Chronicles of the Path
Victor Endersby

Foreword

Chronicles of the Path and Kurukshetra Field: A Study in the Bhagavad-Gita were both serialized by author Victor Endersby in his journal Theosophical Notes (1951 - 1978). Chronicles, a series of short stories, allegories and guru-chela dialogues illustrative of various lessons encountered on a spiritual path, appeared in Theosophical Notes September, 1951 thru September 1952, November and December 1952, February and March 1953, and the last chapter in November 1954. Kurukshetra Field appeared in 21 installments from November 1951 thru July, 1953. Theosophical Notes was published monthly for most of its 26 years of publication, was in mimeograph format mostly, and usually ran about 24 pages of 8 + 1/2" by 11". In the end it amounted to 10 large volumes. Endersby also authored several books and was an anonymous contributor to the magazine Theosophy in the 20's, 30's and 40's. A short biography of Victor Endersby’s very interesting and productive life is found in the Afterword.

Kurukshetra Field is Endersby’s commentary on the spiritual classic The Bhagavad-Gita. His modern, wise and pithy observations are felt to be a valuable addition to the study of this great book. The rendition of the Gita used is Theosophical Society founder William Q. Judge’s, published and still in print by The Theosophy Company. Footnotes are Judge’s except where otherwise noted.

M. R. Jaqua, Spring, 1998.

A Vision

All day long a traveler had followed the foothills, his eyes longingly turning to the snow-capped peaks which all his life he had yearned to make his home, forgetful of the bawlings and recriminations of the race of men. From this he was banished by hard duties without foreseeable end, willingly undertaken, but bitter. At nightfall, he found himself lodged in a poor place surrounded by the scarrings and debris of those to whom a mountain is only a mountain, a tree only a tree, and sadly composed himself to sleep.

In that state between sleep and waking, where universes merge and wisdom comes to those who seek it, folly to others, he saw rise before him another mountain range, in a land, it seemed, that was yet to be. From giant rolling buttresses clothed with green unmarked, unbroken, without smoke, cleft with deep ravines of mysterious darkness and sombre beauty, rose a faery mass of white peaks, line upon line and height upon height, merging into the sky above breathable air, and untrodden by living foot.

Before this stood a crystalline city, whose slender soaring towers and spirals, magnificent to man but only a symbol, not a rival of the heights beyond, attested to the aspiration of this race. Beautiful of color, glittering like jewels, was this city. Its approach was through no garbage heaps, no sordid abodes, no roaring, wearing highways; but up a vast width of rose-colored steps traversed by a colorful crowd, whose gay raiment matched the happy distant murmur of its voices.

By a means unknown, he approached the place and passed through it, observing, listening, and sensing. It was not such a city as he had known. People were not strangers to each other there, even though met for the first time. Man greeted maid without hidden design, and maid responded without fear or calculation. A passer-by interested by a word heard from a group, joined that group without insolence, and was received without affront. All doors stood open, but when closed for thought and quiet, all understood, and none were offended. Children played at their own devising aside from the stern eyes of preceptors, and none took hurt or received injustice. In the streets, no man carried a monitory weapon or scanned the crowd for disorder.

The elder showed no dislike for youth, nor youth contempt and disdain for elder. The child greeted the patriarch with a smile, admiring a task of living nearly finished, that he himself had just begun; gray beard beneath broad unfurrowed brow parted to show white shining teeth in return. No sick were there; men came to their term and passed quietly in the night.

Man and wife passed by without shrill dispute, or growl of criticism, mate against mate; it was one woman for one man, one man for one woman, for by sacrifice and service in past lives, man and maid had long set foot in those paths that crossed at the proper time and place; and no animal experiments were called upon to find companions for a lifetime.

Men were busy everywhere, happily and in concert, at tasks complex and incomprehensible to the Traveler; but no overseeing power or center of government could he find. One sad place alone there was; the great museum and library where were kept the records and relics of elder races. Here men went to study, and passed again into the bright streets with faces shadowed for a time.

It struck the Traveler as strange that this sky was laced with no paths of cacophonous monsters, that the outward roads were filled with no roaring machinery, but quietly faded out into the fields and woods ere the horizon was reached; that there were no rushing incomers and outgoers.

“But this,” he thought, “is clear enough. This is Ultima Thule; within foot-reach lies all of this world that a man could ever desire. If there is need for this folk to travel, it is on inner paths of Soul and Self, not on roads of sky or plain.”...

Glory of city and grandeur of mountain faded, merged with the lowly room in which his body lay; he knew not for a time upon which he was truly gazing, and hastened, before the vision was lost, to question that which was himself but somewhat more than self; the Voice that sometimes responded in times of high aspiration.

“Is this to be?” he said. “Or is it fantasy, a fragment of Devachan born untimely from my sadness and the grime of my daily task?”

“What a man can see, even one man, is what shall be - in due time and place.”

“How soon? How many dreary ages stretch before, how many sorrowful labors?”

“Ask not how soon. As how many. The one determines the other.”

“I seem alone.”

“Not alone by millions. The Vision is broken, the shards are misshapen, the substance scattered from pole to pole. Yet in man as a whole, is the thing complete, even today. The very sins of man are often his misguided efforts to bring the Vision to life.”

“Why then does it not live?”

“Because of fear. Risk is equal to gain, and the path to Heaven skirts the abyss of hell. Man fears the bliss that he cannot understand, and clings to the agony that he knows. Men fear one another; they fear loneliness; they fear themselves; they fear death, and they fear life.”

“How shall I teach them - I, who fear so many things?”

“Is your fear for self, or others? Has fear ever turned you back from a duty?”

“For others in the main, I truly believe. To the other question: No! This I may say.”

“Then are you fit to speak of courage. The man who has never known fear is only a fool. The greater the terror the greater the merit of one who turns not. Go - try to give men courage! When their courage matches what they already know - give them more knowledge!”

The sagging wings of Sight folded; the Traveler passed on into Sleep, happier than for many months. Later came the light of gray dawn through dingy panes, to replace the Glory, but it would never wholly fade.

Last Update : January 2009
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