body, at its true worth. We allow the without to affect us overmuch. “The world is too much with us” – there are some good things in Wordsworth. We must get hold of the within and make it a habit to establish truth and purity as bases for thought; from there we see and value the great without. That will be our firm position and the end in view should be to gaze still inwards and to the beyond where the Self is. More and more of this practice seems necessary not only to live as one should but also to serve as one should. We lip off and almost every five minutes we have to catch ourselves and bring ourselves to be the seeker and the seer within the brain-mind.
The one and only thing you can do under existing circumstances is to be firm in the inner position – the seat neither low nor high and the eyes fixed on Them. Study and work are not only your salvation and your protection; there is nothing else to do, without a bad fall which will cause injury. Be cheerful and let nothing daunt you. Resist without resisting. Your peculiar environment provides excellent opportunities to develop Vairagya within and thoroughness without. You may feel “imperfect” in your practice; are you? In what measure? Perfection is not there, granted; but persistency is the measuring stick. Vairagya in the mind and in the heart, in the small hourly affairs, will make your Inner Centre strong and then potent. Mundane things are mortal and will pass away, while we learn and grow through endurance. Higher carelessness, higher patience and higher resignation are the real roads to the Self, and before we reach It we meet Masters.
There is a bright side to every darkness. Each night is dark; but arising out of day it gives birth to another day. If we can but succeed in retaining our calm centre in mind as well as in heart! Trials and tribulations become helpers if we but remember their purpose in human evolution. We not only undervalue Nature’s gifts but do not recognize them as gifts. The blessed knowledge of Theosophy stirs us up but also proves a solace and a soothing grace.
Each one has a kind of heart shell in which he lives in a world of his own, and he often does not know the real outside world till the shell is broken and he can see the real world as it is, without any veils of delusion and illusion. Knowledge does it, but knowledge is not the final breaker of this shell. The real breaker of the heart shell is the accumulation of knowledge and the aspiration ot use that knowledge out of love for humankind. That is where devotion, even to a few people or a single individual, is of real help to the aspirant. This idea is an important one and a real one, because the outermost layer of the subtle body is very hard, like the skeleton of the physical body, and unless it is cracked and breaks open, our real vision into the inner worlds does not begin to function.
The Theosophical Movement,
November 1960, Vol 31, # 1, p 34.
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