The spiritual mountain is a wonderful metaphor for the concept of The SELF, and mountain climbing is a perfect corollary to living the spiritual life. In this section we attempt to bring into focus the critical tools and skills needed for us to collectively ascend the mountain of the Spiritual SELF.
The insight and wisdom found in this section is drawn from three crucial Theosophical sources.
H.P. Blavatsky’s rendition of The Voice of the Silence,
Mr. Judge’s poetic rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita, and
Mabel Collins faithful recording of the instructions of a Master called Light on the Path.
This week, we highlight our section On the Path, with selections from H.P. Blavatsky’s Voice of the Silence:
Search for the Paths. But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey. Before thou takest thy first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting. Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine.
To live to benefit mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious virtues is the second.
To don Nirmânakâya’s humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvâna’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step—the highest on Renunciation’s Path.
Know, O Disciple, this is the Secret PATH, selected by the Buddhas of Perfection, who sacrificed The SELF to weaker Selves.
The PATH is one, Disciple, yet in the end, twofold. Marked are its stages by four and seven Portals. At one end—bliss immediate, and at the other—bliss deferred. Both are of merit the reward: the choice is thine.
The One becomes the two, the Open and the Secret. The first one leadeth to the goal, the second, to Self-Immolation.
When to the Permanent is sacrificed the Mutable, the prize is thine: the drop returneth whence it came. The Open PATH leads to the changeless change—Nirvâna, the glorious state of Absoluteness, the Bliss past human thought.
Thus, the first Path is LIBERATION.
But Path the Second is—RENUNCIATION, and therefore called the “Path of Woe.”
That Secret Path leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead, and helpless pity for the men of Karmic sorrow, the fruit of Karma Sages dare not still.
The Path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the Pilgrims.
The rugged Path of four-fold Dhyâna winds on uphill. Thrice great is he who climbs the lofty top.
The Pâramitâ heights are crossed by a still steeper path. Thou hast to fight thy way through portals seven, seven strongholds held by cruel crafty Powers—passions incarnate.
“Yea, Lord; I see the PATH; its foot in mire, its summits lost in glorious light Nirvanic. And now I see the ever narrowing Portals on the hard and thorny way to Gnyana.”
Thou seest well, Lanoo. These Portals lead the aspirant across the waters on “to the other shore” 7. Each Portal hath a golden key that openeth its gate; and these keys are: —
1. DÂNA, the key of charity and love immortal.
2. SHÎLA, the key of Harmony in word and act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect, and leaves no further room for Karmic action.
3. KSHANTI, patience sweet, that nought can ruffle.
4. VIRAG’, indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived.
5. VIRYA, the dauntless energy that fights its way to the supernal TRUTH, out of the mire of lies terrestrial.
6. DHYÂNA, whose golden gate once opened leads the Narjol [A saint, an adept] toward the realm of Sat eternal and its ceaseless contemplation.
7. PRAJNA, the key to which makes of a man a god, creating him a Bôdhisattva, son of the Dhyânis.
Such to the Portals are the golden keys.
Before thou canst approach the last, O weaver of thy freedom, thou hast to master these Paramitas of perfection—the virtues transcendental six and ten in number—along the weary Path.
The path that leadeth on, is lighted by one fire—the light of daring, burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain. The more he fears, the more that light shall pale—and that alone can guide.
[[This “Path” is mentioned in all the Mystic Works. As Krishna says in the Dhyanéswari: “When this Path is beheld . . . whether one sets out to the bloom of the east or to the chambers of the west, without moving, O holder of the bow, is the travelling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one’s own self becomes.” “Thou art the Path” is said to the adept guru and by the latter to the disciple, after initiation. “I am the way and the Path” says another MASTER.]]