THEOSOPHY, Vol. I, No. 6, April, 1913
(Pages 248-251; Size: 13K)
THE SECOND OBJECT
"THE study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences, and the demonstration of the importance of such study."
On the inside front cover page of this magazine will be found each month the statement of the Foundation and Three Objects of the Theosophical Society. The contents of the magazine proper, or of any article in it, are worthless as regards the real end in view unless these Three Objects are held constantly in mind as the basis from which the articles are written, and from which consideration is to be given by the reader.
But the Society and its Three Objects are themselves worthless as regards the real end in view unless they are considered in relation to and in the light of the Three Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy.
"There is no action without an instrument." We have the oft-repeated statements of H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge that the Society was intended to be a vehicle for the conveyance of certain Teachings to, and for the benefit of, the whole of humanity; its real Founders being the Masters of Wisdom, the Elder Brothers of Humanity. These Masters are interested in the welfare of humanity as a whole: They recognize no "privilege" or "special gifts" in any man save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit. One of Them wrote to Colonel Olcott, "We have no favourites, nor affections for persons, but only for their good acts and Humanity as a whole." The same Master wrote to Mr. A. P. Sinnett these words: "... You must be aware that the chief object of the Theosophical Society is not so much to gratify individual aspirations as to serve our fellow-men ... Yet you have ever discussed, but to put down, the idea of a Universal Brotherhood, questioned its usefulness, and advised to remodel the Theosophical Society on the principle of a college for the special study of occultism."
Again and again it was stated that the Society must prosper by moral worth and philosophy, and not by phenomena. What is that moral worth but persistent, steadfast, devoted efforts in the self-sacrificing pursuit of the best means to lead our neighbor on the right path? What is that philosophy but those Teachings of the Great Lodge imparted to the world by H.P.B. and W.Q.J. under the name of Theosophy, and which alone make true moral worth possible?
Any sincere and earnest member in any of the now numerous "theosophical" societies can ask, and should ask, himself how far his own motives and aspirations are in line with the ideals set by the Masters, and how and to what extent the society with which he affiliates is true to the causative purpose and real object of the Society formed under Their auspices.
Any thoughtful student can and should ask himself to what extent he has assimilated the Fundamental Propositions of Theosophy, and applied them in his studies of the Teachings of H.P.B. and W.Q.J.; in his efforts at living the life; in promulgating Theosophy; in short, in his attempt to "teach, preach, and above all practice Theosophy." These things are vital, for otherwise how is the devoted student to know whether the literature recommended and read in his society is or is not THEOSOPHY? How is he to know whether his society is or is not true to the original purpose?
Unless the student devotes himself to the study of THEOSOPHY he has no means of telling the counterfeit from the real teachings. Unless he assimilates the purpose of the real Founders in inaugurating the Theosophical Society, he will be continually deceived by names, forms and claims, the ever-lasting tools of the sham and the counterfeit.
The failure, wherever it exist, whether in student or society, is not in THEOSOPHY, not in the Masters, not in Their purpose. It lies ever and always in the failure to study and assimilate the Teachings given; in the failure to adhere to the program of the Masters. If success is to be achieved by any individual or by any society, it must come, not through the adulteration of the Teachings but through their assimilation; not through the Masters doing our work for us, but in our doing Theirs.
No individual need fail. No society need fail. All can fail, and all will fail, just in that degree that they fail to study THEOSOPHY, to adhere to the program of the Masters, to "follow the lines laid down." All -- whether individuals or societies -- that have so far failed can retrace their steps, can retrieve their position, by a return to the Source and a resumption of work along the original lines of Unity of Aim, Purpose and Teaching. These must be constantly borne in mind. But before they can be borne in mind, they must be born --in mind and heart and brain. The Masters have said that They have "no secrets to impart to a select few."
So, then, the Second Object in the Foundation must have its meaning, its purpose and its lessons, but these cannot be found out or achieved if the mind has not assented to the First Object and been grounded and fortified in that arduous and uphill task through study of THEOSOPHY and work for Humanity.
The Aim of the Second Object would then appear in part to be the leveling of the age-long barriers of race, creed, sex, caste and color. For study of ancient and modern religions, philosophies and sciences in the light of the Fundamental Propositions of THEOSOPHY, and the Fundamental Object of the SOCIETY, would inevitably and infallibly show ONE SOURCE from whence have come the many religions and systems of thought, however these may later have become polluted, adulterated, and overgrown with the rubbish of human invention and fancy: a Brotherhood among all religions and philosophies and behind all differences: the Brotherhood due to the identity of Source; the differences due to the weaknesses, frailties and follies of the earthly vehicles. All this would flow as naturally as the realization of the First Object would flow from a study and clear comprehension of the Three Fundamentals, which show ONE SOURCE and Law for all beings of every grade, a Universal Brotherhood of being due to identity of Source, and all differences in being due to personal merit or demerit throughout the so-far developed Cycle of Incarnation or Necessity.
The pursuit of the Second Object would have been a hopeless task for the majority of Western students if the Founders of the Society had not provided ways and means for their benefit, and through them for the world at large.
In "Isis Unveiled," published by H. P. Blavatsky in 1877, attention was drawn to the philosophy, religion, arts and sciences bequeathed to posterity by ancient India. In her "Secret Doctrine" these were more specifically dealt with, as in many other articles from her pen, well-known to Theosophists and needing no special mention at this time.
In America, the first Eastern work of importance to be placed in the hands of students was the Bhagavad-Gita, a portion of the great epic poem of India known as the Mahabharata. An early English translation of this work was made in 1785 by Mr. Charles Wilkins of the East India Company and published by him. This translation was revised and reprinted by Tookeram Tatya of Bombay, India, in 1887, and remained for some time in general use among Theosophists although it was poorly printed and had many blind renderings. In 1890, in order to meet the growing demand for a rendition which would be free from the defects of the Bombay edition, Mr. William Q. Judge, one of the original Founders of the Theosophical Society, undertook the task, making a careful comparison of all existing editions, and a complete re-translation from the original wherever any obscurity or omission was evident in the various renderings consulted. This edition remains to this day the clearest and most readily comprehensible of any.
In 1889 Mr. Judge published an interpretation of "The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali," a book of the highest value to advanced students. In February, 1891, he established The Oriental Department of the Theosophical Society (American Section) in furtherance of the Second Object; pamphlets were issued monthly containing valuable translations; many of these from the Upanishads, a very ancient embodiment of writings dealing with the origin of the Universe; with all being; the true relation of spirit and matter; the universality of mind and the nature of the human soul and Ego.
All through the "Path" magazine, edited by Mr. Judge, are to be found translations and references to the wisdom of ancient India. His work and that of H. P. Blavatsky were contemporaneous and complementary. They gave the direction to proper study, and clearly indicated the purest and best Eastern works extant.
Although Their efforts have been followed by an inroad of Hindoo and other religious teachers, it never was intended by Them that the minds of the West should be turned to modern India or the East with its exoteric, sectarian teachers; its peculiar and different religions; its hide-bound castes, rites, ceremonies and superstitions, but to that Archaic Wisdom, the fountain from which all the great world religions sprung in their original purity, but which have become corrupted and encrusted with error through centuries of human selfishness and ignorance.
No new knowledge can be imparted to humanity without affording a wider range of activity for those who are evilly disposed; and as selfishness, bigotry, spiritual blindness and superstition still prevail among men, it is not to be wondered at that the false is taken for the true and the true for the false. Had the warnings and advice of the original Teachers of Theosophy been heeded, much of this might have been avoided, for there then would have existed a strong corrective in the form of a United body of Theosophists, whose unbroken front and unassailable motto "There is No Religion Higher Than Truth," would have caught the attention of many thousands now entangled in the hopeless maze of Eastern errors, the karmic inheritance of those who asked, received, and failed to give.
COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:
Have perseverence as one who doth forevermore endure. Thy shadows live and vanish; that which in thee knows, for it is knowledge, is not of fleeting life; it is the Man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall never strike.
--The Voice of the Silence
Assimilation with the Supreme Spirit is on both sides of death for those who are free from desire and anger, temperate, of thoughts restrained; and who are acquainted with the true Self.
Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the Great Soul, and that, possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!
--The Voice of the Silence
It is impossible for mortals to utterly abandon actions; but he who gives up the results of actions is the true renouncer.
THE THIRD OBJECT
THE "THREE OBJECTS" OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
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