Torkom Saraydarian (1917-1997) was born in Asia Minor . Since childhood he was trained in the Teachings of the Ageless Wisdom under the guidance of his loving father.
As he grew up, he visited monasteries, ancient temples, and mystery schools in order to find the answers to his questions about the mystery of man and the Universe. He was musically trained and was able to play the violin, piano, oud, cello, and guitar. He composed hundreds of musical pieces that embody his training in the the Ageless Wisdom.
His works represent a synthesis of the best and most beautiful in the sacred culture of the world by creating a truly universal approach to spirituality. These works enrich the foundational thinking on which we can construct our future of true global living.
The legacy he left us is an amazing 170 books, half of which have been published, as well as hundreds of musical pieces, lectures on video and audio tape and meditation courses.
The remarkable achievement in his writings was to synthesize and make comprehensible the huge body of knowledge known as the Ageless Wisdom. TSG is planning to archive all of Torkom's creative works. Check the Archiving Fund for more information and how you can help preserve the huge body of audio, video, and music tapes
At the age of nine, Torkom began to receive education in the Ageless Wisdom under the guidance of his father. At that time, people did not discuss these things in the open, but would disappear to attend meetings – in caves, under the stars – where they would hold ceremonies and dramatizations to reveal the mysteries of the subtle worlds.A student interrupted him and asked why all knowledge was related. “‘Because,' said the Teacher with a smile, ‘there is only one Knower. The parts of a machine can be a thousand, but in the mind of the Knower, there is only one synthesis, one machine.' Pausing for a while he said in a whisper, ‘All things that exist are parts of one idea in the mind of the Knower.' “A few days later when I saw the Teacher in the garden, I asked him, ‘Why did you whisper your thought in the class when answering our friend?' “He looked at me and said, ‘In the presence of sacred ideas I feel extremely humble.'”
In 1959, he came to the U.S.A. with his family. It was a different world from the one he left in Jordan – changing rapidly and in very demonstrative ways. He saw people in danger of losing themselves; in need of direction, of guidance. In response to this need, he began inviting them into his home in Van Nuys , California to study and to learn how to lead themselves into more productive, healthy, right living via the principles of the Ageless Wisdom. This was the inception of The Aquarian Educational Group. The following excerpts were told by Torkom at the 35th anniversary celebration of the Aquarian Educational Group in Agoura , California :
“Now, how we started this group. This group was started in 1961 – unofficially. One day I was coming home from the church. I saw 15 boys sitting and doping themselves. All my neighbors – very beautiful boys and girls. When I saw them doping and smoking, my heart broke. I said, ‘Don't they have fathers, don't they have mothers?' Because I was from the old country and could not understand America . (That was not America , but I say ‘ America .') I couldn't understand how people could drug themselves and dope themselves. So I went home, I meditated, I thought. I said, ‘We must form a group to bring all these children in and slowly educate them.'…”
To this vision of helping and educating others, he dedicated himself and labored tirelessly. For the first ten years, he taught classes and lectured in a one-room garage – to “hippies,” doctors, lawyers, philosophers – without a salary except for the small donations left by students. He took in strangers who came to him in crises and helped them to gain real independence. He asked for nothing in return.
Despite his total dedication, compassion, and sacrificial nature, he was not “soft” with people. His “straight words” and honesty, grounded in clear observation, were given freely as well.
If you have read any of Torkom Saraydarian's books or have heard any of his lectures, you are familiar with the seven principles of right living: Beauty, Goodness, Righteousness, Joy, Freedom, Striving, and Sacrificial Service.
These seven principles are richly colored threads woven throughout all of his works, and they are the vehicle through which one's inner divinity can bloom.
“For years, all my books, all my lectures, turned on the axis of these seven principles.…”
“We are an international group in which everyone can take part because it is the principles that give life – not religions.”
“We didn't build a religion. We didn't build hatred between people. We emphasized great principles and these great principles worked.” (From The AEG 35th Anniversary lecture, 7/21/96)
Through the practice of these principles and others, Torkom taught people how to be successful, to have a good self-image, to have healthy, happy relationships; how to be cooperative, to have a life's purpose, to be more creative; how to be healthy, joyful, responsible, and loving: “‘Love each other' is nothing. ‘Love each other' is now obsolete. ‘Love others more than yourself' is the new commandment!”
(From Healing Through Love, lecture by Torkom, 1/13/93)
Carrying the Torch
Torkom Saraydarian left us a legacy of wisdom and guidance – but this does not release us to play and waste time. He also left us his dreams, which calls us to action. His visions and accomplishments were great, and yet he challenged others to surpass him. “I had so many dreams, great dreams and part of it I was able to accomplish. I was dreaming of a big university in which the future teachers and leaders will be prepared. I approached millionaires – begged, cried. They did not answer.
“But I have great faith in the meantime, that you will do it. A university which will teach the seven fields of human life.…
“If you look to the future, one day, you are going to jump from one galaxy to another; and this is not a dream. As we went to the moon it was not a dream, we'll do this dream also. Really. Striving – try to perfect yourself, try to shape yourself – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – so that you judge yourself. Nobody is your judge.…You are going to put yourself in line with Divine intent. Divinity rules.”
“Whatever you learned by Beauty, Goodness, Righteousness, by Joy, by Truth, by Freedom, by Striving, put them on the altar of human service. Let's serve each other. Let all nations serve each other. Let's make this planet a planet of joy, of freedom, so that everybody is free.…”
“In eighteen million years we didn't change; we must change it, and it is given in your hand to take the flag. I will continue running and running and running until my last breath. But later, you are going to take the flag and say, ‘Torkom did it, but we are going to do 100% more!' And I will be with you.”
(From The Creative Fire by Torkom Saraydarian, pp. 563-564)