May 2013 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the May 2013 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
“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
Bishop Charles W. Leaderbeater a renowned theosophist and occultist writes:
"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. There are several entries in Geoffrey Hodson’s occult diary, Light of the Sanctuary, chronicling his attendance at the Wesak Festival. In his entry of May 30, 1949 he writes “This is a most vivid conscious experience and completely satisfies me concerning C.W. Leadbeater’s account”.
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 25 May 2013 the day after the official Wesak Day public holiday. We shall hold our traditional annual Wesak Day celebration on the public holiday on Friday, 24 May 2013 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 122nd 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".
We shall celebrate Wesak Day on Friday 24 May 2013 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. Members who have attended this talk previously may be interested to know that we will be showing new slides indicating what could be the actual location of the Wesak Valley which was previously thought to be in the vicinity of Mount Kailas. We will then have group meditation for 49 mins. A vegetarian buffet lunch will be served thereafter.
Study Class on At the Feet of the Master
We will be commencing our Study Class this year with the first of three famous books. At the Feet of the Master is one of three books—the other two being The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path — especially intended to help people to set their feet upon the Path. It is most valuable for us, at the moment, because of its extreme simplicity. It consists of teachings given by one of the Masters of the Wisdom to the young disciple J. Krishnamurti in the year 1909, when he was a boy of thirteen. His knowledge of English was not then perfect, and since the instruction was given in that tongue, both the teaching and the language had to be made especially clear. The Master Kūthūmi, with His marvellous power of adaptability, therefore put all that was necessary for the attainment of the First Initiation into that wonderfully simple style which is one of the great recommendations of this little book, which has been translated and printed in many different languages. As a matter of fact, we have in our library four different versions of this book in Chinese.
Light on the Path appeared in 1885, and The Voice of the Silence in 1889. Each of these books of ethics has its own characteristics. Both the older ones are more poetical than At the Feet of the Master, although in the latter also there are some very beautiful expressions; it could not be otherwise, since it comes from the Master Kūthūmi. Light on the Path, we were told by Swami T. Subba Rao, has several depths of meaning, one behind another, the most profound relating to the Initiation at the Mahāchohan level, a stage beyond where even our Masters now stand. The Voice of the Silence carries us as far as the Arhat Initiation. At the Feet of the Master applies especially to the First Initiation.
The three books though small in size are great in content. Indeed, we may not be able to fully appreciate their profundity if not for the commentaries of Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater on these three books. The commentaries are taken from their talks on these three books over the years and were later compiled into a book, entitled Talks on the Path of Occultism, first published in 1926. Because of the openness and discursive nature of the commentaries we get to learn of many things not covered by any other theosophical books. Students will find the commentaries invaluable, not only to understand the three books but also to gain an insight into the occult environment then.
The study class on the three books which will be based on Talks on the Path of Occultism will be conducted in the same format as that of the Mahatma Letters. We shall have reading of the book in class, punctuated with explanations. Background and historical information will be given where appropriate so that the students would fully appreciate the commentaries given. Where necessary, mini-lectures will be given especially on the topics relating to metaphysics or the more abstruse teachings. We will commence this Study Class probably in July 2013. The Study Class is restricted strictly to Members only.