Selections from the Agni Yoga Series

Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, November 16, 2004

      There are four ways of perfectment: acceptance of the gift of the Teaching; liberation from the ego; manifestation of courage, knowing all dangers; learning to make the enemies work for the General Good. Agni Yoga, 643

      ...let us keep in mind that it is impossible to retard the process of ripening fruit. Let us review the pages of history The time came for liberation of thought, and the stakes of the Inquisition blazed; yet thought flowed on. The time came for people's rule, and the firing squad began to thunder. The time came for the development of technics, and the retrogrades were terrified; but the machines moved on, pulsating in the tempo of evolution. Now has come the time for realization of psychic energy. All inquisitors, retrogrades, wiseacres and ignorant ones may be terrified, but the possibility of the new attainment of humanity has ripened in all its incalculable potentiality. Inquisitors and retrogrades may build jails and insane asylums which will be fit enough for them later in labor colonies. But to turn back the matured step of evolution is impossible. Just as it is impossible to deprive humanity of all the ways of communication.
      The denier of evolution can withdraw into hermit life and dream about the delights of regress. But life itself, reality itself, will indicate new, incontestable manifestations. Only the judicious mind of a realist places these manifestations into a scientifically conceived, orderly scheme. All the near-sighted mystics and the petty conventional literati will be in the place of the ignorant. The banner of the newly realized energy is being raised. Each new acquisition must fill every heart with joy. The thinking of the community member must throb at the possibilities of new, useful studies of reality.
      We summon to knowledge, for only knowledge can assist in absorbing the complex of apparent contradictions. The laws of great “Aum” are identical in all conditions.
      Know, know, know, otherwise the little house of decrepit prejudices will not crumble away. New Era Community, 248

      Everyone who has understood the fundamentals of evolution has the responsibility to transmit his knowledge to some others. In this, the one who transmits the knowledge, whether he is great or not, is subject to the same law: he must pass his knowledge on without violating the freedom of others. The fundamentals of evolution can be realized only voluntarily, and can be applied in life only through the striving of the awakening spirit.

      One must rebuild one's entire life for the new step in evolution. This is impossible for one who is not ready to offer himself in spirit to earthly service. In fact, this offering is of the greatest importance for the completion of one's earthly path. From the most ancient precepts of Vedanta We know of this principle of liberation. Facing this new step of evolution, it is Our duty to repeat again and again about this propelling force. Agni Yoga, 153

      Many concepts should be considered in the light of yoga. Can one live without desire when even the spirit is incarnated by desire? Desires are like sparks igniting motion. Then what does it mean to say that a yogi is free of desire? Let us take the precise meaning of the words: a yogi is free not from desires as such but from their burden. He knows himself to be free because he is not a slave to desire. On the path of goal-fitness, a yogi, applying co-measurement, relinquishes desires in the name of the most essential. This ability to change easily is at the core of the yogi's liberation. Nothing hinders his progress.
      It is precisely the inert, stillborn desires that become the chains of bondage for humanity. It is people who chain themselves with such bonds. Either incaution or the karma of others brings on the infection of desire, and a person, instead of progressing, loses all ability to change.
      Pay attention to those who stand and wail. What arrested their way? What forces diverted them from the contemplation and understanding of the world? The most minute, almost indistinguishable, desire burdened them and obscured their vision. How monotonous has their world become! Their desires, like parasites, depleted their energy. Desire can be worms and chains, or sparks and wings. The liberated one soars in realization. The one enslaved wails in despair. Agni Yoga, 259

      Satisfaction is not welcome in Our house. Who among Us could ever be satisfied? The onrushing task of world creation cries out against satisfaction. Can there be joy in completion? We gain impetus from the joy of new beginnings. This is not an abstraction. Beginnings correspond to motion, whose line of continuation is determined by inertia. The stroke of the beginning is Our bell. If We were to take back from the world all that We have begun, the greater part of the world's texture would crumble.
      Who can change destiny? Where is the power? Only in thought. People do not trust thought sufficiently, and the power of their will is fettered seven times over. A man says, "I have gathered all my will power," yet at the same time he is afraid, and doubts, and hates, and hesitates. The will does not act in this way. It can send its arrow only when all fetters have been removed. This state was called dispassionateness, but this is not correct; it is better to define it as liberation. Let us take the example of an archer. If his arrow is weighed down with any objects, the flight of the arrow can only be spoiled. If people could learn to compare their inner actions with their physical activities, they would greatly enrich their consciousness. Agni Yoga, 463

      Learn not to count days and not to notice years, because there is no difference when you are in the great expanse of Service. One should learn to feel oneself beyond trivial usualness and to adhere in spirit to the manifested world of Beauty. Let us proceed together to where there are no boundaries or end, where one can transform each beneficent gleam into the radiation of a rainbow of blessings to the worlds.
      Through devotion one can reach all gates. Let us not forget this even for a moment. Precisely, let us be filled with the smile of devotion, and let us bless the daily routine. Each breath of Ours contains a wondrous substance for the worlds in formation. Ponder upon the treasures which are given to us and which belong to the One who brought us a tear and a drop of sweat for our liberation. Let us also daily thank the Highest One. Hierarchy, 177

      The most difficult yet indispensable discipline is comprised in actions for the good of the world. It is not easy to watch oneself in order to reject egoistic thoughts and actions. But when the entire personality is consecrated to the world, discipline is not only easy but is even not felt. To find a starting point for renunciation means to construct a straight path to the Fiery World. The affirmation of personality with all its astrochemical implications is not egoism, which stifles the aspirations toward ascent itself. Egoism is of Earth. It does not exist in the Fiery World. Its remains in the Subtle World are like heavy chains. It is not difficult to perceive how the meaning of egoism ends with the earthly state, it is not applicable to the subtle ascent. Earth-dwellers, finding themselves in the Subtle World, are especially amazed at the absence of egoism in its higher spheres. Nothing so greatly helps to put an end to earthly accounts as the liberation from egoism. Being conscious of the Fiery World reveals in the simplest way how worthless are the tortures engendered by egoism. The Light of the Fiery World acts as a great disinfectant. The crystals of Fohat are so greatly concentrated in this radiance that each approach to this power purifies our psychic energy. I consider that self-discipline directed to the General Good is the most immediate means for great achievements. Fiery World I, 443

      Disciple, when you choose a most restricted sphere, still leave an hour for the all-encompassing. One cannot breathe in a straitened sphere, but even a small ray of Infinity will provide enough prana. All-encompassment exists in Infinity. When this truth is realized, then there exists no narrow and stifling sphere. In the quest for Brotherhood one must keep in mind these guideposts on the path of liberation. Brotherhood, 484

      Habit is second nature--a wise proverb indicating to what extent habit dominates man. Precisely, habits render a man immobile and unreceptive. One can suppress habits, but it is not easy to eradicate them. People are continually encountered who boast of their victory over habits. But observe the daily routine of such victors, and you will find them slaves of habit. They have become so imbued with habits that they do not even feel the weight of such a yoke. It is especially tragic when a man is convinced that he is free, whereas he is really shackled in the fetters of his habits. It is most difficult to cure a sick man who denies his illness. Each one can name such incurable ones among people known to him. Yet in order to assimilate the concept of Brotherhood, mastery of existing habits is indispensable. Under habits We have in mind not the service for good, but the petty habits of selfhood.
      It is Our custom to test those who are approaching the Brotherhood on liberation from habits. Such testings must be unexpected. It is best to begin with small habits. Man is often concerned with defending them more than anything else. They are considered to be natural qualities, like birthmarks. Yet the newly born have no habits. Atavism, the family, and school foster the growth of habits. In any case, a routine habit is an enemy of evolution. Brotherhood, 529

      There is so much beauty and joy in a life dedicated to cooperation with the Forces of Light for the General Good! And, first of all, this joy is a result of a great liberation from attachment to the trifles of life. It comes inevitably if our consciousness treasures unwaveringly the chosen Ideal and the heart is aflame with devotion and gratitude to the One who called. The true devotees not only cast away the burden of attachments but also learn to love all the obstacles and sufferings which they encounter on their path. Verily, these obstacles become our teachers; they initiate us into the further mysteries of the opening of the flower of spirit. Those who declare that it is possible to attain spiritual growth without suffering speak a great untruth. But these sufferings are transformed into joy, into a new spiritual ascent, provided there exists the fire of true love. Easy and speedy is the path of heart and devotion, which transforms all the thorns into a blossoming garden; but difficult, twisted and painfully long are all other ways. That is why the Call of the Great Teacher is the Call of Love. Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 7 March 1935.