V I R T U E A N D I N T E N T I O N
Selections from the Agni Yoga Series
Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, March 29, 2011
1. Never did I speak about any ease in bringing the new consciousness into life. Not the destroyers, but the moldy, conventional virtue is the enemy. The destroyers know the instability of that which they destroy, and the principle of remittal is easier for them. But rosy-cheeked virtue loves its chest of savings and will always defend it with eloquence. Such people recite the sacred words of the Scriptures, and will find subtle arguments why they are indeed ready to surrender it not to this but to that man who does not yet exist.
Conventional virtue manifests superlative cupidity and loves to tell lies. And such handsome, rosy-cheeked teachers of virtue are these, and so oily in their affection!
2. 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; many of them will take pride in their knowledge but an empty one, alien to good deeds, which alone accompany true knowledge; love will grow cold; instead of abstinence gluttony will increase, and many of them will care for sumptuous foods no less than the laymen, from whom monks will no longer differ either in garb or in headgear; and although they will live a worldly life, they will call themselves hermits…. 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
3. The acceptance of Our Advice must be expressed by immediate, undeferrable action. The disciple must not be satisfied with good intentions, knowing that bad results follow inaction. Light-mindedness, negligence, and the demeaning of Our Instructions weigh heavily on the scales. Even the disciple will examine himself three times and say, “I see no mistakes in my actions.”
“Do not lower your eyes to the lowlands, but turn to the heights of the Mother of the World, and thus judge your actions by the measures of the Infinite.”
Agni Yoga, 647
4. Urusvati knows that intention equals action. More accurately, We can say that intention is more significant than action. Action discharges energy, whereas intention accumulates the energy that will be manifested as action. Therefore, when I advise being careful about intentions, I have in mind the maximum benefit.
People frequently leave their earthly existence with many intentions still unrealized. The ignorant think that these intentions will remain so, not understanding that life does not cease and the opportunity remains for intentions to be fulfilled elsewhere or at another time.
Blessed are those who have a store of good intentions, for they will be beautifully realized. Truly, every intention will bear fruit, every promise will be kept, and every goodness glorified.
Supermundane II, 362
5. Thus, thought can be commanded to direct itself to a benevolent intention. Humanity dreams of a better future, still it does not know how to pierce the depths of darkness, because the basis manifested by the Cosmic Fire is not observed in life. The laws of gravitation have lost their significance, hence only the law of purification can provide that which the planet has lost. Verily, only purification can provide the essentials for efflorescence. The key is within the spirit, and only this key can vouchsafe achievement.
6. It has been said that virtue has a rainbow aura. The rainbow is the symbol of synthesis. Is not virtue revealed as a synthesis of qualities? In each ancient symbol can be found an unquestionable truth. People have understood that virtue is not simply the doing of good. They have distinctly known that only consonances of tensions of the best qualities provide the synthesis of ascent. They have known that only the motive will be the affirmation of virtue. No outward actions can testify to the intentions. Experiments with psychic energy will reveal to what extent action is to be distinguished from motive. No glittering words and actions can conceal intention. Many historical instances can be cited when, because of an unworthy motive, even useful actions could not be justified. On the other hand, much that remained inexplicable and under suspicion has shown the radiance of beautiful motives.
7. 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. If a man has not acquired reverence for Hierarchy, no command can make him feel the beauty of this striving; external conditions will shatter the seed of striving. It is a great fallacy for people who have begun to think of the Supreme to alter the outer conditions of their lives… The quality of self-initiated action is a fiery achievement. It does not come from outside, but only together with the broadening of consciousness. Without the affirmation of consciousness, self-initiated activity cannot be established.
Courage does not come by order. It grows from within, giving the sensation of being the core of the spiral. If courage once takes root, nothing can eradicate it. It is beautiful to realize the existence of a process whereby qualities may be acquired which grow like a mighty tree.
Fiery World I, 511
8. How much significance people attribute to their ego! How people dread that their personality may be intruded upon by something incomprehensible to their consciousness! How people dread to adhere to the Highest and prefer to remain on the boundary of darkness! Each intention brings one closer to a better decision if the spirit strives toward the Hierarchy of Bliss. Man can ascend each step in evolution if he accepts the Leading Hand and each Command of Hierarchy. History is built by the Hierarchy of life. The best steps of humanity were built by Hierarchy. The best achievements were affirmed by Hierarchy. Thus one can attain only through Hierarchy.
9. Urusvati knows that one must be able not only to gaze into the Heights, but also to look into the depths of his own nature. The latter is just as difficult as the former. The age-old serpent lies ready in the depths of the Chalice, and will awaken and stir with any misstep. He fills one with malice, he saps one’s strength, and obscures good intentions. Only with great striving can one rid oneself of this ancient companion.
Yet a determined person can develop within himself one quality that can resist the stratagems of this monster. With purity of heart one can sense the borderline that defines the influence of the creature and, sensing this boundary, correct an intended mistake. Later other danger signs will appear. The most important thing is to abstain from acts of questionable rightfulness. One should develop within oneself this sense of right action and thus not waken the monster. It is far better to discriminate in one’s actions than later regret the deeds….
The Thinker said, “Step cautiously. You may be walking amidst sleeping vipers.”
Supermundane III, 478
10. The hypocrites and the cunning ones multiply, because they have no idea of the Supermundane. They do not understand that in lying they primarily deceive themselves. People cannot subsist on abstractions. Explanations of virtue should be based on scientific foundations, defined in terms of the human organism itself. The time is coming when even the loftiest concepts will be proven by science.
There is no need to fear that humane ideas will suffer when contacted by the realms of science; on the contrary, one can only foresee a broader expansion of consciousness. We can only welcome those scientists who will study the moral foundations of humanity from the point of view of physiology and other sciences.
Supermundane III, 698
11. Man crosses into the Subtle World with all his vices and virtues, he indeed preserves his character in full. “Ulcers of the spirit are carried over into the Subtle World if they are not gotten rid of on Earth.”… We are not reborn such little angels as is usually imagined. Often, very real little devils are hiding under these innocent, on the surface, infants. Each Ego, at each new rebirth, preserves and brings along its entire baggage of the past… Energies engendered by man are his inseparable property (karmic), which follows him also in his new earthly life. The karmic consequences of the past life follow man; and he, in his next life, will collect the energies or vibrations impressed by him on the astral, because nothing can issue from nothing; therefore the link exists between lives, and the new, fine envelope is molded out of the former one.
Letters of Helena Roerich II, 5 July 1938
12. Precisely the Leader must discriminate between hypocrisy and sincerity. The manifestation of the virtue of the heart differs greatly from a forced servility. The Leader has the power to discern this quality. .. We also know that for the High Communion a pure heart is needed. Nothing impure can partake of this Communion, therefore the symbol of the Leader must be the sign of purity of the heart. Not only in actions but in thoughts the Leader carries the welfare of the people. He knows that he is entrusted to bring a full chalice. He does not lose his path in useless wanderings. He will not spill the entrusted chalice. Thus the concept of the Leader is a sign of the future.
Fiery World II, 48