OF THE CHIEF EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF H. P. BLAVATSKY AND
COL.HENRY S. OLCOTT,
FROM JULY TO NOVEMBER, 1883, INCLUSIVE
(the period to which the material in the present volume belongs)
1 8 8 3
July 7—H. P. B. leaves Adyar for Ootacamund, to visit Maj.-Gen. and Mrs. H. R. Morgan, at their villa “Snowdon” (Theos., IV, Suppl., Aug., 1883, p. 6). While there, writes under dictation the “Replies to an English F. T. S.” (ODL., II, 466). May have made a trip to study the primitive Todas and Mulu-Kurumbas in the Nīlgiri Hills. Must have written at the time her Russian serial story, The Enigmatical Tribes of the Blue Hills, as Preface is dated July 9, 1883. (Story not published until a year later.)
July 15-16—Col. H. S. Olcott, having completed his stay in Ceylon (whence he sailed June 27), crosses over to Tuticorin, to begin tour of Southern India (ODL., II, 442; Theos., IV, Suppl., Aug., 1883, p. 6).
July 17—London Lodge holds a conversazione at Prince's Hall, Piccadilly, to welcome The Sinnetts, recently returned from India. Some 270 people present. Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford delivers what she calls (LLL.) her “inaugural address” (Light, III, No. 134, July 28, 1883, pp. 335, 337-38; Theos., V, Suppl., Oct., 1883, pp. 3-5).
July 17-31—Col. H. S. Olcott lectures, organizes branches, performs remarkable mesmeric cures. Visits Tinnevelly (17th-20th), Trivandrum (22nd-23rd), Nāgercoil (25th), Srīvilliputtūr (29th), Sāttūr (30th), Madurā (31st-Aug. 3rd) (ODL., II, 442-51; Theos., IV, Suppl., Aug., 1883, p. 5; Suppl., Sept., 1883, pp. 1-3).
July—H. P. B.'s important article “Chelas and Lay Chelas” published in The Theosophist, Supplement for July, 1883.
July—Approximate time of the receipt by A. P. Sinnett, then in London, of two letters from Master K. H. The first, a very long one (ML., No. LIX, pp. 338-49), on profound occult teachings; and the second, a shorter one (ML., No. LXXXI, pp. 383-86), treating of the grave obstacles in the way of the “Phoenix” venture.
Aug. 4-21—Col. H. S. Olcott continues lecturing and healing.
Visits Negapatam (4th-6th), Trichinopoly (6th-9th), Tanjore (Ilth12th),
Kumbakonam (13th-14th), Mayavaram (15th-16th), Cuddalore (17th-19th),
Chingleput (20th). While at Cuddalore, takes part in Pradakshina
ceremony, hitherto reserved for Hindūs alone; also in the Arāti
ceremony wherein blazing camphor is presented to him by the High Priest
(ODL., II, 451-63; Theos., IV, Suppl., Sept., 1883, pp. 3-8) .
Aug. 13--Phenomenon at Adyar, in the absence of H. P. B.: broken China saucer restored in the “Shrine.” Attested to by Maj.-Gen. H. R. Morgan (Theos., V, Suppl., Dec., 1883, p. 31), and Mme. Coulomb (Report, pp. 46-47) .
Before Aug. 15—H. P. B. duplicates the sapphire ring of Mrs. Sara M. Carmichael at Ootacamund (Inc., 259-60, for Mrs. C.'s own letter; Theos., V, Suppl., Dec., 1883, pp. 23-26, for H. P. B.'s own account; also LBS., No. XXIII, p. 45) .
Aug. 15—H. P. B. writes from Ootacamund to the Secretary of the London Lodge. She was taken to task from England and Scotland for advertising in The Theosophist Freethought and Anti-Christian literature. Refuses to change policy (Theos., August, 1931).
Aug. 16 or 17—Damodar K. Malavankar arrives at Mayavaram, on business for the T. S., bringing T. Vijayaraghava Charlu, to act as Col. H. S. Olcott's Private Secretary (ODL. II, 461-62) .
Aug. 22-Col. H. S. Olcott joins H. P. B. at Ootacamund (ODL., II, 463-64; also Diaries).
August—First T. S. Branch formed at Odessa, Russia, with the Hon. Nadyezhda Andreyevna de Fadeyev, H. P. B.'s aunt, as Pres. (Theos., IV, Suppl., Sept., 1883, p. 6).
” —The Theosophist publishes important article “Gurus and Chelas,” signed by 201 Hindūs (Vol. IV, Suppl., Aug., 1883, p. 2).
” —Letter from Master K. H. to A. P. Sinnett, regarding the “Phoenix” venture (ML., No. LXXXII, pp. 387-93).
” —Insinuations appear in leading Madras papers, hinting that the Founders of the T. S. are secret political agents. Col. H. S. Olcott protests to the Government (ODL., II, 467) .
Sept. 1—Letter to the Editor from Henry Kiddle published in Light, London (Vol. III, No. 139, Sept. 1, 1883, p. 392). Beginning of so-called “Kiddie Incident.”
Sept. 13—Council of the Government of Madras guarantees full protection to The Theosophical Society (ODL., II, p. 467; III, pp. 3-8; Theos., V, Suppl., Oct., 1883, pp. 1-2).
Sept. 15—Col. H. S. Olcott writes from Ootacamund an Open Letter to the Bishop of Madras (Theos., V, Suppl., Oct., 1883, pp. 9-10).
Sept. 16—H. P. B. and Col. H. S. Olcott leave Ootacamund for Coimbatore, staying there three days. Leave the 19th (ODL., III, p. 11; Theos., V, Suppl., Oct., 1883, pp. 2, 14).
Sept. 20—H. P. B. and H. S. O. arrive at Pondichéry. The
Colonel lectures Sept. 21st in French, first time in his life and
without preparation; apparently with special help from his Teacher. H.
P. B. holds a reception at which Master Nārāyana is present (ODL., III,
11-17 ; Theos., V, Suppl., Oct., 1883, pp. 2-3, 14) .
Sept. 23—H. P. B. and H. S. O. return to Adyar (ODL., III, 17) .
Sept. 27—H. P. B. writes from Adyar to A. P. Sinnett (LBS., No. XXVII, pp. 55-63). Says Master K. H. ordered H. S. Olcott to “go to a certain pass where he will be led to by a chela he will send for him . . . .” He is to meet Master K. H. She also says: . “. . . it appears that it is Maha Sahib (the big one) who insisted with the Chohan that Olcott should be allowed to meet personally two or three of the adepts besides his guru M . . . .”
Sept. 27—Col. H. S. Olcott leaves Adyar on a tour of Northern India. Lectures, organizes Branches and heals the sick at Bellary (28th-30th), Adoni (30th-Oct. 2nd), Hydezābād, Secunderābād, Bolārum 3rd-7th), Sholāpur (ODL., III, 18-21; Theos., V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, pp. 15-17; LBS., No. XXVII, p. 62).
Sept. 29—W. T. Brown of the London Lodge, and Mrs. Sarah Parker of Dublin, Ireland, arrive at Adyar (LBS., No. XXVII, p. 62).
Oct. 8-Letter from Master K. H. to A. P. Sinnett, declaring “Phoenix Venture” a failure (ML., No. LXXXII, pp. 393-96).
Oct. 10 (?)-W. T. Brown joins H. S. O. at Sholāpur (ODL.. III, p. 20).
Oct. 11—Dāmodar K. Māvalankar leaves Adyar to join Col. H. S. Olcott at Poona (Theos., V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, pp. 22).
Oct. 12-14—Col. H. S. Olcott at Poona, where Dāmodar arrives Oct. 13th (ODL., III, 20-21; Theos., V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, p. 17).
Oct. 15—Col. H. S. Olcott and party arrive at Bombay. Stay there until 21st (ODL., III, 21; Theos., V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, p. 17).
Oct. 20—H. P. B. joins H. S. O. at Bombay, staying with the Flynns. She was ordered to deliver in person to H. S. O. the order of the Master to stop all healings for a time. Same order given him simultaneously by Dāmodar. H. P. B. and H. S. O. were invited by the Mahārāja Holkar of Indore to visit him, but visit was cancelled (ODL., II, 440; III, 21-22; Theos., V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, p. 15).
Oct. 21—Col. H. S. Olcott leaves Bombay, with Dāmodar and L. Doraswamy Naidu, Sec'y. Visits Jubbulpore (22nd-26th), Allahābād (27th-31st), and Ghāzīpur (31st-Nov. 2nd) (ODL., III, 23-25; Theos., V, Suppl., Dec., 1883, pp. 33-35).
Oct. 21—Edward Maitland—Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford being “unavoidably absent” —reads an address from her before London Lodge. Resolution passed, protesting its language. Internal dissension begins to come out into the open (ML., No. LXXXVII, pp. 406-07; ED., p. 43; LBS., No. XXX, pp. 69-70, which confuses dates).
Oct. 22—H. P. B. leaves Bombay for Madras. Stops on her way at
Poona, staying at the house of judge N. D. Khandalawala. Intro
duced to wealthy industrialist, Jacob Sassoon, by his cousin A. D. Ezekiel. On Sassoon's plea for a demonstration of magic, apparently with the understanding that this would mean financial support for the cause, H. P. B., on telepathic orders from the Master, refuses to perform any phenomena. Psychically requests Ramalinga Deb, at Adyar, to confirm in writing the correctness of order she received. Gets confirming wire. Goes home about Oct. 26th-27th (Coulomb, p. 69 ; Hodgson, p. 318 ; LBS., No. XLVI, pp. 112, 115) .
Oct. 27—Light (Vol. III, No. 147, p. 472) and The Theosophist Vol. V, Suppl., Nov., 1883, pp. 20-21) publish “A Protest of Theosophists,” signed by some 500 Hindūs, some of them high Chelas, against Dr. George Wyld's arrogant article in Light (Vol. III, No. 133, July 21, 1883) regarding the Teachers.
Oct, 30—Death at Ajmere of Swāmi Dayānanda Saraswatī, Chief of the Ārya Samāj (Theos., V, Dec., 1883, p. 105).
Nov. 3-11—Col. H. S. Olcott continues tour of Northern India. Visits Cawnpore (3rd-4th), Lucknow (4th-6th), Bāra-Bankī (6th-7th), Bareilly (8th-9th), and Morādābād (9th-11th) (ODL., III, 25-30; Theos., V, Suppl., Dec., 1883, pp. 35-36; Journal, I, Jan., 1884.
Nov. 4—Phenomenon of Dāmodar's astral trip to his Master's Āśrama, thence to Adyar and back, with a letter just received from Samuel Ward (ODL., III, pp. 27, 30-32).
Nov. 4—Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford sends apologetic message to London Lodge counteracting her address of Oct. 21st (ED., p. 44).
Nov. 10—Phenomenon of Dāmodar's astral trip to Adyar from Morādābād, N.W.P., confirmed by H. P. B.'s telegram of same date to Col. Olcott (ODL., III, 29-30; Theos., V, Dec., 1883, pp. 88-89).
Nov. 11-17—Col. H. S. Olcott visits Alīgarh (11th-13th), Delhi 13th-15th), Meerut (15th-17th), leaving the latter by the evening train for Lahore (ODL., III, 30-33 ; Journal, I, pp. 2-3 ).
Nov. 17—Dāmodar, travelling by rail between Meerut and Lahore, visits “Shrine” at Adyar astrally, resulting in a fright for Mme. Coulomb. She was steadying a chair upon which H. P. B. visas standing, cleaning Master's portrait in the “Shrine.” H. P. B. falls, injuring right knee. Dāmodar relates circumstances to H. S. O. Confirmed by telegram from H. P. B. to H. S. O., dated from Adyar, 7:55 a. m., Nov. 18th, in answer to one sent by him, requesting information (ODL., III, 33-35; LBS., No.XXVIII, p. 63 ; FRC., p. 44 fn.). Maj.-Gen. and Mrs. H. R. Morgan present, being at Adyar on a visit (Hodgson, p. 325).
Nov. 18—Col. H. S. Olcott and party arrive at Lahore, at about
8:30 a. m. Put up in tents pitched on the Maidan (parade grounds),
opposite the Fort. Stay until the evening train on the 21st (ODL., III,
34-43; Journal, I, pp. 3-5).
Nov. 20—Master K. H. visits H. S. O. and W. T. Brown in their tent. “1:55 a. m. Koot Hoomi came in body to my tent. Woke me suddenly out of sleep, pressed a note (wrapped in silk) into my left hand, and laid his hand upon my head. He then passed into Brown's compartment and integrated another note in his hand (Brown's). He spoke to me. Was sent by Maha Chohan.” (Diaries; also: ODL., III, 36-38; SE; Theos., V, Dec., 1883, pp. 85-86, ed. note; LMW., I, No. 16, for text of letter to H. S. O.; Theos., LIII, Aug., 1932, for facsimile.)
Nov. 20--Brief note from Master K. H. to H. S. O., to prepare him for a second visit that evening (LMW., 1, No. 17; facsimile in Theos., LIII, August, 1932).
Nov. 20--Second visit of Master K. H., accompanied by his disciple, Djual Koo'l, to the tent grounds, at about 10 p. m. He talks for a long time first with Damodar, then with H. S. O. (Diaries; ODL., III, 41-43 ; SE.).
Nov. 21—Col. H. S. Olcott and party leave Lahore by the evening train and go to Jammu. Leave train at Wazīrābād and proceed by horse-post to Sialkot; leave carriage this side of the river Rāvi and ford it on elephants. Visit Mahārāja of Kashmīr; remain at Jammu till 29th (ODL., III , 43-50 ; Journal, I, Jan., 1884, p. 5) .
Nov. 24—Phenomenon at Adyar of letter to S. Ramasvamier delivered by an “astral hand” issuing from bookcase which, on immediate inspection, was found to have a solid back. (Reported by V. Coopooswamy Iyer, Pleader, Madura, Nov. 27, 1883, in Journal, I, Feb., 1884, p. 30. )
Nov. 25—Dāmodar disappears from the house at Jammu at daylight. Telegram from Col. H. S. Olcott to H. P. B. regarding this. Phenomenon of the receipt by H. S. O. of a telegraphic reply from H. P. B. which was delivered by a chela under the form of a peon. Damodar returns on Nov. 27th, greatly changed, after a visit to the Asrama of his Teacher (ODL., III, 50-54; LBS, Nos. CXXVIII and CXXIX, p. 456 ; No. XXX, p. 73) .
Nov. 26—Brief note from Master K. H. to W. T. Brown, received at Jammu during absence of Dāmodar (LMW., I, No. 21; SE.).
Nov. 29—Col. H. S. Olcott leaves Jammu for Kapūrthala via Lahore and Kirtarpur. Stays at Kapūrthala Nov. 30th-Dec. 3rd. Dāmodar returns to Adyar direct from Wazīrābād (ODL., III, pp. 58-59; Journal, I, Feb., 1884, p. 32).
Nov: Dec.—Letter from Master K. H. to A. P. Sinnett, giving
full explanation of the “Kiddle incident” (ML., No. XCIII, pp. 420-29).
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
Coulomb—Some Account of my Intercourse with Madame Blavatsky from 1872 to 1884; with a number of Additional Letters and a Full Explanation of the most Marvellous Theosophical Phenomena. Pamphlet by Mme. Coulomb, published for the Proprietors of the Madras Christian College Magazine, by Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, London, E.C., 1885 [issued, according to H. S. O.'s Diaries, December 23, 1884].
Diaries—Col. H. S. Olcott's Diaries, in the Adyar Archives.
ED—The Early Days of Theosophy in Europe, A. P. Sinnett. London: Theos. Publishing House, Ltd., 1922. 126 pp.
FRC—First Report of the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research Appointed to Investigate the Evidence for Marvellous Phenomena Offered by certain Members of The Theosophical Society. [Private and Confidential.] 130 pp. [December, 1884.]
Hodgson—“Report of the Committee Appointed to Investigate Phenomena Connected with The Theosophical Society,” Proceedings of the Society for Psychic Research, Vol. III, Part IX, December, 1885. 200 pp., plates.
Journal—Journal of The Theos. Soc. See App. p. 386.
Inc.— Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky. A. P. Sinnett. London: George Redway, 1886. xxii, 324 pp.
LBS.— Letters of H. P. B. to A. P. Sinnett. See SINNETT, App. pp. 381-82.
Light—See App. p. 386.
LLL.-A Letter Addressed to the Fellows, etc. See KINGSFORD, App. p. 377.
LMW.—Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1881-1888. Transcribed and Compiled by C. Jinarājadāsa. With a Foreword by Annie Besant. First Series. Adyar, Madras: Theos. Publishing House, 1919. 124 pp.; 2nd ed., 1923 ; 3rd ed., 1945 ; 4th ed., with new and additional Letters (1870-1900), 1948. viii, 220 pp.
ML.— The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. See SINNETT, App. pp. 381-82.
ODL.-Old Diary Leaves. See OLCOTT, App. p. 379.
Report— Report of Observations Made during a Nine Months Stay at the Headquarters of The Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India, by Dr. Franz Hartmann (pseud. “An American Buddhist”). Madras: Scottish Press, Graves, Cookson and Co., 1884. 60 pp.
SE.—Some Experiences in India, by W. T. Brown. London: printed under the authority of the London Lodge of The Theos. Society, 1884. 19 pp. Very scarce. Copy of original in the Adyar Library. Reprinted in The Canadian Theosophist, Vol. XXVIII, June, 1947.
Theos.—The Theosophist. See App. p. 387.