THE GREAT INVOCATION
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men -
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
COMMENTARY ON THE GREAT INVOCATIONWritten and Compiled by Starling David Hunter
What is the Great Invocation?
Although the Great Invocation is at times referred to as a prayer, a mantram, and a meditation, Djwhal Khul, The Tibetan Teacher who gave us Great Invocation, has stated that it is:
"...essentially a prayer which synthesizes the highest desire, aspiration and spiritual demand of the very soul of humanity." 1
Elsewhere he wrote that:
"This Invocation, which I have lately given to you, is the group prayer of all humanity in the Aquarian Age…" 2
"The Great Invocation or Prayer does not belong to any person or group but to all Humanity." 3
The quote below tells us more about just what kind of prayer it is, about what makes its such a unique prayer:
"The usual invocative appeal has hitherto been selfish in its nature and temporary in its formulation. Men have prayed for themselves; they have invoked divine help for those they love; they have given a material interpretation to their basic needs. The (Great) invocation, lately given to us by the Hierarchy, is a world prayer; it has no personal appeal or temporal invocative urge; it expresses humanity's need and pierces through all the difficulties, doubts and questionings - straight to the Mind and the Heart of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being… But the Invocation is not vague or nebulous. It voices the basic needs of mankind today - the need for light and love, for understanding of the divine will and for the end of evil." 4
Taken together, the above statements provide us with four very important insights about the essential features of the Invocation:
- that the Invocation is a group and a world prayer, one that is to be used not only by all of humanity, but for all humanity.
- that the Invocation both voices humanity’s most basic needs and desires- the spiritual ones- and points to humanity’s central role in meeting them.
- that the Invocation is to be used for an extended period of time, i.e. for the entire Aquarian age, a period upwards of 2000 years.
With few such prayers of this kind, if any, ever having been given to humanity, the Great Invocation is indeed unique.
- DINA II, p. 188
- DINA II, p. 179
- Problems of Humanity, p. 165
- Rays and Initiations, p. 758-9
Where did the Invocation Come from?
When was it given out and Why?
The mantram that we now know as the Great Invocation is actually the third of three mantrams with that name, all of which were given for our use between the years 1936-1945. What they all have in common is that they were given, as the dates suggest, during a period of great crisis in the human family. The first of the three Great Invocations, which appears below, was given in 1936.
Let the Forces of Light bring illumination to mankind
Let the Spirit of Peace be spread abroad
May men of good will everywhere meet in a spirit of cooperation
May forgiveness on the part of all men be the keynote at this time
Let power attend the efforts of the Great Ones
So let it be, and help us to do our part 5
That the Invocation was released in the years just prior to the outbreak of World War II is not accidental. Rather, as the quote below attests, it was given out at that time as a means to help prevent it:
"I said earlier that the war (WWII) could have been averted from expression on the physical plane had the disciples and aspirants of the world measured up to their opportunity and responsibilities. The Great Invocation was rendered relatively powerless, from the angle of dynamic usefulness, because the majority of those who used it turned it into a peace prayer. It was instead a great spiritually militant invocative demand." 6
The Second stanza of the Great Invocation, given in 1940, also was intended to play a role in what was then, a battle between the Forces of Light and the forces of aggression whose outcome was uncertain. It’s specific purpose was to generate power adequate to "release humanity from the thralldom of evil."
Let the Lords of Liberation issue forth.
Let Them bring succor to the sons of men.
Let the Rider from the secret Place come forth,
And coming, save.
Come forth, O Mighty One.
Let the souls of men awaken to the Light,
And may they stand with massed intent.
Let the fiat of the Lord go forth:
The end of woe has come!
Come forth, O Mighty One.
The hour of service of the Saving Force has now arrived.
Let it be spread abroad, O Mighty One.
Let Light and Love and Power and Death
Fulfil the purpose of the Coming One.
The Will to save is here,
The Love to carry forth the work is widely spread abroad.
The Active Aid of all who know the truth is also here.
Come forth, O Mighty One and blend these three.
Construct a great defending wall.
The rule of evil now must end. 7
The Tibetan cautioned that the fate that befell the first stanza should not befall the 2nd stanza. The reason why, as shown below, is that this stanza was intended to strengthen the hands of Forces of Light, led by the Prince of Peace, in their desperate struggle for the soul of humanity.
"(The turning of this stanza into a peace prayer) must not happen with this Stanza of Invocation. It is a demand; it is also an authoritative affirmation of existent fact; it sets in motion agencies and forces hitherto quiescent, and these can change the face of the world battlefield; it invokes the Prince of Peace, but He carries a sword, and the effects of His activity may prove surprising to those who see only the needs of the form aspect of humanity." 8
The third stanza of the Great Invocation, the one that is now in wide use, was given in 1945, just as the catastrophe that was WWI was coming to an end. The intention of this stanza, we are told, is as follows:
- To focus the inchoate mass demand of humanity on to the highest possible level.
- To initiate a great invocative cycle wherein invocation will unify, blend and bring together the two methods (hitherto in use) of prayer and meditation.
- To give to the world a new prayer. 9
It is worth noting that the scope of this intention is broader than either of the previous two stanzas.
- Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 144
- Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 250
- Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 249
- EXH, p. 250-1
- DINA II, p. 188
What does the Great Invocation mean?
Hundreds of pages have been written, both by the Tibetan and by several students of His writings, about the meaning of the various words and phrases which comprise the Invocation. That said, there do exist passages in His books which highlight the most essential points to be understood. Foremost among these passages is the paragraph below:
"The Great Invocation or Prayer does not belong to any person or group but to all Humanity. The beauty and the strength of this Invocation lies in its simplicity, and in its expression of certain central truths which all men, innately and normally, accept:
- the truth of the existence of a basic Intelligence to Whom we vaguely give the name of God
- the truth that behind all outer seeming, the motivating power of the universe is Love
- the truth that a great Individuality came to earth, called by Christians, the Christ, and embodied that love so that we could understand
- the truth that both love and intelligence are effects of what is called the Will of God
- and finally the self-evident truth that only through humanity itself can the Divine Plan work out." 10
The above passage appears on much of the promotional material produced by Lucis Trust, the publishers of the Tibetan’s books written in conjunction with Alice Bailey. It is worth noting that the word Christ frequently contains an asterisk pointing to a note informing the reader that the One we call Christ is known by many other names by our brothers and sisters in other faiths, e.g. as the Imam Mahdi by Muslims, as the Messiah by Jews, and as the Maitreya Buddha by Buddhists.
A second set of comments pertaining to the meaning of the Great Invocation were provided in the first letter to the Tibetan’s direct disciples concerning the Invocation. In that letter He stressed two "points of emphasis", points which provide much insight into the meaning of the Invocation.
"May Christ return to Earth. This return must not be understood in its usual connotation and its well-known mystical Christian sense. Christ has never left the Earth. What is referred to is the externalization of the Hierarchy and its exoteric appearance on Earth. The Hierarchy will eventually, under its Head, the Christ, function openly and visibly on Earth. This will happen when the purpose of the divine Will, and the plan which will implement it, are better understood and the period of adjustment, of world enlightenment and of reconstruction has made real headway. It will take time, but the Hierarchy thinks not in terms of years and of brief cycles (though long to humanity), but in terms of events and the expansion of consciousness.
May it seal the door where evil dwells. The sealing up of the evil forces, released during this war (World War II), will take place within the immediate future. It will be soon. The evil referred to has nothing to do with the evil inclinations, the selfish instincts and the separateness found in the hearts and minds of human beings. These they must overcome and eliminate for themselves. But the reduction to impotency of the loosed forces of evil which took advantage of the world situation, which obsessed the German people and directed the Japanese people, and which worked through barbarity, murder, sadism, lying propaganda, and which prostituted science to achieve their ends, requires the imposition of a power beyond the human. This must be invoked, and the invocation will meet with speedy response. These evil potencies will be occultly "sealed" within their own place: what this exactly means has naught to do with humanity. Men today must learn the lessons of the past, profit from the discipline of the war, and deal - each in his own life and community - with the weaknesses and errors to which he may find himself prone." 11
And while these points are doubtlessly valuable to disciples today as they were in 1945, the Tibetan makes it abundantly clear that the disciple’s or aspirant’s understanding of the Invocation’s meaning was not the only one which He sought to make known. Rather, as the Tibetan makes abundantly clear in the passage below, He fully expected considerable differences in how and how much of the Invocation is understood.
"The wonder of these mantric stanzas is that they are comprehensible to members of the human family and to members of the Kingdom of God. They mean one thing to the ordinary man, and that meaning is good, powerful and useful; they mean another thing to the man upon the Probationary Path, for he attaches to the words a deeper and more esoteric meaning than is possible to the man who is entirely polarized in his lower nature; these words mean still another thing to the disciple affiliated with and functioning consciously in an Ashram; to initiates and to the senior Members of the Hierarchy, they convey a still higher and more inclusive significance." 12
Later in the same letter, the Tibetan again emphasizes this point, telling us that while
"…the general public will regard it as a prayer to God transcendent. … (and) as a prayer for enlightenment of all rulers and leaders in all groups who are handling world matters… the esotericists and aspirants of the world will have a deeper and more understanding approach. To them it will convey the recognition of the world of causes and of those who stand subjectively behind world affairs, the spiritual Directors of our life." 13
- EXH, p. 166
- DINA II, p. 150
- Discipleship in the New Age, vol. II, p. 156
- DINA II, p. 165-6
What are the Effects of Using the Great Invocation?
One question that quite naturally arises among people who use the Great Invocation might be phrased thusly: "What are the effects of my/our use of the Invocation."
Perhaps no better answer has been given to that question than that provided by the Tibetan, who wrote:
"No one can use this Invocation or prayer for illumination and for love without causing powerful changes in his own attitudes; his life intention, character and goals will be changed and his life will be altered and made spiritually useful. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he" is a basic law in nature; the constant turning of the mind to the need for light and the prospect of illumination cannot and will not be ineffectual. Also, as the work of the Triangles grows and the network spreads all over the Earth, the idea of a down-pouring of light and goodwill (which is the immediate aspect of love required today among men) can be looked for; nothing can prevent the appearance of the expected results, for the eternal law holds good." 14
Armenian esoteric philosopher Torkom Saraydarian, a long-time student of the Tibetan’s books and author of a book on the Great Invocation entitled Triangles of Fire, also had many interesting things to say on this matter. He began his discussion of the effects the Invocation by noting that, in general, prayer and invocation:
- attract the aspiration, vision and hope of the best minds of the race.
- penetrate into the mind and heart of the masses, creating new response, awakening, and determination
- have a suggestive influence, releasing in one a new urge toward a better life and
- produce a real change in man toward betterment and creates a rhythm in our mental and emotional processes. 15
The use of the Great Invocation, Saraydarian wrote, had effects above and beyond those accorded to prayer and invocation, in general. The effects included:
- the evocation of protection and Soul guidance 16
- the formation of links between the energy centers in our throat, heart, and head to the point of Light, the point of Love, and the center where the Will of God is known. 17
- The clearance of obstacles in the physical, emotional, and mental bodies and a consequent increases in the flow of divine energy throughout those bodies and through all human and planetary forms. 18
- The direction of the energies of Light, Love and Purpose to those places on the planet which need cleaning and healing. 19
- DINA II, p. 168
- Triangles of Fire, p. 118-9
- Ibid, p. 61
- Ibid, p. 87-8
- Ibid, p. 142
- Ibid, p. 143
Use Of The Great Invocation
As noted in the first section, the Tibetan refers to the Invocation not only as a prayer, but also as a meditation. His discussion on the Invocation provides further insight as to import of the use of
"This meditation or invocation is essentially a prayer. It can, however, be used with profound effectiveness, primarily by those who know something of meditation; they have a special and peculiar advantage over the average man who is accustomed to pray, because the technique of meditation brings in the factor of mental concentration and an intense focusing. The trained disciple can therefore use this Invocation on several levels simultaneously." 20
The Tibetan continues with what are perhaps the most important words He gave us regarding how to use the Invocation. They are worthy of our careful attention:
"This Invocation is not, however, a meditation exercise; it is essentially a prayer, synthesizing the highest desire, aspiration and spiritual demand of the very soul of humanity itself. It must be used in that way. When the trained disciple or the aspirant in training uses it, he will assume the attitude of meditation - that is, an attitude of concentration, spiritual direction and receptivity. Then he will pray. The attitude of the occult student who has thrown over in disgust all old religious practices, and believes that he has no further need or use for prayer, or that he has passed to a higher phase, that of meditation, is not a correct one. The true position is that he uses both at will and at need. In connection with the Invocation he assumes the attitude of meditation (an inner mental attitude and firm assumption), but employs the method of prayer which - when divorced from all relation to the separated self - is a potent means of establishing and maintaining right spiritual and human relations. When in the attitude of meditation and using the implement of prayer (by means of the Invocation), he attains a relationship with the mass of humanity not otherwise possible, he can implement their recognized though unvoiced need…" (emphasis in the original) 21
- DINA II, p. 188
- DINA II, 188-9
The Tibetan did not intend that the Great Invocation be used only by students of the Ageless Wisdom. His writings leave no doubt as to the importance the Hierarchy placed on the wide-scale distribution of the Great Invocation. On several occasions the Tibetan implores us not just to use the Invocation but to take an active hand in seeing that it reaches many people and many lands. Here is one such example:
"I am preparing to present to you for wide distribution throughout the world, the last stanza of the Great Invocation… I seek to have this Invocation go forth on the power generated by my Ashram and by all of you affiliated with my Ashram." 22
On several occasions He asks us to make the distribution of the Invocation a high priority and that we see it as a service activity, as here:
"This Invocation, which I have lately given to you, is the group prayer of all humanity in the Aquarian Age; therefore it is essential that every disciple (aspiring to the service of humanity) should make its distribution as well as its daily use a major duty and obligation. This I have earlier impressed upon you and would ask you now if you are doing so?" 23
That the Tibetan thought the use and distribution the Invocation to be of high importance is made evident all the more by the language He employed. Consider the following examples where He states that the significance of those tasks extends beyond our own planet:
"In receiving this Invocation, in its use and distribution, you have been participating in a cosmic event of tremendous importance." (emphasis added) 24
And although the Invocation is a prayer for the Aquarian Age, a period of some 2000 or more years, the Tibetan clearly did not expect it to take hundreds of years for it to be widely distributed:
"Only a few - a very few - in the early days of Christianity employed the Lord's Prayer, because it needed recording, expression in understandable terms, and adequate translation before its widespread use became possible. That effort took centuries to accomplish. Today, we have all the facilities for rapid distribution and these have all been employed on behalf of the Great Invocation." 25
To underscore this point, the Tibetan informs us about the number of people and languages which use the Invocation
"Its extraordinary potency can be seen in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are already using it day by day and many times a day; it is (1947) translated into eighteen different languages and used by people in all those languages; in the jungles of Africa, groups of natives are using it and it can be seen on the desks of great executives in our major cities; it goes forth over the radio in Europe and in America and there is no country or island in the world where its use is unknown. All this has taken place in the space of eighteen months." 26
One of the reasons for which the Tibetan wanted the Invocation to be rapidly and widely distributed relates to its role in what He refers to as the "new world religion"
"This new Invocation, if given widespread distribution, can be to the new world religion what the Lord's Prayer has been to Christianity and the twenty-third Psalm has been to the spiritually minded Jew." 27
- DINA II, p. 150
- DINA II, p. 179
- DINA II, p. 188
- Rays and the Initiations, p. 757
- Return of the Christ, p. 31-32
- DINA II, p. 165
Written and compiled by Starling David Hunter