International Self-preparation Group
Message from Krishnaji
As the birthday of Krishnaji occurs in May, we have decided to make this month the starting point for all our activities for the year. The financial year will begin in May, the month will be devoted specially to Self-Denial, and the issue of the new series of Messages by Krishnaji will also begin from May.
This New Year's Message does not form part of the series, but is the substance of an address delivered by Krishnaji to the Star Council at Adyar. It will be of special interest to the members of the International Self-Preparation Group, as it is a record, in his own words, of his impressions of the great meeting of December 28th, 1925, under the Banyan Tree at Adyar.
The attention of members is again drawn to the fact that all the Messages should be kept strictly private and not shown to any one not belonging to the Group.
A small book giving all necessary information with regard to the Organisation of the International Self-Preparation Group, rules and important suggestions has been issued and may be bought at the Office of the General Secretary, or the National Representatives.
B. P. M.
International Self-preparation Group
Message from Krishnaji
It was in 1921, during the European Theosophical
Congress at Paris, that we decided to start an International Self-Preparation
Group all over the world, and I believe the idea originated in Holland, Miss
Dijkgraaf being greatly responsible for it.
I think that the Self-Preparation Group should always be a rather indefinite body, but one from which can be chosen individuals who will be really useful to the Order. In other words, the Self-Preparation Group should be the backbone of the Order, as the E. S. is of the T. S. It should be, in my opinion, not exactly vague, because that brings about loose ideas, but it should not be in any way crystallised. It should not have many rules, because once we begin to formulate many rules, we shall produce a body that will soon crystallise and break up. What we need in this Self-Preparation Group, in my opinion, is members who will become real apostles, real followers, real disciples of the Teacher. And from that Group we should choose not only the National Representatives, but also the other officers of the Order; from it we should be able to pick out workers throughout the world. They should come to various Centres (we have the Self-Preparation Groups all over the world), to any one of the four Centres that exist, so that they may be trained in those Centres along Star lines.
My idea of members who belong to the Self-Preparation
Group, is that they shall have but the one desire - that is, to become
true followers of the Teacher. Most of us here, who have been attending
meetings, especially the Star meeting on the 28th, have realised that a
new life, a new storm, has swept through the world, and, as after a tremendous
gale that blows and cleans everything, all the particles of dust from the
trees, the cobwebs from our minds and from our emotions have been blown
away, leaving us perfectly clean. And now we have to become that gale,
that storm, wherever we go, because we represent - please do understand
this - the Great Teacher. We are His supporters; we are His followers,
and not mere machines. We do not want to become mere drudges, clerks who
do office works. There are millions in the world who can do that work,
but what we want is to understand and be in ourselves a little storm. When
a real gale comes along, all the little winds disappear, and there is but
the one gale sweeping through the whole world. I think we have all felt,
at least I know that I have felt, quite different since that day. I feel
as though I have skipped over many pages and turned a new chapter in a big
book, and now I know what the whole book contains. And that is what we all
have to do. We have to find out how much we can skip of the book of life
or of understanding, or whatever you like to call that book, and begin again
with renewed vigour, because we have understood, because we have felt, and
because we have lived.
I personally dislike using words in reference to these things, because one can never find the proper words, however eloquent one may be, however much one may be learned in the use of words. But if we have not felt it, if we have not sensed what has taken place, I think, that as Star members, we shall have failed. We expected perhaps that some great miracle would take place. I do not think He will come in that way; it will be so simple and so human and so ordinary. I use purposely the word ordinary, otherwise those of us who are looking for some miraculous thing, for some great storm, for some tremendous voice of thunder to speak to us, will miss it; it will pass over our heads and we shall be lost. I assure you it is going to be so simple, so infinitely natural that those of us who are looking for something beyond the clouds will lose our heads. That is why we want Star members, and especially those members who belong to the Self-Preparation Group, to understand how simple it is going to be and how natural, when the Teacher comes, to be able to understand and to follow Him.
I do not know if I have any right to speak of what Bishop Leadbeater said the other day at a meeting after the 28th, but I can quote one or two phrases which he used. He said that on the 28th of December, 1911, many years ago, one felt the glory of the Teacher; it was like lightning and everybody felt it. But this time, as he said, He came as a man speaking to men, and that is what we have got to understand. He may do great miracles; He may do a wonderful work of reconstruction; He may make us all feel really noble, really great in loving others, in feeling for others, in sympathising with others, but, above all, He is going to come, I am more certain than ever, as a friend, who really understands. And it is as a friend that we have to look for Him, not in me or in another person, but in everybody in the world, for He is there in every person.
I have often said it is easy to recognise greatness in our Protectors, but it is fearfully difficult to recognise greatness in the coolie or in the servant who washes your dishes, and that is what we have got to learn. And since that day - I shall call it the day of miracle, because it was a miracle to me anyhow, because my whole attitude, my whole vision, my whole outlook, has been changed - the same things which we have seen for the last twenty-five years or more are not the same now; every tree has a different feeling, a different meaning, a different understanding. The bridge has a different meaning, it is more beautiful. It is so difficult to explain these things in words. I do not want you to feel sentimental over it, for in that way you will spoil it, but I want to express, and I want you to feel, what it has meant to me personally, because then you will understand for yourselves what you have felt.
I feel like a crystal vase that has been cleaned, and now anybody in the world can put a beautiful flower in it, and that flower shall live in the vase and never die. That is why I feel so much at a loss with those people who have not felt this thing, with those people who have not understood what it means.
You, who are the Representatives of the Star, if you do not understand it, you cannot make your members understand it, you cannot be at the head of the Self-Preparation Group or at the head of the Star in the different countries, because you will not then be the real Representatives. As has been said, He is coming to reform, He is coming to alter, not necessarily to tear down but to love and to sympathise. So the work of the Self-Preparation Group lies along those lines. It has always been so, and we cannot and must not expect something quite different. When the Lord Buddha came He wanted to alter the religion of the time, He wanted to change Hinduism. But the Hindus in their rigid manner, the Brahmanas with their set ideas and their various schools of philosophy, although they listened, although they knew how wonderful He was, although they thought that He was one of the Avataras, yet never yielded, and they drove Buddhism out of India.
The same thing will happen again: He will sing a new song. We must have ears with which to hear. A new song will be sung, but we must have such an understanding of that song that we can interpret it in everyday life. And that, it seems to me, is the first duty of the members of the Self-Preparation Group and nothing else in the world. They must take every department of life and examine it, and work through it, with the one idea of altering it so that those who hear the song shall understand and not be merely pacified, not merely become sentimental, not merely adore. This, to me at least, seems to be the work of the Self-Preparation Group - to produce followers who will work, who will co-operate, who will be the nucleus of the apostles of the future.
Friends, you have been here, and you have seen, and I need not talk about anything, because talking always spoils the Reality. You have seen the Star; you have seen His Face and His Glory, and you do not need any more talks or any more meetings. Only what you should have is the burning desire to make other people see and feel what you have seen and felt. If you can make the members of your Group really happy, really see what it means to live truly, then you will have succeeded.
Adyar, January 1926.