L E A R N I N G F R O M O N E ’S E N E M I E S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, October 25, 2011
1. Everyone has his enemy. The importance of one's enemy indicates one's own importance, just as the size of a shadow is determined by the size of the object. One should not concern oneself too much about one's enemies, nor should one regard them with disdain. No one exists without a shadow. Akbar, called Great, regarded his enemies with attention. His favorite counselor kept a list of his enemies. Akbar often inquired, “Has not some worthy name appeared on the list? When I see a worthy name, I will send my greeting to the friend in disguise.” Further spoke Akbar, “I rejoice that I have been able to apply in life the sacred Teaching, that I gave people contentment, and that I was made more prominent in the light by the shadow of my great enemies.” Thus spoke Akbar, knowing the value of enemies. Friends do not reveal the greatness of a Teaching as much as do its enemies. If an enemy is a shadow, then slander is a trumpet call.
Agni Yoga, 270
2. Amidst his enemies' assaults, Akbar was asked why there were so many attacks. Akbar replied, “Let the enemies have something to do.”
Agni Yoga, 280
3. The hands of the enemy are ever ready to destroy the works decided upon by Us. The ears of the enemy are cocked to hear slander that can be used against Us. It is not enough to say, “Rejoice at the enemy.” One must learn to understand his ways. The enemy is like the unknown quantity in a mathematical problem. But this unknown can be determined using already-known facts. Hence, it is possible to take the measure of each detected enemy. Consider carefully the circumstances in which your actions are taken. Learn to remember the conditions under which certain feelings came to you. We will return to them again. An enemy is something unknown, one which must be recognized, conquered, and transformed into the familiar: properly speaking, the cognized. During this process one should also observe oneself. Approaching his quarry, the hunter must calculate each of his actions.
Agni Yoga, 303
4. Urusvati knows that each proclamation of truth draws out its enemies. Chaos attacks whatever is revealed in truth. One must not deplore this battle, for it is not only natural but also beneficial. Imagine a teaching that is proclaimed but attracts no enemies. This could only be because it lacks importance and is unconvincing. Enemies are tests, and the degree of their fury indicates the significance of the teaching. Much energy is generated in Us precisely by the actions of Our enemies…. One should view enemies as steps of ascent.
Supermundane III, 483
5. In this stage of our evolution,… all the dark forces of ignorant resistance are absolutely necessary. But do not these very forces of darkness give us the possibility of tensing all our strength and our alertness, and do they not broaden our opportunities for action? Are they not the ones who spread information about us, and in such a manner that they attract the attention of valuable people? At first, such people may approach merely from curiosity, or even indignation, but later their breadth of mind will enable them to realize the true value of things, and they will become our friends. There are many friends who are temporarily masked as enemies. Such metamorphoses are not so rare in life.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, October 21, 1931
6. Urusvati knows that encounters with the servants of darkness are frequent, and that one should be aware of their versatility. There are manifestations that are clearly ugly, but there are others that are luminous, and only an expanded consciousness can determine the true essence of these entities. The question may arise whether We ever encounter these enemies. Certainly, and We must not only constantly battle with them, but sometimes even converse with them. They miss no opportunity to approach Us during Our journeys, and attempt to sap Our energy for their own use. It is fair to say that the dark forces do not spare themselves. They courageously endure the pain caused by contact with Our energy, and are quite prepared to sacrifice themselves. It is lamentable that the so-called servants of Good are not nearly so devoted to their cause…. Let us look to the past and we shall see that the brightest achievements were the result of ferocious opposition. If truth does not exist, to what purpose does this enemy exhaust itself? But if truth is alive, nothing can hurt it and slander will be its advertisement. We have often told Our adversaries that there is a law that turns their evil efforts into glorifications of truth…. Let the empty shell of untruth fall away; the water of truth will continue to flow.
Supermundane II, 335
7. The trainer of wild animals first excites their rage in order later to demonstrate their taming. No motion can take place without tension; therefore each progressive Teaching is in need of enemies and of a Teacher. One must remember the physical law in order to understand the immutability of the spiritual law. I direct that the significance of the Teacher, and the need of enemies must be understood. Certainly, only the Teacher will lead the enemy to madness. The full measure of evil must be manifested in order that one may rise regenerated from out the flames of wrath. The knots of the path cannot be avoided, but know that no tension will remain without its usefulness. Perhaps it will serve entire nations! If a hermit is able with his thought alone to destroy a stronghold of evil, then the tensity that was permitted by the Higher Forces will be like a battering ram against the hostile forces.
8. There is a manifestation of new tensions. The enemies invent new tricks; but let us be as a rock and we shall arrive at victory. One may rejoice that each attack brings new friends. Such friends are inconspicuous, but they can be likened to the cement of a building.
Fiery World II, 413
9. Remember that energy may be urgently needed for some selfless endeavor, and forces that have been dissipated cannot be speedily gathered. The dark enemies will not miss the opportunity to strike a weak spot, and the moment may come when all one's forces will be urgently needed. You should maintain a sacred store of strength, and the enemy will surely sense that in you there is a reservoir dedicated to Service. Great wisdom is needed in order to maintain true equilibrium.
Supermundane I, 243
10. When the dust of doubt is blown away, you will have the strength to resist all enemies, and you will not be alone. The supermundane breezes will strengthen you and Our Shield will cover you. But the most powerful help will descend only at the moment of your most intense self-defense. Thus, self-defense is a call to Us. One should not implore and insist. We are not deaf, and the tension of self-defense is already the best call. It is necessary to repeat about the meaning of self-defense. People have forgotten that they have within themselves an atomic power, which should be turned against all evil. It will not err in finding where evil is, for it does not act for the individual but for the General Good.
Supermundane IV, 875
11. We always advise unity as the basic requirement for collaboration, but if sometimes you notice that We place particular stress upon it, there can be many reasons. The most likely is a special need for consciously united energy—when a poisonous spider attacks, all attention is needed. A crafty enemy demands concentrated, united effort. People often lose their equilibrium when they hear about danger, and fearing one danger, they evoke ten others. But with experience people will learn that danger, first of all, must be faced with equilibrium. When travelers are warned about danger, only a few accept the warning intelligently. The timid traveler will enumerate all the possible dangers and conjure up insurmountable difficulties, while the true warrior will collect his strength to overcome the obstacles…
Great is the feeling of joyous readiness! Such a radiant feeling is without limit; it illumines the entire aura and multiplies the physical strength.
Supermundane II, 449
12. We must face the enemy with complete presence of mind. The enemy is often nothing more than a repulsive but harmless beetle on a sunlit wall, and only neurotic individuals will be frightened by it. Some enemies assume the guise of yaks, but we use yaks for crossing the most dangerous mountain summits. A wolf, too, will sometimes assume sheep's clothing, but we have already been warned against excessive confidence; and we know that we must suit our weapons to each individual case. We would not, for example, oppose a tiger with an arrow designed for a sparrow.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, October 13, 1930
13. We must forgive our personal enemies, as who knows but that the blow one receives is a return blow, well-deserved under the law of Karma? By returning such a blow with another and with a feeling of revenge in our heart, we do not outlive this karma, but we continue and even intensify it in the worst way for ourselves. Moreover, by forgiving our enemies we decrease the amount of evil in space and become immune against many blows. Similarly, let us understand the words “Love thine enemies....” However, with all this, we must resist evil, if we do not want to be entirely overwhelmed by it.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, May 26, 1934
14. The pure heart senses where there is tension, and will succeed in surmounting oppression and the enemies.
Fiery World I, 378