Theosophy - The Work of the Ruler and the Teacher - by Annie Besant
Adyar Pamphlets No. 135


by Annie Besant

Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai, India

March 1930

[Page 1] WHEN first the charge to work for the Freedom of India was given to me — in 1909, by The King at Shamballa — it was specially marked by two directions: one was to claim India's place in the Empire; the other was to be firm but not provocative. I have tried during all these twenty-one years to carry out that Command. It has been behind the whole of my political work. The steady claim has been carried out and is now verbally accepted, to be worked out, we hope at the coming London Conference.

I have tried to avoid provocative action, though even firmness may be regarded in some quarters as provocative. And another Order, saying that I must be careful that the triumph was not stained by excess, has been the secret of the whole of my policy through all these years, I want my co-workers now to understand this, because of course [Page 2] it is to continue during the very critical time that lies in front. There is no longer any need not to say that it is the Inner Government of the world that formulated that policy in the outside world. It was that which led me to oppose Gandhiji, because I knew that the movement that he started must lead to bloodshed as well as to other dangers, as it did. You can very much strengthen the work of the Masters for India's Freedom by observing, especially during the coming months, those Rules, which, though given to myself, personally, are also useful for others, — a steady claim for India's Freedom; a firm but not a provocative attitude, notwithstanding the many excuses that may arise for provocation. Long ago it was said to H.P.B. that one of the purposes of the Theosophical Society was to raise India among the Nations of the world. That is the work which is now going on, and it will be the line that is desired by the Lord Vivasvata Manu, and also by Him whom we call the Regent of India, the great Rishi Agastya, who has had India in His charge for many thousands of years, and who lives in the South of India, as far as His physical body is concerned.

One important matter, on which the Rishi has laid great stress, especially since 1913, is Social Reform. That He regards as vital. As India has moved far too slowly in that direction He has permitted the writing and circulation of what I generally call a political novel, Miss Mayo's book [Page 3] Mother India. It is a novel . It is not a valid statement of facts with grounds; but such grounds as it has form the reason why the Rishi has permitted it to be circulated. If people will not learn by precept, by the proclamation of their duty, then the only way is practically to force them into it; and that is what this very wicked book does. It has held up India to the world as a country whose only future lies in British rule. But the fact must specially be remembered that it is the British Government that has opposed the raising of the age of consent till very lately. Indians have been working for it for a long time, and they have always been checkmated by the British Government. This is because they are afraid of the orthodox, while the Indians are not. All the major Indian States have raised the age very considerably, boys to eighteen, girls to fourteen. Twelve is the legal age in England, but of course it is not followed. A very large number of marriages take place among the poor at the age of fourteen. This is far too young, of course, but their conditions crowd them into living together, boys and girls, in the slums, and early marriages are precipitated. The age of marriage ought to be determined by the readiness of the women for healthy child-birth. A woman is not ready for that until between sixteen and seventeen. We have had in the Theosophical Society a Stalwarts' League, and many of our members have suffered social ostracism for keeping [Page 4] their daughters unmarried beyond the customary age. All that is part of the ordinary work of reform; and it is for helping that effort that the Rishi Agastya has permitted that book to be published.

Turning from that outer work, and especially that outer attitude, I want now to write about a thing which is very vital to our movement. I want members to speak and act, of course only if they agree, in the Theosophical Society and the Star Movement in a way which is absolutely necessary for the continued success of both. That is, the realization that these two great Movements are two branches of one work.

This time is marked by the coming of the new Sub-race, in California especially. There it has drawn great attention, and it is no longer a matter of Theosophical assertion. I had no need in America in my recent tour before the visit to the World Congress, to put the Theosophical argument. The American Anthropologists are now agreed on the subject. I was sent a newspaper from Los Angeles in which articles appeared written by a Theosophist, but they were articles of the paper, one of the greatest in California, pointing out that what Theosophists had been talking about for a long time was now agreed on by men of science. That is the strongest argument that you can use in conversation, or in members' meetings, or outside, for the Coming of the World-Teacher. They cannot deny it any longer, except as ignorant [Page 5] people can deny anything. All we have to do is to refer them to the people on the spot. The scientists of America have been working on the subject of the new race for years. I have been watching them, for I have beam preaching it since 1909. My brother Leadbeater and I knew it from the direct statement of the Lord Maitreya Himself. He told us of His approaching visit to your world, and said that He would use a body which He had already chosen. That was the body of Krishnaji, as we learned a few months afterwards. Since then I have talked about it all over the world, very persistently, at first very ineffectively, but gradually more convincingly from the world standpoint.

That which is important is that the question of the new Sub-race is no longer a question of argument but of scientific assertion. It is the only quite definite physical sign, and we can point to the succession from the great Mother Race — I still would like to call it the great Aryan Race, for that is the most useful term for grouping together certain bodies of people. The name Aryan, with a beginning in Central Asia, is well marked in history, with the City of Shamballa in the Gobi Desert. That is now beyond dispute. And the migrations that went out from it are equally beyond dispute.

So we have behind us five types, each of which was accompanied by the coming of a [Page 6] World-Teacher, Vyasa for the Mother Race, and then onwards. All that is useful for people who are impressed by historical sequence. First the Sub-race. Then the coming of the World-Teacher. Then (what is still in the future — for they do not take place until He has left the world) — the building up of a religion and a civilization on the ideals that He has proclaimed. This sequence is inevitable, and is very convincing to logical minds. The World-Teacher preaches ideals, not details. After He leaves, a religion is founded on the ideals He preached; the details vary century after century; a civilization is founded on the ideals, not on the details.

These questions bear vitally on the tendency that there is at present to separate the Theosophical Society and what was the Order of the Star. Now such action shows profound ignorance on the part of the people who try to carry it out. But as ignorance is a very prevalent quality in human beings, there is no good in becoming excited over it, or becoming annoyed by it. We must take it as a matter of course, if foolish people try to separate the two sides of one work. I circulated very largely over in America a pamphlet dealing with the work of the Theosophical Society and the Order of the Star in the Happy Valley as the two sides of the one work. I want you to understand, because you can do far more than I can in checking the movement for separation started by [Page 7] well-meaning but excessively devotional people. You must not let their over-devotion provoke you. What does it matter what people say ? I wish you would all remember that.

The world is under the guidance of three very highly placed Members of the Hierarchy Who represent the Three Logoi. First (not in preeminence, of course, as They are all equal), the Lord Vivasvata Manu, whose work is the work of Races and Sub-races. In that He is always helped by the Lieutenant Manu, the Manu of the next Root-Race. The Lieutenant Manu is the Head of the First Ray, the Chohan Morya.

Occultism is the most orderly thing in the world. People who are concerned in guiding occult work — Members of the Great White Brotherhood, Initiates — co-operate with each other. If they are still very young on the Great Path they may not always do it, though they ought to do it. In the Great Brotherhood there is only one Consciousness, and if any separate Member of the Great Brotherhood does not realize that, it is because he is young and inexperienced. They do not expect perfection at once. But there is only one Consciousness in that Brotherhood, and any jar runs through the whole Brotherhood. Difference of opinion is free and encouraged by the Brotherhood, but there must be no quarreling or jar, and no sense of irritation between those who differ. This disturbs the whole Brotherhood — a very serious [Page 8] thing to do. All who are aspiring towards Initiation have to remember these conditions. Of course those who are being pushed on rather more rapidly than in ordinary times — now when tremendous forces are working around and through the World-Teacher, with the whole Hierarchy co-operating in that work — are not all strong enough to stand these forces, and instead of being pushed on, they are jarred by them. Every one of us has to be on our guard against that. We must never let ourselves be irritated. This is a big claim to make, but I must say it to you, if you want to get on. These times come once in thousands of years. Take advantage of it when it is here, and try to make your vibrations (on the lower octave certainly or on more than one octave) harmonious. The vibrations of a note on the piano are doubled in the octave, only one is shriller than the other. Each of us, at our own level, has to synchronize his vibrations as well as he can.

You must try and harmonize yourselves, otherwise you will jar, and jarring separates. You are not expected to identify your consciousness with that of other people. But if you want, at this very helpful time, to make rapid progress, you will do wisely to try to accommodate yourself to the thought of another. You cannot change another's consciousness, but you can change your own. If you try to do this, you will gradually succeed. Those of us who are in the Brotherhood are [Page 9] continually on the look-out to try to realize how another person is thinking, and then we try to accommodate ourselves to his thought. That is a very difficult practice, but you must begin it. Anyhow, you can prevent yourself from openly disagreeing. You may not at first be able to prevent yourself from having an inner difference. An inner difference of opinion is not only justifiable but useful. But it must not make a jar. There must be no feeling of irritation because the other person does not agree with you. You should welcome a difference of opinion, because it may show you something of Truth that you have not seen. I often say that I read the papers that I do not agree with. They show me a little bit of truth which I may have missed and therefore need, because I am not omniscient. There is a little bit of truth in everybody's thought which goes on and lasts. The more you can realize a difference of opinion without annoyance or irritation, the more rapidly will you approach the first step on the Path.

I am putting this specially to guard you from the idea that you are wanted to agree with those in the higher ranks in opinion. One day at Shigatze I was in a small circle of Initiates, who were being taught by the Chohan. He said a thing I did not understand. I began thinking: What does it mean ? He was passing on to something else, but He looked round with an amused smile, and said:

"You will understand presently ". I always say that to myself if I get puzzled. By thinking about the question while He was talking, I was losing what He was saying. Again, when you come across something you do not understand, suspend your judgment. Get into the habit, when you find an opinion expressed by someone who knows much more than you do, of looking at it carefully; not rejecting it, since he knows more than you do; but not accepting it, until you understand it. In any school, where discipleship is prepared for, no one wants the acceptance of any opinion until the judgment of the student goes with it. You must not feel that you are doing anything wrong in not forcing yourself to believe. Your mind can only grow by exercise. An athlete might as well try to strengthen his muscles by never using them, as you to strengthen your mind by using that of someone else. You are not obliged to accept. All you are expected to do is to study, and not reject. Leave it alone, and say to yourself, as my Guru said to me: "You will understand presently".

Separation arises out of ignorance between members of the Society and the Star. Many of us belong to both, and the difference arises from the want of understanding that there are two great branches to the work. The Lord Vivasvata Manu and the Lord Maitreya work as closely together as any two lives can work, always co-operating with each other. But their work is different. The Lord [Page 11] Vivasvata is busy over building up His new Sub-race, and the Chohan is exceedingly busy in co-operating with Him in that work, because in the new Sub-race His work lies under the Lord Vivasvata, and He is going to be the Manu of the next Race. His work lies in the evolution of this Race, in building up presently the civilisation of the Race, which will be when it reaches a certain stage, to provide people for the Sixth Root-race. The segregation for that purpose is partly taking place in the Happy Valley. The children born there come from all the nations of the world. But they are born there to get a type of body whose great mark is the development of intuition. Such children have become so numerous that the teachers in Californian schools have recently been trying experiments with them, and have separated them into two classes divided by two years and a half. In intelligence a child of the new type of five would be equal to the normal child of seven and a half. This is due to the quality of the intuition. They do not require argument and reasoning. They see a thing, if it is true, when presented to them. This requires a very different type of teaching. Children of this type are being born here and there all over the world, and by guidance from above either they or their parents will go over to swell the Colony.

No settlers are being taken in the Happy Valley for two years. It has to last for many centuries, and it takes time to start. The Americans complain [Page 12] that they are not accustomed to work slowly; but they have got to go slowly with the Happy Valley. It is not a deal on the stock exchange.

The Lord Vivasvata is at the head of all such work, but the work is done by the coming Manu. I am His agent, and I have later to help to build up the free civilisation of India and the new civilisation of California.

The work of the Lord Maitreya is religious work. He is working specially at the great ideals of the new form of religion that will be founded after He leaves. The World-Teacher Himself does not found the religion. He gives out the ideals on which the religion will be based. He does not give many ideals except in the early stages of the Mother Race. This is necessary, as the details vary as the centuries go on, and the movement now is very rapid. When He taught in Palestine as the Christ He gave very few details. One or two have crept into the so-called Sermon on the Mount. This is not a sermon at all, but a number of isolated teachings put together. Even then most of it deals with ideals. He spoke to the people in parables, but when He went into the house with His disciples, then He explained the meaning of the parables. His public teaching is very small. His secret teachings gave details to His disciples, and some have crept into the Gospel story. " If a man strike thee on one cheek, turn to him the other. If he take thy coat, give him thy cloak also. If he [Page 13] force thee to go a mile, go with him twain." No ordinary Christian dreams of carrying out these injunctions. The late Lord Bishop of Peterborough said that the Nation that tried to live according to the Sermon on the Mount would go to pieces in a week. Why did the Christ say such a thing ? The answer is, He had two sets of teachings, one for His disciples, the other for the people. These may be teachings to the disciples that came by error of transcription into the public teaching.

One time in Benares I had a number of saris stolen. I knew who stole them, but I did not prosecute, because I am a sannyasini though I do not wear a yellow robe, and the rule of the sannyasini is not to prosecute. The sense of detachment is what makes the true sannyasini. You remember King Janaka and the woman sannyasini. She argued that he could not be a sannyasini with all his belongings. He pointed out that it was not the things that mattered, but the detachment from them. That is one of the reasons why the great Avataras come among the Kshattriyas. They are non-attached. Shri Krishna said He had nothing to gain in any world, but if He did not continue to work, the worlds would fall into confusion. That is the position of the World-Teacher. You may see how it applies in Krishnaji's outer life. He very much dislikes the European dress because it is uncomfortable and uncongenial. But he wears it in Europe. I doubt if he will do it in the future.[Page 14]

And you have to remember that the completion of the union of his consciousness with that of the World-Teacher (what is called in the Christian creed the taking of the manhood into God) only took place lately. It has been a long growth. That is what kept me away from you. The Lord Maitreya asked me if I were willing to go to California with Krishnaji. My answer was: "I have no will but Yours". Hence my disappearance from India.

Now the effect of Krishnaji on those who live with him is to arouse a profound devotion. He has always been a delightful creature, but since the completion of the great change naturally it is very different. In the valley of Ojai he has his own room, in which his brother passed away, the shrine room. He always sleeps there alone, and when he is there no one calls him. Occasionally he will make short journeys to different places in India. This will be an experiment. Crowds are a difficulty for him, because the inner strain is so great. Their mixed magnetism is difficult for him. He had to give it up in America. You must expect him to be very much by himself. My advice to all of you would be to watch and observe, and gradually learn from what he is, not demand what you expect. In spite of everything I can say, people will think in a rut as to what the World-Teacher would do and say, making Him in their own image. I did not form any opinion. So I learned. You must remember that the Lord [Page 15] Maitreya is so great a Being that the Chohan of the second Ray, His own Ray, said that when He went into His presence, " We feel like the dust of His feet." That consciousness is omnipresent. Krishnaji does not share that omniscience. A fragment of the World-Teacher's consciousness is in him, [Remember the shloka in the Bhagavad-Gita, “I established this universe with one fragment of Myself, and I remain”] and his own is merged in it. And you must remember that that consciousness in him in the ordinary affairs of life behaves like that of an ordinary man. When He was here in the body of the disciple Jesus in Palestine, He was a man among men. He does not bring His own wonderful body down here. If He did He would have to guard it by a tremendous waste of power. He has the whole of the religions of the world to attend to all the time. He puts down as it were a sort of finger of Himself into a human body specially prepared to stand the strain, a body absolutely pure, a life which for years has been a perfect human life. The consciousness of Krishnaji is merged with that Consciousness. This is not what we expected, judging from ordinary cases such as possession by a Master. Sometimes a Master took possession of H. P. B. and spoke through her. That was a change of personality. This is not. It seems to be a merging of consciousness but we cannot expect to understand [Page 16] its details. If I had determined to hold to the view of the stepping out and in, I should have taken that for granted and made a blunder. But I was prepared to take anything that occurred, and in answer to various questions I have said that I did not know. People always want to make a greater Being in their own image, and then complain if He is different. This is very silly. Treat him with great respect. Do not force yourselves upon him with a kind of physical devotion. It is very tiresome for anyone to live in a physical body while every one is staring at him. He has taken this body to help the world by it, and we have to take Their way of working, not our own. There will be many things said that you do not understand. Put them by, and think them over.

There were hard sayings spoken by the Christ which drove away many of His disciples. He said: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you". This was said to be "a hard saying" and drove many away. Remember He often speaks in ideals, not in details.

I advise all of you to read the little pamphlet [The Lord is Here] by George Arundale, because it gives all his own difficulties. Knowing the Lord Maitreya in His own home in the Himalayas, he sees the one he knows to be His chosen vehicle. The pamphlet states his difficulties frankly, and tells how they disappeared. Take the Life and do not be careful [Page 17] about the form. Krishnaji will say; "Throw away all forms". Now the essence of that is: "Do not let the form constrain the life. Let the life grow". If the form is still helpful, the Life will make it more helpful. If your inner life has outgrown its forms, the inner Life will re-form it. If you have thoroughly outgrown it, the inner Life will break it. He gives the Life. Our wisdom is to take it, and then let it do with us what it likes, break anything it chooses to break, remould anything it likes to remould, use anything it likes to use. You have to be very quiescent and adaptable, and remember that the people who are swept away completely by devotion feel nothing but the tremendous downrush of this splendid life, and so they want to imitate him in all sorts of little ways. The little ways are nothing. George Arundale says in his pamphlet that if Krishnaji asks people to walk, they want to drop everything and try to imitate Krishnaji in his steps and gestures. But he points out that all that matters is to walk, in your own way, not in Krishnaji's way. You must take the Life, not the details. Imitating the outside will not help you to express the Life. It is very difficult, of course. If it was not difficult the Christ would not have had only a hundred and twenty people at the end of His ministry. If many are swept away by devotion today, do not get irritated by them. Some say, the Theosophical Society has done its work. But " the Theosophical Society is [Page 18] the corner-stone of the religions of the future," as was once declared. It will go on to the end of the age. Some said at Ommen that Krishnaji was everything. Others asked where Annie Besant came in. Annie Besant has her own place and work. When Krishnaji (Jiddhu Krishnamurti) and I went about at Ommen evidently very devoted to one another, people wondered what it was they had been saying. You must try to see the reality, for this is a time of reality. If anyone refers to the Society, you can answer that it has done very good work, since but for it they would not have had Krishnaji. The atmosphere of the Society has been around him all the time. He said at Ommen that Theosophy was the background of his teaching. But he does not teach it all over again. Be glad that you have gained the right to be born in this time. Some who belong to the sixth Ray will be very devotional and very narrow. But it is better to have too much devotion than too little. I think he will prevent too much extravagance, because he speaks very clearly against it.

The best way to help Krishnaji is to be dead against separateness. If ever you see it, oppose it. Say, if you like, that we are two sides of one work. Annie Besant is at the head of one side and Krishnaji of the other. One is the work of the Manu, the other of the Bodhisattva. They always work together. We, if we are fit to be Their servants, must be ready to do the same.