Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, February 10, 2004
One can sometimes notice in children strange and fleeting glances, as if they see something unexplainable. Sometimes they may speak of a fire, of stars, or of sparks. Of course, adults usually attribute this to illness or foolishness, but attention must be paid to just such children. As is known, younger children can easily see astral images and, furthermore, especially sensitive ones can even see the fires of space. Such organisms should be carefully observed from their early days. Be assured that in them lie the promises of Agni Yoga, and if placed in pure surroundings, they will freely fulfill these promises in an exemplary way. Chiefly, their minds should not be polluted with outworn ideas, nor should fear of the unusual be instilled in them.
We have spoken sufficiently about the urgent importance of Agni Yoga, and of course the sensitive organisms should be prepared not for display, but for real life, as guides on the predestined path.
For a mother these observations are not difficult; she has only to know what and why she is observing. I am not speaking about harmful indulgence, without correct evaluation. The observer assesses the child's abilities unobtrusively, offering seemingly casual impressions of guidance. It can be noticed how joyously the eyes of a child open when its movements and its exclamations about things that are most dear to it are lovingly supported. Derision is the worst educator. Sensitiveness reveals a degree of culture. One cannot make Agni Yogis, one can only open the path for them—the cosmic manifestation does not permit any forcing. But where the flower of fire is ready to blossom, do not hinder. Agni Yoga, 457
The conditions of the nerve centers of children should be studied. It is known that in each child these centers are developed in individual and uneven ways. In some children, there may be one highly developed center that can prompt spontaneous actions equal to those of adults.
At times certain centers cause sickliness, to the perplexity of physicians, since physicians do not think to seek evidence in the nerve centers of a child. However, according to such signs of sickliness and other unusual symptoms, one can judge the true condition of the body and the quality of the spirit. How much good could result from such observations! How many possibilities could be protected, thus enabling the development of psychic energy in the child.
For old spirits who have experienced many incarnations, the period after the seventh year is quite difficult, and the one after fourteen years even more so. After fourteen years the psychic energy has already come into action. The spirit has already torn itself away from its former existences, and the burden of the new unknown path overwhelms it. The accumulated possibilities cause a vague anxiety, and the core strives to return to conditions in which there were greater opportunities for the consciousness to act freely.
The proper care of the nerve centers of children is a necessity for the future. There has existed a mistaken opinion that the spirit cannot early on master its new body and that this is the reason for children's foolishness. But actually, when the centers do not work correctly, the deposits of psychic energy are not produced, and the spirit has no substance through which to manifest itself. The care of children's nerve centers can be considered to be the care of the future race. Agni Yoga, 539
Nervous choking is often the result of an over-burdening of the Chalice when its accumulations are not used consciously. Children can suffer from this, which indicates that their former experiences were considerable. Of course, thoughtful care and quiet occupation will balance the struggle between spirit and body. The throat, teeth, and eyes may likewise remind one about the struggle of unmanifested accumulations. In the same way, one should pay attention to what can be called consumption, which also may be provoked by the center of the Chalice. Agni Yoga, 573
It is astonishing how easily science permits itself narrow limitations and responds to that of which it is ignorant. Children sometimes say, more correctly, “I do not know.” A frank absence of knowledge is regarded as the Gates of Cognizance. Heart, 417
Discussions about children's education are right, but also in this case the question of the heart is neglected, whereas the manifestation of the heartbeat is very close to the attention of children. It is actually easy to tell children about the treasure of the heart. I consider that this story will remain as the first ascent, for one's entire life. Heart, 575
You already know about the significance of the thirtieth year for fiery manifestations, but one should especially guard the organism up to the seventh year. In children, even in the most highly developed, one should never force nature—Fire will not tolerate compulsion. One should know how to open the door, but each coercion may cause irreparable harm. On the other hand, one should not inordinately facilitate the child's striving, since excessive help creates weaklings. Fiery World I, 19
Joy and courage are indispensable, but without Fire these qualities are not created. Reason can deprive one of all joy and thus close the gates to the future. Yet a fiery world outlook does not fall from heaven, it must be discovered. This method of discovery must begin in childhood. We see how children already accept inwardly the most difficult tasks of the spirit. Even all impediments placed by their elders serve only to crystallize their straight-knowledge. Fiery World I, 56
“Me, me, me!” cries out the child, unwilling to admit his elders to his occupation. Up to the age of seven, do not the mind and heart at times remember the covenant of independent achievement on Earth? Later on the wise memories grow dim and often are inverted. “Let them, high and low, labor for me!” thus speaks the man who has forgotten about self-perfectment. But the child remembers and defends his independence. When another child whispers, “How can I manage to reach it?” he is ready for new experiences and conquests of the spirit. But it is not enough that such words of children are uttered—they must be noticed and appreciated. Fiery attention should record these calls and vows of the Subtle World. A small child states, “At last I am born.” In this affirmation of striving for incarnation the Subtle World is evidenced. One can cite many instances when not only small children but even newborn babies unexpectedly uttered words of enormous significance and afterwards lapsed into their normal state. One must develop in oneself a fierily manifested memory and solicitude for one's surroundings. Thus one gathers the most valuable information. Fiery World I, 264
If we recall various evidences of perspicacity in children, we can hardly insist upon a mechanistic cell theory. Only later do people lose the perception both of the past and of their destination. How often adults have been saved by children! How often children have not dared to express their feelings! A false timidity is created by the surrounding ugliness. A refined and exalted spirit grows numb before the festering sores of prejudices. How often do adults forbid all improvisation, forgetting that this is the song of the spirit! Even if the technique be imperfect, how many beautiful seeds can be implanted through such utterances of the heart! Fiery World I, 267
One should speak about the Fiery World even to very young children. But first one should tell them that a void does not exist and that there is no loneliness. Thus one can approach the subject of Protector and Guide. Children will become accustomed to the thought that nothing is secret. Such a foundation will provide them with a real protection against fear. It is especially harmful when parents, in ignorance, try to convince the child not to be afraid because nothing is there. Such a seed of negation can cloud the child's entire life and break down its consciousness. The child is fully aware that everywhere something exists. It sees many images, even fiery ones. It is visited by unknown children, who come to play, and adults. Ignorant physicians will try to drown this perceptivity in bromides—like binding wings with lead. But poisons will not help! Only a sensible explanation of reality will bring health to children. One should listen equally attentively to each fragment of truth. The lama says, “One should pray each day, otherwise it is better not to pray at all.” And fundamentally you know that this is so. Actually, one should preserve the higher vibrations, while not losing the connecting rhythm. You know the value of constant rhythmic work. You know to what an extent such great exertion opens the Gates. Fiery World I, 379
It is difficult to turn from Earth to the Fiery World. But it is equally difficult to approach the earthly spheres from the Subtle World. Such plunges may be compared to the work of divers. As the diver must wear a heavy diver's suit in order to resist the pressure of the ocean, so he who approaches Earth must also sheathe himself in a dense body. The state of the newborn babe is wisely designed, because it can thus gradually assume the burdens of Earth. More than one period of seven years is necessary to master earthly existence. Therefore one should carefully protect the children. Fiery World I, 338
Not infrequently do children manifest the better thinking about the Fiery World. Try to encourage them in such thinking, while applying subtle understanding, for otherwise one may either turn them away or else impose upon them one's own personal conception. Let children draw from their own treasure-house; it is ever ready to reveal the most vital details. Science can obtain valuable date from children; too little use is made of them. And people abuse children, being unwilling to understand how much can be harmed by a rude touch. Fiery World II, 174
The Chalice contains the accumulations of centuries which are gathered around the seed of the spirit. It is necessary to accept the affirmation of the Chalice as a great symbol in everyday life. Small children, and all youth, should be taught to think about the Chalice. One should understand the entire diversity of forms of the great symbol, the Chalice. Fiery World III, 49.
Accustom children to detect the currents of life-giving warmth. Help the children to smile joyfully at a true manifestation of Existence. Keep them from the worship of phantoms. Not necessary are fictions when the World reveals its marvelous structure. Thus, all space is filled with the rays of the wondrous Worlds. Fiery World III, 479.
The Teaching can be assimilated by children extraordinarily quickly, provided the child's peculiarities be observed. In a great degree he remembers what has been absorbed earlier, and it is especially useful if instead of new knowledge the child be helped to recall what has already been implanted in him. In this way it is easier to absorb new subjects later, but one must be observant. Brotherhood, 276