The Wesak Festival: A Technique of Spiritual Contact
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The Three Major Festivals
The establishing of certain major festivals in relation to the Moon and in a lesser degree to the zodiac will bring about a strengthening of the spirit of invocation and the resultant inflow of evoked influences. The truth lying behind all invocation is based upon the power of thought, particularly in its telepathic nature, rapport and aspect. The unified invocative thought of the masses and the focussed, directed thought of the New Group of World Servers constitute an outgoing stream of energy. This will reach telepathically those spiritual Beings Who are sensitive and responsive to such impacts. Their evoked response, sent out as spiritual energy, will in turn reach humanity after having been stepped down into thought energy and in that form will make its due impact upon the minds of men, convincing them and carrying inspiration and revelation. Thus has it ever been in the history of the spiritual unfoldment of the world and the procedure followed in writing the world Scriptures.
Secondly, the establishing of a certain uniformity in the world religious rituals will aid men everywhere to strengthen each other's work and enhance powerfully the thought currents directed to the waiting spiritual Lives. At present, the Christian religion has its great festivals, the Buddhist keeps his different set spiritual events, and the Hindu has still another list of holy days. In the future world, when organised, all men of spiritual inclination and intention everywhere will keep the same holy days. This will bring about a pooling of spiritual resources, and a united spiritual effort, plus a simultaneous spiritual invocation. The potency of this will be apparent.
Let me indicate the possibilities of such spiritual events and attempt to prophesy the nature of the coming world wide Festivals. There will be three such major Festivals each year, concentrated in three consecutive months and leading therefore, to a prolonged annual spiritual effort which will affect the remainder of the year. These will be:
1. The Festival of Easter. This is the Festival of the risen, living Christ, the Teacher of all men and the Head of the Spiritual Hierarchy. He is the Expression of the love of God. On this day the spiritual Hierarchy, which He guides and directs, will be recognised and the nature of God's love will be emphasised. This Festival is determined always by the date of the first Full Moon of spring and is the great Western and Christian Festival.
2. The Festival of Wesak. This is the Festival of the Buddha, the spiritual Intermediary between the highest spiritual centre, Shamballa, and the Hierarchy. The Buddha is the expression of the wisdom of God, the Embodiment of Light and the Indicator of the divine purpose. This will be fixed annually in relation to the Full Moon of May, as is at present the case. It is the great Eastern Festival.
3. The Festival of Goodwill. This will be the Festival of the spirit of  humanity aspiring towards God, seeking conformity with the will of God and dedicated to the expression of right human relations. This will be fixed annually in relation to the Full Moon of June. It will be a day whereon the spiritual and divine nature of mankind will be recognised. On this Festival for two thousand years the Christ has represented humanity and has stood before the Hierarchy and in the sight of Shamballa as the God-Man, the Leader of His people, and "the Eldest in a great family of brothers" (Romans VIII: 29). Each year at that time He has preached the last sermon of the Buddha, before the assembled Hierarchy. This will, therefore, be a festival of deep invocation and appeal, of a basic aspiration towards fellowship, of human and spiritual unity, and will represent the effect in the human consciousness of the work of the Buddha and of the Christ.
These three Festivals are a part of the unified spiritual approach of humanity although they are not yet sufficiently related to each other. The time is coming when all three Festivals will be kept throughout the world and by their means a great spiritual unity will be achieved and the effects of the Great Approach, so close to us at this time, will be stabilised by the united invocation of humanity throughout the planet.
The remaining full moons will constitute lesser festivals but will be recognised to be also of vital importance. They will establish the divine attributes in the consciousness of man, just as the major festivals establish the three divine aspects. These aspects and qualities will be arrived at and determined by a close study of the nature of a particular constellation or constellations influencing those months. For instance, Capricorn (December) will call attention to the first initiation, the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart, and indicate the training needed to bring about that great spiritual event in the life of the individual man. I give this one instance to you in order to indicate the possibilities for spiritual unfoldment that could be given through an understanding of these influences and in order to revivify the ancient faiths by expanding them into their larger undying relationships.
Thus, the twelve annual festivals will constitute a revelation of divinity. They will present a means of bringing about relationship, first of all, during three months with the three great spiritual Centres, the three expressions of the divine Trinity. The minor festivals will emphasise the interrelation of the Whole, thus lifting the divine presentation out of the individual and the personal, into that of the universal divine Purpose; the relationship of the Whole to the part and of the part to that Whole will be thereby fully expressed.
Humanity will, therefore, invoke the spiritual power of the Kingdom of God, the Hierarchy; the Hierarchy will respond, and God's plans will then be worked out on earth. The Hierarchy, on a higher turn of the spiral, will invoke the "Centre where the Will of God is known," thus invoking the Purpose of God. Thus will the Will of God be implemented by Love and manifested intelligently; for this mankind is ready, and for this the Earth waits. 
To sum up therefore: on the basis of the fundamental truth already recognised, the new world religion will be built.
The definition of religion which will in the future prove of greater accuracy than any yet formulated by the theologians might be expressed as follows:
Religion is the name given to the invocative appeal of humanity and the evocative response of the greater Life to that cry.
(The Reappearance of the Christ, pp. l54-l57)
The Wesak Festival by Alice A. Bailey
As one studies the world situation today, it becomes apparent that the secret of synthesis has been lost. Humanity is divided–one section against another section; the East versus the West; one race against another race; one nation against another nation. Men need to get back to the ancient knowledge that our planet is intended to demonstrate the essential unity of humanity, and that the energy which should manifest is that of integration and coherence. When this is truly realised our present world problems will adjust themselves, and the basic world rhythm will be re-established and stabilised.
Unfortunately, as yet, the race as a whole is not group conscious and therefore average humanity cannot be trusted to work, think and plan for the group. Men are as yet too selfish. In this fact there is, however, no cause for discouragement, because to those who have a wider world vision it is also become definitely apparent that group consciousness and group responsibility are already something more than simply a lovely vision. Brotherhood and the recognition of its obligations are beginning to permeate the consciousness of men everywhere. This is due to the increasing activity of the Hierarchy of Light, to the service rendered down the ages by the Guides of the race and today by Christ and His church. They are beginning to demonstrate to man the true meaning of brotherhood, and men are beginning to grasp and to realise their responsibilities. There is innate in mankind a responsiveness to that supreme ideal, and men are now reacting to a deep-seated need for synthesis.
When Christ comes again at the close of the century, and demonstrates His power, giving to humanity the new keynote for the coming age, of one thing we may be sure: He will come forth as the Teacher of love and unity-two things which the world needs today more than anything else; the keynote which He will strike will be the regeneration of humanity and the reorganisation of the  social structure. This will be brought about through the love which He will pour forth upon all beings, for He will work primarily through the love-desire nature of humanity. The aspiring desire of men will demonstrate on Earth, in every city of any size and in every country, for the formation of active groups which will work definitely and aggressively for unity, cooperation and brotherhood in every department of life–economic, religious, social and scientific.
These groups will achieve results now impossible, owing to man's inability to realise the true nature of love. But later, this great force of love will be released on Earth, via the mediatory work of the Christ, operating as the representative of God, and aided and assisted in this work by the conscious effort and the divine energy of the Buddha. Indication of the nearing of this great event and of the steadily increasing power of the Christ can be seen in the reaction which is increasingly rising against crime, against those organisations which breed hatred and class distinctions, and against the extreme radicalism which is now being employed to achieve ends which are contrary to the plans of the Christ. The coming era of peace will be ushered in by the gathering together upon Earth of those Forces which stand for reconstruction and for true evolutionary development. In every land there will be a conscious and deliberate banding together of groups who embody the principles of brotherhood, as far as they can vision it. Men need to watch the signs of the times and not permit themselves to be discouraged as they view the immediate future.
It is the immediate and imminent probability of this world reconstruction and this coming of the Christ which are held in mind at the annual recurrence of the Wesak Festival, each full moon of Taurus. Students would do well to further the ends of those great Intelligences Who are seeking to aid humanity at this time, by a definite concentration at the time of the Festival, and with the steady familiarising of the Western thinker with the fact of this opportunity. They can thus set up a current of aspiration and a vortex of force which will have a vital appeal and which will call forth a definite response (in the spiritual significance of the term) from Those Who seek to aid.
The appearance of the Christ, and His emergence into manifestation, will date from a certain Wesak Festival at which a Great Invocation will be pronounced by the Buddha, Who will thus release divine force and prepare the way for His great Brother, thus assisting Him to carry out His mission. It is because of this fact that we have a steadily growing recognition of the Wesak Festival in the Occident. The time has now come when the West should understand the true significance of this event. As men understand and avail themselves of the opportunity offered at the Festival, they place themselves in line with a particular spiritual force. They become vitalised by it, and spiritually stimulated, and are consequently rendered available for service.
Two factors constitute the major interest today. First, the need and aspiration of the world is so great, and the present impasse so critical, that there is a general turning of the minds of spiritually inclined people to the  thought of divine intervention. If there are spiritual Forces and great spiritual Intelligences and Lives, and if God is cognizant of what is going on upon our planet, surely it should be possible for that guiding wisdom and that loving stimulation which will guide man from darkness into light to come forth from the spiritual realm. If this is not so, then all our beliefs come to very little. Secondly, and perhaps growing out of this demand for a response from on high, there is a growing recognition that the return of Christ is imminent. Believers of all schools of thought, in the Christian world and elsewhere, are looking forward to that event, and for it the Wesak Festival and the Festival of Humanity (which occurs at the next full moon, the full moon of Gemini) are great preparatory periods. It is this belief to which the Wesak Festival bears witness, and hence its real interest for every Christian. It is in this truth that the hope of the world lies; and there is a necessity for adherents of every faith to formulate to themselves what they believe by the phrase "the coming of the Christ."
It is surely apparent that behind world affairs there stands an organised band of Intelligences. Humanity has been led on, from stage to stage, into a steadily increasing light. Men have progressed from the stages of the deepest barbarism to the stage of our present enlightened civilisation. History demonstrates the way of God with man, and guarantees to us that further progress is assured. Great points of crisis have occurred in every period of history and in every civilisation. Such a crisis is now upon us. Whenever such crises have occurred there has always been an answer to the demand, and, in response to the appeal, God has sent forth the Teacher and Representative Who has embodied in Himself the teaching the coming age has required, sounding forth the note which has expressed the genius of the particular civilisation.
We are now passing through such a time of crisis, with its consequent concentrated demand, appeal and response. Such appeals, if they are to penetrate into the world of spiritual realities, gain added power if they can be focussed at particular periods. At the time of each full moon throughout the year such a period occurs. At the time of the Taurus full moon, called the Wesak Festival, there is presented to humanity a peculiar opportunity to claim the attention of Those Who are responsible for the evolution of humanity. This is our hour of opportunity, and hence the writing of this article, with its information concerning the Wesak full moon, concerning the relationship of the Buddha and the Christ to our present-day humanity, and the emphasis it lays upon our immediate opportunity to cooperate.
There has been an increasing interest during the past few years over the new tendency in the West to recognise this Oriental Festival. The Wesak Festival is connected with an ancient legend which may be to some a mythical story, to others a symbolic narrative, and to quite a large number a state of present fact. The story is connected with the Buddha, and with a happening in His life which left Him in the position wherein (following the dictates of His heart) He determined to return once a year from the high place in which  He dwells and works, to bless the world. The two great Sons of God, the Buddha and the Christ, are one the custodian and the other the recipient of this blessing. Both of Them hold it in trust for transmission to a needy world, and both of Them act as transmitters of this spiritual energy to humanity.
This Wesak Festival therefore has been regarded by the Knowers of the world as of paramount importance in world affairs, for through the two Representatives of Deity upon our planet the world of spiritual realities and the world of human affairs can be brought very close together. Today, in this time of crisis, this is needed as never before, and therefore the work of these great Sons of God assumes unusual importance, and the opportunity offered to humanity at this time is of deeper implications than ever before. The growing interests in the Festival itself, and the inquiry into its meaning, and the demand of the general public for information concerning it, have led us to gather together what information is available, and to present it in this brief form for the consideration of the Occidental aspirant.
(The Wesak Festival occurs at the full moon of Taurus, and the Festival of Humanity takes place one month later, at the full moon of Gemini. In the same way, the Festival of Easter is determined by the Full Moon occurring in the Zodiacal division of Aries, the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. These three Festivals–of Easter, of Wesak and of Humanity–are the three major spiritual events of the year. It is well to remember that in certain passages of the writings of A.A.B. and the Tibetan that such phrases are frequently used as "May Full Moon" in speaking of the Wesak Festival (the full moon of the Buddha), and the "June Full Moon" in referring to the full moon of the Christ, which is the Festival of Humanity. Generally these two full moons do occur during the months of May and June but this is not invariably the case, and as explained above the governing factors are the full moon of Taurus and Gemini.)
In some parts of India the Wesak Festival has for centuries been regarded as a public holiday. It is a day of reunion, of pilgrimage and of rejoicing expectancy. It is a holy day. That the inner significance of the day is recognised by only a handful of the spiritually minded is of course true; that the vast majority know nothing, and care less, about the possible implications is also  true. But the same thing might be said about any of the great Christian festivals. To some, they stand as symbols of great spiritual realities; to others they simply mean a holiday, or a day for the giving of gifts or for the exchanging of visits. But of the spiritual force then released upon the world, of the true significance of those "days of Grace," such as Good Friday, when Deity comes to the aid of humanity, they know relatively nothing. The inner and true relationships lie outside their calculations altogether. And so it is with the Wesak Festival.
There is one thing in connection with this Festival, however, which differentiates it from all others, and sets it apart. The dates of the Christian Festivals are all of them established by past events or by happenings which occurred centuries ago; or they are in commemoration of some great Disciple of the Christ Who in the past served the race, as He did. The Wesak Festival is in recognition of a present living event. It takes place (according to the belief of those who keep it) whilst some great and heavenly event is going on, and it is in the nature of a participating ceremony. This heavenly event takes place annually at the time of the full moon of Taurus (often called the "May Full Moon"), and at that event there is released upon Earth (according to the measure of man's demand) the blessing of God Himself, transmitted through the Buddha and His Brother, the Christ.
This happening, however, can and does work out into physical manifestation and has its physical counterpart. Paralleling the subjective and spiritual ceremony, an event of some importance takes place simultaneously in a little valley in Tibet, on the further side of the Himalayas. It is there that the earthly ceremony of blessing is supposed to take place, and to that valley many people in and around the district find their way, as pilgrims towards the light. There, at the time of the full moon, a solemn ritual is performed, which can be as definitely seen and heard as can any ceremonial in any of our great cathedrals.
One very interesting feature in connection with this Festival and its ceremonial enactment in Tibet lies in the fact that many orthodox Christians, who would scorn in any way to be associated with the Buddhist or Hindu faiths, bear testimony to this ceremony in their dream life. Twice in the days when I was working as an orthodox member of the Church of England and as an evangelist, and when, to me, Buddhism was simply a "heathen" religion and (so great was my ignorance) the Buddha was simply one of many "heathen" idols, I twice dreamt–at intervals of seven years–that I was participating in a strange ceremony and an unusual happening. The events recorded were so clear and vivid, and the details each time so identically the same, that it was impossible to dismiss the dream as an idle fantasy, or to regard it as simply the usual kind of dream phenomenon. It was twenty years later, when I read a description of the Wesak Festival, that I discovered that it was that which I must have seen. My dream apparently indicated a real happening. Several times I have met those who have similarly dreamt, and who have wondered what it was that they then saw. When a dream seems uniformly the same when registered by different people all over the world, when the details of the  dream remain unchanged, and when it is found that the dream is based upon a definite ceremonial which did take place at the time, there is surely room for much discussion, for the evocation of a real interest, and perhaps for the evidence of testimony to a fact.
The dream, the legend, the fact can be described as follows: There is a valley, lying at a rather high altitude in the foothills of the Himalayan-Tibet ranges. It is surrounded by high mountains on all sides except towards the northeast, where there is a narrow opening in the mountain ranges. The valley is, therefore, bottle-shaped in contour, with the neck of the bottle to the northeast, and it widens very considerably towards the south. Up towards the northern end, close to the neck of the bottle, there is to be found a huge flat rock. There are no trees or shrubs in the valley, which is covered with a kind of coarse grass, but the sides of the mountains are covered with trees.
At the time of the full moon of Taurus, pilgrims from all the surrounding districts begin to gather; the holy men and lamas find their way into the valley and fill the southern and the middle parts, leaving the northeastern end relatively free. There, so the legend runs, there gathers a group of those great Beings Who are the Custodians on Earth of God's Plan for our planet and for humanity. By what name we call these Beings does not greatly matter. The Christian believer may prefer to speak of Christ and His church, and regard Them as constituting that great Cloud of Witnesses Who guarantee to humanity ultimate salvation. The esotericists of the world may call Them the Masters of the Wisdom, the planetary Hierarchy, Who in Their varied grades are ruled and taught by the Christ, the Master of all Masters, and the Teacher alike of angels and of men. Or we can call Them the Rishis of the Hindu Scriptures, or the Society of Illumined Minds, as in the Tibetan teaching. They are the Great Intuitives and the Great Companions of our more modern presentation, and are the aggregate of perfected humanity who have followed in Christ's steps and have entered for us within the veil, leaving us an example that we should do as They have done. They, with Their wisdom, love and knowledge, stand as a protective wall around our race, and seek to lead us on, step by step (as They Themselves were led in Their time) from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. This group of knowers of divinity are the main participants in the Wesak Festival. They range Themselves in the northeastern end of the valley, and in concentric circles (according to the status and grade of Their initiatory development) prepare Themselves for a great act of service. In front of the rock, looking towards the northeast, stand Those Beings Who are called by Their disciples "the Three Great Lords." These are the Christ, Who stands in the centre; the Lord of living forms, the Mann, Who stands on His right; and the Lord of Civilisation, Who stands on His left. These three face the rock, upon which there rests a great crystal bowl, full of water.
It is an interesting sidelight upon this ceremony and its reality, that all who have dreamt of participating in it are always well aware of the exact position in the lower part of the valley where they themselves stood. One who  described it to me spoke of standing well off to one side, close to a tree to which a horse was tethered; and others seemed to know equally well where they found themselves. Some few realised that the place and the position, within the body of onlookers, indicated quite clearly the evolutionary status of the participant.
Behind the grouped Masters, adepts, initiates and senior workers under God's plan, are to be found the world disciples and aspirants in their various grades and groups (either "in the body or out of the body" to quote the words of St. Paul), who constitute at this time the New Group of World Servers. Those present in their physical bodies have found their way there by ordinary means. Others are present in their spiritual bodies and in the dream state. The "dream" which they later relate-may it not be the physical recognition and the recollection of an inner spiritual happening?
As the hour of the full moon approaches, a stillness settles down upon the crowd, and all look towards the northeast. Certain ritualistic movements take place, in which the grouped Masters and Their disciples of all ranks take up symbolic positions, and form on the floor of the valley such significant symbols as the five-pointed star, with the Christ standing at the highest point; or a triangle, with the Christ at the apex; or a cross, and other well known formations, all of which have a deep and potent meaning. This is all done to the sound of certain chanted words and esoteric phrases, called mantrams. The expectancy in the waiting, onlooking crowds becomes very great, and the tension is real and increasing. Through the entire body of people there seems to be felt a stimulation or potent vibration which has the effect of awakening the souls of those present, fusing and blending the group into one united whole, and lifting all into a great act of spiritual demand, readiness, and expectancy. It is the climax of the world's aspiration, focussed in this waiting group. These three words–demand, readiness and expectancy–best describe the atmosphere surrounding those present in this secret valley.
The chanting and the rhythmic weaving grows stronger, and all the participants and the watching crowd raise their eyes towards the sky in the direction of the narrow part of the valley. Just a few minutes before the exact time of the full moon, in the far distance, a tiny speck can be seen in the sky. It comes nearer and nearer, and grows in clarity and definiteness of outline, until the form of the Buddha can be seen, seated in the cross-legged Buddha position, clad in His saffron-coloured robe, bathed in light and colour, and with His hand extended in blessing. When He arrives at a point exactly over the great rock, hovering there in the air over the heads of the three Great Lords, a great mantram, used only once a year, at the Festival, is intoned by the Christ, and the entire group of people in the valley fall upon their faces. This Invocation sets up a great vibration or thought current which is of such potency that it reaches up from the group of aspirants, disciples or initiates who employ it, to God Himself. It marks the supreme moment of intensive spiritual effort throughout the entire year, and the spiritual vitalisation of humanity and the spiritual effects last throughout the succeeding months. The  effect of this Great Invocation is universal or cosmic, and serves to link us up with that cosmic centre of spiritual force from which all created beings have come. The blessing is poured forth, and the Christ–as the Representative of humanity–receives it in trust, for distribution.
Thus, so the legend runs, the Buddha returns once a year to bless the world, transmitting through the Christ renewed spiritual life. Slowly then the Buddha recedes into the distance, until again only a faint speck can be seen in the sky, and this eventually disappears. The whole ceremonial blessing, from the time of the first appearance in the distance until the moment the Buddha fades out of view, takes just eight minutes. The Buddha's annual sacrifice for humanity (for He comes back only at great cost) is over, and He returns again to that high place where He works and waits. Year after year He comes back in blessing; and year after year the same ceremony has taken place. Year after year He and His great Brother, the Christ, work in the closest cooperation for the spiritual benefit of humanity. In these two great Sons of God have been focussed two aspects of divine life, and They act together as Custodians of the highest type of spiritual force to which our humanity can respond. Through the Buddha, the wisdom of God is poured forth. Through the Christ, the love of God is manifested to humanity; and it is this wisdom and this love which pour forth upon mankind each "May" full moon.
So runs the ancient story; such is the legend which lies behind this popular holiday in the East. Such is the fact, if we can dare believe it and have minds open enough to recognise its possibility. It is, for the West, a somewhat new idea, and calls for the readjusting of some of our cherished beliefs. But, if it can be grasped and understood, there will emerge into our consciousness a new vision and the possibility of the race consciously tapping today a new source of supply and a new centre of spiritual force.
To some living people (in the world today) this Festival stands for certain most definite and clearly marked ideas, and for a great proffered opportunity. The ideas for which it stands might be enumerated as follows:
First, this Festival links the past with the present in a way that no other festival, connected with any of the great world religions, has ever done. It stands for a living truth, and for a present opportunity. In their mutual service to the race, the Buddha and the Christ bring about this linking; They also blend the East with the West, and unite in one whole the Christian tradition, the Buddhist and the Hindu faiths, and the aspiration of all believers in the world today, orthodox and unorthodox. Religious distinctions disappear.
Secondly, this Festival marks the high-water mark of spiritual blessing in the world. It is a time of an unusual inflow of life and of spiritual stimulation, and serves to vitalise the aspiration of all mankind.
Thirdly, at the time of the Festival and through the united effort of the Christ and the Buddha, working in the closest cooperation, there is opened a channel of communication between humanity and God, down which the love and wisdom of God himself can pour to a waiting and needy world. Speaking symbolically, and remembering that symbols always veil a truth, it might be  stated that, at the time of the full moon, it is as if a door were suddenly opened wide, which at other times stands closed. Through that door, aspirants and disciples can contact energies which are otherwise not easily available. Through that door, approach can be made to Those Who guide the race and to truth and reality, which at other times is not possible. Of this, all who stand on either side of the door can avail themselves, and this will be so increasingly. At the time of the full moon of Taurus, it is as if a door "into Heaven" were opened (still speaking symbolically) so that contact can be then made with those still greater Lives Who are to our planetary Hierarchy what it is to humanity. Once this is recognised, it will be possible to develop a Science of Approach to the deeper truths and forces of life which are as yet hidden behind a veil. This the New Age will reveal. It is part of the true emerging technique of the Path, and of spiritual progress.
Again, at this time great expansions of consciousness become possible which are not possible at other times. Disciples and initiates everywhere can be aided and stimulated spiritually to take those great steps which we call initiations, and which enable a man to penetrate a little more deeply and consciously into the mysteries of the kingdom of God. They reveal to him more clearly the wonder of his own divinity, the beauty of the divine in every man, and a little of the Plan to which humanity is conforming and with which he can cooperate.
To return to the drama in the Himalayas: When the Buddha has again disappeared the crowd rise to their feet; the water in the bowl is distributed in tiny portions to the Masters, initiates and disciples, and They then go Their way to the place of service. The crowd, who have all brought their little cups and vessels of water, drink of them, and share with others. In this beautiful water ceremony of communion" we have presented for us, in symbol, an indication of the New Age which is today upon us, the Aquarian Age, the age of the Water Carrier. It is the age of the "man bearing a pitcher of water," as Christ said in that episode preceding the communion service which He initiated. In this ceremony is perpetuated for us the story of the universality of God's love, the need for our individual purification, and the opportunity to share with each other that which belongs to all. The water, which has been magnetised by the presence of the Buddha and of the Christ, carries certain properties and virtues of a healing and helpful nature. Thus blessed, the crowd silently disperses; the Masters and the disciples return with renewed strength, to undertake another year of world service.
Today this legend, or this relation of a true and vital spiritual happening, is slowly finding its way into the West; there it evokes recognition, or curiosity, wonder or questioning, on the part of many. It seems to some Occidental aspirants that the time has now come when Occident and Orient can gather together spiritually in one great Festival and communion of souls. In unison with each other, and under the guidance of the Buddha Who came to bring light to the East, and of the Christ Who came to bring light to the West, they can demand and evoke such a blessing and spiritual revelation that the  immediate future can demonstrate what is so sorely needed–"peace on earth, good will to men." Thus we can usher in an era of brotherhood and understanding which will enable each man to have more time, free from fear, to find God for himself.
Thus the greatest event upon our planet, from the standpoint of the spiritual verities, and the one which has the greatest effect upon the human race, is therefore the Wesak Festival. Its influence has been there always, but unknown to the majority. Now its influence is to be recognised and consciously utilised. Each group of servers in the world who are consciously cooperating with the planetary Hierarchy do so definitely under certain laws, and through the use of certain words of power and certain great invocations. It is thus that they produce the demanded definite results. By means of the united rhythm of certain groups and their voiced invocations, groups of aspirants can be put in touch with the consciousness of great Lives and Intelligences, after they have learnt to align their personalities and have placed themselves en rapport with their own souls. These groups can establish a contact with the subjective world of Intelligences, through the medium of two focal points. One focal point, the Buddha, represents the overshadowing world of subjective spiritual realities, and the other focal point, the Christ, acts as the Representative of the world of aspiring human beings. This fact is symbolised for us in our church rituals, where the priest acts as a focal point. Here, however, is a momentous point of difference: Priesthood in these great and future "ceremonies of contact" will not be a separative and separated body of men. All can be priests, and a layman can also hold that office. The only qualification required will be the capacity to align oneself and be en rapport with the soul, and thus be able to cooperate with all other souls.
Finally it might be said that at a stated period in the year the Lodge of Masters meet. This Lodge is only another name for that body of pledged disciples and workers whom the Christian calls "Christ and His church." At this period, which coincides with the full moon of Taurus and the Wesak Festival, it meets definitely for three major purposes: To contact spiritual force which is transmitted to our planet through the medium of the Buddha and the Christ; to confer together as to the immediate necessity and the work to be done for humanity; and to admit to initiation those who are ready, and to stimulate Their disciples to increased activity and service.
One of the things that have been happening in the world today is the preparing of an instrument of service for the inauguration of the New Age. The integration of a group of knowers and of mystics is going on steadily in all parts of the world, and members of this group are being gathered out of every organisation (political, scientific, economic and religious) and out of all  churches, all nations and all races. One group is being gathered, but its members belong to many groups. It is this group that can be brought most definitely en rapport with the force transmitted, and with the spiritual stimulation applied, at the time of the Wesak Festival. They can act as the transmitters for the forces of light and the spirit of peace, wisdom, and love, to the rest of humanity. To them is given the opportunity of being a channel through which the Hierarchy of Knowers and Intelligences can work, and through which the great spiritual Lives can transmit Their illuminating thought. Through them also They can work for the uplift of humanity. According to the response of the disciples, mystics and knowers throughout the world, so will be the rapid coming in of the New Age.
Great words of reconstruction are being sounded forth from "the secret place of the most high," and those words of reconstruction must not fall on deaf ears but must stimulate into activity those who can and will respond. Such a great word is going forth at the full moon of each Wesak.
The great need today is the development of the intuition and the discrimination of the disciples of the world. They must learn to sense the higher vision, to respond to the day of opportunity, and to achieve the higher conscious relationship, no matter at what cost to the lower self. In doing this they will have to remember that the lower nature, owing to its intimate close nature, will seem abnormally attractive and can be transcended only at infinite cost. The intuition must therefore be developed in the group, and the sense of values must be far more adequately adjusted, before it can measure up to requirements and fulfill its function which is to inaugurate the New Age. The downpouring of spiritual force at the time of the Wesak Festival has for its objective the stimulation of the intuition of the grouped disciples, aspirants and men of goodwill.
Present-day troubles are largely due to the lack of this intuitional capacity. The mystics of the world are primarily engrossed with their own spiritual development, with seeing visions for themselves and the effects on them. The trouble does not lie in a lack of idealism or in a lack of intelligent sincerity. It lies in the failure to sacrifice the personality at all times and at any cost, in order to make the intuitive realisation a fact in physical manifestation. Compromise has been permitted, and in spiritual work compromise, where it emphasises the personality and throws the spiritual man into the background, is forbidden. The Guides of the race are looking for those today who have clear vision, uncompromising adherence to the truth, as sensed, and a capacity to drive steadily forward towards the materialising of the ideal.
Workers in the new era will, therefore, be drawn from all groups, and their choice will depend largely upon the measure of impersonality with which they work and upon the strength of their inner contact with the soul.
The question now arises how each of us, who are aspirants and consecrated to the service of our fellowmen, can best aid and serve.
In this transition period which precedes the New Age the time of the Wesak Festival is each year assuming a deeper significance to all who are  interested in world service, or who are working in cooperation with the Hierarchy of Masters, with Christ and His Disciples. It is a time of rare opportunity, and for it even the Hierarchy Itself is undergoing preparation. The Christ and the Buddha are working together in order to bring about a receptivity on the part of humanity to a possible inflow of spiritual force which may serve to turn the tide of the present distress, depression and uncertainty, and thus inaugurate an era of peace wherein men may have the leisure and the opportunity to nurture their contact with spiritual realities.
This planet of ours, the Earth, is at this time the focal point of much attention on the part of the Administrators of the divine Plan. They are today working in conjunction with certain types of forces and with certain spiritual Beings other than those usually recognised on Earth. The Buddha has, at this time, a special function as interplanetary Mediator, and in this capacity will attempt to provide such conditions as will bring in the new forces of light and peace, and thus change Earth conditions. If the effort should prove successful, it should cause a much increased spiritual inflow of energy of a kind more potent than, and of a quality somewhat different to any at this time pouring into and through our planetary life. Those aspirants and disciples who can train themselves to the realisation of an increased spiritual responsibility, and who can preserve an inner quietness and an attitude of focussed attention, can be swept into this tide of spiritual force and thus serve humanity's need. As transmitters, they can meet that need; as interpreters, they can increase the capacity of mankind to respond and to understand.
A call has been sent out by the entire Hierarchy of Masters to all disciples and to the New Group of World Servers to prepare themselves each full moon of May for an intensive holy month of accelerated service. They appeal to all of us to cooperate, as fully as possible, in an intensive effort to increase the receptivity of humanity to the new forces which can be released and perform their benevolent synthesising work at the coming Wesak Festival.
Should the Buddha and the Christ and the focussed Hierarchy (with the aid of all disciples and aspirants) succeed in producing what may be regarded as a form of planetary unification, and thus produce the needed open channel, it will still remain for all of us who can understand to act as the mediums for the transmission of life and light. We can keep the channel open between the world thinkers and workers and the inner spiritual group of Knowers and Servers.
The period of the Wesak Festival has lately been extended to cover five days of work and service; that is, the two days preceding the full moon, the day of the Festival itself, and the two succeeding days. The exact hour of the Wesak full moon is itself of tremendous importance.
The two days of preparation are to be known as "Days of Renunciation and Detachment." The day of the Festival is to be known as the "Day of Safe-Guarding," whilst the two succeeding days are to be called the "Days of Distribution." This demands five days of the most intensive effort in service, leading to the renunciation of all within ourselves which could hinder our  usefulness as servers and as channels of spiritual force. It means that after due preparation, dedication and upward striving for the first two days, on the day of the Festival itself we simply regard ourselves as the recipients of as much of that inflowing spiritual force as we can contain. As channels, we must be prepared to forget ourselves in the service of touching, containing and holding force for the rest of humanity. We must learn to regard the day of the Festival itself as the day of silence–a subjective silence and inner peace that can be preserved unbroken though we may at the same time be serving with our speech and our active interest in others. During the day, two thoughts only will hold our constant attention. These are the need of our fellowmen and the necessity of providing a group channel whereby the spiritual forces may become available. We shall attempt to hold ourselves steadily in the light of our own souls, and thereby begin to work as souls, whose interests are ever with the group and not with the individual, and whose consciousness is that of the whole and not of the part.
On the two succeeding days, the focus of our attention should be turned away from ourselves to the outer world, and our effort will be to pass on that measure of spiritual energy that we have been successful in contacting.
When Christ was on Earth He told His disciples that successful spiritual effort of a healing nature went not forth except by prayer and fasting. This effort, each Wesak Festival, is a group effort towards a vast group healing, and by prayer (sanctified desire, illumined thought and intense aspirational longing), and by the discipline of ourselves, the work can be carried forward to a good completion. It is a group effort that is required, and each one of us (who can sense the vision) can help. No one is too small or too unimportant to be of service, for it is the aggregate of the aspirational longing of all that will eventually call forth the blessing. All of us can do something to bring to an end this present impasse, and make it possible to usher in a period of peace and of goodwill.
It is however no millennium for which we are working, and our main objectives are two in number: First, to break an ancient rhythm, and to establish a new and better one. To do this, time is a paramount factor, and this should be remembered. That which is evil and calamitous is on the verge of precipitating, but the impending evil can be dissipated and the danger of disaster can be averted. The Wesak Festival offers a great opportunity to invoke and evoke those powers which can offset the evil and bring in the good. Secondly, to blend and fuse the united aspiration of everybody at the time of each full moon (and particularly the Wesak full moon) so that a channel may be cleared and a contact be established between the New Group of World Servers, composed of all true disciples, aspirants and men of goodwill, no matter what their nationality or faith, and the waiting Hierarchy of Christ's Disciples. Once this channel is permanently established and a large number of thinking men and women realise its function and possibilities, it will then be easier for spiritual truth to impress the public consciousness, and for Christ and the Hierarchy of Masters to sway public opinion. The establishing of  such a channel by the world aspirants is today taking place. Is it not possible that the true function of all religious ceremonials may be simply to bring about just such an established contact between the world of subjective realities and the world of everyday life? May not the new and coming world religion be built up around this idea, and may it not be that the work of the Church Universal in the New Age will be centred around the periods of the full moon each month, and develop into a Science of Approach, or a Technique of Spiritual Contact? This will colour our new church rituals and indicate the emerging truth about the Path of return to God. Some of us are coming to believe that this is so. This will be the new Way of Union. This union is not the same as the mystical union of the scriptures or of the mystical tradition, for that concerns the individual's relation to God and to his own soul. It is not union in relation to a Master's group of disciples. These constitute preliminary implications and are of individual application. The union referred to is a far more vital thing, for it refers to a group union and to the establishing of a group relation between the world of Spiritual Being and the world of outer living. It is a bringing together, in a new way, of the objective and the subjective.
Let us sum up what we shall seek to do as each Wesak Festival comes around and–in a lesser manner–at the time of each monthly full moon. We are seeking to carry forward a group endeavour which is of such moment that, at the right time, it will sweep forward, on its growing momentum, a potent magnetic impulse; this will reach up to those Lives Who brood over humanity and our world civilisation, and Who work through the Masters of the Wisdom, and through Christ and His church. It will call forth from Them a responsive magnetic impulse. This will bring together the overshadowing beneficent Forces (Who embody the Love of God) and a needy world. Through the concentrated effort of the New Group of World Servers, light, inspiration and spiritual healing" can be released in such a flood of power that definite changes will be wrought in the human consciousness, and conditions in the world therefore be definitely ameliorated. Men's eyes will be opened to the basic realities which are as yet only dimly sensed by the general public. Humanity will then itself apply the needed correctives, believing it is doing so in the strength of its own wisdom and power; yet all the time behind the scenes stand the grouped aspirants and disciples, working silently and in unison with each other and the Hierarchy, thus keeping the channel open through which the needed wisdom, strength and love can flow. In this great task, the following groupings and relations should be considered:
1. The Forces of Light and the Spirit of Peace.
2. The planetary Hierarchy, or Christ and His church.
3. The Buddha, embodying the Wisdom of God.
4. The Christ, embodying the Love of God.
5. The New Group of World Servers, disciples and aspirants.
6. Humanity as a whole, needy and seeking light and aid.
It should be noted that the Buddha focusses in Himself the downpouring forces, whilst Christ focusses in Himself the outgoing demand, the spiritual aspiration of the entire planet. This constitutes a planetary alignment of great potency. Should the needed work be carried forward when the Wesak Festival comes around each year, then the necessary adjustments in the world can be made. The success or failure of the hoped-for stimulation lies largely in our hands. If this work should prove a success, it should be possible to inaugurate a new relation between the Hierarchy and mankind. It should mark the beginning of a new type of mediatory work–work carried forward this time by a salvaging group of Servers who are in training for the establishing of that group which will eventually save the world.
On the Taurus–GeminiFull Moon Approach
One point I must make here and I make it with great joy: This year (1946) marks the beginning of a cycle in which humanity is more closely involved in the Festivals than ever before and in which they can take a much more important part than ever before. The Wesak Festival has long been kept in many countries and–as time goes on and the instruction of the masses proceeds–the meeting held at the time of the May Full Moon* will assume great importance but its keynote will be changed. … It is the intention of the Buddha and the Christ that in each country there shall eventually be someone who will act as Their Representative at the time of the two Festivals, so that the distribution of spiritual energy from the first great Aspect or Ray will be direct from the Buddha (and later Shamballa) to the Christ and then from the Christ to those disciples in every country who can be overshadowed and so act as channels for the direct current of energy. The same procedure will be followed at the time of the Full Moon of June, except that Shamballa will not be so involved, and with the difference that at the May Festival it will be a first ray disciple who will be overshadowed and at the June Festival a second ray disciple will represent the Christ in every land. This can mean either the soul or the personality ray of the disciple. (Wesak Message 1946)
The Wesak Festival‑The Full Moon (Taurus) of the Buddha
The day of the Festival is to be known as the "day of safeguarding" whilst the two succeeding days are called the "days of distribution." These words mean something different to the Hierarchy of Masters than they do to us and  it is fruitless (as well as forbidden) to elucidate them in their deepest meaning. They mean, however, five days of a most intensive effort in service, leading to the renunciation of all which could hinder our usefulness as channels of spiritual force. It means that after due preparation, dedication and upward striving for the first two days, on the day of the Festival itself we simply regard ourselves as the recipients of, or the custodians of, as much of that inflowing spiritual force as we can possibly hold. As channels, we must be prepared to forget ourselves in the service of touching, containing and holding force for the rest of humanity. We must regard the Festival itself as a day of silence (I refer to an inner peace and silent solemnity that can be preserved unbroken though the outer man may be serving with his speech and spoken interest), a day of service carried forward entirely on esoteric levels, and of complete self-forgetfulness in the remembrance of humanity and its need. During that period, two thoughts only will hold our constant attention–the need of our fellowmen and the necessity of providing a group channel whereby the spiritual forces can be poured through the body of humanity under the expert guidance of the chosen members of the Hierarchy.
For two days prior to the full moon, we will hold the attitude of dedication and service and seek to assume that attitude of receptivity to that which our soul will impart which will make us of use to the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy works through groups of souls, and the potency of this group work is to be tested out. These groups in their turn contact and feed the waiting dedicated attentive personalities. On the day of the full moon, we attempt to hold ourselves steadily in the light. We will not formulate to ourselves what will happen nor will we look for results or for tangible effects.
On the two succeeding days, the focus of our attention will be steadily turned away from ourselves but also from the inner subjective planes to the outer world, and our efforts will be to pass on, or to pass through, that measure of spiritual energy that may have been contacted. Our work then in this particular and peculiar field of cooperation will then be ended.
This effort of the Hierarchy is a five days' effort, preceded by a most intensive period of preparation. The work of getting ready for the opportunity starts for the Hierarchy exactly at the hour when "the sun began to move northward." But They tire not as do human beings and it is not possible for the human aspirant to keep up so long a period of preparation, no matter how deep his devotion.
When the Great Lord was on Earth, He told His disciples that successful spiritual effort of a healing nature went not forth except by prayer and fasting. Will you ponder on these words? This is a group effort towards a vast group healing and by prayer (sanctified desire, illumined thought and intense aspirational longing) and by the discipline of the physical body for a short period and for a definite objective, the work can be done.
What is it that should be accomplished at each momentous full moon in May? I shall state the objective sequentially and in the order of their  importance, and with as much clarity and brevity as this abstruse subject permits.
1. The releasing of certain energies which can potently affect humanity, and which will, if released, stimulate the spirit of love, of brotherhood and of goodwill on the earth. These energies are as definite and as real as those energies with which science occupies itself and calls the "cosmic rays." I am speaking of real energies and not of emotionally desired abstractions.
2. The fusion of all the men of goodwill in the world into an integrated responsive whole.
3. The invocation and the response of certain great Beings, Whose work can and will be possible if the first of the objectives is achieved through the accomplishment of the second objective. Ponder on this synthesis of the three objectives. By what name these Living Forces are called is entirely immaterial. They can be regarded as the Vice-Regents of God, Who can and will cooperate with the Spirit of Life and of Love upon our planet, the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. They may be regarded by certain thinkers as the Archangels of the Most High, Whose work has been made possible through the activity of Christ and His body of disciples, the true and living Church. They may be regarded by others as the guiding heads of the planetary Hierarchy, Who stand behind our planetary evolution, and Who seldom take an active part in the world activity, leaving it to the Masters of the Wisdom except in the time of an emergency such as this. By whatever name we call Them, They stand ready to aid if the call comes forth with sufficient strength and power from the aspirants and disciples at the time of the May full moon and the June full moon.
4. The evocation from the inner side of a strenuous and one-pointed activity on the part of the Hierarchy of Masters, those illumined Minds to Whom has been confided the work of world direction. A responsiveness is desired and can be effective between the following three groups:
a. The waiting and (at this time) anxious Hierarchy–anxious because even They cannot tell how humanity will react and whether men will be wise enough to avail themselves of the proffered opportunity. They stand, organised under the direction of the Christ, the Master of all the Masters, and the Teacher alike of angels and of men. He has been constituted the direct intermediary between the earth and the Buddha, Who is, in His turn, consecrated intermediary between the entire waiting Hierarchy and the attentive Forces.
b. The New Group of World Servers, composed at this time of all those sensitive and consecrated servers of the race whose objective is world peace, who aim at the establishing of goodwill on earth as the basis for future living and world expansion. Originally, this group was composed of a handful of accepted disciples and consecrated aspirants. Its ranks have been opened . . . to all those men of goodwill who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the helping of humanity, and who  see no separating bar of any kind, but feel alike to the men of all races, nationalities and religions.
c. The masses of men and women who have responded to the ideas which have been set forth, and who react favorably to the objective of international understanding, economic interdependence and religious unity. When these three groups of thinkers and servers are brought en rapport with each other, and when the three groups can be aligned, even momentarily, much can be accomplished; the gates of the new life can be opened, and the inflow of the new spiritual forces can take place. Such is the Group objective and idea.
May I now make an inquiry? Of what importance is this full moon of May to you personally? Does it seem to you of sufficient importance to warrant your utmost effort? Do you really believe that on that day there can truly come a release of spiritual energy of sufficient potency to change world affairs, provided the sons of men play their part? Do you really believe, and can you stand practically to that belief, that the Buddha on that date, in cooperation with the Christ, and with the Hierarchy of Illumined Minds, plus the proffered aid of some of the Thrones, Principalities and Powers of Light, Who are the higher correspondence of the powers of darkness, stand waiting to carry out God's Plans, when given the right and the permission of men? Your major job at this time is not to wrestle with the powers of evil and the forces of darkness, but to awaken an interest in and mobilise the forces of light in the world today. Resist not evil, but so organise and mobilise the good, and so strengthen the hands of the workers on the side of righteousness and love that evil will find less opportunity.
If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed in what I have told you, if you have staunch belief in the work of the spirit of God and in the divinity of man, then forget yourselves and consecrate your every effort, from the time you receive this communication, to the task of cooperation in the organised effort to change the current of world affairs by an increase in the spirit of love and goodwill in the world during the month of May. (Rays II-pp. 687-692)
The Festival of Humanity–The Full Moon (Gemini) of the Christ
The Festival of June which is so uniquely Christ's and which emphasises His relationship to humanity, in reality covers three whole days, each with a different keynote:
1. The keynote of Love in its hierarchical sense, free from sentiment, emotion and personal emphasis–a love that sacrifices and understands, that acts with strength and decision and that works on behalf of the whole and not in the interests of any group or individual.
2. The keynote of Resurrection, emphasising the new note of livingness, of the living Christ and of that "life more abundantly" which the war has made possible by forcing a return to the real values. 
3. The keynote of Contact, of a closer relation between Christ and His people, between the Hierarchy and Humanity.
The word "keynote" has been deliberately chosen and signifies the sound which preceded each major inflow at the May festival; these energies will be released at a solemn ceremony on each of the three days. At each ceremony the Christ will say the Invocation alone, and then the united Hierarchy will intone the stanza alone, invoking light, love and the will-to-good (one on each of the three days). Those disciples or initiates who happen to be interested and watching the Triangles or the Goodwill Movement will have them in their minds as they say the first and third stanzas, and the New Group of World Servers will receive some attention when the second stanza is chanted.
I would call your attention, therefore, to the interest shown by the Hierarchy in the embryonic efforts in which you are engaged and which I started; I would point out, however, that the attention paid is not exclusive but that wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of the Master of the Hierarchy, energy will flow; that wherever goodwill is a goal and evokes effort in no matter what form, the energy of the will-to-good will make itself felt, and that the New Group of World Servers is a far larger group than just the few known to you. Today its members are several million.
(Wesak Message 1946)
Relationship of the Two Festivals
At the time of the May Full Moon, the Buddha will sound out a great mantram and become the "absorbing Agent" of the first ray force. He will use the magnetic power of the second ray to attract this force to Himself and hold it steady, prior to redirecting it. The Christ will then–on behalf of the Hierarchy–become the "receiving Agent" of this potent energy and the seven groups of Masters Who work with the human and sub-human kingdoms will (in response to His demand) become the "directing Agents" for the sevenfold expression of this force.
At the time of the June Full Moon, the Hierarchy will, under the guidance of the Christ, let loose this will-to-good upon humanity, producing seven great results, according to the seven sub-rays of this first ray of will or power:
1. Power will be given to the disciples of the world and the initiates among men, so that They can direct efficiently and wisely the coming process of rebuilding.
2. The will-to-love will stimulate the men of goodwill everywhere that hatred will gradually be overcome and men will seek to live together cooperatively. This will take some time, but the inner urge is there and subject to stimulation.
3. The will-to-action will lead intelligent people throughout the world to inaugurate those activities which will lay the foundation for a new, better and happier world. 
4. The will-to-cooperate will steadily increase also. Men will desire and demand right human relations–a result more general than that produced by the activity of the first three aspects of this ray, but which will be a natural outcome of this activity.
5. The will-to-know and to think correctly and creatively will become an outstanding characteristic of the masses. Knowledge, my brothers, is the first step towards wisdom.
6. The will-to-persist (which is an aspect of devotion and fixed idealism) will become a human characteristic–a sublimation of the basic instinct of self-preservation. This will lead to a persistent belief in the ideals presented by the Hierarchy, and the demonstration of immorality.
7. The will-to-organise will further a building process which will be carried forward under the direct inspiration of the Hierarchy. The medium will be the potency of the will-to-good of the New Group of World Servers and the responsive goodwill of mankind.
(Wesak Message 1944)
World Invocation Day
Since 1952 the Full Moon of Gemini has also been observed as World Invocation Day. The Great Invocation, used by humanity since 1945, has become an integral part of the work of the Festivals and of preparation for the reappearance of the Christ.
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 centre 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 centre 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.