True Brotherhood


This article was transcribed from the April 2001 issue of “The Theosophical Movement,” a publication of Theosophy Company (India).

Everything in this great Universe, visible and invisible, is interrelated because each has a common root and source in the One Divine Principle of Life; each form expresses a certain aspect, a particular power of that Divine Life, and therefore the Law of Interdependence is operative everywhere. It behoves everyone to live in accordance with that Law and not to create any disturbance or disharmony.

The term Human Solidarity is a more positive expression of that Law because it depends entirely on human effort deliberately made in the right direction. Each individual is a self-conscious thinker, and as such he has to put himself in unison and harmony with all beings and with the whole nature around him. Man and man alone can realize how essential it is to follow this great Law of Love eternal.

The dictionary meaning of the word "Solidarity" is: "community of interests, feelings and actions." It implies common interests, fellow feeling and unanimity of opinion and resultant action; each acts for the good of all, without thinking of individual rights and privileges.

Great Teachers down the ages have always enjoined the following of this Law of Love, Jesus said: "Love thy neighbour as thyself." This means the giving up of all sense of separateness, individually and collectively, and the recognition of our own good as the good of all. Lord Zoroaster is made to say in one of the Gathas: "Gain for yourselves the life of the Good Mind, through the knowledge of the Wise Ones. Love one another in righteousness and thus be of the Blessed Home." The emphasis is laid on the Good Mind, the heritage of every human being, which, alas, is much abused and misused nowadays.

Another important idea presented in this quotation is: "Love one another in righteousness." There is unity even among gangs of robbers and criminals; there are cliques formed by dishonest traders and business people; but such "brotherhoods" are injurious and dangerous to those who belong to them and to society. What is really wanted is true unity through right behaviour on the basis of right understanding of universal principles. It is for that very reason that the first object of the present Theosophical Movement is the establishment of "the nucleus of Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour." This object was based on the First Fundamental Proposition of The Secret Doctrine—Unity of the One Life behind all manifestation.

Thus, students of Theosophy who are bound together on the basis of "similarity of aim, purpose and teaching" have a duty to love one another in righteousness. The Chinese Sage Confucius prescribed a simple method for the establishment of true unity in the world. So much time, money and energy are wasted in the maintenance of the defence forces of land and sea and air in every country just because people are distrustful and fearful. If the same time, money and energy were spent in furthering spiritual and moral education, in rasing armies of peace and love on the basis of self-discipline and self-control, how different this world would become! The Chinese Sage gives the following advice:

Through the righteousness in the heart the character is made more beautiful. With the beauty of character harmony is established in the home. When harmony is established in each home, order is established in the nation. When there is order in the nation, peace is established in the world.

So we again come down to individual responsibility and individual reform, through which alone Human Solidarity can be formed along righteous lines and a united world can live in peace and happiness. A change of mind and of heart is considered as the first essential, without which it is not possible to establish lasting unity. Nor is it something Utopian, because in the early ages, when mankind was in its infancy, such unity did exist, Madame Blavatsky states in The Secret Doctrine (II, 272):

No sooner had the mental eye of man been opened to understanding, than the Third Race felt itself one with the ever-present as the ever to be unknown and invisible ALL, the One Universal Deity. Endowed with Divine powers, and feeling in himself his inner God, each felt he was a Man-God in his nature, though an animal in his physical Self.

The struggle between the two began from the very day they tasted of the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom; a struggle for life between the spiritual and the psychic and the physical. Those who conquered the lower principles by obtaining mastery over the body, joined the "Sons of Light." Those who fell victims to their lower natures, became the slaves of Matter.

This is the picture given of early humanity. What happened then, remains true for our age and civilization and contains a lesson for all of us. But we have also the glorious example of the Golden Age and there was peace and prosperity throughout the whole kingdom. Why? Because all followed the principles of unity and brotherhood and looked to the common interests of one another. In our modern age people pay no attention to self-reform. They seek the cause of all their troubles in the outside world, outside of themselves and outside of their homes. They have to reverse the process. If each individual were to begin with himself and his home, a real and lasting change would be brought about.

Was not the institution of the four castes in ancient India a living fact? Castes were then organized in terms of individual characteristics and temperaments, and were not as they are understood today.

The respective duties of the four castes, of Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, are also determined by the qualities which predominate in the disposition of each, O harasser of thy foes. The natural duty of a Brahman compriseth tranquillity, purity, self-mastery, patience, rectitude, learning, spiritual discernment, and belief in the existence of another world. Those of the Kshatriya sprung from his nature, are valour, glory, strength, firmness, not to flee from the field of battle, liberality and lordly character. The natural duties of the Vaisya are to till the land, tend cattle and to buy and sell; and that of the Sudra is to serve, as is his natural disposition. (The Bhagavad-Gita, xviii, 41-44)

It is necessary to note the distinction made between the four castes according to the predominant qualities of individuals, which prevented the conflict of duties so common these days. Each performed his respective duty cheerfully, skilfully and diligently, and thus served his fellow beings disinterestedly. This is what is meant by community of interests of solidarity. As no one interfered with another's duty, all could live in peace and concord, helping and serving one another without any selfish motive or any sense of separateness.

The ancient caste system was a model of cooperation, whereas today there are constant clashes between employers and employees, the capitalists and the labourers. Each wants to serve his own interests instead of looking to the good of all. Therefore both parties are dissatisfied and the Law of Love does not prevail in the right sense.

The followers of different religions and creeds are at war with one another because of the idea that one's own religion is higher than any other and that the prophet of that particular religion is the chosen of God. The essence of all religions is the perfect harmonizing of the human with the divine in man. If all were to understand and live up to this ideal, the customs and conventions, the ceremonies and rituals in each religion would fall away and all would be able to live as brothers and sisters. Mr. Judge has advised us to meditate on the significant phrase "Thou art That" so that real unity may be realized in a practical way. Distinctions on the basis of sex, colour, sects, etc., are obstacles to Human Solidarity, and as long as these exist, unity cannot be achieved.

The Great Lodge of White Adepts is a model of solidarity. They all work with one mind, one will, one feeling, for the upliftment of Orphan Humanity. There is no other motive. They have renounced their rest and bliss to become human stones in the great Guardian Wall which shields and protects mankind and without which this world would be plunged in greater misery and sorrow. They are the living embodiments of true harmony, and it is study and application of Their philosophy and spiritual service of the human race that will establish peace and good will in the world.

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