Re: TMR ------- A Question or two
Nov 12, 1995 08:34 PM
by K. Paul Johnson
According to MGRAYE@ccit.arizona.edu:
> In ODL Fourth Series 1975 printing p. 06 Olcott writes:
> "Leaving his home at Darjeeling Nov 7th 1881 he [Sarat Chandra Das]
> ..reached Tashi-Lhunpo the capital of the Tashi Lama whose Master of
> Ceremonies one of our own revered Mahatmas is.
> To rearrange the words: The Tashi Lama's Master of Ceremonies is one of our
> own revered Mahatmas.
> I would have thought Johnson would have regarded this piece of information
> as DISINFORMATION. We'll see the future brings.
Would have until I uncovered the story of Das Gyatso and the
> In TMR in the chapter entitled "Senghcen Tulku" Johnson writes in two places:
> "It seems likely that her [HPB's] claim of a connection to the court of the
> Paanchen Lama also called the Tashi or Trashi Lama is based on reality.
> This is supported by Olcott who writes in Old Diary Leaves of `the Tashi
> Lama whose Master of Ceremonies one of our own revered Mahatmas is....."
> p. 198
> "Olcott's allusion to the master of ceremonies in Tashilhunpo was made
> several years later. This may be a posthumous reference to Sengchen but
> it might also imply that at least ONE FRIEND of the T.S. escaped the
> purge which cost Sengchen his life."
> Who might this ONE FRIEND be?
> We see that Johnson in TMR says that this "Master of Ceremonies" might be
> Sengchen or might be "at least one friend of the T.S. [who] escaped."
> In his theos-l posting on TMR Johnson also says it might be a reference
> to Sengchen's successor.
> Actually I like the one possibility: a "friend of the T.S.". Who could
> that be?
What I meant was that if Olcott is not referring to the Master
of Ceremonies of 1881 but to his successor then that
successor if called by HSO a Mahatma was also a friend of the
> Is Johnson saying that he is open to the possibility that the "Master of
> Ceremonies" was a "friend of the T.S." who escaped from the Tibetan "authori-
> ties"? That is that Olcott's reference to the "Master of Ceremonies" does
> NOT necessarily refer to Sengchen or to Sengchen's successor?
> Could Sengchen's position be truly described as the Tashi Lama's "Master of
> Ceremonies" or could someone else have had that "job"?
According to the Das manuscript the Sengchen was the only
other Tulku around who had the authority to perform
ceremonies: from TMR p. 200 "Throughout this period he
completely ignored his usual duties of receiving pilgrims
blessing images and amulets and conducting ceremonies. In an
ordinary two-week period [the] Sengchen would have given six
thousand benedictions which only he and the Panchen as
avatars were qualified to perform."
My basis for thinking HSO must be referring to this or another
occupant of the same position. As his responsibility for the
library would have made him the only possible person to whom
HPB refers as "Chief of the Archive-Registrars of the secret
libraries of the Dalai and Tas-shu-hlumpo Lamas Rimboche." But
maybe alternatives could be suggested?
> Johnson suggests in TMR p. 193 and elsewhere that Sarat Chandra Das
> brought from Tibet from The Tashi Lama's own collections the manuscripts
> of the Stanzas of Dzyan and The Book of the Golden Precepts and HPB was
> secretly given these MSS which she finally published in THE SECRET DOCTRINE
> 1888 and THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE 1889.
I suggest this as a possibility. What I suggest as a
probability is that the material left unpublished at her death
and now published as "The Mystery of Buddha" came from the
Tashilhunpo library since she refers to it therein.
> WHEN did Das bring these MSS back to India? Date?
Two trips. The first in 1879; the second in 1882. His return
from the latter to his Darjeeling home was delayed by
the death of the Panchen in Sep and then by other
problems and he and Ugyen did not get back to Darjeeling until
Christmas as I recall 1882-- well after HPB had left the
place. But the facts that a Das and Gyatso intended to get
back in early fall b HPB went to Darjeeling and stayed at a
Tibetan Buddhist monastery nearby that fall c The names
Chandra Cusho and Ten-dub Ughien are floating around at the
time the former as a pseudonym for Keshava Pillai the latter
described as traveling companion to "our Mahatma" all suggest
that there was some connection. Anytime from 1883 through
Olcott's second trip to Darjeeling in 1887 some material could
have been transmitted to HPB.
And when did HPB possibly
> get her hands on these manuscripts? Does any one have any thoughts
> suggestions or dates on these.
Since she couldn't read Tibetan I would suspect rather that
Das would have translated parts for her and mailed them or
otherwise transmitted them.
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