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1923 - Additional Papers (4)

The Attributes of the Five Great Degrees of Initiates

Summer School Suresnes, July 27th, 1923

Wali is the initiate whose will has come close to the Divine Will and he shows it by the harmony which reigns in his own life, harmony with the friends, and he himself is in harmony with the adversary also. He shows harmony with the changing weather and its different influences and in harmony with all he eats and drinks; he is in harmony with the place he lives and moves about, and he harmonizes with all atmospheres. And so his will becomes the Will of God, in other words, the Will of God becomes his will. He does that work for which he is appointed, mostly in an unknown way. The greater a person is spiritually advanced, the less assuming he becomes and avoids every show of piety or spirituality.

Ghaus is the next grade of the initiate. The influence of the ghaus is wider. He gives up his personality fully to the Divine Guidance. Therefore in the district, wherever the ghaus may be, an atmosphere will be created of protection from all kind of dangers, caused by floods and storms and by plagues and famines.

Qutb is the third degree of a Master of a still higher grade, who becomes focused to the Divine Mind and who has, to a smaller or greater extent, power upon all elements and influence upon life. There is an area given under his domain in which he is responsible for the order and peace of souls.

Nabi is the apostle whose spirit reflects the Spirit of Guidance, in Sanskrit Bodhisattva, whose work mainly is the giving of the Message in the form of warning, wakening, preaching, teaching and inspiring those to whom he may be sent. He comes into the lives of those who are meant to be guided in the spiritual path. He is sent to the nations when the nations are meant to change their conditions. He is sent to a community or a race to give warnings. He is meant to be a reformer in the times when a reform is needed.

Rasul is the world Messenger, who comes to the world for all the people in the time of the world's need, and brings along with him that inspiration, influence and power which will harmonize humanity. He may be a king or a pauper, in all conditions he will fulfill the purpose of his coming on earth; answering the cry of humanity, he fulfills the purpose of his mission on earth. In Sanskrit language the very same name is called Maitreya, which means the friend, the friend of God who is the friend of all.

The question, where does one receive the initiation of the higher orders, may be answered that no man in the world has the power to give the above said higher initiations. They are initiated by God Himself and they prove their initiations, not in their claims but in their works.

Question: Has man to go through the stages wali, ghaus, qutb, nabi, to reach his goal?

Answer: Not at all. These are not the stages of human perfection, they are the stages of the servers of humanity. For instance there may be a person who has reached the goal, yet who had never been a wali, ghaus, or qutb. And yet he is further than any of them -- he has reached that perfection as Christ has said: 'Be ye perfect.' Any soul can reach that perfection without having been a ghaus because there are only two things, the imperfection and perfection. One can rise from imperfection to perfection. If it had not been possible, it would not have been mentioned by Christ.

No doubt, the whole world is progressive, every soul is progressive. It may be one person goes as far as the wali, another goes as far as the qutb, those are the grades of the servers, not of the perfection. Perfection is something from which God has not deprived any soul unless that soul deprives himself of that perfection. God does not deprive any soul of it.

Question: How does one recognize the different grades of initiates, the different Masters?

Answer: This is a question which is difficult to answer and by giving an example it will not be difficult. If a person wants to know the difference between Handel, Bach, Wagner, Beethoven, he must study them, play their music, become one with their composition. When his soul is charged with that, it will be easy for him to find it out, because he has become the instrument to find out. But no third person can say that Bach is greater than Beethoven.

No doubt the initiates they know it themselves and they know one another also. They do not need to speak in order to know another. They know one another by the meeting of their glance. They know one another by the words they have said, also they know one another by just their name mentioned. Their soul touches the other soul. It takes them no time, when the name of one initiate is taken before another. If that initiate is a true initiate, the other knows. He may not be aware of that person, but he instantly knows on the higher planes; he becomes conscious of it.

One day I was going in a little horse carriage with a person who was a very great adept. He was an initiate. He was a preacher and thousands of people were impressed by every word he said. His word was a living word, and we passed through the district of the poor where among some ragged people who were sitting in the street and laughing and chatting, there was one person sitting there among them, no outer form of piety or spirituality or learning or anything -- one among all the others in rags. And this one who was sitting in the carriage, he at once noticed, greeted him gently and called out in the terms of the mystic, asking for a word of help, in other words, for benediction. I turned at him, I saw it also. This man said to me: 'Don't you see the king in his eyes?' The glance proved it.

And if I were to tell you a little further: What is the reason? What is it of a wonderful character there? The souls of all are one, from the same source, but a soul which becomes unveiled shines out, its whole character and nature become different, that there is nothing that stands before it. If the clouds stand before it, it will break through, it will shine out by itself. The clouds for the time may cover the sun, but the nature of the sun is to break through. The light and the love which come from such souls spontaneously shines out.

You do not recognize such a person by his learning, argument or by his claim. The recognition is the love and light; all that is divine is love and light, and that is living. You do not need proof for it; it is the only thing living; all else is dead in comparison.

Question: Are there always wali, ghaus and qutb in the different parts of the earth?

Answer: Yes, certainly there are, if our eyes were open to see them and to recognize them. There is no part of the earth whether East or West where real souls are not to be found. But the more real soul, the more unassuming; living perhaps in a humble guise without any noise of greatness or spirituality. Therefore it is difficult to find and say which is which, unless our heart is open to find them.

Because the thing is that the very thing which makes a person claim or be known or seen, which is the false ego, it is the very thing which is not there. The more spiritual the less egoistic; if there is any sign of spirituality, the more dead is the false ego, the greater is the soul.

That is why Christ has said: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit,' whose false ego has been so crushed and mashed that nothing is left except God. What they do is exist as God alone, they do not exist.

They are quite different from our everyday attitude: 'that person insulted me, I cannot forgive all my life.' They are ready to forgive a thousand times. Without asking they forgive, for goodness is theirs; there is no bitterness there. There is no desire for revenge there, there is no desire for benefit there. They cannot stand the harm and hurt to another person, even the worst person in the world. It is not their pleasure to see anyone suffer, even the worst person.

They have the love of the mother and father towards the children; so their love is for the whole humanity and it can even reach that perfection where they love every little insect and worm, that their love goes out to the trees and plants.

They do not care what people call them, wali, ghaus or qutb, that does not increase their honor. It is no pride to them to be anything. The false ego is dead. Only one thing they know and that is God. And if there is such an initiation, it is put on them in order to make use of them. Their only desire is the consciousness of God, that is sufficient for them.

Question: What did you mean by real soul?

Answer: 'Real' I said in this way: there is a real gold and imitation gold. Gilt will turn out to be not the same. But the real will prove in the end to be real, as we say 'the real friend.' A person may be a friend one day and turn out different next time. Just think how man has always loved real, although man lives in the midst of the world and has to meet with falseness. Yet he has that innate love of reality. Even in a false thing, as earthly treasure, he seeks for the real gold. He is not satisfied with the gilt.

If one becomes conscious of the reality which is in oneself, one does not need to strive for anything else in life. If once a person has got hold of the real, he needs nothing else, for that is the seeking of every soul.

Question: Are there also five stages of human initiation?

Answer: In the initiations which are given in the esoteric School, there are five stages. They are the human initiations.

Question: Who leads the soul when there is no nabi on earth?

Answer: A nabi is always on earth, only the nabi appears when there is a need of appearing.