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BLAVATSKY (1831 - 1891)







- Manly Palmer Hall

When any thoughtful and fair-minded person is confronted with a book like Priestess
of the Occult, by Gertrude Marvin Williams, he is likely to feel a genuine sympathy for a
person so unfairly and vindictively attacked. It seems rather cruel and unneccessary to set
about a systematic process of tearing down the life and work of a distinguished woman
who is not alive to defend herself, and most of whose personal friends and associates have
also passed on.
Madam Blavatsky was subjected to constant persecution during the year when she
was establishing and expanding the Society which she formed. But she had the wisdom
and skill to defend the principles for which she stood, often by means little short of
miraculous. Perhaps, then, it is not entirely coincidental that just at the tinie I decided to
write this little tribute to her memory, a copy of a letter pertinent to the subject, written by
H.P.B. to a personal friend on July 5th 1890, came into my possession. As I am not sure
that the contents of this private correspondence has been published, it seems appropriate
to quote several extracts which are more to the point than anything that I could say. Let
Madam speak for herself.
As usual H.P.B. was in the midst of her critics, and her remarks have the rugged
quality for which she was justly famous. As Mrs. Williams is particularly incensed over
Madam Blavatsky's claims about the existence of mahatmas and adepts, H.P.B.'s remarks
on this controversial issue might have been addressed directly to our Denver authoress.

"All depends, you see, on what each of its means by Mahatmas or Masters. To a
Hindu, no doubt, from the very learned Subba Row, down to Babula - 'Mahatma,' Guru or
Master, is a naked Yogi with a chignon of entangled and unkempt hair on the top of the
head; one who whether all Adweita [Adwaita], Dwaita or Visishadwaita [Visishtadwaita],
. . . or Vishnava [Vaishnava], or whatever else, follows the rules of Patanjali, of Chartanya
Sankaracharya [Chaitanya Sankaracharya or any other of the known acheryas [acharyas];
one who calls upon the name of his 330 crown of deities, repeats parrot like his Aums, etc.,
etc. For me and those who know the Masters personally, our 'Mahatmas' so-called, are
nothing of the kind. Olcott is home, and you may ask him what our Masters are like,
whether from the description he had from me in New York and which was never altered to
this day, or from the two Masters he met personally - one in Bombay and the other in
Cashmere. My masters and the Masters are Yogis and Munis de facto, not de jure; in
their life not in appearance. They are members of an occult Brotherhood, not of any
particular School in India. One of their highest Mahachohans lived in Egypt and went to
Tibet only a year before we did (in 1878) and he is neither a Tibetan nor a Hindu; this
occult Brotherhood has not originated in Tibet, nor is it only in Tibet now; but what I always
said and maintain to this day is, that most of its members and some of the highest are, and
live constantly, in Tibet, because of its isolation and freedom from Christians; that its origin
is of untold antiquity, and is as much Masonic as present Masonry is little Masonic; . . . and
finally that if I spoke only (to our Fellows of T.S.) of two or three Masters it is because my
own Masters happen to be a Rajput by birth - and 'Koot Hoomi' a Cashmerian, and
therefore these were likely to be more authoritative with the Hindus than the rest of them.
Ask Olcott, Sinnett, and even Hume, and even the latter could not without saying a lie tell
you that I had not repeated this to them over and over again adding many a time that even
few lamas knew the whole truth about the 'Chapa' (menspirits) as they call them on
account of their having so little to do with the general mass of the people. I said and
repeat, that they are living men not 'spirits,' or even Nirmanakayas, that their knowledge
arid learning are immense, and their personal holiness of life is still greater - still they are
mortal men and none of them live 1000 years old as imagined by some. What I said and
say, was and is, the truth; those who will have it, all right; those who see in what I say a
cleverly concocted romance by me, are also welcome.......
When we went to Pondichery with Olcott to form a Branch, instead of fifty or sixty
members we got but three or four. Why? Simply because I had said to an influential
member that our Mahatmas did not sit buried in the earth letting their toe and finger nails
grow a yard long and the birds make nests in their top-nots - for such was his idea. He left
the T.S. and led away almost all others. Ask Olcott, he must remember the fact. And yet
in the very room where visitors came to see us, in the crowd there stood a living Mahatma,
whom I knew for years, who lives in the neighborhood, but whom no one seemed to know
in Pondichery, and who was mistaken for a Malayalin - a stranger!"

We cannot expect those who have no conception of an inner mystical life and no
intention of seeking enlightenment through the unfoldment of their own inner faculties to
understand or appreciate the esoteric tradition. They will not investigate, therefore, cannot
equip themselves with the means of passing an intelligent judgment.
The late Srimat Kuladananda Brahmachary, one of the most deeply venerated of
the Madhwacharya Order, said to me in Calcutta years ago, "If the West really wants to
understand the Eastern mystics it is not so difficult. Select from your Universities a group
of your outstanding students and professors; send them to us, and let them remain for five
years following our instructions and obeying our rules; then let these then pass judgment
upon our methods and our accomplishments."
The thousands of sincere and aspiring men and women in all parts of the world, who
are proud to acknowledge the debt which they owe to Madam Blavatsky, will be properly
indignant at a book which is so obviously an enterprise in catchpenny journalism. But they
will remain forever grateful for the light of Eastern wisdom brought to the West by the white
Yogini. We will always revere her as a faithful, unselfish servant of the Masters of Wisdom.

*In the passages quoted from this letter written in her own handwriting, the spelling
and punctuation have been left exactly as they appear in the original. In a few cases of
obvious misspelling of Sanscrit terms, the correct transliteration has been added in
brackets. - Ed. Theosophia.

- From Theosophia, May-June, 1947



1885 TO 1886.


Ostende, December 5
My Dear Doctor:* - You must really forgive me for my seeming neglect of you, my
old friend. I give you my word of honor, I am worried to death with work. Whenever I sit to
write a letter all my ideas are scattered, and I cannot go on with the Secret Doctrine that
day. But your letter (the last) is so interesting that I must answer it as asked. You will do
an excellent thing to send to the Theosophist this experiment of yours. It has an enormous
importance in view of Hodgson's lies and charges, and I am happy you got such an
independent corroboration; astral light, at any rate, cannot lie for my benefit. **

* On the request of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston and others I have permitted these private
letters from H. P. Blavatsky to myself to be published in the PATH, as they contain some
things of general interest. - Dr. F. Hartmann
** This refers to the clairvoyant (psychometric) examination of an "occult letter,"
which was printed, together with the picture, in the Theosophist of 1886. The psychometer
was a German peasant woman, entirely uninformed in regard to such things; but gave as
it appears a correct description of a Buddhist temple in Tibet, with its surroundings and the
inscriptions within; also of the lamas or priests and of the Master, and also of some people
working in the neighborhood of the temple. The picture could not have been read from my
own mind, as I have never seen such a temple, or if I have been there in the spirit, that visit
has left no trace in my personal memory. - H.

I will only speak of number 4, as the correctness about the other three letters you
know yourself. 1. This looks like the private temple of the Teschu Lama, near Tchigadze -
made of the "Madras cement"-like material; it does shine like marble and is called the
snowy "Shakang" (temple) - as far as I remember. It has no "sun or cross" on the top, but
a kind of algiorna dagoba, triangular, on three pillars, with a dragon of gold and a globe.
But the dragon has a swastica on it and this may have appeared a "cross." I don't
remember any "gravel walk" - nor is there one, but it stands on an elevation (artificial) and
a stone path leading to it, and it has steps - how many I do not remember (I was never
allowed inside); saw from the outside, and the interior was described to me. The floors
of nearly all Buddha's (Songyas) temples are made of a yellow polished stone, found in
those mountains of Oural and in northern Tibet toward Russian territory. I do not know the
name, but it looks like yellow marble. The "gentleman" in white may be Master, and the
"bald-headed" gentleman I take to be some old "shaven-headed" priest. The cloak is black
or very dark generally - (I brought one to Olcott from Darjeeling), but where the silver
buckles and knee-breeches come from I am at a loss. * They wear, as you know, long
boots - up high on the calves, made of felt and embroidered often with silver - like that devil
of a Babajee had. Perhaps it is a freak of astral vision mixed with a flash of memory (by
association of ideas) about some picture she saw previously. In those temples there are
always movable "pictures," on which various geometrical and mathematical problems are
placed for the disciples who study astrology and symbolism. The "vase" must be one of
many Chinese queer vases about in temples, for various objects. In the corners of the
temples there are numerous statues of various deities (Dhyanis). The roofs are always
(almost always) supported by rows of wooden pillars dividing the roof into three
parallelograms, and the mirror "Melong " of burnished steel (round like the sun) is often
placed on the top of the Kiosque on the roof. I myself took it once for the sun. Also on the
cupolas of the [dagoba] there is sometimes a graduated pinnacle, and over it a disk of gold
placed vertically, and a pear-shaped point and often a crescent supporting a globe and the
svastica upon it.

* The explanation of seeing the gentleman in knee-breeches may be that I was just
then very much occupied with the spirit of the well-known occultist, Carl von
Eckertshausen. - H.

Ask her whether it is this she saw, [[drawing]] Om tram ah hri hum, which figures
are roughly drawn sometimes on the Melong "mirrors" - (a disk of brass) against evil spirits
- for the mob. Or perhaps what she saw was a row of slips of wood (little cubes), on which
such things are seen:


If so, then I will know what she saw. "Pine woods" all round such temples, the latter
built expressly where there are such woods, and wild prickly pear, and trees with Chinese
fruit on that the priests use for making inks. A lake is there, surely, and mountains plenty -
if where Master is; if near Tchigadze - only little hillocks. The statues of Meilha Gualpo,
the androgyne Lord of the Salamanders or the Genii of Air, look like this "sphinx;" but her
lower body is lost in clouds, not fish, and she is not beautiful, only symbolical.
Fisherwomen do use soles alone, like the sandals, and they all wear fur caps. That's all;
will this do? But do write it out.
Yours ever,
- H. P. B.


Wurzburg, December, (something), 1885.

My Dear Conspirator:* - Glad to receive from your letter such an emanation of true
holiness. I too wanted to write to you; tried several times and - failed. Now I can. The
dear Countess Wachtmeister is with me, and copies for me, and does what she can in
helping, and the first five minutes I have of freedom I utilize them by answering your letter.
Now, as you know, I also am occupied with my book. It took possession of me (the
epidemic of writing) and crept on "with the silent influence of the itch," as Olcott elegantly
expresses it - until it reached the fingers of my right hand, got possession of my brain -
carried me off completely into the region of the occult.* I have written in a fortnight more
than 200 pages (of the Isis shape and size). I write day and night, and now feel sure that
my Secret Doctrine shall be finished this - no, not this - year, but the next. I have refused
your help, I have refused Sinnett's help and that of everyone else. I did not feel like writing
- now I do. I am permitted to give out for each chapter a page out of the Book of Dzyan -
the oldest document in the world, of that I am sure - and to comment upon and explain its
symbology. I think really it shall be worth something, and hardly here and there a few lines
of dry facts from Isis. It is a completely new work.

* H.P.B. used to call me in fun her "conspirator" or "confederate," because the
stupidity of Certain persons went so far as to accuse me of having entered into a league
with her for the purpose of cheating myself. - H.

My "satellite,"** I do not need him. He is plunged to his neck in the fascinations of

Elberfeld, and is flirting in the regular style with the Gebhardt family. They are dear people
and are very kind to him. The "darling Mrs. Oakley" has shown herself a brick - unless
done to attract attention and as a coup d'etat in the bonnet business. But I shall not
slander on mere speculation; I do think she has acted courageously and honorably; I
send you the Pall Mall to read and to return if you please; take care of the paper.....
Thanks for photo. Shall I send a like one to your "darling"? She is mad with me
however. Had a letter from Rodha; she swears she never said to "Darling" or the he
Darling either, that I had "abused them to the Hindus."
To have never existed, good friend, is assuredly better. But once we do exist we
must not do as the Servian soldiers did before the invincible Bulgarians or our bad Karma,
we must not desert the post of honor entrusted to us. A room may be always had at
Wurzburg; but shall you find yourself contented for a long time with it? Now the Countess
is with me, and I could not offer you anything like a bed, since we two occupy the bedroom;
but even if you were here, do you think you would not go fidgeting again over your fate?
Ah, do keep quiet and wait - and try to feel once in your life - and then do not come at
night, as you did two nights ago, to frighten the Countess out of her wits. Now you did
materialize very neatly this time, you did.*** Quite so.
Yours in the great fear of the year 1886 - nasty number.

- H. P. B.

* This was in answer to a letter in which I complained of the irresistible impulse that
caused me to write books, very much against my inclination, as I would have preferred to
devote more time to "self-development." - H.
** Babajee.
*** I know nothing about it. - H.


[No Date]

My Dear Doctor: - Two words in answer to what the Countess told me. I do myself
harm, you say, "in telling everyone that Damodar is in Tibet, when he is only at Benares."
You are mistaken. He left Benares toward the middle of May, (ask in Adyar; I cannot say
for certain whether it was in May or April) and went off, as everybody knows, to Darjeeling,
and thence to the frontier via Sikkhim. Our Darjeeling Fellows accompanied him a good
way. He wrote a last word from there to the office bidding good-bye and saying: "If I am
not back by July 21st you may count me as dead." He did not come back, and Olcott was
in great grief and wrote to me about two months ago, to ask me whether I knew anything.
News had come by some Tibetan pedlars in Darjeeling that a young man of that
description, with very long flowing hair, had been found frozen in the (forget the name)
pass, stark dead, with twelve rupees in his pockets and his things and hat a few yards off.
Olcott was in despair, but Maji told him (and he, D., lived with Maji for some time at
Benares,) that he was not dead - she knew it through pilgrims who had returned, though
Olcott supposes - which may be also - that she knew it clairvoyantly. Well I know that he
is alive, and am almost certain that he is in Tibet - as I am certain also that he will not come
back - not for years, at any rate. Who told you he was at Benares? We want him sorely
now to refute all Hodgson's guesses and inferences that I simply call lies, as much as my
"spy" business and forging - the blackguard: now mind, I do not give myself out as
infallible in this case. But I do know what he told me before going away - and at that
moment he would not have said a fib, when he wept like a Magdalen. He said, "I go for
your sake. If the Maha Chohan is satisfied with my services and my devotion, He may
permit me to vindicate you by proving that Masters do exist. If I fail no one shall ever see
me for years to come, but I will send messages. But I am determined in the meanwhile to
make people give up searching for me. I want them to believe I am dead."
This is why I think he must have arranged some trick to spread reports of his death
by freezing.
But if the poor boy had indeed met with such an accident - why I think I would
commit suicide; for it is out of pure devotion for me that he went. * I would never forgive
myself for this, for letting him go. That's the truth and only the truth. Don't be harsh,
Doctor - forgive him his faults and mistakes, willing and unwilling.
The poor boy, whether dead or alive, has no happy times now, since he is on
probation and this is terrible. I wish you would write to someone at Calcutta to enquire
from Darjeeling whether it is so or not. Sinnett will write to you, I think. I wish you would.

Yours ever gratefully,

- H. P. B.


[No Date]

My Dear Doctor: - I read your part II - and I found it excellent, except two or three
words you ought to change if you care for truth, and not to let people think you have some
animus yet against Olcott. ** Such are at the end "Presidential orders" and too much
assurance about "fictions." I never had "fictions," nor are Masters (as living men) any more
a fiction than you and I. But this will do. Thus, I have nothing whatever against your
theory, though you do make of me a sort of a tricking medium.

* The fact is that Damodar was never asked to go to Tibet, but begged to be
permitted to go there, and at last went with permission of H.P.B., on which occasion I
accompanied him to the steamer. - H.
** This refers to my Report of Observations at the Headquarters at Adyar.

But this does not matter, since as I wrote to Dr. H.S. and will write to all - "Mme.
Blavatsky of the T.S. is dead." I belong no more to the European Society, nor do I regret
it. You, as a psychologist and a man of acute perception, must know that there are
situations in this life, when mental agony, despair, disgust, outraged pride and honor, and
suffering, become so intense that there are but two possible results - either death from
broken heart, or ice-cold indifference and callousness. Being made to live for purposes
I do not know myself - I have arrived at the latter state. The basest ingratitude from one
I have loved as my own son, one whom I have shielded and protected from harm, whom
I have glorified at the expense of truth and my own dignity, has thrown upon me that straw
which breaks the camel's back. * It is broken for the T. S. and for ever. For two or three
true friends that remain I will write the S.D., and then - depart for some quiet corner to die
there. You have come to the conviction that the "Masters" are "planetary spirits" - that's
good; remain in that conviction.
I wish I could hallucinate myself to the same degree. I would feel happier, and throw
off from the heart the heavy load, that I have desecrated their names and Occultism by
giving out its mysteries and secrets to those unworthy of either. If I could see you for a few
hours, if I could talk to you; I may open your eyes, perhaps, to some truths you have never
suspected. I could show you who it was (and give you proofs), who set Olcott against you,
who ruined your reputation, and aroused the Hindu Fellows against you, who made me
hate and despise you, till the voice of one who is the voice of God to me pronounced those
words that made me change my opinion. **
I could discover and unveil to you secrets for your future safety and guidance. But
I must see you personally for all this, and you have to see the Countess. Otherwise I
cannot write. If you can come here, even for a few hours, to say good-bye to me and hear
a strange tale, that will prove of benefit to many a Fellow in the future as to yourself, do so.
If you cannot, I ask you on your honor to keep this private and confidential.
Ah, Doctor, Karma is a fearful thing; and the more one lives in his inner life, outside
this world and in regions of pure spirituality and psychology, the less he knows human
hearts. I proclaim myself in the face of all - the biggest, the most miserable, the stupidest
and dullest of all women on the face of the earth. I have been true to all. I have tried to
do good to all. I have sacrificed myself for all and a whole nation - and I am and feel as

*Babajee, whose Brahmanical conceit caused him to turn against H.P.B. when he
became convinced that he could not make her a tool for the propaganda of his creed. - H.
** This explains the letter printed in the notorious book of V. S. Solovyoff, page 124.
The intrigue was acted by Babajee, who, while professing great friendship for me, acted;
as a traitor and spy. - H.

though caught in a circle of flaming coals, surrounded on all sides like an unfortunate fly
with torn-off wings - by treachery, hatred, malice, cruelty, lies; by all the iniquities of human
nature, and I can see wherever I turn - but one thing - a big, stupid, trusting fool - "H. P. B."
- surrounded by a thick crowd circling her * of traitors, fiends and tigers in human shape.
Good-bye, if I do not see you, for I will write no more. Thanks for what you have
done for me. Thanks, and may you and your dear, kind sister be happy.
H. P. B.

* The crowd alluded to is the same Brahmano-Jesuitical army which has now
ensnared certain well-meaning but short-sighted " leaders " of the European Section T.S. -


[No Date]

My Dear Doctor: - Every word of your letter shows to me that you are on the right
path, and I am mighty glad of it for you. Still, one may be on the right way, and allow his
past-self to bring up too forcibly to him the echoes of the past and a little dying-out
prejudice to distort them. When one arrives at knowing himself, he must know others also,
which becomes easier. You have made great progress in the former direction; yet, since
you cannot help misjudging others a little by the light of old prejudices, I say you have more
work to do in this direction. All is not and never was bad in Adyar. The intentions were all
good, and that's why, perhaps, they have led Olcott and others direct to fall, as they had
no discrimination. The fault is not theirs, but of circumstances and individual karmas.
The first two pages of your letter only repeat that, word for word, which I taught
Olcott and Judge and others in America. This is the right occultism. Arrived at Bombay,
we had to drop Western and take to Eastern Rosicrucianism. It turned [out] a failure for
the Europeans, as the Western turned [out] a failure for the Hindus. This is the secret, and
the very root of the failure. But, having mixed up the elements in the so-desired
Brotherhood - that could not be helped. Please do not misunderstand me. Occultism is
one and universal at its root. Its external modes differ only. I certainly did not want to
disturb you to come here only to hear disagreeable things, but [I] do try: (a) to make you
see things in their true light, which would only benefit you; and (b) to show you things
written in the Secret Doctrine which would prove to you that that which you have lately
learned in old Rosicrucian works, I knew years ago, and now have embodied them. Cross
and such symbols are world-old. Every symbol must yield three fundamental truths and
four implied ones, otherwise the symbol is false. You gave me only one, but so far it is a
very correct one. In Adyar you have learned many of such implied truths, because you
were not ready; now you may have the rest through self-effort. But don't be ungrateful,
whatever you do. Do not feel squeamish and spit on the path - however unclean in some
of its corners - that led you to the Adytum at the threshold of which you now stand. Had
it not been for Adyar and its trials you never would have been where you are now, but in
America married to some new wife who would either have knocked the last spark of
mysticism out of your head, or confirmed you in your spiritualism, or what is worse, one of
you would have murdered the other. When you find another man who, like poor, foolish
Olcott, will love and admire you as he did - sincerely and honestly - take him, I say, to your
bosom and try to correct his faults by kindness, not by venomous satire and chaff. We
have all erred and we have all been punished, and now we have learned better. I never
gave myself out for a full-blown occultist, but only for a student of Occultism for the last
thirty-five or forty years. Yet I am enough of an occultist to know that before we find the
Master within our own hearts and seventh principle - we need an outside Master. As the
Chinese Alchemist says, speaking of the necessity of a living teacher: "Every one seeks
long life (spiritual), but the secret is not easy to find. If you covet the precious things of
Heaven you must reject the treasures of the earth. You must kindle the fire that springs
from the water and evolve the Om contained within the Tong: One word from a wise
Master and you possess a draught of the golden water."
I got my drop from my Master (the living one); you, because you went to Adyar. He
is a Saviour, he who leads you to finding the Master within yourself. It is ten years already
that I preach the inner Master and God and never represented our Masters as Saviours in
the Christian sense. Nor has Olcott, gushing as he is. I did think for one moment that you
had got into the epidemic of a "Heavenly Master and Father God," and glad I am to find my
mistake. This was only natural. You are just one of those with whom such surprises may
be expected at any moment. Commit one mistake, and turn for one moment out of the
right path you are now pursuing, and you will land in the arms of the Pope. Olcott does not
teach what you say, Doctor. He teaches the Hindus to rely upon themselves,* and that
there is no Saviour save their own Karma. I want you to be just and impartial; otherwise
you will not progress. Well, if you do not come and have a talk - I will feel sorry, for I will
never see you again. If you do, the Countess and I will welcome you.

Yours ever truly,

H. P. B.

* The reputed "Postscript" in No. 7, vol. xvi, of the Theosophist, goes to show that
in this case H.P.B. was wrong. - H.


April 3, 1886

My Dear Doctor: - I had given up all hope of ever hearing from you again, and was
glad to receive today your letter. What you say in it seems to me like an echo of my own
thoughts in many a way; only knowing the truth and the real state of things in the "occult
world" better than you do, I am perhaps able to see better also where the real mischief was
and lies.
Well, I say honestly and impartially now - you are unjust to Olcott more than to
anyone else; because you had no means to ascertain hitherto in what direction the evil
blew from.
Mind you, Doctor, my dear friend, I do not justify Olcott in what he did and how he
acted toward yourself - nor do I justify him in anything else. What I say is: he was led on
blindly by people as blind as himself to see you in quite a false light, and there was a time,
for a month or two, when I myself - notwithstanding my inner voice, and to the day Master's
voice told me I was mistaken in you and had to keep friends - shared his blindness.*
This with regard to some people at Adyar; but there is another side to the question,
of which you seem quite ignorant; and that I wanted to show to you, by furnishing you with
documents, had you only come when I asked you. But you did not - and the result is, this
letter of yours, that will also go against you in the eyes of Karma, whether you believe in
the Cross empty of any particular entity on it - or in the Kwan-Shi-Yin of the Tibetans.
To dispose of this question for once, I propose to you to come between now and
May the 10th, when I leave Wurzburg to go elsewhere. So you have plenty of time to think
over it, and to come and go as you like. The Countess is with me. You know her; she is
no woman of gush or impulse. During the four months we have passed together, and the
three months of utter solitude, we have had time to talk things over; and I will ask you to
believe her, not me, when and if you come, which I hope you will.**
As to the other side of the question, that portion of your letter where you speak of
the "army" of the deluded - and the "imaginary" Mahatmas of Olcott - you are absolutely
and sadly right. Have I not seen the thing for nearly eight years? Have I not struggled and
fought against Olcott's ardent and gushing imagination,

* This refers to a certain intrigue, owing to which Col. Olcott was made to believe
that I wanted to oust him from the presidential chair. - H.
** When I went to Wurzburg I found that the whole trouble resulted from foolish
gossip, started by Babajee, concerning me relations with a certain lady member of the T.
S. - H.

and tried to stop him every day of my life? Was he not told by me (from a letter I received
through a Yogi just returned from Lake Mansarovara) in 1881 (when he was preparing to
go to Ceylon) that if he did not see the Masters in their true light, and did not cease
speaking and enflaming people's imaginations, that he would be held responsible for all
the evil the Society might come to?* Was he not told that there were no such Mahatmas,
who Rishi-like could hold the Mount Meru on the tip of their finger and fly to and fro in their
bodies (!!) at their will, and who were (or were imagined by fools) more gods on earth than
a God in Heaven could be, etc., etc., etc.? All this I saw, foresaw, despaired, fought
against; and, finally, gave up the struggle in utter helplessness. If Sinnett has remained
true and devoted to them to this day, it is because he never allowed his fancy to run away
with his judgment and reason. Because he followed his common-sense and discerned the
truth, without sacrificing it to his ardent imagination. I told him the whole truth from the first,
as I had told Olcott, and Hume also.
Hume knows that Mahatma K. H. exists, and holds to it to this day. But, angry and
vexed with my Master, who spoke to him as though he (Hume) had never been a Secretary
for the Indian Government and the great Hume of Simla - he denied him through pure
viciousness and revenge.
Ah, if by some psychological process you could be made to see the whole truth! If,
in a dream or vision, you could be made to see the panorama of the last ten years, from
the first year at New York to the last at Adyar, you would be made happy and strong and
just to the end of your life. I was sent to America on purpose and sent to the Eddies.
There I found Olcott in love with spirits, as he became in love with the Masters later on.
I was ordered to let him know that spiritual phenomena without the philosophy of Occultism
were dangerous and misleading. I proved to him that all that mediums could do through
spirits others could do at will without any spirits at all; that bells and thought-reading, raps
and physical phenomena, could be achieved by anyone who had a faculty of acting in his
physical body through the organs of his astral body; and I had that faculty ever since I was
four years old, as all my family know. I could make furniture move and objects fly
apparently, and my astral arms that supported them remained invisible; all this ever before
I knew even of Masters. Well, I told him the whole truth. I said to him that I had known

* The great increase in numbers of the members of the T. S. was undoubtedly due
to the fact that, attracted by the false glamor of phenomena, fools rushed in "where angels
fear to tread." - H.

Adepts, the "Brothers," not only in India and beyond Ladakh, but in Egypt and Syria, - for
there are "Brothers" there to this day. The names of the "Mahatmas" were not even known
at the time, since they are called so only in India.* That, whether they were called
Rosicrucians, Kabalists, or Yogis - Adepts were everywhere Adepts - silent, secret, retiring,
and who would never divulge themselves entirely to anyone, unless one did as I did -
passed seven and ten years probation and given proofs of absolute devotion, and that he,
or she, would keep silent even before a prospect and a threat of death. I fulfilled the
requirements and am what I am; and this no Hodgson, no Coulombs, no Sellin, can take
away from me. All I was allowed to say was - the truth: There is beyond the Himalayas
a nucleus of Adepts, of various nationalities; and the Teschu Lama knows them, and they
act together, and some of them are with him and yet remain unknown in their true
character even to the average lamas - who are ignorant fools mostly. My Master and K.
H. and several others I know personally are there, coming and going, and they are all in
communication with Adepts in Egypt and Syria, and even Europe. I said and proved that
they could perform marvelous phenomena; but I also said that it was rarely they would
condescend to do so to satisfy enquirers. You were one of the few who had genuine
communications with them; and if you doubt it now, I pity you, my poor friend, for you may
repent one day for having lost your chance.**
Well, in New York already, Olcott and Judge went mad over the thing; but they kept
it secret enough then. When we went to India, their very names were never pronounced
in London or on the way (one of the supposed proofs - that I had invented the Mahatmas
after I had come to India - of Mr. A. O. Hume!) When we arrived, and Master coming to
Bombay bodily, paid a visit to us at Girgaum, and several persons saw him, Wimbridge for
one - Olcott became crazy. He was like Balaam's she-ass when she saw the angel! Then
came Damodar, Servai, and several other fanatics, who began calling them "Mahatmas";
and, little by little, the Adepts were transformed into Gods on earth. They began to be
appealed to, and made puja to, and were becoming with every day more legendary and
miraculous. Now, if I tell you the answer I received from Keshow Piilai you will

* In Ceylon everybody of high standing is called "Mahatma"; the title seems to
correspond to what in England is called "Esquire." - H.
** I could not doubt the existence of the Adepts after having been in communication
with them; but I denied the existence of such beings as the Mahatmas were
misrepresented to be. - H.

laugh, but it characterizes the thing. "But what is your idea of you Hindus about the
Masters?" - I asked him one day when he prostrated himself flat before the picture in my
golden locket. Then he told me that they (the Mahatmas) were their ancient Rishis, who
had never died, and were some 700,000 years old. That they were represented as living
invisibly in sacred trees, and when showing themselves were found to have long green
hair, and their bodies shining like the moon, etc., etc. Well, between this idea of the
Mahatmas and Olcott's rhapsodies, what could I do? I saw with terror and anger the false
track they were all pursuing. The "Masters," as all thought, must be omniscient,
omnipresent, omnipotent. If a Hindu or Parsi sighed for a son, or a Government office, or
was in trouble, and the Mahatmas never gave a sign of life - the good and faithful Parsi,
the devoted Hindu, was unjustly treated. The Masters knew all; why did they not help the
devotee? If a mistake or a flapdoodle was committed in the Society - "How could the
Masters allow you or Olcott to do so?" we were asked in amazement.* The idea that the
Masters were mortal men, limited even in their great powers, never crossed anyone's mind,
though they wrote this themselves repeatedly. It was "modesty and secretiveness" -
people thought. "How is it possible," the fools argued, "that the Mahatmas should not know
all that was in every Theosophist's mind, and hear every word pronounced by each
That to do so, and find out what the people thought, and hear what they said, the
Masters had to use special psychological means, to take great trouble for it at the cost of
labor and time - was something out of the range of the perceptions of their devotees. Is
it Olcott's fault? Perhaps, to a degree. Is it mine? I absolutely deny it, and protest against
the accusation. It is no one's fault. Human nature alone, and the failure of modern society
and religions to furnish people with something higher and nobler than craving after money
and honors - is at the bottom of it. Place this failure on one side, and the mischief and
havoc produced in people's brains by modern spiritualism, and you have the enigma
solved. Olcott to this day is sincere, true and devoted to the cause. He does and acts the
best he knows how, and the mistakes and absurdities he has committed and commits to
this day are due to something he lacks in the psychological portion of his brain, and he is
not responsible for it. Loaded

* The representative of the Society for Psychic Research was awfully angry because
the "Mahatmas" could not see the importance of appearing before him with their
certificates and producing a few miracles for his gratification. See The Talking image of
Urur. - H.

and heavy is his Karma, poor man, but much must be forgiven to him, for he has always
erred through lack of right judgment, not from any vicious propensity. Olcott is thoroughly
honest; he is, as true as gold to his friends; he is as impersonal for himself as he is selfish
and grasping for the Society; and his devotion and love for the Masters is such that he is
ready to lay down his life any day for them if he thinks it will be agreeable to them and
benefit the Society. Be just, above all, whatever you do or say. If anyone is to be blamed,
it is I. I have desecrated the holy Truth by remaining too passive in the face of all this
desecration, brought on by too much zeal and false ideas. My only justification is that I had
work to do that would have been too much for four men, as you know. I was always
occupied with the Theosophist and ever in my room, shut up, having hardly time to see
even the office Hindus. All was left to Olcott and Damodar, two fanatics. How I protested
and tried to swim against the current, only Mr. Sinnett knows, and the Masters. Brown was
crazy before he came to us, unasked and unexpected. C. Oakley was an occultist two
years before he joined us.
You speak of hundreds that have been made "cowards" by Olcott.* I can show you
several hundreds who have been saved through Theosophy from drunkenness, dissolute
life, etc. Those who believed in a personal God believe in him now as they did before.
Those who did not - are all the better in believing in the soul's immortality, if in nothing else.
It is Sellin's thought, not yours - "the men and women ruined mentally and physically" by
me and Olcott. Hubbe Schleiden is ruined only and solely by Sellin, ** aided by his own
No, dear Doctor, you are wrong and unjust; for Olcott never taught anyone "to sit
down and expect favors from Mahatmas." On the contrary, he has always taught, verbally
and in print, that no one was to expect favors from Mahatmas or God unless his own
actions and merit forced Karma to do him justice in the end.
Where has Sellin heard Col. Olcott's Theosophy? Sellin had and has his head full
of spiritualism and spiritual phenomena; he believes in spirits and their agency, which is
worse even than believing too much in Mahatmas. We all of us have made mistakes, and
are all more or less to blame. Why should you be so hard on poor Olcott, except what he
has done personally against you, for which I am the first to blame him? But even here, it

* In many minds the misconceptions regarding the "Mahatmas" gave rise to a
superstitious fear and a false reliance upon unknown superiors. - H.
** A certain German professor and spiritualistic miracle-monger, who never could
see a forest on account of the number of trees. - H.

not his fault. I have twenty pages of manuscript giving a detailed daily account of your
supposed crimes and falseness, to prove to you that no flesh and blood could resist the
proofs and insinuations. I know you now, since Torre del Greco; I feared and dreaded you
at Adyar just because of those proofs. If you come, I will let you read the secret history of
your life for two years, and you will recognize the handwriting.* And such manuscripts, as
I have learned, have been sent all over the branches, and Olcott was the last to learn of
it. What I have to tell you will show to you human nature and your own discernment in
another light.
There are things it is impossible for me to write; and unless you come here - they
will die with me. Olcott has nothing to do with all this. You are ignorant, it seems, of what
took place since Christmas. Good-bye, then, and may your intuitions lead you to the Truth.
Yours ever,

- H. P. B.

* These papers, filled with the most absurd denunciations against me, were
concocted by Babajee out of jealousy and national hatred. - H.

(The Path, Jan.-March, 1896)



At left is a photostat copy of the only letter in H.P. Blavatsky's handwriting in the
Manuscript Room of the Archives Department of the Library of Congress, Washington,
D.C. It is dated November 28th, presumably 1878, which is of historical interest, as only
some weeks later, December 17th, HPB left the U.S.A. for India. She was accompanied
by Col. H.S. Olcott and Mr. Edward Wimbridge. Miss Rosa Bates, to join them later, had
gone on ahead to London where the others arrived January 3, 1879. From thence the four
went by rail to Liverpool, and, embarking on the SS Speke Hall on January 18th, sailed at
dawn the next day, and arrived in Bombay, India, February 16th, 1880.
A letter in our files, dated September 1965 from Iverson and Helen Harris who had
visited the Library of Congress and obtained a photostat of this letter, carries this notation:
"In 1940 this letter appeared in print in (1) The O.E. Library Critic, July-August,
edited by Dr. H.N. Stokes, Washington, D.C., who stated that it was found by Mrs. Carl E.
Clancy; and (2) Theosophical Nuggets of August 1940, as having been discovered by
Eloise Lawnsbury. [Eloise Lounsbury (sp.?, we believe was the pen name of Mrs. Clancy. -
Eclec. Eds.] In 1950 the letter was published in the booklet, H.P.B. Speaks, Adyar,
Madras, India, by C. Jinarajadasa, Vol. I, pages 102 et seq."
Mr. Harris adds that the editors above referred to responsible for the letter's
publication "obviously did not have an accurate copy of the letter before them," as careful
study "disclosed numerous variances." In some instances H.P.B.'s punctuation, italicizing,
and her use of capital letters were incorrectly transcribed. In addition, words were
substituted, other words and phrases were omitted." However, Eclectic editors find that
these, as far as they have discerned, were minor and did not change the sense; for
example H.P.B.: "die of a fit of cholera morbus." Variance: "die of cholera morbua".
H.P.B.: "You seem to be determined . . ."; changed to: "You seem determined . . . " Fort
Sumter is spelled by H.P.B. Fort Sumner. The above mentioned editors spelled it Fort
Sumpter; etc., etc.
The Harris Note also had this Memorandum concerning people and places
mentioned in the HPB letter:
General Abner Doubleday: General of Civil War. Captain at siege of Fort Sumter.
Major General and Commander of a Corps at Gettysburg. Originator of the American
game of Baseball, 1839.
Miss Rosa Bates: Accompanied H.P.B. and Col. Olcott to India. Said to have been
in disagreement with H.P.B. as to policy of The Theosophist. See Letters from the Masters
of the Wisdom, No. 29. She was from England.
Baron von Palm: Cremation. See Old Diary Leaves, Vol. I.
"Wide Awake", called "Lucretia" in the letter, was Mrs. C. Daniels of Providence, R.I.
Mr. Shin: Spelled "Shinn" by Col. Olcott in Old Diary Leaves, Vol. I.
Mott's Memorial Hall, 64 Madison Ave., New York City. Inaugural Address of The
Theosophical Society delivered here on November 17, 1875.
LUCIFER was started by H.P.B. in London in 1887. The date of H.P.B.'s letter is
thought to be 1878.
[We add: Edward Wimbridge: British architect, then living in New York.
Accompanied Founders to India; designed cover to The Theosophist 1879; etched on
copper a portrait of HPB. Later left T.S. and started a furniture manufacturing business.
Col. Olcott wrote: "He made the best furniture in India."]
We now give a complete transcript of the photostat of HPB's handwritten letter. -
Editors The Eclectic Theosophist

New York, Nov. 28

"Thanksgiving Day" - probably to the devil? and thanking him for all the evils
bestowed by him so generously upon America?

My dear "Wide awake".

Allow me to offer you my thanks for various favours received, & also those in
prospect. You seem to be determined to take my aged heart by storm. Well - go on.
Mr. Hayden will always be welcome. I wish he would come. But I do hope that he
will not do as a Mr. Evans, of Washington, a newly baked "brother" did last week.
Fancy, a man showing after two years of correspondence an intense desire to join
the T.S. Duly elected & diplomed. Writes craving permission to come to N.Y. & be initiated
in the lamasery. Receives graceful permission thereupon - also warm invitation.
Telegraphs that he is coming Monday. - Retelegraphs that he is not coming Monday but
Wednesday. Telegraphs Wed: "I'm a'coming," and - does not come. Writes he is sure
to come on Saturday & pass Sunday with us. Friday morning sends a cable dispatch,
"Cannot come, tomorrow, will come tonight, Friday, by the last train - 10 1/2. Great
preparations and a sumptuous banquet spread for the benefit of his hungry guts. 11, 12
o'clock - no Evans. No more of him Saturday morning. Finally a letter from him on
Tuesday, in which he pours out a whail of despair! Took train, came in good time to N.Y.
went to my house, rang bell for half an hour, got chilly, despairing, rang for the last time,
and as the door did not open, went back, i.e. crossed over to New Jersey, slept in a hotel,
and taking the noon train went back to Washington without seeing us!!!!!!!
I have met with flapdoodles in my life; never - with one of such 50 horse power of
Shin is not a Theos: but Shin came here last night, & warmed his shins at the cold
stove, & his heart in the depth of my beauteous classical features. Says his article does
not interfere with yours. He means to write up a "cameo " - (whatever it may mean) - of
H.P.B. and you crave for a biography I understand? Well, & who the devil prevents you
writing one? Say, I am born in three different places, at two distinct periods of the last four
centuries, from seven mothers and a half of one father! Tell `em, I am between 273 and
19 years of age, my nose being the most classical feature of my phrenology, you may add
that the above named proboscis having something else to do at the time of my birth, (or
rather, "last birth") could not present itself in propria persona, but left instead its "visiting
card" upon my classical countenance. That, I was reared by the Astrakhan Kalmucks, and
benevolently brought up and nursed by camels and the mares of the prince of those
Kalmucks, the Prince Tzerets-Vorchay-Tunge Tchickmak-Zuru. That - surprisingly enough,
I was born with a cigarette of Turkish tobacco in my mouth, and an emerald ring on my left
big toe, a small gooseberry bush, moreover, growing out of my navel. That I was called
Heliona (not Helen as people call me) - a Greek name, derived from that of the Sun, Helios
- because (1st) there was an eclipse of the luminary on that day, who knew prophetically,
we must infer, that it would be eclipsed for long years by the newly born babe, and also
(2nd) because of the possibility it gave the clergy & the missionaries of the 19th century
to spell it with a double L - (thus - Helliona) and assure the more readily their congregation
that I was an imp of Hell.
Now, isn't there facts enough to make Mark Twain himself die of a fit of cholera
morbus brought on by envy & rage?
Permit me now, lovely "Lucreta" to say to you a few words seriously. Please, let
Miss Burr (the Editor's sister) know them.
While our Society received $5 initiation fees and $6 for the yearly pay, we had
regular meetings, every month, had a Hall (Mutt's Memorial Hall) a library & all the
paraphernalia required. But while the "Fellows" residing all over the States, were regularly
notified of every meeting, they never attended them, and even very few of those who
reside in New York. Yet the notifications, stamped letters, stationery etc. cost the T.S.
more than the fees could cover. There was a general meeting of the Council a year ago;
and it was resolved to suspend general meetings, and for the Council alone to meet, once
a week. Three months after that we joined publicly our Mother Society the Arya Samaj of
India & it was resolved that all the initiation fees would go to the A.S. of Bombay as you
know. Thus, our Society has no means of its own & depends on the liberality of its Council.
For the last year Olcott pays for the stationery himself, and I pay for the postage stamps.
And it is a drag on my pocket, I assure you. That's all the secret.
Two days before the last ceremony described in the Sun (the throwing into the sea
of the Baron's de Palm ashes) one of our Hindoo brothers came over from England,
summoned the Council together, planned the ceremony and performed it on the following
night. There were but 21 persons present, mostly those of the Council & the chief officers,
not a single Theosophist was present (of the general crowd of Theosophists I mean).
Now, as I am going away in about three weeks (before Christmas surely) and even
if Col. Olcott starts but in Spring and does not go with me, we are going to have a meeting
called before my departure, for we have to elect a new acting President & a Corresp.
Secretary. General Abner Doubleday, (of Fort Sumner is to be elected. Vice Pres'ts are
Dr.Alex Wilder 565 Orange St. Newark - a great philologist and an archaeologist here, &
Dr. J. Weisse, a well-known philologist here. (Oh, Paris has applied for membership!!).
We have over 1000 Theosophists scattered in this Republic. Don't you know the
signs and password & grip. Why don't you try it on those you meet, and so find out
whether they are "brothers"? I cannot name them all to you.
By the bye Mr. Hayden has not sent his photog. card to us. He must send his
portrait. I am going to write to him for it.
Olcott is going to Providence again. Maybe he will see him. Remember Mr. Judge's
address. He is the Recording Secretary of the Society & you can learn everything from
him. Address 71 Broadway - Wm. Q. Judge, Counselor at Law. I suppose that under the
Presidency of General Doubleday there will be meetings held. Anyhow, we have two new
branches of our Society established: one in Corfu (Greece) and the other in
Constantinople, the richest Editor of the country, one who has a dozen of papers at least,
Angelo Nikolaides; and that of Corfu is Paschale Menelao. Another branch is now started
in Paris. Whom they will elect for Pres't I don't know, but Mr. P. Z. Leymarie, Editor of the
Revue Spirite 5, Rue des Petits Champs will always know. So you see, any Fellow going
abroad, and in whatever direction, will always find "brothers" - who have to lay down their
lives in case of necessity, for any other brother, of whatever race, color, or creed.
Please let this be known to Miss Ellen Burr. I will write to you from India and so give
you a chance for more than one startling article. Mr. Hayden too. But I want his portrait -
otherwise he be "anathema marathon"!
Miss Bates is gone to London - preceding me like a Theosophical Precursor, and
my four trunks are gone to Liverpool to await for me. So you see, I am ready. If you really
want any points for my biography name them plainly.
Good by. Yours ever truly,
H.P. Blavatsky

- Eclectic Theosophist, No. 78



This is a letter from H.P. Blavatsky to Countess Constance Wachtmeister reprinted

verbatim et literatim and in full, portions of which only, as far as we know, have hitherto
been published.* These were in the Introduction by C. Jinarajadasa to the book edited by
him, The Early Teachings of the Masters, 1923, The Theosophical Publishing House,
Adyar, Madras, India, and the same year by The Theosophical Press, 826 Oakdale
Avenue, Chicago. These two are only slightly different in spellings, punctuation and
grammar. W.Q. Judge in The Path, Vol. VII, March 1893, also published this letter, under
the title "H.P. Blavatsky on Precipitation," but the first paragraph was omitted, as well as
nine lines later indicated by dots, and certain proper names throughout for which blanks
were inserted.
We are indebted to Jean-Paul Guignette Montreuil, France, for sending us a copy
which, he informs us, is made from the original edition of Reminiscences now in the
personal library of the late Jacques Heugel, a nephew of Countess Wachtmeister. M.
Guignette also sent us a copy of the letter written in H.P.B.'s own handwritting on paper
folded 8 1/4 x 5 1/2. Of this we reproduce here only the last page.
For the historical researcher, as well as for theosophical readers generally, we
should point out that the reference made to this Letter in Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol.
VII, in the section "Chronological Survey," xxiv, item under Jan. 24, is in error. The
"important letter written by H.P.B." - this one to which we are now referring - was not to
Mrs. Marie Gebhard but to Countess Wachtmeister. In a letter from Mme. Gebhard to A.P.
Sinnett, she refers to this as follows: (The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, Letter
No. CLXXX, p. 346, in the Section titled "Miscellaneous Letters."):
"The enclosed is from H.P.B. telling how all the phenomena occurred. It is in
answer to a letter of the Countess written while here to O.L. saying we did not believe in
all the letters coming from the Masters and other phenomena, and if she could refute the
charges. Send the letter back to Wurzburg to the Countess when you have read it. You
must use your own discretion as to whom you had better show the letter to start...."
And now let H.P.B. speak for herself. - The Editors

* Because, however, of printing technicalities involved, the words underlined by HPB
are here given in italics, and those doubly underlined by her, are here in SMALL CAPS. -

Jan. 24 1886

My dear Countess,
In the "Coulomb: Blavatsky" letters (first series of Sept 1884) there is one addressed
by me to that woman from Paris the only one which, with the exception of mispunctuation
and two or three words that change the sense & make me utter thus a fib, instead of
making it what it is, - a quotation from her letter - I say (as far as I remember the words -
"If to save the Society (i.e. the work of the Masters Their creation) and do it good I had to
go in a public square & declare publicly & to the hearing of the whole world that I AM AN
IMPOSTER and FRAUD I would do so without one moment of hesitation. So would I now,
at any day.
Now, what you advise me to do, I have for the last three or four years attempted
most seriously. Dozens of times have I declared that I shall not put the Masters any
worldly questions or submit before Them family & other private matters personal for the
most part. I must have sent back to the writers dozens & dozens of letters addressed to
the Masters & many a time have I declared - I will not ask Them so and so. Well what was
the consequence. People still worried me "Please, do please ask the Masters" only ask
& tell Them and draw their attention to so & so. When I refused doing it Olcott would come
up and bother, or Damodar or someone else. Now it so happens that you do not seem to
be aware of the occult law - to which even the Masters are subject Themselves:
"Whenever an intense desire is concentrated on their personalities; whenever the appeal
comes from a man of even an average good morality, & the desire is intense and sincere
even in matters of trifles (and to Them what is not a trifle!) - They are disturbed by it, & the
desire takes a material form & would haunt Them (the word is ridiculous but I know of no
other) if They did not create an impassable barrier an akasic wall between that desire (or
thought, or prayer) & so isolate themselves. The result of this extreme measure is, that
They find Themselves isolated, at the same time from all those who willingly or unwillingly
consciously or otherwise are made to come within the circle of that thought or desire. I do
not know whether you will understand me. I hope you will. And finding Themselves from
me, for instance, many were the mistakes made & dangers realized that could have been
averted had They not found Themselves outside the circle of theosophical events. Such
is the case ever since, owing to Mr. Sinnett's suicidal (for all of us) desire to make Their
existence, names & deeds public he wrote the Occult World & that Olcott like a horse
getting rid of the bit in his mouth threw Their names right & left, poured in torrents on the
public so to say, Their personalities, powers & so on, until the world (the outsiders, not only
theosophists) desecrated Their names indeed from the North to the South Pole. Has not
the Maha Chohan put HIS foot on that from the first? Has He not forbidden Mahatma K.H.
to write to any one? (Mr Sinnett knows well all this). And have not since then waves of
supplications, torrents of desires & prayers poured unto Them? This is one of the chief
reasons why Their names & personalities ought to have been kept secret & inviolable.
They were desecrated in every possible way by believer & unbeliever, by the former when
he would critically and from his worldly stand-point examine Them - (the Beings beyond
& outside every worldly if not human law!), & when the latter positively slandered, dirted
dragged Their names in the mud! O powers of Heaven - what I have suffered there are
no words to express it. This is my chief my greatest crime, for having brought Their
personalities to public notice unwillingly reluctantly & forced into it by Mr. Sinnett and
Olcott. Well, now to other things.
You & the Theosophists have come to the conclusion that in every case when a
message found couched in words or sentiments unworthy of Mahatmas was produced
either by elementals or my own fabrication. Believing the latter, Countess, no honest men
& women ought for one moment to permit me such A FRAUD to remain any longer in the
Society. It is not a piece of repentance & a promise that "I shall do so no longer" that you
need but to kick me out - if you really think so. You believe you say in the Masters & at the
same time you can credit the idea that THEY should permit or even know of it and still use
me? Why, if They are the exalted Beings you rightly suppose Them to be how could They
permit or tolerate for one moment such a deception & fraud. Ah poor theosophists - little
you do know the occult laws I see. And here Bawajee & others are right. Before you
volunteer to serve the Masters, you should learn their philosophy for otherwise you shall
always sin grievously though unconsciously and involuntarily against Them & those who
serve Them soul body & spirit aye - to spiritual & moral not only physical death. Do you
suppose for one moment that what you write to me now I did not know it for years? Do you
think that any person even endowed with simple sagacity let alone occult powers could
ever fail to perceive each time suspicion when there was one, especially when it generated
in the minds of honest, sincere people unaccustomed to, and incapable of hypocrisy? It
is just that, which killed me, which tortured & broke my heart inch by inch for years, for I
had to bear it in silence & had no right to explain things unless permitted by Masters &
They commanded me to remain silent. To find myself day after day, facing those I loved
and respected best, between the two horns of the dilemma - either to appear cruel, selfish,
unfeeling, by refusing to satisfy their heart's desire, or, by consenting to it, to run the
chance (9 out of 10) that they shall immediately feel suspicion lurking in Their minds for the
Master's answers and notes ("the red and blue "spook-like" messages as Bawajee truly
calls them - were sure, again 9 times out of 10 - unless relating to some philosophical
highly serious question - to be of that spook character. Why? was it fraud, Certainly not.
Was it written by and produced by Elementals? NEVER. It was delivered & the physical
phenomena are produced by Elementals used for the purpose, but what have they, those
senseless beings, to do with the intelligent portions of the smallest and most foolish
message! Simply this, as this morning before the receipt of your letter, at 6, o'clock, I was
permitted & told by Master to make you understand at last; - you - and all the sincere, truly
devoted theosophists: as you sow, so you will reap; to personal private questions, &
prayers, answers framed in the minds of those whom such matters can yet interest, whose
minds are not yet entirely blank to such worldly, terrestrial questions - answers by chelas
& novices - often something reflected from my own mind, for the Masters would not stoop
one moment to give a thought to individual private, matters, relating but to one or even ten
persons their welfare woes & blisses in this world of Maya, to nothing except questions of
really universal importance. It is ALL YOU, theosophists, who have dragged down in your
minds the ideals of our MASTERS; you, who have unconsciously and with the best of
intentions, and full sincerity of good purpose DESECRATED Them, by thinking for one
moment & believing that THEY would trouble Themselves with your business matters, sons
to be born, daughters to be married, houses to be built etc etc etc. And yet, all those who
have received such communications being nearly all sincere (those who were not have
been dealt with according to other special laws) you had a right, knowing of the existence
of Beings who, you thought could easily help you - to seek help from Them, to address
Them, once that a monotheist addresses his personal god, desecrating the GREAT
UNKNOWN a million of times above the Masters - by asking Him (or IT) to help him with
a good crop, to slay his enemy, and to send him a son or daughter; and having such a
right in the abstract sense, They could not spurn you off, and refuse answering you if not
Themselves then by ordering a chela to satisfy the addresser to the best of his or her's (the
chela's) ability. How many a time was I, no Mahatma, shocked and startled, burning with
shame when shown notes written in Their (two) handwritings (a form of writing adopted for
the T.S. and used by chelas only NEVER without Their special permission or order to that
effect) - exhibiting mistakes in science, grammar and thoughts, expressed in such
language that it perverted entirely the meaning originally intended and sometimes
expressions that in Tibetan Sanskrit or any other Asiatic language had quite a different
sense - as in one instance I will give. In answer to Mr. Sinnett's letter referring to some
apparent contradiction in Isis the chela who was made to precipitate Mahatma KH's reply
put "I had to exercise all my ingenuity to reconcile the two things". Now the term
"ingenuity" used for, & meaning candour, fairness an obsolete word in this sense and never
used now, but one meaning this perfectly as even I find in Webster - was misconstrued by
Massey, Hume, & I believe even Mr. Sinnett, to mean "cunning", "cleverness" acuteness
to form a new combination so as to prove there was no contradiction. Hence: - "the
Mahatma confesses most unblushingly to ingenuity, to using craft to reconcile things, like
an acute tricky lawyer" etc etc. - Now had I been commissioned to write or precipitate the
letter I would have translated the Master's thought by using the word "ingeniousness"
openness of heart, frankness, fairness freedom from reserve & dissimulation", as Webster
gives it, & opprobrium thrown on Mahatma KH's character would have been avoided. It is
not I who would have used carbolic acid instead of "carbonic acid" etc. It is very rarely that
Mahatma KH dictated verbatim & when He did there remained the few sublime passages
found in Mr. Sinnett's letters from Him. The rest - he would say - write so and so, & the
chela wrote often without knowing one word of English as I am now made to write Hebrew
& Greek & Latin etc.
Therefore, the only thing I can be reproached with - a reproach I am ever ready to
bear though I have not deserved it having been simply the obedient and blind tool of our
occult laws and regulations - is of having (1) used Master's name when I thought my
authority would go for nought, & when I sincerely believed acting agreeably to Master's
intentions* & for the good of the cause; and (2) of having concealed that which the laws
& regulations of my pledges did not permit me so far to reveal. (3) PERHAPS, - (again for
the same reason) of having insisted that such & such a note was from Master written in his
own handwriting all the time thinking JESUITICALLY, I confess: "Well, it is written by His
order & in His handwriting, after all, why shall I go & explain to those who do not, cannot
understand the truth - & perhaps only make matters worse. Two or three times, perhaps
more, letters were precipitated in my presence, by chelas who could not speak English and
who took ideas & expressions out of my head. The phenomena in truth & solemn reality
were greater at those times than ever, yet they often appeared the most suspicious, & I
had to hold my tongue, to see suspicion creeping into the minds of those I loved best &
respected unable to justify myself, or say one word! What I suffered, Masters alone knew.
Think only - (a case with Solovioff at Elberfeld) I sick in my bed; a letter of his an old letter
received in London & torn by me, rematerialized in my own sight I looking at the thing. Five
or six lines in the Russian language in Mahatma KH's handwriting in blue the words
TAKEN FROM MY HEAD, the letter, old & crumpled traveling slowly alone (even I, could
not see the astral hand of the chela performing the operation) - across the bedroom, then
slipping into & among Solovioff's papers who was writing in the little drawing room
correcting my manuscript - Olcott standing close by him & having just handled the papers
looking over them with Solovioff. The latter finding it and like a flash I see in his head in
Russian the thought: "The old imposter (meaning Olcott) must have put it there"! and such
things by hundreds.

* Found myself several times mistaken & now am punished for it with daily and
hourly crucifixion. Pick up stones, theosophists, pick them up brothers & kind sisters &
stone me to death with them for trying to make you happy with a word from Masters!

Well - this will do. I have told you the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth,
so far as I am allowed to give it. Many are the things I have no right to explain, if I had to
be hung for it. Now think for one moment - Suppose Bawajee receives an order from his
Master to precipitate a letter to the Gebhard family only a general idea being given to him,
about what he has to write. Tibetan paper & envelope are materialized before him & he
has only to form & shape the ideas into his English & precipitate them in Master's
handwriting. What shall the result be? Why his English, his "ethics", & philosophy -
Bawajian style all round - a fraud, a transparent FRAUD people would cry out. And if any
one happened to see such a paper before him or in his possession after it was formed -
what should be the consequences. Another instance I cannot help it it is so suggestive.
A man now dead, implored me for three days to ask Master's advice on some business
matter - for he was going to become a bankrupt, & dishonour his family, a serious thing.
He gave me a letter for Master "to send on". I went into the back parlour, & he went down
stairs to wait for the answer. Now to send on a letter two or three processes are used: (1)
To put the envelope sealed on my forehead & then, warning the Master to be ready for a
communication - have the contents reflected by my brain, be carried off to His perception
by the current formed by Him. This, if the letter is in a language I know; otherwise (2) to
unseal it read it physically with my eyes without understanding even the words - & that
which my eyes see is carried off to Master's perception & reflected in it in his own
language; after which to be sure, no mistake is made, I have to burn the letter with a stone
I have (matches & common fire would never do) & the ashes caught by the current become
more minute than atoms would be rematerialized at any distance where Master was. Well,
I put the letter on the forehead opened, for it was in Bashya of which I know not one word -
& when Master had seized its contents I was ordered to burn & send it on. It so happened
that I had to go in my bedroom & get the "stone" there from a drawer it was locked in. That
minute I was away, the addresser impatient & anxious had silently approached the door,
entered the drawing-room not seeing me there & seen his own letter opened on the table.
He was horror-struck he told me later; disgusted ready to commit suicide for he was a
bankrupt not only in fortune but all his hopes, his faith, his heart's creed were crushed &
gone. I returned, burnt the letter & an hour after gave him the answer, also in Bashya. He
read it with dull, staring eyes - but thinking as he told me, that if there were no Masters I
was a Mahatma, did what was told & his fortune and honour were saved. Three days later
he came to me, & frankly told me all - did not conceal his doubts for the sake of gratitude,
as others did - & was rewarded. By order of the Master I showed him how it was done &
he understood it. Now had he not told me & had his business gone wrong, advice
notwithstanding would not he have died believing me the greatest impostor on Earth? And
so it goes.
It is my heart's desire to be rid, for ever of any phenomena but my own mental &
personal communication with Masters. I shall no more have anything to do whatever with
letters of phenomenal occurrences. This I swear, on Master's Holy Names & shall write
a circular letter to that effect. Please read the present to all even to Babajee. FINIS all,
and now theosophists, who will come and ask me to tell them so and so from Masters may
the Karma fall on THEIR heads. I AM FREE. Master has just promised me this blessing!!
Yours, H.P. Blavatsky

- Eclectic Theosophist, No. 68


H. P. Blavatsky on Precipitation

The following is the greater part of a letter written by H. P. Blavatsky some years
ago at a time when, subsequent to the Psychical Research Society's Report on
Theosophical phenomena, not only the public but fellow members of the Society were
doubting her, doubting themselves, doubting the Adepts. Its publication now will throw
upon her character a light not otherwise obtainable. Written to an intimate and old friend
for his information and benefit, it bears all the indicia of being out of the heart from one old
friend to another. Those who have faith in her and in the Masters behind her will gain
benefit and knowledge from its perusal.

Now what you advise me to do, I have for the last three or four years attempted
most seriously. Dozens of times I have declared that I shall not put the Masters any
worldly questions or submit before Them family and other private matters, personal for the
most part. I must have sent back to the writers dozens and dozens of letters addressed
to the Masters, and many a time have I declared I will not ask Them so and so. Well, what
was the consequence? People still worried me. "Please, do please, ask the Masters, only
ask and tell Them and draw Their attention to" so-and-so. When I refused doing it - would
come up and bother, or --- , or --- someone else. Now it so happens that you do not seem
to be aware of the occult law - to which even the Masters are subject Themselves -
whenever an intense desire is concentrated on Their personalities: whenever the appeal
comes from a man of even an average good morality, and all the desire is intense and
sincere even in matters of trifles (and to Them what is not a trifle?): They are disturbed by
it, and the desire takes a material form and would haunt Them (the word is ridiculous, but
I know of no other) if They did not create an impassable barrier, an Akasic wall between
that desire (or thought, or prayer) and so isolate Themselves. The result of this extreme
measure is that They find Themselves isolated at the same time from all those who
willingly or unwillingly, consciously or otherwise, are made to come within the circle of that
thought or desire. I do not know whether you will understand me; I hope you will. And
finding Themselves cut off from me, for instance, many were the mistakes made and
damages realized that could have been averted had They not often found Themselves
outside the circle of theosophical events. Such is the case ever since . . . , throwing Their
names right and left, poured in torrents on the public, so to say, Their personalities,
powers, and so on, until the world (the outsiders, not only Theosophists) desecrated Their
names indeed from the North to the South Pole. Has not the Maha Chohan put His foot
on that from the first? Has He not forbidden Mahatma K. H. to write to anyone? (Mr. ---
knows well all this.) And have not since then waves of supplications, torrents of desires
and prayers poured unto Them? This is one of the chief reasons why Their names and
personalities ought to have been kept secret and inviolable. They were desecrated in
every possible way by believer and unbeliever, by the former when he would critically and
from his worldly standpoint examine Them (the Beings beyond and outside every worldly
if not human law!), and when the latter positively slandered, dirted, dragged Their names
in the mud! O powers of heaven! what I have suffered - there are no words to express it.
This is my chief, my greatest crime, for having brought Their personalities to public notice
unwillingly, reluctantly, and forced into it by --- and --- .
Well, now to other things. You and the Theosophists have come to the conclusion
that in every case where a message was found couched in words or sentiments unworthy
of Mahatmas it was produced either by elementals or my own falsification. Believing the
latter, no honest man or woman ought for one moment to permit me, such a FRAUD, to
remain any longer in the Society. It is not a piece of repentance and a promise that I shall
do so no longer that you need, but to kick me out - if you really think so. You believe, you
say, in the Masters, and at the same time you can credit the idea that They should permit
or even know of it and still use me! Why, if They are the exalted Beings you rightly
suppose Them to be, how could They permit or tolerate for one moment such a deception
and fraud? Ah, poor Theosophists - little you do know the occult laws I see. And here ---
and others are right. Before you volunteer to serve the Masters you should learn Their
Philosophy, for otherwise you shall always sin grievously, though unconsciously and
involuntarily, against Them and those who serve Them, soul and body and spirit. Do you
suppose for one moment that what you write to me now I did not know for years? Do you
think that any person even endowed with simple sagacity, let alone occult powers, could
ever fail to perceive each time suspicion when there was one, especially when it generated
in the minds of honest, sincere people, unaccustomed to and incapable of hypocrisy? It
is just that which killed me, which tortured and broke my heart inch by inch for years, for
I had to bear it in silence and had no right to explain things unless permitted by Masters,
and They commanded me to remain silent. To find myself day after day facing those I
loved and respected best between the two horns of the dilemma - either to appear cruel,
selfish, unfeeling by refusing to satisfy their hearts' desire, or, by consenting to it, to run the
chance (9 out of 10) that they shall immediately feel suspicions lurking in their minds, for
the Master's answers and notes ("the red and blue spook-like messages", as --- truly calls
them) were sure in their eyes - again 9 times out of 10 - to be of that spook character.
Why? Was it fraud? Certainly not. Was it written by and produced by elementals?
NEVER. It was delivered and the physical phenomena are produced by elementals used
for the purpose, but what have they, those senseless beings, to do with the intelligent
portions of the smallest and most foolish message? Simply this, as this morning before
the receipt of your letter, at 6 o'clock, I was permitted and told by Master to make you
understand at last - you - and all the sincere, truly devoted Theosophists: as you sow, so
you will reap. . .
It is ALL YOU, Theosophists, who have dragged down in your minds the ideals of
our MASTERS, you who have unconsciously and with the best of intentions and full
sincerity of good purpose DESECRATED Them by thinking for one moment and believing
that THEY would trouble Themselves with your business matters, sons to be born,
daughters to be married, houses to be built, etc., etc. And yet, all those who have received
such communications being nearly all sincere (those who were not have been dealt with
according to other special laws), you had a right, knowing of the existence of Beings who
you thought could easily help you, to seek help from Them, to address Them, once that
a monotheist addresses his personal God, desecrating the GREAT UNKNOWN a million
of times above the Masters - by asking Him (or IT) to help him with a good crop, to slay his
enemy, and send him a son or daughter; and having such a right in the absolute sense,
They could not spurn you off and refuse answering you, if not Themselves, then by
ordering a Chela to satisfy the addressers to the best of his or hers [the chela's] ability.
How many a time was I - no Mahatma - shocked and startled, burning with shame when
shown notes from Chelas exhibiting mistakes in science, grammar, and thoughts
expressed in such language that it perverted entirely the meaning originally intended, and
having sometimes expressions that in Thibetan, Sanscrit, or any other Asiatic language
had quite a different sense. As in one instance I will give.
In answer to Mr. ---'s letter referring to some apparent contradiction in His. The
Chela who was made to precipitate Mahatma K. K.'s reply put, "I had to exercise all my
ingenuity to reconcile the two things." Now the term "ingenuity" used for and meaning
candor, fairness, an absolute word in this sense and never used now, but one meaning this
perfectly, as even I find in Webster, was misconstrued by Massey, Hume, and I believe
even to mean "cunning", "cleverness," "acuteness" to form a new combination so as to
prove there was no contradiction. Hence: the Mahatma was made apparently to confess
most unblushingly to ingenuity, to using craft to reconcile things like an acute "tricky
lawyer", etc., etc. Now had I been commissioned to write or precipitate the letter I would
have translated the Master's thought by using the word "ingenuousness", "openness of
heart, frankness, fairness, freedom from reserve and dissimulation", as Webster gives it,
and opprobrium thrown on Mahatma H. K.'s character would have been avoided. It is not
I who would have used "carbolic acid" instead of "carbonic acid", etc. It is very rarely that
Mahatma K. H. dictated verbatim, and when He did there remained the few sublime
passages found in Mr. Sinnett's letters from Him. The rest - he would say - write so-and-
so, and the Chela wrote often without knowing a word of English, as I am now made to
write Hebrew and Greek and Latin, etc. Therefore the only thing I can be reproached with -
a reproach I am ever ready to bear tho' I have not deserved it, having been simply the
obedient and blind tool of our occult laws and regulations - 'is of having concealed that
which the laws and regulations of my pledges did not permit me so far to reveal. I owned
myself several times mistaken in policy, and now am punished for it with daily and hourly
Pick up stones, Theosophists; pick them up, brothers and kind sisters, and stone
me to death with them for such mistakes.
Two or three times, perhaps more, letters were precipitated in my presence by a
Chela who could not speak English and who took ideas and expressions out of my head.
The phenomena in truth and solemn reality were greater at those times than ever. Yet they
often appeared the most suspicious, and I had to hold my tongue, to see suspicion
creeping into the minds of those I loved best and respected, unable to justify myself or say
one word! What I suffered Master alone knew. Think only (a case with Solovioff's at ---
) I sick in my bed: a letter of his, an old letter received in London and torn up by me,
rematerazlized in my own sight, I looking at the thing. Five or six lines in the Russian
language in Mahatma K. H's handwriting in blue, the words taken from my head, the letter
old and crumpled traveling slowly alone (even I could not see the astral hand of the Chela
performing the operation) across the bedroom, then slipping into and among Solovioff's
papers who was writing in the little drawing-room correcting my manuscript, Olcott standing
closely by him and having just handled the papers, looking over them with Solovioff, the
latter finding it, and like a flash I see in his head in Russian the thought "The old impostor
(meaning Olcott) must have put it there"! - and such things by hundreds.
Well - this will do. I have told you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
so far as I am allowed to give it. Many are the things I have no right to explain if I had to
be hung for it. Now think for one moment. Suppose --- receives an order from his Master
to precipitate a letter to the --- family, only a general idea being given to him about what he
has to write. Paper and envelope are materialized before him, and he has only to form and
shape the ideas into his English and precipitate them. What shall the result be? Why his
English, his ethics and philosophy - his style all round. "A fraud, a transparent FRAUD''
people would cry out, and if any one happened to see such a paper before him or in his
possession after it was formed, what should be the consequences?
Another instance - I cannot help it, it is so suggestive. A man, now dead, implored
me for three days to ask Master's advice on some business matter, for he was going to
become a bankrupt and dishonor his family. A serious thing. He gave me a letter for
Master "to send on". I went into the back parlor and he went down stairs to wait for the
Now to send on a letter two or three processes are used: (1) To put the envelope
sealed on my forehead, and then, warning the Master to be ready for a communication,
have the contents reflected by my brain carried off to His perception by the current formed
by Him. This, if the letter is in a language I know; otherwise, if in an unknown tongue, (2)
to unseal it, read it physically with my eyes, without understanding even the words, and that
which my eyes see is carried off to Master's perception and reflected in it in His own
language, after which, to be sure, no mistake is made. I have to burn the letter with a
stone I have (matches and common fire would never do), and the ashes caught by the
current become more minute than atoms would be, and are rematerialized at any distance
where Master was.
Well, I put the letter on the forehead opened, for it was in a language of which I
know not one word, and when Master had seized its contents I was ordered to burn and
send it on. It so happened that I had to go in my bedroom and get the stone there from a
drawer it was locked in. That minute I was away, the addresser, impatient and anxious,
had silently approached the door, entered the drawing-room, not seeing me there, and
seen his own letter opened on the table. He was horror-struck, he told me later, disgusted,
ready to commit suicide, for he was a bankrupt not only in fortune, but all his hopes, his
faith, his heart's creed were crushed and gone. I returned, burnt the letter, and an hour
after gave him the answer, also in his language. He read it with dull staring eyes, but
thinking, as he told me, that if there were no Masters I was a Mahatma, did what he was
told, and his fortune and honor were saved. Three days later he came to me and frankly
told me all - did not conceal his doubts for the sake of gratitude, as others did - and was
rewarded. By order of the Master I showed him how it was done and he understood it.
Now had he not told me, and had his business gone wrong, advice notwithstanding, would
not he have died believing me the greatest impostor or earth?
So it goes.
It is my heart's desire to be rid forever of any phenomena but my own mental and
personal communication with Masters. I shall no more have anything to do whatever with
letters or phenomenal occurrences. This I swear on Masters' Holy Names, and may write
a circular letter to that effect.
Please read the present to all, even to ---. FINIS all, and now Theosophists who will
come and ask me to tell them so and so from Masters, may the Karma fall on their heads.
I AM FREE. Master has just promised me this blessing!!

- H. P. B.

(The Path, March, 1893)


[Compiled by W. Q. Judge]


These letters will be continued each month in the PATH. They constitute a
correspondence carried on by H.P.B. with her Russian relatives, and are being translated
into English by H.P.B.'s niece, Mrs. C. Johnston, whose maiden name was Vera
Jelihovsky, and whose mother is Mme. Jelihovsky, the sister of H.P.B. who contributed
under her own name to Mr.Sinnett's Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky. As most
of the letters were not dated, it will not always be possible to say whether H.P.B. was
writing from America, Tibet, Egypt, or the North Pole. A great many letters are in this
correspondence, and the series will be continued until all are published. They are all of
wonderful interest. It must be borne in mind for a clearer understanding of her words that
she was writing to relatives who did not understand her strange inner life, and many of
whom held religious opinions very different from hers: Permission has been given me to
add some notes, but for those I alone will be responsible. - W.Q.J.

About the year 1875 Madame Jelihovsky, who is well known both on account of her
own contributions to literature and also as the sister of Madame Blavatsky, heard that
H.P.B. had commenced to write in a way that would have been impossible to her a few
years before. How she had acquired the knowledge that won the unanimous praise of both
the English and American press was beyond all explanation. There were rumors afloat as
to "sorcery" being at the root of it, and filled with forebodings and terrors Madame
Jelihovsky wrote to her sister, imploring an explanation. * She received the following reply:
"Do not be afraid that I am off my head. All that I can say is that someone positively
inspires me - . . . more than this: someone enters me. It is not I who talk and write: it is
something within me, my higher and luminous Self, that thinks and writes for me. Do not
ask me, my friend, what I experience, because I could not explain it to you clearly. I do not
know myself! The one thing I know is that now, when I am about to reach old age, I have
become a sort of storehouse of somebody else's knowledge. . . . Someone comes and
envelops me as a misty cloud and all at once pushes me out of myself, and then I am not
"I" any more - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - but someone else. Someone strong and
powerful, born in a totally different region of the world; and as to myself it is almost as if
I were asleep, or lying by not quite conscious, - not in my own body but close by, held only
by a thread which ties me to it. However, at times I see and hear everything quite clearly:
I am perfectly conscious of what my body is saying and doing - or at least its new
possessor. I even understand and remember it all so well that afterwards I can repeat it
and even write down his words. . . At such a time I see awe and fear on the faces of Olcott
and others, and follow with interest the way in which he half-pityingly regards them out of
my own eyes and teaches them with my physical tongue. Yet not with my mind but his
own, which enwraps my brain like a cloud. . .. Ah, but really I cannot explain everything."

* It must be recollected that the "rumors of sorcery" were afloat in Russia and not
in America. - W.Q.J.

H.P.B.'s astonishment at this marvelous development of her own powers would

appear to have been great, if one may judge by a letter she wrote (about 1875 to 1876) to
her aunt, Madame Fadeef, with whom she had been brought up and educated:
"Tell me, dear one, do you take any interest in physiologico-psychological
mysteries? Here is one for you which is well qualified to astonish any physiologist: in our
Society there are a few exceedingly learned members - for instance, Professor Wilder, one
of the first archeologists and Orientalists in the United States, and all these people come
to me to be taught, and swear that I know all kinds of Eastern languages and sciences,
positive as well as abstract, much better than themselves. That's a fact! And it's as bad
to run up against a fact as against a pitchfork. So then tell me: how could it have
happened that I, whose learning was so awfully lame up to the age of forty, have suddenly
become a phenomenon of learning in the eyes of people who are really learned? This fact
is an impenetrable mystery of Nature. I - a psychological problem, an enigma for future
generations, a Sphinx! * Just fancy that I, who have never in my life studied anything, and
possess nothing but the most superficial smattering of general information; I, who never
had the slightest idea about physics or chemistry or zoology, or anything else - have now
suddenly become able to write whole dissertations about them. I enter into discussions
with men of science, into disputes out of which I often emerge triumphant. . . . It's not a
joke; I am perfectly serious; I am really frightened because I do not understand how it all
happens. It is true that for nearly three years past I have been studying night and day,
reading and thinking. But whatever I happen to read, it all seems familiar to me. . . I find
mistakes in the most learned articles, and in lectures by Tyndall, Herbert Spencer, Huxley,
and others. If some archeologist happens to call on me, on taking leave he is certain to
assure me that I have made clear to him the meaning of various monuments, and pointed
out things to him of which he had never dreamed. All the symbols of antiquity, and their
secret meaning, come into my head and stand there before my eyes as soon as the
conversation touches on them.

* This name was prophetic, for thus she has been often called. - W.Q.J.

"A pupil of Faraday's, a certain Professor H., who has been christened by the voice
of a thousand mouths 'the Father of experimental Physics', having spent yesterday evening
with me, now assures me that I am well qualified to 'put Faraday in my pocket'. Can it be
that they all are simply fools? But it is impossible to suppose that friends and enemies
alike have leagued together to make of me a savant if all that I do is to prove superficially
certain wild theories of my own. And if it was only my own devoted Olcott and other
Theosophists who had such a high opinion of me, it could be said: 'Dans le pays des
aveugles les borgnes sont rois' ('In a country of blind men the one-eyed are kings'). But
I continually have a whole crowd from morning to night of all kinds of Professors, Doctors
of Science, and Doctors of Divinity; * . . . for instance, there are two Hebrew Rabbis here,
Adler and Goldstein, who are both of them thought to be the greatest Talmudists. They
know by heart both the Qabalah of Simeon Ben Jochai and the Codex Nazaraeus of
Bardesanes. They were brought to me by A., a protestant clergyman and commentator
on the Bible, who hoped they would prove that I am mistaken on the subject of a certain
statement in the Chalden Bible of Onkelos. And with what result? I have beaten them.
I quoted to them whole sentences in ancient Hebrew and proved to them that Onkelos is
an authority of the Babylonian school."
In the earlier letters of H.P.B. to Madame Jelihovsky the intelligence which has been
referred to as "enveloping her body" and using her brain is spoken of as "the Voice" or
"Sahib". Only later did she name this, or another "Voice", as "Master". For instance, she
writes to Madame Jelihovsky:
"I never tell anyone here about my experience with the Voice. When I try to assure
them that I have never been in Mongolia, that I do not know either Sanskrit or Hebrew or
ancient European languages, they do not believe me. 'How is this,' they say, 'you have
never been there, and yet you describe it all so accurately? You do not know the
languages and yet you translate straight from the originals!' and so they refuse to believe
me. ** They think that I have some mysterious reasons for secrecy; and besides, it is an
awkward thing for me to deny when everyone has heard me discussing various Indian
dialects with a lecturer who has spent twenty years in India. Well, all that I can say is,
either they are mad or I am a changeling!"
About this time H.P.B. appears to have been greatly troubled, for though some
members of the nascent Theosophical Society were able to get "visions of pure Planetary
Spirits", she could only see "earthly exhalations, elementary spirits" of the same category,
which she said played the chief part in materializing seances. She writes:
"In our Society everyone must be a vegetarian, eating no flesh and drinking no wine.
This is one of our first rules. *** It is well known what an evil influence the evaporations of
blood and alcohol have on the spiritual side of human nature, blowing the animal passions
into a raging fire; and so one of these days I have resolved to fast more severely than
hitherto. I ate only salad and did not even smoke for whole nine days, and slept on the
floor, and this is what happened: I have suddenly caught a glimpse of one of the most
disgusting scenes of my own life, and I felt as if I was out of my body, looking at it with
repulsion whilst it was walking, talking, getting puffed up with fat and sinning. Pheugh, how
I hated myself! Next night when I again lay down on the hard floor, I was so tired out that
I soon fell asleep and then got surrounded with a heavy, impenetrable darkness. Then I
saw a star appearing; it lit up high, high above me, and then fell, dropping straight upon
me. It fell straight on my forehead and got transformed into a hand. Whilst this hand was
resting on my forehead I was all ablaze to know whose hand it was. . . . I was concentrated
into a single prayer, into an impulse of the will, to learn who it was, to whom did this
luminous hand belong. . . . And I have learned it: there stood over it I myself. Suddenly
this second me spoke to my body, 'Look at me!' My body looked at it and saw that the half
of this second me was as black as jet, the other half whitish-grey, and only the top of the
head perfectly white, brilliant, and luminous. And again I myself spoke to my body: 'When
you become as bright as this small part of your head, you will be able to see what is seen
by others, by the purified who have washed themselves clean. . . . And meanwhile, make
yourself clean, make yourself clean, make yourself clean.' And here I awoke."
* Col. Olcott and myself can testify to the continual stream of people of all sorts
which entered her rooms every day. In 1875 she told me that when she had to write about
evolution a large picture of scenes [?] of the past would unroll before her eyes, together
with another picture of the present [?] age. - W.Q.J.
** In London, in 1888, [?] a Hindu who had met her at Meerut said to her in my
presence through an interpreter that he was surprised she did not use his language then,
as she had used it at Meerut. She replied: "Ah, yes, but that was at Meerut." - W.Q.J.
*** This was a proposed rule. H.P.B. accepted a thing proposed as a thing done,
and so spoke of it here. But she did not carry out that rule then proposed, and never then
suggested its enforcement to me. - W.Q.J.

At one time H.P.B. was exceedingly ill with advanced rheumatism in her leg.
Doctors told her that it was gangrened, and considered her case hopeless. But she was
successfully treated by a negro who was sent to her by the "Sahib". She writes to Madame
"He has cured me entirely. And just about this time I have begun to feel a very
strange duality. Several times a day I feel that besides me there is someone else, quite
separable from me, present in my body. I never lose the consciousness of my own
personality; what I feel is as if I were keeping silent and the other one - the lodger who is
in me - were speaking with my tongue. For instance, I know that I have never been in the
places which are described by my 'other me', but this other one - the second me - does not
lie when he tells about places and things unknown to me, because he has actually seen
them and knows them well. I have given it up: let my fate conduct me at its own sweet will;
and besides, what am I to do? It would be perfectly ridiculous if I were to deny the
possession of knowledge avowed by my No. 2, giving occasion to the people around me
to imagine that I keep them in the dark for modesty's sake. In the night, when I am alone
in my bed, the whole life of my No. 2 passes before my eyes, and I do not see myself at
all, but quite a different person - different in race and different in feelings. But what's the
use of talking about it? It's enough to drive one mad. I try to throw myself into the part and
to forget the strangeness of my situation. This is no mediumship, and by no means an
impure power; for that, it has too strong an ascendency over us all, leading us into better
ways. No devil would act like that. 'Spirits', maybe? But if it comes to that, my ancient
'spooks' dare not approach me any more. It's enough for me to enter the room where a
seance is being held to stop all kinds of phenomena at once, especially materializations.
Ah no, this is altogether of a higher order! But phenomena of another sort take place more
and more frequently under the direction of my No. 2. * One of these days I will send you
an article about them. It is interesting."

* These phenomena were those amazing feats of magic, hundreds of which I
witnessed in broad daylight or blazing gas-light, from 1875 to 1878. - W.Q.J.

The newspapers gave accounts of certain of these phenomena and described the
appearance of astral visitors, amongst others a Hindu. In sending the extracts H.P.B.
"I see this Hindu every day, just as I might see any other living person, with the only
difference that he looks to me more ethereal and more transparent. Formerly I kept silent
about these appearances, thinking that they were hallucinations. But now they have
become visible to other people as well. He (the Hindu) appears and advises us as to our
conduct and our writing. He evidently knows everything that is going on, even to the
thoughts of other people, and makes me express his knowledge. Sometimes it seems to
me that he overshadows the whole of me, simply entering me like a kind of volatile
essence penetrating all my pores and dissolving in me. Then we two are able to speak to
other people, and then I begin to understand and remember sciences and languages -
everything he instructs me in, even when he is not with me any more."
Directly Isis Unveiled was published, H.P.B. wrote to Madame Jelihovsky:
"It seems strange to you that some Hindu Sahib is so free and easy in his dealings
with me. I can quite understand you: a person not used to that kind of phenomenon -
which, though not quite unprecedented, is yet perfectly ignored - is sure to be incredulous.
For the very simple reason that such a person is not in the habit of going deeply into such
matters. For instance, you ask whether he is likely to indulge in wanderings inside other
people as well as me. I am sure I don't know; but here is something about which I am
perfectly certain: Admit that man's soul - his real living soul - is a thing perfectly separate
from the rest of the organism; that this perisprit is not stuck with paste to the physical
'innerds'; and that this soul which exists in everything living, beginning with an infusoria
and ending with an elephant, is different from its physical double only inasmuch as being
more or less overshadowed by the immortal spirit it is capable of acting freely and
independently. In the case of the uninitiated profane, it acts during their sleep: in the case
of an initiated adept, it acts at any moment he chooses according to his will. Just try and
assimilate this, and then many things will become clear to you. This fact was believed in
and known in far distant epochs. St. Paul, who alone among all the apostles was an
initiated Adept in the Greek Mysteries, clearly alludes to it when narrating how he was
'caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell: God
knoweth'. Also Rhoda says about Peter, 'It is not Peter but his angel' - that is to say, his
double or his soul. And in the Acts of the Apostles, ch. viii, v. 39, when the spirit of God
lifted up Philip and transported him, it was not his body that was transported, not his coarse
flesh, but his Ego, his spirit and his soul. Read Apuleius, Plutarch, Jamblichus, and other
learned men - they all allude to this kind of phenomenon, though the oaths they had to take
at the time of their initiation did not allow them to speak openly. What mediums
accomplish unconsciously, under the influence of outside powers which take possession
of them, can be accomplished by Adepts consciously at their own volition. That's all. . . .
As to the Sahib, I have known him a long time. Twenty-five years ago he came to London
with the Prince of Nepaul; three years ago he sent me a letter by an Indian who came here
to lecture about Buddhism. In this letter he reminded me of many things, foretold by him
at the time, and asked me whether I believed him now and whether I would consent to
obey him, to avoid complete destruction. After this he appeared repeatedly, not only to me
but also to other people, and to Olcott whom he ordered to be President of the Society,
teaching him how to start it. I always recognize and know the Master, and often talk to him
without seeing him. How is it that he hears me from everywhere, and that I also hear his
voice across seas and oceans twenty times a day? I do not know, but it is so. Whether
it is he personally that enters me I really cannot say with confidence: if it is not he, it is his
power, his influence. Through him alone I am strong; without him I am a mere nothing."

There was naturally considerable fear in the minds of H.P.B.'s nearest relatives as
to the character of this mysterious Hindu teacher. They could not help regarding him as
more of a "heathen sorcerer" than anything else. And this view H.P.B. took pains to
combat. She told them that her Master had a deep respect for the spirit of Christ's
teachings. She had once spent seven weeks in a forest not far from the Karakoram
mountains, where she had been isolated from the world, and where her teacher alone had
visited her daily, whether astrally or otherwise she did not state. But whilst there she had
been shown in a cave-temple a series of statues representing the great teachers of the
world, amongst others:
"A huge statue of Jesus Christ, represented at the moment of pardoning Mary
Magdalene; Gautama Buddha offers water in the palm of his hand to a beggar, and
Ananda is shown drinking out of the hands of a Pariah prostitute."
H.P.B. wrote to Madame Jelihovsky (date unknown) that she was learning to get out
of her body, and offering to pay her a visit in Tiflis "in the flash of an eye". This both
frightened and amused Madame Jelihovsky, who replied that she would not trouble her so
unnecessarily. H.P.B. answered:
"What is there to be afraid of? As if you had never heard about apparitions of
doubles. I, that is to say, my body, will be quietly asleep in my bed, and it would not even
matter if it were to await my return in a waking condition - it would be in the state of a
harmless idiot. And no wonder: God's light would be absent from it, flying to you; and
then it would fly back and once more the temple would get illuminated by the presence of
the Deity. But this, needless to say, only in case the thread between the two were not
broken. If you shriek like mad it may get torn; then Amen to my existence: I should die
instantly. . . . I have written to you that one day we had a visit from the double of Professor
Moses. Seven people saw him. As to the Master, he is quite commonly seen by perfect
strangers. Sometimes he looks just as if he were a living man, as merry as possible. He
is continually chaffing me, and I am perfectly used to him now. He will soon take us all to
India, and there we shall see him in his body just like an ordinary person."

From New York:

"Well, Vera, whether you believe me or not, something miraculous is happening to
me. You cannot imagine in what a charmed world of pictures and visions I live. I am
writing Isis; not writing, rather copying out and drawing that which She personally shows
to me. Upon my word, sometimes it seems to me that the ancient Goddess of Beauty in
person leads me through all the countries of past centuries which I have to describe. I sit
with my eyes open and to all appearances see and hear everything real and actual around
me, and yet at the same time I see and hear that which I write. I feel short of breath; I am
afraid to make the slightest movement for fear the spell might be broken. Slowly century
after century, image after image, float out of the distance and pass before me as if in a
magic panorama; and meanwhile I put them together in my mind, fitting in epochs and
dates, and know for sure that there can be no mistake. Races and nations, countries and
cities, which have for long disappeared in the darkness of the prehistoric past, emerge and
then vanish, giving place to others; and then I am told the consecutive dates. Hoary
antiquity makes way for historical periods; myths are explained to me with events and
people who have really existed, and every event which is at all remarkable, every newly-
turned page of this many-colored book of life, impresses itself on my brain with
photographic exactitude. My own reckonings and calculations appear to me later on as
separate colored pieces of different shapes in the game which is called casse-tete
(puzzles). I gather them together and try to match them one after the other, and at the end
there always comes out a geometrical whole. . . . Most assuredly it is not I who do it all, but
my Ego, the highest principle which lives in me. And even this with the help of my Guru
and teacher who helps me in everything. If I happen to forget something I have just to
address him, or another of the same kind, in my thought, and what I have forgotten rises
once more before my eyes - sometimes whole tables of numbers passing before me, long
inventories of events. They remember everything. They know everything. Without them,
from whence could I gather my knowledge?"
Soon after the appearance of Isis Unveiled H.P.B. received invitations to write in all
sorts of newspapers. This greatly amused her, and she wrote to Madame Jelihovsky:
"It's lucky for me that I am not vain, and besides as a matter of fact I have hardly any
time to write much in other people's publications for money. . . . Our work is growing. I
must work, must write and write, provided that I can find publishers for my writings. Would
you believe that so long as I write I am all the time under the impression that I write rubbish
and nonsense which no one will ever be able to understand? Then it is printed and then
the acclamations begin. People reprint it, are in ecstasies. I often wonder: can it be that
they are all asses to be in such ecstasies? Well, if I could write in Russian and be praised
by my own people, then perhaps I should believe that I am a credit to my ancestors,
Counts Hahn Hahn von der Rothenhahn of blissful memory."

H.P.B. often told her relatives that she took no author's pride in the writing of Isis
Unveiled; that she did not know in the least what she was writing about; that she was
ordered to sit down and write, and that her only merit lay in obeying the order. Her only
fear was that she would be unable to describe properly what was shown to her in beautiful
pictures. She wrote to her sister:
"You do not believe that I tell you God's truth about my Masters. You consider them
to be mythical; but is it possible that it is not clear to you that I, without their help, could not
have written about 'Byron and grave matters', as Uncle Roster says? What do we know,
you and I, about metaphysics, ancient philosophies and religions, about psychology and
various other puzzles? Did we not learn together, with the only difference that you did your
lessons better? And now look at what I am writing about, and people - such people too,
professors, scientists - read and praise! Open Isis wherever you like and decide for
yourself. As to myself I speak the truth: Master narrates and shows all this to me. Before
me pass pictures, ancient manuscripts, dates - all I have to do is to copy, and I write so
easily that it is no labor at all, but the greatest pleasure."
(But the ancient manuscripts to which H.P.B. refers were not only seen by psychic
means. Hodgson, the great self-exposer of the S.P.R., discovered a page of a mysterious
and ancient manuscript at Adyar. This was proof to him, as it was written in cypher, that
she was a Russian spy. It was from a page of a Senzar manuscript, lost by H.P.B. and
deeply lamented as lost!) In another letter of about the same date, H.P.B. wrote her sister:
"Do not believe that Theosophy contradicts or, much less, destroys Christianity. It
only destroys the tares, but not the seed of truth: prejudice, blasphemous superstitions,
Jesuitical bigotry. . . . We respect men's freedom of conscience and their spiritual
yearnings far too much to touch religious principles with our propaganda. Every human
being who respects himself and thinks has a holy of holies of his own, for which we
Theosophists ask respect. Our business concerns philosophy, morals, and science alone.
We ask for truth in everything; our object is the realization of the spiritual perfectability
possible to man: the broadening of his knowledge, the exercising of the powers of his soul,
of all the psychical sides of his being. Our theosophical brotherhood must strive after the
ideal of general brotherhood throughout all humanity; after the establishment of universal
peace and the strengthening of charity and disinterestedness; after the destruction of
materialism, of that coarse unbelief and egotism which saps the vitality of our country."


The following letter was written before the foundation of the Theosophical Society.
A somewhat inaccurate translation appeared in Mr. Sinnett's Incidents in the Life of
Madame Blavatsky, but as some additions were made to the original it is interesting to see
what was actually written by H.P.B. at such an early date.
"The more I see of spiritist seances in this cradle and hotbed of Spiritism and
mediums, the more clearly I see how dangerous they are for humanity. Poets speak of a
thin partition between the two worlds. There is no partition whatever. Blind people have
imagined obstacles of this kind because coarse organs of hearing, sight, and feeling do not
allow the majority of people to penetrate the difference of being. Besides, Mother-Nature
has done well in endowing us with coarse senses, for otherwise the individuality and
personality of man would become impossible, because the dead would be continually
mixing with the living, and the living would assimilate themselves with the dead. It would
not be so bad if there were around us only spirits of the same kind as ourselves, the half-
spiritual refuse of mortals who died without having reconciled themselves to the great
necessity of death. Then we might submit to the inevitable. One way or another, we
cannot help identifying ourselves physically and in a perfectly unconscious way with the
dead, absorbing the constituent atoms of what lived before us: with every breath we inhale
them, and breathe out that which nourishes the formless creatures, elementals floating in
the air in the expectation of being transformed into living beings. This is not only a physical
process, but partly a moral one. We assimilate those who preceded us, gradually
absorbing their brain-molecules and exchanging mental auras - which means thoughts,
desires, and tendencies. This is an interchange common to the entire human race and to
all that lives. A natural process, an outcome of the laws of the economy of nature. . . . It
explains similarities, external and moral. . . But there exists another absolute law, which
manifests itself periodically and sporadically: this is a law, as it were, of artificial and
compulsory assimilation. During epidemics of this kind the kingdom of the dead invades
the region of the living, though fortunately this kind of refuse are bound by the ties of their
former surroundings. And so, when evoked by mediums, they cannot break through the
limits and boundaries in which they acted and lived. . . . And the wider the doors are
opened to them the further the necromantic epidemic is spread; the more unanimous the
mediums and the spiritists in spreading the magnetic fluid of their evocations, the more
power and vitality are acquired by the glamour."

Madame Jelihovsky says that "Helena Petrovna described many seances in terms
of horror in consequence of the sights she was enabled to see as a result of her
clairvoyance. She saw details hidden from the others present: perfect invasions of hosts
of soulless remains of mortals, 'woven of fleshly passions, of evil thoughts, of vicious
feelings which had outlived the body'". And H. P. B. wrote:
"It stands to reason that this mere earthly refuse, irresistibly drawn to the earth,
cannot follow the soul and spirit - these highest principles of man's being. With horror and
disgust I often observed how a reanimated shadow of this kind separated itself from the
inside of the medium; how, separating itself from his astral body and clad in someone
else's vesture, it pretended to be someone's relation, causing the person to go into
ecstasies and making people open wide their hearts and their embraces to these shadows
whom they sincerely believed to be their dear fathers and brothers, resuscitated to
convince them of life eternal, as well as to see them. . . . Oh, if they only knew the truth,
if they only believed! If they saw, as I have often seen, a monstrous, bodiless creature
seizing hold of someone present at these spiritistic sorceries! It wraps the man as if with
a black shroud, and slowly disappears in him as if drawn into his body by each of his living

In the year 1878, or thereabouts, a defence of modern Spiritualism was brought out
by Alfred Russell Wallace. This greatly pleased H.P. B., who wrote on the subject to her
"See how cleverly he proves how mistaken people are who say that we propagate
ancient prejudices and superstitions; how he proves that a body of people who preach the
study of man's nature, who teach the acquirement of eternal bliss as a consequence of
attaining the full perfection of their moral and spiritual powers, is the chiefest enemy, not
only of gross materialism, but also of all kinds of silly bigotry and myth-worship.
Spiritualism is an experimental science; its development - which is the object of the
Theosophical Society* - will make it possible to find a foundation for a true philosophy.
There is only one truth, and it is higher than anything else. Theosophy is bound to destroy
such meaningless expressions as 'a miracle' or the 'supernatural'. In nature everything is
natural, but everything is not known; and yet there is nothing more miraculous than her
powers, hidden as well as revealed. Spiritualism, meaning the spiritual powers of man and
the deeper knowledge of the psychical aspects of life, which we Theosophists preach, will
cure the old evils of religious quarrels, owing to which the faith of man in the primitive truths
of immortality and repayment according to deserts is disappearing. Wallace speaks the
truth when he says that Spiritualism well deserves the sympathy of moralists, philosophers,
even of politicians and of everyone who desires the perfecting of our society and our life."

* At this time a wide distinction was drawn between "Spiritualism" and "Spiritism''.
It will be seen from H.P.B.'s own definition that she was not speaking of "Spookology" as
the object of the Theosophical Society.

H.P.B. did not spare herself when portraying the humorous side of her surroundings.
The American Phrenological Society wrote and asked for her portrait and for a cast of her
head, and Professor Buchanan, the phrenologist and psychometer, called on her for an
interview. She describes the incident in writing to Madame Jelihovsky:
"And so this poor victim (victim in view of his awful task) was sent to me - a
phrenological occultist, who came in the company of a huge bouquet (as if I were a prima
donna!) and with three trunk-loads of compliments. He fingered my head and fingered it
again; he turned it on one side and then on the other. He snorted over me
- snorted like a steam-engine, until we both began to sweat. And at last he spat in
disgust. 'Do you call this a head?', he says; 'It's no head at all, but a ball of contradictions.'
'On this head', he says, 'there is an endless war of most conflicting bumps; all Turks and
Montenegrins. * I can't make anything of this chaos of impossibilities and confusion of
Babel. Here, for instance', he says, poking my skull with his finger, 'is a bump of the most
ardent faith and power of belief, and here, side by side with it, the bump of scepticism,
pessimism, and incredulity, proudly swelling itself. And now, if you please, here is the
bump of sincerity for you, walking hand in hand with the bump of hypocrisy and cunning.
The bump of domesticity and love for your country boxes the ears of the bump of
wandering and love of change. And do you mean to say you take this to be a respectable
head?' he asked. He seized himself by the hair, and in his despair pulled a considerable
lock from his own respectable head, answering to the highest standards of phrenology. .
. . But all the same he described, drew, and published my poor head for the amusement
of the hundred thousand subscribers to the Phrenological Journal. Alas, alas, 'heavy is the
crown of Monomach!' ** The aureola of my own greatness, acquired so undeservedly, is
simply crushing me. Here, I send you a copy of my poor head, which you are requested
to swallow without any sauce. A hundred thousand Yankees are going to feast upon it,
and so I am certainly going to save a bit for my own blood!"

"Now listen to this, little brothers", she writes in her next letter, "I am sending you a
great curio. Examine it, wonder at it, and improve by it. The Freemasons of England,
whose Grand-Master is the Prince of Wales, have sent me a diploma, which means to say
that I am raised to a high Masonic dignity, and so my title is 'Mysterious Freemason'. Ah
me! next I shall probably be elected Pope of Rome for my virtues. The decoration they
sent me is very beautiful: a ruby cross and a rose. I send you the cutting from the Masonic

* This was during the war in 1877.
** The coronation crown of Russia; this was said by one of the Tsars.

Many honors were showered upon H.P.B. as a result of the publication of Isis
Unveiled. A very ancient Society in Benares, founded before the beginning of the Christian
era, called the Sat-Bai, sent her a diploma in Sanskrit, decorated with many symbols. It
is remarkable that in this diploma Helena Petrovna is alluded to as a "Brother of the female
sex". "Henceforward our brother Rad is entitled, owing to his great knowledge, to power
over the inferior grades of ministers, couriers, listeners, scribes, and the dumb ones." H.P.
B. also received a very ancient copy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in a mother-of-pearl and gold
binding, from an Indian Prince. At the approach of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878,
H.P.B. wrote many articles against the Roman Catholics, because the Pope had blessed
the weapons of the Turks. These articles she signed "A Russian Woman". They created
such a stir that Cardinal McCloskey sent his Jesuit secretary to her, under the pretext of
making the acquaintance of "such a remarkable woman, and pioneer thinker, who knew
how to shake off the prejudice of patriotism and to create for herself an independent
position in an independent country". In February, 1877, she wrote to her sister:
"I told him his endeavors were in vain; that whatever I personally, as a Theosophist,
might believe was no business of his at all; that the faith of my Russian fathers was sacred
to me; that I shall always stand up for this faith and for Russia, and shall always write
against the attacks of the hypocritical Catholics upon them as long as my hand can hold
a pen, and without letting myself be frightened by the threats of their Pope or the wrath of
their Roman Church, the Great Beast of the Apocalypse!"
The result of this visit was a new article by her against the head of the Western
Christian Church, who blessed Musselmans that they might the better kill Christians, Slavs,
and Russians. Soon after this move Mme. Jelihovsky received newspaper cuttings
containing the report of H.P.B.'s real fight - but this time not with an ecclesiastic, but with
a propagator of materialistic views, of European renown. She writes to her sister in her
usual humorous way:
"I send you, friends, one more article of mine, which received by no means small
honors here and was reprinted by several New York papers. This is the way it happened:
the London scientist Huxley has been visiting here, 'the progenitor of protoplasm and high-
priest of psychophobia', as I have surnamed him. He delivered three lectures. At the first,
he made short work of Moses and abolished the whole of the Old Testament, declaring to
the public that man is nothing but the great-grandson of a frog of the Silurian period. At
the second he 'beat everyone', like a new Kit Kitich. * You are all fools', he says, 'you don't
understand anything. . . Here is the four-toed foot of Hipparion, the antediluvian horse, for
you, from which it is evident that we, five-toed men, are closely related to it as well, through
our origin.' There is an insult for you! But at the third lecture our wise psychophob tried
to sing it altogether too high, and so started telling fibs. 'Listen to me ', he says, 'I have
looked into the telescopes, I have whistled under the clouds in balloons, I have looked out
for God everywhere with great zeal; and nowhere, in spite of all my researches, did I see
or meet him! Ergo - there is no God and there never was any such!' It was worth these
peoples' while paying him $5,000 for three lectures of this sort of logic. 'Also', he says, 'the
human soul.... where is it? Show it to me as I can show you the heart and the rest of the
'inwards.' Anima Muni, ether, Archos of Plato.... I have searched for the soul with the aid
of spy-glasses and microscopes; I have observed the dying and anatomized the dead, but
upon my word of honor, there is no trace of it anywhere! It is all a lie of the spiritists and
the spiritualists. Don't you', he says, 'believe them.' I felt awfully sorry at all this. So sorry
as even to be angry. So I thought to myself, let me go and write an article against this self-
willed, self-opinionated Kit Kitich. And what do you think? I have written it. And it came
out not at all so bad, as you can see by the enclosed copy. Needless to say, I immediately
took this article, sealed it, and sent it through our corresponding members to London, to
be delivered to Huxley with my most earnest compliments."

* Kit Kitich, or in Academic Russian Tit Titich, is a stage character whose favorite
saying is: "Who can beat Kit Kitich when Kit Kitich will beat everyone first?" He has long
become the synonym of a bully, a petty, self-willed, domestic tyrant. The popular Russian
dialect quite unconsciously transforms "Titus, the son of Titus" (Tit Titich) into "the Whale,
the son of the Whale" ("Kit" means "whale" in Russian); and H.P.B. used this unconscious
pun to make fun of the biological evolutionist who claimed to be, in some sense, the son
of the whale, and whose doctrine she found to be "very like a whale", too. But a pun,
unlike a bishop, loses by translation.

H.P.B. was compelled for various reasons to become an American citizen. This
troubled her considerably, as, like all Russians, she was passionately devoted to her
country. She wrote to Madame Fadeef:
"My dearest, I write to you because otherwise I would burst with a strange feeling
which is positively suffocating me. It is the 8th of July today, an ominous day for me, but
God only knows whether the omen is good or bad. Today it is exactly five years and one
day since I came to America, and this moment I have just returned from the Supreme
Court where I gave my oath of allegiance to the American Republic and Constitution. Now
for a whole hour I have been a citizen with equal rights to the President himself. So far so
good: the workings of my original destiny have forced me into this naturalization, but to my
utter astonishment and disgust I was compelled to repeat publicly after the judge, like a
mere parrot, the following tirade: that I would renounce for ever and even to my death
every kind of submission and obedience to the emperor of Russia; that I would renounce
all obedience to the powers established by him and the government of Russia, and that I
would accept the duty to defend, love, and serve the Constitution of the United States
alone. So help me God in whom I believe!' I was awfully scared when pronouncing this
blackguardly recantation of Russia and the emperor. And so I am not only an apostate to
our beloved Russian Church, but a political renegade. A nice scrape to get into, but how
am I to manage to no longer love Russia or respect the emperor? It is easier to say a thing
than to act accordingly."


In a letter to Madame Jelihovsky:

"I have not written to you for a month, my well-beloved friend, and could you guess
the cause of it? One beautiful Tuesday morning in April I got up as usual, and as usual sat
down at my writing table to write to my Californian correspondents. Suddenly, hardly a
second later, as it seemed to me, I realized that for some mysterious reason I was in my
bedroom and lying on my bed; it being evening and not morning any more. Around me
I saw some of our Theosophists and Doctors looking at me with the most puzzled faces,
and Olcott and his sister Mrs. Mitchell - the best friend I have here, both of them pale, sour,
wrinkled, as if they had just been boiled in a sauce-pan. 'What's the matter? What's gone
and happened?', I asked them. Instead of answering, they heaped questions upon me:
what was the matter with me? And how could I tell - nothing was the matter with me. I did
not remember anything, but it certainly was strange that only the other moment it was
Tuesday morning, and now they said it was Saturday evening; and as to me, these four
days of unconsciousness seemed only the twinkling of an eye. There's a pretty pair of
shoes! Just fancy, they all thought I was dead and were about to burn this dismantled
temple of mine. But at this, Master telegraphed from Bombay to Olcott: 'Don't be afraid.
She is not ill but resting. She has overworked herself. Her body wanted rest, but now she
will be well.' Master was right. He knows everything, and in fact I was perfectly healthy.
The only thing was I did not remember anything. I got up, stretched myself, sent them all
out of the room, and sat down to write the same evening. But it is simply awful to think
about the work that has accumulated. I could not give a thought to letters."

Then from India, describing her arrival:

"Olcott was exactly like Carnival Boeuf Gras; Miss B. like a pole covered with
convolvulus; W. like a bed of lilies and roses; and I myself probably like a huge balloon
woven of flowers. I was ready either to laugh or to be angry. They placed us in a boat,
and we were taken to the landing-stage amidst the sounds of music, where we ran up
against a new solemnity: we were met by a band of local, half-naked dancing girls, who
surrounded us chanting their mantra, and led us in state - all the time bombarding us with
flowers - to a - maybe you think to a carriage? Not at all, to a white elephant! Good Lord,
the effort it cost me to climb over the hands and backs of naked coolies to the top of this
huge animal. It still puzzles me to know how I managed not to drop out of the 'howdah'
where Olcott and I were put, especially when the elephant was rising to his feet. The
others were placed in palanquins, and lo! to the accompaniment of acclamations,
tamborines, horns, with all sorts of theatrical pomp, singing, and a general row, they carried
us - humble slaves of God - to the house of the Arya Somaj."

In a letter to Madame Fadeef, dated November, 1879, H.P.B. writes:

"Would you like to get acquainted with the programme of my inevitable monthly
work? If so, here you are: first to see to the accuracy of every article for the next number
of the Theosophist; second, to see to the translation of from two to four articles in Sanskrit
or the Indian vernaculars into English; thirdly, to personally write the leader and some
other signed article; fourthly, to examine all the mystical articles to prevent Olcott and
other co-workers from mixing things up and from over-salting these contributions; fifthly,
to correct proofs, sometimes five times running; sixthly, to answer some three or four
dozen letters addressed to the Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society;
seventhly, to thank people who send us books for our library from all points of the
compass, and to acknowledge their receipt; eighthly, to answer a few dozen private letters;
ninthly, to write two or three periodical articles for the American and Indian newspapers;
tenthly, to be present at the initiation of the new members, to enter their names, and to give
them their diplomas by the dozen and more; eleventh, to enter the new subscribers;
twelfth, to skim through about forty magazines and newspapers; thirteenth, to receive
visitors every evening - as many as the hall will hold - all kinds of Brahmans, Buddhists,
Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Mussulmans, and Europeans, who come for scientific purposes, and
with whom I have to discuss philosophy and metaphysics up to eleven o'clock at night;
fourteenth, and above all these I sometimes have additional work to do: for instance, to
post six hundred and fifty invitation cards - one of which I send to you, as you are one of
our members - for a great ceremony which is to be held tomorrow evening, the 29th of
November, in honor of the fifth anniversary of the Society (1879), of the opening of our
library and the publishing or our magazine the Theosophist. You can easily imagine the
pleasure of getting oneself up 'regardless' in this heat; of hanging oneself over with every
kind of medal, sign, and the ribbons of different Societies, and to smile at six hundred and
fifty naked, half-naked, muslin-clad and evening-dressed Brother-Theosophists. Thank
God I am going away at the beginning of December to Allahabad, with a deputation of Rao-
Bahadurs, which means 'Great Warriors'. I am going there with a double object, first to see
Swami Dayanand, second, to get acquainted with the wife of the President. I have
promised the Sinnetts to spend some time with them. A prospect of calls, dinners, and
balls in 'high life'. My hair stands on end at the very thought of it, but it must be done. I
have warned Mrs. Sinnett that I, though not a Russian spy but an American citizen, will not
listen to a single word of disrespect to Russia or to our Emperor. Just let them try, and how
I will abuse their England! So let them be warned."

H.P.B.'s position as an exponent of true mysticism was recognized in India. Lord

Lytton, the Governor General and the son of the author of Zanoni, said of her: "I know only
of one author who can hold her own in mystical literature with my father. It is H. P.
Blavatsky. She can well stand comparison with the author of Zanoni in her comprehension
of abstract metaphysics." The remark was reported in the Indian newspapers, and H.P.B.
wrote to her sister:
"And so now I have become the lion of the day. I am proclaimed to be a deep
orientalist, a friend of science, a herald of truth which has been enslaved by centuries of
prejudice. Read the newspaper cuttings which I send to you, and glory in your relation
being glorified by the nations!"

In another letter:
"From Simla I wrote an article for the Novoe Vremya, 'The Truth about the Nephew
of Nana Sahib', I have gathered the most elaborate information about this scamp. Golos
constantly prints letters written by this liar, as if to incite England to make war on Russia.
And Novoe Vremya disdained to print my note. For what reason? Besides being true, it
is written as a free contribution. One would think they might have believed in the good
intention of a countrywoman of theirs, of a Russia who is at the very source of the
information about this self-proclaimed and false ally of Russia - this Prince Ramchandra.
His biography - perfectly false - has appeared in the June number of the Russian Herald,
1889. And his letters from Bagdad and Cabul, printed in Golos, amuse and needlessly
irritate everyone here who, knows the truth of the matter.* . . . Whilst in Simla Olcott and
Sinnett, nearly dragging me by force, made me visit Sir A. Lyall, Chief-Secretary for
Foreign Affairs; also dine with the Viceroy, and in fact go to all kinds of aristocratic
gatherings; and everywhere I had to quarrel so much for Russia's sake that I got a sore
throat and am sick of them all! And yet our papers wont print my articles!"
* This extract is interesting as showing that whilst Mr. Hodgson was quite sure
(among other things ) that H.P.B. was a Russian spy, her own countrymen would not trust
her politically because she was an American citizen and a resident in India.

In spite of the lack of courtesy on the part of the Russian newspapers in regard to
herself, H.P.B. always subscribed to many Russian magazines and papers, and having no
time to read these during the day, she robbed herself of sleep during the short five or six
hours of her nightly rest, in order to know what was going on in her own country. The
arrival of one of these newspapers gave rise to the following psychometric experience in
the autumn of 1880. Writing to Madame Fadeef, H.P.B. expressed her gratitude for a
parcel of newspapers she had sent her:
"And what an interesting thing happened to me not long since. I received your
bundle of Novoe Vremyas and went to bed a little after ten (you know I get up at five).
Having taken up one of the newspapers, without choosing, just the nearest one, I stretched
myself and went deep into thought about a certain Sanskrit book which I thought would
help me to make good fun of Max Muller in my magazine. So you see it was by no means
about you that I was thinking. And the newspaper lay all the time behind my head on the
pillow, partly covering my forehead. When all of a sudden I felt myself transported into
some strange and yet familiar house. The room I saw was new to me, but the table in the
middle of it an old acquaintance. And there, sitting at the table, I saw you - you, my darling
comrade, sitting smoking your cigarette and deeply thinking. The supper was laid on the
table, but there was no one else in the room. Only it seemed to me that I caught a glimpse
of Aunt going away through the door. Then you raised your hand and, taking a newspaper
from the table, put it aside. I had just time to read its heading, Herald of Odessa, after
which everything disappeared. To all seeming there was nothing strange in this
occurrence, but here is something strange: I was perfectly sure that it was a number of the
Novoe Vremya that I had taken up, and having noticed in my vision some slices of black
bread beside you, I was suddenly seized with such a desire to taste some of it - even a
wee crumb - that I felt its taste in my mouth. I thought to myself, What does it all mean?
What can be the cause of such a fancy? And in order to get rid of a desire that could not
be gratified, I unfolded the newspaper and began to read. When lo! it actually was the
Herald of Odessa, and not at all the Novoe Vremya in my hands. And, moreover, crumbs
of my longed-for rye-bread were sticking to it! And so these fragments on touching my
forehead transmitted to my consciousness the whole scene as it probably happened at the
precise moment of their sticking to the newspaper. In this case, crumbs of rye-bread have
taken the place of a photographic apparatus. These dry pieces of bread gave me such
intense delight, having transported me for a brief moment to you. I was quite filled with the
atmosphere of home, and in my joy I licked up the biggest crumb, and as to the small ones
- here they are, I have cut them out as they stuck to the paper and send them back to you.
Let them return home with some of my own soul. This may be rather a silly proceeding,
but perfectly sincere."

H.P.B. was exceedingly ill in the early part of 1881, and all the doctors agreed that
she would have to be cauterized in the back. She tried to keep out of bed in spite of it,
though her back was in a terrible condition; but whether in bed or out of it she kept
continually at work. She wrote in momentary despair:
"Oh God! what a misery it is to live and to feel. Oh, if it were possible to plunge into
Nirvana! What an irresistible fascination there is in the idea of eternal rest! Oh, my
darlings, only to see you once more, and to know that my death would not give you too
much sorrow."
In many of her following letters she showed she was ashamed of this little
weakness. Her convictions were too deep, says Madame Jelihovsky; she knew too well
that even in death it is not everyone who realizes the longed-for rest. She despised and
dreaded the very thought of a willful shortening of suffering, seeing in it a law of retribution
the breaking of which brings about only worse suffering both before and after death. In
case H.P.B. should suddenly be taken ill, she always left instructions with Col. Olcott, or
one of her secretaries, to inform her family of the fact. On this occasion they were greatly
astonished, not long after hearing of her suffering, to learn in the beginning of August,
1881, that she had suddenly started for Simla in northern India, on her way further north.
From Meerut she informed her family in her own handwriting that she was ordered to leave
the railways and other highways, and to be guided by a man who was sent to her for the
purpose, into the jungles of the sacred forest "Deo-Bund"; that there she was to meet a
certain great Lama, Debodurgai, who would meet her there on his way back to Tibet from
a pilgrimage to the tree of Buddha, and who was sure to cure her. She writes:
"I was unconscious. I do not remember in the least how they carried me to a great
height in the dead of night. But I woke up, or rather came back to my senses, on the
following day towards evening. I was lying in the middle of a huge and perfectly empty
room, built of stone. All round the walls were carved stone statues of Buddha. Around me
were some kind of smoking chemicals, boiling in pots, and standing over me the Lama
Debodurgai was making magnetic passes."
Her chronic disease was much relieved by this treatment, but on her way back she
caught a severe rheumatic fever. Her illness was in no slight measure due to her distress
at the murder of the Tsar Alexander II. On hearing of the Emperor's death she wrote to
Madame Jelihovsky:
"Good heavens, what is this new horror? Has the last day fallen upon Russia? Or
has Satan entered the offspring of our Russian land? Have they all gone mad, the
wretched Russian people? What will be the end of it all, what are we to expect from the
future? Oh God! people may say, if they choose, that I am an Atheist, a Buddhist, a
renegade, a citizen of a Republic, but the bitterness I feel! How sorry I am for the Imperial
family, for the Tsar martyr, for the whole of Russia. I abhor, I despise and utterly repudiate
these sneaking monsters - Terrorists. Let every one laugh at me if they choose, but the
martyr-like death of our sovereign Tsar makes me feel - though I am an American citizen -
such compassion, such anguish, and such shame that in the very heart of Russia people
could not feel this anger and sorrow more strongly."

H.P.B. was very pleased that the Pioneer printed her article on the death of the
Tsar, and wrote to her sister about it:
"I have put into it all I could possibly remember; and just fancy, they have not cut
out a single word, and some other newspapers reprinted it! But all the same, the first time
they saw me in mourning many of them asked me, 'What do you mean by this? Aren't you
an American?' I got so cross that I have sent a kind of general reply to the Bombay
Gazette: not as a Russian subject am I clothed in mourning (I have written to them), but
as a Russian by birth, as one of many millions whose benefactor has been this kindly,
compassionate man now lamented by the whole of my country. By this act I desire to show
respect, love, and sincere sorrow at the death of the sovereign of my mother and my
father, of my sisters and brothers in Russia. Writing in this way silenced them, but before
this two or three newspapers thought it a good opportunity to chaff the office of the
Theosophist and the Theosophist itself for going into mourning. Well, now they know the
reason and can go to the devil!"
On being sent a portrait of the dead Emperor in his coffin, H.P.B. wrote to Madame
Fadeef on the month of May, 1881:
"Would you believe it, the moment I glanced at it something went wrong in my head;
something uncontrollable vibrated in me, impelling me to cross myself with the big Russian
cross, dropping my head on his dead hand. So sudden it all was that I felt stupified with
astonishment. Is it really I who during eight years since the death of father never thought
of crossing myself, and then suddenly giving way to such sentimentality? It's a real
calamity: fancy that even now I cannot read Russian newspapers with any sort of
composure! I have become a regular and perpetual fountain of tears; my nerves have
become worse than useless."

In another letter to Madame Fadeef, dated 7th March, 1883, H.P.B. shows how
perfectly she was aware of what was taking place in her own family, and how strong her
clairvoyance was, mentioning amongst other things a conversation between her two aunts
that had taken place on the day on which she wrote from India:
"Why does Auntie allow her spirits to get so depressed? Why did she refuse to
send a telegram to B. [her son] to congratulate him when he received the decoration of St.
Anne? 'No occasion for it; a great boon indeed!', she said, did she not?"
And in another letter she reproaches Madame Fadeef:
"You never mention in your letters to me anything that happens in the family. I have
to find out about everything through myself, and this requires a needless expenditure of
Madame Fadeef was a subscriber to the Bulletin Mensuel de la Societe
Theosophique, published in Paris, but frequently did not read it until long after it had been
received by her. On the 23d March, 1883, H.P.B. wrote to her asking her to pay especial
attention to the ninth page of the number issued in Paris on the 15th March. This issue
had been received by Madame Fadeef some time previously, and on looking at the uncut
number, at H.P.B.'s suggestion, she found that on the page mentioned by H.P.B. there was
a large mark in blue pencil as it seemed. The passage so marked referred to the prophecy
of the Saint Simonists that in 1831 a woman would be born who would reconcile the beliefs
of the extreme East with the Christian beliefs of the West, and would be the founder of a
Society which would create a great change in the minds of men.

By the end of 1883 H.P.B. had resolved to go to Europe. Just about this time the
members of her family in Odessa were in great trouble. General R. A. Fadeef, the brother
of H.P.B.'s mother, was dying. They were all of them so overcome by sorrow and by
continual watching over him, whilst on the other hand they knew of H.P.B.'s intention to
start for Europe, that for a long time not one of them wrote to her. Only a few days after
the funeral they thought of informing her about their common misfortune. But their letters
reached Madras when H.P.B. had already left that city, and were sent back to Europe after
her departure. Meanwhile she spent some time in Bombay and let her family know that
on the 7th of February, 1884, she had arranged to embark on board the "Chundernagore".
She wrote:
"I am starting depressed by a terrible foreboding. Either uncle is dead or I am off
my head. The night before our leaving Adyar I dreamed of a scene which happened
exactly twenty years ago in Tiflis, in 1864, when I was so ill, as you remember. I was lying
on a sofa in the hall dozing, and on opening my eyes I saw Uncle bending over me with so
much sadness and pity in his face that I jumped to my feet and actually burst into tears,
just as I have done when this scene repeated itself all over again in dream. And about five
days ago, in a railway carriage, I was alone in the compartment at about two o'clock a.m.
I was lying down but not sleeping, when suddenly between me and the window through
which the moon shone very brightly, I saw someone standing. The lamp was covered, but
all the same I recognized him at once. It was Uncle, pale, thin, disheveled. Lord, how I
started forward, and then heard in answer to my cry his voice as if vanishing in the air,
'Farewell to you, Helena Petrovna' - and then everything disappeared. I refused to believe
myself. My heart was breaking: I felt I was to believe, but tried not to do so. And then a
third time, again when awake: I was not asleep, having great pain in my leg, but shut my
eyes in the effort to doze. Half-lying in an arm-chair, I saw him once more before me. But
this time as he formerly used to be, twenty years ago. He was looking at me with an
amused twinkle in his eyes as he used to do. 'Well', he says, 'and so we have met once
more.' 'Uncle', I cried, 'Uncle, for goodness sake tell me you are alive!' 'I am alive', he
answered, 'more than at any other time before, and I am shielded from suffering. Do not
give way to sadness, but write to them not to make themselves wretched. I have seen
father and all of them, all of them.' The last words sounded as if going away, becoming
less and less audible, and his very outline became more transparent and at last
disappeared altogether. Then I knew for certain he was no more in this world. I knew he
was ill all this time, but it is so long since I heard from you. But then he chose to come
personally and say good-bye to me. Not a single tear in my eyes, but a heavy stone in my
heart. The worst of it is that I do not know anything for certain."
H.P.B. got her mail at Suez, and only then learned from the newspapers and her
relations' letters that she had been perfectly right.
H.P.B. stayed in Nice with the Countess of Caithness before going on to London.
Whilst there, she received numerous invitations to stop with people in England, and replied
to these letters in a sort of circular. It reads as follows (translated from the Russian):
"Having received the cordial invitations of . . . and others, I am deeply touched with
this proof of the desire to see and to make the acquaintance of my unworthy self on the
part of both new and old friends in England. But I do not foresee for myself any possibility
of struggling with my fate. I am ill, and feel myself to be much worse than in Bombay and
even more so than in the open sea. In Marseilles I spent a whole day in bed, and am still
in bed, feeling as if I were on the point of breaking into pieces like an old sea-biscuit. All
that I hope to be able to do is to mend my weighty person with medicines and will-power,
and then drag this ruin overland to Paris. And what would be the use of my going to
London? What good could I do to you in the midst of your fogs mixed up with the
poisonous evaporations of the 'higher civilization'? I have left Madras a mon corps
defendant; I should not have gone at all if I had not been compelled to make up my mind
on account of my illness and the orders of the Master. . . . I feel sick and cross and
wretched, and gladly would I return to Adyar if I could. . . . Lady Caithness is an incarnation
of all that is good: she does everything possible to rest me and to make me comfortable.
I must wait here till the weather is more settled. When the March winds are over I shall go
to Paris to meet the delegates of the European Branches of the T.S., but I very much fear
it will be torture for me. Am I fit for such civilized people as you all are? But in seven
minutes and a quarter I should become perfectly unbearable to you English people if I were
to transport to London my huge, ugly person. I assure you that distance adds to my
beauty, which I should soon lose if near at hand. Do you think I could listen with
equanimity to discussions about Sankaracharya being a Theist, and that Subba Row does
not know what he is talking about; or to still more striking statements about Raj Yogis, to
the crippling of the Buddhist and Adwaita teachings even in their exoteric interpretations?
No doubt as a result of all these trials I should burst a blood-vessel. Let me die in peace
if it is not given to me to go back to my familiar Lares and Penates in my dear Adyar!"

H.P.B. despatched letters daily to Odessa, where at that time both her aunts and
her sister lived, imploring them not to deprive her of a last meeting with them on this earth,
with all the passion she always felt in regard to her family. It was like the affection of a
"My dear, my sweet one, don't you bother about money. What is money? Let it be
switched! Katkoff is bombarding me with telegrams. One of them was sent to me here by
post from Madras. Twenty-nine words! I expect it cost him at least 500 francs, and when
I wrote to him from here he sent another asking for my articles. He must be wanting them
badly if he asks for them at such cost. So we shall have money. I expect you must have
been greatly impressed with all the flatteringly magnificent articles about me in the
newspapers, in the Pall Mall and others. They praise me entirely out of all proportion. In
spite of all my uncouth and far from presentable figure with my swollen legs, I am getting
to be a la mode! Reporters from all parts simply give me no rest."

Next from Paris in 1884:

"If for no other reason, come for the sake of the fun and see how I am worshiped
as a kind of idol; how in spite of my tearful protests all sorts of Duchesses, Countesses,
and 'Miladis' of Albion kiss my hands, calling me their 'saviour' - who has torn them from
the abyss of Materialism, unbelief and despair - sic! You will see for yourself how they
carry on about me. . . . You will probably go to at least one of the meetings, to one of the
Seances Philosophiques de la Societe Theosophique d'Orient et d'Occident in the princely
halls of the Duchesse de Pomar. You shall see there the elite de la societe et de
l'intelligence de Paris. Renan, Flammarion, Madame Adam, and lots of the aristocracy
from the Faubourg St. Germain. . . And besides, we really do not want any of them at all,
but for God's sake do not always change your mind: do not kill me. Give me this greatest
and only happiness in the end of my life. I am waiting and waiting and waiting for you, my
own ones, with an impatience of which you can have no idea. . . I have run away from my
cosmopolitan friends and interviewers, and other prying torturers, leaving Paris for a few
days for Anghein, Villa Croisac, belonging to my dear friends Count and Countess
d'Adhemar. They are real friends, caring for me not only for the sake of phenomena -
which be bothered. Here I have a whole enfilade of rooms at my own and at your service.
But if you wish we can easily live in Paris, coming here only for a few days. The Countess
is a charming woman: she has already prepared rooms for you, and insists upon your
staying with her. It's only a quarter of an hour from Paris, past St. Denis, and the station
is nearly at the entrance of the chateau. Don't be afraid of being in their way. Their house
is a huge one. She is a very rich American, so nice and unpretentious. Her husband also,
though a great aristocrat and a crusted legitimist, is very simple in his ways."
In spite of this, Madame Fadeef and Madame Jelihovsky preferred to stay with
H.P.B. in Paris, where they spent six weeks together. Many interesting things happened.
Mr. W. Q. Judge was at that time staying in the same house with them. When the time
came for the party to break up, H.P.B. started for London some two hours before her sister
and aunt left for Russia. The latter accordingly saw her off at the Gare du Nord, with a
large party of friends and acquaintances. To use Madame Jelihovsky's own words:
"H.P.B. was very unwell, being hardly able to move her swollen feet which gave her awful
pain. Most probably I was not the only one to nourish angry thoughts against her all-
powerful Mahatmas - if they actually were so kind as described - thinking that they might
help her, relieving her suffering, were it only in part, now that she had a long trip and the
sorrow of parting with us before her. As usual she stood up for them, assuring us that
though they do not think it a good thing to relieve people's suffering (the latter being the
lawful reaction on each separate person), yet her own particular Master had often helped
her, saving her from mortal illnesses. I walked, supporting her under the arm, to the
platform, when suddenly she drew herself up, and glancing over her shoulder exclaimed:
'What is that? Who touched me on the shoulder? Did you see a hand?' No one had seen
any hand, and we all stared at each other in astonishment. But how great was our surprise
when Helena Petrovna smiled, and, pushing my arm aside, walked ahead firmly and briskly
as I had never lately seen her do. 'So now', she said, 'this is an answer to you, Vera; you
have been abusing them for their lack of desire to help me, and this moment I saw the
hand of the Master. Look how I walk now.' And in fact she walked all the time on the
platform, quickly and quite easily. Though she had to change the railway carriage twice,
she got in and got out each time without visible effort, assuring us that her pain had entirely
gone and that it was long since she had felt herself so well physically."


A few days after leaving Paris H.P.B. wrote to Madame Fadeef from London, where
she was staying with Miss Arundale:
"My dear, my precious Nadeja Andreevna! For many years I have not cried, but now
I have cried out all my tears on losing sight of you two. I thought my heart would burst, I
felt so faint. Happily, some kindly French people in the same compartment as myself
brought me some water at the next station and took care of me as best they could. At
Boulogne Olcott came to meet me, and was nearly ready to cry himself on seeing how ill
I was. He was also greatly put out by the thought that you and Vera might think him
heartless for not having come to fetch me in Paris. But the poor old body never knew I was
so unwell. You know I am always shaky. I spent a night in Boulogne, and next morning
five more of our Theosophists came from England to look after me. Amongst them two
good friends, Captain B. and his sister Lady T. I was nearly carried to the steamer and off
it again, and triumphantly brought to London. I can hardly breathe, but all the same we
have a reception this evening, to which probably about fifty of our old acquaintances will
come. English people in their totality are not fickle; they have lots of constancy and
loyalty. At Charing Cross, Mohini and K. nearly frightened to death all kinds of English
people by falling down before me as if I had been an idol. It made me positively angry, this
tempting of providence.
"My dear, this new parting from you is so bitter for me, and yet it is a consolation to
have seen each other and to have learned to know each other better. I tell you, friend, life
has nothing better than the consolation and happiness of the deep affection for things and
people we have loved from childhood. This kind of thing can never die: it will have eternal
life in eternity. Long, long after I had gone I saw you three together - you, Vera, and
Madame de Morsier. She writes me she was with you until the moment your train left.
This woman has a good heart, for the sake of which we must forgive her moody temper."

From London, between May and August, 1884:

"I shall never get well here. It's not life I lead here, but a sort of mad turmoil from
morning till night. Visitors, dinners, evening callers, and meetings every day. Our Olga N.
assures me she feels a sort of adoration for me, and daily brings some of her friends to see
me. She has already brought me the whole of celebrated London, except the great
Minister Gladstone, who, according to the St. James Gazette, both fears and admires me -
is afraid of as much as he admires her'! To my mind this is simply a kind of glamor. . . On
the 21st July there was a meeting - conversazione as they are called here - in honor of
Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott, held in the Prince's Hall. At first they printed five
hundred invitation cards, and then there was such a rush for them that they had to add
nearly as many again. Madame N. wrote asking for two tickets in the name of our
Ambassador, and personally brought the Ambassadors of France, Holland, Germany,
Turkey, Prince H. of Roumania, and nearly the whole of the staff of her devoted friend
Gladstone. Lastly, Hitrovo, our Consul General in Egypt, who came here on business. .
. . I leave it to your own imagination to fancy the following picture: a huge hall, ladies in low
dresses, costumes de gala of all nations - and I sitting in the place of honor, a kind of kingly
throne out of a ballet performance, in my black velvet dress with a tail three yards long
(which I hate), and Sinnett and Lord B. and Finch, the President of the London Lodge T.S.,
bringing and introducing to me, one by one, all who want to make my personal
acquaintance. And of such there happened to be - I am trying not to exaggerate - about
three hundred people. Just fancy, smiling and shaking hands with three hundred ladies
and gentlemen during two hours. Oof!! Lord and Lady H. asked me to dine with them next
day. After such an evening: just think of it! Cross, the Secretary for India, sat down
beside me and complimented me to such an extent on the love of the Hindus for me that
I simply got frightened: they might put a political coloring even on this! Besides all sorts
of European notabilities, they introduced to me a heap of black and yellow Princes, Maori,
Javanese, Malay - I don't know who. Professor Crookes and his wife sat behind my arm-
chair like a pair of adjutants, pointing out to me no end of their colleagues of the Royal
Society, celebrated savants in physics, astronomy, and all kinds of 'Dark Sciences'. Now,
darling, do you see, do you feel, the working of Karma? English Science, intelligence, and
aristocracy paying honors to me which I do not deserve in the least. Master declared to
me beforehand it would be so, and now I am perfectly miserable getting lots of visits and
invitations, especially after Sinnett's speech in Prince's Hall. He struck an attitude and
began to oratorise: 'Ladies and gentlemen! Before you you see a woman who has
accomplished a world-wide work. She alone thought out and executed a colossal plan, the
creation of a whole army of cultured people whose duty it is to fight against Materialism and
Atheism as much as against superstition and an ignorant interpretation of the teaching of
Christ (that is to say, against the one hundred and thirty-seven sects, Shakers, Quakers,
howling Salvationists revelling in darkness) which is the shame of the Christian world. . .
. Ladies and gentlemen of cultured England, behold the woman who has shown the world
what can be accomplished by the power of will, steadfastly pursuing a certain aim, and by
a strongly realized ideal. All alone, ill, without means, without patronage, without help of
any kind, with the sole exception of Col. Olcott, her first convert and apostle, Madame
Blavatsky has planned to unite into one intellectual whole a universal brotherhood of all
nations and of all races. She has accomplished this undertaking; she has overcome
animosity, calumny, the opposition of fanatics, and the indifference of ignorant people. .
. . Even our liberal Anglo-Indian government mistakenly arose against her humanitarian
mission. But happily it realized its mistake and stopped in time.' And so on and on in the
same strain. The applause was deafening. I tried to blush for modesty's sake, but got pale
instead for want of air. I nearly fainted, for I am still very weak; though my legs from that
moment in the railway station have stopped aching altogether.
"What am I to do with all these letters, evidently intended to arouse my pity, from all
these admirers who are so very much in love with me? Half of them I can answer only in
thought. But amongst them are many whom I really love and pity, as for instance our poor
Solovioff. It's not long since I have come to London, but I have already got two such pitiful
letters. The only thing he asks of me is to care for him and not forget him. He says he has
never loved anyone outside of his family as he loves poor old me. Also our dear J. D.
Glinka: do you know what she has done? She has printed five hundred copies of the
document and the letter of Prince Dondukoff clearing me from the calumny of Mdlle.
Smirnoff, and has sent them to all who are doubtful about the matter..... But, God bless my
enemies! Now listen to a curious story: M. A. Hitrovo, our Consul in Egypt, called on me
and asked me among other things: 'By the way, did you get our telegram, signed
collectively by all the crew of the frigate Strelok? We sent from Suez to Port Said an
expression of our gratitude to Radha Bai* for her kindly affection and remembrance of her
compatriots'. I listened silently without understanding a word. 'But don't you
remember', he says, 'I, as Consul, had to see off the Ambassador to China, and so was
on board the frigate which you met in the Suez Canal'. Only then I remembered. Don't you
recollect I told you in Paris about a joke I played in Suez, on the 3d of March if I am not
mistaken. Our steamer of the Messagerie had to tie up in order that a big Russian frigate
might pass on its way to China. So I took my visiting-card and wrote on it, 'A Russian
woman who during many years never saw a Russian face sends a hearty greeting and
deep salutations and her wishes for a pleasant voyage to all the Russians, beginning with
the Commander and the officers and ending with the Marines. God protect Russia and her
Czar!' - signed Radha Bai. And on the other side I wrote my real name and my Adyar
address. We put this card into a tin box and flattened it. Then when the frigate was in line
with us, Olcott very deftly threw the tin over into a group of officers and soldiers, and I
shouted 'A letter to the Commander'. It was handed to him immediately, and under our
very eyes he read it out. All the officers took off their caps to me, waving them to my
address, and the crew shouted 'Hurrah!' I was awfully pleased. 'We were all very much
amused by your invention', said Hitrovo, 'and very much touched by your note. The
Ambassador and all the officers immediately agreed to wire you their gratitude to Port
Said'. And fancy, isn't it vexing, it was never delivered to me. . . . I told Hitrovo I should
insist upon its delivery, as a souvenir."

* "Radha Bai" was H.P.B.'s Russian nom-de-plume.

Herr Gebhardt came to fetch H.P.B. from London, and took her over to Elberfeldt,
anxious that she should have proper care and rest, as well as tonic waters and massage,
which had been ordered by many doctors who had agreed that her brain was the only
sound organ in her body. H.P.B. writes:
"I traveled as if I had been a queen. Everywhere I had cabins and railway carriages
all to myself, and Gebhardt, who came to fetch me in London, never allowed me to pay a
penny for anything. We were about fifteen Theosophists traveling together, and here I
have also found a large party of German Theosophists waiting for me. The President of
the new German Branch, Dr. Hubbe Schleiden, Baron von Hoffman and his wife, du Prel,
a certain dignified Countess Spreti with her husband and Aide-de-Camp - for he is a
General - Captain U. I may well say with Madame Kourdukoff that I have found here a
company* of lords, counts, and princes, all of them very decent people - and all
Theosophists of ours. Besides them there was the celebrated painter, Gabriel Max (don't
you know?), with his wife and his sister-in-law, and Madame Hammerle from Odessa; and
Solovioff writes that he will not fail to come. What if you come also?"

1. Madame Kourdukoff is the heroine of a well-known Russian comic poem, a
mixture of Russian, French, German, and English.

Next came the Coulomb disturbance. In regard to this Madame Jelihovsky writes:
"H.P.B. stayed nearly two months in Germany and was thinking of settling in Europe for
good - a step greatly recommended by the doctors. But at this time began a tragi-comedy,
preparations for which had been made long previously by the enemies of her work. The
Christian College Magazine of Madras issued a series of letters purporting to be signed by
her and to be written to a certain French woman, Madame Coulomb. This Madame
Coulomb, with her husband, had kept a hotel in Cairo some years before, and Helena
Petrovna had stayed in it during the existence of her Spiritualistic Society which never
succeeded. Unfortunately for her, she met them again, many years later, in India, when
they were in abject misery and want, and kind-heartedly sheltered them in her house. In
H.P.B.'s absence Madame Coulomb quarreled with all the occupants of the house, and
consequently thought of finding some other situation for herself. Then Madame Coulomb
was offered a very profitable transaction. Someone was sent to them by a certain
missionary, explaining to them that in destroying this heretical Society they would act as
good Christians and besides would earn a goodly sum of money." This the Coulombs
tried to earn as all now know. H.P.B. writes:
"Everything has changed. A hostile wind is blowing on us. What cure, what health
is possible for me? I have to go back quickly to the climate that is fatal to me. It can't be
helped. Were I to pay for it with death, I must clear up these schemes and calumnies
because it is not me alone they harm: they shake the confidence of people in our work,
and in the Society, to which I have given the whole of my soul. So how can I care for my
life? . . . They write to us that in Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta all the street walls are
covered with thousands of placards: 'Fall of Madame Blavatsky; her Intrigues and Deceits
Discovered' - and so on and so on. But on the other hand there are more than a thousand
people who have arisen in my defence. Not letters alone, but telegrams costing thousands
of rupees have been sent to the Times of London. As to India, the war there is more than
a newspaper war. About two hundred native students have crossed out their names from
the registers of this Christian College whose journal has printed these wonderful letters of
mine. To be fair to truth, I must say that with the exception of two or three government
papers in India, everyone is on my side. Even here some people have shown themselves
real friends to me. Madame N. brought Mackenzie Wallace to see me; he has lived in
Russia, and has written such an excellent book about Russia and speaks Russian so well.
He is going to he sent as a Secretary to the Viceroy, Lord Dufferin. He gave me a letter
of introduction to Nubar Pasha of Cairo, requesting him to help me in finding information
about the Coulombs. Above all it is necessary to show up these rascals."


Writing from Suez, on November 30th, 1884, H.P.B. says: "I sit in an hotel 'by the
sea and wait for the weather.' * In plain words I am waiting for our steamer, which is now
busy crawling along the canal. We arrived here direct from Cairo by rail, having spent ten
days there, which counts for much these days. That they mean much you will see for
yourself by the long telegrams from the London newspapers which I send to you. I am
beginning to be convinced that I actually am a celebrity when so much money is paid for
telegrams about me. The correspondent of the Daily Telegraph came personally to
interview me, and asked my permission to let his readers know of my discoveries as to the
antecedents of Mon. and Mme. Coulomb, and as to my own 'movements.' In the telegrams
as you see they are styled 'blackmailers' and 'fraudulent bankrupts,' hiding from several
ordres d'arret. You will also see that in Alexandria and Cairo I was 'received very warmly
by the Viceroy and the cream of society.' And so I really was. You cannot imagine how
much was made of me. As soon as Hitrovo learned that I had arrived, he invited us to his
house and immediately began all sorts of dinners, lunches, picnics, till the very sky was
hot. Our Russian compatriots, Hitrovo, Tschegloff, gentleman-in-waiting, and the ex-
Madame Beketoff, nee Princess Vera Gagarin and now Countess de la Salla - all of them
such nice, kindly people that I do not know how to thank them for their services and their
kindness. And even on the part of the foreigners, I was astonished, not with their extreme
amiability - to amiability I am used - but with their real cordiality and simplicity of manner.
Next morning I went with Mrs. Cooper-Oakley to see the Nubars, taking with me the letter
of Mackenzie Wallace, and as soon as my card was sent in, Nubar Pasha in person came
to meet us nearly to the street door. He led us into the Palace, brought his wife and his
daughter, Madame Tigran Pasha, and they were all so kind to us, we might have been old
friends. Certainly I ascribe it all to the letter of my dear Olga Alexeevna. (Madame N.).
Madame Nubar Pasha is an Armenian, a well-educated and well-read woman, speaking
French like a Parisian, a real grande dame. We lunched and dined with them twice. At
their house I made the acquaintance of a dear Russian soul, Countess de la Salla. Her
husband is an adjutant to the Khedive, but he is more like a healthy, nice-looking Russian
lad than an Italian. She knew me by hearsay and also as 'Radha Bai,' and when she heard
that I was the niece of General Rostislav Fadeef, she positively fell on my neck and kissed
me. Uncle used to go to their house as an intimate friend, and she was so attached to him
that she had tears in her eyes when she asked me for particulars of his death. She took
me up, and began to take me from one aristocratic house to another, proclaiming to all that
I am a 'celebrity,' a 'wonderful woman,' an authoress, a savant and what not. She took me
to the Vice-Reine, as the wife of the Khedive is called here, assuring me that it was
absolutely necessary. There in the Khedive's Hareem I found a crowd of visitors, most of
them English women, wives of the notabilities who are now reigning over Egypt. My old,
but not kindly acquaintance from India, Lady B., who was always an enemy to the T.S.,
fairly stared at me, finding me on a sofa side by side with their Vice-Reine; and the
Countess de la Salla immediately wanted to know if she was a Theosophist! and declared
that she herself had joined the Society and was 'awfully proud of her diploma'! Un coup
de theatre! Then she took me to the niece of Ishmail Pasha, the late Khedive; to his son's
wife, Princess Hussain. Both these Princesses and the wife of the Khedive have a
European education, are Parisian in speech - des emancipees. The Vice-Reine is
positively a beauty, a most charming face, but it is a pity she is too stout. The de la Sallas
have got up a dinner-party for me, inviting about fifty of the local aristocracy, both French
and English, as well as our diplomatic corps. All the Russians are especially delighted with
my having turned an English clergyman, the Rev. C. Leadbeater, into such an ardent
Theosophist. As if he were the only one! Why amongst our members we have even got
"Well, and now I am starting for Madras to fight the pseudo-Christian missionaries.
God's will be done; and 'if He does not give us up the pig wont eat us.' * Good-bye my
dear, my loved ones: maybe forever, but even this would not matter. Happiness is not to
be gained on earth. Here we have the dark entrance-hall alone, and only on opening the
door into the real living place, into the reception-room of life, shall we see light. Whether
in Heaven, in Nirvana, in Swarga is all the same: the name does not matter. But as to the
divine Principle it is One, and there is only one Light, however differently it may be
understood by various earthly darknesses. Let us wait patiently for the day of our real, our
best birth. Yours until that day, until Nirvana and forever."
* A Russian proverb.

H.P.B. left India in April, 1885. She was desperately ill at the time, and there was
so much confusion over her departure that she was not even given her clothes to take with
her. She gave Colonel Olcott her word of honor that she would not say where she was
living until the worst of the storm had blown over, and she kept her word. With Babajee
and Mary Flynn she traveled to Naples, and there lived in entire seclusion for some
months. Whilst there, she put in preliminary order her materials for the Secret Doctrine.
Madame Jelihovsky writes that she herself sometimes did not like the idea of certain
people in Tibet apparently monopolizing all the wisdom in the universe. H. P. B. would
reply that they did not monopolize such wisdom; she spoke of the existence of these
particular Great Souls because she knew of their existence, but others no doubt existed
in other parts of the world who were equally wise and equally great.
"In every country and in every age there were and there will be people, pure of
heart, who, conquering their earthly thoughts and the passions of the flesh, raise their
spiritual faculties to such a pitch that the mysteries of being and the laws governing Nature
and hidden from the uninitiated, are revealed to them. Let blind men persecute them; l et
them be burned and hunted from 'societies acknowledged by law;' let them be called Magi,
Wise Men, Raj Yogis or saints - they have lived and they still live everywhere, recognized
or unrecognized. For these people who have illumined themselves during their life-time,
there are no obstacles, there are no bodily ties. They do not know either distance or time.
They are alive and active in the body as well as out of it. They are, wherever their thought
and their will carries them. They are not tied down by anything, either by a place, or by
their temporary mortal covering."

When the three months' residence in Naples had nearly expired, H.P.B. thought of
going to Germany, where, as she wrote, they at least had warm stoves and double
windows in the winter, and where it was possible to be comfortable indoors. She also
vigorously defended the "Adyar Theosophists" for having left her in such sore straits in
Naples, and protested that they had done all that was possible for her under the
circumstances; and to prove that the Society itself was loyal to her, she sent her relatives
hundreds of letters from Branches and people in India, England, and "especially in
America," protesting against her retirement. She had resigned her office of Corresponding
Secretary at Colonel Olcott's urgent entreaty, as he had been greatly alarmed over the
Coulomb attack.
All her letters at this time breathed peace and rest, even gladness, caused by the
many proofs of sincere friendship from such people, she wrote,
- "as Solovioff.* I am traveling with him in Switzerland. I really cannot understand
what makes him so attached to me. As a matter of fact I cannot help him in the least. I
can hardly help him to realize any of his hopes. Poor man, I am so sorry for him and all
of them."

* Who afterwards became her bitter enemy, as all his prayers to be taken as a
Chela were utterly rejected.


H.P.B. was in perfect raptures over the climate and scenery of Switzerland. All her
life she adored nature. "I have never breathed so freely. I can even walk as I have not
been able to walk for ten years past."
At this time all the sad troubles of the past year appeared to Helena Petrovna not
in a black but in a humorous light. She wrote to Madame Jelihovsky in September, 1885:
"My faithful Theosophists wont let me alone. They invite me to London. They want
me to put myself at the head of the European Theosophical Society; and to edit my
Theosophist from there. And the Hindus are also piling letters on me, telling me I must
come back to India, threatening poor Olcott with a mutiny without me. In their eyes he is
only the realizer of my inspirations, and I am the chief priestess and Pythia. Have you read
about the Psychists (the members of the S.P.R.) and their meeting in London, publicly
accusing me of having created Theosophy, of having invented the Mahatmas, and of
having played all kinds of tricks - all with the only aim and object of political intrigue for
Russia, which paid me for it?!! Even such enraged Conservatives and Russophobes as
Mr. Sinnett and Lord Borthwick were disgusted with such meaningless rubbish. The only
foundation for their accusation is that during my arrival in India some Anglo-Indian papers
stopped abusing Russia, as they had been doing up till then. There is some truth in this.
Some of the editors of the best papers, as The Indian Mirror, Amrita Bazaar Patrika, The
Hindu, etc., Theosophists and my personal friends, and so they knew very well that every
word uttered by them against Russia cut me to the heart - especially if it is Englishly unjust.
And so they abstained from it, and for this I was promoted into a paid official spy. Oh Lord,
I recognize my usual fate! D'avoir la reputation, sans en avoir eu la plaisir! And if I only
had the consolation of having been of some use to dear Russia: but such was not the
case; only negative, trivial results."
"I understand," wrote H.P.B. in another letter, "that the Psychical Research Society
could not help separating from us. Though at the beginning it warmed itself in the nest of
the Theosophical Society, like the thievish cuckoo warming its progeny in someone else's
nest - at the time, as you remember, when Myers so constantly wrote to you,* and also
requested me to write to you asking you to act as his Russian correspondent. It would be
too dangerous for Myers, as he makes a point of not separating himself from European
Science, to proclaim honestly and fearlessly what are no tricks and no lies but the result
of powers not known to European scientists. He would have against him all the greatest
social peers of England, the clergy and the corporations representative of Science. As to
us Theosophists, we have no fear of them, as we swim against the stream. Our Society
is a kind of constant poke-in-the-eye for all the bigoted Jesuits and pseudo-scientists. As
for me, being a Russian, I am a regular scapegoat for them all. They had to explain my
influence in some way or another, and so they wrote an indictment - a whole book by a
former colleague and friend, Myers. It begins with the words: 'We proclaim Madame
Blavatsky the grandest, the cleverest, the most consummate impostor of the age!' And in
truth it looks like it! Just think of it: I arrive all alone in America; choose Olcott, a
spiritualist, and begin work on him as a kind of prologue, driving him mad without any
delay! But from an ardent follower of Spiritualism he becomes a Theosophist; after which
I, though unable at the time to write three English words without a mistake, sit down and
write Isis. Its appearance produces a furore on one side and gnashing of teeth on the
other. Here I invent the Mahatmas, and immediately dozens of people take to believing
in them, many see them - there begins a series of phenomena under the eyes of hundreds
of people. In a year the Society counts a thousand members. Master appears to Olcott
ordering him to migrate to India. We start, baking new Branches like hot loaves on our
way, in London, in Egypt, in Corfu. At last in India we grow to be many thousands. And,
mind you, all these are my tricks. Letters of the Mahatmas simply pour from all the points
of the compass, in all languages; in Sanskrit, in Indian dialects, in ancient Telugu - which
is little known, even in India. I fabricate all this and still alone. But after a short time I very
adroitly make confederates out of those whom till then I had deceived, leading them by
their noses; I teach them how to write false letters in handwritings which I have invented
and how to produce jugglers' tricks. When I am in Madras, the phenomena happening in
Bombay and Allahahad are produced by my confederates. Who are they, these
confederates? This has not been made clear. Take notice of this false note. Before
Olcott, Hubbe-Schlieden, the Gordons, the Sinnetts, and other people of standing, Myers
politely excuses himself, acknowledging them to be only too credulous, poor dupes of
mine. Then who are the deceivers with me? This is the problem which my judges and
accusers cannot explain anyhow. Though I point out to them that these people must
necessarily exist: otherwise they are threatened with the unavoidable necessity of
proclaiming me an out-and-out sorceress. How could it be otherwise? In five years I
create an enormous Society, of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. Without going
anywhere, being constantly ill, sitting as if rooted at my work, the results of which are
evident - I, an old Russian 'gossip,' spreading nets over thousands of people who without
any signs of insanity believe in my phenomena; as also hundreds of thinkers and learned
people who from being materialists became visionaries - how can people help seeing in
me the 'greatest impostor of the age'?

* He wrote so often asking questions about H.P.B. that Madame Jelihovsky's family
got wearied and almost gave the postman directions not to deliver the letters!

"In the enumeration of my sins, it is openly proclaimed: 'You naive Anglo-Saxon

Theosophists, do not believe that Madame Blavatsky's influence in India only reaches you;
it goes far further. When she came back to Madras, about eight-hundred students, not
Theosophists at all, presented her with an address of sympathy. Her influence is
immense. Nothing would be easier for her than to instil hatred towards England in the
hearts of the Hindus, and to prepare the soil slowly but surely for a Russian invasion.' So
this is what they fear, is it? A Russian spy indeed! no spy at all, but a regular conqueror.
You may be proud of such a sister....
"It is no longer my business, but the business of all Theosophists. Let them fight for
me; as for me, I am sitting quietly in Wurtzburg, waiting for Nadya's (Madame Fadeef's)
promised visit, and wont stir from here. I am writing a new book which will be worth two
such as Isis."
About the same time she informed her friends that the phenomena of her
clairvoyance and clairaudience, which took place many years ago in New York, were taking
place again and were considerably intensified. She said she saw "such wonderful
panoramas and antediluvian dramas," had such clear glimpses and vistas into the hoary
past, maintaining she had never heard or seen better with her inner faculties.
About this time the half-restored health of Madame Blavatsky came to grief again.
The worry of her final rupture with V. S. Solovioff, whom she had taken for a true
disinterested friend until then, and the death of a beloved cousin of hers were partial
causes of it. Her sister writes concerning it: "V. S. Sovolioff did not succeed in his earnest
wish to 'ruin' Madame Blavatsky, but by this new scratch at her sore heart he certainly
succeeded in shortening her life." The result of all was a day's swoon.
"I have frightened them all, poor people," writes H.P.B., "am told that for half an hour
I was like one dead. They brought me back to life with digitalis. I fainted in the drawing
room, and returned to consciousness when undressed in my bed, with a doctor at the foot
of my bedstead, and Mlle. Hoffman crying her eyes out over me. The kind hearted Hubbe-
Schleiden, President of the German Society, brought the doctor personally from town, and
my kindly ladies, wives of the painters Tedesco and Schmiechen, and Mlle. Hoffman sat
up all night with me."


The following letter belongs properly to an earlier part of the series. It was written
from Bombay in the autumn of 1882:
"My blood is transformed into water; it oozes out and forms bags. For this I have
to thank, primo, Bombay heat and dampness, and secundo my eternal irritations, bothers
and troubles. I have become so nervous that the light step of Babula's bare feet gives me
palpitations of the heart. I have forced Dudley (the Doctor) to tell me that I may die any
moment from any kind of fright, without which I could live a year or two more. As if it were
possible with the life I lead! I have twenty frights a day, not one. I have put the whole
business into the hands of the Masters. M--- wants me to start at the end of September.
He has sent me one of his Chelas from the Nilgiri, to take me with him. Where, I do not
know exactly, but probably into some place in the Himalayas."
After this there was a long lapse in the letters, and then H.P.B. 's sister got a few
lines from her, dating from Darjeeling, saying that she had nearly died; that she certainly
would not be among the living if it had not been for the miraculous intervention of her
Master, who had taken her off to the mountains and brought her back to life again by
means of a few passes, when she was to all intents and purposes a corpse. Madame
Jelihovsky often asked H.P.B. in after days for further particulars of this mysterious episode
in her life. "How did she happen to find herself unconscious and ill in some unreachable
and perfectly impassible mountains in the Himalayas? Who took her there? Where did
she spend the time of her convalescence? How, again, did she return to civilization?" She
always answered that firstly she could not remember everything, and secondly she was not
allowed to tell everything. Madame Jelihovsky writes, however, that, if not at this time then
at some earlier epoch, she is perfectly certain that H.P.B. visited Lhassa, and that she had
also been to the chief religious centre of Thibet, where among several hundred Lamas lives
the Teshu Lama, the spiritual head of the Buddhists, whom they consider the reincarnation
of Buddha. Madame Jelihovsky is also certain that at some time or other her sister had
been in the Kuen Lun mountains. H.P.B. always told her that the two Mahatmas whom she
knew personally were very different, both in character and in their mode of living; that the
Mahatma K. H. was much more accessible, and lived with his sister and nephew in Kuen
Lun; that Mahatma M., her personal teacher, had no fixed residence, was much more
serious and stern, was always on the move, going wherever he might be most needed at
the moment. The former talked and laughed at times like any ordinary person; the latter
never, being very laconic. He is the older of the two.
When H.P.B. returned she was almost perfectly healthy and strong, and, to the
great astonishment of the doctors, began her work again. On the seventeenth of
December, 1882, H.P.B., Col. Olcott and others moved to Adyar. She wrote to Mme.
"It is simply delightful. What air we have here; what nights! And what marvelous
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 moonlit night. The moon here against the deep dark-blue sky
seems twice as big and ten times brighter than your European mother-of-pearl ball.

Her sister and niece visited her at Ostende in 1886. This is what she wrote to them
soon after they left:
"I shall take myself to task now that I am alone; and instead of a restless wandering
Jew I shall turn myself into a 'hermit crab,' into a petrified sea monster, stranded on the
shore. I shall write and write, - my only consolation! Alas, happy are the people who can
walk. What a life to be always ill - and without legs, into the bargain..... "
After her great illness in Ostende in the Spring of 1887, she wrote to her sister:
"My darling, do not be frightened: once more I have disappointed the snub-nosed
one.* Some people have pulled me through. Such wonderful things happen to me. You
write, 'How can you be so careless!' As if I have caught cold through carelessness. I never
rose from my armchair, never left the room, sitting as if chained to my Secret Doctrine; I
have made everyone work at it: the Countess, Dr. Keightley, the cousin of the one you
saw in Paris. He came as a delegate from London, to invite me to go there - and I put him
to work! Don't you see how it was: about ten days before my illness the London Society
began to call out vehemently for me - they wanted me, they said; could not do anything
without me. They want to study occultism, and so burn with the desire of depriving
Ostende of my beneficent presence. Before then I got heaps of imploring letters, but kept
silent. Be off with you! I thought to myself, let me alone to write my book quietly. Not at
all: they sent a deputation for me. Dr. Keightley tells me, 'We have taken a beautiful
house with a garden, we have got everything ready for you and we shall transport you in
our arms. Do be persuaded!' And so I was about to make tip my mind. The Countess
began packing; her intention was to pack me up first, then to go to Sweden and sell her
property, in order to live with me, never leaving me - and all of a sudden I dropped down!
Such is my planet of destiny, it appears. And besides, here is another wonder for you: On
the 27th of March we were to start, and on the 17th I went to sleep in my armchair after
dinner, without any reason. You know this never happens to me! I went into a very deep
sleep, and suddenly spoke to her, as she told me afterwards, for I do not remember
anything myself: 'Master says you must not go away because I shall be mortally ill.' She
shouted, 'What are you saying?' I awoke and also shouted with astonishment, 'What are
you screaming about? What has happened?' Tableau! Two days after we nearly forgot
all about it, when I received a letter from a certain London member, whom I never saw
before in my life - Ashton Ellis, a doctor of the Westminster Dispensary, a mystic, a
Wagnerian, great lover of music, still quite a young man, he also insisted on my coming
for the simple reason, don't you know, of having seen me before him and having
recognized me because of my portraits. I stood, he says, on the other side of the table on
which he was writing, and gazed at him. I and Constance (the Countess Wachtmeister)
were very much amused by his enthusiastic statement: 'My life seems strangely linked with
yours,' he writes, with you and the Theosophical Society. I know I am bound to see you
soon.' We were amused, but soon forgot all about it. Then I caught a cold in the throat,
I really do not understand how, and then it grew still worse. When on the fifth day - after
I had to go to bed, the Ostende doctors said there was no hope, as the poisoning of the
blood had begun owing to the inaction of the kidneys, I dozing all the time and doomed to
enter eternal sleep while thus dozing - the Countess remembered that this Ashton Ellis is
a well-known doctor. She telegraphed to him, asking him to send her a good specialist.
And lo! - this perfect stranger wires back: 'coming myself, shall arrive in the night.'
Through my sleep I dimly remember someone coming into the room in the night, taking my
hand and kissing it and giving me something to swallow; then he sat at the edge of my bed
and started massaging my back. Just fancy, this man never went to bed during three days
and three nights, rubbing and massaging me every hour......"

* Meaning death.

Further Madame Blavatsky's letter narrates that she heard some one saying her
body would not be allowed to be burned, were she to die not having signed her will.
"Here," she continues, "consciousness awoke in me, struck with horror at the
thought of being buried, of lying here with catholics, and not in Adyar. . . I called out to
them and said: 'Quick, quick, a lawyer,' and, would you believe it, I got up! Arthur
Gebhard, who had just returned from America and had come here with his mother, having
heard about my illness, rushed out and brought a lawyer and the American Consul, and
I really don't know how I could gather so much strength: - I dilated and signed the will. . .
. Having done with it, I felt I could not keep up any longer. I went back to bed saying to
myself 'Well, good bye, now I shall die.' But Ashton Ellis was positively beside himself; the
whole night he massaged me and continually gave me something nasty to drink. But I had
no hope, for I saw my body was grey and covered with dark yellowish-blue spots, and
loosing consciousness I was bidding good bye to you all in my thoughts.... "

But the cure had taken effect; she slept twenty-four hours and woke up to life again.
Concerning the same illness she writes to her aunt, Madame Fadeeff:
"Sunday, Catholic Easter, - My old comrade and friend, I wrote to you about my
illness some ten days ago, when I was still in bed. So what reason have you to grumble
at my playing the dummy* again? It is true, though, that I was nearly about to play the
eternal dummy; once more I had a hair's breadth escape, and once more I have risen from
the dead. When and how I caught cold, having never left my room, - is more than I can
understand. It began with bronchitis, and ended with a complication of kidney disease.
The Ostende doctors tortured me, with no result at all, robbing me of my money and nearly
killing me, but I was saved by a Theosophist of ours, Dr. Ashton Ellis, who as a reward has
lost a situation with good pay, having left the Westminster Dispensary without permission
and having been the last nine days by my side (massaging my back).... When all the local
doctors gave me up, Countess remembered about Ashton Ellis, whom she knew by
reputation, and asked him to give some advice or to send some doctor, and he answered,
he was coming personally in the night. He dropped everything and came here. And mind
you, he had not so much as seen me before, knowing of me only through my work and
articles. I am simply tortured with remorse, he having lost so much for my sake. At least
it is well he is a bachelor. . . . He has saved me with massage, rubbing me day and night,
positively taking no rest whatever. Lately he has been to London and returned yesterday,
informing me that he will not leave me until I am quite recovered and intends to take me
to London personally, the first warm day. Madame Gebhard is still with me; instead of
spending Easter with her family, she is nursing me, as if I was a baby, and seeing that I
take my medicine, whilst the Countess has gone to Sweden, being compelled to do so, in
order to sell her property. In future she proposes to live with me inseparably, to look after
me and to take care of me. And what do you say about the attachment this Ashton Ellis
has shown to me! Where could a man be found, who would give up a good position and
work, all in order to be free to save from death an old woman, an unknown stranger to him?
.... And everything at his own expense, - he refuses to take a penny from me, treating me,
into the bargain, to some very old Bordeaux, he has unearthed from somewhere. And all
this from a stranger and an Englishman, moreover. People say: the 'English are cold, the
English are soulless.' Evidently not all . . . You ask whether you should send me
something, whether I want something? I do not want anything, darling, except yourself.
Send me yourself. We have not seen each other for a year and a half, and when shall we
meet again? Maybe, never. I am going to London, and in the autumn, if I don't die by that
time, I want to go to Adyar. They persistently ask for me there . . . . . Have you received
our new Parisian magazine, Le Lotus? It is edited, as you will see on the title page, 'sous
l'inspiration de H.P. Blavatsky' (!?) What 'inspiration,' please, when I have no time to write
a single word for them. . . . I have taken three subscriptions: one for you, one for Vera, and
one for Katkoff. I simply adore Katkoff for his patriotism. I do not mind his not sending me
any money again, God bless his soul. I deeply respect him, because he is a patriot and
a brave man, speaking the truth at whatever cost! Such articles as his are a credit to
Russia. I am sure that if darling uncle were still living he would find an echo of his own
thoughts in them, . . . Oh, if only the Regents were hanged in Bulgaria, and Germany
checkmated, I should die in peace."

* Not writing.


In letters and conversation alike, H.P.B. often referred to the debt of gratitude she
owed to the Countess Wachtmeister, Madame Gebhard, and especially Doctor Ashton
Ellis, for their devotion and self-abnegation during her illness. In one of the last letters she
wrote to Madame Jelihovsky from Ostende, she spoke as follows:
"I really do not know what to think! What am I to them? Why should the Countess
be so devoted to me, as to be ready to give her life for mine? What am I to Ellis, who
never saw me before, that he should think nothing of the risk, when leaving the hospital
without permission, for a whole week for my sake; now he has lost his place, his
handsome pay, and his rooms at the Westminster Dispensary. He went home and
returned here laughing: he does not care a bit, he says! He will have more time to spend
on Theosophy, with his practice alone.... Well, what does all this mean? What do they find
in me? Why should it be my fate to influence the destinies of other people? I tell you
seriously, I feel frightened! I cease understanding causes and feel lost. The only thing I
know is that I have called forth an unknown power which ties the destinies of other people
to my destiny, to my life. . . . I know also to my great relief, that many amongst those
devoted to me look up to me as to their rescuer. Many were heartless egotists, faithless
materialists, worldly, lightheaded sensualists, and many have become serious people,
working indefatigably, sacrificing everything to the work: position, time, money, and
thinking but of one thing: their spiritual and intellectual development. They have become
in a way the victims of self-sacrifice, and live only for the good of others, seeing their
salvation and light in me. And what am I? I am what I always was. At least so far as they
are concerned, seriously. I am ready to give the last drop of my blood for Theosophy, but
as for Theosophists I hardly love anyone amongst them personally. I cannot love anyone
personally, but you of my own blood. . . . What a blind tool I am, I must own, in the hands
of the one whom I call my Master! . . . I do not know, I do not know, I do not know. For me,
as for anyone else, the phenomenal birth of our Society, on my initiative, its daily and
hourly growth, its indestructibility, in spite of the many blows from its enemies - are an
unsolved riddle. I do not know any logical cause for it, but I see, I know, that the
Theosophical Society is preordained to have a world-wide importance. It will become one
of the events of the world! It possesses a moral and psychical power, the weight of which,
like the ninth wave, will submerge, sweep away and drown all that the lesser waves of
human thought have left on the shore; all foreign sediments, all shreds and patches of
systems and philosophies. I am its blind motor, but a great power rests with it."

When finally settled in London Madame Blavatsky wrote to her sister:

"Here I am planted among the fogs of Albion. Literally planted, because I did not
come here of my own free will. I have been dragged over by my admirers, nearly in my
bed or in their arms. They make a regular hobby of me. To their mind, they won't be able
to find their way to the Kingdom of Heaven without me. They sent a deputation with a
petition from seventy-two Theosophists who have firmly made up their minds to deprive
poor Ostende of my 'ennobling' presence and 'beneficent magnetic fluid' - excuse du peu!
I grumble at them, I drive them away, I shut myself off from all these mystical vampires,
who suck all the moral strength out of me - no! all the same they rush to me, like flies to
honey. 'We have become aware,' they say, 'of the spirit of holiness and moral perfection
in your atmosphere. You alone can enlighten us and give life to the hybernating and
inactive London Society.' Well, now they have got what they wanted; I have come and
thrown more fuel into the furnace - I hope they won't repent it. I sit at my table and write,
whilst they all jump about and dance to my music. Yesterday we had a meeting at which
was formed a new branch of the Theosophical Society, and - just fancy that - they
unanimously called it 'The Blavatsky Lodge of the T. S.'! . . . This I call hitting the Psychical
Research Society straight in the face; let them learn of what stuff we are made! . . . We
are about to found a magazine of our own, Lucifer. Don't allow yourself to be frightened:
it is not the devil, into which the Catholics have falsified the name of the Morning Star,
sacred to all the ancient world, of the 'bringer of light,' Phosphoros, as the Romans often
called the Mother of God and Christ. And in St. John's Revelation does it not say, 'Jesus,
the morning star'? I wish people would take this to mind, at least. It is possible that the
rebellious angel was called Lucifer before his fall, but after his transformation he must not
be called so. . . It is simply frightful what a lot of work I have. They write from Paris that the
Society is also divided there. They refuse to acknowledge the Branch under the
presidency of Lady Caithness, Duchesse de Pomar, and ask for a representative of mine;
just like those here, who want me to take the place of Sinnett. . . . They insisted upon my
tearing myself to pieces for them! I am to play at being a kind of 'omnipresent' General
Booth with his Salvation Army! Thank you very much! And a new magazine - Le Lotus -
they intend to start too. I have refused the editorship point blank; and so look at the title
page - I enclose the specimen copy - 'Sous l'inspiration de Mme. H.P. Blavatsky.' How do
you like that now? And, please, how am I to inspire them? Am I to send magnetic fluids
to Gaboriau, its editor, and to his collaborators? It appears that your sister is getting to be
the fashion in Europe also. Look at Hartmann dedicating his book to 'my genius.' But how
I am to get time for everything - magazines, lessons in occultism, the Secret Doctrine, the
first part of which is not yet ready - I do not know myself!"

During this eventful time Madame Blavatsky was in excellent spirits and very hopeful
as to the future of her Society, as is shown by the following letter to her sister:
"A whole Society of Catholic clergy and High-Church fanatics has been formed here
against your sister. They already have had three meetings. During the first they tried to
prove that I am no more and no less than the very Devil in petticoats. But my Theosophists
protested, and having asked for the right of speech proved very neatly on the spot that
these Catholics were Jesuits, sorry Christians, worshipers of Baal and Mammon. During
the second, they tried to take up the old story: she is a spy, an agent of the Russian
government and is dangerous to British interests. . . . Here arose Lane Fox, Sinnett and
Sir W. Grove and proved to the public that the enemies of Theosophy, who fear my
Russian patriotism, are near relatives to Balaam's ass, though it saw an angel, at least, and
could talk, and they see only small blue devils everywhere, in their bigotry, and can't speak,
into the bargain. At the third meeting was discussed the question: can it be that I am
Antichrist? Here the young Lord P. got up and read out my answer, in which I laconically
but clearly inform the world, that if twice two equals four, all these people are blank
ignoramuses and calumniators. . . . The effect exceeded expeetation as you will see from
the reports, so great was the enthusiasm of my friends. . . Now they are going to cry still
louder: Lucifer will kill our opposers! Even my personal enemies are full of praises for it.....
And yet I feel sad, oh so sad! Oh, if I only could see you."

XII. *

The effect of her work was spreading, at which she was overjoyed, founding with
her usual buoyancy great hopes for her Society, the teachings she advocated and the
people who followed them. But personally, at the bottom of her heart, she felt cold and
lonely, in spite of the many devoted people around her. Her constant cry was, Oh for
something Russian, something familiar, somebody or something loved from childhood!
She was always glad to spend all her savings to have her sister or her sister's children with
her. To please her, Madame Jelihovsky offered to ask the Rev. E. Smirnoff, the minister
of the Russian Embassy Church in London, to call on her. H.P.B. was very pleased with
the suggestion:

"But will he not refuse?" she wrote in return. "Maybe he also takes me for the
Antichrist? What an inconsistent old fool I am: there is a gulf for me between the Catholic
and Protestant clergy and our own priesthood. Is it not astonishing that I, a heathen, hating
Protestantism and Catholicism alike, should feel all my soul drawn towards the Russian
Church. I am a renegade, a cosmopolitan unbeliever - everyone thinks so, and I also think
so, and yet I would give the last drop of my blood for the triumph of the Russian Church
and everything Russian."

* The next number, xiii, will close this series. In January another series of H.P.B.'s
letters to Dr. F. Hartmann, will be commenced [in The Path].

During the winter of 1887 Novoe Vremya, one of the leading St. Petersburg papers,
informed the Russian public that Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a compatriot of theirs, had
settled in London with the view of demolishing Christianity and spreading Buddhism, to
further which she had already built a pagoda with Buddha's idol in it, etc., etc. She
immediately wrote a letter on the subject to the office of this newspaper, in a very good-
natured and humorous tone, but unfortunately it never was printed.
"Why should Novoe Vremya tell such fibs?" she wrote to Mme. Jelihovsky.
"Whence could it gather that our intention is to preach Buddhism? We never dreamed of
such a thing. If in Russia they read my Lucifer, our chief organ in Europe at present, they
would learn that we preach the purest Theosophy, avoiding the extremes of Count Tolstoi,
trying to reestablish the purely Christlike Theosophy and life-giving morality. In the third,
November, number there will be an article of mine ('The Esoteric Character of the
Gospels') in which I stand up for the teachings of Christ, glorifying, as usual, his true
doctrine, not disfigured as yet either by Popery or Protestantism. I, i.e., we Theosophists,
certainly do unmask Phariseeism and superstition of every kind. I do not spare Catholicism
either, which has overdressed the pure teachings of Christ with unnecessary gewgaws and
empty-sounding ritualism, or Protestantism which, in the heat of its indignation against the
wilfulness of the Pope and the vanity of the Catholic clergy, has stripped the tree of truth
of all its healthy bloom and fruit, as well as of the barren flowers, which were grafted on it
by Popery. We mean, it is true, to give it hot to bigotry, to Phariseeism, to bitter
materialism, but "Buddhism" is not the right word for them to use. Make of it whatever you
can. People call me, and, I must admit, I also call myself, a heathen. I simply can't listen
to people talking about the wretched Hindus or Buddhists being converted to Anglican
Phariseeism or the Pope's Christianity: it simply gives me the shivers. But when I read
about the spread of Russian orthodoxy in Japan, my heart rejoices. Explain it if you can.
I am nauseated by the mere sight of any foreign clerical, but as to the familiar figure of a
Russian pope I can swallow it without any effort. . . . I told you a fib in Paris, when I said
I did not want to go to our Church; I was ashamed to say that I went there before your
arrival, and stood there, with my mouth wide open, as if standing before my own dear
mother, whom I have not seen for years and who could not recognise me! . . . I do not
believe in any dogmas, I dislike every ritual, but my feelings towards our own church-
service are quite different. I am driven to think that my brains lack their seventh stopper
* . . . Probably, it is in my blood . . . I certainly will always say: a thousand times rather
Buddhism, a pure moral teaching, in perfect harmony with the teachings of Christ, than
modern Catholicism or Protestantism. But with the faith of the Russian Church I will not
even compare Buddhism. I can't help it. Such is my silly, inconsistent nature."

* A Russian equivalent for "a bee in the bonnet."

In May 1888 Madame Jelihovsky lost her son. Madame Blavatsky felt her sister's
sorrow with her usual acuteness and passion, which is shown by the two following
"..... in a country new to you all, you, may be, will find some relief. Come, darling.
Come all of you, my dears, ... do not grudge me this greatest joy .... You will have a
separate room, and we have a garden, a nice shady garden, with birds singing in it, as if
in the country. You shall be comfortable, and the poor girls will have what little distraction
is possible for them . . . . Smirnoff is also writing to you, advising you to come. He is so
fond of you all. . . . He has just been to see me. He is the only person with whom I could
talk about you as with an intimate friend. For God's sake make up your mind! do come!....
do not change your mind. The hope to see you has given new life to me. This is my first
gladness, my first ray of light in the darkness of sorrow and suffering, of my lonely
suffering, my untold suffering for you! .... Come, darling...."
She certainly possessed a great faith in the undying nature of man, which amounted
to knowledge, and without doubt she could have used her moral influence over her sister
to console her. But the great kindness of her loving heart knew better than even this and
she tried to soothe her loved ones with words about new, unfamiliar surroundings, her
garden and birds singing in it, as simple as the first pangs of her sister's sorrowing heart.
Late in the autumn of 1888 there was a considerable lapse of time between her
letters to her sister, at which Madame Jelihovsky grew impatient and wrote reproachfully
to ask with what she was so very busy that she could not find a minute to write a letter.
Madame Blavatsky answered:
"Friend and sister: Your thoughtless question, 'What am I so busy with?' has fallen
amongst us like a bomb loaded with naive ignorance of the active life of a Theosophist.
Having read it, I translated your Kushma Proatkoff* into the language of Shakespeare;
and, as soon as I translated it - Bert., Arch., Wright, Mead, and the rest of my home staff
swooned right away, smitten with your defamatory question - 'what am I busy with?' I, is
it? I tell you, if there ever was in the world an overworked victim it is your long-suffering
sister. Do take the trouble to count my occupations, you heartless Zoilas. Every month
I write from forty to fifty pages of "Esoteric Instructions," instructions in secret sciences,
which must not be printed. Five or six wretched voluntary martyrs among my esotericists
have to draw, write and lithograph during the nights, some 320 copies of them, which I
have to superintend, to rectify, to compare and to correct, so that there may be no
mistakes and my occult information may not be put to shame. Just think of that! White-
haired, trained Cabalists and sworn Free-Masons take lessons from me..... Then, the
editing of Lucifer wholly depends upon me, from the leader and some other more or less
lively article for every number, to the correcting of proofs. Then my dear Countess
d'Adhemar sends me La Revue Theosophique; I can't refuse to help her either. Then, I
also must eat, like anyone else, which means supplying some other bread-winning article.
Then the receptions, the weekly meetings, accompanied by learned discussions, with a
stenographer behind my back, and sometimes two or three reporters in the corners, - all
this, you can easily believe, takes some time. I must read up for every Thursday, because
the people who come here are no ignoramuses from the street, but such people as the
electrician K., Dr. William B. and the naturalist C. B. I must be prepared to defend the
teachings of Occultism against the applied sciences, so that the reports of the
stenographer may be printed, without correction, in our new monthly publication under the
name of The Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge. This alone, the stenographer and the
printing - cost my theosophists nearly L40 a month.... Since your departure they have all
gone mad here; they spend such a lot of money that my hair stands on end .... Don't you
see, they have written a circular to all theosophists of all the wide world: 'H.P.B.,' they say,
'is old and ill, H.P.B. wont stay with us much longer. Suppose H.P.B. died, then we might
whistle for it! There will be no one to teach us manners and secret wisdom. So let us raise
a subscription for the expenses, etc., etc..... ' And so they have raised a subscription and
now spend money. And H.P.B. sits with holes in her elbows, sweating for everybody and
teaching them. Needless to say, I wont accept a penny for this sort of teaching. 'Your
silver perish with you, for that you thought to buy the grace of God for money,' I repeat to
everyone who imagines he can buy the divine wisdom of centuries for pounds and

* Kushma Proatkoff is the author of very amusing parodies of philosophic
aphorisms, of which H.P.B. was very fond.

The following two letters show how very open Madame Blavatsky was to new
impressions, even in her old age. The first is from Fontainbleau, the second from Jersey,
where she was taken by Mrs. Candler in the summer of 1889, less than two years before
her death. Both are to Madame Fadeef.
"Delicious air, all impregnated with the resin of the pine forest and warmed by the
sun, to which I am exposed whole days, driving in the lovely park - has revived me, has
given me back my long lost strength. Just fancy, several theosophists came yesterday
from London to see me, and so we all went to see the castle. Out of the fifty-eight state
rooms of the palace I have done forty-five with my own, unborrowed legs!! It is more than
five years since I have walked so much! I have ascended the entrance steps, from which
Napoleon I took leave of his guardsmen; I have examined the apartments of poor Marie
Antoinette, her bedroom and the pillows on which rested her doomed head; I have seen
the dancing hall, gallerie de Francois I, and the rooms of the "young ladies" Gabrielle
d'Estree and Diane de Poitiers, and the rooms of Madame de Maintenon herself, and the
satin cradle of le petit roi de Rome all eaten up up by moths, and lots of other things. The
Gobelins, the Sevres china and some of the pictures are perfect marvels! .... I have also
put my fingers on the table on which the great Napoleon signed his resignation. But best
of all I liked the pictures embroidered with silk par les demoiselles de St. Cyr for Madame
de Maintenon. I am awfully proud of having walked all around the palace all by myself.
Think of it, since your stay in Wursburg I have nearly lost my legs; and now, you see, I can
walk all right .... But what trees in this doyen des forets! I shall never forget this lovely
forest. Gigantic oaks and Scotch firs, and all of them bearing historical names. Here one
sees oaks of Moliere, of Richelieu, of Montesquieu, of Mazarin, of Beranger. Also an oak
of Henri III, and two huge seven hundred year old trees des deux freres Faramonds. I
have simply lived in the forest during whole days. They took me there in a bath-chair or
drove me in a landau. It is so lovely here, I did not feel any desire to go to see the
Exhibition.... "
Then from Jersey:
"Well, my old comrade, I have seized a short little minute in the interval of work,
which is simply smothering me after my inertia and laziness at Fontainbleau, and write to
you in bed, in spite of being perfectly well. The doctor has put me there for precaution's
sake, as lately my knees have been aching a little. I have been brought here by my Mrs.
Ida Candler, an American friend, so that I might get some sea air. The house is quite close
to the shore, yellow sand begins right from the steps..... On three sides the house is
drowsed in trees and flowers. Camelias and roses, as if we were in Italy!.... A lovely island
and so curious. They have a government of their own here, England being acknowledged
only nominally, mostly for the sake of the pompousness. They issue their own coins and
keep to their own ancient Norman laws. For instance, in case some person wants to catch
a thief in his garden or simply box somebody's ears, he must shout, before he proceeds
to do so: 'Haro! Oh, Rollo, mon prince et mon seigneur!' Otherwise he will catch it
himself. This "Rollo" is the first of the Norman princes, father of Robert the Devil, a giant
and a hero, who took the island from the Druids. The inhabitants speak a funny kind of
French; but they are awfully offended if anyone says they are French or English. 'I am a
Jerseyman, and no one else' they say..... "


In February, 1890, she wrote to Mme. Jelihovsky:

"As you see, I am in Brighton, on the seashore, where I was sent by the doctors, to
inhale the oceanic evaporations of the Gulf Stream, to get rid of a complete nervous
prostration. I do not feel any pains, but palpitations of the heart, a ringing in the ears - I am
nearly deaf - and weakness too, such weakness that I can hardly lift my hand. I am
forbidden to write or read or even to think, but must spend whole days in the open air - 'sit
by the sea and wait for fair weather.' My doctor got frightened, himself, and frightened all
the staff. It is an awfully expensive place; and my money - alas! So my esotericists put
their money together immediately and persuaded me to go. And now subsidies fly to me
from all points of the compass, for my care; some of them even unsigned, simply to my
address. America especially is so generous that, upon my word, I feel ashamed. I admit
they 'want' me, as they repeat to me twenty times a day, but still, why should they spend
so much? They keep me in luxury as if I were an idol, and don't allow me to protest.
"Two or three Theosophists at a time take turns at my side, coming from London;
watching my every movement like Cerberuses. Now one of them is putting his head in with
a tearful request to stop writing, but I must let you know that I am still alive. You have been
to Brighton, have you? We have splendid spring weather here; the sun is simply Italian,
the air is rich; the sea is like a looking-glass, and during whole days I am pushed to and
fro on the esplanade, in an invalid chair. It is lovely. I think I am already strong enough.
My brain moves much less, but before I was simply afraid for my head. My doctor said .
. . exhaustion of the brain and nervous prostration. 'You have overworked yourself,' he
says, 'you must give yourself a rest.' That's it! And with all this work on my hands! 'You
have written your full,' he says; 'now drive about.'
"It is easy for him to speak, but all the same I must put the third volume of the
Doctrine in order, and the fourth - hardly begun yet, too. It is true though that in my present
state of weakness my head keeps nodding, I feel drowsy. But, all the same, don't be
afraid. There is no more danger. Take consolation from the enclosed newspaper cuttings.
You see how the nations magnify your sister! My Key to Theosophy will bring many new
proselytes, and the Voice of the Silence, tiny book though it is, is simply becoming the
Theosophists' bible.
"They are grand aphorisms, indeed. I may say so, because you know I did not
invent them! I only translated them from Telugu, the oldest South-Indian dialect. There
are three treatises, about morals, and the moral principles of the Mongolian and Dravidian
mystics. Some of the aphorisms are wonderfully deep and beautiful. Here they have
created a perfect furore, and I think they would attract attention in Russia, too. Won't you
translate them? It will be a fine thing to do."

The sea air did her good, but she did not keep her strength long. Not later than April
she was again forbidden to work, abstaining from which was a real torture for her, as with
her failing strength the activity of her thought seemed only to increase. She knew she had
not much time to lose, and yet she had to spend whole days in her bed doing absolutely
nothing. She wrote to her sister:
"And still I have a consolation; my Theosophists grudge nothing for me in either
labor, time or money. Formerly I used to think they could not do without me, having
imagined I am a well of wisdom, and so took care of me as of a precious jewel, which has
come from far across the seas. And now I see I was mistaken, many of them simply love
me as a dear mother of theirs. For instance Mrs. Candler: she is not a very deep
Theosophist, and yet she spent the whole of the last summer petting me and now again
she writes, asking me to settle beforehand where I feel inclined to spend the season, and
wants to take me to all kinds of places, having wrapped me in wadding. But I shall not go
anywhere. I want you, Vera, you and your children. Besides, it seems likely that Charlie
and Vera will also return from India. They could not stay long in Russia; you are free to
do what you like, so instead of the country come to me, all of you. . . . Or maybe you would
prefer to spend the summer in Stockholm, near the seaside instead of England. Seriously
- my Swedish Theosophists are very eager that I should come; one of them offers me a
whole villa at my service, with a park and a yacht to sail in the bay. . . . But I think we might
as well stay in London. Our new house, the Theosophical headquarters, is right in
Regent's Park, near the Zoological Gardens. I am forbidden to work now, but all the same
I am awfully busy changing from one end of London to the other. We have taken three
separate houses, joined by a garden, for several years; 19 Avenue Road, with building-
right. So I am building a lecture hall, to hold 300 people; the hall is to be in Eastern style,
made of polished wood, in a brick shell, to keep the cold out; and no ceiling inside, the roof
being supported by beams and made also of polished wood. And one of our Theosophists
who is a painter is going to paint allegorical signs and pictures over it. Oh, it will be lovely!"

Mme. Blavatsky was as pleased as a child with all the new arrangements, and yet
she had a foreboding she was to die in this new house, and spoke of it to her sister.
Her next letter, dated July, describes the opening of her new lecture hall.
"At one end of the hall they placed a huge arm-chair for me and I sat as if
enthroned. I sat there hardly able to keep myself together, so ill was I, my doctor near at
hand in case I should faint. The hall is lovely, but about 500 people had assembled, nearly
twice as many as it would hold. . . . And imagine my astonishment: in the first row I was
shown Mrs. Benson, the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom my Lucifer
addressed a "brotherly message." I am sure you remember it? What are we coming to!
The speeches were by Sinnett and others, but, needless to say, no one spoke so well as
Annie Besant. Heavens, how this woman speaks! I hope you will hear her yourself. She
is now my co-editor of Lucifer and the president of the Blavatsky Lodge. Sinnett is to
remain the president of the London Lodge alone. As for me, I have become a regular
theosophical pope now: I have been unanimously elected president of all the European
theosophical branches. But what is the use of all this to me? .... If I could get some more
health - that would be business. But honors and titles are altogether out of my line."

(The Path, Dec.-Dec., 1894-95)



The following two letters contain ideas and suggestions of very grave import to
students of Theosophy, particularly on this continent. We commend them to the most
earnest consideration of our readers and trust they will give to them the close attention
which they deserve. They are of special significance, we feel, at the present disturbed and
uncertain time in human affairs.
The first letter is addressed to the Second Annual Convention of the Theosophical
Society, American Section, held at Chicago, Ill., April 22nd and 23rd, 1888. The second
one was sent to the Fifth Annual Convention of the same body, held at Boston, Mass., April
26th and 27th, 1891. It is followed by an additional message written but three weeks prior
to the passing of H.P. Blavatsky.
These and other letters from H.P. Blavatsky were originally published in the Report
of Proceedings of the respective Conventions to which they were addressed. -Editor.

General Secretary of the American Section of the Theosophical Society


In addressing to you this letter, which I request you to read to the Convention
summoned for April 22nd, I must first present my hearty congratulations and most cordial
good wishes to the assembled Delegates and good Fellows of our Society, and to yourself
- the heart and soul of that Body in America. We were several, to call it to life in 1875.
Since then you have remained alone to preserve that life through good and evil report. It
is to you chiefly, if not entirely, that the Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888.
Let me then thank you for it, for the first, and perhaps for the last, time publicly, and from
the bottom of my heart, which beats only for the cause you represent so well and serve so
faithfully. I ask you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice is but the
feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the transmitter of the approval of Those
whose presence is alive in more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know,
pre-eminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm greeting as earnestly
as it is given, and may every Fellow present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit
by the Blessings sent.
Theosophy has lately taken a new start in America which marks the commencement
of a new Cycle in the affairs of the Society in the West. And the policy you are now
following is admirably adapted to give scope for the widest expansion of the movement,
and to establish on a firm basis an organization which, while promoting feelings of fraternal
sympathy, social unity, and solidarity, will leave ample room for individual freedom and
exertion in the common cause - that of helping mankind.
The multiplication of local centres should be a foremost consideration in your minds,
and each man should strive to be a centre of work in himself. When his inner development
has reached a certain point, he will naturally draw those with whom he is in contact under
the same influence; a nucleus will be formed, round which other people will gather,
forming a centre from which information and spiritual influence radiate, and towards which
higher influences are directed.
But let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and
has ever ended most fatally. We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced; but no
one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best,
a pupil-teacher - one who has no right to dogmatize.
Since the Society was founded, a distinct change has come over the spirit of the
age. Those who gave Its commission to found the Society foresaw this, now rapidly
growing, wave of transcendental influence following that other wave of mere
phenomenalism. Even the journals of Spiritualism are gradually eliminating the
phenomena and wonders, to replace them with philosophy. The Theosophical ideas have
entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet
Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition. The days of
old are gone to return no more, and many are the Theosophists who, taught by bitter
experience, have pledged themselves to make of the Society a "miracle club" no longer.
The faint-hearted have asked in all ages for signs and wonders, and when these failed to
be granted, they refused to believe. Such are not those who will ever comprehend
Theosophy pure and simple. But there are others among us who realize intuitionally that
the recognition of pure Theosophy - the philosophy of the rational explanation of things and
not the tenets - is of the most vital importance in the Society, inasmuch as it alone can
furnish the beacon-light needed to guide humanity on its true path.
This should never be forgotten, nor should the following fact be overlooked. On the
day when Theosophy will have accomplished its most holy and most important mission -
namely, to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure
altruistic work, not on a labour with selfish motives - on that day only will Theosophy
become higher than any nominal brotherhood of man. This will be a wonder and a miracle
truly, for the realization of which Humanity is vainly waiting for the last 18 centuries, and
which every association has hitherto failed to accomplish.
Orthodoxy in Theosophy is a thing neither possible nor desirable. It is diversity of
opinion, within certain limits, that keeps the Theosophical Society a living and healthy body,
its many other ugly features notwithstanding. Were it not, also, for the existence of a large
amount of uncertainty in the minds of students of Theosophy, such healthy divergencies
would be impossible and the Society would degenerate into a sect, in which a narrow and
stereotyped creed would take the place of the living and breathing spirit of Truth and an
ever growing Knowledge.
According as people are prepared to receive it, so will new Theosophical teaching
be given. But no more will be given than the world on its present level of spirituality, can
profit by. It depends on the spread of Theosophy - the assimilation of what has been
already given - how much more will be revealed, and how soon.
It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing
a supply of Occultists - as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts. It was intended to stem
the current of materialism, and also that of spiritualistic phenomenalism and the worship
of the Dead. It had to guide the spiritual awakening that has now begun, and not to pander
to psychic cravings which are but another form of materialism. For by "materialism" is
meant not only an antiphilosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism
in conduct and action - brutality, hypocrisy, and, above all, selfishness, - but also the fruits
of a disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has increased enormously during
the last century, and which has led many, after a denial of all existence other than that in
matter, into a blind belief in the materialization of Spirit.
The tendency of modern civilization is a reaction towards animalism, towards a
development of those qualities which conduce to the success in life of man as an animal
in the struggle for animal existence. Theosophy seeks to develop the human nature in
man in addition to the animal, and at the sacrifice of the superfluous animality which
modern life and materialistic teachings have developed to a degree which is abnormal for
the human being at this stage of his progress.
Men cannot all be Occultists, but they can all be Theosophists. Many who have
never heard of the Society are Theosophists without knowing it themselves; for the
essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the
adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations, and their sway over the terrestrial or
animal passions in him. Kindness, absence of every ill feeling or selfishness, charity,
good-will to all beings, and perfect justice to others as to one's self, are its chief features.
He who teaches Theosophy preaches the gospel of good-will; and the converse of this is
true also, - he who preaches the gospel of good-will, teaches Theosophy.
This aspect of Theosophy has never failed to receive due and full recognition in the
pages of the "PATH," a journal of which the American Section has good reason to be
proud. It is a teacher and a power; and the fact that such a periodical should be produced
and supported in the United States speaks in eloquent praise both of its Editor and its
America is also to be congratulated on the increase in the number of the Branches
or Lodges which is now taking place. It is a sign that in things spiritual as well as things
temporal the great American Republic is well fitted for independence and self-organization.
The Founders of the Society wish every Section, as soon as it becomes strong enough to
govern itself, to be as independent as is compatible with its allegiance to the Society as a
whole and to the Great Ideal Brotherhood, the lowest formal grade of which is represented
by the Theosophical Society.
Here in England Theosophy is waking into new life. The slanders and absurd
inventions of the Society for Psychical Research have almost paralyzed it, though only for
a very short time, and the example of America has stirred the English Theosophists into
renewed activity. "Lucifer" sounded the reveille, and the first fruit has been the founding
of the "Theosophical Publication Society." This Society is of great importance. It has
undertaken the very necessary work of breaking down the barrier of prejudice and
ignorance which has formed so great an impediment to the spread of Theosophy. It will
act as a recruiting agency for the Society by the wide distribution of elementary literature
on the subject, among those who are in any way prepared to give ear to it. The
correspondence already received shows that it is creating an interest in the subject, and
proves that in every large town in England there exist quite enough isolated Theosophists
to form groups or Lodges under charter from the Society. But, at present, these students
do not even know of each other's existence, and many of them have never heard of the
Theosophical Society until now. I am thoroughly satisfied of the great utility of this new
Society, composed as it is to a large extent of members of the Theosophical Society, and
being under the control of prominent Theosophists, such as you, my dear Brother W.Q.
Judge, Mabel Collins and the Countess Wachtmeister.
I am confident that, when the real nature of Theosophy is understood, the prejudice
against it, now so unfortunately prevalent, will die out. Theosophists are of necessity the
friends of all movements in the world, whether intellectual or simply practical, for the
amelioration of the conditions of mankind. We are the friends of all those who fight against
drunkenness, against cruelty to animals, against injustice to women, against corruption in
society or in government, although we do not meddle in politics. We are the friends of
those who exercise practical charity, who seek to lift a little of the tremendous weight of
misery that is crushing down the poor. But, in our quality of Theosophists, we cannot
engage in any one of these great works in particular. As individuals we may do so, but as
Theosophists we have a larger, more important, and much more difficult work to do.
People say that Theosophists should show what is to them, that "the tree is known by its
fruit." Let them build dwellings for the poor, it is said, let them open "soup-kitchens" etc.
etc., and the world will believe that there is something in Theosophy. These good people
forget that Theosophists, as such, are poor, and that the Founders themselves are poorer
than any, and that one of them, at any rate, the humble writer of these lines, has no
property of her own, and has to work hard for her daily bread whenever she finds time from
her Theosophical duties. The function of Theosophists is to open men's hearts and
understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to
the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a
human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people
have learnt to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think, they will act
humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.
Now with regard to the Secret Doctrine, the publication of which some of you urged
so kindly upon me, and in such cordial terms, a while ago. I am very grateful for the hearty
support promised and for the manner in which it was expressed. The MSS. of the first
three volumes is now ready for the press; and its publication is only delayed by the
difficulty which is experienced in finding the necessary funds. Though I have not written
it with an eye to money, yet, having left Adyar, I must live and pay my way in the world so
long as I remain in it. Moreover, the Theosophical Society urgently needs money for many
purposes, and I feel that I should not be justified in dealing with the Secret Doctrine as I
dealt with Isis Unveiled. From my former work I have received personally in all only a few
hundred dollars, although nine editions have been issued. Under these circumstances I
am endeavouring to find means of securing the publication of the Secret Doctrine on better
terms this time, and here I am offered next to nothing. So, my dearest Brothers and Co-
workers in the trans-Atlantic lands, you must forgive the delay, and not blame me for it but
the unfortunate conditions I am surrounded with.
I should like to revisit America, and shall perhaps do so one day, should my health
permit. I have received pressing invitations to take up my abode in your great country
which I love so much for its noble freedom. Colonel Olcott, too, urges upon me very
strongly to return to India, where he is fighting almost single-handed the great and hard
fight in the cause of Truth; but I feel that, for the present, my duty lies in England and with
the Western Theosophists, where for the moment the hardest fight against prejudice and
ignorance has to be fought. But whether I be in England or in India, a large part of my
heart and much of my hope for Theosophy lie with you in the United States, where the
Theosophical Society was founded, and of which country I myself am proud of being a
citizen. But you must remember that, although there must be local Branches of the
Theosophical Society, there can be no local Theosophists; and just as you all belong to
the Society, so do I belong to you all.
I shall leave my dear Friend and Colleague, Col. Olcott, to tell you all about the
condition of affairs in India, where everything looks favorable, as I am informed, for I have
no doubt that he also will have sent his good wishes and congratulations to your
Meanwhile, my far-away and dear Brother, accept the warmest and sincerest wishes
for the welfare of your Societies and of yourself personally, and, while conveying to all your
colleagues the expression of my fraternal regards, assure them that, at the moment when
you will be reading to them the present lines, I shall - if alive - be in Spirit, Soul, and
Thought amidst you all.
Yours ever, in the truth of the GREAT CAUSE we are all working for,

(Seal) H.P. Blavatsky .'.

LONDON, April 3d, 1888.



For the third time since my return to Europe in 1885, I am able to send to my
brethren in Theosophy and fellow citizens of the United States a delegate from England
to attend the annual Theosophical Convention and speak by word of mouth my greeting
and warm congratulations. Suffering in body as I am continually, the only consolation that
remains to me is to hear of the progress of the Holy Cause to which my health and strength
have been given; but to which, now that these are going, I can offer only my passionate
devotion and never-weakening good wishes for its success and welfare. The news
therefore that comes from America, mail after mail, telling of new Branches and of well-
considered and patiently worked out plans for the advancement of Theosophy cheers and
gladdens me with its evidence of growth, more than words can tell. Fellow Theosophists,
I am proud of your noble work in the New World; Sisters and Brothers of America, I thank
and bless you for your unremitting labors for the common cause so dear to us all.
Let me remind you all once more that such work is now more than ever needed.
The period which we have now reached in the cycle that will close between 1897-8 is, and
will continue to be, one of great conflict and continued strain. If the T.S. can hold through
it, good; if not, while Theosophy will remain unscathed, the Society will perish - perchance
most ingloriously - and the World will suffer. I fervently hope that I may not see such a
disaster in my present body. The critical nature of the stage on which we have entered is
as well known to the forces that fight against us as to those that fight on our side. No
opportunity will be lost of sowing dissension, of taking advantage of mistaken and false
moves, of instilling doubt, of augmenting difficulties, of breathing suspicions, so that by any
and every means the unity of the Society may be broken and the ranks of our Fellows
thinned and thrown into disarray. Never has it been more necessary for the members of
the T.S. to lay to heart the old parable of the bundle of sticks than it is at the present time;
divided, they will inevitably be broken, one by one; united, there is no force on earth able
to destroy our Brotherhood. Now I have marked with pain a tendency among you, as
among the Theosophists in Europe and India, to quarrel over trifles, and to allow your very
devotion to the cause of Theosophy to lead you into disunion. Believe me, that apart from
such natural tendency, owing to the inherent imperfections of Human Nature, advantage
is often taken by our ever-watchful enemies of your noblest qualities to betray and to
mislead you. Sceptics will laugh at this statement, and even some of you may put small
faith in the actual existence of the terrible forces of these mental, hence subjective and
invisible, yet withal living and potent, influences around all of us. But there they are, and
I know of more than one among you who have felt them, and have actually been forced to
acknowledge these extraneous mental pressures. On those of you who are unselfishly and
sincerely devoted to the Cause, they will produce little, if any, impression. On some others,
those who place their personal pride higher than their duty to the T.S., higher even than
their pledge to their divine SELF, the effect is generally disastrous. Self-watchfulness is
never more necessary than when a personal wish to lead, and wounded vanity, dress
themselves in the peacock's feathers of devotion and altruistic work; but at the present
crisis of the Society a lack of self-control and watchfulness may become fatal in every
case. But these diabolical attempts of our powerful enemies - the irreconcilable foes of the
truths now being given out and practically asserted - may be frustrated. If every Fellow in
the Society were content to be an impersonal force for good, careless of praise or blame
so long as he subserved the purposes of the Brotherhood, the progress made would
astonish the World and place the Ark of the T.S. out of danger. Take for your motto in
conduct during the coming year, "Peace with all who love Truth in sincerity," and the
Convention of 1892 will bear eloquent witness to the strength that is born of unity.
Your position as the fore-runners of the sixth sub-race of the fifth root-race has its
own special perils as well as its special advantages. Psychism, with all its allurements and
all its dangers, is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic
outruns the Manasic and Spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under
control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids in development.
But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of controlled, using instead of being
used, lead the Student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral
destruction. Watch therefore carefully this development, inevitable in your race and
evolution-period, so that it may finally work for good and not for evil; and receive, in
advance, the sincere and potent blessings of Those whose goodwill will never fail you, if
you do not fail yourselves.
Here in England I am glad to be able to report to you that steady and rapid progress
is being made. Annie Besant will give you details of our work, and will tell you of the
growing strength and influence of our Society; the reports which she bears from the
European and British Sections speak for themselves in their record of activities. The
English character, difficult to reach, but solid and tenacious when once aroused, adds to
our Society a valuable factor, and there are being laid in England strong and firm
foundations for the T.S. of the twentieth century. Here, as with you, attempts are being
successfully made to bring to bear the influence of Hindu on English thought, and many
of our Hindu brethren are now writing for Lucifer short and clear papers on Indian
philosophies. As it is one of the tasks of the T.S. to draw together the East and the West,
so that each may supply the qualities lacking in the other and develop more fraternal
feelings among nations so various, this literary intercourse will, I hope, prove of the utmost
service in Aryanising Western thought.
The mention of Lucifer reminds me that the now assured position of that magazine
is very largely due to the help rendered at a critical moment by the American Fellows. As
my one absolutely unfettered medium of communication with Theosophists all over the
World, its continuance was of grave importance to the whole Society. In its pages, month
by month, I give such public teaching as is possible on Theosophical doctrines, and so
carry on the most important of our Theosophical work. The magazine now just covers its
expenses, and if Lodges and individual Fellows would help in increasing its circulation, it
would become more widely useful than it is at the present time. Therefore, while thanking
from the bottom of my heart all those who so generously helped to place the magazine on
a solid foundation, I should be glad to see a larger increase in the number of regular
subscribers, for I regard these as my pupils, among whom I shall find some who will show
the capacity for receiving further instruction.
And now I have said all. I am not sufficiently strong to write a more lengthy
message, and there is the less need for me to do so as my friend and trusted messenger
Annie Besant, she who is my right arm here, will be able to explain to you my wishes more
fully and better than I can write them. After all, every wish and thought I can utter are
summed up in this one sentence, the never-dormant wish of my heart, "Be Theosophists,
work for Theosophy!" Theosophy first, and Theosophy last; for its practical realization
alone can save the Western world from that selfish and unbrotherly feeling that now divides
race from race, one nation from another; and from that hatred of class and social
considerations that are the curse and disgrace of so-called Christian peoples. Theosophy
alone can save it from sinking entirely into that more luxurious materialism in which it will
decay and putrefy as civilizations have done. In your hands, brothers, is placed in trust
the welfare of the coming century; and great as is the trust, so great is also the
responsibility. My own span of life may not be long, and if any of you have learned aught
from my teachings, or have gained by my help a glimpse of the True Light, I ask you, in
return, to strengthen the Cause by the triumph of which that True Light, made still brighter
and more glorious through your individual and collective efforts, will lighten the World, and
thus to let me see, before I part with this worn-out body, the stability of the Society secured.
May the blessings of the past and present great Teachers rest upon you. From
myself accept collectively the assurance of my true, never-wavering fraternal feelings, and
the sincere, heartfelt thanks for the work done by all the workers.
From their servant to the last,
(Seal) H.P. Blavatsky


[Additional message read at the same session of the Fifth Annual Convention, at
the conclusion of the preceding letter.]




Brother Theosophists:

I have purposely omitted any mention of my oldest friend and fellow-worker, W.Q.
Judge, in my general address to you, because I think that his unflagging and self-sacrificing
efforts for the building up of Theosophy in America deserve special mention.
Had it not been for W.Q. Judge, Theosophy would not be where it is today in the
United States. It is he who has mainly built up the movement among you, and he who has
proved in a thousand ways his entire loyalty to the best interests of Theosophy and the
Mutual admiration should play no part in a Theosophical Convention, but honour
should be given where honour is due, and I gladly take this opportunity of stating in public,
by the mouth of my friend and colleague, Annie Besant, my deep appreciation of the work
of your General Secretary, and of publicly tendering him my most sincere thanks and
deeply-felt gratitude, in the name of Theosophy, for the noble work he is doing and has
Yours fraternally,
H.P. Blavatsky .'.

- from Theosophia, July-August, 1950



Mrs. Besant prints the following letter from Madam Blavatsky in The Theosophist
for March. It was discovered by Miss Nett who had been going through many boxes of old
papers and letters of Col. Olcott's at Adyar. The letter follows:

"Yes; you are right. My life was a chequered and marvelous one, but the marvels
and checks in it are not at all due to my connections with great men whom they began
calling Mahatmas in India. The Masters I know are neither the Yogis as known in India,
who sit for ages buried in a jungle, with trees growing between their arms and legs, nor do
they stand for years on one leg, nor yet do they make tapas and hold their breath. They
are simply Adepts in Esoteric Science and Occultism; Adepts whose Headquarters are in
a certain part of Thibet, and whose Members are scattered through the world. These are
the Men - great, glorious, more learned than any others on earth; some quite holy, others
less so; - whom I know, with whom I learnt what I know, with whom I lived, and whom I
swore to serve for ever, as long as I have a breath left in my body, and whom I do serve
faithfully, if not always wisely and - Who do exist. Now whether any believe in Them or not
is not the question. Maybe They Themselves did everything in Their power to bring people
to disbelieve in Them, as from 1879 to 1884 the belief had degenerated into worship and
fetishism. I never said that I was their `representative,' I only said I was Their servant and
faithful slave; aye, unto the bitter death and end. To conclude, you do not know me, nor
have you ever known me as I really am; some day perhaps you will learn to know better."

- From Canadian Theosophist, April 15, 1929



October 25, 1888 London

17 Landsdowne Rd.,
James M. Pryse, Esq.,
89 East Pico Street,
Los Angeles, California.

Dear Sir:
My best friend, W.Q. Judge, has written me mentioning the excellent work you are
doing on the Pacific slope. I therefore just send you a word or two to express my
appreciation (and gratitude) of your efforts in the cause of our Masters.
Would that all Theosophists could realize the importance of the duty entrusted to
them, as you do; and work in real earnest for the advancement of the only movement
which can save the world from another cataclysm of "Atlantean" black magic.
Hoping you will accept my gratitude as something more than a simple act of
politeness, and trusting that the present will find you well and in full success.
Believe me, dear Sir,
Yours ever fraternally and truly,
H.P. Blavatsky.

December 23,
Landsdowne Road.
My dearest Brother:
May the Powers we believe in help and give you strength to carry on your work.
Such letters as yours are the only beams of sunlight that reach me in my heavy
Theosophical work - yes, as rare as the rays of the London sun through the eternal fog of
the Island, may you be blessed!
Ask Judge for the confidential rules (a pamphlet) issued for those of the Esoteric
Section, and send him your Number. Ah, if you could send me one day of your sun-lit
California weather what luck for my old aching body almost crippled with rhuematism.
Excuse this short note. I am overwhelmed with work.
Yours fraternally and gratefully,
H. P. Blavatsky.

- Canadian Theosophist, Jan. 15 1928



To Alexander Wilder, M. D.

The understanding had been reached that Mr. Bouton should publish Madame
Blavatsky's manuscript of Isis Unveiled. It was placed in my hands by him with instruction
to abridge it all that I thought best. It was an undesirable task, but I did it with scrupulous
regard to the interest of the publisher, and to what I esteemed to be just to the author. I
was introduced to her about this time. She spoke of what I had done, with great courtesy,
employing her favorite term to characterize what I had thrown out. She was about to begin
a revision of the work, and asked me to indicate freely wherever I considered it at fault or
not well expressed. It is hardly necessary to say that this was a delicate matter. Authors
are sensitive even to morbidness, and prone to feel a criticism to be an exhibition of
unfriendliness. Nevertheless, I faced the issue, and pointed out frankly what I considered
fault of style, and also the importance of explaining her sources of information. She was
frank to acknowledge her own shortcomings, but pleaded that she was not permitted to
divulge the matters which I urged. We compared views, ethnic and historic, often not
agreeing. I took the pains to embody many of these points in a letter, to which she made
the following reply:


Dr. A. Wilder,
My dear Sir: -
Your kind favor at hand only today, for my friend Mr. Marquette has proved an
inaccurate postman, having some sun-struck patients to attend.
There are many parts in my Book that I do not like either, but the trouble is I do not
know how to get rid of them without touching facts which are important, as arguments. You
say that when I prove something, I prove it too much. There again you are right, but in
such a work - (and the first one of some importance that I ever wrote, having limited myself
to articles) in such a work when facts crowd and elbow each other in my brains, really one
does not know sometimes where to stop. Your head is fresh, for your read it for the first
time. Therefore you see all the faults and shortcomings, while my overworked brains and
memory are all in a sad muddle, having read the manuscripts over and over again. I am
really very, very thankful to you for your suggestions. I wish you made more of them.
Do you think the Phenicians were an Ethiopian race? Why? They have certainly
mingled much with them, but I do not see well how it can be. The Phenicians were the
ancient Jews I think, whatever they have been before. Josephus admits as much, unless
it is a hoax to escape other accusations. The biblical mode of worship and the bloody
sacrifices in which the Patriarchs and other "chosen ones" delighted are of a Phenician
origin, as they belonged in days of old to the Bacchic and Adonis Phenician worship. The
Adonis is certainly the Jewish Adonai. All the Phenician deities can be found in Joshua as
well as their temples. xxiii, 7. Herodotus traces the circumcision to them. The little bulls
of the Jews - the Osiris-Bacchus-Adonis - is a Phenician custom. I think the Phenicians
were the Canaanites. When settled in Jerusalem they appear to have become friends.
The Sidonian Baal-Adonis-Bal is closely related to their Sabean worship of the "Queen of
Heaven." Herodotus shows that the Syrians - the Jews of Palestine - lived earlier on the
Red Sea and he calls them Phenicians. But what puzzles me is to reconcile the type. The
Jews appear to have never intermarried among other nations - at least not to the extent to
change their type. They have nothing Ethiopian about them. Will you tell me your reasons
and oblige?
You told me in a previous letter that the Ethiopians have anciently dwelt in India.
In Western India there is in a temple the statue of Chrishna and he is a splendid black
Ethiopian with woolly hair, black lips and flat nose. I trace every or nearly every ancient
religion to India because of the Sanscrit names of the gods of every other nation. If you
trace them etymologically you are sure to find the root of every god (of the Aryan family)
in Sanscrit, and many of the Semitic gods also, and that before the Aryans broke up
towards the South and North. Every Slavonian Deity can be traced back to India, and yet
the word Bog, the Russian word for God, a derivation from Gosped, gosped in Hospodar
or gospodar, "the Lord" seems to come right from the Babylonian Bel, Baal, or Bal. In
Slavonian and Russian Bjeloybog means literally White God, or the God of the Day, -
Good. Deity, as Teherno-bog is Black God - the Evil, Night-Deity. The Tyrian god was
Belus - Babylonian Bel, and Bok means Light and Boga the sun. I derive Bacchus from
this - as a Sun god. I suppose we ought in the derivation of the names of all these gods,
take in consideration the aspiration. The Semitic S generally softens to Ah in the Sanscrit.
The Assyrian San becomes in Sanscrit Ahan; their Asuria is Ahura. As is the son-god and
Ar is a sun-god. Assur is a Syrian and Assyrian sun-god; Assurya is one of the names of
the Sun, and Surya in Sanscrit is the Sun (see M. Miller). It was the rule of Bunsen to
soften the S to u. Now As means life and Asu Spirit, and in India, even in Thibet, the life
principle, the great agent of Magic, the Astral light by which the Lamas and Siamese
priests produce their wonders is written Akasa, pronounced Ahaha. It is the life-principle,
for it is the direct magnetism, the electric current proceeding from the Sun, which is
certainly a great Magnet as the ancients said, and not as our modern scientists will have
I have studied some of the old Turanian words (beg pardon of philology and
Science) in Samarkand with an old scholar, and he told me that he traced somehow the
deities of every subsequent nation a great deal further back than the Aryan roots before
the split of the nations. Now Max Muller does not concede, it seems to me, anything
positive or exact as roots beyond the old Sanscrit, and dares not go further back. How do
you account for that? You say that the Chaldeans were a tribe of the Akkadians, come
from Armenia. This is Rawlinson's views. But did you trace the primitive Akkadians back?
I have been living for a long time at the very foot of Mount Ararat, in Erivan, where my
husband was governor for twenty-five years, and we have profound scholars among some
Armenian Monks in the Monastery of Etchmiadjene, the dwelling-place or See of the
Armenian Patriarch (the Gregorian). It is but a few verstes from Erivan. Abieh, the well-
known geologist and archeologist of the Russian government, used to say that he got his
most precious information from Nerses, the late Patriarch. In the garden of the very house
we lived in was an enormous column, a ruin from the palace of Tyridates, all covered with
inscriptions, about which the Russian government did not care much. I had them all
explained by a monk of Nerses. I have reasons to think the Akkadians came from India.
The Bible mandrakes were never understood in their Cabbalistic meaning. There is a
Kabbala older than the Chaldean. Oannes has never been traced to his origin; but, of
course, I cannot, at least I must not, give to the world its meaning. Your article on the
Androgynes is splendid. I did not dare write it in my book. I think the Amazons were
Androgynes and belong to one of the primitive cycles. You do not prove them historically,
do you?
I will certainly admit your suggestion as to Job. I see you have more of Cabbalistic
intuition than I thought possible in one not initiated. As to the chapter of explanation about
the Hierophants, the Florsedim and others, please suggest where it ought to come in and
what it should cover. It seems to me that it will he difficult for me to explain what I am not
allowed to, or say anything about the exoteric part what intelligent people do not already
know. I am a Thibetian Buddhist, you know, and pledged myself to keep certain things
secret. They have the original book of Yasher and some of the lost manuscripts mentioned
in the Bible, such as the Book of War, as you knew, perhaps, in the old place. I will write
to General Kauffman one of these days to Teschkeut, where he is General Governor for
the last ten years, and he can get me all the copies and translations from the old
manuscripts I want. Isn't it extraordinary that the government (Russian) does not care
more about them than it does? Whereto do you trace the lost tribes of Israel?
I suppose I gave you the headache by this time, so I close; I will forward you
Saturday the last chapters of the Second Part if I can, but this part is not finished yet and
I want your advice as to how to wind it up.
Truly and respectfully yours,
H. P. Blavatsky

Note - Perhaps there should be some reply made here to these inquiries, though it
seems hardly in keeping. It is true that Herodotus states that the Phoenicians came from
the country of the Red or Erythrean Sea, which washes Arabia.
Mr. J. D. Baldwin classifies them as "Cushites," in which race he includes the
Arabians and the dominant dark people of India, but not the African tribes. The Cushites
of Asia are the Ethiopians of classic times. Although the Phoenicians were styled Kaphts
by the Egyptians, and the Philostians are said to have migrated from Kaphta, it has been
quite common to identify the Phoenicians with the Canaanites of the Bible. Whether
anciently the Jews were of the same people, there must have been a close relation, and
we find in the Bible that no exception was taken to intermarriage till the time of Ezra and
Nehemiah. Probably the type was established subsequent to that period. "Ephraim is a
Canaanite," says the prophet; "deceitful balances are in his hand, and he loveth to
I think that Godfrey Higgins and Moor in the "Pantheon" denominated the figure a
"Buddha" and negro, that Mme. Blavatsky describes as Krishna. True, Krishna had
another name, and this term signifies black. But when India is named, it is not definitely
certain how far it extended, or differed from the Asiatic Ethiopia. The Akkadians may have
come from that part of Asia; the term signifies Highlands. But the Chaldeans, their
supposed successors, are called Kasdim. In the Bible Xenophon wrote of Chaldeans,
natives of Armenia.

The ensuing autumn and winter I delivered a course of lectures in a medical college
in New York. This brought me from Newark several times each week and gave me an
opportunity to call at the place on West Forty-seventh Street if there was occasion.
During the season previous Baron de Palm had died in Roosevelt Hospital. He was
on intimate terms with the family group in West Forty-seventh Street, and had received
necessary attentions from them during his illness. Whatever he possessed of value he
bestowed upon them, but with the pledge or condition that his body should be cremated.
This was a novel, not to say a shocking idea, to people generally. There was but one place
for such a purpose in the United States. Dr. Francis Le Moyne had constructed it at
Washington, in Western Pennsylvania. He was an old-time abolitionist, when this meant
social proscription, and in 1844 was the candidate for the Liberty Party for Vice-President.
He had advanced views on the disposal of the dead and had built the crematory for himself
and family. The arrangements were made for the cremation of the body of the deceased
Baron, as soon as winter had come to permit its transportation from New York. Colonel
Olcott had charge of the matter. Being a "newspaper man" and rather fond of display, he
induced a large party to go with him to see the first cremation in America. This was the
introduction of this practice into this country.
During his absence I called at the house on Forty-seventh Street, but my ringing was
not answered. I then wrote a note stating my errand. Madame Blavatsky answered at
once as follows:

My Dear Doctor:
Now, that's too bad, but I really think you must have rung the wrong bell. I did not
go out of the house for the last two months, and the servant is always in the kitchen until
half-past nine or ten. Why did you not pull all the bells one after the other? Well, you must
come Monday - as you have to come to town, and stop over till Tuesday. You can attend
your College and sleep here the same, can't you? And Olcott will be back to talk your law
business with you; but if you want something particular, or have some law affairs which
are pressing, why don't you go to Judge, to 71 Broadway, Olcott's and Judge's office.
Judge will attend to anything you want. He is a smart lawyer, and a faithful true friend to
all of us. But of course you know better yourself how to act in your own business. Olcott
will be home by Friday night I think. I could not go, though they expect me there today.
To tell you the truth, I do not see the fun of spending $40.00 or $50.00 for the pleasure of
seeing a man burnt. I have seen burnings of dead and living bodies in India sufficiently.
Bouton is an extraordinary man. He says to Olcott that it is for you to decide
whether it will be one or two volumes, etc., and you tell me he needs no estimate of yours!
He told you "how to go to work." Can't you tell us what he told you? It is no curiosity, but
business. As I am adding all kind of esoteric and other matter in Part II, I would like to
know what I can write, and on what subjects I am to shut my mouth. It is useless for me
to labor if it is all to be cut out. Will you please, dear doctor, tell me what I have to do? I
am of your opinion about Inman; but facts are facts. I do not go against Christianity,
neither against Jesus of Nazareth. I simply go for the skulls of theologians. Theology is
neither Christianity nor religion. It is human and blasphemous flapdoodle. I suppose any
one understands it. But how can I make a parallel between heathen or pagan worship and
the Christian unless I give facts? It is facts and scientific discovery which kills exoteric and
fetish-worshiping Christianity, not what Inman or I can say. But laying Inman aside, read
"Supernatural Religion" which had in less than 18 months six editions in England. The
book is written by a Bishop, one of the most learned Theologians of the Church of England.
Why he kills divine Revelation and dogmas and Gospels and all that.
Believe me, Dr. Wilder, a little and cowardly abuse will kill a book; a courageous
and sincere criticism of this hypocritical, lying, dirty crew - Catholic Clergy - will help to sell
the book. I leave the Protestants and other Christian religions nearly out of question. I
only go for Catholics. A pope who calls himself the Viceregent of God on earth, and openly
sympathizes with the Turks against the unfortunate Bulgarian Christians, is a Cain - a
fiend; and if the French Liberal papers themselves publicly abuse him, Bouton must not
fear that the book will be prevented in its sale because I advise the old Antichrist, who has
compared himself for the last two years with all the Prophets of the Bible and with the "slain
Lamb" himself - if I advise him moreover, to compare himself, while he is at work, to Saul;
the Turkish Bashi-Bazook to David; and the Bulgarians to the Philistines. Let him, the old
cruel Devil promise the Bashi-Bazook (David) his daughter the Popish Church (Michal) in
marriage if he brings him 100 foreskins of the Bulgarians.
I have received letters from home. My aunt sends me a piece of poetry by the
famous Russian author and poet - J. Tourgeneff. It was printed in all the Russian papers,
and the Emperor has forbidden its publication from consideration (and politics I suppose)
for old Victoria. My aunt wants me to translate it and have it published here in the
American newspapers, and most earnestly she appeals for that I cannot write poetry. God
knows the trouble I have with my prose. But I have translated every line word for word
(eleven quatrains in all). Can you put them in verses so as to preserve the rhyme and
rhythm, too? It is a splendid and thrilling thing entitled "Crocket at Windsor," the idea being
a vision of the Queen, who looks upon a crocket game and sees the balls chased by the
mallet, transformed into rolling heads of women, girls and children tortured by the Turks.
Goes home; sees her dress all covered with gore, calls on the British rivers and waters for
help to wash out the stain, and hears a voice answered, "No, Majesty no, this innocent
blood," - "You can never wash out - nevermore," etc.
My dear Doctor, can you do me a favor to write me half a page or so of a
"Profession of faith," to insert in the first page or pages of Part II? Just to say briefly and
eloquently that it is not against Christ or the Christ-religion that I battle. Neither do I battle
against any sincere, true religion, but against theology and Pagan Catholicism. If you write
me this I will know how to make variations on this theme without becoming guilty of false
notes in your eyes and the sight of Bouton. Please do; you can do it in three minutes. I
see that none of your symbologists, neither Payne Knight, King, Dunlap, Inman, nor
Higgins, knew anything about the truths of initiation. All is exoteric superficial guess work
with them. 'Pon my word, without any compliment, there's Taylor alone and yourself, who
seem to grasp truth intuitionally. I have read with the greatest pleasure your edition of the
"Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries!" You are right. Others know Greek better, but Taylor
knew Plato thousand times better; and I have found in your short fragments much matter
which for the life of me I do not know where you could have learned it. Your guesses are
so many hits right on the true spot. Well, you ought to go East and get initiated.
Please come on Monday. I will have a bed ready for you Sunday, Monday, and
Tuesday, and I will be expecting you to dinner all these days. If you cannot come until
Monday, do tell me what instructions Bouton gave you, and what are the precise orders for
mutilations, will you?
Esoterically yours in true Platonism,
H. P. Blavatsky

(The Word, vol. 7, June, 1908,

pp. 148-55)

To Alexander Wilder, M.D.

The little company of emigrants from New York became established at Bombay and
began the promulgation of their doctrines. At this period they were en rapport with the
Swami Dayananda, and allied their movement with the Arya Samaj; a step which they
were compelled later to retrace. Whatever the merits of either, it could not be accordant
with the nature of things, that two enterprises, begun with individuals of different social and
educational experiences should affiliate and interflow harmoniously. Hence the two
leaders failed to unite permanently, and their associates drifted apart. The aim of the
Swami was evidently to restore the proper understanding of the Vedas, and it would be no
marvel that he should regard himself as the superior to all others and require deference
accordingly. The Theosophical movement was more catholic and assumed to permit a
broad latitude in personal opinions, as well as freedom from everything like the yoke of a
religious autocrat. "Not that we have dominion over your faith," wrote the Christian Apostle,
"but are helpers of your joy."
It was in April, while this alliance was still in operation and the Theosophical party
had got at work, that Madame Blavatsky and her companions set out on a succession of
visits to various shrines and consecrated places, in western Hindustan. They journeyed
first to the cave-temple of Karli, and afterward, returning to Bombay, made a second tour
northerly into the country of the Rajpoots. Some particulars of these jaunts were given me,
in private letters, of which I regret to say only the first appears to have remained. I notice
that she has given a more elaborate account in Letters to a Russian periodical; perhaps
restricting me to what I could bear. It cannot be disputed that her descriptive powers were
most excellent. She has embellished the Russian letters to a degree quite beyond what
she did to me. But for this there were good reasons. She was writing in a more familiar
language to a larger audience where her effort would be appreciated.
The following was the first letter that I received directly from her after her arrival in
India from New York. I have taken the liberty to annotate it in several places, to enable it
to be better understood.

Visits to Sacred Places

Agra, April 28, 1879

My dear Doctor, my very dear friend:

How I do regret that you are not with us! How often I think of you, and wonder
whether the whole of your archeological and poetical soul would not jump out in fits of
rapture were you but to travel with u now, instead of squatting with your legs upon the
ceiling, no doubt, in your cold room of Orange street! Here we are traveling for this last
month by rail, bullock-cart, elephant, camel and bunder boat, stopping from one to three
days in every town, village and port; seeing subterranean India, not the upper one, and -
part and parcel in the archaic ages of Manu, Kapilas and Aryanism.
True, ever since the beginning of March we are being toasted, baked and roasted.
The sun is fierce, and the slightest breeze sends waves of red hot air, puffs like from a
baking furnace, full into your face and throat, and suffocates you at every step. But oh! for
the ineffable coolness and glory of the mornings and after sunset here. The moon of
America, is at best, when compared with that of India, like a smoky olive-oil lamp.
We get up at four and go to bed at nine. We travel more by night and in the
morning and afternoons. But I want to tell you something of our traveling. I will skip the
landscape parts of it, and stop only at the ruins of old cities and spots, deemed ancient
already, during the Macedonian invasion - if there ever was one - by the historians in
Alexander's suite.
First of all, we went to Randallat (Dekkan Plateau) to the Karli caves, cut in the heart
of the living rock on the brow of the mountain, and, as the English archeologists generally
concede - the chief cave - the largest as well as the most complete hitherto discovered in
India "was excavated at a time when the style was in its greatest purity." The English want
us to believe that it was excavated not earlier than the era of Salivahana, about A.D. 75;
and the Brahmans tell us that it was the first temple dedicated to Devaki; the Virgin in
India. [1] It is hewn upon the face of the precipice, about eight hundred feet above the
plain on which are scattered the most ancient Buddhist temples (of the first period of
Buddhism about the age of Asoka). This alone would prove that the Karli temple is more
ancient than 75 A.D.; for in their hatred toward the Buddhists, the Brahmans would have
never selected for their Temple a spot in such close proximity to those of their enemies.
"Never," says one of their Purans, "never build a holy shrine without first ascertaining that
for twenty kosses (two miles) around, there is no place belonging to the Nosties (atheists)."
The first temple, after having passed a large entrance-portico, fifty-two feet wide with
sculptured figures and three colossal elephants barring the way, is dedicated to Siva, and
must be of later date. It is of oblong form and reminds strikingly of a Catholic cathedral.
It is one hundred and twenty-six feet long and forty-six broad, with a circular apse.
The roof, dome-like, rests on forty-one gigantic pillars with rich and magnificent sculptured
figures. As you can see in Fergusson's Cave-Temples, the linga is a dome

1. The "authorities" are not altogether clear, and the matter is by no means beyond
controversy. One legend describes the Emperor of India, Vikramaditya, as having learned
of the infant Salivahana, born of a virgin, simultaneously with Jesus at Bethlehem, and as
being slain by him when on an expedition to destroy the young child, then in his fifth year.
Salivahana was immediately crowned at Oujein. This was the time of the beginning of the
present era; and Salivahana is said to have left the earth in the year 79. Major Wilford
explains that this name signifies "borne upon a tree."
The account generally accepted relates that when Kali was about to destroy the
world, Vishnu made an avatar or descent for its salvation. He became the son of
Vasudeva and Devaki. The King, Kansa, having commanded to destroy all male infants
born at that time, he was carried away and placed with a foster-mother in another country.
Hence Devaki is revered as Mother of the God. - A.W.
2. The government of Magadha or Northern India had fallen into the possession of
the Maurya monarchs, belonging to the Sudra caste. King Chandragupta was allied to
seleukos, and his successor Piyadarsi was the prince known to us as Asoka. Having
embraced Buddhism, this prince labored zealously to disseminate the doctrines, not only
over India, but to other countries, clean to Asia Minor and Egypt. The cave-temples,
however, were constructed by older sovereigns, but the Brahmans often seized the
sanctuaries of other worships and made them their own. - A.W.
3. Fergusson agrees with this description. In his treatise on "Architecture" he
remarks: "The building resembles to a very great extent an early Christian Church in its
arrangements, consisting of a nave and side aisles terminating in an apse of side-dome
round which the aisle is carried; its arrangements and dimensions are very similar to those
of the choir of Norwich cathedral."
General Furlong, while accepting the theory of the later origin of the structure,
considers the temples at Karli as at the first Buddhistic, adding the significant fact that
Buddhism itself appropriated the shrines and symbology of earlier worships. In
confirmation of this the Rev. Dr. Stevenson, writing for the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic
Society," insists that the worship of Siva was "an aboriginal superstition," which
Brahmanism had adopted, but imperfectly assimilated. The rock-temples appear to have
belonged to this worship, but there is not account of tradition of their construction, and Mr.
J.D. Baldwin ascribes them to an earlier population. - A.W.

surmounted by a wooden chattar or umbrella, under which used to sit the Maharaj-
Hierophant, and judge his people. The linga is evidently empty inside, and used to be
illuminated from within during the initiation mysteries (this is esoteric, not historical), and
must have presented an imposing sight.
I know that it has a secret passage inside leading to immense subterranean
chambers, but no one as yet has been able to find out the outward entrance. Tradition
says that the Mussulmans, looking out for the pagoda-treasures, had once upon a time
destroyed some masonry around the linga in order to penetrate into it. But lo! there began
creeping out of it gigantic ants and snakes by the million, who attacked the invaders, and,
having killed many of them, who died in fearful tortures, the Mussulmans hurried to repair
the damage done and retired.

A Shrine of the Sakti

Right above this temple are two stories more of temples to which one has to climb
acrobat-like, or be dragged upward. All the face of the ghaut [4] (mountain) is excavated,
and the neighboring temple is dedicated to Devaki. Passing on: after having passed a
subterranean tank full of water, and mounted four dilapidated steps to a balcony with
interior rock benches and four pillars, one enters into a large room full of echoes because
surrounded by eleven small cells, all sculptured.
In this first hall is the cut-out image of Devaki. The goddess sits with legs apart and
very indecently, according to profane persons who are unable to understand the symbol.
A thin stream of water from the rock threads down from between the legs of the lady, -
representing the female principle. [5] The water dropping down into a small crevice in the
stone floor, is held sacred. Pilgrims - I have watched them for hours, for we passed two
days and slept in this temple - came, and with folded hands having prostrated themselves
before the Devaki, plunge their fingers into this water, and then touch with it their forehead,
eyes, mouth and breast. Tell me what difference can we perceive between this and the
R. Catholic worshiping their Virgin and crossing themselves with holy water.

4. A ghaut is a "bluff" near a body of water, rather than a mountain. - A.W.
5. This description indicates that, not Devaki, the mother of Krishna, but Uma, Maya
or Prakriti, the Sakti or consort of Siva, was the divinity here honored. It may be that the
Brahmans, appropriating an archaic sanctuary to their own religion, named the divinity
anew, but it was the Sakti plainly enough. It is stated by Mr. Keane that a similar figure,
known as the Sheelah-na-gig is found in the Tara cemetery, and other sacred places in

I cannot say that we felt very secure while sleeping on that balcony, without windows
or doors, with nothing between us and the tigers who roam there at night. Fortunately, we
were visited that night only by a wild cat which climbed the steep rock to have a look at us,
or rather at our chickens, perhaps.

Northward to Allahabad
Returning through Bombay, we went to Allalhabad, eight hundred and forty-five
miles from Bombay the ancient Pragayana of the Hindus, and held sacred by them, as it
is built at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna rivers. One of Asoka's columns is yet
in the centre of Akbar's Fort. [6] But it was so hot - one hundred and forty-four degrees in
the sum - that we ran away to Benares, five hours distant from there.

Benares, The Holy City

There's much to see in ancient Kasika, the sacred. It is the Rome of Hindu pilgrims,
as you know. According to the latest statistics there are five thousand temples and shrines
in it. Conspicuous among all is the great Durga Temple, with its celebrated tanks. Amid
temples and palaces and private buildings, all the roofs and walls and cornices are strung
round and covered with sacred monkeys. Thousands of them infest the city. They grin at
one from the roofs, jump through one's legs, upset passers-by, throw dirt at one's face,
carry away your hats and umbrellas, and make one's life miserable. They are enough to
make you strike your grandmother. Olcott's spectacles were snatched from his nose and
carried away into a precinct which was too sacred for a European to get into. And so,
good-bye eyeglasses.

Cawnpur and the Massacre

From thence to Cawnpur, the city of Nana Sahib, the place where seventy-eight
English people were murdered during the Mutiny, and thrown by him into a well. Now a
magnificent marble monument, a winged angel, presumably a female, stands over it; and
no Hindu is allowed inside!! The garden around is lovely, and the inscription on the tombs
of the slaughtered ones

6. Akbar was a Moghul monarch who came to the throne of Mahommedan India,
about three centuries ago. Disgusted with the cruelties and arbitrary requirements of the
Koran, he made himself familiar with other beliefs, finally adopting a mystic theism. His
long reign was peaceful and prosperous, and he is gratefully remembered.

admirable. "Than will not, O Lord," says one of them from Joel (I don't remember verbatim)
"allow the heathen to prevail over thy people," - or something to that effect. [7] The
heathen are termed "criminal rebels" on every tomb!
Had the "heathen" got rid of their brutal invaders in 1857, I wonder how they would
have termed them. The sweet Christians, the followers of the "meek and lowly Jesus"
made at that time Hindus innocent of this particular Cawnpur murder, to wash the blood-
soaked floors of the barracks by licking the blood with their tongues, (historical). But
people insolent enough to prefer freedom to slavery will be always treated as rebels by
their captors. O vile humanity, and still viler civilization!
I will not stop to tell you of the beautiful avenues of centenarian trees full of monkeys
above and fakirs below, neither of the Ganges with its blue waters and crocodiles. But I
remind you of the ancient city mentioned in the Mahabarata near which took place all the
fights between the Solar race and the Lunar. [8] The ruins of that city are four miles from
Cawnpur, whole miles of fortresses and temples and palaces with virgin forests growing
out of the rooms, and monkeys again on the top of every stone. We went there on a she-
elephant called "active Peri" (Tchamchoala Pari). Can't say that the ride on its back gives
you any foretaste of the joys of heaven. There was no howda on it, and I for one, sitting
on her tail, which she lovingly twirled around my legs, felt every moment a sensation
something between sea-sickness and a fall during a nightmare. Olcott was perched on her
left ear; Scott, a fellow of ours, a new convert, on the other; and Moolja Thecheray on her
back. But the elephant was the securest vehicle and guide in such a journey. With her
trunk she broke all the boughs before us, drove away the monkeys, and supported us
when one of us was going to fall. We were half smashed, yet arrived safely to the ruins
and landed near the cave of a holy sannyasi, called Lucky Brema, an astrologer, theurgist,
thaumaturgist, etc., etc., another fakir just exhumed and resuscitated after a few months'
sojourn in his grave, where he hibernated for lack of anything better to do. I suppose he
prophesied all manner of evils to us for not believing in his idols, and so we departed. But
the ruins must be five thousand years old, and they are pretty well historical.

7. Probably Joel, ii., 19: "I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen."
8. The Solar and Lunar races were Aryan alike. The Lunar peoples repudiated the
Solar divinities or relegated them to a subordinate rank.

The Taj Mahal

At Agra we saw Taj Mahal, that "poem in marble," as this tomb is called; and really
it is the wonder of the age. The builder of it boasted that there was not one inch of either
stone, wood or metal in this construction, which is truly gigantic - all pure marble and
carved into an open fret-work like a piece of lace. It is enormous in size; sublime as an
architectural conception grand and appalling. In Agra, this dirtiest of all towns, with its half-
ruined huts of dried cow-dung, it looks like a magnificent pearl on a heap of manure.

Honors Bestowed by Maharajas

We visited in Rajpootana, Bhurtpur and Jeypur, two independent States. The
Maharajas sent us their carriages, runners, horsemen with banners, and elephants. I
imagined myself the Empress of Delhi. We went to Deeg, near Bhurtpur - something like
the garden of Semiramis, [9] with six hundred and sixty-three fountains and jets, and the
marble palace, four halls, pavilions, temples, etc., the palace, covering an area of two
square miles, and with the garden, four. It was built by Suraj Mull Sing, three hundred and
fifty years ago. But the old palace is two hundred years old. It is the place where a Rani
(queen), seeing the Mussulmans ready to enter the fortress, assembled ten thousand
women and children, and all her treasures, and burned herself and the rest in the sight of
the invading army.

Jeypur, the Paris of India - The Bhuts

From there we went to Jeypur, the "Paris of India" it is called. It is indeed a Paris,
as to the beauty and magnificent symmetry of its squares and streets, but it looks like a
Paris of red sugar candy. Every house and building is of a dark pink color with white
marble cornices and ornaments. All is built in the Eastern style of architecture. It was built
by Jey Sing, the adept and astrologer; and his observatory, occupying an enormous
palace with immense court-yards and towers, is full of machinery, the name and use of
which is entirely forgotten.
People are afraid to approach the building. They say it is the abode of Bhuts, or
spirits, and that they descend every night from Bhutisvara (a temple of Siva, called the
"Lord of the Bhuts" or "spirits" or demons, as the Christians translate, overlooks the town
from the top of a mountain thirty-eight hundred feet high), and play at astronomers there.

9. Probably the hanging gardens of the Median queen of Nebuchadnezzar.

A magnificent collection of over forty tigers is right on a square, a public

thoroughfare in the middle of the town. Their roaring is heard miles off.

Ambair and Archaic Ruins

We went on the Raja's elephants to Ambair, the ancient city and fortress taken by
the Rajpoots from the Minas, 50Q tears, B.C. The first view of Ambair brings the traveler
into a new world. Nothing can surpass its gloomy grandeur, solidity, the seeming
impregnability of the Fort circumscribing the town for twelve miles round and extending
over seven hills. It is deserted now for over twelve generations; centenarian trees grow
in its streets and squares; its tanks and lees are full of alligators. But there is an
indescribable charm about the beautiful, forsaken town, alone, like a forgotten sentry in the
midst of wilderness, high above the picturesque valley below. Hills covered with thick
brushwood, the abode of tigers, are crowned with ramparts, and towers and castles all
around the ruined city.
The ruined heap of Kuntalgart is considered to be three thousand years old. Higher
still is the shrine and temple of Bhutisvara (of "unknown age," as the English prudently
say). Read Bishop Heber's enthusiastic narrative of Ambair or Amberi. Read Bishop
Heber's enthusiastic narrative of Ambair or Amberi.
The palace of Dilaram Bagh is another miracle in marble, preserved because kept
restored. Its innumerable halls, private apartments, terraces, towers, etc., are all built of
marble. Some rooms have ceilings and walls inlaid with mosaic work, and lots of looking-
glasses and vari-colored marbles. Some walls are completely carved lace-work-like again
through and through; and the beauty of the design is unparalleled. Long passages, three
and four hundred yards long, descend and ascend sloping without steps, and are marble
also, though entirely dark. The bath-halls, inlaid with colored marble, remind one of the
best baths of old Rome, but are vaster and higher. There are carious nooks and corners
and secret passages and old armor and old furniture, which can set crazy an antiquarian

The Rajpoots
Remember, Todd [10] assures us that the Rajpoots trace their lineage backward
without one single break for over two thousand and eighty years; that they knew the use
of fire-arms in the third century, if I mistake not. [11] It is a grand people, Doctor;

10. In his great work on Rajasthan.
11. This statement is confirmed by several ancient classic writers.

and their history is one of the most sublime poems of humanity; nay, by its virtues and
heroic deeds it is one of the few redeeming ones in this world of dirt. The Rajpoots [12]
are the only Indian race whom the English have not yet disarmed: they dare not. When
you see a Rajpoot nobleman, he reminds you of the Italian, or rather the Provencal
medieval Barons or troubadours. With his long hair, whiskers and mustaches brushed
upward, his little white or colored toga, long white garments, and his array of pistols, guns,
bow and arrows, long pike, and two or three swords and daggers, and especially the shield
of rhinoceros skin on which their forefather, the Sun, shines adorned with all his rays, he
does look picturesque, though he does look at the same time as a perambulating store of
arms of every epoch and age.
No foreigner is allowed to live in Jeypur. The few that are settled there live out of
town but permission is obtained to pass whole days in examining the curiosities of the
town. We have several "Fellows" of the Theosophical Society among Rajpoots, and they
do take seriously to Theosophy. They make a religion of it. Your signature on the
diplomas is now scattered all over Rajpootana.
And now I guess you have enough of my letter. I must have wearied you to death.
Do write and address Bombay, 108 Girgam Back Road. I hope this letter will find you in
good health. Give my cordial salutations to Bouton and ask him whether he would publish
a small pamphlet or book "Voyage" or "Bird's Eye View of India," or something to this
effect. I could publish curious facts about some religious sects here.
Missionaries do nothing here. In order to obtain converts they are obliged to offer
premiums and salaries for the lifetime of one who would accept the "great truths of
Christianity." They are nuisances and off color here. My love to Mrs. Thompson if you see
her. Olcott's love to you,
Yours ever sincerely,
H. P. Blavatsky

We are going Northward to Lahore and Amritsir.


The next place of destination was Lahore. I received a letter as interesting and
unique as this. Mme. B. next became engaged in the publication of The Theosophist and
her letters took a different turn. They have not been preserved.

12. The term Rajpoot signifies man of royal descent. The other designations of this
caste, are Kshathriya, Rajauya and Rajbausi, all denoting royal association. After the
Aryan invaders of India had begun to devote themselves to husbandry and the arts of
civilized life, the military class remained apart and became a distinct caste and people.
Like the princes of Assyria they are altogether kings and kingly.

(The Word, vol. 7, pp. 203-13.)

There is a facsimile include here of a previous letter of Blavatsky to Wilder. The

Word Editor Harold Percival writes: "We intended to reproduce in facsimile the first and
last pages of Madame Blavatsky's letter from Agra and printed in this number. The
reproduction was made impossible because the letter is written with violet ink on green
paper and could, therefore, not be photographed. This was not considered until too late.
We therefore present a facsimile of the letter published in the last number of 'The Word.'"


Blavatsky Letter on Editorial Policy

"My dear Sir,

"When your letter reached me with the official (?) resolution of the local Council,
concerning the inadvisability of advertising T. Paine's and Bradlaugh' Free-thinking
literature, the article in the August Supplement "A Final Answer' was already in print... Only
I fear that the objection - that such advertisements ought to receive the consent of the
majority of the General Council before being published (or words to that effect) is
groundless. The majority of our Council is composed of heathens of the first water. Most
of them are furious to feel unable to send their children either to Missionary or secular
schools without having their young minds poisoned (their expression not mine) by their
hereditary enemy the padri agains their respective non-Christian religions. It is they (i.e.,
the majority of the Council) who have repeatedly insisted on having such books distributed.
Our Ceylon Buddhist members with 300 priests leading them, have spent a large sum to
secure such anti-Christian tracts, as the only antidote against the abuse lavished upon their
forefathers' faith. For, whoever lives in this country (as Mr. Sinnett will tell you) becomes
very soon impressed with the sad fact that conversion in India means absolute perversion.
Instead of bettering morality Christianity but adds to the natural human vices, owing to the
doctrine of atonement and salvation by prayer, instead of that of self-reliance and Karma.
"I would feel very much obliged to some of the British Theosophists who have
protested, were they to send us for publication anti-buddhistic tracts. I would publish them
immediately and without fear of hurting the feelings of my coreligionists. They are too
intelligent, on the one hand, to take to heart the autopsy of the exoteric shell of their
religion; while, on the other, centuries of daily abuse directed against Buddhism have
made them indifferent. The same may be said of Hindus. What they (at least our
members) want, is the free discussion of every religion in its outer as in its inward form.
Why then should ecclesiastical Christianity be excepted? Though the Reply in the August
Supplement was not meant for the British Theosophists yet their 'remonstrance' may find
a fit answer in it. I, as an Editor, will never permit Christ to be attacked personally, no more
than Buddha. But I must insist upon being allowed to remain entirely impartial in the
dissection as in the praise of all and every religion the world over, without pandering to
people's personal emotional prejudices. This will never do in a Universal Brotherhood. I
am very much surprised that Mr. Sinnett should have seconded the resolution, knowing as
he does, my feelings on the subject; and that he was the first to approve of my 'not
minding' Mr. Home's objections in this direction ...
"I have written the above not as an answer to the contents of your official letter, but
as a reply to what I found therein between the lines. No one has a greater respect and
admiration than I have for Mrs. Kingsford (chiefly as a reflection of the feelings of our
Mahatmas, who must know her better than any one on earth); nevertheless, unless I am
directly ordered by my Guru M .'. to drop the advertisement objected to, I cannot go against
my principles of fair dealing with every religion, even for the sake of doing that, which Mrs.
Kingsford believes is due to the "London Lodge.'' For indeed, were I to concede so much
to your Society, the next thing I would have to do would be to drop every adverse criticism
and discussion upon the Visishtadwaitee. There's the 'South Indian Visishta Theos. Soc.'
composed of about 150 members objecting to my publishing the criticism upon their
Catechism by the 'Vedenta- Adwaitee' Theos. Society - (See art. of that name in June
Theosophist); And the Almora Swami insisting upon my ceasing to lay sacrilegious hands
upon his Iswara; and the 'Brahmo Theos. Society' wanting me to fill the magazine with
sermons upon Monotheism etc. About 14 Visishtadwaitees have resigned in consequence
of the discussion. Very sorry, but I cannot help it. Thus, as you see, my position is that
of an elephant trying to perform his Grand Trapeze on a cobweb thread. Nevertheless, I
must try to maintain my perilous position and not to lose footing by the blessing and help
of Yog-power. Meanwhile, believe me, dear Sir,
"Yours most fraternally,
H.P. BLAVATSKY (Editor of The Theosophist)

- From Theosophical Notes, Oct., 1955


A Letter from H.P.B.

Note. - The following letter was written by H.P. Blavatsky in The Path, December,
1886. In view of the publication of The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, and much that is
therein contained, H.P.B.'s attitude will be understood - though if the reader only has the
Leadbeater tradition to help him to understand it, he will get badly fogged. Dawn is
indebted to The Beacon (February, 1924) for the letter, and comments thereon, and from
which journal it reprints. - Eds.

I was the first in the United States to bring the existence of our Masters into
publicity, and exposed the holy names of two Members of a Brotherhood hitherto unknown
to Europe and America (save to a few Mystics and Initiates of every age), yet sacred and
revered throughout the East, and especially India. Let no one think, withal, that I come out
as a champion or a defender of those who most assuredly need no defence.
"Our Masters . . . are simply holy mortals, nevertheless, however, higher than any
in this world, morally, intellectually, and spiritually. However holy and advanced in the
science of the Mysteries, they are still men, members of a Brotherhood who are the first
in it to show themselves subservient to its twice*-honored laws and rules." [[* sic - "time-
honored" Letter possibly edited by The Beacon, considering later Bailey publications - dig
"The Society was founded at their wish, and under their orders."
"I know that I have, all my faults notwithstanding, Master's protection over me, and
if I have it, the reason for it is simply this: for 35 years and more, ever since in 1851 I saw
my Master bodily and personally for the first time, I have never once denied or even
doubted Him, not even in thought . . . I was told that as soon as one steps on the Path
leading to the Ashrama of the blessed Masters - the last and only custodians of primitive
Wisdom and Truth - his Karma, instead of having to be distributed throughout his Iong life,
falls upon him in a block - crushes him with its whole weight . . . I felt sure that Master
would not permit that I should perish: that he would always appear at the eleventh hour -
and so He did. Three times I was saved from death by Him, the last time almost against
my will, when I went again into the cold, wicked world, out of love for Him, who has taught
me what I know and made me what I am. Therefore, I do His work and bidding.
Unswerving devotion to Him who embodies the duty traced for me and belief in the
Wisdom - collectively, of that grand, mysterious, yet actual brotherhood of holy men - is my
only merit."
"And now repeating after the Paraguru - my Master's MASTER - the words He had
sent as a message to those who wanted to make of the Society a `miracle club' instead of
a Brotherhood of Peace, Love and mutual assistance: `Perish, rather the T.S. and its
hapless founders.'"
"Theosophists refusing to lead the life and then criticising and throwing slurs on the
grandest and noblest of men, because tied by Their wise laws - hoary with age and based
on an experience of human nature millenniums old - those Masters refuse to interfere with
Karma and to play second fiddle to every Theosophist who calls upon them, and whether
he deserves it or not. All my love and aspirations belong to my beloved brothers, the Sons
of old Aryavarta - the Motherland of my Master."
Again: -
"Our Society was founded at the direct suggestion of Indian and Tibetan Adepts,
and in coming to this country (India) we but obeyed Their wishes." (Theosophist, Vol. III p.
On April 3rd, 1886. H.P.B. wrote to Dr. Hartmann: "I was sent to America on
purpose, and sent to the Eddys. There I found Olcott in love with spirits, as he became in
love with the Masters later on. I was ordered to let him know that spiritual phenomena
without the philosophy of occultism were dangerous and misleading. I proved to him all
that mediums could do through spirits, others could do at will without any spirits at all, that
bells, and thought reading, raps and physical phenomena, could be achieved by any one
who had a faculty of acting in his physical body through the organs of his astral body; and
I had that faculty ever since I was four years old, as all my family know. I could make
furniture move and objects fly apparently, and my astral arms that supported them
remained invisible; all this before I knew even of Masters. Well, I told him the whole truth.
I said to him that I had known Adepts, the 'Brothers,' not only in India and beyond Ladakh,
but in Egypt and Syria - for there are `brothers' there to this day. The name of the
`Mahatmas' were not even known at the time, since they are called so only in India. That,
whether They were called Rosicrucians, Kabalists, or Yogis, Adepts were everywhere.
Adepts, silent, secret, retiring and who would never divulge themselves entirely to any one
unless one did as I did - passed seven and ten years' probation, and gave proofs of
absolute devotion, and that he, or she, would keep silent even before a prospect and a
threat of death. I fulfilled the requirements, and am what I am; and this no Hodson, no
Coulomb, no Sellin, can take from me. All I was allowed to say was - the truth. There is
beyond the Himalayas a nucleus of Adepts of various nationalities; and the Teschu Lama
knows Them, and They act together, and some of Them are with Him and yet remain
unknown in Their true character even to the average lamas who are ignorant fools mostly.
My Master and K.H. and several others I know personally are there, coming and going, and
They are all in communication with Adepts in Egypt and Syria, and even Europe. I said
and proved that They could perform marvelous phenomena: but I also said that it was
rarely They would condescend to do so to satisfy enquirers. ...When we arrived (in India)
Master, coming to Bombay bodily, paid a visit to us at Girgaum, and several persons saw
Him, Winbridge for one."

Mme. Blavatsky then describes the foolish ideas that arose about Them.

"The idea that the Masters were mortal men, limited even in Their great powers,
never crossed any one's mind, though They wrote this Themselves repeatedly. It was
`modesty and secretiveness,' people thought. How is it possible, the fools argued, `that
the Mahatmas should not know all that was in every Theosophist's mind; and hear every
word pronounced by each member'.''
"That to do so, and find out what the people thought, and hear what they said, the
Masters had to use special psychological means. To take great trouble for it at the cost
of labor and time, was something out of the range of the perceptions of Their devotees."

The Countess Wachtmeister, repeating what H.P.B. had told her of the T.S.
Movement, said that, "H.P.B. met her Master in 1851 in London, when He told her He had
selected her for the work of a Society. She told her father, and got his consent to do what
she was asked. She then went away and was taught, and after many years returned to the
world, instructed to find a man named 'Olcott.' Coming to America, she asked everyone
of such a man, and at last found him at the Eddy Farm."

In a letter dated December 6th, 1887, she speaks of "the Society created by the
Masters, our Mahatmas." In this letter she also says: "Master sent me to the United States
to see what could be done to stop necromancy and the unconscious black magic exercised
by the Spiritualists. I was made to meet you (Olcott) and to change your ideas, which I
have. The Society was formed, then gradually made to merge into and evolve hints of the
teachings from the Secret Doctrine of the oldest school of Occult Philosophy in the whole
world - a school to reform which, finally, the Lord Gautama was made to appear. These
teachings could not be given abruptly. They had to be instilled gradually."
- Dawn, May, 1924


Letter From H.P.B. To Count Wachtmeister

In our Point Loma Publications Archives we find the following, a transcription of

facsimile of original manuscript in H.P.B.'s handwriting, presumed to have been written by
her to the son of the Countess Wachtmeister, who rendered her such invaluable personal
help, while she was writing The Secret Doctrine at Wurzburg, Ostende, and London.
We follow this with a letter from W. Wachtmeister which is self-explanatory. - Editors

Esoteric Section

Sept. 11, 1887

There is no religion higher than Truth

H. P. Blavatsky

My dear Count,
I answer only today because I did not like to answer from my own head. The advice
is this: Lead the most regular life you can lead, - going to bed rather early than late. Enter
the Conservatory at Leipzig trying to make some preliminary arrangements for the privilege
of less hours of study on account of health. If you take bodily exercise in the morning or
in the evening it is quite enough. Men may be kept in health even without much exercise
if you can manage to keep your thoughts centered and all engrossed in music - harmony
rather. For harmony, mental, psychic and spiritual, your very soul bathed in it, will have a
strong influence on the physiological portion of the system. It is when the man is tossed
about mentally or can center his thoughts on nothing in particular that disharmony and
hence a diseased condition, is produced in his body. Hold fast to music & its philosophy
& all other philosophies will come to you naturally.
I hope you have understood me, but if your mother is with you she will explain to you
the Master's words.
Wishing you success and health and thanking you for your confidence believe me
ever yours fraternally,
H. P. Blavatsky


Stockholm, April 3, 1874

Mr. Iverson L. Harris

President Point Loma Publications, Inc.

Dear Mr. Harris,

Thank you for your letter of March 25 regarding a letter written in 1887 by Madame
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to a person presumed to have been the son of Countess
Constance Wachtmeister.
In answer to your question as to my relationship to this lady and to her son I wish
to inform you that Constance Wachtmeister was born in 1838 as a daughter of Marquis de
Bourbel from Normandie, France. She married Count Carl Wachtmeister, a diplomat,
Foreign Minister in the years 1868-71. She died 1910 in Los Angeles. Their only son, the
presumed addressee of Madame Blavatsky's letter, Carl Axel Raoul Georg Henrik
Wachtmeister, a musician and composer, was born in 1865 and died in 1947 in Nice,
My relationship to Constance Wachtmeister's husband and son is a distant one.
Her husband was a cousin of my great grandfather's.s
I hope that this information may be of some interest to you and you are, of course,
free to publish it in your newsletter.
Yours sincerely,
(sgd) W. Wachtmeister Ambassador

- Eclectic Theosophist, No. 75


Blavatsky Letter to Rebus:


[The letter which follows was written by H.P. Blavatsky originally in Russian, and
appeared in the pages of Rebus (Vol. iv, No. 37, September, 1885, pp. 335-336), a
Spiritualistic journal published for a number of years in St. Petersburg, and the files of
which are extremely rare outside of Russia. As far as we know, this letter has never been
translated into English before, and therefore has been practically unknown to students
throughout the world unfamiliar with the Russian language. It was written to Victor
Pribitkov, editor of the Rebus, who was very cordially disposed to H.P.B. The letter throws
additional light upon a very trying and sad episode in H.P.B.'s life. We recommend to the
earnest student a careful reading of this text, and suggest the reading of the following
items which have a direct bearing upon the context of the present letter: 1) H.P.B.'s Open
Letter: "Why I Do Not Return To India: To My Brothers of Aryavarta," published in The
Theosophist, Adyar, January, 1922, and in Theosophy, Los Angeles, May, 1947; 2) H.P.
Blavatsky and The Theosophical Movement, Dr. Charles J. Ryan, Theos. Univ. Press,
Point Loma, Calif., 1937: particularly pages 204-22 thereof.
The original Russian text of the present letter is on file at the Editorial Offices of
Theosophia. - Editor.]

Dear Sir:
In No. 30 of your interesting journal, on page 276, under "Brief Notes," I find the
following, regarding my arrival in Europe: "It is known how dearly H.P. (Blavatsky) loves
her native Russia and how little sympathy she has for the English order in India, on
account of which she enjoys no good will on the part of the rulers of India."
Everything in these lines, from beginning to end, is sacred truth; in view of the
hundreds of absurd rumors current about me, because of my return to Europe, I am
expressing my warm gratitude to the one who, at least for once, has written the truth about
me. But in the few succeeding lines, certain errors have crept in, which I ask you kindly
to correct. It says in them, for instance: "When the Afghan problem was raised, Madame
Blavatsky, as usual, did not hesitate openly to declare her sympathies and antipathies, as
a result of which, as word reached her, she was threatened with arrest, and to avoid the
latter, was forced to board in haste a French steamer which brought her safely to Naples."
From this, anyone might come to the following conclusion: "Blavatsky may he a
warm patriot" - (in which no one will be mistaken) - "but she has an uncontrolled tongue" -
(there is some truth in that too, but not in the present case). "Living in British territory" - the
reader might say - "and availing herself of English hospitality, she was obliged, in view of
the current events and of the circumstances in which she found herself, to restrain herself
and not to declare openly her antipathies. And if the Anglo-Indian authorities, frightened
at the time like rabbits, had tossed her into the 'clink,' they would have been entirely right
from their own viewpoint."
This is what every unprejudiced man would say after reading the last six lines in
your "Brief Notes." True enough: 'When visiting another monastery, don't bring your own
rules of discipline'. * [* Russian proverb - Translator.] This was especially true at a
time, when 60,000 rulers of 300 million Hindu Slaves were afflicted with the dance of St.
Vitus, due to fear, when they dreamt day and night about Russian spies, and imagined a
Russian soldier with a bayonet in every swaying bamboo, while all over England there was
a gnashing of teeth concerning Russia! Moreover, it is only where you are - in the long-
suffering, infinitely magnanimous and generous Mother-Russia, disguised by idiotic Europe
into the likeness of a Megaera, with Siberia in her suitcase, a scaffold under her right arm
and a knout under her left one - that every foreigner, who may have come merely to exploit
her, can abuse with impunity, both openly and behind her back, the country which harbors
him, and its rulers. With us in British India, things are quite different. They put you in jail
there on suspicion alone, if the new arrival is a Russian. They are afraid there of "Russian
odor," as the devil is afraid of incense. Recently a certain collector of revenue, a patriot
and a russophobe, introduced a bill to organize "a Russian quarantine" in every Indian port,
in which not only Russians, but also tourists of various nations arriving from Russia, would
be subjected to an obligatory preliminary "ventilation," and only after that be allowed to
travel through Hindustan under escort.
In view of what precedes, I ask your permission to correct the six lines referred to
by me, and to add to them the following.
1) While it is perfectly true that I dearly love my native land and everything that is
Russian, and not only have no sympathy for, but simply hate Anglo-Indian terrorism, the
following is nevertheless equally true: as I do not feel any right to interfere in anyone's
family affairs, and even less so in political affairs, and have strictly adhered to the Rules
of our Theosophical Society, in the course of my six-years' stay in India, I have not only
abstained from expressing my "antipathies" before Hindus, but, as I love them and wish
them well from all my heart, I have tried, to the contrary, to have them resign themselves
to the inevitable, to console them by teaching patience and forgiveness, and to instill in
them the feelings of loyal subjects.
2) In gratitude for this, the perspicacious Anglo-Indian government saw in me a
"Russian Spy," from the very first day of my arrival in Bombay. It spared neither toil nor
money, in order to find out the crafty purpose which impelled me to prefer the conquered
to the "conquerors," the "creatures of the lower races," as the latter called the Hindus. It
surrounded me for over two years with an honorary escort of mussulman police spies,
bestowing upon me, a solitary Russian woman, the honor of being afraid of me, as if I were
a whole army of Cossacks behind the Himalayas. Only at the end of two years and after
having spent, on the confession of Sir Alfred Lyall, over 50,000 rupees in this useless
ferreting of my political secrets - which never existed anyway - the government quieted
clown. "We made fools of ourselves" - I Was told quite frankly sometime later at Simla, by
a certain Anglo-Indian official, and I had politely to agree with him.
3) Upon my return to Madras from Europe, in Dec. 1884, I fell ill almost
immediately. From the very day of inception of the "Afghan problem" and up to the 29th
of March, 1885, when I again left, I could express neither sympathies nor antipathies, as
I was on my death-bed, given up by all the physicians. This was taken advantage of by
those who tried by every means at their disposal to kill me, or at least to eliminate me from
India, where I stood in their way. This is known all over India. Everybody knows to what
extent many people feared and hated me - almost all the Anglo-Indians; and what a vast
conspiracy exists among Europeans in India, and even in America and England, against
our Society. They were determined to get me one way or another. Unable to find an
excuse to disrupt a useful society, in which, by the way, there are quite a number of the
best-known Englishmen, our "well-wishers" took it into their heads to kill it by destroying,
if not myself, then at least my reputation. It came to a point where they made an attempt
to misrepresent the whole Theosophical Society organized by Col. Olcott and myself, as
nothing else than a vaudeville with changing stage-settings and a screen behind which
were hidden my plans and activities as a "Russian Spy." Such an opinion, by the way, was
expressed publicly by a member of the London Society for Psychic Research, at a dinner
at Mr. Garstin's, one of the outstanding officials of the government at Madras. This gave
rise to a terrible tempest.
Those in the know then convinced my friends at Adyar (headquarters of the
Theosophical Society), that my position as a Russian who enjoyed a certain influence
among the Hindus, was not without danger at the present time, and that I was running the
risk of being arrested, in spite of my illness.
Thus, without even explaining to me in detail what it was all about, these friends of
mine, afraid on my behalf, decided - upon advice from the doctor, who told them that such
an arrest would at the time mean death for me - to send me to Europe without even one
day's delay. Late one evening, half-dead, I was transferred in a chair, straight from bed
to a French steamer, where I was in no danger from my enemies, and was sent to Naples,
in company with Dr. Hartmann, my Hindu secretary, and a young English woman devoted
to me. Only after I had somewhat quieted down, past the Island of Ceylon, did I learn what
it was all about. Had I not been so sick, even the danger of being arrested at the time
would not have forced me to leave India.
This is a true account of the most recent event of my life, which could serve as a
supplement to the article in your journal on "The Truth about H.P. Blavatsky." The readers
will find many details regarding this six-year episode of my fantastic "espionage," in the
First and the Second parts of my letters "From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan," which
I have now resumed writing, and which are being published in the Russkiy Vestnik.
Please accept, etc.
H. P. Blavatsky

Wurzburg, 27th of Aug., 1885.


[Although H.P.B. says she left India for good on March 29, 1885, it would appear
from other records that this departure took place on March 31. She was accompanied by
Dr. Franz Hartmann, a profound student and brilliant writer on occult subjects, a Hindu
disciple known as "Bawajee," and Miss M. Flynn. She landed in Naples and settled for a
while in Torre del Greco. After a few months, she left fur Wurzburg, Germany.
"The Truth About H.P. Bavatsky," mentioned by H.P.B., was a series of articles
written in Russian by her sister, Vera Petrovna Zhelihovsky, and published in Rebus, Vol.II,
1883. Portions of this material were used by A.P. Sinnett in his Incidents in the Life of
Madame Blavatsky. These articles contain invaluable information regarding the early years
of H.P.B.'s life and the gradual development of her occult powers. This series of Madame
Zhelihovsky is now being translated into English, and will be published in Theosophia when
completed. - Editor.]

- From Theosophia #28, Nov.-Dec., 1948