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sincere and try to base yourself on right philosophy, your mind will naturally reject wrong notions. You can see in this how it is that systems of thought are made and kept going, even though foolish, incorrect, or pernicious.
Student-What mental attitude and aspiration are the best safeguards in this, as likely to aid the mind in these searches to reject error and not let it fly into the brain?
Sage. Unselfishness, Altruism in theory and practice, desire to do the will of the Higher Self which is the "Father in Heaven", devotion to the human race. Subsidiary to these are discipline, correct thinking, and good education.
Student. Is the uneducated man, then, in a worse condition? Sage. Not necessarily so. The very learned are so immersed in one system that they reject nearly all thoughts not in accord with preconceived notions. The sincere ignorant one is often able to get the truth but not able to express it. The ignorant masses generally hold in their minds the general truths of Nature, but are limited as to expression. And most of the best discoveries of scientific men have been obtained in this sub-conscious telepathic mode. Indeed, they often arrive in the learned brain from some obscure and so-called ignorant person, and then the scientific discoverer makes himself famous because of his power of expression and means for giving it out.
Student. Does this bear at all upon the work of the Adepts of all good Lodges?
Sage. It does. They have all the truths that could be desired, but at the same time are able to guard them from the seeking minds of those who are not yet ready to use them properly. But they often find the hour ripe and a scientific man ready, and then touch his cogitating mind with a picture of what he seeks. He then has a "flash" of thought in the line of his deliberations, as many of them have admitted. He gives it out to the world, becomes famous, and the world wiser. This is constantly done by the Adepts, but now and then they give out larger expositions of Nature's truths, as in the case of H. P. B. This is not at first generally accepted, as personal gain and fame are not advanced by any admission of benefit from the writings of another, but as it is done with a purpose, for the use of a succeeding century, it will do its work at the proper time.
Student. How about the Adepts knowing what is going on in the world of thought, in the West, for instance?
Sage. They have only to voluntarily and consciously connect their minds with those of the dominant thinkers of the day to at once discover what has been or is being worked out in thought and to review it all. This they constantly do, and as constantly incite to further elaborations or changes by throwing out the suggestion in the mental plane so that seeking and receptive minds may use it.
N the "Awakening to the Self," and, still more, in the "Crest Jewel of Wisdom," Shankara the Teacher uses many words in a clear, precise, and consciously exact sense, which is not always to be gathered from the context of these two works. the "Awakening to the Self," this is hardly an impediment, as the expression of this excellent poem is so perfect and universal; nor is there any great impediment in the first part of the "Crest Jewel of Wisdom," which has been translated under the title "First Steps on the Path." But further on in the "Crest Jewel," this is not the It becomes more strict and technical in meaning; and without precise definitions, much is hardly intelligible. But in the "Crest Jewel" itself these definitions are not always to be found. What is to be done then, if we really want to understand the Teacher precisely?
Happily Shankara has left us a Key in his own work, the "Awakening to Reality," where nearly every special word of his philosophy is exactly defined. We have only to try to find the best English translation of his definitions, and we shall have a clear clue and outline to the larger work, the "Crest Jewel," and, indeed, to the whole of Shankara's philosophy.
One thing must be remembered. This "Awakening to Reality" is what we have called it-a catechism. And in a catechism we can hardly expect the perfect poetical form and splendid imagery of works like the "Awakening of Self." What we shall find, is lucidity, accuracy, grasp, coherence; but not poetical beauty. Thus is begun:
THE AWAKENING TO REALITY.
To the Master, the World-Soul, the Master of seekers for union, obeisance; to the teacher, the giver of wisdom. To fulfil love for those who would be free, this Awakening to Reality is addressed to them.
THE FOUR PERFECTIONS.
We shall tell of the way of discerning reality, the perfection of freedom, for those who are fitted by possessing the Four Perfec
What are the Four Perfections?
-The Discerning between lasting and unlasting things; No Rage for enjoying the fruit of works, either here or there; the Six Graces that follow Peace; and then the Longing to be free.
This article was printed by Wm. Q. Judge in the Oriental Department papers, January, 1895.
What is the Discerning between lasting and unlasting things? -The one lasting thing is the Eternal; all, apart from it, is unlasting.
What is No Rage?
-A lack of longing for enjoyments here and in the heavenworld.
What is possession of the Perfections that follow Peace?
-Peace; Self-Control; Steadiness; Sturdiness; Confidence ; Intentness.
What is Peace?
-A firm hold on emotion.
What is Self-Control?
-A firm hold on the lust of the eyes and the outward powers.
-A following out of one's own genius.
What is Sturdiness?
-A readiness to bear opposing forces, like cold and heat, pleasure and pain.
What is Confidence?
-Confidence is a reliance on the Voice of the Teacher and
What is Intentness?
-One-pointedness of the imagination.
What is the Longing to be free?
-It is the longing: "That Freedom may be mine".
THE DISCERNING OF REALITY.
These are the Four Perfections. Through these, men are fitted
to discern Reality.
What is the Discerning of Reality?
-It is this: the Self is real; other than it, all is fancy.
SELF, VESTURES, VEILS, MODES.
What is the Self?
-He who stands apart from the Physical, the Emotional, and the Causal Vestures; who is beyond the five Veils; who is witness of the three Modes; whose own nature is Being, Consciousness, Bliss-this is the Self.
THE THREE VESTURES.
What is the Physical Vesture?
eing formed of the five creatures fivefolded, born through works, it is the house where opposing forces like pleasure and pain are enjoyed; having these six accidents: it is, is born, grows, turns the corner, declines, perishes; such is the Physical Vesture.
What is the Emotional Vesture?
-Being formed of the five creatures not fivefolded, born through works, the perfection of the enjoyment of opposing forces like pleasure and pain, existing with its seventeen phases: the five
powers of knowing; the five powers of doing; the five lives; emotion, one; the soul, one; this is the Emotional Vesture.
The five powers of knowing are: Hearing, Touch, Sight, Taste, Smell. Hearing's radiation is Space; Touch's, Air; Sight's, the Sun; Smell's, the Twin Physicians; these are the powers of knowing.
Hearing's busines is the seizing of sounds; Touch's business, the seizing of contacts; Sight's business, the seizing of forms; Taste's business, the seizing of tastes; Smell's business, the seizing of odors.
The five powers of doing are: Voice, Hands, Feet, Puttingforth, Generating. Voice's radiation is the Tongue of Flame; Hands', the Master; Feet's, the Pervader; Putting-forth's, Death; Generating's, the Lord of Beings; thus the radiations of the powers of doing.
Voice's business is speaking; Hands' business is grasping things; Feet's business is going; Putting-forth's business is removing waste; Generating's business is physical enjoying.
What is the Causal Vesture?
-Being formed through ineffable, beginningless unwisdom, it is the Substance and Cause of the two Vestures; though unknowing as to its own nature, it is yet in nature unerring; this is the Causal Vesture.
THE THREE MODES.
What are the Three Modes?
-The Modes of Waking, Dreaming, Dreamlessness.
-It is where knowledge comes through Hearing and the other knowing powers, whose business is sound and the other perceptions; this is the Waking Mode.
When attributing itself to the Physical Vesture, the Self is called the Pervading.
Then what is the Mode, Dreaming?
-The world that presents itself in rest, generated by impressions of what has been seen and heard in the Mode, Waking, is the Mode, Dreaming.
When attributing itself to the Emotional Vesture, the Self is called the Radiant.
What then is the Mode, Dreamlessness?
-The sense that I perceive outwardly nothing at all, that rest
is joyfully enjoyed by me, this is the Mode, Dreamlessness. When attributing itself to the Causal Vesture, the Self is called the Intuitional.
THE FIVE VEILS.
What are the Five Veils?
-The Food-formed; the Life-formed; the Emotion-formed; the Knowledge-formed; the Bliss-formed.
What is the Food-formed?
-Coming into being through the essence of food, getting its growth through the essence of food, in the food-formed world it is again dispersed, this is the Food-formed Veil,-the Physical Vest
What is the Life-formed?
-The Forward-life and the four other Lives, Voice and the four other powers of doing; these are the Life-formed.
What is the Emotion-formed Veil?
-Emotion, joining itself to the five powers of knowing, this is the Emotion-formed Veil.
What is the Knowledge-formed?
-The Soul, joining itself to the five powers of knowing,-this is the Knowledge-formed Veil.
What is the Bliss-formed?
This verily is the Substance not quite pure because of the unwisdom that gives birth to the Causal Vesture; in it are founded all joys; this is the Bliss-formed Veil.
Thus the Five Veils.
By saying: "Mine are the lives; mine is emotion; mine is the soul; mine is the wisdom"; these are recognized as possessions. And just as a bracelet, a necklace, a house and such things separated from one's self, are recognized as possessions, so the Five Veils and the Vestures, recognized as possessions, are not the Self [the Possessor].
What, then, is the Self?
-It is that whose own-nature is Being, Consciousness, Bliss.
-What stands through the Three Times [Present, Past, Future,]-this is Being.
What is Consciousness?
-The own-nature of Perceiving.
What is Bliss?
-The own-nature of Joy.
Thus let a man know that the own-nature of his own Self is Being, Consciousness, Bliss.
This "Awakening to Reality" is a summary of an intuition of the world, a solution of the universe. Only those who have certain. mental and moral endowments are ripe for the understanding of such a solution of the world. Briefly, these endowments are: wisdom and will. The solution reached is-the real Self of every man is the Eternal. This Self is inwardly beginningless, endless, immortal. Fut outwardly it becomes manifest as three lesser selves, each with its own vesture, its own world.
Lowest of these is the physical self, the "Pervading"; with its physical Vesture, in the Waking world.