Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott
Letter No. XXXVII
The Work of the Theosophical Society
How a "Chela" Found His "Guru"
A Meeting at Adyar
A Psychological Phenomenon
Testimony to Phenomena
A Great Riddle Solved
A Great Riddle Solved
Colonel Olcott at the Court of Kashmir
Interview with a Mahatma
Letter of H. P. Blavatsky to Dr. Hartmann
Letter No. CLXXIX
Damodar K. Mavalankar
[The material in this chapter is of a varied character, being composed of articles, official reports, editorial notes, letters, etc., either written by or about Damodar. They are grouped together solely because of their historical interest. Though arranged chronologically they are not intended to form any particular sequence of events, each item merely giving an interesting glimpse of some aspect of Damodar's activities and character. — EDS.]
[Supplement to The Theosophist, December, 1881.]
[The letter to which the following note was appended by Damodar was written by Col. Olcott to the Editor of the Ceylon Times and is dated October 31, 1881. Olcott replies to the false charges made by the Bombay Gazette that he was an impostor, and presents his credentials and testimonials from the United States War, Navy, Treasury, and State Departments, and various other responsible authorities in Washington and New York by whom he had been employed. He had just returned from Tinnevelly where he had addressed large and enthusiastic meetings. Alarm had been aroused by the enemies of Theosophy who published outrageous slanders in the effort to destroy it by vilifying its representatives. Full particulars are given in The Theosophist for December, 1881, January, 1882, and in Olcott's semi-autobiographical Old Diary Leaves. — EDS.]
At the same time that our President — who, for a period of nearly three years had abstained from answering his calumniators, wisely treating the anonymous, cowardly slanders with the contempt they merit — was penning the above; and while numerous letters of congratulations from Hindu correspondents and messages full of enthusiasm and gratitude from our Tinnevelly Theosophists were pouring into our office, there appeared a new proof of the insatiable malice of our opponents. That malice and the bitterness of their hatred of the Theosophists have finally reached that degree of blind fury that vitiates the most ordinary perceptions. To lie openly and in the most impudent, shameless manner has become their last expediency. When our readers will have noticed the Official Report of Tinnevelly Branch which follows the present, and a few articles from other correspondents, they will be able to judge for themselves. In a letter from an unknown Tinnevelly correspondent of the Madras Standard the following truthful statement is given: "The natives of this place" writes the informer, "are very sorry for all the hubbub and commotion caused by the arrival of Colonel Olcott, the Theosophist, among them. The Branch Society — the members of which invited him here — were very disappointed in their expectations. They now call him 'IMPOSTOR AND PRETENDER' — to use their own words" . . . !!
By this time our "Branch Society" will have read the above statement. We all sincerely hope our Tinnevelly Brothers will not refuse themselves the satisfaction of pointing out publicly to the "Tinnevelly correspondent of the Madras Standard" that the greatest "impostor" is that man who, taking advantage of the voice of the press, imposes upon the public barefaced LIES under the guise of news; "that the term 'pretender,'" is to be applied only to individuals of his stamp, who pretending to the name of a "correspondent" have a right but to that of a "penny-a-line" slanderer, whose lies would disgrace any respectable paper. A very reliable organ — as a source of information — is the Madras Standard — we see!
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR,
Joint Recording Secretary,
Parent Theosophical Society.
[Received at Allababad, January, 1882.]
[*From The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. — EDS.]
. . . In conclusion Master sends you His best wishes and praying you may not forget Him, orders me to sign myself, your obedient servant,
P.S. Should you desire to write to Him though unable to answer Himself Master will receive your letters with pleasure; you can do so through D. K. Mavalankar. "DD."
The Bombay Theosophical Society
[Supplement to The Theosophist, March, 1882.]
Since the President-Founder's return from Ceylon, there has been a sudden increase of interest among the members, and an unusual number of fresh initiations. The meeting-hall at the Head-quarters has twice been decorated with flowers, palms, and flags: the first time when some of our Australian brothers were received, and the second, on the evening of January 11, when H. H. Daji Raja, Thakore Sahib of Wadhwan, his Dewan Ganpatrao Laud, Esq., and Rawal Shree Hurreesingjee Roopsingjee, of Sihore, cousin of H. H. the Thakore Sahib of Bhavnagar — all members of our Society — attended. His Highness of Wadhwan is President of the Saorashtr Theosophical Society, and his companions are members. All take a deep interest in our work, especially that part which is connected with the study of arcane science. The two young nobles have, by their affability and lack of all pretentiousness, won the sincere regard of their Bombay brothers. The floral and other decorations on both occasions reflected great credit upon the taste of Fellows, Monsieur and Madame Coulomb, who kindly took entire charge of the affair.
The preliminary business of the meeting having been transacted, nine candidates for fellowship were then ushered in by their respective sponsors. In a short and impressive speech delivered by the President-Founder, Colonel Olcott, he explained, to the audience, the noble aims of the Society, dwelt at length upon the grandeur of the idea of Universal Brotherhood, the importance of the culture of Oriental Science and Philosophy, and lastly upon the necessity of the diligence, zeal and cooperation of the members.
He then conducted the initiation ceremony. All this occupied about an hour and a half. At the request of the President-Founder, Mr. K. M. Shroff, the Councillor of the Parent body, one of the most energetic fellows of the Society, addressed the meeting, explaining to the members to their entire satisfaction, certain phenomenal occurrences that had recently come under his personal observation and had also been witnessed by His Highness Daji Raja Chandrasingji, the Raja's Dewan and by Rawal Shree Harreesinghji of Sihore, and a few others.
His Highness the Raja of Wadhwan was then introduced to the meeting by Dr. D. E. Dudley, President of the Bombay Branch, and a formal reception was given by the Society to His Highness. After all the members present had been introduced to His Highness by Messrs. Shroff and Banaji, the Secretary of the Bombay Branch, the Thakore Sahib made a short speech in English and then addressed the Brethren in Gujarathi.
H. H., our distinguished visitor, who is the Vice-President of the Parent Theosophical Society, is also President of the Saorashtr Branch.
The meeting was then adjourned. Still more applications having been received, another meeting was held on the 16th of February.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR,
Joint Recording Secretary,
Parent Theosophical Society.
[Supplement to The Theosophist, August, 1882.]
[An unsigned editorial note. — EDS.]
Mr. DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR, F T. S., the Manager of the THEOSOPHIST and the Recording Secretary of the Parent Theosophical Society, has gone to Poona for a month or two, to take some needed rest. The health of our self-sacrificing young Brother had become very delicate of late, owing to bigoted persecutions and an injudicious overwork undertaken out of pure devotion to the cause of theosophy, than which there is nothing dearer to him in this world. Very happily he has been prevailed upon to change for the monsoon season the damp killing atmosphere of Bombay for the drier and far cooler climate of Poona. Mr. A. D. Ezekiel, F. T. S., has kindly offered the invalid a brotherly hospitality in his house, and volunteered to take every care of him during his stay at that city. We hope a month of quiet rest and the sympathetic circle of his friends and Brother-Fellows will do him a deal of good. Theosophy reckons few such unselfish — and none more ardent — workers for her cause than Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, our Recording Secretary. . . .
[From The Theosophist, September, 1882]
[This 'Protest' is in answer to an article signed "H. X." and entitled "'C. C. M.' and 'ISIS UNVEILED,'" being a letter by Mr. A. O. Hume addressed to H. P. Blavatsky in which he frankly and bluntly declares his real attitude towards Theosophy and the Mahatmans. His haughty and cynical language roused the Hindu chelas to furious indignation. In an editorial note H. P. Blavatsky mentions that she publishes the letter at the request of the Masters themselves. The subject is treated at length in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, pages 292-3. — EDS.]
We, the undersigned, the "Accepted" and "Probationary" Hindu Chelas of the HIMALAYAN BROTHERS, their disciples in India, and Northern Cashmere, respectfully claim our right to protest against the tone used in the above article, and the bold criticisms of H. X. — a lay Chela. No one who has once offered himself as a pupil has any right to openly criticise and blame our MASTERS simply upon his own unverified hypotheses, and thus to prejudge the situation. And, we respectfully maintain that it befits ill one, to whom positively exceptional favours were shown, to drag their personalities as unceremoniously before the public as he would any other class of men.
Belonging, as we do, to the so-called "inferior" Asiatic race, we cannot help having for our Masters that boundless devotion which the European condemns as slavish. The Western races would however do well to remember that if some of the poor Asiatics arrived at such a height of knowledge regarding the mysteries of nature, it was only due to the fact that the Chelas have always blindly followed the dictates of their Masters and have never set themselves higher than, or even as high as, their Gurus. The result was that sooner or later they were rewarded for their devotion, according to their respective capacities and merits by those who, owing to years of self-sacrifice and devotion to their Gurus, had in their turn become ADEPTS. We think that our blessed MASTERS ought to be the best judges how to impart instruction. Most of us have seen and know them personally, while two of the undersigned live with the venerated MAHATMAS, and therefore know how much of their powers is used for the good and well-being of Humanity. And if, for reasons of their own, which we know must be good and wise, our Gurus abstain from communicating "to the world all the knowledge they possess" it is no reason why "lay Chelas" who know yet so little about them should call it "a sin" and assume upon themselves the right of remonstrating with, and teaching them publicly what they imagine to be their duty. Nor does that fact that they are "educated European gentlemen" — alter the case. Moreover our learned Brother, who complains of receiving so little from our MASTERS, seems to lose sight of the, to him unimportant, fact that Europeans, no less than natives, ought to feel thankful for even such "crumbs of knowledge" as they may get, since it is not our MASTERS who have first offered their instruction, but we ourselves who, craving, repeatedly beg for it. Therefore, however indisputably clever and highly able, from a literary and intellectual stand-point, H. X.'s letter, its writer must not feel surprised to find that, overlooking all its cleverness, we natives discern in it, foremost and above all, an imperious spirit of domineering — utterly foreign to our natures — a spirit that would dictate its own laws even to those who can never come under any one's sway. No less painfully are we impressed by the utter absence in the letter, we are now protesting against, of any grateful acknowledgment even for the little that has confessedly been done.
In consequence of the above given reasons, we, the undersigned, pray our Brothers of the THEOSOPHIST to give room in their journal to our PROTEST.
T. Subba Row, B. A. B. L., F. T. S.
Darbhagiri Nath, F. T. S.
S. Ramaswamier, B. A., F. T. S.
Guala K. Deb, F. T. S.
Nobin K. Banerjre, F. T. S.
T. T. Gurudas, F. T. S.
Bhola Deva Sarma, F. T. S.
S. T. K......... Chary, F. T. S.
Gargya Deva, F. T. S.
Damodar K. Mavalankar, F. T. S.
(Being Extracts from a private letter to Damodar K. Mavalankar, Joint-Recording Secretary of the
[From The Theosophist, December, 1882; ]
Published by permission. [ED. of The Theosophist.]
. . . When we met last at Bombay I told you what had happened to me at Tinnevelly. My health having been disturbed by official work and worry, I applied for leave on medical certificate and it was duly granted. One day in September last, while I was reading in my room, I was ordered by the audible voice of my blessed Guru, M---- Maharsi, to leave all and proceed immediately to Bombay, whence I had to go in search of Madame Blavatsky wherever I could find her and follow her wherever she went. Without losing a moment, I closed up all my affairs and left the station. For the tones of that voice are to me the divinest sound in nature; its commands imperative I travelled in my ascetic robes. Arrived at Bombay, I found Madame Blavatsky gone, and learned through you that she had left a few days before; that she was very ill; and that, beyond the fact that she had left the place very suddenly with a Chela, you knew nothing of her whereabouts. And now, I must tell you what happened to me after I had left you.
Really not knowing whither I had best go, I took a through ticket to Calcutta; but, on reaching Allahabad, I heard the same well-known voice directing me to go to Berhampore. At Azimgunge, in the train, I met, most providentially I may say, with some Babus (I did not then know they were also Theosophists since I had never seen any of them), who were also in search of Madame Blavatsky. Some had traced her to Dinapore, but lost her track and went back to Berhampore. They knew, they said, she was going to Tibet and wanted to throw themselves at the feet of the Mahatmas to permit them to accompany her. At last, as I was told, they received from her a note, informing them to come if they so desired it, but that she herself was prohibited from going to Tibet just now. She was to remain, she said, in the vicinity of Darjeeling and would see the BROTHERS on the Sikkhim Territory, where they would not be allowed to follow her. . . . Brother Nobin, the President of the Adhi Bhoutic Bhratru Theosophical Society, would not tell me where Madame Blavatsky was, or perhaps did not then know it himself. Yet he and others had risked all in the hope of seeing the Mahatmas. On the 23rd at last, I was brought by Nobin Babu from Calcutta to Chandernagore where I found Madame Blavatsky, ready to start, five minutes after, with the train. A tall, dark-looking hairy Chela (not Chunder Cusho), but a Tibetan I suppose by his dress, whom I met after I had crossed the river with her in a boat, told me that I had come too late, that Madame Blavatsky had already seen the Mahatmas and that he had brought her back. He would not listen to my supplications to take me with him, saying he had no other orders than what he had already executed, namely — to take her about 25 miles, beyond a certain place he named to me and that he was now going to see her safe to the station, and return. The Bengalee brother-Theosophists had also traced and followed her, arriving at the station half an hour later. They crossed the river from Chandernagore to a small railway station on the opposite side. When the train arrived, she got into the carriage, upon entering which I found the Chela! And, before even her own things could be placed in the van, the train, against all regulations and before the bell was rung — started off, leaving Nobin Babu, the Bengalees and her servant, behind. Only one Babu and the wife and daughter of another — all Theosophists and candidates for Chelaship — had time to get in. I myself had barely the time to jump in, into the last carriage. All her things — with the exception of her box containing the Theosophical correspondence — were left behind together with her servant. Yet, even the persons that went by the same train with her did not reach Darjeeling. Babu Nobin Banerjee, with the servant, arrived five days later; and they who had time to take their seats, were left five or six stations behind, owing to another unforseen accident (?) at another further place, reaching Darjeeling also a few days later! It requires no great stretch of imagination to know that Madame Blavatsky had been or was, perhaps, being again taken to the BROTHERS, who, for some good reasons best known to them, did not want us to be following and watching her. Two of the Mahatmas, I had learned for a certainty, were in the neighbourhood of British territory; and one of them was seen and recognised — by a person I need not name here — as a high Chutuktu of Tibet.
The first days of her arrival Madame Blavatsky was living at the house of a Bengalee gentleman, a Theosophist; was refusing to see any one; and preparing, as I thought, to go again somewhere on the borders of Tibet. To all our importunities we could get only this answer from her: that we had no business to stick to and follow her, that she did not want us, and that she had no right to disturb the Mahatmas, with all sorts of questions that concerned only the questioners, for they knew their own business best. In despair, I determined, come what might,* to cross the frontier which is about a dozen miles from here, and find the Mahatmas, or — DIE.
*I call the especial attention of certain of my anxious correspondents to this expression, and in fact to Mr. Ramaswamier's whole adventure. It will show the many grumblers and sceptics who have been complaining to me so bitterly that the Brothers have given them no sign of their existence, what sort of spirit it is which draws the Adepts to an aspirant. The too common notions, that the mere joining of our Society gives any right to occult instruction, and that an inert sentimental desire for light should be rewarded, arise from the lamentable ignorance which now prevails with respect to the laws of mystical training. Gurus there are now, as there have always been in the past; and now as heretofore, the true Chela can find among them one who will take him under his care, if like our Tinnevelly Brother he has determined "to find the Mahatmas or — die!" — D. K. MAVALANKAR
I never stopped to think that what I was going to undertake would be regarded as the rash act of a lunatic. I neither spoke nor did I understand one word of either Bengalee, Urdu, or Nepaulese, nor of the Bhootan, or Tibetan languages. I had no permission, no "pass" from the Sikkhim Rajah, and yet was decided to penetrate into the heart of an independent State where, if anything happened, the Anglo-Indian officials would not — if even they could — protect me, since I would have crossed over without their permission. But I never even gave that a thought, but was bent upon one engrossing idea — to find and see my Guru. Without breathing a word of my intentions to any one, one morning, namely, October 5, I set out in search of the Mahatma. I had an umbrella, and a pilgrim's staff for sole weapons, with a few rupees in my purse. I wore the yellow garb and cap. Whenever I was tired on the road, my costume easily procured for me for a small sum a pony to ride. The same afternoon I reached the banks of the Rungit River, which forms the boundary between the British and Sikkhim territories. I tried to cross it by the aerial suspension bridge constructed of canes, but it swayed to and fro to such an extent that I, who have never known in my life, what hardship was could not stand it. I crossed the river by the ferry-boat and this even not without much danger and difficulty. That whole afternoon I travelled on foot, penetrating further and further into the heart of the Sikkhim territory, along a narrow footpath. I cannot now say how many miles I travelled before dusk, but I am sure it was not less than twenty or twenty-five miles. Throughout, I saw nothing but impenetrable jungles and forests on all sides of me, relieved at very long intervals by solitary huts belonging to the mountain population. At dusk I began to search around me for a place to rest in at night. I met on the road, in the afternoon, a leopard and a wild cat; and I am astonished now to think how I should have felt no fear then nor tried to run away. Throughout, some secret influence supported me. Fear or anxiety never once entered my mind. Perhaps in my heart there was room for no other feeling but an intense anxiety to find my Guru. When it was just getting dark, I espied a solitary hut a few yards from the roadside. To it I directed my steps in the hope of finding a lodging. The rude door was locked. The cabin was untenanted at the time. I examined it on all sides and found an aperture on the western side. It was small indeed, but sufficient for me to jump through. It had a small shutter and a wooden bolt. By a strange coincidence of circumstances the hillman had forgotten to fasten it on the inside when he locked the door! Of course, after what has subsequently transpired I now, through the eye of faith, see the protecting hand of my Guru everywhere around me. Upon getting inside I found the room communicated, by a small doorway, with another apartment, the two occupying the whole space of this sylvan mansion. I lay down, concentrating my every thought upon my Guru as usual, and soon fell into a profound sleep. Before I went to rest, I had secured the door of the other room and the single window. It may have been between ten and eleven, or perhaps a little later, that I awoke and heard sounds of footsteps in the adjoining room. I could plainly distinguish two or three people talking together in a dialect that to me was no better than gibberish. Now, I cannot recall the same without a shudder. At any moment they might have entered from the other room and murdered me for my money. Had they mistaken me for a burglar the same fate awaited me. These and similar thoughts crowded into my brain in an inconceivably short period. But my heart did not palpitate with fear, nor did I for one moment think of the possibly tragical chances of the thing! I know not what secret influence held me fast, but nothing could put me out or make me fear; I was perfectly calm. Although I lay awake and staring into darkness for upwards of two hours, and even paced the room softly and slowly, without making any noise, to see if I could make my escape, in case of need, back to the forest, by the same way I had effected my entrance into the hut — no fear, I repeat, or any such feeling ever entered my heart. I recomposed myself to rest. After a sound sleep, undisturbed by any dream, I woke and found it was just dawning. Then I hastily put on my boots, and cautiously got out of the hut through the same window. I could hear the snoring of the owners of the hut in the other room. But I lost no time and gained the path to Sikkhim (the city) and held on my way with unflagged zeal. From the inmost recesses of my heart I thanked my revered Guru for the protection he had vouchsafed me during the night. What prevented the owners of the hut from penetrating to the second room? What kept me in the same serene and calm spirit, as if I were in a room of my own house? What could possibly make me sleep so soundly under such circumstances, — enormous, dark forests on all sides abounding in wild beasts and a party of cut-throats — as most of the Sikkhimese are said to be — in the next room with an easy and rude door between them and me?
When it became quite light, I wended my way on through hills and dales. Riding or walking, the paths I followed are not a pleasant journey for any man, unless he be, I suppose, as deeply engrossed in thought as I was then myself, and quite oblivious to anything affecting the body. I have cultivated the power of mental concentration to such a degree of late that, on many an occasion, I have been able to make myself quite oblivious of anything around me when my mind was wholly bent upon the one object of my life, as several of my friends will testify; but never to such an extent as in this instance.
It was, I think, between eight and nine A. M. and I was following the road to the town of Sikkhim whence, I was assured by the people I met on the road, I could cross over to Tibet easily in my pilgrim's garb, when I suddenly saw a solitary horseman galloping towards me from the opposite direction. From his tall stature and the expert way he managed the animal, I thought he was some military officer of the Sikkhim Rajah. Now, I thought, am I caught! He will ask me for my pass and what business I have on the independent territory of Sikkhim, and, perhaps, have me arrested and — sent back, if not worse. But — as he approached me, he reined the steed. I looked at and recognised him instantly . . . I was in the awful presence of him, of the same Mahatma, my own revered Guru whom I had seen before in his astral body, on the balcony of the Theosophical Headquarters!* [*I refer the reader to Mr. Ramaswamier's letter in Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, pp. 72 and 73, for a clearer comprehension of the highly important circumstance he refers to. — D. K. M.] It was he, the "Himalayan BROTHER" of the ever memorable night of December last, who had so kindly dropped a letter in answer to one I had given in a sealed envelope to Madame Blavatsky — whom I had never for one moment during the interval lost sight of — but an hour or so before! The very same instant saw me prostrated on the ground at his feet. I arose at his command and, leisurely looking into his face, I forgot myself entirely in the contemplation of the image I knew so well, having seen his portrait (the one in Colonel Olcott's possession) a number of times. I knew not what to say: joy and reverence tied my tongue. The majesty of his countenance, which seemed to me to be the impersonation of power and thought, held me rapt in awe. I was at last face to face with "the Mahatma of the Himavat" and he was no myth, no "creation of the imagination of a medium," as some sceptics suggested. It was no night dream; it is between nine and ten o'clock of the forenoon. There is the sun shining and silently witnessing the scene from above. I see Him before me in flesh and blood; and he speaks to me in accents of kindness and gentleness. What more do I want? My excess of happiness made me dumb. Nor was it until a few moments later that I was drawn to utter a few words, encouraged by his gentle tone and speech. His complexion is not as fair as that of Mahatma Koot Hoomi; but never have I seen a countenance so handsome, a stature so tall and so majestic. As in his portrait, he wears a short black beard, and long black hair hanging down to his breast; only his dress was different. Instead of a white, loose robe he wore a yellow mantle lined with fur, and, on his head, instead of a pagri, a yellow Tibetan felt cap, as I have seen some Bhootanese wear in this country. When the first moments of rapture and surprise were over and I calmly comprehended the situation, I had a long talk with him. He told me to go no further, for I would come to grief. He said I should wait patiently if I wanted to become an accepted Chela; that many were those who offered themselves as candidates, but that only a very few were found worthy; none were rejected — but all of them tried, and most found to fail signally, especially —— and -----. Some, instead of being accepted and pledged this year, were now thrown off for a year. . . . The Mahatma, I found, speaks very little English — or at least it so seemed to me — and spoke to me in my mother-tongue — Tamil. He told me that if the Chohan permitted Mdme. B. to go to Pari-jong next year, then I could come with her. . . . The Bengalee Theosophists who followed the "Upasika" (Madame Blavatsky) would see that she was right in trying to dissuade them from following her now. I asked the blessed Mahatma whether I could tell what I saw and heard to others. He replied in the affirmative, and that moreover I would do well to write to you and describe all. . . . . . . . .
I must impress upon your mind the whole situation and ask you to keep well in view that what I saw was not the mere "appearance" only, the astral body of the Mahatma, as we saw him at Bombay, but the living man, in his own physical body. He was pleased to say when I offered my farewell namaskarams (prostration) that he approached the British Territory to see the Upasika. . . Before he left me, two more men came on horseback, his attendants I suppose, probably Chelas, for they were dressed like lama-gylongs, and both, like himself, with long hair streaming down their backs. They followed the Mahatma, as he left, at a gentle trot. For over an hour I stood gazing at the place that he had just quitted, and then, I slowly retraced my steps. Now it was that I found for the first time that my long boots had pinched me in my leg in several places, that I had eaten nothing since the day before, and that I was too weak to walk further. My whole body was aching in every limb. At a little distance I saw petty traders with country ponies, taking burden. I hired one of these animals. In the afternoon I came to the Rungit River and crossed it. A bath in its cool waters renovated me. I purchased some fruits in the only bazar there and ate them heartily. I took another horse immediately and reached Darjeeling late in the evening. I could neither eat, nor sit, nor stand. Every part of my body was aching. My absence had seemingly alarmed Madame Blavatsky. She scolded me for my rash and mad attempt to try to go to Tibet after this fashion. When I entered the house I found with Madame Blavatsky, Babu Parbati Churn Roy, Deputy Collector of Settlements and Superintendent of Dearah Survey, and his Assistant, Babu Kanty Bhushan Sen, both members of our Society. At their prayer and Madame Blavatsky's command, I recounted all that had happened to me, reserving of course my private conversation with the Mahatma. . . . . . . They were all, to say the least, astounded! . . . . . After all, she will not go this year to Tibet; for which I am sure she does not care, since she saw our Masters, thus effecting her only object. But we, unfortunate people! We lose our only chance of going and offering our worship to the "Himalayan Brothers" who — I know — will not soon cross over to British Territory, if ever again.
I write to you this letter, my dearest Brother, in order to show how right we were in protesting against "H. X.'s" letter in the THEOSOPHIST. The ways of the Mahatmas may appear, to our limited vision, strange and unjust, even cruel — as in the case of our Brothers here, the Bengalee Babus, some of whom are now laid up with cold and fever and perhaps murmuring against the BROTHERS, forgetting that they never asked or personally permitted them to come, but that they had themselves acted very rashly. . . .
And now that I have seen the Mahatma in the flesh, and heard his living voice, let no one dare say to me that the BROTHERS do not exist. Come now whatever will, death has no fear for me, nor the vengeance of enemies; for what I know, I KNOW!
You will please show this to Colonel Olcott who first opened my eyes to the Gnana Marga, and who will be happy to hear of the success (more than I deserve) that has attended me. I shall give him details in person.
S. Ramaswamier, F. T. S.
Darjeeling, October 7, 1882.
[See The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter CIX, page 444. — EDS.]
FOR THE PRESENTATION OF A SILVER CUP AND TRAY
TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
BY THE MEMBERS OF ITS BOMBAY BRANCH
[Supplement to The Theosophist, April, 1883.]
The address of our Brothers at Bombay to the Founders on the eve of the latter's departure from that place to Madras, published on page 8 of the Supplement to the Theosophist for January last, must have been read with interest by our members.
The sentiments in the address, expressive of the loyalty of our Bombay Branch to the cause of Theosophy and their determination to assist its furtherance are no doubt very gratifying. The expressions therein made use of, are but the indicators of the feelings which our friends at Bombay entertain for the Founders who, whatever their shortcomings, are yet zealously and earnestly working for the IDEA, the promotion and propagation of which has been the chief end and aim of their life. It is but natural, therefore, that the temporary separation, caused by the removal of our Head-Quarters to this place, should evoke an outburst of those feelings in the shape of an address and some other token of fraternal regard and esteem felt for the Founders by their Bombay friends. The latter, therefore, proposed in the "Address" to offer for the acceptance of the Founders, "an article of Indian make, with a suitable inscription," as a token of their "sense of appreciation of your labour of love, and as a keepsake from us." As the article was not then ready, its presentation had to be deferred. It is, therefore, after we arrived here, that the Madras Theosophical Society was specially requested by their Bombay Brothers to present on behalf of their Branch, to the Founders, a silver cup and tray of Indian make, specially designed for the purpose. A meeting was accordingly convened on the evening of the 15th February, when M. R. Ry. P. Sreenevas Row Pantulu Garu, Judge of the Small Cause Court, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the Madras Branch, made a short speech, on behalf of our Brothers at Bombay, and presented, in the name of the latter, the articles to the Founders. The President-Founder, Col. Olcott, on behalf of Madame Blavatsky and himself, made a suitable reply. His speech was very impressive and infused vigour and spirit into the audience. He gave a short sketch of the working of the Theosophical Society and thanked the Bombay brothers for the kind and fraternal feelings which had actuated them. M. R. Ry. T. Subba Row Garu, Secretary of the Madras Branch, then made a few remarks upon the subject of Occultism, which were very interesting and instructive. M. R. Ry. G. Muttuswamy Chettyar Garu, Judge of the Small Cause Court, and one of the Vice-Presidents of the Branch, also addressed the meeting. After a few more desultory speeches, the meeting was dissolved.
The Founders beg to take this opportunity of expressing again their deep and sincere feeling of gratitude for this new token of the fraternal regard entertained for them by their Parsi and Marathi Brothers of Bombay. The article is of exquisite make and bears the following inscription: —
It will ever remain in the Head-Quarters Hall as a token of the appreciation of the humble efforts of the Founders for the good of India, alongside with the beautiful Silver Plate presented to them by the Rohilkhand Theosophical Society — the Bareilly Branch.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR,
Recording Secretary of the
Parent Theosophical Society.
[From The Theosophist, December, 1883.
[An unsigned article. — EDS.]
We have much pleasure to be able to lay before the public a remarkable psychological phenomenon, as interesting as it is well authenticated. On November 10th, a European gentleman attached to the Theosophical Head Quarters was engaged in some work in a room adjoining that of Madame Blavatsky, when he heard a voice, which he believed was that of Mr. D —— K —-— M, an officer of the Parent Society, speaking to Madame Blavatsky in her room. As this young man had, to that gentleman's knowledge, left the Head Quarters some weeks previously to join Col. Olcott at Poona, he naturally thought at the time that he had come back and so entered Madame Blavatsky's room to greet the officer in question on his return. But fancy his surprise when on entering the room he found that D —— K —-— M was nowhere to be seen; and his surprise positively grew up to amazement when on enquiring he found that, though this young Brahman was at the moment at Moradabad, N. W. P., yet
Madame Blavatsky who was then standing looking very much perplexed, before the shrine setting it in order, had also not only heard that chela's voice, but assured the gentleman that she had a message from D —— K —-— M, which was of great importance — the words of which she was asked to repeat by telegram. She immediately proceeded to have them wired to Moradabad and the message was sent. In the evening, General and Mrs. Morgan from Ooty, Miss Flynn from Bombay, Mr. Mohini Mohan Chatterji from Calcutta, and others then on a visit at Adyar, talked the matter over a good deal, all expressing surprise and intense curiosity as to how far the phenomenon would be verified.
With these prefatory remarks we may safely leave the following documents to speak for themselves and invite our Spiritualistic friends to explain away the occurrence on their orthodox theories. These documents were received from Moradabad five days later: —
"On the evening of November 10, Mr. D ----K----M —— having at the request of Mr. Shankar Sing of Moradabad promised to ask the Mahatmas whether Col. Olcott would be permitted to treat mesmerically two children, in whom Shankar Sing was interested, and having at his request gone to the Adyar Head-quarters in the Shukshma sarira (astral body) told us that he had received a message at the Adyar "Shrine"; at the same time he also said that he had asked Madame Blavatsky to give Col. Olcott a confirmation of his visit as well as of the order received through the shrine from Col. Olcott's guru by sending a telegram to him, D —— K —-— M. or Shankar Sing; after which he reported (4-50 P. M.,) its substance in these words: — "Henry can try the parties once, leaving strongly mesmerised Cajaputti oil to rub three times daily to relieve sufferers. Karma cannot be interfered."
(Signed) Shankar Sing.
(") Pundit B. Sankar.
(") W. T. Brown.
(") Purmeshri Dass.
(") Parshotbarn Dass.
(") Ishri Prasad.
(") L. Venkata Varadarajulu Naidu.
(") Toke Narainasamy Naidu.
(") Chiranjee Lall.
(") H. S. Olcott.
(") Pran Nath Pandit.
The telegram mentioned by D —— K —-— M. has just been received (8-45 A. M., November 11th) as a deferred or night message of 34 words, in which the above exact words are repeated. Madame Blavatsky says a "voice from the Shrine" spoke the words, and adds that D —— K —-— M. heard the voice, and the telegram is sent at his request.
Copy of the telegram received from Madame H. P. Blavatsky by Mr. D —— K —-— M.
To Moradabad From Adyar (Madras)
Words. 49 Days. 10 Hours. 17 Minutes. 15
"To D —— K —-— M. From H. P. Blavatsky.
care of Col. Olcott, President
"Voice from Shrine says Henry can try parties once, leaving strongly mesmerized Cajaputti oil, rub three times daily to relieve suffering. Karma cannot be interfered with. D---- heard voice; telegram sent at his request." Noted that the telegram is dated Adyar, 5-15 P. M., or but 25 minutes later than the time when D — K — M.'s psychic message was reported at Moradabad. The two places are 2,281 miles apart.
(Signed) Ishri Prasad.
(") W. T. Brown
(") H. S. Olcott.
(") Pundit Sankar.
(Signed) Purashotham Dass.
(") Chendra Sekhar
(") Toke Narainasamy Naidu.
(") L. Venkata Varadarajulu Naidu."
Editor's [of The Theosophist] Note. — Mr. D —— K —-— M. is a chela of hardly 4 years' standing, his remarkable psychic powers having received their development but lately. He is of a very delicate health and lives the life of a regular ascetic. Whenever the phenomenon of the separation of the astral from the physical body takes place, we are told, he falls invariably asleep or into a trance a few minutes before.
[Col. Olcott describes this incident, which happened during his tour in Northern India in 1883. See p. 12 of this volume. — EDS]
[Supplement to The Theosophist, December, 1883.]
In the month of August last having occasion to come to Madras in the absence of Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, I visited the Head Quarters of the Theosophical Society to see a wonderful painting of the Mahatma K. H. kept there in a shrine and daily attended to by the chelas. On arrival at the house I was told that the lady, Madame C---, who had charge of the keys of the shrine, was absent, so I awaited her return. She came home in about an hour, and we proceeded upstairs to open the shrine and inspect the picture. Madame C-— advanced quickly to unlock the double doors of the hanging cupboard, and hurriedly threw them open. In so doing she had failed to observe that a china tray inside was on the edge of the shrine and leaning against one of the doors, and when they were opened, down fell the china tray, smashed to pieces on the hard chunam floor. Whilst Madame C-— was wringing her hands and lamenting this unfortunate accident to a valuable article of Madame B---'s, and her husband was on his knees collecting the debris, I remarked it would be necessary to obtain some china cement and thus try to restore the fragments. Thereupon Monsieur C. was despatched for the same. The broken pieces were carefully collected and placed, tied in a cloth, within the shrine, and the doors locked. Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, the joint Recording Secretary of the Society, was opposite the shrine, seated on a chair, about ten feet away from it, when after some conversation an idea occurred to me to which I immediately gave expression. I remarked that if the Brothers considered it of sufficient importance, they would easily restore the broken article, if not, they would leave it to the culprits to do so, the best way they could. Five minutes had scarcely elapsed after this remark when Damodar, who during this time seemed wrapped in a reverie — exclaimed, "I think there is an answer." The doors were opened, and sure enough, a small note was found on the shelf of the shrine — on opening which we read "To the small audience present. Madame C-— has occasion to assure herself that the Devil is neither so black nor so wicked as he is generally represented; the mischief is easily repaired." —
On opening the cloth the China tray was found to be whole and perfect; not a trace of the breakage to be found on it! I at once wrote across the note, stating that I was present when the tray was broken and immediately restored, dated and signed it, so there should be no mistake in the matter. It may be here observed that Madame C-— believes that the many things of a wonderful nature that occur at the Head-Quarters, may be the work of the Devil — hence the playful remark of the Mahatma who came to her rescue. The matter took place in the middle of the day in the presence of four people. I may here remark that a few days before I came into the room in my house just as Madame B-— had duplicated a ring of
a lady in a high position, in the presence of my wife and daughter in broad day-light. The ring was a sapphire and a valuable one — and the lady has preserved it. On another occasion a note came from the above lady to my wife and was handed into the drawing-room in the presence of several people. On opening it a message was found written across the note in the well known characters of the Adept. The question is how the message got into the note? The lady who wrote it was perfectly astounded when she saw it — and could only imagine it was done at her own table with her own blue pencil.
Whilst on the subject of the shrine I may mention that it is a small cabinet attached to the wall with shelves and double doors. The picture of the Mahatma that I came to see, lately given to the Founders of the Society, is a most marvellous work of art. Not all the R. A.'s put together could equal such a production. The coloring is simply indescribable. Whether it has been produced by a brush or photographed, entirely passes my comprehension. It is simply superb.
H. R. MORGAN, F. T. S.,
2nd November 1883.
[From The Theosophist, December-January, 1883-4.]
On my return to the Head-quarters from the North, where I had accompanied Col. Olcott on his Presidential Tour, I learnt with regret and sorrow of further and still more malignant strictures by certain Spiritualists on the claims of the Founders of the Theosophical Society to be in personal relations with the Mahatmas of the sacred Himavat. For me, personally, the problem is of course now solved. It being impossible, I shall not even undertake to prove my case to those who, owing to prejudice and misconception, have determined to shut their eyes before the most glaring facts, for none are so blind as those who will not see, as the saying has it. I should at the same time [be] considered to have ill performed my duty were I not to put my facts before those earnest seekers after truth, who by sincere aspiration and devoted study, have been bringing themselves closer and closer to the Occult World. The best way, I believe, to carry conviction to an intelligent mind is to narrate the facts in as plain and simple a way as possible, leaving speculations entirely out of consideration.
At the outset I must state what is known to many of my friends and brothers of the Theosophical Society, viz., that for the last four years I have been the CHELA of Mr. Sinnett's correspondent. [The Mahatman Koot Hoomi. — EDS.] Now and then I have had occasion to refer publicly to this fact, and to the other one of my having seen some of the other VENERATED MAHATMAS OF THE HIMALAYAS, both in their astral and physical bodies. However all that I could urge in favour of my point, viz., that these GREAT MASTERS are not disembodied spirits but living men — would fail to carry conviction to a Spiritualistic mind blinded by its prejudices and preconceptions. It has been suggested that either or both of the Founders may be mediums in whose presence forms could be seen, which are by them mistaken for real living entities. And when I asserted that I had these appearances even when alone, it was argued that I too was developing into a medium.
In this connection a certain remark by Mr. C. C. Massey in a letter to Light of November 17, is very suggestive, inasmuch as that gentleman is not only far from being inimical to us but is a Theosophist of long standing, bent solely on discovering truth and — nothing but the truth. The following extract from the said letter will show how great are the misconceptions even of some of our own fellow-members: —
"Nevertheless, were it an open question, free from authoritative statement, so that such a suggestion could be made without offence by one who would, if possible, avoid offence, I should avow the opinion that these letters, whether they are or are not the ipsissima verba. of any adept, were at all events penned by Madame Blavatsky, or by other accepted chelas. At least I should think that she was a medium for their production, and not merely for their transmission. The fact that through the kindness of Mr. Sinnett I have been made familiar with the handwriting of the letters, and that it bears not the remotest resemblance to Madame Blavatsky's, would not influence me against that opinion, for reasons which every one acquainted with the phenomena of writing under psychical conditions will appreciate. But I am bound to admit that there are circumstances connected with the receipt by Mr. Sinnett of other letters signed, 'K. H.' which are as regards those, apparently inconsistent with any instrumentality of Madame Blavatsky herself, whether as medium or otherwise and the handwriting is in both cases the same."
Bearing well in mind the italicized portion in the above quotation, I would respectfully invite the Spiritualists to explain the fact of not only myself, but Col. Olcott, Mr. Brown, and other gentlemen having on this tour received severally and on various occasions letters in reply to conversations and questions on the same day or the same hour, sometimes when alone and sometimes in company with others, when Mme. Blavatsky was thousands of miles away; the handwriting in all cases being the same and identical with that of the communications in Mr. Sinnett's possession.
While on my tour with Col. Olcott, several phenomena occurred, — in his presence as well as in his absence — such as immediate answers to questions in my Master's handwriting and over his signature, put by a number of our Fellows, and some of which are referred to in the last number of the Theosophist, while others need not be mentioned in a document going into the hands of the profane reader. These occurrences took place before we reached Lahore, where we expected to meet in body my much doubted MASTER. There I visited by him in body, for three nights consecutively for about three hours every time while I myself retained full consciousness, and in one case, even went to meet him outside the house. To my knowledge there is no case on the Spiritualistic records of a medium remaining perfectly conscious, and meeting, by previous arrangement, his Spirit-visitor in the compound, re-entering the house with him, offering him a seat and then holding a long converse with the "disembodied spirit" in a way to give him the impression that he is in personal contact with an embodied entity! Moreover Him whom I saw in person at Lahore was the same I had seen in astral form at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and the same again whom I, in my visions and trances, had seen at His house, thousands of miles off, to reach which in my astral Ego I was permitted, owing, of course, to His direct help and protection. In those instances with my psychic powers hardly developed yet, I had always seen Him as a rather hazy form, although His features were perfectly distinct and their remembrance was profoundly graven on my soul's eye and memory; while now at Lahore, Jummoo, and elsewhere, the impression was utterly different. In former cases, when making Pranam (salutation) my hands passed through his form, while on the latter occasions they met solid garments and flesh. Here I saw a living man before me, the same in features, though far more imposing in His general appearance and bearing than Him I had so often looked upon in the portrait in Mme. Blavatsky's possession and in the one with Mr. Sinnett. I shall not here dwell upon the fact of His having been corporeally seen by both Col. Olcott and Mr. Brown separately, for two nights at Lahore, as they can do so better, each for himself, if they so choose. At Jummoo again, where we proceeded from Lahore, Mr. Brown saw Him on the evening of the third day of our arrival there, and from Him received a letter in His familiar handwriting, not to speak of His visits to me almost every day. And what happened the next morning almost every one in Jummoo is aware of. The fact is, that I had the good fortune of being sent for, and permitted to visit a Sacred Ashrum where I remained for a few days in the blessed company of several of the much doubted MAHATMAS of Himavat and Their disciples. There I met not only my beloved Gurudeva and Col. Olcott's Master [the Mahatman Morya — EDS.], but several others of the Fraternity, including One of the Highest. I regret the extremely personal nature of my visit to those thrice blessed regions prevents my saying more of it. Suffice it that the place I was permitted to visit is in the HIMALAYAS, not in any fanciful Summer Land and that I saw Him in my own sthula sarira (physical body) and found my Master identical with the form I had seen in the earlier days of my Chelaship. Thus, I saw my beloved Guru not only as a living man, but actually as a young one in comparison with some other Sadhus of the blessed company, only far kinder, and not above a merry remark and conversation at times. Thus on the second day of my arrival, after the meal hour I was permitted to hold an intercourse for over an hour with my Master. Asked by Him smilingly, what it was that made me look at Him so perplexed, I asked in my turn: — "How is it MASTER that some of the members of our Society have taken into their heads a notion that you were 'an elderly man,' and that they have even seen you clairvoyantly looking an old man passed sixty?" To which he pleasantly smiled and said, that this latest misconception was due to the reports of a certain Brahmachari, a pupil of a Vedantic Swami in the N. W. P. [the narrative of this Brahmachari is given and repeated twice over in our last number. See pp. 83-6, and 98-9 Theosophist for Dec.-Jany. [[It should be December, 1883. — EDS.]] ] — who had met last year in Tibet the chief of a sect, an elderly Lama, who was his (my Master's) travelling companion at that time. The said Brahmachari having spoken of the encounter in India, had led several persons to mistake the Lama for himself. As to his being perceived clairvoyantly as an "elderly man," that could never be, he added, as real clairvoyance could lead no one into such mistaken notions; and then he kindly reprimanded me for giving any importance to the age of a Guru, adding that appearances were often false, &c. and explaining other points.
These are all stern facts and no third course is open to the reader. What I assert is either true or false. In the former case, no Spiritualistic hypothesis can hold good, and it will have to be admitted that the Himalayan Brothers are living men and neither disembodied spirits nor the creatures of the over-heated imagination of fanatics. Of course I am fully aware that many will discredit my account, but I write only for the benefit of those few who know me well enough to see in me neither a hallucinated medium nor attribute to me any bad motive, and who have ever been true and loyal to their convictions and to the cause they have so nobly espoused. As for the majority who laugh at, and ridicule, what they have neither the inclination nor the capacity to understand. I hold them in very small account. If these few lines will help to stimulate even one of my brother-Fellows in the Society or one right thinking man outside of it to promote the cause the GREAT MASTERS have imposed upon the devoted heads of the Founders of the Theosophical Society, I shall consider that I have properly performed my duty.
7th December, 1883.
[From The Theosophist, April, 1884.]
Referring to the article of D. K. M. in the last issue of the Theosophist, headed "A great riddle solved," in which he says the misconception regarding his Master's appearance "was due to the reports of a certain Brahmachari, the pupil of the Vedanti Swami in the N. W. P. who had met last year in Thibet the chief of a sect, an elderly Lama," who was his Master's travelling companion at the time "the said Brahmachari having spoken of the encounter, in India, had led several persons to mistake the Lama for himself." Now I know of a case in which a certain gentleman of this station saw clairvoyantly the appearance of D. K. M.'s Guru long before the Brahmachari came here and spoke of his encounter with the Kuthumba Lama as he called him. The gentleman in question saw his (D. K. M.'s) Master's portrait mentioned in the last edition of the Occult World, and was at first puzzled with the difference of appearance he saw in the portrait and that he perceived clairvoyantly. But he remembered the Master's modest remarks that the figure in the portrait was very much flattered. The Brahmachari only came some months after the incident, and although he narrated to the gentleman his interview with the alleged K. H., the gentleman thought that there must have been some mistake as the Master could not have been likely to read the Vedas in the manner he was represented as doing.
Another incident happened here about a month ago. A certain initiated Grihasta Brahman who had no connection with our Society — but who had nevertheless heard of the Master from his Theosophist friends, resolved one day to see K. H. in his (the latter's) suksma sariram. He sat in his room with his door closed, but was disturbed by the noise outside. In the night, or rather in the early part of the morning, he fancied that some one touched his right shoulder lightly, and the appearance of the figure that he described tallied, as far as I could judge, with that which I had heard attributed to D. K. M.'s Master. But as soon as he was conscious of his presence, he was again disturbed by some other noise. He says he was fast asleep, but the touch of the figure roused him. He had not even heard of the portrait with Mr. Sinnett, nor had any acquaintance with the other people who fancied that they had seen the Master.
There are many other instances which came to my knowledge in which D. K. M.'s Master favoured many individuals. But despite his belief and that of the large numbers of the Theosophists that I know of, I confess I am at a loss to reason with those who think that the real K. H. is an "elderly" man. These persons do not pretend to say who D. K. M.'s Master is. They say that he may be like the portrait of which I have heard Colonel Gordon, Mr. Sinnett and others speak, but if so, they question whether he is the K. H. well known in Thibet. — K.
Simla. 31st Jan. 1884.
Note. — We know of only one MAHATMA bearing the name of my venerated GURU DEVA who holds a well-known public office in Thibet, under the TESHU LAMA. For aught we know there may be another bearing the same name; but at any rate he is not known to us, nor have any of those, we are acquainted with in Thibet, heard of him. And this personage, my BELOVED MASTER, is, as I have described Him, resembling the portrait in Mr. Sinnett's possession, and and does not look old. Perhaps the clairvoyants are confounding the sect of Khadampas with the Kauthumpas? The former, although not regular Dougpas, are great magicians and indulge in practices an Adept of the good Law would feel disgusted with — such as the well known phenomenon of ripping open the abdomen, exposing the intestines, and then restoring them to their normal place and condition, &c. &c. The latter, the Kauthumpas, are the disciples of my MASTER.
My friend and brother of Simla should not lose sight of the fact that while others claim to have seen my Master clairvoyantly, I say that I saw Him in the North personally, in his living, not his astral body. Col. Olcott and Mr. Brown were also as fortunate as myself in that respect. It is now for the impartial reader to judge whether the testimony of three unimpeachable eye witnesses is more reliable or not than that of one or two clairvoyants (untrained we may add) in matters connected with the physical appearance of an individual. Imagination and expectancy are, with various other things, apt to mislead beginners in the Science of Clairvoyance. — D. K. M.
[Supplement to The Theosophist, January, 1884.]
At Lahore, Col. Olcott was met by a Councillor of His Highness the Maha Raja Saheb of Kashmir and Jammu, who
had been specially deputed for the purpose of escorting the President and his party to Jammu. His Highness had sent a special request that before proceeding from Lahore to Jammu, Col. Olcott should consent to accept the khilat* which it is customary for the Court to offer on the distinct understanding that the presents would be received not for his personal benefit, but on behalf of, and for the benefit of The Society. The necessary preliminaries having been arranged, the party, accompanied by Pandit Gopi Nath, F. T. S., Editor of the Mittra Vilasa, the organ of the orthodox Pandits of Lahore, and by His Highness' Counsillor, left Lahore by the evening mail of the 21st November, and proceeded from the Wazirabad Railway Station in carriages direct to Sialkot, where they rested for the night. The Maharaja had sent
*Khilat is a royal gift peculiar to Asiatic Courts: its richness and value being proportionate to the munificence of the Sovereign and therank of the visitor. — ED. [of The Theosophist.]
his State carriages to that place to take the party to Jammu which, after about four hours' drive, they reached in the evening of the 22nd. On this side of the Ravi river, two State elephants were in waiting to take the party to the city.
One of these was fitted up with a silver Howdah in Kashmiri repoussee work, with dragon supporters and velvet cushions for the President. An hour's ride brought the party to the barracks, where the bungalow set apart for the British Resident and other distinguished European guests had been fitted up for their accommodation. The next morning, elephants were sent with an officer and a guard of honor, and upon arrival at the Palace, the whole guard presented arms, and His Highness gave audience in full Court. The Maha Rajah Saheb was very well pleased with Col. Olcott's exposition of Theosophy, and expressed great sympathy with the objects of the Theosophical Society, especially its efforts for the revival of the ancient intellectual and spiritual glories of India. Their Royal Highnesses Prince Rama Singh, Commander-in-Chief, and Prince Amara Singh, the junior Prince, also seemed very much interested in the subject. The same evening, Col. Olcott received the Royal presents. According to the ancient custom of the Court, first-class guests receive twenty-one pots of sweet-meats, those of the second-class, fourteen, the third-class seven, while the fourth-class are given none. The President was treated as a first-class guest — a distinction shown to Princes and to the British Resident and other high Europeans, and was thus presented with twenty-one pots of sweet-meats and a purse of five hundred rupees as Dawat, for which he immediately receipted in his official capacity
and on behalf of the Society. Every day the Maha Rajah Saheb accorded him an interview of about two hours, and on some days even two. On each occasion, at the Palace, a guard of honour old [all] turned out who presented arms, both at the time of his entering and leaving the Royal mansion. Two elephants and four saddled horses were all the time at the disposal of the party at the barracks — besides armed chuprasis and other servants. Col. Olcott had long discussions on matters of Aryan Philosophy and Religion with His Highness, who manifested a most thorough knowledge of the subjects, and seemed extremely gratified to find that the American Chela had derived his knowledge from the same school to which his own GURu apparently belonged. The Maha Rajah Saheb not only believed in the existence of the HIMALAYAN MAHATMAS, but seemed to be sure of the fact from personal knowledge. He expressed his entire approbation of Col. Olcott's work for the resuscitation of Sanskrit in which direction he himself was working hard in his own State. The party remained at Jammu for a week. On the last day, they were presented with the khilat, which consisted of an offering to Col. Olcott of seven "cloths" — technically so called,* and three to each of the rest — as also an additional purse of two thousand rupees, which the President receipted for, as before, on behalf of the Society. Before quitting Jammu, the Colonel made over fifteen hundred rupees to the Honorary Secretary of the Head-Quarters House Fund Committee towards the purchase of the Adyar Property, and the remaining rupees one thousand of the Maharajah's cash present, to the Treasurer of the Society, for the Society's general expenses. Col. Olcott had special interviews with His Royal Highness Prince Arama Singh, the youngest son of His Highness the Maha Rajah Saheb, with His Excellency the Diwan, and other high officials of the State, who were all more or less interested in what the President had to say, and professed themselves pleased with his advocacy of Aryan Philosophy. From Jammu to Sialkot the party was provided with State carriages. Thence they proceeded further on their journey. Col. Olcott's visit to the State of Kapurthala, where he was invited by the Diwan, who had specially gone down to Lahore for the purpose, will be found described elsewhere.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR,
Joint Recording Secretary.
Interview with a Mahatma
[From The Theosophist, August, 1884.]
I had the pleasure of seeing in several issues of the Theosophist articles describing my interview with a Himalayan Mahatma. But I am sorry to see that you have been led or rather misled to form some strange, if not incorrect, notions about the fact, and also regret to find that some positive mistakes have been made by the writer in reporting the matter to you. In order to make the matter more clearly known to you, I beg to write the following few lines and trust they will meet with your approval.
At the time I left home for the Himalayas in search of the Supreme Being, having adopted Brahmacharyashrama, I was quite ignorant of the fact whether there was any such philosophical sect as the Theosophists existing in India, who believed in the existence of the Mahatmas or "superior persons." This and other facts connected with my journey have already been reported to you perfectly right, and so need not be repeated or contradicted. Now I beg to give you the real account of my interview with the Mahatmas.
Before and after I met the so-called Mahatma Kouthumpa, I had the good fortune of seeing in person several other Mahatmas of note, a detailed account of whom, I hope, should time allow, to write to you by and bye. Here I wish to say something about Kouthumpa only.
When I was on my way to Almora from Mansarowar and Kailas, one day I had nothing with me to eat. I was quite at a loss how to get on without food and keep up my life. There being no human habitation in that part of the country, I could expect no help but pray God and take my way patiently on. Between Mansarowar and Taklakhal by the side of a road I observed a tent pitched and several Sadhus, called Chohans [*the correspondent probably means "the Chutuktus" or the disciples? Chohans are the "Masters"], sitting outside it who numbered near seventeen in all. As to their trimmings, &c., what Babu M. M. Chatterjea reports to you is all correct. When I went to them they entertained me very kindly, and saluted me by uttering "Ram Ram." I returning their salutations, sat down with them, and they entered upon conversation with me on different subjects, asking me first the place I was coming from and whither I was going. There was a chief of them sitting inside the tent and engaged in reading a book. I enquired about his name and the book he was reading from one of his Chelas, who answered me in rather a serious tone, saying that his name was Guru Kouthumpa and the book he was reading was Rig-veda. Long before, I had been told by some Pundits of Bengal that the Thibetan Lamas were well-acquainted with the Rig-veda. This proved what they had told me. After a short time when his reading was over, he called me in through one of his Chelas, and I went to him. He also bidding me "Ram Ram" received me very gently and courteously and began to talk with me mildly in pure Hindi. He addressed me in words such as follows: — "You should remain here for some time and see the fair at Mansarowar, which is to come off shortly. Here you will have plenty of time and suitable retreats for meditation, &c. I will help you in whatever I can." Having spoken in words as above for some time, I said in reply that what he said was all right, and that I would put up with him by all means, but there was some reason which prevented me from stopping there any longer. He understood my object immediately, and then having given me some secret advice as to my future spiritual welfare bade me farewell. Before this he had come to know that I was hungry that day and so wished me to take some food. He ordered one of his Chelas to supply me with food, which he did immediately. In order to get hot water ready for my ablutions he prepared fire by blowing into a cowdung cake which burst into flames at once. This is a common practice among the Himalayan Lamas. It is also fully explained by M. M. Chatterjea and so need not be repeated.
As long as I was there with the said Lama he never persuaded me to accept Buddhism or any other religion, but only said, "Hinduism is the best religion; you should believe in the Lord Mahadewa — he will do good to you. You are still quite a young man — do not be enticed away by the necromancy of anybody." Having had a conversation with the Mahatma as described above for about three hours, I at last taking his leave resumed my journey.
I am neither a Theosophist nor any sectarian, but am the worshipper of the only "Om." As regards the Mahatma I personally saw, I dare say that he is a great Mahatma. By the fulfilment of certain of his prophecies I am quite convinced of his excellence. Of all the Himalayan Mahatmas with whom I had an interview, I never saw a better Hindee speaker than he. As to his birth-place and the place of his residence, I did not ask him any question. Neither can I say if he is the Mahatma of the Theosophists. In short, I beg to ask the leaders of the Theosophic movement, Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, why they are entertaining doubts as to his personality, why do they not refer the matter to the Mahatmas, with whom they can easily have communication. When they say they receive instructions from them in petty affairs, why do they not get them in a matter which has become a riddle to them. As to the age of the Mahatma Kouthumpa as I told Babu M. M. Chatterjea and others, he was an elderly looking man. Cannot the Mahatmas transform themselves into any age they like? If they can, the assertions of Babu Damodar cannot be admitted to be true when he says his Guru was not an old one. When the age of even a common man cannot be told exactly, how is it possible to be precise about the age of a Mahatma, specially when one believes that the Mahatmas have the supernatural power of changing their outward appearance and look. It must be admitted that our knowledge of them is far from being complete; and there are several things concerning them which we do not know.
It is said that [[Sanskrit characters]]
RAJANI KANT BRAHMACHARI
ALMORA, 3rd June 1884
Note. — Although the correspondent begins by saying that certain "incorrect" notions have crept into the narrative of his interview with a MAHATMA, I fail to see a single statement of Babu Mohini M. Chatterjee contradicted by the Brahmachari. As the former gentleman is in Europe, he cannot give a reply to the above letter; but the reader can compare it with Mohini Babu's statement on pp. 83-86 of Vol. V of the Theosophist ["The Himalayan Brothers — Do They Exist?"; reprinted in Five Years of Theosophy, pp. 459-69]. All that the correspondent does now is that he gives a few additional facts.
As regards the Brahmachari's remark about my statement concerning the MAHATMA'S age, the reader will perceive that the correspondent but repeats, in other words, to a certain extent, what I have already said to be the reply of my MASTER (Vide page 62, Vol. V. Theosophist, col. 1, para 1) ["A Great Riddle Solved." — EDS.]. I may, however, add that since "intellect moulds the features," many of the comparatively young persons (if physical age be taken into account) look "elderly," such is the majesty of their appearance. The question has already been discussed at length in the article "Mahatmas and Chelas" [an unsigned editorial, probably by H. P. Blavatsky; republished in Five Years of Theosophy, pp. (2-95.-EDS.] in the last month's Theosophist, and in several other writings.
The question put by the correspondent to Col. Olcott and to Mme. Blavatsky, and the advice he offers them, are rather confused. But every reader of the Theosophist knows full well that the Founders collect and publish independent testimonies about the existence of the MAHATMAS, not because they have any doubt in the matter, but because they wish to put their case as clearly and as strongly as possible before an enquiring public. Nothing more need be said about it, as every searcher after truth — in whatever department — knows full well the weight and validity of evidence, especially concerning facts which are out of the reach, at present, of the ordinary run of mankind, although these facts may in the process of higher evolution come more and more within the grasp of a more developed humanity. — D. K. M.
LETTER OF H. P. BLAVATSKY TO DR. HARTMANN.* 1885 TO 1886.
[From The Path, February, 1896.]
[NO DATE.] [Written from Wurzburg. — EDS.]
My Dear Doctor: — Two words in answer to what the Countess told me. I do myself harm, you say, "in telling everyone that Damodar is in Tibet, when he is only at Benares." You are mistaken. He left Benares toward the middle of May, (ask in Adyar; I cannot say for certain whether it was in May or April) and went off, as everybody knows, to Darjeeling, and thence to the frontier via Sikkhim. Our Darjeeling Fellows accompanied him a good way. He wrote a last word from there to the office bidding goodbye and saying: "If I am not back by July 21st you may count me as dead." He did not come back, and Olcott was in great grief and wrote to me about two months ago, to ask me whether I knew anything. News had come by some Tibetan pedlars in Darjeeling that a young man of that description, with very long flowing hair, had been found frozen in the (forget the name) pass, stark dead, with twelve rupees in his pockets and his things and hat a few yards off. Olcott was in despair, but Maji told him (and he, D., lived with Maji for some time at Benares,) that he was not dead — she knew it through pilgrims who had returned, though Olcott supposes — which may be also — that she knew it clairvoyantly. Well I know that he is alive, and am almost certain that he is in Tibet — as I am certain also that he will not come back — not for years, at any rate. Who told you he was at Benares? We want him sorely now to refute all Hodgson's guesses and inferences that I simply call lies, as much as my "spy" business and forging — the blackguard: now mind, I do not give myself out as infallible in this case. But I do know what he told me before going away — and at that moment he would not have said a fib, when he wept like a Magdalen. He said, "I go for your sake. If the Maha Chohan is satisfied with my services and my devotion, He may permit me to vindicate you by proving that Masters do exist. If I fail no one shall ever see me for years to come, but I will send messages. But I am determined in the meanwhile to make people give up searching for me. I want them to believe I am dead."
This is why I think he must have arranged some trick to spread reports of his death by freezing.
But if the poor boy had indeed met with such an accident — why I think I would commit suicide; for it is out of pure devotion for me that he went.* I would never forgive myself for this, for letting him go. That's the truth and only the truth. Don't be harsh, Doctor — forgive him his faults and mistakes, willing and unwilling.
*The fact is that Damodar was never asked to go to Tibet, but begged to be permitted to go there, and at last went with permission of H. P. B., on which occasion I accompanied him to the steamer. — H. [Evidently Hartmann. — EDS.]
The poor boy, whether dead or alive, has no happy times now, since he is on probation and this is terrible. I wish you would write to someone at Calcutta to enquire from Darjeeling whether it is so or not. Sinnett will write to you, I think. I wish you would.
Yours ever gratefully,
H. P. B.
[Sent from Torre del Greco, July 16, 1885.]
[From The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett. — EDS.]
. . . Now that our Damodar is away in Thibet and nothing is known at Adyar about him, and as Respected Sir does not care a fig for anything but his own affairs, the Masters find no facility for communicating direct with anyone at Adyar. . . .**
**[This letter is unsigned, but is in the handwriting of Babajee, a young Brahman and a probationary chela, who was sent to help H. P. Blavatsky when she went to Europe in 1885. His real name was S. Krishnamachari, but he also called himself Dharbagiri Nath. — EDS.]
[Supplement to The Theosophist, July, 1886.]
To relieve the anxiety of a great many friends who have been anxious to learn the fate of our brother Damodar K. Mavalankar, and to dispel the rumours of his death which came by way of Sikkim and Darjeeling, we are very happy to state that we have positive news as late as the 7th of June that he has safely reached his destination, is alive, and under the guardianship of the friends whom he sought. The date of his return, however, is yet uncertain, and will probably remain so for a long time to come.
H. S. OLCOTT
T. SUBBA ROW.