To SEARCH for a word or phrase on this page, press CTRL+F and enter  the text

Spectator and Participant


...those who "ascend and descend" are the "Hosts" of what we loosely call "celestial Beings." But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind. They are Entities of the higher worlds in the hierarchy of Being, so immeasurably high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively – GOD.... there may he a certain limited communication between some of those worlds and our own. To the highest, we are taught, belong the seven orders of the purely divine Spirits; to the six lower ones belong hierarchies that can occasionally he seen and heard by men, and who do communicate with their progeny of the Earth; which progeny is indissolubly linked with them, each principle in man having its direct source in the nature of those great Beings, who furnish us with the respective invisible elements in us.

The Secret Doctrine, i 132-133

 In the mystical language of The Voice of the Silence, every human being is both agent and witness, both radiator and radiation. As an immortal Atma-Buddhi Monad, each human being is a spectator in eternal Duration. As a ray of the ever Unmanifest, each Monad can see what all other Monads can see, through the eyes of the highest Anupadaka, the Mahatmas and silent watchers during the night of pralaya. Each human being can witness the deaths of civilizations, of beings, even of his own body, just as Mahatmas observe the deaths of worlds, galaxies and all that is at Maha Pralaya. Every human being is also a participant, a Manasa, a pristine ray capable of pure self-conscious awareness and creative thought, authentic individuation as an "I am I" consciousness. This active individuality, the sutratman that threads the soul's incarnations like jewelled beads upon a string, affords endless opportunities for learning and service. At the same time, each human being is also a spectator and participant in a more immediate spatial and temporal sense.

 As a projected ray of Manas caught up in kama and involved with the astral plane, each human being is also a cerebrating animal ensnared in expectations and excuses, rationalizations and regrets, fantasies and frustrations. On the planes of the lower quaternary, every human being is immersed in vast fields of elementals and devas, all the hosts of secondary forces that are under the control of the four Maharajas spoken of in Hindu mythology. These Regents of the four cardinal points of the compass are the channels through which karma is transmitted magnetically, forming and affecting the organs of perception and action of the incarnated human being.

 Given the archetypal logic of the involution of spirit into form, it is truly vital that the boundless potential of the Monad must be awakened through the trials of incarnation on the lower planes. The depth and complexity of the lessons to be learnt ensure that each human being will pass many lives of apprenticeship before realizing the ideals of universality in consciousness and freedom from karma. The inherent integrity of the Monad and its consubstantiality with cosmic truth guarantee that it will not rest content until it has wrought this task through to the end, however long it takes. Owing to the integrity of the innumerable intelligences constituting the planes of the lower quaternary, which are themselves ultimately derived from the same Monadic plane of existence as humanity, and which constitute the incipient human kingdoms of future evolution, every self-conscious abuse or misuse of human capacities is exactly mirrored in the lower human vestures. If incarnated human beings find themselves passive and drowsy participants, dim-sighted and dull-witted observers, caught in a seemingly chaotic and confusing world, that is the result of their own past self-neglect. The forces of tamas and rajas predominate in the linga sharira and its vital energy, rendering the temple of the physical form mostly unused and even useless.

 The emphasis in incarnated consciousness is almost entirely upon the lower centres. Because the spleen, the liver and the stomach are over-active, most people are caught up to the point of emotional exhaustion. This condition reacts upon the solar plexus, creating a congestion that interferes with both physical and mental digestion, assimilation and elimination. In effect, human beings have handed over their instruments to myriads of entities that execute a kind of a devil dance through a human body. Very few human beings are noetically involved in the processes that ordinarily pass for eating, sleeping, bathing, speaking or making love. A pathetically large proportion of what passes for human life is simply a shadow-play of elementals resulting from human resignation of responsibility. Yet, people are deceived into supposing that they are engaged in meaningful human activity because they have manufactured particular elementals drawn around the namarupa, the name and form, which mimic authentic action.

 If, through suffering and solicitude for others, one begins to gain a sense of the magnitude of this dismal delusion, it is natural to want to restore dignity to one's own life through a search for knowledge and for the means of making a genuine contribution to the lives of others. Having thus raised one's sights, one may be prepared to read the Stanzas of Dzyan and resonate to the ancient accent and self-validating summons of Gupta Vidya.


Ibid., 88

 Here speaks the voice of the primordial Mysteries, the voice of all the self-shining Initiates who speak by thinking and think by ideating. Arrayed around a common ineffable centre, like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Tibetan tankas, they are ceaselessly engaged in fathomless meditation. Through their adoration and compassion they continually point to Amitabha, to Avalokiteshwara, the one Source and the primordial Flame. This is the divine Tetraktys, the sacred four, the eternal self-existent One called the concealed Lord and also known as the androgyne Father-Mother, the direct emanation from the primordial Flame. From this emanate the primordial seven, the highest Ah-Hi, the divine breaths; from those emanate the Manasaputras as well as the builders of form. The primordial seven, the highest beings on the scale of existence, latent during pralaya and active during manvantara, constitute the ray of the Tetraktys, which is eternal in essence and periodic in manifestation.

 The same Teaching is given in terms of the seven Kumaras, the eldest mind-born sons of Brahmâ sprung from the fourfold mystery. Brahmâ is Hiranyagarbha, the resplendent Spiritual Sun, the effulgent golden egg which is like the aura of the entire cosmos.

 In the Rig Veda it is said: – "THAT, the one Lord of all beings...the one animating principle of gods and man," arose, in the beginning, in the Golden Womb, Hiranyagarbha – which is the Mundane Egg or sphere of our Universe.

Ibid., 89

From that One and the egg, the inseparable and androgyne Hiranyagarbha-Prajapati, emanate the Three-in-One, the Tetraktys or sacred Four. The original triune rays in the Tetraktys are the primeval Vedic Trimurti of Agni, Vayu and Surya – spiritual fire, spiritual air and spiritual sun. From these emanate the other seven. Together they constitute either the seven or the ten, depending upon how one counts the original Three-in-One. However reckoned, one must not emphasize any separation between Agni, Vayu and Surya or between these three and the primordial seven, the Ah-Hi.

 It is best to think of them as one while meditating at dawn, at sunset, at midday and midnight. Whether one employs a sacred mantram or invocation to draw one's entire attention to the great Mystery, or whether one has the idea of it so impacted in the consciousness that it may be linked to anything before the mind's eye, this is the path of those who are serious about living a life of constant gratitude. Once a taste for it is developed, it is pure bliss. It is better to spend time in gratitude than in brooding over the shadow. At the highest level of maintaining a current of ideation, where one becomes a true man of meditation in silence, the One, the egg, the Three-in-One, the seven and the ten are all comprehended within the supreme Paramatman, called guhya or secret. Even in thinking of it one must exercise reticence, never thinking about it carelessly or mechanically. It must be assimilated, enjoyed and allowed to cohere in secret.

 This indivisible unity of Sarvatma, the Supreme Soul, has been portrayed in many mystic images – such as that of Vishnu seated upon Adishesha amidst the great ocean of space with Brahmâ springing forth from his navel. The symbol of the Spiritual Sun riding a chariot drawn by seven steeds has the same meaning. Hence it is said: "The seven Lords of Being lie concealed in Sarvatma like thoughts in one brain." This is the basis of the highest meditation and the highest magic, giving strength to the continuous maintenance of one's consciousness as a monadic spectator. Constant adoration of the Ah-Hi, the Seven-in-One, the Trimurti of Agni, Vayu and Surya, is the inherent and essential activity of the Monad. Owing to its constant adoration of the primordial One, the primordial Three, the primordial Seven, the Monad is able to maintain ceaseless awareness in eternal Duration. Hence, it can understand Krishna speaking in his highest aspect when he states: "I established this whole universe with a single portion of myself, and remain separate." This is Krishna as Narayana, the first Logos. He is also Ishwara, the second Logos and the Avatar. He is all these simultaneously, and, as he reveals to Arjuna, he is the Supreme Self – Sarvatman – dwelling in secret within every human heart.

 The fundamental question facing human beings as obligatory participants in incarnated life is how to sustain this mystical awareness. Owing to the very nature of the vestures of incarnation, one will have to cope with multiples, with matter and with sense-experience. Differentiated, fragmented patterns of thought will arise in the lower mind as the sense-organs prompt comparisons and contrasts. To reaffirm the One in the many and to benefit, as a participant, from the standpoint of the spectator, one may, therefore, meditate upon the Soundless Sound of Nada Brahman in its unmanifest essence and in its multiple differentiations as the Army of the Voice. One may meditate upon the OM as the ceaseless eternal sound and also as the great affirmation of the Army of the Voice symbolized by Oeaohoo.

 The "Army of the Voice," is the prototype of the "Host of the Logos," or the "WORD" of the Sepher Jezirah, called in the Secret Doctrine "the One Number issued from No-Number" – the One Eternal Principle.

Ibid., 94

Here, in the arcane code language of Gupta Vidya, fully accessible only to hierophants but amenable to contemplation by any earnest seeker at any level, is a clue to the relationship of sound and number. From zero comes one; that one, when taken together with the zero, makes ten. These are the one from the egg, which are followed by the six and the five, yielding 1065, the value of the first-born who answers to the numbers 7, 14 and 21. This particular sequence of numbers, connected with Hiranyagarbha, Brahmâ and Vak, intimates the archetypal logic of the pre-cosmic and the logic of the cosmic.

 The esoteric theogony begins with the One, manifested, therefore not eternal in its presence and being, if eternal in its essence; the number of the numbers and numbered – the latter proceeding from the Voice, the feminine Vach, Satarupa "of the hundred forms," or Nature. It is from this number 10, or creative nature, the Mother (the occult cypher, or "nought," ever procreating and multiplying in union with the Unit "1," one, or the spirit of Life), that the whole Universe proceeded.

Ibid., 94

Guided by Vak, Sarasvati, Isis, the Army of the Voice is ceaselessly at work as the conscious intelligent host in invisible mystic nature.

 Acting with mathematical precision through the fiery force of the Fohatic whirlwind, Vak establishes the Army of the Voice in abstract space reflecting divine Thought. First, the germs of wheels are established in the six directions of space, which represent the junction of pure spirit and matter, the arupa and the rupa, symbolized by the interlaced triangles or Vishnu's chakra. At each angle stands an army of the Sons of Light, whilst the Lipika, the recorders of karma, stand in the middle. The Dhyanic hosts at the angles are mystic watchers, appointed to watch over each respective region from the beginning to the end of the manvantara. This is the Divine World, called the "first" because the manifestation which precedes it, the world of SAT, is the realm of noumena in their primary manifestation. Coeval and coexistent with the One Life, and with that through which the direct energy radiating from the One Reality reaches all beings,

this "World of Truth" can be described only in the words of the Commentary as "A bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity; the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being." Truly so; since those are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads – the Atma, or the irradiating Spirit of every creature of the human family.

Ibid., 120

 From this septenary light proceeds the Divine World, the countless candles lit at the primeval source, the Buddhas or formless divine Souls of the last arupa world, the world of the Lipikas and their mystic watchers. Fohat as divine love seeks to unite the pure Spirit, the ray inseparable from the one Absolute, with the divine Soul, the two constituting in man the Monad, and in Nature the first link between the ever-unconditioned and the manifested. Next in the series of developments concerning the cosmic and human principles comes the building of a set of four winged wheels at the corners of a great square. At each of the four cardinal points stands a Regent, one of the four Maharajas, and his host. These guardians of the world are the Lokapalas, including Indra in the east, Yama in the south, Varuna in the west, and Kubera in the north. By analogy and correspondence, what applies to the entire cosmos may also be applied to this tiny globe that we call the earth. Even though it is but a speck of dust in the vast sidereal cosmos, there is that on earth which corresponds to the four Regents and their hosts at the four cardinal points of the compass.

 Each of the four Regents who rule over the cosmical forces of the four directions and the four primitive elements leads a host of spiritual beings, acting as the protectors of mankind throughout its evolution. Whenever human beings make pilgrimages to the icy northern lands of the midnight sun, whenever they greet the sun rising in the east, or turn with reverence to any direction of the compass, they may salute the spiritual heritage of humanity, and invoke the protection of its guardians, guides and mystic watchers. Anyone who even remotely begins to apprehend this will readily appreciate that the universe, the earth and humanity are fully protected. Human anxiety, individually or collectively, does not reflect any chaotic uncertainty in the cosmos, but only a fear of not being able to acquire a suitable vesture and environment in the future.

 If one recognizes that the universe is fully protected through the Army of the Voice, then the question becomes simple: Is one on the side of the universe, or is one, owing to an inability to control breathing and thought, a slavish fascination with foolish opinions, against life? It is better to train in silence to become a silent servant, attentive to the inner voice. One may not hear the voice until the moment of death, the time of which is uncertain, but not distant in any event. If one earnestly listens to the voice in waking, in meditation and in sleep, one will certainly receive intimations. One will learn how to become a silent server of the human race. As each human being has set in motion certain causes through the potency of thought, magnetically awakening and attracting the reaction of the corresponding powers in the sidereal world, the destiny of each human being is connected with one or other of the constellations and their presiding planetary spirits, the Lokapalas of the four cardinal and four intermediate points of the compass. These beings rule the forces that direct the physical and material agents required to carry out the decrees of karma. Through them and through the Lipika, the recorders of karma, the destiny of every human being is intimately interwoven with the hosts of the Army of the Voice.

 To see oneself as a part of mankind acting under the benevolent protection and karmic discipline of the Army of the Voice is to bid goodbye to identification with one's compulsive, competitive, raucous animal nature. It means becoming a true human being, with a deep inner strength and an enormous willingness to learn, to heighten retention and wakefulness, and to develop a continual reverence for the human race and its invisible guardians. In practice, this means withdrawing attention from external relations, and focussing upon that which is on top of the head of every human being. By seeing oneself and others only as the light that is above the head, one may learn how to move from morn to night, acting towards other human beings with dignity and silence.

 Through a growing awareness of one's assured place amidst the Army of the Voice, one may gain a stronger, sharper and more refined sense of dharma. At the same time, one will bring a sweeter gentleness and subtle fragrance to the performance of duty, nurtured in meditation and harvested through sacrificial action. One's tone of voice will improve, attaining a clarity and a kindness that does not hurt or exclude others. But this venture requires a constant, patient redefinition of oneself. Each day and every week one should refine one's tone of voice, one's attitude towards duty, and one's actions towards one's fellowmen. If one has been the source of pollution through fascination with shadows, then one should restore a higher awareness, physically and mentally. One should ask how, through self-correction, one can improve the sphere of duty in the coming days and weeks. This should not be done neurotically out of self-concern, but noetically out of concern for others, through meditation and through invocations that draw one closer to the Voice.

 As one grows in this discipline, it will begin to have an irresistible effect upon one's faculties of perception and action. Through one's purified thought one will begin to resonate to the currents of magnetic force on the invisible planes presided over by the four Regents. Were it not for the ceaseless activity of these cosmic agencies, it would not be possible to lend intelligence to sight. The human eye is extremely mysterious. It contains a minute pin-point of eternal light-substance – suddhasattva – the substance of the Dhyani Buddhas and of Ishwara. This pin-point of light in the centre of the eye is the gift of the divine Fathers of the human race, the Light-Bringers who illuminated the minds of human beings over eighteen million years ago. One must treat the eyes as sacred, taking care over their spiritual cleansing. One must look intelligently and benevolently, as an immortal soul gazing upon other immortal souls. One does not want the wandering eye, the fixated eye or the day-dreamy eye. Instead, while using both eyes, one should try to think of the Third Eye, the invisible eye of compassion, negation and transcendence. Great souls sometimes choose to take incarnation as blind persons so that they can avoid the distractions of sight. The physical eyes must be used with scrupulous care. Likewise, one must use the ears to become a good listener, catching not only what is on the physical plane but also the inaudible sounds of nature. Through the sounds of the ocean, the forests and even noisy cities, one may train the ear, tuning in to the resonances of the Soundless Sound.

 It is through the four high Rulers over the four points and Elements that our five senses may become cognisant of the hidden truths of Nature.

Ibid., 125

 Through the refinement of the senses, one may come to see to the root of the four elements. As one does so, one will become aware of magnetic currents that pass out of oneself and come into oneself whenever one uses the senses. As a constant transmitter of magnetism, one will be concerned with beneficent motives and with sending out strong, healthy vibrations. One will also want to guard against perceiving that which one cannot handle. This is the message of the statue of the three monkeys – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. They are a reminder not to see, to hear or to speak unnecessarily. By taking up this discipline and without having to enter a monastery, one will begin to move in line with Nature's harmony and rhythms. One will participate cooperatively with the twenty-eight-day lunar cycle, the seven-day cycle of the week, the thirty-odd days of the solar month, the seasons of the year, and so on. As a participant in Nature, through mastery of the vestures, one will learn to retain and extend one's awareness of the invisible and universal ground of Nature and man, benefiting and being benefited by the ordered numerical sets of the hosts of the Army of the Voice.

 Through expanding and deepening one's awareness and participation in the invisible universe, one will gradually reduce fascination with the shadow. The enemy is not fascinating, but only a pathetic knot of muddled thinking. On the physical plane, neglect of exercise may cause a congestion in the spine, a kind of stiffening of the nerves, which results in backaches and a loss of physical mobility. This is part of ageing and may be met with proper measures. But those suffering from mental arthritis or cerebral congestion experience psychological pain and a lack of mobility that prevents them from doing their duty. They need to heed the advice of The Voice of the Silence: "Mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects. It needs the gentle breezes of soul-wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions."

 If the mind is tied up in self-made knots, it is because of terrible illusions as a child, perhaps becoming a chela of Hollywood, addicted to day-dreaming. The best thing is to see these for what they are, while showing compassion for those enslaved by them. Perhaps one was averse to homework or mathematics or afraid of having to look after oneself without one's parents. In addition to developing such barriers to true self-dependence, one may have deemed oneself a "sensitive" person, when in truth one was weak-willed and afraid. Human beings learn to play these games over a number of lives. In themselves they are uninteresting, but they indicate an unwillingness to be quiet and to take one's place in the human family. They represent diseases of the soul and the mind, as well as of the astral form. There is some one thing about oneself that must be faced; until that is faced, the knot will not unravel. This itself must not, however, be turned into a protracted drama out of pride. The knot will never be loosened by brooding on the shadow.

 The oldest and wisest course is to begin to practise altruism. Try to live for others. Try to see beyond the self, by forgetting the self. Everyone is entitled to look earnestly at the sky under which all human beings live and to look lovingly at the earth upon which all human beings walk. Everyone is entitled to think with gratitude of the elements, which offer help from all directions and all departments of Nature. But one must first practise self-forgetfulness, dutifulness and detachment. Through taking an intense interest in humanity and in the possibilities of the human condition, one may develop a deep love for the spiritual family into which one has entered. Seeing this as one's own true family, linked up to the mighty Brotherhood of Bodhisattvas, one may let go of the tension of self-concern. Then at the right time, through help in dreamless sleep and in daily meditation, the truly devoted and totally faithful will come to see the knot for what it is and it will loosen up. There is no point in worrying about these things, because that is how the knot was formed in the first place. Anxiety contracts, benevolence expands. Following the ABCs, one should move from anxiety to benevolence, and then to contentment. Then one may return to A, recognizing that it does not stand for anxiety but rather for the Atman, the Absolute and the Ah-Hi; that B stands for the Brotherhood, for the Builders and for the Great Breath. When one learns to see life with childlike simplicity, one can begin to get ready to receive the ancient Catechism:

"Lift thy head, oh Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?"

 "I sense one Flame, oh Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it."

 "Thou sayest well. And now look around and into thyself. That light which burns inside thee, dost thou feel it different in anywise from the light that shines in thy Brother-men?"

 "It is in no way different, though the prisoner is held in bondage by Karma, and though its outer garments delude the ignorant into saying, "Thy Soul and My Soul"."

Ibid., 120

Hermes, July 1983
by Raghavan Iyer

Normal View