The Sanskrit term “Buddhi” is very familiar to students of Theosophy. In the esoteric explanation of the Seven Principles or seven components of the human being, Buddhi is the second highest of these. Also termed the “Spiritual Soul,” it is described as being the vehicle for the direct radiation and influence of the divine Light of Atman, the latter being the Higher Self, pure eternal Spirit, the ONE Universal Self of all, which is the highest aspect of our being. In the article The Buddhi Principle are some of the main things the original Theosophical teachings have to say about Buddhi, which is not actually a great amount.
Far more has been said about the third highest of our Principles, Manas, the Mind Principle. Being dual in nature during our periods of physical incarnation, the Higher Manas – the pure, immortal, source-side of Manas – is closely linked in a transcendental way with Buddhi and thus is sometimes called Buddhi-Manas. The Lower Manas – the impure (though not necessarily “bad”), mortal, offshoot-side of Manas, surviving only for one lifetime, though going to influence the nature and characteristics of the new Lower Manas or personal self of the next – tends to gravitate downwards, unless efforts of self-discipline and mental self-mastery are undertaken, towards our Kama principle, the desire-passional nature, and hence is also known as the Kama-Manas. For more on these points from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, please see Understanding Our Seven Principles.
While some might assume that “Buddhi Yoga” is just a term invented by Theosophists, seeing as we speak so often of Buddhi, this is not the case at all. Those Theosophists who speak of Buddhi Yoga do so because it is an ancient term used by the Avatar, Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, in his teachings to Arjuna.
Buddhi Yoga – written in Sanskrit as just one word, transliterated as buddhiyoga – appears three times in the Bhagavad Gita, namely in 2:49, 10:10, and 18:57. As the Gita has 18 chapters, Buddhi Yoga is thus mentioned more or less at the beginning, the middle, and end. It is also both the first and the last specifically named form of Yoga to be mentioned by Krishna in the Gita, which has led some – some Hindus as well as some Theosophists – to conclude that the whole of the Bhagavad Gita is therefore really a treatise or exposition on Buddhi Yoga.
It literally means “Wisdom Yoga” (since “Buddhi” translates as “wisdom”) or “The Yoga of Wisdom,” union with the Divine through the cultivation and practice of spiritual wisdom. Translators of the Gita sometimes also render it as “The Yoga of Discrimination,” in the sense of “The Yoga of Discriminative Intelligence,” i.e. spiritual intelligence that is able to discriminate or discern between what is true and false, real and unreal, important and unimportant, etc. In William Q. Judge’s rendition of the Bhagavad Gita, the version most commonly in use in the United Lodge of Theosophists, “buddhiyoga” is translated as “mental devotion.” Judge’s version is based heavily on J. Cockburn Thomson’s 1855 translation and neither of them can actually be considered as entirely textually accurate or literal translations. It was Thomson who translated “buddhiyoga” as “mental devotion,” as he chose to translate the word “yoga” as “devotion” throughout, and this was copied in 1890 by Judge in the first ever Theosophical translation of the Gita. But although “mental devotion” is not an accurate literal translation, it does nonetheless accurately express part of the idea of what Buddhi Yoga is, as we will see elaborated on below.
Let’s take a look now at those verses:
Chapter 2, Verse 49
“Verily, action is far inferior to the discipline of wisdom (buddhiyoga).” (Raghavan Iyer translation, Concord Grove Press)
“Far lower than the Yoga of Wisdom is action.” (Swami Sivananda translation, Divine Life Society)
“The performance of works is by far inferior to mental devotion.” (William Q. Judge rendition, Theosophy Company)
Chapter 10, Verse 10
“To those who are constantly yoked, and worship Me with love, I confer that intuitive understanding (buddhiyoga) by which they approach Me.” (Raghavan Iyer translation)
“To them who are ever steadfast, worshipping Me with love, I give the Yoga of discrimination by which they come to Me.” (Swami Sivananda translation)
“To them thus always devoted to me, who worship me with love, I give that mental devotion by which they come to me.” (William Q. Judge rendition)
“To them who are ever devout, worshipping Me with love, I give Buddhi Yoga (Yoga of right knowledge of My essential nature) by which they come to Me.” (From Bhavani Shankar in “The Doctrine of The Bhagavad Gita”)
Chapter 18, Verse 57
“Mentally renouncing all actions in Me, intent on Me, resorting to buddhiyoga, be constantly fixed in consciousness upon Me.” (Raghavan Iyer translation)
“Mentally renouncing all actions in Me, having Me as the highest goal, resorting to the Yoga of discrimination do thou ever fix thy mind on Me.” (Swami Sivananda translation)
“With thy heart place all thy works on me, prefer me to all else, exercise mental devotion continually, and think constantly of me.” (William Q. Judge rendition)
It is worth pointing out here that in the Theosophical view, when Krishna speaks of “me,” “my,” and “I,” he is often speaking as our Higher Self and thus his statements of this kind are often to be taken as referring to the highest divine nature within us. At other points, however, he is clearly speaking as the Logos, which is not exactly the same “thing” as the Higher Self, although they are closely related. One can take many of his statements as relating to both.
Krishna does not specifically elaborate by name on Buddhi Yoga but from the greater context in which the above brief excerpts appear it seems to be more or less synonymous with what he presents as Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of Spiritual Knowledge, also called the Yoga of Wisdom. But whereas Hinduism often views Jnana Yoga as separate and distinct from, and an alternative to, the other main Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita – Karma Yoga (the Yoga of Action and Duty) and Bhakti Yoga (the Yoga of Devotion) – and has accordingly made a separated discipline out of it (i.e. the traditional Jnana Yoga of Advaita Vedanta) the Gita itself does not make such a distinction but blends them all together, merging these essential qualities and faculties of human nature into a grand, integrated, and practical synthesis. As can be seen below, this is the way Buddhi Yoga is typically presented or indicated in Theosophical literature.
It is not intended to replace or supplant the Raja Yoga of Theosophy which is most characterised by the cultivation of concentration, conscious living, and meditation, but is simply part and parcel of it. Buddhi Yoga is particularly concerned with the uniting together of our Manas and Buddhi principles, i.e. the mind with the light of wisdom which is its source and illumination.
Although H. P. Blavatsky and William Judge never referred by name to Buddhi Yoga, it is unquestionably found in their message. It seems to have been B. P. Wadia who first introduced the term into the phraseology of the United Lodge of Theosophists. His wife Sophia Wadia sometimes wrote and spoke about Buddhi Yoga too, as did Bhavani Shankar, the chela (disciple) of the Master K.H., who had a connection with B. P. Wadia and the Indian ULT.
But it was another Indian Theosophist who spoke and wrote most frequently and in most detail about Buddhi Yoga. This was Raghavan Iyer (1930-1995), a once influential figure in the ULT, especially in Santa Barbara, California, and who can be read about here. For Iyer, Buddhi Yoga was the name of the best form of Yoga or spiritual practice to be engaged in by serious Theosophical aspirants. In 1984, Sophia Wadia invited Iyer (who she and her husband had known for decades) to give a talk explaining Buddhi Yoga at the Bangalore ULT while on a visit to India. But it was mainly in his “Hermes” magazine articles – most of which are now in the recently published book “The Gupta Vidya” – that Iyer advised and inculcated the practice of Buddhi Yoga. As we will see, he links Buddhi Yoga with another term used in the Gita, Jnana Yajna, “Wisdom Sacrifice,” as well as with what he frequently calls “mental posture.” According to Theosophy, the various physical postures of physical Yoga are unnecessary and can be distinctly unhelpful and problematic. Since our real being is inner rather than outer, what really matters is our mental posture, our inner attitude, our most consistently maintained state and attitude of consciousness. Buddhi Yoga is very much concerned with this.
Before seeing what several respected Theosophists have to say about Buddhi Yoga, it is useful to be aware of this:
“Buddhi has one meaning in the Esoteric and quite a different sense in the Sankhya philosophy . . . and quite a different sense in the Vishnu Purana, which speaks of seven Prakritis emanating from Mahat, and calls the latter Maha-Buddhi. Fundamentally, however, the ideas are the same, though the terms differ with each school, and the correct sense is lost in this maze of personifications.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “Transactions of The Blavatsky Lodge” p. 6)
So in encountering references to the word “buddhi” in the Bhagavad Gita and various other Hindu scriptures and philosophies, we should not automatically assume that they are referring to the Buddhi principle of Theosophy, nor in the same way in which Theosophy speaks of Buddhi. Typically, “buddhi” is said in Hinduism to mean the intellect, the intelligence, the discriminative or discerning or intuitive faculty. It is rarely defined this way in Theosophy. See, for example, what H. P. Blavatsky has said in “The Secret Doctrine Dialogues”:
“Buddhi by itself can neither have intuition, nor non-intuition, nor anything; it is simply the cementing link, so to say, between the higher Spirit [i.e. Atman] and Manas.” (p. 621)
In answer to the question “Is the apprehension of highest abstract ideas the function of Manas, or of Buddhi?” – “Buddhi can have the apprehension of nothing.” (p. 633)
And yet – “Intuition is in Manas for the more or less light shed on it by Buddhi, whether it is assimilated much or little with Buddhi.” (p. 621)
So although much of what is exoterically said about the role and faculties of Buddhi is, in esoteric reality, really referring to faculties and characteristics of Manas, still it remains the case that without the active influence of Buddhi, the Manas could have none of that. So as we saw in the above quote from “Transactions,” the precise meanings and definitions given by different schools of Indian philosophy to one and the same term may differ, yet underneath all that, the fundamental idea behind those various definitions is more or less the same or, at the least, is a relevant facet of the bigger picture. Take, for example, Buddhi, Antahkarana, Jiva, and so on.
But the aim of this article is not to dwell on philosophical subtleties and metaphysical complexities, as that is certainly not the most important thing. Our aim here is to arrive at some idea of what the practice of Buddhi Yoga actually “looks” like and how we may begin to exercise it for ourselves and in ourselves. We have taken the liberty of putting some expressions in bold, to help draw attention to certain points.
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SOPHIA WADIA ON BUDDHI YOGA
“Of course we all know that the terms Sankhya and Yoga are peculiarly used in the Gita, but it is not necessary that we go into technicalities. . . . The Yoga of the Gita is generally designated, and with good reason, as the Path of Action, and the Sankhya as the Way of Knowledge, but please note that the Yoga is named Buddhi Yoga. It very clearly indicates the place of Buddhi – Intellect, Pure Reason, or the Pure and Compassionate Reason which is the higher or spiritual aspect of Manas or Mind. . . .
“Modern India is in need of instruction in that which the Gita calls Buddhi Yoga – the performance of deeds by the aid of Buddhi, our spiritual Soul, the spiritual aspect of human self-consciousness. This Buddhi Yoga may well be described as the Path of Descent of Buddhi into the mundane consciousness of man, giving him the capacity to act illuminatingly. The ordinary concept of Yoga is the emancipation of the Soul from the yoke of the senses, and its escape from the round of rebirth.
“Buddhi Yoga brings us the concept of infusing the spiritual energy of the Pure and Compassionate Reason into the Temple of the Body, so that the Ojas and the Tejas of the Soul stream forth through every orifice of that body. This will enable people to live the Spiritual Life in the midst of human affairs, fulfilling all obligations, instead of retiring to the jungle or to the top of a mountain in order to be away from the conflicts and the sorrows of this world. And yet Buddhi Yoga does not imply the performance of any and every kind of action without knowledge, but of actions rooted in Soul-knowledge. All actions which spring from kama, desires and passions of the personal ahankaric self, must be given up, and such actions as are undertaken must be executed by the method given. What is that method? Vairagya – Disinterestedness, Detachment, Dispassion. Thus we remain in the world, we fulfil our obligations and perform our duties, we gain skill in action, but we act without any attachment to the fruits of action.
“This Buddhi Yoga is not the throwing away of possessions, but their retention for proper use. It is not the performance of mere good deeds but a comprehension of this world of deeds, Kriya Loka – the mighty magic of Prakriti. Buddhi Yoga is not running away from evil but fighting and overcoming it. It is not the feeling of Ananda, the Bliss of the Soul, in its pure state, but the realization of Bliss in woe, of order in chaos, and of good at the very core of evil. It is not the fear of the world, but the love of humanity, which makes possible the descent of Buddhi into the body. Therefore this Buddhi Yoga may be described as the first exercise for the development of the future God-Man. . . . Krishna exhorts Arjuna to perform Buddhi Yoga. . . .
“These two figures of Krishna and Arjuna are symbols – one of the end and the summation of human evolution, Man become God; the second, of Man seeking Wisdom which would make him God. God each one of us is at heart and in latency, but to show forth that Divinity we must first know the Purusha by the effort of mind and intellect and then act out our part in daily life in terms of that Wisdom. Sankhya, Buddhi-Yoga, and Avatara, are the three words of the Gita which need to be studied and understood and popularized in modern India.” (“The Brotherhood of Religions” p. 27-30, from Chapter 3: “The Place of the Gita in the India of Today”)
B. P. WADIA ON BUDDHI YOGA
“The first necessary step shown in the second fragment of our textbook [i.e. referring to “The Voice of The Silence”], “The Two Paths,” is that of the Buddhi-yoga of the second chapter of The Bhagavad-Gita, with one important difference. It not only recommends seeking asylum in mental devotion and doing one’s duty without caring for the fruits of action, but also adds – “Gain Siddhis for thy future birth.”” (“Studies in The Voice of The Silence” p. 11, from Chapter 3: “The Mind of the Renouncer”)
SOME EXTRACTS ON BUDDHI YOGA FROM “THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT” MAGAZINE (PUBLISHED BY THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS IN INDIA)
“The consciousness that we want to attain, were we taking the idea of Buddhi-yoga, is a permanent, immortal consciousness that is changeless, its expression is ever unfolding through the ever-dying man, the personality, but its very nature is always permanent. It is a consciousness having as its nature the quality to give, and to give more. In other words, all things in life, surroundings, opportunities, circumstances are viewed as avenues for greater service, so that the difference is a radical one.” (“Studies in The Bhagavad Gita,” “The Theosophical Movement” magazine, May 2015)
“The Bhagavad-Gita (literally, the Gita or Song of Bhagavan or Lord) is the book of instructions which teaches the practice of Buddhi Yoga. It gives guidance as to how each event in life is to be met and how each step upon cautious step is to be taken on the path of knowledge and divine wisdom. Nowhere in the treatise does Krishna urge his disciple to develop abnormal powers, whether they be physical, psychic or spiritual. The goal of human evolution is not attained by their acquisition. The entire trend of the teaching is towards the blending (yoga or union) of mind and soul and the final assimilation in the Supreme. This union and final assimilation is an end by itself. It is not taken as a means for obtaining powers. These but follow upon and are a natural outcome of attainment.” (“The Lure of The Abnormal,” “The Theosophical Movement” magazine, June 2007)
BHAVANI SHANKAR ON BUDDHI YOGA
“Our understanding–discernment is clouded. Illusion (maya), delusion (moha), ever envelop the man. Buddhi-Yoga frees us from this bondage.”
“Detachment about gaining Wisdom is a virtue necessary in the practise of Buddhi-Yoga – the Path of Purifying the Heart.” (“On Hearing,” “The Aryan Path” May 1933; click here for the complete article)
RAGHAVAN IYER ON BUDDHI YOGA
“Only Buddhi Yoga, the meditative withdrawal of the mind from the illusion of time and the delusion of uniqueness, and its spontaneous blending with pure consciousness will unveil the immense sanctity and awesome seriousness of our Work as well as the inestimable privilege of participation in the birth of a new world – Novus Ordo Seclorum.” (“Buddhi Yoga in Dharmakshetra”)
“Having given Arjuna preliminary instruction in Buddhi Yoga in chapter two of the Gita, Krishna conveys in chapter four the correct mental posture of the disciple. He depicts that divine bhakti which is the prerequisite for jnana and also the true spirit of Karma Yoga, because they all fuse into a sacred current of consciousness. . . . In this depiction of the perfect posture of the chela, Krishna stresses the humility of the wise and the silence of the strong, virtues of the Sage whose portrait was given in the second chapter of the Gita. Having conveyed this ideal posture, Krishna proceeds in the seventh chapter to present Buddhi as an element in cosmic manifestation. Here he goes beyond the teachings of the Sankhya School, which holds that Buddhi is a kind of radiant matter or substance present throughout all Nature. Krishna affirms Buddhi as wisdom itself and inseparable from himself, something that no human being can develop except by the grace of the Lord. . . . no human being can develop Buddhi Yoga on the basis of individualistic conceptions of progress. One cannot simply say to oneself that because one has seen through one’s illusions, one is now going to become an apprentice in Buddhi Yoga. To say that is to misapprehend the nature of the quest. All forms of yoga require, at some level, what M. K. Gandhi called anashakti, egolessness; this is supremely true in Buddhi Yoga. . . .
“. . . one must recognize that there are those who have gone beyond the initial stages of Buddhi Yoga. They have become constant in the power of Jnana Yoga, men and women of ceaseless meditation and contemplation. They are the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of ceaseless contemplation, constantly ideating and thereby sustaining the possibility of human aspiration. They are able to do this through their conscious choice of mental solitude and their freedom from attraction and repulsion. Above all, they exemplify perfection of mental devotion. They have become supremely steadfast, like the immovable Himalayas. They are rock-like in their strength of tapas, bhakti and dhyana. Krishna repeatedly gives encouragement to all beginners making their first tentative steps on the path by urging them to discern in themselves something in common with the highest beings who have ever existed. He offers to Arjuna a living portrait, in potent words, of the true Sage. . . .
“. . . without giving any room to fantasy and expectation, one must understand how, through this acceptance of immediate svadharma [i.e. “self-duty,” one’s own duty or Dharma in life], one may strengthen the power of mental devotion or Buddhi Yoga. Growth in the power of sacrifice or Jnana Yajna is always possible in every circumstance. But that growth requires a turning away from the region of separative consciousness towards the realm of the united hosts of perfected performers of yoga who reside within the universal form of Krishna. To begin to apprehend this is to begin to prepare for the opening of the Wisdom-Eye, a process that is beatified by the realization of the universal vision given to Arjuna by Krishna in the eleventh chapter of the Gita. . . .
“To become a true votary of Buddhi Yoga through the performance of svadharma is to become ready to serve the divine will of the Atman, the workings of the Logos and the Avatar behind all the turbulent sifting and chaos of the historical process. The Buddhi Yogin recognizes the intimations of the divine dialectic [Note: The philosophical term and practice of “dialectic” means the reasoned investigation, examination, and enquiry into the truth of ideas and metaphysical concepts.] in maturing human beings, mellowing minds and hearts, broadening and expanding their quintessential humanity. Cooperating with the Light of the Logos within, they are able to rediscover the germ of purity of consciousness and thereby enter the family of the wise, the fraternity who know all of this and exemplify it ceaselessly. The true hallmark of these Rishis and Mahatmas is the power of devotion and adoration. They are constant in adoration of Krishna, His lila, His wisdom, the joy of His dance, the beauty of His unconditionality. They understand from within themselves the way in which Krishna may be seen in Arjuna, in Arjuna’s aspiration to reach up to Krishna, and also in Krishna’s enjoyment of the seeming separation of himself from himself in Arjuna. This is the mysterious art of the universal diffusion of the one Light, the problem of the One and the many, and the participation of the many in the One. Through Buddhi Yoga, bhakti and svadharma there can be a self-conscious return to the One, but only on behalf of the many. This is the sacred Teaching of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, given to sustain humanity throughout Kali Yuga.” (“Buddhi Yoga and Svadharma”)
“To grow up is to grasp that one cannot merely oscillate between extremes. Human thought too often involves the violence of false negation – leaping from one kind of situation to the exact opposite rather than seeing life as a fertile field for indefinite growth. This philosophical perspective requires us to think fundamentally in terms of the necessary relation between the knower and the known. Differences in the modalities of the knowable are no more and no less important than divergences in the perceptions and standpoints of knowers. The universe may be seen for what it is – a constellation of self-conscious beings and also a vast array of elemental centres of energy – devas and devatas all of which participate in a ceaseless cosmic dance that makes possible the sacrificial process of life for each and every single human being. If one learns that there are degrees within degrees of reflected light, then one sees the compelling need to gain the faculty of divine discrimination (viveka). That is the secret heart of the sacred teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
“The Gita is a jewelled essay in Buddhi Yoga. Yoga derives from the root yog, “to unite”, and centres upon the conscious union of the individual self and the universal Self.” (“Anamnesis”)
“Krishna’s sovereign remedy of buddhi yoga, the yoga of divine discernment, points to the crucial connection between viveka, discrimination, and vairagya, detachment, between self-chosen duty and voluntary sacrifice, dharma and yajna, individual self-conquest and the welfare of the world, lokasangraha. Even a little of this practice, as taught in the Gita and as realized by Gandhi, is invaluable: “In this path of yoga no effort is ever lost, and no harm is ever done. Even a little of this discipline delivers one from great danger.” [Bhagavad Gita 2:40].” (“The Gandhian Bridge Between Heaven and Earth”)
“Students of Theosophy are helped to do this and are thus prepared for true meditation by study of The Secret Doctrine. This study is literally what it says, a study of the Secret Doctrine, not merely of a book. The Secret Doctrine is in nature and it is in every one of us. Concerning the book The Secret Doctrine, unlike almost any other book of the modern age, one could assume that every word has been chosen with great care. It is also wise to assume that there are a lot of blinds and also a lot of aids. It is meant to speak authentically to the widest possible audience, but in that code language where each one determines what he can receive. . . .
“It uses many conceptual languages and speaks in terms of many myths. No one finds all of these immediately meaningful. There is also a catechism and a hidden mathematical logic to the book, but grasping them involves the reflection of Buddhi, or intuition, in Manas, the focus of ideation.
“What this means for us, first of all, is not to read the book except when in a state of calm; secondly, not to read the book with any anxiety. . . . We can become familiar and friendly with the book and put ourselves in the position of the writer in trying to see why there is a certain framework. We can read the contents of both volumes and try to see not the details of the framework, but the method which is in the contents. It is the Hermetic method of coming from above below, the method of analogy and correspondence, of the same and the other. It is not taught in the modern age in schools, in universities, or in our society. It includes what we call deductive reasoning and has a place for experience, but excludes induction. It really goes beyond all such divisions. It is what used to be called in the East the archetypal dialectic, Buddhi Yoga, and was also taught by Pythagoras and Plato.
“The Secret Doctrine, then, involves planes of consciousness, degrees of knowledge, stairways of reality, a series of superimpositions of pictures – like pictures created with certain photographic techniques where different forms and shapes assumed by the same object are simultaneously represented. One might say of the book, and this is a paradox, that, like everything cosmic, the more we study it, the more we learn how to study it. The more we read it, but with love, the more that is worthwhile will emerge. Particularly to be enjoyed are those statements in the book which are combinations of sounds that are mathematically precise. One day there will be men who will pronounce the Stanzas and perform magic. But that will be a very different kind of humanity. Today there are men who can enter into the deeper realm of the book, even though they don’t know where they are in terms of ordinary conceptions of growth and progress. In other words, The Secret Doctrine is a book to take up again and again. We should read it up to that point where the mind is calm and not exhausted. Put it away, and preferably sleep, after one has read it. Let things happen.” (“The Hermetic Method”)
“Anyone who has contemplated the rings of an ancient pine or mighty oak, and seen how the steady growth of Nature follows her own seasons without reference to the vagaries of human emotion, can begin to appreciate how the smallest of the small, the aniyamsam aniyasam, becomes the One and the many, ekanekarupa. There is an immediate connection between the Atman in and beyond all, and the most minute of the myriads of invisible atoms within every single living form. The highest sees through the eyes of the lowest. Hence the Kriyasaktic power of creative imagination lies waiting to be aroused in every Manasic being, but this requires the uttermost refinement of faith, will and desire through Buddhi Yoga.” (“The Fires of Creation”)
“Every atom of Monadic life is imbued with an inherent will to self-manifestation, and each is subject to delusion through identification with the illusory forms of the diffused potency of self-ideation. The human Monad, having arrived at the stage of incipient consciousness of its identity with the Logos, is in effect a psychic embryo still trapped in the matrix of astral matter, but capable of a new birth into noetic awareness through the arousal of its Buddhic capacity of intuitive apprehension.
“The inward stirrings of higher life within human consciousness presage a golden future for the race as a whole, but under the strictures of universal law this prospect will not be realized by its units until they gain some comprehension of Buddhi Yoga, the science of spirituality. The essential factors of this arcane science are hidden within the Mysteries of Divine Wisdom, but they may be sought through fidelity to the inner voice of conscience and the guiding light of intuition. Above all, one must learn the elements of the mathematics of the soul, the art of impersonal computation of karmic causes rooted in relaxed detachment towards personal likes and dislikes on the astral-physical plane.
“Philosophical concepts like ‘universal unity’, ‘human solidarity’ and ‘global interdependence’ cannot be grasped through the inverted imagery of the astral light and the imitative ratiocinative responses of kama manas. Their hidden meanings must be progressively apprehended by elevating the horizon of one’s awareness and the centre of cognition above the limits and inversions of the fourth plane of Spirit-Matter. This is learnt by recognizing that one must replace phenomenal fantasy and concrete images with noumenal awareness and creative imagination through the activation of Buddhi-Manas.” (“The Fire of Purgation”)
“At all times the spiritual vanguard at the forefront of human evolution points towards the noetic possibilities of human life and architectonic perfection in spiritual consciousness. Every creative advance in monadic evolution depends upon the critical range and potent fullness of self-consciousness. Through its depth of perception in reference to the world, it impels a natural movement towards the Heavenly Man, the Divine Prototype, the Daimon of the immortal Self in every human being. By withdrawal from the selfish clutches of the grosser vestures and the demoniac tendencies, the human Monad reascends through Buddhi Yoga to the state of transcendental union with its parent Self, the universal Ishwara, the Logos in the cosmos and the God in man.” (“Self-Emancipation – Buddhi Yoga”)
“As there is no ultimate ontological distinction between divine and human nature, every sincere effort to comprehend the function of the triple Logoi within and beyond the cosmos involves a self-conscious awakening of the afflatus of the higher Triad in man. This primary fact of spiritual life stands behind the teaching of The Voice of the Silence that “Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.” In order to commence this journey properly, it is initially necessary to connect the luminous conception of the three Logoi with an elevated and expanded view of the creative activity of human intelligence. As that intelligence is progressively refined through the patient practice of Buddhi Yoga, one can become an alchemical apprentice aiding the divine evolution of ideas, the Fohatic nerve-current of cosmic and human evolution. Jnanasakti, Kriyasakti and Itchasakti constitute the triune force of spiritual ideation, volition and energy.” (“The Logos and Man”)
“All over the globe, the paramount problem is one of renewing and maintaining the minimal standards of being truly human. Only those souls who already have a profound grasp of sunyata and karuna, the voidness of all and the fullness of compassion, will undergo the lifelong training of discipleship and awaken the Bodhichitta, the seed of the Bodhisattva. There is thus the immense gain that the mixing of incompatible vibrations may be mitigated in this century. At the widest level, universal good – Agathon – is the keynote of the epoch. The religion of humanity is the central emphasis of the 1975 cycle. Those who are self-elected by their own meditations, by their generous natures, and by their cooperative acts, who are willing to become true disciples of the Mahatmas, will readily undergo the rigorous discipline and share the rich resources of the divine dialectic [Note: See definition of “dialectic” above], Buddhi Yoga, mirroring the divine wisdom of Brahma Vach or Theosophia. They will ceaselessly attempt to draw the larger circle. There is no reason why breadth should be at the expense of depth. A new balancing between a much broader diffusion of the fundamental truths of “the golden links” and a much deeper penetration into the visible is now possible and will come to a full flowering by the end of the century. In the climactic rush of the closing years, there will be an unprecedented outpouring of creative energies and spiritual resources, as well as the closing of many doors, plunging into obscurity many protracted illusions of the past. The religion of humanity is the religion of the future, fusing the philosophy of perfectibility, the science of spirituality and the ethics of growth in global responsibility.” (“Drawing The Larger Circle”)
“People therefore naturally find, as all the Mahatmas have, that the sovereign mode of Buddhi Yoga is total surrender of the will, called ishvarapranidana by Patanjali – total surrender and total devotion. That alone is what brings one closer to understanding the mysterious eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita – Vishvarupa Darshana Yoga, The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form – which precedes the twelfth chapter on Bhakti Yoga, The Yoga of Devotion, and follows the magnificent ninth and tenth chapters – The Yoga of the Sovereign Science and the Sovereign Secret and the Yoga of Divine Excellences.” (“Nirvana and Samsara”)
“Lord Krishna strings the sacred teachings of the Bhagavad Gita on the golden thread of mental posture, the relation between the spiritual seeker and the Divine Wisdom embodied as the Light of the Logos in lustrous beings. Mental posture refers primarily to an attitude of mind, and constitutes the sacred trust between chela and Guru. Those who wish to become sincere and true servants of all mankind with its immense suffering, and of the Great Masters of Wisdom with their inexhaustible light, must prepare themselves by a process of purgation whereby they negate the false conceptions of themselves derived from the world into which they are born, from their heredity, upbringing, environment and education. This is done by a method of intense self-questioning. Platonic thought is essentially a dialogue with oneself. When people really begin to ask questions of themselves, and also attempt to apply the principles involved in formulating questions in a multiplicity of contexts, then they gradually begin to glimpse the dynamic, albeit mysterious, relation between manifest and unmanifest.
“We could compare wisdom to light – the ineffable light of the Invisible Sun. Is this light obscured in a solar eclipse? Actually, it is then even more accessible to men of meditation. Is this light inaccessible during an eclipse of the moon? Not to men of meditation. But, alas, most human beings are not men of meditation. They have never really thought seriously, hungered sufficiently, wanted with enough intensity of one-pointed devotion, the great Teaching in relation to the immortality of the soul. Divine Wisdom can come alive through the Manas–Taijasi, the thinking principle irradiated by the Buddhic fire of the divine dialectic. Before Buddhi can become one with Manas, before Truth and Love can be brought together in a mystic marriage, there is a preliminary betrothal. The thinking principle sunders its false allegiance to the shadowy self or the astral body, and then draws towards the hidden light of the sun, the light of Buddhi which is fully lit in a Buddha.” (“Mental Posture”)
“As one’s meditation upon the sacred symbols of the Gupta Vidya deepens, one will begin to discern, amidst the cacophony of worldly events, fruitful opportunities for effective service to others. What is wisdom in Shamballa is seldom seen as wisdom on earth, and though the potent seeds of the New Cycle are burgeoning in the soil everywhere, this will not be evident to those who are entrapped in anxious self-concern. With the good earth groaning under the burden of personal greed, what may seem like oppressive karma to the personality is, in fact, from the standpoint of the soul, beneficent karma. The acute sense of alienation from life caused by this gap in consciousness can be overcome only by turning the mind around and redirecting it away from the constricting circle of the separative personality towards the luminous sphere of the immortal soul. It is essential to reach in consciousness to the core of the idea of renunciation, and this is impossible without eliminating every trace of greed from one’s nature. Even the minutest residue of greed is incompatible with the pristine spirit of gratitude exemplified by the galaxy of Bodhisattvas. One must learn to test oneself daily, to scrutinize the quality of one’s desires and dreams.” (“Deliverance from Bondage”)
~ * ~
For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-Wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions. Seek O Beginner, to blend thy Mind and Soul.
Shun ignorance, and likewise shun illusion. Avert thy face from world deceptions; mistrust thy senses, they are false. But within thy body –the shrine of thy sensations – seek in the Impersonal for the “eternal man”; and having sought him out, look inward: thou art Buddha.
“The Voice of The Silence” p. 26, original edition
translated by H. P. Blavatsky from The Book of The Golden Precepts
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