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Some thoughts about the growth of India Section TS(Adyar) and the future outside India

Jun 05, 2012 05:00 AM
by MKR

For members and leaders of TS(Adyar) outside India, the size of membership,
continued growth from year to year, and the dynamism of the members and
lodges in India is an object of jealousy. Due to the size of the
membership, Indian Section has a significant say in the International
President Election. [Many readers here have not forgotten the ill fated
backdoor attempt to disenfranchise all members which had its origin in

The root cause of the above can be traced back to events that took place in
the early days of TS. A look at the early issues of the Theosophist says
the story loud and clear. Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated
individual theosophists, they are available online at Resources tab).

The early issues clearly document the constant travel of HSO across India
visiting cities large and small and lecturing and organizing lodges. Travel
in India in those days was very hard and for HSO who grew up in the USA,
the food was foreign too. There is an indefinable effect in person to
person contact and HSO as an experienced lawyer knew the value of it. There
were also other theosophists both from within and without India, who
travelled far and wide in India helping spread of theosophy.

This was followed by Annie Besant, Leadbeater, Arundale and Jinarajadasa
who also constantly travelled and lectured in India. They all knew the
value and effectiveness of one on one contact with members and prospects.
Of course there were other lesser known theosophists who also travelled and
lectured in India and helped spread theosophy.

Even when American Section seceded, Annie Besant travelled and lectured in
the USA and rebuilt the American Section. Today, American Section is the
second largest in the world.

When one reviews the progress of TS outside India, there is a continuous
shrinkage even though bank balance keeps on increasing. No leader wants to
talk about it. Even when the question comes up, they talk about quantity
versus quality as if we have better quality today than in the past years,
which cannot be objectively confirmed.

When one looks at the scenario in the USA, for whatever reason there are no
traveling lecturers much less most lodges have not seen any of the elected
leaders. Several decades ago, there were many travelling lecturers
including such well known speakers as Geoffrey Hodson and Sri Ram who spent
months travelling in the USA. In addition, now all activities of the
leadership is confined to the National HQ. Today, the bank balance is much
higher than it was 20 years ago and lack of funds cannot be the reason why
we do not see any travelling lecturers as well as visits by elected

Every year, all the section leaders meet in Adyar for the annual General
Council meeting. We are yet to see the membership shrinkage issue discussed
as the most important one. One gets the feeling that everyone is
comfortable with shrinking membership combined with fattening of the
treasury. To motivate members worldwide, the leadership has responsibility
at all levels to lay out the long term objectives and specific steps
planned to achieve them. Coasting along cannot be what the Founders
envisioned how TS is going the help the Humanity in the years to come.


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