MILK FOR BABES AND STRONG MEAT FOR MEN
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 7, Supplement to April, 1882, p. 5]
When the great poet and writer, Coleridge, tried to establish his Watchman—a periodical in prose and verse, intended to advocate liberal opinions—owing partly to its too learned and philosophical contents, and partly to the fact that its views were not those which its supporters had expected, The Watchman was dropped at the tenth number. Without presuming to compare, in any way, our humble work and ability to those of the most versatile genius of England, we may yet remark that, luckier than the poet, inasmuch as we had not yet to drop our publication, nevertheless we are very often threatened to lose subscribers on the ground that the journal is too profound for them to understand, and its matter too abstruse for the general reader. The objection is an unreasonable one, since for one metaphysical article there are ten, which are quite understandable by any one of general knowledge, and we often publish papers, which, as far even as nonspecialists are concerned, are likely to awaken their interest, if not to entirely meet
their approbation. Thus, since the first appearance of The Theosophist, we had to labour under a variety of difficulties in order to please all our readers. Some wanted it less philosophical; others clamoured for more metaphysics; many took exception to the spiritualistic or phenomenal element in it; while still more complained of being unable to come to a definite conclusion in regard to the “beliefs” and “creed of the Theosophical Society,” whose organ it was. All this is, as it should be; the various complaints being a perfect test that our journal has hitherto carried out faithfully its original programme: namely, an impartial hearing to all; no dogmatism or sectarianism; but a constant and patient work of investigation into, and comparing notes with all and every claim, which is held in common by either small or large bodies of our fellowmen. That these claims, once laid down, were not always followed by adequate explanations, and sometimes failed entirely in giving their raison d’être, is no fault of ours, and no one could reasonably take us to task for it. It certainly is not our province—even though we do defend the right of every man to hold to his particular view or views—to explain, least of all to support the views so expressed. In the first place, it would necessitate a universal knowledge of things—an omniscience we were never so foolish and conceited as to lay claim to; and secondly, even admitting the capability of the editor, in a few cases, to express her opinion thereon, the explanation would prove worthless, since passing but through one side of the lens of our personal opinion—it would naturally modify the whole aspect of the thing. Having first of all to satisfy the “thousand and one” creeds, beliefs and views of the members of the Society, who belong to the greatest variety of creeds, beliefs and views, The Theosophist has to make, as far as it can, room for all, and having done so, to remain as impartial as possible under the circumstances. So narrow-minded and bigoted is the majority of the public that the person, liberal enough to afford to his brother and fellowman the opportunity he loudly exacts for himself, is a rara avis indeed. Our Journal—we say so with a just pride—is the only one in the whole world, which offers such
opportunities to the adherents of every religion and philosophical system, or even ideas. It is for them to make the best of the chance so offered, and we can do no more.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
We draw the attention of our members to a new publication just out—a small pamphlet reprinted from the Missionary Dnyânodaya, and headed Review of a Report of the Public Anniversary of the Theosophical Society held in Bombay on January 12, 1882. That our friends, the padris, are anxious to spread this newly published misrepresentation of what was said during the Public Anniversary, is evident, since everyone is invited to get copies of this pamphlet on application to the Anglo-Vernacular Press in Bombay. We join our voice to that of our well-wishers; we cordially advise everyone who reads The Theosophist, and the Subodha Patrika (see December 4, 1881), to secure a copy of the precious pamphlet, as therein he will find once more how unreliable, cunning and shameless are some missionary organs, and their supporters. One of them, the Satthiavartamans starts a falsehood in October or so. It is to the effect that, when the cocoanut was planted by our President in the Sivite temple at Tinnevelly, “a few days after, when the native community began to take in the situation, the cocoanut had to be pulled up, and the temple had to be purified of Theosophy and Colonel Olcott”—a lie from first to last.—The statement was contradicted, disproved, and shown what it was—a gratuitous calumny—on December 4 in The Theosophist and yet, two months later, the editor of Dnyânodaya not only republishes and gives it a wide circulation, but actually enquires in it with a superb contempt for truthfulness, how it is that the President of our Society did not mention the fact, in his Lecture of January 12th! “He must have known the final act in that comedy, and it strikes us as exceedingly disingenuous that he should have spoken only of the first act and not of the finale”—the pamphlet remarks. How this observation will strike every honest reader—whether Christian or heathen—acquainted with the affair, need not be enlarged upon here. An epithet ready to characterize such a policy, will not fail
to escape the reader’s lips as soon as he reads the above Jesuitical observation.
Again, the writer of the pamphlet catching at a straw, would make his readers believe that the Society, or rather “Theosophy,” is trying to make real the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God (!!), the “sum of the religious opinion of the Society,” and is, therefore, “but what Christianity itself teaches.” Needless to say that the “Society,” as a body, neither teaches, nor “tries to make real” anything of the kind. This expression, moreover, found no utterance during the meeting of the 12th of January; and neither Colonel Olcott, nor Mr. Mirza, having ever announced anything of the sort, it falls to the ground and discovers in itself another untruth. Nor is the substance of what Mr. Mirza said on that day in Framjee Hall, to be understood to mean “Anything—true or false—anything but Christianity.” Speaking for the Mohammedan section of our Society, not for the whole Body, what he said was: “We decline to admit the second god which the Christians would force on us . . . We refuse to accept the Demiurge Jehovah, the tribal deity of an obscure Shemite tribe, in preference to the Mohammedan ‘Allah,’ the Primeval Deity . . . We refuse to accept semidarkness instead of such light, perfect or imperfect, as we may severally have . . .” We invite the readers of the Dnyânodaya pamphlet to read also the pamphlet (now being distributed gratis to the amount of 5,000 copies by our Bombay Society), “The Whole Truth about the Theosophical Society and its Founders,” and the Report of the Society with Mr. Mirza’s speech in it—and compare. Such a deliberate misstatement of facts and the assumption of that which is known to be false, by the writer, is utterly contemptible. The motto of the sons of Loyola to the effect that “the end justifies the means” has become that of the Protestant missionaries; and they have no more the right to thrust it into the teeth of the Jesuits. Applying to the truth and facts of the Dnyânodaya and other padris, the words which concluded Mr. Mirza’s speech in reference to Christianity, we now say: “We will not have them back torn, twisted, and defiled. Take them away!”