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AryaSamaj and TheTS-5

Jul 03, 2012 07:40 PM
by Ramanujachary nallanchakravarti

A review of the

We have seen that the sole
object of the TS when it was formed in 1875 was 'to collect and diffuse a
knowledge of the laws which govern the universe.' Col. Olcott, writing in his
Old Diary Leaves (vol.1, p.120) says:

The Brotherhood
plank in the Society's future platform was, therefore, not thought of; later
on, however, when our sphere of influence extended so as to bring us into
relation with Asiatics and their religious and social systems, it became a
necessity, and, in fact, the cornerstone of our edifice. The TS was an
evolution, not - on the visible plane - a planned creation.

Mr C Jinarajadasa, a
past-president of the TS, writing on the event, in 1925, says:

The idea of
Brotherhood appears, so far as the records show, for the first time in 1878, in
connection with the intended amalgamation of the Society with Arya Samaj. However, after receipt of an English
translation of the rules and doctrines of this body, it became evident that the
amalgamation could not be carried out, owing to the sectarian character of the

Even in 1878 (while at New York still), the
position of amalgamation discussed and Col. Olcott in his Old Diary Leaves
(vol.1, p.398-401) narrates the events with the following conclusion:

The TS resumed
its status quo ante; and HPB and I
drafted and the council put out two circulars, one defining what the TS was,
the other (dated Sept.1878) defining a new body, the "TS of the AS of
Aryavarta," as a bridge between the two mother institutions, giving in
detail the translation of the AS rules, etc. and leaving our members perfectly
free to join the "link-Society," as I called it, and comply with its
by-laws, or not.

The link-society had also to
abandon from functioning. 

Swamiji in his letter dated
14 July 1880 to Col. Olcott and Madame Blavatsky says the following:

Now the Society
which is the Vedic branch of the Theosophical Society is a branch both of the
Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj; neither is the theosophical society a
branch of the Arya Samaj, nor is the Arya Samaj a branch of the Theosophical
Society. However, the Vedic branch of the Theosophical Society is the
connecting link between the Arya Samaj and the Theosophical society. I will soon notify this in the AS and (it is
hoped) you will also make it clear in the theosophical society. It is not right that this should remain a
secret. The members of the AS, the Vedic branch, and the TS should know and
make it clear to all the precise relation existing between them, so that no doubt
in the matter may remain in any quarter.

In her letter to Swamiji
from Simla, Madame Blavatsky wrote, on 8 October 1880, through B Chhedilal,

If our
principles are in conflict with the principles of AS, it is only in the fact
that we theosophists respect the religion of every member, and accept as
members of our Society all whether they are Arya samajists or Christians or
Idolators. We never interfere with the
members' religion while Swamiji is a follower of his own religion and believes
in the same religion as the Arya samajees. We of course look upon Swamiji and
every Aryasamajist is in no way interfered with by his becoming a member of our
Society. In fact, Swamiji has been for two and half years, one of our most
respected members and Guru of many European and American Theosophists. As I do not believe in a personal God (as
creator or protector), I cannot join your Samaj. Now wherein is brotherhood, which is so
useful? Where do we find noble and useful brotherhood; in the Society which all
can join, or in that in which is confined to a few people? --- Upto this time I
believed that Arya Samajists and Theosophists were brothers. Swamiji himself
has preached this and said so in his lectures and letters.

Swamiji made it clear in his
letter dated 23 Nov. 1880 where he reiterated what he said at Bombay already
'that he would never accept (nor accepted earlier) the principles of any
Society or Sabha except the eternal Vedic faith of Aryavarta, for this is my
soul's firm belief.' 'I may lose my life, but I shall never turn against Vedic religion.' He had asked Col. Olcott to cut off his name
from wherever it was included as a member of the TS. 

Differences as to opinions
on "personal god" came up the surface during this period. Madame Blavatsky in her letter dated 17
January 1881 clarified thus on this point:

differences may not develop so far as to kill the desire implanted in us by God
to serve in India,
which we are trying to do. --- We have not changed our opinion of God, as the
cause of all things visible, call him by any name you like, God, Iswar,
Parabrahman, and of Vedas as the fountain head of all religions. --- Our
meeting in Meerut
revealed that so far as the personality and attributes of God were concerned,
there was difference between you and us. We, however, are anxious are anxious
to have friends, who hold opposite views, may continue to entertain feelings of
affection and amity and do not interfere with our work. --- We formed a branch
of our society and appointed you head Acharya of it. We would have placed all
our society and Sabha under you, if, your Arya Samaj had been what we
originally understood it to be. Our
Society accepts as members, all men regardless of what faith they follow, while
your Society consists of Aryas and even amongst Aryas only those who follow the
Vedic Religion. Thus, as there was a
fundamental difference between the two societies we formed another society,
which became a branch of the Arya Samaj. 

Our Society is
not a religious body. As, however. It makes researches in old sciences, so it
studies and makes researches in old and new religions. Hence, we never asked any Arya samajist to
join us for religious purposes, but we did ask some persons who are well
wishers of their country to join and help us, no matter whether they were Arya
Samajists or Christians or Muslims or Vedantists, and they were people who we
thought loved Truth; but we never in our dreams asked any one to abandon his

Whatever my
opinion of the Vedas is, I will never move away from it, my love for and belief
in things based on truth have become more and more firm. There is no necessity
to discuss the question that the TS has turned against the AS, for the notion
is based on ignorance. We never thought of such things.

(to continue)

Literature is for Portrayal of Philosophic Ideas.

Dr N C Ramanujachary(Srivirinchi)

Besant Gardens, The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai 600 020 

Phone: 044/24913584, Mobile: 9444963584

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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