H.P.B. Was the Thread Linking the
Ancient Eastern Wisdom to the Outer World
N. C. Ramanujachary
Young H.P. Blavatsky, a bust made by Alexey Leonov
Mr. N. C. Ramanujachary is the author
of various books, including “A Lonely
Disciple – Monograph on T. Subba Row”.
Helena P. Blavatsky (1831-1891) was directed by her spiritual Teachers “to establish a philosophic-religious Society.” This she did with the earnest cooperation of Col. H. S. Olcott and others, named the Society “The Theosophical Society” with the sole object “to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the universe.”
While this happened in America, she travelled along with a small party to India and stayed here between 1879 and 1884. She left India in 1885 and settled herself in Europe for the rest of her life. Her work, these years, became more intensified in writing “The Secret Doctrine”, founding the Esoteric School for the earnest students, establishing “Lucifer” – a monthly magazine, steering the work of the Society and overseeing it in general.
She said, in a message sent in 1890, she would not return to India and explained very elaborately, her reasons for that:
“It is, therefore, my duty to explain why I do not return to India and my attitude with regard to the new leaf turned in the history of the T.S. by my being formally placed at the head of the Theosophical Movement in Europe. For it is not solely on account of bad health that I do not return to India. Those who have saved me from death at Adyar, and twice since then, could easily keep me alive there as They do me here. There is a far more serious reason. A line of conduct has been traced for me here, and I have found among the English and Americans what I have so far vainly sought for in India. In Europe and America, during the last three years, I have met with hundreds of men and women who have the courage to avow their conviction of the real existence of the Masters, and who are working for Theosophy on Their lines and under Their guidance, given through my humble self. In India, on the other hand, ever since my departure, the true spirit of devotion to the Masters the courage to avow it has steadily dwindled away. At Adyar itself, increasing strife and conflict has raged between personalities; uncalled for and utterly undeserved animosity – almost hatred – has been shown towards me by several members of the staff. There seems to have been something strange and uncanny going on at Adyar, during these last years. No sooner does a European, most Theosophically inclined, most devoted to the Cause, and the personal friend of myself or the President, set his foot in Headquarters, than he becomes forthwith a personal enemy to one or other of us, and what is worse, ends by injuring and deserting the Cause. Let it be understood at once that I accuse no one. Knowing what I do of the activity of the forces of Kali Yuga, at work to impede and ruin the Theosophical Movement, I do not regard those who have become, one after the other, my enemies – and that without any fault of my own – as I might regard them, were it otherwise. One of the chief factors in the reawakening of Aryavarta  which has been part of the work of the Theosophical Society, was the ideal of the Masters. But owing to want of judgment, discretion, and discrimination, and the liberties taken with Their names and Personalities, great misconception arose concerning Them. I was under the most solemn oath and pledge never to reveal the whole truth to anyone, excepting to those who, like Damodar, had been finally selected and called by Them. All that I was then permitted to reveal was, that there existed somewhere such great men; that some of Them were Hindus; that They were learned as none others in all the ancient wisdom of Gupta Vidya, and had acquired all the Siddhis; not as these are represented in tradition and the ‘blinds’ of ancient writings, but as they are in fact and nature; and also that I was a Chela of one of Them.”
She continues in the same message her advice to the members in India thus:
“The only claim, therefore, which India could ever have upon me would be strong only in proportion to the activity of the Fellows there for Theosophy and their loyalty to the Masters. You should not need my presence among you to convince you of the truth of Theosophy, any more than your American brothers need it. A conviction that wanes when any particular personality is absent is no conviction at all. Know, moreover, that any further proof and teaching I can give only to the Esoteric Section, and this for the following reason: its members are the only ones whom I have the right to expel for open disloyalty to their pledge (not to me, H.P.B., but to their Higher Self and the Mahatmic aspect of the Masters), a privilege 1 cannot exercise with F.T.S.’s  at large, yet one which is the only means of cutting off a diseased limb from the healthy body of the Tree, and thus save it from infection. I can care only for those who cannot be swayed by every breath of calumny, and every sneer, suspicion, or criticism, whoever it may emanate from.”
“Thenceforth let it be clearly understood that the rest of my life is devoted only to those who believe in the Masters, and are willing to work for Theosophy as They understand it, and for the T.S. on the lines upon which They originally established it.”
“If, then, my Hindu brothers really and earnestly desire to bring about the regeneration of India, if they wish to ever bring back the days when the Masters, in the ages of India’s ancient glory, came freely among them, guiding and teaching the people; then let them cast aside all fear and hesitation, and turn a new leaf in the history of the Theosophical Movement. Let them bravely rally around the President-Founder, whether I am in India or not, as around those few true Theosophists who have remained loyal throughout, and bid defiance to all calumniators and ambitious malcontent – both without and within the Theosophical Society.”
This message, though sent in 1890, came to public notice only in 1922, when published in The Theosophist, January, 1922. 
Her writings were always pregnant with meaning and purpose. Among other things, her messages to the American Conventions (1888-91) have many pleadings not only for Americans but to the entire theosophical world and they cannot become dated any time. She explains, in those messages, the working system of the Society, inspires and exhorts the members on various facets.
In the first message she says, “although theosophical ideas have entered into every development or form which awakening spirituality has assumed, yet Theosophy pure and simple has still a severe battle to fight for recognition”. The most important mission of the Society is “to unite firmly a body of men of all nations in brotherly love and bent on a pure altruistic work, not on a labor with selfish motives.” She asserts that the Society was not founded “as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists – as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts.” Stemming the current of materialism, spiritual phenomenalism and worship of the Dead, it should guide the spiritual awakening; “for the essence of Theosophy is the perfect harmonizing of the divine with the human in man, the adjustment of his god-like qualities and aspirations.” Amelioration of the condition of mankind being the general purpose of the Society, we are friends to all movements in the world, intellectual or practical. “But as Theosophists we have a larger, more important, and much more difficult work to do.” Our function is “to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity.” The branches of the Society are far and wide in the world over, but “there can be no local theosophists.” All belong to all.
The Society, through its literature and contacts with reckonable men of intellect during these years (1875-1888), made an indelible impact on the world and the basic concept of ‘Universal Brotherhood of Humanity’ without any distinction whatsoever, gained currency and as well intellectual acceptance. Her main focus was upon unification of the world for a betterment achievable based upon the common source, though unseen and concealed, of origination, manifestation and evolution. The spiritual regeneration of mankind emanated as the common agenda and this could be accomplished through understanding, adaption of the universal ethics leading to altruism. Theoretical explanations and elucidations were provided for the emanation and evolution of the worlds, yet they were couched to enable men and women of the world to lead a life befitting and onward progressing. Fellows of the society were constantly made to reflect upon the processes of Life and Living.
“The Ethics of Theosophy are even more necessary to mankind than the scientific aspects of the psychic facts of nature and man,” asserts Helena Blavatsky while imploring the members “to lift high the torch of the liberty of the Soul of Truth that all may see it and benefit by its light.” The study of basic theosophy is very much necessary, “so that we do not convert a noble philosophy into a den for disgusting immorality, greediness for selfish power, and money-making under the cloak of Theosophy.” She catalogues the chief enemies of our missions as: 1. Public prejudice and crass obstinacy from a materialistic world, 2. Strong “Personality” of some of our own members, 3. Falsification of our aims and name by money-loving charlatans, and 4. Desertion of previously devoted friends who have now become our bitterest enemies.
She epitomizes certain statements coming from the Masters of the Wisdom, because they are the embodiment of the highest practical Theosophy, thus:
“Let not the fruit of good Karma be your motive; for your Karma, good or bad, being one and the common property of all mankind, nothing good or bad can happen to you that is not shared by many others. Hence, your motive, being selfish, can only generate a double effect, good and bad, and will either nullify your good action, or turn it to another man’s profit. – There is no happiness for one who is ever thinking of self and forgetting all other Selves. – The Universe groans under the weight of such action (Karma), and none other than self-sacrificial Karma relieves it. – Do as the gods when incarnated do. Feel yourselves the vehicles of the whole humanity, mankind as part of yourselves, and act accordingly.”
For the fourth convention in 1890, she could not write her message as “she has been too sick”, but conveyed her ideas through Bertram Keightley. In this message she refers to the “new cycle” that was evoked by the Society’s establishment. People were working to change their lives “from selfishness to altruism”. She refers to the Nationalist movements as a practical means to further their ideal of universal brotherhood. The divulgement of psychic laws and facts “relate only to the material and evanescent part of the septenary man, but the Ethics sink into and take hold of the real man – the reincarnating Ego.” The members should “learn the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation, and teach, practice, promulgate that system of life and thought which alone can save the coming races. Do not work merely for the Theosophical society, but through it for Humanity. As a humble co-worker and fellow member, she exhorts that “Theosophy may grow more and more a living power in the lives of each one of our members.”
Her message for the fifth convention in 1891 is more foreseeing of the failings of members. “Self-watchfulness is never more necessary than when a personal wish to lead, and wounded vanity, dress themselves in the peacock’s feathers of devotion and altruistic work; but at the present crisis of the Society a lack of self-control and watchfulness may become fatal in every case. But these diabolical attempts of our powerful enemies – the irreconcilable foes of the truths now being given out and practically asserted – may be frustrated. If every fellow of the Society were content to be an impersonal force for good, careless of praise or blame so long as he subserved the purpose of Brotherhood, the progress made would astonish the world and place the Ark of the T.S. out of danger.” She advises that psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids for in development. “Watch therefore carefully this development, inevitable in your race and evolution-period, so that it may finally work for good and not for evil; and receive, in advance, the sincere and potent blessings of Those whose goodwill will never fail you, if you do not fail yourselves.”
“Be Theosophists, Work for Theosophy” was to her “the never dormant wish of my heart.” She further exhorts, “my own span of life may not be long, and if any of you have learned aught from my teachings, or have gained by my help a glimpse of the True Light, I ask you in return, to strengthen the cause by the triumph of which, that True Light, made still brighter and more glorious through your individual and collective efforts, will lighten the World.”
Her parting words may be reckoned to be those in the article, she wrote ten days before her departure, “My Books” (published posthumously in Lucifer magazine for May 15, 1891) where she traces the way she wrote:
“Nothing of that I have invented, but simply given it out as I have been taught; or as quoted by me in the Secret Doctrine from Montaigne: ‘I have made only a nosegay of culled (Eastern) flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them’.”
A few days before her passing away, she exhorted her students:
“Keep the link unbroken. Do not let my last incarnation be a failure.”
She was, decidedly, the thread (Sutratma) of the Ancient Eastern Wisdom to the World and her work needs to be continued untarnished and undistorted. She was a facet of the attempts made by the Masters of the Wisdom, century after century, for the upheaval of Spirituality among humanity. The Wisdom made available to us, though a part of the whole, needs assimilation so that we become eligible to receive the further lessons.
 The word “Lucifer” is an ancient term for the Planet Venus and it means “the light-bringer”. The word has been distorted since the Middle Ages by ill-informed theologians. (CCA.)
 Aryavarta: ancient name of present-day India. (CCA.)
 F.T.S.’s – Fellows of the Theosophical Society. (CCA)
 The complete text of her message, entitled “Why I Do Not Return to India”, can be found in our associated websites. (CCA)
 See “Five Messages to American Theosophists”. H. P. Blavatsky, Theosophy Co., Los Angeles, 1922, 32 pages, or “H.P. Blavatsky to the American Conventions, 1888-1891”, Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, California, USA, 70 pp. The pamphlet is available in our associated websites. (CCA)
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.