Difference between revisions of "Chela"

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<blockquote>A Lay Chela is but a man of the world who affirms his desire to become wise in spiritual things. Virtually, every member of the Theosophical Society who subscribes to the second of our three "Declared Objects" is such; for though not of the number of true Chelas, he has yet the possibility of becoming one, for he has stepped across the boundary-line which separated him from the Mahatmas, and has brought himself, as it were, under their notice. The joining is then, the introduction; all the rest depends entirely upon the member himself, and he need never expect the most distant approach to the “favour” of one of our Mahatmas, or any other Mahatmas in the world should the latter consent to become known—that has not been fully earned by personal merit. The Mahatmas are the servants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma. LAY CHELASHIP CONFERS NO PRIVILEGE UPON ANYONE EXCEPT THAT OF WORKING FOR MERIT UNDER THE OBSERVATION OF A MASTER.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''Collected Writings'' vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 610-611.</ref></blockquote>
 
<blockquote>A Lay Chela is but a man of the world who affirms his desire to become wise in spiritual things. Virtually, every member of the Theosophical Society who subscribes to the second of our three "Declared Objects" is such; for though not of the number of true Chelas, he has yet the possibility of becoming one, for he has stepped across the boundary-line which separated him from the Mahatmas, and has brought himself, as it were, under their notice. The joining is then, the introduction; all the rest depends entirely upon the member himself, and he need never expect the most distant approach to the “favour” of one of our Mahatmas, or any other Mahatmas in the world should the latter consent to become known—that has not been fully earned by personal merit. The Mahatmas are the servants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma. LAY CHELASHIP CONFERS NO PRIVILEGE UPON ANYONE EXCEPT THAT OF WORKING FOR MERIT UNDER THE OBSERVATION OF A MASTER.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''Collected Writings'' vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 610-611.</ref></blockquote>
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If the aspirant shows signs that he may be able to become an accepted chela, he will be put under [[Probation]].
  
 
== Accepted Chela ==
 
== Accepted Chela ==
  
The accepted chela or disciple is one that has successfully gone through the period of probation and the [[Master of Wisdom|Master]] is now ready to bring him into a closer relationship.
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The accepted chela or disciple is one that has successfully gone through the period of [[probation]] and the [[Master of Wisdom|Master]] is now ready to bring him into a closer relationship.
  
 
=== Later teachings ===
 
=== Later teachings ===

Revision as of 17:07, 5 March 2013

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Chela (devanāgarī: चेल cela) is a Sanskrit word that meaning "servant" or "slave." In Hinduism the term is used to denominate the religious student or disciple of a spiritual master or guru. In Theosophy the term is frequently used to refer to a person that, after having successfully gone through a period of probation, has become a disciple of one of the Masters of Wisdom, being thus a candidate for initiation into the occult science.

General Description

In her The Theosophical Glossary H. P. Blavatsky defines it as "A disciple, the pupil of a Guru or Sage, the follower of some adept of a school of philosophy (lit., child).[1] Some synonyms frequently found in the Theosophical literature are "Disciple" and "Lanoo".

According to A. Besant and C. W. Leadbeater

Dr. Annie Besant described a disciple in the following way:

A "disciple" is the name given, in the occult schools, to those who, being on the probationary path, are recognized by some Master as attached to Himself. The term asserts a fact, not a particular moral stage, and does not carry with it a necessary implication of the highest moral elevation. . . . Discipleship implies a past tie between Master and disciple, and a Master may recognise that tie, growing out of past relationship, with one who has still much to achieve; the disciple may have many and serious faults of character, may by no means—though his face be turned to the Light—have exhausted all the heavy Karma of the past, may be facing many a difficulty, fighting on many a battlefield with the legions of the past against him. The word "disciple" does not necessarily imply initiation, nor saintship; it only asserts a position and a tie—that the person is on the probationary path, and is recognised by a Master as His.[2]

Lay Chela

Lay chela is the aspirant who is working unselfishly for humanity and who, although not in any official personal relationship with one of the Masters of Wisdom has succeeded in calling their attention due to his or her good work and spiritual maturity. Mme. Blavatsky described it as follows:

A Lay Chela is but a man of the world who affirms his desire to become wise in spiritual things. Virtually, every member of the Theosophical Society who subscribes to the second of our three "Declared Objects" is such; for though not of the number of true Chelas, he has yet the possibility of becoming one, for he has stepped across the boundary-line which separated him from the Mahatmas, and has brought himself, as it were, under their notice. The joining is then, the introduction; all the rest depends entirely upon the member himself, and he need never expect the most distant approach to the “favour” of one of our Mahatmas, or any other Mahatmas in the world should the latter consent to become known—that has not been fully earned by personal merit. The Mahatmas are the servants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma. LAY CHELASHIP CONFERS NO PRIVILEGE UPON ANYONE EXCEPT THAT OF WORKING FOR MERIT UNDER THE OBSERVATION OF A MASTER.[3]

If the aspirant shows signs that he may be able to become an accepted chela, he will be put under Probation.

Accepted Chela

The accepted chela or disciple is one that has successfully gone through the period of probation and the Master is now ready to bring him into a closer relationship.

Later teachings

According to C. W. Leadbeater the stage of accepted disciple includes two stages--"Acceptance" and "Sonship". During the stage of acceptance the astral and mental bodies of the disciple are brought into union with those of the Master. The stage of Sonship involves the union of the causal body also:

We have already spoken of the close relation between an accepted pupil and his Master; all the time this intimacy has been steadily growing, and it usually happens that when the pupil is approaching the portal of Initiation the Master considers that the time is ripe for Him to draw the chela into a still deeper union. He is then called the Son of the Master, and the link is such that not only the lower mind but also the ego in the causal body of the pupil is enfolded within that of the Adept, and the latter can no longer draw a veil to cut off the neophyte.[4]

Online resources

Articles and pamphlets

Notes

  1. Blavatsky, H. P., Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1918), 74.
  2. Besant, Annie, Discipleship And Some Karmic Problems (Adyar Pamphlets, No 195, Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, March 1935),3-4.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IV (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1991), 610-611.
  4. Charles Webster Leadbeater, The Masters and the Path, (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1992), 63.