The Theosophists and "The
by S.J. Padshah
[First published in The Bombay Gazette, August 27, 1881, p. 3.]
To the Editor of the "Bombay Gazette"
SIR,---Will you allow me as a member of the Theosophical Society, to reply to the two correspondents who figure in to-day's Gazette? I am one of those whose "testimony" you republished in one of your recent issues from the last number of the Theosophist. But your correspondent "Inquirer" is good enough to ignore my existence. He refers to three Hindus whose testimony evidently is of no value, since it does not proceed from "men of science and extraordinary abilities." I suppose that anything I may say will not carry conviction to the mind of your correspondents, for I am not a scientific man, and cannot claim the extraordinary abilities possessed by the anonymous critic. He might believe if Mr. Deshmukh volunteers his testimony. But I shall leave the honorable gentleman to take care of himself. Both "Common Sense" and "Inquirer" are inspired with the carping spirit described by Goethe in Faust. They will go on "denying" truth to the end of their days. They will triumphantly exclaim with Mephistopheles --- "Ich bin der geist der stets vineint." They are resolved to deny the existence of the "mystic brothers," in spite of Mr. Sinnett and his book, in spite of the other corroborative evidence of other members of the Theosophical Society, one of whom, Mr. Mirza Moorad Alee, stated explicitly that he had had personal relations with the "adepts" long before he announced himself as a Theosophist. But I suppose this evidence also counts for nothing. The Bombay Guardian, commenting upon the extracts published in the Gazette, did me the honour to mention my name prominently. For the information of that journal, then, as well as to silence future "Inquirers," whose questions are veiled sarcasms and ugly innuendoes, I come forward to assert solemnly that I know that the "brothers" exist and that they are all they have been represented to be. I have seen more than one of them; and I have had personal relations with Koot Hoomi Lal Singh --- that personage to whom Mr. Sinnett has dedicated his work. I have had the proud privilege of seeing him several times. He has condescended to write to me, and to guide me. He has attempted to raise me above my weaknesses and faults. He has been, in a word, my "guide, philosopher and friend." So much for the beneficence of the brothers. Again I have seen the same personage under the most extraordinary conditions. I have seen him stand not half-a-dozen yards before me in broad moon-light, and vanish slowly, mist-like, into space. I have received a letter from him in my bed-room, the doors and windows being closed. I was busy writing. A kerosene lamp was burning brightly on the table. Suddenly the letter dropped on it, with a whizzing sound, from some height. Where is the juggler who will be able to do this? But what staggered me most was the contents of the letter. Koot Hoomi commented on a conversation I had had with some friends an hour or two before. In the last sentence he wrote of an occurrence that had that moment taken place in England through the instrumentality of one of the brothers. The news was verified some days after! So much for the power of the adepts. Will detractors of the Theosophical Society assert, after this, that that Society is a sham, its founders humbugs, and the brothers myths? I dare say they will, for there are individuals who will not understand certain things "from a defect of a common organ of perception for the ideas" of which they treat. Not but that, as Dante puts it, "gran vergogna sarebba a colui che rimasse cosa sotto veste di figura o di colore rettorico, e domandato non sapesse denudare le sue parole da cotal veste, in guisa che avessero verace intendimento."
"Inquirer" would like to know "what are the special qualifications and merits requisite to entitle one to be eligible for the honour of personal communication with the Brothers of the First Section?" In the first place, then, he should know that public journals are not the place where he can obtain the desired communication. The honour of such an acquaintance will never be granted to one who rakes up forgotten calumnies and fathers the supposed faults of the Theosophical Society's management on the brothers. The latter will never reject the advances of those who approach them in a befitting manner, with becoming humility, with the intense and pure desire to better themselves morally, and devote their lives to the spiritual renaissance of their fellow-men.
August 22. S.J. PADSHAH