Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
Understanding the Personal Octave of the Divine Will
By George A. Boyd ©2004
The Divine Will acts in several different ways, only one of which is to give guidance to the personality to carry out right action. In religious teachings, the Will of God has been portrayed in one of two ways.
The Absolute Standard of Morality - In the first way, the Divine Will is seen to provide guidelines for right and wrong actions through rules that are written down in scriptures. If you break these rules, you commit sin. As a result, the Lords of Karma will punish you in this life and/or the hereafter.
Election - In the second way, the Divine Will is seen as a Divine Command that determines human fate. If the Divine Will selects you, you are saved and enlightened. If it overlooks you, you continue to stumble around in ignorance and are tormented by evil powers.
In the Mudrashram® teachings, we see the Will of God operates in seven different ways.
The Will of God is the highest octave of the Will that is revealed fully in the Monad. It
If you are to determine what the Divine Will reveals about your Soul Purpose (type 2) and right action as a human being (type 6), you will need to understand several concepts. You will need to become familiar with the how the Divine Will is known at the Transpersonal octave and the personal octave, what are the octaves of the will, and how you discern what is the Divine Will. This article will explain these ideas and show you how to meditate upon the Divine Will so you can know it accurately.
Divine Will may be known at the Transpersonal Octave in three ways:
Sensing of your spiritual destiny (Kalam) is meditated through your ensouling entity. This is also referred to as your Soul Purpose, or Adi Karma.
Sensing of the Divine Will (Hukum) is known through your spiritual heart. This is also referred to as the Divine Wish (Mauj).
Sensing of the direction of the Spiritual Master (Agya) is most commonly meditated through the attentional principle. [See the discussion of Agya in the section below, "Understanding the Work of Initiates."]
When you are in correct attunement with your spiritual cutting edge, these three are in one accord. [When there is conflict between them, this may suggest to you that you are doing your spiritual work at an octave other than your spiritual cutting edge.]
An individual may sense these three connections with the Divine through the dominant mode of intuitive prehension. [Disciples experience these modes of direct prehension of the Divine Will.]
The Jnana Yogi's dominant mode of intuitive prehension is intellectual. The Jnana Yogi resonates most clearly with the sensing of spiritual destiny (Kalam), as this can be intuited in the ensouling entity.
The Bhakti Yogi's dominant mode of intuitive prehension is emotional. The Bhakti Yogi most deeply senses the Divine Will (Hukum), which is directly communicated to his or her spiritual heart as a powerful, overshadowing loving presence.
The Raja Yogi's dominant mode of intuitive prehension is through the conscious awareness of the attentional principle (metavision). These individuals see and hear their spiritual Master on the inner Planes. Here the Divine Will is communicated through their teacher's inner form as the Divine Command (Agya).
When the individual can not directly intuitively grasp the Divine Will, their sense of integrity and right action resembles that of the Karma Yogi.
The Karma Yogi's dominant mode of intuitive prehension is awareness of the Soul's life in the present time (Dharma). Here the individual senses the unfolding of destiny in each moment spent consciously in touch with the Sacred Presentbut does not sense the overshadowing of the Divine, the presence of the Master, or the calling of spiritual destiny. Here the individual attempts to stay in touch with an inner sense of truth, and to be sensitive, aware, and mindful. This state precedes direct intuitive prehension of the Divine Will. [This is the dominant mode of intuitive prehension seen in aspirants.]
Human will, when it operates outside the sphere of the Divine Will, has eight modes of functioning. This is the zone of human liberty.
The Transpersonal Octaves of Will are activated as the ensouling entity progressively ascends through the Subtle and Planetary Bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness. The first three octaves of the will operate in all individuals as the volitional principle of the personality.
The next five octaves are awakened during the ensouling entity's journey through the Great Continuum of Consciousness prior to taking the First Planetary Initiation.
These first five Transpersonal octaves of the will operate within their respective sphere of activities, but are not influenced by the Divine Will. They are, however, controlled by the Transpersonal Will when this begins to become active in an individual.
The next three octaves are partly overshadowed by the Divine Will.
The final octave of the will, which extends through the scale of Being from Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic and Transcendental bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, is the Divine Will.
This mode of functioning, where the Divine Will begins to check the lower octaves of will, is called overshadowing. Overshadowing begins to function in the background of awareness on the Wisdom Plane, and with full awareness when the Soul enters the First Planetary Initiation. Overshadowing progressively increases as the Soul journeys through the higher Planetary Initiations. The Divine Will becomes dominant when the individual progresses into yet higher octaves of Being.
Overshadowing promotes checking of speech and behavior (discipline), correction of character faults (reformation), thinking before taking action (prudence), change of limiting or erroneous beliefs (deconstruction), reception of intuitive guidance (receptivity), and a desire for spiritual growth and progress (aspiration). It may grant hope and an expectation for Divine intervention and miracle-working power (faith) to help resolve issues that are beyond the perceived ability of the personality to overcome. It puts brakes on the activity of the ego. It guides the Self by intuition and by giving or denying permission to activities the Self determines are potential solutions to perceived needs.
Before the eleven lower octaves of will have been integrated into the Divine Will, there is still an element of human liberty. In this zone of human liberty, there is the option to go your own way, regardless of the prompting of the Divine Will, however distantly or intimately you can intuitively grasp it. By doing so, you activate the machinery of karma and reap the consequences of your actions.
The karmic sequelae of your actions may not be experienced right away, but may be deferred for months, years, even into future lifetimes. These karmic outcomes of acting outside of the Divine Will from your zone of liberty may be experienced in the following ways:
Blessing or boon - good actions that lead to salutary consequences: career and educational success, prosperity, fulfillment of dreams, granting of healthy children, etc.
Lesson - actions that lead to unintended circumstances, that yield behavioral change, character reformation, learning and wisdom
Retribution - actions that create both positive and negative consequences, both intended and unintended outcomes, that carry in their wake both blessings, but also suffering and learning
Punishment - actions based on cruelty and evil intentions affecting single individuals or a small group (such a family or group of co-workers) that have primarily negative consequences, lead to unalloyed suffering without respite for extended periods of time, ranging from days to entire lifetimes
Destruction - heinous crimes affecting large numbers of people, that have serious negative consequences, often lead to sufficient karmic obscuration as to move the individual outside the ring of human birth altogether and into the lower species of life (transmigration)
Purgation - certain karmic sequelae that cannot be experienced in human life may be carried over into the afterlife. These are experienced in the dimensional realms of the various hell, purgatory and heaven worlds. There are temporary states lasting only for the interlude between lives.
Freezing - this outcome halts further spiritual progress until the mandates of the Divine Will are carried out. This outcome is typical when you are given a specific task or mission to carry out under the Divine Will and you refuse to do so.
Early in your spiritual journey, following the Divine Will means voluntarily choosing to follow Divine Direction despite the conflicting impulses of your human nature. Later in your spiritual development, however, as overshadowing begins to take dominion over your desires and preferences, you may be led to do what the Divine wills in spite of your protestations.
Swami Prabhu Maharaj points out,
"But considering that attunement with the Divine Will is the sole means through which you can be ultimately extracted from the relentless Wheel of Karma, aspirants and disciples will do well to contemplate the implications of following the Divine Will at their personal octave."
Encounter with the Divine Will and submission to it may entail:
Surrender - giving up what you desire to do and doing what God wills instead
Sacrifice - doing something more difficult, scary, or risky than you prefer in your comfort zone. Sacrifice forces you to move outside of your comfort zone. Sacrifice may also require you to give up something to which you are greatly attached.
Self-discipline - checking your impulses and carrying out a discrete mission or activity as directed by the Divine, making this activity your first priority
Letting go - releasing your negative attitude, your resistance and resentment, and developing a willingness to be instructed, guided and led
Repentance - admitting you have done wrong, asking for forgiveness from the Divine, forgiving your self and others, changing your behavior and attitudes, and making amends and/or restitution to those whom you have harmed
Dedication - making a commitment to follow the Divine no matter what the cost may be, how difficult the task appear, and how overwhelming the task feels
Obedience - following Divine direction without complaint, resistance, argument, or excuses, simply doing what is placed before you with gratitude
Accepted discipleship is granted in most spiritual traditions when an individual can make a stable attunement to the Divine Will and has become prepared and qualified according to the standards of ethical and spiritual development required to be a teacher or initiator in that lineage. [We discuss some of the requirements to be an accepted disciple in the Mudrashram® lineage in the article, Markers of Accepted Discipleship in the Mudrashram® Lineage.] An accepted disciple becomes an instrument for the love, wisdom and power of the Living Spirit as given under the Divine Will and the Dispensation given to that lineage. [See the section below, Understanding the Work of Initiates for more information on what is a dispensation.]
Swami Prabhu Maharaj says,
"To make this final step [to become an accepted disciple], you must allow yourself to be entirely guided by the Divine Will."
If you consider this, that if you are to become an instrument of the Light, you will need to work with the octaves of the Divine Will. Let us review and think about what these octaves of the Divine Will are.
It is the energy that enlivens and animates the Soul (Alaya). [This reveals your cutting edge of spiritual development].
It gives purpose to your Soul, reveals its mission and Ray (Hukum). [This is the octave at which your spirit senses the Divine Will. Your ensouling entity also resonates to the Divine Will at this octave, intuitively sensing it as a calling or spiritual purpose (Kalam)].
It attunes your Transpersonal Will with the Divine Will, conferring upon you the state of discipleship under the direct guidance of an Initiate (Agya) [Your attentional principle also tunes into the Divine Will at this level].
It establishes the state of balanced and harmonious development in your Soul by perfectly attuning it, your spirit, and your Soul's vehicles to a nodal point (Guru Kripa) It transmits the spiritual energies that confer initiation upon the Soul (Shakti).[These are the powers that you must master if you are going to initiate others.]
It gives guidance to your personality to perform right action (Dharma). [This is the personal octave of the Divine Will, where your personality becomes a servant of the Divine Will and you surrender, sacrifice, etc.].
It empowers your spirit or attentional principle to carry out a specific ministry (Dhana). [This allows you to minister the Light to others and to guide them on the inner Planes.]
If you are going to work at this octave, which enables you, as an accepted disciple to be an initiator and guide for others, you must both know and obey the Divine Will.
If you feel a strong yearning to know the Divine Will, there are some specific meditations you can do to learn to connect with it. Until you have established a direct and stable connection with a spiritual Master (discipleship), your access to the Divine Will usually does not come from direct intuitive prehension. Instead you have to go deep inside to touch this Mighty Power, or to invoke it. Here are ways that some individuals and groups have used to access the Divine Will:
Meditation on the center of the Divine Will - referred to in the Great Invocation as "The Center where the Will of God is known", this center appears on the Buddhic Plane as a golden triangle with the Hebrew letter, yod, inscribed within it. Contemplation of this center may yield some clear intuitive direction.
Contemplative Image of the Yod
Recovery Prayer - The 12 step recovery groups ask recovering individuals to "pray to God for the knowledge of the Divine Will and the strength to carry it out."
Affirmation - Use an affirmation such as "Reveal to me Thy Will, O Lord" or "Not my will, but Thine be done."
Contact the Guide - Meditate on the inner Guide (Guru Dhyan). If the guide with whom you work is established in the Transplanetary Realm (Monadic Plane) or above, the guide can reveal Agya to you if you request.
Volitional Polling - Focus your attention on the Monad. Poll each octave of the will using the question, "what needs to be done" or "what is essential that I do." Listen for the response at each level.
The Feet of the Master - Visualize the feet of the Master at the door behind the Soul (Atma dwara). Focus your attention at these feet, and ask that the Divine Will for your life be revealed to you.
>Disciples need to be honest with themselves whether they truly want to follow the Divine Will and face the sacrifices this entails. Prabhu Maharaj says,
"If you are serious about making spiritual progress, realize those who become Adepts, Masters, Gurus, and Sat Gurus are servants of God. They obey the Divine. They intuitively grasp this Divine Will and communicate it to their disciples."
He goes on to say,
"If you have it your fortune to make great spiritual progress in this lifetime, this is not for the purpose of gloating about your spiritual superiority over others. It is rather for the purpose of serving and ministering the Light to others. For some of you, that purpose is purifying yourself and stepping into liberation and final freedom as granted under the Divine Will, and through the Grace and guidance of your spiritual Master."
Initiates have a variety of ways in which they work with the Divine to carry out the Divine Will. These are defined below.
Dispensation - This is the work the Divine decrees must be carried out within a discrete band of the Great Continuum of Consciousness. For example, this can include the spiritual work that must be done on a selected path, such as the fifth Supracosmic Path upon the Buddha Plane in the Supracosmic Sphere, given to the current lineage holder. This may also take the form, for an Initiate established in the Planetary Hierarchy, of working with selected individuals who are undergoing the Second Planetary Initiation. Dispensation is that part of the spiritual evolutionary Plan (see Plan below) in the Mind of God for which an Initiate is made responsible and accountable.
Project - Also called Bodhisattwa project in the Mudrashram® lineage, this involves taking on the karma of many individuals, layering it upon a selected track, and then working off this karma off through meditation. It grants spiritual powers, penetrating intuition and insight, and deep understanding and compassion within the bounds of the track selected. [See "The Purpose of Spiritual Development" section in the article, The Role of Transformational Methods in Actualizing the Soul's Purpose, which describes the Avataric Mission track of certain Initiates.]
Mission - This is when you are given a specific task to carry out by the Divine Will, which may be given to the personality (expressed Soul purpose) or to the ensouling entity (intrinsic Soul purpose).
When this mission is given under expressed Soul purpose, it is accomplished by human action and effort guided by the direction of the Soul. This may include founding an organization, building a temple or other religious sanctuary, channeling a scripture or other inspired writing, or doing charitable or humanitarian service to a selected group of people.
If you are given a mission under expressed Soul purpose, you feel that it is an urgent priority that you must accomplish. If you reject or refuse to do this mission, there may be significant karmic consequences. These consequences can include a "spiritual fall" (karmic obscuration of the path you have traversed, moving your ensouling entity back to a lower stage on the path) or "freezing" (stopping your onward spiritual progress until you finally accomplish the mission given to you).
When this mission is given under intrinsic Soul purpose, it may take the form of working to attain a specific stage of spiritual development, and activating that stage of mastery to teach, guide, minister and initiate others. For example, if you have a spiritual calling to become an Adept Master in the Planetary Hierarchy, your spiritual development will emphasize this work as your primary missionthe majority of your spiritual activities aim to prepare you to assume this Office in the Hierarchy of Light.
Suggestion - A spiritual teacher may give you a suggestion to correct your character faults. The teacher suggests to you, and does not coerce you, because correction of your character faults is largely within the zone of your liberty. A spiritual teacher will not force you to change.
At the physical level, you are made aware of a problem behavior, what the consequences will be if you continue to act in this manner, and then you are given a choice.
The same thing holds true at the emotional level. If you have an attitude problem, or you are clinging to a destructive passion or craving, the teacher will point it out to you, and then give you the opportunity to change it.
At the mental level, a spiritual teacher may suggest to you things to study or consider. It's usually a good idea to do these exercises or inquiries, as they will prepare you to understand the next thing the teacher intends to reveal to you.
If you are a disciple and you don't respond to the suggestion, you may be moved to the next level if the need for you to change is important. The issue is turned over to the purview of the Lords of Karma, who will focus your attention on the issue by providing you a lessonan experience that allows you to truly get what your spiritual teacher is trying to tell you. If you still dont get it, this can move to the next level, which is destiny. You may have to live an entire life dealing with this issue in its various permutations, over and over, until you finally understand what your teacher was trying to tell youand you finally change it.
For this reason, it is usually a good idea to listen and take to heart the suggestions of your spiritual Master.
Command (Agya) - this is a direction given to disciples to carry out a specific meditation, to study a vehicle of consciousness, to contemplate at a certain inner location, or to perform a spiritual ministry or attunement. This is not a behavioral or personal commandment, but rather, is given to your ensouling entity, your spirit, and your attentional principle. Agya has three major varieties.
Agya given through the pole of your ensouling entity is the overshadowing of your transpersonal octave of will by the Divine Will. This confers on you a direct relationship with your spiritual Master (discipleship), may assign to your Soul a mission or empower it to carry out spiritual ministry to a selected group of individuals. It may authorize your Soul to carry out certain spiritual tasks in the name of your Masterif you misuse the power given to you, it is withdrawn. The appearance of Agya at the pole of Being is referred to in some traditions as probationary discipleship, as you are tested to see if you have the right stuff to take higher initiations and take on yet greater spiritual responsibilities.
Agya is rarely given through the pole of the spirit, except in Transcendental Paths, where the spirit is the primary driver of spiritual transformation. In these traditions, the attention is focused on the spirit instead of the attentional principle, and you learn to identify yourself as the spirit on these paths. Here you may be asked to work out a particular aspect of your karma, to travel to a particular Plane, and in later stages of discipleship on these paths, to minister from the spirit pole to the spirits of others. This form of Agya is transmitted through the guide form of the Master that appears to the spirit (Nuri Swarup).
The most common form of Agya is given to the attentional principle, which appears once you gain the ability to see the Master on the inner Planes (Guru Dhyan) and to hear the Master's discourse and guidance (Guru Shruti) transmitted through this guide form. These are typically requests to do specific meditations or carry out ministry and attunement. [If you find the term Agya in the teachings of the Mudrashram® lineage, you can make a fairly safe bet they are referring to the type of Agya transmitted to the attentional principle.]
Election - Certain individuals may be chosen to be part of the dispensation given to an Initiate. These individuals are predestined to work with this Initiate, and may be given specific missions to carry out on behalf of this dispensation.
Election carries with it empowerment and Grace. Individuals under election may be significantly accelerated in their spiritual progress. But this is not a "free ride." This is done for a purpose, so that this individual may carry out a Divinely ordained role in the Great Plan.
Purpose - the calling of an individual to achieve a specific state of spiritual development. [See the section on "The Purpose of Spiritual Development" in the article, The Role of Transformational Methods in Actualizing the Soul's Purpose, which describes the different tracks of purpose for aspirants, disciples and Initiates.
The Plan - often called The Great Plan or Divine Purpose, this is the grand picture or map of all dispensations, missions within those dispensations, and the Soul purposes of all individuals called to be a part of that dispensation at a discrete band of the Great Continuum of Consciousness. Each founder of a lineage is given an aspect of the Plan to implement as a part of that Initiate's dispensationthis work may be continued through a chain of successors (parampara). Members of the Hierarchy of Light are similarly given responsibility for implementing an aspect of the Divine Plan at their respective octaves: Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, or Transcendental.
As the work of the Divine Will is to actualize the Divine Plan, the Initiate's job is to make you aware of your role in that Divine Plan and to help you understand the Divine Will as it applies to your Soul's purpose and mission. It is not easy to follow this path, but it brings in its stead great blessings and fulfillment. If you willfully refuse to cooperate with the Divine Will and don't do the mission given to you, there are karmic consequences.