The Wesak Festival is always held on the full moon of Taurus. It is the Festival of the Buddha where each year he is said to return to the physical plane of Earth for just a moment, in order to bless humanity. The place of his return is the remote Wesak Valley in Western Tibet yet many pilgrims make the difficult journey to be there at that moment of the full moon. The Buddha epitomises the concept of the complete control of the form through a full understanding of the human problem and through the utilisation of the great spiritual wisdom which lies (usually in a state of deep inner reflection) within us all. He is able to turn the focus of that reflection out into our world and manifest the body of spiritual light. He therefore stands not so much as a spiritual channel through which those of us who are less able can gain spiritual wisdom, but rather as an example of the profound spiritual potential within us all. He, like his spiritual brother the Christ, show us the way that we must take, yet because of the extent of our own self-absorption we see - without seeing.
To begin with, we see the truth at its very basic presentation and are unable to fathom its depths in order to comprehend the greater wisdom that lies hidden in the simple words that the great teachers have spoken to us. We interpret their truth to fit our own needs of the moment, be it for self-assurance, comfort, power, etc. So we have often acted selfishly and even cruelly in their names, and the religions that we have created after their death often appear to express the opposite of the intention of the great life we seek to follow. One could say that these great ones themselves had no religion; at least they were religious outcastes in their time because of their self-forgetfulness, harmlessness, truthfulness and intention to serve all others, irrespective of their status in the society or religion of the day. They lived the truth that all men and women are equal before God. How many of us are really prepared to understand that truth and to live by it, treating all with equal honour? We deify souls like the Buddha and the Christ yet it is not what they themselves want for they are the servants of us all, seeking to clear the way for our progress, not resting until we have caught them up on the path. They may be first but will reach the goal last because of their preparedness to serve all to the very last of us to make the transit. Can we truly understand what that means? They stand as the way because of the degree to which they are prepared to sacrifice and serve all who follow.
As the Festival of the Buddha, Wesak is a Festival of Light, yet the Buddha expresses the highest potential of the lesson of Taurus that is to harness the form perfectly so that light can be transmitted or expressed through it. The lesson Hercules needed to learn in Taurus is about capturing and riding the Minoan Bull, the symbol of the human vehicle perfectly harnessed so that divine life and light, the light of the soul, can flow out of it to light the way ahead. Hercules was told to capture the bull and to drive it to the holy place. He rode it like a horse and as he gained control of it a star on the bull's forehead began to shine every more brightly, lighting his way to the holy place. He harnessed the physical form, as we must do if we are to take the next step upon the journey of expanding consciousness. He rode in light (a light that can shine from the ajna centre or chakra in line with our foreheads), as we all must learn to do, and he rode through the separating sea, the sea of glamour that divides men. This task is work upon the mental plane, learning the lesson of right proportion. The impulse to think is followed by desire; progress is made by the mind through sensitivity and the ability to master the potency of that desire in order to create the true way forward for the growing consciousness. Every part of our nature needs to be tried and tested and thus made sound.
The truth of this labour of Taurus is the understanding of the law of attraction, and its objective is the right control of the magnetic principle of coherence which builds all the qualities of the form that are needed by the soul, the divine nature in us, if it is to manifest freely. Mastery of this principle of coherence produces stability but to achieve this requires our great persistence. The reward is an understanding of the pairs of opposites, of positive and negative, spirit and matter, the Self and the not self, male and female. The attraction of opposites is the law of response of the divine to the form; the whole task of humanity is to combine spirit and matter in such a way that the divine nature can find true expression on the physical plane of this Earth. The real purpose of the law of nature is the impression of will upon the form. We see this applied through the evolution of species, and we often see it selfishly applied in man in the way that he imposes his will upon others, the animal kingdom or in the wrong acquisition and use of vegetable and mineral resources. A sin could be defined as the self against the whole, exclusive self-interest in opposition to a universal interest. Taurus symbolises the correct use of the creative force, which thus enables intuitive understanding and this was expressed in this tale of Hercules as the light of the Bull that guided him towards the Holy place. This is the light of a Son of God, yes, it is the light of the Christ but it is also the light of all the sons of God, and the light secreted in each one of us, the illumination of the soul.
Venus is the ruler of the Taurus. The coming together of opposites produces an obvious effect as it is stimulated by Venus, for she is, of course, the symbol of love at every level of expression, both earthly and heavenly. It can be just carnal desire only, yet she is also the creator of beauty, rhythm and unity to help raise the expression of love to its highest spiritual intention. The great lesson to be learned in Taurus is both the achievement of right understanding of the law of attraction and the right use of the form or matter aspect. We must solve the problem of selfish desire in order to realise the expression of the soul. The bull of desire has to be caught by us and ridden with control if we are to release and utilise those spiritual faculties within us. The personality is essentially like an island until it can give up the sense of self as the centre and vision the contribution that it can make towards group purpose and the endeavour of all. We must ride across the sea of glamour as Hercules does to the mainland and the concern for the group. This realisation is the true common sense which then not only allows the process of synthesis and unification of the group idea but also unifies the five senses of the rider. It is through intelligent perception that the reading of this stream of light can now be made. The light in the bull's forehead symbolises the single eye of light or the spiritual eye that, once opened, fills the body with light. These are the conditions, which allow the soul to ride the form. Hercules drives the bull to the holy place and hands it over to the Cyclops, the highly evolved men of the single eye or eye of Shiva. Shiva represents the first aspect of deity, the father aspect who expresses spiritual will, and the lesson of Taurus is the giving up of self-will for the expression of spiritual will.
The three aspects of deity are represented in the constellation Taurus by three stars: Brontes is the father aspect, Steropes represents the light of the soul and Arges means whirling activity, the activity of the physical plane (Father, Son and Holy Spirit or will, love and active intelligence). Once these are harnessed, the bull is under control and the problems of the test are solved. Hercules sees "and when the eye is opened all is light".
Wesak includes five days of intense effort on the part of all those who serve upon the inner planes and it is hoped that those who seek to serve in the outer world will join in this effort. We must seek to be completely self-forgetful at this time, to lay aside everything in our life that hinders our efforts to be useful channels for the spiritual energy that seeks to flow from the highest spiritual centre of our world. It is essential that we see ourselves as recipients of as much spiritual force that we can hold for the sake of all humanity. Year on year this is increasingly becoming a vast group effort towards worldwide healing through sanctified desire, illuminated thought, and an intense longing for the peace and well-being of our one humanity. The central day of the Festival, Wesak itself, needs to be a day of inner peace and silence. On this day spiritual energies can be released that can stimulate the spirit of love, brotherhood and goodwill on Earth to fuse the people of goodwill into a responsive whole. If this can be achieved, then we can utilise the invocation of the great ones and they can respond as never before, for they have always stood ready to aid humanity when we are prepared to call upon them. By such a potent voiced appeal we will attract the attention of the Avatar, the one who has promised to return. In what form he will do so no one knows but it seems sure that it has to be as the result of our appeal. Some feel that he will be a Messenger of Peace who will stimulate the nations into right action and humanity into the expression of a universal love for humanity. All these signs are already in the world today with the growing concern for the world's poor by individuals and governments, by the tremendous growth of the Interfaith Movement, etc. A concern for the care of the planet is also growing at a great pace. We now have the power to easily destroy our planetary home but also the power to return it to full health and a true balance of its resources.
The one who is to return is seen as a planetary saviour yet we now have the power and understanding to be planetary saviours ourselves if we can find within ourselves sufficient spiritual will to do so. A point of great potential danger has been the increased flow of Shamballa energy, the energy of the will onto the physical plane of our planet, stimulated by the increasing thought life of humanity but until now considerably selfishly expressed. There are now those great signs of change towards concern for nations and their peoples, some of which have been mentioned, so it would seem that human will is being extensively spiritualised. We increasingly hear our leaders voicing those words that have been spoken for so long within the group of world servers, Does this not demonstrate the growing effect of our constant group invocation for the increased flow of understanding, love, guiding will, purpose and the banishment of evil? Although we have to learn that we cannot banish evil by evil means and we are facing this lesson at the moment. That invocation spoken by so many of us daily also asks for the return of the cosmic Christ, the embodiment of love-wisdom.
We speak about the power of spiritual will but we must ever remember that the method of God is Love. The difficult task or fast route which we choose (we being the souls of Man) is to achieve harmony through conflict. This is demonstrated by the remarkably fast changes in attitudes towards the world problems and we see a complete turn around in attitudes to so many problems within a single generation. I do believe, for instance, that it is possible for the newly elected Pope, who saw Catholicism as the only true religion years ago, to now recognise the equal expression of the divine through all religions and see the good and true men and women of every faith. Let us hope that this promises yet more changes in attitudes towards those so called other persuasions and the fuller recognition that there is one humanity longing for the same goal.
At each Wesak the Buddha reminds us yet again that illumination is possible within all human hearts and minds. Each year He pierces through light substance to keep a channel of light open in order to irradiate minds so that "in light we shall see Light".