Agni Yoga Online Study Group


Once each month, members of TRIUNE who wish to participate receive via e-mail a brief study lesson which examines some facet of the Agni Yoga teachings. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to share their comments about the lesson with the moderator and/or the entire group.




by Dorje Jinpa

One of the greatest catastrophes to befall humanity occurred when it lost its belief in beauty!  What makes this catastrophe so great is the fact that no one seems to notice. Art, the one great avenue of culture that could elevate the quality of life, that could help develop and refine the feeling side of our nature, has degenerated into entertainment, fashion, novelty and worse.  Art has lost even the idea of beauty.  This is due in part to the dogma of materialism, which believes falsely, that because beauty is ‘in the eyes of the beholder,’ it must therefore be an isolated purely subjective phenomenon relating only to the individual. But we must remember that the deeper aspects of the subjective is collective, universal and therefore have a greater reality than the outer so-called ‘objective’ universe. The academic says that because beauty is subjective it must have make-believe significance. An awakened consciousness, however, understands that beauty is an expression of that great law of harmony and equilibrium that gives order and rhythm to the universe. To perceive the beautiful is to perceive a subtle truth. Beauty, therefore, is the direct expression of the spiritual evolution of consciousness.

The Teacher and author of the Agni Yoga Books has indicated that whenever we perceive something that is not beautiful we should know that it is a manifestation of that which opposes spiritual evolution. The truer the manifestation of Spirit the more beautiful will be its appearance in form. Therefore, when our creations conform to the archetypal pattern behind Evolution, they will be beautiful. Likewise when we attune our consciousness to beauty, so that it fills us with joy and wonder, we are attuning ourselves to that higher truth which lies behind the manifestation of Spirit in form. The creation of beauty, therefore, aligns the artist with those spiritual forces that move all life toward perfection. “If the creative manifestation arises from the Eternal Pattern,” writes Plato, “it will be beautiful. If it arises from an [arbitrarily] created pattern it will not be beautiful.”[1]

Perhaps the time is ripe for a radical new art movement, one that will affirm beauty as the golden mean between the evolution of consciousness on one hand and the creative manifestation of that evolution in form on the other.  When the principles of beauty are accepted once again, as they were during the great Renaissance of Europe, science, art, and the spiritual quest will merge into one great creative endeavor for the benefit of the world. “We shall not understand art,” says Rudolf Steiner, “as long as we do not sense in it the longing to experience the spiritual through its expression as beauty.” 

According to the great Siddha Yoga tradition of India the awareness of beauty (rasa) is considered to be one of the highest levels of enlightenment. For Plotinus, the great Greek philosopher, beauty arises in form when it corresponds in likeness to the divine idea from which it arose.[2] This is why the forms of nature are more beautiful than the forms created by human beings.  The creations of nature correspond with the divine archetypal Nature while the creations of human beings, for the most part, do not. Plotinus said, “When a good man sees in a young person a trace of virtue, as an inner reality that is also within himself, he is delighted. He is delighted because he perceives beauty.” 

Art and beauty are just as necessary to the evolution of consciousness as language.  If language is an expression of the mind, then true art is an expression of the heart. In the evolution consciousness mind and heart must evolve in harmony. One of the problems with contemporary culture lies in the fact that the mind has been given all the emphasis, while the feeling side of the consciousness has been ignored. This imbalance is largely due to our present education system, which develops the concrete mind but leaves the education of the feeling nature to the entertainment industry. Thus instead of elevating and fine tuning our feeling consciousness, that it might perceive the higher qualities of life, we allow this essentially sacred nature to be debased to the point where we can no longer recognize the harm it is causing. We are creating a race of intellectual giants, who are at the same time, emotional cripples. A dangerous combination! 

Just as the complete archetypal pattern of an oak tree is contained in its seed, the acorn, so too the archetypal pattern of a perfected human being is contained within the seed of his spirit.  It is this divine seed that provides the fiery impulse and direction to our evolution. Through the clear heart perceptions of a broadened consciousness, we become aware of these archetypal patterns of perfection within ourselves. The joy that arises during the first stages of illumination is due in part to the glimpse we receive of the indescribable beauty of these patterns. These divine archetypes are not only beautiful, but as Plato has indicated, they are the very essence and standard of beauty!

The more beautiful the appearance in form the more closely will it correspond with spiritual truth. To strive for beauty, then, is to move toward those conditions in our physical and psychic world that correspond with the spiritual path.  By refining our perception of beauty, we move closer to the joy of realizing that our true identity is identical with the essential nature of life itself. “The closest to perfection,” says the Teacher, “will be the path of beauty.[3]

Robert Hughes, in his TV special on PBS, American Visions, described a particularly beautiful work of art by saying that in it “all opposites unite in poetic synthesis.” This statement could have been used, just as accurately, to describe a law of physics or even a high and very subtle metaphysical truth. Beauty is the perception of the natural creative expression of essential unity. When it is perceived that the essence of natural law is simple and beautiful we will begin to experience the beauty of higher truth.

Once it is realized that the laws which govern art, and the laws which govern physics, and the laws which govern the natural growth of the spirit, are the same laws, we can begin to apply the discoveries made in one field to any other. This law of universal analogy is not a new idea. It formed the basis of Hermetic Science, “As above, so below.” But for the past 300 years the scientific method of isolating what is being investigated into smaller and smaller compartments, though seemingly necessary for the advancement of science, has served to hide for a time the underlying synthesis and holistic beauty of natural law. 

If poetry is the language of feeling, then the finest poets are speaking the subtle language of the heart. The Zen poet Daito wrote:

When the eyes hear

And the ears see,

No doubt we will cherish

How naturally the rain drips from the eaves.

When our perceptions go beyond what is normally registered by the senses, perhaps we will begin to understand and delight in the beauty of natural law. Dante, in the opening lines of his Paradiso says:

As I looked deeply into the Infinite,

I saw the scattered leaves of the universe

Gathered together and bound by love into one volume. 

The evolution of consciousness is motivated primarily through the law of attraction.  It is through our attraction to the qualities of spirit that we find the upward way. The spiritual life is attractive to a refined consciousness because it is so beautiful.

Reverence, love, and the realization of beauty are expressions of a fiery heart. A love for higher truth opens the door to clear perception and as understanding dawns we begin to see just how beautiful spiritual principles really are.  This opens the door to the sacred even wider until we are literally flooded with revelation, the beauty and grandeur of which is beyond description. 

The beauty of spiritual truth is so vast that the closer we approach its central mystery the greater is the realization that there will always be more to experience and understand. The nature of beauty cannot, of course, be described in words beyond stating that it is experienced as a profound bliss and that behind all the inner and outer trappings of life it ever remains at the very core of our being. The awakening heart consciousness experiences joy for it perceives the beauty and grandeur of its inner spiritual nature. “The bliss of the yogi,” says the Teacher, “is ecstasy over beauty.”

In the 1950's an American visited a monastery near Mt. Fuji, in Japan, to practice Zen. After several weeks of nearly continues Zazen meditation he discovered that the only way he could judge his progress was by looking to see how beautiful Mt. Fuji appeared as he walked through the monastery gardens. Beauty is the best yardstick for measuring one’s progress on the path, not intellectual progress, but spiritual progress.  To judge our progress by whether or not we can accurately debate the subtle distinctions of a spiritual teaching can be deceptive, for often our understanding is merely intellectual. The perception of beauty is not dependent upon the intellect, but rather upon a refined and expanded heart consciousness. Buckminster Fuller stated it like this, “When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty, but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

 “Precisely, the heart,” says the Teacher, “can open the entrance into the Higher Worlds. No special asceticism is needed. Love, labor and beauty are within the reach of all.”

[1] Dialogues on Nature 
[2] Ennead I. 6
[3] Fiery World III. 23.



Here is an example of one of our monthly Agni Yoga Online Study Group lessons:

The Agni Yoga teachings frequently refer to “the far-off worlds.” Often this term is used in conjunction with discussions about another frequently-used term – “infinity.” One of the themes running through the entire collection of Agni Yoga teachings is that humanity must now begin to think in wider, more far-reaching terms, not limiting ourselves simply to our planet Earth. We are at that point in our spiritual development where we must begin to consider the life which exists beyond the sphere of our own little world – referring not only to other planets within our own solar system, but also to whatever lies beyond -- what some esotericists refer to as the “ring-pass-not” of the edge of our solar system.

Additionally, we are taught that we must adjust our understanding of the concept of time, specifically as it relates to this idea of the far-off worlds, to now include an awareness of infinity. And all this must then relate to and influence how we perceive and perform our esoteric work.

Think of those times in recent human history when people periodically felt that there must be something larger than their own small lives and closed villages, something worth leaving the comfort and safety of home to explore and discover. A great inner need for connecting to something larger outpaced humanity's fear of leaving the familiar. It spurred ancient civilizations to push beyond their borders and connect with the wider world, expanding not just trade, but knowledge and culture as well. Humanity, having long since physically circled our own globe many times over, is now ready to reach beyond our planetary confines; and there is a need for brave and knowledgeable Souls to forge a pathway for the masses.

Now, it is extremely important to understand that any reference made in the Teachings to the far-off worlds or other planets or systems must not be confused in any way with our society’s popular “UFO” culture, which is consumed with ideas of flying saucers and extra-terrestrials, stories of alien abductions and experimentation on unsuspecting humans, etc. Current movies, books, internet stories and websites, etc. abound with fantastic and sensationalist, often quite frightening, images and ideas about such things. Frequently, this is done in an attempt to simply sell something and make money from the curious. It does little to advance human thinking or understanding of our proper place in the Universe. None of these so-called popular representations are what the Teachings are referring to when speaking of the far-off worlds.

The Teachings tell us that while we should at all times conduct our studies using basic, common sense, it is necessary that we begin to mentally stretch our reach, so to speak, using our hearts and intuitions for understanding, rather than relying on our mental faculties alone. Think past the confines of our own planet Earth to the far-off worlds. Think not in terms of the finite, but rather of infinity. Is it so far-fetched, then, to imagine that there are other planets in the various systems that are also “man-bearing” like Earth, where Souls incarnate to learn spiritual lessons? Is it hard to believe that there are also spiritually “higher” planets, to which these Souls eventually progress when they have reached a sufficient level of development? Is it unreasonable to assume that there is some connection, and perhaps even cooperation, among the Highest Souls on planets of similar development? Is it unthinkable that an infinite variety of planets exist, containing Souls engaged in equally infinite styles of work, study, teaching, and other forms of service to the various life-forms of the Universe?

Helena Roerich said in a letter to one of her students in 1938:

One should become accustomed to the cosmic multiformity. Our planet, with its subtle spheres, can experience the most unexpected influences from the far-off worlds. One should not think that our solar system presents something isolated; on the contrary, all the worlds are in the most subtle reciprocity.



  1. What do you think Helena Roerich means in the above quote by the terms "cosmic multiformity" and "reciprocity?"
  2. What image or images come to mind when you think of the term "the far-off worlds?"


Two signs of the authenticity of the Teaching are: first, striving for the Common Weal; second, acceptance of all previous Teachings which are congruous with the first sign. It must be noted that the primary form of a Teaching does not contain negative postulates. But superstitious followers begin to fence in the Covenants with negations, obstructing the good. There results the ruinous formula: "Our creed is the best," or "We are the true believers; all others are infidels." From this point it is a single step up to the Crusades, to the Inquisition, and to seas of blood in the name of Those who condemned killings. There is no worse occupation than forcible imposition of one's creed. Whoever wishes to follow Us must first of all forget negation and freely bear the renewed life without constraint of others. People are attracted by beauty and by luminous knowledge. Only that Teaching which contains all hope, which makes life beautiful, which manifests action, can promote true evolution. Certainly life is not a market, where one can make a fine bargain for entrance into the Heavenly Kingdom. Certainly life is not a grave, where one trembles before the justice of an Unknown Judge! ( Leaves of Morya's Garden, Volume 2. )


Glossary of Agni Yoga Terms

Click here to download a PDF of Dorje Jinpa's helpful glossary of commonly used Agni Yoga terms.



Review by Roza and Margarita Riaikkenen

Yet again we are turning the pages of the books of Agni Yoga. Like many times before, at the turning moments of our personal life or of the world around us, we are searching in these books for solace, encouragement and wisdom. And we are finding all we searched for and much more.

Agni Yoga, which is known also as the teaching of Living Ethics, is a series of books recorded by Helena Roerich, channeled from her spiritual Teacher. The books were dictated to Helena Roerich starting from 1920 and were recorded for more than a decade, presumably until 1938. Agni Yoga operates with the finest fiery energy of the universe – Agni.

Helena Roerich, the wife and collaborator of a renowned artist Nicolas Roerich, was a remarkable representative of Russian mystics in the line to which Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, belonged. There are other similarities between two Helenas besides their names. Both of them were Russian women who received some of their esoteric experience and knowledge in the Himalayas area, and both had the same Ascended Master as their spiritual Teacher.

Agni Yoga is a teaching of spiritual philosophy, a teaching of synthesis that embraces science, ethics, arts and culture, as Oriental as Western, from the point of view of esoteric knowledge. It gives a multi-facet view of life, as on Earth as in different places and dimensions of the universe, and lights up many aspects of universal Truth.

The very goal of Agni Yoga is to show us the way of inner transformation and evolution into the higher state of spirituality. You can just open any of the books and find advice on your spiritual path, on health and spiritual practice, on your possible psychological problem with explanation how it is connected with the current world condition, and much more.

Agni Yoga doesn’t feed us with niceties, but we can find there keys to a lot of our questions. It is a rigorous teaching of selflessness, courage, compassion and sacrifice. And also of collaboration and co-creation. Of collective action and personal heroism, of scientific discoveries and self-discovery, of aspiration and achievement. And also of Joy from the participation in this inspirational work, spiritual joy, fiery joy: “Understand the beneficence of fiery joy. It expands the consciousness, and draws all the best accumulations toward itself, as a fiery magnet. The essence of man is transformed and his outworn nature is burned away” (Supermundane IV).

This is a teaching of esoteric science, with its strict laws and mechanisms, with the abundance of treasures of wisdom here and there. And the Heart (the Heart Chalice behind the physical heart), full of Love energy, is proclaimed as the source of everything a human being is able to achieve.

Agni Yoga gives us also some glimpses into the future of humanity, and it is of particular interest because the Master is speaking from the strata of existence where time is different than here in our Solid World. His position therefore allows him to see the future much more clearly than us, though we also have the potential to become conscious observers and co-creators of the future. However, “Only devotion and understanding of the wisdom of the Plan insure the reality of the pictures of the future” (Leaves of Morya’s Garden , Illumination). Understanding of the Plan helps us to become aware of the wholeness and meaningfulness of our life with its past, present and future.

It is impossible to cover in a review all the aspects of Agni Yoga. But there is a possibility for everyone to read and enjoy it in its fullness, either as a hard copy or by downloading it from the webpage of Agni Yoga Society at ( We highly recommend these books for a spiritual student and also for anyone interested in understanding the working of the world.