Agni Yoga Online Study Group
Once each month, members of TRIUNE who wish to participate receive via e-mail a brief study lesson which examines some facet of the Agni Yoga teachings. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to share their comments about the lesson with the moderator and/or the entire group.
Here is an example of one of our monthly Agni Yoga Online Study Group lessons:
The Agni Yoga teachings frequently refer to “the far-off worlds.” Often this term is used in conjunction with discussions about another frequently-used term – “infinity.” One of the themes running through the entire collection of Agni Yoga teachings is that humanity must now begin to think in wider, more far-reaching terms, not limiting ourselves simply to our planet Earth. We are at that point in our spiritual development where we must begin to consider the life which exists beyond the sphere of our own little world – referring not only to other planets within our own solar system, but also to whatever lies beyond -- what some esotericists refer to as the “ring-pass-not” of the edge of our solar system.
Additionally, we are taught that we must adjust our understanding of the concept of time, specifically as it relates to this idea of the far-off worlds, to now include an awareness of infinity. And all this must then relate to and influence how we perceive and perform our esoteric work.
Think of those times in recent human history when people periodically felt that there must be something larger than their own small lives and closed villages, something worth leaving the comfort and safety of home to explore and discover. A great inner need for connecting to something larger outpaced humanity's fear of leaving the familiar. It spurred ancient civilizations to push beyond their borders and connect with the wider world, expanding not just trade, but knowledge and culture as well. Humanity, having long since physically circled our own globe many times over, is now ready to reach beyond our planetary confines; and there is a need for brave and knowledgeable Souls to forge a pathway for the masses.
Now, it is extremely important to understand that any reference made in the Teachings to the far-off worlds or other planets or systems must not be confused in any way with our society’s popular “UFO” culture, which is consumed with ideas of flying saucers and extra-terrestrials, stories of alien abductions and experimentation on unsuspecting humans, etc. Current movies, books, internet stories and websites, etc. abound with fantastic and sensationalist, often quite frightening, images and ideas about such things. Frequently, this is done in an attempt to simply sell something and make money from the curious. It does little to advance human thinking or understanding of our proper place in the Universe. None of these so-called popular representations are what the Teachings are referring to when speaking of the far-off worlds.
The Teachings tell us that while we should at all times conduct our studies using basic, common sense, it is necessary that we begin to mentally stretch our reach, so to speak, using our hearts and intuitions for understanding, rather than relying on our mental faculties alone. Think past the confines of our own planet Earth to the far-off worlds. Think not in terms of the finite, but rather of infinity. Is it so far-fetched, then, to imagine that there are other planets in the various systems that are also “man-bearing” like Earth, where Souls incarnate to learn spiritual lessons? Is it hard to believe that there are also spiritually “higher” planets, to which these Souls eventually progress when they have reached a sufficient level of development? Is it unreasonable to assume that there is some connection, and perhaps even cooperation, among the Highest Souls on planets of similar development? Is it unthinkable that an infinite variety of planets exist, containing Souls engaged in equally infinite styles of work, study, teaching, and other forms of service to the various life-forms of the Universe?
Helena Roerich said in a letter to one of her students in 1938:
One should become accustomed to the cosmic multiformity. Our planet, with its subtle spheres, can experience the most unexpected influences from the far-off worlds. One should not think that our solar system presents something isolated; on the contrary, all the worlds are in the most subtle reciprocity.
QUESTIONS FOR MEDITATION AND DISCUSSION:
- What do you think Helena Roerich means in the above quote by the terms "cosmic multiformity" and "reciprocity?"
- What image or images come to mind when you think of the term "the far-off worlds?"
Two signs of the authenticity of the Teaching are: first, striving for the Common Weal; second, acceptance of all previous Teachings which are congruous with the first sign. It must be noted that the primary form of a Teaching does not contain negative postulates. But superstitious followers begin to fence in the Covenants with negations, obstructing the good. There results the ruinous formula: "Our creed is the best," or "We are the true believers; all others are infidels." From this point it is a single step up to the Crusades, to the Inquisition, and to seas of blood in the name of Those who condemned killings. There is no worse occupation than forcible imposition of one's creed. Whoever wishes to follow Us must first of all forget negation and freely bear the renewed life without constraint of others. People are attracted by beauty and by luminous knowledge. Only that Teaching which contains all hope, which makes life beautiful, which manifests action, can promote true evolution. Certainly life is not a market, where one can make a fine bargain for entrance into the Heavenly Kingdom. Certainly life is not a grave, where one trembles before the justice of an Unknown Judge! ( Leaves of Morya's Garden, Volume 2. )
Review by Roza and Margarita Riaikkenen
Yet again we are turning the pages of the books of Agni Yoga. Like many times before, at the turning moments of our personal life or of the world around us, we are searching in these books for solace, encouragement and wisdom. And we are finding all we searched for and much more.
Agni Yoga, which is known also as the teaching of Living Ethics, is a series of books recorded by Helena Roerich, channeled from her spiritual Teacher. The books were dictated to Helena Roerich starting from 1920 and were recorded for more than a decade, presumably until 1938. Agni Yoga operates with the finest fiery energy of the universe – Agni.
Helena Roerich, the wife and collaborator of a renowned artist Nicolas Roerich, was a remarkable representative of Russian mystics in the line to which Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, belonged. There are other similarities between two Helenas besides their names. Both of them were Russian women who received some of their esoteric experience and knowledge in the Himalayas area, and both had the same Ascended Master as their spiritual Teacher.
Agni Yoga is a teaching of spiritual philosophy, a teaching of synthesis that embraces science, ethics, arts and culture, as Oriental as Western, from the point of view of esoteric knowledge. It gives a multi-facet view of life, as on Earth as in different places and dimensions of the universe, and lights up many aspects of universal Truth.
The very goal of Agni Yoga is to show us the way of inner transformation and evolution into the higher state of spirituality. You can just open any of the books and find advice on your spiritual path, on health and spiritual practice, on your possible psychological problem with explanation how it is connected with the current world condition, and much more.
Agni Yoga doesn’t feed us with niceties, but we can find there keys to a lot of our questions. It is a rigorous teaching of selflessness, courage, compassion and sacrifice. And also of collaboration and co-creation. Of collective action and personal heroism, of scientific discoveries and self-discovery, of aspiration and achievement. And also of Joy from the participation in this inspirational work, spiritual joy, fiery joy: “Understand the beneficence of fiery joy. It expands the consciousness, and draws all the best accumulations toward itself, as a fiery magnet. The essence of man is transformed and his outworn nature is burned away” (Supermundane IV).
This is a teaching of esoteric science, with its strict laws and mechanisms, with the abundance of treasures of wisdom here and there. And the Heart (the Heart Chalice behind the physical heart), full of Love energy, is proclaimed as the source of everything a human being is able to achieve.
Agni Yoga gives us also some glimpses into the future of humanity, and it is of particular interest because the Master is speaking from the strata of existence where time is different than here in our Solid World. His position therefore allows him to see the future much more clearly than us, though we also have the potential to become conscious observers and co-creators of the future. However, “Only devotion and understanding of the wisdom of the Plan insure the reality of the pictures of the future” (Leaves of Morya’s Garden , Illumination). Understanding of the Plan helps us to become aware of the wholeness and meaningfulness of our life with its past, present and future.
It is impossible to cover in a review all the aspects of Agni Yoga. But there is a possibility for everyone to read and enjoy it in its fullness, either as a hard copy or by downloading it from the webpage of Agni Yoga Society at (www.agniyoga.org). We highly recommend these books for a spiritual student and also for anyone interested in understanding the working of the world.