7 thoughts on “Meditation Advice

  1. Other than W.Q Judge’s translation of the Yoga Sutras, are there any others you think are good? I have read some of the essays written by Raghavan Iyer in his magazine “HERMES,” and found them insightful and inspiring. What do you think of his translation of the Yoga Sutras and his writings in general?

    1. The only other translation that I have of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the one by Swami Vivekananda but I would recommend William Judge’s one above that, mainly for its clarity and straightforwardness and the sense of universality which accompanies it, unlike the inevitable sense of religious Hinduism which accompanies Vivekananda’s writings.

      Do you mean that Raghavan Iyer made a translation of the same scripture? I was unaware of this. I can’t really comment on his writings in general, since although the very little I’ve read by him seems good, I haven’t been inclined to read much by him.

      His sense of his own self-importance, even to the extent of believing himself to be an Avatar and the Messenger from the Masters for the 1975-2000 centennial cycle (when there is nothing at all to suggest this except the adulation of some of his followers who knew him personally and were overwhelmed by his apparently great charisma) had the effect of ostracising or isolating both him and his supporters from the rest of the United Lodge of Theosophists and the Theosophical world at large. His very small amount of admirers seem to almost worship him, having built up a personality cult around him, and can’t accept that other Theosophists don’t view him in the same quasi-Messianic way in which he viewed himself.

      Quite a number of the older students in the ULT believe that Iyer was certainly a special soul who had a special mission but that he unfortunately allowed his personal pride and ambition to hinder the work and effect that he could have achieved.

  2. Raghavan Iyer’s translation of the Sutras is available for reading on Theosophy Trusts HERMES lead articles, or you can buy it in book form on Amazon.com. Thanks for your time and thoughts.

  3. Hi, I have a few questions regarding meditation. First, what do you think of Blavatsky’s Meditation Diagram? I have found it useful for raising and expanding consciousness. Some of the ideas seem equivalent to Patanjali’s meditation without a seed; for example, “first conceive of unity by expansion in space and infinite in time” etc. Second, the Upanishads put special emphasis on “the cave of the heart”, and “the Purusha in the heart”, is there a way of meditating in the heart? Third, how does one concentrate on the Higher Self? Is there a way to conceptualize it through an image or a form? Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Thank you for your comment and questions.

      (1) There is some question as to the authenticity and reliability of H.P. Blavatsky’s “Meditation Diagram.” The doubt does not relate to its content and concepts – which seem clear, good, safe, and in line with her teachings – but rather as to whether or not she actually taught this, or at least in the form expressed in the Diagram. No-one had ever heard or known of it until around 1940, when E.T. Sturdy drew it up and sent it to Christmas Humphreys (a Theosophist who founded the London Buddhist Society) saying that when he’d been a member of HPB’s “Inner Group” in London at the end of her life she had answered his questions about meditation by presenting these things. One year is often sufficient to dim our recollections of things and in this case approximately 50 years had passed between HPB apparently sharing these things with Sturdy and him drawing up the Diagram! It’s probably for this reason that hardly any Theosophists or Theosophical groups promote or present it, as they can’t vouch for its accuracy and legitimacy in regard to being what HPB actually taught and recommended. You can find online though that the late Geoffrey Farthing, founder of the Blavatsky Trust, wrote about it in an illuminating way.

      (2) As the most important esoteric parts of the Upanishads are missing from the publicly available versions (see “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 269-272) we cannot claim to know with any real certainty what they mean by such phrases and terms. But an answer may possibly be found by referring back to the above article and what is said about Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, particularly Dharana.

      (3) Atman – the Higher Self – should never be conceptualised “through an image or a form.” To meditate on the Higher Self means to attempt to elevate the mind into the formless or Arupa dimension. This may be achieved to some degree by inwardly dwelling upon such themes as Pure Absolute Consciousness, Pure Eternal Spirit, Absolute Abstract Space, and Infinite Unconditioned Allness. At the same time we have to endeavour to live, work, and act, FOR and AS “the Self of all creatures” every day, for this Higher Self we speak of is the ONE Universal Self of All and is literally one and the same in everyone, every being, and every thing.

      The Higher Ego – which is the Higher Manas – may be conceptualised as a pure and radiant Being of Light (“a beam of light immaculate within,” “The Voice of the Silence” p. 63) and it seems that this is what many people encounter in their Near Death Experiences. The Higher Ego is an individual entity but there is nothing individual or entity-like about the Higher Self.

      You can find an article titled “Atman – The Higher Self” at https://blavatskytheosophy.com/atman-the-higher-self and one about the Higher Ego titled “Ego Is Not a Bad Word” at https://blavatskytheosophy.com/ego-is-not-a-bad-word/.

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