Man invokes divine approach in various ways: by means of the inchoate, voiceless appeal or invocative cry of the masses; and also by the planned, defined invocation of the spiritually-minded, oriented aspirants, the intelligently convinced worker.
Little attention has been paid to the factor of invocation as expressed by the people of the world; yet down the ages, the invocative cry of humanity has risen to the spiritual Hierarchy and brought response. Let us illustrate: the spiritual statement by Shri Krishna, to be found in the Lord’s Song, the Bhagavad Gita, was an announcement, preparatory to the coming of the Christ. In that song He says:
“Whenever there is a withering of the Law and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides, then I manifest Myself. For the salvation of the righteous and the destruction of such as do evil, for the firm establishing of the Law, I come to birth in age after age.”
In the lawless and wicked period of the Roman Empire, the Christ came.
Another instance of a notable and most ancient invocation is to be found in the Gayatri where the people invoke the Sun in the words: “Unveil to us the face of the true spiritual Sun, hidden by a disk of golden light, that we may know the truth and do our whole duty, as we journey to Thy sacred feet.”
To this we should also add the Four Noble Truths, as enunciated by the Buddha and which are so well known to all of us — summarising as they do the causes and the sources of all the troubles which concern humanity. There are many translations of these truths; they all convey the same longing and appeal and meaning. During the Jewish Dispensation, there was given a statement as to human conduct in the words of the Ten Commandments; upon these, human law has been based and upon them the laws governing the relationships of people in the West have been founded. Then Christ came and gave to us the fundamental law of the universe, the law of love; He also gave us the Lord’s Prayer with its emphasis upon the Fatherhood of God, the coming of the Kingdom and right human relations.
Today, humanity stands at a peculiar and unique middle point, between an unhappy past and a future which is full of promise if the reappearance of the Christ is recognised and preparation for His coming is undertaken. The present is full of promise and also full of difficulty; in the hands of human beings today and in the immediate future, lies the destiny of the world and — if it may be reverently said — the immediate activity of the Christ. The agony of war, and the distress of the entire human family led Christ, in the year 1945, to come to a great decision — a decision which found expression in two most important statements. He announced to the assembled spiritual Hierarchy and to all His servants and disciples on earth that He had decided to emerge again into physical contact with humanity, if they would bring about the initial stages of establishing right human relations; He gave to the world (for the use of the “man in the street”) one of the oldest prayers ever known, but one which hitherto had not been permitted to be used except by the most exalted spiritual Beings. He used it Himself for the first time, we are told, at the time of the Full Moon of June, 1945, which is recognised as the Full Moon of the Christ, just as the Full Moon of May is that of the Buddha. It was not easy to translate these ancient phrases (so ancient that they are without date or background of any kind) into modern words, but it has been done, and the Great Invocation may eventually become the world prayer.
So reactionary is human thinking that the claim made that it is one of the greatest of the world’s prayers and on a par with the other voiced expressions of spiritual desire and intention will evoke criticism. That is of no importance. Only a few — a very few — in the early days of Christianity. employed the Lord’s Prayer, because it needed recording, expression in understandable terms, and adequate translation before its widespread use became possible. That effort took centuries to accomplish. Today we have all the facilities for rapid distribution and these have all been employed on behalf of this Great Invocation.