"In ancient times these Friends of Humanity
were known to every nation."
The most ancient peoples believed that from the Supreme, the Infinite One, revelations of great spiritual truth and purpose were periodically given to the world by divine Messengers of Light. These pure revelations of love and higher truth became over time the Ageless Wisdom, which runs like a golden thread through the heart of nearly all cultures and religions. To keep the given Wisdom pure the ancient sages carefully guarded it from distortion and misuse by giving it out only to those who could demonstrate a certain degree of heart purity and a broadened consciousness. In this way the most sacred Mysteries came into being.
Central to the Ageless Wisdom is the truth that the Messengers of the Supreme, also known as Masters of Wisdom, together form a Great Brotherhood of Light. This Great Hierarchy of perfected Ones, who guide with love the spiritual evolution of the world, provide the inner guidance for those pilgrims, regardless of their religious affiliations, who have ignited the fire of the heart and who are sincerely striving to fulfill their spiritual destiny by returning to the source and essence of their being. In ancient times these Friends of Humanity were known to every nation. And while in the present dark age of materialism they have been nearly forgotten, traces of their existence can be found preserved in the sacred traditions of nearly all cultures and religions under different names.
In the sacred Mysteries they are known as the Great White Lodge of Hierophants (Masters) and Initiates. The original Rosicrucians, direct descendents of the Ancient Mysteries, spoke of the hidden Brotherhood as “Heroes, partakers of divine things, companions of the holy company of unbound souls and immortal angels.”1
The mysterious Book M, which Christian Rosencreutz, the founder of the Rosicrucians (1459), says that both he and Paracelsus studied with profit, speaks of the Brotherhood as “those immortal Youths that compose the celestial Hierarchy, those divine philosophers that tread the azure
| "She Who Leads" ~ Nicholas Roerich
empyrean plains of heaven and stand in the presence of their great Original.” Theosophy, the first organization to be founded upon the idea that there is truth in all religions, calls them Masters of Wisdom.
To the Mahayana Buddhist they are called Bodhisattvas, meaning those enlightened ones who have renounced the highest nirvana in order to remain in cyclic existence (samsara) to aid humanity in their quest for understanding. This group of enlightened Bodhisattvas is also called the great Sangha (spiritual family), one of the Three Jewels of Buddhism, along with the Buddha, who represents the Buddha Nature or the spiritual essence within all beings, and the Dharma, the destined Path as described in the Buddha’s teaching.
In the Old Testament they are referred to as the ‘Cloud of Witnesses,’ or the watchers from above. Enoch called them the Holy Sons of God. “And it came to pass that my spirit was transformed and it ascended into the heavens. And I saw the holy sons of God. Their garments were white and their faces shown like snow.” In the New Testament they are known as the Elders who surround the throne of God. The esoteric school founded in Athens by St. Paul and Dionysius of Areopagite referred to them as the Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hierarchy.
The Sufis speak of them as the Awiliya, the spiritual Hierarchy of Saints. In secret they speak of the Yaqzan, the invisible Watchers or Awakened Ones who live in the Celestial Earth, the future home of those who conquer. The Hindus call them immortal Rishis (Masters), who gave the Revelation of the Vedas to the world. The ancient Chinese Taoists called them Dragons of Wisdom and Immortals, for they had conquered death.
While the Hierarchy of Masters have no earthly organization they do have devoted disciples, aspirants, and activists in every country who work, under their direction, to fulfill the Great Work of spiritual Evolution according to their ability to perceive it and their ability to manifest that perception.
According to teachings given out by the Hierarchy through Master Djwhal Khul and his disciple Alice Bailey, there was a time when the great Masters of Wisdom walked the earth with men, teaching their most advanced students, and heading the seven great Schools of the Mysteries. According to Master DK the reappearance of the Hierarchy on Earth, along with the return of the Christ, is soon to occur once again.
1 John Heydon, Rosie Cross Uncovered (1663).