D E V O T I O N
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 25, 2008
1. You ask Me what I need of you now. I need devotion, such devotion as would be purified from all adulterants.
2. Contemplate each approach to Us. Become irreplaceable. By night cover yourself with Our Name. By day gird yourself in the armor of devotion.
Agni Yoga, 102.
3. Devotion to the chosen Teacher was considered a necessary and fundamental quality of a disciple in all the Teachings of antiquity. Therefore, blessed are you if this quality is not alien to your spirit.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 14 December 1935.
4. Devotion is the rarest quality; it helps one toward the goal faster than anything else. If the great concept of devotion is dear to their spirit, they should write down from the books of the Teaching all that is said about this regal quality. By rereading often these notes, they can strengthen within themselves this manifestation of true spirituality. It is said in the Teaching: "Devotion is the foundation of spirituality."
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 8 September 1934.
5. If the Teaching is applied, if patience is indomitable, if courage, fearlessness and devotion burn in your heart with an inextinguishable flame, you will attain your aim, and the Great Teacher will not delay in manifesting himself in some way.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 17 May 1937.
6. Complete devotion is the projection of consciousness along the line of Hierarchy. As a taut sail bears along the precious load, so the intensified consciousness carries one beyond the boundaries of danger.
7. Menacing hands do not reach you when you proceed surrounded by the spiral of devotion. If through lower physical sight the eye could see the armor of devotion, then the man would already not be in a state of lower consciousness.
8. I call to mind a tale heard by Akbar. A sovereign asked a sage “How do you tell a nest of treason from a stronghold of loyalty?” The wise man pointed to a crowd of gaily dressed horsemen and said “There is a nest of treason.” Then he indicated a solitary wayfarer and said “There is a stronghold of devotion, for solitude can betray nothing.” And from that day on the sovereign surrounded himself with fidelity.
9. Devotion is proved by action.
The Call, 341.
10. How to awaken devotion? By goal-fitness. How to improve quality? By reverence for mastery. How to awaken creativity? By the desire for beauty.
Agni Yoga, 67.
11. Hasten, hasten to understand the Teacher! Let us encircle Him with a protective wall of devotion and thereby enclose ourselves within the stronghold. After you have wandered enough you will come to understand that with the Teacher, there is always success. Where defeat occurs, there has been betrayal of the Teacher. Gratitude and devotion flourish joyously in Our Community. If Our conduit brings word to Us that a co-worker thinks he has sacrificed something in the name of the Teaching, this would compel Us to reject his cooperation. Our co-workers know both how to receive and to give. When you spread Our Teaching do not shout in the square, but simply offer a smile to the approaching ones. Those who come voluntarily will accept the Teacher. But he who is ensnared will gnaw at his chains. We expect joy, and accept only the wondrous flower of devotion. Let us hasten to understand the Teacher!
Agni Yoga, 76.
12. Let us turn to devotion. This concept is also subject to many distortions. Devotion does not resemble a windmill, or a hired singer of praises. Rather, it resembles a firm tower upon a summit, which the enemies avoid in awe, but in whose chambers a shelter is ever prepared for a friend. Devotion is the opposite of doubt, which is nothing but ignorance. It means that devotion rests upon enlightenment. Thus, validity of learning is akin to devotion. It is not credulity, not levity, but firmness and steadfastness. Truly, the tower of devotion is not constructed by haphazard toil or by petty decisiveness; and devotion can be violated only by perfidy, which is the same as betrayal. But valuable are the towers of devotion! Such ashrams, like magnets, attract powerful hearts; they are nurseries of spirituality. Even material nature is transformed in the proximity of these towers.
13. And another quality belongs to woman—she manifests the highest degree of devotion. The greatest truths are revealed by her. Reality confirms this. Woman can ensure that new knowledge is properly applied.
The Thinker used to address His Muse, thus expressing His reverence for the subtlest force.
Supermundane III, 458.
14. One must distinguish between absolute devotion and conditional devotion. Most often people display absolute devotion when they receive, but each act of giving in return is difficult because of self-imposed conditions. Some accept what they have been given, but then raise obstacles in their own consciousness, and begin to think that the given treasure is but a piece of mold! One should remember that the measure of one's devotion determines the measure of receiving. Faith must be equal in degree to knowledge. Each limiting condition set upon one's faith sets an equally limiting condition on its fruits. Yet no one would wish to be called a conditional disciple. Such a title would provoke offense. The law acts identically under all conditions. But the law does not take offense—it co-measures. Be assured of the co-measurement of devotion.
Agni Yoga, 87.
15. Joy is easily attained if at each moment you feel devotion to Us.
Agni Yoga, 110.
16. Try to feel with your heart the power of joy in devotion and love to the Leading Hand. I affirm by the knowledge of spirit and heart that you have not a greater Friend and Guardian.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 24 February 1930.
17. Each act of reverence for the Teacher shows an understanding of the Teaching. Each sign of reverence for the site of the Teacher's labor will show deep understanding and devotion. But these signs of attention cannot be prompted. These signs must by themselves flower in the consciousness. The Teacher will not demand, "Pay your respect to Me!"
Agni Yoga, 119.
18. Of what do We speak? Of the quality of devotion and also of alertness—the ability to see clearly. Devotion—irrepressible, all-conquering, creative, adorning the path. Alertness—all-penetrating vision, all-comprehending, indefatigable, strengthening aspiration. Are there many who can cultivate within themselves both devotion and alertness? Where will the devoted but unseeing ones arrive? Should one safeguard the eyes of those who can see but are traitors? To those who are devoted, all plants can be entrusted. To those who can see, all flowers can be shown.
The concept of devotion is vastly demeaned. People are quick to show discontent. Not lengthy is Our list of those devoted to Us. Cherish each evidence of devotion. But the true measure of devotion is revealed only at times of difficulty. And the ability to see is tested only through the cover of mist. Our Shield is simply the understanding of devotion. People usually understand devotion as love, readiness, or solicitude. But these fragments of devotion are only a smile of sympathy, whereas true devotion is radiant, like a warrior ready for battle. Speak often of devotion, and praise alertness. People need affirmation.
Agni Yoga, 251.
19. Nothing can so much turn one away from the path as the rejection of straight-knowledge. But the beginning of straight -knowledge lies in the devotion to Hierarchy. Only true devotion will prevent one from polluting the straight-knowledge by personal egoism. Only devotion will teach not to distort the Indications of the Teacher. Only devotion will help to find new strength. I will not weary of repeating about true devotion, because often people substitute for this concept the most abominable fanaticism. Thus the Fiery World is ordained.
Fiery World II, 15.
20. Urusvati knows that devotion is of greatest value when it is manifested in the fullest measure possible. Only then is created a powerful, beneficent effect, salutary even over great distances. The kind of devotion that only goes halfway belongs to the realm of hypocrisy. Man deceives himself and others in this way and generates powerful poisons. Man ought to be able to say that he is devoted, even when it is of no benefit to him. But what ugly devotion it is when people choose to be devoted only when it is profitable to them! Everyone will agree that such covetous devotion deserves a very different name.
Our Brotherhood is based upon a mutual devotion that no circumstance can disturb. One may think that such intense devotion is the result of long collaboration. This is true, but people often collaborate in ways that do not necessarily encourage their devotion to grow. Thus, one’s devotion should be tested in the smallest details. True devotion will point out the right conduct, and will teach a careful, loving, and simple attitude.
Devotion is not slavery, it is a smile of understanding and sympathy. Ponder upon this beautiful word, sympathy, for it expresses harmony based upon the consonance of feelings. Everyone longs for sympathy, but so often it is demanded for oneself only, without regard for reciprocal feelings. Many misfortunes have their root in this misconception.
The Thinker used to say, “Man demands sympathy, but where is his reciprocal feeling? He considers himself to be most unhappy, yet does he consider the misfortunes of others?”
Supermundane III, 492.
21. The aura saturated with devotion to the Hierarchy is able to resist any attack of the dark forces. But not for a single moment should we allow doubt or deviation from this focus of Light. Devotion and purity of motive is our only anchor in the chaos of the raging elements.
Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 23 August 1934.
22. I received with joy the wonderful message of your heart, in which you expressed your devotion to the Great Teacher. Verily, devotion is a quality characteristic only of kings of the spirit.
Thus, blessed are you if your heart vibrates to this great feeling of sweet savor. Verily, the fires of gratitude and devotion rise higher than those of any other offerings.
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 1 October 1935.
23. Urusvati knows the importance of rhythm when in continuous communion with the Higher World. The rhythm of the highest energy is attained only through many years of labor, and cannot be achieved as a result of sudden illumination. One must begin with words, and later with wordless aspirations. Finally these flow together into a rhythm that resounds constantly in the heart, both when awake and when asleep. There is one basic quality that increases the vibration. Let us call this quality ecstatic Love, for in it are the highest devotion, inextinguishable trust, and untiring power. This step of ascent is a high one, but there is no ultimate stage in anything.
Supermundane IV, 722.
24. “The Light of Truth is the light of courage, the light of devotion - with these words the Statutes of the Brotherhood begin."
Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 16 August 1937.
25. Verily, if you realize yourself as being constantly in the solemn presence of the Lord, you are already on the shortest path to Us. If I shall say, “I love Thee, O Lord, and I am devoted to Thee, O Lord, and I reverence Thee, Teacher,” by what a mighty choir will this song of praise be transformed on the far-off worlds! Thus, in each act of devotion one can open new locks; and how wondrous it is to feel the inexhaustibility of great concepts. The Ordainment can be concise “Be aflame in heart and create in love!”