Re: Theos-World Re: Did Pasadena TS tell lies under the name of Esoteric Inst...
Mar 07, 2006 06:05 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins
Judith Tyberg was the daughter of Olaf and Marjorie Tyberg, who were
early Theosophists during the days of Judge. Judith was born in
California in 1902 and grew up at the Point Loma Theosophical Community
when it was headed by Katherine Tingley, and later, G. de Purucker. She
received her early education at the Point Loma Raja Yoga Academy and
received a M.A. in Religion and Philosophy, at the Theosophical
University. I have copies of her school records here in the archives.
I remember her once telling me that she, as a young woman, asked G. de
P. to teach her Sanskrit. She said that G. de P. became very excited
and said that he had been for so long hoping that she would ask. After
a few lessons, G. de P. told her that he was going to announce a new
class in Sanskrit and that she (Judith) was going to teach it. Judith
said that she was so nervous because she was only a few lessons ahead of
the class. While she was teaching the Point Loma students, G. de P. was
teaching her. I have a photo here in the archives of Judith in front
of a black board teaching the Raja Yoga children Sanskrit. Later, she
became the Dean of Studies at the school.
It was G. de Purucker who ordered research to begin for the production
of a Theosophical Glossary (this is the controversial unpublished
Glossary which has, off and on, been the subject of so many posts on
this bulletin board). There was a select groups of Theosophical
Scholars who worked on the Glossary. Geoffrey Barborka and Judith
Tyberg were among them.
It was in 1941 that Judith published her first textbook: Sanskrit Keys
to the Wisdom Religion. It was Geoffrey and Judith who designed the
Devanagari typeface, which Merganthaler tooled into a font for the
casting of linotype slugs.
In 1947, Judith left for India to study Sanskrit and to gain an M.A. at
Benares Hindu University. There she discovered the Sri Aurobindo
Ashram. Judith once related to me that when she was grated audience
with Aurobindo, they talked for over an hour. She was later told that
normally the visits were only for a minute or so, because most visitors
were too overwhelmed by his presence. She also related that G. de P.
once told her that she would meet a great teacher. Judith believed that
Aurobindo was the teacher he had predicted. During her stay in India,
she wrote letters back home to her friends for them to share. I have
copies of those letters here.
In 1950, Judith returned home. Troubles were still brewing at the Point
Loma (now in West Covina) TS, so she founded the East-West Cultural
Center in Los Angeles. I recall lecturing there on a couple of
occasions--on one of those occasions, sharing the platform with Dane
Rudhyar. It was also around this time that she also joined the faculty
of the American Academy of Asian Studies. Other professors there were
Alan Watts, Haridas Chaudhuri and Ernest Wood.
I last saw Judith a few month before her passing in 1980. She was in
very good spirits, though suffering from back pain. We talked at length
about her Point Loma days. Her presence and the balanced way that she
related her memories was quite extraordinary. She is a person who I
have come to more deeply appreciate as the years go by.
I can't remember when anyone mentioned Judith Tyberg on this Forum, I have
several of her books and I used to visit the East-West Center in LA many
years ago, I really liked her books and thought she was a pretty good presentative
of Theosophy, what can say about her to people that never heard of her on
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