Teachers and The Guruparampara Chain

In “The Voice of the Silence,” translated by H. P. Blavatsky from the Book of the Golden Precepts, for the daily use of Lanoos or

B. P. Wadia (1881-1958) and his wife Sophia (1901-1986), instrumental figures in the United Lodge of Theosophists which had been started by Robert Crosbie “to spread broadcast the Teachings of Theosophy as recorded in the Writings of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.”

disciples or chelas, it can be read:

“Thou shalt not separate thy being from BEING, and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean.

“So shalt thou be in full accord with all that lives; bear love to men as though they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher, the sons of one sweet mother.” (p. 49, original 1889 edition)

A few pages earlier, the same book gives the following instruction to the esoteric aspirant:

“Fix thy Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown.” (p. 31)

William Q. Judge, H. P. Blavatsky’s closest colleague and co-founder with her of the modern Theosophical Movement, wrote this:

“So from earliest times, among all but modern western people, the teacher was given great reverence by the pupil, and the latter was taught from youth to look upon his preceptor as second only to his father and mother in dignity. It was among these people a great sin, a thing that did one actual harm in his moral being, to be disrespectful to his teacher even in thought. The reason for this lay then, and no less to-day does also lie, in the fact that a long chain of influence extends from the highest spiritual guide who may belong to any man, down through vast numbers of spiritual chiefs, ending at last in the mere teacher of our youth. Or, to restate it in modern reversion of thought, a chain extends up from our teacher or preceptors to the highest spiritual chief in whose ray or descending line one may happen to be. . . . This chain of influence is called the Guruparampara chain. . . .

“There is the Great Guru, who is such to many who never know Him or see Him. Then there are others who know Him, and who are Gurus to a number of chelas, and so on until we may imagine a chela who may be a known Guru to another chela below him.

“Then, again, there may be chelas who are acting as Guru – unacknowledged, because pro tempore [i.e. a “temporary placeholder”] in function – to one or more other chelas. . . .

“Here is a case where the real Master has recommended the aspirant to a co-worker who perchance is some grade higher than our neophyte, and the latter is now in a different position from the many others who are silently striving and working, . . . This neophyte and his “little guru” are connected by a clear and sacred bond, or else both are mere lying children, playing and unworthy of attention. If the “little guru” is true to his trust, he occupies his mind and heart with it, and is to consider that the chela represents Humanity to him for the time.

“We postulated that this “little guru” was in advance of the chela. It must then happen that he says that which is sometimes not clear to his chela. This will all the more be so if his chela is new to the matter. . . . The proper function of the Guru is to readjust, and not to pour in vast masses of knowledge expressed in clear and easily comprehended terms. . . . The faith and love which exist between them act as a stimulus to both, and as a purifier to the mind of the chela.” (“Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 42-43, 44, 45)

These next words come from some posthumously published letters by B. P. Wadia, in which he comments on the above passages:

“We are disciples of one Teacher in more than one sense and at more than one level. “The Master-Soul is one, Alaya, the Universal Soul.” That is the Logos – the Parent of the seven Dhyanis. Our own Triple Atma (see Voice, p. 21: “The three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable . . .”) is the correspondence at the human psychological level. Secondly, “Fix thy soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art” refers to the original Dhyani-Buddha from which or whom our Atma-Buddhic Monad, the Eternal Pilgrim, has emanated. When the Duad becomes a Triad at the time of the lighting up of Manas, a new factor emerges – that Triadic Monad’s kinship with the Kumara-Rishi who gives light. Finally, there is the Great Guru, the Mahatma difficult to find, who is a Chief and Instructor of the Great Lodge and Fraternity. H.P.B. is the Guru for us all, for the Lodge sent her, and in her message each one of us finds his own way or path. The Path is one, but each walks it differently in speed of concentration. I hope all this will prove useful.

“The ties of the soul are: (1) to its own Higher Triad and through It to the Dhyani-Buddha to whom that Triad looks up as the “star”; (2) to the Master whom Karmic kinship of soul-spirit makes our Initiator in the unspoken Mysteries; He very often, almost always, belong to the same Beam, Ray or School to which we in our Triadic higher aspect belong; (3) to our colleagues and companions who under Karma, past and present, are striving for perfection side by side on the plane of the personal. Such make our affinities which anon bless and anon damn, as Judge puts it. The Guruparampara chain extends from the Dhyani Buddha to our teacher-helper whom the Judge letter calls the “little guru.” You need to reflect upon this Guruparampara chain and see the chief and important links. Judge’s letter contains the clues. Then consider the footnote in the Voice about the Hall of Wisdom where alone we are asked to seek our Guru –the great Father. Read also S.D., Vol. 1, pp. 567-578. Do not remain ignorant about the subject of chelaship. It is a very important subject for real practical evolution along the lines of the Third Fundamental.”

We realise that some of these details shared by Mr Wadia will be more or less incomprehensible to those who have not carefully and deeply studied the original teachings of Theosophy for themselves. Other articles on this site will help to illuminate these important points, such as Our Seven Divine Parents (A Study in Monads, Rays, and Planets), Ego Is Not A Bad Word, Antahkarana – The Path, and Meeting The Masters in The Hall of Wisdom. More can be learned about “The Voice of the Silence” in “The Voice of the Silence” – An Authentic Buddhist Text and The REAL Esoteric Buddhism.

As we saw, B. P. Wadia advised his correspondent, “Do not remain ignorant about the subject of chelaship. It is a very important subject for real practical evolution . . .” For more about chelaship, with some clues as to how it may be approached, please read Assimilation To The Masters and Chelas and Chelaship.

~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~