11]"/>conditions under which alone the study of Divine Wisdom can be pursued with safety, that is without danger that Divine will give place to Black Magic, a page is given from the "private rules," with which every instructor in the East is furnished. The few passages which follow are chosen from a great number and explained in brackets.
1. The place selected for receiving instruction must be a spot calculated not to distract the mind, and filled with "influence-evolving" (magnetic) objects. The five sacred colors gathered in a circle must be there among other things. The place must be free from any malignant influences hanging about in the air.
[The place must be set apart, and used for no other purpose. The five "sacred colors" are the prismatic hues arranged in a certain way, as these colors are very magnetic. By "malignant influences" are meant any disturbances through strifes, quarrels, bad feelings, etc., as these are said to impress themselves immediately on the astral light, i.e., in the atmosphere of the place, and to hang "about in the air." This first condition seems easy enough to accomplish, yet—on further consideration, it is one of the most difficult ones to obtain.]
2. Before the disciple shall be permitted to study "face to face," he has to acquire preliminary understanding in a select company of other lay upâsakas (disciples), the number of whom must be odd.
["Face to face" means in this instance a study independent or apart from others, when the disciple gets his instruction face to face either with himself (his higher, Divine Self) or—his guru. It is then only that each receives his due of information, according to the use he has made of his knowledge. This can happen only toward the end of the cycle of instruction.]
3. Before thou (the teacher) shalt impart to thy Lanoo (disciple) the good (holy) words of Lamrin, or shalt permit him "to make ready" for Dubjed, thou shalt take care that his mind is thoroughly purified and at peace with all, especially with his other Selves. Otherwise the words of Wisdom and of the good Law, shall scatter and be picked up by the winds.
["Lamrin" is a work of practical instructions, by Tson-kha-pa, in two portions, one for ecclesiastical and exoteric purposes, the other for esoteric use. "To make ready" for Dubjed, is to prepare the vessels used for seership, such as mirrors and crystals. The "other selves," refers to the fellow students. Unless the greatest harmony reigns among the learners, no success is possible. It is the teacher who makes the selections according to the magnetic and electric natures of the students, bringing together and adjusting most carefully the positive and the negative elements.]
4. The upâsakas while studying must take care to be united as the fingers on one hand. Thou shalt impress upon their minds that whatever hurts one should hurt the others, and if the rejoicing of one finds no echo in the breasts of the others, then the required conditions are absent, and it is useless to proceed.
[This can hardly happen if the preliminary choice made was consistent with the magnetic requirements. It is known that Chelas otherwise promising and fit for the reception of truth, had to wait for years on account of their temper and the impossibility they felt to put themselves in tune with their companions. For—]
5. The co-disciples must be tuned by the guru as the strings of a lute (vina) each different from the others, yet each emitting sounds in harmony with all. Collectively they must form a key-board answering in all its parts to thy lightest touch (the touch of the Master). Thus their minds shall open for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate as knowledge through each and all, resulting in effects pleasing to the presiding gods (tutelary or patron-angels) and useful to the Lanoo. So shall Wisdom be impressed forever on their hearts and the harmony of the law shall never be broken.
6. Those who desire to acquire the knowledge leading to the Siddhis (occult powers) have to renounce all the vanities of life and of the world (here follows enumeration of the Siddhis).
7. None can feel the difference between himself and his fellow-students, such as "I am the wisest," "I am more holy and pleasing to the teacher, or in my community, than my brother," etc.,—and remain an upâsaka. His thoughts must be predominantly fixed upon his heart, chasing therefrom every hostile thought to any living being. It (the heart) must be full of the feeling of its non-separateness from the rest of beings as from all in Nature; otherwise no success can follow.
8. A Lanoo (disciple) has to dread external living influence alone (magnetic emanations from living creatures). For this reason while at one with all, in his inner nature, he must take care to separate his outer (external) body from every foreign influence: none must drink out of, or eat in his cup but himself. He must avoid bodily contact (i.e., being touched or touch) with human, as with animal being.
[No pet animals are permitted, and it is forbidden even to touch certain trees and plants. A disciple has to live, so to say, in his own atmosphere in order to individualize it for occult purposes.]
9. The mind must remain blunt to all but the universal truths in nature, lest the "Doctrine of the Heart" should become only the "Doctrine of the Eye," (i.e., empty exoteric ritualism).
10. No animal food of whatever kind, nothing that has life in it should be taken by the disciple. No wine, no spirits, or opium should be used; for these are like the Lhama-yin (evil spirits), who fasten upon the unwary, they devour the understanding.
[Wine and spirits are supposed to contain and preserve the bad magnetism of all the men who helped in their fabrication; the meat of each animal, to preserve the psychic characteristics of its kind.]
11. Meditation, abstinence in all, the observation of moral duties, gentle thoughts, good deeds and kind words, as good will to all and entire oblivion of Self, are the most efficacious means of obtaining knowledge and preparing for the reception of higher wisdom.
12. It is only by virtue of a strict observance of the foregoing rules that a Lanoo can hope to acquire in good time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the growth which makes him become gradually One with the Universal ALL.
These 12 extracts are taken from among some 73 rules, to enumerate which would be useless as they would be meaningless in Europe. But even these few are enough to show the immensity of the difficulties which beset the path of the would-be "Upâsaka," who has been born and bred in Western lands.B
All western, and especially English, education is instinct with the principle of emulation and strife; each boy is urged to learn more quickly, to outstrip his companions, and to surpass them in every possible way. What is mis-called "friendly rivalry" is assiduously cultivated, and the same spirit is fostered and strengthened in every detail of life.
With such ideas "educated into" him from his childhood, how can a Western bring himself