Trends of Yoga
The term Agni yoga was introduced to the western public by the Roerichs — Nicholas and Helena. They learned it in their expedition across Central Asia from mountain dwellers. This term means “Mergence with Divine Fire” or “Path to such Mergence”. Fire in this context is a flame-like state of the Highest Divine Consciousness. The Divine Consciousness can assume this form when It enters Its Creation.
The Roerichs developed the Teachings of Agni yoga and brought them to Russia and other countries of Europe and America. And now the term Agni yoga is firmly associated with their names.
The Roerichs were a remarkable couple: he was a zealous traveler and talented painter; she was his constant companion. Helena Roerichs possessed a prophetic skill — the ability to converse with God. Records of these holy conversations were collected in fourteen volumes titled Living Ethics.
What do these records represent? They are very non-uniform; some parts of the text are hard to comprehend; some parts are not edited literally; profound truths are mixed sometimes with jokes of God or with long series of meaningless phrases. Why do they look so?
The point is that according to the intent of God these records were not meant for publication in their original form: He suggested publishing only thematic selections of them.
The reason for the qualitative diversity of the text is the following. God, with the purpose of training the prophetic skill of Helena Roerich, insisted that she make systematic, everyday records. Yet, it did not happen always that there was material actual for the current moment. And then Helena Roerich, waiting for words from the Lord, was given almost meaningless series of beautiful phrases. It is a typical case of prophetic contacts.
And such jokes as: the legs feel cold because the entire energy has been used for kindling of the heart — were meant only for encouraging the tired travelers in hard moments.
Another point that needs to be mentioned about these texts is the broader meaning of the terms fire and fiery, which was expanded to psycho-energetical processes and phenomena. It was done with the purpose of filling the readers with the spirit of struggle. However, to understand these Teachings correctly, one has to differentiate the concepts of the Divine Fire — and the “fiery” manifestations of the psychical activity of people.
The texts of Living Ethics and expressive paintings of Nicholas Roerichs are filled with “fiery” energy. It was one of the most distinctive features of the spiritual movement initiated through the Roerichs.
The movement of Agni yoga contributed a lot to the spiritual awakening of many people, first of all in Russia where there was mainly atheism instilled by the Communist Party and religious ideology degraded to the level of fairy tales. In most valuable precepts found in the books of Living Ethics, God again presented people with explanations about what is God, what is man, what is the Evolution, what is the meaning of life. He showed to people the possibility of attaining Perfection and abandoning the cycle of suffering, the way to cognition of God and to the highest self-realization in Mergence with Him.
The Teachings of Agni yoga were given “not as a soporific but for saturating the entire life”*.
Let us consider now the main points of the Teachings of Agni yoga.
First of all, what do these Teachings say about God?
The main aspect of God is the Primordial Universal Consciousness; in Agni yoga It is called the Infinity. It can be viewed also as the Father and Mother of everything existing. It is a Unity of Many — a Merged Whole of all the Perfect Ones, Who infused Themselves as Consciousnesses into God. This “United Consciousness rules the entire world”*.
The structure of the universe is multidimensional. It is represented by the strata (eons, lokas) of multidimensionality. The strata of multidimensionality differ by the level of subtlety. They are inhabited by consciousnesses of different levels of the evolutionary development. The subtler the consciousness is — the higher is the layer where it dwells.
The highest subtlety is represented by the Primordial Consciousness, which dwells in the highest, primordial layer.
The path of the evolutionary ascent is the path of the refinement of the consciousness and establishing it in more and more high levels of subtlety.
And “the Infinity is the acme of human capabilities”.
“… Speaking of the Infinity, let us imagine it as something void and dimensionless, but as something integral…”*.
So, individual consciousnesses dwell as if on the steps of a multidimensional stairway. It is to the summit of this stairway that everyone has to aspire. This stairway leads us not upward but into the depth of the multidimensional Creation — to the Creator. The Guide on this Path is “the Consciousness of the Highest Spirit (Which) is intense Fire”*.
… The term Hierarchy in Agni yoga means an aggregate of Hierarchs Who constitute the Primordial Consciousness and manifest Themselves in the form of Brahman (Holy Spirit).
“The Forces of the Hierarchy are represented by two worlds: the Guiding Principle (Ishvara) and the Principle fulfilling the Great Will (Brahman, the Holy Spirit); They are One Source”*.
“The entire power of creativeness is based on the Hierarchy. Only with full awareness of Great Service, can one understand the beauty of Spirit and the might of the Hierarchy.”*.
“… Only full understanding of Great Service can imbue disciples with the aspiration to the Hierarchy. When the creativity of the (human) spirit encompasses Great Service, all paths to Us become open.”*
“(Say): ‘I love You, O Lord, and I am devoted to You, O Master, and I reverence You, Teacher!’… — Thus, with devotion one can open new locks.
“… Verily, if you are constantly aware of the presence of God in your lives, you already know the shortest path to Us.
“… Be aflame in your hearts and create with love!”*
Now let us discuss how one can realize the Path of Agni yoga
The meaning of human life consists in the growth of individual consciousnesses, that have to develop and merge ultimately into the Creator.
First everyone develops in the usual worldly activity. One’s quick advancement becomes possible with the development of an intense aspiration to practical cognition of God.
This aspiration has to become passionate, “fiery” — then such a person receives full support of the Hierarchy of the Forces of Light.
“… On the Fiery Path there is no loneliness nor emptiness; there is only a breaking away from the earthly world and an irresistible attraction to the Fiery world!”*
“The daring one knows that the joy of spirit is found only in achievement. Thus he does not seek recognition from others, for his achievement is a crown woven by labor and striving!
“Only the heroes of spirit know the true attainment!
“On the path to the Fiery world, let us remember daring!”*
“Aspiration with the heart to the Lord is the first condition on the path to the Fiery world.”*
The path of advancement through the stages of self-development implies, first of all, an ethical transformation of oneself. It includes also formation of correct, strong aspiration, and ridding oneself of such vices as:
— capability of deceiving and betraying,
— seeking recognition from others,
— capability of entering such coarse emotional states as:
· feeling offended,
— using bodies of killed animals for food,
— using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Of the positive qualities that have to be developed, the following can be mentioned:
— faithfulness to God,
— yielding oneself to Him,
— aspiration to cognition of Him and to Mergence with Him,
— striving to help other beings,
— aspiration to creativity,
— admiring the beautiful,
— energy in the work of service and in self-development,
— control of one’s own emotions, refusal of coarseness, cultivation of subtlety,
— aspiration to knowledge, understanding the meaning of life,
— development of subtle and wise power,
— possessing gratefulness as a quality of the soul,
— careful attitude toward one’s own health, since it is needed for successful spiritual work and service.
It is through such self-development that we make the Divine Fire “non-burning” for ourselves*.
The most important method of realization of the majority of these ethical principles is the development of the spiritual heart (the energy of the anahata chakra). Opening of this emotional center becomes one’s most important moment, the base of the entire spiritual Path. In particular, this gives one the ability to meditate correctly. And meditation is the main means of the development of the consciousness, practical cognition of God, and Mergence with Him.
It is better to go to God as a community — a group of like-minded people united by a common higher aspiration.
The community may comprise only faithful and honest people; those displaying laziness, falsity, capability for betrayal must be dismissed from the work.
The work of the community is studying and discussing the Teachings, providing practical help to each other, in particular through psycho-energetical methods, filling one another with love and kindling hearts with this love, practical classes on aesthetics, on cleansing and development of the energy structures of the organism, meditative practices, etc.
Group psycho-energetical work is much more effective for every member of the community than the individual work, because in the former case the group creates a powerful common energy field.
By uniting the consciousnesses in common love, the community members prepare themselves to the full Mergence with the Divine Consciousness.
“Our Fiery law ordains mergence of consciousnesses”*.
The work of the community members has to be their service to God; it should not be based on selfishness or done for self-profit .
The members of the community have to prepare themselves for the meeting with a spiritual Master. Only with the help of such a master, one can cognize passages to the subtlest layers of the multidimensional Absolute, cognize the Hierarchy. Without a Master such a “transmutation” is impossible*.
“Verily, if you are constantly aware of the presence of God in your lives, you already know the shortest path to Us.
“People dislike everyday work; for them it means fatigue…
“Whereas, for Us (your) everyday work means development and ascent. It opens the gate to the Infinity.”*
… Every person on this Path necessarily encounters opposition of evil forces represented by incarnate and non-incarnate beings. They are representatives of chaos, dark ones. Their darkness is not only a symbol but also a quality of their coarse, degraded consciousnesses visible to clairvoyants.
Who are they? How can one recognize them? They are people living in the emotions of hatred (anger, irritation, condemnation, etc.). They are disposed to violence, falsity, betrayal. This concerns both incarnate people and non-incarnate people-spirits: after disembodiment souls retain their qualities.
However, the forces of evil are absolutely necessary for those walking toward the Light, because they create the necessary tension, the opposition that alone can temper the character of the warrior. Without passions and exertion of all strengths up to the highest degree, one cannot approach the Goal. Encounters with the forces of evil make the warrior seek unity with the Lord — this is why they are important.
“… Those walking with the Forces of Light must know that without a tense battle there is no victory.
“… Nothing increases the energy so much as does the resistance. Why to invent artificial obstacles, if the dark ones attempt with all their strength to increase our energy?!
“… One should remember that positive forces create under the pressure of negative ones…
“… No motion can happen without tension; therefore, every progressive Teaching requires enemies and a Teacher. … No tension happens without being useful. … For each growth of the spirit there must be difficult circumstances.
“… One must remember well two conditions. First — hostile people should be avoided, for they are not entitled (to the Highest). Second — perhaps it is hostility that will serve as a good springboard (for you).
“… But delay is not caused by enemies — look closer!
“… The creative vanquishing of chaos… is a constant feat. Yet, the battle with the dark ones is only a spasm that impedes progress.”*
… Yes, one should not engage into battle with evil people always. It is more important to achieve the Goal and help those walking together with you.
“… Forces serving the Light do not interfere with one’s karma, as some who are not aware of the power of karma believe. The Forces of Light observe human actions, suggesting the direction yet not interfering with life.”*
Only those spiritually ignorant become embittered by earthly suffering, thus dooming themselves to more and more deep layers of hell.
God says: “I am the best Help to you”*.
The best remedy for all afflictions is Mergence with Him. If we stay in this Mergence, we have His Shield. “All dangers are trifling. Even an encounter with strong dark entities is not dangerous if one maintains a firm connection with the Hierarchy.”*
In order to come to the Mergence, one has to wage war, the war against one’s own imperfections.
“Let people realize (now) the surrounding danger. … Life in the subtle world (between incarnations) is incomparably longer. One has to be prepared for it.”
“… It is terrible to be afraid of the Light, because the Fire turns then into a devouring flame!
“… It is so difficult for people to say the simplest law: ‘Blessed are the obstacles — thanks to them we grow.’ People admit tests easily until encountering them. No one is willing to quicken his advancement through obstacles!
“It is still more intolerable to humanity to hear about the usefulness of suffering. The reason is not that people fear pain or discomfort, but that they cannot think of a life beyond earthly existence! They are ready to suffer the discomfort of an overnight stay for the sake of tomorrow's celebration, but they do not want to contrast the earthly life with the Infinity!
“Fear of the Infinity is the most shameful manifestation of a thinking being!”*
It is also important to remember that God always controls everything that happens to us. And He expects from us correct decisions. These decisions can take place only if we have learned to view the situation not in the egocentric way but from the standpoint of God, i.e. feeling not ourselves but Him as the Regulator, the Goal, the Meaning, and the Center of everything happening in the universe.
“Verily, karma is frightening only to those who indulge in idleness.
“… Observe how each deed influences the fluctuations of karma.
“One can see how betrayal in all its forms causes a quick formation of (negative) karma. One can learn much from such observations. It is pity to see people harming themselves! One can see how a viper strikes the inner being during these self-defeats. Nothing can avert the consequences, for the cause and effect are too close.
“… (On the contrary): The growth of the consciousness (of spiritual warriors) is verily a celebration for Us!
“… (He who encompasses active, creative love — conquers his negative karma and cognizes the Divine Fire. And) … the cosmic daring suffuses (such) a carrier of Fire.
“… Among the kinds of courage, the most invincible is the courage of the flaming heart when, with full resoluteness, with full awareness of the feat, the warrior knows only the path of advance.
“Only the extreme degree of the courage of desperation is comparable to the courage of the flaming heart. With the same speed as the desperation flees from the past — the courage of the flaming heart advances to the future.
“Thus, if one lacks the courage of the flaming heart, let there be the courage of desperation! Only thus warriors can achieve victory when the offensive is great.
“… Which way is the most certain on the Path to Us? The most certain way is the selflessness of the feat! The most wondrous fire is the flame of the heart filled with love for the Hierarchy!
“… Help each other, harken! Help in small and in great! … Help wherever the hand can reach, wherever a thought can fly! … The heart aflame with help is Our heart!”.*
What is Shambhala? Where can one find it?
“Shambhala is an essential place where the spiritual world unites with the material one”.*
Shambhala is the place where abide the Hierarchs Who guide the life on the Earth. It can be found, in particular, in the center of the Earth’s structure*, in the multidimensional depth. Shambhala is the Focus of the Main Magnet for all human souls that have to enter this highest, subtlest layer of the multidimensional space by undergoing “transmutation”. In Shambhala, they cognize the Baptism in the Divine Fire* and, having settled there, merge forever with the Primordial Consciousness.
One cognizes Shambhala by expanding the spiritual heart to such an extent that it encompasses all the subtlest worlds including the Fiery World of Shambhala. Further expansion of the heart allows one to fill with it the Infinity.*
How can one begin walking the path to God, to the Highest Hierarchs, to Shambhala?
First, one needs to perform ethical self-correction. It has to include a fiery aspiration to the Perfection and active service to the Evolution through service to people.
Second, one has to put in order the body and its energy structures, to gain health.
Both these points necessarily imply switching to killing-free nutrition: i.e. refusal of using bodies of killed animals for food.* This is important from the ethical standpoint, first of all. Without correct nutrition, one cannot gain stable health, cannot advance to God. (See more details on the correct nutrition in the book Ecopsychology).
Those capable come then to the next stages of the psycho-energetical work, which include meditations and development of the chakras. If this work is performed correctly, it results in gradual transmutation of the consciousness: in its refinement up to the state of the Divine Fire.
“… Humanity must become aware of its Fiery center of the Hierarchy, which guides people and imbues them with powerful leading principle”.*
One perceives the first contacts with God as a blessing coming from above.* This is also a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s caring about us — His encouraging signs.
Then one has to learn not only to feel His Flows but also to merge with Him outside the body. This is realized first through the meditation pranava. By practicing such a Mergence, one undergoes gradual crystallization of the consciousness, i.e. direct growth of its amount and power.
What more can one say
Definitions of terms:
A consciousness is an energy aware of itself. This is man himself, who can be in the embodied or unembodied state.Read more
The word the Creator denotes the Primordial Universal Consciousness dwelling in the most deep and subtle layer of the multidimensional space. The Creator is God-the-Father; also people call Him Jehovah, Yahweh, Sabaoth, Allah, Ishvara, Tao, Adibuddha, Svarog, etc.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the term Ishvara has the same meaning as God-the-Father, the Creator, Allah, Tao (in the Taoistic meaning), Primordial Consciousness, Adibuddha.Read more
Brahman is a Sanskrit term meaning both the Consciousness of Brahman (see the article Holy Spirit) and a person who cognized Brahman (see the articles Varnas).Read more
Spiritual heart is the organ responsible for generation of the emotions of love — the chakra anahata (the middle dantyan). This term may denote also the energy of consciousness that begins its development in the chakra anahata (in the middle dantyan).Read more
Ethics is the science about the correct attitude of man: toward God,toward other people, and all incarnate and non-incarnate beings...Read more
Meditation is the highest method of mystical practice.
It is meditation as a method that allows one to cognize Living God and — at the very end — to come to Mergence with Him.Read more
The word Yoga means Mergence of an individual human consciousness (soul) with the Primordial Consciousness (synonymous: the Creator, God-the-Father, Adibuddha, Tao, Allah, Ishvara, Svarog, and other names used in different human languages).Read more
Emotions are states of consciousness. They are generated in special energy structures of the human organism — chakras.Read more
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