Selections from the Agni Yoga Series

Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 13, 2007

     I consider the study of concentration dangerous in a heavy atmosphere....People see the visions they desire, because the current is often too weak and they see images made by their own brains.
     For powerful visions is needed an atmosphere charged with electricity and a consciousness in repose. The Call, 165.

     It is right to consider initiations, meditation, and concentration superfluous practices; these concepts must be expressed in one's actions. All artificial magic must be left behind. Agni Yoga, 156.

     Verily, life is full of miracles if we approach everything with an open heart and with striving to beauty and self-perfection. And not by way of all sorts of artificial meditations and concentrations and other mechanical means, but in the great deed of everyday life. Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 17 February 1934.

     Learn to sharpen yourself in quietude, by uplifting your spirit to the Almighty Eye of the Universe. The Call, 58.

     At times it is useful to sit calmly, directing one's spirit to Infinity. It is like a shower from the far-off worlds. We ourselves must attract the currents, otherwise they may glide by without leaving a trace. Thought attracts positive currents like a magnet and repels negative ones like a shield. Fiery World I, 344.

     One may add a most useful exercise—to preserve silence and direct one's thoughts to the Most High. A wonderful warmth suffuses one. Indeed, not the fire of combustion is needed but the higher, creative Warmth. The wise gardener does not set fire to a beloved blossom. Fiery World III, 516.

     The idea of having at least a half-hour daily for thought is good. I do not mean some special concentration. It is useful to think about the best aspect of everything that is taking place. Even small signs reflecting the best in life afford a glimpse of Light. They also stimulate the flow of gratitude and magnanimity. Fiery World I, 405.

     The Blessed Buddha once said to His pupils, "Let us sit in silence and let our eyes behold."
     After a while the Teacher asked, "How many times did I change my position?"
     One noticed ten changes, another only three, and another insisted that the Teacher had remained still.
     The Lord of Wisdom smiled, "I changed my position and the folds of my garment seventy-seven times. As long as we do not learn to see clearly we shall not become Arhats." Agni Yoga, 551.

     The root of a thought, or its motivating cause, must be made evident to a refined consciousness. It is impossible to know all thoughts, because in the kaleidoscope of human fragmentary thoughts one becomes dizzy, and the mere scraps of unstable thinking are of no use. But it is useful to sense the motivating cause of each expression. Fiery World I, 535.

     Each day one can discipline oneself not to think of some definite thing. But one should beware of self-delusion lest the command not to think contain a thought within itself. Complete abstinence from thought and preconception is already a great mental discipline. Aum, 404.

     Observe how psychic energy must be allowed a free moment before action. It is necessary to slacken the earthly reins, as it were, in order to permit it to unite with the Primary Source. It is a mistake to suddenly force the energy with earthly sendings. One should give it a path, through consolidation of the bond with the Higher World. It is impossible to exercise command over such a bond. It is impossible to bid a carrier pigeon fly, one can only release it; it knows whither to fly. Likewise, it is necessary to release psychic energy from the carnate cage; a magnetic bond is immediately established. Many will talk about concentration, but such a state presupposes tension, whereas release of the energy alone is required; thereupon it begins to act. Not much time is needed for such liberation, a scant second is sufficient to release the energy. Thus, let us first of all release our prisoner. Enough has been related in fairy tales about the powerful invisible entity. Aum, 462.

     When you are asked what should be done, answer, "Work as never before. Let everyone do his best, even if his work is the most simple, everyday task."
      You may be asked if it would not be better to concentrate mentally. But this beautiful state can be destroyed by spatial currents and whirlwinds. Besides, ordinary people do not know how to think, and waver like reeds in the wind. But during such winds one must hold fast to something secure. In labor will people's consciousnesses find this support. The teacher must accustom his pupils to work and must praise the best quality of labor. This perfectment will lead to an expansion of thought. Supermundane II, 438.

     People are so far removed from an acknowledgment of inner manifestations that only a few will understand the special meaning of My indication to be together in silence. For them silence is inaction, since they are so unwilling to know about the mutual reaction of energies. Only a broken nose or injured eye is a sign or evidence of energy for them. Whereas an intense silence represents a fiery fence and, augmented by the number of those who unite, it becomes a real stronghold. Therefore, in a hour of tension you should gather and sit in silence. Of course, one can think of the one path, in which salvation lies. Thus I send you all strength. Heart, 185.

     When in perplexity, sit together in silence and think one thought. Soon you will understand to what an extent such silent counsel is practical. We precipitate the force of the spirit along one channel. An unusual discharge results, reinforced by magnetism and harmonized by rhythm. The law is that two concordant thoughts increase the power seven times. This is not magic but a practical consideration. Illumination, II:V:7.

     If earthly substances act so diversely on different people, then how much more varied is the reaction on them of the highest energies! Long ago people understood that for the proper reception of these rays it is needful to bring the organism into a harmonious condition. For this purpose the Wise Ones have indicated the power of sacred invocations. Aum, or phonetically Om, was such a synthesis of sonant strivings. Prayer and inward concentration are excellent attainments which render healthful the state of the spirit. Each one in his own way has contributed a manifestation useful to spiritual concentration, whether he sought the solution in music, in song, or in the dance; there have even been crude methods leading to intoxication and frenzy. There were many deviations and errors, but fundamentally man was striving to create a particularly exalted state of mind, promoting the reception of the higher energies. Aum, 4.

     Many wondrous things are approaching. One can understand them in accordance with one's own desire and one's own consciousness. But it is still easier to receive them through the Image of the Teacher. If you can visualize the Image of the Teacher in your consciousness with the most complete clarity you can transfer your consciousness into His, and thus act, as it were, through His Power. But for this, one must visualize the Image of the Teacher with utmost precision, even to the minutest detail, so that the Image may not falter, or suffer distortion, or change its outline, as frequently happens. But if, following the exercise of concentration, one succeeds in invoking a constant Image of the Teacher, through this one may gain the greatest benefit for oneself, for one's nearest ones, and for the work. Hierarchy, 90.

     Hiero-inspiration descends through a single basic condition. Neither concentration, nor command of the will, but love for Hierarchy produces direct Communion. We do not know how better or more precisely to express the guiding law than as a flow of love. Therefore it is so opportune to put aside compulsive magic, in order to become imbued with love in one's entire being. As a result, one can easily approach the principle of Existence by a sense of beauty. Precisely, amidst the dissolution of the planet, one must turn to the most health-giving principle. And what can more strongly unify than the mantramCAI love Thee, O Lord! In such a call it is easy to receive a ray of cognition. Observe this. Fiery World II, 296.

     You ask whether you should continue your meditations. Everything that develops the concentration of thought is most useful. Clearness and the crystallization of thought should be greatly encouraged. Just now there is so much chaotic thinking that one should be particularly on guard and try hard to harness one's thoughts and not permit their capricious jumping. Sequence in thought and action is so essential for the broadening of consciousness. Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 26 April 1934. 2.

     It would be excellent if you could arrange special classes in your groups dedicated to the development of organized thinking. This should be based not on abstract psychology but on practical foundations, such as the cultivation of observation, attention, memory, concentration, etc. Of course, there are certain instructions on this subject in Theosophical literature. Perhaps, for a beginning, you could use Ernest Wood's little book, and then life itself will show you the best examples. Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 12 March 1935.

     I also understand that you adhere to a chosen method of preparing yourself for meditation. Everything spiritual is so individual that everyone should sense precisely with his heart what is particularly close to him and follow this path. I am so fond of a statement in the Bagavad Gita, this finest pearl of the Eastern writings, that I never tire of repeating it, and so I shall quote it to you as well. "Man comes to Me by various paths, but by whatever path man comes to Me, on that path I welcome him, for all paths are Mine." Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 11 September 1937.