August Order of Light
Passing of Garuda Ceremony
The Temple is fully lighted and all the Officers of the Degree are in their places.
P.of G.: Brethren, assist me to open this Temple of Garuda.
P.of G.: Bro. Guardian of the West, what is the first rule of our Order?
G.of W.: Equality.
P.of G.: Bro. Arbitrator, what what is the is the second rule of our Order?
P.of G.: Bro. Guardian of the South, what is the third rule of our Order?
G. of S.: Brotherhood.
P. of G.: Bro. Aruna, what are your duties in this Temple?
Aruna: To assist the Companions of Garuda, so that Equality and Justice may become a living power, and conduct the Aspirant in the path of knowledge, so that our Brotherhood may be strong in thought as well as in act.
P.of G.: Bro. Yama, what are your duties?
Yama: To assist Aruna; and even in the darkness to let the Aspirant feel that help is near, although he may know it not.
P. of G.: Bro. Kuvera, what are your duties?
Kuvera: To assist the Aspirant in the path of knowledge, so that he may know that Light is the reward of all true progress.
P.of G.: Companions and Brethren, may the Lord of Light be with us, and direct us in our deliberations and decisions to the benefit of the Order.
In the name of the Lord of the Perfect Circle I now declare this Temple of Garuda opened.
Gongs E., W. and S.
P.of G.: Bro. Aruna, you will now retire and present the Aspirant to me.
Aruna retires to prepare the Aspirant, requesting him to wear his Robe and Jewel.
Aruna then conducts the Aspirant to the door of the Temple, and instructs him to strike the gong in an in regular manner.
The Aspirant is admitted and taken by Aruna to the West of the Carpet, facing East.
Aruna: Worthy President of Garuda, in obedience to your request I present Bro. … for advancement.
P. of G.: Bro. …, at your initiation the attention and interest shown by you were noted by the Brethren of the Order, and at a Madressa of Garuda the Companions resolved to confer upon you the Passing of Garuda Degree.
Bro. Aruna, you will now present the Aspirant to the Guardian of the West.
Aruna, to G. of W.: Bro. Guardian of the West, I have found this stranger waiting in the darkness in the portal of our Ashayana.
G.of W.: What do you seek?
Aspirant (prompted): I seek Truth.
G.of W.: Where do you hope to find it?
Aspirant: I know not.
G.of W.: Where have you sought for it?
Aspirant: I have travelled in the East, the West, and the South. In all my wanderings I have received but delusive replies which taught me nothing.
G.of W.: Did you find anything else in your wanderings that taught you anything?
Aspirant: I found the value of Brotherhood, and the meaning of Relief, but not Truth.
G.of W.: Then why did you come here in search of Truth?
Aruna answers for Aspirant: I have brought him here; I will answer for him; I found him wandering in the portal, and I believe him to be a member of our race; he has upon his breast the symbol of Time, which is one of the symbols of our Brotherhood.
G. of W.: Let me see it.
Aspirant shows his Jewel, Snake of Time.
G.of W.: How came you in possession of this?
Aspirant: It was given to me by the elder brethren of our family, along with the sacred tradition which has been handed down from our forefathers through ages upon ages.
G.of W.: What is the tradition? Tell it me.
Aspirant: I must refuse; it is sacred to our race only, I cannot tell it to you unless you can prove to me you are one of them.
G.of W.: How would you know them?
Aspirant: By symbols which are worn only by the Elders of our race.
G.of W.: Do you mean a symbol similar to the one you bear?
Aspirant: No, different in many ways, I should know them if I saw them again.
G.of W.: Bro. Aruna, you will conduct this stranger round the Temple, and let him carefully look and say if he can recognise any of these symbols.
Aruna, after taking him once round the Temple by way of the North, and pointing to the Bases of the Pillars, brings him back to the West.
Aruna: Bro. Guardian of the West, the stranger has discovered the symbols he seeks.
G.of W.: Is this so?
Aspirant: I have at last seen the symbols upon the bases of the pillars in this Temple, and I thank the Giver of Light for directing my steps to this Sacred Hall.
G.of W.: Bro. Aruna, you will retire to the portal with this stranger and examine him upon the sacred tradition which he claims to possess.
Aruna goes out with him, and asks him the first questions of the entered apprentice... "What is, etc.?" gives knocks, re-enters, and again presents the Aspirant to the Guardian of the West.
Aruna: Bro. Guardian of the West: I have examined this stranger as requested by you; he is undoubtedly a member of our lace; his traditional history, however, is very much involved, but the symbols and signs are mainly correct; although the explanation he gives of them are all substituted, and clothed with a language strange to the traditions as we know them.
G.of W.: Bro. Aruna, What branch of the tradition does he possess?
Aruna: The Mosaic, or Masonic branch.
G.of W. to Aspitant: Give me the signs of your degree.
Aspirant gives the signs of the three degrees of the Craft.
G.of W. steps down, takes his hand, and receives him as a Brother (Lion’s Grip). He then presents him to the East, standing on the West side of the carpet facing East.
G.of W.: Worthy President of Garuda: I present to you this Brother, who has been brought into our Temple by Bro. Aruna. He found him wandering in the darkness seeking Truth; I have proved him, and found him worthy of assistance. Will you accept him and instruct him in our Mystic Knowledge?
P.of C.: I will.
G.of W. retires to his chair.
P.of C.: Bro. … what is Masonry?
Aspirant: A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.
P.of G.: Were these symbols and allegories explained to you when initiated into true Masonry, or subsequently?
Aspirant: They were not; I was informed that the real explanations were lost, and only substituted secrets were given to me, until time and circumstances should reveal the genuine ones.
P.of C.: Were you instructed where to search for the genuine secrets?
Aspirant: I was informed they were concealed in the Centre.
P.of C.: Then we will give you such instruction as will help you on in the Path of Light which leads to the Centre. Before doing so, however, I must consult the Companions of Garuda, so that they may receive you in regular order.
Aspirant: Will you inform me who are the Companions of Garuda?
P.of G.: You shall be instructed.
P.of G. to G. of S.: Bro. Guardian of the South, Who are the Companions of Garuda?
G.of S.: An official body, seven in number, who were appointed by our Elder Brethren to control the affairs of the August Order of Light.
P.of G. to G. of W.: Bro. Guardian of the West, how are these Brethren known to the Members of the Order?
G.of W.: By the symbol of an Eagle resting on a Rock.
P.of G.: What is the meaning of the Symbol?
G. of W.: The Rock is a Symbol of Stability; the Bird a Symbol of Intelligence or Foresight; conjointly they represent Strength and Watchful Care.
P.of G.: Bro. Guardian of the South, what are the duties of the Companions of Garuda?
G.of S.: To hold in trust the properties of the August Order of Light; to receive and distribute the funds of the Order; to accept or refuse all applicants; to appoint the Officers in the first Chackram; and act as an executive body in the interests of the Brotherhood.
P. of G.: To Order, Brethren.
Brother …, our question having been satisfactorily answered, it is my duty to ask you if you are willing to assist the Companions of Garuda in their duties to the August Order of Light, and will you promise in the presence of these Brethren, to return any properly belonging to the Order that may be in your possession, consisting of either Ritual, Books, Manuscripts, or any Manuscripts copied by yourself, or loaned to you by any of the Brethren, if officially called upon to do so by any of the recognised Officers of Garuda?
Aspirant: I most solemnly promise so to do.
Mystic words, M.T.N.
P.of G.: Brethren, Be seated.
Brother …, Let me remind you that the path of knowledge leading to the wisdom religion of our forefathers is difficult to travel, and it will require all your efforts to enable you to see and understand the mysteries you seek. You will now retire with Bro. Aruna.
Aspirant then retires from the Temple with Aruna, and awaits the report of Durwan to reenter. When Aspirant has retired, Cone is placed on Carpet.
P.of G.: Companions who guard the South and West, I call upon you to descend and search in in the Centre for those Sacred Teachings which are concealed within the Perfect Circle.
G.of S. and W. do so. They find the Cone is locked, and without the Master’s Key they cannot open it.
G. of W.: Worthy President of Garuda, the Cone is closed, and without your assistance our search is in vain.
P.of G.: Brethren, I will descend and help you in your researches. Bro. Arbitrator, you will assist me.
P.of G. opens the Cone. Each takes his Ritual. Arbitrator White, East Red, West Blue, South Yellow. The Cone is closed, and all return to their places in silence.
P.of G. strikes Gong, West and South answer with their Gongs.
P.of G.: Bro. Durwan, you will inform Bro. Aruna we are ready to receive the Aspirant.
Aspirant enters behind Aruna, holding in his hand a Lotus Wand. He is taken by Aruna to the East, facing the Altar
P.of G.: I see you bear in your hand the Sacred Lotus with its central seed cone, which embodies three symbols by which the Most High ruled the universe. From this I infer you are seeking the Arcane Wisdom of our Fathers. Speak! What seekest Thou ?
Aspirant: I seek the Truth; tell me, what is Truth?
P.of G.: There are many Truths: Light is a Truth; the Star of Day is a Truth; Heat is a Truth; the Germination of Seed is a Truth; Birth is a Truth; Brahma is a Truth; if more thou seekest --pass onwards --follow thy guide.
Aruna takes Aspirant to the South and hands him over to Kuvera.
Aruna returns to his place.
Kuvera: Bro. Guardian of the South, this wanderer of the night, having come to the South by way of the East, asks for knowledge and demands "What is Truth?"
G.of S.: The Sun in his glory is a Truth; the Tree clothed with leaves is a Truth : Life in all its full vigour is a Truth; Vishnu is a Truth; if more thou seekest --pass onwards --follow thy guide.
Kuvera takes him to the West, and hands him over to Yama.
Kuvera returns to his place.
Yama: Bro. Guardian of the West; this stranger who has travelled from the East by way of the South, finds his steps faltering, but struggles onward to gain a knowledge of the Truth.
G.of W.: The Failure of Light is a Truth Destruction is a Truth; Regeneration is a Truth; Siva is a Truth. You have symbolically travelled the path of life, and having satisfied us that your intentions are good, we will afford you a safe asylum within the Perfect Circle, under the benign influence of the point therein ; the mystery of which, under various names and symbols, you will discover by diligence, and the help of your Brethren.
Yama takes Aspirant to Aruna, who presents him to the P. of G. Yama returns to his place.
Aruna: Worthy President of Garuda, I again bring to you this Brother to receive from you some further instruction.
Addresses are now read to the Aspirant by P.of G., G.of S., G.of W., and Arbitrator.
P.of C.: Bro. Aruna, you will advance Bro. … to Bro. Kuvera to be symbolically invested.
Kuvera: It is my duty to invest you with the badge of this degree of the August Order of Light, called the "Passing of Garuda." In a former ceremony you fastened a belt or single cord around yourself, by which you symbolically bound yourself to the Order. This cord is a double one, and is called the "Sacred Cord" or "Mother Thread," and binds you to the objects of the Order. It is analagous to the umbilical cord by which the child is bound to its mother, and through which it receives its sustenance, and represents those intelligent principles of life by which each one of us is bound to his higher self, and through which the details of life are recorded. It is the origin of the Rosary, which is used by most of the great religions of the world, and is one of the oldest symbols of esoteric religion that has come down to us through the ages. This cord can be seen encircling the forms of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, and all the important Sacred Images of the ancients.
The signs in this degree are given thus …. The left hand closed shewn refers to the umbilical cord and the explanation just given; the clenched right hand elevated shewn representing the act of drawing yourself up, as if climbing a ladder, symbolizes those higher aspirations which draw the individual ego upwards to the source of all. The bringing of the two hands together shewn symbolizes the uniting of the lower and higher consciousness which is the object of every earnest student. The words to these signs are therefore most appropriate, being the Egyptian for "It is finished," and are given thus ... M.T.N.
Kuvera advances Aspirant to Pres. of Garuda.
Kuvera: Worthy Pres. of Garuda, I present this worthy Brother who has been duly invested.
P.of C. (Gong): To order, Brethren.
P.of G.: May the Most High, who animated our beings with the breath of life, and with this breath clothed the earth with flowers of varied hues, so beautify and adorn your mind that you may see and comprehend his wonderful works around you.
Aspirant is conducted to a seat.
P.of G.: Be seated, Brethren.
P.of G.: Brother Officers, you will join me in replacing the Sacred Writings in the Cone.
Officers walk around the Carpet and resume their seats.
G.of W.: Gong.
P.of G.: Brethren, To Order.
G.of W.: Worthy President of Garuda, our equality has been demonstrated, our harmony is undisturbed.
P.or G.: In the name of Garuda, Messenger of Light, 1 now declare this Temple of Garuda closed.
Gong, all lights out, except setting Sun.
P.of G.: Ere we meet again, may that Light which shines within the Perfect Mind shed its radiance over us, and may the intuition of a spiritual perception enlighten the gloom which surrounds us when we separate and associate with the outer world.
Mystic word A.U.M.
The Brethren assemble, proceed around Circle, and, led by Aruna, leave the Temple in single file.