A S C E R T A I N   T H E   E S S E N T I A L S
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series

Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, November 22, 2011

     1. I will tell you of the origin of the controversy between Buddha and Devadatta. Devadatta asked: “Wherefrom is each action begun?” The Blessed One answered: “From the most necessary; because each moment contains its necessity, and this is called the justice of action.” Devadatta persisted: “How is the evidence of necessity ascertained?” The Blessed One answered: “The thread of necessity crosses all worlds, but whoever has failed to realize this remains within a dangerous chasm, unsheltered from the stones.” Thus, Devadatta could not distinguish the line of necessity, and this obscurity impeded his way. A spirited steed even with the end of his hoof feels on which stone to step next. So is felt the order of mobility, co-measurement, and necessity. Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, Illumination, III:II:5

     2. The Cosmic Magnet provides direction as well as destination. In the entire evolutionary process one must seek this destination, and the central point of evolution must be ascertained. Mere ascent is not the impelling force, as the center of evolution is the core of all cosmic activity. … The center of evolution creates balance, and the center of human thought violates it. Therefore, during the epoch of imbalance between good and evil, … humanity must show exactitude of direction. Therefore, the fiery summons gives the direction to humanity. The center of evolution, in its ceaseless flux, maintains the basis of the Origins. Infinity I, 230

     3. The qualities of actions testify to the decisiveness of striving. Each action is imbued with its own essence. The impulse of motion compels one to ascertain the impetus of an achievement. The quality of the action determines the quality of the affirmation. Then how must the spirit strive to the refinement of the essence and quality of action! The entire pledge of creativeness and direction of action are contained in the trend of thought. Therefore the approach to the Chain of Hierarchy directs the spirit toward the truth of creativeness. Thus one should seek to fulfill the Higher Will. Hierarchy, 65

     4. When the direction has been ascertained, when the consciousness has been verified, when determination has been tried, then must be found the word expressing the next step. … Struggle in full consciousness, in resoluteness, with no retreat. … Let the interpretations of community be many and varied, yet its channel is one. Pushing off from the old shore, humanity inevitably will reach its indicated, evolutional, upright cliff of the New World. Community, 265

     5. It is not enough to establish facts; their inner meaning must be understood. We have discussions about the future during which it is permitted to offer the broadest range of ideas, but We must support them with facts and analogies. Such games of forecasting are the best relaxation. They awaken dormant centers and give birth to new thoughts. Our Teaching results from experience and prognosis. Therefore, advise your friends to ponder upon the future. It is futile to consider whether the current moment is successful or unsuccessful. Only by projecting fact into the future do we ascertain its value. Thus is molded the reality of the future. … Think thus about the future, and in the midst of the desert erect walls of knowledge. You know that every stone put into these walls must be vital and needed. Their strength resists all assaults of the enemies of knowledge. Treasure each hour devoted to constructing the future. The major forces of humanity are made possible by man’s foresight. Whence comes courage? Whence striving? Whence the ability to overcome? From foresight. Agni Yoga, 128

     6. The rhythm of the spiral accelerates proportionately with the ascent. The factor of time, which is so great a burden to humanity, is ascertainable in the refulgence of the power of motion of the creative spiral. People are in dread of time, realizing the crumbling of their structures, because man manifests an unrhythmic motion. The beauty of the spiral tension will be at the base of all creativeness. Cosmos manifests to the spirit that spiral. Material Lucida at the disposal of the blended heart will manifest the highest forms of Beauty. Infinity I, 114

     7. The ascertainment of the Magnet in life has become a science for the further advancement of humanity. The linking of the Magnet with life provides correlation with the entire cosmic cycle. We are raising humanity out of the conditions of the lower sphere into the sphere of limitless thought. … It is instructive to know that the most fiery process can be achieved by the spirit, and the transmutation of fires inspires to the further process. Infinity I, 191

     8. The measure of impelled spirit-creativeness can furnish the scale which indicates the adherence to or divergence from the course of evolution. The measure of actions can ascertain a precise correlation of the principles, the so-called cosmic truths… It is established that Cosmos creates through the Magnet, and the power of attraction gives life to man. Creativeness is based upon this principle. Infinity I, 234

     9. The ascertainment of the manifested decision can enter life only through great understanding of world regeneration by way of the great law of Hierarchy. Therefore, those who seek the New World must strive to the confirmation of the Decree of Hierarchy, which directs through the appointed Hierarchy. Only thus can balance be established in the world. …The world is in need of the affirmation of the law of Hierarchy! … It is so urgent to adopt the law of Hierarchy, for without the chain the great ladder of ascent cannot be constructed. Thus, the affirmation of the greatness of the law of Hierarchy must be adopted fierily. Hierarchy, 344

     10. Much is said about the influence of music upon people, but almost no illustrative experiments are carried out… It may be ascertained what harmony most closely adjoins the psychic energy of man, what symphony can have the strongest quieting or inspiring influence upon people. …The very quality of harmonization will give the best indications about the paths of sound and the life of man. Aum, 384

     11. You should advise that one's thinking should not be based on visions. There is nothing more deceptive than these illusions from the Subtle World, which are perceived through the lower manas. It is essential to have discipline, a firm control of all emotions, and years of the most refined observations before it is possible to correctly discriminate between visions of the Subtle World. One must investigate all such visions most objectively, honestly, and with keen observation, otherwise we will become playthings of the denizens of the lower strata of the Subtle World. That is why disciples are advised to write down their visions, so that eventually they can ascertain their correctness and significance. But there is a great difference between writing down and observing them, and unconditional acceptance of and guidance by them. Letters Of Helena Roerich II, 31 August 1936

     12. There are now so many “initiates,” “hierophants” and “great incarnates,” etc. But it is not so difficult to recognize the impostors. First of all, they lack simplicity. While the true initiates or entrusted ones are entirely simple in their lives, trying not to be different in outward ways and to be silent about their achievements, all the self-deceiving ones are very fond of acting mysteriously and talking about their high initiations, as well as of using high-sounding titles and names, although they themselves do not even know what real initiation means. Real initiations have nothing to do with any kind of ritual invented for the masses; initiation can take place in diverse places and dwellings, and there is only one condition necessary—the readiness of spirit in the disciple. And this readiness is ascertained by the “thermometer” in the hands of the Great Teachers. Initiation consists of the assimilation of the higher rays of various strength and qualities. Often, those who sincerely aspire toward the good are under the influence of these higher rays, though at the beginning they do not even suspect it. The stage of preparation for the assimilation of the higher rays is sometimes very long; all depends on the accumulations of the disciple. Letters Of Helena Roerich I, 12 August 1934

     13. How is it possible to ascertain the verity of the Teaching? A multitude of good words may cover up something mediocre; but Truth, we know, does not fear examination… “Approach with all force; observe by thorough measures; investigate by all methods; cognize with all daring; reveal indefatigability, and be aflame with each discovery of Truth.” … Faith is the realization of Truth, tempered in the fire of the heart. … If the Teaching is a true one, each step to it will be enlightening and broadening. Disparagement, denial, abasement are poor guides! … One could agree with the method of skepticism if only something would result from it. As a rule it corrodes the creative principle…Thus, say to him who has doubts about the Teaching, “Test it, be aflame in your heart, and broaden your spirit!” Fiery World I, 433

     14. The new book, Aum, is now being published. Undoubtedly, those in the opposing camp will again raise a hue and cry, “Why this pagan term? How dare they compare the Divine Bliss with the heathen Aum?” etc. To this we may answer, “Leave ignorance to yourself,” and we shall quote the lines from the Teaching: “If scholars are told of magnetized water, they accept such an expression; but if you speak about enchanted or bewitched water, you will be classed with the ignorant. Whereas the distinction is only in name, for in essence the same energy is applied. It is time for science to broaden its horizon, unhampered by casual designations. All the dramas of life arise precisely from denominations. One should accustom oneself from childhood to ascertain the essential nature of things.” (Aum, 258) Letters of Helena Roerich II, 24 May 1936