THE BUILDING OF THE HOME
B. P. WADIA
Originally published in 1959 by
THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF WORLD CULTURE
No. 6, B.P. Wadia Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore - 560004
We feel privileged indeed to publish in this little book a series of articles by the late Shri B. P. Wadia, President-Founder of our Institute (Indian Institute of World Culture), one most important and practical subject. These seven articles under the general heading "The Building of the Home" appeared first anonymously in The Theosophical Movement published by Theosophy Company India), Private, Ltd., from November 1941 to June 1942.
The regeneration of society is the greatest need of our civilization, and therefore the ancient ideal underlying the institution of the Home must be accepted and practised. No culture worthy of the name can come into being when that ideal is lost sight of.
In this series of articles the philosophical background of the Grihastha Ashrama is presented and the moral principles which are its logical corollaries explained. All readers will find these articles informative and interesting, and the intuitive among them will derive inspiration and instruction to improve the moral texture of their own lives and thereby contribute to the building of true homes.
To this series on "The Building of the Home" we have added an article entitled "House Warming," also written by the late Shri B. P. Wadia, and published in the first volume of The Theosophical Movement, on the 4th of October 1931. "A Note on House Warming," which is also published in this brochure, has never appeared in print but was written for a student at his request.
May this small volume help many to make their homes radiating centres of Light for the benefit of the Nation and of the World!
The Indian Institute of World Culture
Chapter One............................................ The Grihastha Ashrama
Chapter Two................................................ The Status of Woman
Chapter Three.................................................. The Great Invisible
Chapter Four................ The Light and the Dark Side of Nature
Chapter Five................................... Little Things and Little Lives
Chapter Six.................................................... The Food of the Body
Chapter Seven......................................... Order Is a Lovely Thing
Chapter Eight....................................................... House Warming
Chapter Nine.................................... A Note on House Warming
The Grihastha Ashrama
How wise and grand, how far-seeing and morally beneficent are the laws of Manu on connubial life, when compared with the license tacitly allowed to man in civilized countries. That those laws have been neglected for the last two millenniums does not prevent us from admiring their forethought. The Brahmin was a Grihastha, a family man, till a certain period of his life, when, after begetting a son, he broke with married life and became a chaste Yogi.
The Secret Doctrine, ii 411 fn.
With the Brahmins, who have never invested with an "original Sin" element the natural procreative functions of mankind, it is a religious duty to have a son. A Brahmin, in days of old, having accomplished his mission of human creator, retired to the jungle and passed the rest of his days in religious meditations. He had accomplished his duty to nature as mortal man and its co-worker, and henceforth gave all his thoughts to the spiritual immortal portion in himself, regarding the terrestrial as a mere illusion, an evanescent dream - which it is.
The Secret Doctrine, i 383
In this cycle of preparation for the great inauguration to take place about 1975, every earnest student of Theosophy should recognise the vital importance of Home-Building. Once a mighty Adept wrote that children of Theosophists would become Theosophists; much is hidden in that statement, with one aspect of which only this series of articles deals.
With the breaking up of the joint-family system in India, Home-Building has entered a new phase of development. Struggle for existence is keener in the western hemisphere, where man has not only to compete with men, but also with machines; this struggle has proven to be a shattering influence on Home-Building. That influence has already touched westernized cities of India and threatens to penetrate our already impoverished and starving villages.
Among other forces which have played havoc with family-life, those let loose by Freudian Psycho-Analysis notions on sex-life and by Birth-Prevention methods are the most lethal. These two (and there are other abominations, such as test-tube children, etc.) have combined to degrade sex-life, the purity of love and the dignity of parenthood. Fortunately, no student of Theosophy who aspires to unfold his own soul-powers for the service of others would degrade himself with the false views on sex-life implicit in Psychoanalysis and their natural concomitant - birth-prevention, and vice versa. We will, therefore, not deal with the evils created by these two, as this is written especially for aspirants to Divine Wisdom, one of whose important duties in the present cycle is to build homes. In this not only is the good of the Motherland involved: the rearing of a new world-order is directly connected with the task of Home-Building.
Progression of the animal man into divine man depends upon man's becoming human; for the attainment of this purpose, the institution of the Family and the Home came into being. Every man and woman carries within the soul certain innate ideas, one of which is related to the rearing of the Family and the building of the Home.
The Human Kingdom on earth was made their home by those Divine Egos who entered the stream of evolution, for their own further growth; those Egos are ourselves, in whom the impress was burnt by the Fathers of the Race who at the time incarnated on earth to help us by example and to guide us by precept. We must not look for the origin of the Home among the cannibals and the savages; the cannibal, who ate his wife and found her tasty, the caveman and the Sheikh of Araby are dying remnants of anterior civilizations. Home-Building by men is the reflection on earth of heavenly activities of Gods.
The Human Kingdom on earth is a hierarchy - God-men, with fully illuminated minds at one end, animal-men, almost mindless, at the other, and a vast range of differing intelligences between. It is one family, with its self-sacrificing helpers, its good learners, its bad boys, its innocent babes. Sir Henry Maine states that it would be impossible to imagine any form of social organization at the beginning of human culture, but that of the patriarchal family. But this opinion is not accepted in as thorough a manner as it should be. And it never will be till the false idea now prevailing is thoroughly exploded, viz., that man is born of and in savagery. The functions of the human kingdom, affecting us who have dual natures, divine and animal, is to enable us to subdue and transform the animal with the aid of the divine, so that God is all in all. This alchemical process takes place, to a very considerable extent, in the crucible called Home. Therefore, Theosophy considers Home-Building a very necessary and beneficent mode of growth and repeats with Manu, "As all creatures live supported by the air, so the three orders exist supported by the Grihastha." (III. 77) Again, "The Vedas declare the Grihastha to be the highest Ashrama. As all streams and rivers flow to rest in the ocean, so all the Ashramas flow to rest in the House-holder." (VI. 89-90)
To build a Home, as it should be built, is to precipitate on earth the Kingdom of the Gods. One type of myths deals with this subject. Humanity has lost much of the Wisdom of the Ancients; some of it is recoverable by a proper study of myths - Greek and Indian - with the aid of the keys provided by H. P. B. Again, in Chinese lore, the art of Home-Building is taught. Confucius said that "those who would order their national life must set about ordering their home life." If your instinct is correct you will not be far from the highest ideal, although you may not exactly achieve it. When the individual families have learned kindness, then the whole nation has learned kindness. When the individual families have learned courtesy, then the whole nation has learned courtesy. When one man is greedy or avaricious, then the whole country is plunged into disorder. Such is the law of things. That is why it is said that, "A single word may spoil an affair and a single man can set the country in order."
The student of Theosophy then must not allow himself to be swayed by feelings which spring from false vairagya and materialistic views of asceticism. He should consider calmly and determine perceivingly if his righteousness-humaneness needs the field of the Home for its real unfoldment. And more - each student should make a personal application of the teachings given by H. P. B. in The Key to Theosophy, under the caption "Theosophy and Marriage."
Further, the institution of the human family provides the pattern for the building of the State. The family pattern is the only one which should be followed in building any state - city-state, or nation-state, or world-state. Unless the state has the virtues and the powers which accompany the building of the family, it is bound to fail. Every state comes to birth, rises and then dies; but what does it leave behind when it dies? Human memory carries in itself, even today, a feeling of joy and gratitude for the work of the Divine Kings of what is called the Golden Age. When thousands of subsequent events arc forgotten, Divine Kings of old and their rules are remembered. Successes of spiritual achievements only are immortal, be they of the individual or of the state. Ivan, the Terrible, and the many Popes of Rome are already fading away from human memory, but the radiance of Jesus casts its beneficence and will continue to do so. Asoka's Empire of 300 B. C. will be remembered when the British Empire of the l9th - 20th century will have been forgotten. Rama's rule will inspire generations unborn, as will Buddha's life-work. Why? Because Rama and Asoka built their kingdoms after the family-pattern, as Jesus and Gautama laboured for members of the one human family. In India many sages, voluntarily and deliberately, entered the Grihastha Ashrama, so that they might set the example of building the Home after the true spiritual pattern.
So much space has been given to the subject of the importance of the Family-institution because even among students of Theosophy the value of the Householder-stage is not recognised. The world of today, befogged by economic propositions and by personal selfishness cares not for soul-growth, for spiritual service of the human family. Lust is called love, and most men and women only gaff about it and discuss and debate, but what do they understand? Lack of moral principles and of moral perception has ruined our civilization: should not students of Theosophy lead the way by establishing Homes as centres from which influences radiate, giving dignity and grace to life, exemplifying filial piety, marital fidelity, parental protection? The ideal seems unattainable for the task is fraught with risks and with hardships, but our philosophy is powerful enough to enable us to achieve triumph.
The primary requirement is the awakening of the higher desire to establish on earth, in one's own state and domicile, a Home patterned after the Laws of Heaven. This high enterprise will be readily and cheerfully undertaken if we perceive that the Family is a great school which teaches unselfishness and temperance, which provides opportunities of walking the Path of Renunciation in an easy way, which causes the birth of pure love, i.e., sacrificial love, and rewards it as it is poured out. Vishnu is called the great Householder, the Protector of Earth, the Preserver of Justice, the Provider of the Weak. What Vishnu is to the universe, that the Grihastha is or should be to Humanity; then only will it cease to be Orphan Humanity.
The Status of Woman
In the Vedic period their women were not placed apart from men in penetralia, or "Zenanas." Their seclusion began when the Mohammedans - the next heirs to Hebrew symbolism after Christian ecclesiasticism - had conquered the land and gradually enforced their ways and customs upon the Hindus. The pre- and post-Vedic woman was as free as man, and no impure terrestrial thought was ever mixed with the religious symbology of the early Aryans. The idea and application are purely Semitic.
The Secret Doctrine, i 382-383
It is necessary to keep before us the true ideal of the Home as a school for the Soul, of the institution of the household as the centre of the State. The true Grihastha or gentleman is born in the home and for the service of the world.
In India, the very first factor to be taken into account in the consideration of our subject is the position of woman in society. The ancient ideals, lofty and grand, were realized in our country, as prehistoric traditions and historic events well show. Certainly in no other country of the ancient world do we come upon such peerless queens of womanhood who elevated the hearts and the minds of men in the home, in the mart, on the battle-field, as in this land of the Aryas. As learner, as helper, as counselor, the Indian woman of old was unique. Nowhere can be found the equal of the gracious daughter, the co-operating wife, the counseling mother of Aryavarta. But with the fall of India, the status of our womanhood also was lowered. The devotion of Sita, the fidelity of Savitri, the resignation of Shakuntala, are figures of memory, but, at that, they have not ceased to influence the Indian woman of today.
For a thousand years, without meaning to do so, men have neglected to sustain the glory of womanhood that made our ancient homes radiant. The Indian woman has succeeded in retaining her hold in the home to a very considerable extent, but not enabled to keep pace with the processes of history, she has become a caged bird which at times charms the house, but which has to be fed and looked after. By not carrying her with him to the spheres where she could be of use to him, man has, unconsciously to himself, pulled her down and has lost the boon of her real companionship. Historical events forced her to remain in the background and even pushed her into seclusion. Loss of religious knowledge made her the prey of priestcraft. Her natural conservatism developed obstinacy, and instead of educating her back to her own fine position, man left her to her own devices to manage the home and rear the children. The coming of the purdah with the coming of the Muslims affected her life and enhanced her segregation. Further lowering of her status followed when Western education was acquired by men. Men conceded her a power over them for she was of use, honoured her because of tradition and innate feeling. There was affection and even respect for her, but they always looked at the clock to run away from boredom, or sometimes to get away from home lest ructions rise and tears fall! With the spread of English education among women and, then, due to the influence of the feminist movement in Europe and America, a new problem has already arisen in India. In the name of independence and self-reliance and freedom of action, women are trying to pay men back in their own coin, and unless a balance is established, the ideals of Home-Building will be forgotten and a further degradation will be reached.
The tendency to look upon the woman as a machine for breeding children is as degrading to both sexes as is the tendency to look upon the sex function as a means of sensuality to be indulged in irrespective of child-bearing. A mother is not a machine, nor is her sphere of action confined to the kitchen and the care of the children, though in both these departments she has most important functions to perform. If the "old-fashioned" idea that woman's duty is to bear and to rear children is false, equally false is the "new" notion that woman is the equal of man and is no more responsible for home affairs than is her husband or the father of her children. "Woman's place is in the home" carries a truth as does the idea that man should be the bread-winner and the provider for the family. Modern men should abjure looking upon women as mere breeders of children, as the modern woman should learn to look up to man as supporter and helper and upon the home as a means of self-education and of soul-growth, as an avenue for bringing up old souls in new bodies or young souls in old bodies, and as a centre of service to the city and the country.
We are not dealing with the subject of education in this series, but one particular item may be mentioned at this point. In this age, when the schoolmaster is abroad there is a tendency to make use of the kindergarten institution at too early an age. Theosophical psychology places considerable importance upon the first seven-year period of a child's life before the Manasic Ego actually begins its function of responsibility. The Theosophical parents, especially the mother, can do a special kind of work helpful to the child. Mr. W. Q. Judge gives some important hints in dealing with the subject of Karma in U. L. T. Pamphlet No. 6. He refers to ruling tendencies and affinities at birth, to the irresponsible years of childhood, to initial Karma, and so on. The atmosphere of the home, the magnetic conditions, the psychic surroundings, all play their vital roles in the early impresses on the child's consciousness; it is possible to give spiritual help by awakening the desirable tendencies and by starving out the undesirable. The subject is large and important and would take us out of our way if dealt with here. In no sphere of life is the danger to India from Occidental influence greater than in the home.
Old patterns of Home-Building have been wiped out; a new pattern is needed, but it must not be of the Occidental type. It is not contended that the West has been devoid of true ideals of Home-Building, or that real homes do not exist there, but we do say this: the philosophy of life founded upon religious dogmas and scientific notions has pushed back those ideals and has made spiritual Home-Building there will-nigh impossible. The feminist movement has not really emancipated the Western woman; education has enhanced her power to go to the law court to obtain a divorce (we mention this only as a typical example), but it has not enlightened her to make her become a true companion and helpmate of father, husband or son, and to build her home as a veritable Temple. The ideal held up by the Victorian poet Tennyson that
The woman's cause is man's; they rise or sink
Together, dwarf'd or godlike, bond or free
has not been accepted because Western men (like thousands of Indians) have continued to look upon woman as undeveloped man, and women have continued to make themselves masculine, not recognizing that in "true marriage lies nor equal nor unequal,"
- each fulfils
Defect in each and always thought in thought,
Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow,
and that there should exist everywhere
Two heads in council, two beside the hearth,
Two in the tangled business of the world,
Two in liberal offices of life.
In this, as in other matters, educated Indians are more apt to accept views of the materialistic scientist-philosophers of the West than the thoughts of its idealist poet-mystics.
There is, however, this factor to be taken into account: thanks to the work begun by H. P. Blavatsky and carried forward by H. S. Olcott, A. O. Hume, Swami Vivekananda, Mrs. Besant, Sister Nivedita, but above all by Gandhiji, Indians have learnt to look back to their forefathers for guidance; they desire to follow the Ancients. With pride they have begun to speak of their old-time sages, saints and rulers. But even now adequate knowledge of what they taught and of how those teachings should be applied in every walk of life, is not sought and there is a very general tendency to shirk the actual discipline of practice, essential for real growth, individual as well as national. Thus, for example, in the matter under consideration, that of Home-Building, the old ideals are not followed and their interpretations, say, by Gandhiji, are looked upon as impractical. How many newly married or marrying couples would accept his words that "marriage is meant to cleanse the hearts of sordid passions and take them nearer to God"? How many husbands would practise the teaching of Manu with a view to making their own home radiant? "Where women are honoured, there verily the Devas rejoice; where they are not honoured, there indeed all rites are fruitless." (iii, 56) On the other hand, how many modern brides possess the insight to value correctly "the husband as the lord", a phrase not altogether devoid of inner truth? Nowadays it is bandied about in jokes, for which men have to thank themselves, for they have lowered themselves not only in the estimation of women but in that of the Lords of Nature, to whose Kingdom every real man should belong. For a glimpse into this truth students of Theosophy should reflect upon U. L. T. Pamphlet No. 34. Most Hindu men have lost the power to become Gurus. How many among the students of Theosophy possess that power?
When the great principles of Soul development embodied in the caste (varna or colour) of the human individuality and in the stage (ashrama) of the incarnated personality were misunderstood, a false view of life came to prevail: sense-enjoyment or hedonism and sense-torture or asceticism became the two great tempters of the aspirant to Wisdom. Asceticism of the false type came to be identified with processes of soul-growth, and one of its cardinal tenets was the wrong estimate of woman, who came to be looked upon as tempter and beguiler of man. Even today in India there are thousands of ascetics who are false pietists of bewildered soul, who look upon women as evil tempters, thus fooling themselves in not recognizing that it is their own sensuality and lust which are their tempters.
In many respects the Theosophical ideals of Home-Building are identical with those of the ancient Hindu texts; these latter must be correctly understood, i.e., from the inner spiritual view-point, so that their teachings may be applied by all. In many stories, legends and allegories we come upon the woman symbolized as inferior to man; from other tales we learn how man is dependent upon woman for his spiritual well-being and ultimate emancipation. This is true not only of Hindu texts; similar allegories are to be found in Egyptian, Gnostic and other scriptures.
Woman is regarded as inferior because the key to the allegories is lost. H. P. B. points out that Matter is symbolized by woman and that the powers of Matter - the Shaktis - are personified by women. The confusion prevailing in abstract metaphysics which regards Spirit and Matter as two distinct and separate constituents of the universe is transferred to the comprehension of allegories. Spirit and Matter are not two, but are two aspects of the One Absolute. Spirit and Matter are the two poles of the One; so are man and woman. In explaining the metaphysical origin of the cosmos, some expounders have shown Matter as manifesting after Spirit; others have done the opposite. The problem of the "Eternal Mother-Father" in metaphysics is very hard to solve, and students may well be advised to transfer the awe and the humility they feel when face to face with this metaphysical teaching to their examination of the problem of the separation of the sexes and the relative position of man and woman. Leaving aside the mystery of the sin of the mindless and the consequent birth of the female, we in India especially should perceive the work of the present cycle in which both the sexes are parts of the one Brotherhood of Humanity.
If from the above-mentioned metaphysical teaching man has to learn humility, woman has also to learn the allegorical nature of the teaching which personifies the Esoteric Wisdom as Saraswati, the Lady of the Lotus, Sophia, etc. When man, the Soul, unites with Wisdom the woman, he attains Enlightenment. If without her he cannot rise, without him she is an impotent abstraction. In the present cycle, once again, Theosophy points to the necessity of according to each the proper place in a relation of mutual interdependence. Man cannot become learner and disciple without a constant and consistent Body of Wisdom, and Saraswati herself must feel grateful that in the human kingdom there are souls eager to learn from her and to serve her.
In India, for a very long time, man has assumed the position of superiority: as bread-winner and protector, he has considered himself superior even when love has flowed from him to his "partner," even when reverence has been laid at the feet of the mother, the ruler of the home (and many Hindus are worshippers of the mother of the universe), the spirit of superiority has been present. On the other hand, the treatment accepted by generations of women has so strengthened their inferiority complex that most consider themselves as naturally belonging to a lower order of humanity. The way out for the Indian woman of today is not along the path of her Western sister - the claiming of rights and fighting for them. She is not, and never can be, for never has she been, independent of man. Widowhood is not merely the condition of the woman who has lost her husband by bodily death. There are widows whose husbands are still living - women who have "emancipated" themselves from walking behind their men-folk, a symbol of following the Light of the Spirit. Sita followed Rama so that she might live. Savitri followed the dead Satyavan, saying to Yama:
What befalls the wedded husband
Still befalls the faithful wife,
Where he leads she ever follows,
Be it death or be it life.
And her reiterated argument was "Eternal Law divides not loving man and faithful wife." Because woman has been exploited, let her not now try to exploit men, for thus exploitation will never cease. Men will best help women by enhancing their own sense of duty to womanhood, which indeed is strong in Indian men. Along the Path of Duties and not of Rights should both man and woman proceed, and the practice of duty should begin in the sphere of the Home. The metaphysical interdependence of Spirit and Matter has its lesson for the psychological conduct of man and woman:
Yang and Yin, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, sun and moon, thunder and lightning, wind and rain, cold and heat, good and evil, high and low, righteousness and humaneness - the interplay of opposite Principles constitutes the universe.
In consideration of our subject of Home-Building the pair mentioned by the Chinese Sage of Righteousness and Humaneness will best serve the end we have in view. Let men be righteous so that women may become humane, and vice versa. Unless the status of woman is changed, Home-Building in the present is well-nigh impossible; but if that change follows the Occidental pattern, or if the pendulum is allowed to swing to the other extreme so that "girl graduates" become blue-stockings, the task of Home-Building will be fraught with dangers to the very soul of the nation. Righteous men, humane women, labouring as partners in the sublime task of renovating the present home, will succeed in building the Temple of Family Life. The student of Theosophy should become a pioneer in this high enterprise and lead the way.
The Great Invisible
"The Sons of Bhumi (Earth) regard the Sons of Deva-lokas (angel-spheres) as their gods; and the Sons of lower kingdoms look up to the men of Bhumi, as to their devas (gods); men remaining unaware of it in their blindness....They (men) tremble before them while using them (for magical purposes).
The Secret Doctrine, i 605-606
In the building of his home the Theosophical student has an advantage over the ordinary man because of the knowledge at his disposal. His responsibility is correspondingly heavy, for, if he neglects to utilize the doctrines of the Great Wisdom., his own personal career as a student will not be a successful one. Even theoretical knowledge deteriorates in quality and diminishes in quantity, and the topsy-turvy understanding of the teachings increases in proportion as he neglects the application of the Occult Science.
Fortunate is the student who has the opportunity to create, by right endeavour at application, a Theosophical home. Many among us can use our creative ability only in a very restricted sphere, for the home in which we live is not ours to construct, and our Karmic opportunity is restricted to co-operation with others, and with the heads of the family. Still we can create our own personal atmosphere, charging our surroundings with the sweet fragrance of Theosophy. But if, under Karma, we have the final say in making the plan and in carrying out our own Home-Building, then we are more fortunate in our opportunities. An ordinary teacher of a high school can do great good, but its owner, the head-master, has extraordinary scope not only for improving the lot of all the pupils, but even for shaping the educational policy itself of the State in which it is located. Many a Theosophical student having but a very restricted say in the building of the home to which he belongs is like the teacher, but there are those who are in the position of the head-master, and many more can become like him. They are fortune's favoured Grihasthas, with almost illimitable scope for theosophizing their city and their country.
Now, what particular doctrines of Theosophy are of special value to the Home-Builder? Putting aside those which are necessary for the improvement of his own character, for the control of his wandering mind, for becoming the better able to help and teach others, and so on, we must confine ourselves to certain specific teachings which are more directly applicable. The first of these to be considered is the truth about the existence of the Invisible, its spiritual rulers and its psychic denizens. Theosophy describes the Universe as a plenum and teaches that the hierarchies of beings are processioning therein, and through involution and evolution, are advancing from stage to stage. Says The Secret Doctrine (i 274-275):
The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man - the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm - is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. As no outward motion or change, when normal, in man's external body can take place unless provoked by an inward impulse, given through one of the three functions named, so with the external or manifested Universe. The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who - whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan Chohans or Angels - are "messengers" in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence; and to call them all pure Spirits without any of the earthly alloy "which time is wont to prey upon" is only to indulge in poetical fancy. For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or a coming cycle (Manvantara). They are perfected, when not incipient, men.
The human kingdom is but one hierarchy. Humanity on earth is surrounded by minerals, vegetables and animals, and like man himself, these have their respective invisible counterparts; but these form only one part of the vast invisible. There are other constituents. Nature is septenary:
"the spiritual or divine; the psychic or semi-divine the intellectual; the passional; the instinctual, or cognitional; the semi-corporeal and the purely material and physical natures." Just as our own mind is nearer to our own body than is the body of another, so also some of these invisible intelligences are nearer neighbours than our friends living in our street. We have cosmic neighbours, and we owe to these proper recognition and duties, just as we have and should assume civic and national responsibility.
When the Grihastha, the Home-Builder, and his Patni, the House-wife (this latter term deserves to be invested with its ancient dignity, which it has lost in these degenerate days) try to rear the family without any consideration of the power which the invisible exerts on the visible, they fall prey to illusion. Maya, the illusioning power of Nature, comes into play when, for example, the earner of the family bread thinks not of the invisible - both psychic and spiritual - aspect of money, the maleficent and beneficent currents which give the coin its rolling capacity; or again, when maya envelopes the woman who fails to differentiate between mere physical cleanliness and magnetic purity. Why is cleanliness said to be next to godliness? A spotlessly clean cook who sulks and grumbles and is irritable is not next to God - he is not really clean; though in our civilization he is taken to be so - an example of maya. Obviously the reverse is also true; it is maya to think that it matters not if the cook or a clerk is not clean provided that the one is good-natured, and the other is honest. Maya or Illusion results whenever the spiritual is divested of the material and vice versa. The dirty sannyasi is not a sannyasi, nor does the cowl make a monk. In India the spiritual aspect has been so distorted that people undervalue the matter-side - the form within which the Spirit dwells and through which it has to function. In the Occident no knowledge of "another world" exists; in India useful knowledge about trilokas, the three worlds, is forgotten. Therefore have religious rites arid ceremonies become worse than useless - possible sources of psychic infection. The Theosophical student must avoid the two pitfalls and remember that body without soul is a corpse and that many a soul without a body is a bhut.
The greatest of sannyasis or renouncers - the Nirmanakayas - have each a body, though it be not of flesh and blood; without His kaya, the renouncer could not effect the Great Renunciation. It is most necessary, then, for the Theosophical practitioner to grasp the application of the doctrine of Maya in the task of Home-Building and to repeat with Robert Browning: - Let us not always say
'Spite of this flesh today
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!'
As the bird wings and sings,
Let us cry, 'All good things
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh helps soul.'
So the Grihastha who aspires to practise Theosophical doctrines must acquire sufficient knowledge about the invisible. In doing so, he will have to be extra careful to avoid using what are called religious texts or shastraic injunctions. One of the most potent sources from which corruption has set in in every religion is its code of rites and ceremonies. Withdrawals and interpolations have taken place; the priest who was once a holy-living magician has (as a class) become an exploiting ignoramus today, whose vibhutis or excellences are greed, cunning and sensuality! The Theosophical student, therefore, should not seek guidance about the invisible in old religious books and shastraic texts. Especially in India is there a grave danger to him from traditional religious bias. He will do well to confine himself to strictly Theosophical texts and seek guidance therein. There is in Theosophical books all the knowledge he will need - and more. Once he has grounded himself in Theosophical knowledge, he may be able to perceive the inwardness of whatever truth there may be in the allegorical statements and descriptions of symbolic rites of old religious tomes. To utilize the wholesome ethical injunctions in old religions is one thing; to use their fragmentary instructions for the performance of rites and ceremonies is another - always useless and sometimes dangerous.
With this note of warning we must add that no Theosophical student need feel nervous about studying, with a view to application, the teachings of the Esoteric Philosophy about the Invisible. Lack of such study is very often responsible for errors of judgment in dealing with numerous questions of day-to-day living, e.g., diseases and their remedies. Modern science knows not the Invisible, and to build the Home on the foundations of the materialism of that science would be a blunder of the first magnitude. This does not, however, mean that the Theosophical student cannot and should not make adequate use of well-established facts of modern knowledge.
We are not beings of mere matter, living on an earth isolated in space:
Millions of things and beings are, in point of localization, around and in us, as we are around, with, and in them; it is no metaphysical figure of speech, but a sober fact in Nature, however incomprehensible to our senses.
The Secret Doctrine, i 604-605
They (the Stanzas of Dzyan) teach belief in conscious Powers and Spiritual Entities; in terrestrial, semi-intelligent, and highly intellectual Forces on other planes; and in Beings that dwell around us in spheres imperceptible, whether through telescope or microscope.
The Secret Doctrine, i 478
Although as invisible as if they were millions of miles beyond our solar system, they are yet with us, near us, within our own world, as objective and material to their respective inhabitants as ours is to us.
The Secret Doctrine, i 605
This being so, how illogical for a Theosophical student to build his home without paying due attention to the Great Invisible!
The Light and the Dark Side of Nature
Occultism, through its great Seers, perceives an innumerable Host of operative Beings: Cosmic Dhyan-Chohans, Entities, whose essence, in its dual nature, is the Cause of all terrestrial phenomena. For that essence is co-substantial with the universal Electric Ocean, which is LIFE; and being dual, as said - positive and negative - it is the emanations of that duality that act now on earth under the name of "modes of motion"; even Force having now become objectionable as a word, for fear it should lead someone, even in thought, to separate it from matter! It is, as Occultism says, the dual effects of that dual essence, which have now been called centripetal and centrifugal forces, negative and positive poles, or polarity, heat and cold, light and darkness, etc., etc.
The Secret Doctrine, i 604
The Astral Light, or anima mundi, is dual and bi-sexual. The male part of it is purely divine and spiritual; it is the Wisdom, while the female portion (the spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, and therefore is evil already.
The Secret Doctrine, i 301
"Educated people," so-called, deride the idea of Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines, and Gnomes; the men of science regard as an insult any mention of such superstitions; and with a contempt of logic and common good sense, that is often the prerogative of "accepted authority," they allow those, whom it is their duty to instruct, to labour under the absurd impression that in the whole Kosmos, or at any rate in our own atmosphere; there are no other conscious, intelligent beings, save ourselves. Any other humanity (composed of distinct human beings) than a mankind with two legs, two arms, and a head with man's features on it, would not be called human; though the etymology of the word would seem to have little to do with the general appearance of a creature. Thus, while Science sternly rejects even the possibility of there being such (to us, generally) invisible creatures, Society, while believing in it all secretly, is made to deride the idea openly. It hails with mirth such works as the Count deGabalis, and fails to understand that open satire is the securest mask.
The Secret Doctrine, i 606
The Great Invisible is not all Spirit, nor is all of the visible mere matter. Light and darkness are omnipresent; good and evil are the centripetal and centrifugal forces of the moral universe.
As above, so below; just as in the invisible there are Beings of Light and Shades of Darkness; just as there are Brothers of Radiance, who cast no shadow, and Brothers of the Shadow who are without shine; just as there are Nirmanakayas of Good and Nirmanakayas of Evil; just as there are Self-Conscious Lords and non-self-conscious intelligences; so also in the visible there are the human kingdom, in which the state of self-consciousness is attained, and the other kingdoms, each with its consciousness and intelligence, but without the power to determine and to choose between right and wrong; and in the human kingdom there are good men and bad, wise men and fools, self-determining minds and mediumistic brains.
Human morality is different inasmuch as infallible Nature does not fully and wholly impel man as she does the non-human kingdoms of animals, vegetables, minerals and elementals. Self-conscious man has the power to choose and determine, and so all the lower kingdoms are influenced by him for better or worse. Only the Superior Kingdom of those Intelligences who, having passed through the human stage, are more than mortals remains unswayed by man's actions. But man can, by right use of Wisdom, gain the co-operation and the help of that Superior Kingdom. Man is equidistant from Spirit and Matter; his is a critical state. His progress towards the higher depends upon his effort to raise the lower.
Understanding such knowledge the Home-Builder must recognise that if he desires to create a centre of light, he must feed the kingdoms dependent upon him with right nourishment. Also, that he should manufacture an astral magnet which would attract to his home blessed influences from the infinitudes of space and from Those who form the Guardian Wall.
It is taught that the accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints and Adapts, especially of the Nirmanakayas, have created, so to say, a wall of protection around mankind, Which wall shields mankind invisibly from still worse evils.
These Beings are "unthanked and unperceived by men"; but shall they not be thanked and perceived by students of Theosophy?
The recognition of the higher leads the students to enquire as to how these Beings can be thanked, and how Their aid can be invoked. Not by supplicatory prayers, not by propitiatory rites, not by chants and ceremonies, but by evoking within ourselves the qualities and the virtues which are Theirs can They be invoked. Compassion horn of deep knowledge makes Them sacrifice Their immortality for the sake of the unemancipated and the involved. In the core of man's soul an imperishable impact is made by the Fathers of the Human Race, and its response from the first has been - Devotion. This supreme quality will guide us at every turn, enabling us to avoid pitfalls and to take the right road. But that Devotion, now tarnished by egotism, has become a thoughtless feeling, an emotion which impels many to a mistaken way of life. Devotion means devotion to the interests of another, implying right action towards that other; that other may be a man or a god, a sinner or a saint, a sage or an elemental. From his balance man must learn not only to look heavenwards, but also around him - and below where abide intelligences which look up to him as he looks up to the Blessed Ones. Therefore the Grihastha must learn to serve the invisible hosts - some of whom are superior to him, while others are inferior; and what is true of the invisible is equally true of the visible. In the Laws of Manu and in similar texts of other creeds, the householder is called upon to perform five sacrifices every day; these, Theosophically interpreted, imply remembrance of, and giving co-operation to (1) the Teachers and Their Teachings, the Gurus and Their Gnyan; (2) the Devas and Dhyan-Chohans and Nirmanakayas - a vast and graded host of superhuman intelligences living in the infinitudes of space; (3) the two classes of Pitris - givers of the principles which form the bases of our personalities and our individualities; (4) our fellow-men now constituting the human kingdom; and (5) the Elemental Kingdoms - Gnomes, Undines, Sylphs and Salamanders - which are intimately concerned in the progress and the prosperity of the mineral, the vegetable and the animal kingdoms, now evolving on earth side by side with men.
This is not the place to detail practices and exercises; and in fact no rites and ceremonies are recommended; neither are they needed. Man's thought-will-feeling, his master-faculty of imagination and a clear conscience are his best organs and utensils. A clean body and a pure Kama-Manas are the two prerequisites; with these, while adequately utilising our Theosophical literature, the aspirant should seek for instruction, remembering that all forces in Nature are dual, that .each has its light and its dark side, and also that each in contacting particular human temperaments produces varied results - the peace giving potion of one becoming poison for another. There ate hints which should be taken as warnings, e.g., "Those who fall off from our living human Mahatmas to fall into the Saptarishi - the Star Rishis, are no Theosophists."
Between the fear of, but respect for, the invisible which makes a student impotent, and the forceful pushing of himself in without proper comprehension of its dangers, which injures him seriously if it does not kill him spiritually speaking, there is the middle course. Acquiring knowledge which kills fear and engenders courage, unfolding sympathy for and appreciation of the whole of Nature, the student prepares himself to proceed from the known to the unknown, from the visible to the invisible. He who conjectures that the visible matters not, that outer things are unimportant, and so on, implies that objects are lifeless, that pen and paper, pots and pans, have no astral lives. He will then err, as do thousands of "faquirs" and "sannyasis" who disregard the body - the Living Temple of the Living Soul. It is through "the small plain duties of life properly performed" that the Ego is often attracted to stream forth its radiance: "It is the little things the work is done through." Therefore, Home-Building provides a most excellent play-ground for our spiritual and psychic muscles. And so we must now turn to the consideration of some of the routines of home life through which the Light of Heaven can be made to shine forth.
Little Things and Little Lives
Regard only moral asceticism as necessary. It is as a means to an end, that end being the perfect equilibrium of the inner nature of man, and the attainment of complete mastery over the body with all its passions and desires.
The Key to Theosophy
Those who endure gory austerities contrary to Holy Writ, and who, wedded to hypocrisy and egotism, and endued with the strength of Kama and Raga, passion and anger, thoughtlessly torturing the Lives (assemblage of the Elements) which make the body and ME seated in the innermost Heart - they are of infernal tendency.
The Bhagavad-Gita, xvii 3-6, i 478
The law of family-life is love - the motor-power without which a nucleus of Universal Brotherhood cannot be formed. The elders sacrifice in love for the younger members of the family; the children manifest love through gratitude and devotion to their elders; there must be sympathy and kindliness and affection between all, including the servants, who are described by Manu as "one's shadows." (IV. 185) The state of the family at home, as its honours abroad, are wholly dependent upon its morals - the way in which its members behave towards each other, and that behaviour almost wholly depends upon the yoga of self-respect. It is said in the Chinese book of ceremonials, the Li Chi:
The superior man commences with respect as the basis of love. To omit respect is to leave no foundation for affection. Without love there can be no union; without respect the love will be ignoble.
Each person, old or young, has to learn and has to be taught the art which we call the yoga of self-respect. Reincarnation implies that each human ego has lived in human bodies before, and Karma means that all the egos incarnating in a single family have had relationships with each other before. These may not have been blood-ties, they may be weak or strong in the present; but there they are opportunities to learn how to behave with others in the wider field of world activities.
The yoga of self-respect demands that a person cultivate some realization of his own divine and immortal nature; that he recognize that liberty of thought and speech and action for any one must be in accordance and in conformity with the laws of that superior divine nature; that none is free to do as he pleases without a proper consideration for the place others occupy in the scheme of things; and lastly that each must learn, or has to be taught, to endeavour to regard the body as the Temple in which the Divinity of the Superior Mind has to become manifest.
Some of these items are common phases of any good system of education. But in modem civilization much theorizing and speculating and experimenting is done at the cost of practical actions flowing from self-evident truths. One major difficulty is caused by the bifurcation of responsibility between home and school, parents and teachers. In the case of the adults, there is absence of knowledge; ethics, as a branch of psycho-philosophy, is not taught and everything is left to the person who has to do the best he can with whatever be has within himself. But the home-builder who is the student of pure Theosophy knows the truths of Reincarnation and Karma, and even a modicum of application of these to his own personality teaches him many important lessons.
The Grihastha represents one great fact of evolution - his the function to practise noblesse oblige. To him falls the duty of showing how the women should be honoured in the home, how the young should be energized and the poor protected, how the law of the family should be extended to the sphere of citizenship. The Laws of Manu go far enough to state that "where women are not honoured, sacred rites yield no reward." (III, 56) And his responsibility, as described, is terrifying to the Theosophical student:
Whatever be the qualities of the man with whom a woman is united according to the law, such qualities even she assumes, like a river which is united with the ocean. (IX, 22).
On the other hand, the woman represents the principle of Dependence, inasmuch as she is the vehicle, Vahan, who first receives and then carries the seed of life. The preserving, sustaining work of Vishnu is carried forward through the dependability of his Shakti. Manu states that "by the sacred tradition the woman is declared to be the Soil, the man is declared to be the Seed." (IX, 33) This dependability is often mistaken for graceless docility and blind obedience; a dependable daughter or a dependable wife or a dependable mother offers something more than obedience.
The muscular system is more largely developed in the male, while the glandular is more highly developed in the female. This difference is related to the different parts played by man and woman in the reproduction of the species. Again, Alexis Carrel in Man, The Unknown states:
Sex is inevitably determined from the time of the union of the paternal and maternal cells. The egg of the future male possesses one chromosome less than that of the female, or an atrophied chromosome. In this manner all the cells of the body of the man differ from those of the body of the woman.
But these physical and physiological phenomena are reflections of inner psychological ones. According to Occult Teachings, sex difference is due to the predominant mental habits of the incoming Ego; it becomes further crystallized as soon as the astral germ develops, and the physical body is only the outer casing. The latter ought to reflect faithfully the inner, but in our civilization, tampering from without, produces a phenomenon corresponding to the modern woman coming out in man's clothes. Some scientists are searching to discover how they can determine the sex of the children to be born - a very dangerous line of investigation. Misfits along sex lines are psychically unhealthy. Women trying to act and to be like men are taking a wrong course - a bifurcation in their consciousness is likely to he engendered. To learn to lean on the physical and the intellectual strength of the male makes the woman morally and emotionally dependable (not dependent) - a real helpmate and not a drag on man.
The Laws of Manu state: "By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house." (V, 147) The same teaching is to be found in the Chinese Li Chi:
The woman follows the man. In her youth, she follows her father and elder brother; when married she follows her husband; when her husband is dead, she follows her son.
This sounds drastic to the Western woman and will be resented by her Indian sister "educated" along Western lines - but Dependability is a high spiritual quality, more easily developed in the female body, and it is necessary for the future life of Chelaship. The obedience necessary in a disciple towards his Master, in a personality towards its Inner Ruler, is the type of obedience required in a woman towards father, husband or son.
Then, in modern days, the respect for elders in the home as in society has grown weak. The service of father, mother, teacher is insisted upon in the Laws of Manu - "the service of these three is called the highest austerity." (II, 229) These three are types from archetypes: "The teacher is the image of Brahman, the father of Prajapati, the mother of Prithivi." (II, 226) There is a strange sounding statement in the same laws:
The vital airs (prana) of a young man mount upwards to leave his body when an elder approaches; but by rising to meet him and saluting be recovers them. He who habitually salutes and constantly pays reverence to the aged obtains an increase of four things, viz., length of life, knowledge, fame, strength. (II, 120-121)
The Chinese proverb with a fine sweep brings out the truth underlying the point we are considering - "Under Heaven no parent is ever wrong"; and then there is another which advises with graphic humour: "Before fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, itch as you may, you dare not scratch."
The Indian and the Chinese sages not only lay great emphasis on respecting the elders, they point to the importance of correct treatment of and behaviour towards guests. In India, uninvited guests are as welcome as invited ones; the former do not cause embarrassment to the old-fashioned housewife, but the system, as it has developed, does involve a considerable waste of cooked food. In these days of coffee-shops and restaurants the ways of guests and hosts are undergoing a change. Indians have a lesson to derive from the habit of the West where uninvited guests who share "pot-luck" are as rare as they are common in India - and we are given to understand in China also. But, for all that, the institution of the host and the guest is of great value - not only social, but also spiritual. Adaptability and sat-sang are readily developed by the householder because of this institution. How not to refuse and whom to invite - these are learnt by the host from the guest. Where not to go and whom to seek - these are learnt by the guest from the host. There is a truth in the idea which Washington Irving gives that there should be "a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality."
The yoga of self-respect, which really means respecting other selves, must have a true spiritual foundation within one's self. We will not be able to pour out love-respect towards others till we discern the duality of our own nature - the personal and the individual. We cannot respect our own foibles and follies, but we have to tolerate them, while we are eradicating them. Tolerance without the effort at eradication will develop psychic blindness in us; mere efforts at harsh eradication without due regard for the tanhaic elementals will fail, for we are dealing with living organisms which possess their own intelligence, and which we have brought within the sphere of our thought-feeling, and to which we have given a home, this in the near or the distant past. When we have, with justice and humility, seen the good and the strong powers of our own Individuality, we also have developed the mercy aspect of justice, and the courage aspect of humility, and then we are truly capable of becoming like "the ripe mango fruit; as soft and sweet as its bright golden pulp for others' woes, as hard as that fruit's stone for thine own throes and sorrows."
Moral expressions of love-respect towards elders, equals, youngsters, proceed from the psychic side of our being, and so do those of hate-contempt. Deformed morality bespeaks psychic disturbances, and the latter are the most potent cause of bodily illnesses. One of the major pillars of home building is that of Health. Bodily health is a very important factor. At best, we have bodies of the race and the cycle, which have their own peculiar limitations; as Mr. Judge puts it, "a sound body is not expected, because our race is unsound everywhere;" but he adds, "a correct mental and moral position will at last bring a sound body." In another place Mr. Judge writes:
If you will rely upon the truth that your inner self is a part of the great Spirit, you will be able to conquer these things that annoy, and if you will add to that a proper care of your bodily health, you will get strength in every department.
A Theosophical Home-Builder must observe the rules of health which spring from the doctrines of his great philosophy. And the principal teaching about the building of the body must be understood.
Science, dimly perceiving the truth, may find Bacteria and other infinitesimals in the human body, and see in them but occasional and abnormal visitors to which diseases are attributed. Occultism - which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water - affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria.
The Secret Doctrine, i 225
As to our outward physical bodies, the house of the tabernacle of the Soul, the Doctrine teaches a strange lesson.
The Secret Doctrine, i 248
Each particle - whether you call it organic or inorganic - is a life. Every atom and molecule in the Universe is both life-giving and death-giving to that form, inasmuch as it builds by aggregation universes and the ephemeral vehicles ready to receive the transmigrating soul, and as eternally destroys and changes the forms and expels those souls from their temporary abodes. It creates and kills; it is self-generating and self-destroying; it brings into being, and annihilates, that mystery of mysteries - the living body of man, animal, or plant, every second in time and space; and it generates equally life and death, beauty and ugliness, good and bad, and even the agreeable and disagreeable, the beneficent and maleficent sensations. It is that mysterious Life, represented collectively by countless myriads of lives, that follows in its own sporadic way, the hitherto incomprehensible law of Atavism; that copies family resemblances as well as those it finds impressed in the aura of the generators of every future human being.
The Secret Doctrine, i 261
We are taught that every physiological change, in addition to pathological phenomena; diseases - nay, life itself - or rather the objective phenomena of life, produced by certain conditions and changes in the tissues of the body which allow and force life to act in that body; that all this is due to those unseen creators and destroyers.
The Secret Doctrine, i 262
The most positive of materialistic philosophers agree that all that exists was evolved from ether; hence, air, water, earth, and fire, the four primordial elements must also proceed from ether and chaos the first Duad; all the imponderables, whether now known or unknown, proceed from the same source. Now, if there is a spiritual essence in matter, and that essence forces it to shape itself into millions of individual forms, why is it illogical to assert that each of these spiritual kingdoms in nature is peopled with beings evolved out of its own material? Chemistry teaches us that in man's body there are air, water, earth, and heat, or fire - air is present in its components; water in the secretions; earth in the inorganic constituents; and fire in the animal heat. The Kabalist knows by experience that an elemental spirit contains only one, and that each one of the four kingdoms has its own peculiar elemental spirits; man being higher than they, the law of evolution finds its illustration in the combination of all four in him.
Isis Unveiled, i 343
It is through these lives that we contact the invisible kingdoms of Devattas and Devas - Elementals and Gods. A continuous exchange of lives belonging to our kingdom and theirs is taking place, and one of the principal means of creating a calm mind, an enlightened heart and a healthy body is in the right use of this process of exchange. In the selection of food, in the taking of exercise, in regulating hours of sleep and waking, in amending bad habits and forming good ones, in the matter of bodily cleanliness with its psyche or magnetism, a knowledge of this doctrine is very necessary. Details are not easily available, nor are they needed; necessary principles are to be found in Theosophical literature.
Moral character is kin to outer behaviour, just as thought is kin to speech and words to action. The activity of the senses and the organs is dependent upon emotions and unless the mind is able to elevate them, they will degrade the mind, enslaving it. The connection between emotions and bodily health is recognized even by modern science. Thus Alexis Carrel writes in his Man, the Unknown:
Emotions, as is well known, determine the dilation or the contraction of the small arteries, through the vasomotor nerves. They are, therefore, accompanied by changes in the circulation of the blood in tissues and organs. Pleasure causes the skin of the face to flush. Anger and fear turn it white. In certain individuals, bad news may bring about a spasm of the coronary arteries, anemia of the heart, and sudden death. The affective states act on all the glands by increasing or decreasing their circulation. They stimulate or stop the secretions, or modify their chemical constitution. . . .
Thus, envy, hate, fear, when these sentiments are habitual, are capable of starting organic changes and genuine diseases. Moral suffering profoundly disturbs health. . . .
The instability of modern life, the ceaseless agitation, and the lack of security create states of consciousness which bring about nervous and organic disorders of the stomach and of the intestines, defective nutrition, and passage of intestinal microbes into the circulatory apparatus. Colitis and the accompanying infections of the kidneys and of the bladder are the remote results of mental and moral unbalance. Such diseases are almost unknown in social groups where life is simpler and not so agitated, where anxiety is less constant. In a like manner, those who keep the peace of their inner self in the midst of the tumult of the modern city are immune from nervous and organic disorders.
Tastes and habits are psychic manifestations. Between the seeing eye and the discerning intelligence there is a direct relation; between the listening ear and the discriminating mind also. Between heart aspirations and solar plexus desires a distinction must be drawn, as also between head-learning and soul-wisdom. If our mind-food is faulty, our body-food is likely to be wrong also; books, like physical foods, may be sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic. In the selection of both, Theosophical principles have to be used.
The Food of the Body
Those who dress their meat but for themse1ves eat the bread of sin, being themselves sin incarnate.
The Bhagavad-Gita , iii 13
Whatever thou eatest, commit unto me.
The Bhagavad-Gita , ix 27
The self procures vital airs from the food which the one life causes to be digested. For note that which you know: that did we not take food the material unit of the trinity would die and the self be disappointed, and then would get another body to try in again. For is it not permitted to each one to try and set up a habit in that material unit whereby we may as incarnated beings know the self? Then when that is done we do not live as others; but all the same, even then, the self must subsist, so to say, while in manifestation, by means of food, no matter if that food be of a different character, corresponding to the new taste..
Letters That Have Helped Me
The health of man depends upon the nourishment he imbibes - this on every plane. The state of man's mind is the result of the thoughts he has gathered in the past and which he now holds; his character is formed by the ethical ideas and the moral principles which he has absorbed; his bodily health is the outcome of his mental and moral states, plus the food he eats.
The lives which build the cells of the physical body arc influenced by our kama-manas, but they are also influenced by the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Occultism teaches that disease of the very tissues of man's body is nothing more nor less than the organic, nutritive, physiological sin of separateness. One of the Sanskrit names of the physical body is annasnayakosha, the sheath of food. The Upanishads repeat the ancient teaching of the Esoteric Philosophy - to which Mr. Judge has referred in The Ocean of Theosophy - about the relation between the newly incarnating ego and physical-plane food.
The subject is highly important and the Home-Builder must acquaint himself with its basic principles. The quality and the quantity of food selected by a person for his own use indicate the nature of the person; what and how much or how little he eats is at once an indicator - pertaining to the causal plane - of the inner prevailing mood of the hour or of his psychic temperament; what and how he eats produces effects. The Law of Cycles operates for each in his eating, digesting and assimilating.
Occult science has its branch of dietetics and it is more comprehensive than its counterpart is in modern knowledge. We will but record some major principles, leaving their applications to the practitioner, offering this word of warning: do not dogmatise that vegetarianism is the only right thing, or that man is a carnivorous animal and must devour flesh; do not be a faddist, accepting or rejecting foods without a basis in knowledge and an appreciation of the important fact that the One Life sustains the vast variety of diversified manifestation.
The question never is of kinds of food, but of fitness for each particular case; for when all is said and done, each body extracts from any kind of food only that which conforms to the nature of the possessor of the body, and that nature is subject to change from within. The main thing to be observed is to keep the body efficient as an instrument for the soul who inhabits it, by whatever means and food may be found necessary for that purpose. Here, like and dislike are set aside and only the purpose of soul is considered.
Notes on the Bhagavad-Gita, p. 223
To begin with - temperance. Not to eat more than enough, nor too little. Whatever the food, this should be the rule. Says Manu:
Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame, and to (bliss in) heaven; it prevents (the acquisition of) spiritual merit, and is odious among men; one ought, for these reasons, to avoid it carefully. (II, 57)
Foods are classified into three divisions: tamasic or impure, stale, tasteless, rotting, polluted by others; rajasic or emotion-stirring, bitter, sour, saline, pungent, dry, burning, excessively hot; lastly, sattvic or pure, enhancer of age, vitality, strength, health, joy, cheerfulness, savoury, oleaginous, substantial and agreeable. It is not said all vegetables are sattvic and all meats tamasic; the qualities arc mentioned. For some bodies meats may be found health-giving, for others they may prove poisonous.
In Dnyaneshwari, which H. P. B. calls "that king of mystic works," we find some very important statements on the subject. It is said that "the connection between foul eatables and sin is direct." And the explanation is offered: Eat that food, which will nourish purity (Sattva) in you. There is no more powerful, reason for good or bad temperament than the food consumed. Even a sane man on consumption of liquor will get unbalanced and excited. Nectar wards off death and poison causes it. The seven elements (Dhatu) in the body are constituted out of the food consumed and the mind conceives ideas, corresponding to these seven physical elements. The constitution of the mind follows the constitution of these elements in the same manner as Water gets heated when the pot containing it is put over the fire. Similarly, the other two attributes are brought out by inferior food.
Then the book proceeds to explain the threefold division of food: When the mind of a man has a pure tendency, he is inclined to relish juicy food, items which have a natural taste or which have been well cooked and served with sauce, which are attractive in form, and soft to touch and which are pleasant to taste. He is attracted towards food, which is small in hulk, but great in nourishment like words from the mouth of the preceptor, which are few and far between. There is, therefore, relish as well as nourishment in such food. A. regular and daily supply of such food increases the good in one, just as the sun is the cause of the day from dawn till evening. Coming to the mind and the body, such food reduces the chances of disease. Such food is conducive to health, without which all joys are useless.
The second quality of food (Rajas) is likened in bitterness to poison though not as fatal, in heat to quicklime, and is sour. Such food contains an excess of salt and is also consumed while it is very hot. These pungent things hurt without wounding. Just as a crow-bar can upset a pile of stones, men, who are fond of this food, consume condiments which are drier than ashes and which hurt not only the outside but the inside. They like food which gives exertion to the teeth and food which inflames the nostrils and the mouth. They stuff their stomachs pell-mell with fire and eat in excess, because the palate remains unsatisfied. To mustard, clove and ginger, they add large quantities of water. These stimulants hurt the stomach and are the forerunners of disease.
The last kind of food is that of those with dark tendencies (Tamas). Its characteristic is that it is foul and rotten. It is stale unripe or overdone and it is dry without juice. Such men dislike pure and clean food. These do not relish it till it begins to rot. Or, they eat a hotchpotch, where nothing can be distinguished. Only such an irregular and unclean meal will satisfy the sinner. They like prohibited food and prohibited drink. The connection between foul eatables and sin is direct. Such food hurts the stomach and other organs. But those with dark tendencies prefer to mortify them with it.
In each kingdom there are tamasic, rajasic and sattvic beings. What should the practitioner aim at? Says The Key to Theosophy, p. 218, "He must eat to live, and so we advise really earnest students to eat such food as will least clog and weight their brains and bodies, and will have the smallest effect in hampering and retarding the development of their intuition, their inner faculties and powers."
The same book further states: Every kind of animal tissue, however you may cook it, still retains certain marked characteristics of the animal which it belonged to, which characteristics can be recognised. And apart from that, every one knows by the taste what meat he is eating. We go a step farther and prove that when the flesh of animals is assimilated by man as food, it imparts to him, physiologically, some of the characteristics of the animal it came from. Moreover, occult science teaches and proves this to its students by ocular demonstration, showing also that this "coarsening" or "animalizing" effect on man is greatest from the flesh of larger animals, less for birds, still less for fish and other cold-blooded animals, and least of all when he eats only vegetables.
Extending the same principle, we might refer to the "coarsening" effects of certain vegetables in comparison to others, and so on. But there is another factor - the cook. The principle implicit in the following remarks of H. P. B. applies to food stuffs, as well: Wine and Spirits are supposed to contain and preserve the bad magnetism of all the men who helped in their fabrication; the meat of each animal, to preserve the psychic characteristics of its kind.
Raja-Yoga or Occultism, p. 21
So it is not only the question of meat or vegetables, but also the person who handles them.
In another place, Dnyaneshwar Maharaj explains: Just as a tortoise extends his limbs or withdraws them at his pleasure, so, he who has complete control over his senses, which obey his orders, may be recognised as stable-minded (Sthira Budhi). I must, however, stress a particular point. There are some who, while controlling the other senses such as ears, eyes, nose, etc., let loose the sense of taste and by this means get entangled in all sorts of objects of senses. If one were to cut off the leaves, but put water in the roots, the tree will never be destroyed. On the contrary, by means of that water, the leaves will come forth again in greater strength. Without doubt, therefore, it is through one's food that objects of senses get control over one's mind. It is easy to shut off the action of other senses, but it is not possible to carry on without food, on which sustenance of the physical body depends.
Thus we see the application to food of the teaching about the invisible which we have been considering in previous installments of this series. Intimacy between food and soul, between man and gods, makes the selection and consumption of edibles a very different matter for the Theosophical Home-Builder.
Rooted in this idea is the practice of saying grace before eating. "When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them," says the Chinese proverb. The Laws of Manu instruct:
Let him always worship his food, and eat it without contempt; when he sees it, let him rejoice, show a pleased face, and pray that he may always obtain it. Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigour; but eaten irreverently, it destroys them both. Let him not give to any man what he leaves, and beware of eating between (the meal-times); let him not over-eat himself, nor go anywhere without having purified himself (after his meal). (II, 54-56)
At this point we may quote appropriately Dr. Mariano H. Castex of Buenos Aires who, speaking from observation and experiment of his own, states that emotional outbursts while eating lead directly to intestinal toxemia. Other doctors are of the opinion that the more fixed and sinister forms of emotion, such as envy, jealousy, etc., predispose powerfully towards cancer. "Better a meal of herbs and love therewith, than a stalled ox and hatred withal."
Modern civilization does not recognize the real meaning and value of the kitchen in the home; modern knowledge aids sense-life and sensuous living but disregard soul and its sheaths. Inner purity is sacrificed to outer cleanliness in all things, and more - outer cleanliness is subordinated to mere appearances. Nowhere, perhaps, is this more visible than in the matter of food and the kitchen. In setting an example in right Home-Building, the Theosophical practitioner has to learn to pay special attention to this. The health of the body and the well-being of the whole personality, in not a negligible measure, depends on (1) the physical cleanliness and (2) the magnetic purity of the kitchen, and (3) the psychic disposition of the workers who labour there. The words which Anna Hempstead Branch puts in the mouth of "the Monk in the Kitchen" have a message bearing on what we are considering
What are ye?
I know not.
Brazen pan and iron pot,
Yellow brick and gray flagstone
That my feet have trod upon -
Ye seem to me
Vessels of bright mystery.
For ye do bear a shape, and so
Though ye were made by man, I know
An inner spirit also made,
And ye his breathings have obeyed.
When I polish the brazen pan
I hear a creature laugh afar
In the gardens of a star,
And from his burning presence run
Flaming wheels of many a sun.
Whoever makes a thing more bright
He is an angel of all light.
And the labours of such an angel of light affect not only the health or mortal bodies but touch also the inner world of devattas or nature-spirits who say to each who feeds them with gleam and shine:
Beauties from thy hands have flown
Like white doves wheeling in mid-air.
Nay - thy soul remembers not?
Work on, and cleanse thy iron pot.
But the kitchen is only one part of the home; there are other parts where also we need rhythm and harmony, for "Order is a Lovely thing," and
Whoever makes a thing more bright
He is an angel of all light.
Order Is a Lovely Thing
Do what thou hast in hand with perfect and simple dignity, and feeling of affection, and freedom, and justice, and give thyself relief from all other thoughts. And thou wilt give thyself relief if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last, laying aside all carelessness and passionate aversion from the commands of reason, and all hypocrisy, and self-love, and discontent with the portion which has been given to thee. Thou seest how few the things are, the which if a man lays hold of, he is able to live a life which flows in quiet, and is like the existence of the gods; for the gods on their part will require nothing more from him who observes these things.
Nothing was too trivial for the Hindoo lawgiver, however offensive it may be to modern taste. He teaches how to eat, drink, cohabit, void excrement and urine, and the like, elevating what is mean, and does not falsely excuse himself by calling these things trifles.
One of the tasks of the Theosophical practitioner is to see order in what appears to be chaos in the whole of Nature. Human progress can well be measured by man's capacity to perceive that all manifestation takes place in design and rhythm, to hear the music of the marching orbs, to see the pattern that the drop of dew and the flake of snow make as they fall, to appreciate that Nature plans movement. Extending the idea to our own psychological nature, we have to learn to see that our failings and fallings also take place following a design, and that we rise from our dying or dead selves to a higher order of living also after a pattern.
Immutable and indestructible Law is at work everywhere, and every tyro in Theosophy knows that it is "an undeviating and unerring tendency in the universe to restore equilibrium."
It maketh and unmaketh, mending all;
What it hath wrought is better than had been;
Slow grows the splendid pattern that it plans
Its wistful hands between.
Perfected Men servilely copy Nature in all They do. The aspirants who have resolved to follow Them should learn to do likewise, doing in their own restricted sphere as the Holy Ones do in the vast expanse which is Their Home. They "the blessed workers have received the Thyan-Kam, in the eternity" - say The Aphorisms of Tsong-Ka-Pa, and H.P.B. explains that "Thyan-Kam is the power or knowledge of guiding the impulses of cosmic energy in the right direction." All men, all women, are moved onwards on the path of progression by the mighty sweep of this cosmic energy; when his own moral perception leads a man to swim with its tide, bliss fills his heart; when he in ignorance thwarts the ceaseless motion onwards, confusion enters his head and loss of breath weakens his being; soon or late he finds out that the Law of Motion cannot be thwarted. Seeking knowledge he hears the truth:
Help Nature and work on with her, and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.
The Theosophical practitioner must utilize his opportunities morning, noon and night, to see that the inner rhythm of his consciousness is not disturbed and that it helps him to remove every type of disorder in his outer environment. To make the crooked straight; to brush away the dust of disorder; to tidy up the pell-mell; to smooth the sharp corners; to weed out one's plot and prepare it for neat noetic action; these - in and through the small plain duties of life. "There is an occult meaning to everything, and all things work together for good to those who love the Lord (Law)," wrote Robert Crosbie.
Physical nourishment created in an enlightened kitchen will not produce real good health unless mental rhythm and moral order are made to guide the home. For this purpose, men and women of the world should be taught the necessity of individual study and of the observation of silence, as well as of pleasant conversation which entertains and of serious discussion which enlightens. Art and literature, philosophy and politics, and other subjects are not worthless. The Theosophical family, however small, can and should benefit itself by absorbing ideas to be found outside the realm of Theosophical books, rejecting with discrimination those that are false, lighting up those which are true with Theosophical interpretation. World events, great or small, tragic or pleasant, have a different meaning when examined in the light of Theosophy and the Grihastha has the duty of understanding and of interpreting them to his kin as well as to his companions. Therefore every family needs an intellectual kitchen - a corner for a library, a single shelf of books and periodicals yields much cream for the discerning reader touched by the dynamic power of Theosophy. In this a Theosophical home should set an example.
But even more necessary than a corner for a library is a spot where silence is observed, where the heart becomes steady and the mind is elevated to heights of devotion. Man's heart is the Holy of Holies and his body is the, but he needs a spot for the body to sit on, and his heart and his mind need protection from the gales which blow from the astral light. The silent repetition of sacred texts, the attentive reading of Holy Writ, these develop the soul in man, and from that spot reserved for such work comes the power which develops the Soul of the family.
The soul of the family should energize every member. All servants and menials are such under the Law of Brotherhood which the Theosophical student is bound to honour. Just as, by paying right attention, the Human Ego affords to each organ of the body, and to the cells which make that organ, due facilities for developing in health and in strength, so should the soul of the family give to all adults and children, masters and servants, adequate opportunity to labour and to learn, to work and to grow. If the application of the Law of Brotherhood be properly made in the handling of servants, enabling them to love their duties and to take pleasure in performing them, the master and the mistress of the house, as well as others, will gain benefit. Every employer is also an employee - recognizable as such or otherwise; the peon serves the clerk, the clerk the manager, the manager his superiors, the chela serves his Guru, and the Great Ones call Themselves the Servants of Humanity.
What the lives of the body are to the Soul, the servant-class is to the employing master in the social fabric. An employer is not a slave-owner; an employee should feel not only economically but also morally and spiritually dependent on the employer. This implies a relationship similar to that which subsists between the young chela and his Great Guru. There is willing obedience, cheerful co-operation, a brotherliness of a particular kind. In India, through the institution of the servant, great good can be achieved. In this also the Theosophical student can and should increase in power.
In his Epistle to the Ephesians, the Initiate Paul gave some wise directions to parents and children, to masters and servants:
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. (VI, 5-9)
Such ideas applied to vocations and toils in the world beyond the family would not only remove many of the existing difficulties but would in course of time usher in the International State of Peace with Justice to all.
Beneficent influences radiating from a home through the channel of its ideals and practices is one aspect; there is the other - the home should attract to itself the benign forces of its neighbourhood, of its guests, of its friends. A Theosophical home should be a centre of study and of work towards which higher influences stream forth, to which people seeking comfort for heart, and clarity for mind, desiring energization or inspiration, would come, and besides - companions wishing to share their knowledge, their plans, their hopes, their achievements.
Sometimes students raise the question - what about finances? Occultism accepts the philosophy implicit in the adage - "Cut your coat according to the cloth." Poverty has its advantages, as wealth has its obstacles. But the principle to be observed is this: whatever we possess, little or much, is not really ours; our body is nothing else but an object of trust; our sundry possessions are objects of trust; whatever cash or stock we have we hold in trust for the great Cause and for the service of human souls. Thrift and frugality are virtues to be practised by the student who may be rolling in wealth, as generous sharing of what we have with others can and should be practised by those who are poor.
The Law of Necessity is another name for Karma. Nature never works unnecessarily. That which is not necessary should be avoided. Nature is bountiful, profusely so, but her economy is marvellously profound. The great Mother provides for every necessity of every son; her home, the Earth, has never been struck with poverty; men and women in their great selfishness spoil the labour of her love and produce war in place of peace, passion in place of compassion. In his life, the Theosophical aspirant should observe this law of necessity and many of his difficulties would vanish - they never existed. Thus he will find time to apply remedies to those which do exist, and also time for the unfoldment of inner soul-powers, till he is able to wear the jewels of the paramitas. In every sphere of life, the unnecessary removed, we serve the ever-increasing wealth of Nature.
But all of us are children of the Kali-yuga, and to the best of us come inheritances of body and psyche pertaining to the cycle. Disappointment and despair, mental anguish and bodily aches, losses of many kinds often overtake us. The Dark Age devours millions who do not or will not learn to use it by acquiring the knowledge by which it can be devoured. That knowledge is Theosophy and its votary can benefit himself, lighting up the darkness of the yuga. He should be prepared: temptation will test him at every turn; life has for him a lesson in every event. If he would follow the Wisdom-Teaching, let him learn to perceive the radiance behind every phenomenon of the Dark Age. Thankful that the sun, the moon, the stars and man-made lamps help him to walk onwards, he should convince himself that his destiny is to become a Self-luminous being. The World of Divine Astral Light radiates, even though passions hard as iron make this earth impervious to its benign influence, enveloping it in black darkness.
How can the Theosophical practitioner attempt to catch the light which shines in darkness? By a constant effort to read the meaning of every event which is a symbol. Events are emblems. Every phenomenon has its noumenon. By educating himself, the practitioner can come to decipher the stable Reality behind and within the mighty magic of Prakriti.
All the mundane acts of life's routine are symbols - each with a meaning and a message. The act of waking every morning is analogous to the soul's preparing itself for a new incarnation. If he is wise, the student will use one noble thought in place of the prospective vision of the ego in Devachan. The act of bathing is a baptism - cleansing the body for the soul to dwell in. To remember great ideas, to repeat holy words, is to invite the Inner Ego to guide our conduct. This is symbolized in the Sacred Thread ceremony of the Hindu or the Parsi. To breakfast is a symbol; to go to work is a symbol; to seek recreation is a symbol; to return home to one's kin is a symbol; to retire is a symbol. Birthday is a symbol, funeral is a symbol, marriage is a symbol - the uniting of the personal to the individual self. Life becomes sacred because all its acts and events are looked upon as sacraments.
The Home of the Theosophist is a temple where minds worship to gain enlightenment; where hearts feel peace and bliss; where hands are active to create beauty of form as of feeling; where amity energizes all to better and nobler living. All these constitute an Ideal. But every ideal is realizable. Let us try to realize the ideal Theosophy holds aloft for the Grihastha - the Gentle Man.
"There is heat internal and heat external in every atom," say the manuscript Commentaries, to which the writer has had access; "the breath of the Father (or Spirit) and the breath (or heat) of the Mother (matter).".
The Secret Doctrine, i 84
All folklore, every social and religious custom has a core of fact hemmed in by superstition and sham. Every symbol has its meaning and every human act is a symbol.
The Bombay U. L. T. begins a new cycle, having spiraled to a new point in space. Its family having grown, it has moved into a new and more spacious home. All peoples and classes, even the sedate English shop-keeper, enjoy what is called house-warming. In India, a religious turn is given to the festive occasion as to all else. What shall be the house-warming for the Bombay U.L.T.?
The heart warms the body; love warms the home; trust is the warmth of trade; a people's content warms the state. The Secret Doctrine (i 103) teaches that heat, attraction and repulsion are the three great factors of Motion. Warmth is the balancing between attraction and repulsion, and produces that repose which is Bliss. The U. L. T. attracts the highest in every individual; it repels the base, the mean, the selfish in every one; the third factor, of heat, is the knowledge of Theosophy which brings balance and repose and bliss. The heat of Kama-passion is the heat of matter; the warmth of Buddhi-Wisdom is the heat of Spirit; when their balance is struck the result is Bliss. Theosophical knowledge throws out evil; further, it brings forth good; lastly, it produces the contentment which is energic. This Lodge cannot perform miracles and beget perfected Adepts and great geniuses out of the local citizens; but it can and does and has (as some will testify in the silence of their own self-examinations) made numerous people less mean and less selfish, and others more thoughtful and more charitable. It has awakened people mentally to the recognition of their own innate divinity. They are learning why they came into the world, and how they should live, and what will happen when Death comes as a release.
What shall each student bring to the house-warming ceremony?
A Light is needed - the Light of Wisdom. Let us kindle our humble wick at the Sacrificial Fire which H. P. B. brought from the Wise Ones.
Flowers are needed - the lotus of the heart, grown out of the mire of life terrestrial which all of us are fated to live through and overcome; the rose of beauty which burgeons in secrecy and in silence; the fragrant champak, sacred to Shiva, and symbol of the Great Sacrifice. Let us bring these heart-blooms whose fragrance never dies.
Wheat, rice and salt are needed - symbols of fructification, of nourishment and of the savour of Life.
As we all learn and assimilate Theosophy, the light of the Lodge will grow and shed its effulgence far and wide; as we apply and practise Theosophy, the beauty and fragrance of character will touch others who come here, away from the ugly world, seeking some solace; as we all promulgate Theosophy, we will fructify that race whose Sires are our Masters, we will nourish the hungry souls, and add real savour to Life.
Let those who have found in this Lodge their Spiritual Home remain true, by sustained self- energization, to our Theosophical Brotherhood. To the newcomer, the enquirer, even the doubter we give welcome and say, "Observe, seek, question." Lastly, through this organ of the Lodge, we invite all to share our blessings, our happiness, and hopes.
A Note on House Warming
Theosophy teaches the existence and nearness of the Invisible. Also, that this mundane sphere is a reflection of that Invisible. Esoteric philosophy points to the Sphere of Archetypes, Akasha, whence radiates all ideas, which eventually concretize in the realm of matter.
Man is a reflection in small of the Great Universe; his body, his lower nature, his higher nature, his soul and spirit are derived from their respective Macrocosmic Powers and Hosts.
Similarly, events in man's life on earth are reflections of motions in the Invisible. Birth and death, the entry of the boy or the girl to a school to learn alphabet and numbers, the event of puberty, of marriage, of the reaching of age, etc., are all reflections of their invisible counterparts.
Man's dual nature, ordinarily named good and evil, reflects as emanations of the influences pervading in the lower Astral and the Divine Astral Light. All mundane events are connected with one or more aspects of the Astral Lights.
Therefore House Warming should be understood philosophically. The house is a dwelling-place of the man, the family. House corresponds to the body; the family resides in the house as the Soul in the body. Just as Soul learns from the body, so do all members of the family learn from the life of the home. The elders, mother and father, may be compared to the heart and the head of the home. They guide and instruct, sacrifice and help the younger members of the family. The resemblance between the body of senses and organs and the other human principles, up to soul and spirit on the one hand and the home in which the family lives, loves and labours, on the other, is intimate and real. The student of the Esoteric Philosophy should take this into account, study the aspects of this relationship and make his own applications.
The Home's most important part is the meditation or prayer room where members gather to study, to reflect upon and to commune with their spiritual souls. The Divinity within each has to be contacted, and this is more easily done if a space, a corner even, is set apart. A few choice and appropriate books to assist that reflection and communion will prove handy. Next, is the kitchen and dining place; nourishment for the Soul within corresponds to the food given to the body. Much illness of the body directly and also indirectly results from wrong eating and drinking. Cleanliness and purity, involving the healthy magnetism, has to be considered.
These are the ideas which should go into the Rite of House Warming. Family, based on knowledge, reared and permeated by love, sustained by sacrifices, is bound to be happy - full of Joy, Ananda. The prayer room is the spiritual kitchen which provides Soul food; the physical counterpart does this for the body. A healthy relationship between these two places in the home is necessary. This as the foundation should be attended to and refinements of life will naturally follow.
We do not live by bread alone. We live by ideas and aspirations, i.e., by right knowledge and assiduity in application.
Keep the body and the home clean; keep their respective magnetism pure and bright; nourish the body and the soul as well as the home and the family. Truth, contentment and joy should be the psycho-spiritual atmosphere of the home which is created by each and every member of the family.
Ideas rule the world. Ideas held on the occasion of the House Warming and sustained through weeks and years will rule in the future, spreading Light and Peace within the Home, and the Home like a Light-House will radiate them for the guiding of struggling neighbours.
The Home's neighbourliness is the starting point of civic and national life. Build a bright Home, and the city and the nation will become bright.
The reader may be recommended to the study of The Dream of Raven, which contains a masterly exposition of the three Gunas and their female personifications.
"A sound and pure mind requires a sound and pure body," is an Occult aphorism.