G. de Purucker, Leader of the Theosophical Society, Editor of this magazine, and Teacher and Friend to thousands scattered over this globe, died very suddenly Sunday morning, September 27th, shortly before nine o'clock. A letter printed in this issue from his private secretary, Miss Elsie V. Savage, gives more intimate details of his passing; and the short biography at the end of the magazine sketches his life, outwardly on the whole so quiet, yet inwardly, so full, every moment of which was crowded with study and labor that would redound to the security and future welfare of the Theosophical Movement.
Dr. de Purucker believed so truly in the beauty of death, in the further adventures it brings to the pilgrim-soul of man as it journeys from planet to planet in that true rebirth which follows when the travail of earth-life is over, that he would not have our thoughts marred by personal lamentation or grief. In this, we know, all his students concur. And the public likewise will respect the attitude of Theosophists toward death, and later perhaps come to understand it, when they see, as many have already seen, how the knowledge of its majestic processes brightens and strengthens their lives and gives them power that will sustain in sorrow, support in difficulty, and inspire in daily living.
Nobly to live, grandly to die! I recall the words — often on his lips when speaking of the ancients and their conception of life and death. But eulogy would be abhorrent to Dr. de Purucker in these pages, and we shall make none. But let these two main facts be stated. They rush to meet us as we look back on the life just ended. G. de P. took office as Leader of the T. S. in 1929 at a critical time. The Society needed revitalizing. He revitalized it. It needed new blood. He gave it new blood. And it was literally this transfusion of energy from himself as the intellectual-spiritual channel for the Masters into the bloodstream of the T. S. that saved the T. S.; and he continued pumping this stream of psycho-intellectual-spiritual force into it until the very last moment of his life. He poured out teaching. He elucidated H.P.B.'s abstruse Secret Doctrine. He added to it, and much of what he gave, as he occasionally reminded his hearers, had not for thousands of years left the sanctuaries of the Mysteries. The time was ripe for him to teach, and he taught. It is stating the truth with reserve when we say that through his extensive lectures and numerous writings he made what he always liked to call "technical" Theosophy understandable for hundreds, and in so doing wonderfully transformed their lives. That is the first point: recognition of the wealth he gave of spiritual instruction, coupled with his utter fidelity to the Masters and to H. P. B. in doing this. And the second point — almost as remarkable to those who throughout the years personally witnessed its gradual accomplishment — is that by almost superhuman efforts, along material and organizational lines, he succeeded in freeing the Society from debt, so that for the first time perhaps in its history it stands today on a firm foundation of financial security. And coupled with this, as his last act, he moved the Headquarters from Point Loma and the uncertain conditions prevailing there, owing to its geographical situation and the present war, to the safer and more practical environment of Covina, in Los Angeles County, where, being nearer to the great metropolitan areas of the southwest, greater opportunity is offered for the practical work of disseminating the teachings of Theosophy.
Very heavy are the duties of Theosophical leadership. Few would wish to bear them. They were indeed very heavy for Dr. de Purucker. But as we all look back on his thirteen years of leadership, can anyone of us doubt but that his labors were crowned with success — success in spiritual accomplishment, success in material achievement?
For the rest, turn to his writings. There, if you wish, you will find the story of a life wholly dedicated to Truth, to its dissemination and — as a particular trust to be fulfilled in this incarnation, coming first and foremost — utter devotion to the welfare of the T. S. as its loyal Servant and Leader.
To his own words then the Editors have turned in preparing this special memorial issue, and with care have chosen from unpublished letters, talks, and lectures, teaching which shows the strength, the majesty, the beauty, and the appealing commonsense of Theosophy, and reveals the remarkable range and genius of G. de P.'s exposition, pointing as ever it does to the existence of that central source and storehouse of Ancient Wisdom from which all the illuminated draw.
Your particular attention is called to the opening article, "Aham Asmi Parabrahma," an almost prophetic utterance, read in the light of his death so soon afterwards. There in simple understandable English we have a summary of the Secret Doctrine, the fundamental propositions of the Ancient Wisdom. It is a condensation in living, forceful form of all our many Theosophical doctrines, for all aspects of the Ancient Wisdom are but a ringing of the changes on the one sublime idea of Universal Brotherhood as a fact of Nature. And the facts of Nature are revealed to us through the Theosophical teachings of Hierarchies, of Inner Rounds and Outer Rounds, of Karman and Reimbodiment, of the genesis of Solar Systems and Universal Solar Systems. The more we learn of the carpentry and geography of universal being, and indeed of the mysteries of our inner nature, the more we find that the essence and root of all teaching is that we and all beings and things — All Beings and Things — are rooted in the Kosmic Heart, the Divine. How truly and beautifully is this expressed in G. de P.'s last public message above referred to! Aham Asmi Parabrahma. I am the Boundless, the Divine.
On other pages of this issue you will also note with particular care, no doubt, the letter from the Cabinet of the T. S., as well as the interview given to a reporter from the Covina Citizen by Mr. Iverson L. Harris, Chairman of the Cabinet. By this you will know that the work of the T. S. is protected; that the Leader of the T. S. in his passing left no details uncared for; that the Cabinet stands united in the carrying out of his instructions, and counts on the strength and loyalty of each and all F. T. S.
In the December Forum cables conveying sympathy and loyal support to the Cabinet from England, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, together with messages from all over the United States and from Canada, will be recorded, showing the present unanimity of feeling throughout the length and breadth of the Society. And in that issue the Editors plan to include articles describing G. de P.'s literary output, his work for fraternization among Theosophists, his European lecture-tours, and perhaps giving other intimate glimpses of his years of leadership of the T. S.
But for this issue we have his own words. Let them speak. In them let us hear his resonant and inspiring voice again. Let us meditate on them in the spirit of high impersonal love he urged us so continually to strive for. Of the one who died, so often we heard him say: Gaudet in astris, dormit in pace. Now it is he who has left us. And now we say — with what inner meaning! — he sleeps in peace; he rejoices in the stars. But his message, and the eternal message of Truth from the living Lodge of Light, the message of H. P. B. and all great Teachers of Humanity, lives. We pledge our selves to our Inner Selves that that truth shall not die.