Compassion - The Spirit of Truth

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Compassion - The Spirit of Truth

By Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Lose yourself In The Sea Of Devotion

I am to be approached and seen and known in truth by means of that devotion which has me alone as the object. 
— Lord Krishna 1 

Whatever the final goal may be, I praise that Power which, born of Truth, And one with the Word which is for ever, Rekindles courage, revives endeavour, Redeems God’s promise, renews our youth. 
— James Rhoades 2

Devotion is the only natural feeling in our heart. As the child’s first feeling is for its mother and nurse, so the first aspirations of the awakening consciousness in primitive man were for those whose element he felt within himself, and who yet were outside, and independent of him. DEVOTION arose out of that feeling, and became the first and foremost motor in his nature; for it is the only one which is natural in our heart, which is innate in us, and which we find alike in human babe and the young of the animal. This feeling of irrepressible, instinctive aspiration in primitive man is beautifully, and one may say intuitionally, described by Carlyle, who exclaims:
“The great antique heart, how like a child’s in its simplicity, like a man’s in its earnest solemnity and depth! Heaven lies over him wheresoever he goes or stands on the Earth; making all the Earth a mystic Temple to him, the Earth’s business all a kind of worship. Glimpses of bright creatures flash in the common sunlight; angels yet hover, doing God’s messages among men. . . . Wonder, miracle, encompass the man; he lives in an element of miracle. . . . A great Law of Duty, high as these two Infinitudes [heaven and hell], dwarfing all else, annihilating all else . . . it was a Reality, and it is one: the garment only of it is dead; the essence of it lives through all Times and all Eternity!” 3

But without self-surrender, Devotion is mere servility disguised as Worship. Devotion is a self-surrender, a self-sacrifice, a giving of all one has to another. . . . 1 Defined in terms of Desire, Devotion is the desire for equalisation with the Ideal, who is the object of that Devotion, not by direct receipt of gift through prayer, as in the case of pure Worship, but by means of obedience to the behests of, and guidance received from, that Ideal . . . The difference between [Devotion and Worship] . . . is difficult to state precisely . . . because, in their higher, or unselfish, aspect, they, and Love, have the same ultimate end and purpose, namely, mergence, union, identification to the fullest extent possible. The common use of language indicates this overlapping of the significance of the three: A mother “loves,” or “worships,” or is “devoted to” her child. Similar unavoidable synonymisation of more or less distinguishable words is observable in the works on Bhakti, in Sanskrit.2

Self-surrender is not an element in Worship. Worship is an acknowledgement of inferiority and a prayer for help. . . . But we will . . . be able to make in the mind the distinction . . . if we remember that the Self only is its own end, that Love is our feeling of Its Unity, that realization of this Unity, to whatever extent possible, is its own reward, is Moksha or deliverance from the sorrows of separateness, is nishreyas, the highest good, summum bonum. To express the distinction in words, we may reiterate that in Worship . . . self-surrender is not an element, but that its essentials are an acknowledgement of inferiority and a prayer for help. In Devotion proper, on the other hand, self-surrender is an essential element, offer of service of any kind that may be needed, generally for the helping of others, and there is also present . . . the sense of equality-identity already achieved, a feeling of belonging to the same household, of partnership in the same concern, esprit de corps. 3

True Devotion is characteristic of the Path of Renunciation; pseudo-Devotion is found on the other Path; Worship, on both. That offerings and sacrifices are made generally in Worship also is only to prove actively the acknowledgement of inferiority; the real significance of such is this:
“Behold, I am truly humble before thee, and cling to, and depend on, and ask of, and expect from, none else than Thee, and in proof of this I offer up to Thee all that I have and hold nearest and dearest — only to show that they are not nearer and dearer to me than Thou.”

Because this significance underlies acts of worship, does it come about, when worshipping jiva is of the very selfish or “demoniac” or “titanic” or “satanic” 1 type, that his evil selfishness transforms what should be the pure offerings of devotion into foul uncleanliness and slaughter and orgy, and turns Godworship into Devil-worship, the Right-Hand Path into the Left-Hand Path, White Magic into Black. True devotion is characteristic of the jivas on the nivritti-marga, the Path of Renunciation; pseudo-Devotion is found on the other Path; Worship on both.2

The hard in heart cannot see God. . . . that is to say, the ethical condition of vairagya, wherein the hard “heart-knot” of intense personal feeling, “I and thou,” “mine and thine,” separatist individualism, is loosened — this is indispensable to, is only the other aspect of, the intellectual condition of illumination, “the vision of God, the All-Self,” the jnana of the Truth, and also of the practical condition of bhakti, devotion and self-surrender, in the form of active self-sacrifice and renunciation. This is why . . . until we turn from sin, in spirit, at least, and sincerely, peace is not attainable, for sin goes with intense personality; as the Bhagavata says, avidya, kama and karma on the one hand, and jnana, vairagya and bhakti, on the other, always go together.3



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