1st February, '86.
A. P. Sinnett, Esq.,
Dear and respected Sir and Brother,
Your favour of the 30th ultimo just received. The information which you have received — I do not know from what source — is strange and new to me, namely, that I am "not the person properly bearing the name" of D. N. As sure as I can be sure of anything I know it is my mystic name, as the Masters themselves have been and are still addressing me by that name. I have signed many of my letters to many of my friends simply as "Babajee" and sometimes as "Nobody." I from the day that I came in connection with you, I do not think I ever had anything to do with you as the excommunicated and ascetical son of "my" father, and grandson of "my" grandfather. At this distance of time, I cannot remember whether I first wrote to you or you first wrote to me, especially as I have none of your letters to me nor copies of mine to you. At any rate, I am sure my connection with you began, (if it did not even continue hitherto) as a Chela of my Master and not in any other capacity whatever. I presume that, because I chose or had to choose to work for the Theosophical Society, I am not to discard the privileges that had been conferred upon me by our Oriental Monastic as well as mystic orders, since the T.S. does not interfere with religious and mystical customs.
I do not believe there is anybody who bears the name of "Dharbagiri Nath" except myself, because it is a purely Sanscrit name which I have not found mentioned in the Puranas or borne in any part of India. The name refers to a secret hill of which nothing has yet been given out — "the dweller of the hill of Darbha grass." Darbha is a sacred Indian grass used daily by Brahmans for ceremonies and on a mat of which I was sleeping even while at Wurzburg.
If you think it is a deception that men (who take a name when born) should take another name at the time of their wearing the Brahminical thread, and another name again, when they become either exoteric Sannyasis or mystics (or even pupils of mystics) — then I confess that, as it is a well known fact the whole nation of Hindus are cheats, and with them I myself too. Those who say I am using somebody else's name, have to produce before you or before some witnesses in any part of the world another ascetic of the Giri sect of Brahmans who bears the same name. I do not see my way clear before all these accusations that are sent to you, not to me boldly. I am not anything else than grateful as ever for the kind way in which you have chosen to wait for my explanation. I may one day even expect to be called a Pariah by good Theosophists.
I never made a secret of the fact that I belonged to the ascetic order and to one small South Indian Fraternity of Occultists besides my connection with Mahatma K. H. Almost all the Hindu Theosophists and even many of the non-Theosophists (who are not friends) who know something of me know all the above facts. General Morgan, for instance, knew from the day that I went to Ootacamund. One of his native friends — a Government Officer — knows all about my family and family name. I send you herewith the General's letter stating that he saw my brother and Mr. Lane-Fox himself has seen one of my brothers. If I had not told you about my private affairs, it was because that I was believing or was made to believe all along that my bad manners would make you quit the T.S., and that I should therefore avoid you; this belief was my nightmare until my return from London. But if you ask why I believe all this nonsense about you, I must say that I very seldom came amongst Europeans until my connection with the T.S. and have always been diffident nervous and shy when I saw them. General Morgan treated me kindly and affectionately, and convinced me of his liking for natives, but your name, (pardon me stating it plainly) as Editor of the Pioneer had a great significance for a poor Hindu who regards that "politics" is undeservedly treated as a science or art, and that politics is the acme of selfishness. If you had only given me an assurance that you had any kind feeling at all for me, as recently I have been convinced by you and Mrs. Sinnett, I would not only have told you my private life but even taken sound and practical advice in private matters from you, instead of having often tried coolly to commit suicide. But I have, as already intimated to you in one of my letters in October or November last — decided not to defend myself.
With kindest remembrances to yourself and to Mrs. Sinnett,
I am ever yours,
Resply and fratly,
P.S. Pray be assured that I have no personal interest in coming to London, I will not come unless I am actually needed by Theosophists. All the Gebhards send you and to Mrs. Sinnett their kindest regards.
Dr. Hubbe, Mohini and Miss Arundale too are in correspondence with my brother, who is well known in the University as an able graduate; so I never kept anything private to cheat anyone. In India I spoke to Mr. W. Q. Judge, Dr. F. Hartmann and others about D. N. being my mystic name and about some other name having been given to me when I was born.
Bertram and Arch. Keightly know that D. N. is not the name given by my physical self's father.
Allow me please to quote the following passage from page 106, paras. 1 and 2 of the Arya Magazine for July 1883 published at Lahore. The Arya is a paper against the T.S.; 1883 July was some time after my name was known to you. Thus you will see that Dharbagiri Nath is the mystic name given to an exoteric Sannyasi or Brahman ascetic which I became long before I knew of the Theosophical Society or became known to you; because of the cruel persecution from exoteric orthodox Brahman caste for refusing to care for religious ceremonies, for worldly life, for family ties etc. As the name D. N. is purely Sanscrit and has been given to me by the exoteric Ascetics of a particular order of Adwaitees and followers of Sankaracharya while by "birth" I belonged to what you call in your "Esoteric Buddhism" as Vishishthadwaitees who are apparently opposed to the teachings of Sankaracharya. Now I hope you will see that D. N. cannot but be the name of an exoteric Brahman ascetic. Quotation: —
"Hindu Sastras describe four kinds of Ashram — Brahmacharya[[,]] Grahast, Banaprast and Sannyasi. The fourth asram is Sannyasi. Only those who arrived at this stage devoted their time solely in Yoga and Contemplation of God. But from a little before Sankaracharya rose in power another math (opinion — rather institution or order or sect) was prevalent. It was that a person could take Sannyasa Asram whenever he felt disgusted with worldly affairs, without passing thro' all the other lower stages of life. Following this Math, Sankaracharya became a Sannyasi, while he scarcely passed the first stage — Brahmachari. From the days of Sankaracharya as the necessary consequence of his teachings, the numbers of Sannyasis and Mahants have gradually increased. Almost all Sannyasis accept him as their Guru (religious teacher). For the sake of his Sannyasi disciples, he created a sect called Varati: There are THREE classes of Mahants (religious devotees) Giri, Puri and Varati. Many people believe that Sankaracharya was the originator of all the three classes; but in Sankaravijaya, mention of any other but Varati cannot be found. Mahants of Varati sect can be found everywhere in India. The famous Mahant of Tarakeshwar in Bengal although belongs to the Giri sect, has two or three Varati disciples." (Even H. P. B. might not know anything about the name of Dharbagiri for she is not Brahman.)
Thus you will see that "Giri" is a sect of Brahman ascetics — not Buddhists. So D. N. is a name I had even before I became a Buddhist. Thus it is only exoteric ascetics of the Brahman Giri sect who can at all come forward against my name and for them I have a secret Mantra to give and to make them recognise me.
You must know also that Sannyasis never would give out their family name. In my case, there is an additional reason that all caste people would be more than ever against me.
I will not come to London without consent of yourself as President of L.L.T.S.