Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

News of Damodar

[A Letter from Sriman Swamy]

[Reprinted from Lucifer (London), Volume 5, September 1889, p. 68.]

[The following letter has been forwarded to the Theosophist (1) for publication.  It is the reply of the Sriman Swamy, the Secretary of “The Cow Memorial Fund” (a movement for the protection of cattle and the improvement of agriculture that promises to become national), to the enquiries of a friend of Damodar, who had heard that the Swamy had lately visited Tibet, and was anxious to know whether he had heard or seen anything of our absent brother.  Since then I have had two conversations with the Swamy, in the course of which he corroborated what he had said in his letter, and left on my mind the impression of being an able and sincere man, imbued with patriotic sentiments, and perfectly loyal to the Empress and her Government; anxious only that the true state of affairs should be understood, and perfectly willing to trust to the justice and generosity of the English people to institute remedies for the evils that he believes to exist.

(Acting Editor of the Theosophist.)

Madras, August 7th, 1889

To      .      .      .      .      .      .

In reply to your enquiries I may say that I certify on my word as a Sanyassi that I have twice visited Tibet since the year 1879; that I have personally become acquainted with several Mahatmas, among whom were the two known to the outside word as Mahatma “M” and Mahatma “K. H.”; that I spent some time in their company; that they told me that they and other Mahatmas were interested in the work of the Theosophical Society; that Mahatma “M” told me he had been the (occult) guardian of Madame Blavatsky from her infancy.

And I further certify that in March 1887 I saw Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar at L’hassa, in a convalescent state.  He told me, in the presence of Mahatma “K. H.” that he had been at the point of death in the previous year.

(Signed)  Sriman Swamy.
Hon. Sec. Cow Memorial Fund of Allahabad.


[BA Editorial Note:  In a letter dated "London, 21-Nov., 1889" to Mr. N. D. Khandalavala, Madame Blavatsky made the following comments on the letter written by Sriman Swamy:

"My Dear Mr. Khandalavala,

I have given to your letter of the 25th Oct., the closest attention, though there is nothing in it I did not know before; and now shall answer it with all seriousness. . . . As regards the state of the Indian Sections of the Society, and the complaints against Olcott, I observe the following things. . . .

. . . That Damodar is believed to have been driven away by harsh treatment to live or die as he pleased; and that he is, in fact, dead.

. . . . That the publication of Sriman Swamy's letter by me [in Lucifer] is traceable to Col. Olcott's 'craving for strange stories and his anxiety to publish them without throughly verifying them in the first instance.'

. . . Let me reply. . . .

. . . Damodar is not dead, and Olcott knows it as well as I do.  I had a letter from him not more than 3 months ago. . . .

. . . No matter what your lying Sriman Swamy may, or may not be --- one cannot always tell --- he passed successfully through a cross examination by Mr. Subba Row, who pronounced him a real 'chela of the 2nd Class' to several witnesses in Madras --- Judge Srinivas Row among others, Olcott, etc.  Without help he [Sriman Swamy] identified the two portraits [of the Masters M. and K.H.] saying which was which, and gave facts not obtainable from books.  The certificate he gave was sent [to me] by Harte as a duplicate of what was to appear in the Theosophist, and I printed it [in the September 1889 issue of Lucifer] for reasons of my own, even after Harte had written that he suppressed it (1) (through funk of the disbelieving Hindus) at Adyar.  I made no comments on it [when published in Lucifer] because there were two fibs in it:  (a)  Damodar never was at Lhassa nor Sriman Swamy either, and not being permitted to say where he saw Damodar he gave a wrong name; and (b)  My Master never told him what he says of me, but he heard it from a chela.  I printed it with the lies, for two reasons --- firstly, since I published it at all I had no right to change one word; secondly, I wanted to see what they would say in India to this; in India where every lie is believed and repeated most readily, while truth is rejected, smothered shot out of the guns (metaphorically) by rulers and by the ruled.  Aye, India does crucify truth as readily as it is crucified here [in England].  Therefore, it was not yet intimated to me Mr. Subba Row had discovered his mistake about the Swamy being 'a chela of the 2nd Class,' whatever it may mean in India, as in Tibet it means nothing. . . ."  The Theosophist (Adyar, Madras, India), August 1932, pp. 618-619, 623-625.

(1)  The letter from Sriman Swamy was never published in the Theosophist.  H.P. Blavatsky printed it in Lucifer.  See Madame Blavatsky's comments above. ---BA Editor.]