Of Discipline and Purification
Disciple:—I am in sorrow, O Master!
My feet are weary, and darkness is closing around me;
Desert me not, but come now to my assistance!
My desires are strong, and they cry out for their habitual pleasures;
My passions are violent, and overwhelm me with their strength;
And the voices of my false opinions weary me with their demands.
The way is dark, and difficult to follow;
Shed upon me, O Master! the light of thy knowledge,
Comfort me with the balm of thy instruction.
Master:—Thy sorrow, O disciple! is of the self;
In me there is no sorrow.
The darkness which surrounds thee is the shadow cast by thy self;
There is no darkness in me.
Truth is serene and sorrowless;
There is no weeping and weariness and lamentation in Truth.
Even now, though thou seest it not, my light is shining on thy pathway;
But thou seest only the dark illusions of thy worldly self:
Press forward, and think only of Truth;
Look not behind thee, nor let thy mind swerve from thy holy resolution;
Great is the conquest which thou hast entered upon,
Even the mighty conquest of thyself;
Be faithful, and thou shalt overcome.
Disciple:—Lead me, O Master! for my darkness is very great;
Clouds of selfish thoughts envelope me,
And the enemies within my mind assail me continually;
In the snares of my own making my feet are caught,
And when I think to walk firmly I stumble and fall;
Yea, my falls are many and grevious, and my wounds frequent and sore.
Will the darkness lift? O Master!
Will trial end in victory?
And will there be an end to my many sorrows?
Master:—When thy heart is pure, the darkness will disappear;
When thy mind is freed from passion, thou wilt reach the end of trial,
And when the thought of self-preservation is yielded up, there will be no more cause for sorrow.
Thou art now upon the way of discipline and purification;
All my disciples must walk that way;
Before thou canst enter the white light of Knowledge,
Before thou canst behold the full glory of Truth,
All thy impurities must be purged away,
Thy delusions dispelled,
And thy mind fortified with endurance.
Though darkness surroundeth thee,
Though temptation assaileth thee on every hand,
Though thou art sore distressed, and seest not before thee,
Yet relax not thy faith in Truth;
Forget not that Truth is eternally supreme;
Remember that I, the Lord of Truth, am watching over thee.
Disciple:—Great is my faith in Truth;
And I will not forget, but will remember thee.
Master:—Walking faithfully the path of discipline and purification,
Not forsaking and abandoning it,
And not longing to enjoy the pleasures which thou hast left behind thee,
Thou wilt learn those things which are necessary for thee;
Thou wilt learn of the nature of sin and the meaning of temptation;
Of suffering and sorrow and their cause and cure;
Of the fleeting nature of thy self and its pleasures;
Of the permanence of Truth and its abiding peace;
Of what are the marks of ignorance, and what constitutes knowledge;
Of what makes evil, and what is eternally good;
Of the painfulness of self and the bliss of Truth wilt thou learn,
Thou wilt learn also of illusion and Reality.
Be faithful and endure, and I will teach thee all things.
Disciple:—I will not turn my face from thee,
Nor will I desert thy holy way.
Master:—Hear me again, O disciple!
Walking faithfully the path of discipline and purification,
Not abandoning it, but submitting to its austerities,
Thou wilt acquire the three lesser powers of discipleship;
Thou wilt also receive the three greater powers;
And the lesser and the greater powers will render thee invincible;
By their aid thou wilt subdue all sin;
Thou wilt overcome to the uttermost;
Thou wilt achieve the Supreme Conquest.
Disciple:—What are the lesser and the greater powers?
Master:—Self-control, self-reliance and watchfulness—
These are the three lesser powers.
Steadfastness, Patience, and Gentleness—
These are the three greater powers.
When thy mind is well-controlled, and in thy keeping,
When thou reliest upon no external help, but upon Truth alone,
And when thou art ceaselessly watchful over thy thoughts and actions—
Then will the three lesser powers be thine,
And with these powers thou wilt dispel the Great Darkness,
Thou wilt approach the Supreme Light;
Approaching the Supreme Light thou wilt become steadfastly fixed in the Truth;
Thou wilt become patient with an infinite patience,
And gentle with at gentleness which nothing can change or mar;
Then will the three greater powers be thine;
Then wilt thou come to the end of the path of discipline,
And wilt ascend unto the higher path of knowledge;
Walking the path of knowledge thy sorrow will cease,
Thy darkness will pass away forever,
And joy and light will wait upon thy footsteps.
Disciple:—l am reassured, O Master! and am strong to proceed;
l am obedient to thee, and will submit to thy discipline,
For thou hast comforted me with the word of knowledge;
Thou hast strengthened me with the exhortation of Truth;
Thou hast instructed me with the instruction of enlightenment;
Master:—Blessed is he who obeys the Truth,
He shall not remain comfortless, but shall receive the benediction of peace.
(To be continued)
More Articles by This Author James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.