The Masters of Wisdom

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The Masters of Wisdom
by E. Adams
F.T.S. (Fellow of the Theosophical Society)
reprinted from “Theosophical Siftings” Volume - 3 -
Transcried in digital format
!y "aryse #oc$e
The Masters of Wisdom
MAN hath no fate except past deeds,
No hell but what he makes, no Heaven too high
For those to reach whose passions sleep subdued.
'( attempt will e made in this essay to remo)e from the
minds of fair and unpre*udiced in+uirers into the truths of
Theosophy some at least of the misconceptions and false ideas
that now generally cluster around the names of its ,reat
Teachers in the thoughts of the pulic. This tas$ once
accomplished to the est of our aility- we ha)e no further
concern with it- the results- whether great or small- will e in
the hands of .arma.
/n the sufficiency or otherwise of the e)idence we are aout to
offer in fa)our of the e0istence of the "ahatmas- readers must
themsel)es pronounce- and all our efforts will e directed to
setting it forth in such order- that a fair decision may e
reached1 we can do no more.
The great /ccult !rotherhood- the custodians of the Sacred
2isdom of the ages- first came pulicly into notice this century
through the estalishment of the Theosophical Society in 3456-
and through whom their philosophy has een gi)en to the
world. 's soon as their agents announced the present e0istence
of a ody of men li)ing in the 7ast- possessing certain
remar$ale attriutes which we hope to descrie in the course
of this essay- and endowed with great wisdom- the statement
was recei)ed with derision and general incredulity- and- e0cept
on the part of a few indi)iduals- no desire was manifested to
in+uire into the truth of the matter at all. 8onsidering the
nature of the su*ect and the character of the age- this conduct
was not surprising if we loo$ elow the surface.
To igoted sectarians the idea of the e0istence of such eings
seemed too asurd to thin$ aout- much less discuss- ecause-
as we shall presently see- the )iews of sectarian 8hristianity
and materialistic science as to the meaning of #ife and man9s
future destiny are )astly different from those of /ccult
:hilosophy- and that it is only y a proper comprehension of the
latter that accurate and clear )iews- from an astract
standpoint- respecting the "ahatmas (,reat Souls) can e
:rotestant Theology- as e)eryone $nows- awards all indi)iduals-
at death- according to their deserts of faith- ele)ation to a
higher or fall to a lower spiritual condition for e)er1 a sudden
unreasonale leap from finite to infinite life. ;oman
8atholicism- although approaching closer to /ccultism in its
doctrines respecting human post-mortem states- yet affords- on
the whole- no room in its conceptions for such persons as the
<'depts<- especially as they are outside the orthodo0 pale.
The scientists of the e)olutionary philosophical school are in no
etter plight than theologians- so far as )iewing the matter
impartially at the outset is concerned. For their conceptions of
human e)olution are confined to the physical- mental- and
moral progress of successi)e generations of man$ind- whilst
indi)iduals are ruthlessly sacrificed in its attainment. This
imperfect and mutilated )iew of human destiny is presented
through lac$ of $nowledge of the law of .arma and ;e-
=ncarnation- and an ignoring of the spiritual element in man.
=n contrast to the foregoing- /ccult :hilosophy teaches that
each indi)idual 7go passes through great cycles of e0periences-
otained through incarnation in some hundreds of personalities-
ser)ing as mas$s for it- and gathering- as it e)ol)es upward in
its spiral course- fresh $nowledge- powers- and attriutes. 't
the head of this great chain of differentiated human progress
stand the <Adepts<- the flower of humanity1 each the outcome
of a mighty struggle <against himself- against all the e)ils and
opposing wills- against all the elements- against all the pre)ious
causes whose effects he has destroyed y laours of which
those of >ercules are only a pale symol<. Such are the great
"asters of 2isdom- the #eaders of the world.
The reason therefore of the general disinclination to elie)e in
the e0istence of the "ahatmas- no matter how good the
e)idence- lies in the pre)ailing character of present ;eligious
and Scientific thought1 its great difference on this matter- from
the teachings of Theosophy- leading to inaility to understand
the real and proper place of the 'dept9s nature. 's a minor
cause- also- the recognition of the e0istence of such eings as
the 'rhats necessarily in)ol)es the displacement of many
popular religious and scientific authorities now loo$ed up to as
almost infallile- a mental change for many hard to undergo.
>a)ing glanced at the astract )iew of the matter- we may now
come to the e)idence and proofs y which e)erything must
ultimately e *udged- apart from all prepossessions either for or
There are se)eral clues y which the presence and influence of
the 'depts and their disciples can e traced in >istory. The
mysteries- for instance- now so much misunderstood- and little
$nown- of all ancient races- were in)arialy presided o)er y
=nitiates- and formed the medium through which pupils were
instructed in /ccult 2isdom- and such teachings gi)en out to
the masses- as their de)elopment and circumstances would
safely permit.
2e $now that the doctrine of ;e-=ncarnation was secretly
taught y the 'depts in all ages- and appeared mas$ed in
e0oteric form- as the Transmigration of Souls. The 'rhats ha)e
from the earliest times called themsel)es Serpents or ?ragons.
Thus a 8ommentary on the Book of !"an spea$s of the
<Serpents of 2isdom whose holes are now under the triangular
stones- i.e.- the :yramids.
2hy is [email protected] < =n e)ery ancient language the word dragon
signified what it now does in 8hinese (lang)- i.e.- <the eing
who e0cels in intelligence<- and in ,ree$ <he who sees and
watches<. "#ecret octrine. Vol ==- page A3B) The earth in the
'ytareya-!rahmana is called the <Cueen of the Serpents-<
referring to the fact that the fire-mist as a long trail of cosmic
matter animated y spirit or force once mo)ed writhing li$e a
serpent in space- efore ecoming egg-shape. The ancient
'dept >ermes regarded the serpent as the most spirit-li$e of all
reptiles. The serpent iting his tail was the symol of 2isdom
and immortality in the "ysteries.
'ccording to the 'rchaic records- the lost continent of 'tlantis
was inhaited y two distinct classes of <'depts<- those of the
;ight and those of the #eft hand% 2hite and !lac$ >ierophants.
2e are told of the 'dept astronomers (arada and 'suramDya
who li)ed at ;oma$apura in 'tlantis- also of those 2hite 'depts
who instructed the early 'ryan race after the destruction of this
continent1 the high tale lands of Thiet ha)e een inhaited
for ages past y the <'rhats<. Thiet- called Si-dEang y the
8hinese- is mentioned in the oldest oo$s preser)ed in the
pro)ince of Fo-$ien (the head+uarters of the aorigines of
8hina) as the great seat of occult learning in the archaic ages.
'ccording to these records it was inhaited y the Teachers of
#ight- the Sons of 2isdom.
The 7mperor Fu the ,reat (AAB5 !.8.)- a pious mystic- is
credited with ha)ing otained his /ccult 2isdom from Thiet.
8hinese literature from #as-tEe down to >iouen-Thsang is filled
with allusions and references to Scham-!hala- the >appy #and-
and the wisdom of the >imalayan 'depts. The <8atena of
!uddhist Scriptures from the 8hinese< mentions the <,reat
Teachers of the Snowy "ountains- the school of the
>aima)atas<- and a rule relating to <the great professors of the
higher order who li)e in mountain depths remote from men<.
' Gapanese 8yclopaedia in the oo$ of Fo-$one-$y places a
!rotherhood of 'depts on the plateau of :amir- etween the
highest pea$s of the >imalayan ranges. 'ccording to tradition
the Vedas came from the "ansarawara #a$e in Thiet- and the
!rahmans from the north- the latter claiming descent from the
great ancient ;ishis (sages).
The eminent writers- Strao- #ucan- :lutarch- 8icero- and :liny-
refer to the 'depts- whom they called =ndian ,ymnosophists.
These great =nitiates led a secluded life according to 'mmianus
"arcellinus- and proofs of their great learning are preser)ed in
numerous )olumes in >indu liraries to this day. =ndian
literature teems with references to the ;ishis and "ahatmas1
these terms are interchangeale.
The "agi of :ersia- who deri)ed their name from the Sanscrit
Maha$i (the great or wise)- ha)e left some deep mar$s in
history. They were not :ersians or 8haldeans- and- in the
opinion of /rientalists- came to :ersia from the %ast. Their
schools were di)ided into esoteric and e0oteric sections1 the
former were de)oted to the teachings of practical occultism.
There were three classes of "agi- >ereds (disciples)- "oeds
(Sippara- in 8haldea- was the 8ity of the “Sun”) (masters)-
?estur "oeds (complete masters). =nitiation consisted of awful
and mysterious ceremonies- preceded y a long purification of
the candidate. ?arius >ystaspes- the monarch who reformed
and purified the :ersian mysteries- and who was an 'dept
himself- is said y ancient historians to ha)e een taught y
The '$$adian 'depts- who taught /ccultism to the !aylonians-
came from Hpper =ndia according to the archaic records. =t
should e rememered that at that time 'ryan =ndia did not
e0tend southwards eyond the :un*au. There is no dout that
the Gews ac+uired all their esoteric $nowledge from the
7gyptians and 8haldeans. 'ccording to "aimonides- the great
Gewish theologian- 8haldean "agi were always employed y the
'depts in performing their occult phenomena. "anetho says
that "oses was a hierophant of >ieropolis- and a priest of the
sun-god /siris- and that his name was /sarsiph. Gethro the
priest- his guru (spiritual guide)- gi)es him Iipporah- (From the
"eh-a- meaning great and nole) the esoteric wisdom. (Siprah
means the shining or resplendent- from Sapar to shine) ("oses-
eing an ascetic- could not e married) Gustin "artyr- gi)ing as
his authority Trogus 8ompeius- shows that Goseph learnt magic
from the 7gyptian 'depts.
The Tanaim were the first =nitiates amongst the Gews- and the
!oo$s of 7Ee$iel- ?aniel- 7noch and the ;e)elation of St. Gohn
are purely /ccult wor$s. The famous >illel (This 'dept had a
regular school for teaching /ccultism- so had Samuel and 7lisha
at ;amah and Gericho) was an =nitiate. ,ion demonstrates
that the :harisees elie)ed in the doctrine of the
Transmigration of Souls1 this shows the /ccult influences at
wor$ among the Gews. The Sohar teaches practical occultism-
through secret signs on the margin. #et us now consider the
<'depts< of 7gypt.
'ccording to >erodotus- /rpheus- an <'dept<- rought the
ancient mysteries from =ndia. :hilostratus ma$es the !rahmin
Tarchus say that the 7gyptians were originally an =ndian race
compelled to emigrate from the mother-land for sacrilege and
regicide. ?iogenes #aertius traces Theosophy to an epoch
antedating the :tolemies- and founded y a >ierophant- 8ot
'mun (name eing 8optic meaning priest consecrated to 'mun-
god of 2isdom). =n oth =ndia and 7gypt there was a sacred
succession of hierophants.
< =n 7gypt each was a :iromis- the son of a :iromis. 's in =ndia-
at Sringiri <each hierophant is a San$arDcharya- the son of a
San$arDcharya<. (&ucifer- Septemer- 344J. 'rt Traces of
'ncient =ndia in 7gypt) The 7gyptian 'depts taught that the
soul was re-incarnated after an inter)al of 3-BBB years.
The 7ssenes and healing Therapeutes were followers of the
ancient theurgic "ysteries. The 7ssenes furnished a refuge for
the hierophants of 7gypt- when the latter from fear of a
profanation of the sacred mysteries came amongst them. The
7ssenes had their greater and minor mysteries at least two
centuries efore our era. <They re*ected pleasures- despised
riches- lo)ed one another- and deemed the con+uest of the
passions to e )irtuous<- says ?unlap. /)er fi)e centuries
efore the 8hristian 7ra- the great ,ree$ :ythagoras *ourneyed
to Hpper =ndia for the purpose of studying under the <2ise
!rotherhood<. /n returning- he taught at 8roton a system of
philosophy identical with that e0pounded y the <'depts<
today. 2e $now the ,ree$s otained the 7leusinian "ysteries
from 7gypt. <'ll these things<- said Ionaras- <came to us from
8haldea to 7gypt- and from thence were deri)ed to the
,ree$s<. The great ,recian sages are found constantly
tra)elling to 7gypt for instruction- including :lato the great
=nitiate- whose philosophy contains so many of the ideas of the
7astern sages.
2e will now cross the 'tlantic /cean in search of traces of the
<Serpents of 2isdom<. =n the 'opol(vuh- the sacred oo$ of the
,autemalians- there is sufficient e)idence to pro)e the close
relationship of the religious customs of the ancient "e0ican-
:eru)ian- and 7gyptian nations. The ancient hieratic alphaets
of the "aya and 7gyptian languages are nearly identical. =n de
!ourourg9s wor$- Votan- the "e0ican hero- says that he is the
son of a <Serpent<- and had )isited a serpent9s catacom- li$e
those of 7gypt. 2e find that the "e0icans had their magicians
from a remote period. )he 'opol(vuh mentions a race of men
who $new all things at once- and whose sight was unlimited.
=n the Scandina)ian %dda we find the great 7arth Serpent
"idgard- with its tail in its mouth. The archaic records teach
that /din was one of the <Sons of 2isdom<. The (orse
cosmogony is the same as the =ndian. 2ho were the ?ruids @
The #ecret octrine says% <#i$e the >indus- the ,ree$s- and
;omans (we spea$ of the =nitiates)- the 8haldees- and the
7gyptians- the ?ruids elie)ed in the doctrine of a succession of
worlds and transformations of the face of the earth- and in a
se)en-fold night and day. 2here)er the Serpent with the 7gg is
found- there this tenet was surely present. Their racontia are
a proof of it<. "#ecret octrine. Vol ==- page 56K) :liny calls
them the "agi of the ,auls and !ritons. <= am a Serpent- = am
a ?ruid<- they e0claimed. The 7gyptian .arnac is twin-rother
to the 8arnac of !retagne- the latter meaning the serpent9s
mount. 2e will now turn again to the 7ast.
(ear the commencement of the 8hristian 7ra- we find
'pollonius of Tyana tra)elling to the aode of the Sages of
Hpper =ndia. =t is related that he found a community of 'depts-
wanting nothing- and possessing e)erything- and wielding
mar)ellous powers. Gustin "artyr is a witness to the occult
powers of 'pollonius- ac+uired y him as a pupil of the 'depts.
<The 8hristian ,nostics sprang into e0istence towards the
eginning of the second century- and *ust at the time when the
7ssenes most mysteriously faded away- which indicated that
they were the identical 7ssenes<(*sis +nveiled. Vol ==- page
)he #ecret octrine states that the )arious ,nostic sects were
founded y =nitiates. They elie)ed in metempsychosis- and the
sacred serpent appears on many ,nostic gems. The strong
!uddhistic element in their teachings has een noticed y many
scholars. 's the terms naEar and naEaret meant 'dept in
ancient writings- the connection etween the =nitiates and the
sect called (aEarenes is apparent. =n fact- the secret doctrines
of the "agi- of the pre-)edic !uddhists- of the hierophants of
the 7gyptian >ermes- and of the 'depts of e)ery age and
nationality- including the 8haldean .aalists- and the Gewish
(aEars were identical from the eginning. "*sis +nveiled. Vol ==.
page 3LA) 7)ery nation had two languages1 that of the masses
and that of the =nitiates- which was secret and uni)ersal. 'out
the 3rd century of this era- 'mmonius Saccas founded the
school of the (eo-:latonists- or 7clectic Theosophists . <They
united the mystic theosophy of old 7gypt with the refined
philosophy of the ,ree$s1 nearer to the ancient mysteries of
Thees and "emphis than they had een for centuries1 )ersed
in the science of soothsaying and di)ination- as in the art of the
Therapeutists1 friendly with the acutest men of the Gewish
nation- who were deeply imued with the Ioroastrian ideas- the
(eo-:latonists tended to amalgamate the old wisdom of the
/riental .aala with the more refined conceptions of the
/ccidental Theosophists<. The spiritual illumination of the (eo-
:latonists- the ecstatic trance of mystics- the Samadhi of
>indoos are identical in nature. 'fter the downfall of the
principal mysteries- which egan in :lato9s time- the 7astern
esoteric societies instituted a $ind of international uni)ersal
Freemasonry amongst their esoteric societies.
Finally- through the fanatical persecutions of the 7mperor
Gustinian- the last remnant of the (eo-:latonists fled to the
7ast- comprising the se)en wise men- >ermias- :riscianus-
?iogenes- 7ulalius- ?amas$ius- Simplicius- and =sidorus.
>enceforth the archaic wisdom was represented in 7urope y a
few secret societies and persons- the great =nitiates had all
departed for remote places of the 7arth.
The secrecy preser)ed y these small lodges- and y the great
chief lodge- has always een proportionate to the acti)ity of
religious persecutions. From the descendants of the "agi- the
Sufis- the mystics amongst the "ahometans deri)ed their
$nowledge of astrology- medicine- and of esoteric doctrines. =n
3334 the order of the Temple was founded- nominally for the
protection of pilgrims- ut really for the restoration of the
primiti)e mysteries. The red cross on the white mantle- the
)estment of the order- pointing to the four +uarters of the
compass- was the emlem of the uni)erse- a well-$nown sign
to the initiated.
=n the 3Kth century we find the famous physician and
alchemist- :aracelsus- tra)elling to the %ast- and instructed in
)arious occult sciences y an /riental 'dept. 'n e0amination of
his writings and teachings shows their similarity to the
philosophical system now gi)en out y the "asters of 2isdom.
The 35th century shows the presence of the mysterious
;osicrucians- o)er whom many modern scholars ha)e spent
much time and laour in )ain. 2hy this secrecy @ !ecause- to
e $nown as a $aalist in that age was to court death from
furious religious igots. 2e may here +uote Swedenorg.
<Search for the #ost 2ord amongst the >ierophants of Tartary
and Thiet<- said he. 'ccording to proofs e0isting today in the
archi)es of St. :etersurg- more than one ;ussian mystic- at
the eginning of this century- tra)elled in search of $nowledge
to the esoteric schools in 8entral 'sia1 returning- years later-
with a rich store. =n this age- <Tra)ellers ha)e met 'depts on
the shores of the sacred ,anges- rushed against them in the
silent ruins of Thees- and in the mysterious deserted
chamers of #u0or. 2ithin the halls upon whose lue and
golden )aults the weird signs attract attention- ut whose
secret meaning is ne)er penetrated y the idle gaEers- they
ha)e een seen ut seldom recognised. They ha)e een
encountered again on the arid and desolate plains of ,reat
Sahara- as in the ca)es of 7lephanta. They may e found
e)erywhere- ut ma$e themsel)es $nown only to those who
ha)e de)oted their li)es to unselfish study and are not li$ely to
turn ac$. "*sis +nveiled. Vol =- page 35) The tra)elling 'depts
who from time to time )isited :aris during this century were
termed y the unsuspecting nati)es- Bo"ards- =ndian Nabobs-
>ungarian Margraves- and nobles ,trangers. 't the present
time a mysterious sect- called the ?ruEes of "ount #eanon-
e0ists in the 7ast- presided o)er y initiated wise men called
-khals. "From the 'raic akl- intelligence or wisdom) This ody
is descended from the ancient esoteric societies of the 7ast-
and although their mystic doctrines are carefully concealed
from outsiders- yet it is $nown that they closely resemle those
of the ancient ,nostics. (See #etter from =nitiate- *sis +nveiled.
Vol ==- page 333) =n the 7ast- now- there are many esoteric
societies- sects within sects- all possessing more or less occult
$nowledge- in addition to the ,rand #odge of Thiet1 thus the
archaic mysteries ha)e een continued in the 7ast to our day.
=t should e rememered- howe)er- as stated in 7soteric
!uddhism- that Thiet was not always the great centre of 'dept
haitation that it is now- although always a centre. =n the 3Lth
century the great Thietan 'dept reformer- Tsong-$a-pa-
introduced a new code of rules for the occult schools- and the
"ahatmas egan to gra)itate towards this region from )arious
parts of the earth. For far more widely was occult $nowledge
found to e spread than was consistent with the safety of
man$ind. 2e ha)e een compelled for want of space to lea)e
the wor$ of the great =ndian 'depts unnoticed- e)en that of the
<,reat "aster<- !uddha- who taught <Nirvana and the &aw<.
't the present time in Gapan and Siam there are two orders of
priests- of which one is pulic and deals with the people- the
e0istence of the other is $nown ut to a few nati)es- ne)er to
foreigners. The latter are =nitiates. !efore coming to the
e)idence of modern eye-witnesses to the e0istence of the
"ahatmas- it will e well to call attention to some special points
rought out in the course of our historical sur)ey.
2e ha)e seen that the ancient mysteries gradually declined-
degenerated- and e0pired in all 2estern countries- as foretold
y the great 'dept- >ermes% -
.Alas, m" son, a da" will come when the sacred hierogl"phics
will become but idols. The world will mistake the emblems
of science for gods, and accuse /rand %g"pt of having
worshipped monsters. But those who will calumniate us thus
will themselves worship eath instead of &ife, foll" in place of
wisdom0 fill their temples with dead men1s bones as relics, and
waste their "outh in solitude and tears. )heir virgins will be
widows 2nuns3 before being wives, and consume themselves in
grief0 because men will have despised and profaned the sacred
m"steries of *sis.. ( Hermes4 )resmegistus 00)ii)
2hat was the cause of this decadence of the ancient schools of
the Sacred Science @ The following e0tract from the <5e"lon
/em< may help to e0plain the matter%
.*n 5e"lon the Adepts counted over thousands in the reign of
utugamunu. )he" have graduall" ceased to exist, as the ke"s
of those m"steries are lost b" the degenerac" of the Buddhist
monks of subse6uent times, who sought more after worldl"
renown and glor" than the higher spiritual developments..
.Men have become wild and wretched b" the awful lusts of the
flesh, and have conse6uentl" lost the secrets of the &aw. But
those immortal and divine gems of truth were not destined to
disappear altogether from the habitation of man, as it was
decreed b" the departing Arhats to be safel" and sacredl" kept
b" the Adepts of the trans(H"mala"an depths until man1s
condition be adapted to receive it. )hat time is now drawing
nigh0 and the custodians of the secret doctrine have thought
it fit to send missionaries among mankind to divulge it to
them.. )hroughout our historical surve" we succeeded in
tracing the connection, direct or indirect, of ever" ancient
school of -ccultism, with the great )ibetan &odge, existing now
as then, thus making the existence of the *nitiates of toda"
6uite comprehensible. *t is now necessar" to review the
testimon" of modern e"e(witnesses respecting the existence of
the Mahatmas. From the mass of evidence available in this
matter, we can onl" provide space for a few accounts. *n .Five
7ears of )heosoph"..
a >indoo gentleman- ?amodar .. "a)alan$ar- relates the
se)eral occasions on which he has seen )arious 'depts oth
physically and in astral form. There is also an account- written
y himself- of the perilous *ourney through Si$$him underta$en
y S. ;amaswamier- an =ndian official- for the purpose of
seeing the "ahatmas- which was successful. 2e ha)e also the
e)idence gi)en y Sundoo$- a pedlar of Thiet- who- on eing
+uestioned y se)eral gentlemen- said that there were men
li)ing in the mountains eyond TchigatEe and near the city of
#hassa- possessing e0traordinary powers distinct from and far
higher than the regular lamas of the country. These men- he
said- produce many and )ery wonderful phenomena- and some
of their 8helas (pupils) cure the sic$ y gi)ing them to eat the
rice which they crush out of the paddy with their hands- etc.
=n the presence of a numer of respectale witnesses a young
!engali- !rahmachari- ga)e the following account %
/n the 36th of the !engali month of 'sar in 344A- he met
some Tietans- called the .oothoompas- and their guru
(Teacher)- in a field near Ta$la$har- a place aout a day9s
Gourney from the #a$e of "anasarawara. The <"aster< and
most of his pupils wore slee)eless coats o)er under-garments
of red. The comple0ion of the <"aster< was )ery fair- and his
hair- which was not parted- ut comed ac$- streamed down
his shoulders. The "aster saluted him- and as$ed him where he
was coming from. /n finding that he had not had anything to
eat- the guru commanded that he should e gi)en some ground
grain and tea. 's the !rahmachari could not get any fire to
coo$ food with- the "aster as$ed for and $indled some fuel y
simply lowing upon it. The !rahmachari also said that he had
often witnessed the same phenomenon produced y another
<"aster<- at ,auri- a place aout a day9s *ourney from the ca)e
of Tarchin- on the northern side of "ount .ailas. The $eeper of
a floc$- who was suffering from rheumatic fe)er- came to the
guru- who ga)e him a few grains of rice- crushed out of paddy
which the "aster had in his hand- and the sic$ man was cured
then and there.
The undersigned se)erally certify that- in each other9s
presence- they recently saw at the head+uarters of the
Theosophical Society a rother of the First Section. The
circumstances were of a nature to e0clude all idea of tric$ery or
collusion- and were as follows. 2e were sitting together in the
moonlight aout nine o9cloc$- upon the alcony which pro*ects
from the front of the ungalow. "r. Scott was sitting facing the
house- so as to loo$ through the inter)ening )erandah and the
lirary- and into the room at the further side. This latter
apartment was rilliantly lighted. The lirary was in partial
dar$ness- thus rendering o*ects in the further room more
distinct. "r. Scott suddenly saw the figure of a man step into
the space opposite the door of the lirary1 he was clad in the
white dress of a ;a*put- and wore a white turan. "r. Scott at
once recognised him from his resemlance to a portrait in
8olonel /lcott9s possession. /ur attention was then drawn to
him- and we all saw him most distinctly.
>e wal$ed towards a tale- and- afterwards turning his face
towards us- wal$ed ac$ out of our sight. 2e hurried forward to
get a closer )iew- ut when we reached the room he was gone.
2e cannot say y what means he departed- ut that he did not
pass out y the door which leads into the compound we can
positi)ely affirm1 for that door was full in our )iew- and he did
not go out y it. 't the side of the room towards which he
wal$ed there was no e0it- the only door- and the two windows
in that direction- ha)ing een oarded and closed up. Hpon the
tale at the spot where he had een standing- lay a letter
addressed to one of our numer. The handwriting was identical
with that of sundry notes and letters pre)iously recei)ed from
him in di)ers ways M such as dropping down from the ceiling-
etc. The signature was the same as that of the other letters
recei)ed- and as that upon the portrait ao)e descried. ;oss
Scott- !.8.S.- "innie G. !. Scott- >. S. /lcott- >. :. !la)ats$y-
". "oorad- 'li !eg- ?. .. "a)alan$ar- !. S. ,. "ullapoor$ar.
2e now come to the remar$ale e0perience of "r. 7glinton on
oard the #.#. 8ega- the )essel eing a long distance from
land- which is worthy of notice on account of this gentleman
eing a thorough diselie)er in the e0istence of the 'depts
efore this incident. >e relates that one of the "ahatmas
suddenly appeared in his cain- and after some con)ersation
disappeared- ta$ing with him a letter which "r. 7. had written.
The letter was as follows%M
< #.#. 8ega, Frida", 9:th March, ;<<9.
. M7 %A= M=#. /-=-N, > At last "our hour of triumph has
come. After the man" battles we have had at the breakfast(
table regarding ?. H.1s existence, m" stubborn scepticism as to
the wonderful powers possessed b" the 1Brothers1, * have been
forced to a complete belief in their being living distinct persons,
and $ust in proportion to m" scepticism will be m" firm,
unalterable opinion respecting them. ?. H. appeared to me in
person, and what he told me dumbfounded me..
The ao)e letter was recei)ed the same da"- according to the
following statement y "rs. ,ordon% M <'t nine o9cloc$ on
Friday- ALth- 8ol. /lcott- 8ol. ,ordon- and myself- sat in the
room which had een occupied y "r. 7glinton. 2e had a good
light- and sat with our chairs placed to form a triangle. =n a few
minutes 8ol. /lcott saw outside the open window- the two
9!rothers9- whose names are est $nown to us- and told us so.
>e saw one of them point his hand towards the air o)er my
head- and = felt something at the same moment fall straight
down from ao)e on to my shoulder- and saw it fall at my feet
in the direction towards the two gentlemen. 8ol. /lcott and 8ol.
,ordon oth saw and heard the letter fall. 8ol. /lcott had
turned his head from the window for a moment- to see what
the !rother was pointing at- and so noticed the letter falling
from a point aout two feet from the ceiling. 2hen he loo$ed
again the two 9!rothers9 had )anished. There is no )erandah
outside- and the window is se)eral feet from the ground<. =n a
ac$ numer of the New 7ork @orld there is a long account of a
reporter9s e0periences in Forty-se)enth Street. The eight or ten
persons present saw an <'dept< pass y the window and
return. The room was on the second story of the house- and
there was no alcony to wal$ on. The :resident of the
Theosophical Society has pulicly declared that he $nows
fifteen of the 'depts personally. To finish this testimony we
may add the following letter% M
.Madras, August A, ;<<B.
ear sir, > *n repl" to "our in6uiries * ma" sa" that * certif" on
m" word as a #an"assi that * have twice visited )hibet since
the "ear ;<AB0 that * have personall" become ac6uainted with
several Mahatmas, among whom were the two known to the
outside world as Mahatma 1M.1, Mahatma 1?.H.10 that * spent
some time in their compan"0 that the" told me that the" and
other Mahatmas were interested in the work of the
)heosophical #ociet"0 that Mahatma 1M1. told me he had been
the 2occult3 guardian of Madame Blavatsk" from her infanc".
2#igned3 #=* MAN#@AM7, Hon. #ec. 5ow Memorial Fund of
' lady relates that she saw on one occasion- at a meeting in
:aris- one of the 'depts standing for a short time ehind the
chair of one of the party. =t will e noted in an e0amination of
the foregoing accounts that witnesses ha)e seen the "ahatmas
under )ery different conditions- )iE.- oth in physical and astral
forms. Their asolute identity- howe)er- in all cases is pro)ed
y the immediate recognition y the eye-witnesses of the e0act
li$eness etween these forms and the portraits of 'depts in
possession of the Theosophical Society. "ention of the aility of
the 'rhats to transport themsel)es long distances in astral form
rings us to the )e0ed +uestion of the e0istence of occult
powers- or practical magic. Such- howe)er- is the character of
this age- the materialistic education and tendencies of 2estern
minds- that it is difficult to otain an impartial hearing on this
su*ect. (e)ertheless we must try- and commence y showing
that occidental science is not in possession of a single fact that
enales it to deny the possiility of the e0istence of :ractical
/ccultism. 2hat- for instance- does :hysical Science $now of
"atter and Force @ :rofessor >u0ley says- <=t is in strictness
true that we know nothing aout the composition of any ody-
whate)er- as it is<. 'nother authority remar$s- <2hat do we
$now of the atom apart from its [email protected]< ?oes not :rofessor
'gassiE say- </utside of mathematics the word impossile
should ne)er e [email protected]<
The 'tomic Theory- the )ery ase of gross materialism- has
recei)ed its death-low at the hands of "r. >erert Spencer.
Such confessions of ignorance on the part of eminent scientific
authorities- of (ature in its lowest aspect open the door to the
possiility of the e0istence of :ractical "agic or 2isdom-
understanding the latter to mean- dealing with natural forces of
superior power. That such forces e0ist is the elief of many
eminent scientific authorities- of )arious nationalities- such as
the !aron )on ;eichenach- :rofessor ,regory of 7dinurgh-
:rofessor >are of the Hnited States- Thury- Flammarion-
Iollner- !utlerof- '$sa$off- 8roo$es- and '. ;. 2allace. 'nd it
should e rememered that the opinions of these authorities
are founded on many and careful e0periments- e0tending o)er
a long period of time. (o dout to persons unac+uainted with
the principles of practical /ccultism the power of an 'dept to
transport himself in astral form to remote places- whilst his
physical ody remains ehind- appears a miraculous one- and
thoroughgoing "aterialists naturally ridicule the idea.
!ut- as the latter on their own confession $now nothing of the
phenomenon of human consciousness- how it arises- and what
it is in itself- suspense of *udgment would e more creditale in
the matter- especially considering the e0cellent e)idence in
e0istence pro)ing its truth.
(o /ccultist has e)er credited the 'depts with miraculous
powers. They ha)e een certainly said to e practical
magicians- ut ne)er miracle-wor$ers. "iracles are an
impossiility. The e0ercise- howe)er- of rare powers due to a
$nowledge of occult natural laws is +uite another thing. 's
:rofessor '. 2ilder oser)es- < The )ery capacity to imagine
the possiility of thaumaturgical powers is itself e)idence that
they e0ist. The critic as well as the sceptic is generally inferior
to the person or su*ect that he is re)iewing- and therefore is
hardly a competent witness. *f there are counterfeits-
somewhere there must ha)e een a genuine original. #et us
see- then- what are the principles of this /ccult Science.
(3.) There is no miracle. 7)erything that happens is the result
of law M eternal- immutale- e)er acti)e.
(A.) (ature is triune1 there is )isile o*ecti)e nature1 and
in)isile- in-dwelling- energiEing nature- the e0act model of the
other- and its )ital principle1 and ao)e these two- spirit- source
of all forces- alone eternal and indestructile.
(3.) "an also is triune1 he is composed of ody- soul- and
(L.) "agic- as a science- is the $nowledge of these principles
and of the way y which the omniscience and omnipotence of
the spirit and its control o)er nature9s forces may e ac+uired
y the indi)idual while still in the ody. "agic- as an art- is the
application of this $nowledge to practice.
(6.) 'rcane $nowledge misapplied is sorcery1 eneficently used-
true magic- or wisdom.
(K.) "ediumship is the opposite of adeptship1 the medium is
the passi)e instrument of foreign influences- the adept acti)ely
controls himself and all inferior potencies.
(5.) 'll things that e)er were- that are- or that will e- ha)ing
their record upon the astral light- or talet of the unseen
uni)erse- the initiated 'dept- y using the )ision of his own
spirit- can $now all that has een $nown or can e $nown.
(4.) ;aces of men differ in spiritual gifts as in other +ualities1
among some peoples seership naturally pre)ails- among others
mediumship. Some are addicted to Sorcery- and transmit its
secret rules of practice from generation to generation- with a
range of psychical phenomena- more or less wide- as the result.
(J.) The corner-stone of magic is an intimate practical
$nowledge of magnetism and electricity- their +ualities-
correlations- and potencies. There are occult properties in many
other minerals e+ually strange with that in the loadstone- which
all practitioners of magic must $now- and of which ordinary
science is wholly ignorant1 plants ha)e li$e mystical properties
in a most wonderful degree- and the secrets of the hers of
enchantments are only lost to 7uropean science. "agic is
spiritual wisdom1 (ature the material ally- pupil- and ser)ant of
the magician. ( “*sis +nveiled”. Vol ==- page 6JB)
/ccult :hilosophy asserts that magical powers are not the
e0clusi)e property of a few persons and unattainale y the
great ma*ority- ut are- on the contrary- the natural gifts which
the human race will attain as a whole in the course of its future
de)elopment. The 'depts are men of ad)anced capailities-
ha)ing attained their high position y merit only- and passed y
immense efforts unscathed through the fierce fires of
e0perience on this plane during many successi)e li)es.
From the point of )iew now reached y some of the foremost
scientists of the age- the di)iding space etwi0t ordinary and
/ccult science is not e0tensi)e- ta$ing into consideration the
lower powers of the latter- and the proficiency of the worldly
men of science in ancient 'tlantis (2e refer here to those of the
strictest school of "aterialism who deny e)en now the reality of
all -ccult phenomena - page 56) may e soon approached
again y our own. 't the present time no scientific authority
worth naming would deny that natural forces- finer for instance
than electricity- may e disco)ered any day- and- if so- we see
how naturally the ordinary and occult sciences *oin hands. "ore
than one chemist is hunting after the uni)ersal sustance-
elie)ed y many to e that into which all metals can e
resol)ed- along the lines pursued y the ancient 'lchemists1
nor are these cases y themsel)es. =f time and space
permitted- a )olume could e filled with reliale accounts of the
magical achie)ements of 'ncient =ndian- 7gyptian- Gewish- and
,recian 'depts and =nitiates1 of these we ha)e only space for a
few. 2e must here note- howe)er- that the entire history of
magical phenomena- from the dawn of history until now- shows
their essential oneness throughout- whether they are those
ascried to the ;ishis of old =ndia- or of the 7gyptian magicians
of the time of :haraoh- or the feats of Simon "agus- 'pollonius
of Tyana- and 8hrist (=n Talmudic literature 8hrist is accused of
performing his miracles- not as a Gewish prophet- ut as an
=nitiate of the heathen temples) down to the e0ploits of the
=nitiates of today. =n the 33th century we find some testimony
as to the magical powers of the 'depts- coming to 7urope from
.ulai-.han- ruler of Tartary. >e said- <Fou see the idolaters
(sic) can do anything they please- insomuch that when = sit at
tale- the cups from the middle of the hall come to me full of
wine or other li+uor- without eing touched y anyody- and =
drin$ from them. They control storms- causing them to pass in
whate)er direction they please- and do many other mar)els1
whilst- as you $now- their idols spea$- and gi)e them
predictions on whate)er su*ects they choose.. 2Book of #er
Marco 'olo. Vol ==- p 3LB ) The magical phenomena of the
present day now deser)es some attention. Ta$e the feats of the
so-called >indoo *ugglers- although as these- e it
rememered- are performed for selfish moti)es (money- etc.)-
it is the practice of lac$ magic- and note how they transcend
all the performances of con*urors. 're hot such e0ploits as the
following magical @ (3) To transform a rupee- firmly clasped in
the hand of a sceptic- into a li)ing cora- the ite of which
would pro)e fatal- as an e0amination of its fangs would show.
(A) To cause a seed chosen at random y the spectators and
planted in the first semlance of a flower-pot- furnished y the
same sceptics- to grow- mature- and ear fruit in less than a
+uarter of an hour. (3) To stretch himself on three swords stuc$
perpendicularly in the ground- sharp points upward- and after a
short inter)al the swords remo)ed- and the *uggler lies
suspended in the air on nothing- a yard from the ground. Such
occurrences are not rare in the 7ast- and ha)e een witnessed
y hundreds of persons whose )eracity is ao)e suspicion.
Sir G. Fayrer (Nineteenth 5entur"- ?ecemer 344J) admits that
the =ndian serpent charmers can handle harmlessly coras with
fangs intact- although he is e)idently at a loss to account for it.
The scholar and tra)eller- Gacolliot- remar$s- <#et it suffice to
say that in regard to magnetism and spiritism- 7urope has yet
to stammer o)er the first letters of the alphaet- and that the
!rahmins ha)e reached- in these two departments of learning-
results in the way of phenomena that are truly stupefying<. The
7astern /ccultists ga)e him this e0planation- < Fou ha)e
studied physical nature- and you ha)e otained through its laws
mar)ellous results M steam- electricity- etc.1 for AB-BBB years
or more we ha)e studied the intellectual forces- we ha)e
disco)ered their laws- and we otain- y ma$ing them act alone
or in concert with matter- phenomena still more astonishing
than your own<. To this day certain :ersian sects- the Fa$uts of
7astern Sieria- and the FeEidis of 'siatic Tur$ey- practise
Sorcery with horrile and disgusting rites- as #ady >ester
Stanhope found out to her cost. Truly the 7ast appears to e
the home of magic.
=n the 2est- notaly in 'merica- the rise and progress of the
/ccult phenomena $nown as Spiritualism has caused a fierce
attle- which still continues to rage etween the elie)ers and
non-elie)ers. /n the one hand- some millions of supporters of
the phenomena- which they $now really occurs1 on the other a
great mass of sceptics- )ery few of whom ha)e in)estigated- or
ta$e the troule to in+uire closely into the matter. =t is not here
necessary to discuss the attitude of Theosophy towards so-
called Spiritualism- that is well $nown1 we merely wish to call
attention to these magical occurrences- as these ear on our
su*ect. 2e can certainly find- howe)er- in "esmerism- now
called hypnotism- a *ustification for the )iews on magic held y
/ccultists1 it is here- on this point- that opponents and deniers
of :ractical /ccultism must incur complete defeat. For who- in
his senses- $nowing anything of this su*ect- will now deny its
reality @ 'nd what is "esmerism ut the ancient art of
enchantment so long derided y sceptics- ut which they must
now admit without reser)ation @ The )ictory is therefore won.
:ractical "agic is. This long digression on the /ccult 'rts has
een necessitated through their intimate connection with the
'depts1 no proper )iew- in fact- of them and their mission could
e ta$en- until the gross misconceptions generally pre)ailing
aout "agic had een swept away- and its real character
defined. This has now een done. =n+uirers into the truths of
Theosophy naturally as$ many +uestions- and see$ for
information respecting the nature and character of its ,reat
Teachers. 2e shall- therefore- endea)our to deal now with
these matters- and sol)e the )arious prolems arising in
connection therewith to the est of our aility.
=t has een shown that the high mountain plateau of Thiet-
3A-BBB to 36-BBB ft. ao)e the sea le)el- has een inhaited y
the 'depts for an immense period of time. The +uestion is often
as$ed- 2hy do the "asters of 2isdom li)e in such a ararous
country remote from ci)iliEation @ Those who put this +uery
ha)e much yet to learn respecting oth the nature of the
"ahatmas and their teachings. =n the first place- those who call
Thiet a ararous country do not $now whether it is or not- as
foreigners are e0cluded. =nto that part of Thiet where the
'depts reside not e)en a nati)e can penetrate. The "asters of
2isdom- on their part- do not thin$ )ery highly of 2estern
ci)iliEation- with its ree$ing slums- *ails and wor$houses- and
whole nationalities armed to the teeth for mutual destruction.
These concomitants of ad)anced 2estern progress are certainly
lac$ing in the land of the Sages.
<;ememer the difference we ma$e etween material and
spiritual ci)iliEations<- says a <"aster< in 7soteric !uddhism.
The reason why the "ahatmas li)e in remote mountain regions
is easily stated. =n such high places the atmosphere is naturally
the purest and most refined on the earth9s surface- and
therefore suitale to the culti)ation and de)elopment of psychic
powers. The powerful magnetism engendered and thrown off y
ordinary humanity- especially when crowded together in cities-
is e0tremely trying to the sensiti)e natures of the 'depts. <
2hat to our physical senses are the odours that hang aout
sewers and slaughter-houses- that and worse to their spiritual
senses are the aura that hang aout us<. =t has een o*ected
that if the 'rhats are thus compelled to li)e remote from
ordinary humanity- that they can do nothing y direct means
for its ele)ation. This is an error. The 'depts all wor$ for the
progress of the human race- on the spiritual and mental planes-
su*ect to .armic #aw. That they can do this is easily
recognised- when we reflect that time and space e0ist not in
the same form on these higher planes of eing as they do on
the physical1 as the <?e" to )heosoph"< remar$s- the difference
etween mind and mind can e only one of state- not of time or
place. =t is easy- howe)er- to e0aggerate the powers and
influence of the 'depts on humanity at large. >ear what one
says on this matter% <2e are not omnipotent- nay- we are as
nothing efore the mighty tide of cosmic powers. 2e can do
things to you ine0plicale- miraculous- ut they are ut as the
mo)ing of a single mote floating in a wandering suneam. /ur
li)es are spent in endea)ouring to enefit man$ind- ut it is
only to a limited e0tent that we can influence the tide of human
affairs. 's well might one wea$ human arm see$ to stay the
rushing waters of the mighty ,anges in flood as we feele and
of 'depts to stem the resistless stream of cosmic impulses. 'll
we can do is- y some groin here- some few hurdles there-
somewhat to alter the set of the current- and so a)ert- here
and there- catastrophes that we see impending1 or- again- y
tiny canals- here and there- to lead off minute portions of the
stream to fertiliEe tracts that- ut for our efforts- would ha)e
remained deserts. Fou ha)e as$ed how it is that- if this e so-
the world $nows nothing of us and our deeds @ #i$e (ature- in
harmony with whose laws and inherent attriutes all our
operations are carried on- we wor$ in silence and in secret. #i$e
(ature- unthan$ed and un$nown- our wor$ must e)er e. 'll
earthly rewards for our wor$ M name- fame- the applause of
wondering senates M 9are to us- li$e the rest of this world9s
toys- mere illusions- powerless e)en to please those who ha)e
once loo$ed ehind them into the eternal truths ao)e which
they float1 for- as your great apostle- himself an initiate-
grandly said- 9The things that are seen are transitory- ut the
things that are unseen are eternal9. 'nd well for us that it is so-
since our records afford too many instances of men- well on the
upward path we tread- who- their feet caught in these )ery
snares- ha)e fallen irre)ocaly as regards this life<. (#etter from
an 'dept) 2e ha)e stated the difference etween the narrow
and imperfect )iews held now y the foremost school of
:hysical Science- and the wide and comprehensi)e conceptions
of /ccult philosophy- on the su*ect of >uman 7)olution. !ut
e)en a fair sur)ey of the former will lead to a recognition of the
perfectly natural position occupied y the "ahatmas in a world
of progress. 2e see- for instance- that the ad)ance of "an$ind
is accompanied y an immense differentiation among its units.
,reat indeed is the moral and intellectual gap separating the
highest and lowest memers of e)en one race from each other.
'ssuming- then- as consistent e)olutionists are ound to do-
that human progress is limitless on this plane- and that the
powers and capailities of ordinary men in the distant future
will far e0ceed those possessed at present- with what show of
reason can the possiility of the present e0istence in the 7ast
or elsewhere of highly-ad)anced men such as the 'depts are e
denied @ The long chain of human progress is in this case
lengthened at the top- that is all. 2e readily grant- howe)er-
that profound 2estern conceit often attempts the tas$. =f space
permitted it would e easy also to show- from e)ery point of
)iew- e0cluding that of gross materialism- that the "ahatmas
occupy a definite and clear place in (ature- forming a
necessary lin$ etween ordinary humanity and the intelligences
of higher planes of e0istence- without whom the continuity of
the great system of Hni)ersal 7)olution would not e
From time to time it has een as$ed y in+uirers why the
'depts do not gi)e us more of their wisdom. Since the
pulication of the <#ecret octrine< this +uestion has lost much
of its point. !ut- apart from this- certain formidale difficulties
stand in the way of their teaching- especially 2estern people-
what they $now. Firstly- the great difficulty e)eryone
encounters who is ignorant of Sanscrit and the metaphysical
refinements of /ccult :hilosophy- in grasping its real meaning1
secondly- the great danger of gi)ing to present selfish man$ind
the secrets of occult forces- which- if aused- would wrec$
society. (or ha)e the 'depts any desire to aid the human race
on the path of material progress- which it is now so much
inclined to follow on the contrary- they desire to assist in the
spiritual e)olution of "an$ind alone. The following statement
from them may throw further light on the matter. < There is
)ery little chance of their opinions eing accepted y the
general pulic under present circumstances- unless they are
supported y such e)idence as is within the reach of the
outside world. 's it is not always possile to procure such
e)idence- there is )ery little use in pulishing the information
which is in their possession until the pulic are willing to
recognise and admit the anti+uity and trustworthiness of their
traditions- the e0tent of their powers- and the )astness of their
$nowledge. =n the asence of such proof as is ao)e indicated-
there is e)ery li$elihood of their opinions eing re*ected as
asurd and untenale1 their moti)es will no dout e
+uestioned- and some people may e tempted to deny e)en the
fact of their e0istence- =t is often as$ed y >indus as well as y
7nglishmen why these 'depts are so )ery unwilling to pulish
some portion at least of the information they possess regarding
the truths of physical science. !ut- in doing so- they do not
seem to percei)e the difference etween the method y which
they otain their $nowledge and the process of modern
scientific in)estigation- y which the facts of nature are
ascertained and its laws are disco)ered. Hnless an 'dept can
pro)e his conclusions y the same $ind of reasoning as is
adopted y the modern scientist- they remain undemonstrated
to the outside world. =t is- of course- impossile for him to
de)elop in a considerale numer of human eings such
faculties as would enale them to percei)e their truth1 and it is
not always practicale to estalish them y the ordinary
scientific method- unless all the facts and laws on which his
demonstration is to e ased ha)e already een ascertained y
modern science. (o 'dept can e e0pected to anticipate the
disco)ery of the ne0t four or fi)e centuries and pro)e some
grand scientific truth to the entire satisfaction of the educated
pulic after ha)ing disco)ered e)ery fact and law in nature
re+uired for the said purpose y such process of reasoning as
would e accepted y them<. (“Five 7ears of )heosoph"”- page
AJ4) <The 'dept has no fa)our to as$ at the hands of
con*ectural science- nor does he e0act from any memer of the
society lind faith- it eing his cardinal ma0im that faith should
only follow in+uiry. The 'dept is more than content to remain
silent- $eeping what he may $now to himself- unless worthy
see$ers wish to share it. >e has done so for ages- and can do
so for a little longer. Thus he lea)es his audience to first )erify
his statements in e)ery case y the rilliant though rather
wa)ering light of modern science- after which his facts may e
either accepted or re*ected- at the option of the willing student.
=n short- the 'dept has to remain utterly unconcerned with and
unmo)ed y the issue. >e imparts that which it is lawful for him
to gi)e out- and deals ut with facts<. (“Five 7ears of
)heosoph"-” page 3L6 ) 2e stated *ust now one cause for the
isolation of the "ahatmas- ut it has een as$ed% 2hy do they
not appear at inter)als- and thus confute all diselie)ers in their
e0istence @ This +uery has een well answered in the ?e" to
<The world is neither ready to recognise them- nor to profit y
their teaching. /f what use would :rofessor 8ler$ "a0well ha)e
een to instruct a class of little oys in their multiplication
[email protected]< 'gain- <an important reason is the ine)itale
uselessness of any attempts on their part to deal directly with
people not spiritually purified. Though one went to them from
the dead they would not elie)e. =f an 'dept were to )isit an
ordinary man a doEen times- would he elie)e @ =f the 'dept
came in the flesh he would thin$ him an impostor1 if he came in
his astral form- and the man9s eyes were opened so as to see
him- he would persuade himself it was a tric$ of his own fancy-
or of someone else9s de)ising. (o- the mass of man$ind- e)en
the mass of the more highly educated Theosophists- who ha)e
in no way purified their spiritual natures- possess that spiritual
sense or insight which alone renders conviction possile- still
only in a potential or dormant state<. "“Hints on %soteric
)heosoph".” page LB)
<' moment9s reflection will show that they could not come
oldly out face to face with the ignorant and superstitious
masses of man$ind. ?id they do so- preach their doctrines and
e0hiit their powers- then you will admit that- especiall" in this
country (=ndia)- nine-tenths of the population would protest as
the 'depts might M treat these as gods- worship them- and
add another- and most rampant one- to the gross superstitions
that already co)er the fair fields of human souls with a deadly
*ungle. /f all things they see$ to a)oid creating any delusions
of this $ind<. (“Hints on %soteric )heosoph"”- page 36)
=t is widely supposed y the 2estern pulic that the whole ody
of 'depts is composed of indi)iduals of the same nationality.
This is a mista$e. =n the early part of this century- for instance-
an 7nglishman otained high ran$ in the /ccult !rotherhood.
'll ages- all creeds- ha)e produced men with e0traordinary
powers- through their ?i)ine Sel)es eing partly released from
material onds.
Since the suppression of the archaic mysteries- the "ahatmas
ma$e- at stated periods- acti)e efforts on the physical plane to
aid the upward progress of man$ind through appointed agents.
These epochs occur now in the last +uarter of each century-
and in accordance with the cyclic laws- go)erning- according to
/ccult :hilosophy- human progress- the <"asters of 2isdom<
act. For- as "r. Gudge oser)es- <during any one cycle the rate
or +uality of progress appertaining to a different cycle is not
possile< and the "ahatmas are the ser)ants of .arma- and
always wor$ in harmony with (ature. !earing these facts in
mind- many incidents in the history of /ccultism which appear
otherwise ine0plicale can e cleared up.
/*ection is often raised y critics against the idea that such
e0alted and wise !eings as the "ahatmas are connected with
the Theosophical Society- on the ground that the actions of its
#eaders do not seem to e guided y the highest wisdom- at all
times- in the conduct of its affairs. This argument shows a
misapprehension of the case altogether. (o /ccultist has e)er
said that the "ahatmas guide the Society or its #eaders. They
watch o)er and protect it- that is all- foiling e)ery effort made
to destroy it- throwing ac$ on the originators e)ery e)il
influence directed against it. For they loo$ to the future- to the
period that must soon come- when the now flowing tide will
e- and their efforts cease until 3J56 is sounded from the
watch towers of time and a new mystic era commences again.
/ne more lin$ in the chain of e)idence pro)ing the e0istence of
the <"asters of 2isdom<. 2hence comes this stupendous
system of 8osmic 7)olution- dwarfing all others1 as a great
critic and sceptic says of the #ecret octrine% < 2hat "ahatma
from his lofty eyrie dictated these )olumes of archaic lore- of
multitudinous erudition- of (ir)anic teteology- redolent with
mammoth strength @ <
2e predict that- despite the present attitude of igoted and
pre*udiced minds- and that of sundry self-appointed leaders of
the unthin$ing multitude- efore the ne0t century passes the
pre-eminence of the /ld 2isdom ;eligion will e recognised-
and the Sages of the Snowy >ima)at recei)e their due from the
truth-see$ers of e)ery clime.
=t is o)ious- the 'depts eing ut mortal men- that the gaps in
their ran$s caused y death must e filled up from some other
source. This supply comes through the promotion of their
pupils- of whom there are se)eral classes. (aturally there are
many in+uirers who wish to $now how those willing to +ualify
can enter the small old path trod y the sages- and finally
attain the e0alted plane on which the "asters sit.
<The 'dept ecomes- he is not made<- says 7liphas #e)i. >ard
the tas$- long the way- steep the ascent to that high eminence.
True- the eacon light shines from ao)e- ut $now- / aspirant-
that it is from a monster-haunted shore. < The way to it is
en)eloped with the lac$ cloud of the soul9s despair<. < (o one
$nows- until he really tries it- how awful a tas$ it is to sudue
all his e)il passions and animal instincts- and de)elop his higher
nature<- says /ne who is on the :ath. ,reat indeed is the
con+ueror of Self. "any are called- ut few are chosen1 so must
it always e.
!ut little more now remains to e said. The great sceptic
Voltaire says% <' Testimony is sufficient when it rests on M (3)
' great numer of )ery sensile witnesses who agree in ha)ing
seen well. (A) 2ho are sane- odily and mentally. (3) 2ho are
impartial and disinterested. (L) 2ho unanimously agree. (6)
2ho solemnly certify to the fact<. Tried y this canon- the
e)idence we ha)e een ale to ring forward- culled from many
sources- is enough and more than enough to pro)e our case.
2e are content. 2e ha)e wished that this important tas$ had
fallen to aler hands than ours. =t has- howe)er- come to us1
we ha)e accepted it- rememering .rishna9s words M
)his is better, that one do
His own task as he ma", even though he fail.
)o die performing dut" is no ill,
But who seeks other roads shall wander still.
From their mountain home the "asters of 2isdom watch the
tides of human affairs e and flow. "ighty races come and
depart. They )iew "an$ind ardently pursuing the ules of the
hour- oli)ious of the future1 mista$ing transient illusions- the
froth thrown up from the seething sea of life- for realities. Thus
will it e until the life cycle of the 'ryans must close. 2hen that
dread hour- appointed y ,reat .arma- arri)es- and the wa)es
of ocean again roll o)er the site of our oasting ci)iliEation-
chanting a solemn dirge for the dead past- then the accounts of
the Fifth ;oot ;ace will ha)e een alanced y 7ternal Gustice.


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