The Voice of Silence
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
These instructions are for those ignorant of the dangers of the lower IDDHI. He who would hear the voice of Nâda, “the Soundless Sound,” and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dhâranâ. Having become indifferent to objects of perception, the pupil must seek out the râja of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.
The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer. For: When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams; When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE — the inner sound which kills the outer.
Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat, the true.
Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion. Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden fire-fly. Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united just as the form to which the clay is modelled, is first united with the potter’s mind. For then the soul will hear, and will remember. And then to the inner ear will speak — THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
And say: If thy soul smiles while bathing in the Sunlight of thy Life; if thy soul sings within her chrysalis of flesh and matter; if thy soul weeps inside her castle of illusion; if thy soul struggles to break the silver thread that binds her to the MASTER; know, O Disciple, thy Soul is of the earth.
When to the World’s turmoil thy budding soul lends ear; when to the roaring voice of the great illusion thy Soul responds; when frightened at the sight of the hot tears of pain, when deafened by the cries of distress, thy soul withdraws like the shy turtle within the carapace of SELFHOOD, learn, O Disciple, of her Silent “God,” thy Soul is an unworthy shrine.
When waxing stronger, thy Soul glides forth from her secure retreat: and breaking loose from the protecting shrine, extends her silver thread and rushes onward; when beholding her image on the waves of Space she whispers, “This is I,” — declare, O Disciple, that thy soul is caught in the webs of delusion.
This Earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy EGO by the delusion called “Great Heresy”.
This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light — that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.
Saith the Great Law: — “In order to become the knower of ALL SELF thou hast first of self to be the knower.” To reach the knowledge of that self, thou hast to give up Self to Non-Self, Being to Non-Being, and then thou canst repose between the wings of the GREAT BIRD. Aye, sweet is rest between the wings of that which is not born, nor dies, but is the AUM throughout eternal ages.
Bestride the Bird of Life, if thou would’st know.
Give up thy life, if thou would’st live.
Three Halls, O weary pilgrim, lead to the end of toils. Three Halls, O conqueror of Mâra, will bring thee through three states into the fourth
and thence into the seven worlds, the worlds of Rest Eternal.
If thou would’st learn their names, then hearken, and remember.
The name of the first Hall is IGNORANCE — Avidyâ.
It is the Hall in which thou saw’st the light, in which thou livest and shalt die.
The name of Hall the second is the Hall of (Probationary) Learning. In it thy Soul will find the blossoms of life, but under every flower a serpent coiled.
The name of the third Hall is Wisdom, beyond which stretch the shoreless waters of AKSHARA, the indestructible Fount of Omniscience.
If thou would’st cross the first Hall safely, let not thy mind mistake the fires of lust that burn therein for the Sunlight of life.
If thou would’st cross the second safely, stop not the fragrance of its stupefying blossoms to inhale. If freed thou would’st be from the Karmic chains, seek not for thy Guru in those Mâyâvic regions.
The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses.
The WISE ONES heed not the sweet-tongued voices of illusion.
Seek for him who is to give thee birth, in the Hall of Wisdom, the Hall which lies beyond, wherein all shadows are unknown, and where the light of truth shines with unfading glory.
That which is uncreate abides in thee, Disciple, as it abides in that Hall. If thou would’st reach it and blend the two, thou must divest thyself of thy dark garments of illusion. Stifle the voice of flesh, allow no image of the senses to get between its light and thine that thus the twain may blend in one. And having learnt thine own Ajñâna, flee from the Hall of Learning. This Hall is dangerous in its perfidious beauty, is needed but for thy probation. Beware, Lanoo, lest dazzled by illusive radiance thy Soul should linger and be caught in its deceptive light.
This light shines from the jewel of the Great Ensnarer, (Mâra). The senses it bewitches, blinds the mind, and leaves the unwary an abandoned wreck.
The moth attracted to the dazzling flame of thy night-lamp is doomed to perish in the viscid oil. The unwary Soul that fails to grapple with the mocking demon of illusion, will return to earth the slave of Mâra.
Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o’er the stormy sea of human life, and how exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear within the first great vortex.
If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would’st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of separateness that weans thee from the rest.
Let not thy “Heaven-born,” merged in the sea of Mâyâ, break from the Universal Parent (SOUL), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart and the abode of the World’s Mother.
Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE-SOUL, the voice which filleth all, thy Master’s voice.
‘Tis only then thou canst become a “Walker of the Sky” who treads the winds above the waves, whose step touches not the waters.
Before thou set’st thy foot upon the ladder’s upper rung, the ladder of the mystic sounds, thou hast to hear the voice of thy inner GOD* (*The Higher SELF) in seven manners.
The first is like the nightingale’s sweet voice chanting a song of parting to its mate.
The second comes as the sound of a silver cymbal of the Dhyânis, awakening the twinkling stars.
The next is as the plaint melodious of the ocean-sprite imprisoned in its shell.
And this is followed by the chant of Vînâ.
The fifth like sound of bamboo-flute shrills in thine ear.
It changes next into a trumpet-blast.
The last vibrates like the dull rumbling of a thunder-cloud.
The seventh swallows all the other sounds. They die, and then are heard no more.
When the six are slain and at the Master’s feet are laid, then is the pupil merged into the ONE, becomes that ONE and lives therein.
Before that path is entered, thou must destroy thy lunar body, cleanse thy mind-body and make clean thy heart.
Eternal life’s pure waters, clear and crystal, with the monsoon tempest’s muddy torrents cannot mingle.
Heaven’s dew-drop glittering in the morn’s first sun-beam within the bosom of the lotus, when dropped on earth becomes a piece of clay; behold, the pearl is now a speck of mire.
Strive with thy thoughts unclean before they overpower thee. Use them as they will thee, for if thou sparest them and they take root and grow, know well, these thoughts will overpower and kill thee. Beware, Disciple, suffer not, e’en though it be their shadow, to approach. For it will grow, increase in size and power, and then this thing of darkness will absorb thy being before thou hast well realized the black foul monster’s presence.
Before the “mystic Power”* (*Kundalinî, the “Serpent Power” or mystic fire) can make of thee a god, Lanoo, thou must have gained the faculty to slay thy lunar form at will.
The Self of matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.
Ere thy Soul’s mind can understand, the bud of personality must be crushed out, the worm of sense destroyed past resurrection.
Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself.
Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.
Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer’s eye.
But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.
These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal. ‘Tis on such soil that grows the midnight blossom of Buddha more difficult to find, more rare to view than is the flower of the Vogay tree. It is the seed of freedom from rebirth. It isolates the Arhat both from strife and lust, it leads him through the fields of Being unto the peace and bliss known only in the land of Silence and Non-Being.
Kill out desire; but if thou killest it take heed lest from the dead it should again arise.
Kill love of life, but if thou slayest tanhâ, let this not be for thirst of life eternal, but to replace the fleeting by the everlasting.
Desire nothing. Chafe not at Karma, nor at Nature’s changeless laws.
But struggle only with the personal, the transitory, the evanescent and the perishable.
Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.
And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit — the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.
Then will she show thee the means and way, the first gate and the second, the third, up to the very seventh. And then, the goal — beyond which lie, bathed in the sunlight of the Spirit, glories untold, unseen by any save the eye of Soul.
There is but one road to the Path; at its very end alone the “Voice of the Silence” can be heard. The ladder by which the candidate ascends is formed of rungs of suffering and pain; these can be silenced only by the voice of virtue. Woe, then, to thee, Disciple, if there is one single vice thou hast not left behind. For then the ladder will give way and overthrow thee; its foot rests in the deep mire of thy sins and failings, and ere thou canst attempt to cross this wide abyss of matter thou hast to lave thy feet in Waters of Renunciation. Beware lest thou should’st set a foot still soiled upon the ladder’s lowest rung. Woe unto him who dares pollute one rung with miry feet. The foul and viscous mud will dry, become tenacious, then glue his feet unto the spot, and like a bird caught in the wily fowler’s lime, he will be stayed from further progress. His vices will take shape and drag him down. His sins will raise their voices like as the jackal’s laugh and sob after the sun goes down; his thoughts become an army, and bear him off a captive slave.
Kill thy desires, Lanoo, make thy vices impotent, ere the first step is taken on the solemn journey.
Strangle thy sins, and make them dumb for ever, before thou dost lift one foot to mount the ladder.
Silence thy thoughts and fix thy whole attention on thy Master whom yet thou dost not see, but whom thou feelest.
Merge into one sense thy senses, if thou would’st be secure against the foe. ‘Tis by that sense alone which lies concealed within the hollow of thy brain, that the steep path which leadeth to thy Master may be disclosed before thy Soul’s dim eyes.
Long and weary is the way before thee, O Disciple. One single thought about the past that thou hast left behind, will drag thee down and thou wilt have to start the climb anew.
Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences. Look not behind or thou art lost.
Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by Mâra. It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom’s heart.
The rose must re-become the bud born of its parent stem, before the parasite has eaten through its heart and drunk its life-sap.
The golden tree puts forth its jewel-buds before its trunk is withered by the storm.
The pupil must regain the child-state he has lost ‘ere the first sound can fall upon his ear.
The light from the ONE Master, the one unfading golden light of Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the disciple from the very first. Its rays thread through the thick dark clouds of matter.
Now here, now there, these rays illumine it, like sun-sparks light the earth through the thick foliage of the jungle growth. But, O Disciple, unless the flesh is passive, head cool, the soul as firm and pure as flaming diamond, the radiance will not reach the chamber, its sunlight will not warm the heart, nor will the mystic sounds of the Âkâśic heights reach the ear, however eager, at the initial stage.
Unless thou hearest, thou canst not see.
Unless thou seest thou canst not hear. To hear and see this is the second stage.
When the disciple sees and hears, and when he smells and tastes, eyes closed, ears shut, with mouth and nostrils stopped; when the four senses blend and ready are to pass into the fifth, that of the inner touch — then into stage the fourth he hath passed on.
And in the fifth, O slayer of thy thoughts, all these again have to be killed beyond reanimation.
Withhold thy mind from all external objects, all external sights.
Withhold internal images, lest on thy Soul-light a dark shadow they should cast.
Thou art now in DHÂRANÂ, the sixth stage.
When thou hast passed into the seventh, O happy one, thou shalt perceive no more the sacred three, for thou shalt have become that three thyself. Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal, burns overhead. The three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable, now in the world of Mâyâ have lost their names. They have become one star, the fire that burns but scorches not, that fire which is the Upâdhi of the Flame.
And this, O Yogi of success, is what men call Dhyâna, the right precursor of Samâdhi.
And now thy Self is lost in SELF, thyself unto THYSELF, merged in THAT SELF from which thou first didst radiate.
Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present Ray become the all and the eternal radiance.
And now, Lanoo, thou art the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light.
Thou art acquainted with the five impediments, O blessed one. Thou art their conqueror, the Master of the sixth, deliverer of the four modes of Truth. The light that falls upon them shines from thyself, O thou who wast disciple but art Teacher now.
And of these modes of Truth: —
Hast thou not passed through knowledge of all misery — Truth the first?
Hast thou not conquered the Mâras’ King at Tsi, the portal of assembling — truth the second?
Hast thou not sin at the third gate destroyed and truth the third attained?
Hast not thou entered Tao, “the Path” that leads to knowledge — the fourth truth?
And now, rest ‘neath the Bodhi tree, which is perfection of all knowledge, for, know, thou art the Master of SAMÂDHI — the state of faultless vision.
Behold! thou hast become the light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the
VOICE OF THE SILENCE
Om Tat Sat