“Now, Jesus with his friend Lamaas went through all the regions of Orissa, and the valley of the Ganges, seeking wisdom from the sudras and the visyas and the masters” (Aquarian Gospel 23:1).
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” “Jesus with his friend Lamaas went through all the regions of Orissa, and the valley of the Ganges, seeking wisdom from the sudras and the visyas and the masters.”
Let us be honest: we love to draw lines to separate ourselves from others. Especially we like drawing lines that establish us as superior to others. This line-drawing was at its worst in India where it was claimed that divine law was the basis for the system of hereditary caste. It certainly is true that human beings are in varying stages of evolution and that we can even distinguish four large divisions or levels in human development that correspond to the four castes.
Originally, the Vedic sages outlined a social system that took these differences into account. Caste was based on a person’s individual characteristics and had nothing to do with birth. A person could even change caste by moving forward or backward–not by outer behavior but through change of interior disposition. We have no doubt all seen people that improved their spiritual status over the years, and some that unhappily regressed over time. Also, the original ideas of caste had nothing to do with inferior or superior, only difference. Society was set up so people would progress from one level to another, not imprisoned in only one caste for an entire life. Things were also arranged so a person could adopt a way of life consistent with his mental character.
Outside India people adopted a profession just for material gain, even if they disliked or were bored with the work they had to do. Within the caste system people’s professions were in keeping with their own predilections and they were happy and fulfilled in their work, for it expressed their personalities. This was ideal. But in time the satan of ego entered the picture and caste became a horribly evil and oppressive monster.
Today in India the negative aspects of caste have become greatly alleviated, but at the time of Jesus caste was rapidly degenerating into the stifling system it eventually became. The Brahmins were the religious authority and the Kshatriyas (the warrior-ruler caste) were the civil authority. The Vishyas (Vaishyas) were the farmers, artisans, merchants, and the Sudras (Shudras) were “common laborers” and servants. Vishyas and Sudras were considered of no consequence socially or spiritually. They were not allowed to study the Vedic scriptures, and the Sudras were not even allowed to hear them being chanted or read. Sudras were not allowed to enter temples, and they were never to touch those of higher caste or even to come within several feet of them. Their shadows were considered polluting. This is no mythology.
One of my good friends is a Brahmin from South India. He told me that in the compound of his family’s home there lived servants who had been attached to his Brahmin family for centuries. They were not slaves, they were remunerated for their services, but the attitude was that they had no alternative but servitude to that one family. Because their nearness could be defiling, he told me that when his father gave the daily instructions to the head of the servant family, or whenever he spoke with him, they stood about forty feet apart and shouted back and forth to one another so the Brahmin would not be polluted by nearness to a Sudra.
Knowing that wisdom resides in the heart of all beings, and that caste no longer counted for much, Jesus and Lamaas associated with Vishyas and Sudras and learned from those among them who were spiritual advanced. The “masters” spoken of in this verse included Vishyas and Sudras, but also those yogis who separated themselves from the prevailing social and religious system to search for divine truth unencumbered by the limitations and ignorance that prevailed. Buddha had been among this group often called “samaneras.” The history of India is really hazy, but some historians have speculated that yoga and formal monastic life (sannyasa) originated in Western India, whereas the Vedic system originated in Eastern India, and that what we now call “Hinduism” only absorbed yoga and monasticism because of the people’s intense regard for the samaneras, just as it adopted some of the practices of the Jain religion which was becoming so strong. However it may be, Jesus sought out wisdom wherever he found it and cared nothing for the caste or non-caste of an individual.
The message for us here is to never consider that someone’s outer situation has a relation to their inner development, even though it certainly reflects the karma they are working out. We should be willing to hear what everyone has to say unless they have proved themselves completely untrustworthy. But a stranger deserves a fair hearing. One of the things that impressed me in India was the way adults would listen to children and take their words seriously. Of course an understanding of reincarnation helped in this. Even a child may tell us profound and valuable things. Even a book that seems to be of little worth may contain a single truth that can greatly enhance our life. So we should look for wisdom everywhere with open heart and open mind, aware that there is folly everywhere, too, but discriminating wisely between the two and rejecting nothing without soberly considering it. In India I met plenty of ignoramuses that pretended to be wise, but I also met a saint that pretended to be insane. She imparted real wisdom to me and then wandered off down the road, mocked and laughed at by the uncomprehending. Remember the old saying: “Often in a wooden house a golden room we find.”
“Benares of the Ganges was a city rich in culture and in learning; here the two rabbonis tarried many days. And Jesus sought to learn the Hindu art of healing, and became the pupil of Udraka, greatest of the Hindu healers” (Aquarian Gospel 23:2, 3).
This is most interesting, that Jesus was seeking wisdom among the two lower castes, the servant and agricultural-artisan, as well as from acknowledged masters. A wise man is aware that wisdom may be learned from anyone. I have myself known many people that lacked any intellectual sophistication (and two or three that were somewhat mentally deficient) yet were spiritually intelligent, even brilliant.
Benares (Varanasi or Kashi) was and is the highest center of spiritual learning and practical traditional knowledge. Ayurvedic medicine is based on Indian scriptures which cover the science of health and the treatment of disease. It is considered to be of divine origin, having first been taught by the sage Dhanvantari, and is both philosophical and practical.
Teaching of Udraka
“Udraka taught the uses of the waters, plants and earths; of heat and cold; sunshine and shade; of light and dark.
“He said, The laws of nature are the laws of health, and he who lives according to these laws is never sick. Transgression of these laws is sin, and he who sins is sick. He who obeys the laws, maintains an equilibrium in all his parts, and thus insures true harmony; and harmony is health, while discord is disease.
“That which produces harmony in all the parts of man is medicine, insuring health. The body is a harpsichord, and when its strings are too relaxed, or are too tense, the instrument is out of tune, the man is sick. Now, everything in nature has been made to meet the wants of man; so everything is found in medical arcanes. And when the harpsichord of man is out of tune the vast expanse of nature may be searched for remedy; there is a cure for every ailment of the flesh.
“Of course the will of man is remedy supreme; and by the vigorous exercise of will, man way make tense a chord that is relaxed, or may relax one that is too tense, and thus may heal himself.” (Aquarian Gospel 23:4-12).
These words are a perfect encapsulation of the laws of health and healing and merit deep pondering.
Harmony is health, while discord is disease. That which produces harmony in all the parts of man is medicine, insuring health. It is natural for us to speak of being in or out of harmony with “nature,” but what is Nature? It is the Holy Breath (Holy Spirit) in manifestation. Transgressing the laws of that manifestation will impair health, but “nature” is really the thought and will of God. So being out of harmony with God and the Divine Will is the root of disease. The ultimate medicine, then, is that which puts us into harmony with God–including our own inner spirit. Meditation is the supreme remedy because it affects the entire range of our being and aligns us with Divinity Itself.
The body is a harpsichord, and when its strings are too relaxed, or are too tense, the instrument is out of tune, the man is sick. The “strings” spoken of here are the nerves of the physical body and the subtle energy channels in the astral and causal bodies, all of which are called nadis–“tubes”–in Yoga and Ayurveda. Meditation sets all the inner mechanisms right and empowers them, therefore:
The will of man is remedy supreme; and by the vigorous exercise of will, man way make tense a chord that is relaxed, or may relax one that is too tense, and thus may heal himself. This is demonstrated in two incidents from the twelfth chapter of Autobiography of a Yogi.
One afternoon during my early months at the ashram, found Sri Yukteswar’s eyes fixed on me piercingly.
“You are too thin, Mukunda.”
His remark struck a sensitive point. That my sunken eyes and emaciated appearance were far from my liking was testified to by rows of tonics in my room at Calcutta. Nothing availed; chronic dyspepsia had pursued me since childhood. My despair reached an occasional zenith when I asked myself if it were worth-while to carry on this life with a body so unsound.
“Medicines have limitations; the creative life-force has none. Believe that: you shall be well and strong.”
Sri Yukteswar’s words aroused a conviction of personally-applicable truth which no other healer—and I had tried many!—had been able to summon within me.
Day by day, behold! I waxed. Two weeks after Master’s hidden blessing, I had accumulated the invigorating weight which eluded me in the past. My persistent stomach ailments vanished with a lifelong permanency. On later occasions I witnessed my guru’s instantaneous divine healings of persons suffering from ominous disease—tuberculosis, diabetes, epilepsy, or paralysis. Not one could have been more grateful for his cure than I was at sudden freedom from my cadaverous aspect.
“Years ago, I too was anxious to put on weight,” Sri Yukteswar told me. “During convalescence after a severe illness, I visited Lahiri Mahasaya in Benares.
“‘Sir, I have been very sick and lost many pounds.’
“‘I see, Yukteswar, you made yourself unwell, and now you think you are thin.’
“This reply was far from the one I had expected; my guru, however, added encouragingly:
“‘Let me see; I am sure you ought to feel better tomorrow.’
“Taking his words as a gesture of secret healing toward my receptive mind, I was not surprised the next morning at a welcome accession of strength. I sought out my master and exclaimed exultingly, ’sir, I feel much better today.’
“‘Indeed! Today you invigorate yourself.’
“‘No, master!’ I protested. ‘It was you who helped me; this is the first time in weeks that I have had any energy.’
“‘O yes! Your malady has been quite serious. Your body is frail yet; who can say how it will be tomorrow?’
“The thought of possible return of my weakness brought me a shudder of cold fear. The following morning I could hardly drag myself to Lahiri Mahasaya’s home.
“‘Sir, I am ailing again.’
“My guru’s glance was quizzical. ’so! Once more you indispose yourself.’
“‘Gurudeva, I realize now that day by day you have been ridiculing me.’ My patience was exhausted. ‘I don’t understand why you disbelieve my truthful reports.’
“‘Really, it has been your thoughts that have made you feel alternately weak and strong.’ My master looked at me affectionately. ‘You have seen how your health has exactly followed your expectations. Thought is a force, even as electricity or gravitation. The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God. I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.’
“Knowing that Lahiri Mahasaya never spoke idly, I addressed him with great awe and gratitude: ‘Master, if I think I am well and have regained my former weight, shall that happen?’
“‘It is so, even at this moment.’ My guru spoke gravely, his gaze concentrated on my eyes.
“Lo! I felt an increase not alone of strength but of weight. Lahiri Mahasaya retreated into silence. After a few hours at his feet, I returned to my mother’s home, where I stayed during my visits to Benares.
“‘My son! What is the matter? Are you swelling with dropsy?’ Mother could hardly believe her eyes. My body was now of the same robust dimensions it had possessed before my illness.
“I weighed myself and found that in one day I had gained fifty pounds; they remained with me permanently. Friends and acquaintances who had seen my thin figure were aghast with wonderment. A number of them changed their mode of life and became disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya as a result of this miracle.
“My guru, awake in God, knew this world to be nothing but an objectivized dream of the Creator. Because he was completely aware of his unity with the Divine Dreamer, Lahiri Mahasaya could materialize or dematerialize or make any change he wished in the cosmic vision.
Healer of others
Remember the old joke about the minister who was preaching in the chapel of a mental institution on the purpose of life. “Why are we all here?” he asked rhetorically, but to his chagrin one of the inmates called out: “Because we are not ‘all there’!” We are all here, in the body, because of the force known as karma, the reactions to our former action in this life and in previous lives. Until our consciousness can transcend the power of karma (for karma is too vast to ever be “worked out” completely) and ascend to Christ Consciousness we shall remain right here in the realm of illusion, in the limitation of consciousness that is often called “death” by the wise.
I have said that karma cannot be fully worked out, but it does have to be eliminated to the degree that will enable us to overreach it and manifest Christhood. As a consequence, we need to be consciously untangling the karmic snarls that are keeping us bound. Karma can be dissolved by the inflow of higher consciousness in meditation and by keeping our minds attuned to the highest levels even during our daily routines. Outside meditation, karma can be neutralized by engaging in thoughts, words, and acts that are opposite in character to the past negative thoughts, words, and acts that produced the karma. Since we have all done injury and harm to others in previous lives, healing can be an effective means of neutralizing karma so we shall not be injured or harmed–as we would if we did not eliminate the karma. Not everyone needs to be a healer, but for those who do, Udraka explains what knowledge and characteristics are necessary.
Knower of The Word
“When man has reached the place where he has faith in God, in nature and himself, he knows the Word of power; his word is balm for every wound, is cure for all the ills of life” (Aquarian Gospel 23:13).
We have already seen that faith is actually spiritual knowledge gleaned from our own experience; so to have “faith in God, in nature and himself” a person must know God, nature, and himself. This is no small matter. Many people want to be healers and think that all they need is to learn healing methods, but Udraka is showing us that real gnosis of the spirit is the basis for healing.
The knowledge of various natures, including the divine, is necessary, but not sufficient of itself to impart healing to others. Knowledge of The Word is also needed, for It embodies the Consciousness and Power that lies behind all manifestations, including our bodies and the forces that produce harmony or disharmony in them.
Forgiveness of sin
The Word can also nullify karma when Its light enters into the aura and body. “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). “As Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1,2).
Disease comes from sin, and its removal is a form of the “forgiveness of sins.” That is why Levi Dowling wrote a book he subtitled: Opening of the Golden Gate Unto The Healing of All Diseases, The Forgiveness of Sins, and Divine Illumination. Those who have the inner development and the requisite knowledge can forgive sins by infusing themselves and others with the Light of The Word. Although this would be denied by exoteric Christians, Jesus gave another picture. When He was in Capernaum one time the people crowded into and around the house so that no one could enter. Four men brought a friend who had palsy, hoping Jesus would heal him.
“And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:4-12).
And you never will if the Churchians have their way.
It is clearly stated in the New Testament that we are all sons of God, but knowing that in the future ignorant Christians would continually claim a unique status for Jesus–especially when they were challenged to do what Jesus did–He usually referred to Himself as “son of man” to emphasize that He was a human being, and what he did other human beings could do also. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12).
The Aquarian Gospel gives an interesting insight in its recounting of this incident. When the “virtuous” objected to Jesus’ asserting that the man’s sins were forgiven, He countered that He would heal the man “just to prove that men may here forgive the sins of men” (Aquarian Gospel 90:23). Just as one man can build a house and another can tear it down, so the actions of someone can be undone by another. This is a law. The only area in which this usually does not operate is in the development of inner consciousness, of personal evolution. Yet there have been times when a son of God has lifted another into a state of awareness not before accessible to them. However, that state could not be maintained, and the favored one then had to get busy and produce that state in himself by spiritual practice. Since ignorance is illusion, on some rare instances a son of God has imparted permanent enlightenment to another. But if that person’s background is studied it will be seen that he was eminently ripe for the experience, that he only needed a little push to break through into Infinity.
The essential message of Jesus’ words about healing with The Word is that through immersion in The Word, both in and out of meditation, all the words of a person become endowed with creative and healing power. That healing is often accomplished simply by his merciful and healing speech. In The Word “is balm for every wound, is cure for all the ills of life,” and it resides in those who make The Word their own through practice.
Soul to soul
“The healer is the man who can inspire faith. The tongue may speak to human ears, but souls are reached by souls that speak to souls. He is the forceful man whose soul is large, and who can enter into souls, inspiring hope in those who have no hope, and faith in those who have no faith in God, in nature, nor in man” (Aquarian Gospel 23:14, 15).
These are wonderful words. Those who have expanded their consciousness (made their souls “large”) to such a degree that they can attune themselves to others so perfectly as to heal them from within their own being are the greatest of healers, for they heal the soul at the same time that they heal the body. In truth, they work the inner healing before the outer occurs, though one is unseen and the other seen. The healers of mind and heart are they who “work the works of God” (John 6:28). Even though they speak with outer words, they are speaking inwardly to the souls of their hearers. This is why reproof or advice are of no effect except from the spiritually awakened. That is because they speak from love alone. As Udraka said:
“There is no universal balm for those who tread the common walks of life. A thousand things produce inharmony and make men sick; a thousand things may tune the harpsichord, and make men well.
“That which is medicine for one is poison for another one; so one is healed by what would kill another one. An herb may heal the one; a drink of water may restore another one; a mountain breeze may bring to life one seeming past all help; a coal of fire, or bit of earth, may cure another one; and one may wash in certain streams, or pools, and be made whole.
“The virtue from the hand or breath may heal a thousand more; but love is queen. Thought, reinforced by love, is God’s great sovereign balm” (Aquarian Gospel 23:16-21).
One with God Who is Love, the sons of God walk in love and heal in love.
“But many of the broken chords in life, and discords that so vex the soul, are caused by evil spirits of the air that men see not; that lead men on through ignorance to break the laws of nature and of God.
“These powers act like demons, and they speak; they rend the man; they drive him to despair. But he who is a healer, true, is master of the soul, and can, by force of will, control these evil ones” (Aquarian Gospel 23:22-24).
The expression “spirits of the air” means those invisible intelligences that do not have physical bodies but whose astral bodies are of a coarse enough vibration to enable them to remain in the atmosphere of the earth and on occasion to appear to human beings and even to tangibly affect them and physical objects. They are usually called “earthbound spirits.” For various karmic reasons after death they did not pass on into other (astral) planes, but remained tied to earth–usually through intense attachments to earthly people, things, or situations. Some of them are evil and some are insane; both kinds can do great harm to the living in many ways, but in this instance Udraka is speaking of those who cause illness through their negative influence. Oftentimes illness results from the attempts of these spirits to possess someone. Since the body and nervous system are formed and configured only for a particular individual, the invasion of an alien consciousness causes great disruption in the body’s functions. Blindness, deafness, loss of muscular control, paralysis, intense pain, deformity, and seizures can occur in these cases. If an entity cannot fully possess someone, they often are able to control them to some degree, and that is what is meant by the term “obsession.” Obsession by spirits can result in personality change, impediments in thinking, speaking, or movement. Many addictions come from the presence of negative addicted spirits that are trying to get the addictive experience through those they obsess. They urge and even force their victims to indulge in drugs, alcohol, and sexual behavior. Hallucinations also may come from these obsessing entities. Many supposed insane or psychotic people are suffering from obsession or possession. Depression is frequently a symptom of obsession. As Udraka says, the evil spirits “lead men on through ignorance to break the laws of nature and of God.”
In exoteric religion there is a lot of talk about demons or devils, but nothing is understood of their nature. In Christianity they are usually considered to be fallen angels. In some cases this is true, but mostly they are earthbound human beings. No being is a demon by nature, and that is why Udraka says “these powers act like demons.” It is a matter of behavior, not nature, as I say.
There is another kind of “demon” that are fields of negative energy floating in the atmosphere and affecting whoever comes into contact with them. Usually they are just “muck clouds” that produce depression or illness through their toxic vibration, but occasionally a kind of half-consciousness activates them and they seem to be real beings. This kind of entity is a thoughtform produced by negative people, negative thought-and-emotion energies that have detached themselves from their auras, especially through anger or hatred. Some evil human beings know how to create these energy robots and send them to do specific harm. Being “made in the image” of their creators they work their will–or attempt to. “These powers act like demons, and they speak; they rend the man; they drive him to despair.”
The healer’s power
But he who is a healer, true, is master of the soul, and can, by force of will, control these evil ones. Evil spirits, however harmful and malicious, should not be despised or hated, for they, too, are sons of God. Yet, being wayward and “out of their minds” spiritual speaking, they must be prevented from doing evil to others–and thus to themselves through the creation of bad karma. Two things have to be done: they must be retrained and they must be assisted in passing on to other worlds where they can start evolving again. This is not the place to enumerate the various options open to the healer for exorcism, but the basis of everything is the invocation of the Divine Word. In the spiritual light produced by invoking The Word no evil can be done by the spirits and Its healing effect will pacify and heal them and enable them to effortlessly make the transition to higher realms for further growth.
It should be understood that on occasion earthbound spirits seek out those who are developing spiritually in hope that they will be helped by them. Often, though, the disturbance they cause to get the person’s attention is frightening rather than communicative. Also, being conditioned to negativity, the spirits may even attack the very ones they hope will help them. At such times we should remain calm and invoke The Word and pray for the blessing and release of the spirits. They will be helped; or they will leave, unable to bear the Divine Light. That is their choice. We have made ours.
Udraka does not mean that a healer controls evil spirits and gets them to do things for him or tell him things as do the foolish ceremonial magicians. No; he heals, he does not dominate or exploit them for, as already said, they are sons of God and “as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40), says the Christ.
“Some spirits of the air are master spirits and are strong, too strong for human power alone; but man has helpers in the higher realms that may be importuned, and they will help to drive the demons out” (Aquarian Gospel 23:25).
There are powerful evil spirits that have been in their negativity for long ages, growing more and more powerful and more and more bound in their evil. They are not incurable, but dealing with them is usually beyond the scope of the healer. In that case he calls upon the “helpers in the higher realms that may be importuned.” This is the Communion of Saints. For us as Christians, the first we call upon is our Lord Jesus, for He said: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). We may also call upon His–and our–Mother, Mary, Whom evil spirits greatly fear though She is their Mother, too. The great Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael may also be called upon for help with evil spirits, as well as any saints we may know and feel kinship with. (It is a good and practical thing to become acquainted with the saints through reading and imitating their lives.).
These Holy Helpers may also be called upon in healing work of any kind; after all, Jesus is the Great Healer, and long before the advent of Jesus Saint Raphael the Archangel was mighty in healing power for those that knew to invoke him. Many saints have healing as their special gift from God, and they, too, will assist us when we ask them.
“Of what this great physician said, this is the sum. And Jesus bowed his head in recognition of the wisdom of this master soul, and went his way” (Aquarian Gospel 23:26).
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Conflict Over Caste