Nirvana in the Blue Books

15. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.

Non-attachment can also be described as thirstlessness. This is the most correct occult term to use as it involves the dual idea of water, the symbol of material existence, and desire, the quality of the astral plane, whose symbol is also water. The idea of man being the “fish” is curiously complete here. This symbol (as is the case with all symbols) has seven meanings; two are of use in this place:

  1. The fish is the symbol of the Vishnu aspect, the Christ principle, the second aspect of divinity, the Christ in incarnation, whether it is the cosmic Christ (expressing Himself through a solar system) or the individual Christ the potential savior within each human being. This is the “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” If the student will also study the fish Avatar of Vishnu he will learn still more.
  2. The fish swimming in the waters of matter, an extension of the same idea only carried down to its more obvious present expression, man as the personality.

Where there is no longing for any object whatsoever, and where there is no desire for rebirth (ever the outcome of longing for “form-expression” or material manifestation) then the true thirstlessness is attained, and the liberated man turns his back upon all the forms in the lower three worlds and becomes a true savior.

In the Bhagavad Gita the following illuminating words are found:

“For the possessors of wisdom, united in soul-vision, giving up the fruit of works, freed from the bondage of rebirth, reach the home where no sorrow dwells.

“When thy soul shall pass beyond the forest of delusion, thou shalt no more regard what shall be taught or what has been taught.

“When withdrawn from traditional teaching, thy soul shall stand steadfast, firm in soul-vision, then shalt thou gain union with the Soul.” (Gita II, 51, 52 and 53.)

J. H. Woods makes this clear in his translation of the comment by Veda Vyasa which is here appended:

Passionless is the consciousness of being Master on the part of one who has rid himself of thirst for either seen or revealed objects.”

“The mind stuff (chitta) – if it be rid of thirst for objects that are seen, such as women, or food or drink or power, if it be rid of thirst for the object revealed (in the Vedas) such as the attainment of Heaven or of the discarnate state or of resolution into primary matter – if even when in contact with objects either supernormal or not, it be, by virtue of elevation, aware of the inadequateness of objects – will have a consciousness of being Master…”

The word “traditional” carries the student’s thought away from that which is usually regarded as the object of sensuous perception into the world of thought forms, into that “forest of delusion” which is constructed of men’s ideas about God, heaven or hell. The sublimation of all this and its highest expression in the three worlds is that “devachan” which is the goal of the majority of the sons of men. Devachanic experience must, however, be transformed eventually into nirvanic realization. It may be of value to the student to remember that heaven, the object of aspirational desire, which is the outcome of traditional teaching, and of all formulations of doctrinal faiths has several meanings to the occultist. For the purpose of a clearer understanding the following may be found to be of use:

  1. Heaven, that state of consciousness upon the astral plane which is the concretion of the longing and desire of the aspirant for rest, peace and happiness. It is based upon the “forms of joy.” It is a condition of sensuous enjoyment, and being constructed for himself by each individual is as varied as there are people participating in it. Non-attachment has to be achieved with respect to heaven. It is realized as enjoyed by the lower self, and by the man when bereft only of his physical body, prior to passing out of the astral body on to the mental plane.
  2. Devachan, that state of consciousness upon the mental plane into which the soul passes when deprived of its astral body and functioning in, or limited by, its mental body. It is of a higher order than the ordinary heaven and the bliss enjoyed is more mental than we ordinarily understand by the word, yet nevertheless it is still within the lower world of form and will be transcended when non-attachment is known.
  3. Nirvana, that condition into which the adept passes when the three lower worlds are no longer “attached” to him through his inclinations or karma, and which he experiences after he has:

a. Taken certain initiations,
b. Freed himself from the three worlds,
c. Organized his Christ body.

Strictly speaking those adepts who have achieved non-attachment but who have chosen to sacrifice themselves and abide with the sons of men in order to serve and help them are not technically Nirvanis. They are Lords of Compassion pledged to “suffer” with, and to be governed by, certain conditions analogous to (though not identical with) the conditions governing men who are still attached to the world of form.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 1 – The Problem of Union

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Stage VI – The Chela within the Master’s Heart

We arrive now at a consideration of the last of the six stages of discipleship. This was described by me in the following terms:

“The stage where the disciple is in close touch always; he is being definitely prepared for immediate initiation or having taken initiation – is given specialized work. At this stage he is described as a Chela within his Master’s Heart.”

One thing I would here emphasize as I seek to give some light upon this subject. Being within the Master’s Heart in no way indicates a love-relationship between Master and disciple. The normal reaction is that at last the disciple has merited the right to be truly loved and, therefore, to be truly close to the Master. His life or lives of service have brought him at last the reward; he has now free access to the Master in the closest possible and mutual relationship of loving understanding. This stage of discipleship has absolutely no reference to this at all.

For another thing, brother of mine, when the disciple reaches this stage he is no longer what you understand by an accepted disciple. He is an initiate of high standing and of elevated degree and has passed out of the supervision and the safeguarding of a Master into a direct relation with the Master of all the Masters, the Christ, who is the central point in the Hierarchy, just as the Master is the central point in an ashram. The Master is the heart of his group and the Christ is the heart of the Hierarchy. The closer one gets to realization, the clearer becomes the concept that the point at the center and the periphery are one.

The significance of the word “heart” is the significance of life itself, as it beats eternally at the very heart of the universe. Within that life, the initiate now consciously stands, realizing himself not so much as being a recipient of life, but as a distributor of life. This is a very different thing and holds the key to this stage of discipleship.

The “Master’s Heart” is a technical term, indicating the sources of life and many analogous interpretations. There is at this stage and after a certain major initiation, a direct line of energy or of life – sensed, recognized, active and utilized – between the conscious disciple and

  1. The disciple’s heart center.
  2. The heart center in the head.
  3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart center of the monadic life.
  4. The Master at the center of his group.
  5. The Christ, the heart center of the Hierarchy.
  6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.
  7. The Lord of Life himself, the heart center of Shamballa.

The line of relationship then extends from these onward and outward, and upward (spherically considered) to the Life at the very center of our Earth’s “alter ego,” the planet Venus, to Jupiter and thence to the solar Lord himself and on to a point in the Sun, Sirius. You can see, therefore, how different this stage is from what might be imagined. It is one which marks a new departure or beginning and a great transition. It is a stage which one enters through the open door of Nirvana, the beginning of the Path of the Higher Evolution. It is a stage which marks a specific location (if such an inappropriate word can be used) of the disciple upon that upward Way which is revealed by the lighted Way; it is the attainment of the innermost point of realization, called esoterically “within the heart.”

Discipleship in the New Age I – The Six Stages of Discipleship – Part IX

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We are on that path of transition (can we call it the Path of Discipleship?) which will lead us into a new dimension, into the interior world of true fact and right energy. It is a world in which only the spiritual body can function and only the eye of spirit can see. It cannot be perceived by those whose inner perception is unawakened and whose intuition sleeps. When the spiritual body begins to be organized and to grow, and when the eye of wisdom slowly opens and trains itself to see truly, then there will come the indications that the Christ, latent in each son of God, is beginning to control and to lead man into the world of spiritual being, true meaning and essential values. This world is the kingdom of God, the world of souls, and – when manifested – is that expression of divine life which we can call the fifth kingdom in nature. But it cannot yet be generally perceived. It is through the process of initiation that this world stands revealed.

Before initiation can be given, the significance of the above ideas must be grasped, and certain great developments are necessarily presupposed. These requirements can be seen working out in the life of every disciple at this time, and, for those who have eyes to see, they can be seen actively bringing changes in the race.

Aspiration is a basic requirement, both in the individual and in the race. Today humanity aspires to great heights, and this aspiration is responsible for the great national movements seen in so many countries. At the same time, individual disciples are striving anew towards illumination, incited thereto by their longing to meet world need. Spiritual selfishness, which has been such a characteristic of aspirants in the past, has to be transcended and transmuted into love of man and a sharing in the “fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.” (Phil., III, 10.) Self must be lost to sight in service. Service is rapidly becoming the keynote of the time, and one of the incentives in racial endeavor. The meeting of disaster and the undergoing of painful experiences is ever the lot of the individual disciple. It is becoming obvious that the world disciple, humanity itself, is now deemed worthy of such a testing. This universality of difficulty, in every department of human life and excluding no group, indicates that mankind as a whole is being prepared for initiation. There is purpose underlying what is happening today. The birth pangs of the Christ within the race have begun, and the Christ will be born in the “House of Bread” (which is the meaning of the word “Bethlehem”). The implications of our present world pain and suffering are too obvious to need further explanation. There is purpose underlying all world affairs at this time, and there is reward at the end of the way. Some day, sooner perhaps than many may think, the portals of initiation will open wide to the suffering world disciple (as they have ever opened in the past to individuals), and humanity will enter into a new Kingdom and stand before that mysterious Presence Whose light and wisdom shone forth before the world through the Person of Christ, and Whose voice was heard at each of the five crises through which Christ passed. Then will mankind enter into the world of causes and of knowing. We shall dwell in the inner world of reality, and the outer appearance of physical living will be known to be only symbolic of inner conditions and happenings. Then we shall begin to work and live as those who are initiate in the mysteries, and our lives will be regulated from the realm of reality where Christ and His Disciples of all time (the Church invisible) guide and control human affairs.

The goal which They have in view and the end towards which They are working has been summed up for us in a commentary upon an ancient Tibetan scripture. The words are as follows:

“All beauty, all goodness, all that makes for the eradication of sorrow and ignorance upon earth must be devoted to the one Great Consummation. Then when the Lords of Compassion shall have spiritually civilized the Earth and made of it a Heaven, there will be revealed to the Pilgrims the Endless Path, which reaches to the heart of the universe. Man, then no longer man, will transcend Nature, and impersonally, yet consciously, in at-one-ment with all the Enlightened Ones, help to fulfil the Law of the Higher Evolution, of which Nirvana is but the beginning.”


Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, p. 12.

Such is our goal. Such our glorious objective. How can we progress towards this consummation? What is the first step that we must take? In the words of an unknown poet:

“When thou canst see
Beneath the outer seeming
The causes which to all effects give birth,
When thou canst feel, in warmth of sunlight streaming
The Love of God, encircling all the earth,
Then know thyself initiate in the Mysteries
The wise men ever deemed of greatest worth.”

From Bethlehem to Calvary – Chapter One – Introductory Remarks on Initiation

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This rather unexpected responsive activity has necessitated much increased activity on the part of the Hierarchy, in order to offset the consequences of any premature inflow of the will force. After the third initiation, when the soul body, the causal body, starts to dissipate, the line of relation or of connection can be and is direct. The initiate then “stands in the ocean of love, and through him pours that love; his will is love and he can safely work, for love divine will color all his will, and he can wisely serve.” Love and intelligence then become the servants of the will. Soul energy and personality force contribute to the experience of the Monad in the three worlds of life service, and then the agelong task of the incarnating spiritual man is finally accomplished. He is ready for Nirvana, which is but the Way into new fields of spiritual experience and of divine development – incomprehensible as yet, even to the initiate of the third degree. This Way is revealed only when the antahkarana is built and completed and the man becomes focused in the Triad as consciously as he is now focused in the threefold lower nature.

Then, and then only, is the true dualism of the divine nature apparent and the illusory duality disappears. Then you have Spirit-matter, Life-form. For this the triple experience of the unfolding consciousness is only preparatory. Through the unfolding consciousness, the initiate knows the significance of life and the uses of form, but stands completely unidentified with either, though blending these dualities in himself into a conscious synthesis. The attempt to convey his state of mind, in words that but limit and confuse, leads to apparent contradictions, and this is one of the peculiar paradoxes of the occult science. Do the above imparted facts make sense to you? Have they meaning for your mind? I think not. You have not yet the needed equipment through which the type of implied awareness can work, or the realization of that true Self-consciousness which would produce in you an understanding reaction. I simply, make the esoteric assertion; later will come apprehension of the truth and that consequent energizing which always comes when any abstract truth is truly appreciated and assimilated. But the time has not yet come for the comprehension of the above information. Disciples and aspirants grow through the means of a presented vision – unattainable as yet but definitely an extension of the known and previously grasped. Such is the mode of evolution, for it is ever a pressing forward towards the sensed.

The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation

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After the major initiations are undergone, the state of consciousness of the illumined and liberated adept is such that language serves only to blind and to hinder true understanding. The consciousness of the initiate is of so lofty a nature that it can only be described in terms of release, of negation, and through the emphasis of that which it is not. It is a state of No-thing and Non-ego, for all egoic awareness is superseded by a state of Being and of consciousness which is only capable of comprehension and expression when form life is of no further use to the perfected spiritual life. It is a state of non-individuality, yet with the subconscious knowledge and gains of the individual experience. The center of consciousness is so far removed from any individual separate identity that that particular factor has faded entirely out, and only the macrocosmic life is sentiently realized. It is a state of non-activity from our present angle of vision, because all individual reactions to the activity of matter or to that state of being which we call egoic, have dropped away, and Life and Mind can no longer be swept into motion by any of the factors which have hitherto produced what we have called soul activity and form existence.

Nevertheless, though the consciousness is other than all that has been hitherto known, and though it can only be expressed in terms of negation, the truth must be borne constantly in mind that the greater awareness must always include the lesser awareness. Consequently all possible actions and reactions, identifications and focusings, awarenesses and contacts, ray impulses, approaches and withdrawals, and all possible expressions of the divine activity and qualities, phenomenal and non-phenomenal, are included in the state of Being which is now the natural state of the liberated and enlightened spiritual Existence. All are possible of recovery through the will or in response to a need, but the spiritual Being is no longer held by them or identified with them. Each of the stages on the great Path of Liberation or Enlightenment with which we have been concerned – Individualization, Initiation and Identification – have led the Life or the spiritual, interior man, from point to point, from quality to quality, from realization to realization, from phenomenal appearance to spiritual living, from physical awareness to sentient, emotional awareness, and from that to mental differentiation and separateness. He has been carried from hell to heaven, from heaven to Nirvana, from the life-conditioning of the personal Ego to that of the group soul, and thence to that of the liberated state of pure intuitional life. He has passed from form experience as a whole to that complete freedom from all vibratory impressions which it is the nature of pure Being (divorced from phenomenal existence) to demonstrate. But at the same time, nothing is lost of capacity, or quality or of sentient awareness. This is beautifully expressed for us in the words of the Old Commentary, found in the archives of the Masters.

“The quality of life fades out.
It flickers and is gone.
Yet the Blessed Ones reveal at will that quality.
The color pure remains.

The nature of life in form fails to appear.
It flashes forth a little while, then disappears.
The Blessed Ones, at will, can take a form,
yet are not then the form.

The seven great rays sweep into manifested life.
They are, and then are not. All is and all is not.
But the Blessed Ones at any time can sweep forth into manifested light.
They carry then the potencies of spirit to meet the need expressed.
Light holds Them not; Their purpose is not imprisoned; Their will is not subdued.
They appear and disappear at will.”

(An expression of the truth of this can be seen demonstrating in the world each full moon of May, when the Buddha flashes forth into manifestation, for the fulfilment of the Plan and at the urgent behest of His own spiritual will.)

“Naught holds the Blessed Ones.
Neither the deities nor form; neither desire nor mind;
nor any quality of life.
Pure life they are; pure being and pure will;
pure love and pure intent;
this is all that unenlightened man can grasp, and only that in part.

  • The Blessed Ones are not, and yet They are.
  • The Blessed Ones know naught, and yet know all.
  • The Blessed Ones love not, yet offer love divine.
  • The Blessed Ones remember not, yet all is recollection.
  • The Blessed Ones remain in isolation pure; and yet at will can take a form.
  • The Blessed Ones dwell ever in the high and lofty place, yet oft can walk on earth in light phenomenal.
  • The Blessed Ones manifest not through form; yet are all forms and all intents.”

Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – The Growth of Soul Influence

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(1) The Period of Pralaya between two Incarnations

This is of a triple nature and affects the substance of the three vehicles, physical, astral and mental, reducing the form to its primitive substance, and dissipating its atomic structure. The energy of the second aspect (that of the form-builder) is withdrawn by the will of the Ego, and the atoms composing the form become dissociated from each other, and are resolved into the reservoir of essence to be recollected again when the hour strikes. This condition is brought about gradually by stages of which we are aware.

The first stage is the withdrawal of the life force in the etheric vehicle from the threefold (dense, liquid and gaseous) dense physical body and the consequent “falling into corruption,” and becoming “scattered to the elements.” Objective man fades out, and is no more seen by the physical eye, though still in his etheric body. When etheric vision is developed, the thought of death will assume very different proportions. When a man can be seen functioning in his etheric physical body by the majority of the race, the dropping of the dense body will be considered just a “release.”

The next stage is the withdrawal of the life force from the etheric body or coil, and its devitalization. The etheric coil is but an extension of one aspect of the sutratma or thread, and this thread is spun by the Ego from within the causal body much as a spider spins a thread. It can be shortened or extended at will, and when the period of pralaya has been decided upon, this thread of light, or of solar fire (note the word “solar”) is withdrawn, and gathered back to the atomic subplane where it will still vitalize the permanent atom and hold it connected within the causal body. The life impulses are then – as far as the physical plane is concerned – centralized within the atomic sphere.

The third stage is the withdrawal of the life force from so that it disintegrates in a similar manner and the life is centralized within the astral permanent atom. It has gained an increase of vitality through physical plane existence, and added color through astral experience.

The final stage for the human atom is its withdrawal from the mental vehicle. The life forces after this fourfold abstraction are centralized entirely within the egoic sphere; contact with the three lower planes is still inherently possible by means of the permanent atoms, the force centers of the three personality aspects.

In each incarnation the life forces have gained through the utilization of the vehicles,

  1. An increased activity, which is stored in the physical permanent atom.
  2. An added coloring, which is stored in the astral permanent atom.
  3. A developed quality of strength, or purpose in action, which is stored in the mental unit.

These are wrought into faculty in devachan.

Devachan is a state of consciousness, reflecting, in the life of the Personality, that higher state which we call nirvanic consciousness, and which is brought about by egoic action. It is but a dim reflection in the separated units (and therefore tinged with selfishness and separative pleasure) of the group condition called nirvanic. In this high state of consciousness each separate identity, though self-realizing, shares in the group realization, and therein lies bliss for the unit. Separation is no longer felt, only unity and essential oneness is known. Therefore, as might be naturally deduced, there is no devachan for the savage or little evolved man, as they merit it not, and have not the mentality to realize it; hence, therefore, the rapidity of their incarnations, and the brevity of the pralayic period. There is little in their case for the Ego, on its own plane, to assimilate in the residue of incarnations, and hence the life principle withdraws rapidly from out of the mental form, with the resulting impulse of the Ego to reincarnate almost immediately.

When the life of the personality has been full and rich, yet has not reached the stage wherein the personal self can consciously cooperate with the ego, periods of personality nirvana are undergone, their length depending upon the interest of the life, and the ability of the man to meditate upon experience. Later, when the Ego dominates the personality life, the interest of the man is raised to higher levels, and the nirvana of the soul becomes his goal. He has no interest in devachan. Therefore, those upon the Path (either the probationary Path, or the Path of Initiation) do not, as a rule, go to devachan, but immediate incarnation becomes the rule in the turning of the wheel of life; this time it is brought about by the conscious cooperation of the personal Self with the divine Self or Ego.

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division D – Thought Elementals and Fire Elementals

Nirvāṇa

Etymology from Wikipedia

The term nirvana in the soteriological sense of “blown out, extinguished” state of liberation does not appear in the Vedas nor in the Upanishads; according to Collins, “the Buddhists seem to have been the first to call it nirvana.” This may have been deliberate use of words in early Buddhism, suggests Collins, since Atman and Brahman were described in Vedic texts and Upanishads with the imagery of fire, as something good, desirable and liberating. Collins says the word nirvāṇa is from the verbal root “blow” in the form of past participle vāna “blown”, prefixed with the preverb nis meaning “out”. Hence the original meaning of the word is “blown out, extinguished”. (Sandhi changes the sounds: the v of vāna causes nis to become nir, and then the r of nir causes retroflexion of the following n: nis+vāna > nirvāṇa). However the Buddhist meaning of nirvana also has other interpretations.

L. S. Cousins said that in popular usage nirvana was “the goal of Buddhist discipline,… the final removal of the disturbing mental elements which obstruct a peaceful and clear state of mind, together with a state of awakening from the mental sleep which they induce.

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Nirvāṇa (/nɪərˈvɑːnə/ neer-VAH-nə, /-ˈvænə/ -⁠VAN-ə, /nɜːr-/ nur-; Sanskrit: निर्वाण nirvāṇa ; Pali: nibbāna; Prakrit: ṇivvāṇa; literally, “blown out”, as in an oil lamp) is a concept in Indian religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism) that represents the ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra.

In Indian religions, nirvana is synonymous with moksha and mukti. All Indian religions assert it to be a state of perfect quietude, freedom, highest happiness as well as the liberation from or ending of samsara, the repeating cycle of birth, life and death. However, non-Buddhist and Buddhist traditions describe these terms for liberation differently. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union of or the realization of the identity of Atman with Brahman, depending on the Hindu tradition.  In Jainism, nirvana is also the soteriological goal, representing the release of a soul from karmic bondage and samsara. In the Buddhist context, nirvana refers to realization of non-self and emptiness, marking the end of rebirth by stilling the fires that keep the process of rebirth going.

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Buddhism

Nirvana (nibbana) literally means “blowing out” or “quenching”. It is the most used as well as the earliest term to describe the soteriological goal in Buddhism: release from the cycle of rebirth (saṃsāra). Nirvana is part of the Third Truth on “cessation of dukkha” in the Four Noble Truths doctrine of Buddhism. It is the goal of the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Buddha is believed in the Buddhist scholastic tradition to have realized two types of nirvana, one at enlightenment, and another at his death. The first is called sopadhishesa-nirvana (nirvana with a remainder), the second parinirvana or anupadhishesa-nirvana (nirvana without remainder, or final nirvana).

In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is described as the extinguishing of the fires that cause rebirths and associated suffering. The Buddhist texts identify these three “three fires” or “three poisons” as raga (greed, sensuality), dvesha (aversion, hate) and avidyā or moha (ignorance, delusion).

The state of nirvana is also described in Buddhism as cessation of all afflictions, cessation of all actions, cessation of rebirths and suffering that are a consequence of afflictions and actions. Liberation is described as identical to anatta (anatman, non-self, lack of any self). In Buddhism, liberation is achieved when all things and beings are understood to be with no Self. Nirvana is also described as identical to achieving sunyata (emptiness), where there is no essence or fundamental nature in anything, and everything is empty.

In time, with the development of Buddhist doctrine, other interpretations were given, such as being an unconditioned state, a fire going out for lack of fuel, abandoning weaving (vana) together of life after life, and the elimination of desire. However, Buddhist texts have asserted since ancient times that nirvana is more than “destruction of desire”, it is “the object of the knowledge” of the Buddhist path.

From the Urban Dictionary

nirvana

1. A term used in Hinduism, the native religion of India and third largest religion in the world behind Christianity and Islam. Hinduists believe that a person reincarnates until they achieve an understanding of the relationship between God(known by Bhrama or Atman) and man. The state at which this is achieved is known as nirvana, and person who has achieved this is known as a guru. It is believed that once nirvana is achieved, a person will achieve the aftelife, rather than reincarnating.

2. A term used by Buddhists to describe the ultimate state of enlightment in which the soul is free from all worldly possessions. Derived from the Hinduist phrase.

3. A state of total bliss or happiness.

4. A popular rock band of the same name from the late 80s and early 90s featuring Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)

“He no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha, instead he saw

other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of

hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all

seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and

renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha.” – From Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha

From Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – Rules for Inducing Soul Control

IV. Rules for Inducing Soul Control

In considering the rules which can induce soul control, it is not my intention to recapitulate the many rules which the aspirant must follow as he perseveres in his endeavor to tread the path to the source – that path to what the Buddhists call Nirvana. This Path is, in fact, but the beginning of that higher Way which leads to a life incomprehensible, even to the most developed of the Beings in our planetary Hierarchy. Nor is it essential that we emphasize the details of living which must control the man who is seeking to function as a soul in command of the personality. These have oft been adequately outlined by disciples down the ages, and reduced to many words. They have also been dealt with in my earlier book A Treatise on White Magic and other books. Our immediate problem is the application of these rules for discipleship and a steady progress in their practical technique. My present purpose is a far more difficult one, for this Treatise is written for the future more than for present students. I seek to indicate the basic rules determining the hierarchical government, and conditioning, therefore, world affairs. We are here concerned therefore with the subtle activities of energies which, on the inner side, actuate the outer activities and bring about those events in the world of men which later form history.

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From Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – Rules for Inducing Soul Control

With these two divine trends (towards synthesis and towards the vision) the Hierarchy is at this time primarily occupied. Their watchwords are unification and sight. For humanity, these developments will produce the integration of the soul and the personality, and the awakening of that inner vision which will permit a flash of the Reality to enter into man’s consciousness. This is not a flash of his own divinity, or a sensing of God as Creator. It is a flash of the divinity inherent in the Whole, as it works out a vaster scheme of evolutionary process than any hitherto grasped or sensed by the keenest minds on earth. It concerns the vision granted when a man achieves Nirvana, and enters upon the first stage of that endless Path which leads towards a beauty, comprehension and unfoldment, untouched as yet by the highest type of human insight.

It would be well to point out here that beyond the stage of illumination, as it can be achieved by man, lies that which we might call the unfoldment of divine Insight. We have, therefore, the following unfoldments and possible developments, each of which constitutes an expansion in consciousness, and each of which admits man more closely and more definitely into the heart and mind of God.

Instinct – Intellect –  Intuition – Illumination: All of them leading up to Insight.

In these words, sequentially presented, there is perhaps made clearer to us the fact of God’s own vision. More is not possible until each of those words signifies something practical in our own inner experience.

This quality of the inner vision with which the Hierarchy are seeking to work and to develop in the souls of men (it would be of use to ponder on this last phrase, as it presents an aspect of hierarchical endeavor not hitherto considered in occult books) is an expression of the Principle of Continuance, which finds its distorted reflection in the word so often used by disciples: Endurance. This principle of continuance constitutes the capacity of God to persist and “to remain.” It is an attribute of the cosmic Ray of Love as are all the principles which we are now considering in connection with these soul rules or factors – these trends of divinity and these tendencies of the divine life. Let us not forget that all the seven rays are subrays of the cosmic Ray of Love. We shall, therefore, see why these principles are determining soul activities, and can only come into play when the kingdom of God, or of souls, begins to materialize on earth.

This principle of continuance is based upon the clearer vision of Deity and upon the consequent continuity of God’s plan and purpose which results when the objective is clearly seen by Him and developed in plain and formulated outline. It is the macrocosmic correspondence to the continuance and the continuity found in man when – after a night of sleep and of unconsciousness – he proceeds with his daily avocation and consciously resumes his planned activities.

From the hints given above it will be seen how the work of the Hierarchy in connection with mankind falls into two parts: the work with individual human beings, in order to awaken them to soul consciousness, and then the work with them, as souls, so that (functioning then on soul levels and as conscious units in the kingdom of God) they can begin to vision the objective of God Himself. This second division of Their effort is only now becoming possible on a wide scale, as men begin to respond to the trend towards synthesis, and to react to the divine principle of coherence, so that (stimulated by their group relation) they can unitedly sense the vision and react to the principle of continuance. A hint is here given as to the true and future purpose of group meditation. More on this subject is not possible.

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From Initiation, Human and Solar – Glossary N-Q

Nirmanakaya Those perfected beings who renounce Nirvana (the highest state of spiritual bliss) and choose a life of self-sacrifice, becoming members of that invisible host which ever protects humanity within karmic limits.

 
 
 

From Discipleship in the New Age I – The Six Stages of Discipleship – Part IX

Stage VI – The Chela within the Master’s Heart

We arrive now at a consideration of the last of the six stages of discipleship. This was described by me in the following terms:

“The stage where the disciple is in close touch always; he is being definitely prepared for immediate initiation or having taken initiation – is given specialized work. At this stage he is described as a Chela within his Master’s Heart.”

One thing I would here emphasize as I seek to give some light upon this subject. Being within the Master’s Heart in no way indicates a love-relationship between Master and disciple. The normal reaction is that at last the disciple has merited the right to be truly loved and, therefore, to be truly close to the Master. His life or lives of service have brought him at last the reward; he has now free access to the Master in the closest possible and mutual relationship of loving understanding. This stage of discipleship has absolutely no reference to this at all.

For another thing, brother of mine, when the disciple reaches this stage he is no longer what you understand by an accepted disciple. He is an initiate of high standing and of elevated degree and has passed out of the supervision and the safeguarding of a Master into a direct relation with the Master of all the Masters, the Christ, who is the central point in the Hierarchy, just as the Master is the central point in an ashram. The Master is the heart of his group and the Christ is the heart of the Hierarchy. The closer one gets to realization, the clearer becomes the concept that the point at the center and the periphery are one.

The significance of the word “heart” is the significance of life itself, as it beats eternally at the very heart of the universe. Within that life, the initiate now consciously stands, realizing himself not so much as being a recipient of life, but as a distributor of life. This is a very different thing and holds the key to this stage of discipleship.

The “Master’s Heart” is a technical term, indicating the sources of life and many analogous interpretations. There is at this stage and after a certain major initiation, a direct line of energy or of life – sensed, recognized, active and utilized – between the conscious disciple and

  1. The disciple’s heart center.
  2. The heart center in the head.
  3. The egoic lotus, which (until the fourth initiation) is the heart center of the monadic life.
  4. The Master at the center of his group.
  5. The Christ, the heart center of the Hierarchy.
  6. The life of the Monad which begins to make itself felt at the third initiation.
  7. The Lord of Life himself, the heart center of Shamballa.

The line of relationship then extends from these onward and outward, and upward (spherically considered) to the Life at the very center of our Earth’s “alter ego,” the planet Venus, to Jupiter and thence to the solar Lord himself and on to a point in the Sun, Sirius. You can see, therefore, how different this stage is from what might be imagined. It is one which marks a new departure or beginning and a great transition. It is a stage which one enters through the open door of Nirvana, the beginning of the Path of the Higher Evolution. It is a stage which marks a specific location (if such an inappropriate word can be used) of the disciple upon that upward Way which is revealed by the lighted Way; it is the attainment of the innermost point of realization, called esoterically “within the heart.”

—–

This from A Treatise on Cosmic Fire – Section Two – Division F – The Law of Attraction

The Three Vestures. – “The stream is crossed. Tis true thou hast a right to Dharmakaya vesture; but Sambhogakaya is greater than a Nirvani, and greater still is a Nirmanakaya – the Buddha of Compassion.” – Voice of the Silence, p. 97.

“The three Buddhic bodies or forms are styled: Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya.

The first is that ethereal form which one would assume when leaving his physical he would appear in his astral body – having in addition all the knowledge of an Adept. The Bodhisattva develops it in himself as he proceeds on the path. Having reached the goal and refused its fruition, he remains on earth, as an Adept; and when he dies, instead of going into Nirvana, he remains in that glorious body he has woven for himself, invisible to uninitiated mankind, to watch over and protect it.

Sambhogakaya is the same, but with the additional luster of three perfections, one of which is entire obliteration of all earthly concerns.

The Dharmakaya body is that of complete Buddha, i.e, no body at all, but an ideal breath; consciousness merged in the universal consciousness, or soul devoid of every attribute. Once a Dharmakaya, an Adept or Buddha leaves behind every possible relation with, or thought for, this earth. Thus to be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvana, ‘renounces the Dharmakaya body’ in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakaya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmanakaya. The esoteric school teaches that Gautama, Buddha with several of his Arhats, is such a Nirmanakaya, higher than whom, on account of his great renunciation and sacrifice for mankind, there is none known.”

– Voice of the Silence, p. 98.

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The Rays and the Initiations – Part Two – Section One – The Aspirant and the Mysteries of Initiation

There has been much emphasis upon the life of the soul and its expression upon the physical plane; this has been necessary and a part of the evolutionary development of the human consciousness. The kingdom of souls must eventually give place to the rule of the spirit; the energy of the Hierarchy must become a force, receptive to the energy of Shamballa, just as the force of humanity has to become receptive to the energy of the kingdom of souls. Today all three processes are going on simultaneously, though the receptivity of the Hierarchy to the second aspect of the Shamballa energy is only now beginning to be recognizable. The Hierarchy has for long been receptive to the third or creative aspect of the Shamballa energy, and – at some very distant period – it will be responsive to the first aspect of that same energy. The triple nature of the divine manifestation must also express itself as a duality. This can be understood in a faint way when the disciple realizes that (after the third initiation) he too must learn to function as a duality – Monad (spirit) and form (matter) – in direct rapport with the consciousness aspect, the mediating soul being absorbed into both of these two aspects of divine expression, but not functioning itself as a middle factor. When this has been achieved, the true nature of Nirvana will be comprehended, the beginning of that endless Way which leads to the One; this is the Way whereon duality is resolved into unity, the Way that Members of the Hierarchy are seeking to tread and for which They are preparing.

From Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – The Growth of Soul Influence

When the work under the first category is accomplished upon the physical plane and its technique is understood, man can then achieve escape from the physical body in full, waking continuity of consciousness. When a similar work has taken place on the higher plane and the “bridge” is satisfactorily built, then the “initiate” can escape from the limitations of form life and enter into that state of consciousness called Nirvana, by the Buddhist. This high state of being has to be entered also in full continuity of consciousness. Both these major crises in the life of the soul, – one leading to physical incarnation and one producing the liberation of the soul from that condition, – are, and must always be, the result of group vibration, of group impulse, group incentive and group impetus. One impetus originates in the group of souls, of which an incarnating ego is an integral part; the other is the result of the activity of the groups of atoms which are vibrating in response to (but not in unison with) that egoic impulse. In this phrase is summed up the work and opportunity of the soul, for it works towards the regeneration of matter and not towards the consummation of its own salvation. It might be stated that the liberation of the soul or ego comes about when its work of salvaging matter (through utilizing it and building it into forms) has been carried forward to a desired point. It is not primarily due to the attainment of a certain spiritual stature by the man and the demonstration of certain spiritual qualities. This desired stature and these spiritual qualities are manifested when the vehicles have been “occultly saved”, and matter has thus been transformed, transmuted and symbolically “raised up into heaven”. When the vehicles vibrate in unison with the soul, then is liberation achieved.

—–

Note added by me.

If I understand it correctly the causal vehicle is destroyed or “blown out” at the fourth initiation and this if not accompanied by the vacation of the physical vehicle corresponds to sopadhishesa-nirvana or nirvana with remainder.

The Meal at Cunda’s and The Buddha Enters Nirvana

17. The Meal at Cunda’s

THE Master and his disciples stopped at Pava, in the garden of Cunda, the blacksmith. Cunda came and paid homage to the Master, and said to him:

“My Lord, do me the honor of taking your meal at my home, to-morrow.”

The Master accepted. The next day, Cunda had pork and other delicacies prepared for his guests. They arrived and took their seats. When the Master saw the pork, he pointed to it and said:

“No one but me could eat that, Cunda; you must keep it for me. My disciples will partake of the other delicacies.”

When he had eaten, he said:

“Bury deep in the ground what I have left untouched; the Buddha alone can eat of such meat.”

Then he left. The disciples followed.

They had gone only a short distance from Pava when the Master began to feel weary and sick. Ananda grieved, and he cursed Cunda, the blacksmith, for having offered the Master this fatal meal.

“Ananda,” said the Master, “do not be angry with Cunda, the blacksmith. Great rewards are reserved to him for the food he gave me. Of all the meals I have ever had, two are most deserving of praise: the one that Sujata, and the other that Cunda, the blacksmith, served to me.”

He overcame his weariness and presently he reached the banks of the Kakutstha. The river was peaceful and pure. The Master bathed in the limpid waters. After the bath, he drank, then went to a mango grove. There, he said to the monk Cundaka:

“Fold my cloak in four, that I may lie down and rest.”

Cundaka cheerfully obeyed. He quickly folded the cloak in four and spread it on the ground. The Master lay down, and Cundaka sat beside him.

The Master rested a few hours. Then he set out again, and he finally arrived at Kusinagara. There, on the banks of the Hiranyavati, stood a pleasant, peaceful little wood.

The Master said:

“Go, Ananda, and prepare a couch for me between two twin trees. Have the head to the north. I am ill, Ananda.”

Ananda prepared the couch, and the Master went and reclined on it.

18. The Buddha Enters Nirvana

IT was not the season for trees to bloom, yet the two trees that sheltered the Master were covered with blossoms. The flowers fell gently upon his couch, and from the sky, sweet melodies slowly drifted down.

The Master said to pious Ananda:

“See: it is not the season for flowers, yet these trees have bloomed, and the blossoms are raining down upon me. Listen: the air is joyous with the songs that the happy Gods are singing in the sky in honor of the Buddha. But the Buddha is paid a more enduring honor than this. Monks, nuns, believers, all those who see the truth, all those who live within the law, they are the ones that do the Buddha supreme honor. Therefore you must live according to the law, Ananda, and, even in the most trivial matters, you must follow the sacred path of truth.”

Ananda was weeping. He walked away, to hide his tears.

He thought, “For many misdeeds I have not yet been forgiven, and I shall be guilty of many more misdeeds. Oh, I am still far from the saintly goal, and he who took pity on me, the Master, is about to enter nirvana.”

The Master called him back and said:

“Do not grieve, Ananda, do not despair. Remember my words: from all that delights us, from all that we love, we must one day be separated. How can that which is born he other than inconstant and perishable? How can that which is born, how can that which is created, endure for ever? Long have you honored me, Ananda; you have been a devoted friend. Yours was a happy friendship, and you were faithful to it in thought, in word and in deed. You have done great good, Ananda; continue in the right path, and you will be forgiven your former misdeeds.”

Night came on. The inhabitants of Kusinagara had heard that the Master was reclining under two twin trees, and they came in great crowds to pay him homage. An aged hermit, Subhadra, appeared, and bowing before the Master, professed his belief in the Buddha, in the law and in the community; and Subhadra was the last of the faithful to have the joy of seeing the Master face to face.

The night was beautiful. Ananda was seated beside the Master. The Master said:

“Perhaps, Ananda, you will think, ‘We no longer have a Master.’ But you must not think that. The law remains, the law that I taught you; let it be your guide, Ananda, when I shall no longer be with you.

He said again:

“Verily, O monks, all that is created must perish. Never cease to struggle.”

He was no longer of this world. His face was of luminous gold. His spirit ascended to the realms of ecstasy. He entered nirvana. The earth shook, and thunder rolled across the sky.

Near the ramparts, at dawn, they of Kusinagara built a great funeral pile, as though for a king of the world, and there they burned the body of the Blessed One.

—-

Excerpted from:

The Life of Buddha, by A. Ferdinand Herold, tr. by Paul C Blum [1922], at sacred-texts.com