Materialien zum Neobuddhismus


Wilhelm II.: "Völker Europas, wahrt Eure heiligsten Güter!"

2. International

 1. Buddhismus und theosophische Bewegung

2. 1879 bis 1888

von Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Materialien zum Neobuddhismus.  --   2. International. -- 1. Buddhismus und theosophische Bewegung. -- 2. 1879 bis 1888. -- Fassung vom 2005-05-05. -- URL: . -- [Stichwort].

Erstmals publiziert: 1996-05-15

Überarbeitungen: 2005-05-05 [überarbeitet];2005-04-26 [überarbeitet]; 2003-05-31 [überarbeitet und erweitert]

Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung Neobuddhismus, Univ. Tübingen, SS 1987, SS 2003, SS 2005

Copyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Verfassers.

Creative Commons-Lizenzvertrag
Diese Inhalt ist unter einer Creative Commons-Lizenz lizenziert.

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Buddhismus von Tüpfli's Global Village Library

0. Übersicht

Dieses Kapitel besteht aus vier Teilen:

Der vorliegende Teil hat folgende Abschnitte:

1. 1879-1888: Olcott wirkt in in Indien und Ceylon

1. 1879-1888: Olcott wirkt in in Indien und Ceylon

1879-01-3 - 18

HPB und Olcott in England


Abreise von von HPB und Olcott nach Indien.

Abb.: H. P. Blavatsky, Dezember 1878, auf dem Weg nach Indien an Bord der SS Canada

[Bildquelle: Helena Petrowna Blavatsky : ein Genius verändert die Welt / zusammengestellt von Katherine Tingley ... -- Hannover : Verlag Esoterische Philosophie, ©1992. -- ISBN 3-924849-44-7. -- S. 64]


Ankunft in Bombay; begeisterter Empfang durch Hindus, da den beiden der Ruf vorauseilte, dass sie die uralte Weisheit Indiens gegen den Materialismus des Westens und die Bestrebungen der christlichen Missionare verteidigen wollten. Glasenapp schreibt darüber:

"Im Januar 1879 trafen Olcott und Frau Blavatsky in Bombay ein. Da ihnen der Ruf vorauseilte, dass sie die uralte Weisheit Indiens gegen den »Materialismus« des Westens und die Bestrebungen der christlichen Missionare verteidigen wollten, wurden sie von den Hindus begeistert aufgenommen. Frau Blavatsky hatte inzwischen die Lehre ausgebildet, dass sie früher sieben Jahre bei Mahâtma Mory und Mahâtma Koot Hoomi in Tibet in die Geheimnisse der Welt eingeweiht worden sei und mit Hilfe der im Himâlaya beheimateten großen weißen Bruderschaft von Adepten erstaunliche Wunder vollbringen könne. In der Tat geschahen auch überall, wo sie war, die verschiedensten Mirakel, so z.B. griffen die Mahâtmas durch englisch geschriebene Briefe und selbst durch Telegramme, die von der britisch-indischen Post befördert wurden, in schwebende Fragen ein."

 [Glasenapp, Helmut von <1891 - 1963>: Das Indienbild deutscher Denker. -- Stuttgart : Koehler, 1960. --  S. 186-191. -- S. 188.]

Jetzt theosophischer Mythos, der auf frühere Zeit Helena Petrova Blavatsky's zurückprojiziert wird:

"The completed myth is as follows: A large number of men have reached the stage of Adepts in the Wisdom; and many have become members of the Hierarchy which governs this world. These beings are far beyond death and transmigration; yet they live uopon earth, mostly in Tibet; and a few of them are willing to take apprentices those who have resolved to devote themselves to humanity. Since they take pupils, they are known as Masters. On account of their greatness they are called Mahâtmas, great souls. Madame Blavatsky, we are told, was selected from the whole human race in our days to receive the ancient wisdom from these Masters. Her own particular Master was Mahâtma Morya; but Koot Hoomi and others were also ready to help. From them she received Theosophy: it was in no sense her own creation. As far back as 1851 she had met Mahâtma Morya, »the Master of her dreams«; she had spent seven years in unremitting study in Tibet; and in the intervening years the wisdom had been poured into her mind in amplest measure."

[Farquhar, J. N. [John Nicol] <1861 - 1921>: Modern religious movements in India.  -- New York : McMillan, 1915. -- (The Hartford-Lamson lectures on the religions of the world). -- S. 227.]


In Bombay erscheint die erste Nummer der Zeitschrift:

The Theosophist : a monthly journal devoted to Oriental philosophy, art, literature and occultism : embracing Mesmerism, Spiritualism, and other secret sciences [/ conducted by H. P. Blavatsky]

Abb.: Umschlagtitel des ersten Bandes von The Theosophist

1880-05-16 bis 1880-07-24

Erster Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon

Ankunft Olcotts und HPB's in Ceylon. Begeisterter Empfang. Dieser begeisterte Empfang ist ein Indiz dafür, dass Olcotts Ankunft nicht der Beginn der Wiedergeburt des Buddhismus in Ceylon ist. Schon vorher gab es in Ceylon eine wichtige einheimische Bewegung gegen die christlichen Missionen und Olcott konnte in diese Bewegung einsteigen, sie stärken und wirkungsvoller machen. HPB und Olcott bleiben drei Monate in Ceylon.

Abb.: HPB in Ceylon, 1880

[Bildquelle: Cranston, Sylvia: HPB : Leben und Werk der Helena Blavatsky, Begründerin der modernen Theosophie. - Satteldorf : Adyar, 1995. - 702 S. : Ill. - ISBN 3-927837-53-9. -- Abb. 13]

Olcotts Schilderung:

"A visit of our party to Ceylon, long urgently requested by the leading priests and laity of the Buddhist community, had been determined upon, and the preparations occupied us throughout the whole of this month. We had to get ready in advance the matter for two or three numbers of the Theosophist, and my Diary records the night work we had to do. To save expense it was arranged that H. P. B., Wimbridge, and I should go, and Miss Bates and the Coulombs remain behind to look after the Headquarters. As Miss Bates was a spinster and Mme. Coulomb an experienced housewife, the unlucky idea occurred to me to transfer the housekeeping duty to the latter from the former. Fifteen years of house-holding had not taught me the folly of giving a newcomer the opportunity of "bossing it" over the other woman! I know it now. ...

Everything being ready, we embarked on 7th May in a British India coasting steamer for Ceylon. The party consisted of the two Founders, Mr. Wimbridge, Damodar K. Mavalankar, Purushotam and Panachand Anandji (Hindus), Sorabji J. Padshah and Ferozshah D. Shroff (Parsis): all but the first three being Delegates from the Branch to the Sinhalese Buddhists and bearers of brotherly salutations expressive of the broad tolerance of our Society in religious matters. The wife of Mr. Purushotam, a delicate, fragile little lady, accompanied her husband, and Babula attended us as servant. ...

We dropped anchor in Colombo harbor on the morning of 16th May, and after a while a large boat came alongside bringing Mohattiwatte Gunananda, the Buddhist orator-priest, John Robert de Silva, and some junior priests of Megittuwatte's pansala (monastery). De Silva was our first lay F.T.S. in Ceylon, having joined by letter before we left New York. I made the very natural mistake of supposing, from his Portuguese name, that he was a Roman Catholic, and that his sympathetic letter to me and application for admission into membership were but Missionary traps. So, while I replied in friendly terms and sent the Diploma asked for, I sent them under cover to Megittuwatte, with request that he would not deliver them if the addressee was not the Buddhist he said he was. It was all right, and DC Silva has ever been one of the best, most efficient, intelligent, and sincere Buddhists I have ever met.

But that the Sinhalese should keep the Portuguese and Dutch Christian surnames, which they took from motives of policy during the successive periods of Portuguese and Dutch supremacy, when their own Sanskrit names are infinitely prettier and more appropriate, is surprising and, it must be confessed, dishonoring to the nation. We found the famed Megittuwatte (Mohattiwatte) a middle-aged, shaven monk, of full medium stature, with a very intellectual head, a bright eye, very large mouth, and an air of perfect self-confidence and alertness. Some of the more meditative monks habitually drop their eyes when conversing with one, but he looked you square in the face, as befitted the most brilliant polemic orator of the Island, the terror of the Missionaries. One could see at a glance that he was more wrangler than ascetic, more Hilary than Hilarion. He is dead now, but for many years he was the boldest, most brilliant, and powerful champion of Sinhalese Buddhism, the leader (originator) of the present revival. H. P. B. had sent him from New York a presentation copy of Isis Unveiled, and he had translated portions where she describes some of the phenomena she had personally witnessed in the course of her travels. His greeting to us was especially cordial. He requested us to preceed with the steamer to Galle, where arrangements had been made for our reception; he himself would go that evening by train. As a parting souvenir H. P. B. that evening rapped on the Captain's head, or rather made the raps sound inside it, and rang her fairy bells for some of the officers.

Before dawn on the 17th we were off Galle light, and getting our pilot, anchored about 500 yards from shore. The monsoon burst, and there was tremendous wind and rain, but the view was so lovely that we stopped on deck to enjoy it. A beautuful bay; a verdant promontory to the north, against which the surf dashed and in foamy jets ran high up against the rocky shore; a long, curved sandy beach bordered with tile-roofed bungalows almost hidden in an ocean of green palms; the old fort, custom house, lighthouse, jetty, and coaling sheds to the south, and to the east the tossing sea with a line of rocks and reefs walling it out from the harbor. Far away inland rose Adam's Peak and his sister mountains.

After breakfast, in a lull of the storm, we embarked in a large boat decorated with plantain trees and lines of bright-colored flowers, on which were the leading Buddhists of the place. We passed through a lane of fishing boats tricked out with gaudy cloths and streamers, their prows pointing inward. On the jetty and along the beach a huge crowd awaited us and rent the air with the united shout of "Sadhoo! Sadhoo!" A white cloth was spread for us from the jetty steps to the road where carriages were ready, and a thousand flags were frantically waved in welcome. The multitude hemmed in our carriages, and the procession set out for our appointed residence, the house of Mrs. Wijeratne, the wealthy widow of a late P. and O. contractor. The roads were blocked with people the whole distance, and our progress was very slow. At the house three Chief Priests received and blessed us at the threshold, reciting appropriate Pali verses. Then we had a levee and innumerable introductions; the common people crowding every approach, filling every door and gazing through every window. This went on all day, to our great annoyance, for we could not get a breath of fresh air, but it was all so strong a proof of friendliness that we put up with it as best we could. Our hostess and her son, the Deputy Coroner of Galle, lavished every hospitality upon us, loading the table with delicacies and delicious fruits, such as we had never seen equalled, and dressing it in the charming Sinhalese manner, with flowers and pretty leaves; and the walls were beautified with them in artistic devices. Every now and then a new procession of yellow-robed monks, arranged in order of seniority of ordination and each carrying his palm-leaf fan, came to visit and bless us. It was an intoxicating experience altogether, a splendid augury of our future relations with the nation.

The monks, who had read Megittuwatte's excerpts from H. P. B.'s book, pressed her to exhibit her powers, and young Wijeratne, on hearing about the handkerchief phenomenon on board ship, asked her to repeat it for him. So she did, and again for a Mr. Bias; each time obliterating her own embroidered name and causing theirs to replace it. She got Wijeratne's name right, because she asked him to write it for her on a bit of paper, but she spelt Dias's "Dies," which, if Mme. Coulomb had embroidered the handkerchief beforehand at Bombay, would not very likely have happened, since there would have been plenty of time to think what an absurd thing it was to spell the Portuguese name in that unheard of way. The excitement, of course, rose to fever heat, and culminated when she made some fairy bells ring out sharp in the air, near the ceiling and out on the verandah. I had to satisfy the crowd with two impromptu addresses during the day, and at 11 p.m. we retired to rest, thoroughly fagged out.

Wimbridge and I went for a dip in the harbor very early the next morning, but we were followed and watched by crowds, so that it was very uncomfortable to move about. Our rooms were packed with visitors all day. There were no end of metaphysical discussions with the aged High Priest Bulatgama Sumanatissa, and other sharp logicians. This old man let me into a nice embarrassment. He begged me to call on a list of Europeans and to write to twenty Burghers (half-race descendants of the Dutch) inviting them to join with the Buddhists in forming a Branch T. S. In my innocence I did so, and the next morning could have bitten off my finger for shame, for they sent me insulting replies, saying that they were Christians and wanted to have nothing to do with Theosophy or Buddhism. I stormed at the old monk for his heedlessness in making me uselessly compromise the dignity of the Society, but he only smiled and made some weak excuse. It was a lesson for me, and during the many years that have elapsed since then, I never repeated the mistake. The people of all the country round crowded into town to have a look at us, and there was general rejoicing among them. A dozen invitations were received from towns and villages to visit them. Our rooms were never free of priest visitors. One of their customs made us laugh. If the hostess had not spread cloths over the chair seats, they would spread their own handkerchiefs over them, turn and calmly sit down, performing the business with as much solemnity as though it were part of a temple ceremony. It is a survival of one of the precautions of Yoga, viz.t the laying of durba grass, or a tiger or deer skin, or a straw mat, on the ground before beginning the âsanas, or postures of Yoga. Only its novelty made it a little funny to us.

Old Bulatgama was a particularly persistent disputant, very voluble and very kind. Among other topics of discussion was that of the psychical powers, and H. P. B., who thoroughly liked him, rang bells in the air (one a booming explosion like the striking of a large steel-bar), made "spirit" raps, caused the great dining — table to tremble and move, etc., to the amazement of her select audience.

The next evening we were treated to a devil-dancing performance by professional sorcerers, who take part in religious processions, and arc called in cases of desperate illness, to drive away the evil spirits which are supposed to possess the patient. They invoke certain elementals by recitations of mantrams, and prepare themselves for their functions by a certain amount of abstinence at certain periods of the moon. Their dance is a real witch-festival. It leaves behind it a confused recollection of leaping and whirling figures tricked out with hideous masks and streaming ribbons of young cocoanut leaves, of brandished and whirling firebrands; of black masses of oil-smoke; of postures suddenly taken, which are enough to send a nervous person into hysterics. One part of the ceremony consists in burning certain herbs and gums on hot coals and inhaling the vapors with gasping sounds, until they shiver as though stricken with an ague, and then fall senseless. In the coma, they have visions of the obsessing devils and give directions what to do. They are brought to by sprinkling them with water while a charm is muttered. An educated native gentleman told me that this dance is considered efficacious for the cure of several diseases, especially those to which pregnant women are liable. They are then said to have fallen under the influence of the "Black Prince". If the devil-dancers get the better of the disturbing 'evil spirit and it obeys their command to release its victim, it gives a sign of its departure by breaking off a designated branch of some tree near the house. This happened, he told me, in the case of his own stepmother.
As it had been arranged that I should give a public lecture on Theosophy on the 22nd, I made desperate efforts to think over my subject and prepare some notes. For I was then quite inexperienced in this business and was afraid to trust myself to extemporaneous discourse. But I might as well have tried to compose an aria in a machine shop where fifty blacksmiths were hammering on anvils, fifty turning lathes were whirling, and fifty people were gathered about to criticize my personal appearance, my pen, and my handwriting!

Our house was a Babel, our rooms occupied by a friendly mob from morning till night. I would have done far better to have just gone to the platform without preparation, and trusted to the inspiration of the moment, as I soon learned to do. I think my first lecture in Ceylon is worth a paragraph. It was delivered in a large room in the Military Barracks, imperfectly lighted, and packed to suffocation. A temporary platform had been erected at one end and a figured canopy suspended over it. Besides our delegation there were upon it Sumangala, Maha Thero, the Chief Priest Bulatgama, Chief Priest Dhammalankara, of the Amarapoora Sect, who had come twenty-eight miles to meet us, and a number more. The whole European colony (forty-five persons, were present, and, inside and outside, a mob of some 2,000 Sinhalese. I was not at all satisfied with my discourse, because, owing to the interruptions above noted, my notes were fragmentary, and the light was so bad that I could not read them. However, I managed to get through somehow, although a good deal surprised that not even the taking passages elicited applause: from the unsympathetic Europeans that was to have been expected, but from the Buddhist! As soon as a passage could be cleared our party passed out, H. P. B. and I arm-in-arm and holding each other tight so as not to be separated by the jostling crowd. "Was it a very bad speech ?" I asked her. "No, rather good," she said. "Then," I continued, "why was there no applause; why did they receive it in such a dead silence? It must have been very bad." "What? what? what are you saying ?" broke in a voice from the Sinhalese gentleman who had hold of H. P. B.'s other arm. "Who said it was a bad speech? Why, we never heard so good a one in Ceylon before!" "But that can't be," I replied; "there was not a hand-clap, nor a cry of satisfaction." "Well, I should just have liked to hear one: we would have put knife into the fellow who dared interrupt you! " He then explained that the custom was to never interrupt a religious speaker, but to listen in respectful silence and, after leaving, to think over what he had said. And he very proudly pointed out the high compliment that had been paid me in the packed audience hearing me without making a sound: I could not see it in that light, and still think my lecture was so bad as to be not worth applauding: unless, perhaps, the Galle public had by common consent agreed to obey the injunction of Thomson: "Come then, expressive silence, muse his praise."


THIS was the Prologue to such a drama of excitement as we had not dreamt we should ever pass through. In a land of flowers and ideal tropical vegetation, under smiling skies, along roads shaded by clustering palm trees and made gay with miles upon miles of small arches of ribbon-like fringes of tender leaves, and surrounded by a glad nation, whose joy would have led them into the extravagance of actually worshipping us, if permitted, we passed from triumph to triumph, daily stimulated by the magnetism of popular love. The people could not do enough for us, nothing seemed to them good enough for us: we were the first white champions of their religion, speaking of its excellence and its blessed comfort from the platform, in the face of the Missionaries, its enemies and slanderers. It was that which thrilled their nerves and filled their affectionate hearts to bursting. I may seem to use strong language, but in reality it falls far short of the facts. If anybody seeks for proof, let him go through the lovely Island now, after fifteen years, and ask what they have to say about this tour of the two Founders and their party."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  151f., 156 - 165]

Heinz Bechert gibt eine realistische Einschätzung der Bedeutung des Besuchs von HPB und Olcott in Ceylon:

"Der persönliche Besuch von Olcott und Frau Blavatsky in Ceylon im Jahre 1880 wurde zu einem bedeutenden Ereignis für die Buddhisten Ceylons. Zum ersten Male kamen Angehörige der damals 'herrschenden Rasse' ins Land, die nicht den christlichen Glauben verbreiten, sondern die buddhistische Religion verteidigen wollten. Abgesehen von der starken emotionellen Wirkung, die davon ausging, wurde der Ceylon Aufenthalt Olcotts durch die Gründung der »Buddhist Theosophical Society« (B.T.S.) zu einem Wendepunkt in der Geschichte der Insel. Diese Gesellschaft, die der Erhaltung der buddhistischen Religion vor allem durch die Gründung buddhistischer Schulen dienen sollte, hat in der Folgezeit durch ihre erfolgreiche Wirksamkeit wesentlich zur Eindämmung des Einflusses der christlichen Schulen in Ceylon beigetreagen. Vorher hatte es nur ganz vereinzelt buddhistische Grundschulen gegeben, deren erste 1869 in Dodanduva errichtet wurde."

[Bechert, Heinz <1932 - >: Buddhismus, Staat und Gesellschaft in den Ländern des Theravãda-Buddhismus. -- Frankfurt a.M. : Metzner. --
Bd. 1., Grundlagen : Ceylon.  -- 1966. -- (Schriften des Instituts für Asienkunde in Hamburg ; Bd. 17, 1). -- S. 45]


Olcott und HPB nehmen vor einem buddhistischen Mönch in Galle die fünf Trainingspunkte der Sittlichkeit und die dreifache Zuflucht auf sich.

Abb.: Olcotts Bestätigung, dass HPB und er Pancha Sila auf sich genommen haben Abb.: Tempelmalerei: HPB und Olcott nehmen die fünf Trainingspunkte der Sittlichkeit auf sich
Quelle der Abbildungen: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-16]

Olcotts Schilderung:

"On 25th May, H. P. B. and I "took pansil" from the venerable Bulatgama, at a temple of the Ramanya Nikaya, whose name at the moment escapes me, and were formally acknowledged as Buddhists. A great arch of greenery, bearing the words: "Welcome to the members of the Theosophical Society," had been erected within the compound of the Vihara. We had previously declared ourselves Buddhists long before, in America, both privately and publicly, so that this was but a formal confirmation of our previous professions. H. P. B. knelt before the huge statue of the Buddha, and I kept her company. We had a good deal of trouble in catching the Pali words that we were to repeat after the old monk, and I don't know how we should have got on if a friend had not taken his place just behind us and whispered them seriatim. A great crowd was present and made the responses just after us, a dead silence being preserved while we were struggling through the unfamiliar sentences. When we had finished the last of the Silas, and offered flowers in the customary way, there came a mighty shout to make one's nerves tingle, and the people could not settle themselves down to silence for some minutes, to hear the brief discourse which, at the Chief Priest's request, I delivered. I believe that attempts have been made by some of my leading colleagues of Europe and America to suppress this incident as much as possible, and cover up the fact that H. P. B. was as completely accepted a Buddhist as any Sinhalese in the Island. This mystification is both dishonest and useless, for, not only did several thousand persons, including many bhikkus, see and hear her taking the pansil, but she herself boldly proclaimed it in all quarters. But to be a regular Buddhist is one thing, and to be a debased modern Buddhist sectarian quite another. Speaking for her as well as for myself, I can say that if Buddhism contained a single dogma that we were compelled to accept, we would not have taken the pansil nor remained Buddhists ten minutes. Our Buddhism was that of the Master-Adept Gautama Buddha, which was identically the Wisdom Religion of the Aryan Upanishads, and the soul of all the ancient world-faiths. Our Buddhism was, in a word, a philosophy, not a creed."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  167 - 169. -- Hervorhebung von mir]

Abb.: Olcott inmitten von ceylonesischen Mönchen, Colombo 1880

[Bildquelle: Prothero, Stephen R.: The white Buddhist : the Asian odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott / Stephen Prothero. -- Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1996. -- 242 S. : Ill. -- ISBN 0-253-33014-9. -- S. 93]

HPB hatte schon im Oktober 1878 ihre Stellung zum Buddhismus so beschrieben:

"Es ist wahr, dass ich die Philosophie des Gautama Buddha als das erhabenste aller Systeme betrachte, als das reinste und vor allem als das logischste. Doch wurde dieses System im Lauf der Jahrhunderte durch den Ehrgeiz und den Fanatismus seiner Priester entstellt und ist inzwischen zu einer Volksreligion geworden ... Ich ziehe es vor, mich an die Ursprungsquelle zu halten, anstatt mich von einer der zahlreichen Strömungen abhängig zu machen, die aus ihr hervorgegangen sind ... In seinen Reformen und seinem Protest gegen die Verstöße der verlogenen Brahmanen stand Gautama fest auf dem Boden der esoterischen Bedeutung der Urtexte der großartigen heiligen Schriften."

[Zitat und Übersetzung nach Cranston, Sylvia: HPB : Leben und Werk der Helena Blavatsky, Begründerin der modernen Theosophie. - Satteldorf : Adyar, 1995. - 702 S. : Ill. - ISBN 3-927837-53-9. - Originaltitel: HPB, The extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky (1993). -- S. 265.]


Gründung der Buddhist Theosophical Society of Ceylon. In einer Rede im Vidyodaya College etwa zwei Wochen nach seiner Ankunft in Ceylon, sagt Olcott, warum er nach Ceylon kam:

"So much for the history of our Society and its principles. Let me now tell you why this delegation has come to Ceylon.

While investigations of other religions had been afoot, and learned Hindus and Parsees had begun to assist us, we had made no proper alliance with Buddhists. We felt how great an anomaly this was, for to conduct a Theosophical Society without counting in the Buddhists would be the height of absurdity. ... Our Society had long been in correspondence with the High Priest Sumangala and others, but nothing could be done without organization and system. We felt that ... a Branch Society must be formed in Ceylon, which should embrace all the scholarship and practical ability among the priests and the laity. ... And so after taking everything into account and leaving our business in India, we sailed for Ceylon, and here we are."

[Zitat bei Malalgoda, Kitisiri: Buddhism in Sinhalese society 1750-1900 : a study of religious revival and change. - Berkeley [u.a.] : University of California Press, 1976. - 300 S. - ISBN 0-520-02873-2. -- S. 243.]

Doch das war das letzte, was die ceylonesischen (besser: singhalesischen) Buddhisten von Olcott wollten: eine Zweigstelle der Theosophischen Gesellschaft zu gründen mit einem esoterischen Ziel, nämlich "Weisheit und universale Brüderschaft". Was die ceylonesischen Buddhisten wollten, war Sympathie, Unterstützung und Führung im Wettbewerb mit den christlichen Missionen. Olcott begriff das schnell und übernahm die Rolle, die ihm die ceylonesischen Buddhisten zugewiesen hatten. Die Theosophie entwickelte sich in Ceylon nicht so sehr als eine neue exogene Bewegung, sondern als Entwicklungsstadium einer indigenen Bewegung. Buddhistische Theosophie hatte sehr wenig Theosophie an sich, dafür aber viel von einem neuen Typ des Buddhismus, der organisatorisch usw. viel vom Christentum übernommen hatte, Widerstand gegen das Christentum war, und in dem Laien immer mehr von der traditionellen Führerrolle des Mönchtums übernahmen. Etwas später schrieb Olcott über die Methode, wie die Buddhisten vorzugehen hätten:

"If you ask how we should organise our forces, I point you to our great enemy, Christianity, and bid you to look at their large and wealthy Bible, Tract, Sundayschool, and Missionary Societies -- the tremendous agencies they support to keep alive and spread their religion. We must form similar Societties, and make our most practical and honest men of business their managers. Nothing can be done without money. The Christians spend millions to destroy Buddhism; we must spend to defend and propagate it. We must not wait for some few rich men to give capital; we must call upon the whole nation."

[Olcott: Old diary leaves, Bd IV, S. 120 {dort nicht!}; Zitat nach Malalgoda, Kitisiri: Buddhism in Sinhalese society 1750-1900 : a study of religious revival and change. - Berkeley [u.a.] : University of California Press, 1976. - 300 S. - ISBN 0-520-02873-2. -- S. 245]

Die Struktur der Theosophical Society in Ceylon:

Zwei Hauptzweige:

  1. Non-Buddhist (scientific) branch: Lanka Theosophical Society : bestand aus Freidenkern und Amateurokkultisten, hatte kaum irgendeine Bedeutung: Buddhisten hatten kein Interesse an okkulter Forschung, Nichtbuddhisten hatten kein Interesse an Theosophie.
  2. Buddhist branch: Buddhist Theosophical Society (B.T.S.):
    2 Unterzweige:

Lassen Sie uns einen kurzen Blick werfen auf das Ergebnis der Tätigkeiten Olcotts. In einem kirchlichen Bericht von etwas später steht:

"Vernacular schools as well as English and boarding schools have multipled rapidly, some of them taught by European teachers and itinerant preachers penetrate to the remote village copying Christian phraseology and Christian missionary methods. Sunday schools, Young Men's Buddhist Associations, Tract distribution, carol singers during the Sinhalese New Year (sic!), parodies of Christian hymns, Buddhist cards for Buddha's birthday, newspapers, a Buddhist 'Daily Light' and 'Imitation of Buddha', a 'Funeral Discourse', pictures of events in the life of the Buddha, a Buddhist flag have all been brought into being."

[Zitat in: Dharmapala <Anagarika> <1864-1933>: Return to righteousness : a collection of speeches, essays and letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala / ed. by Ananda Guruge. - Colombo : The Government Press, 1965. -- S. XXXII]


Bei einer Versammlung der Delegierten der neugebildeten Laienzweige der Theosophical Society in Ceylon werden die Hauptaufgaben besprochen:

"On 5th June I held a Convention of our newly-formed lay Branches. Kandy was represented by Mr. now the Honorable, T. B Pannabokke; Colombo, by Mr. Andrew Perera; Panadure, by Mr. J. J. Cooray; Bentota, by Mr. Abeyasekara; Galle, by Mr. S. Perera; and Matara, by Mr. Appuhami.

Our subjects of discussion were

  • the desired secularizing of schools;
  • the rescue of Temple endowment lands from spoliation;
  • the proper way to restore discipline of senior over junior priests — destroyed since the native Dynasty had been replaced by a Christian Government;
  • the preparation of propagandist literature and its circulation,
  • etc., etc".

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  203f.]


David Hewivitarne (der spätere Anagarika Dharmapala) (1864-1933) trifft Olcott und Helena Petrova Blavatsky. Dharmapala war durch eine anglikanische (C.M.S.) Missionsschule gegangen, wurde dort gefeuert, als er Jesus als Affen zeichnete. Ihn stieß z.B. ab, dass der Schulleiter Alkohol trank und zum Vergnügen kleine Vögel schoss.

Abb: Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933)

Zur Bedeutung des Anagarika heute:

"Die meisten der hier geschilderten Organisationen verfechten jene »zionistische« Ideologie, die von einem Führer des modernistischen Buddhismus, vom Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933), verbreitet wurde und die man als Ideologie der »Söhne der Landes« bezeichnen kann, weil eben der Anagarika die buddhistischen Singhalesen als »Söhne der Landes« bezeichnete. Diese Ideologie macht sie allein zu Erben des ganzen Reiches Lanka. Der Anagarika hat eindeutig die Lehre von der Verknüpfung des Reiches mit der sprachlichen, geschichtlichen und »rassischen« Eigenart des singhalesischen Volkes gelehrt. ... Den Rassismus hat der Anagarika Dharmapala nicht etwa aus der lankesischen oder indischen Geschichte gelernt, sondern vom westlichen Antisemitismus, den er sich auf die Tamilen zurechtschnitzt

Der Anagarika gehört keineswegs einer vergessenen Vergangenheit an. Es gibt eine Nationalausgabe seiner Schriften von 1965. Eine berühmte Avenue in Colombo trägt seinen Namen »Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha«. Die von ihm im Jahre 1891 gegründete Maha Bodhi Society führt sein Erbe fort, und sein einstiges Kampfblatt, Simhala Bauddhya, wird noch immer gedruckt. Besonders im Süden Sri Lankas kann man Statuen in Lebensgröße von ihm finden, so z.B. im Zentrum der Stadt Matara. Der 17. September, sein Geburtstag, sollte nach einem 1961 in Phnom Penh gefassten Beschluss des World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in der gesamten buddhistischen Welt aus Analass seiner 100. Wiederkehrt im Jahre 1964 gefeiert werden. In Sri Lanka wird der 17. September alljährlich gefeiert. Noch an seinem Geburtstag im Jahre 1985 stellte eine Tageszeitung die Bemühungen des Anagarika heraus, arische Bräuche und Sitten wiederherzustellen. Er wird als Retter des Landes und des Volkes bezeichnet. Der Premierminister gilt als Nachfolger des Anagarika und eine Zeitung betont, dass in einer Niedergangsperiode wie dieser ein zweiter Anagarika gebraucht werde. In einer anderen Zeitung wird der Anagarika von einem Mönch sogar als Bodhisattva bezeichnet."

[Peter Schalk: Buddhistische Kampfgruppen in Sri Lanka. -- In: Asien. --  Nr. 21 (1986). --  S. 30f.. -- Dort die Nachweise für die einzelnen Aussagen. ]


Rückkehr Olcotts und HPBs nach Bombay

1881-04-26 bis 1881-12-17

Zweiter Aufenthalt Olcotts (ohne HPB) in Ceylon.

Olcotts Schilderung:

"It had been arranged that I should return alone to Ceylon and begin the collection of a National Education Fund to promote the education of Buddhist boys and girls. The scheme had—as H. P. B. assured me—the full approbation of the Mahatmas, and her own concurrence bad been strongly expressed. Thereupon I had written to Ceylon and made all necessary arrangements with our friends. But, on 11th February, as it seems, H. P. B. fell out with me because I would not cancel the engagement and stop and help her on the Theosophist. Of course, I flatly refused to do anything of the kind, and as the natural consequence she fell into a white rage with me. She shut herself up in her room a whole week, refusing to see me, but sending me formal notes of one sort or another, among them one in which she notified me that the Lodge would have nothing more to do with the Society or myself, and I might go to Timbuctoo if I liked. I simply said that my tour having been fully approved of by the Lodge, I should carry it through, even though I never saw the face of a Master again; that I did not believe them to be such vacillating and whimsical creatures; if they were, I preferred to work on without them. Her ill-temper burnt itself out at last, and on the 18th of that month she and I drove out in the new carriage which Damodar had presented to her! A Master visited her on the 19th and exposed to her the whole situation, about which I shall not go into details, as all has turned out as he forewarned us. On leaving, he left behind a much-worn gold-embroidered head-covering, of peculiar shape, which I took possession of, and have until this day. One result of this visit was that, on the 25th of the month, she and I had a long and serious discussion about the state of affairs, resulting'—as my Diary says-— "in an agreement between us to re-construct the T.S. on a different basis, putting the Brotherhood idea forward more prominently, and keeping the occultism more in the background, in short, to have a secret section for it." This, then, was the seed-planting of the E. S. T., and the beginning of the adoption of the Universal Brotherhood idea in more definite form than previously. The wording of the paragraphs was entirely my own, and is quite open to alterations. ...

1 sailed for Ceylon on 23rd April, in company with a Mr. Aeneas Bruce, of Scotland, a veteran traveller and most amiable gentleman, who had joined our Society. We reached Point de Gallc on the fourth day and were received with much enthusiasm. Our leading colleagues came aboard with greetings and garlands and escorted us to the shore, where over 300 Buddhist boys of our first-established school were standing in line to welcome us. White cloths were laid from the landing for us to walk upon, and there was a brave show of greenery and flags, with no end of cheers and joyful acclamations. A great multitude of people were there to follow our carriages to the schoolhouse, an upper-storied building on the Harbor beach, where rooms had been fitted up for our accommodation. As usual a number of yellow-robed monks, headed by the venerable Bulatgama Sri Sumanatissa, Chief Priest of the principal temple of Galle, were there to welcome us with their chantings of Pali gathas, or verses."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  293 - 295.]


Gleichzeitig erscheinen die singhalesische und englische Fassung von:

Olcott, H. S. <1832-1907>: A Buddhist catechism, according to the canon of the Southern Church / by Henry S. Olcott. Approved, and recommended for use in Buddhist schools by H. Sumangala. -- Colombo : Theosophical Society, Buddhist Section, 1881. - 28 p. - At head of title: "Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa. "

1. singhales. Aufl - Colombo, 1881.
1st American edition by E. Cones. - Boston, 1885.
1. deutsche Ausg. - 1887.
3. deutsche Ausgabe. - 1906.
1.indische Ausgabe: A Buddhist catechism according to the Sinhalese canon. - Madras, 1904. - 44.Aufl.: The Buddhist catechism. - Madras, 1915.
1. tschechische Ausg. - 1917.
Übersetzungen in über 20 Sprachen.
Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-12

Abb.: Einbandtitel eines Reprints der 2. deutschen Ausgabe (1902), Reprint Verlag Leipzig o. J.

Olcott über die Abfassung des Katechismus:

"Finding out the shocking ignorance of the Sinhalese about Buddhism, I began, after vainly trying to get some monk to do it, the compilation of a Buddhist Catechism on the lines of the similar elementary hand-books so effectively used among Western Christian sects, working at it at odd times, as 1 could find leisure. To fit myself for it I had read 10,000 pages of Buddhist books, of course in English and French translations. I finished my first draft on 5th May, and on the 7th took it with me to Colombo. That evening the High Priest, Sumangala, and Megittuwattc, came to discuss my scheme of the Education Fund. After several hours' interchange of views, we agreed upon the following points, viz., that it should be a Fund for the propagation of Buddhism, that there should be Trustees, that we should sell subscription tickets or Merit Cards of various denominations, that the money should be deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank, and that Megittuwattc should go on a tour with me. I got Sumangala to consent to issue an appeal to the Buddhist public for the Fund, and to endorse me as its collector. From the Government blue books we discovered that eight out of eleven of the schools in the Island were in the hands of the Missionaries, the rest belonging to Government: in the former, the children were taught that Buddhism was a dark superstition, in the other no religious teaching at all was given. So, between them both, our Buddhist children had but small chance of coming to know anything at all of the real merits of their ancestral faith. Our work was clearly cut out for us, and at it we went con amore. My first begging lecture was at Kelanie, on the Buddha's Birthday, and resulted in the paltry sale of Rs. 60 worth of tickets, and one subscription of Rs. 100 towards the Fund.

My Catechism had been translated into Sinhalese, and on 15th May I went with it to Widyodaya College to go over the text, word by word, with the High Priest and his Assistant Principal, Hiyayentaduwe, one of his cleverest pupils and a man of learning. On the first day, although we worked eight hours, we disposed of only 61/2 pages of the MS. On the 16th, beginning early in the morning and continuing until 5 p.m., we got over 8 pages; then we stuck. The impasse was created by the definition of Nirvana, or rather of the survival of some sort of "subjective entity" in that state of existence. Knowing perfectly well the strong views entertained by the school of Southern Buddhists of which Sumangala is the type, I had drafted the reply to the question: "What is Nirvana " in such a way as to just note that there was a difference of opinion among Buddhist metaphysicians as to the survival of an abstract human entity, without leaning either towards the views of the Northern or Southern school. But the two erudite critics caught me up at the first glance at the paragraph, and the High Priest denied that there was any such difference of opinion among Buddhist metaphysicians. Upon my citing to him the beliefs of the Tibetans, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolians, and even of a Sinhalese school of which the late Polgahawatte was leader, he closed our discussion by saying that, if I did not alter the text, he should cancel his promise to give me a certificate that the Catechism was suited to the teaching of children in Buddhist schools, and should publish his reasons therefor. As this would virtually destroy the usefulness of my educational monograph, and cause such a breach between him and myself as to make it tenfold more difficult to push on the schools project, I yielded to force majeure, and made the paragraph read, as it has ever since stood, in the many editions through which the Catechism has since passed. The tedious labor of critical revision was finally completed, the MS. fair-copied, re-revised, trimmed, added to, and at last made ready for the printer, all this taking weeks and causing no end of bother to me. It was such a novelty, this, to condense the essence of the whole body of Buddhist Dhamma into a little hand-bock that one might read through in a couple of hours, and their inherited tendency towards passive resistance to all innovations upon the fixed order of things was so strong that I had to fight my way inch by inch, as one might say. It was not that the priests did not feel the greatest friendliness for me and the highest appreciation of the possible good that might accrue to the nation from our school project, but the conservative instinct was too strong to be pacified at once, and points that had been passed upon had to be reconsidered, and long discussions entered into as to the spirit of the Buddhist sacred books, before I could be allowed to go to Press with my work. I am perfectly convinced that if I had been an Asiatic of any race or caste, the book would never have appeared, the author would have simply been tired out and have abandoned his attempt. But, knowing something of the bull-dog pertinacity of the Anglo-Saxon character, and holding me in real personal affection, they finally succumbed to my importunity. The Sinhalese and English versions appeared simultaneously, on 24th July, 1881, and thenceforward, for some weeks, the hand-presses of Colombo could not strike off copies fast enough to meet the demand. Sumangala ordered 100 copies for the use of the priest-pupils in his College; it became a textbook in the schools; found its way into every Sinhalese family; and within one month of its publication was admitted in Court, in a case that was being tried in the Southern Province, as an authority upon the question at issue. This, of course, thanks to Sumangala's Certificate of Orthodoxy, appended to the text of the work. This, we may say, was substantially the beginning of our campaign for Buddhism against its foes, Missionary and other, and the advantage has never been lost. For whereas previously the entire nation were virtually ignorant of the basic principles of their religion, of even one of its excellent features, now every child, one may say, is as well informed, and as ready to recognize false representations about the national faith, as the average Sunday-school child in the West about the principles of Christianity. It is a duty and a pleasure to re-state here that the money for printing the two versions of the Catechism was given me by that saintly woman and sweet friend, Mrs. Ilangakoon, of Matara, since, alas! deceased.

Thanks to the careful scrutiny given it by the two learned monks of Widyodaya College, it has found such wide favor throughout the world that up to the present time it has been translated and published in twenty different languages. 1 have found it in Burma, Japan, Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, Australia, America, Sandwich Islands, throughout India, and elsewhere: from the grain of mustard-seed has developed the great tree. The only disagreeable incident in its history is, that a person calling himself "Subhadra Bhikshu" plagiarized almost its entire contents and appropriated to himself its title, in a German Catechism that he brought out, and that has since been published in English."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 303]

Motiv für Abfassung des Katechismus aus dem Vorwort:

"Mein kleiner »Katechismus« ist ursprünglich in Ceylon verfasst worden, weil ich fand, dass dort unter der singhalesischen Bevölkerung eine gar zu große allgemeine Unwissenheit über ihre Religion herrsche. Ihre Kinder, die allenthalben in den von christlichen Missionaren eröffneten Schulen erzogen worden waren, fand ich bei meinen Reisen von Ort zu Ort bekannter mit den Lehren des Christentums, als mit denen ihrer eigenen Religion. Da jedoch weder sie noch ihre Eltern die geringste Neigung hatten, dem Buddhismus zu entsagen, um das Christentum anzunehmen, bat ich die buddhistischen Geistlichen dringend, eine Darstellung des Buddhismus in Katechismusform zu unternehmen; aber keiner von ihnen fühlte sich dazu befähigt, und so wurde ich durch das Drängen der höheren Geistlichen fast gezwungen, dies selbst zu tun."

[Nach der 2. deutschen Ausgabe. -- 1902.]

Olcott ließ sich den Katechismus approbieren:

"Approbation für die erste Ausgabe

Vidyôdaya College, Colombo, 7. Juli 1881

Hierdurch bescheinige ich, dass ich die von Colonel H. S. Olcott veranstaltete singhalesische Übertragung des »Katechismus« sorgfältig geprüft habe, und dass dieselbe sich in Übereinstimmung mit dem Kanon der südlichen Buddhistenkirche befindet. Ich empfehle das Werk den Lehrern an Buddhistischen Schulen und allen anderen, die Anfängern in den wesentlichen Grundzügen unserer Religion Unterricht zu erteilen wünschen.


Hohepriester von Sripada & Galle, Vorsteher des Vidyodaya Parivena

[Für die 33. Ausgabe.]

Ich bin mit Hilfe von Dolmetschern die 33. (englische) Ausgabe des »Katechismus« durchgegangen und bestätige meine Empfehlung für ihre Benutzung in Buddhistischen Schulen. H. SUMANGALA"

[2. deutsche Ausgabe (=36. Ausgabe). -- 1902.]

Aufbau des Katechismus (nach der 3. deutschen Ausgabe. - 1906):

  1. Das Leben des Buddha
  2. Das(!) Dharma oder die Lehre
  3. Der Sangha
  4. Die Entwicklung und Ausbreitung des Buddhismus
  5. Buddhismus und Wissenschaft

Zusatz: Vierzehn Glaubensartikel von 1891 (s.unten)
Anhang: I. Anmerkungen
Daheim bei Oberst Olcott
II. Überblick über den buddhistischen Kanon
III. Glossar


"I. Teil


1. Welcher Religion gehörst du an?

Der buddhistischen

2. Was ist Buddhismus?

Es ist der Inbegriff der Lehren, die ein großer Mann -- bekannt als »der Buddha« verkündet hat.

3. Ist »Buddhismus« der beste Name für diese Lehre?

Nein; dies ist nur ein abendländischer Ausdruck. Der beste Name ist »Buddha Dharma«.

4. Würdest du jemand »Buddhist« nennen, lediglich weil er von buddhistischen Eltern erzeugt ist?

Gewiss nicht. Ein Buddhist ist jemand, der sich nicht nur zum Glauben an den Buddha als edelsten der Lehrer, an die von ihm verkündete Lehre und an die Brüderschaft der Arahat's bekennt, sondern auch nach seinen Vorschriften im täglichen Leben handelt.

5. Wie wird ein männlicher buddhistischer Laie genannt?

Ein Upâsaka."

[Nach der 3. deutschen Ausgabe. -- 1906}

Olcott schreibt zur Darstellung der Reinkarnation im Katechismus:

"Ultimately, the doctrine of Re-incarnation was fully accepted and expounded, both in its exoteric sense and esoterically. Not publicly taught so early as 1879, however, for it is not to be found in the first two volumes of the Theosophist, but only appears in the third, and then in connection with the Fragments of Occult Truth, a series of essays, chiefly by Mr. A. P. Sinnett, and based upon instructions given him by the Masters and by H. P. B. In its plain exoteric, or orthodox form, I had got it in Ceylon and embodied it in the Buddhist Catechism, of which the first edition, after passing through the ordeal of critical examination by the High Priest Sumangala Thero, appeared in July, 1881. The Catechism, of course, was only a synopsis of the doctrines of Southern Buddhism, not a proclamation of personal beliefs. The exposition of the Re-incarnation theory was rather meagre in the first edition; but it was given at much greater length in the revised edition of 1882, where I defined the relation of the re-incarnated being of this birth to that of the preceding ones, and answered the question why we have no memory of experiences in prior incarnations. A conversation with Sumangala Thero upon the morality of the theory of Karma, led me to frame the note defining the difference between Personality and Individuality, between physical memory, or the recollection of things which pertain to the ordinary waking consciousness, and spiritual memory, which has to do with the experience of the Higher Self and its Individuality. The distinction had not previously been made, but it was at once accepted and has been propagated by all our chief Theosophical writers since that time. H.P.B. adopted it, and has introduced it in her Key to Theosophy (pp. 134 and 130), with enlargements and illustrations. These are historical facts, and their bearing upon the present discussion is evident."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  First series, America 1874 - 1878.. -- 1910. -- S.  284f.]

Olcotts Katechismus wurde später von Buddhisten - auch in Ceylon kritisiert - ich möchte hier die Kritik wiedergeben, die Karl Seidenstücker (1876-1936), der sehr wichtig wurde für die deutsche buddhistische Bewegung, und der ein guter Palikenner war, im Vorwort seiner revidierten deutschen Ausgabe von 1908 übt:

"Die Gründe, die mich bestimmt haben, trotz der bereits in dritter Auflage vorliegenden, von Dr. Erich Bischoff veranstalteten »autorisierten« deutschen Ausgabe eine Neubearbeitung und stark erweiterte »revidierte« deutsche Ausgabe des Buddhistischen Katechismus von H. S. Olcott erscheinen zu lassen sind folgende:

Das englische Original, soweit die in ihm angewandte buddhistische Termoinologie in Frage kommt, ist sehr stark mit Fehlern und Inkorrektheiten aller Art durchsetzt. Diese sind zum großen Teil in die autorisierte deutsche Ausgabe übergegangen ...

Ferner ist das englische Original des Katechismus auch nicht frei von sachlichen Fehlern und Unrichtigkeiten ...

Es lässt sich auch kaum behaupten, dass Olcott sich in den neueren Auflagen seines Buches gegenüber den früheren überall verbessert habe; manche Partieen sind fraglos in den früheren Auflagen besser gehalten. Und nun vollends das letzte Kapitel (Buddhismus und Wissenschaft): Hier hat der Occultist Olcott vollständig über den Buddhisten Olcott triumphiert. ... Andere Gebiete des Buddhismus wieder, wie die so wichtige »meditative Praxis«, sind in dem Katechismus viel zu kurz weggekommen, -- und dies sind gerade Gebiete, die für das Verständnis des Buddhismus von eminenter Wichtigkeit sind. ...

Die autorisierte deutsche Ausgabe nennt ihre englische Vorlage ... den »einzig autorisierten Auszug aus der Lehre der südlichen buddhistischen Kirche« und trägt an ihrer Spitze eine geistliche Approbation des Mahâthero Sumangala, -- beides zu Unrecht. Sirî Sumangala richtete am 21. September 1905 ein Schreiben an Olcott, in welchem er diesem mitteilte, dass die verliehene Approbation nur für die ursprüngliche singhalesische Ausgabe (171 Fragen und Antworten) zurecht bestünde, nicht aber für die stark erweiterte englische Ausgabe. Der Hohe Priester verlangte dann ausdrücklich unter Hinweis auf eine ganze Reihe von Fragen und Antworten, die mit der Lehre des südlichen Buddhismus nicht übereinstimmen, dass diese Ausgabe ... mit dem für sie unberechtigterweise in Anspruch genommenen geistlichen Certificat nicht weiter verbreitet würde und dass er (Sumangala) dem Katechismus seine Approbation hiermit offiziell entziehe."

[Olcott, H. S.: H. S. Olcotts Buddhistischer Katechismus / neu bearbeitet und stark erweitert nebst Appendices, Erläuterungen und Glossar von Karl Seidenstücker. - Revidierte deutsche Ausgabe. -- Leipzig : Buddhistischer Verlag, [1908]. -- S. V-IX.]


Rückkehr Olcotts nach Bombay


Olcott besucht zum dritten Mal Ceylon:

"I was returning to the Island, after a half-year's absence, to go on with the Educational propaganda. My first impressions were most discouraging. It seemed as if all the life had left the Branches and members when I had sailed for Bombay, and only Rs. 100 of the unpaid subscriptions — some Rs. 13,000 — had been collected. Of the Trust Fund money, Rs. 243 had been used for current expenses, and along with it Rs. 60 belonging to the Buddhist Catechism Fund. Paltry excuses were made, and I had to accept them as I could do no better. There was nothing left for it but to just go to work again, re-infuse life into everything, wipe out the story of the half-year's idleness, and set the machinery in motion. So I began with the High Priest and Megittuwatte, and arranged for some lectures that the committee had asked me to give in Colombo. Then, at a Branch meeting, I explained the system of voluntary self-taxation adopted by many good Christians, by which sometimes ten per cent of their incomes is set aside for religious and charitable work; I had seen my father and other pious Christian gentlemen doing this as a matter of conscience. Then 1 read a memorandum in which I had it proved that what they, our Colombo martyrs, had given and spent for this Buddhist revival movement amounted to just 3/4ths of 1 per cent of their incomes: this was easy to do, as most of them were Government servants in receipt of fixed salaries. I left them to draw the plain inference for themselves."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 369f.]


Olcott spricht auf eine Einladung hin in einem Gefängnis von Colombo über Buddhismus:

"The religious agitation reached all classes, even penetrating into the jails. On 20th August I received a petition from the convicts in Wellikodde Jail, Colombo, to come with Megittuwatte and lecture to them on their religion, Buddhism. The monk, being a recognized religious teacher, required no special permit, but my case had to be referred to the Colonial Secretary, who granted it after some hesitation. Our audience comprised two hundred and forty criminals, including murderers and those in for murderous assault. One bright-faced, innocent-looking lad of 14 had been implicated in nine murders; in his last case he had held the victim while his uncle stabbed him to death! The uncle and two accomplices made their living by highway robbery and murder. The lad would be set to watch passers along a certain road and give signals, when, if all were safe, the hidden assassins would come out and slay their victims, rob them, and bury their bodies in the jungle. The uncle was hung, the boy spared on account of his youth. I took as the text of my remarks — which were translated by Mr. C. P. Goonewardene — the legendary story of Angulimala, the robber and bandit, whom Lord Buddha converted and made into a exemplary man.

The report of this meeting spreading among the criminal classes, I was invited to lecture, on 25th September, to a group of a hundred convicts engaged in building the new Lunatic Asylum. Here, again, I had pointed out to me a boy murderer — a Muslim, who slew his man when only 10 years of age."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 321f.]


Olcott heilt in Ceylon einen Gelähmten:

"THE Asiatics have certainly perfected the art of feeding the vanity of public men, and their public men seem to like it. To us Westerns, however, too much grandeur is a bother, and one is constantly being put into dilemmas where one has to quietly play the part of willing victim, or by churlish refusal make oneself seem a very underbred person to one's Oriental friends. This is apropos of my Diary entry of 3rd October, 1882, that I had that day crossed a brimful river in Ceylon, and walked a mile to the temple where I was to lecture, on white cloths spread over the whole route for my eminent feet, between two continuous lines of palm-leaf fringes, and under a white canopy (Kodiya) which enthusiastic Buddhists carried on painted staves, over my respectable head. At the same time paralytics, clamoring for the laying on of my hands, besieged me along the whole route. I could have dispensed with the whole tamasha without the least difficulty, but the crowd could not. What a fool one does feel when, perched on a decorated elephant, or carried in an open sedan chair, half smothered with thick garlands of tuberose blooms, and surrounded by shouting thousands, one sees even one European standing by the roadside or in a verandah, looking sneeringly at one as if he were really a voluntary mountebank. Talk about nerve — this is one of the things to try it, for one. can so easily foresee the circulation of the story throughout the station and the contemptuous comments that will be made upon one's abasement of the race-dignity, while one's whole heart is fixed upon doing good to others and impatient of all this childish show. The most difficult lesson for a white man in Asia to learn is, that the customs of his people and those of the dusky races are absolutely different, and that if he dreams of getting on well with the latter he must lay aside all prejudices and hereditary standards of manners, and be one with them, both in spirit and in external forms. If the English conquerors of the dark-skinned nations could only realize and act upon this principle, they would rule through love instead of by craft and force. They make themselves respected and feared, but loved? — never. However, they are not going to change their natures to please me, so I shall pass to the illustration of the point I was making in the last chapter, about the true secret of successful Psychopathy, or mesmeric healing.

The secret in question was revealed to me by an experience I had at a small village in Southern Ceylon, during this tour which we are now tracing. I think it was at Pitiwella, five miles from Galle, though I am not sure, having failed to record the case apart from others treated on the same day. My
interpreter, secretary, and servant, together with many other witnesses, will be able to recall the facts if my word is challenged, so it docs not matter. A man suffering from hemiplegia, or paralysis of one side, was brought to me for treatment. I began on his arm, making passes along the nerves and muscles, and occasionally breathing upon them. In less than a half hour I had restored the arm to flexibility; so much so that he could whirl his arm around his head, open and close his fingers at will, grasp and hold a pen or even a pin, and, in fact, do anything he liked with the limb. Then — as I had been kept continuously at work on similar cases for several hours, and felt tired — I bade the committee to make him take a seat and give me time to rest. While I was smoking a pipe, the committee told me that the patient was well-to-do, had spent Rs. 1,500 on medical men without getting relief, and was an avaricious person, well known for his closeness. Now, of all things that are disgusting to the occultist, money-greed is one of the chief: it is so low and ignoble a passion. My feelings underwent an instant change towards the patient. The committee, at my suggestion, asked him how much he had decided to give towards the Buddhist National Fund for schools. He whined out that he was a poor man and had spent much on doctors, but he would give one rupee! That capped the climax. I told them to say to him that, although he had spent Rs. 1,500 in vain, he had now had his arm cured gratis, and he might now spend an equal sum, and see if the doctors would not cure his paralyzed leg, and he had better keep the rupee he had just offered for Buddhist schools, towards the doctors' fees. I told them to take the creature away and never let me see him again. But the committee, with one accord, begged me to recall my order, as the mere mention of money would assuredly be misconstrued and misrepresented by our bitter opponents, who could not say that I had ever taken a cent for my healings, or that they had been made by the Buddhist Committee an excuse to influence subscriptions. So after a while I had the patient brought before me, and within another half hour had released his leg from its state of paralysis, and sent the man away walking as well as anyone. My secretary took from him, it seems, a certificate of the cure, and I have it among the papers connected with that Ceylon tour.

The committee in charge of my work had arranged a series of loop tours of about a fortnight each, which brought me around each time to Galle, the central point. When this particular one was finished I was asking one day how it had fared with a certain few patients whose cases had more particularly interested me than the rest, and among others, I mentioned this miser's. The reply surprised me very much: the arm, they said, remained cured, but the leg had relapsed into the paralytic state. Although I had read of no similar case in the books on Mesmerism, the reason suggested itself at once — I had felt no real sympathy for the man after hearing about his miserliness, and therefore my vital aura had not vibrated along his nerves, as it had when applied to the nerves of his arm; there had been a momentary healthful stimulus followed by a return to the state of nerve-paralysis. In both cases I had had exactly the same knowledge of the science, and the same measure of vital force to transmit, but in the latter, none of that feeling of sympathy and benevolent intent which, in the case of the arm, resulted in a permanent cure. I am aware that some writers on Psychopathy— among them Younger, whose work [The Magnetic and Botanic Family Physician, London 1887. (E. W. Allen, Pub.)] appeared five years later than my Ceylon experience — have affirmed that "sympathy is the keynote of nearly all the phases of development of the mesmeric state " (Op. cit., p. 28), but I do not recall an instance like the one above cited. The good M. Deleuze, formerly of the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, whose Practical Instructions in Animal Magnetism is a classic, and who describes the proper methods of treatment in various diseases, notes no case like this, although he tells us that "Magnetism is effectual in all kinds of paralysis". He says, however, that the sensitive operator will always recognize a change occurring in himself when he magnetizes." This disposition is composed of a determined intention, which banishes all distraction [meaning mind-wandering, of course, a state absolutely obstructive to the working of cures of disease, as I know by much experience. — O.] without our making any effort, of a lively interest which the patient inspires in us and which draws us towards him, and of a confidence in our power, which leaves us in no doubt as to our success in alleviating him" (Op. cit., p. 203). But he quotes no example to prove the indispensableness of sympathetic benevolence of intent, and I am inclined to think my case almost unique. It is to be observed further, in reading up from the authorities, that although I felt no sympathy for my patient, I nevertheless did restore his leg to functional activity for the time being: I made him walk as well as he ever did. My will and skill were powerful enough for that, but not being moved by the third element, compassion, there was a relapse after the first effect of nerve stimulation had passed off. It seems to me that it also goes to prove that mesmeric healing is not necessarily attributable to the exercise of faith, but rather to the transfusion of vital aura to the patient, and its operation under varying conditions within his system."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 381 - 386]


Rückkehr Olcotts aus Ceylon nach Bombay


Olcott kehrt nach Adyar zurück:

"On 19th December I reached home and was joyously welcomed by our Headquarters group, whom I found in good health. Things in my absence had gone on in their usual way, the circulation of the Theosophist and the volume of our correspondence had increased, and all was peace. But a rude shock awaited me. H. P. B. conveyed to me a most kind message from the Masters about my success in Ceylon, seeming to have completely forgotten the angry threats and even written declaration that the Society would be abandoned by them if I went there, and that neither with them nor with her would I have any further relations. Thenceforward, I did not love or prize her less as a friend and a teacher, but the idea of her infallibility, if I had ever entertained it even approximately, was gone for ever."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 326. -- Hervorhebung im Original]

Das Hauptquartier der Theosophischen Gesellschaft wird nach Adyar, einer Vorstadt von Madras (Chennai) verlegt.

Abb.: Lage von Adyar [©MS Encarta]


Katholische Ausschreitungen gegen eine buddhistische Prozession. Nach Olcotts Darstellung:

"On Easter Day, 1883, a crisis occurred which, under less wise self-restraint in the leaders of the Buddhist community, might have caused serious riots and blood-shed. If the leaders had not been under what we may call the conservative training of membership in the Theosophical Society, which had taught them the benefit of union and patient persistence in the conduct of public movements, the masses might have broken loose and taken that Lynch law redress for their wrongs which they could not get from a vacillating Governor and unsympathetic officials. Briefly, the facts were that on the Easter Day a procession of peaceful, unarmed Buddhist worshippers was passing through the streets of Colombo to Kotahena, a suburb where one of their most revered temples is situate, to make the customary offerings of flowers, fruits, and other things at the shrine, when they were assaulted violently by a large mob. To quote from the Petition laid before the Governor: They were murderously assaulted by a mob of Roman Catholics and other evilly-disposed rioters, who bore painted upon their persons the sign of a cross, who had inflamed their passions by intoxicant drinks, and who were armed with bludgeons, sharp weapons, and other deadly instruments; that in the affray which followed, the lives of women and children were imperilled, great bodily harm was done to a number of Buddhists, five head of cattle drawing their carts were slaughtered in the Queen's highway, and the carts themselves, with their valuable contents, were consumed by fire." It goes on to state that a Buddhist named Juan Naid was murdered, the Police looking on without interfering; that the mob was collected by the ringing of tocsins on the bells of the Catholic churches, and that certain noted persons were seen by the Police painting white crosses on the dark-skinned bodies of the rioters, organising the attack, and giving them liquors. Although these outrages were witnessed by thousands, and the leaders were all well known, no action was taken by the authorities, and it was but too evident that the whole thing was to be ignored. After waiting some days, the leaders of the Buddhist community, taking counsel together, brought a criminal action against certain suspected parties, with such proofs as, without Police help, could be discovered. The Justice of the Peace recommended that twelve of the accused should be committed for trial, but the Acting Queen's Advocate, acting in violation of the "Ordinance (Ord., XI of 1868) and of the settled policy of British justice, the sitting Justice of the Peace was obliged, under instructions of the Acting Queen's Advocate, to assume the functions of the Supreme Court, and, without trial by jury, to decide the validity of the complaint and the value of the testimony offered by the accused. . . . Thus, then, as events proved, the ordinary course of justice was interrupted and the accused were released. . . ." " The result being," says the Petition, " that, notwithstanding we have spent Rs. 5,000 in legal and other expenses to secure justice, the murderers of an unoffending Buddhist are unpunished, no recompense has been given for property destroyed, to the value of some Rs. 4,000, and the whole body of Sinhalese Buddhists . . . are left to face the possibility of similar bloody attacks in future by the various enemies of their religion. . . . So serious has the agitation upon this subject already become, that, but for the remonstrances of counsel, ten thousand Buddhists would have presented this petition in person to your Excellency; and a committee of our influential men have, in despair, taken the preliminary steps to ask of the Home Government and the Commons of England such help as may be practicable to redress their wrongs and give full effect in future to the assurances of religious neutrality in Her Majesty's Asiatic dominions which have, from time to time, in the Royal name been solemnly pledged." Things went from bad to worse. The Buddhists, smarting under a sense of their wrongs, and goaded by the jeers and taunts of the unpunished rioters, Were getting ripe for bloody reprisals. Government had not turned over a finger to right them in more than a year. In short, there was a crisis that menaced the destruction of law and order.

The first thing that occurred to the Buddhist leaders in their time of worst trouble was, as stated in Chapter VI, to telegraph me an urgent request to come over and help them. Accepting, as in duty-bound, I crossed via Tuticorin and reached Colombo on Sunday, 27th January, 1884. I went straight to Sumangala's College and organised a meeting of leading; Buddhists. The next day I got them to form a Buddhist Defence Committee, with old Mr. Goonewardene Mohandiram, as Chairman, Don Carolis, as vice-chairman, H. A. Fernando as Treasurer, and C. P. Goonewardene as Secretary; that is to say, all most respected persons in the community. They elected me an Honorary Member, as the following extract shows:

" At the suggestion of the High Priest, and upon the motion of Mr. Don Garolis, seconded by Mr. H.A. Fernando, and supported by Mr. J. P. Jayatilleker it was unanimously

" Resolved, that Colonel H. S. Olcott, of Madras, be respectfully requested to generally assist the Committee to carry out the objects of its organisation.

" And that provided he consent, he be made an Honorary Member, and asked to proceed to London as the Chief Agent of the Committee, with full power to represent it under any circumstances that may arise, and in its name and that of the Sinhalese Buddhists in general, to ask for such redress and enter into such engagements as may appear to him judicious.""

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  119 - 122]


Sinnett, A. P. (Alfred Percy) <1840-1921>:. Esoteric Buddhism. -- Boston, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1883. -- xx, 215 p. -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-12]

Abb.: A. P. Sinnett

Basiert auf Briefen, die A. P. Sinnett und Allan O. Hume von den Mahatmas Koot Hoomi und Morya via Helena Petrova Blavatsky empfangen haben. Sinnett war Herausgeber des Allahabad Pioneer . Er lud Olcott und HPB während deren Indienaufenthalt ein. Dass der Titel das Wort "Buddhism" enthielt, gefiel HPB später gar nicht, nach ihr hätte es "Budhism" mit einem "d" heißen müssen. Der historische Buddha habe eine exoterische Lehre gehabt, das was die orthodoxen Buddhisten "Buddhismus" nennen im Gegensatz zum Hinduismus, und eine esoterische, die allerdings mit dem Budhismus übereinstimmt.

Abb.: Mahatma Koot Hoomi Abb: Mahatma Morya
Angebliche Bilder der Mahatmas


Dharmapala liest A. P. Sinnett: The Ocult world. - 1881. [Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-12]. Schreibt an die himalayischen Meister via Helena Petrova Blavatsky, um als Schüler zugelassen zu werden.

1883-06-29 bis 1883-07-14

Dritter Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon

"On 27th June I sailed for Colombo, arrived on the third day, and plunged into the business cut out for me, viz., the grievances of the Buddhists in the matter of a riotous attack made on them by the Catholics, without their getting redress from Government. The next fortnight or so was taken up with this affair, and with personal interviews with the Governor of Ceylon, the Colonial Secretary, Inspector-General of Police, Government Agent for the Western Province, the leading Buddhists, the chief priests, and counsel. I drafted petitions, remonstrances, instructions to counsel, appeals to the Home Government and the House of Commons, had many consultations and discussions, presided at Branch meetings, and, generally, was kept busy. All having been got into trim, I crossed over to Tuticorin on 14-15th July, and began a long tour through Southern India, which was full of variety, excitement, and picturesque episodes."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. --  Second series, 1878 - 83. -- 1900. -- S.  298 - 441f.]


Abb.: Brief an Olcott, angeblich von Mahatma  K.H. (Koot Hoomi)

[Bildquelle: Murphet, Howard: Yankee beacon of Buddhist light : life of Col. Henry S. Olcott : formerly published as Hammer on the mountain. -- 1st Quest ed. --- Wheaton, Ill. : Theosophical Pub. House, 1988. -- ISBN 0-8356-0638-4. -- S. 129]

1884-01-21 bis 1884-02-13

Vierter Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon.

Olcott kommt auf Bitte der Colomboer Theosophen nach Ceylon, um rechtliche Schritte gegen Katholiken wegen ihrer Ausschreitungen von 1883 einzuleiten. Er erhält von den ceylonesischen Buddhisten volle Vollmacht als Vertreter in allen Angelegenheiten, die er für nötig befindet, gegenüber dem Colonial Office.

"Reaching Colombo the next morning at dawn, I called a meeting of leading Buddhists, under Sumangala's chairmanship, to consider the situation; and on the following day, at an adjourned meeting at Meligakanda, that useful body, the Buddhist Defence Committee, was formed, with suitable officers and a very simple and common-sense code of Rules. It was then decided that I should go to London as an Honorary Member and special delegate of the Committee. Visits of conference to the Governor, Government Agent, Inspector-General of Police, and other officials, various meetings with the Buddhists, the drafting of several petitions and addresses and other work followed. In view to possibilities, the Chief priests of the two ancient Royal Viharas at Kandy, together with Sumangala, Subhuti, Dhammalankara, and other priests of the Maritime provinces, united in giving me full powers to represent them in the admission of candidates into the ranks of Buddhism, on their "taking Pansil" — the Five Precepts.


"On the 12th day of the waxing moon of January-February in the year A.B. 2427, this letter is written


That the great minded man who is called Colonel Henry Steel Olcott who is a scrupulously faithful follower of Lord Buddha who observes the precepts of Buddha is empowered by the undersigned to accept and register as Buddhists persons of any nation who make to him application to administer to them the Three Refuges and Five Precepts and to organiza societies for the promotion of Buddhism.

In proof whereof the present commission is issued to him by the undersigned Senior Priests (Thero) of the Siam and Amarapura Sects in the Island of Ceylon."

[7 Unterschriften]

[Zitat bei Malalgoda, Kitisiri: Buddhism in Sinhalese society 1750-1900 : a study of religious revival and change. - Berkeley [u.a.] : University of California Press, 1976. - 300 S. - ISBN 0-520-02873-2. -- S. 245]

The primary objects that my European visit was intended to realise were:

  1. To convince Government of the actual disabilities under which the Sinhalese Buddhists suffered in a case of criminal assault, like the recent bloody attack by Roman Catholics on a Buddhist religious procession, the culprits in which riot had escaped punishment.
  2. To induce Government to appoint a Buddhist Registrar of Marriages so that the Buddhists might not be compelled to get married by an official of hostile religious belief.
  3. To get some action taken on the questions of the management of the Temporalities of Buddhist Viharas, whose rights had long been trampled on by their own lay administrators, to the shame of the Colonial officials, who had neglected their duty.
  4. To try and secure an order declaring Wesak — the May Full-Moon day, Buddha's Birthday, and consequently the Buddhist Christmas — a public holiday. While each of the great sects in India enjoyed their own special holidays, the patient, long-suffering Sinhalese had no such act of justice done them.

Before sailing, on February 10th, I took Sumangala to the Government House to see the Governor, and a discussion which I had previously held with His Excellency about the Wesak, was resumed between us three, and Sir Arthur gave us encouragement to count upon his friendly action when the question should be referred back to him in due course from the Colonial Office, where I was to broach it."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  75f.]


Dharmapala wird Mitglied der Buddhist Theosophical Society, obwohl er noch nicht das erforderliche Alter hat.


Olcott und HPB fahren zur Erholung nach Europa. Währenddessen Enthüllungen durch das Ehepaar Emma und Alexis Coulomb. Glasenapp gibt die Affäre so wieder:

"Eine Freundin der Seherin, Frau Coulomb, und deren Gatte sollten in der Zwischenzeit allein Zutritt zu ihrer Wohnung haben und sie beaufsichtigen. Da diese Verfügung von den Mitgliedern des Ausschusses, denen Olcott die Geschäftsführung übertragen hatte, nicht respektiert wurde, kam es zu einem großen Streit, der dazu führte, dass die Coulombs aus der Wohnung hinausgesetzt wurden. Sie rächten sich dadurch, dass sie in dem Madras Chritian College Magazine vom September 1884 ab Briefe von H.P.B. veröffentlichten, in denen sie Anweisungen an die Coulombs gab, wie sie okkulte Phänomene künstlich hervorbringen könnten. Es wurde auch festgestellt, dass der heilige Schrein im okkulten Raum des Hauptgebäudes eine herausnehmbare Wand besaß, durch welche H.P.B. von ihrem Schlafzimmer aus in den Schrank gelegte Briefe an die Mahâtmas entfernen und deren angeblichen Antworten hineinlegen konnte. Diese Enthüllungen erregten natürlich eine große Sensation; die gläubigen Theosophen behaupteten aber, dass dabei unreine Machenschaften der christlichen Missionare im Spiel wären, welche die Coulombs bestochen hätten.

Die Wundertaten der Frau Blavatsky hatten in London schon vorher so großes Interesse erregt, dass die Society for Psychical Research im Mai 1884 einen Ausschuss einsetzte, der die okkulten Phänomene, die sich in der Umgebung von H.P.B. ereigneten, aufhellen sollte. Am 18. Dezember 1884 traf der Beauftragte der Society, Dr. Richard Hodgson in Madras ein und zwei Tage später kehrten auch die »theosophischen Zwillinge« (wie Olcott und H.P.B. genannt wurden) nach Madras zurück. Obwohl die Untersuchungen von Hodgson dadurch erschwert waren, dass der mysteriöse Schrein inzwischen verbrannt worden war, kam Hodgson bei seinen Untersuchungen zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Coulomb-Briefe echt, die meisten Mahâtma-Briefe von H.P.B. geschrieben und jedenfalls ein Teil der wunderbaren Phänomene mit betrügerischen Mitteln zustande gebracht worden seien. Sein Bericht wurde im Dezember 1885 in den Proccedings der Gesellschaft veröffentlicht. [Vollständige Online-Ausgabe des Berichts: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-27]

Der Ausgang der Angelegenheit verleidete H.P.B. den Aufenthalt im Gangesland, obwohl viele ihrer Anhänger die Seherin für das Opfer von Intrigen hielten. Sie verließ daher Indien am 2. April 1885 und kehrte nie wieder dorthin zurück."

[Glasenapp, Helmut von <1891 - 1963>: Das Indienbild deutscher Denker. -- Stuttgart : Koehler, 1960. --  S. 189]

Aus dem Hodgson-Bericht:

"Im November [1884] machte ich mich auf den Weg nach Indien, um die mit der Theosophischen Gesellschaft in Zusammenhang stehenden Phänomene an Ort und Stelle zu untersuchen. Die Coulombs, die jahrelang eine Vertrauensstellung bei der Theosophischen Gesellschaft einnahmen, hatten Madame Blavatsky des Betrugs beschuldigt und diese Klage durch verschiedene Briefe und Dokumente, die angeblich von ihr geschrieben worden waren, erhärtet.

Aus diesen Blavatsky-Coulomb Unterlagen scheint hervorzugehen, dass von Madame Blavatsky Mahatma-Briefe vorbereitet und versandt wurden; dass es sich bei Koot Hoomi um eine fiktive Gestalt handelt; dass es sich bei den angeblichen „Astralformen" der Mahatmas um verkleidete Helfershelfer von Madame Blavatsky — gewöhnlich den Coulombs - handelte; dass angeblich okkulte Phänomene — einige davon in Verbindung mit dem so genannten Schrein in Adyar — geschickte Betrügereien waren, die Madame Blavatsky hauptsächlich mit Unterstützung der Coulombs durchführte.

Wir sind auf weitere anscheinend wichtige Phänomene gestoßen, die nicht unmittelbar durch die Blavatsky-Coulomb Briefe in Verruf kamen. Nehmen wir die „Klopfzeichen", die A. P. Sinnett als wichtiges Testphänomen bezeichnet. Die Klopfzeichen, die auftreten, wenn Madame Blavatsky ihre Hände auf den Kopf einer Person legt, habe ich erlebt, obwohl ich ihre Hände nicht sehen konnte, die sie mir auf den Hinterkopf legte, da sie hinter mir stand. Sie hatte mir nicht gesagt, was sie zu tun beabsichtigte, und ich nahm an, sie wollte mich „mesmerisieren". Die so genannten Schocks, die ich spürte, schrieb ich ungeduldigen Bewegungen ihrerseits zu. Um sie im Hinblick auf „Phänomene" betrachten zu können, wurden sie wiederholt, aber ich konnte Herrn Sinnett nicht zustimmen, der sie mit elektrischen „Stößen" verglich. Es fehlte das scharfe Prickeln. Leider vermag ich meine Fingergelenke nicht zum Krachen zu bringen, wohl aber das Daumengelenk, wenn auch recht grob und plump. Dieses Krachen an meinem Kopf entsprach dem Empfinden, das durch Madame Blavatskys zarte Hände hervorgerufen wurde.

Ich suchte auch die Coulombs auf, die im Haus von Frau Dyer wohnten. Bevor Emma Coulomb erschien, unterhielt ich mich zuerst eine Weile mit Alexis Coulomb. Im Laufe der anschließenden Unterhaltung erwähnte ich im Hinblick auf bestimmte Fälle die Vorahnung, dass es mir an einer zufriedenstellenden Theorie fehlte, um diese erklären zu können. In diesem Augenblick tauchte etwas Weißes auf, berührte mein Haar und fiel zu Boden. Es war ein Brief. Ich hob ihn auf. Er war an mich gerichtet. Herr und Frau Coulomb saßen neben beziehungsweise vor mir. Ich hatte keine Bewegung ihrerseits beobachtet, der man das Auftauchen des Briefes hätte zuschreiben können. Ich stand auf, untersuchte die Zimmerdecke, konnte aber nichts feststellen. Der Inhalt des Briefes bezog sich auf die soeben geführte Unterhaltung und lautete etwa folgendermaßen.

Die Ursache des Heute deutet auf die Auswirkung des Morgen — eine Knospe bürgt für die erblühte Rose. Sieht man ein Kornfeld, in dem sich die Eier der Heuschrecke verbergen, weiß man, dass es niemals Frucht bringen wird; beim Anblick eines schwindsüchtigen Vaters und einer skrofulösen Mutter kann man ein krankes Kind vorhersagen. Alle diese Ursachen, die solche Wirkungen hervorbringen, besitzen ihrerseits ihre eigenen Auswirkungen - bis in die Unendlichkeit. Da in der Natur nichts verloren geht, sondern dem Akasha eingeprägt bleibt, gelangt die feine Wahrnehmung des Sehers, beginnend mit der Quelle, zu dem genauen Ergebnis.
Der neue Adept, Columbus

Monsieur Coulomb beschrieb mir den Ursprung des Briefes. Die Decke wurde von einem großen Balken getragen, auf dem rechtwinklig angeordnet kleinere Balken ruhten. Die Zwischenräume füllten mit Mörtel befestigte Holzblöcke. An einer Stelle hatte man den Mörtel ein wenig ausgekratzt, um einen flachen Brief auf den Hauptbalken schieben zu können. Ein Faden, der die gleiche Farbe wie die Zimmerdecke besaß, wurde zweifach um den Brief gewunden, von dem das eine Ende lose auf dem Brief und das andere in der Hand einer Person lag, die sich außerhalb befand. Der Faden lief von dem Brief die Decke entlang nach draußen und hing dort hinunter. Ich saß unter dem Hauptbalken. Das Thema der Unterhaltung wurde auf besagten Punkt gebracht, und der Verbündete auf der Veranda zog auf ein verabredetes Zeichen hin (ein Ruf an den Hund) an dem Faden, und der Brief fiel herunter. Der Faden wurde vollkommen fortgezogen, und der Spalt füllte sich innerhalb weniger Augenblicke mit Staub, so dass er keine sichtbaren Spuren hinterließ.

Die Decke von Madame Blavatskys Wohnraum war genauso gebaut und konnte daher für ähnliche Phänomene verwendet werden.
Ich zweifelte [auch] nicht daran, dass die [Astral] erscheinungen [der Mahatmas] durchaus von dem verkleideten Coulomb durchführbar gewesen waren. Ich habe ihn in der Verkleidung eines Mahatmas gesehen und kann verstehen, dass die Gestalt sehr beeindruckend wirken musste. Die verkleidete Person trägt einen Puppenkopf (mit Schultern), wie der eines Hindu mit Bart und Fehta [Turban]. Vorne fällt ein langes, fließendes Musselingewand herab, und wenn der Träger die Falten leicht auseinander hält, vermag er zu sehen und gegebenenfalls auch zu sprechen. Es scheint höchst unwahrscheinlich zu sein, dass einer der Augenzeugen diese Verkleidung hätte durchschauen können, selbst wenn die Gestalt näher und die Beleuchtung heller gewesen wäre.

Meiner Ansicht nach besitzt Oberst Olcotts Zeugenaussage keinen wissenschaftlichen Wert. Insbesondere seine Aussage bezüglich der angeblich „astralen" Erscheinung [des Mahatma Morya] in New York beweist nicht mehr, als dass er irgendeine Person, vielleicht einen Hindu, in seinem Zimmer gesehen hatte, die sich zu diesem Zweck als Mahatma verkleidete und für Madame Blavatsky arbeitete. Das Gleiche kann über alle Erscheinungen von Mahatmas gesagt werden.

Es erübrigt sich, hier mehr über die anderen angeblichen Erscheinungen von Mahatmas, sei es in ihren irdischen oder ihren „astralen" Körpern, zu berichten. Ein verkleideter Verbündeter ist im Allgemeinen die einfache und ausreichende Erklärung. Sie lässt sich sogar auf den Fall von Ramaswamier anwenden, dessen Erlebnisbericht Herrn Sinnett tief beeindruckte.

Unweigerlich taucht hier die Frage auf, was Madame Blavatsky dazu bewogen hat, sich der Mühe eines solchen Schwindels zu unterziehen. Ich muss gestehen, dass mich die Frage nach ihren Beweggründen ein wenig verwirrte, nachdem ich mich zu der Schlussfolgerung gezwungen sah, dass es sich bei ihren Behauptungen und Phänomenen um Betrug handelte.

Schließlich öffnete mir eine zufällige Unterhaltung die Augen. Ich hatte die Überlegung als wertlos abgetan, dass die Absichten der Theosophischen Gesellschaft politischer Natur wären und Madame Blavatsky eine „russische Spionin" sei. Aber ein unerwartetes Gespräch mit Madame Blavatsky, das sich aus ihrer plötzlichen und seltsamen Erregung über die Nachrichten von den unlängst erfolgten Bewegungen der Russen an der afghanischen Grenze ergab, verleitete mich dazu, mir ernsthaft die Frage zu stellen, ob sie es sich möglicherweise zur Aufgabe gemacht hatte, eine Abneigung gegen die Britische Regierung unter den Indern zu schüren.

Meiner persönlichen Erfahrung mit Madame Blavatsky zufolge zweifele ich kaum daran, dass sie im Grunde genommen ausschließlich die Förderung der russischen Interessen im Sinn hatte. Dennoch möchte ich diesen Punkt nur als Mutmaßung ansprechen, welcher mir aber die bekannten Ereignisse ihrer Laufbahn in den letzten dreizehn, vierzehn Jahren am besten zu erklären scheint.

Es gibt wohl kaum jemanden, der es in Frage stellt, dass es sich bei ihr um eine Frau mit bemerkenswerten Fähigkeiten handelt. Trotz der kürzlichen Enthüllungen wird sie mit Sicherheit genügend Schüler behalten, denen sie die Ethik des Gehorsams gegenüber den imaginären Mahatmas weiterhin
einschärfen kann. Sie verfügt über unzählige Hilfsmittel. So wird sie wohl auch in Zukunft die Leichtgläubigkeit der Menschen mit Hilfe von gefälschten Briefen, Falschaussagen von Chelas und anderem betrügerischen Beweismaterial fördern. In Einklang mit den Prinzipien, nach denen unsere Gesellschaft [Society for Psychical Research] vorgeht, kann ich nur sagen, dass es unter den Pseudo-Mysterien der russischen Lady, alias Koot Hoomi Lal Sing, alias Mahatma Morya, alias Madame Blavatsky, kein echtes Phänomen gibt."

[Zitiert in: Die geheimnisvolle Welt der Helena Petrovna Blavatsky : [Abenteuer, Begegnungen und Erlebnisse aufgezeichnet von Augenzeugen]  / zusammengestellt von Daniel Caldwell. -- Grafing : Edition Adyar, ©2003. -- 408 S. : Ill. -- ISBN 3-89427-235-X. -- Originaltitel: The esoteric world of Madame Blavatsky (1991). -- S. 267 -271]

Eine Darstellung der Coulomb-Affäre aus HPB-gläubiger Sicht bei: Cranston, Sylvia: HPB : Leben und Werk der Helena Blavatsky, Begründerin der modernen Theosophie. - Satteldorf : Adyar, 1995. - 702 S. : Ill. - ISBN 3-927837-53-9. - Originaltitel: HPB, The extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky (1993). -- S. 323-338.


Olcott überreicht in London dem Secretary for the Colonies eine Petition zugunsten der Singhalesen. Erfolg: Verpflichtung zur christlichen Eheschließung wird abgeschafft, Wesak wird offizieller Feiertag.


Olcott besucht Edwin Arnold (1832 - 1904), den Verfasser von The light of Asia (1879). Dieser schenkt ihm einige Seiten des Originalmanuskripts dieses Werkes.


Abb.: Moncure Daniel Conway
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-26]

Der unitarische Geistliche Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 - 1907) schreibt in einem Aufsatz The Theosophists im Religio-Philosophical Journal. -- Chicago:


At the recent Theosophist anniversary in Madras, Colonel Olcott stated that he had cured over 5,000 people, but had been directed by his guru (his occult master in occultism) to cease, because of the drain upon his strength and health. A more remarkable statement in his address was that he saw before him a gentleman, Mr. Ghose, to whose eyes, which had been blind from childhood, he had given sight. Mr. Ghose was in the audience and did not contradict this statement. Glamor must have operated pretty largely on Mr. Ghose's eye. Nobody has challenged or investigated the matter, apparently, though the missionaries are denouncing the Theosophists. Certain sympathizers with Theosophy in both Ceylon and India have expressed to me grave doubts of "occultism" and their regret that the movement should be committed to anything beyond an ethical and religious propaganda. Undoubtedly this American has shown the vast possibilities of a new non-Christian agitation that should strike the Indian heart and imagination. These Hindu scholars have always been aware that they have a great history and religious literature. After all the generations in which missionaries sent here have ignored that literature, despised their philosophy, counted their religion mere idolatry and them as idolaters on their way to hell - there has risen a new race of scholars like Max Muller, who have shown the high value and profound religious idealism of their systems.


While this revival of Orientalism has gone on in the universities of Europe, the missionaries have not been influenced by it, but have gone on with the same old denunciations of Hindu and Buddhist ideas and beliefs. But now there have appeared a few people of position (a "Countess" and a "Colonel") from the centers of Christendom, who formally give in their adhesion to an Oriental religion. They solemnly repudiate every form of Christianity and fix their abode in India, to lead in the work of resisting the missionaries and reviving the faith of Buddha and Krishna. In two or three years they have moved and attracted these Oriental people more than the missionaries have done in as many centuries. They have now seventy-seven flourishing theosophical societies. They are daily repeating from the unsettled Hindu mind a harvest where the missionaries merely trampled down the grain, because it was not such as made their own bread. Consider well the following fact:  I have just met an educated gentleman who has arrived here from the United States - Dr. Hartmann. When I was in Colombo, the Chief Priest of Ceylon told me that he had received from Colonel Olcott a request for "permission" to administer the pansala ceremony to Dr. Hartmann, and had granted it. Pansala (panchasala) means the five precepts of Buddhism, and their administration to any individual means his or her initiation into the higher grade of Buddhism. This is the ceremony that has just been performed in Madras by Colonel Olcott. In a circle of learned and devout Oriental people stood these two Americans. The one repeated, the other responded to a solemn formula older than Christianity:

I take refuge in Buddha!
I take refuge in religion!
I take refuge in truth!


Before the assembly Dr. Hartmann pledged his honor to observe the five precepts - to abstain from theft, to abstain from lying, to abstain from taking life, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, to abstain from adultery. The scene of two men advanced in years coming from Christendom to take refuge with Buddha is unique even in the anomalous history of religion. It has touched the Hindu imagination and heart. In Ceylon Theosophy has given a distinct check to the missionary successes reported in recent years. "

[First published in The Glasgow Herald, April 11, 1884; reprinted in The Religio-Philosophical Journal (Chicago, Illinois), May 10, 1884, p. 1]

[Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-27]

"In Ceylon und Indien haben bestimmte Anhänger der Theosophie mir gegenüber ihre starken Zweifel am „Okkultismus" und ihr Bedauern zum Ausdruck gebracht, dass die Bewegung über einen ethischen und religiösen Einsatz hinausgehen sollte. Dieser Amerikaner hat mit Sicherheit die umfangreichen Möglichkeiten einer neuen, nicht-christlichen Bewegung aufgezeigt, die das indische Herz und die indische Vorstellungskraft anregen. Diese Hindu-Gelehrten sind sich immer ihrer großartigen Geschichte und religiösen Literatur bewusst gewesen. Nach all den Generationen, in denen die in ihr Land gesandten Missionare ihre Literatur missachtet, ihre Philosophie verachtet und ihre Religion als Götzendienst und sie selbst als Götzendiener auf dem Weg zur Hölle betrachtet haben, hat sich eine neue Rasse von Gelehrten, wie Max Müller, erhoben, die den hohen Wert und den tiefen religiösen Idealismus ihrer Denkweise darlegten.

Von der Neubelebung der Orientalistik an den europäischen Universitäten blieben die Missionare unbeeinflusst und fuhren fort, die Ideale und Glaubensüberzeugungen der Hindus und Buddhisten zu brandmarken. Nun aber sind einige Leute von gesellschaftlichem Rang (eine „Gräfin" und ein „Oberst") aus der Mitte des Christentums hervorgetreten, die sich offiziell zu einer orientalischen Religion bekennen. Sie lehnen jede Form von Christentum feierlich ab und leben in Indien, um eine Arbeit zu leiten, die sich den Missionaren widersetzt und den Glauben an Buddha und Krishna neu belebt. In zwei oder drei Jahren haben sie diese orientalischen Menschen stärker bewegt und angezogen als dies die Missionare in ebenso vielen Jahrhunderten schafften. Es gibt inzwischen siebenundsiebzig blühende Zentren der Theosophischen Gesellschaft. Aus dem Gedankengut der Hindus bringen sie tagtäglich eine Ernte ein, die von den Missionaren nur niedergetrampelt wurde, da sie daraus nicht ihr eigenes Brot backen konnten.

Die Arbeit hat die Vorstellungskraft und das Herz der Hindus berührt. In Ceylon hat die Theosophie den in den letzten Jahren verkündeten missionarischen Erfolgen eindeutig Einhalt geboten. Herr Sinnett und andere englische Theosophen haben über die „Opfer" von Oberst Olcott und Mme. Blavatsky berichtet, da sie ihr Land verlassen haben (Mme. Blavatsky ist amerikanische Staatsbürgerin), um sich dieser Art von Arbeit zu widmen. Es ist schwierig, dem zuzustimmen, denn das Leben der Neuerer gestaltet sich angenehm. Die Theosophen gewähren ihnen hier in Adyar die Benutzung eines ansehnlichen, in einem Park gelegenen Hauses und einer riesigen Anbaufläche."

[Zitiert in: Die geheimnisvolle Welt der Helena Petrovna Blavatsky : [Abenteuer, Begegnungen und Erlebnisse aufgezeichnet von Augenzeugen]  / zusammengestellt von Daniel Caldwell. -- Grafing : Edition Adyar, ©2003. -- 408 S. : Ill. -- ISBN 3-89427-235-X. -- Originaltitel: The esoteric world of Madame Blavatsky (1991). -- S. 226f.]


"Moncure Daniel Conway (March 17, 1832 - November 5, 1907), was an American clergyman and author.

He was born of an old Virginia family in Stafford County, Virginia. He graduated at Dickinson College in 1849, studied law for a year, and then became a Methodist minister in his native state. In 1852, thanks largely to the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson, his religious and political views underwent a radical change, and he entered the Harvard University school of divinity, where he graduated in 1854. Here he fell under the influence of "transcendentalism," and became an outspoken abolitionist.

On his return to Virginia, this fact and his rumoured connection with the attempt to rescue the fugitive slave, Anthony Burns, in Boston, Massachusetts, aroused the bitter hostility of his old neighbours and friends, and in consequence he left the state. In 1854-1856 he was pastor of a Unitarian church in Washington, D.C., but his anti-slavery views brought about his dismissal. From 1856 to 1861 he was a Unitarian minister in Cincinnati, Ohio, where, also, he edited a short-lived liberal periodical called The Dial.

Subsequently he became editor of the Commonwealth in Boston, and wrote The Rejected Stone (1861) and The Golden Hour (1862), both powerful pleas for emancipation. In 1862-1863, during the American Civil War, he lectured in England in behalf of the North. From 1863 to 1884 he was the minister of the South Place chapel, Finsbury, London. and during this time wrote frequently for the London press. In 1884 he returned to the United States to devote himself to literary work."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-26]

1884-07-23 bis 1884-10-03

Olcott auf Deutschlandtournee: Elberfeld, Dresden, Bayreuth, München, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Kreuznach

1884-12-01- bis 1884-12-21

Fünfter Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon


Der anglikanische Geistliche Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934) nimmt in Ceylon die Dreifache Zuflucht und bekennt sich somit als Buddhist:

"Adoption of Buddhism by a Christian Minister.

by  A. Perera

Sir, --- An interesting ceremony took place at Robinson Street, Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, Ceylon, on the 17th instant, consisting in the public acceptance of Buddhism by a Christian Minister of the Established Church of England.  The Reverend Charles Webster Leadbeater, a clergyman from Hampshire, England, and curate of a church in which he but recently expounded the doctrines of Christianity, thereby formally severed his connection with the sect to which he belonged, and promised to dedicate his services to the promulgation of the truths of that high philosophy which, although expressed in various allegorical shapes in all religious systems, are so plainly and unequivocally laid down in the teachings of Gautama Buddha.  It was a sight heretofore seldom seen: a Christian minister sitting at the feet of the yellow-robed priests of the followers of Buddha, and solemnly repeating, after them: “I take my refuge in Buddha!  I take my refuge in the Law.  I take my refuge in the order!”  The Pansil ceremony was administered by the High Priest, the Rev. H. Sumangala, Principal of the Vidyodaya College at Colombo, who was assisted by the Rev. T. Amaramoli, a Buddhist priest, and a learned and eloquent speaker, both of whom recited the pirit (blessings) used on such occasions.  Among those present were Colonel Olcott, Madame Blavatsky, Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, Dr. F. Hartmann, and a number of passengers from the s.s. Navarine, by which Mr. Leadbeater had arrived.  There were also present many of the prominent native citizens of Ceylon.  On being requested by the High Priest to state his reasons why he desired to become a follower of Lord Buddha, Mr. Leadbeater stated that it was his desire to arrive at the truth, and that he had found the truth expressed in a purer form in Buddhism than in any other system with which he was acquainted.  He further stated, that while the Christian doctrines were all based upon hearsay evidence, and upon doubtful authority, and required him to believe many unreasonable things, the teaching of Gautama Buddha, which stands forth most prominently, is that we should believe nothing which our reason cannot accept as true; because faith, to be lasting, must be based upon sound reason, and common sense.

 Colombo, 18th Dec.   

A. Perera. "

[The Madras Mail, December 24, 1884, p. 5. -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-27]

Abb.: C. W. Leadbeater

"While the party were in Colombo, en route for Madras, an interesting episode occurred. The Rev, Mr. Leadbeater, with H.P.B. and myself acting as sponsors, " took Pansil" from the High Priest Sumangala and Rev. Amaramoli, in the presence of a crowded audience. This was the first instance of a Christian clergyman having publicly declared himself a follower of the Lord Buddha, and the sensation caused by it may be easily imagined."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  205]

"Biographical Notes

Compiled by Maurice H. Warnon (unfinished)

 ... Charles Webster Leadbeater was born on the 17th of February 1847. During his childhood, he and his younger brother travelled to Brazil, where their father supervised the construction of a railroad. His father, during his stay, contracted a tropical disease and the boy died just before the family returned to England, and his brother died accidentally.

Leadbeater's Ministry in the Church of England.

Charles W. Leadbeater's father died while his only surviving son was a teenager. The family was well-to-do, but a few years later, they lost all in the collapse of a great bank. This necessitated the young man going to work as early as possible. For a while he was a clerk in the well-known bank of William Deacons & Co., but the work was naturally cramping and uncongenial.

Leadbeater was then very "High Church" in his ecclesiastic leanings, and was closely associated with the work of the Church of All Saints, Margaret Street, London. As his uncle had much influence in ecclesiastical circles, it seemed logical that the nephew should enter the Church. The Rev. W.W. Capes was Leadbeater's uncle and the Rector of the parish of Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire. He was also an Oxford "don", being the Reader in Ancient History in the University, fellow and tutor of Queen's College and of Hertford College, Junior Proctor, Select Preacher and Public Examiner. After the usual studies, the young Charles was admitted as Deacon by Bishop Harold Browne of Winchester on December 22, 1878, and ordained to the Priesthood on December 21, 1879, at the Parish Church of St. Andrew, Farnham, Surrey by Harold Browne, Bishop of Winchester.

In the 1870's Charles Leadbeater was a teacher at the school attached to Trinity Church in Tottenham, North London. He also officiated as Superintendent. He lived with his mother and is remembered as a bright and cheerful and kindhearted man. A testimony of his work is provided by one of his students, Mr. A.W. Throughton, sixty years later

When admitted as Deacon, the Rev. Charles Leadbeater was authorized to act as a curate in a parish in Hampshire called Bramshott, and lived with his mother at a cottage called "Hartford", about a quarter of a mile from the small village of Liphook. The Rector of the parish was the Rev. W.W. Capes of course; his wife was Charles' aunt. The other curate of the parish was Mr. Kidston who was married and lived further along the same road. There was also an old lay reader in the parish. When he died another curate named Mr. Cartwright came and shared the cottage with Leadbeater, now living alone after his mother's death. During term time, the Rector was often away at Oxford on his University work, and the routine work of the large parish fell largely upon the two, later three, curates.

The young Leadbeater was a very active minister. He opened several local branches of clubs and societies associated with the Church of England: first a local "study" clubs for boys, later the "Union Jack Field Club", then the "Church Society", and finally "The Juvenile Branch of the Church of England temperance Society" in March 1884. Astronomy was a favorite hobby of Leadbeater at the time, and owned a 12" reflector telescope. During an eclipse of the moon, he saw a shadow that was noticeable before the eclipse fairly started, and wrote some paper as to this, and it was found to be, in all probability, the shadow cast by the Andes.

At one point of time, Charles Leadbeater used to go to a good few spiritualistic séances in London and met William Eglinton, a famous spiritualistic medium and reported some of his experiences with this medium . He also organized meetings in his own cottage. It is through Spiritualism and psychic phenomena that Leadbeater came to discover Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society after reading the book "The Occult World" of A.P. Sinnett. He joined the Theosophical Society on November 21, 1883 at the same time as Prof. William Crookes, an eminent scientist, and his wife..

On November 3rd., 1884, Leadbeater invited the members of his parish to his cottage and treated them with a fireworks display, with tea and with cake. After the fireworks were over, he gave all his belongings (and his beloved cat "Peter") to three boys of the village. He took the early train in the morning of the 4th of November to London, and left everyone (the boys excepted) in ignorance. This event, and a few others were reported by one of the three boys named James (Jim) W. Manley , who became a sailor, and later a planter in Papua. He died in 1939. One of the last 'arrangements' Leadbeater made before leaving was to make certain payments on behalf of young Jim Manley, so that he could be entered as a cadet in the Mercantile Marine in one of the principal lines, for the boy's parents were not well off, and were unable to help their younger son to realize his dreams of becoming a sailor.

Leadbeater left London the same evening for Marseille and reached it at 6 the next morning, and went on board of a French steamer for Alexandria. He embarked for a new life on a British steamer for Madras, in Port Said, in the company of Madame Blavatsky, after a journey by train, via Cairo.

To many, the unexpected departure of Charles Leadbeater from Bramshott, abandoning his congregation and his career, may look like desertion. However, his attitude is in concordance with what Leadbeater deeply believed in at the time. He had tried on March 3, 1884 to establish a form of communication with the Masters, as they were described by H.P. Blavatsky. He tried to use the "spirit guide" of Mr. Eglinton to dispatch a letter by an elaborate procedure , but no reply came for months. When he came to say goodbye to Madame Blavatsky just before he departure on October 30th and stayed the night with Mr. and Mrs., A.P. Sinnett, she informed him that his letter of March 3rd has been seen by the Master. On the morning of October 31st, Leadbeater returned to Bramshott by the 11.35 train from Waterloo Station in London, he found out that the reply from the Master has arrived to his home, and it is the content of that letter that made him decide to put an end to his career in England
When he arrived in Adyar, the headquarters of the Theosophical Society, he offered himself for work. He was appointed as Recording Secretary and Editor of the Theosophist, the magazine founded by Mrs. Blavatsky. During 1885, Leadbeater was practically alone in Adyar. But it is during that time that he was invited to follow a special training program that led him to the development of clairvoyance. His first efforts were, according to some of his friends, not very successful, and the help of another teacher an Indian Master (D.K. according to some oral tradition), was needed to complete the special exercises he had to follow. These exercises allowed him to conduct his later occult research and acquire the rare faculty to bring back into his physical brain, with great accuracy, the observations he made on the higher planes of consciousness. In 1886, he travelled with Mrs. Blavatsky to Ceylon and met Colonel. Olcott, who was then working for the preservation of Buddhism. Leadbeater was assigned as Olcott's assistant and settled in the island.

Leadbeater's work for Buddhism.

Leadbeater was offered to join Buddhism by Olcott. He accepted under the condition that he wouldn't have to abjure the Church of England he had been baptized in. After receiving such confirmation, Leadbeater became a Buddhist and took the Pansil, which included the Tisarana (the three guides: the Buddha, the Law, and the Order), and the Pancha Sila or five precepts (1. to refrain from destruction of life, refrain from taking what is not one's own, 3. to refrain from unlawful sexual intercourse, 4. to refrain from falsehood, 5. to refrain from intoxicating liquors and drugs.)

In June 1886, C.W.L. lives in Colombo, Ceylon, 61 Maliban Street, at the headquarters of the 'Buddhist Theosophical Society'. That Society was never 'Theosophical', but Buddhist first and last. Leadbeater had, on the first floor, at the end of the building abutting on a street, one small room to serve as a writing, dining and living room; the tiny bedroom was partitioned of from the verandah by a canvas screen. He certainly had a bathroom to himself, to which he had to descend to the ground floor; but next to it was, not a water-closet, for it had no water, nor even the Indian arrangement with a daily 'sweeper', but a horrible cesspool, cleaned once a year. There was a very noisy printing press on the ground floor, and a meeting hall for the weekly preaching that kept him awake from nine at night to midnight.

The Buddhist Society made him a small allowance, and provided a servant; but how small that 'subsistence allowance' was can be gauged from the fact that he lived mostly on porridge, bread and bananas, and a little something that passed for milk. Tea and coffee were expensive luxuries and Mrs. Sinnett used to periodically send him socks and handkerchiefs.

Leadbeater had to travel constantly into the villages, usually at night by bullock cart, for the day was taken up with organizing schools, and getting subscriptions and collections. The first year, he travelled with Colonel Olcott, but later alone. In spite of the hardship, he 'stuck to his job'. Next after Olcott, he was the one who helped to build up the Buddhist Educational Movement in Ceylon, though the Buddhists seem hardly aware of that fact, even today . Leadbeater founded an English school in Colombo that later became the "Amanda College". He also wrote a "Little Buddhist Catechism" in Singaleese, which was inspired by the "Buddhist Catechism" by Colonel. Olcott.

It is during his stay in Ceylon that Leadbeater met a young man named C. Jinarajadasa, he believed to be the reincarnation of his younger brother. Leadbeater was still in Colombo in November 1888, and the circumstances of his return to England are still to be unearthed.

Leadbeater's work for the Theosophical Society in England.

In 1889, C.W. Leadbeater was back to England, with Jinarajadasa. By then his uncle has passed away. The other members of his family didn't stay in close contact with him. He was without resources, and had several jobs. At one point of time, he became the private tutor of the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett he had met in India. He worked as a teacher and a journalist. He was helped on his household by C. Jinarajadasa he had broad with him and with whom he was sharing his modest abode. In spite of his condition close to poverty, he managed to pay for his entire education, which lasted 11 years. Jinarajadasa described this period of Leadbeater's life in his later works . He also paid for the education of a young Englishman named George Arundale, both became later Presidents of the Theosophical Society.

Annie Besant, the Socialist activist joined the Theosophical Society in London about the time C.W. Leadbeater returned to England. It is also the period when Leadbeater began to experiment extensively with clairvoyant research, Annie Besant joined in later on. He also lectured, wrote books on a wide variety of topics, but somewhere related to his clairvoyant experiments. He gradually extended his lecturing tours outside Europe and, with Mrs. Besant, he became one of the most known speakers in the Theosophical Society for quite a number of years.

Around 1900, Leadbeater had acquire an impressive reputation in the Theosophical Society as a writer, a lecturer, a clairvoyant, and a teacher. Many members sent their children to him to be trained by him according to the tenets of spirituality and occultism. Some came for short periods of time, others stayed for several years, as did the son of A.P. Sinnett. From 1900 and 1904, CWL made two long lecture tours in the United States and in Canada. and in 1905 in Australia. He sometimes took some students with him when travelling. This habit is probably at the origin of what is to be known later, by the members of the Theosophical Society, as the "Leadbeater Scandal"

That Society was unexpectedly taken by storm in 1906, when Leadbeater was accused to have given advice to a group of young men, in the United States, what regards masturbation. That advice is the one that European doctors and members of the Clergy of that time would give to boys having sexual problems, but in the United States, the general opinion was that masturbation led to mental illness. Strange enough, although condemned as dangerous and immoral, prostitution with all its risks and the degradation of women was there generally well accepted.

The executive committee of the Theosophical Society in America, under the leadership of Olcott, ordered the British Section to brand Leadbeater as an homosexual and pedophile. The complaints of a boy from San Francisco (1901) and another from Chicago (1904) about recommendations to practice masturbation were presented as evidence, and an undated, unsigned coded letter, allegedly found in Toronto, in an apartment where Leadbeater had lived for a few days. The Board of the British Section had to act, and the accused was requested to present his defense on May 16, 1906 at the Grosvernor Hotel, in London. Prior to the meeting, CWL gave his resignation to Colonel Olcott "to avoid any bad publicity". Olcott, victim of the opinions of his time and culture, had requested CWL to be expelled from the Society, but under the pressure of the members of the British Council, he finally did accept the resignation. The Theosophical Society was divided about the "scandal", especially in England where Sinnett and Mead organized a "Committee of Protest". The single person to keep his cool, and to refrain from any criticism was Leadbeater himself, and he never attempted to say anything for his defense. A month later, he explained his position in a letter to his friend, Annie Besant.

Mrs. Besant broke her relations with him, and she publicly accused him to save her nomination as the President of the Theosophical Society, after the death of Olcott. Leadbeater had lost the support of a co-worker on the physical plane, and he tried to calm her doubts about the validity of their common occult research. Although they didn't had frequent contacts, she managed to regain confidence in him after her election, and she managed to write in February 1907: "I cannot say to you how relieved I am that the veil has finally be removed, and that the idea of fantasy has been removed from your mind".

After his resignation, Leadbeater stayed mainly in continental Europe and in the Isle of Jersey, avoiding England and Adyar. He resumed his clairvoyant explorations, especially on the nature and structure of matter, and he continued to teach. He had the benefit of the friendship and even financial support of many supporters and defenders he had kept in the Society. He was still asked to be responsible for the education of many children, and all testified of the absolute purity of his life. A short time before his death, Olcott realized that he had been unfair towards Leadbeater and sent him a letter of apology .

Olcott died in Adyar in February 1907. Mrs. Besant was his natural successor, however she had to lead a violent fight to secure the Presidency, because of members of the American Theosophical Society were extremely aggressive. She had to use all her political ability, and she was finally elected with a substantial majority in June 1907. The friends of Leadbeater started an fiery campaign for his reintegration into the Theosophical Society. By the end of 1908, the Presidents of the International Sections of the Theosophical Society, considering that Leadbeater had been ill treated by Adyar and Mrs. Besant in particular, voted his readmission. Mrs. Besant was forced to apologize, but her letter was badly received in England. But her installation as the President of the Society opened a profound crisis, and about one third of the members resigned, including most of the promoters of the so-called "scandal". As she needed the votes of the other Sections, Annie Besant, facing a shortage of manpower , invited Leadbeater back to the Headquarters . He accepted and arrived in Adyar on February 10, 1909. He resumed his work for the Society. However the deep friendship he had before 1906 for Mrs. Besant was never fully restored. The reintegration of Leadbeater was used as an excuse for the creation of a dissident theosophical movement in England. The " Protest Committee " under the leadership of Mead and Sinnett (defeated in the elections for the Presidency), both hoping that England would take the control of the Society. The "THE QUEST SOCIETY.", didn't live for long. The head of the Theosophical Society became firmly established in India, and in Adyar in particular.

Leadbeater in Adyar.

 Leadbeater lived then in a cottage called the octagon bungalow, where he had lived after his arrival with Madame Blavatsky in 1884, consisting of two rooms and a veranda. This structure is now part of the original buildings and still exists today at the East side of the headquarters building. CWL lived in one room and in the veranda, while a young Dutchman, Johann van Manen, took the other room and accepted to serve as his secretary. He also secured the help of a young Englishman, Ernest Wood, who knew stenography, and lived in another building called "The Rectangle". Ernest Wood's roommate was a young Indian called Indian called Subrahmaniam Aiyar, who the close friend of Mr. Narianiah, the father of Krishnamurti (alias Krishna) and of Nitya. Ernest helped the two kids with their homework. Wood and van Manen liked to swim with friends, including Subrahmaniam, every evening for an hour or so. Krishna and Natya, with other children living outside the estate, came often to play with them. One evening in April 1909, Leadbeater went swimming with the group and told Ernest, on his way back to the Octagon, that he had seen a child on the beach, with an extraordinary aura, because it had not the slightest trace of selfishness. Ernest was quite surprised to hear that the child was Krishna, because the boy was particularly slow to understand his school lessons.

The physical appearance of the boy was certainly not what attracted Leadbeater's attention. Undernourished, dirty, covered with lice, the ribs visible through the skin, the child was coughing constantly. His teeth were broken, and he carried his hair as do the Brahmins of South India: the front of the head shaved, and the rest, never cut, never washed, braided and falling on the back down to the knees. His look was a gaze, and the people who knew him at that time claimed that they couldn't see much difference with his brother Sadanand, who was mentally retarded. Furthermore, according to the testimony of Ernest Wood, Krishna was extremely weak physically, and his father often said that he would soon be dead.

In June of the same year, a young Englishman arrived in Adyar. His name was Richard Balfour (Dick) Clarke. He was an engineer and was hoping to find work in the Theosophical Society. He rapidly joined Leadbeater's group and heard of CWL's comment about Krishna's (and in a lesser measure of his brother Natya's) aura. The young man began to spread the idea to have the family moved to Adyar, and he volunteered to take care of the children.

On the day of Dick's arrival, the residents were celebrating Nitya's Upanyaman that had been postponed due to his mother's illness. Leadbeater observed Krishna during the ceremony and asked Narianiah to bring his remarkable son to his room, on a day that he didn't had to go to school. Narianiah came and Leadbeater asked the child to sit close to him, and laying hands of his head, began a clairvoyant investigation; Ernest Wood writing all in steno. The child was greatly impressed, and reported his experience in his Memoirs . When they met, Krishnamurti didn't speak a word of English, and that made communicating very difficult. The boy was attending school where lessons were given in English and Tamil. He looked so stupid that his teacher often sent him out of the class and completely forgot about him. Many times, his young brother would come and took him home by the hand, so that he wouldn't spend the night outside. He was beaten daily because he hadn't learned his lessons.

Leadbeater didn't announce Krishnamurti's discovery to Annie Besant before September 2nd,, when he expressed to her his consternation about the living conditions of his family. He asked that all be moved into an empty house on Adyar's property, after repairs. Leadbeater added that Narianiah's children would not create problems because "they are very calm and well behaved". The family moved to Adyar in a clean, restored, freshly painted house. By mid-october, after the child had suffered a particularly cruel beating, Leadbeater managed to convince the reluctant father to stop sending his son to the local school, and to trust his education to the Adyar residents . Leadbeater then consecrated much of his time to the boy's education, English style: swimming, tennis, study of languages and European history. By doing this, he often hurt the Brahminic convictions of Narianiah. Annie Besant, on the other hand, being more diplomatic, always respected such convictions. On the long run, the relations between Leadbeater and Narianiah seriously deteriorated.

There was never a warm, natural relationship between Krishnamurti and Leadbeater. Both were influenced by very different cultures, and had incompatible characters. They achieved some kind of modus vivendi , although the pupil remained deeply grateful to his mentor. Mrs Besant and Mrs Russak very soon took care of Krishna, and Leadbeater lost gradually interest about the two brothers, except for their occult and spiritual training.

The Order of the Star of the East was not founded by Leadbeater, on January 11, 1911, but by George Arundale. The purpose of that Order was to organize the support that many members of the Theosophical Society were ready to give to Krishnamurti, as they were seeing in him the reincarnation of a "great instructor". George took a leave of absence for several month from his job at the Hindu College to help in the educational transition of Krishnamurti. As from that date, Mrs. Besant has been in charge of Krishnamurti's education. She leaves India for England with the two brothers and Arundale from Bombay on April 22nd, 1911, and will only return on the following 7 October.

The purpose of Annie Besant the following year was to take the two boys with her in England for complete their education, English style... She managed to get a written agreement from their father on January 19th, 1912 saying that he had no objection to their departure. She sent Leadbeater early to prepare for the boys's arrival in England. However, she was not really convinced that their father would let the boys go, so she left unexpectedly from Adyar while he was away for a week, and sailed for England on February 3rd. She also waited until February 7th before writing to Narianiah, ordering him to leave the estate and that she would keep his sons in England until after their graduation from college.

Leadbeater had made arrangements for Annie Besant, George Arundale, Jinarajadasa, Clarke and the two boys to stay in Taormina, Sicily, in a place that he considered to have "the right kind of atmosphere". All arrived on March 27, 1912 for a stay of several months. They all left for England end July, Leadbeater excepted as he went to Genoa to visit his old friends William and Maria Louisa Kirby. He never returned in England, and his detractors claimed that he didn't to avoid prosecution. This is of course nonsense, why otherwise would Leadbeater have stayed in England for three full years after the so-called "scandal" of 1906?

The news that Leadbeater had stayed in Sicily with Krishna and Natya came all the way to India. Narianiah, being expelled from Adyar, considered with good reasons that Annie Besant had broken their agreement, and requested by registered mail his children to be returned to India before the end of August, he then began with a campaign against her, Leadbeater, and the Theosophical Society in the Hindu , on of the largest daily newspaper in India. Believing that Narianiah's friends would kidnap the children, she hid them in a large house, lent for that purpose by Lady De La Warr. They stayed there for 5 months under the constant watch of Jinarajadasa, Dick Clarke, Basil Hodgson-Smith and Reginald Farrar, Mrs and Mr. Bright taking care of the household.

Leadbeater returned to Adyar in October and followed the details of the case Narianiah had started. He wrote many details in several letters to Lady Emily Lutyens he had met during his visit to the Kirby. Mrs Besant assumed Leadbeater's and her own defense against Narianiah's accusations .

At the time, although Leadbeater was over 60 years old, he was alert and enthusiastic, he was known to be unsufferable against women and often quite rude, but never against Mrs. Besant. He was also cursing violently, and had probably learned from Mrs Blavatsky, whose was very rude and cursed outrageously, that there is no incompatibility between rudeness and sanctity. Such attitude antagonized a large number of people, especially outside the Theosophical Society. But after the judgement of the tribunal, a number of newspapers printed formal appologies .

On October 31st, 1913, during a trip to France, and Italy, Krishnamurti wrote a letter to Leadbeater manifesting his independence. One of his admirers, Miss Dodge, had established for him an trust fond paying 500 pounds sterling to be added to the 150 pounds Mrs Besant was giving him every month for his expenses. The letter broke what was left of his relationship with Leadbeater, whose letters became rare, later completely stopped. He seemed to have lost all interest for the "Vehicle".

Leadbeater left Adyar on February 20th, 1914 for a lecture tour in Burma, Java, New Zealand and Australia. At the time, the relationship between Annie Besant and Leadbeater was tense again. Free from the court cases, she began to work for India's independence. CWL was an imperialist, didn't like Mrs. Besant political orientation at all, and never missed an opportunity to say so. She was not sorry to see her old companion leave Adyar, as he had become a political liability. The inevitable separation came at the begin of 1915, when Leadbeater went to live in Sydney, Australia. He began to teach and assembled there a substantial audience. He had just discovered by clairvoyance the energies hidden in the Christian Sacraments and came to closer contact with James Ingall Wedgwood he knew since 1906.

Wedgwood came to visit Australia in 1915. During his stay, he initiated Leadbeater to Masonry in the "Droit Humain", also known as co-Masonry because it admits in its ranks women as well as men. Leadbeater found Masonry "very useful", and began clairvoyant investigations on the Rituals. He also suggested to make changes to improve their performance in the invisible. Wedgwood also introduced him to Martinism, and in the following years, transmit to him the Martinist initiations he had received from the Liberal Bishop Augustin Chaboseau he had met in Paris a few years before. It is also probable that Wedgwood conferred upon CWL the high degrees of the Egyptian Rite of Memphis and Misraïm in which he had been admitted by John Yarker in 1910, and in the Temple of the Rose and the Cross he had founded in London around 1911.

Leadbeater in Australia, and the begining of the Liberal Catholic Church

 The following year (1916) Wedgwood came back to Sydney, but this time as a Bishop. and on July 22nd he consecrated Leadbeater to the Episcopate. Three days later, Leadbeater announces his episcopal consecration to Annie Besant , and explains the reasons for his acceptance. The two Bishops then began with the enormous task to revise the Old Catholic Liturgy, and their progress can be seen in the correspondence between Leadbeater and his former work companion, Mrs Annie Besant . The following is described in the brochure 001.001.02 published by the Liberal Catholic Institute of Studies (LCIS). The two Bishops, from the first day of their cooperation believed that their work was approved by the Lord and consisted in the re-creation of the ancient Catholic liturgy to be a better channel for the distribution of Christ's energy. After several months of intense work, the first version of the Liturgy was published, but only as a typed document. Its first public celebration occurred on Easter Sunday 6th of April 1917 in Sydney. An Oratory had been installed in the Penzance Building, Elisabeth Street, under the denomination of the Old Catholic Church. From this very first day, there was a resistance to what Leadbeater called The First Ray Benediction, because members of the Theosophical Society considered to be supporting the idea that Krishnamurti was the reincarnation of Christ. The controversy continued until it was finally put to rest during the General Episcopal Synod of the Liberal Catholic Church of Sydney, in 1996. But both founders insisted to keep it in the Liturgy, because it was a legacy of the 19th century Liberal Catholics. Later, the use of that particular Benediction was extended in the subsequent issues of the Liturgy, and the notes of the Bishops were assembled by Leadbeater in a book called: The Science of the Sacraments.

In their revision of the Old Catholic Liturgy, Bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater started with the Holy Eucharist and tried to incorporate the new ideas into the old forms of the Catholic Liturgy. . Bishop Leadbeater began to look at his students, and offered the priesthood to those having the desire and the ability to serve in the clergy of the new Church. He provided training by giving lectures regularly from 1916 till 1919. This work of revision took several years.

From that time on, the work in the Liberal Catholic Church became Leadbeater's main activity, although hecontinued to work for the Theosophical Society, co-Masonry, and other movements. He continued to help youngpeople, men and women, to shape their character and to prepare themselves as servants of humanity. He oftenspoke to them and organized informal lectures in the homes of his students. Hereafter are a few words from C. Jinarajadasa:

" Always friendly, he was a strict master, training us to accomplish every job efficiently, inspiring us with a high ideal of truth and honor, working without reserve for the work of the Master, giving us an unforgettable vision of Justice, that is what my elder brother taught me of the past, present and future without end."

The Liberal Catholic Church began to grow after the first world war when restrictions on travel disappeared. Bishop Wedgwood returned to England and paid frequent visits to Holland and France, while Bishop Leadbeater worked on the preparation of a Liberal Catholic hymnbook, a considerable enterprise, but he presented as insignificant to Mrs. Besant. She responded, but her letter is lost. However, from the following letter from Leadbeater one can assume that she believed his work to be inspired, during the composition by the Count of Saint-Germain .

In 1923, a few members of the Sydney congregation attended healing services organized by the Church of England, with the cooperation of some of their lay members to whom considerable powers were attributed. Bishop Leadbeater began to celebrate healing services according to the Liberal Catholic Rite.

The growth of the Liberal Catholic Church didn't happen without difficulties. From 1918 to 1924 the Church was attacked by groups of members of the Theosophical Society, mainly in Australia and in the United States of America. Leadbeater believed to be his duty to publish a declaration concerning the relations between the Church and the Theosophical Society.

In the beginning, the attacks were mainly directed at the Church, which was believed to be an agent of Rome to take control of the Theosophical Society. Later, the attacks became personal and directed against Wedgwood and Leadbeater. the old accusations of 1906 against Leadbeater resurfaced; in 1922 Mrs Besant was also attacked which resulted in the constitution of yet another offshoot of the Theosophical Society. These attacks began during the visit of Krishnamurti and his brother to Australia. They arrived in Sydney on April 12th, 1922. Leadbeater and Krishnamurti had not met since their stay in Taormina, Sicily, in July 1912. The work of CWL in the Church had started anti-clerical opposition within the Theosophical Society in Australia and the General Secretary, Mr. T.H. Martyn, took advantage of the visit to start an action called "Return to Blavatsky". He asked for a vote of confidence against Mrs. Besant and C.W. Leadbeater during the Australian Convention. Confidence passed by 85 votes against 15. The incident is reported by Krishnamurti in a letter to Lady Lutyens . Mr. Martyn left the convention immediately after the vote. Two days later, Krishnamurti and Natya invited Mr. and Mrs. Martyn to attempt a reconciliation with Leadbeater. Martyn said then that he believed in the purity of Leadbeater, but he tried to justify his action by announcing he had irrefutable evidence of the immorality of Wedgwood.

But in spite of a conciliatory attitude, Martyn called the press and made a series of announcements without giving any proof. He even swore that his own wife had an affair with Wedgwood in his own house. The Sydney press became interested in the story and one paper in particular the Telegraph, published the most absurd stories, and the attacks continued for a while. Tired of the denigration campaign, two well-known members of the Theosophical Society went to the Minister of Justice of New South Wales and requested to investigate the stories. All the young people were interrogated by the police and the incident is reported in a letter from Krishnamurti to Lady Emily Lutyens dated June 2nd, 1922 . The enquiry didn't find the smallest evidence of wrong doing supporting the accusations.

Bishop Leadbeater never defended himself. But the entire group of the young people placed under his responsibility came to the police and testified that the accusations were entirely false. A prominent attorney offered his services to Leadbeater to file a complaint against the newspapers for slander, he was convinced that the evidence would convince the courts to allow a considerable amount of money in compensation for the damage done to his reputation. The answer of Leadbeater was characteristic: " No, when they are accusing me, they leave another poor guy in peace."

Later, the same year, Bishop Leadbeater and a group of his students came to live in a large house looking over Sydney harbour called the Manor. There he could continue to work for the Church, the Theosophical Society, and all the other movements he was involved with. When Bishop Leadbeater became Presiding Bishop after the resignation of Bishop Wedgwood, the Manor became a center where people came from all countries to be around the great man.  ...

Sydney was the center of the activities of the Liberal Catholic Church in these days, and it began to grow and expand in the whole world. The first General Episcopal Synod took place in Sydney in 1924, the magazine "The Liberal Catholic" was also published there, and its circulation peaked and was to be equal again. The center of attraction was the patriarchal person of Bishop Leadbeater. His prestige and influence were enormous, especially after the publication of the Science of the Sacraments, which was an original and revolutionary work at the time.

Important ceremonies were performed in the Saint Alban pro-cathedral in Sydney. Splendid sermons were given before a large congregation, incorporating the teachings of the young church. Many lectures were given by the Rev. Dr. van der Leeuw in the city hall of Sydney.

These were days of glory for the Church in Sydney. Bishop Leadbeater attracted brilliant groups of women and men around him, from all kinds of background.

While Bishop Leadbeater continued his work in Sydney, Bishop Wedgwood was having similar activities in Europe from 1924 till 1928, particularly in Saint Michael in Huizen, Holland. Bishop Cooper also worked for the Church in America.

The last years.

After this summit, the Church went through a decline when between 1927 and 1930 J. Krishnamurti began to denounce all forms of organization and all kinds of ceremonies. The period is often called in theosophical circles "the l'Attente de la Venue".

In 1930, Mrs. Besant asked Bishop Leadbeater (then 83 years old) to come and help her in Adyar, he agreed to come there to finish his life. The same year the church Province of the United States was hoping to have the visit of Bishop Leadbeater. One of the dissident branches of the Theosophical Society directed by Dr. de Purucker in Pointa Loma had organized a meeting to commemorate the century of the birth of Madame Blavatsky. He had invited Annie Besant and George Arundale. But there was great disappointment among the Liberal Catholics, because de Purucker, who always had been an unconditional supporter of Leadbeater didn't invite him. Mrs. Besant announced then that she would not go is Leadbeater was not invited, but de Purucker stayed on his position, so only Bishop Arundale participated.

In 1934, Bishop Leadbeater wanted to travel to Sydney for a visit. While sailing he became ill and disembarked in Perth, in West Australia to receive medical treatment. He survived 16 days in hospital, but a heath wave overcame the old man. On February 26th, 1934, the doctors had lost any hope to save him, he died on the following March 1st. A statement concerning his passing was issued by the Rev. S. Fisher , Priest-in-charge of Western Australia on the 4th of March 1934. C.W.L. last words were, according to some witnesses: "Go on, go further, keep your enthusiasm". There are often understood as: Continue with the work -- push your own development further and further -- always keep enthusiasm. ...

There is no doubt that Bishop Leadbeater has been a remarkable man. He has never imposed his point of view to anyone. He left everyone entirely free:

" It is not because I say so that you should believe those things; if you accept them it should be because they seem to you inherently reasonable..."".

Much of his teachings is controversial and some Liberal Catholic (even members of the Clergy) feel that they cannot accept some parts of these teachings. But most of it draw some light on ancient teachings that had been given many different interpretations over the ages.

What regards his clairvoyant investigations, he conducted with great care and precision, people have the greatest difficulty to follow him, especially those who see their conventional beliefs and convictions challenged.

He never claimed infallibility of any kind, he always left others free to accept or reject his observation, and encourage everyone to trust his or her judgment and intuition. However, these observations form a complete system, of which the philosopher Keyserling has said:

" His declarations are so plausible, that it would be even more wonderful if Leadbeater had been mistaken.".

Inside the cover of his missal the following was found:

1. I will try to think of the Master's work first.

2. I will make it an absolute rule not to take offense at all.

3. I will strictly mind my own business, and not criticize. I will not listen to or repeat gossip about others

4. I will try to avoid irritability, to keep calm and peaceful. I will endeavour to put aside all personal thoughts.

This is typical of the man. Before performing any spiritual action, and throughout our lives, we should follow such simple rules of conduct, as he always tried to apply himself. He taught us that it is in the small things of life that the training towards perfection and sainthood takes place. One of his most characteristic sayings was:"Perfect unselfishness is the crown of all virtues"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-17]


HPB nimmt Dharmapala nach Adyar. Dharmapala schreibt darüber 1933 im Maha Bodhi Journal:

"My father was frightened, and I was handed over to Mme. Blavatsky, and she took me with her to Adyar, where I stayed several days. One day calling me to her room, she made me sit by her and said that I need not take up the study of occultism, but that I should study Pali where all that is needed is found, and that I should work for the good of Humanity. In those days the theosophic atmosphere was saturated with the aroma of the devotion of Himalayan Masters to the Lord Buddha as is seen in the articles in the Theosophist of the Adepts showing their devotion to the Buddha Gautama. I returned to Colombo and had been faithfully carving out my pledge."

[Dharmapala <Anagarika> <1864-1933>: Return to righteousness : a collection of speeches, essays and letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala / ed. by Ananda Guruge. -- Colombo : The Government Press, 1965. -- S. 702. ]


Die Theosophische Gesellschaft in Indien hat über hundert Zweigstellen

1885-01 bis 1885-01-28, 1885-02-11 bis 1885-03-19

Erster Aufenthalt Olcotts in Burma

Olcott und Leadbeater besuchen erstmals Burma:

"The late King of Burma, Theebaw III, having heard of my work for Buddhism from an Italian official at Mandalay, a member of our Society, had invited me to his Court for conversation about the Ceylon Buddhist movement, and in the month of January, just after the Convention above described, I sailed for Rangoon with Mr. Leadbeater to help me in my general work."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  209]

"We had already a Buddhist and a Hindu Branch in Rangoon; I had now to form one of Europeans and Eurasians interested in Mesmerism and practical Psychology in general. I gave it the name of the Irrawady T.S."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  224]


HPB verlässt nach den Enthüllungen Indien für immer, kurze Zeit in Würzburg, dann London.


Wesak:  von den Häusern der Buddhisten in Ceylon flattert erstmals die neue internationale buddhistische Fahne (s. unten)

Abb.: Buddhistische Fahne

1886-01-27 bis 1886-05-04

Sechster Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon

Olcott und Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934) kommen nach Ceylon, um Geld für Buddhist Educational Fund zu sammeln.Dharmapala fungiert als ihr Übersetzer. Dabei lernt er das dörfliche Ceylon erstmals kennen. Dharmapala verlässt seine Regierungsstelle um ganz für die Buddhist Theosophiocal Society zu wirken.


Olcott gründet das Ananda College in Colombo als buddhistische Lehranstalt. Es folgen das Mahinda College in Galle und das Dharmaraja College in Kandy. Olcott hilft auch bei der Gründung des Museus College.

Abb.: Ananda College, Colombo

Abb.: Dhammaraja College, Kandy

Abb.: Mahinda College, Galle

Abb.: Museus College

Quelle der Abbildungen: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-16


Eröffnung der berühmten  Adyar Library am Hauptsitz der Theosophischen Gesellscheft, Adyar, Madras (Chennai). [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-04-26].  Olcotts Ziel war

"eine Wiederbelebung der ursprünglichen hinduistischen und buddhistischen Traditionen in Indien und Ceylon ... Deshalb wurde besonders auf buddhistische und hinduistische Texte Wert gelegt, zu einer Zeit, als die traditionellen Quellen durch den Einfluss der britischen Kultur unterbewertet."

[Zitat bei Cranston, Sylvia: HPB : Leben und Werk der Helena Blavatsky, Begründerin der modernen Theosophie. - Satteldorf : Adyar, 1995. - 702 S. : Ill. - ISBN 3-927837-53-9. - Originaltitel: HPB, The extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky (1993). -- S. 290]

Abb.: Adyar Library

Olcotts Schilderung der Einweihung der Adyar Library:

"The Library opening on the 28th was a complete success. Brahmin, Buddhist, and Parsi priests and a Muslim Maulvi participated. The scene was most impressive to a thoughtful mind.
However tinged with sectarian inclinations some of my colleagues may have been and are, even my ill-wishers must do me the justice to say that I have stubbornly opposed all attempts to put forth ex cathedra teachings. In fact, it has been my passion to uphold the platform of tolerance on which H. P. B. and I laid the foundations of the Society in the beginning, and I grasped the chance, which the opening of the Adyar Library offered, to put that idea before the world in a way that could not be misunderstood. Such a thing had never been seen in India as the religious teachers of the antipathetic sects of the East uniting in a ceremony like this; but, for that matter, India had never, before the uprising of the Theosophical Society, seen men of all the castes and Indian sects meeting together to celebrate the anniversaries of a religio-scientific body of foreign inception. We
have been " making history " in a very real sense ever since we had that momentous drawing-room meeting in New York, when the idea of our Society was first broached by myself and supported by H. P. B., Judge, and others. And now these chapters are collected in book form to serve as a contribution to the history of our movement, it is well for us to recall the incident of the official opening of the Adyar Library on 28th December, 1886."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  401f.]

1890 besaß die Adyar Library bereits über 3000 Bände orientalischer Werke. Heute: über 250,000 Bände und fast 20,000 Palmblattmanuskripte.

Abb.: Denkmal für HPB und Olcott in Adyar

[Bildquelle: Fedjuschin, Victor B.: Russlands Sehnsucht nach Spiritualität : Theosophie, Anthroposophie, Rudolf Steiner und die Russen. -- Schaffhausen :Novalis, ©1988. -- ISBN 3-7214-0592-7. -- S. 65]

1887-01-27 bis 1887-02-24

Siebter Aufenthalt Olcotts in Ceylon.

Olcott verfasst The golden rules of Buddhism. -- Adyar. -- 27 S.


"On my return to Colombo I began compiling the epitome of Buddhist morals, since widely known under the title of The Golden Rules of Buddhism. It is incredible how ignorant the Ceylon Buddhists were of the merits of their own religion, and how incapable of defending it from unscrupulous Missionaries who were then much more than now — though too much even now — in the habit of reviling their neighbour's faith in the hope of advancing the interests of their own. To meet this want the little monograph in question was compiled."

[Olcott, Henry Steel <1832-1907>: Old diary leaves : the history of the Theosophical Society. -- Third series, 1883 - 87. -- 1904. -- S.  418]


Es kommt zum großen Krach zwischen Mohottivatte, dem Mönchsführer, und Olcott. Dahinter steht sicher auch als Motiv, dass der Mönch wieder die unumschränkte Führung von den Laien zurückhaben wollte. Es spielte aber auch eine Rolle, dass Mohottivatte misstrauisch wurde gegenüber der Einstellung der Theosophen zum Buddhismus. Im selben Jahr schrieb Mohottivatte Bauddha Pra'snaya, einen eigenen buddhistischen Katechismus, wahrscheinlich als Konkurrenz zu Olcotts berühmten Katechismus. Im Vorwort dazu betont er die Notwendigkeit, die wahren Lehren des Buddhismus wieder herauszustellen, da viele westliche Sympathisanten des Buddhismus angefangen hätten, dem Buddhismus viele falsche und fremde Lehren einzuverleiben. Skepsis gegenüber vielen theosophischen Lehren war unter den ceylonesischen Mönchen verbreitet. Olcott selbst sagte, dass nur ein einziger ceylonesischer Mönch an die Existenz der Mahâtmas glaubte.


In London veröffentlicht HPB die erste Nummer der zweimal pro Jahr erscheinenden Zeitschrift Lucifer : A theosophical magazine, die den Zweck hat "die verborgenen Dinge der Dunkelheit ans Licht zu bringen". Es erscheinen: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 15th, 1887) - vol. 20, no. 120 (Aug. 15, 1897). Nachfolger dieser Zeitschrift ist Theosophical review

1888-06-07 bis 1888-10-28

Olcott in England, Frankreich, Italien


Olcott gründet die Esoterischen Sektion der Theosophischen Gesellschaft. Olcott erklärt in der Zeitschrift Luzifer Zweck und Struktur dieser Sektion:

  1. Um die esoterischen Interessen der Theosophischen Gesellschaft durch ein intensiveres Studium der esoterischen Philosophie zu fördern, wird eine Organisation unter der Bezeichnung »Esoterische Sektion der Theosophischen Gesellschaft« gegründet.
  2. Die Konstituierung und alleinige Leitung derselben wird Madame H.P. Blavatsky übertragen; sie allein ist den Mitgliedern gegenüber für die Ergebnisse verantwortlich; zwischen der Sektion und der exoterischen Gesellschaft besteht keine offizielle körperschaftliche Verbindung, außer durch die Person der Präsidentin und Gründerin.
  3. Personen, die der Sektion beitreten und ihre Regeln befolgen wollen, sollen sich direkt an Mme. H.P. Blavatsky ... London wenden.

[Zitat und Übersetzung nach Cranston, Sylvia: HPB : Leben und Werk der Helena Blavatsky, Begründerin der modernen Theosophie. - Satteldorf : Adyar, 1995. - 702 S. : Ill. - ISBN 3-927837-53-9. - Originaltitel: HPB, The extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky (1993). -- S. 434.]


Blavatsky, H. P. <1831 - 1891>: The secret doctrine : a Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy - London, Theosophical Publishing Company, 1888. - 2 vol.
Centennial Edition, photographic facsimile of the original 1888 edition: 1571 pages. - ISBN 1-55700-001-8 ; ISBN 1-55700-002-6
Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-05-12

Von der ersten Auflage des ersten Bandes erscheinen 500 Exemplare, die sofort aufgrund der Subskriptionen vergriffen waren.

Abb.: Titelblatt

Der Katalog der Theosophical University Press beschreibt den Inhalt von The secret doctrine folgendermaßen:

Based on the ancient Stanzas of Dzyan (with corroborating testimony from over 1,200 sources), these volumes unfold the drama of cosmic and human evolution -- from the reawakening of the gods after a "Night of the Universe" to the ultimate reunion of cosmos with its divine source. Supplementary sections discuss relevant scientific issues as well as the mystery language of myths, symbols, and allegories, helping the reader decipher the often abstruse imagery of the world's sacred literature.

"This massive study of man, of nature, of spiritual evolution, of the essence of reality is an astonishing document. . . . Blavatsky synthesizes science and spirituality into an exhilarating journey of spiritual awareness." -- The Book Reader (1988)

[tstec, file: sd.htm]

The Six Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine / by John P. van Mater

The first volume of H. P. Blavatsky's masterwork, The Secret Doctrine , treats of the birth and evolution of universes, suns, and planets with all their kingdoms, stretching from the elemental lives or forces, up through the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms. Above mankind, according to ancient tradition, are spiritual kingdoms stretching up to the great cosmic gods whose immanent activities constitute the law and harmony of the cosmos. The second volume treats of the origin and destiny of the human race in conjunction with all the other earth kingdoms with which we are familiar. Prominent in this volume is a discussion of the awakening of the human mind by more highly evolved beings.

Interspersed with these subjects are wondrous insights into sciences now asleep or only partly awake, such as the many-layered interpretation of legend, myth, and symbol. Also discussed is the story of initiation and the Mystery schools which existed in all parts of the world, places where stage by stage, first by instruction, discipline, and purification, and later through actual experience, the disciple might achieve within himself the birth of his inner god, an achievement which over many cycles every person may aspire to and will in time succeed in bringing about.

Commencing with volume one, the birth of worlds is based on what Blavatsky terms three fundamental propositions. The first one projects a picture of the ultimate, unknowable cause from which everything is born and to which all things eventually return:

An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable Principle on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude. It is beyond the range and reach of thought -- in the words of Mandukya [Upanishad] "unthinkable and unspeakable." -- The Secret Doctrine 1:14

Ancient peoples refused to give attributes to this principle: the Jews called it 'eyn soph (the Boundless), the Hindus tat (That). It cannot be called large or small, good or evil, for these terms apply only to finite things. Its aspects are given as infinite space, eternal duration, and unending motion.

The second proposition Blavatsky phrases as follows:

The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically "the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,..."

...the absolute universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux, ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the universe. -- Ibid. 1:16--17

While the first proposition conveys a picture of the boundless source of all, the second proposition sets the pattern for all manifested existence -- whether atoms, humans, gods, or universes -- which issue forth from their inner essence. Many of the old philosophies speak of a ray from the Unknowable fecundating chaos or the mother principle, so that out of chaos is born the cosmos, the manifested worlds. Here we have the trinity -- Father, Mother, Son; Father, Holy Spirit, Son; Osiris, Isis, Horus; Parabrahman, Mulaprakriti, Brahman.

The third proposition pertains to those aspects of life with which we are the most directly involved:

The fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-Soul, ...and the obligatory pilgrimage for every Soul -- a spark of the former -- through the Cycle of Incarnation (or "Necessity") in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law,... In other words, no...(divine Soul) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark...has (a) passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world of that Manvantara, and (b) acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its Karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas (mind), from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha). The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric philosophy admits no privileges or special gifts in man, save those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations.-- 1:17

The range of beings stretches from the tiniest subatomic particle and below to the grandest universe or clusters of universes and beyond. And since every unit is a consciousness or monad of infinite potential, the cosmos is infilled with divine intelligences of all types, all seeking to unfold themselves through evolution by means of repeated imbodiments.

Blavatsky sought to reintroduce the concept of a living universe governed by cause and effect, or karma. When we are born, we come freighted with karma out of the past. We are that karma. In previous incarnations we have made ourselves what we now are, and are in the process of making ourselves what we shall one day become in future incarnations. When the universe is reborn, it seeks its rebirth by means of all the lesser lives of which it is composed, just like man with his atoms and lesser units when he reincarnates. The new universe is the karma of the old universe. All beings, then, are sparks of the universal essence or over-soul at various levels in their self-unfoldment or evolution, which takes place through repeated imbodiments:

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. We men must remember that because we do not perceive any signs -- which we can recognize -- of consciousness, say, in stones, we have no right to say that no consciousness exists there. There is no such thing as either "dead" or "blind" matter, as there is no "Blind" or "Unconscious" Law.-- 1:274

When the scroll of earth unrolled, all the lives of earth were unrolled with it, starting at a very ethereal level. Earth reimbodied itself by means of its lesser lives, and all the kingdoms of nature were present at the outset, including ourselves. However, neither earth nor its kingdoms resembled even remotely what we see about us today, for then everything was ethereal, spiritual, astral, not physical as now. Planetary evolution takes place in a series of pulsations or "rounds." Blavatsky speaks of seven or more of these rounds for the earth. With each succeeding round, the earth grew more material until it reached its most material phase, which is roughly where we are today in the fourth round. In this round on this physical globe each of the kingdoms has successively dominated earth. For millions of years mineral activity was most intense and then, as the mineral efflorescence subsided, the lives of the plant kingdom eventually became dominant. Overlapping the era of plant dominance and gradually superseding it was the animal kingdom, which climaxed and declined, giving way to a new insurgence, our own human life-wave.

Three further propositions are given in volume two, having to do with life on this physical globe in the fourth round:

As regards the evolution of mankind, the Secret Doctrine postulates three new propositions, which stand in direct antagonism to modern science as well as to current religious dogmas: it teaches (a) the simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of our globe; (b) the birth of the astral, before the physical body: the former being a model for the latter; and (c) that man, in this Round, preceded every mammalian -- the anthropoids included -- in the animal kingdom.-- 2:1

For tens of millions of years mankind was more astral than physical. And although the seven primeval races appeared simultaneously, they did so in seed or germ, one by one to flower, each on its own conti nental system. Each such root-race had numerous subraces, family and tribal races, and other smaller subdivisions. We are now approaching the midpoint of the fifth root-race. In Works and Days (lines 147-234) Hesiod mentions the five races that have thus far appeared, and also the four ages, the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron, and said that we are now in the Iron Age and our fifth race. Similar descriptions are given in the Zend-Avesta, the Puranas, the Eddas, the Popul Vuh, and other ancient works. When we study these accounts of earlier races, we should bear in mind that we are reading about ourselves, for those past races were the scenes of our previous striving.

Each great root-race flourishes upon its own system of continents. The continent of the first race, "The Imperishable Sacred Land," is said to have been located at the North Pole. The second or Hyperborean race occupied a horseshoe-shaped continent in the far north. The third (Lemurian) and fourth (Atlantean) races inhabited continents, large portions of which may now be under the oceans, buried under deserts, or may still be in use as parts of existing continents. Because root-races endure for millions of years, the continents they live on vary greatly during their lifespan. Each race is born from the midpoint of its parent race, from its most material cycle or kali yuga. When a race has entered its kali yuga, the seeds of the next race begin increasingly to appear. Eventually as these seeds become numerous, they are separated geographically, and portions of the old continents become uninhabitable and begin to break up or submerge. In the case of the fifth race, Central Asia was the cradleland for those fleeing from Atlantean depravity. There our young race enjoyed its Golden and Silver ages in a series of splendid civilizations. Our own root-race is now entering its kali yuga or midpoint.

Perhaps the most important evolutionary event insofar as humanity is concerned took place in the third root-race and is remembered in all the world's religions and legendary histories. When the human vehicle was ready, the heretofore slumbering human mind awakened. The Greeks expressed it as Prometheus stealing from the gods the fire of mind for mankind. In the Far East the manasaputras or Sons of Mind were said to have incarnated in humanity and thus awakened it into mental life and self-awareness, qualities which distinguish the human from the animal. These superior beings had evolved beyond the human stage in a previous cosmic cycle and returned to inflame the latent human mind. Christian mythology remembers it in the story of Lucifer, the Lightbringer, who was on the right hand of God and cast out to make his way to the Garden of Eden: Lucifer, the Christian Prometheus, who as a serpent tempted Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thereafter humans possessed the power to choose; they could sow and reap karma in a far more potent manner than before. There could no longer be an Eden or idyllic mindless life, for humanity now had self-conscious mind.

Interestingly, anthropologist Loren Eiseley, while going through a museum in which the supposed human ancestors were depicted, found himself strangely disappointed. Somewhere along the line, he felt, there must have occurred a sudden mitosis of the brain -- one moment a higher mammal and in the next thinking man. Alfred Russel Wallace felt that human evolution was not so much bodily as mental; our evolution took place primarily in the mind and its vehicle the brain. Wallace also believed that no evolution could take place without the intercession of superior beings.

Worldwide legends of divine teachers instructing early mankind in the arts and sciences, taken in conjunction with the incarnation in man of his manasaputra or higher self, would certainly have brought about spectacular physiological changes, separating man from all the other mammals. This is confirmed by embryology, for the human brain trebles in size during the first year after birth, something no other mammal succeeds in achieving. We see here how physiology confirms human history, and how the old myths can be found to have a basis in scientific fact.

One of the magnificent achievements of The Secret Doctrine is that Blavatsky does not speak merely in generalities, but quotes from the major scriptures and authors of the ages -- East, Mideast, and West, ancient and modern -- to illustrate step by step, as she develops her theme, what the greatest minds of the human race have said about the points she is then discussing. The two volumes contain quotes from about 1,200 authors and scriptures, some referred to many times.

Many who have looked into these references realize that although we may have read and reread certain passages, it is only when Blavatsky sheds her penetrating light upon them that we can see, for the first time perhaps, their real import. This is particularly true of those from ancient times, which are often fragmentary and highly symbolic. As we read in them the great events of cosmogenesis and evolution, we note how closely they parallel one another.

Blavatsky insisted that these ideas were not her own, but simply what she had been taught. She never claimed credit for anything except a knowledge of the principles of the ancient wisdom as known and taught through the ages. This , however, is the running thread without which all the quotations in the world would be aimless and misleading. It is because she had the esoteric philosophy in the forefront of her mind that she could produce a Secret Doctrine and cull the literatures of the world to illustrate its ageless universality. The Secret Doctrine is an enormous creative achievement. The substance of these volumes is a portion of the wisdom of the ages, pure and distilled.

The universe surrounds us on every side. It was born as we were born, has its life, and one day, like us, will die and then, after a lapse of cosmic time, seek its rebirth. It therefore has a history and a destiny over and above that which we now see and investigate; and the same is true of mankind. What is the relationship between man the microcosm and the all-embracing cosmos? This in brief is The Secret Doctrine. "

[Quelle: From Sunrise magazine, October/November 1995. Copyright © 1995 by Theosophical University Press. -- -- Zugriff am 2003-05-12]

Abb.: HPB und Olcott, London, Oktober 1888


Ein Anonymus über HPB's Einstellung zu den bestehenden Religionen:

"Wir sprachen über viele Dinge.

„Was versteht man unter Theosophie, Madame?", fragte ich. „Bezeichnen sie sie als Religion?"

„Mit Sicherheit nicht", entgegnete sie, „es gibt schon zu viele Religionen in der Welt. Ich beabsichtige nicht, noch eine hinzuzufügen."

„Welche Einstellung besitzt die Theosophie diesen allzu zahlreichen Religionen gegenüber?"

Auf diese Frage erging sich Madame Blavatsky in eine lange und interessante Erläuterung, aus der ich schloss, dass die Theosophie die Religionen einerseits als gut, andererseits aber auch alle als schlecht betrachtet. Allen liegen gewisse Wahrheiten zugrunde, und alle werden von bestimmten Falschheiten überlagert. Die meisten Glaubensüberzeugungen besitzen einen guten Kern; alle sind sie mehr oder weniger falsch in ihrer äußeren Manifestation; und all das Drum und Dran der Religionen, die Zurschaustellung und die Zeremonien lehnen die Theosophen völlig ab. Es gibt nur wenige und einfache Bedingungen für den Beitritt in die Theosophische Gesellschaft. Es genügt, sich zu ihrer Zielsetzung zu bekennen, die drei Hauptpunkte aufweist - die Förderung einer universellen Bruderschaft der Menschen, das Studium der Religionen und die Entwicklung der im Menschen schlummernden geistigen Fähigkeiten. Letzteres gilt für die fortgeschrittenen Mitglieder, denen Zugang zur Esoterischen Abteilung der Gesellschaft gewährt wurde."

[Zitiert in: Die geheimnisvolle Welt der Helena Petrovna Blavatsky : [Abenteuer, Begegnungen und Erlebnisse aufgezeichnet von Augenzeugen]  / zusammengestellt von Daniel Caldwell. -- Grafing : Edition Adyar, ©2003. -- 408 S. : Ill. -- ISBN 3-89427-235-X. -- Originaltitel: The esoteric world of Madame Blavatsky (1991). -- S. 331]

Zu 2.1.3.: Buddhismus und theosophische Bewegung ab 1888