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RE: Why HPB did not return to India

Mar 15, 2006 05:00 AM
by carlosaveline cardoso aveline


Your explanation is mots clear.


From: "krsanna" <>
Subject: Theos-World Why HPB did not return to India
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 05:14:34 -0000

Bart -- What is the point you want to make with the article about
why HPB did not return to India?  What do you think HPB meant when
she talked about the FTS (Fellows of the Theosophical Society)
and "cutting off a diseased limb from the healthy body of the tree,
and thus save it from infection?"

She speaks of people with courage she found in America and Europe
and her confidence in the Esoteric Section:

"I was enabled and encouraged by the devotion of an ever-increasing
number of members to the Cause and to Those who guide it, to
establish an Esoteric Section, in which I can teach something of
what I have learned to those who have confidence in me, and who
prove this confidence by their disinterested work for Theosophy and
the T.S. For the future, then, it is my intention to devote my life
and energy to the E. S., and to the teaching of those whose
confidence I retain."

She speaks of her special relationship with the Esoteric Section she
founded when the parent society was abolished:

"Know, moreover, that any further proof and teaching I can give only
to the Esoteric Section, and this for the following reason: its
members are the only ones whom I have the right to expel for open
disloyalty to their pledge (not to me, H.P.B., but to their Higher
Self and the Mahâtmic aspect of the Masters), a privilege I cannot
exercise with the F.T.S. at large, yet one which is the only means
of cutting off a diseased limb from the healthy body of the tree,
and thus save it from infection."

She asks the Hindu who desire a regeneration of India to turn a new
leaf and rally around the President-Founder, Olcott.  She did not
ask the Americans and Europeans, where Olcott's authority was
terminated, to rally around Olcott.  Adyar had been abolished as the
parent society.

"If, then, my Hindu brothers really and earnestly desire to bring
about the regeneration of India... Let them bravely rally round the


[This Open Letter one of the most extraordinary and deeply pathetic
documents ever penned by H.P.B., may be found among the original
Manuscripts in the Adyar Archives. Written to the Indian Members of
The Theosophical Society in the last year of H. P. B.'s life it is
like a karmic vision that both interpretes the past and throws a
flood of light upon the future It embodies a message from H. P. B.'s
long-suffering heart to all Theosophists without distinction. This
Open Letter contains declarations very rarely made, and
pronouncements which only those will understand who are firmly
rooted in the Theosophical philosophy and will not mistake them
for "claims," "dogmas" or delusions of grandeur. Facts and attitudes
spoken of in this Letter afford a background of meaning against
which may be measured various crises which took place in later years
within the framework of the T.S.
N. D. Khandalavala, quoting some short passages from this Letter in
The Theosophist, Vol. XX October, 1898 pp. 23-24, states that it was
at first intended to be circulated to the Indian

Members, but "was afterwards, for certain reasons, not published."
He was permitted to take a copy of it. With the "climate" prevailing
at the time in the Indian T.S., the reasons which Khandalavala does
not specify are easy to determine.
There seems to he no reason to doubt the accuracy of a statement by
W. E. Coleman in the Religio-Philosophical Journal (Chicago), of
September 16, 1893, p. 266, that this Open Letter was sent to India
by the intermediary of Bertram Keightley who left London for India,
at H.P.B.'s special request, sometime in the Summer of 1890,
reaching Bombay August 31, 1890 (The Theosophist, Vol. XII, Suppl.
to October, 1890, pp. ii-iii). He was soon elected General Secretary
of the newly-formed Indian Section of the T.S. which was chartered
Jan. 1, 1891.
The Open Letter which follows is one of the most important items
of "source material" available today for the use of the future
historian of the Theosophical Movement and its many vicissitudes. It
deserves a close study on the part of all students.— Compiler.]


In April, 1890, five years elapsed since I left India.
      Great kindness has been shown to me by many of my Hindu
brethren at various times since I left; especially this year (1890),
when, ill almost to death, I have received from several Indian
Branches letters of sympathy, and assurances that they had not
forgotten her to whom India and the Hindus have been most of her
life far dearer than her own Country.
It is, therefore, my duty to explain why I do not return to India
and my attitude with regard to the new leaf turned in the history of
the T. S. by my being formally placed at the head of the
Theosophical Movement in Europe. For it is not solely on account of
bad health that I do not return to India. Those who have saved me
from death at Adyar, and twice since then, could easily keep me
alive there as They do me here. There is a far more serious reason.
A line of conduct has been traced for me here, and I have found
among the English and Americans what I have so far vainly sought for
in India.

In Europe and America, during the last three years I have met with
hundreds of men and women who have the courage to avow their
conviction of the real existence of the Masters, and who are working
for Theosophy on Their lines and under Their guidance, given through
my humble self.
In India, on the other hand, ever since my departure, the true
spirit of devotion to the Masters and the courage to avow it has
steadily dwindled away. At Adyar itself, increasing strife and
conflict has raged between personalities; uncalled for and utterly
undeserved animosity—almost hatred —has been shown towards me by
several members of the staff. There seems to have been something
strange and uncanny going on at Adyar, during these last years. No
sooner does a European, most Theosophically inclined, most devoted
to the Cause, and the personal friend of myself or the President,
set his foot in Headquarters, than he becomes forthwith a personal
enemy to one or other of us, and what is worse, ends by injuring and
deserting the Cause.
Let it be understood at once that I accuse no one. Knowing what I do
of the activity of the forces of Kali Yuga, at work to impede and
ruin the Theosophical movement, I do not regard those who have
become, one after the other, my enemies—and that without any fault
of my own—as I might regard them, were it otherwise.
One of the chief factors in the reawakening of Âryâvarta which has
been part of the work of the Theosophical Society, was the ideal of
the Masters. But owing to want of judgment, discretion, and
discrimination, and the liberties taken with Their names and
Personalities, great misconception arose concerning Them. I was
under the most solemn oath and pledge never to reveal the whole
truth to anyone, excepting to those who, like Dâmodar, had been
finally selected and called by Them. All that I was then permitted
to reveal was, that there existed somewhere such great men; that
some of Them were Hindus; that They were learned as none others in
all the ancient wisdom of Gupta-Vidyâ, and had acquired all the
Siddhis, not as these are represented in tradition and the "blinds"
of ancient writings, but as they are in fact and nature; and also
that I was a Chela of one of them. However, in the fancy of some
Hindus, the most wild and ridiculous fancies soon grew up concerning
Them. They were referred to as "Mahâtmas" and still some too
enthusiastic friends belittled Them with their strange fancy
pictures; our opponents, describing a Mahâtma as a full Jîvanmukta,
urged that, as such, He was debarred from holding any communications
whatever with persons living in the world. They also maintained that
as this is the Kali Yuga, it was impossible that there could be any
Mahâtmas at all in our age.
These early misconceptions notwithstanding, the idea of the Masters,
and belief in Them, has already brought its good fruit in India.
Their chief desire was to preserve the true religious and
philosophical spirit of ancient India; to defend the Ancient Wisdom
contained in its Darśanas and Upanishads against the systematic
assaults of the missionaries; and finally to reawaken the dormant
ethical and patriotic spirit in those youths in whom it had almost
disappeared owing to college education. Much of this has been
achieved by and through the Theosophical Society, in spite of all
its mistakes and imperfections.

Had it not been for Theosophy, would India have had her Tukaram
Tatya doing now the priceless work he does, and which no one in
India ever thought of doing before him? Without the Theosophical
Society, would India have ever thought of wrenching from the hands
of learned but unspiritual Orientalists the duty of reviving,
translating and editing the Sacred Books of the East, of
popularizing and selling them at a far cheaper rate, and at the same
time in a far more correct form than had ever been done at Oxford?
Would our respected and devoted brother Tukaram Tatya himself have
ever thought of doing so, had he not joined the Theosophical
Society? Would your political Congress itself have ever been a
possibility, without the Theosophical Society? Most important of
all, one at least among you has fully benefited by it; and if the
Society had never given to India but that one future Adept (Dâmodar)
who has now the prospect of becoming one day a Mahâtma, Kali Yuga
notwithstanding, that alone would be proof that it was not founded
at New York and transplanted to India in vain. Finally, if any one
among the three hundred millions of India can demonstrate, proof in
hand, that Theosophy, the T.S., or even my humble self, have been
the means of doing the slightest harm, either to the country or any
Hindu, that the Founders have been guilty of teaching pernicious
doctrines, or offering bad advice—then and then only, can it be
imputed to me as a crime that I have brought forward the ideal of
the Masters and founded the Theosophical Society.

Aye, my good and never-to-be-forgotten Hindu Brothers, the name
alone of the holy Masters, which was at one time invoked with
prayers for Their blessings, from one end of India to the other—
Their name alone has wrought a mighty change for the better in your
land. It is not to Colonel Olcott or to myself that you owe
anything, but verily to these names, which, but a few years ago, had
become a household word in your mouths.

Thus it was that, so long as I remained at Adyar, things went on
smoothly enough, because one or the other of the Masters was almost
constantly present among us, and their spirit ever protected the
Theosophical Society from real harm. But in 1884, Colonel Olcott and
myself left for a visit to Europe, and while we were away the Padri-
Coulomb "thunderbolt descended." I returned in November, and was
taken most dangerously ill. It was during that time and Colonel
Olcott's absence in Burma, that the seeds of all future strifes, and—
let me say at once—disintegration of the Theosophical Society, were
planted by our enemies. What with the Patterson-Coulomb-Hodgson
conspiracy, and the faintheartedness of the chief Theosophists, that
the Society did not then and there collapse should be a sufficient
proof of how it was protected. Shaken in their belief, the
fainthearted began to ask: "Why, if the Masters are genuine
Mahâtmas, have They allowed such things to take place, or why have
they not used Their powers to destroy this plot or that conspiracy,
or even this or that man and woman?" Yet it had been explained
numberless times that no Adept of the Right Path will interfere with
the just workings of Karma. Not even the greatest of Yogis can
divert the progress of Karma or arrest the natural results of
actions for more than a short period, and even in that case, these
results will only reassert themselves later with even tenfold force,
for such is the occult law of Karma and the Nidânas.

Nor again will even the greatest of phenomena aid real spiritual
progress. We have each of us to win our Moksha or Nirvâna by our own
merit, not because a Guru or Deva will help to conceal our
shortcomings. There is no merit in having been created an immaculate
Deva or in being God; but there is the eternal bliss of Moksha
looming forth for the man who becomes as a God and Deity by his own
personal exertions. It is the mission of Karma to punish the guilty
and not the duty of any Master. But those who act up to Their
teaching and live the life of which They are the best exemplars,
will never be abandoned by Them and will always find Their
beneficent help whenever needed, whether obviously or invisibly.
This is of course addressed to those who have not yet quite lost
their faith in Masters; those who have never believed, or have
ceased to believe in Them, are welcome to their own opinions. No
one, except themselves perhaps some day, will be the losers thereby.

As for myself, who can charge me with having acted like an impostor?
with having, for instance, taken one single pie from any living
soul? with having ever asked for money, or even with having accepted
it, notwithstanding that I was repeatedly offered large sums! Those
who, in spite of this, have chosen to think otherwise, will have to
explain what even my traducers of even the Padri class and Psychical
Research Society have been unable to explain to this day, viz., the
motive for such fraud. They will have to explain why, instead of
taking and making money, I gave away to the Society every penny I
earned by writing for the papers, why at the same time I nearly
killed myself with overwork and incessant labour year after year,
until my health gave way, so that but for my Master's repeated help,
I should have died long ago from the effects of such voluntary hard
labour. For the absurd Russian spy theory, if it still finds credit
in some idiotic heads, has long ago disappeared, at any rate from
the official brains of the Anglo-Indians.
If, I say, at that critical moment, the members of the Society, and
especially its leaders at Adyar, Hindu and European, had stood
together as one man, firm in their conviction of the reality and
power of the Masters, Theosophy would have come out more
triumphantly than ever, and none of their fears would have ever been
realised, however cunning the legal traps set for me, and whatever
mistakes and errors of judgment I, their humble representative,
might have made in the executive conduct of the matter.
But the loyalty and courage of the Adyar Authorities, and of the few
Europeans who had trusted in the Masters, were not equal to the
trial when it came. In spite of my protests, I was hurried away from
Headquarters. Ill as I was, almost dying in truth, as the physicians
said, yet I protested, and would have battled for Theosophy in India
to my last breath, had I found loyal support. But some feared legal
entanglements, some the Government, while my best friends believed
in the doctors' threats that I must die if I remained in India. So I
was sent to Europe to regain my strength, with a promise of speedy
return to my beloved Âryâvarta.
Well, I left, and immediately intrigues and rumours began. Even at
Naples already, I learnt that I was reported to be meditating to
start in Europe "a rival Society" and bust up Adyar (!!). At this I
laughed. Then it was rumoured that I had been abandoned by the
Masters, been disloyal to Them, done this or the other. None of it
had the slightest truth or foundation in fact. Then I was accused of
being, at best, a hallucinated medium, who had mistaken "spooks" for
living Masters; while others declared that the real H. P. Blavatsky
was dead—had died through the injudicious use of Kundalini—and that
the form had been forthwith seized upon by a Dugpa Chela, who was
the present H.P.B. Some again held me to be a witch, sorceress, who
for purposes of her own played the part of a philanthropist and
lover of India, while in reality bent upon the destruction of all
those who had the misfortune to be psychologised by me. In fact, the
powers of psychology attributed to me by my enemies, whenever a fact
or a "phenomenon" could not be explained away, are so great that
they alone would have made of me a most remarkable Adept—independent
of any Masters or Mahâtmas. In short, up to 1886, when the S. P. R.
Report was published and this soap bubble burst over our heads, it
was one long series of false charges, every mail bringing something
new. I will name no one; nor does it matter who said a thing and who
repeated it. One thing is certain; with the exception of Colonel
Olcott, everyone seemed to banish the Masters from their thoughts
and Their spirit from Adyar. Every imaginable incongruity was
connected with these holy names, and I alone was held responsible
for every disagreeable event that took place, every mistake made. In
a letter received from Dâmodar in 1886, he notified me that the
Masters' influence was becoming with every day weaker at Adyar; that
They were daily represented as less than "second-rate Yogis,"
totally denied by some, while even those who believed in, and had
remained loyal to them, feared even to pronounce Their names.
Finally, he urged me very strongly to return, saying that of course
the Masters would see that my health should not suffer from it. I
wrote to that effect to Colonel Olcott, imploring him to let me
return, and promising that I would live at Pondicherry, if needed,
should my presence not be desirable at Adyar. To this I received the
ridiculous answer that no sooner should I return, that I should be
sent to the Andaman Islands as a Russian spy, which of course
Colonel Olcott subsequently found out to be absolutely untrue. The
readiness with which such a futile pretext for keeping me from Adyar
was seized upon, shows in clear colours the ingratitude of those to
whom I had given my life and health. Nay, more, urged on, as I
understood, by the Executive Council, under the entirely absurd
pretext that, in case of my death, my heirs might claim a share in
the Adyar property, the President sent me a legal paper to sign, by
which I formally renounced any right to the Headquarters or even to
live there without the Council's permission. This, although I had
spent several thousand rupees of my own private money, and had
devoted my share of the profits of The Theosophist to the purchase
of the house and its furniture. Nevertheless I signed the
renunciation without one word of protest. I saw I was not wanted,
and remained in Europe in spite of my ardent desire to return to
India. How could I do otherwise than feel that all my labours had
been rewarded with ingratitude, when my most urgent wishes to return
were met with flimsy excuses and answers inspired by those who were
hostile to me?

The result of this is too apparent. You know too well the state of
affairs in India for me to dwell longer upon details. In a word,
since my departure, not only has the activity of the movement there
gradually slackened, but those for whom I had the deepest
affections, regarding them as a mother would her own sons, have
turned against me. While in the West, no sooner had I accepted the
invitation to come to London, then I found people—the S. P. R.
Report and wild suspicions and hypotheses rampant in every direction
notwithstanding—to believe in the truth of the great Cause I have
struggled for, and in my own bona fides.

Acting under the Master's orders, I began a new movement in the West
on the original lines; I founded Lucifer, and the Lodge which bears
my name. Recognizing the splendid work done at Adyar by Colonel
Olcott and others to carry out the second of the three Objects of
the T.S., viz., to promote the study of Oriental literature, I was
determined to carry out here the two others. All know with what
success this has been attended. Twice Colonel Olcott was asked to
come over, and then I learned that I was once more wanted in India—
at any rate by some. But the invitation came too late; neither would
my doctor permit it, nor can I, if I would be true to my life-pledge
and vows, now live at the Headquarters from which the Masters and
Their spirit are virtually banished. The presence of Their portraits
will not help; They are a dead letter. The truth is that I can never
return to India in any other capacity than as Their faithful agent.
And as, unless They appear among the Council in propria persona
(which They will certainly never do now), no advice of mine on
occult lines seems likely to be accepted, as the fact of my
relations with the Masters is doubted, even totally denied by some;
and I myself having no right to the Headquarters, what reason is
there, therefore, for me to live at Adyar?

The fact is this. In my position, half-measures are worse than none.
People have either to believe entirely in me, or to honestly
disbelieve. No one, no Theosophist, is compelled to believe, but it
is worse than useless for people to ask me to help them, if they do
not believe in me. Here in Europe and America are many who have
never flinched in their devotion to Theosophy; consequently the
spread of Theosophy and the T.S., in the West, during the last three
years, has been extraordinary. The chief reason for this is that I
was enabled and encouraged by the devotion of an ever-increasing
number of members to the Cause and to Those who guide it, to
establish an Esoteric Section, in which I can teach something of
what I have learned to those who have confidence in me, and who
prove this confidence by their disinterested work for Theosophy and
the T.S. For the future, then, it is my intention to devote my life
and energy to the E. S., and to the teaching of those whose
confidence I retain. It is useless I should use the little time I
have before me to justify myself before those who do not feel sure
about the real existence of the Masters, only because,
misunderstanding me, it therefore suits them to suspect me.

And let me say at once, to avoid misconception, that my only reason
for accepting the exoteric direction of European affairs, was to
save those who really have Theosophy at heart and work for it and
the Society, from being hampered by those who not only do not care
for Theosophy, as laid out by the Masters, but are entirely working
against both, endeavouring to undermine and counteract the influence
of the good work done, both by open denial of the existence of the
Masters, by declared and bitter hostility to myself, and also by
joining forces with the most desperate enemies of our Society.

Half-measures, I repeat, are no longer possible. Either I have
stated the truth as I know it about the Masters and teach what I
have been taught by them, or I have invented both Them and the
Esoteric Philosophy. There are those among the Esotericists of the
inner group who say that if I have done the latter, then I must
myself be a "Master." However it may be, there is no alternative to
this dilemma.

The only claim, therefore, which India could ever have upon me would
be strong only in proportion to the activity of the Fellows there
for Theosophy and their loyalty to the Masters. You should not need
my presence among you to convince you of the truth of Theosophy, any
more than your American brothers need it. A conviction that wanes
when any particular personality is absent is no conviction at all.
Know, moreover, that any further proof and teaching I can give only
to the Esoteric Section, and this for the following reason: its
members are the only ones whom I have the right to expel for open
disloyalty to their pledge (not to me, H.P.B., but to their Higher
Self and the Mahâtmic aspect of the Masters), a privilege I cannot
exercise with the F.T.S. at large, yet one which is the only means
of cutting off a diseased limb from the healthy body of the tree,
and thus save it from infection. I can care only for those who
cannot be swayed by every breath of calumny, and every sneer,
suspicion, or criticism, whoever it may emanate from.

Thenceforth let it be clearly understood that the rest of my life is
devoted only to those who believe in the Masters, and are willing to
work for Theosophy as they understand it, and for the T.S. on the
lines upon which they originally established it.

If, then, my Hindu brothers really and earnestly desire to bring
about the regeneration of India, if they wish to ever bring back the
days when the Masters, in the ages of India's ancient glory, came
freely among them, guiding and teaching the peoples; then let them
cast aside all fear and hesitation, and turn a new leaf in the
history of the Theosophical Movement. Let them bravely rally round
the President-Founder, whether I am in India or not, as around those
few true Theosophists who have remained loyal throughout, and bid
defiance to all calumniators and ambitious malcontents—both without
and within the Theosophical Society.

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