There are three main strands of modern high-level esotericism, Theosophy, the Alice A Bailey books, and Agni Yoga - Of these, Agni Yoga is relatively little known compared to the others, but it is said to be the teachings for the coming age.
The Agni Yoga books were telepathically transmitted from Master M (Morya) to Helena Roerich, the wife of the famous Russian painter Nickolas Roerich. (notoriously, he designed the sets and costumes for Diaghilev’s Rite of Spring, and later became famous as a painter of the Himalayan mountains and mystical scenes). The Roerichs were Russian, they joined the Theosophical Society in New York, and then went to live for the rest of their lives in the Kulu Valley in Northern India.
The biography of the Roerichs by Ruth A Drayer tells a good story of two very unusual people
The Agni Yoga Society is based in New York, and they publish the 17 Agni Yoga books. The books are also available from on this site for free download.
How best to Study the Books
I am told that the best way to study the books is to start at the start of the first one (Leaves from Morya’s Garden volume I), and read one or two verses every day. When you have finished the first book, go on to the next one in the list, and so on till you have read them all. When you have finished them all, start again at the first one. Repeat.
How I studied them.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know this at the time, and for a variety of reasons I really wanted to know more about Brotherhood, so I downloaded this book from the site, and printed out about 10 verses (2 printer pages) at a time, and looked at these for a week or so, or until I felt ready to move on. After several re-starts, I finally finished it about 3 years later.
Then, I wanted to know more about the Heart, so downloaded this book also, and in fact I read the whole thing over one Christmas to New Year Period, and I’m now very slowly going back over it again.
I have written the attached articles baout these books: –
Brotherhood – ideas about the true nature of Brotherhood from a number of sources
Brotherhood – some more key passages from the “Brotherhood” book
Heart – some key fragments from the “Heart” book
What Are the Books Like ?
The books are unusual – they are written from a Master’s perspective, abd this seems unusual to us. Each book forms a large and very complex mosaic, and each verse is a little mosaic in itself, where different ideas are brought together, sometimes in a very disconcerting way. For example:-
89. Beware of senseless condemnation. Not only does it contain the property of decomposition but it delivers the weak denunciator into the power of the condemned. A weak but cruel heart can call forth a counteraction in the aura of the condemned. Usually the denunciator is not strong himself, otherwise he would not find time for condemnation. The injustice of condemnation, like any lie, weakens the already insignificant consciousness of the self-appointed judge; thence issues extreme harm for him, whereas the one who is unjustly judged only gains through strengthening his magnet by the attraction of new auras. It may be asked, “Why these ethical discussions in the book Heart?” But first of all, one should remind about the hygiene of the heart. The hygiene of the heart should be regarded as a necessary activity. One should eschew all discussions about abstract ethics. Everything is good that is healthy in all dimensions. We insist that each one who has entered upon the path of the Teaching shall be primarily healthy in spirit. Can one walk in evil toward Light? Verily, Light will reveal each grain of evil!
(verse 89, Heart)
To me, this contains an extremely valuable idea about the hygiene of the heart, but it is set in a mosaic of other ideas and concepts that are difficult to take in – there are times when these seem like they are very personal instructions for the Roerich’s, or things which concern the particular time and place when the teachings were given, or even at times seem to be awkward translations from the original Russian. There are also passages which are clearly aimed at us the “future humanity”, but, it is all quite mixed, but nonetheless interesting and valuable.
Obviously, I understand and respond to the bits that I can, and I don't worry about the rest.
The books say they are intended for the distant future, and they will not benefit the majority of humanity until the New Age is much better established.