Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
(All selections copyright Agni Yoga Society)

Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, November 9, 2010

     1. Spiritual laziness is a very common retarding condition. One may encounter people quite capable spiritually, and yet at the same time, going absolutely backward from sheer laziness. Each one can see how the best possibilities are carried away in a whirlwind simply because of laziness of thinking. Such meditation is useful on the path to the Fiery World. Fiery World II, 389.

     2. Christ taught compassion, yet trampled is the law of love. Gotama, called Buddha, besought courage and energy, yet His followers surrendered to laziness. Confucius taught about an orderly system of government, yet his followers have succumbed to bribery and corruption.
     It is difficult to say which crime is the worse. Therefore, it is impossible to speak about nations; one can speak only about individuals. Indolence is dreadful and can border upon crime. It is difficult to see the consequences of laziness, but it transforms a man into an animal. I assert that it is one of the chief obstacles on the path. On the spiritual plane at times a murderer is more mobile. llumination, II:XI:1

     3. So let us expel any feeling of prosperity, and let us evoke all vigilance, realizing how unfitting is the thought of comfort in Infinity, and let us adopt vigilance as an eternal prayer. Thinking about the Fiery World, one should be especially conscious of these concepts. Thus, let each writing about the Fiery World end with advice about unceasing watchfulness. People are so carelessly engulfed in an everyday routine of life, that even the most striking thing appears dull to them. Ingratitude, laziness, unwillingness to respond to the heart, all are engendered by darkness of existence. But the fiery path shines with the fire of the heart. Fiery World II, 463.

     4. Urusvati knows that one must be able not only to gaze into the Heights, but also to look into the depths of his own nature. The latter is just as difficult as the former. The age-old serpent lies ready in the depths of the Chalice, and will awaken and stir with any misstep. He fills one with malice, he saps one’s strength, and obscures good intentions. Only with great striving can one rid oneself of this ancient companion.
     Yet a determined person can develop within himself one quality that can resist the stratagems of this monster. With purity of heart one can sense the borderline that defines the influence of the creature and, sensing this boundary, correct an intended mistake. Later other danger signs will appear. The most important thing is to abstain from acts of questionable rightfulness. One should develop within oneself this sense of right action and thus not waken the monster. It is far better to discriminate in one’s actions than later regret the deeds.
     We have spoken about questionable actions. One should think about this issue with caution. A lazy person will be glad to categorize most of his actions as questionable. He ignores the voice of the heart, and cloaks himself with hypocrisy rather than take the trouble to act. Everybody knows those hypocrites who hide their laziness and selfhood behind lofty words. One cannot imagine the depths of cunning that reside under the coils of this snake! Yet these hypocrites are not fit for real labor. It was said long ago that the pronouncing of lofty words is of no value if truth does not dwell in the heart. Supermundane III, 478.

     5. To indolence is attached doubt and self-pity. No energy comes into action through such a poisonous handicap. Doubt corrodes everything. Unsustained efforts and self-pity weaken even the strong in spirit. Such an exordium must be given to each one who wishes to bring psychic energy into action. Aum, 352.

     6. Urusvati knows that the will is psychic energy, transmuted and sharpened. In antiquity the arrow was a symbol of the will. At present much is spoken about the development of the will and many artificial methods are proposed for strengthening it, but it can only be developed by active work.
     When you meet people who lack will power, you can be certain that they suffer from laziness and are in a state of obscured consciousness, unwilling to attempt any independent activity. There are many such people and they will not readily understand that such creative labor sharpens their arrow of attainment. It can be stated that lack of will is accompanied by fear, depression, ingratitude, and other terrors of ignorance.
     When we strive to the Supermundane World, we must gather all our will in order to courageously conquer all the lower strata, which nail people to a state of ignorance. Let us not pity those who deprive themselves of the possibility of advancement. Out of compassion We will point out to such people how much they lose--but you can be certain that many of them will not be able to heed Our advice.
     Only a life of labor will teach them to value quality in their work, and on this path of struggle they will garb themselves in the armor of will. Amidst everyday life one can find excellent exercises for development of the will, and these natural ways will be blessed.
     The Thinker admonished the disciples not to allow despondency. Supermundane IV, 729.

     7. Exercising the energy is useful; each testing awakens in it a new quality. It is especially necessary to keep this in mind, for not so long ago I spoke about fatigue under the pressure of the energy. But one should not deduce from the possibility of fatigue that experiments are undesirable. It is possible to exercise the energy without falling into a state of weariness. It also needs exercising as does all that exists. Through rational exercise fatigue is diminished. Each energy must be tested in action. Even muscles must be exercised; thus people can continually awaken forces dormant in themselves. One should understand such an awakening as the duty of man before the higher worlds. The reasons are many why energies can remain in a somnolent state. They can be enumerated beginning with karmic effects. But usually people's consciousness slumbers through indolence. Such a quality is called the featherbed of evil. The best possibilities are not transformed into life when the gaze is heavy laden with the veil of laziness. One need search for no excuse when body and spirit droop from indolence.
     It was once enjoined that laziness is worse than errors. Aum, 351.

     8. Beware of those who have no time. Being falsely busy indicates first of all inability to make use of the treasure of time and space, and such people can execute only the primitive forms of labor. It is impossible to attract them to construction. We have already spoken about the falsifiers of dates, who steal someone else's time; now let us speak about paltry idlers and dullards, who clutter up the path of life. They are busy as a pepper-box; they always have a bitterness against labor; they are as puffed up as turkey-cocks; they account for a quantity of stench from smoking; they bring the place of labor into a state of stupefaction. They think up a hundred pretexts to fill in the cracks of rotten work. They cannot find an hour for the most urgent. In their stupidity they are ready to become arrogant and to deny that which is most essential for them. They are as unproductive as are the thieves of another's time. They must be excluded from the new structures. For them can remain the carrying of bricks. Community, 216.

     9. A high spirit does not resist moving naturally into a new life. It rejoices at the possibility of self-improvement, and actively seeks more difficult tasks in order to test its renewed consciousness. The high spirit strives to a difficult path, while the weak one clings to laziness and cowardice.
     People come to Us only by difficult paths. Not one Brother, not one Sister can be named who did not come by a difficult path. Each One could have chosen an easier path, but did not in order to hasten the ascent. One can imagine the atmosphere that is intensified by such labors! The vibrations are so powerful that they cannot be endured by those unaccustomed to them. Joined with the power of the vibrations the unified tension radiates brightly to form a beautiful rainbow.
     The atmosphere of Our Abode radiates in this way. Supermundane I, 83.

     10. Some say that work can be fatiguing and even injurious to the health. Thus say lazy and inert people.
     Understand that work properly apportioned cannot in itself be fatiguing. One should understand how to effect a proper change of the group of working nerves, and then no fatigue can find access. Do not try to find rest in idleness. Idleness is but the microbe of indolence. Muscles may ache after tension, but you have but to plunge into idleness to begin to feel the full pain. Whereas, by calling into action the opposite centers one can completely avoid the reflex of the previous tension. Indeed, implicit herein is a great mobility, which is developed by conscious experience.
     When a physician prescribes a diversified treatment, time and opportunities are found to carry it out. In the same way one can find a rational change of work. This concerns all kinds of labor. Illumination, III:V:15.

     11. Life rushes by like a waterfall, but not many perceive its motion. Those who yearn for rest regard life as if it were a tomb. What is rest? This concept is an invention of the dark ones. What manifest timidity people reveal when they speak of rest! For them, rest is idleness. This kind of rest is always an earth-bound joy, a joy of doing nothing that is not Ours. Is nature ever idle? We, as parts of nature, are subject to its laws.
     One does not always have to be running. Nor need one choose for himself a life of seclusion. Even a plant, for example, though rooted, exists in a state of constant activity. Agni Yoga, 268.

     12. Urusvati is right in affirming the love of motion. Without love, one cannot understand the necessity for motion. One can listen to instructions about the law of universal motion, and can acknowledge that the least suspension of motion will disrupt the entire Universe, but it is impossible to apply this knowledge in one's life without love. Universal motion is not the hustle of the bazaars, or the bustle of the public square, but the nerve of a creative life that propels the consciousness toward perfectment.
     An idler will not understand the kind of motion We speak of. He prefers inactivity and wishes for the cosmic motion to roll him along like a dead grain of sand. True, we are all less than grains of sand in Infinity, but each movement of the consciousness will be a great cooperation. It is not easy to instill in people a love of motion, but they must remember that We work continuously, and thus manifest the motion of the Universe. Supermundane I, 81.

     13. We must emphasize the significance of action or labor for awakening and developing psychic energy, since psychic energy, first of all, needs to be exercised. It must not be limited by accidental impulses; only constant, systematic, and rhythmic labor can attune its current. The correct exchange of psychic energy is based on rhythm. Do emphasize the harmful effect of laziness, which stops the action of psychic energy in us and thus ruins our entire evolution, finally leading to complete destruction. Indeed, it now becomes obvious that the busiest people live the longest, provided there is rhythm in their work and no excessive poisoning of their organisms. It must be pointed out that each labor should be performed with complete consciousness. Also, striving toward the betterment of the quality of each labor and each action is the best method for growth and for intensification of the psychic energy. Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 14 May 1937.

     14. Urusvati knows how much We value readiness for action. Activity can be of two kinds, external and internal. A person may not yet have the opportunity to begin external activity, although his inner resolve is already fixed upon seeking truth and a desire for self-perfectment. But his striving creates within him a sort of magnet, which attracts the outer possibilities.
     We are continuously in motion. Even when We remain in the Ashram We are at the same time moving into the far-off realms through the power of Our striving.
     One should know that activity is beneficial; however, amorphous particles of one's organism can seriously impede activity. There is a type of person who resists the idea of being active. These lazy specimens are especially harmful, and there are many of them.
     A readiness to move purifies one's thinking, and We rejoice to see this transformation of outlook. Possessions lose their hypnotic power and cease to burden the consciousness. People can then understand the balance between owning things and renouncing them. What remains is a respect for human labor, and selfish greed is dissolved in the whirl of movement.
     How beautiful are thoughts about motion! They are a source of inspiration for Us. We overcome the idea of time when We are in motion. We can solve problems when We adhere to the concept of motion. Be not surprised that in many people there is an intuitive desire to fly, for this is a sign of our epoch. But people should move even more in thought, and thus forge ahead of even the speediest flights. Supermundane II, 283.

     15. Urusvati knows the true meaning of rest. We have already said that rest should be a change of labor, but there are other beneficial ways to rest, such as communion with the Supermundane World, enrichment of knowledge, contemplation of the grandeur of nature, and human creativity. Some will call these ways of rest a broadening of consciousness, others a liberation from ego, and others, a victory of the spirit. They will all be right. The rapture of lofty perceptions can transform one’s life, if one is able to sustain the valuable inner vibrations. <…>
     The Thinker said, “Labor is the liberator, and thought is the guide.” Supermundane IV, 857.