Excerpts from K. Paul Johnson's
"The Masters Revealed."
The Masters Revealed: Madame Blavatsky and the Myth of the
Great White Lodge, K. Paul Johnson, State University of New York Press,
Albany, USA, 1994, 288 p.
1) In Caves and Jungles of Hindustan, HPB portrays an adept
called "Gulab-Singh" as the chief sponsor and companion of the TS Founders
in their Indian travels; he is the Rajput ruler of a small native state,
called a Thakur in most references but a raja and prince in others. In a
letter to Prince Dondukov-Korsakov, HPB identifies Gulab-Singh as Morya.
Her tales of meeting him in London in her youth, which appear in Caves
and Jungles and HPB Speaks, are variations on similar stories
about Morya appearing elsewhere. Ranbir Singh was the most important Rajput
ruler who sponsored and supported the TS Founders in their travels and activities;
his father was named Gulab Singh.
2) In Old Diary Leaves Olcott describes Caves and Jungles
as heavily fictionalized, but also describes Gulab-Singh as a real adept
known to him and HPB. He gives no indication that Gulab-Singh and Morya are
the same person, unlike the HPB letter cited above.
3) According to Isis Unveiled, HPB visited Ranbir Singh´s
kingdom in her youthful travels, passing from Kashmir to Leh, Ladakh (part
of his domain). She calls Ladakh "central Tibet" which suggests that as
of 1877 her familiarity with Tibet was quite limited.
4) In an entry in Olcott´s diary, HPB noted that Edward
Wimbridge had brought her a copy of the London Illustrated News
which contained "Holkar´s and Sone One´s portrait,
among others." The volume containing a portrait of Maharaja Holkar of Indore,
a TS sponsor, also contains a portrait of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir,
among those of other native rulers. Ranbir Singh is the only one with major
ties to the TS, which suggests that he was "Some One." HPB´s reverence
and evasiveness indicate that she is referring to some important Master
figure that she is reluctant to name in the diary.
5) HPB´s least-known book The Durbar in Lahore
gives a lengthy, detailed description of Ranbir Singh and his entourage.
It portrays the main objective of her and Olcott´s trip to Lahore
as meeting Ranbir and some Punjabi Sikhs including Maharaja Bikram Singh
6) In the preface to Isis Unveiled HPB refers to "influential
correspondents" in Kashmir and other places, indicating that there was some
connection with important persons in that kingdom prior to her departure
from New York for India.
7) In a letter from K.H. to Sinnett, Ranbir Singh is called "the
prince first on the program" for support of the Phoenix newspaper
venture that was to be edited by Sinnett under the Masters´ guidance.
8) In May 1883, a supplement in The Theosophist described
a visit to Jammu by supporters of the Indian Patriotic Association, who
had an audience with Ranbir Singh and his sons. Among them was "D. Nath
Bawaji," the alleged chela with multiple aliases; Ranbir Singh treated him
with special hospitality and warmth. After the death of Ranbir Singh, Bawaji
(usually spelled Babaji) rebelled against HPB and disappeared from Theosophical
9) In a letter to Sinnett, HPB says that Ranbir Singh "sent for"
Olcott to visit him in the Fall of 1883, and that K.H. ordered him to go
to a certain pass. Thus Olcott´s travel plans were being guided
jointly by the orders of Ranbir Singh and K.H., according to HPB.
10) In his Old Diary Leaves description of his stay in Jammu,
Olcott describes Ranbir in extremely favorable terms, as a "thoughtful Vedantin,
well acquainted with philosophical systems" who "fully believed in the existence
of living Mahatmas."
11) Damodar Mavalankar, who had vanished from Ranbir Singh´s
guest house and was gone for three days, returned reporting that he had
left there with K.H. to go to an ashram of the Masters. He later identified
this ashram as being "within His Highness´ Dominion."
12) In an article written later, Damodar said that Ranbir Singh
"not only believed in the existence of the HIMALAYAN MAHATMAS, but seemed
sure of the fact from personal knowledge."
13) Ranbir Singh was a chief financial sponsor of the Punjab University,
which was deeply influenced by the Singh Sabha, an organization with ties
to the TS Founders. Thakar Singh Sandhanwalia, my nominee for K.H.´s
primary prototype, was the founding President of the Singh Sabha.
14) Ranbir Singh was a profoundly religious ruler, a Hindu who was
very supportive of scholarship in Buddhist and Islamic texts as well as
those of his own faith, and a social reformer with ideals similar to those
of Swami Dayananda Sarasvati´s Arya Samaj, with which the TS leaders
were loosely allied at the time of the Lahore durbar.
There were two points in the history of the TS at which the Masters Morya
and Koot Hoomi appeared as solid historical personages rather than elusive
semi-ethereal beings. At both of these points, the same triangular configuration
is apparent: the Founders of the TS, the Maharaja Ranbir Singh, and an
Amritsar Sikh Sirdar are found working in collusion. In October and November
1880, the Founders´ trip to the Punjab to meet these figures
coincided with the beginning of the Mahatma correspondence. In November
1883, Olcott´s trip to Lahore and Jammu again involved Punjabi
Sikh Sirdars and the Maharaja of Kashmir.
Several factors distinguish the quality of this evidence from the alleged
visits to the TS Founders by M. and K.H.
There is more evidence supporting the identification of Thakar Singh
Sandhanwalia as a prototype of K.H. than there is concerning Ranbir Singh
15) In April 1878, HPB wrote an article entitled "The Akhund of
Swat" which included a glowing encomium for Sikhism. This referred to Sirdars,
each of whom was chief of one of twelve misls. She added that Sikh Sirdars
had secret councils consisting of learned gurus, some of whom were "Masters
in Spiritual Science...[who] exhibited astounding miracles."
16) In Caves and Jungles HPB describes an acquaintance who
is an Akali or temple functionary, an Amritsar native, named Ram-Ranjit-Das,
who has a spiritual link to Gulab-Singh.
17) In Old Diary Leaves Olcott describes "one of the Masters"
who meets him at the Amritsar Golden Temple where he is "figuring among
18) HPB, in a letter reproduced by Richard Hodgson in his report,
wrote to Moolji Thackersey about a Sikh friend of the TS that Moolji had
presumably described in a letter, commenting "You call him a Sirdar" and
adding that "he is of Amritsar." She inquires about finding descendants of
Ranjit Singh, and asks Moolji to recruit rajas and maharajas to the TS. Thakar
Singh was a Sirdar from Amritsar, a relative of Ranjit Singh, and an associate
of several rajas and maharajas with TS links.
19) The first letter from K.H. to Sinnett dates from October 1880,
the month in which the TS Founders visited Amritsar en route to the Durbar
20) An early K.H. letter was dated from "Amritas Saras" (the Golden
Temple) and refers to "greasy´ Tibetans and Punjabi Singhs" as
"our best, most learned and holiest adepts."
21) The Sikh reform organization the Singh Sabha, founded in Amritsar
by Thakar Singh and others, shared many objectives with the Arya Samaj of
Swami Dayananda, and worked cooperatively with it. Ranbir Singh also endorsed
much of the Arya Samaj reform program, and was very supportive of the Singh
Sabha. HPB initially portrayed Dayananda as affiliated with M. and K.H.,
but changed her attitude later.
22) HPB´s The Durbar in Lahore includes detailed
descriptions of Amritsar, the Golden Temple, and Sikhism, and describes
a Lahore meeting with Ram-Ranjit-Das, who takes HPB and Olcott to the Maharaja
of Faridkot. This maharaja was a Singh Sabha member and strong supporter
of Thakar Singh in later political plots.
23) The same work includes lengthy discussion of the deposed Maharaja
Dalip Singh, in which HPB denounces his conversion to Christianity and shows
great sympathy for his widowed mother. Thakar Singh was later instrumental
in Dalip´s reconversion to Sikhism.
24) In November 1883, Olcott went to Lahore en route to Jammu, at
the joint invitation of Ranbir Singh and K.H. according to HPB´s
letter to Sinnett. In Lahore he was visited in the flesh by K.H., accompanied
by another Master, as were William T. Brown and Damodar Mavalankar according
to the testimony of all three.
25) According to the January 1884 supplement to The Theosophist,
Olcott, Damodar and Brown were transported to their quarters by conveyances
provided by "Raja Harbans Singh and other Sirdars." These quarters were
the site of the visit by K.H. described above.
26) At a reception welcoming the group to Lahore, they were greeted
by Sirdar Dayal Singh Majithia of Amritsar and Bhai Gurmukh Singh, both
important colleagues of Thakar Singh in the Singh Sabha, as well as a commissioner
deputed by Maharaja Ranbir Singh.
27) Thakar Singh was the cousin of the deposed maharaja Dalip Singh,
and in early 1883 decided to go to England to visit him on family business.
But as of November 9 he was still at home and writing to the lieutenant-governor
of the Punjab attempting to get permission for the trip. Sometime in the
summer of 1884 he arrived in London, where Sinnett had relocated.
28) K.H., in a letter to Sinnett during the collapse of the Phoenix
venture, sounded a note of patriotic desperation, saying he was
"bound to devote the whole of my powers as far as the Chohan will permit
me to help my country at this eleventh hour of her misery."
29) Another letter from K.H. appealed to patriotic motives repeatedly,
commenting that "In the presence of his country perishing in its nationality
for want of vitality, and the infusion of fresh forces, the patriot catches
at a straw."
30) Within two years Thakar Singh embroiled his cousin Dalip in
a patriotic scheme involving a plot to restore him to the throne with Russian
and French support. This was regarded as beginning the liberation of all
India from British rule.
31) K.H. had referred to a "dark satire" in the phrase "jewel in
the crown" and HPB had called British rule "that curse of every land it
fastens itself upon"- in the very letter where she welcomed the friendship
of the Sirdar and expressed hope of finding a descendant of Ranjit Singh.
32) In an April 1884 letter to Alexis Coulomb written in Paris,
HPB said in reference to the Mahatmas that "there is one here now and
there will be also in London." This was during the period when Thakar
Singh was attempting to go to London.
33) Olcott received an unsigned letter saying that "unless you put
your shoulder to the wheel yourself Kuthumi Lal Singh will have to disappear
off the stage this fall." Later the same month of June 1883, two more Mahatma
letters came to Olcott, recommending that he "put your whole soul in answer
to A.P.S. [Sinnett] from K.H." and that he "Be careful about letter to Sinnett.
Must be a really Adeptic letter." This coincides with the period
when Thakar Singh decided to leave India.
34) In 1896 Olcott toured the Punjab again. On their first evening
in Lahore, he and his companion Lilian Edger dined at the home of Sirdar
Amrao Singh, described as a "pillar of strength in our Lahore branch."
Amrao Singh had been a conspirator in the plot to restore Dalip Singh
to the throne, lending a servant for Thakar Singh´s use in delivering
secret letters to various maharajas appealing for support.
35) On the same trip they were visited by Bhai Gurmukh Singh, who
had become the greatest figure in the Singh Sabha movement, after beginning
his career as a protege of Thakar Singh and his colleagues.
36) Dayal Singh Majithia, another Sirdar who welcomed Olcott, Brown,
and Damodar to Lahore, was present at the TS convention for 1884 which led
to the forming of the Indian National Congress. Dayal Singh supported Thakar
Singh´s anti-British schemes, although Gurmukh Singh opposed them.
37) The Maharaja of Varanasi also carried the family name "Maurya."
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