This is another excerpt from the 1909 work, The Path of Light. By today’s standards the language is archaic, yet unlike today’s standards it has not been intellectualized and neutered and watered-down from its full import; yes, there was a time when the message was clear and not afraid to voice the eternal truths…there’s true passion in them thar words…
“Yea, I give to the Conquerors and their Sons myself entirely. Take me for your chattel, O noble beings ; I make myself in love your slave. By being your chattel I am freed from fear in life, and work good for living creatures ; I escape my former sins, and do evil no more. . . .
I take refuge with the Enlightened One, awaiting the coming of the perfect Light; I take refuge in the Law and the Congregation of Sons of Enlightenment. With clasped hands I make supplication to the Enlightened Ones dwelling in all regions and to the most merciful Sons of Enlightenment. Whatsoever be the sin that I, poor brute, in my beginningless round of past births or in this birth have in my madness done or made others do or approved for my own undoing, I confess the transgression thereof, and am stricken with remorse.
O Masters, I confess all. How may I escape from it? Speedily save me, lest death come too soon upon me ere my sin have faded away. Death considers not what works be done or not done, and strikes us through our ease, a sudden thunder-bolt, unsure alike for the healthy and the sick.
Unceasingly through night and day the waning of vital force increases ; must I not die? Lying here on my bed, or standing amidst my kin, I must suffer the agonies of dissolution alone. Whence shall I find a kinsman, whence a friend, when the Death-god’s messengers seize me?
How then will it be with me when I am in the charge of the Death-god’s hideous messengers, consumed by a fever of mighty terror, covered with filth, looking with timid glances to the four quarters of heaven for aid ? Who will be the friend to save me from that awful terror ? I shall see in the heavens no help, and sink back into madness ; then what shall I do in that place of horror ? Now, now I come for refuge to the mighty Lords of the world, the Conquerors eager for the world’s protection, who allay all fear; to the Law learned by them I come with all my heart for refuge, and to the Congregation of the Sons of Enlightenment.”
Take me as your possession. This is strong stuff. It means relinquishing any sense of being an individual doomed to roam where ‘ere the wind blows. I hand myself over to the Shining Ones and their spiritual sons and daughters who follow the Noble Path. Take my liberty. Take my entire will. I am theirs now. I who once was am no more, with no more fear or ignorance to spare.
I now take refuge with the Noble Shining Ones. I now await cleansing in the perfected, eternal, and luminous light. I now take refuge in the Eternal Law of the Buddhadharma and am now a resident of the Dharmadhatu. Whatever wrong doings I have committed in the past are now relinquished. If there is any thought of returning to my former ways and worshipping the laws of karma, let me be filled with remorse.
Death can arrive with the sureness of a heaven-blown lightning. There is no escape. Death cares little for what I have left undone and my mad desires for more and more. I find my spiritual health and refuge from death alone in the Tathagatas and nowhere else.
As the years pass my vitality wanes and vanishes. Even though some remnant of former loved ones and associates keep deathwatch, am I not left alone to face Yama’s icy stare? Where shall my kinsfolk be when death’s messengers make their appearance known? Who dare follow and keep company with me then?
The death mask clings to me now with its awful stench. Who is there who can wash me whiter than snow? The heavens of the gods offer no lasting refuge. The madness of the last hour beckons me even now. And yet, there are Conquerors who stand at the door of my heart and offer total release from all fears. Their Mighty Dharmatic Law softens samsaric sinews long lost and hardened by the sands of time. Let me seek refuge then in their ever abiding Illuminative Law of Light, Hand in hand with the Congregational sons and daughters of Enlightenments finest hour.