International Self-preparation Group
Message from Krishnaji I
These Messages are a development of a series of talks
which began first with a small group at Pergine, in 1924. Some of my friends
have felt that to continue such talks, and to write them down for distribution
to a wider circle, might be helpful to the Order, and it is in this hope
that I do what I have been asked to do.
The first thing, however, that I should like to point out, in connection with these Messages, is that I do not pretend to speak as a great authority; for I am not one. I only wish to put forward my ideas of things - my idea of the Master, of happiness, of enlightenment, of being great - on the chance of it being found helpful by others. Please do not think I am a final authority or anything of that kind. Just as a painter might paint a given scene differently from other painters, so shall I give my own point of view, and I want you always to remember this fact. I have my own ideas about the Masters, about being happy and so on; and only as such, and not as claiming any allegiance, do I put them forward.
Let me speak, first of all, of the Masters.
I think there is too often, in our minds, the idea that a Master is something
artificial, something outside us, a miracle of perfection, Who lives away
in the mountains apart from us, a Being alien to us and not one of ourselves.
Certainly, in many books, both Theosophical and non-Theosophical, I find
this idea - that the Masters are remote from us, that They are different
from us, that They have different points of view, that They occupy a different
level. In a way, all this is true; but to me the Master is never limited
by the artificiality of a painted picture, or of a book, nor have I the
idea that He is far away. You know how Bishop Leadbeater has described
the Masters in minute detail, - how They live, where They live, what They
look like, and so on. Now C. W. L., as you know, has always been my Guru;
but, for all that, I want to put the idea of the Masters in another way.
Whenever I myself have seen a Master - and I have not done
so very often - I have always seen Him in rather a "vague" way. If you
asked me to describe Him in minute detail, I could not do so. I could not
tell you the exact colour of His eyes or of His beard, nor could I tell
you how He dresses. I have not that scientific clearness of vision which
Bishop Leadbeater has, and which is necessary for such detailed apprehension.
When I see a Master, it is like the flash of a passing bird or the impression of a passing cloud. You cannot describe these things afterwards; but you know they have been there, and the memory remains with you. l f you were asked to describe a beautiful tree or a flower, you would (unless you have a mind which is trained to observe as minutely as Bishop Leadbeater does) describe the general colour, you would describe the general appearance, the general beauty of it, but you could not go into details. You could not tell how many leaves o petals or branches it had. It is in the same way I am aware of the Masters. I do not say that the one way is better than the other; but it is difficult for some of us, at least for me, to adapt ourselves to that other point of view - as when the Masters are described in minute detail, or when a picture of Them is placed before you and you are asked to meditate upon it.
The idea that the Master is a separate Being, or that He lives apart from us, although true in a way, is difficult for me to understand, because I like to feel one with Him. I like to feel that I can take His arm; I like to feel that I can have Him in my room as a part of myself. It is like having a flower in the room. You can always look at it, and it somehow takes a different aspect, a different colour, every time you do so. You cannot (at least, it is difficult for me) describe the flower, as it is, because it is always changing. At one moment it seems intensely living, at another time it appears almost dead. I do not say that the Master is ever "almost dead"; but it is in this kind of ever-varying way that I see Him. There is never a moment when He is not in my room; whatever I am doing He is beside me. When I am depressed, He is there. When I am happy, He is there. And when He is there, you yourself are the Master. Please do not think I am conceited. It is so difficult to explain what one means in these matters.
When I see, for instance, a fisherman and his boat, or the way he is throwing his net, I can imagine the Master doing that and doing it to perfection. The fisherman may be cruel, and the Master is not cruel, but you can see the beauty of the Master in the fisherman's net as he throws it. I hope you see my point of view. It is that I feel that the Great Ones should not be treated as though They were remote and alien, as though They were foreign to us, as though They were strangers.
Again, I, for my part, do not divide the Masters into various classifications. I do not say that this One belongs to the First Ray and that One to the Second, and so on. To me They are all one; They are all part of the same flower; and when each one of us arrives, as we must arrive, at that lofty stage, then we also shall become petals of that flower. As you know, I have had my own experiences of seeing the Masters and so on. In a way, they have helped to confirm my mind; but the mere idea itself that They are there, that They are the culmination of happiness and enlightenment, is sufficient. If, for instance, a Master appeared to me physically and showed Himself, it would not give me any surer proof of His existence than I have already. It is not because l have seen His face that I believe in Him, but because it is the natural thing that He should exist. It is a natural sequence of events. It is a natural thing that They should be beautiful, that They should be happy, that They should have all the wonderful qualities of perfected humanity. They are the realised Ideals of man-made-perfect, and there is nothing artificial about Them, as we are too often inclined to think.
It seems to me that we ought to feel much more as though They were a part of us, and that we should not wait for visions and for the reading of books to convince us, but should think of Them as belonging to the natural course of evolution - as the result of a process just as simple as that which makes the river go to the sea, or the tree grow to its full height. Indeed, as the tree to the sapling, so does the Master stand to each one of us. He is our natural consummation, our goal made manifest. He may be miles ahead of us, but He is natural; and that is why our devotion, both to the Masters and to the activities which They want us to carry out in the world, should be utterly natural and not forced.
And if you look at it from that point of view, if you realise that the Masters are the outcome of natural processes and that They are the culmination and the perfection of the world - that They are the perfect flower, whereas we are still the buds - then you can understand what it really means to be a disciple. Then you can really become disciples instead of merely labelling yourselves as such, because then you will want to be natural and to achieve.
I feel that we make too much of something which is natural. If you go out into the sunshine and feel the fullness of life, you do not want to talk about it; you do not want other people to listen to you. And if the eventual outcome of our lives is to be perfect, to be like the Masters, again I want to say that They are not outside us, that They are not mysterious Beings dwelling in the far regions of the earth. They are near us, They are with us, and we have to grow to be like Them. Sooner or later we, too, must develop Their capacity, Their intelligence, Their commonsense, Their love and Their adoration. For as They are in fulfilment, we are in promise and potentiality.
They are human, but They are divinely human. The feelings of mankind are Theirs, but They have purified and exalted these into divinity. And this is what we, also, have to do. It is not that we should not have feelings; it is not that we should not have desires. It is merely that we should make them divine and beautiful and wonderful to look at, as They have made Theirs.
And that is why, in a way, I have a kind of shrinking feeling, when I hear people discussing the qualities and the attitude that we need, if we are to be great, and saying that to attain these things we must struggle. That is all artificiality and is never more than partly true. There is something much more wonderful than all this, much more beautiful than any of us can describe. If you have felt Their glory you cannot describe that glory to others any more than you can describe a wonderful sunset. You can say that there is such and such a colour in the north, and another in the south; but you can never express in words or in painting, in prose or in poetry, what the real sunset is; for in the very act of expression the thing loses its life. What matters is the feeling, the depth of the Feeling that you experience, when you see a sunset, or when you see a Master; and to develop that depth of feeling seems to me to be the duty of us all. But to develop it, to enlarge it and make it perfect, we must have a certain goal, we must have a certain determination, certain desires, and we can only get them if we live in the right way.
It is so difficult to say all these things, to express what one feels; but I do want, for the moment, to put my own point of view. I may be wrong - but it seems to me that, when you are climbing a mountain, you do not think of the summit all the time. You think only of the climbing. You simply go on until you get to the top. You do not wonder, the whole time, how far you have reached. You just push ahead until you have arrived at the top. It is the same way with life itself and with our feelings about life. The idea of the summit, the idea of the Masters, must become part of our nature. We must go on and on and on, with the thought of Them, rather as an unconscious "urge" in our natures, than clearly defined and separated off as a "goal".
For instance, if I had a son, I should make him see that the Master is not a fur-away beacon, towards which he must travel, but is there whenever he does anything perfect, whenever he does anything beautiful, whenever he is clean, whenever he has the right attitude of mind; that, whenever he looks at a sunset or a sunrise, whenever he is walking with the head erect and a joyful heart, the Master is there; that all his actions, if beautiful and done with right feeling, with fitness and grace, are the actions of the Master and not his own. You are each your own Master, if you do things perfectly; and this is true even of the smallest things, such as the correct wearing of a coat or the tying of a tie. These little insignificant things are to me a kind of symbol of the real thing. You cannot imagine the Master putting on or taking off anything in an ugly fashion He is the ideal of perfection. He is the apotheosis of "rightness"; and so everything we do, if we do it beautifully, is done by the Master, and ceases to be a mere meaningless act of daily life.
So the central thought of this first message to you is simply this - that the artificiality of our way of thinking about things has made the Masters also, artificial for us, causing us to look on Them as though they were far away, a goal towards which we have to struggle, instead of something ever present and as near to us as breathing. Even the way to Them is simple, for it is really no "way". The moment you are natural in your beauty, then you yourselves have Found the Masters, for you have become Them. It is not out of conceit, or from a feeling of superiority, that I can speak of Them as my Friends, just as many of you are my friends; that I can go to Them with my ordinary troubles in life and know that They would see exactly where They should sympathise and where They should criticize. For me, it would be just like a child going to its Mother or its Father. When you get that point of view, you can never be miserable or lonely or unhappy, when you suffer.
For instance, when my brother died, I felt utterly lost. You have no idea how I felt for two or three days - for more than that, for a week perhaps. I still miss him; I shall always miss him physically, but I feel that he and I are working together, that we are walking along the same path, on the same mountain side, seeing the same flowers, the same creatures, the same blue sky, the same clouds and trees. That is why I feel as if I were part of him; and only when I get tired do I begin to say: "My brother is not here". But at once my mind pulls me up and tells me how absurd is such a thought.
So long as our thinking is artificial, so long as we think of the Masters or of any perfect thing as apart from us, as separate from our being, we shall always have to struggle. But the moment we regard Them as natural, as something belonging quite simply to our every-day life, then the whole thing becomes perfectly easy. Then do we find real happiness. Then are we on the way to becoming disciples; - nay, on the way to becoming the Masters Themselves.