The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Letter No. 171

COLOMBO,
17-3-86.

DEAR CHUM,

I should have sent your cheque by last mail, but was away lecturing. I now enclose it.

I have not lost the Gebhards — your apprehensions notwithstanding — nor shall I. Selin seems to have hurt us badly when Hubbe felt forced to resign so as to save the "Sphinx." However, it can't be helped, and we must do the best we can under the circumstances.

I think you should bring both Mohini and Bowaji when you return home. I am not willing to leave them in Europe all alone: neither is strong enough to stand it. They will only bring scandal upon the T.S. in the long run by their indiscretion. As for Bowaji, his mental constitution will not bear the excitement any longer. The best medicine for him is perfect retirement for some considerable time. I have begun thinking of necessary arrangements in advance of your coming. When I get back I shall have your roof reconstructed and the room made habitable. To avoid the annoyance of being obliged to make constant trips from my bungalow to your upstairs quarters I shall convert the little patch of a verandah outside the library (the old occult room 1) into an office for myself and only sleep at my bungalow. The Library is a most splendid convenience for all of us writers, and it also serves for Council Meetings and for Subba Row's semi-weekly philosophical "onversations," for which a private place is required. With Oakley's, L.'s, the T.S.'s, mine, and your books we get a collection of over a thousand volumes, accessible to those who write for the Theos. You, Oakley, Dr. Cook, and I will then be on the one floor, within easy reach of each other.

The one thing that distresses me is to know how to provide against your expenses. We no longer have the income to allow as much or more to be spent on your establishment as on the whole maintenance of the staff, as it used to be. We are all — Europeans and Hindus — living on not more than an average of Rs. 5 each for food, and there is a feeling in the Society that extravagance must no longer be permitted. You may see the ear-marks of it in the Debate upon the Finance Com.'s Report on the last convention. So when you come home just make up your mind that the days of full-swing and the gratification of the least whim are gone forever, and you must either live quietly like the rest of us, or depend upon outside sources for the enjoyment of extras. There is also a grim determination to have no more to do (as the T.S.) with "phenomena," nor to keep the Society in hot water with attacks upon individuals. If it should be attempted many of our best men would at once resign. There is a very great devotion to the T.S. and its platform, but the most responsible men have been so harassed and compromised by our various scandals that the situation will bear no more strain. This is the plain fact underlying all the complimentary addresses, letters, and votes. If we keep things quiet and go on steadily with useful work, we shall be stronger than ever. If there is a return to sensationalism the defections will cripple us beyond expression. Now, mark my words, my dear chum. Adyar is your only home, the only refuge you have upon earth, the only place where your every breath drawn is a breath of liberty. The proverb says "It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest." Don't make yours uninhabitable.

Babula writes me that he hears E. C. has been sending a man to his village to enquire his whereabouts. I believe this to be a pure lie. My last report about E. C. was (through Tukaram) that she was begging from door to door. No doubt she would want to hound you to the death, but I think she has no more backing. The parties think, talk, and write as though the question of your guilt were now so thoroughly proven that it was no longer an interesting subject for discussion. In other words, having constructed their Fool's Paradise, they are now enjoying its sweets! Your policy — I say it unceasingly — is useful work, and total abandonment of sensationalism. I know it's equivalent to asking you to give the breath out of your body; yet there's nothing else to be said. The other thing three-fourths ruined the T.S.: another dose will kill it dead as a door nail. And, in fact I shall only stop in the T.S. on those terms. The robes and a pansala are ready for me whenever I am ready; and go I will unless I can have things go on decently henceforth. If ambition were my motive I can be the biggest man among the Buddhists of either Burmah or Ceylon whenever I choose: but so long as I can be of use to the T.S. I shall stop where I am.

The fever I had I now find was the cause of much alarm among our Colombo people. They kept their thoughts from me, but told them freely to Leadbeater. Well, anyhow, here I am again at work, getting back my strength rapidly, and going about in my cart to interior villages. L. and I have slept the last two nights in the cart, and reached home at 5-30 this morning. He is making a good impression on the people — much better than Dr. H. would have made: and he will not dream of trying to break off the Buddhists from the T.S. and setting up a little Kingdom of his own. There was a great crowd here on Saturday evening to hear his experiences. He goes the whole figure for B[uddhis]m and against Xty! Your friend "Arracchi" has turned out a very bad lot: become bankrupt, ruined his old father, the Muhandiram, taken to drinking and worse, and is now under an official cloud for certifying to false bail-bonds of some criminal. Uncle Bill is staunch and worthy as ever. During my sickness he was constantly thoughtful and kind, sending me fresh milk, birds to eat, etc., etc.

Yours affy.,
H. S. O.


Letter 172

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