A Statement on the Adaptation of the Great Invocation
Prepare men for the reappearance of the Christ. This is your first and greatest duty. The most important part of that work is teaching men—on a large scale—to use the Invocation so that it becomes a world prayer and focusses the invocative demand of humanity (The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 641).
The rendering of "seven ancient word-forms" into modern language was the supreme achievement of Alice A. Bailey and the Tibetan, Djwhal Khul’s 30 years of work together, and for 55 years the Great Invocation has been sounded throughout the world and translated into almost 70 languages and dialects. As a result of its worldwide use over the years, the energies invoked by the Great Invocation can now be said to be deeply anchored in human consciousness.
The Great Invocation was always intended by the Tibetan, Djwhal Khul, to be given mass distribution and to become a world prayer. Now, in an increasingly pluralistic and multicultural world, the need is to continue to make the Great Invocation accessible to as many people as possible. This matter seems particularly urgent now, because in the year 2000 another direct impact of Shamballa energy—the will—is expected, and the Great Invocation is the major agent for the transformation of the human will.
Over the years we have been aware of some people’s objections to the wording of the Great Invocation. Sometimes these objections have seemed to arise from a limited understanding of the meaning of the Great Invocation. However, language is a living, changing means of expression, in keeping with changes in human consciousness. Therefore, after much discussion, reflection and group meditation, the members of the international Board of Trustees of the Lucis Trust and the headquarters group in the three centres have concluded that the mass distribution of the Great Invocation—which is intended to be Christ’s own mantram for the Aquarian age—must be allowed to accommodate slight modifications of language without changing its meaning. Our hope is that, if this decision will enable larger numbers of people to work with the Great Invocation in a slightly adapted form, it will continue to foster the transformation of consciousness so necessary in this period of planetary crisis.
Many co-workers have worked with the Great Invocation and helped to distribute it, and we want to assure these co-workers that we have never believed any useful purpose is served in the attempt to pander to fluctuating tastes or prejudices to avoid causing offense. The fact that we have kept the Teachings of the Tibetan, which are quite controversial to some minds, in print and unchanged testifies to our willingness to fulfil our responsibility as a "trust of light", which is the real meaning of the name Lucis Trust.
We continue to believe that the original wording of the GI, as it was given in English, is not only unassailably inclusive to those who truly understand its meaning, but that the careful choice of words and mantric cadence contains great spiritual teaching in and of itself. However, we also recognise that the tremendous changes of the past 55 years, which have led to greater recognition of women’s contribution to society and to a growing appreciation for the traditions of the world’s faiths, especially those of the East such as Buddhism and Hinduism, have created a mental climate in which even the appearance of exclusivity, narrowness of doctrine, or bias is intolerable. The coming decades will be a period of preparation for the externalisation of the Hierarchy and the reappearance of the Christ, the World Teacher, for which the Tibetan, Djwhal Khul, said that the worldwide appeal generated by the Great Invocation is our most important means of cooperation. In this preparatory period, we believe that any lingering barriers of resistance to the wording of the Great Invocation must not be allowed to stand in the way of its widespread use and distribution.
We also realise that the Invocation is built upon "seven ancient word-forms" and that the Tibetan himself seemed to encourage the slight adaptation of certain terms when introducing the Great Invocation to specific groups. There have always been objections to the wording of the Great Invocation, which is probably understandable given its great potency as a mantram; however, two words in particular—"men" and "Christ"—have evoked greater misunderstanding than the rest. The word "man" comes from Sanskrit and means "one who thinks", but in the modern mind this word is viewed as sexist and exclusive. "Christ", unfortunately, too often is viewed as the sole province of Christianity and not relevant to people of other religions or of no particular religion. These two points we think can be modified, if deemed necessary, without compromising the unparallelled spiritual value of the Great Invocation in the version which follows.
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts.
May the Coming One return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills—
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the human race
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.
This slightly adapted version is now available as a card (enclosed) suitable for personal use and public distribution by co-workers, and is also available as an 8 ½ by 11 inch poster suitable for display for World Invocation Day.
We would welcome hearing from you on this initiative although it may not be possible for us to respond to each letter individually.
We will continue to work with the original Great Invocation in our meetings and conferences, and we know that many co-workers will too. However our hope is that, whether one works with the original version or the adapted wording given above, its use will contribute to the transformation of consciousness that will enable one to penetrate beyond the words to the true meaning and significance of this great world prayer.