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In the present chapter we will merely give a few verses from the Agrouchada-Parikchai treating of the Supreme Council.

"Seventy Brahmins more than seventy years old are chosen from among the Nirvanys to see that the law of the Lotus, or the occult science, is never revealed to the vulgar, and that those who have been initiated into the sacred order are not contaminated by the admission of any unworthy person."

None should be chosen unless they have always practised the ten virtues, in which, according to the divine Manu, the performance of duty consists.

Resignation, the action of returning good for evil, temperance, probity, purity, chastity, the subjugation of the senses, a knowledge of the sacred scriptures, that of the supreme soul, the worship of the truth, abstinence from anger—such are the principles which should be the rule of conduct of a true Nirvany.

He who is called to rule over others should first yield obedience to all the precepts of the sacred books.

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He should not desire death; he should not desire life; like the reaper who patiently waits at evening for his wages at his master's door, he should wait till his time has come.

He should purify his steps by taking heed where he sets his foot; he should purify the water he drinks, in order that he may not cause the death of any animal; he should purify his words by truth; he should purify his soul by virtue.

He should endure bad language, insults, and blows patiently, without returning them; he should carefully avoid cherishing ill-will against any person on account of anything connected with this miserable body.

Meditating upon the delights of the supreme soul, needing nothing, beyond the reach of any sensual desire, with no society save his own soul and the thought of God, he should live here below in the constant expectation of everlasting happiness.

He should never resort to places frequented by Grihastas or Pourohitas, unless they have entirely renounced the world. (Manu.)

He should avoid all meetings, even when Brahmins alone are present. He should be careful, as he regards his eternal salvation, not to resort to places used for bird or dog fights.

A wooden platter, a gourd, an earthen vessel, and a bamboo basket—such are the pure utensils authorized by Manu; he should keep nothing in the precious metals.

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He should reflect that the vital spirit, after leaving the Great All, undergoes ten thousand million transformations, before clothing itself with a human form.

He should observe the incalculable ills which grow out of the practice of iniquity, and the great happiness that springs from the practice of virtue.

He should bear constantly in mind the perfections and invisible essences of a Paramatma, the great soul, which is present in all bodies, the lowest as well as the highest.

He should know that an atom is an exact representation of the Great All.

The Nirvany should expiate his faults by solitary reflection, by meditation, by the repression of every sensual de- sire, by meritorious austerity; he should destroy all the imperfections of his nature that may be opposed to the divine nature.

Such is the rule of conduct by which those Sannyassis-Nirvanys are governed who aspire to enter the Supreme Council. It possesses the largest disciplinary powers in  order to prevent the divulgation of the mysteries of initiation.

The following are some of the terrible penalties it is commanded to inflict.

Whoever has been initiated, no matter what may be the degree to which he may belong, and shall reveal the sacred formula, shall be put to death.

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Whoever has been initiated into the third degree and shall reveal the superior truths he has been taught, to the candidates for initiation into the second degree before the proper time, shall suffer death.

Whoever has been initiated into the second degree and shall act likewise with those who have been initiated into the first degree, is declared impure for the period of seven years, and when that time has elapsed, he shall be turned back to the lower class (the first degree).

Whoever has been initiated into the first degree, and shall divulge the secrets of his initiation to the members of the other castes, who are forever debarred from knowing them, as though they were contained in a sealed book, shall be deprived of sight, and after his tongue and both hands have been cut off, in order that he may not make an improper use of what he has learned, he shall be expelled from the temple, as well as from his caste.

Any one belonging to the three lower castes, who shall gain admission to the secret asylums, or shall surreptitiously acquire a knowledge of the formula of evocation, shall be burned to death.

If a virgin should do so, she shall be confined in the temple and consecrated to the worship of fire. (Agrouchada-Parikchai.)

In addition to its attributes as an initiatory tribunal, the council of the elders also had charge of administering the pagoda property, from which it made provision for the wants of its members, of the three classes, who lived

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entirely in common. It also directed the wanderings of the Fakirs, who have charge of the exterior manifestations of occult power.

The Brahmatma was elected by it from its own number.

Next: Chapter X. The Election of the Brahmatma