About the Book
This is a collection of four Theosophical classics, invaluable for the spiritual aspirant. As Annie Besant pointed out: ‘The more they are studied and lived, the more will be found in them.'
The Theosophic Life by Annie Besant
What is the Theosophic life? It is to live wisely. A distinguished Theosophist tells us how to live wisely by understanding the principles of Reincarnation, Karma and Service.
At the Feet of the Master by Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti)
One of the three Theosophical gems, invaluable to aspirants on the spiritual path, the other two being The Voice of the Silence and Light on the Path. As a boy, in 1909, J. Krishnamurti (Alcyone) wrote down the teachings contained in this book, given by his Master to prepare him for future work. Ever since, the book has been in print and has been translated into many languages. Its extreme simplicity has touched thousands of hearts. It offers inspiration and practical guidance for adults as well as the young.
The Voice of the Silence by H. P. Blavatsky
This gem of ancient Eastern Wisdom, first published in 1889, is a translation of and commentary by H. P. Blavatsky on three fragments of a manuscript known as ‘The Book of the Golden Precepts'. It contains profound teachings expressed in poetical language with beautiful imagery. It has run into many editions and has been translated into several languages.
Light on the Path by Mabel Collins
One of the most important theosophical treatises used in the instruction of disciples, it is also a part of The Book of the Golden Precepts'. Like the other Theosophical gems in this collection, it has to be studied in a different way from ordinary books, using intuition rather than intellect.
The three little classics At the Feet of the Master by Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Voice of the Silence by H. P. Blavatsky, and Light on the Path by Mabel Collins are considered to be the three mystical gems of theosophical literature. The authors of these classics dealing with inner transformation and spiritual advancement, attribute the perennial teachings contained in these books to sources higher than themselves. The fourth little book included in this combined volume, The Theosophic Life, by Annie Besant, urges the readers to live the perennial teachings in everyday life. Thanks are due to the Theosophical Publishing House for putting them together in a combined handy volume, which will be very useful for all spiritual seekers. Thanks are also due to the Editorial Office for carefully editing these classics, and to Mrs Sushma Webber for designing an excellent book cover.
The Theosophic Life first appeared as an article in the March 1909 issue of The Theosophist, and subsequently it was published as a small book by The Theosophical Publishing House, which has become very popular. In simple words, it describes the central concepts of Reincarnation and Karma and emphasizes that the theosophic life must be a life of service. It further says that if we can live Theosophy 'our lives will preach Theosophy better than the tongue of any speaker, however skilful or eloquent.'
At the Feet of the Master was first published in 1910. It was written by Jiddu Krishnamurti under the name Alcyone based on the teachings that he received from his teacher, Master Kut Humi. Since the instructions were given to a young person, the same are in very simple words. However, one should not think that just because the language is simple the teachings are not important or profound. In fact the teachings contained in this book mirror the profound teachings contained in the famous book Vivekachudamani by Shankaracharya, but are rendered in a language which can be easily grasped by a modern mind. It is important that the simple teachings contained in this book are not merely studied but put into practice.
The Voice of the Silence was first published in 1889 and is the last book H. P. Blavatsky authored. The poetic beauty and rich imagery strikes anyone who goes through the text of this book. It is based on parts of a larger text called The Book of the Golden Precepts and consists of three fragments, 'The Voice of the Silence', 'The Two Paths' and 'The Seven Portals', which being separate treatises not linked in a sequence, do not require to be read in any particular order. The predominant theme in The Voice of the Silence is compassion. It appeals more to the heart and intuition than to one's intellect, and it unmistakably points to the fact that the way to Wisdom is through compassion towards all living beings.
Light on the Path was first published in 1885. It is said that the original text in Sanskrit predated the Christian era and that the same was initially translated into Greek. Master Hilarion translated it from Greek to English, and in that form it was taken down by Mabel Collins. There is a little essay on Karma which is appended at the end of the book. It is said that Light on the Path is more exacting and the precepts dealt with in this book cannot be comprehended without paying close attention. According to Subba Row, Light on the Path has several depths of meaning which are revealed to the spiritual aspirant as progress is made from one level to the other.
While The Theosophic Life elucidates why it is necessary to live the perennial teachings in our daily lives, the other three books elaborate upon those teachings in detail. At the Feet of the Master is especially suited to a beginner, The Voice of the Silence is said to carry us on to the Arhat initiation, and Light on the Path far beyond. All these four books are meant for practical guidance for a spiritual seeker and not for mere intellectual study. True understanding of the perennial teachings contained in them can only come by living the same. It is hoped that this combined volume will be a handy lifelong companion not only for members of the Theosophical Society but also for all those aspirants who are in search of Truth.
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