The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas

by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

I have selected various verses also from Lotsawa House

———————

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to leave behind one’s homeland,

Where our attachment to family and friends overwhelms us like a torrent,

While our aversion towards enemies rages inside us like a blazing fire,

And delusion’s darkness obscures what must be adopted and abandoned.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to take to solitary places,

Avoiding the unwholesome, so that destructive emotions gradually fade away,

And, in the absence of distraction, virtuous practice naturally gains strength;

Whilst, with awareness clearly focused, we gain conviction in the teachings.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to renounce this life’s concerns,

For friends and relatives, long acquainted, must all go their separate ways;

Wealth and prized possessions, painstakingly acquired, must all be left behind;

And consciousness, the guest who lodges in the body, must in time depart.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to arouse bodhicitta,

So as to bring freedom to all sentient beings, infinite in number.

For how can true happiness ever be found while our mothers,

Who have cared for us throughout the ages, endure such pain?

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to make a genuine exchange

Of one’s own happiness and wellbeing for all the sufferings of others.

Since all misery comes from seeking happiness for oneself alone,

Whilst perfect buddhahood is born from the wish for others’ good.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to subdue the mind,

With the forces of loving kindness and compassion.

For unless the real adversary—my own anger—is defeated,

Outer enemies, though I may conquer them, will continue to appear.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to let go of grasping

When encountering things one finds pleasant or attractive,

Considering them to be like rainbows in the summer skies—

Beautiful in appearance, yet in truth devoid of any substance.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to cultivate patience,

Free from any trace of animosity towards anyone at all,

Since any potential source of harm is like a priceless treasure

To the bodhisattva who is eager to enjoy a wealth of virtue.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to let go of attachment

To the households of benefactors and of family and friends,

Since one’s study, reflection and meditation will all diminish

When one quarrels and competes for honours and rewards.

 

In short, no matter what one might be doing,

By examining always the status of one’s mind,

With continuous mindfulness and alertness,

To bring about the good of others—this is the practice of all the bodhisattvas.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to dedicate towards enlightenment

All the virtue to be gained through making effort in these ways,

With wisdom that is purified entirely of the three conceptual spheres,

So as to dispel the sufferings of the infinity of beings.

Fully Adopting Bodhicitta

This is sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattva Vow of Śāntideva from the Bodhicaryāvatāra.

I have excerpted this translation by Adam Pearcey from Lotsawa House a wonderful online treasury of material.

Chapter III — Fully Adopting Bodhicitta

Joyfully I celebrate all the acts of virtue
That ease the pains of the lower realms,
And rejoice as well when those who suffer
Find themselves in states of happiness.

I rejoice in the gathering of virtue
That is the cause of awakening,
And celebrate the definite liberation
Of beings from saṃsāra’s pain.

I rejoice in the awakening of the buddhas,
And the bhūmis gained by bodhisattvas.

Gladly I rejoice in the infinite sea of virtue,
Which is the noble intention of bodhicitta,
Wishing to secure the happiness of beings,
And acting in ways that bring benefit to all.

Now I join my hands and pray
To you, the buddhas of all quarters:
Shine the lamp of Dharma upon us,
As we suffer in confusion’s darkness!

With my palms clasped at my heart,
I urge all buddhas longing for nirvāṇa:
Do not leave us blind and all alone,
But remain with us for countless ages!

Through whatever virtue I have gained
By all these actions now performed,
May the pain of every living being
Be cleared away entirely, never to return.

For all the beings ailing in the world,
Until their sickness has been healed,
May I become the doctor and the cure,
And may I nurse them back to health.

Bringing down a shower of food and drink,
May I dispel the pains of thirst and hunger,
And in those times of scarcity and famine,
May I myself appear as food and drink.

For all beings who are destitute and poor,
May I be a treasure, unending in supply,
A source of all that they might call for,
Accessible always and close by.

My own body and all that I possess,
My past, present and future virtues—
I dedicate them all, withholding nothing,
To bring about the benefit of beings.

By letting go of all I shall attain nirvāṇa,
The transcendence of misery I seek,
Since everything must finally be abandoned,
It would be best if I gave it all away.

This body of mine I have now given up,
Entirely for the pleasure of all who live.
Let them kill it, beat it and abuse it,
Forever doing with it as they please.

And if they treat it like a toy,
Or an object of ridicule and jest,
When I have given it away,
Why should I then become upset?

Let them do to me as they please,
Whatever does not harm them;
And when anyone should think of me,
May that only serve them well.

If the sight of me inspires in others
Thoughts of anger or devotion,
May such states of mind be causes
For eternally fulfilling their desires.

May those who insult me to my face,
Or cause me harm in any other way,
Even those who disparage me in secret,
Have the good fortune to awaken.

May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

May I be an isle for those desiring landfall,
And a lamp for those who wish for light,
May I be a bed for those who need to rest,
And a servant for all who live in need.

May I become a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
A powerful mantra and a medicine of wonder.
May I be a tree of miracles granting every wish,
And a cow of plenty sustaining all the world.

Like the earth and other great elements,
And like space itself, may I remain forever,
To support the lives of boundless beings,
By providing all that they might need.

Just so, in all the realms of beings,
As far as space itself pervades,
May I be a source of all that life requires,
Until beings pass beyond saṃsāra’s pain.

Just as the sugatas of former ages,
Aroused bodhicitta and then, in stages,
Trained themselves in skilful practice,
On the genuine path of the bodhisattvas,

Like them, I take this sacred vow:
To arouse bodhicitta here and now,
And train myself for others’ good,
Gradually, as a bodhisattva should.

Like this, all those whose minds are clear,
And who adopt bodhicitta with inspiration,
Will, to ensure that it grows thereafter,
Praise it highly in the following way:

Now my life has great significance,
At birth I found this human existence,
And now I’m born into the buddhas’ line,
As a son or daughter of the noble kind.

From this day on, come what may,
I’ll act only in an appropriate way,
And never shall I bring disgrace
Upon this flawless, noble race.

For like a beggar, poor and blind,
Who, by chance, a jewel might find,
So now, by chance, auspiciously,
In bodhi-mind is born in me.

This is the perfect nectar of immortality,
Through which the Lord of Death is overcome.
It is an inexhaustible treasury of wealth,
To dispel the poverty of all who live.

It is the very best of medicines
That heals the sickness of the world,
And the tree that shelters all who wander
Wearily along the pathways of existence.

It is the universal bridge to freedom,
Leading us all from the lower realms,
And it is a rising moon within the mind,
To cool the passions of all living beings.

It is the mighty sun whose light dispels
The darkness of ignorance in our minds.
And it is the very purest form of butter
Churned from the milk of sacred Dharma.

For beings travelling life’s pathways,
And seeking to taste its greatest joys,
This will satisfy their eternal wanderings,
By granting them the highest form of bliss.

Now with buddhas as my witness,
I invite all beings to lasting happiness,
And, before that, to ordinary joys:
May gods, asuras and others rejoice!

Translated by Adam Pearcey 2007

THE PATIENT ELEPHANT

WHILE the Blessed One was residing in the Jetavana, there was a householder living in Savatthi known to all his neighbors as patient and kind, but his relatives were wicked and contrived a plot to rob him. One day they came to the householder and by worrying him with all kinds of threats took away a goodly portion of his property. He did not go to court, nor did he complain, but tolerated with great forbearance the wrongs he suffered. The neighbors wondered and began to talk about it, and rumors of the affair reached the ears of the brethren in Jetavana. While the brethren discussed the occurrence in the assembly hall, the Blessed One entered and asked “What was the topic of your conversation?” And they told him.

Said the Blessed One: “The time will come when the wicked relatives will find their punishment. O brethren, this is not the first time that this occurrence took place; it has happened before,” and he told them a world-old tale: Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisattva was born in the Himalaya region as an elephant. He grew up strong and big, and ranged the hills and mountains, the peaks and caves of the torturous woods in the valleys. Once as he went he saw a pleasant tree, and took his food, standing under it. Then some impertinent monkeys came down out of the tree, and jumping on the elephant’s back, insulted and tormented him greatly; they took hold of his tusks, pulled his tail and disported themselves, thereby causing him much annoyance. The Bodhisattva, being full of patience, kindliness and mercy, took no notice at all of their misconduct which the monkeys repeated again and again.

“One day the spirit that lived in the tree, standing upon the tree-trunk, addressed the elephant saying, ‘My lord elephant, why dost thou put up with the impudence of these bad monkeys?’ And he asked the question in a couplet as follows:

“‘Why do you patiently endure each freak

These mischievous and selfish monkeys wreak?’

“The Bodhisattva, on hearing this, replied, If, Tree sprite, I cannot endure these monkeys’ ill treatment without abusing their birth, lineage and persons, how can I walk in the eightfold noble path? But these monkeys will do the same to others thinking them to be like me. If they do it to any rogue elephant, he will punish them indeed, and I shall be delivered both from their annoyance and the guilt of having done harm to others.’ Saying this he repeated another stanza:

“If they will treat another one like me,

He will destroy them; and I shall be free.

“A few days after, the Bodhisattva went elsewhere, and another elephant, a savage beast, came and stood in his place. The wicked monkeys thinking him to be like the old one, climbed upon his back and did as before. The rogue elephant seized the monkeys with his trunk, threw them upon the ground, gored them with his tusk and trampled them to mincemeat under his feet.”

When the Master had ended this teaching, he declared the truths, and identified the births, saying: “At that time the mischievous monkeys were the wicked relatives of the good man, the rogue elephant was the one who will punish them, but the virtuous noble elephant was the Tathagata himself in a former incarnation.”After this discourse one of the brethren rose and asked leave to propose a question and when the permission was granted he said: “I have heard the doctrine that wrong should be met with wrong and the evil doer should be checked by being made to suffer, for if this were not done evil would increase and good would disappear. What shall we do?” Said the Blessed One: “Nay, I will tell you You who have left the world and have adopted this glorious faith of putting aside selfishness, you shall not do evil for evil nor return hate for hate. Neither think that you can destroy wrong by retaliating evil for evil and thus increasing wrong. Leave the wicked to their fate and their evil deeds will sooner or later in one way or another bring on their own punishment.” And the Tathagata repeated these stanzas:

“Who harms the man who does no harm,

Or strikes at him who strikes him not,

Shall soon some punishment incur

Which his own wickedness begot,-

“One of the gravest ills in life,

Either a loathsome dread disease,

Or sad old age, or loss of mind,

Or wretched pain without surcease,

“Or conflagration, loss of wealth;

Or of his nearest kin he shall

See some one die that’s dear to him,

And then he’ll be reborn in hell.”

———————-

Excerpted from:

BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]

At Sacred Texts

Bodhisattva – बोधिसत्त्व

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (/ˌboʊdiːˈsʌtvə/ BOH-dee-SUT-və) is any person who is on the path towards Buddhahood.

In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Pali: bodhisatta) refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has also received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so.

In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The elaborate concept refers to a sentient being or sattva that develops bodhi or enlightenment — thus possessing the boddisattva’s psyche; described as those who work to develop and exemplify the loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuṇā), empathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). These four virtues are the four divine abodes, called Brahmavihara (illimitables).

From Wikipédia

Bodhisattva (sanskrit : बोधिसत्त्व (devanāgarī), IAST : bodhisattva ; pâli : bodhisatta ; chinois traditionnel : 菩薩 ; chinois simplifié : 菩萨 ; pinyin : púsà ; japonais : 菩薩 (bosatsu) ; thaï : พระโพธิสัตว์ ; coréen : 보살 (bosal (hanja : 菩薩)) ; tibétain : changchub sempa tibétain : བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ།, Wylie : byang-chub sems-dpa’ ; vietnamien: Bồ Tát (菩薩)) de sattva « être », bodhi « éveil », est un terme sanskrit qui désigne dans le bouddhisme hinayana un bouddha avant que celui-ci ait atteint l’éveil.

Dans le bouddhisme mahayana, il désigne celui qui a formé le vœu de suivre le chemin indiqué par le bouddha Shakyamuni, a pris le refuge auprès des trois joyaux (Bouddha, Dharma et Sangha) et respecte strictement les disciplines destinées aux bodhisattvas, pour aider d’abord les autres êtres sensibles à s’éveiller, retardant sa propre libération par compassion.

Selon l’Avataṃsaka sūtra, il existe cinquante-deux niveaux (ou étapes de formation) de bodhisattvas : dix degrés de la foi, dix degrés de la demeure, dix degrés de la pratique, dix degrés du transfert de mérites, dix terres, éveil correct et équivalent, et éveil merveilleux. Au début se trouvent les novices qui apprennent les théories en les mettant en pratique, ils doivent s’entraîner pendant trois grands kalpas d’après le Mahāyāna pour devenir bouddhas, et au bout du chemin se situent les grands bodhisattvas tels qu’Avalokiteshvara et Manjushri qui, ayant déjà été bouddhas dans le passé, reviennent dans notre monde en jouant le rôle de bodhisattva pour faciliter le progrès et l’éveil de ceux qui le veulent de leur plein gré.

Tathāgata

This from Wikipedia:

Tathāgata (Sanskrit: [tɐˈtʰaːɡɐtɐ]) is a Pali and Sanskrit word; Gautama Buddha uses it when referring to himself in the Pāli Canon. The term is often thought to mean either “one who has thus gone” (tathā-gata), “one who has thus come” (tathā-āgata), or sometimes “one who has thus not gone” (tathā-agata). This is interpreted as signifying that the Tathāgata is beyond all coming and going – beyond all transitory phenomena. There are, however, other interpretations and the precise original meaning of the word is not certain.

The Buddha is quoted on numerous occasions in the Pali Canon as referring to himself as the Tathāgata instead of using the pronouns me, I or myself. This may be meant to emphasize by implication that the teaching is uttered by one who has transcended the human condition, one beyond the otherwise endless cycle of rebirth and death, i.e. beyond dukkha.

The term Tathāgata has a number of possible meanings.

Etymology and interpretation

The word’s original significance is not known and there has been speculation about it since at least the time of Buddhaghosa, who gives eight interpretations of the word, each with different etymological support, in his commentary on the Digha Nikaya, the SUMAṄGALAVILĀSINĪ.

  1. He who has arrived in such fashion, i.e. who has worked his way upwards to perfection for the world’s good in the same fashion as all previous Buddhas.
  2. He who walked in such fashion, i.e. (a) he who at birth took the seven equal steps in the same fashion as all previous Buddhas or (b) he who in the same way as all previous Buddhas went his way to Buddhahood through the four Jhanas and the Paths.
  3. He who by the path of knowledge has come at the real essentials of things.
  4. He who has won Truth.
  5. He who has discerned Truth.
  6. He who declares Truth.
  7. He whose words and deeds accord.
  8. The great physician whose medicine is all-potent.

Monks, in the world with its devas, Mara and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, devas and humans, whatever is seen, heard, sensed and cognized, attained, searched into, pondered over by the mind—all that is fully understood by the Tathagata. That is why he is called the Tathagata. (Anguttara Nikaya 4:23)

Modern scholarly opinion generally opines that Sanskrit grammar offers at least two possibilities for breaking up the compound word: either tathā and āgata (via a sandhi rule ā + ā → ā), or tathā and gata. Tathā means “thus” in Sanskrit and Pali, and Buddhist thought takes this to refer to what is called “reality as-it-is” (yathābhūta). This reality is also referred to as “thusness” or “suchness” (tathatā), indicating simply that it (reality) is what it is.

Tathāgata is defined as someone who “knows and sees reality as-it-is” (yathā bhūta ñāna dassana). Gata “gone” is the past passive participle of the verbal root gam “go, travel”. Āgata “come” is the past passive participle of the verb meaning “come, arrive”. In this interpretation, Tathāgata means literally either “the one who has gone to suchness” or “the one who has arrived at suchness”.

Another interpretation, proposed by the scholar Richard Gombrich, is based on the fact that, when used as a suffix in compounds, -gata will often lose its literal meaning and signifies instead “being”. Tathāgata would thus mean “one like that”, with no motion in either direction.

According to Fyodor Shcherbatskoy, the term has a non-Buddhist origin, and is best understood when compared to its usage in non-Buddhist works such as the Mahabharata. Shcherbatskoy gives the following example from the Mahabharata (Shantiparva, 181.22): “Just as the footprints of birds (flying) in the sky and fish (swimming) in water cannot be seen, Thus (tātha) is going (gati) of those who have realized the Truth.”

The French author René Guénon, in an essay distinguishing between Pratyēka-Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, writes that the former appear outwardly superior to the latter, simply because they are allowed to remain impassible, whereas the latter must in some sense appear to rediscover “a way” or at least recapitulate it, so that others, too, may “go that way,” hence tathā-gata

The nature of a Tathāgata

A number of passages affirm that a Tathāgata is “immeasurable”, “inscrutable”, “hard to fathom”, and “not apprehended”. A tathāgata has abandoned that clinging to the skandhas (personality factors) that render citta (the mind) a bounded, measurable entity, and is instead “freed from being reckoned by” all or any of them, even in life. The aggregates of form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and cognizance that compose personal identity have been seen to be dukkha (a burden), and an enlightened individual is one with “burden dropped”. The Buddha explains “that for which a monk has a latent tendency, by that is he reckoned, what he does not have a latent tendency for, by that is he not reckoned. These tendencies are ways in which the mind becomes involved in and clings to conditioned phenomena. Without them, an enlightened person cannot be “reckoned” or “named”; he or she is beyond the range of other beings, and cannot be “found” by them, even by gods, or Mara. In one passage, Sariputta states that the mind of the Buddha cannot be “encompassed” even by him.

The Buddha and Sariputta, in similar passages, when confronted with speculation as to the status of an arahant after death, bring their interlocutors to admit that they cannot even apprehend an arahant that is alive. As Sariputta puts it, his questioner Yamaka “can’t pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life.” These passages imply that condition of the arahant, both before and after parinirvana, lies beyond the domain where the descriptive powers of ordinary language are at home; that is, the world of the skandhas and the greed, hatred, and delusion that are “blown out” with nirvana.

In the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta, an ascetic named Vaccha questions the Buddha on a variety of metaphysical issues. When Vaccha asks about the status of a tathagata after death, the Buddha asks him in which direction a fire goes when it has gone out. Vaccha replies that the question “does not fit the case … For the fire that depended on fuel … when that fuel has all gone, and it can get no other, being thus without nutriment, it is said to be extinct.” The Buddha then explains: “In exactly the same way …, all form by which one could predicate the existence of the saint, all that form has been abandoned, uprooted, pulled out of the ground like a palmyra-tree, and become non-existent and not liable to spring up again in the future. The saint … who has been released from what is styled form is deep, immeasurable, unfathomable, like the mighty ocean.” The same is then said of the other aggregates. A variety of similar passages make it clear that the metaphor “gone out, he cannot be defined” (atthangato so na pamanam eti) refers equally to liberation in life. In the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta itself, it is clear that the Buddha is the subject of the metaphor, and the Buddha has already “uprooted” or “annihilated” the five aggregates. In Sn 1074, it is stated that the sage cannot be “reckoned” because he is freed from the category “name” or, more generally, concepts. The absence of this precludes the possibility of reckoning or articulating a state of affairs; “name” here refers to the concepts or apperceptions that make propositions possible.

Nagarjuna expressed this understanding in the nirvana chapter of his Mulamadhyamakakarika: “It is not assumed that the Blessed One exists after death. Neither is it assumed that he does not exist, or both, or neither. It is not assumed that even a living Blessed One exists. Neither is it assumed that he does not exist, or both, or neither.”

Speaking within the context of Mahayana Buddhism (specifically the Perfection of Wisdom sutras), Edward Conze writes that the term ‘tathagata’ denotes inherent true selfhood within the human being:

Just as tathata designates true reality in general, so the word which developed into “Tathagata” designated the true self, the true reality within man.

Future Schools of Meditation

September 27th, 1920

We must today take up our first point for it is only as we lay the foundation aright that the superstructure measures up to requirements.

  1. The One Fundamental School

It is therefore very essential that the emphasis is laid on the fact that no matter what the offshoots, the basic school of occultism is that one which has its root in the sacred center of the planet, Shamballa. At that place, directly under the eyes of the One Initiator Himself, Who is – as is seldom realized – the highest expression of the Teaching Ray upon the earth, is found what might be termed the central office for the educational disciplinary training work of the Hierarchy. There will be found the Chohan Who is directly responsible for the various endeavors, and to Whom the Masters Who take pupils, and the Heads of the various occult schools are directly responsible. All proceeds under law and order.

 

One point that it will here be necessary to emphasize is that the Brotherhood of Light, as represented by the Himalayan Masters, has its other representatives elsewhere who all carry out specific work under proper and adequate supervision. Too apt are the Theosophists to think that they alone are the repositories of the wisdom religion. Not so is the fact. At this particular moment (with the aim in view of the development and tendering of opportunity to the fifth subrace) the Himalayan Brotherhood is the main channel of effort, power and light. But the work with other races proceeds simultaneously and numerous other projects, all emanating from the central office at Shamballa, are paralleling the Himalayan work. Get this clearly in mind, for the point is important. The Himalayan School and Lodge is the one that principally concerns the occident and the only school without any exception that should control the work and output of the occult students in the West. It brooks no rival nor contemporary work with its pupils, not for the sake of its own teachers but to ensure the safety of its pupils. Danger lurks in the path of the occult student and the Himalayan adepts know adequately how to protect their pupils, provided those pupils stay within the periphery of Their united auras, and wander not out to other schools. All true occult schools demand this of their pupils, and all true Masters expect Their pupils to refrain from taking other occult instructions at the same time as they are receiving it from Them. They say not: “Our method is the only right and true method.” They say: “When receiving instructions from Us it is the part of wisdom and the line of safety to refrain from occult training in another school or under another Master.” Should a pupil desire so to do he is perfectly free to seek out other schools and teachers, but he must first break his connection with the old.

The one fundamental school may be recognized by certain outstanding characteristics:

 

By the basic character of the truths taught as embodied in the following postulates:

 

  1. The unity of all life.
  2. The graded steps of development as recognized in man, and by the graded steps of its curriculum, which lead a man from one expansion of consciousness to another until he has reached that which we call perfection.
  3. The relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm and its sevenfold application.
  4. The method of this development and the place of the microcosm within the macrocosm as revealed through the study of the periodicity of all manifestation and the basic law of cause and effect.

 

By the emphasis laid on character building and spiritual development as a foundation for the development of all the faculties inherent in the microcosm.

By the requirement, demanded of all affiliated pupils without exception, that the life of inner unfoldment and development should be paralleled by a life of exoteric service.

By the graded expansions of consciousness that are the result of the imparted training; these lead a man on from step to step till he contacts his higher self, his Master, his egoic group, the First Initiator, the One Paramount Initiator, until he has contacted the Lord of his Ray and has entered into the bosom of his “Father Which is in Heaven”.

 

These are the outstanding features that are descriptive of the one true fundamental School.

This fundamental school has three main branches and a fourth that is in process of forming and which will make the four branches of this fourth round. These branches are as follows:

  1. The Trans-Himalayan Branch.
  2. The Southern India Branch (these are Aryan Branches).
  3. A Branch that works with the fourth root-race and has two fourth root-race adepts at its head.
  4. A Branch in process of forming that will have its headquarters in the occident at some place not yet disclosed. It has for its main object the instructing of those connected with the coming sixth root-race.

These branches are and will be closely inter-allied and will work in the closest cooperation, being all focused and under the control of the Chohan at Shamballa. The heads of each of the four branches communicate with each other frequently and are really like the faculty of one stupendous university, the four schools being like the various major departments of the foundations – like subsidiary colleges. The aim of all is the evolution of the race, the object of all is to lead all to the point of standing before the One Initiator, the methods employed are fundamentally the same, though varying in detail, due to the racial characteristics of the races and types dealt with, and the fact that certain schools work paramountly with one ray and others with another.

 

  • The Trans-Himalayan school has its adepts as known to you, and others Whose Names are not known.
  • The southern Indian school has special work with the deva evolution, and with the second and third subraces of the Aryan race.
  • The Himalayan school works with the first, fourth and fifth subraces.
  • The fourth root-race branch works under the Manu of that race and his brother of the Teaching Ray. Their headquarters are in China.
  • The Master R. – and one of the English Masters are concerning Themselves with the gradual founding of the fourth branch of the school, with the assistance of the Master Hilarion.

Ponder on these imparted facts, for the significance is of profound importance. Tomorrow we will deal with the future. Today I have but imparted facts in present manifestation.

——————

September 28th, 1920

Today our second point comes up for consideration, and we shall in the elucidation of it enter into the realms of prophecy. I would here point out to you that the thing which is indicated as existing in the future may not always work out in detail as foreseen. I but seek to lay before you the big general plan in its outline. The working out in the future will depend upon the intuition or high perception of the thinkers of the race and upon the ability of the incarnating jivas to seize upon the opportunities and fulfil their destiny.

We touched yesterday upon the one fundamental school with its four branches. Today I would take up:

 

  1. The National Subdivisions of the One School

At the outset I would point out to you that not every nation in the world will have its occult school. Only as the causal body of the national group has reached a certain rate of vibration will it be possible to found and institute these schools. Only as the educational work of the nation has reached a certain height will it be possible to use the mental equipment of the nation as a stepping stone for further expansion, and to use it as a basis for the occult school. And, curiously enough, only those nations which originally had a training school for the mysteries (with three exceptions) will be again, during the earlier stages, permitted national schools. The exceptions are:

 

  • Great Britain.
  • Canada and the United States.
  • Australia.

 

And even these exceptions might be considered only one, the case of Australia, for the other two in Atlantean days had their occult foundations when they formed part of the earlier continent. In the turning of the wheel, earth itself reincarnates; places pass into pralaya and emerge into manifestation, holding within them the seeds that will eventuate in similar vibration, and bring into being again similar modes of expression, and similar forms.

It will be found later on, when the Occult Schools are founded, that they will be situated where some of the old magnetism yet lingers, and where in some cases certain old talismans have been kept by the Brotherhood with just this aim in view.

 

Branches, affiliated with one of the four central divisions of the one occult foundation, will be found in the following countries:

 

  • This will be one of the later schools founded and will be profoundly occult and an advanced school in direct communication with the inner grades. This will be touched upon later.
  • The United States will have a preparatory school somewhere in the southern part of the Middle West, and an extensive occult college in California in a place later to be revealed. This school will be one of the first started when the Great Lord begins His earthly career, and during the next five years the seeds of it may be laid if students rightly apprehend the work to be done.
  • There will be one school for the Latin countries, probably in Italy or Southern France, but much depends on the political and educational work of the next ten years.
  • Great Britain. At one of the magnetized spots in either Scotland or Wales, a branch for occult training will be begun before so very long, which will lay the foundation and embrace the curriculum for the earlier grades. After it has been in existence for a few years and has proved the effectiveness of its training, and after troubled Ireland has adjusted her internal problems, a school for the more advanced grades, and for definite preparation for the mysteries will be started in Ireland at one of the magnetized spots there to be found. This school will be very definitely a school where preparation for a major initiation may be taken, and will be under the eye of the Bodhisattva, preparing the pupil for initiation upon the second ray. The first school in Egypt will be for those who take initiation on the first ray in the occident.
  • Those who take initiation on the line of the Mahachohan, or on the third ray, will take it at the advanced occult school in Italy. In this way the occident will have its center where active instruction may be given according to the three lines of approach, and which will give preparation in the inner mysteries.
  • A preparatory occult school will be found, too, in Sweden, for those of the northern and German races who seek the Path, and when it has been extant for some time Russia may then be in a position to house the headquarters for the more advanced school affiliated to the preparatory one in Sweden. In connection with the Egyptian advanced school will be a preparatory one in Greece or in Syria.

You have, therefore, the following schools as planned, and must bear in mind that the schools wherein the preparatory work and earlier grades are found will be first in order of time, and are in process of founding now, or will be founded during the period immediately preceding the Coming of the Great Lord. The founding of others will be definitely the outcome of His work, and that of His Masters, and will depend upon Their decision as to the success of the earlier endeavor.

Preparatory Grades                                        Advanced School

Greece or Syria leading to                             Egypt

Middle West, USA                                            California, USA

Southern France                                               Italy

Scotland or Wales                                            Ireland

Sweden                                                                Russia

New Zealand                                                      Australia

There is also planned a preparatory school for the advanced egos of the fourth root-race. This will be under the Manu of that race and will be situated in Japan, with its most esoteric branch in western China. This makes the seventh in the group of schools outlined.

It is not purposed as yet to have branches in Southern Africa or Southern America. Their day is not yet, but comes in the next cycle.

Now, I would earnestly call to your attention that the schools will make but small beginnings and will be launched in a way that will appear at first as too unimportant to be noticeable. A beginning will be made with members of the different occult schools, such as the esoteric sections of the Theosophical movement, and others. The work in Britain, America and Australia is already in process of inception, whilst that in Sweden will shortly be on foot. The others will follow at slightly later dates.

This much of the plan has been permitted publication as an incentive to all of you to study with greater aspiration and to work with more strenuous application. Each and all has his place in the plan would he but qualify by doing the necessary work. That work should be:

  • An endeavor to recognize the Divine within each one. In this manner the true occult obedience, which is an essential in all occult training, will be fostered and developed, being not based, as is so oft seen, on personality, but on that instinctive realization of a Master, and the willing following that comes from the recognition of His powers, the purity of His life and aims, and the profundity of His knowledge.
  • An endeavor to think in group terms and clearly for oneself, not depending upon the word of others for clarification.
  • An endeavor to purify and refine all the bodies and make them more reliable servants.
  • An endeavor to equip throughout the mental vehicle and to store within it the facts upon which extended knowledge may be based.

If these things are done great will be the day of opportunity.

*Note the date of these letters much has changed since then.

 

—————

Excerpted from: Letters on Occult Meditation – Letter IX – Future Schools of Meditation

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul