H U M I L I T Y
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, November 5, 2013
1. Unpreparedness is not transgression. Love the unhappy, have compassion for the humble.
The Call, 88
2. One of the great concepts, often incorrectly interpreted, is precisely the great concept of humility. It has been interpreted as non-resistance to evil; it has been interpreted as good-heartedness, as compassion, but very few accepted it as self-denial. For only self-denial and self-sacrifice can give understanding of humility. Truly, We see the giants of spirit and the heroes who devote themselves fully to the humble tasks for the good of humanity. We know of great experiments being humbly carried out in the earthly laboratories for the benefit of humanity. We know the great fiery experiments of those who dedicate their lives wholly and humbly to the benefit of mankind. We know manifestations on the path to the Fiery World which inspire all surroundings. Truly manifold is humility manifested through self-sacrifice and self-renunciation. Heroism is a manifestation of various aspects of humility. Thus the records of space are filled with great deeds of humility. Invaluable are these fiery flights of the spirit. Thus, verily, the heroes of humility drain the cup of poison for the good of mankind.
Fiery World III, 24
3. As the highest humility and the highest self-renunciation, should one accept the Image of Those bearing the full Chalice of self-sacrifice. They carry a heavy burden in the heart. They bear the brunt of the tension manifested by humanity. They carry the burden of the entire discrepancy. Such humility is redemption. Who will give himself wholly to the achievement of drinking the cup of poison? Who will take upon himself the Fiery Shield for the good of humanity? Who will resolve to accept the fiery energies? Who will manifest the understanding of the entire Cosmic tension? Verily, he who is in consonance with the Higher Forces. Mankind is accustomed to demand Good, but very rarely does man think of giving. Hence the humility of a saint who carries a fiery chalice is regarded as the highest humility. The fiery chalice holds the essence of the saving of the spirit of mankind and the atonement. Thus, let us remember and manifest understanding.
Fiery World III, 25
4. For such fiery humility the spirit must be tempered through thousands of years and must live in constant achievement. Thus takes place the final bid for the planet, and in this great Battle We manifest Our Might. Therefore Our humility is so fiery. It is not easy for a fiery spirit to manifest humility. The fiery spirit is like a furnace, like a flaming torch, and self-denial and self-sacrifice are its lot upon the last step. Therefore the last sojourn on Earth is so hard. Each threshold means a painful step. Thus do We forge the great future.
Fiery World II, 26
5. It is not correct to think of the humility of a Hierarch--humility ahead and the Command behind. Likewise, the concept of Hierarchy is clearly expressed in the words of the Apostle about the Comforter. This advice should be similarly understood, because inaction in sorrow is not indicated, but consolation is prepared through achievement. Thus, even the best Teachings are obscured by not acknowledging that which is imperceptible to earthly sight.
6. The worst of all is to understand humility as mediocrity. Humility is the worthy carrying out of Service. Is standing guard before the trusted gates insignificant? Not insignificant is a resolution to perform better labor. Reverence of the Fiery World cannot be of no account. But true Service lies in the toil of patient endurance and perfectionment. Such quality pertains to the Fiery Path.
Fiery World III, 500
7. I love the legend about Akbar, describing how, in the days of solemn feasts, when all the dependent rajahs and peoples brought their gifts, Akbar, amid loads of costly gifts, would pick up the humblest and, holding this simple gift near his heart, would appear in front of his people. In this manner he expressed solicitude toward the humblest of his subjects, emphasizing that he appreciated not luxurious gifts but those given by a devoted heart. Let us do the same, and judge not by outward appearance and position but by the inner thought and the inner quality. And, of course, the best thoughts and the most devoted hearts are more often hidden under poor cloth and modest position. Appreciate your humble co-workers! Punctuality, as well as politeness, in the ancient days was considered a privilege of kings.
Letters of Helena Roerich I, 21 August, 1931
8. Least of all do people understand success. Usually, when the success of a task commissioned by the Hierarchy, and imbued with the help of the Hierarchy, is attributed by the spirit steeped in selfhood to its own merit, the success turns into a heartache of the spirit. When a co-worker requires adoration of himself for fulfillment of the task given him, he closes by this very act the records of space. The records of life passing on in all earthly glory reveal so many beggars in spirit! A co-worker who presents to the community the idea that the Hierarchy will act in accordance with the affirmation of the successful co-worker introduces truly a belittlement of the Hierarch. How difficult it is to introduce among the co-workers the true concept of success! Indeed, only humility of the spirit and the feeling of gratitude are appropriate. Who gave all possibilities? Who has given the direction? Who has manifested all good? Only the Hierarch, only the Leader, only the Forces of Light. Successful co-worker, examine thy armor; on each link is inscribed--Hierarchy. Not I myself, nor mine, but Thine, O Lord!
Hence, on the path to the Fiery World one should remember that humility is the companion of success. Co-worker, pretend not to luck, for fiery energies are subtle, and crude egotism does not contain the fires. Thus, let us remember about humility when we wish to be truly successful.
Fiery World III, 52
9. Prayer is the realization of eternity.… How then should one pray?… Resolving to unite with the Infinite, man inhales emanations of the ether, as it were, and without mechanical repetitions establishes the best circuit for the current.…
Needless are conjurations, needless are entreaties, needless is the dust of humbleness, needless are threats, for we alone transport ourselves into the far-off worlds, into the treasuries of possibilities and knowledge.
10. Your interpretation of the Beatitude "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." appeals to me very much. This Beatitude is one of the deepest in meaning. Indeed, in this precept is indicated the need for humility in self-sacrifice, or the absence of any conceit and vanity, as well as the renunciation in consciousness and spirit of all greed, possessiveness, and attachment to transitory objects. Precisely, this renunciation in one's consciousness was emphatically insisted upon by all the great Teachers of antiquity. Do you remember the example of the two disciples mentioned in the books of Living Ethics? One had no possessions, yet the Teacher reproached him all the time for his attachment to things; the other was surrounded by things but did not receive the reproval of the Teacher.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 28 May, 1937
11. He who thinks of modesty and humility is by virtue of this neither modest nor humble. Natural virtues do not require forced considerations. Much vanity has originated from such forced pseudo-modesty and pseudo-humbleness. In all qualities connected with fieriness, directness is needed.
Fiery World I, 511
12. Spirit is a quality of matter; therefore We repeat: Do not withdraw from the earthly life, for in it too are found spiritual joys, and joy is needed for supermundane feelings. It is especially necessary to care for those who labor, in order that the proper rhythm of labor may generate in them the joy of the heart. The humblest worker can be a great vessel of joy, if he perceives the supermundane vibrations.
Do not complain if you have to speak of things simply and repeatedly; multitudes of hearts await a simple word. They wish to warm themselves at a welcoming fire, and thus can raise themselves to the Supermundane.
Supermundane IV, 706
13. Whom shall we call the most courageous? Perhaps the tiniest butterfly exposed to the same atmospheric conditions as the lion. Observe the effects of the Teaching upon the humble. Often they bear the hurricane of enlightenment better than those who are considered great.
Agni Yoga, 79
14. “At another time St. Anthony disclosed to his disciples that because of the lessening of zeal, monasticism will become weakened and its glory will grow dim. Some of his disciples seeing a great number of monks in the desert, adorned with many virtues and zealously advising the emulation of the holy life in a hermitage, asked St. Anthony, 'Father, how long will this zeal and fervor last, and this love for seclusion, poverty, humility, abstinence, and all other virtues for which this multitude of monks are so assiduously striving?' The man of god answered with sighs and tears: 'The time is coming, my beloved children, when the monks will leave the deserts and will begin to flow into rich cities, where, instead of these desert caves and narrow cells, they will erect proud structures that could vie with the palaces of kings; together with this will grow love for the accumulation of riches; humility will be replaced by pride;… (A monk is actually one living in solitude.)… But there will also be those who will be much better and more perfect than we, for he is blessed who could transgress and did not, could do evil and did not, rather than he who is attracted to the good by the multitude of zealots aspiring toward it. This is why Noah, Abraham, and Lot, who led such exemplary lives amidst evil people, are so justly glorified in the Scriptures. '"
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 25 January, 1938, quoting St. Anthony the Great
15. Do not think of Fire as an abstract concept. Although We do not summon you to the stake, We do not detach you from daily life. Verily, We see Fire even in the most humble worker, if in his spirit lives the song of the endless joy of labor. We shall say that We value each manifestation of true labor, leading toward evolution. Search for this identity and you will become identical with the higher.
Infinity I, 35