[Written in a less formal style than his articles, Damodar's Letters nevertheless contain direct philosophic instruction and many interesting occult hints. The abrupt manner in which he plunges in medias res is indicative of the continuously busy life at the Theosophical Headquarters, which allowed time only to carry out the ever present essential task.
The Letters in Part I, written to William Q. Judge in New York, are copied from the originals in the Archives of the Theosophical Society, Point Loma, and have been reproduced literally. In regard to the specially significant Letters II, III, IV, and V, the reader is referred to the prefatory note to "A Hindu Chela's Diary" in the Appendix.
The Letters in Part II were written to A. P. Sinnett in India, and are taken from The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letters CXLIIa and CXLIIb, and from The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, Letters Xa, CLXXXIX, CXC.
Part III is a Letter to Mrs. Josephine W. Cables, of Rochester, New York, and is reprinted from The Occult Word (May-June, 1884) of which she was Editor. — EDS.]
Bombay 5th October 1879.
My dear Mr. Judge,
I am very sorry to hear you write so disparagingly to Madam Blavatsky about your feelings and the state of your mind. Is it not surprising to see that a man like you after having made some progress in the study of Theosophy should despair at the very moment he is about to enter the very threshold of true knowledge? It seems to my mind ridiculously strange that a very thirsty man should be in quest of water and that when he has found it he should instead of drinking it, turn his back against it and fly from the only place where he can quench his thirst. You have read in "Isis" various facts to which the noble author attests as having seen personally. I am positively sure you have so high an opinion of this awe-inspiring Lady that you will not hesitate in the least to accept even a tittle of evidence she may bring forward to establish any circumstance which she knows for certain to be a fact. The more so, because she simply corroborates what was taught by my forefathers and what is still found in the ancient Hindu Literature but which is now regarded as superstition by ignorant men, they being unable to find the key which opens the box containing these hidden treasures. But this key you will get, only if you will continue the study of Theosophy.
In "Isis" the author has shown what powers man is endowed with and how he can use them. The use depends upon their development which occultism teaches us how to cause to effect in us. In order to show that the study of occult sciences has enabled certain persons to develope their powers, a few of the performances of these mysterious personages have been quoted. She has clearly proved that there live to this day adepts who have obtained a thorough control over themselves and over the forces in nature, and have guarded from time immemorial the sacred writings of the venerable sages of the past who found out the Spiritual Powers of man and the only way in which he can develope them. But have these adepts succeeded in developing their powers at once when they begun? Is it possible for a person to get to the top of a house without using any means by which he can do so? Or again does it not appear absurd that a man can climb a tree without proceeding step by step? Do you expect a child to be a philosopher as soon as it is born? Are not these illustrations sufficient to convince you that in order to succeed in any thing you must proceed gradually? You know any thing rashly done is sure to be imperfect. In undertaking any thing the first thing required is perseverance. "Try again" should ever be our motto. A child will never learn how to walk if it were never to try to do so, simply because in its primary attempts it suffers failures and falls every now and then. But the instinct of the child urges it nevertheless to continue in its efforts until it succeeds. Does not the same Spirit which gives the child the instinct illuminate the child after it grows into manhood? Is it not shameful for every person that, although in childhood he acts in obedience to the instructions of the Divine Spirit, he after coming to maturity should become deaf to the teachings of that Spirit which once gave him success in his childhood notwithstanding all the primary failures? If we understand all these things why should we not proceed cautiously and patiently? If you see before your eyes a thing which you were hunting after for a long time, why should you not try to grasp and tenaciously cling to it? Should you give it up simply because you do not succeed for the first time? Is all the trouble you took in finding it out and getting at it to go in vain? Should you not at such a trying moment summon the assistance of moral courage? Is it not degrading for us that we can not even follow the footsteps of our ancestors who discovered the true path to Spiritual Enlightenment, although their footprints are so clear that they can be vividly seen by any one who cares to do so? How very difficult would it then have been if the task of discovery had involved upon us? Not only are these footprints still preserved but we can find to this day guides who have trodden upon these steps and have nearly attained the same end which these discoverers did. The question naturally arises where can these guides be found? The answer is of course India. But are they accessible to all? Can any body employ them as other guides are? What are their charges for employment? One answer is, it is presumed, sufficient to answer all these queries. The fact that they retire from the busy world necessarily proves that they do not care for any thing pertaining to it. What else then can induce them to come over to you to guide you through this path? It is the proper performance of certain duties which a man ought to do. But what are these duties is a question which springs from this answer. If I were to go minutely into all these details it would take me too long before I finish this letter and I would therefore cursorily glance at what these duties are. We must consider the whole mankind as one brotherhood for the whole creation has emanated from that eternally Divine Principle which is everywhere, is in every thing and in which is every thing and is therefore the source of all. We should therefore do all we can to do good to humanity. You know the soul of man is composed of Spirit and Matter and thus forms a distinct individuality. Our chief end should be to preserve this individuality until the Soul is freed of all the Matter that stuck to it and mixes into that Principle which gives it birth or rather from which it proceeds. One of the various things you must do in order to accomplish this is to leave off as much of worldly consideration as possible. Your only desire should be to do everything for humanity and not for yourself, i.e., although you are in the world, your inner man should be out of it. When you do this much, you will know other means of accomplishing your aim from the Adepts. You must neither despair, nor think that there are no adepts simply because you have as yet seen none. If you have not met with any, you should know that it is because you have not properly performed your duties. You would perhaps think that these personages stop in India and you have therefore no chance of finding any in America. But then you must remember that for a person whose Spiritual Sight is opened time and space can offer no obstacle. He can travel any distance whenever he pleases in no time. Such men are actually in search of persons who truly and sincerely desire to go to them and study occult Sciences. Why should they not go to you if you are honestly working with that desire? If you produce a certain cause will it not have its effect? Man is endowed with a power by which he can produce a certain cause, but the production of the effect rests with that force in Nature to which the cause is directed. But does this force go against its laws? Certainly not, for if it were to do so, it would be a miracle, but you know that there can be no miracle. If you therefore perform your duties as you ought to do, you will certainly rouse the good Spirits (Forces) in Nature who will compel an Adept to come to you and teach you what you so ardently desire to learn. If you despair after making some progress and learning certain things what should I do? Am I not a beginner? It is only two months that I have been admitted into the Society. What I have said above are the aspirations of a Hindu and should be of every person of whatever creed or colour, for castes and races are but the invention of man to suit his convenience. Do not therefore despair but go on with confidence, and success is at hand. If after performing your proper duties you do not meet with an adept you will at least have the consolation of having done what you are in duty bound to do. All your good actions in this world will help you in after-life. I therefore ask of you, my dear brother, to proceed cautiously and patiently with what you have begun. Despair not, and you will shortly trample the foe under your feet. Bear in mind the motto "Try again," and apply it in your case.
I hope you success and conclude
Most truly Yours
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR.F. T. S.
Bombay 24th January 1880
My dear Sir and brother,
I read with great interest yours of 8th November which I received on the 20th ultimo while I was at Benares. I left this place on the 2nd ultimo with H. P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott for Allahabad whence I proceeded alone upon my arrival, to Benares to see Pandit Dayanand Saraswati Swamiji, on the business of the Ritual. Col. Olcott and Madam joined me there after about ten days; and when I showed your letter to them, Madam ordered me to write to you all I had personally witnessed at Benares. Having, however, left that place shortly afterwards for Allahabad where I stopped only for two days, I could not find leisure to give you the whole account. After I came to Bombay I was engaged for a long time in doing my work and could not spare time to write to you, for which I hope you will excuse me. I once or twice attempted to do so, but I did not know what to write. Because if I were to give you simply an account of what I had seen at Benares, it might read simply but as a sort of story. Again I found myself incompetent to add to the account any reflections of my own. Not that I doubt what I have seen, but quite the reverse of that. I know that Madam Blavatsky whom I revere as my Guru, esteem as my benefactor, and love more than a Mother, and others whose mere recollection gives my heart a thrill that makes me quiver with veneration, have done me favours I am not the least deserving of. I therefore look down with perfect contempt upon myself when I see how much they have done for me and what opportunities they had given me for bettering myself, and how very foolishly I let those opportunities slip by. It is about six months since I was admitted into the Society and now I do not think I am a bit better in any way than I was before. I therefore consider myself as the lowest of all the Theosophists for although there may be some (if any, at all) who may be as bad as myself, they are not yet to be blamed for their actions as they had no such opportunities of improvement which I had. Being so very low as I have shown myself to you, I can not comment upon what I mean to write to you. I shall simply give you mere facts as they were personally witnessed by me — Gather what moral you may from them, I cannot give you my reflections on this matter for the reasons already stated to you, and because (judging from your letter) I find you are far superior to me in intellect and have made a greater progress.
About a month after I joined the Society I felt as it were a voice within myself whispering to me that Madam Blavatsky is not what she represents herself to be. It then assumed the form of a belief in me which grew so strong within a short time that four or five times I thought of throwing myself at her feet and beg her to reveal herself to me. But then I could not do so because I thought it would be useless, as I knew that I was quite impure and had led too bad a life to trusted with that secret. I therefore remained silent with the consolation that she herself would confide the secret to me when she would find me worthy of it. I thought it must be some great Indian Adept that had assumed that illusionary form. But there a difficulty occurred to me. I knew that she received letters from her aunts and that she communicated with persons almost in every part of the globe. I could not therefore reconcile my belief, as I thought she would then have to practise the illusion all over the world. Various explanations suggested themselves to me except the right one. I was, however, right (as I have subsequently ascertained) in my original conception that she is some great Indian Adept. At various times I talk to her about these adepts, because that is the one subject I am interested in, although I fear I am not, and shall not be for many years to come or perhaps this life, worthy of their company. Since I was a child of seven years, my inclination has almost always been in this direction. I always thought of retiring from this world and giving myself up to devotion. I also expressed several times to Madam my intention of retiring from this world and studying this philosophy which alone can make man happy in the true sense of the word. But then she usually asked me what I would do there alone. She said that instead of gaining my object I would become perhaps insane by being alone in the jungles without any body to guide me; that I was foolish enough to think that by going into the jungles I could fall in with an adept; and that if I really wanted to gain my object I should have to work in the Society and when the Higher ones whom I dare not mention by any other names, and who had started this Society, would be satisfied with me, they would themselves call me away from the busy world and teach me in private. And when I foolishly asked her many times to give me the names and addresses of some of our Brothers she said to me once: — "One of our Brothers has told me that as you are much after me, I better tell you once for all that I, being a European, have no right to give you any information about them; but if you go on asking Hindus what they know about the matter, you might hear of them; and one of those Higher ones may perhaps throw himself in your way without your knowing him, and will tell you what you should do." Having received these orders I had but to obey and wait; although having an implicit confidence in H. P. Blavatsky I knew that I would have my object fulfilled only through her, and through her alone. I thereupon asked one or two of my Hindu friends, who were inclined in this direction, if they knew any such persons. One of them said he had seen two or three such men but that they were not quite what he thought "Raj Yogs." He also told me that he had heard of a man who had appeared several times in Benares but that no body knew where he lived. My disappointment grew bitter and more bitter but I never lost the firm confidence I have that adepts do live in India and can still be found among us. Shortly afterwards I was ordered to Benares to see Swamiji on that business of the Ritual.
A few months before we left Bombay, Pandit Mohunlal Vishnulal Pandea, one of the Councillors of our Society, had written to Madam that there lived in Benares a woman called "Maji" who practised Yog and was his Guru. I had known from Madam that Swamiji also knew that science and that he knows "Maji." Being, however, ordered not to let him know what I knew of him, I could not say to him anything directly but when I made indirect references to these things, he pretended to laugh at me for believing in the powers attained by a Yog. And when I asked him if he knew a woman named "Maji," he replied — "If there be such a woman here at all, she is not known." — Whenever I asked him any thing in regard to these matters, he gave evasive answers. I was disappointed when I saw that all my expectations in going to Benares were but castles in the air. I thought that I had gained nothing except the consolation that I was doing a part of my duty as a Theosophist. Consequently I wrote thus to my most revered Guru: — "As directed by you I have neither let him (Swamiji) know what I know of him nor what my true intentions are. He seems to think that I work in the Society to make money. I have as yet kept him in the dark as regards myself and consequently am myself groping in the dark — Expecting, however, enlightenment on the subject from you."
Shortly afterwards Madam and Col. Olcott accompanied by two or three European members of our Society joined me at Benares. To my great surprise, when asked by Madam, Swamiji mentioned the place where "Maji" resided and offered to take us there, adding that he knew her well and that she very often came to see him. The Europeans that had come to Benares from Allahabad were Mr. Sinnett, the Editor of the "Pioneer" (a government organ and one of the most influential newspapers in India), and his wife, and Mrs. A. Gordon, the writer of the article "Missions in India" in the January number of the Theosophist, the wife of a Colonel in Bengal, also a Theosophist; who had come on purpose from Calcutta to Allahabad — thus crossing all India, — to be initiated. They all wanted to see some great phenomenon performed by Madam, and especially the former two had come down to Benares for that purpose, as Madam had refused to show them any such thing unless permitted by Swamiji. Swami having declined to grant the permission asked for, was consulted by Madam and Col. Olcott as to the best way of satisfying these two persons, as it was found that the interests of the Society would be greatly increased, if the full sympathy of Mr. Sinnett was secured, who had already done so much for us by making the Viceroy issue an order published in the November Number of the Theosophist, which set us all right in the public estimation, and who had made the Viceroy promise to write to Madam a letter approving of the plan of the Society, which will be published in the next number. It was then resolved that we should see "Maji" for the purpose. But when we went the next day to her she gave the same reply as Swamiji that it was too sacred a science to be thus treated as a "Tamasha" (Show). Madam could not accompany us at that time as she did not feel well, but when we told "Maji" accordingly, she turned a glance of significance at Col. Olcott who returned it, thereby asking her to remain silent, as they alone had then felt Madam's presence near them. "Maji" then said that though she had never visited Europeans, she would herself come to see Madam once or twice before our departure from Benares. Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett being thus disappointed were talking at night about the matter with Madam and Col. Olcott. Mrs. Gordon also formed one of the company. During the course of conversation some one made reference to flowers and immediately afterwards a sound was heard as of something dropping from above. It was found that a number of flowers were thrown by invisible hands on the table around which they were all sitting. When I had gone to Swamiji a short time before the occurrence, I found him in an unusual state, such as he was always in, whenever explaining the Ritual. And I found that the phenomenon exactly corresponded to the time when I saw Swamiji in the strange state of "Samadhi" described to you above: "Samadhi" being, as you perhaps know, that state when the adept leaves his body. There was therefore no doubt left for me as to what and how it had happened. The next day Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett left for Allahabad and we three with Mrs. Gordon remained at Benares. The next day came "Maji" (who never speaks of herself but as "This body") to see Madam, and I alone was then with them, as Col. Olcott and Mrs. Gordon had gone with Swamiji to see the girls' school. I then gathered from what she said that she had been first in the body of a Fakir who, upon having his hand disabled by a shot he received while he passed the Fortress of Bhurtpore, had to change his body and choose the one that was now "Maji." A girl about seven years of age was dying at that time and so, before her death, this Fakir had entered her body and taken possession of it. "Maji" is not therefore a woman but a real Hindu Fakir in the body of a woman. It is but one by one that I gathered all these particulars. In his former body, this Fakir had studied the Yog science for 65 years, but his study having been arrested and incomplete at the time his body was disabled and consequently unequal to the task he had to perform, he had to choose this other one. In his present body he is 53 years, and consequently the "Inner Maji" is 118 years old. She then asked Madam whether she knew that they had had the same man for their "Guru." But Madam desiring her to give some proofs of what she said to me, she readily furnished them. She said that Madam's Guru was born in Punjab but generally lives in the Southern part of India, and especially in Ceylon. He is about 300 years old and has a companion of about the same age, though both do not appear even forty. In a few centuries he will enter the body of a "Kshatriya" (the Warrior caste among the Hindus) and do some great deeds for India, but the time had not yet come. When Madam and Col. Olcott had gone last summer to Karley Caves, they saw a certain Sannyasi with a five-legged cow, who took Col. Olcott aside and gave him the Theosophical grip. He had then told Col. Olcott that he was "Maji's" disciple. I communicated this fact on this occasion to "Maji" who laughed and replied that it was none other than Madam's Guru in the Fakir's body, who had given Col. Olcott the grip, and that if we were to see that Fakir again, he would not be able to give us the sign again, as he was for the time being, taken possession of, by Madam's Guru who often performs such things. Then she went home, promising to see us again before our departure.
I must state here that about a fortnight before I left Bombay Madam had asked me how I knew that it was not an Indian adept who took occasional possession of her body and who did all these things which are attributed to her. My inference then is that the real H. P. B. is nothing but either a paralyzed soul or a dead body under the control of some adept. I shall now continue the thread of my account.
"Maji" then came for the second time and on this occasion all of us were present except Swamiji and Madam who came afterwards. Col. Olcott then asked "Maji" some questions about Madam. And "Maji" said that Madam was not what she seems to be. Her interior man had already been twice in a Hindu body and was now in his third. She also said that until that time she had never seen a European but, having got the information from her Guru, about Madam, she had come to see her. I then asked her if the real H. P. B. was still in the body, but she refused to answer that question, and only added that she herself — "Maji" — was inferior to Madam. She then told Col. Olcott that he had once been a young Hindu in the Southern part of India, but had died and had to be reborn again. She then explained to us the meaning of the action of the Fakir in having brought a five-legged cow at Kar1i when he saw Col. Olcott there and gave him the Theosophical grip. She said that every person has a right to repeat the Gayatri Mantram which consists of three "Pads" (Metres) but a Brahmachari has a right to repeat one "Pad" more while a Yog could repeat as many as he liked and thereby perform wonders. Thus a Yog has a right to repeat a Mantrarn consisting of five "Pads" which is equal to "Om tat Sat," and as the word "Pad" also means a foot or a leg, he had purposely brought a five-legged cow to signify this meaning. And she moreover said that this symbol was with Madam on her seal-ring, although neither she (Madam) nor any of us had intimated to "Maji" the fact. You will have thus seen how Indian instructions are conveyed by means of symbols and one who can decipher the ancient Aryan symbols will find a vast field to be explored. She first tried to tempt me, trying to make me relinquish my object; but when all this failed, she told me that if I wanted to make any spiritual progress and see any of our Brothers, I must depend entirely for that upon Madam. None else was competent to take me through the right path. If I were to go alone anywhere, I may wander about here and there for years together but that will be quite useless. I must stop entirely with Madam and lay my full and only confidence in her. She told me to work in the Society and practise regularly twice a day what Madam had ordered me to do. In every respect I must act in obedience to her instructions. Then she told me that I should go once with Madam to the mountains of Junagad where these adepts usually live and even if I were not to see any body the first time, the magnetized air in which they live, will do me much good — She said that they do not generally stop in one place but always shift from one place to another. They however, all meet together on certain days of the year in a certain place near Bhadrinath in the Northern part of India, of which you can read in the January Theosophist. She remarked that as India's sons are becoming more and more wicked, they (these adepts) have gradually been retiring more and more toward the north of the Himalaya Mountains. I have written here as far as I can recollect what "Maji" had told us —
You will thus have seen of what a great consequence it is for me to be always with Madam. From the beginning I felt all that "Maji" had told me. Only two or three days after I applied for admission into the Society I said to H. P. B., what I really felt, that I regarded her as my benefactor, revered her as my Guru and loved her more than a mother. Ever since I have assured her of what I then told her. And now "Maji" tells me the same thing, strengthens my faith and asks me to confide in her (Madam). And when I afterwards consulted Swamiji in regard to myself, he, without my telling him a word of what "Maji" had said to me, urged me to do the very same thing, that is to say, to put my faith in H. P. B. All along I have felt and do still feel strongly as if I had already once studied this philosophy with Madam and that I must have been once her most obedient and humble disciple. This must have been a fact or else how can you account for the feeling created in me about her only after seeing her not more than three or four times. All my hopes and future plans are therefore centered in her and nothing in the world can shake my confidence in her, especially when two Hindus, who do not speak English and could not have pre-arranged these things, tell me the very same things without previous consultation and what I all along had myself felt. My trip, therefore, to up-country did me one good, that of strengthening my belief which is the chief foundation on which the grand structure is to be built.
Before concluding I shall speak of an incident that happened in my presence at Benares. The night before we left that place seven or eight persons were in the drawing room when I was present. We were all sitting around a table. Madam was talking with me and a Benares Pandit, the writer of the article on "Brahma, Ishwara and Maya" in the October Number of the Theosophist. On one side was Col. Olcott talking to a pleader in Benares, who has since joined our Society. Near them was Swamiji sitting silent in his chair. On the other side was Mrs. Gordon talking to Dr. Thibaut, Principal of the Benares College. Near them was a disciple of Swamiji sitting silent in his seat. In the course of conversation Mrs. Gordon happened to talk of flowers. Madam then said to the Benares Pandit that she would try if any of our Brothers would give him a sign — And lo! and behold! within two seconds a shower of flowers at his feet, thrown by invisible hands. I immediately looked at Swamiji and found that he looked no better than a dead man. His cheeks were pale and the flush of life gone. It was evident that his inner man was not then in his body. I then asked Madam who had done the phenomenon of flowers, and her only reply was "One of our Brothers," but which one she left for me to find out. All of us then took a flower for ourselves but the smallest of all fell to the lot of Dr. Thibaut, the Principal of the College. At the time of going he asked Madam if he could have another that was lying on the table. When she said, — "You may take as many as you like, You will have many more." She repeated this twice or thrice and I looked up to see from which direction they came. But I found that they came down directly from the ceiling and fell right near Dr. Thibaut's feet. All then left the place and as it was dark outside I took a lamp to show them the way out. By the time they came in the outer veranda the light was almost out. Mrs. Gordon was surprised and wanted to bring another lamp. But I said that there was no matter with the lamp, but that it was Madam that was doing something with it. When Col. Olcott heard the words that thus passed between us he called back all the visitors who were by this time near the steps, to see the phenomenon. When they returned, Madam came out, took the lamp from me, and placed it on the table. Then she said "What is the matter with you, come up," and immediately it shone with an unusual brilliancy. She then said "Go down" and within a short time it was almost dark. Afterwards she brought it up again, thus clearly establishing to the visitors what a Yog can do by his will power. The next day I asked Swamiji who it was that had twice thrown the flowers the night before. But he first refused to answer my question, saying that I had to do nothing with it. I told him that I wanted to know it, because I could explain it in two ways and I wanted to know which one was correct, viz., — (1st) that Madam herself did the thing; or (2nd) that some body else did it for her. He replied that even if it were done by some body else, no Yog will do a thing unless he sees the desire in another Yog's mind. I said it was quite true but that I wanted to know which of these was a fact. And then he told me that it was not Madam but some body else that had thrown the flowers. Who that some body was he would not tell me, and it is quite evident he should not tell me when it was done by himself.
I suppose I have sufficiently tired your patience and therefore beg to conclude, especially as I do not see that I have got to write to you any thing more for the present.
Hoping soon to see you here, in whom I take so much interest, I beg to remain, My dear Sir,
Yours in life and after death
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR F. T. S.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE "THEOSOPHIST,"BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA, 5th June, 1882
A. P. Sinnett, Esq.,Ed. "Pioneer,"Simla.
My dear Sir,
When Mme. Blavatsky left for Calcutta she left with me (March 30th) a letter for Mr. O'Conor with instructions to forward it to the addressee during the first week of June, if not otherwise ordered. I was accordingly to forward it by tomorrow's mail but I have just been ordered to forward it to you. I therefore emclose it to you now. Please excuse haste — no time to lose — the mail is about to close.
I hope you have received the two telegrams.
DAMODAR K. M.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE "THEOSOPHIST"BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA, 26th August, 1882
My dear Sir,
It is with the greatest pain and reluctance that I write this letter but I beg of you the indulgence to give this a patient and careful reading.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE "THEOSOPHIST,"BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 14th June 1881.
My dear Judge
I will now begin where I stopped last. I told you there about my being at a certain place where they have their Council. After that I saw ⸫ twice or thrice alone on the same business and very rarely he said to me a few words of encouragement and good advice as to how I should go on. Happy were those moments when alone at midnight we thus had conversation! Nothing or no body to disturb us! We were to ourselves during that time. Once he took me to some other place in Ceylon. In that particular village, H. P. B., Col. Olcott and myself were the only three persons that stopped one night, the rest of our party having gone to a further place. We were all busy there initiating people and forming a branch of our Society till about 12 in the night. H. P. B. and Col. Olcott went to bed at about one. As we had to stay in the village only one night we had got down in the Rest House where comfortable accommodation can be had only for two travellers. I had therefore to lay down in an arm-chair in the dining room. I had scarcely locked from inside the door of the room and laid myself in the chair than I heard a faint knock at the door. It was repeated twice before I had time enough to reach the door. I opened it and what a great joy I felt when I saw ⸫ again! In a very low whisper he ordered me to dress myself and to follow him. At the back door of the Rest House is the Sea. I followed him as he commanded me to do. He brought me to the back door of the place and we walked about three quarters of an hour by the seashore. Then we turned in the direction of the sea. All around there was water except the place we were walking upon which was quite dry!! He was walking in front and I was following him. We thus walked for about seven minutes when we came to a spot that looked like a small island. On the top of the building was a triangular light. From a distance, a person standing on the seashore would think it to be an isolated spot which is covered all over by green bushes. There is only one entrance to go inside. And no one can find it out unless the occupant wishes the person to find the way. After we reached the Island we had to go round about for about five minutes before we came in front of the actual building. There is a little garden in front we found one of the Brothers sitting. I had seen him before in the Council Room and it is to him that this place belongs. ⸫ seated himself near him and I stood before them. We were there for about half an hour. I was shown a part of the place. How very pleasant it is! And inside this place he has a sort of a small room where the body remains when the Spirit moves about. What a charming, delightful spot that is! What a nice smell of roses and various sorts of flowers! I wish I were permitted to visit that place again if I should go to Ceylon another time. The half hour was finished and the time for our leaving the place was near. The master of the place whose name I do not know, placed his blessing hand over my head and ⸫ and I marched off again. We came back near the door of the room wherein I was to sleep and he suddenly disappeared there on the spot. And following his example as a true disciple I too will now disappear abruptly until the next mail when I shall resume the subject.
Yours very truly & SincerelyDAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETYBREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 21st June 1881
My dear Judge
In my last letter I omitted to mention to you the two other places where I was taken before the one mentioned in my last. But as I am not at liberty to describe them I shall abstain from doing so for the present, until I am permitted. I shall only say that one of them is near Colombo, a private house of ⸫ and the other one near Kandy, a library. I can now think only of these four places where I was taken while in Ceylon. Of course, as said before, I saw ⸫ and others on various occasions. One evening after dressing myself for dinner on the Steamer on our way back to Bombay, I took out from my trunk my coat to be put [on] after dinner. As is my habit, I examined its pockets and put it on my bed. The dinner table was exactly opposite my cabin so that I could easily see any one going in or coming out from there but I saw none; neither did any one else at table. After we finished our dinner I went in and put on the coat. Without thinking I put my hands into my pockets as I usually do and lo! in the right hand one I felt some paper while, when I first examined it, there was nothing inside. I took it out and to my surprise I found a letter addressed to Mme. Blavatsky. I took it nearer to the light and found in the corner the initials ⸫. The cover was open and on it were written in red the words: "For Damodar to read." I then read the letter and saw that it was about the same business. Thinking all the time of this matter I lay down in my bed. Absorbed in deep thought I was startled on the sound of footsteps in the cabin which I had locked from inside. I looked behind and there was ⸫ again and two others! What a pleasant evening that was! Speaking of various things in regard to knowledge and philosophy for about half an hour! Those were the happiest moments in my life! But that was only for that time and I determined to make myself worthy of enjoying it always!
But enough of it now:
Very truly & Sincerely yoursDAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA. 28th June 1881
My dear Judge
Last time I spoke to you about what happened to me on my way back to Bombay from Ceylon. After arriving here you know very well that within a very few days the "Kitchen row" occurred and there was a split. Shortly afterwards (Aug. 27--1880) H. P. B. and Col. 0. left Bombay for Simla and other places in the North on the business of the Society and I was almost alone at the Headquarters. I suppose you know very well that since my leaving off my caste I have been staying with H. P. B. Mr & Mme. Coulomb also stayed and have been staying with us but they are not much interested in these matters. I worked all alone in H. P. B.'s compartments and there not a single soul came to disturb me. On the evening previous to my birthday (in September) I went as usual for dinner in the evening. The dining room was just opposite the Bungalow where I had my table. The outer door of the compound was locked from inside. We were all three in the dining room. After dinner we removed to the verandah in H. P. B.'s Bungalow. A sudden peculiar sensation came over me and the brilliant moonlight reminded me of my trip to —— where Col. O. & I were magnetised, of which I think I told you. Presently Mme. C. heard footsteps in H.P.B.'s room, and somebody trying to open the cupboard. I did not hear any such thing but I did not dare go in as H. P. B. before her departure had told me not to do so in case I should hear any noise or voices there. For the same reason I prevented them from trying to enter there as they wanted to do for fear there might be some thing. After some time all that stopped and both of them went to bed. I went into my writing room the window of which opens into the verandah where we were sitting after dinner. And just above the table in front of the clock was a big triangular note. When I left the room for dinner there was nothing there as I always when going in or coming out referred to that clock and if it had been there before I could not have seen the figures on the clock and consequently should have noticed it before. I took it up and opened it and inside was a triangularly folded cap which the Fakirs and the people in Northern India wear. Inside was written "To Damodar" and then were the Initials⸫ It is a gift I shall always preserve and have it still. In that place I slept all alone, Mr & Mme. C. sleeping in the room Miss Bates occupied before, which is in the opposite bungalow. After that I very often received communications from ⸫ and others by post or in some mysterious way. One night after despatching the Theosophist I went to bed at about one in the morning. As usual I searched my table and after putting every thing in order locked the drawers. I got up in the morning & after taking my bath I opened the middle drawer of the table & the 1st thing I saw was a note addressed thus: "Damodar K. Mavalankar S. By order of ⸫ I opened it and it was written in pure and very high Hindustani so that I could not understand it and within a few days I got its translation into English by post. If I were to mention to you all such communications received by me I would fill a small volume. I will therefore mention to you one very important thing which happened within a few days from that time. At about 2 in the morning after finishing my work I locked the door of the room and lay in my bed. Within about 2 or 3 minutes I heard H. P. B.'s voice in her room calling me. I got up with a start and went in. She said "some persons want to see you" and after a moment added "Now go out, do not look at me." Before however I had time to turn my face I saw her gradually disappear on the spot and from that very ground rose up the form of ⸫ By the time I had turned back I saw two others dressed in what I afterwards learned to be Tibetan Clothes. One of them remained with ⸫ in H. P. B.'s room. The other one I found seated on my bed by the time I came out. I saluted him & asked him if he had any orders to give. He said: "If there are any, they will be told to you, without being asked." Then he told me to stand still for some time and began to look at me fixedly. I felt a very pleasant sensation as if I was getting out of my body. I can not say now what time passed between that and what I am now going to relate. But I saw I was in a peculiar place. It was the upper end of Cashmir at the foot of the Himalayas. I saw I was taken to a place where there were only two houses just opposite to each other and no other sign of habitation. From one of these came out the person who had written to me the Hindi letter above referred to and who has been subsequently corresponding with me. I may mention to you his name since he has allowed it to be published in Mr. Sinnett's book called "The Occult World" which has just come out. Mr. Sinnett has dedicated the book to this person "Koot Hoomi ⸫" It was his house. Opposite him stops ⸫ Brother K — ordered me to follow him. After going a short distance of about half a mile we came to a natural subterranean passage which is under the Himalayas. The path is very dangerous. There is a natural causeway on the River Indus which flows underneath in all its fury. Only one person can walk on it at a time and one false step seals the fate of the traveller. Besides this causeway there are several valleys to be crossed. After walking a considerable distance through this subterraneous passage we came into an open plain in L-----k. There is a large massive building thousands of years old. In front of it is a huge Egyptian Tau. The building rests on 7 big pillars in the form of pyramids. The entrance gate has a large triangular arch. Inside are various apartments. The building is so large that I think it can easily contain twenty thousand people. I was shown some of these compartments. This is the Chief Central Place where all those of our Section who are found deserving of Initiation into Mysteries have to go for their final ceremony and stay there the requisite period. I went up with my Guru to the Great Hall. The grandeur and serenity of the place is enough to strike any one with awe. The beauty of the Altar which is in the centre and at which every candidate has to take his vows at the time of his Initiation is sure to dazzle the most brilliant eyes. The splendour of the CHIEF'S Throne is uncomparable. Every thing is on a geometrical principle & containing various symbols which are explained only to the Initiate. But I cannot say more now as I come now under an obligation of Secresy which K---- took from me there. While standing there I do not know what happened but suddenly I got up & found myself in my bed. It was about 8 in the morning. What was that I saw? Was it a dream or a reality? If a reality, how could I traverse the whole of the Himalayas even in my astral body in so short a time? Perplexed with these ideas I was sitting silent when down fell a note on my nose. I opened it and found inside that it was not a dream but that I was taken in some mysterious way in my astral body to the real place of Initiation where I shall be in my body for the Ceremony if I show myself deserving of the blessing. My joy at that moment can be easily conjectured than described — But enough
Very t----- yours,DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR
[Portions of this letter appeared first in The Platonist, and later in The Theosophist, June, 1884, under the title 'Reincarnation,' and in The Path, January, 1896, under the title "Some Views of an Asiatic." The valuable footnotes, signed EDITOR, which Mr. Judge appended in The Path, have been added to the present transcription of the original MS. — EDS.]
6th September, 1881.
My dear Judge
I have received your favour of the 11th July. You ask me what is my belief about "re-incarnation"? Well, as it is a complicated question, I must give you a plain statement of my full belief.
To begin with, I am a Pantheist and not a Theist or a Deist. I believe that the whole Universe is God. You must however well understand that the word "God" does not convey to me any meaning attached to that word by the Westerns. When I say God, I understand it to be Nature or Universe and no more. Therefore, I might more appropriately be called a "Naturalist." To my mind there is no possibility of the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity. For if there were such a possibility the harmony or equilibrium in nature could not be preserved and the whole Universe instead of being one harmonious whole would be but a Tower of Babel. This harmony can be kept only by the working of the Immutable Laws of Nature. And if the Laws of Nature are Immutable, they must be blind and require no guidance.*
*Allowance must be made all through for a lack of complete knowledge of the English language. What is here meant is that the inherent impulse acts according to its own laws without any extra-cosmic power meddling with it as a guide. — EDITOR [Damodar himself appends a similar note at this point in the Letter where it appears in The Theosophist, and calls the attention of the reader to his article "The Metaphysical Basis of Esoteric Buddhism." See Chapter II of this volume. — EDS.]
Hence the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity is impossible. This, as far as I can understand, is the Chief teaching and principle of Aryan Philosophy. The Aryan and the Shemite Philosophies differ from each other in this fundamental Idea, viz., that while the former is pantheistic, i. e., not acknowledging the existence of an extra-cosmical God, the latter is Monotheistic, i. e., admitting the existence of an intelligent Creator existing outside the cosmos. How far either of this is true I cannot say. But, as I think the former to be a logical position while the latter merely a matter of blind faith, I accept the former. Now some of the Pantheists recognise the existence of two distinct existences, viz., Matter and Spirit. But thinking deeply over the Subject has led me to the conclusion that this position is not quite logical. For, as far as I can understand, there can be but one Infinite Existence and not two. Call it either Matter or Spirit, anything you like, but it is one and the same. For who can say that this is Spirit and this is Matter? Can you draw any where a line between the two? Take an instance. Ice is a gross form of matter. Suppose it is a little rarefied, you will have water, which you will still call matter. Higher still, you have vapour, but it is still matter. Higher again, it becomes atmosphere, but still it is matter. Furthermore, it becomes ether, but still it is matter, and thus you may go ad infinitum. Thus becoming more and more sublimated it will reach its climax of the process of spiritualization. But still it does not become nothing. For if it does, there must come a time when the whole Universe will be nothing. If it is so, it is not infinite as it has an end. If it has an end, it must have a beginning. If it had a beginning, it must have been created and thus we must asssume the existence of an extra-cosmical Deity, which, as said above, is not a logical position. Then we thus find logically that this highest sublimated form of matter cannot be nothing. In this case matter has reached that climax of Sublimation or Spiritualization when any further action would make it grosser, not finer. What is commonly understood by the word "Spirit" then is nothing but that highly etherealized form of matter which we with our finite senses can not comprehend. But it is still matter in as much as it is still something and liable to be grosser. Some argue that these terms are adopted to signify the two extreme conditions of matter. But then I can not with my finite senses comprehend where you can draw the line between Matter and Spirit. And the gradations being infinite, I give up this task as hopeless for me, an imperfect finite being. Well then, there is only one eternal Infinite Existence, call it either Spirit or Matter. I will however designate it by the latter name as that term is most suited in its common understanding for what I am to state. Matter, as you know, we call Maya. Now some say that Matter, when assuming form and shape and being temporary, is illusion and therefore does not really exist. But I do not agree there. In my opinion — and such is that of every rational metaphysician — it is the only Existence. And it is called Maya simply on account of these Transformations. It is never steady. The Process is ever working. The one Infinite Agglomeration of matter is in some of its modes becoming grosser and grosser, while, in others, becoming more and more sublimated. The Circle is ever turning its round. Nothing goes out of that Circle. Every thing is kept within its bounds by the action of the Centripetal and the Centrifugal Forces. The forms are changing but the Inner substance remains the same. You will naturally ask what is the use of our being good or bad, if Nature has her own course? Our souls will be etherealised in their proper time? But then, what is a Soul? Is it material or immaterial? Well it is material for me as there is nothing immaterial as said above. Then what is it? Well, as far as I can think, it is an agglomeration of all the attributes together with that something which gives us the consciousness that we are. And just as Thought is Matter, so is every attribute Matter. It might be then asked, will not our souls be etherealised in their proper turn? Well, then take here again the instance of Ice. It is the grossest form of matter. We say it then becomes water. But will it be so unless it comes in contact with heat? Decidedly not. The action of the Centripetal Force is strong and it keeps up together the particles of Ice. It requires the action of Centrifugal Force, which is done by the supply of heat. If that piece of Ice be left in a cold place it will remain so until by accident Sun's rays might penetrate there or in some such way heat might be supplied. Just so then with man. The action of the Centripetal Force keeps us to our gross forms. And if we have to etherealise ourselves we must supply the Centrifugal Force, which is our WILL. And this is the first principle of OCCULTISM. Just as the etherealisation of our Souls is the result of the action of our Will, so is everything else the result of something else. The action of the working of the Circle of Matter is regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect. Nothing can be without it. And everything is at the same time in itself a Cause and an Effect. Take, for instance, heat. It is the cause of the melting of ice into water and at the same time it is the result of some other force. It did not come out of nothing. Then, how can we etherealise ourselves? By studying the action of Causes and Effects and acting accordingly. Or, in other words, by obtaining knowledge of the Forces of Nature — in one word, by studying occultism. You might ask, Can we not rise higher and higher without being Occultists? I reply, decidedly not to that extent to which an Occultist will rise. You will simply desire to rise higher? Well, as said above, this is only the first principle of occultism. And just as one step leads you to certain progress, more Knowledge will lead you to a greater progress; for every result must be in proportion to the cause producing it. As said above the action of matter is always going on. And we are every instant emitting and attracting various atoms of matter. Now a person who is not an occultist will have various desires and unconsciously to himself he will produce a Cause which will attract to him such atoms of matter as are not suited for his higher progress. The same way, when he is emitting others, he may give them such a tendency that they will mix with others evilly inclined and thus other Individualities which are thus formed will have to suffer for no fault of theirs. While an Occultist directs both. He is the Master of the Situation. He is not guided by the blind Forces of Nature. He guides them. And by knowing their action, he produces such conditions as are favourable to his attaining "Nirvana."* [*It is said that Buddha attained to Nirvana before he left this earth, hence he was always free.] But what is Nirvana? By Nirvana I do not mean any locality but a state. It is that condition in which we are so etherealised that instead of being merely a mode of the one Infinite Existence as at present, we are merged into Totality or we become THE WHOLE. There is also another reason why an advanced occultist is superior to one who merely is content with the first step mentioned above. The more he studies and understands the action of the Forces of Nature, the more is he in a position to benefit Humanity. While the one is merely content with his own advancement — the other one, the advanced occultist, places his happiness in the good of Humanity which he practically assists and benefits. Perhaps you might ask that as the Universe is evolving, there must come a time when this process of evolution must cease and involution begin; and when the latter process has done her course, everything will be in Nirvana; and therefore what is the use of troubling oneself with the study of Occultism, etc., if we can be just as well in that state? But then there are two reasons why we should do it. The first is, we do not know when the process of involution will begin and perhaps millions and billions of years might pass before everything is in Nirvana, and who knows through how many transformations we may have to pass, for, as said above, Matter is never steady but is ever changing forms. A practical occultist reaches that state in a comparatively very short time. The other reason is — When everything will be in Nirvana, it will not be me that attains Nirvana. And here I must state I believe that a man can attain Nirvana only in this life and no other. If I do not go to Nirvana some time after death, where do I go in the end, you will naturally ask? My reply is that if I do not keep up my Individuality, I lose it. My Ego remains; but my Individuality is lost. I lose that something which at present furnishes to me the consciousness that I am Damodar, that I exist as such. My Spiritual Soul or Ego if pure and good may be ethrealised and reach Nirvana state but it will no longer be the Individuality of Damodar that will attain that state. Therefore I must keep up that Individuality until I reach Nirvana state. And how to do it is taught by occultism. I did not come out of Nothing. The particles of which I am formed have always existed, and yet I do not know in what form they existed before. Probably they have passed through millions or billions of Transformations.* [*That all the particles of the matter of our universe have passed through millions of transformations, and been in every sort of form, is an old assertion of the Adepts. H. P. B. in Isis Unveiled, and the Secret Doctrine points this out as showing how the Adept may use matter, and it will also bear upon the protean shapes the astral matter may assume.] And why do I not know it now? Because I did not retain my Individuality. I did not supply the action of the Force that would not have allowed the disintegration of my Individuality.* [*This word is used to mean the personalities; the person in any birth. Since the letter was written, individuality is much used to mean the indestructible part.] Occultism furnishes that Key. And if I act up accordingly I may attain Nirvana. But then I shall not be eternally in that state. For it is unjust that the actions of a few years should be rewarded or punished eternally. At the most, how long can a human life last? Not more than four hundred years. Would it then be just that my actions of so short a period should be punished or rewarded eternally? For what are even billions of years compared to eternity? Well, then you might say what is the use of our attaining Nirvana if we are to come back again? The reasons are twofold. The first is — I shall be in Nirvana for some time, so long as the action of the Force keeps me there, or, in other words, I shall be there until the completion of the result of my endeavours to attain it, the effect being always in proportion to the Cause. Here again you might ask, but can we not keep up this process ad infinitum? Certainly you can not, because the Law of Exhaustion must assert itself.* [*If this be right — and I agree with it — Nirvana has to come to an end, just as Devachan must; and being ended, the individual must return to some manifested plane or world for further work. — EDITOR] Everything you do must be to the detriment of another, or, in other words, you exhaust a certain amount of Energy to produce a certain Result. The other reason is that while you are passing through this process of etherealisation you all along give a certain tendency to the particles of which you are formed. This tendency will always assert itself and thus in every Cycle, i. e., in each Circle of your transformation or Re-incarnation, you will have the same advantages which you can always utilise to be soon free, and, by remaining longer in Nirvana State than the generality of Humanity, you are comparatively free.* [*The comparison made is with the general run of men in all races. They are not free at any time. In the writer's opinion there is a certain amount of freedom in being in Nirvana; but he refers to other and secret doctrines which he does not explain. — EDITOR] So every consciousness which has been once fully developed must disintegrate if not preserved by the purity of its successive Egos till the attainment of Nirvana State. Now I believe that the full development of my consciousness as Damodar is possible only upon this earth* and therefore should a person die before his consciousness is developed, he must be reborn on this earth. And this is possible only in two states, viz., if one dies in childhood, or as a congenital idiot. Or there is a third state possible, which is this. Suppose I am studying Occultism and I reach a certain stage where I am able to retain my Individuality suppose my body should be incapacitated for my practical purposes. Then with my Knowledge I can choose any body I like, for, as I said above, Nirvana State is possible of attainment only in this earthly life. I may be in any other body, but my Individuality will be the same as now and I shall know myself as Damodar.
*This has always been accepted, that only on earth could we unify the great potential trinity in each, so that we are conscious of the union, and that when that is done, and not before, we may triumph over all illusions, whether of name or form, place or time, or any other. — EDITOR [It is interesting to note that in the sentence in the text to which this note is appended, Mr. Judge in his Path publication uses the name Krishna instead of Damodar, as also at the end of the paragraph. This same substitution is found in The Theosophist article, which seems to indicate that Damodar himself may have suggested the change. — EDS]
And now I suppose this is sufficient for you. It is very difficult to put such ideas on paper, for the process is tedious. Such things are to be understood intuitionally and therefore our conceptions of them are more ethereal. The first thing I have to do is to materialise my thought, put it into shape and then write down. I have also to think of the objections that might be naturally raised. And therefore in such matters I find it easier to discuss orally than write or speak. I must have missed many points but I have given you the principal ideas so that you may put your questions and I will be most happy to answer them. I must however ask you to hold me alone responsible for any mistakes. I have merely read "Isis Unveiled" and heard H. P. B. talk often with others as also The Higher Powers on some few occasions. I have got hints from them. But the subsequent working is entirely of my own making. If you think it good and correct, all credit is due to them — our Brothers — for having got the hints from them and H. P. B. If there are any mistakes, the whole fault rests entirely with me for not having properly understood their teachings. And this would but show that I am greatly lacking in my intuition.
You ask me what my opinion about the West is? Well, to be candid, I can not think very highly of a Theosophical Society that can not go on without the child's toy of a ritual! This very fact itself proves to me that the West is not
[Here the MS. ends abruptly, but it is evident that at most a paragraph or two only have been lost. — EDS.]
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
With reference to the Rules and Organization of the Society, I beg to make the following suggestions. The points I urge, appear to me very necessary as I have had conversation with many Natives and have a claim to know the Hindu character better than a foreigner can.
A general impression appears to prevail that the Society is a religious sect. This impression owes its origin, I think, to a common belief that the whole Society is devoted to Occultism. As far as I can judge, this is not the case. If it is, the best course to adopt would be to make the entire Society a secret one, and shut its doors against all except those very few who may have shown a determination to devote their whole lives to the study of Occultism. If it is not so, and is based upon the broad Humanitarian principle of Universal Brotherhood, let Occultism, one of its several Branches, be an entirely secret study. From time immemorial this sacred knowledge has been guarded from the vulgar with great care, and because a few of us have had the great fortune to come into contact with some of the custodians of this invaluable treasure, is it right on our part to take advantage of their kindness and vulgarize the secrets they esteem more sacred than even their lives? The world is not yet prepared to hear truth about this subject. By placing the facts before the unprepared general public, we only make a laughing stock of those who have been kind to us and have accepted us as their co-workers for doing good to humanity. By harping too much upon this subject, we have made ourselves in a measure odious in the eyes of the public. We went even to such an extent that, unconsciously to ourselves, we led the public to believe that our Society is under the sole management of the Adepts, while the fact is that the entire executive management is in the hands of the Founders, and our Teachers give us advice only in rare exceptional cases of the greatest emergency. The public saw that they must have misapprehended the facts, since errors in the Management of the Society — some of which could have been very well avoided by the exercise of ordinary common sense — were from time to time exposed. Hence they came to the conclusion that
(1) Either Adepts do not exist at all; or(2) If they do, they have no connection with our Society, and therefore we are dishonest imposters; or(3) If they have any connection with the Society, it must be only those of a very low degree, since, under their management, such errors occurred.
With the few noble exceptions who had entire confidence in us, our Native Members came to one of these three conclusions. It is therefore necessary in my opinion that prompt measures should be adopted to remove these suspicions. For this, I see only one alternative:— (1) Either the entire Society should be devoted to occultism, in which case it should be quite as secret as the Masonic or the Rosicrucian Lodge or, (2) Nobody should know anything about occultism except those very few who may have by their conduct shown their determination to devote themselves to its study. The first alternative being found inadvisable by our "Brothers" and positively forbidden, the second remains.
Another important question is that of the admission of Members. Until now, anyone who expressed a desire to join and could get two sponsors was allowed to come into the Society, without our inquiring closely what the motives in joining were. This led to two evil results. People thought or pretended to think that we took in Members simply for their Initiation Fees on which we lived; and many joined out of mere curiosity, as they thought that by paying an Initiation Fee of Rupees Ten, they could see phenomena. And when they were disappointed in this, they turned round on us, and began to revile our CAUSE for which we have been working and to which we have pledged our lives. The best way to remedy this evil would be to exclude this class of persons. The question naturally arises how can this be done, since our Rules are so liberal as to admit every one? But, at the same time our Rules prescribe an Initiation Fee of Rupees Ten. This is too low to keep out the curiosity seekers, who, for the chance of being satisfied, feel they can very well afford to lose such a paltry sum. The fee should therefore be so much increased that those only would join who are really in earnest. We need men of principle and serious purpose. One such man can do more for us than hundreds of phenomena-hunters. The fee should in my judgment be increased to Rs: 200 or Rs: 300. It might be urged that thus we might exclude really good men who may be sincere and earnest but unable to pay. But I think it is preferable to risk the possible loss of one good man than take in a crowd of idlers, one of whom can undo the work of all the former. And yet, even this contingency can be avoided. For, as now we admit some to membership, who appear especially deserving, without their paying their own fees, so could the same thing be done under the proposed change.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR, F. T. S.
Respectfully submitted to the consideration of Mr. Sinnett.
Respectfully submitted for the consideration of Mr. Sinnett, under the direct orders of Brother Koot Hoomi.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR.
With the exception of fee — too exaggerated — his views are quite correct. Such is the impression produced upon the native mind. I trust, my dear friend, that you add a paragraph showing the Society in its true light. Listen to your inner voice, and oblige me once more,
Yours very faithfully,
[type p. 280]
Last evening Mme. B. received a letter from Mr. Hume, from which she read to me the portion relating to myself. I accused of being a forger! Mme. B. asked me what Mr. Hume meant for no one could be more surprised at such a groundless charge than she was, for she KNOWS me. I now remember that about three months ago (I am not sure about the time) a letter was thrown to me at night. I took it up and saw the address. I could distinctly see that the handwriting was familiar to me but it was neither K. H.'s nor M. sahib's, nor Gjwala Khool's. I thought over it and suspected that it was Fern's own signature. I then compared the superscripture with the signature in one of Mr. Fern's letters and found them identical. Knowing that even the chelas (advanced ones of course) can do such phenomenal things, I said nothing about it except, when forwarding the letter to Mr. Fern I expressed my surprise, or what I do not remember. The address on that letter is now made the pretext for my being called a FORGER!!! Now you know me, Mr. Sinnett, you have seen me, talked with me: — I appeal to your sense of an English gentleman to say whether you consider me capable of such an infamy. It is for you to decide what you would call a person who dubs you with the title of a forger for your being merely instrumental in forwarding to him the letter from a mutual friend. My only sin consisted in volunteering to be such a medium of communication. Last year when Mme. B. was so much abused and when it was thought desirable that she should be out of this business as much as possible, for her sake I took it upon myself to be a medium of correspondence between my MASTERS and the Simla Eclectic Theosophists. You know very well under what circumstances I took this thing up. But alas! with what result: to be called a forger or be suspected to be one! Until now I was proud enough to think that I would not be suspected of any such infamy at least by persons who now seem to do so, since all my nearest friends, acquaintances and all, will give their life to proclaim that I have never uttered an untruth even as yet, and never will. Well, this proves to me one thing. The world and especially the several sceptical European races are not prepared and utterly unfit for Occultism. Those of our MASTERS who will have nothing to do with the Europeans are, I say, perfectly right. I care a fig for the opinion of the outside world. I know that I stand like a mirror before my MASTERS. They do know me and They are quite sure that with all my faults I am yet honest, truthful, sincere, and faithful. Weaknesses I have many, foremost among which are indiscretion, imprudence, and still a lingering particle of diffidence of undertaking any work of serious responsibility. But THEY know I have never played either a "double" or any game with anyone, much less with Them. But when I am once suspected, I can have nothing to do with the business. I am a perfect slave of my MASTERS and if They order me I have but to obey. Otherwise I now positively decline to have anything to do with the correspondence any of you may have to keep with Them. Mme. B. has already broken her connection. I should like to see what chela would now volunteer to do it. I am afraid none. And I do not believe THEY will under the circumstances compel any Chela to do it. If therefore for want of an intervening channel the communication between THEM and the outside world is at an end, it is neither Their fault nor ours. A cold shoulder ought to be shown to the European world as it well deserves. Of course I do not mean you. If the Europeans have self-respect, we poor Hindoos have too. We never set ourselves up as of the superior race but we have some sense in us of self-respect. I see that the cycle is at an end or rather will be in about two months and a half, and this affair must gradually stop. I have too much respect, reverence and love for my MASTERS, to hear THEM talked of as if THEY were so many ignorant babies. And I feel very much for Mme. B. She has been worrying herself for over three years so much so that she has utterly spoiled her constitution. She is unwell and last evening the Doctor said that her whole blood is spoiled. We know what it means. My only hope and prayer is that she may be spared for some time for the sake of the Society. By the Society I mean the Asiatics, for I am firmly convinced that the Europeans have not the stuff in them of Occultists. Of course there are some very rare exceptions like you but exceptions only confirm the Rule. I am afraid that if H. P. B. is still worried as she has been, I do not know what may soon happen. I have been trying to induce her to go beyond Darjeeling or some such place for two or three months, where she will neither see nor hear of the world's vilest tricks which has been the chief cause of her ill-health — and then return after she is completely cured. But she says it is better to die when she is almost dead rather than be well and again go through the same process of gradual death. Some day I do not know what news we may learn of her if she is thus persistently ill-treated so mercilessly.
. . . . . . . [Half a page of the original has been cut out here. — ED.] of retiring and we shall probably soon have to follow. For you personally I have the highest regard for I believe you to be one of the exceptions mentioned above, but I am compelled to adopt the present course. I have at least one consolation and that is I stand clear before my MASTERS who being clairvoyant can see through me any time, and to try to deceive Them when writing or speaking to Them is an useless dodge which can be at once detected.
As if to add insult to injury, Mr. Hume sends to Mme. B. for publication in the Theosophist an article about my MASTERS, which, to say the least, is most repulsive to the feelings of us Hindoos!
With the profoundest sympathies and kindest regards for you, I remain,
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR.
PUBLICATION OFFICE OF THE "THEOSOPHIST,"BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA,4th September, 1882.
A. P. SINNETT ESQ.,THE TENDRIL, SIMLA.
My dear Sir,
I am very sorry to learn that my last long letter has offended you. Personally for you I have always entertained the highest regard, and as Mme. Blavatsky might tell you I have never lost an opportunity to express to her and to others sentiments of great admiration for you on account of your devotion to the Cause of Theosophy and to the Brothers. My last letter was meant not for you but for Mr. Hume; but as I find I have thereby hurt you, I beg to be excused for the same. I wrote it when I was under a feeling of excitement to see the Brothers and Mme. B. talked of so lightly and myself accused in plain language of forgery. But to offend you in any way — you who have all along been doing every thing in your power for the Society — was as far from my mind as to commit a forgery or a murder. I hope therefore that this letter of apology will atone for my unconscious sin. I can assure upon my word that not a single syllable of what I wrote in my last, applied to you personally. Now however that I see my fault in having given way to a feeling of despair and annoyance, I cannot do better than apologise for the same. With kind regards, Believe me,
Ever yours sincerely,
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR.
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,Adyar (Madras), India, 25th May, '84.
Mrs. Josephine W. Cables, F.T.S.,40 Ambrose St., Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A.
Dear Madame and Sister, — I have carefully and with pleasure read your letter received two days ago. It should be at first realized that the Mahatmas are constantly and incessantly engaged in the helping of the onward progress of humanity. The higher they rise the more they are united to the more permanent and more ubiquitous. In fact, it is this union which marks the progress. Thus in one sense the real Mahatmas may be said to be almost everywhere, although they may not take cognizance of everything. But at the same time they cannot help giving their attention to where the magnetic attraction draws them; and hence to come under the notice of the Mahatmas depends upon oneself. We must also remember that what we are is the result of what we were, and hence whatever we enjoy or suffer is the just retribution meted out by the law of Karma, which cannot err. To our undeveloped minds various sufferings may look like acts of injustice on the part of nature, but we should not forget that justice is the immutable and fundamental law of nature, and whatever result may appear unjust must be the effect of some remote cause, although the apparent cause and the immediate one may seem to produce an unjust effect — whatever is, is right in nature. It rests with us to so produce the causes as will make our future destiny better, and ensure our future progress, but we cannot meddle with effects. Of course it is possible that while certain causes are operating we may combine to them a cause or set of them as will modify the result; but we must not forget that it is impossible for us to obliterate the causes already produced. Now, if we want to rise higher, we must produce the necessary conditions. In the first place we know that the higher states are more and more ubiquitous. Hence what we must first do is to centre our manas (the fifth principle) in those higher ubiquitous states, and this can be done only by constantly disassociating ourselves from the lower desires, &c., which chain us to our narrow personality, and by transferring our consciousness to the Divine Atma, and its vehicle (6th and 7th principles) by incessantly cultivating within ourselves the highest aspirations.
The more we succeed in doing that, the more do we obtain knowledge, for the seventh principle is itself absolute knowledge, and by our living in it, as it were, we live in knowledge.
In the second place, we must know that to help purity of thought in ourselves, we must be surrounded by the pure thoughts of others. Hence the more we help others to be pure by education, by teaching them the Law of Karma and of Cosmic Evolution, the more we help ourselves, for the purity of others elevates the surrounding objective nature into a more subjective state, and those subjective currents react upon us to help us in our higher evolution. Hence a feeling of unselfish philanthropy is an essential necessity. Also a sense of discrimination and an intellect that can properly understand the operation of the Law of Karma and of cause and effect. You will thus see that no interference or recommendation is necessary, and that for the Mahatmas to assist any one is the result of a purely psychological attraction — an immutable Law of Nature, which no one can override.
I have read carefully the new paper you have started, and wish you success in the same. The Theosophical Society affords to every one the best means of assisting humanity and thereby assisting himself and whoever increases its sphere of usefulness unselfishly cannot but be rewarded by the Mahatmas and Nature.
With fraternal regards to all the brothers and sisters.Sincerely yours,
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR