W. Dallas TenBroeck
Mr. Tenbroeck wants me to make explicit that he is not a spokesman for the ULT. The articles on this website are strictly his personal opinion and knowledge talking.
Dallas about himself:
Monday, July 23, 2001 Dear Katinka: My "life" is not very inspiring or important, and the last thing needed is to become some kind of an 'authority." I wrote the bio-notes about Mr. Wadia because I lived at his home for many years. He was a friend of my parents before I was born (Los Angeles, Dec 20 1922). In fact Dr. Jean-Louis Simeon has written a far more readable biography compiled partly from my notes and other sources than I am capable of doing. He is associated with the Paris U.L.T. It is entitled "B. P. WADIA ( 1881-1958 ) AND THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT RENAISSANCE." If you can secure a copy from firstname.lastname@example.org ask him or Mme. M. Leblois if you can use it. I give some notes in the body of your query below. Best wishes, Dallas :
I was born in Los Angeles Dec 20 1922. My parents were Mr. William Davis TenBroeck and Mrs. Elizabeth Pearsall TenBroeck. Mr. B. P Wadia was their friend at that time and ever since till his death in 1958. In 1927 we traveled via Paris and London to Bombay, India. My father William Davis Tenbroeck had secured a post as sub-manager of the Bombay branch of the National City Bank of New York. Bombay U.L.T. was inaugurated November 17th 1929. It was located in the "Fort" at 51 Esplanade Rd., (later renamed Mahatma Gandhi Rd.) .
I was sent (November 1929) to live in Belgium to learn French, and I got my primary education (Thirimont lez Beaumont, Hainault) in a village school [ Instituteur: Mr. A. Piette ] and stayed there till 1936. Then back to Bombay and went to New Era School, Hughes Rd.[ Principal Mr. M. T. Vyas ] I graduated as a matriculate of the Bombay University in 1940, and went to Elphinstone College and the Royal Institute of Science where I studied several science courses.
In 1942 the QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT closed all educational institutions. I went into business and assisted my father who had purchased the INTERNATIONAL BOOK HOUSE Ltd. Locate in Ash lane near the University of Bombay. All this time we lived in a large house named ARYASANGHA, at No. 22, Narayan Dabholkar Rd., Malabar Hill, Bombay. Mr. B. P. and Mrs. Sophia Wadia lived just above us. U.L.T. activity in Bombay expanded and a sister Lodge in the Matunga quarter was established primarily as a study class for local students. Another U.L.T. was started in Bangalore. And Later the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF WORLD CULTURE.
I vacationed many times during the hot months in Ootacamund in the Nilgiri Mountains of Mysore / Madras at "GURUMANDIR" an estate owned by Mr. Wadia. Mr Wadia died in 1958 and my father in 1959. After that I managed our family businesses.
My sister and Mother started the EAST WEST SCHOOL in Basavangudi, Bangalore in 1961, and it has an enrolment of over 750 children, and one of the best reputations in Bangalore for education. My sister died 2 years ago and the School continues under a Board of Trustees she had established. I sold my interest in the INTERNATIONAL BOOK HOUSE, and in 1961 I started the EAST-EST PRESS in new Delhi. Our specialty was the publishing of text books for University and college level students. My wife's health mandated a change, and leaving the Press in New Delhi in the hands of my co-directors, in 1969 we moved to Los Angles. I bought a home and a partnership in a business and have worked with the Los Angeles U.L.T. since then. I am now "retired."
Earlier Tenbroeck compiled the following on B.P. Wadia:
B. P. Wadia information is unique to me, my sister Sophia and a few others, mainly in India, who lived near him. There are now few of these as he died in 1957 and it is now 1994. My sister: (Sophia TenBroeck lives in Bangalore, Mysore State, South India, at 1, Sri B. P. Wadia Rd. She, and my mother, Elizabeth P. TenBroeck funded, started and managed the EAST-WEST SCHOOL in Bangalore from 1961 onward. Sophia continues this very successful and highly appreciated work in Bangalore.) (1999)
EAST-WEST SCHOOL is fairly close to the ULT Lodge in Basavangudi, Bangalore. It has a yearly enrollment of over 700 pupils for the last 25 years or so. She is also the Vice-President of the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF WORLD CULTURE, which Mr. Wadia started in 1945 so as to bring the larger sphere of Theosophical influence in the World to the attention of Bangalorians, and vice versa.
Sophia has been in Theosophy, like I have, working with and through the ULT, since our early years in this incarnation. Mr. Wadia was a friend of my parents for as long as I can remember, and we lived in an apartment located immediately below his own residence in "Aryasangha," 22 Narayan Dabholkar Rd., Malabar Hill, Bombay for over 20 years.
So I had every opportunity to participate in, and observe events as they unrolled: with him, the ULT in Bombay, Matunga (Bombay North), and Bangalore; also, in the rest of India, as ULT Theosophy Study Classes were established from Calcutta in the East, and Delhi in the North, to Madras in the South.
[ Other members of the TenBroeck family in India were: Mrs. Elizabeth P. TenBroeck--my mother, who went to Bombay, India with my father and myself in 1927, was very active in the Lodge work and the editing of the magazines, and died in Bangalore in 1982, age 87.
Mr father: William Davis TenBroeck (better known to all friends as "Bill TenBroeck") died in Bangalore in 1958 March almost 6 months after Mr. Wadia died. He came in 1927 to Bombay as the first American sub-manager in India for the National City Bank of New York (now CITICORP). Later he established and managed the DENABANK for his friend: Sri Pranlal Devkaran Nanjee. He owned and ran the Henry Davis Company Ltd. named after his mother's father, who had been Governor of Massachusetts. Concurrently, he was Far-Eastern Agent for the Western Union Telegraph Company in India, Burma, and Ceylon. I am William Dallas TenBroeck, and use the name "Dallas" to distinguish myself from my father, while he was alive, as we both have the same first name: William, and have continued to do so. My wife is Valerie TenBroeck. ]
EXTRACTS from a letter sent to an inquirer 1992
"B.P.Wadia was a friend of my parents when I was born (Dec. 1922). I have lived near Mr. Wadia, and worked with, and for him, directly and indirectly, until his death in 1958. I hold him in the highest respect, and have studied his life and his works for all these years; also, comparing them with the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge on theosophy. Here was a man who lived to help others. In the sense that Tom Paine wrote: "His country was the World, and "to do good" was his religion."
"Among Mr. Wadia's papers, I came across some mention of his visiting the Krotona T.S. (Adyar) in Hollywood (1919), and also of the stir that he made among the membership of the TS in the US, when, in 1919/1920, he publicly upheld the right of the TS members to democratically run their elections and resist any pressures (from their E S or whatever source), that might impair their individual right to decide how they would vote, or what they would investigate. He was a member of the American Section of the T.S. and spoke and wrote as such, not as a visitor, or an "import" from Adyar. His opposition was complained of to Mrs. A. Besant (International Theosophical Society President) in Adyar. He did write a lengthy letter of explanation that was generally circulated among the American membership. In that, he explained his position in the light of Theosophical principles and again stated that he was actually a member of the American Section of the TS and had a right to his opinion, and to expressing it to other American members.
If reference is made to H.P.B.'s original papers it will be found that it, the "esoteric body" cannot and may not influence or have anything to do with the exoteric T.S. This principle has been violated many times after Her death, by those who chose to elevate themselves and made claim to be Her "successor." If, they were, in turn, accepted as such by the membership who were unprepared to assume the responsibility of independent decision, which HPB had indicated they should exercise in this regard, the results proved disastrous in time to the exoteric T S .
If one desires to write a biographical apercu of Mr. Wadia' life and work, with emphasis on his work in the U S and Canada, the CANADIAN THEOSOPHIST for the months of 1919/20 carried the most detailed reports of his lectures. When in America, the AMERICAN THEOSOPHIST did the same. As soon as his resignation from the T S became known, they dropped further mention of him.
Miss Jeanne Sims of Los Angeles might know more of Mr. Wadia's life and work. She was helpful in providing copies of her work compiled from Mr. Wadia's writings. I would say, by and large, that the record left us, in writing, is the most reliable of those of individual worth. We have, fortunately had some great personages who have supported and worked for THEOSOPHY in those remnants of the T S that ought to be vigorously pursuing the work that HPB died to give to us. In the ranks of the anonymous ULT students who have patiently and perseveringly carried on the work of preservation, of study, and of promulgation of the original teachings of Theosophy very little is known or referred to. Emphasis is given to those teachings, not to the people who have made U.L.T. successful, so far.
W. E. WHITEMAN on BPW
[ The following is from the pen of Mr. Wadia's long time friend and devoted companion: Winifred E. Whiteman of the London, U.K., U.L.T. Miss Whiteman served as his literary "agent" in Europe, securing articles for THE ARYAN PATH magazine (1930-1960); and also serving as European representative for THE INDIAN INSTITUTE OF WORLD CULTURE, which he had launched in Bangalore, India, in 1945, and for which she organized a London branch. ]
B. P. WADIA AND THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
"The mighty Theosophical Movement" was a phrase that 'B.P.' often used, and the adjective seems to match him also--even to his sense of humor. We owe the creative and inspiring guidelines, that reinforce and augment those of Robert Crosbie, the founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists [U.L.T.], to the breadth as well as the depth of his outlook.
In the opening Editorial of Volume I of The Theosophical Movement, 17th November 1930, (exactly a year after the Bombay Lodge had started up the U.L.T. work in India) appeared the following, that echoed the idea that 'B.P.' had himself expressed.
There are two aspects to the Theosophical Movement, the abstract and the concrete.
The first is diffused and expansive. Wherever thought has struggled to be free, wherever spiritual ideas, as opposed to forms and dogmatism, have been promulgated, there the great Movement is to be discerned. This aspect can rightly be named the Republic of Conscience; for, wherever human conscience is active, in honesty and sincerity, there the potency of Theosophy is present. The Aryan Path (founded January 1930) is the vehicle of this aspect of the Movement, while it also presents teachings of practical value to the aspirant for the Higher Life and to the students of the esoteric science.
The other, the concrete and visible aspect of the Movement revolves round the Teachings of H.P.B. known to the world as H. P. Blavatsky. Accepting the cooperation of others she founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 in the city of New York, under the direct guidance and inspiration of the Masters, who by birth and affiliation are Indians.
The U.L.T. activities, and the magazine Theosophy (started November 1912) and The Theosophical Movement were founded to serve the needs of student-servers of 'Theosophy pure and simple.' The Aryan Path brought in contributors, many of them prominent in their own fields, whose writings and general outlook were significantly part of the more diffused aspect of the Movement, so much so that The Theosophical Movement, in its section 'Theosophical Activities' gave it equal mention with those of more specific Theosophical import.
The same ideal and purpose were behind the founding of the Indian Institute of Culture (as it was named at first) at Bangalore on 11th August 1945 (H.P.B.'s birthday) thus affirming again the link between the two aspects of the Movement. The word "World" was included later in its title to emphasize the breadth of the ideal.
The need to recognize the relationship between the two fields of Theosophical service continued to be referred to periodically in The Theosophical Movement. An article published in its 17th of December 1935 issue. entitled "The Aryan Path" emphasized its dual purpose. It was to make the East and the West aware of the beauty and value of each other's culture, and also to give help to the "very large body of aspirants to the higher life outside of Theosophical circles" in avoiding the dangers of sectarianism and psychism. Secondly, that purpose included Theosophists also, for, as a Master wrote:
"The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. There is more of this movement than you have had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all parts of the world."
The article further warned:
"The Theosophical student of this generation has to guard himself against two extremes: one is to limit the freedom of thought and to live like a frog who looks upon his pond as the world, with nothing outside; the other is to expand and embrace indiscriminately--in the name of brotherhood and fraternization--falsehood, ignorance and humbug."
The Aryan [ Noble ] Path, enables the Theosophical student to learn what able minds in East and West alike are thinking and how many among them understand propositions of the philosophy of Theosophy n\better than himself and his companions. It will also show him how the race-mind is unfolding and in what ways humanity is getting ready for the cycle of 1975. If The Aryan path takes Theosophy to the thinking public, it brings in a compact form to the Theosophical student from the world of science, philosophy and art, ideas and views and even inspiration which he sorely needs and so helps him to live and to labor for his Cause in a better fashion.
A further article "LOCAL THEOSOPHISTS" (The Theosophical Movement, 17th Nov. 1938) quoted from H.P.B.'s FIVE MESSAGES that "although there must be local Branches...there can be no local Theosophists."
The world is wider than any Theosophical organization, and if we would be universal in character, we must fight against narrowness and keep our interest in what is going on in the outside world. And we shall find that there we have our friends and allies...is the "local Theosophist" going to pass by unheeded a book like Mr. Aldous Huxley's ENDS AND MEANS, simply because H.P.B. is not quoted from or mentioned, therein ? Is the power of the Spirit in man to be limited to "Theosophical organizations" only ? Perish the thought ! We have to look for Theosophical ideas, ideas which, largely owing to the life of sacrifice of H.P.B. have percolated (albeit unconsciously to themselves) into the minds of our great thinkers--and welcome them whenever and wherever we find them.
The magazine, however, was only the starting point, for, once the last World War was over, the same aim and purpose was further developed, spreading out into the broader field of the Indian Institute of World Culture. This, in addition to its publications, offers a wide range of talks, exhibitions, drama, dance, film shows and other demonstrations, in furtherance of its objectives. In his Inaugural Address at the opening of the William Quan Judge Hostel for students (the Institute's first unit) B.P. declared that "in the great and immemorial records of the thoughts of Sages and Seers certain definite principles of fundamental value are to be found."
Poets are better social builders than politicians, and the thoughts of philosophers make a deeper impress and last longer in influence than deeds of social reformers. Ideas rule the world and they primarily emanate from poets and philosophers, from mystics and occultists. These great ideas make most suitable foundations. Once their efficacy is experienced in application by an individual he leaves behind the world of chaos and strife and begins to glimpse a world of order, understanding and peace...the Hostel is part of a larger plan, through which the Ancient Culture which is neither of the East nor of the West but is universal, will, it is hope, become manifest. In the spirit of fraternity and brotherhood men and women must learn to live in freedom and liberty.
But the heart of BPS efforts was his 'concern' (in the Quaker sense of the word) for those student-strivers who sought more ardently for greater power to help the Movement. Only those who know fully the range of his personal contacts and widespread correspondence could evaluate the measure of the effects on these of his advice, encouragement and profound heart wisdom. The bringing together of some of his articles from The Theosophical Movement in the little book LIVING THE LIFE can be summed up in a sentence from the ending of the first article, a mantram that B.P.'s own life embodied:
The living Power of Theosophy must become the power by which we live.
W. E. Whiteman
From Dallas' Tenbroeck's letters again:
It was interesting for me to note in conversations I have had with "old-timers" from the days of Crosbie, and shortly thereafter at the Los Angeles ULT, that some of them were apprehensive of the ability of the ULT to survive the passing of Crosbie, who must have known of his approaching death as he told several of his friends. When they expressed this, he consoled them saying that they would receive "help"--"soon." Mr. Wadia arrived in Los Angeles some 4 months later! Seeing an advertisement of the ULT Sunday lecture to be held in down-town Los Angeles at the Metropolitan Building, near the Biltmore Hotel, he attended. There was almost immediate recognition of congruent ideals and motives between him and Mr. John Garrigues, and Mrs. and Mr. Clough, and others who had been closest to Mr. Crosbie and the ULT work.
Now, writing in 1994, and looking backward, the ULT has worked, following the principles of its "DECLARATION" for some 90 years. The work, stresses, and tests felt by students now, are of levels which seem to be different from those in the beginning years, although, analogous. At least some are, and for those of the past that recur, there is a record of precedent that is valuable to use in conference and consultation, and the decision making process. The ULT method of consultation and conference excludes all autocrats. D T B
EXTRACTS FROM A TALK GIVEN AT THE I.I.W.C. IN 1981
by JEHANGHIR M. TIJORIWALLA, Bar-at-Law, of Bombay & Bangalore.
Oct. 16th., 1981
This day marks the birth-centenary of Bahman Pestonji Wadia.
He worked in the cause of labour and the Home Rule Movement of India, leaving plain Theosophical traces on all causes he espoused. This he did through the Theosophical Society, then for thirty years thereafter he lived and laboured for the Cause of Those whom Theosophists call The MASTERS, and in whom they recognize the successors of the ancient and far-distant Rishis.
B.P.'s student days took him up to the "matriculation examination." Thereafter, for a short time the young B.P. worked for an English firm, but resigned when he found that service in its business house meant at times a deliberate departure from the Truth, on occasions when business interest demanded it.
Sometime, during the ninety of the last century, he received a present of the two volumes of THE SECRET DOCTRINE written by Mme. H.P.Blavatsky. The fates act sometimes thus. This birthday present gave his life a fresh and more profound orientation. As he read and studied his soul awakened to deeper purposes for living. He deliberately chose H.P.B. as his guru. His daily contact with THE SECRET DOCTRINE remained unbroken throughout his life. Did She not speak to him, guide and admonish him through the pages of her book? Her body had died in 1891, but to him, She lived, She was a Living Force.
Looking around for a suitable organization through which he might channel his efforts he could find none better than the Theosophical Society. To its venerable President Founder: Col. H. S. Olcott he made application, was accepted and worked thereafter in the Bombay Branch of the T.S. Shortly after Col. Olcott's death he went to work at Adyar.
The plight of the laborers in the Buckingham and Karnatic Mills textile mills came to his attention when a delegation of these called upon Mrs. Annie Besant, asking for assistance. She asked him to attend to that for her, as her delegate. Having espoused with success the cause of the laborer, B.P. observed India now found itself involved in the fortunes of Britain engaged in World War I. India had been promised a gradual increment in political responsibility by the English rulers. When this was shelved, Mrs. Besant indignantly launched the Theosophical Society behind the Home Rule Movement in an effort to secure the implementation of those promises. B.P. now stepped forward to pour the force and fervor of his zeal into a movement for the betterment and freedom of a whole nation.
For almost eighteen years B.P. was a member of the T.S. -- lecturing, writing, editing, managing the Theosophical Publishing House and serving as sub-editor to Annie Besant for Young India newspaper. The soul of B.P. was unsatisfied. He began to realize that those with whom he had forged bonds of love and loyalty were themselves no longer true to the Cause and the Message of H.P.Blavatsky. A craze for psychism and a pandering to the glorification of the personality of individuals had taken root. However, his own sense of loyalty and justice demanded that he verify the accuracy of his own estimate by comparison with that formed by others. Opportunity arose, when in 1919 he undertook a lecture tour to some of the foreign centers of the T.S. This was done in conjunction with a request from the British parliament that he make a deposition to them on labour conditions in India, as President of the Labour Union of Madras.
To his dismay he discovered that in the several centers of the T.S. which he visited the power of the Original Impulse was ebbing and the force of Brotherhood was fast becoming lip-service.
He searched for ways in which to emerge from this impasse. His desire to be of real service to humanity -- to all men of whatever race or creed -- gnawed at his heart and mind. He longed to find that avenue where it would be possible to work without personal recognition, and to efface himself in true work: that of effecting a change in the thinking and motivation of the race. To achieve this it had to be weaned from credulity and blind belief in leaders who offered partial truths, and the slowly creeping up of an overwhelming materialism that closed minds and eyes to the value of the soul-satisfying philosophy of the ancient Aryans, the Nobles of the Soul of ancient India. He realized that the time for the sowing of a harvest for the future had come.
It was in America that B.P.W. found an answer. While visiting Los Angeles he became acquainted with the work and conduct of THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS. There he met like-minded souls and rejoiced in their company. In discharge of his responsibilities to Mrs. Besant, and the positions he occupied in Adyar, he returned to seek from her a public redress of the life, work and character of Mr. Wm. Q. Judge, who was one of the original founders of the T.S., but whose work and efforts had been first calumniated, and latterly deliberately obscured and forgotten. This not being forthcoming, he resigned on July 18th 1922 from the T.S. This resignation was made public to the membership of the T.S.
B.P. felt that the Cause of Theosophy and of the Masters had a paramount claim upon him, his time and work. This resignation brought about a rent in long-established friendships and associations extending back to those days in which we worked for justice for labour and for country. He returned to America to work with the UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS as an "associate" for seven years. He adopted those bonds of "similarity of aim, purpose and teaching" which form the basis for U L T activities. This consists in "spreading broadcast the teachings of Theosophy as recorded in the writings of H.P.Blavatsky and William Q. Judge." It suited him that the fundamental principle of impersonality which unites all true students of Theosophy into a whole gave that strength to all doctrines and teachings offered by the anonymity of its presentation. Let the statement stand on it own merit, and not on any authority which a name or a source may give to it.
1929 brought about the return of B.P. to India. Embodying the ideals of impersonality, loyalty to the Message, and service, he translated them openly through a new center: the Bombay ULT. The 17th of November 1929 saw the founding of this Lodge at 51 Esplanade Rd. (later: Mahatma Gandhi Rd.). A year later THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT magazine was launched. (It is now in its 64th volume.) It is dedicated to "the living of the higher life." Again, anonymity was observed in its publishing policy, a principle not fully grasped by contemporary readers. Similarly at the ULT, the names of lecturers were never published. Emphasis was laid on the value of the doctrines offered.
1930 January saw the issue of the first number of THE ARYAN PATH. This monthly magazine was designed to carry to a wider public the influence of the Theosophical philosophy, and to present to students the views of the world which represented the best developments of modern thinking. With the help of Mr. Theodore L. Crombie, his companion and co-worker for many years serving as sub-editor, this project was launched. Mme. Sophia Wadia lent her name as the Editor. Contributors to the ARYAN PATH included such names as John Middleton Murray, R.A.V.Morris, Wm. Jackson, Kazutomo Takehashi, Lionel Hawthorn, Dr. Haddi Hassan Saheb, H.H.Raja K.P.Bahadur Singh, A.R.Wadia, and many others.
Later, to further serve the area of South India, in the city of Bangalore the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF CULTURE was established. The objective of this Institute was to bring thinkers of importance to the world together and to have them present to the Bangalorians their views and dreams. Here spoke such as the Panchen Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., Sir C.P.Ramaswami, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Professor Haldane, and Dr. Ralph Bunche, Sir C.V.Raman, the Maharaja of Mysore, Dr. Masti Venkatesh Iyengar, Dr. V. Raghavan, and H.R.Bhabha. Through all these activities ran a single string of purpose: to awaken in the Soul of man an awareness of their divine potential, and of their responsibility for assisting others.
Numerous unsigned articles poured from the pen of B.P.: in the Editorials of THE ARYAN PATH, signed Shravaka (Student); in lead articles in THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, and elsewhere in press of the country. His correspondence with luminaries of the world was constant and voluminous. His management of the many affairs at hand and elsewhere was constant, consistent and prompt. He was always responsive to the call of the humblest person who asked for his help. He gave unstintingly of his time and effort to those who deserved his regard and who helped in the furthering of the Cause of the Great Masters, the Elder Brothers of Humanity, the Rishis of Old. The true spiritual devotion of B.P.WADIA has brightened and heightened many a life during the many years of his selfless and unassuming service.
-- Jehanghir Tijoriwalla,