The Raja Yoga of Theosophy

Raja Yoga is the term used in the teachings of Theosophy for the practice side of Theosophy, i.e. for the practical application in life of the metaphysical and philosophical truths. Although this makes it very inclusive and broad, it has several characteristic defining features.

Summed up briefly, it is internal Yoga rather than external. Its true sphere is the mind, for that is where both our battlefield and our victory lie.

The physical body should of course be looked after and kept as healthy as our Karma will allow but the physical or bodily Yoga that is so popular nowadays – called Hatha Yoga – is called by H. P. Blavatsky the “lower” form of Yoga and it is not the Yoga we deal with in Theosophy or esotericism. So it’s important to remove from our mind anything that associates the term “Yoga” with images or ideas of physical exercises, bodily stretches, postures and so on. The ancient conception of Yoga is very different from this. In Raja Yoga, the only “yoga mat” is the mat of the mind.

The Raja Yoga presented and promoted by H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge, the Masters of Wisdom who were their Teachers, and genuine Theosophy, is mental Yoga, spiritual Yoga, inner Yoga, for ultimately only the inner is the real, only the inner endures, and only the inner is carried over from life to life. Everything is a matter of consciousness. The Raja Yoga of Theosophy could be called the Yoga of Consciousness, as well as the Yoga of Life.

“Raja Yoga” literally means the Royal Yoga, the Sovereign Yoga, the Kingly Yoga, and thus indicates the highest form of Yoga, “Yoga” meaning “Union” in Sanskrit.

In “The Theosophical Glossary,” H. P. Blavatsky defines Raja Yoga as “The true system of developing psychic and spiritual powers and union with one’s Higher Self – or the Supreme Spirit.” (p. 275)

But we would be mistaken if we imagine that the Raja Yoga which Theosophy speaks so highly and frequently of is just the same as the Raja Yoga of Hinduism, for it is not. It is something much broader, deeper, and esoteric.

Virtually all Hindus mean and understand by the term “Raja Yoga” the eight-limbed or eight-fold Yoga system of Patanjali, who lived around 2,600 years ago, and who was the author of the famous Patanjali Yoga Sutras or Aphorisms. Patanjali’s text of four relatively short chapters never actually uses the term “Raja Yoga” but it was applied to his system (also known as Ashtanga Yoga but not to be confused with the modern day popular system of that name) later.

Another great Hindu sage, Adi Shankaracharya, presented – in his text Aparokshanubhuti (“Self-Realisation” or “Direct Experience”) – a system which he described as Raja Yoga. This was a fifteen-fold system partly based on the eight stages of Patanjali but adopting a much more esoteric or symbolic approach to certain parts of it, such as maintaining that the practices of Asanas (yoga postures) and Pranayama (breath suppression or breath manipulation exercises) are not intended to be taken literally or carried out physically. Theosophy makes a similar point.

But neither Patanjali’s nor Shankaracharya’s approach are identical to the Raja Yoga of Theosophy. Nor is Theosophical Raja Yoga the same as any other system, ancient or modern, which may call itself Raja Yoga. Theosophy shows us that Patanjali provides only part of what Raja Yoga actually is; a very necessary, helpful, informative, and practical part, but still only a part.

Like Theosophy or the Theosophia itself – the timeless Esoteric Philosophy, the Secret Doctrine of the Sages, the Ageless Wisdom – real Raja Yoga existed long before Patanjali and even long before Hinduism, the world’s oldest surviving religion.

In the first section of “The Voice of The Silence” translated by H. P. Blavatsky from the Book of The Golden Precepts, we see more or less the same eight limbs or stages of Yoga as found in Patanjali, though with more esoteric and symbolic descriptions and explanations regarding them, including things not mentioned by Patanjali, such as that “Every stage of development in Raja Yoga is symbolised by a geometrical figure.” (p. 79, original 1889 edition)

And “The Voice of The Silence,” being an esoteric Buddhist text and belonging to the Trans-Himalayan Esoteric School and Brotherhood, the Brotherhood of those great Adepts, Initiates, and Masters, who were – and are – most directly behind the modern Theosophical Movement, shows that real Raja Yoga is also indissolubly wedded to the Bodhisattva Ideal, the Bodhisattva Path, the path of divine COMPASSION in which one pursues enlightenment not for one’s own sake or benefit but will instead, on reaching Nirvana and total emancipation from rebirth and manifested existence, turn one’s back on it, in order to stay with humanity, to teach, help, and guide the suffering masses who are still far from freedom. Such a concept is unmentioned by Patanjali and not found in Hinduism, with very rare exceptions.

In HPB’s “Theosophical Glossary” entry for “Raja Yoga” she gives a very brief but memorable definition of what it is. This sentence is very useful to remember and remind oneself of. Raja Yoga, she says, is “The exercise, regulation and concentration of thought.” The exercise of thought. The regulation of thought. The concentration of thought. It goes without saying that this means the conscious exercise of thought, the conscious regulation (or control and adjustment) of thought, and the conscious concentration of thought. This is not just to be practised at a particular set time but is instead supposed to be a perpetual practice.

In that entry, she does not mention the word “meditation” even once, nor does she make any reference there to Patanjali. In fact, most Theosophical references to Raja Yoga do not mention Patanjali in connection with it. This confirms what we said earlier, that while Raja Yoga does include Patanjali it also pre-dates and transcends Patanjali’s system and book. If that were not so, it would mean that “the true system of developing psychic and spiritual powers and union with one’s Higher Self – or the Supreme Spirit” did not exist until a mere 2,600 years ago, which is quite clearly incorrect.

As for meditation, it naturally is implied and included in “The exercise, regulation and concentration of thought,” but if a person finds that for whatever reason the actual practice of sitting down to meditate at a particular time is just not for them, or if they find that no matter what they just cannot succeed in a specific meditation practice, that doesn’t especially matter. What does matter is that we live our daily life in as concentrated, self-controlled, calm, and conscious a way as possible, living from the highest point of consciousness that we can manage to maintain. That too is Raja Yoga and is in fact the most important part of Raja Yoga. It is also more than many people have achieved or even imagined possible. For without some success in that, our success in specific meditation practices is always going to be very limited.

If we look at all the different times the terms “Raja Yoga” and “Raja Yogi” are mentioned throughout the original Theosophical literature, it becomes apparent that what Theosophy means by “Raja Yoga” is a spectrum ranging from practical daily psychology at one end, to the highest, purest practical occultism and white or divine Magic at the other. Even such high occult practices as Theurgy are described by HPB as Raja Yoga and she also makes clear that every true Adept is by definition a Raja Yogi and that the terms are essentially synonymous.

While Theosophy advises us against trying to engage in practical occultism or magic at our present stage of development, the fact remains that we can never reach to the higher stages of development unless we begin practising the fundamentals of Raja Yoga here and now. These are outlined and described for us in the compilation of quotes below. These, if carefully studied and practically applied in daily life, cannot help but enhance and greatly aid our journey of inner unfoldment and evolution. As to the minutiae of exactly how to apply them, that must vary from person to person, seeing as we are all different in terms of our personalities and inclinations.

It will also be seen that the three main Yogas presented by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita – Karma Yoga or the Yoga of Action, Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of Devotion, and Jnana Yoga or the Yoga of Spiritual Knowledge – are all present, in a synthesised form, in the real esoteric Raja Yoga of Theosophy. Compared with some more popular forms of Yoga, the Yoga promoted and presented in Theosophy may not appear to be especially “exciting” but, in our view, it is the most worthwhile of all.


Râja-Yoga (Sk.). The true system of developing psychic and spiritual powers and union with one’s Higher Self – or the Supreme Spirit, as the profane express it. The exercise, regulation and concentration of thought. Raja-Yoga is opposed to Hatha-Yoga, the physical or psycho-physiological training in asceticism. “ (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Theosophical Glossary” p. 275)

Raja Yoga, the Royal – i.e., the Superior – Way of Living the Inner Life.” (B. P. Wadia, “Sacrifices and Sacrifice,” “Living The Life” p. 152)

“Every adept in cis-Himalayan or trans-Himalayan India, of the Patanjali, the Aryasanga [i.e. Yogacharya] or the Mahayana schools, has to become a Raja Yogi.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 158)

“An adept, or Raja Yogi (we now speak of the real, not the fictitious ones of idle rumour) is simply the custodian of the secrets of the hidden possibilities of nature; the master and guide of her undiscovered potentialities, one who awakens and arouses them into activity by abnormal yet natural powers.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Death of a Great Man”)

“The Raja Yogin trains but his mental and intellectual powers, leaving the physical alone and making but little of the exercise of phenomena simply of a physical character. Hence it is the rarest thing in the world to find a real Yogin boasting of being one, or willing to exhibit such powers – though he does acquire them as well as the one practising Hatha Yoga but through another and far more intellectual system.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Yoga Philosophy,” “A Modern Panarion” p. 339)

“TO DARE, TO WILL, TO ACHIEVE AND KEEP SILENT is the motto of the true Occultist, from the first adept of our fifth Race down to the last Rosecroix [i.e. Rosicrucian]. True Occultism, i.e., genuine Raj-Yoga powers, are not pompously boasted of, and advertised.” (H. P. Blavatsky “The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year!” “H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 511, also in HPB Pamphlet #31 “H.P.B.’s Books and Teachings”)

Raj Yoga encourages no sham, requires no physical postures. It has to deal with the inner man whose sphere lies in the world of thought. To have the highest ideal placed before oneself and strive incessantly to rise up to it, is the only true concentration recognized by Esoteric Philosophy which deals with the inner world of noumena, not the outer shell of phenomena. The first requisite for it is thorough purity of heart. Well might the student of Occultism say, with Zoroaster, that purity of thought, purity of word, and purity of deed, – these are the essentials of one who would rise above the ordinary level and join the “gods.” . . .

“In short, contemplation, in its true sense, is to recognize the truth of Eliphas Levi’s saying: – “To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe because one knows, is power.”

“Or, in other words, to see that “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.” Reflection or contemplation . . . teaches the student that to comprehend the noumenal, he must identify himself with Nature. Instead of looking upon himself as an isolated being, he must learn to look upon himself as a part of the INTEGRAL WHOLE. For, in the unmanifested world, it can be clearly perceived that all is controlled by the “Law of Affinity,” the attraction of one to the other. There, all is Infinite Love, understood in its true sense. . . .

“The first thing to be done is to study the axioms of Occultism and work upon them by the deductive and the inductive methods, which is real contemplation. To turn this to a useful purpose, what is theoretically comprehended must be practically realized.” (Damodar K. Mavalankar, “Contemplation,” “Theosophical Articles and Notes” p. 43, 45-48)

“Theosophy is synonymous with Gnana-Vidya, and with the Brahma-Vidya of the Hindus, and again with the Dzyan of the trans-Himalayan adepts, the science of the true Raja-Yogis, who are much more accessible than one thinks.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Beacon-Light of the Unknown,” originally titled “Le Phare De L’Inconnu,” “H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 444, also in HPB Pamphlet #33 “Transcendental Theosophy”)

“YOGA: Different kinds of yoga. Raja Yoga the highest – white magic. Tantra Yoga the lowest – black magic. Hatha Yoga sometimes called grey magic; the worst of all, because most delusive. Thousands of Yogis in India. Most of them students of Hatha Yoga; following mere forms and ceremonies, posturings, breathing exercises and the like. A true yogi can as well be in “communion” at an office desk as in a cave. To be “in the world but not of the world,” the position rightly to be attained by the real anchorite.” (William Q. Judge, “Subjects for Discussion” p. 6-7)

“The means for attaining the “perfection of spiritual cultivation” are found in Raj-Yoga, or, as we shall term it for the present, Culture [i.e. cultivation] of Concentration.” (William Q. Judge, “Culture of Concentration” Part 1, “William Q. Judge Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 322)

“In starting these papers the true practice was called Raj Yoga. It discards those physical motions, postures, and recipes relating solely to the present personality, and directs the student to virtue and altruism as the bases from which to start. This is more often rejected than accepted. . . . Let the seeker know, once for all, that the virtues cannot be discarded nor ignored; they must be made a part of our life, and their philosophical basis must be understood.” (William Q. Judge, “Culture of Concentration” Part 2, “William Q. Judge Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 330, also in WQJ Pamphlet #11 “The Inner Man”)

“Neo-Platonism is Platonic philosophy plus ecstasy, divine Raj-yoga.” (H. P. Blavatsky, Entry for “Neoplatonists” in the Glossary included at the end of some editions of “The Key to Theosophy”)

“Every stage of development in Raja Yoga is symbolised by a geometrical figure.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “The Voice of The Silence” p. 79, original 1889 edition)

Patanjali: “Concentration, or Yoga, is the hindering of the modifications of the thinking principle.”

William Q. Judge: “So “concentration” is equivalent to the correction of a tendency to diffuseness, and to the obtaining of what the Hindus call “one-pointedness,” or the power to apply the mind, at any moment, to the consideration of a single point of thought, to the exclusion of all else. Upon this Aphorism the method of the system hinges.” (“The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali” Book I, Aphorism 2, p. 1-2 in the William Q. Judge rendition)

NOTE: While some may think that “there can be no improvement on Judge’s version” of Patanjali, Judge himself acknowledged that his version was not “a textual translation” but simply “an interpretation.” While this undoubtedly has its value, it is also worth being acquainted with how Patanjali himself actually wrote it, which in a few cases differs significantly from the way in which William Judge has rendered the verses. No translator or interpreter of anything is ever entirely perfect or infallible in that work. For this reason, we also recommend Raghavan Iyer’s reliable textual translation and accompanying articles, published as “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Theosophy Trust. We also highly recommend Raghavan Iyer’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita, published by Concord Grove Press on behalf of the Santa Barbara Lodge of the United Lodge of Theosophists.

“The first and most important step in occultism is to learn how to adapt your thoughts and ideas to your plastic potency. . . . otherwise you are creating things by which you may be making bad Karma. . . . the plastic power of the imagination is much stronger in some persons than in others. . . . There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average of human kind. These will think even upon ordinary matters on that higher plane. . . . The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation. Science has established the fact that thought is an energy. This energy in its action disturbs the atoms of the astral atmosphere around us. I already told you; the rays of thought have the same potentiality for producing forms in the astral atmosphere as the sunrays have with regard to a lens. Every thought so evolved with energy from the brain, creates nolens volens a shape. . . . This ought to make us more cautious about our thoughts.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “Dialogues between The Two Editors: On Astral Bodies, or Doppelgangers,” “H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles” Vol. 2, p. 42-45, also in HPB Pamphlet #1 “Theosophical Psychology”)

“The true student of Raja Yoga knows that everything has its origin in MIND; that even this Universe is the passing before the Divine Mind of the images he desires to appear. . . . A person can have no attachment for what he does not think about; therefore the first step must be to fix the thought on the highest ideal. . . . Through motive, Thought becomes contractive or expansive. It is well known that Thought affects the assimilative faculties and processes of the body. It has always been a recognized factor in therapeutics. . . .

“The first step in Occultism is to “adapt your thoughts to your plastic potency.” It is an epitome of the science of Thought. The many persons – and their number grows daily greater – who desire to study “practical” Occultism would do well to approach it by this, the only safe gate. What is now called “practical occultism” is an incidental to the journey along the Path. We admit the existence of hidden, powerful forces in Nature. Astral body formation, clairvoyance, looking into the astral light, and controlling elementals, is all possible, but not all profitable. In our view the attainment of true Wisdom is not by means of phenomena, but through the development which begins within. Everyone can understand right thought, right speech, right action. The very first step is to try to apprehend the meaning of Universal Brotherhood, without which the very highest progress in the practice of occultism turns to ashes in the mouth.

“It is not sufficiently well understood that every one of those energic emissions or processes which we call “a thought” does mold the subtle matter of the ether into etheric form. Such forms are held together by the formative power or plastic potency of the soul substance, just so long as the thought energy inheres in them. The more intense the thought – or the greater the thought tension, to put it differently – the longer does the etheric form cohere as such. The energic pictures thus formed by the mental action of men are sensed by the Inner Man of each. Sometimes, even, the vibration thus sensed gets impressed upon the brain centers and enters the lower consciousness by avenues of which we have now but a feeble idea. The pictures inhere in the mental sphere of each of us, and the sphere is dense, turbid, contractive, or shows all the brightness of the higher vibration, according to the nature of these thought forms, which not only act outwardly, but also react upon their creators.

“The importance of regulating our thoughts, in view of the plastic potency of the soul and its imaginative power, hence becomes apparent. As thought is dynamic, these pictures – often themselves an agglomeration of lives, for the atomic substance of the ether is, every atom of it, a life – these pictures are felt far and wide. It has frequently been said that a man could be shut between prison walls, and could yet work for Humanity, by the simple means of right thinking.” (William Q. Judge, “Occultism,” posthumously published article)

“He who would hear the voice of Nada, “the Soundless Sound,” [i.e. the Voice of the Silence itself] and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana.”

Dharana, is the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object, accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.” (“The Voice of The Silence” p. 1 and explanatory note by H. P. Blavatsky on p. 73, original 1889 edition)


“Will and Desire lie at the doors of Meditation and Concentration. If we desire truth with the same intensity that we had formerly wished for success, money, or gratification, we will speedily acquire meditation and possess concentration.

“If we do all our acts, small and great, every moment, for the sake of the whole human race, as representing the Supreme Self, then every cell and fibre of the body and inner man will be turned in one direction, resulting in perfect concentration. This is expressed in the New Testament in the statement that if the eye is single the whole body will be full of light, and in the Bhagavad Gita it is still more clearly and comprehensively given through the different chapters. In one it is beautifully put as the lighting up in us of the Supreme One, who then becomes visible. Let us meditate on that which is in us as the Highest Self, concentrate upon it, and will to work for it as dwelling in every human heart.” (William Q. Judge, “Meditation, Concentration, Will,” “William Q. Judge Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 318, also in WQJ Pamphlet #11 “The Inner Man”)

“The only method of Yoga that I would give a snap for is that found in Patanjali’s Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita. True Yoga is not autohypnotization. The true practice of yoga begins by purifying the heart; its perfection is not attainable until the personal idea [i.e. self-identification with one’s personality and outer self] is completely uprooted.  Obviously this takes more than one incarnation. You have in you the Self all powerful and omniscient. It cannot act because the lower self hinders it. The hindrances must be got rid of. The way to do it is in Patanjali and [Bhagavad Gita].” (William Q. Judge, Letter to Dr. A. F. James)

“With each morning’s awakening try to live through the day in harmony with the Higher Self. ‘Try’ is the battle-cry taught by the teacher to each pupil. Naught else is expected of you. One who does his best does all that can be asked.” (H. P. Blavatsky, “She Being Dead Yet Speaketh,” “H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles” Vol. 1, p. 122-123, also in HPB Pamphlet #4 “Theosophy and H.P.B.”)

“How shall we apply Theosophy in daily life? First, to think what we are in reality, on arising; to endeavor to realize what this small segment of our great existence may mean in the long series of such existences; to resolve to live throughout the day from the highest of our realizations; to see in each event and circumstance a reproduction in small or in great of that which has been; and to deal with each and every one of these from that same high point. Resolve to deal with them as though each had a deep occult meaning and presented an opportunity to further the successes of the past, or undo the errors. Thus living from moment to moment, hour to hour, life will be seen as a portion of a great web of action and reaction, intermeshed at every point, and connected with the Soul which provided the energy that sustained it. If each event is so considered throughout the day, be it small or great, the power to guide and control your energies will in no long time be yours. The smaller cycles of the personal ego will be related to the Divine Ego and the force that flows from the latter will show itself in every way, will strengthen the whole nature, and will even change the conditions, physical and otherwise, which surround you.” (Robert Crosbie, posthumously published in various ULT publications)

“The best method to pursue is that of analysis along the line of the seven principles. So long as I look upon myself as a homogeneous whole, I contract my mental sphere into one dense and slowly vibrating mass. It is the picture of himself as uniform – as opposed to duality – which fetters the soul of man. The image he has made of himself is the prison house of his soul. When analysis comes into play he no longer says, “I crave,” “I win,” “I desire,” “I sin.” No longer intoxicated by the fumes of his own passions, does he plunge into the ocean of sensuality. He says, as one aspect of Desire comes before him, “In this the Kamic principle is active”; another he ascribes to undue stimulus of the Linga-Sarira; here he sees the lower Manas prevailing, and here the flash of intuitive perception. He ascribes each act to its principle; each becomes to him a result of one of these principles; they are no longer himself, but he is the judge of them all, and analysis destroys the heady fumes of Desire. For Desire ceases to attract us when we no longer identify it with ourself. . . . If any person desires to rid himself of a bad mental or physical habit, sincere and constant trial of the method above described must cause the habit to loosen its grip upon the mind. It is not a form of mind-cure, for that acts by denial, while in this case there are analysis and the tracing of effects to their true source, or at least, somewhat further upstream. By means of this cold analysis the personal mental image is broken up into a series of thought forms true in themselves, each one an image of the Universal, each instinct with a life of its own. The prison house is rent asunder, and man, the prisoner of himself, dazed, startled, but unbound, finds himself slowly emerging into the large fields of Universal Thought.” (William Q. Judge, “Occultism,” posthumously published article)

“The substratum or support for the whole Kosmos is the presiding Spirit. All the various changes in life, whether of a material nature or solely in mental States are cognizable because the presiding Spirit within is not modifiable. The Perceiver of these changes is the Inner Man – the Self. All objects and all states of what Western philosophers call mind, are modifications. This Self must be recognized as being within, pondered over, and as much as possible understood, if we are to gain any true knowledge.

“There is only One Life, One Consciousness. It masquerades under all the different forms of sentient beings, and these varying forms with their intelligences mirror a portion of the ONE LIFE, thus producing in each a false idea of egoism. FORM, as such, is nothing; phenomena are not realities per se; all must be referred to the Self. Rely upon the One Consciousness, which as differentiated in Man, is his Higher Self. By means of this Higher Self he is to strengthen the lower, or that which he is accustomed to call “myself.”

“The One Consciousness pierces up and down through all the states and planes of Being, and serves to uphold the memory – whether complete or incomplete – of each state’s experiences. The One Consciousness of each person is the Witness or Spectator of the actions and experiences of every state we are in or pass through. . . . If we examine ourselves critically we see that there is, lying back of ceaseless mental change, of all the continual going to and fro of Thought, a power to observe, sum up, analyze, and direct the whole process. We find ourselves possessed of another mode of consciousness, above or behind the fluctuations of thought, which calmly observes the whole panorama moving before us. Through this power even the sinner who knows his sin still feels that sin not to be representative of his entire nature; feels himself at the core, to be better than that vile outward seeming. . . .

“Before the student reaches [the more advanced stages of Yoga such as described by Patanjali], he makes a preliminary step towards it when he discovers this center, place, mode or state of consciousness in which he surveys his whole mental field as something not himself, and feels that Self to be the perceptive power per se. For he has then only to enter that mental plane as often as possible, and to realize it as vividly as possible, and he has evolved a rudiment – if I may so call it – of the Universal Mind. That Mind, that state of consciousness, observes the illusionary panorama spread before it as something apart from itself. The person who realizes that state of consciousness is nearer the Universal Mind. He has entered one of its phases or states. It is not a state of trance.” (William Q. Judge, “Occultism,” posthumously published article)

“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 1889 edition, translated by H. P. Blavatsky from The Book of The Golden Precepts)

“Thou hast to live and breathe in all, as all that thou perceivest breathes in thee; to feel thyself abiding in all things, all things in SELF.

“Thou shalt not let thy senses make a playground of thy mind.

“Thou shalt not separate thy being from BEING, and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean.” (“The Voice of The Silence” p. 49, original 1889 edition, translated by H. P. Blavatsky from The Book of The Golden Precepts)


“The Voice of the Silence” shows that there are “Seven Portals on the Path” or, we could say, seven divisions or stages in the Antahkarana, leading up to its very summit.

The Antahkarana is the name for the internal path, bridge, road, or link, which the spiritual aspirant is travelling and which provides the means of connection and communication between one’s Lower Manas (the personal ego or present personality) and one’s Higher Manas (the impersonal Ego or permanent individuality, the Higher Mind-Entity which is our own Inner God and which links us to our Higher Self: Atman, the One Spirit). The “golden keys” to those Seven Portals are explained in “The Voice of The Silence” to be the Paramitas, “glorious virtues” and “transcendental perfections” which can be briefly described as:

(1) Dana – Charity and Love Immortal (2) Shila – Perfect harmony in word and act (3) Kshanti – Patience sweet which nought can ruffle (4) Vairagya – dispassion, detachment, indifference to one’s own pleasure or pain (5) Virya – dauntless energy which keeps pressing on towards the goal (6) Dhyana – perfect inner contemplation and meditation (7) Prajna – the great goal towards which the preceding six lead; supreme spiritual perception, highest wisdom, divine consciousness.

It’s emphasised though that it is by no means as simple and easy as might be assumed by just reading a list of seven items. Each of the seven is much more than a commonplace virtue but an actual key to a gateway of initiation. To tread this “Path” successfully and to its goal takes multiple lifetimes of consistent determined effort and will; at least seven such incarnations. (For more about this, please read Antahkarana – The Path; see also p. 47-48 of “The Voice of The Silence” for the enumeration of the Paramitas)

Also from “The Voice of The Silence” (original edition page numbers):

“Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.

“Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.

“Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer’s eye.

“But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.” (p. 12-13)

“Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin.” (p. 31)

“Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child.” (p. 31)

“Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of LAWS – eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

“The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become COMPASSION ABSOLUTE.” (p. 69-70)


“What, then, is the panacea, finally – the royal talisman? It is DUTY, Selflessness. Duty persistently followed is the highest yoga, and is better than mantrams or any posture, or any other thing. If you can do no more than duty it will bring you to the goal.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 68)

“Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and kin, to friend and foe, and close thy mind to pleasures as to pain.” (“The Voice of The Silence” p. 26, original 1889 edition, translated by H. P. Blavatsky from The Book of The Golden Precepts)

“Devotion and aspiration will, and do, help to bring about a proper attitude of mind, and to raise the student to a higher plane; also, they secure for the student help which is unseen by him, for devotion and aspiration put the student into a condition in which aid can be given to him, though he may, as yet, be unconscious of it. But conscious communication with one’s Master can only be accomplished after long training and study. What a student has to do, and is able to do, is to fit himself to receive this training.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 111)

“Here is advice given by many Adepts: every day and as often as you can, and on going to sleep and as you wake, think, think, think, on the truth that you are not body, brain, or astral man, but that you are THAT, and “THAT” is the Supreme Soul. For by this practice you will gradually kill the false notion which lurks inside that the false is the true, and the true is the false. By persistence in this, by submitting your daily thoughts each night to the judgment of your Higher Self, you will at last gain light.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 116)

“Arouse, arouse in you the meaning of “Thou art That.” Thou art the Self. This is the thing to think of in meditation, and if you believe it, then tell others the same. You have read it before, but now try to realize it more and more each day, and you will have the light you want.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 126)

“Spiritual knowledge includes every action. Inquirers ought to read the Bhagavad-Gîtâ. It will give them food for centuries if they read with spiritual eyes at all. Underneath its shell is the living spirit that will light us all. I read it ten times before I saw things that I did not see at first. In the night the ideas contained in it are digested and returned partly next day to the mind, It is the study of adepts.” (William Q. Judge, “Letters That Have Helped Me” p. 21)

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A helpful affirmation that can serve as a practical daily reminder:

Yoga is “a state which, when reached, makes the practitioner thereof absolute master of his six “principles”, he now being merged in the seventh. It gives him full control, owing to his knowledge of SELF and Self, over his bodily, intellectual and mental states, which, unable any longer to interfere with, or act upon, his Higher Ego, leave it free to exist in its original, pure, and divine state.”
(H. P. Blavatsky, “The Theosophical Glossary” p. 381, Entry for “Yogi”)


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