May 2007 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the May 2007 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
The Lord Buddha
“I will first say that there can be no Planetary Spirit that was not once material or what you call human. When our great Buddha — the patron of all the adepts, the reformer and the codifier of the occult system, reached first Nirvana on earth, he became a Planetary Spirit; i.e. — his spirit could at one and the same time rove the interstellar spaces in full consciousness, and continue at will on Earth in his original and individual body. For the divine Self had so completely disfranchised itself from matter that it could create at will an inner substitute for itself, and leaving it in the human form for days, weeks, sometimes years, affect in no wise by the change either the vital principle or the physical mind of its body. By the way, that is the highest form of adeptship man can hope for on our planet.”
A Master of the Wisdom
The Great Wesak Blessing
We learn from our theosophical books that the Lord Gautama Buddha, instead of devoting Himself wholly to other and higher work after His Mahaparanirvana, has remained sufficiently in touch with our world to be reached by the invocation of His successor when necessary, so that His advice and help can still be obtained in any great emergency. He also undertook to return to the world once in each year and shed upon it a flood of blessing.
The Lord Buddha has His own special type of force, which He outpours when He gives His blessing to the world, and this benediction is a unique and very marvellous thing; for by His authority and position, a Buddha has access to planes of nature which are altogether beyond our reach, hence He can transmute and draw down to our level the forces peculiar to those planes. Without this mediation of the Buddha these forces would be of no use to us here in physical life; their vibrations are so tremendous, so incredibly rapid, that they would pass through us unsensed at any level we can reach, and we should never even know of their existence. But as it is, the force of the blessing is scattered all over the world; and it instantly finds for itself channels through which it can pour (just as water instantly finds an open pipe), thereby strengthening all good work and bringing peace to the hearts of those who are able to receive it.
The occasion selected for this wonderful outpouring is the full moon day of the Indian month of Vaisakh (Wesak), and usually corresponding to the month of May, the anniversary of all the momentous occurrences of His last earthly life—His birth, His attainment of Buddhahood and His departure from the physical body.
In connection with this visit of His, and quite apart from its tremendous esoteric significance, an exoteric ceremony is performed in the physical plane at which the Lord actually shows Himself in the presence of a crowd of ordinary pilgrims. All Members of the Great Occult Hierarchy, except the Lord of the World and the three Kumaras, usually attend this ceremony.
The place selected for this stupendous occasion is a small plateau surrounded by low hills, which lies on the northern side of the Himalayas, not far from the frontier of Nepal, about 400 miles west of Lhasa. This location is commonly referred to as the Wesak Valley and the occasion is referred to as the Wesak Festival. Bishop C. W. Leadbeater gave a first-hand account from his personal participation and the Wesak Festival is described in great detail in his book The Masters And The Path which was first published in 1925. Geoffrey Hodson verified the account of the Wesak Festival, as described by CWL, when he attended it on May 30, 1949 as entered in his occult diary (Light of the Sancuary).
Normally this day coincides with the 15th (full-moon) day of the Fourth Month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, which is always a public holiday in Singapore. This year, Wesak Day, as we know it esoterically, falls on 2 May 2007 while the official Wesak Day public holiday is on 31 May 2007. We shall hold our traditional annual Wesak Day celebration, nevertheless, on the public holiday on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 11 a.m.
White Lotus Day
Madame H. P. Blavatsky has always been a tremendous source of inspiration for all students of occultism. Not only was she well loved and remembered by members of the original Theosophical Society, she also had many friends and followers outside of the Theosophical Society. Indeed, many movements were founded outside the Theosophical Society to study her teachings. Even today, more than a century after her death, new movements are still being formed pledging personal allegiance to H.P.B. and faithfully adhering to her original teachings. This is especially true in the cyberworld of the Internet. We could almost say that many people are fiercely loyal to our founder, Madame Blavatsky.
We join all these followers and students throughout the world to commemorate the passing of Madame H.P. Blavatsky on May 8. This is the 116th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest occultists in recent history. We call this day White Lotus Day to remember with fondness the founder of the Theosophical Society. White Lotus Day was declared by the co-founder and President Col. H. S. Olcott in 1892 as a Day of Remembrance to "express the feeling of loving regard for her who brought us the chart of the climbing Path which leads to the summit of knowledge". For the convenience of members, we shall celebrate White Lotus Day three days earlier on Saturday, 5 May at 4 p.m.
The Theosophical Encyclopædia has just been released! This is the culmination of strenuous efforts, over a period of more than 10 years, by dedicated theosophists to collect and collate theosophical materials into a single volume for easy reference for students of the esoteric philosophy.
This is a milestone in theosophical publishing. It is the most comprehensive single source of theosophical knowledge ever published. The contents include 1,200 articles by 110 authors on:
Edited by Phil S. Harris, Vicente Hao-Chin, Jr. and Prof. Richard Brooks, the authors include Prof. John Algeo, Joy Mills, Prof. Robert Ellwood, Dr. Stephen Phillips, Mary Lutyens, Grace Knoche, Dara Eklund and more than a hundred others. We are happy to say that our stock of 100 copies offered at the pre-distribution discount price of S$59 has been completely sold out. If you have ordered, please collect your reserved copy on 5 May 2007.
The esoteric Wesak Festival and the Wesak Day public holiday normally coincide. However, this year, although the Wesak Day public holiday is on 31 May, the actual Wesak Festival falls on Wednesday, 2 May. Nevertheless, we believe there will be a tremendous outpouring of beneficent forces on 31 May 2007 as millions of people―a great portion of the world’s population―will be celebrating Wesak on that day. This, we understand, is in line with the law of nature that divine forces will take advantage of great congregations of devotional people as useful channels for the outpouring of blessing. For that reason and for the convenience of members, we shall celebrate Wesak Day on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 11 a.m.
As we normally do, we will have a talk giving a detailed account of the esoteric Wesak Festival including a video recording made by an Australian TV station of pilgrims gathering at the legendary Wesak Valley. We will then have group meditation for 49 mins. A vegetarian buffet lunch will be served thereafter.
A Course in Theosophy and Meditation Course
As part of our continuing effort to achieve our twin-object of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy and induction of new members, we will be starting a new theosophy course. Once again, the theosophy course will be combined with the popular meditation course, both to optimize our resources and also to give attendees the benefit of two courses at the same time.
The schedule of the combined Meditation Course and the 25th edition of A Course in Theosophy is as follows:
25/5 (Fri.) 7 p.m. Basic Rules of Meditation
28/5 (Mon.) 7 p.m. ‡ The Different Planes of Nature
30/5 (Wed.) 7 p.m. ‡ Man’s Evolution
1/6 (Fri.) 7 p.m. ‡ Death & After
2/6 (Sat.) 3 p.m. The Astral Plane
4/6 (Mon.) 7 p.m. The Mental Plane
6/6 (Wed.) 7 p.m. ‡ Thought-Forms
8/6 (Fri.) 7 p.m. ‡ The Noble Eightfold Path
11/6 (Mon.) 7 p.m. Meditation for Soul Development and Yoga of Light
Theosophy encompasses the science of life and the philosophy of living and has helped many people in the world. All members can help in the mission of popularizing a knowledge of theosophy. You will be doing humanity a great service by reaching out and bringing newcomers to the Society, to expose them to the theosophical teachings.
For enrolment and details of the course, read about A Course in Theosophy and the Meditation Course.