Selections from the Agni Yoga Series

Presented before the Agni Yoga Society, April 16, 2013

     1. Urusvati knows that very few have a right attitude about those who have passed into the Subtle World. Some grieve over the deceased, thus interfering with their ascent, and others criticize them, which is equally harmful. In some cases the deceased are completely forgotten, and this, too, is wrong. It is essential to have a proper, harmonious attitude. Let us imagine a dear one who is in an adjoining room absorbed in some important work. Our first impulse is to safeguard his quietude and take all precautions against disturbing him. We provide the best conditions for the speedy fulfillment of his task. We are concerned about the work, and send our benevolent thoughts to him. We know that our dear one is near us, and although we would like to see him, we realize that we have no right to disturb him. We are patient, knowing that we shall be together at the right time. In the same way, there is much to tell our friend who has passed into the Subtle World, but out of love for him we must control our desire and be cautious. We shall not allow a single word of evil, not wanting disharmonious currents to disturb his work. In short, we shall have a right attitude to the situation, and shall not grieve about the imaginary loss. How can we, knowing that our dear one lives and is near? Nor should we insist upon physical communication. If he is meant to, he will hasten to appear at the proper time. One should be concerned about harmony, which is essential for both worlds. If an important task is being performed near us, we should not quarrel or make noise. Even in daily life people celebrate in the name of an absent one, and try, for example, to take care of the dear one's possessions. We act wisely if we behave toward the deceased as we would toward an absent friend. You should have the same attitude toward Us. This attitude will broaden your consciousness and is beneficial for your inner life. It is lamentable that after millions of years We still must stress an intelligent attitude toward the life of the Subtle World. Let us be fair and admit that people do not understand the Subtle World; moreover, due to the predominance of technology, they are moving even farther from the true concepts. Literacy does not yet mean culture. Great calamities occur because of ignorance. We do not expect extraordinary refinement, but only that people manifest the best qualities of their spiritual nature. The Thinker taught, “Let us send a smile of love to the deceased. Let us send encouragement to all pilgrims. May they rest peacefully at the crossroads. Pilgrim, tell us about the wondrous countries!” Supermundane II, 354.

     2. Many would like to ask to be taught how to enter the Subtle World, but they do not know how to ask without appearing ridiculous. But let the Writings circulate throughout the world, let them be read, if even secretly. Let them be derided during the day and read by night. One may forgive these errors, for no one has given these people a simple guiding formula. Some frightened them, some lulled their consciousness, some lead them away from Truth, but no one indicated to them the beautiful transition to the Summits of Existence. Let us not reproach, but just lately there has been especially much confusion in the world. True, the fact of the existence of the Subtle World is somewhat strengthened in the consciousness, but still people do not know how to deal with such facts and how to reconcile them with the routine of life. They are attempting to pass in silence that which loudly proclaims itself. Thus in the morning hour as well as in the evening let us get accustomed to the thought of the crossing into the Beautiful World. Let it be Beautiful for us. Fiery World II, 21.

     3. The one whose path is to a far-off world usually meets a messenger upon departure from Earth. The liberated one tells this messenger whether he prefers to embrace a new path or would return to help the Earth. Of course many prefer a new path, but there are some who decide to continue the path here. Verily, it is better to wait awhile in the vegetable kingdom and by-pass insects. One can even avoid a whole planet. Illumination, II:VIII:12.

     4. For a consciously developed spirit the period of sojourn on the astral plane could be limited to the interval of forty days, but various earthly conditions have prolonged this time to an interminable period. The misery and grief of those who are carried away from Earth binds them thereto. The best instance of this is found in the Biblical legend about Lot. For a new life they walked out of the city, and only one condition was imposed upon them--not to look back. But the wife of Lot looked back, and bound herself to Earth. Religion says: He who goes to his fathers will dwell with them; he who goes to the angels will dwell with them; and he who goes to God will dwell with Him. It means that he who has ordained for himself the utmost progress arrives at the best attainment. Therefore, the best bidding to the one who departs from Earth will be: "Hurry, without looking back.” What about the dear ones? But the higher you ascend, the better and closer you will see them. Of course, the cause of the delay is usually in the last remaining near ones. Therefore, the abbreviation of the sojourn on the astral plane depends upon a proper cooperation. The higher up, the more pleasant the stay; and on the border of the mental plane the spirit can rest, because there the spirit is already subject to lofty attractions. But one must consciously avoid the lower strata. It is necessary that an explosive impulse of the consciousness propel the kernel of the spirit upward as far as possible. Therefore, the moment of transition is so important, for in it one may dispatch oneself to the higher strata. Once the lower strata are contacted, it is very difficult to rise afterwards. If the condition of spirit permits, it is far better to use the last flash of the nerves' emanation for flight. Thus the lower strata will be more sparse. It is important to dissolve the atmosphere of the lower strata so that it will not press upon the Earth. Cooperation from above and below will give the speediest results. Transition without consciousness has been correctly noted. It is easy to assist in this, if beforehand there be strengthened the desire for lofty flight. Then the emanation of the nerves acts almost automatically. Very helpful are prayers about the ‘wandering of the soul.’ The one thing wrong in them is that they reiterate about rest, whereas it would be better to stress haste. Everyone should read and remember this, for it will not only help the individual but also advance the world plan. Illumination, II:VIII:16.

     5. The precise moment of transition into the Subtle World is accompanied by a sensation of dizziness, as during fainting or at the beginning of a fit of epilepsy. The sensations that follow depend entirely upon the preparedness of the consciousness, or rather upon the fiery ego. If the consciousness has been obscured or dimmed, the senses cannot be carried over into the new condition. In this case a kind of oblivion or drowsy roaming about occurs. This state is not a pleasant one. I do not, of course, refer to the dark state of criminals and the depraved--the nature of their torment is indescribable! But it is preferable to speak of the luminous possibilities. Thus, if Agni has been awakened during life through knowledge or heroic feeling, it will immediately accomplish the great transmutation. Like a veritable torch, it will indicate the way; like radiant helium it will carry one up to the predestined sphere. Though so imperceptible in earthly life, Agni becomes the guiding principle in the Subtle World. And not only does it light the way in the Subtle World, it acts as a guide to the Fiery Beings. Without Agni it is impossible to commune with the Light of the Fiery World. Lacking the manifested fire, the roaming spirits are stricken blind. We behold by Fire, and we ascend by Flame. There are no other propellants, and therefore blessed be the Fire-conscious! Fiery World I, 335.

     6. A neophyte asked a Rishi who spoke to him about Agni, “ If I constantly repeat the word Agni, will I have any benefit from it?” The Rishi answered, “Of course. You have been so far removed from this concept that even through sound your nature will cling to the great foundation of Existence.” In the same way We repeat about the various qualities and analogies of the great Agni. May the people accept this sound in the Chalice! Let them be so saturated with its reverberations that they accept it as inalienable to them. If, during the transition between existences, they even pronounce “Agni,” it will be of help to them, because they will not be hostile toward Fire…Therefore, even the repetition of the sound, Agni, is useful. Fiery World I, 513.

     7. It is a natural desire to want to know how the transitions into different spheres are accomplished. It is not difficult to understand that purified Agni is the decisive factor. If we gradually fill a balloon with combustible gas, it will begin to rise proportionately. If the balloon cannot retain the gas it will descend. This is a crude example of the principle governing transition into the various spheres of the Subtle World. The subtle entity can ascend by itself if its fiery seed is appropriately filled. Fire--the transmuter--helps to assimilate the new and higher conditions. Agni facilitates the understanding of the language of each sphere, because the intercourse of beings becomes more refined as the ascent is made. Of course, the high Guidance does not forsake the striving ones, but for assimilation of Guidance devotion is needed. Thus, a being can ascend the ladder--there is no other symbol which can more accurately define the ascent of the spirit. If a being is detained on one step, the cause is apparent in the aura. So many travelers quite unexpectedly find themselves a few steps lower! The usual reason for such retrogression is some earthly remembrance which engenders cravings. The Guide considers a store of patience indispensable to protect those who stumble. But one should not draw too frequently upon this precious energy. The being who can discover the cause by himself will actually ascend more quickly. Truly, ascent is accompanied by the joy of new companions, and finally the earthly asp of envy falls away, and thought-creativeness is no longer impeded by the currents of malice. But one should prepare even now for mobility of consciousness. A torpid consciousness obstructs the striving of Agni. Thus, let us envision perfectly clearly the ladder of ascent. Fiery World I, 621.

     8. Truly did Christ say: “You know neither the day nor the hour.” He also revealed another truth in saying, “Why hast Thou forsaken me, O Lord?” This refers to the knowledge of the spirit. At the last moment, before the consummation of the earthly cycle, we sink into a seeming vacuum, in order that all the accumulated fires may flash out at once. By restraining the consciousness of the past the leap over the abyss is achieved. Illumination, II:V:17.