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Master M.'s Portrait in HPB's Writing Room

Sep 15, 2006 09:20 AM
by danielhcaldwell

Charles Johnston wrote:

I first met dear old "HPB," as she made all her friends call her, in 
the spring of 1887. Some of her disciples had taken a pretty house 
in Norwood, where the huge glass nave and twin towers of the Crystal 
Palace glint about a labyrinth of streets and terraces. London was 
at its grimy best. 

HPB was just finishing her day's work, so I passed a half hour 
upstairs with her volunteer secretary, a disciple who served her 
with boundless devotion. 

So the half hour passed, and I went downstairs to see the Old Lady. 
She was in her writing room, just rising from her desk, and clad in 
one of those dark blue dressing gowns she loved. My first impression 
was of her rippled hair as she turned, then her marvelously potent 
eyes, as she welcomed me: "My dear fellow! I am so glad to see you! 
Come in and talk! You are just in time to have some tea!" And a 
hearty handshake.

[After some conversation with Johnston on various subjects including 
the controversial letters of the Masters, HPB said:]

"This is my Master," she said, "whom we call Mahatma Morya. I have 
his picture here."

And she showed me a small panel in oils. If ever I saw genuine awe 
and reverence in a human face, it was in hers, when she spoke of her 
Master. He was a Rajput by birth, she said, one of the old warrior 
race of the Indian desert, the finest and handsomest nation in the 
world. Her Master was a giant, six feet eight, and splendidly built, 
a superb type of manly beauty. 

[See reproduction of portrait of Master M. at: ]

Even in the picture, there is a marvelous power and fascination; the 
force, the fierceness even, of the face; the dark, glowing eyes, 
which stare you out of countenance; the clear-cut features of 
bronze, the raven hair and beard—all spoke of manhood strength. I 
asked her something about his age. She answered:

"My dear, I cannot tell you exactly, for I do not know. But this I 
will tell you. I met him first when I was twenty—in 1851. He was in 
the very prime of manhood then. I am an old woman now, but he has 
not aged a day. He is still in the prime of manhood. That is all I 
can say. You may draw you own conclusions."

Then she told me something about other Masters and adepts she had 
known. She had known adepts of many races, from Northern and 
Southern India, Tibet, Persia, China, Egypt; of various European 
nations, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, English; of certain races in 
South America, where she said there was a Lodge of adepts.

"And now, my dear, it is getting late, and I am getting sleepy. So I 
must bid you goodnight!" And the Old Lady dismissed me with that 
grand air of hers which never left her, because it was a part of 
herself. She was the most perfect aristocrat I have ever known.


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