Blavatsky Collected Writings, Vol. 5 Page 324

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 1(49), October, 1883, p. 2.]

[A. Sankariah, F. T. S., President-Founder, Hindû Sabhâ, writing an Open Letter to Col. H. S. Olcott, on the subject of Chelaship, says: “. . . if you . . . study the exoteric and technical System of Hinduism so well as you have studied the Buddhistic system, you will be admitted to all the privileges of the Brahman caste.” To this H.P.B. appends the following footnote:]

Our brother is not aware, it seems, that the sacred Brahmanical thread has been twice given to Col. Olcott—as the highest mark of esteem, of course, and not as an actual admission into caste. The last time, the donor was one of the most celebrated Sanskrit pandits of India, and he made the compliment complete by theoretically taking him into his own Gotra.—Ed.

[This has reference to the following event, related by Col. Henry S. Olcott in Old Diary Leases, II, p. 410:
“On 9th March (1883) I dined at the house of the most learned Brahmin Pandit of Bengal, the late Taranath Tarka Vachaspati, author of the famed Sanskrit Dictionary. He cooked food for me and paid me the highest honor possible in India, by giving me the Brahminical sacred thread, adopted me into his gotra (the Sandilya) and gave me his mantra. This was a sort of brevet conferring of the caste of Brahmin, the first case, I fancy, in which the details of the ceremony had been gone through with a white man, although the thread itself was given to Warren Hastings in his time. The favor shown me was, I was given to understand, to mark the sense of gratitude felt for me by the Hindus for my service in the revival of Sanskrit literature and of religious interest among the Indian people. My deep appreciation of the honor has often been expressed by me since then, and, although an avowed and convinced Buddhist then and now, I have always worn the poïta since the venerable Pandit placed the first one about my neck.”]