Great question.  Who cares?  Their existence (or lack thereof) is of no importance.

We need to stand on our own and look for truth in the things that can be proven and not in the realm of useless speculation.

Perhaps if we lived be best lives that we could, loved wisdom for its own sake and treated others as a reflection of ourselves, we wouldn't need to be concerned with such useless matters.

When that day arrives we will regard such silliness as chasing after mahatmas, gurus, masters, etc. the way we react to the idea of eating rocks.

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Good day, Joe!

 

That little imp that is inside of those of us that are willing to cross the margins of the world for something better is what drives the quest for the the Holy Grail.  Yes, there are other ways from one extreme of the pendulum to the other and there is a horrendous ache in the soul that refuses to let us leave our fellow man  behind and it is a lesson hard to learned that it is impossible to carry another upon our shoulders: we never stop seeking methods that will make the esoteric science so readily available to the uninitiate.  It is literally in tears that we must drag ourselves away and listen to the voice of the universe "all is right - no one is ever left behind - they all are in caring hands - 'let the dead bury the dead - come follow me'" says CHRIST.

I think that Joe's first post in this thread; "Where are the Masters" is quite apt and central to the discussion.

I believe that if you have that question in mind you are a neophyte that does not understand that there are no MASTERS but God: universal law.

Let us say that you traverse the whole world and then found such a person.  What could he tell you that you cannot find out for yourself?  Man is an incredibly lazy being.  He is willing to build great civilizations and embark upon hugh projects but to get the individual to look at himself is asking more than death itself. A person would rather go to war and loose his life rather than search the darkness of his own soul.

Being a good person and doing the best you can within the rules of the civilization you live in IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science was such a person.  She read the bible from childhood and when to church every week including bible classes and still she did not undersand a word of bible (though she initially thought she did) until she slip on ice and was a hair's breathe away from death at the age of fourty-five.  Suddenly on her death beath she asked for a bible and other people in the house waited outside of her death room while she read the bible: they were waiting for her to die - incrediblY she walked out of that room into history - fully healed of her injury and she would create a worldwide Christian sect in the second half of her life.  She published her first book in the year Madame Blavasky published hers: 1875 - The same year Carl Jung was born.

You want MASTERS read the works of Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Campbell, Carl G. Jung and a host of others but most important think about what you read: THAT IS 90% OF WHAT READING IS ALL ABOUT.  Do not take another's word at face value and then live your life creating your own techniques in developing knowledge of the universe

If you want physical MASTERS you will have a long wait.  I think searching for the MASTERS is the sleight of hand that was invented in mythological lare to give the neophytes something to do on their way to realizing that they ultimately are the voices they has been waiting to hear: individually each is the MASTER in his or her own way.

I don't believe there were any MASTERS per se that were or are available for the slothful.  The only MASTER is the universe itself.  I remember reading in Plato that the requirements for his school were that the inidividual had to have knowledge of the higher mathematics and philosophy and several other sciences.  So the  individual had to have the capacity to see behind the mundane.  I understand that the gurus of India only answer questions.  In other words they give you only what the individula need to know or at least their version of it.

If there are MASTERS they can only tell you haw they developed the techniques that enabled them to grasp the truths of reality.  THEY CAN NOT DO THE INTROVERTED WORK THAT YOU MUST DO FOR YOURSELF.  The old saying that "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink" is quite appropriate here.

 

Hi David.  There is such confusion about the phrase "the Masters" that I think it more productive to break the question down into three.  Who were the Theosophical adepts?  Who were the Theosophical Mahatmas?  Who were HPB's contacts in Tibet?  Giving three very different answers to those distinct questions was confusing among certain believers who merged those three questions into one sacred mystery not to be touched by profane hands.  They're three different historical mysteries-- each of which I'd be happy to elucidate as best I can.  Portions of each of the three parts of The Masters Revealed are viewable on Google books.  Katinka Eclectic Theosophical History page has much info about reactions pro and con.

We might need to move this discussion and impose certain guidelines, that we focus on historical and not religious questions.  "Who's holier and more irreproachable than whom?" is a preoccupation that seems to arise with this Masters question, and it's fatal to honest history discussion.  Each case requires sorting out fact from fiction; if one assumes either that HPB never lied about the Masters or never told the truth about them, the inquiry goes nowhere.  Up to my neck right now in Emma's facto-fictional world of adepts in Ghost Land, I'm reminded again of the necessity of never assuming one way or the other how "real" a character or episode is.

Morya was described as a Rajput and his alter ego in Caves and Jungles (whom HPB clearly ID'd in a letter as being Morya) was called Gulab Singh.  K.H. refers to himself (implicitly) as a Punjabi Singh, and definitely claims the Singh name.  Not all Singhs are Sikhs, but all male Sikhs are Singhs, hence some confusion. 

Thanks for this comment, with which I agree.  Just wanted to add that Science and Health was largely revised with the assistance of James Wiggin, one of the TS Founders who only lasted a few months before resigning.

William John Meegan said:

I think that Joe's first post in this thread; "Where are the Masters" is quite apt and central to the discussion.

I believe that if you have that question in mind you are a neophyte that does not understand that there are no MASTERS but God: universal law.

Let us say that you traverse the whole world and then found such a person.  What could he tell you that you cannot find out for yourself?  Man is an incredibly lazy being.  He is willing to build great civilizations and embark upon hugh projects but to get the individual to look at himself is asking more than death itself. A person would rather go to war and loose his life rather than search the darkness of his own soul.

Being a good person and doing the best you can within the rules of the civilization you live in IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science was such a person.  She read the bible from childhood and when to church every week including bible classes and still she did not undersand a word of bible (though she initially thought she did) until she slip on ice and was a hair's breathe away from death at the age of fourty-five.  Suddenly on her death beath she asked for a bible and other people in the house waited outside of her death room while she read the bible: they were waiting for her to die - incrediblY she walked out of that room into history - fully healed of her injury and she would create a worldwide Christian sect in the second half of her life.  She published her first book in the year Madame Blavasky published hers: 1875 - The same year Carl Jung was born.

You want MASTERS read the works of Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Campbell, Carl G. Jung and a host of others but most important think about what you read: THAT IS 90% OF WHAT READING IS ALL ABOUT.  Do not take another's word at face value and then live your life creating your own techniques in developing knowledge of the universe

If you want physical MASTERS you will have a long wait.  I think searching for the MASTERS is the sleight of hand that was invented in mythological lare to give the neophytes something to do on their way to realizing that they ultimately are the voices they has been waiting to hear: individually each is the MASTER in his or her own way.

I don't believe there were any MASTERS per se that were or are available for the slothful.  The only MASTER is the universe itself.  I remember reading in Plato that the requirements for his school were that the inidividual had to have knowledge of the higher mathematics and philosophy and several other sciences.  So the  individual had to have the capacity to see behind the mundane.  I understand that the gurus of India only answer questions.  In other words they give you only what the individula need to know or at least their version of it.

If there are MASTERS they can only tell you haw they developed the techniques that enabled them to grasp the truths of reality.  THEY CAN NOT DO THE INTROVERTED WORK THAT YOU MUST DO FOR YOURSELF.  The old saying that "you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink" is quite appropriate here.

 

Dear Joe ,

Self effacement,non pretences as to knowledge , and a very considerate and patient attitude to any question however foolish it may be ,explaining as if to a child and absolutely not wanting anything in return and steeped in ahimsa are some of the qualities that have been stated to be the hall marks of a good master -It has been my good luck and to my eternal gratification to have come across some ascetics with these qualities . Invariably they were itinerants and having no followers with them - and some were like the Halleys comet who used to return to the same place almost at the same time give or take a few days annually or once in two years - it used to be a pleasure to just sit with them - most of them were people of few words and they never overstayed , coming at any time and leaving as early as possible - hardly staying a full day , some never even accepting money that was extended to them as "Dakshina'' - they had been to the most remote places and  - one felt a strange peace and calmness in their presence , some were capable of demonstrating certain things - but when I (I was much younger then) enquired invariably they used to reply "I do not know what you are talking about " some used to say "It was not me, I do not know". After all these so many years they still do return  at times from within and I experience moments of a sublime nature - leaving me wondering .  I was never a disciple to any of them nor were they preceptors to me but the impressions they have left are in some places deeper than just mere memories.

Those kind of people DO exist.

I've had encounter people like that here in Mexico. they're EVERYWHERE.

But, the REAL MASTERS, hey...those ascets you've encountered? they're like man, the TIP OF THE ICEBERG...

And the ICEBERG is the GREAT WHITE LODGE.

It does exist, really...

Dear Al , yes you are right nobody except yourself is required , as long as you do not see any difference between the self and yourself ,it is only one very small movement - and can happen to anyone with or without a master , masters are created by disciples- but this very small movement from the finite to the infinite cannot come without help from within , it can happen any time ,anywhere ,anyway - time and space is not required , auspicious and celestial events are not required because it is not something to be attained in the near future or in any time it is already present and attained  in the here and now, for if it were not so everything would be non existent , Mental or Intellectual callisthenics are only counter productive everything  in yoga or any other practice is directed towards understanding the empirical existence (or phenomenal) one that we lead in terms of ourself and how we "grow" and ''die" - for instance other than physical growth and decay there are other things - the mind at birth and during growth and at the time of our death is all the same - it is fully functional throughout our lives (barring any physical handicaps we may have to our eyes, ear,tongue,nose and skin ) in which case those deficiencies would be reflected in the mind due to the apparatus (or these organs of knowledge) being defective . 

It is the intellect (within which the mind resides) which is knowledge based that has to be overcome as it also undergoes the same changes (but at a much subtler level) as the body and also is growth oriented based not just on perceptional evidence but also on what ever is thought,heard or dreamt of in terms of "experience". Some of the worst things and errors that can happen in the intellect are knowledge generated due to "institutional" knowledge - for instance if my upbringing has made me believe that I am of a particular denomination, of a certain sector of professional in society (like the knowledge that may make me to identify myself as a Yogi, a doctor, a man of letters or science or an accountant , as belonging to a particular town, state, country etc) -these vitiate true learning and though we may pride on ourselves being  "Rational animals'' - the perceptional evidence that is placed before our intellect by the poor mind is far far more superior from birth to death (subject to the deterioration of the physical senses ). The empirical ego is so insidious that it moves so subtly and subversively - its rising and setting can only be discerned in meditation or silence - the knowledge gained by this manner is not knowledge related to any object - but is divine knowledge emanating directly from the self and it overpowers all other knowledge, guiding a person to more understanding of the phenomenon that you are and the eternal play of as Joe says "the divine,nature and man'' . Our bodies are the only instrument required for this gaining of knowledge of a non object . You have to admit that in popular conception thoughts are the mind , but there is a slight catch to this - the knowledge of objects presented before it by perception is deciphered by the intellect (the mind is insentient and has no knowledge on its own ) and reflected back as thoughts and the medium of in which thoughts are reflected is the mind , thoughts are a modification brought about by the mind  due to the intellect reflecting the knowledge of the object . And no - this process is sequential and not instantaneous - the gaps in functioning can be discerned in meditation - one has to look for the smallest time in meditation - till one cannot "cut" time - you any one can experience growth ,and decay taking place and it is enjoyable . Talk about thanatology -there is a lot of knowledge to be had there.

Al, I think you got me wrong  - You can deny the existence of everything , for a fact . even words , sounds , smells, happiness, pleasure everything known and unknown - but never your own existence . (Existence  =  Self ) . I think in the absence of your self - I must be writing to myself . We cannot have holes in existence. Do not assume movement in infinity if you are non existent it would repair the damage to an extent . I quite like you .

yes, the so-called "Masters and Mahatmas" (words that I do dislike and that I use only because they have already been used) are just people who have learnt to use the mind to serve common good

 anyone can do this, it's up to us

 but I think it's important to remember that we humans don't use to learn alone, isolated from the other humans, teachers are useful to students, and students help teachers to learn more 

Dear Al , 

     Yes you are very right .

I have been thinking if it is worthwhile to make any comments about this topic, but since in the past I have not made a stand on similar subjects, this time I decided to share some thoughts.

The adoration of Masters is something that exists mainly outside the Theosophical movement, especially in new-age groups.

Those who study Theosophy do not spend time praying for special favors of the enlightened ones, at least those I know of (I am excluding neo-theosophists, since the Besant/Leadbeater literature put a lot of emphasis on initiations and contacts with Masters).

After reading many books about the theosophical movement between 1875 and 1891 I am personally convinced of their existence.

In fact their special abilities are a natural outcome of man's evolution.

I know there are theories stating they were Mr. X and Mr.Y, but this for me is mainly speculation, based on doubtful assumptions posed as facts. Those who want to know more can read Daniel Caldwell and David Pratt's replies to these theories.

If the Masters were made up by Blavatsky she must have been completely deranged, because even in personal letters (for example, addressed to Sinnett) she mentions them continuously...

For some, Masters are magical thinking and humbug. For me, they are not. I usually say that extreme credulity equals extreme skepticism.  Since there is plenty of evidence of the Masters existence - besides the letters (and their materialization process) there are also testimonies of different people (probably they were all fools tricked by Blavatsky!) I would not to categorize believing in the Masters as a case of extreme credulity.

In my daily life and theosophical study I do not think about the Masters. Everything comes from an individual effort, of course.

However this does not imply doubting or discussing their existence. These are separate questions.

Those who really want the answer to the question "Where are the Masters?" have a lot of material to read: Sinnett, Subba Row, Mavalankar, Joy Mills, Michael Gomes, Virginia Hanson, The Mahatma Letters and many more (and also those who wrote books saying that the Masters are a literary artifice or magical thinking).

Judge by yourselves. But if you are inclined to say that yes, that there can be Masters, do not bother if others say it is magical thinking and that you are a moron. Don´t let prejudice win.

Are the Masters speculation? Well, where is the proof that Christ ever existed? Is it any better than the proof of the existence of Blavatsky’s Masters?

Read, meditate, keep your minds open and don´t forget what Narada said:

"One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."

Dear Al, it is quite a good view that Paulo has put forward , Al you are correct in your views also - but a certain angle of view is ''very slightly'' askew . Without prejudice I would like to  remind you that adoration does not exist in a Master - Disciple relationship . Adoration for us is "Romancing the stone" - a very low level of religion not even touching the basic intellect required for a quest into the higher realms of Spirituality and Philosophy.

Again form a strictly Western view - Plato had an internal dialogue with his master Socrates , Nietzcsche had his dialogues with Zarathustra and some others . There is an unwritten code among the ascetics of India - nobody is supposed to ask who the Guru is - if any aspirant asks so - it will be attributed to his total ignorance - what we hear of Chinmayanada or Sivananda or any other person about their gurus are just stories that have emerged based on their historical data - dug up by their chelas or self styled chelas and inferences based on their perigrinations . Not one person has ever pointed in the direction of a verifiable and constant preceptor . It is the mere stupidity of gross thinking to think that some master passes knowledge to another whilst "embodied'' much as a person becomes a father and then a grand father through biological succession . We have in the various Indian languages words separately denoting a ''Teacher" ''Professor"''Adepts" (differently for both mystical and worldly ) - Each word in Sanskrit is self descriptive requiring no elaboration - to Explain Knowledge (as Nietzcshe put it ) is the biggest crime - it misleads and kills the original word Idea . Words like Karma,Dharma, Rta, Rk,Vidya,Shastra,Manushyan (mankind) Manu,Purusha as opposed to Purushan (a male ), Vahanam (Vehicle or any mode of collective transport) - it is ideographic (sanskrit) and each word Idea if properly understood gives a correct picture within oneself incapable of being mistaken in import and sublime . Mantra is an aggregation of Aksharas ( Alphabets which have been carefully chosen for their ability to , when joined draw a picture of the meaning of the word both in feeling and in knowledge - unambiguously without an iota of deviation so as to leave no doubt in the mind of the person seeing it in meditation . It might be surprising to learn that - Sanskrit as seen today (in printed letters uses the variant of present day hindi - but actually it is a language without a lipi (script) only sound and transmission of knowledge through the images they impressed upon the listener . I confidently assert this because my mother tongue (vernacular) is one of the languages which has almost 98% pure and corrupt sanskrit and is used by us in daily language . We have alphabets but it is a highly phonetic language and the images we transmit are more important than the words itself . We have very few words ending in "A" most are in U (oo as in oops) and a majority is in M (as in UM -brella) - the movement of sounds is Inward (as opposed to out ward ) - the consciousness is directed inwardly . And it conveys more in Idea and Imagery than the English language which makes me long winded. 

   In my language, what I have just now written could have been expressed in just 35 to 40 % both  verbally and in written.

I find German (as it is very close to Sanskrit) - Spanish ,Portuguese ,Russian ,Persian ,and Greek quite amenable - Classical Latin to an extent (in meaning only). Chinese Imagery is very very easily understandable . English is the farthest removed and the most tortuous in conveying Ideas and meaning as it is a borrowed language and ever growing - only the script is latin but it has a corrosive effect of borrowing words from other languages and cultures and including it in the language called English - sounding foreign and explained in english (literally -and in english without having adequate words to describe correctly ).

The Vedas do not use words casually - it has to transmit "knowledge'' through sound otherwise they would be false . It is gratifying to see that unlike most forums there are quite many people in this site who use vedic expressions with deep insight and with precision - more so than even Indians.

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