[Page 1] JUST now the work of Krishnamurti naturally affects all Theosophists very closely. We need not for the moment enquire what the attitude of the world in general will be, but what does concern us as Theosophists is what should be our attitude.
Now, our attitude must necessarily be different from the attitude of those who are not Theosophists, because, as Theosophists, we are committed to certain definite conceptions. Of these, the principal one is that everything is working under the direction of a Great Hierarchy. They supervise all evolution, and in the main that supervision deals with the two aspects of life and form. It is under Their direction that various races appear one after another, as also all the great religions.
It is obvious from our standpoint — that of those who accept the direction of the Hierarchy — that [Page 2] there is nothing final in all these manifestations of life and form. They come one after another according to a plan. It is obvious that each aspect of life and form appears only so as to release new attributes, both in each soul and in the collective life of humanity.
All the time, then, each new race releases new possibilities of consciousness; and each new religion equally releases new possibilities of realization. These successive appearances of life and form do not mean that each later appearance supersedes the worth of all previous appearances. That is obvious; when the Sixth Root Race comes with its particular message, that will not mean that the work of all previous races is annulled. Looking similarly at the problem of religion, when the Bodhisattva either comes Himself or sends His messengers of religion, the fundamental principle behind His action is to release certain new attributes in the ego of man and in humanity.
While that work of His is being done, there are two aspects of it which we can note. The first is to establish in the world certain truths which would not have been understood in previous dispensations. Because, after all, humanity evolves, and with each successive unfoldment it is possible to give a fuller revelation. Each religion, each wave of influence from Him, brings certain new truths into manifestation, so far as humanity is concerned. The second aspect of His work is that, when He starts [Page 3] an impulse, it is also intended to enrol a new type of worker. There exist always various types of workers dormant in humanity, and they must be awakened and gathered. New bodies of workers must be gathered, and so each religious impulse has the effect of calling out from among humanity a type of worker with a particular quality of work which did not exist before.
In this work which is ever being done by the Bodhisattva, it is obvious that He does not necessarily put an end to existing dispensations when He sends a new one. I want to illustrate, by a few examples, that when one particular impulse is established, it does not annul, negate or nullify anything which has gone before which contains truths useful for men.
Consider Hinduism, which in its fundamentals was established by the Lord Buddha in His previous manifestations vaguely called Vyasa. It was He who arranged the Hindu sacraments, which link the Devas to Hindu life. But when He came as the Buddha, He totally ignored all that had been established in Hinduism before by Him of a sacramental type. His whole standpoint as the Buddha was not against sacraments as such, as if He denounced them, but rather to strike a new note. It was to call out new possibilities in men, and so He threw open wide the door of Liberation to all. Now, Hinduism had not done that. Hinduism had said, “You must go through various stages. You must be born a Shudra, and then you [Page 4] must be born a Vaishya and then a Kshattriya, and then when you are the Brahmana, possibly then you might come to the door of Liberation”. All that scheme was utterly ignored by the Lord Buddha, when He threw open the door to all. For He emphasized the Way within. Ceremonies were performed on all sides of Him, but He did not denounce them, though He did declare that relying upon them as essential to spirituality was a fetter. There often was, in His remarks on Hindu worship, a smile of amusement now and then at the way that people became absorbed in those things, to the exclusion of the true inner vision of truth. All the while, He emphasized that His Way was by purification of the heart and the mind, irrespective of a man's outer grade in life, irrespective of high caste or low caste, irrespective of outer culture. By purification, man can go straight to the entrance of the Path.
At that time, who accepted Him ? Not all. Because already Hinduism was existing with all its magnificent structure. But a certain number of Hindus did accept Him, and they enrolled themselves as the followers of the new Teacher. When He went about, people did not treat Him with any unusual reverence; they addressed Him often as “Gautama”. People would come and say, “O Gautama”: they did not say, “O Lord, O Savior”. They accepted Him as another of the teachers of the time. A certain number, however, pledged [Page 5] themselves to follow Him. Of those who so accepted Him, not all determined to tread at once the direct road which the Lord Buddha offered. Many became His adherents, but not all of them joined Him as His yellow-robed disciples. Only a few felt capable of “entering on the Path” immediately.
should also here mention how, in the first sermon of the Lord Buddha, where
He lays down His main teaching as to the direct road, only one Path is
mentioned. Later on, He gives teaching as to two Paths, the one for the
few, His Sangha or Disciples, and the other for the many. The many must
go slowly through the path of ordinary moralities, purifying themselves
gradually; but the few can at once renounce the world to seek Nirvana.
In the first sermon, it is as if He took for granted that everyone who
listened could put on the yellow robe of the spiritual aspirant who flies
straight to the goal. It is later, as the Buddha developed for men the
full possibilities of His truth, that He made clear that it is not obligatory
on all men then and there to enter on the direct path. That is the ideal
for all; it is to make them all enter it, that the Buddhas come one after
another. If all could enter at once, the work of one
Buddha would be sufficient. But all cannot so enter, and therefore
the Buddhas come one after another, to help men at each
successive stage.[Page 6]
As the Lord Buddha gave His teaching, He also called for a band of workers, and a certain number gathered round Him. They went forth to carry the particular new impulse which He gave to the world. That did not mean that the older impulses of Hinduism, and of Jainism, or of the other religions, had ceased to operate. Only, a new type of worker was required, for a new impulse, and He sent out the call.
Some three centuries later, there came His successor, Shri Krishna. Then a completely new type of teaching was given, which the Hindu consciousness had not known before. This was the truth as to Bhakti, the realization of blessedness through devotion to God as Shri Krishna. And this new teaching was rather revolutionary. It seemed in a way to sweep aside all the hierarchies of the Devas and the priests and their ceremonies, and the caste system too, for all could be saved by Bhakti. Once again a teaching was given to all, for Shri Krshna said: “All who have faith in Me shall come to liberation through Me”. There was also another teaching which was rather novel to the Hindu mind, though we accept it today with wonderful philosophical eagerness; it was the teaching that, if a man would live doing his work with no thought of fruit or reward, the Karma of his action would not return to him, but would go, as it were, to the Karma of God. The Karma-less-ness which is implied in the teaching of the [Page 7] Gita was indeed a novel and revolutionary idea at the time.
Now, when Shri Krishna came and gave the message of devotion, Buddhism had hardly come to its climax in India as a religious influence. Are we to presume that the work of Buddhism was over, because another phase of the Bodhi or the Wisdom was given ? The truth is that, as three centuries before, the coming of Shri Krishna meant a call for a new band of workers. We know very little historically of what was done through that particular band of workers; but always, where there is a new message given, it implies also the gathering together of groups of people who are going to be trained to carry on a particular work, and in a new way.
Then we come to Palestine. Once again the teaching is for all, though there too we can see now that two paths were outlined, one for the Sannyasi, who is to “take no thought for the morrow”, and the other for the many, a teaching of charity and self-sacrifice. In Christianity in the beginning, according to the Gospels, scarcely any indication appears of all the structure of ritual worship which developed later. There is just a mention of the institution of the Eucharist, and a casual mention of Peter as the head of an organization. But, are we to presume that the later developments, when slowly there arose Church organizations with teachings as to Sacraments, [Page 8] were against the plan of Christ, because He did not mention them ? If that were the case, it would mean that the Occult Hierarchy was inefficient and incapable of guiding rightly. On the other hand, when we look at the history of Christianity, we see what tremendous spiritual forces were evoked by some of the later developments which are not to be found even in germ in the New Testament accounts. We can see that the message of the Christ was not necessarily given in its entirety during the years of His open ministry. He taught certain truths, but, after all, as the centuries passed, it was He who guided and developed His teaching into new and ever new channels.
Today we have the same situation before us. So , far, we have only just an indication of Krishnamurti's teaching; it is only at the beginning, and we can hardly tell how much more he may give in the way of teaching and what may be its trend. Let me here interrupt to say that I am making a point never to answer questions about Krishnamurti's message. I feel very much like a university coach who gets his students ready for an examination, and when the examination begins there is nothing more which he can do. I have done my utmost to prepare Star members for the Coming, and my interest now is to see how many will pass the test. But I cannot help them to do it. I do not think I can help anyone by answering any questions about what Krishnamurti means by his [Page 9] message. My aim is to state the message as clearly as I can — not to explain it or make it easier. That is why I would much rather read to the public all possible things which Krishnamurti has written, than comment upon them; because each comment is apt to make less the splendor of the thought behind.
Once again we have the two elements, first a teaching, and second a call for a particular type of worker. As to the teaching, so far as I have gained any vision of it, as of old it is for all. That is to say, it is not as we in our Theosophical standpoint examine men. We say, “Greater advancement will be open to you, when the size of your causal body is larger than it is”.
All that is brushed aside, for Krishnamurti presents a teaching which he says is for all. He insists on one startling truth: “This Liberation, which is for all, will begin with a vision of the end”. Now, we Theosophists think that the vision of the end, of Adeptship, can come only after a clear intellectual study of the great plan. To us, the Perfect Man is not only the Saint, but also the Scientist and the Philosopher. But the Teacher now says that, even if you are a savage, it is possible for you, if you will turn in the right direction, to gain a vision of the goal, of the mountain-top, of the kingdom of happiness. He says too, that, even from where you are, you can pledge yourself to go directly to the end, not through intermediaries, not [Page 10] through all kinds of devious ways that the world is accustomed to as religion. This direct vision is declared by Him as something which is possible even to a child-soul, not, as we Theosophists have presumed, only to those whose vehicles have been very carefully and highly developed.
And then, says Krishnamurti, if you have such a vision, you should from that moment, if you really want to go swiftly to the kingdom of happiness, rely only upon yourself, not upon external aids such as ceremonies, not upon any teacher outside of yourself, nor seek any happiness in any object outside of yourself. There is further one very striking teaching given by him, which is that, if you have the direct vision and begin to tread the direct way, your Karma becomes different, for you become Karma-less. That does not mean that you will not need to pay your debts to Karma, but that, because you have united yourself with the end, the glorious quality of freedom from Karma begins to descend upon you even at the beginning. Krishnamurti points out how the strength and the wisdom of the totality of things can begin to come into your heart and mind even now, though you are but at the beginning of the Path, provided you will look steadily at the goal.
Another thing which he says is frankly a great puzzle; he says that the direct path, straight up the mountain side as we say, not round and round, is the easier of the two paths. Hitherto we have always [Page 11] taught that the direct road is the harder, that the easier path is to go round and round with a rest here and a rest there, with such and such helps from outside, with such and such teachers and such and such observances and so on. But Krishnamurti says, “No, the Path I proclaim is the easier of the two paths”. Perhaps it is; perhaps now that the Bodhisattva is here, He is releasing something new in the egos of men, which was not possible before, which does indeed make this direct path the easier. I do not know. He says it is easier, and I have to take His statement as He makes it.
Then, of course, Krishnamurti is calling for workers. But if those workers are really to help him, and to carry his message, they must live as he teaches, because they must go and show others the direct road. Obviously, therefore, it can only be a particular type, even among us Theosophists, who can respond to his message. It has to be a type which has enough strength to go the direct road, as Krishnamurti plans it and in the way that he outlines. I will not elaborate this much more, because it is for you, if you are interested, to think it out for yourselves. But as before, now that there is a new dispensation, it does not mean to me that the older dispensations are abolished.
There is one thing which Krishnamurti does; he challenges each one of us to examine ourselves. He does in very truth “ judge the quick and the dead”. We Theosophists are apt to take too many things [Page 12] for granted. “I am a Buddhist; I belong to an Occult School; I am a Liberal Catholic”, and so on, we say, as if that solved anything. Krishnamurti challenges he says, “You are all these things, but what have you done ? What is the result of it all ?” Listen to the way that he challenges:
“What have you, with your phrases, with your labels, and your books, achieved ?
“How many people have you made happy, not in the passing things, but in the ways of the Eternal ?
“Have you given the Happiness that lasts, the Happiness that is never failing, the Happiness that cannot be dimmed by a passing cloud ?
“In what way have you created a protecting wall, so that people shall not slip into pitfalls ?
“How far have you built a railing along that deep river into which every human being is liable to fall?
“How far have you helped these people who want to climb ?
“How far has it been your ambition to lead someone to that Kingdom of Happiness, that garden where there is unchanging light, unchanging beauty ?
“But, if you are all these things, have you saved one from sorrow ?
“Have any of you given me happiness — 'me' the ordinary person?
any of you given me the nourishment of heaven when I was hungry ? [Page
“Have any of you felt so deeply that you could throw yourself into the place of the person who is suffering ?
“What have you produced, what have you brought forth ?
what manner have you brought forth that precious jewel, so that it shall
shine and guide the whole world?”
That is a tremendous judgment which he gives to each one of us: what have we done for the world ?
Now, in this work of Krishnamurti, our response as Theosophists and occult students will be no doubt, first, that we will help the Lord's work. But most of us will help only in a measure. I mean in a measure, because we have already undertaken certain obligations. We feel certain things must be done, call them if you will work for the old dispensations. We feel that the old dispensations are still part of God's plan: we feel that God's plan is in them also, and therefore we cannot drop everything of the past to help the Lord in His new type of work. We will all help with our sympathy, with our aid, in so far as we can while performing the other duties which we have undertaken. But also, there are bound to be some in all the Movements directed by the Masters, who will be His messengers, because they are capable of helping Him in His work. It is for each of you to decide whether the new Path which He outlines is the path for you. It does not mean there are not other [Page 14] paths. It is perfectly true that He is sending out a call with the new teaching for a group of people to help Him in a particular work. But it is for you to decide whether that work is for you in its entirety. His work is of course for all of us; but there is a call to some to be His helpers, in the particular way in which He wants His work to be done just now.
If you are to be His helper, if you join His band, you should realize that as you do His work you must not denounce other ways of working. Krishnamurti does not denounce; he challenges. That is his right, because we are liable to cover ourselves with phrases. What Krishnamurti wants is the uttermost sincerity.
so I think there is work for us all in the new and in the old dispensations.
But we have to examine ourselves, and ask of ourselves the question which
he has asked of us, “Am I in this for the work ? Am I in this
for the world's sake . Am I really as sincere as I claim to be, or am
I in it for my peace, for my satisfaction ? Am I covering things up — doubts,
dissatisfactions — because I believe this and the other thing told by
And lastly, one piece of advice I can wholeheartedly give you. Read and re-read everything that Krishnamurti writes. Read for yourself, and if you possibly can follow it, live one striking message which Krishnamurti once gave at Ommen. He asked us not to go and talk with others about our [Page 15] ideas. He asked those who listened to him to go out in the woods, and think and think, and not to congregate in groups and say, “What does he mean?” You certainly will not get at the significance of his teaching by gathering in groups and talking among yourselves. Take it into your closet; read not once but half a dozen times, read when you are well, read when you are ill, read when you are miserable, read when you are happy, the same thing, and you will find new light, new truths will come.
Then assimilate what you can of it. Remember the teaching which Shri Krishna gave. Duty must always be performed, but see that you do not add to yours what is another's duty. Never must a duty be left unperformed. So, assimilate what you can. If you feel that this present call of going with Him, in that particular way as part of His band, is not for you, work in the other ways. Behind them all is the great plan of the Hierarchy. Only, you must choose consciously and not imitating others.
to say, there has to be a change in us all, even though we are Theosophists.
There must be some change in us all as Theosophists.
There is one change which we have already made, and that is the
realization that we do not belong to any one religion only. You here, in Australia,
who are ardent Liberal Catholics, you feel, I know, as though you were
also Buddhists and Hindus and Zoroastrians. In [Page
16] the same
way, we must feel that the new message is part of the old message, that
we must assimilate it, and that we must add to our Christianity or Buddhism
or Hinduism a certain directness. We are apt rather to rely upon authority,
to lean upon a Theosophical tradition. We must try to dig deep into
ourselves, and there discover the truths we have joyously believed in,
but it must be from a direct knowledge and a direct experience. We must
have strength to stand alone. We as Theosophists have already something of
a large tolerance, but we need something more magnificent still, that is,
to stand for the whole world. More than ever we have to ask ourselves, “What
am I for ? Am I a Freemason for the world, or for myself and my peace and
my satisfaction ? Am I a Theosophist for the world's sake, or because it
is easier for me to go along that road?”
These are the questions which Krishnamurti asks, and this is the way that I see his teaching. That teaching is only at the beginning; what further things may come I do not know. But already it is all very wonderful and very beautiful, and so I can only once again say to you, “Read and read and read”. He desires that his books should appear in a beautiful form; so they are somewhat expensive. If you cannot afford to buy them all, several of you can join together to share them. But read for yourself. Do not ask another person to expound what Krishnamurti means. Get at his thought by yourself, and if you want to help others, [Page 17] tell them to read. Let your organization for his work be so that his message can be distributed as quickly as possible. That is the best way to help the world.
His teaching is very wonderful, very beautiful, and the more I look at it, the more I find in each little line, in each little phrase, beauties I had never seen before. And so I say to you, read and re-read, till you find all that beauty directly for yourselves.
noon I was speaking to some students of theology at the University of
Sydney. They had asked me to speak on Krishnamurti's message, and so in
forty minutes I did my best to outline what that message was. At the end,
some questions were asked, and one or two criticisms made; there was one
which was curious and yet significant. They said that, so far as I had
described that message, nothing was said about Service. As a matter of
fact, I had read certain extracts from Krishnamurti's writings, and service
is there so taken for granted that it is not emphasized, and so the listeners
evidently missed the idea. For instance: “In what way have you created
a protecting wall, so that people shall not slip into pitfalls ? How far have
you helped people who want to climb?”[Page
Obviously in all that, Krishnamurti takes for granted that you have been aiming at service, or should have been; only, his challenge is “Have you really done anything, or merely talked about it ?”
I had also read the last few lines of The Kingdom of Happiness; and note its very last words and what they imply. “There you will find the Eternal Refuge, the Eternal Truth; and there you will lose the identity of your separate self; and there you will create new worlds, new kingdoms, new abodes for others”. Well, if that is not service, what is service ? But because he does not say “Service, service, service”, people imagine that he is always emphasizing personal liberation. Now, Krishnamurti takes service for granted, and therefore does not mention it with the emphasis familiar to Theosophists. In Buddhism, the Lord Buddha took Reincarnation and Karma for granted, and scarcely mentioned them. We find little mention of those fundamentals, because they were so much in the air in India and everyone accepted them. That is why He does not seem even to refer to them. I know that some European scholars have said that the Lord Buddha brushed aside the Hindu theory of Karma and Reincarnation as of no consequence, because He mentioned them so little.
Now, Krishnamurti has a message to give to us of service which is very noteworthy. He takes for granted that all his listeners have tried to be unselfish, have tried according to their light to serve. [Page 19] But he challenges our ways of service. He asks, when we think we are serving, are we really serving ? That is a very great problem which he presents to us. He admits that certainly we are very busy, for instance in various departments of the Theosophical Order of Service. But are we effective ? Can we be effective unless there is a fundamental change in us ? That is the important truth on which he lays emphasis. Take, for instance, what the world sees when it looks at the Theosophical Society. It sees that the Society is composed of forty thousand Theosophists. But are there really forty thousand Theosophists ? Forty thousand inscribed members who pay dues, yes; but how many Theosophists are there really ? And yet in our talk we say, “There are forty thousand Theosophists in the world”. There are similarly at least four thousand members who believe in the Masters and are pledged to Their work. But are there four thousand pledged ourselves to the Masters ? How many are pledged in name only ? There are only a few hundreds of whom one can say that they are really and truly aspirants for Discipleship, in the fullest significance of that term.
That is why Krishnamurti insists that we cannot be efficient in service, we cannot hit the mark, until we have put right what is wrong in ourselves. He is very emphatic with regard to the problems of the world, that we are going the wrong way about to solve them. We think if only we can put right what [Page 20] is wrong with the world, then the Utopia we want will come. But Krishnamurti insists, “the individual problem is the world problem”. Bring peace into the hearts and minds of men first, and then you need not worry about disarmament. For instance, we need not work at any peace propaganda, if we will set to work on the main part of the problem, which is peace in the individual. All the rest will follow.
And similarly, he challenges us Theosophists, who are busy along many lines of work, with the simple question, “You desire to give happiness to the world. Have you found any real happiness yourself ?” Now, it is quite true that many of us are living in a Theosophical and in an occult tradition, and are trying in the name of the Masters to work. But I do not think there is any kind of depreciation of our work if I say that a great deal of it is ineffective — ineffective in the sense that we go on in a particular Lodge, in a particular town, in a particular country year after year in the same way. If Theosophy was really a living power in our lives, surely more effects would be seen in changes round us.
We are of course all of us confronted with the difficulty that in Occultism we have to believe a great deal. Most of us have no psychic vision, nothing at least very definite and dependable, and so we cannot say that we know this and the other thing concerning Occultism. We can only quote, [Page 21] and we quote Annie Besant, we quote C.W. Leadbeater, we quote James Ingall Wedgwood or Geo.S. Arundale. We quote, and according to those quotations we try to mould our lives. Better certainly that we should quote someone who has more knowledge and inspiration than we have, than not try to do anything at all. But the point of Krishnamurti's challenge is, “How do you mean to be effective ? For the only way of being effective is to find all you need in yourself”.
Now, we take for granted that we cannot know certain great truths, because we are not qualified to know, especially in certain psychic ways. But I do not think that necessarily follows. It seems to me we can know directly and for ourselves, not necessarily through those ways of psychism. What is important is not that we should have psychic ability and experiences and remember this and the other thing, but that we should have the sense of the goal within, the sense that we have grasped the really big problem which lies before us.
We can know directly for ourselves, because there are several kinds of knowing. We must not imagine that the only type of knowing is when things are presented before the mind objectively, just as the scientist in the laboratory has the objects of experiment before his eyes. That way is true, as one way of knowing. If I have physical or astral vision and see before me clearly, objectively, apart from myself, distinct from the imagination, something as clear as [Page 22] these white pieces of paper in my hand, I certainly know of the existence of that paper. But there is another way of knowing, which is not so much by presentation in front of the mind, but rather by presentation inside the mind. It is equally a mental process of knowledge.
This comes where, after examining large groups of facts with the trained intelligence, you begin to see that those groups have within them a certain fitness of their own, that they prove themselves, as it were, in a mysterious kind of way, just as a problem in mathematics brings with it the solution the moment you have before you a formula, and you place the formula, as it were, in front of the problem. One very striking instance of the way that direct knowledge can be reached by us inside the mind is that most brilliant anticipation of Darwin which was made by Tennyson. Tennyson was a poet; he did not work in the laboratory, but he watched, he observed and he pondered; and then it was he had a vision of Nature which he described truly according to evolutionary science,
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life.
Long before the theory of the survival of the fittest was enunciated by the laboratory scientist, Tennyson, a man who was not a scientist, but a seeker for truth, came to the truth, and had a direct vision of it.
Similarly, too, we can get to know by a direct vision, from inside the mind, a whole host of truths [Page 23] which seem at first not cognizable by the ordinary analytical mind. One of the greatest elements of force in the character of a man comes when he has so assimilated Theosophy as a scheme, as an intellectual scheme, that he can never stand apart from that magnificent structure. One of my very great regrets is that so few Theosophists are really students of Theosophy, in the same way that a student of science has to study zoology or botany. He has to grind hard at his study. If you are going to be a doctor, you have to know the place of every muscle, every nerve, every bone. If our Theosophical students were to understand Theosophy in that detailed way, in that thorough fashion, not merely by attending lectures but by grinding at Theosophy, then presently there will come to them that knowledge from inside the mind about Occultism and about all kinds of topics concerning which they think they cannot get proof from outside.
Then, of course, there is that other kind of knowledge which comes with the intuition, when in a flash truth seems to stand before you, inevitable, absolutely compelling. It has been pointed out, with regard to the discovery of the great principle in science of the conservation of energy, that Robert Mayer did not discover it by hard thinking about it; he had thought very hard about many intricate problems concerning energy; they were all confusing him. Then suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, the truth flashed upon him, and an idea coming from [Page 24] above compelled the ideas of his mind to re-arrange themselves in accordance with that which came from above. Without in the least having a direct knowledge, which we can, as it were, place as a witness before the lower mind, we can come to knowledge, to true seeing, when from within us a light springs out in answer to the light which is presented outside us.
Now in life, whole hosts of facts are before us, puzzling us, but the truth is there all the time. Then by a juxtaposition of circumstances, the truth which is hidden in those facts outside us makes the truth that is within us spring into being. I remember when in 1910 I saw a snapshot of Krishnamurti as a boy, one year before I saw him physically , the moment I saw the picture there was a flash from within me which said: “Thou art the man”. There was no need to debate about it. Everything was perfectly evident, and to me from that moment there was no need for any argument or for further facts about Krishnamurti as the manifestation of the World Teacher. Similarly, it is possible for us to gain a direct knowledge of certain things, a direct realization, without all the proofs coming down to the gate of the brain.
I will take as an instance the fact of the existence of the Masters. We have not seen Them with our physical eyes. But even if we were to see Them with our physical eyes, it would not at all follow that we should know of the existence of the Masters, so that we should carry greater conviction [Page 25] to others of Their existence because we had met Them physically. It is not the mere record on the brain which enables us to go and convince others of Their existence. Similarly, too, we may see Them with our astral eyes, go to Their Ashrama, and remember clearly when we come back. That is not necessarily going to make us effective in giving a testimony to others as to Their existence.
One of the most striking instances of this direct knowledge, which however was ineffective, is the instance of Krishnamurti's own father who, just at the time in December, 1911, when all kinds of plots and schemes were round him to draw him into evil, heard the voice of the Master K.H. telling him that all would be well, and bidding him not to be disturbed. He had already been taken by his son Krishnamurti to the presence of the Lord Maitreya, and had remembered seeing Him. All these things were perfectly clear to his mind; and yet when a disturbing situation developed, he was utterly helpless, his knowledge was not of the least use to him, and he was swept by evil forces like drift-wood before the current. So the mere experience of seeing a Master, or hearing a Master, or bending the knee before a Master is not going to make us know that the Master exists.
How are we going to acquire that quality of direct knowledge upon which Krishnamurti insists ? In other words, how are we to have a key to one of the gates of the kingdom of happiness, and enter there, and then when we return to our work in the world, be [Page 26] no longer mere theorists, mere translators, quoting others, but can speak direct of our own experience, though our experience may be very small ? Even if it be small, if it is direct, and of our own, we shall find that we can to some extent change the destinies of people, because we have in us the power to create change. How, then, are we, with regard to this problem of the existence of the Masters, to obtain the direct cognition of Them ?
I would say, supremely by living in Their idealism. That is not just believing in Them, having pictures of Them, but living in Their ideals. All of us admire the Masters, reverence Them; but are we striving, are we struggling all the time to be like Them in Their idealism ? Take, for instance, what we believe about Them. We believe that They understand all of us, that whatever is the temperament of the individual who comes to Them, so great is the Master that He understands each and gives to each what he needs. Now, do we try it in our daily lives to understand all ? Is our attitude one of intense eagerness to understand all, a readiness to break down every barrier between ourselves and others, in order to understand ? I do not think we can say that that is the case. We try to understand the people that we like, with whom understanding is an easy matter; but where understanding is a difficult matter, how then ? It is so much easier to put off things, and so our general attitude is admiration for the great ideals, but not an [Page 27] intense striving to be those ideals here and now. We know that the Masters are brothers to all that live. Do we try, really try in our relations, to be as brothers ? We all talk about brotherhood; but we like to choose our brothers. I know I do ! But the Master does not; His attitude is something indescribable, for intense brotherhood streams from Him. But do I want to achieve that kind of greatness ? Yes, theoretically. Now Krishnamurti comes along and sees that it is theoretical, and he says so. We do cover ourselves up with a good many phrases. We can show wonderful flags and banners to the world inscribed with what the world ought to be; I hope some of us may be forgiven that we hide ourselves a little bit behind the banners. After all, it is something that there should be a banner to hide behind; nevertheless, we are ineffective because there is not in us sufficient of a quality of grit and determination.
We have to change that in ourselves, so that we may achieve. All our energies must be bent on achieving before we pass away. We must be like Them, and to be like Them is not a matter of superficial externals. It is a matter of something which we strive for from within, and it is that that Krishnamurti is all the time emphasizing, and his emphasis is great. He has indeed come “to judge the quick and the dead”; and some of us have not realized that there are a good many members in our body which should be excised, that our vehicles are not [Page 28] all living and vibrating with an intense longing and yearning.
We have also to learn to be as detached as the Masters are. They are the perfect examples of true detachment, with the attitude of the Sannyasi who stands beyond the opposites. But we are attached to our little self; that is why life hurts us so much. On all sides, little troubles, misunderstandings, injustices, surround us, and we are being hurt. Why ? Not because others especially want to hurt us, but because we have a quality of the self in us which makes us unable to stand detached from the big problem of Occultism. In our work, we are not as a nameless worker, an “ X”, who does his work because of the love of the work; we are Mr. So-and-so, or Mrs. So-and-so, or Miss So-and-so who does a work. We are always conscious of our temperament, and where that temperament is challenged there is a hurting. Neither are we detached, so many of us, from our work. We are so attached to our work that, if no credit is given to our work, and especially if our work is wrecked or taken away from us, we are intensely hurt and heart-broken. We are attached to our work. We believe, What could be nobler than the work we want to offer to the Masters ? But the Masters do not work with our sense of attachment. There is a different attitude in Them which we have to learn to imitate.
Equally, too, I think one phase in becoming like Them is to achieve something of Their inclusiveness. [Page 29] We are not inclusive enough, because we go about placing labels. We have especially certain labels, good, bad, I like, I dislike; we are always sorting things out in life, with the result that there is a tendency in us to give a secondary place to the things which are not personally agreeable to us. But to the Master everything, good or bad, is worthy of understanding. To Him there is no evil which is to be excluded from His life. Everything within the world is the life of the One Existence, and the evil needs as much to be scientifically examined and accepted as the good. Hence the detachment of the Master, a detachment which brings an inclusive attitude which enables Him to be effective.
Now, it is that kind of a direct knowledge of the Master which we can acquire, without needing to remember when we wake that we have been to the Master's home. We can be so intensely like the Masters in Their daily life, in Their spirit of brotherhood, in Their spirit of idealism, in Their inclusiveness, that we know beyond every shadow of doubt that They exist.
I remember reading a story which Drummond relates about a girl who died, who for many years had worn a locket; she had never shown anyone what was inside that locket, and when she died, they opened it, and there was only a little piece of paper with the words, “Whom not having seen, I love”. There indeed was an intense love, a love [Page 30] which made her life a flame, with a kind of a flaming faith which gave direct realization. We can all get that and we must all try to get it. It is such direct knowledge which gives a direct realization which is not necessarily registered in the brain. Some of the greatest and most effective people in the world, some of the Yogis of India and the saints of Christendom, were not people who could have explained to you, in terms of science or philosophy, their realization; for it was not a realization in the brain, it was a realization in the Spirit. When one of them spoke, the power of the Spirit seemed to flash in what was said, in the glance of the eye, in the gesture of the hand.
It is that direct quality which we all need, and for that we need an intense aspiration. It is the intensity of our lives that Krishnamurti wants to bring out of us. It is our dead mediocrity which so grates on him, when he sees the possibility, in all those who aspire of being great, of being as a shining light on a tower. Instead of that, we are satisfied with half achievements. Krishnamurti knows that; but he comes to gather a band of people who will not go merely orating about service, but who are service, who cannot help being what he describes in The Kingdom of Happiness, people who are able to “create new worlds, new kingdoms, new abodes for others”. Of ourselves in this room, if we had that quality that he wants in us, should we not be able to control the whole city of Sydney ? We are of different [Page 31] temperaments; this room could supply enough workers for all the various departments of activity of the city's life, leaders in everyone of them, leaders who would be able to bring out the quality of the Divine Fire which is slumbering in all.
Now, that is the point which Krishnamurti wants us to understand. We who claim that we are going to achieve all kinds of things for the Masters, we have to find a true solution to our own problem. We have so to live what has been told to us by others that our life is not a second-hand kind of life. We must live individually, from light which streams from within us. In the beginning, like the child who must learn the alphabet, we have to learn from our Theosophical books, we have to go through the meditation and the training given to us: but all that is nothing more than as the rungs of a ladder. We must not cling to the ladder all the time. Once we climb to the top, then our work will be from the place to which we have climbed, and from there we can give a message of life to the world.
I would like you to ponder over this deeply, for we must do our best to understand the message of the Great Teacher. The Great Teacher wants us all to stand each on his own base, not relying upon anyone's authority, not following even Him, the Great Teacher Himself, but having so much the goal's light and power within us, that wherever we go we shall help people rightly, and not lead them into error.
I do not think some of us realize how very much our actions sometimes have complicated the great action of the Divine Plan, because of our having merely accepted things, and not having probed deep enough. In spite of our best intentions, we have not always been helpful. But it is possible for us so to act that we add to the greatness and the power of the Divine Plan. Mistakes are inevitable in what we plan to do and in what we achieve, unless, even now as we try to understand, there is in us an intense realization. We shall not all be called upon to go and lead the world; most of us are called upon to do little things; but we may blunder even in little things, or we may do those little things so that they may help the great Plan.
We Theosophists are supremely a body of workers, and we must see to it that our work always succeeds so that it can be built into the Plan. But for that, we must go deep within us, and take hold of ourselves, and put out every ounce of force as if we did indeed intend to achieve Adeptship here and now. Who knows, with all the tremendous forces which the Great Teacher is releasing, whether we cannot so achieve ? It may be that we who have been dreaming of things as only for future lives of achievement can achieve them now. But for that, sincerity, directness, readiness to suffer, readiness to understand deeply, readiness to be heroic in life, it is these things which the Great Teacher demands of us now.
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