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Re: Why Adyar was chosen

Dec 10, 2008 10:43 PM
by Anton Rozman

Boris de Zirkoff 

Universal Life, in all its multi myriad forms and aspects, is in 
constant flux. Unalterable in its underlying essence, it is in 
perpetual outward change. As soon as any one of its temporary 
manifestations becomes rigid, decay sets in, which is but another 
aspect of Life, breaking up the outworn form, in order to build a new 
and more adequate one.

Wherever there is flexibility, optimism, dynamic interest, vision, 
the search for the Unknown, the urge to grow and to become, the 
enthusiasm which scales new heights and attempts the seemingly 
impossible - there is youth and hope and the broad highway to all 
future yet unborn.

Wherever there is rigidity, pessimism, indifference, fear of the 
Unknown, frustration and mental fatigue, doubt, anxiety and lack of 
vision, attachment to established routines and well-worn grooves of 
thought, crystallization of methods, and cherished traditions 
obscuring the distant horizons of the future - there is old age, 
decay, senility, and the loss of the vital fires which are essential 
to all becoming and all growth.

It is so with the Theosophical Movement as well. Its essential Life 
must constantly rebuild its temporary forms, brush aside useless 
traditions, revitalize its manifold channels, keep flexible its 
vehicles and molds, seek out new ways of manifestation, untried 
methods of growth, unplumbed depths of experience, and reach out 
constantly towards greater and broader horizons where are marshaled 
in letters of fire the noblest hopes and dreams of the human race. 
Unless these conditions are fulfilled, at least in part, the 
Theosophical Movement in its present form will have to yield to other 
currents, other movements of consciousness, emanating from the same 
ageless source of all Life on this planet, the fountain of its 
perennial youth, whence issue the life-giving streams of the Spirit 
nourishing the spiritual organism of Humanity.

In the work we are engaged in the world over, we need the help of 
those who are young - young in body as well as in heart and mind. 
Without them, the Movement becomes moribund, set, sectarian and 
crystallized. With them, it keeps its resiliency, its flexibility, 
its required momentum of thought and emotion. Let us never forget 
that when the present-day Theosophical Society was launched by the 
original Founders, H. P. Blavatsky was 44, Col. Henry Steel Olcott 
was 43, and William Quan judge was a mere 24 years of age!

The outward structural form of the organized Theosophical Movement is 
in need of rejuvenation. While enduring in the spiritual validity of 
its message, its declared objectives and its methods of work have no 
vital contact with the spirit of the present age. A fearless leap 
forward, both in thought and action, is demanded of us, but the 
enlightened leadership for that change is sorely lacking.

In the midst of a sombre scene and the shadows of outworn traditions, 
we seek new and greater lights on the distant horizons of our undying 

--- In, "Pedro Oliveira" <prmoliveira@...> 
> [Below is the text of an article written by me and published in The 
> Theosophist, May 2004]
> Why Adyar Was Chosen
> The Founders of the Theosophical Society did not have a personal 
> agenda. Their critics kept (and still keep) saying that they were 
> either spies, cultural saboteurs, frauds and even agents of the 
> devil! But the lives of Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, their 
> legacy and the uplifting influence they had on many who met them, 
> speak for themselves.
> Although the TS was founded in New York in 1875, HSO and HPB sailed 
> to India on 17 December 1878, arriving in Bombay on 16 February 
> 1879, where they eventually established their headquarters at 
> Nest', in Breach Candy. Neither Olcott nor Blavatsky made a secret 
> of being both dedicated to serve those great souls who are referred 
> to as Mahatmas in the East. There is ample independent evidence 
> that time that at least two Mahatmas occasionally visited and had 
> conversations with both of the Founders during their life of work 
> for the Society. Sometimes such visits would come at crucial 
> moments, either when HPB was at death's door or when the pressure 
> Col. Olcott was at breaking point. In such visits the Mahatmas 
> offered healing, guidance and reassurance to the Founders about 
> their work for the TS, without taking upon themselves the heavy 
> responsibilities the Founders had voluntarily accepted to undertake.
> Writing in The Theosophist, July1882, in an editorial comment 
> entitled "Coming Events Foretold", which preceded a statement by a 
> chela of Ramalinga Pillay who, much before the Founders had arrived 
> in India, had preached the principle of Universal Brotherhood and 
> the existence of the Mahatmas, HPB remarked:
> "When, in answer to a direct challenge, the author of The Occult 
> World wrote to the Bombay Gazette (April 4, 1882), he began his 
> letter with the following profession of faith: "I was already sure, 
> when I wrote The Occult World, that the Theosophical Society was 
> connected, through Madame Blavatsky, with the great Brotherhood of 
> Adepts I described. I now know this to be the case, which much 
> greater amplitude of knowledge." Little did our loyal friend fancy, 
> when he was penning these lines, that his assertion would one day 
> capable of corroboration by the testimony of thousands. But such is 
> now the state of the case. Skeptics and prejudiced or interested 
> witnesses in general may scoff as they like, the fact cannot be 
> gainsaid. ...
> While at Madras [May,1882], we were told that a well-known Tamil 
> scholar, a Pandit in the Presidency College, desired to have a 
> private conversation with us. The interview occurred in the 
> of Mr Singaravelu, President of the Krishna Theosophical Society, 
> and another trustworthy Theosophist, Mr C. Aravamudu Ayangar, a 
> Sanskritist, of Nellore. We are no more at liberty to repeat here 
> all the questions put to us by the interviewer than we are to 
> divulge certain other facts, which would still more strongly 
> corroborate our repeated assertions that (1) our Society was 
> at the direct suggestion of Indian and Tibetan Adepts; and (2) that 
> in coming to this country we but obeyed their wishes. But we shall 
> leave our friends to draw their own inferences from all the 
> Although the Society quickly expanded with the arrival of the 
> Founders in India, they were searching for a suitable Headquarters. 
> In Old Diary Leaves (Second Series), Col. Olcott explains:
> "In my travels over India and Ceylon I had been observing places, 
> people, and climates, with a view to selecting the best place for a 
> permanent Headquarters for the Society. Liberal offers of houses, 
> free of rent, had been made us in Ceylon, and, certainly, the 
> presented a most charming appearance to one seeking an Asian home; 
> but several considerations, such as its isolation from India, the 
> cost of postage ... overweighted its loveliness and led us to 
> India in preference. Up to the present time, however, no good 
> property had been offered us, and we had made no definite plans. On 
> 31st May [1882], however, we two were begged by Judge Muttuswamy's 
> sons to go and look at a property that was to be had cheap. We were 
> driven to Adyar, and at the first glance knew that our future home 
> was found. 
> People glibly speak of Madras as "the Benighted Presidency" and as 
> being insufferably hot. The fact is, however, that as regards 
> climate I prefer it above the others, and as to Sanskrit Literature 
> and Aryan Philosophy, it is the most enlightened of the Indian 
> Presidencies; there are more learned Pandits in the villages, and 
> the educated class, as a whole, have been less spoilt by Western 
> education. In Bengal and Bombay there are more litterateurs of the 
> class of Telang and Bhandarkar, but I cannot recall one equal to T. 
> Subba Row, of Madras, in bright genius for grasping the spirit of 
> the Ancient Wisdom. And his being at Madras was one of the causes 
> our fixing upon that Presidency town for our official residence. 
> Although he is dead and gone, yet we have never regretted our 
> choice, for Adyar is a sort of paradise."
> To fully appreciate Col. Olcott's reference to Subba Row it may be 
> helpful to mention the  following passages from The Mahatma Letters 
> to A. P. Sinnett: 
> "This Subba Row will help you [Sinnett] to learn, though his terms ?
> he being an initiated Brahmin and holding to the Brahmanical 
> esoteric teaching ? will be different from those of the "Arhat 
> Buddhist" terminology". (Letter 60, chronological.) 
> "Upasika (Madam B.) and Subba Row, though pupils of the same 
> have not followed the same philosophy ? the one is Buddhist and the 
> other an Adwaitee." (Letter 120, chronological.) 
> The presence of this initiated Chela in Madras was therefore of 
> paramount importance in the Founders' decision to establish the TS 
> Headquarters there. And it also made clear the character of Adyar 
> a centre for the Masters' work.  
> HPB, in a letter to her aunt Nadyezhda A. de Fadeyev (published in 
> The Path, September 1895), described the beautiful quiet that is 
> of the enduring aspects of Adyar as a spiritual centre:
> "It is simply delightful. What air we have here; what nights! And 
> what marvellous quiet! No more city noises and street yells. I am 
> sitting quietly writing, and now and then gaze over the ocean 
> sparkling all over as if a living thing ? really. I am often under 
> the impression that the sea breathes, or that it is angry, roaring 
> and hurling itself about in wrath... But when it is quiet and 
> caressing, there can be nothing in the world as fascinating as its 
> beauty, especially on a moonlight night. The moon here against the 
> deep dark-blue sky seems twice as big and ten times brighter than 
> your European little mother-of-pearl ball."
> Such were the momentous beginnings of Adyar as the home of the 
> Theosophical Society. It was not only the home of the Founders; it 
> was and it remains the heart of the worldwide theosophical work 
> which was spearheaded by them. During Annie Besant's presidency the 
> state was expanded into the beautiful campus it is today. Many 
> generations of devoted workers have served there and their 
> dedication, devotion and profound altruistic commitment to 
> has definitely contributed in making Adyar the `Flaming Centre' it 
> is. 
> The beauty of Adyar is indeed incomparable and it exerts a profound 
> influence on the consciousness of those who visit or stay there, 
> sometimes even of those who just visit for a very short while. 
> working there the writer had the occasion of meeting rather briefly 
> an overseas businessman on a short visit to Madras. He came to 
> and his experience there led him to say: "It is a pity I that I 
> to go away so soon. This is a remarkable place. There is something 
> sacred here." This was, of course, the experience of many, many 
> others. Perhaps it is not difficult to understand that 121 years of 
> continuous theosophical work for the spiritual regeneration of 
> humanity have created at Adyar a very special and profound 
> atmosphere. Annie Besant expressed this realization beautifully 
> she wrote: "Work for Adyar, the Masters' Home". In this way Adyar 
> the very heart of the Theosophical Society, radiating those 
> and uplifting influences to every theosophical centre in the world 
> as well as to the entire planet.
> Therefore those who, from time to time, say or imply that the 
> International Headquarters of the TS should be elsewhere do not 
> have, obviously, an informed opinion about the subject. Sometimes 
> one of the reasons given for such a change is the perceived lack of 
> security and efficiency in India. Let us examine this point. The 
> attacks on New York on 11 September 2001 have made clear that 
> absolute security is a myth, for if terrorists could strike at the 
> heart of the nation with the mightiest military power on earth, as 
> they did, they could do so anywhere else in the world. Also, the 
> Theosophical Society is not a business corporation seeking to 
> dominate any given market. It is not, and it has never been, guided 
> by worldly values or sagacity. The peace, quiet, harmony and 
> indescribable beauty of Adyar are, in themselves, an enormous 
> contribution to the world, for through them the Great Ones pour out 
> constantly their regenerating blessings. As for efficiency, the 
> example at Adyar is given by our International President herself, 
> for she works seven days a week, travels incessantly to visit and 
> speak to centres of the TS worldwide, deals with an inhumane amount 
> of correspondence and is responsible for the overall activities at 
> that Centre. Also, Adyar has kept apace with the new technologies 
> and all the major offices are provided with electronic 
> communications, the Centre has an informative web site and the 
> Theosophical Publishing House has an online catalogue and its books 
> are in constant demand.
> For the individual member who has the unique privilege of working 
> and serving at Adyar, there is a very special opportunity. Unlike 
> many in the world today believe, a real spiritual centre is not 
> meant for people to have `a good time', receive `messages from 
> gurus', develop `powers', nor any of the like. The power of a true 
> spiritual centre, when one is sincere, helps to accelerate in the 
> individual the process of self-confrontation, bringing to the 
> surface of the conscious mind every hitherto hidden content, 
> tendencies, deceptions and vices, as well as  spiritual aspiration, 
> goodness and any other moral quality which were laying dormant 
> within him or her.  This results in a very efficient and lasting 
> educational process, helping the person to lay strong foundations 
> the path of self-knowledge, for unless one is self-aware one cannot 
> really help the forces of wisdom and compassion in their work to 
> liberate human consciousness from the illusion of separateness. 
> It is a very great privilege and honour to have Adyar has the head 
> and the heart of the Theosophical Society. And the fact that many, 
> many members, all over the world, remember Adyar and support it in 
> every way they can is an eloquent testimony of Adyar's living and 
> strong spiritual heritage. May Adyar grow always stronger and may 
> those TS members who are ready offer themselves to go there and 
> devote the best years of their lives to what Adyar stands for: the 
> spiritual regeneration of humanity.

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