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TS Organization - Part 3 of 4

Jul 12, 1997 12:17 PM
by ramadoss

Part 3 of 4

Yet it would be well, perchance, were our members to follow the example of
the Masons in their solidarity of thought and action and at least outward
Union, notwithstanding that receiving a thousand times more from their
members they give them in return still less than we do, whether spiritually
or morally. This solitary single guinea expected from every new member is
spent in less than one week, as was calculated, on postage and
correspondence with theosophists. Or are we to understand that all
correspondence with members--now left to "self-culture"--is also to cease
and has to follow diplomas, Charters and the rest? Then, truly, the Head
Quarters and Office had better be closed. A simple Query--however: Have the
...;--the yearly contribution to the L.L. of the T.S., and the further sum
of 2/6d. to the Oriental Group been abolished as "acts of unbrotherly
extortion," and how long, if so, have they begun to be regarded as "a sale
of Brotherhood"?

To continue: the charges wind up with the following remarks, so profound,
that it requires a deeper head than ours to fathom all that underlies the
words contained in them. "Is the T.S. a Brotherhood, or not?" queries the
plaintiff--"If the former, is it possible to have any centre of arbitrary
power?[*9] To hold that there is necessity for such a centre is only a
roundabout way of saying that no Brotherhood is possible,[*10] but in point
of fact that necessity itself is by no means proved {!?}. There have been no
doubt Brotherhoods under high Masters. . . ." {there "have been" and still
are. H.P.B.] "but in such cases the Masters were never elected for
geographical or other considerations {?}. The natural leader of men was
always recognised by his embodying the spirit of Humanity. To institute
comparisons would be little short of blasphemy. The greatest among men is
always the readiest to serve and yet is unconscious of the service. Let us
pause before finally tying the millstone of worldliness around the neck of
Theosophy. Let us not forget that Theosophy does not grow in our midst by
force and control but by sunshine of brotherliness and the dew of
self-oblivion. If we do not believe in Brotherhood and Truth let us put
ashes on our head and weep in sack-cloth and not rejoice in the purple of
authority and in the festive garments of pride and worldliness. It is by far
better that the name of Theosophy should never be heard, than that it should
be used as the Motto of a papal authority." . . . 

Who, upon reading this, and being ignorant that the above piece of
rhetorical flowers of speech is directed against the luckless Pres't
Founder--would not have in his "mind's eye"--an Alexander Borgia, a
Caligula, or to say the least--General Booth in his latest metamorphosis!
When, how, or by doing what, has our good-natured unselfish, ever kind
President merited such a Ciceronian tirade? The state of things denounced
exists now for almost twelve years, and our accuser knew of it and even took
an active part in its organisation, Conventions, Councils, Rules, etc.,
etc., at Bombay, and at Adyar. This virulent sortie is no doubt due to
"SELF-CULTURE"? The critic has outgrown the Movement and turned his face
from the original programme; hence his severity. But where is the true
theosophical charity, the tolerance and the "sunshine .,f brotherliness"
just spoken of, and so insisted upon?

Verily--it is easy to preach the "dew of self-oblivion" when one has nothing
to think about except to evolve such finely rounded phrases; were every
theosophist at Adyar to have his daily wants and even comforts, his board,
lodging and all, attended to by a wealthier theosophist; and were the same
"sunshine of brotherliness" to be poured upon him, as it is upon the critic
who found for himself an endless brotherly care, a fraternal and
self-sacrificing devotion in two other noble-minded members, then--would
there be little need for the President Founder to call upon and humble
himself before our theosophists. For, if he has to beg for 2 annual
shillings--it is, in order that those--Europeans and Hindus --who work night
and day at Adyar, giving their services free and receiving little thanks or
honour for it, should have at least one meal a day. The fresh "dew of
self-oblivion" must not be permitted to chill one's heart, and turn into the
lethal mold of forgetfulness to such an extent as that. The severe critic
seems to have lost sight of the fact that for months, during the last
crisis, the whole staff of our devoted Adyar officers, from President down
to the youngest brother in the office, have lived on 5d. a day each, having
reduced their meals to the minimum. And it is this mite, the proceeds of the
"2 shill. contribution," conscientiously paid by some, that is now called
extortion, a desire to live "in the purple of authority and the festive
garments of pride and worldliness"!

Our "Brother" is right. Let us "weep in sack cloth and ashes on our head" if
the T.S. has many more such unbrotherly criticisms to bear. Truly "it would
be far better that the name of Theosophy should never be heard than that it
should be used as a motto"--not of papal authority which exists nowhere at
Adyar outside the critic's imagination--but as a motto of a "self-developed
fanaticism." All the great services otherwise rendered to the Society, all
the noble work done by the complainant will pale and vanish before such an
appearance of cold-heartedness. Surely he cannot desire the annihilation of
the Society? And if he did it would be useless: the T.S. cannot be destroyed
as a body. It is not in the power of either Founders or their critics; and
neither friend nor enemy can ruin that which is doomed to exist, all the
blunders of its leaders notwithstanding. That which was generated through
and founded by the "High Masters" and under their authority if not their
instruction--MUST AND WILL LIVE. Each of us and all will receive his or her
Karma in it, but the vehicle of Theosophy will stand indestructible and
undestroyed by the hand of whether man or fiend.

No; "truth does not depend on show of hands"; but in the case of the much
abused President-Founder it must depend on the show of facts. Thorny and
full of pitfalls was the steep path he had to climb up alone and unaided for
the first years. Terrible was the opposition outside the Society he had to
build--sickening and disheartening the treachery he often encountered within
the Head Quarters. Enemies gnashing their teeth in his face around, those
whom he regarded as his staunchest friends and co-workers betraying him and
the Cause on the slightest provocation. Still, where hundreds in his place
would have collapsed and given up the whole undertaking in despair, he,
unmoved and unmovable, went on climbing up and toiling as before,
unrelenting and undismayed, supported by that one thought and conviction
that he was doing his duty. What other inducement has the Founder ever had,
but his theosophical pledge and the sense of his duty toward THOSE he had
promised to serve to the end of his life? There was but one beacon for
him--the hand that had first pointed to him his way up: the hand of the
MASTER he loves and reveres so well, and serves so devotedly though
occasionally, perhaps, unwisely. As President elected for life, he has
nevertheless offered more than once to resign in favour of any one found
worthier than him, but was never permitted to do so by the majority--not of
"show of hands" but show of hearts, literally--as few are more beloved than
he is even by most of those, who may criticize occasionally his actions. And
this is only natural: for, cleverer in administrative capacities, more
learned in philosophy, subtler in casuistry, in metaphysics or daily life
policy, there may be many around him; but the whole globe may be searched
through and through and no one found stauncher to his friends, truer to his
word, or more devoted to real, practical theosophy--than the
President-Founder; and these are the chief requisites in a leader of such a
movement--one that aims to become a Brotherhood of men. The Society needs no
Loyolas; it has to shun anything approaching casuistry; nor ought we to
tolerate too subtle casuists. There, where every individual has to work out
his own Karma, the judgment of a casuist who takes upon himself the duty of
pronouncing upon the state of a brother's soul, or of guiding his
conscience, is of no use, and may become positively injurious. The Founder
claims no more rights than every one else in the Society: the right of
private judgment, which, whenever it is found to disagree with Branches or
individuals is quietly set aside and ignored--as shown by the complainants

This, then, is the sole crime of the would-be culprit, and no worse than
this can be laid at his door. And yet what is the reward of that kind man?
He, who has never refused a service, outside what he considers his official
duties--to any living being; he who has redeemed dozens of men, young and
old, from dissipated, often immoral lives and saved others from terrible
scrapes by giving them a safe refuge in the Society; he, who has placed
others again, on the pinnacle of Saintship through their status in that
Society, when otherwise they would have indeed found themselves now in the
meshes of "worldliness" and perhaps worse;--he, that true friend of every
theosophist, and verily "the readiest to serve and as unconscious of the
service"--he is now taken to task for what?--for insignificant blunders, for
useless "special orders," a childish, rather than untheosophical love of
display, out of pure devotion to his Society.
Is, then, human nature to be viewed so uncharitably by us, as to call
untheosophical, worldly and sinful the natural impulse of a mother to dress
up her child and parade it to the best advantages? The comparison may be
laughed at, but if it is, it will be only by him who would, like the
fanatical Christian of old, or the naked, dishevelled Yogi of India--have no
more charity for the smallest human weakness. Yet, the simile is quite
correct, since the Society is the child, the beloved creation of the
Founder; he may be well forgiven for this too exaggerated love for that for
which he has suffered and toiled more than all other theosophists put
together. He is called "worldly," "ambitious of power" and untheosophical
for it. Very well; let then any impartial judge compare the life of the
Founder with those of most of his critics, and see which was the most
theosophical, ever since the Society sprang into existence. If no better
results have been achieved, it is not the President who ought to be taken to
task for it, but the Members themselves, as he has been ever trying to
promote its growth, and the majority of the "Fellows" have either done
nothing, or created obstacles in the way of its progress through sins of
omission as of commission. Better unwise activity, than an overdose of too
wise inactivity, apathy or indifference which are always the death of an
Nevertheless, it is the members who now seek to sit in Solomon's seat; and
they tell us that the Society is useless, its President positively
mischievous, and that the Head-Quarters ought to be done away with, as "the
organisation called Theosophical presents many feature seriously obstructive
to the progress of Theosophy."  Trees, however, have to be judged by their
fruits. It was just shown that no "special orders" issuing from the "Centre
of Power" called Adyar, could affect in any way whatever either Branch or
individual; and therefore any theosophist bent on "self culture,"
"self-involution" or any kind of selfness, is at liberty to do so; and if,
instead of using his rights he will apply his brain-power to criticize other
people's actions then it is he who becomes the obstructionist and not at all
the "Organisation called Theosophical." For, if theosophy is anywhere
practised on this globe, it is at Adyar, at the Head-Quarters. Let "those
interested in the progress of true theosophy" appealed to by the writers
look around them and judge. See the Branch Societies and compare them with
the group that works in that "Centre of Power." Admire the "progress of
theosophy" at Paris, London and even America. Behold, in the great
"Brotherhood," a true Pandemonium of which the Spirit of Strife and Hatred
himself might be proud! Everywhere--quarreling, fighting for supremacy;
backbiting, slandering, scandal-mongering for the last two years; a
veritable battlefield, on which several members have so disgraced themselves
and their Society by trying to disgrace others, that they have actually
become more like hyenas than human beings by digging into the graves of the
Past, in the hopes of bringing forward old forgotten slanders and scandals!

At Adyar alone, at the Head-Quarters of the Theosophical Society, the
Theosophists are that which they ought to be everywhere else: true
theosophists and not merely philosophers and Sophists. In that centre alone
are now grouped together the few solitary, practically working Members, who
labour and toil, quietly and uninterruptedly, while those Brothers for whose
sake they are working, sit in the dolce far niente of the West and criticize
them. Is this "true theosophical and brotherly work," to advise to put down
and disestablish the only "centre" where real brotherly, humanitarian work
is being accomplished?
"Theosophy first, and organisation after." Golden words, these. But where
would Theosophy be heard of now, had not its Society been organised before
its spirit and a desire for it had permeated the whole world? And would
Vedanta and other Hindu philosophies have been ever taught and studied in
England outside the walls of Oxford and Cambridge, had it not been for that
organization that fished them like forgotten pearls out of the Ocean of
Oblivion and Ignorance and brought them forward before the profane world?
Nay, kind Brothers and critics, would the Hindu exponents of that sublime
philosophy themselves have ever been known outside the walls of Calcutta,
had not the Founders, obedient to the ORDERS received, forced the remarkable
learning and philosophy of those exponents upon the recognition of the two
most civilized and cultured centres of Europe--London and Paris?

=================== end of part 3 of 4 =====================

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