Clairvoyant Investigations by C.W. Leadbeater And "the Lives of Alcyone"
Some facts described, by Ernest Wood
With notes by C. Jinarajadasa
Privately published by C. Jinarajadasa, 1947
by C. Jinarajadasa
1 He arrived at Adyar from Europe,
February 10, 1909.
2 Left for Java and Australia, with J.
A. Mazel, on March 12, 1914.
3 To Taormina, Italy, leaving Bombay,
4 He left for a tour in Java, July 21,
5 Miss J. Whittam, Hubert Van Hook.
6 At 10.00 a.m. was his "breakfast" or
morning meal, usually porridge, milk, fruits.
7 At about 2.30 was a light meal of bananas,
tea or coffee, sandwiches and cake.
8 On the "Roof" for a meeting or for
answering of questions.
9 In the Shrine Room of the Esoteric
School restricted to its members - a custom that continues to this day.
10 He had already investigated the lives
of Erato in 1895, of Vega and a group at Alexandria at the time of Hypatia
about 1898, of Ursa in 1901, of Orion in 1907-8.
11 J. Krishnamurti and his brother Nityananda
and a cousin.
12 C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant,
August 19, 1909:
I have undertaken some investigations with regard to lines of incarnations
and I think that I have come across some information which will be of very
great interest if I can only get time to pursue the researches and tabulate
them. I am coming across another type of first-class pitris who apparently
do not habitually take their sub-races in order, but have rather a tendency
to circle round and round in one sub-race - that is to say, to devote themselves
principally to evolution through that sub-race, and only make occasional
excursions into others in search of special qualities. I find also that
this type has a much shorter average of interval between its lives not much
more than half of the 1500 years to which we have before been accustomed;
but that does not seem to mean at all that they generate a smaller amount
of spiritual force but that they work it out with far greater intensity.
The more rapid incarnations and the shorter periods would seem to make them
a kind of intermediate between the first and second class pitris; but I find
that they are not this at all, being in every way equal in general development
to the first class pitris whose lives we have been previously inspecting.
I find also that the pitris arriving here from the moon chain come in certain
big groups - ship-loads, so to speak - with considerable intervals between
them; and I think we shall find that the members of each ship-load have characteristics
in common with regard to which they probably differ from all the other ship-loads.
I thought at first that these might prove to be people of different races
or planetary types, but that does not seem to be so, as we seem to have
people of nearly all the rays in each of the ship-loads. All this is inchoate
at present and in its preliminary stages, but we can see already that it
opens up some very interesting vistas, and that when the investigations
have been carried a great deal further it will probably add considerably
to our knowledge of the various methods of evolution. Obviously also if
there is one great group moving along a line of its own, whose existence
we did not previously even suspect, there may quite likely be several others.
C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, September 2,1909:
Naraniah's children are very well behaved, and would cause us no
trouble; van Manen and I have. taught some of them to swim, and have also
helped the elder with English composition and reading, so we have come to
know a little of them. Also (but this is not generally known) I have used
one as a case to investigate for past lives, and have found him to have
a past of very great importance, indicating far greater advancement than
his father, or indeed than any of the people at present at Headquarters-a
better set of lives even than-'s, though I think not so sensational.
I am sure that he is not in this compound by accident, but for
the sake of its influences; I should not be at all surprised to find that
the father had been brought here chiefly on account of that boy; and that
was another reason why I was shocked to see the family so vilely housed,
for it seems to me that if we are to have the karma of assisting even indirectly
at the bringing-up of one whom the Master has used in the past and is waiting
to use again, we may as well at least give him the chance to grow up decently!
[Note by C. J. - Usually Mr. Leadbeater had for his investigations
a "point of departure", some dream by the "subject" of some past life of
his, as in the case of Erato and Spica. But not having this with the boy
Krishnamurti, he traced him back to his Devachan before birth, and back from
that to his life on earth in 624 A.D. All the lives of Alcyone were done
C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, October 6, 1909:
I am at present, when I can find time for it, at work upon a previous
set of ten lives, which led up to and immediately preceded the ten which
I send you. So far I have done four of that earlier ten, and find that in
each of them the influence of the Master K. H. is a dominant factor. The
close connection of Alcyone with that Master, and with the Master D. K.,
is one of the many remarkable features of this set of lives. The set is
indeed unusual and it seems to me that it throws considerable responsibility
and a duty upon us, which I am already beginning in a small way to try to
discharge by teaching and helping.
Alcyone is at present a boy of 13.5, named Krishnamurti, the son
of your E. S. Assistant Secretary Naraniah. His present father appears in
the lives sometimes, and is called Antares; his younger brother Mizar is
important, and his dead mother (Omega) and his elder brother Regulus also
appear, but not prominently. With the assistance of Mr. Clarke I am trying
to teach him to speak English, and hope to have made some progress by the
time you come.
C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, November 4, 1909.
I send you herewith another ten of the lives of Alcyone, in the
hope that you will make time to read them on the steamer, for I feel that
it is important that you should see them before you arrive, so that you may
know exactly how matters stand.
C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, November 11, 1909.
I sent you to Port Said another batch of the Alcyone incarnations,
preceding the previous set, so that you have now twenty successive lives
and I think you will agree that they are transcendently interesting*.
* A duplicate set of the typed "Lives" sent to Dr. Besant was
sent to me, then a field-worker of the American
Section. Later I received the ten lives earlier than the twenty mentioned
above, in all thirty lives. I used them for readings and addresses during
the pre-Convention summer school in Chicago in 1910. Soon after I received
them, I received also a small snapshot of the boy Krishnamurti, of whom
Mr. Leadbeater had written to me. The instant I saw the snapshot, something
within me leapt forward and said: Ecce Homo-"Thou art the man." I wrote
then the following verses:
Brother, great Brother,
I work for Thy corning, Long is the
night and dreary is the day; Deaf are the people
to my weak proclaiming, Only a few come to watch
and to pray.
Bravely I till the field for Thy reaping,
Toiling in the heat of the noon-day sun;
Eager to give my trust to Thy keeping,
Dreaming of the day my task shall be done.
I had wondered how I should manage about Alcyone and Mizar when
you returned, and I had to be in your room all day, and consequently could
not give the time to teaching them English which I give now; but that problem
is solved, for Mrs. Van Hook has taken a great liking to them and is delighted
to teach them along with Hubert. She had felt, it appears, that he would
lack the companionship of boys of his own age, and had been a little troubled
about it, so she considers their presence as a special dispensation of providence,
and takes them straight into her heart - which is ideal for all parties,
and will save us much trouble. It is very pleasant for us all to reconstitute
the old Weisser Hirsch party of Mrs. Russak, the Van Hooks and Wedgwood
and van Manen, with these two Indian boys and Clarke thrown in. It needs
only you and Basil and Raja to make it quite complete; Basil we cannot have
as yet, but you will be here in three weeks, at which we shall all rejoice
Come to us soon, thou Captain of Salvation,
Give to the world the solace of Thy word:
Grant me release from my long tribulation,
O sweet compassionate Face of the Lord!
San Diego, 1910
13 I have an impression that Dr. Besant
investigated only one life with him, Life No. 28. By the time the investigations
backwards had come to this period, Dr. Besant had returned to Adyar from the
United States on November 27, 1909 and joined in the investigations. She
herself wrote out this life and read it at a "Roof Meeting". It is different
in style from the Lives written by Mr. Leadbeater. Dr. Besant is dramatic
and starts as with a great chord like in a symphony. The lines at the end
too are graphic in their intensity, lines which could not have been written
by the matter-of-fact undramatic narrator who was Mr. Leadbeater. A very
dramatic life of Alcyone, which both she and her colleague investigated, was
written out by her and appears in Man: Whence, How and Whither as Chapter
IX, "Black Magic in Atlantis". After the publication of Alcyone's Lives
in The Theosophist, earlier lives of his were investigated and appear in the
book The Lives of Alcyone.
14 A record of this is not to be found.
15 It is the second life, backwards, though
perhaps it may have been dictated first.
16 This is the old numbering as the Lives
appeared in The Theosophist, not the numbering in the book The Lives of
Alcyone, where it is No. 47.
17 This sermon in this form is not recorded
in the Buddhist Scriptures. The nearest to it is a verse in Dhammapada
(The Way of Virtue): "Where is the joy, what the pleasure, whilst all is
in flames? O wrapped in darkness, will ye not seek light?" (verse 146).
18 During a meeting of the Esoteric School.
19 C.W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, July
In explaining the Voice of the Silence I came to the passage about
hearing and understanding the language of the Devas, and while talking about
it my thought (I suppose) attracted the attention of a certain Deva whom
I have the privilege of knowing slightly, who has once or twice before explained
things to me very graciously. He swooped down and listened for awhile,
and then said to me "Explain these to them", showing me three lovely little
pictures of the way in which Devas are to assist in the temple-worship of
the future, in the community which the Master M., as Manu of the Sixth Root-Race,
will found some centuries later in Lower California. The period which he
showed me is about 850 years from now, but the community bears every appearance
of having by that time been already established for at least a hundred years.
The sixth sub-race of our Root-race is then already in full swing, and
in possession of the American continent, but this community is a special
effort for the next Root Race, and is no part of what is going on all round
it, though favourably regarded as very good, but perhaps unnecessarily ascetic,
by the rest of the country - much as the Quakers might be now. Forbidden,
of course, to intermarry, and living in a big district which is all its own,
but not actually shut off in a desert as was the Fifth Race. Quite in touch
with modern civilisation, allowed quite freely to visit the outer world
and receive visitors, but having consecrated themselves altogether, body,
soul and spirit, to the promotion of the welfare and evolution of that
new Race. Many of our people came into the pictures, naturally - in fact,
it was in that way something like the scene shown to King Asoka; though that,
I think, was the scene of their entering upon and taking possession of their
new district, while this was, as I have said, at least 100 years later,
perhaps more. A number of points of the greatest interest emerged about
that community in general, and I shall get all those down by degrees; but
the particular thing which my Deva friend was endeavouring to impress upon
us is the varieties of temple-worship in that community, and the way in
which Devas will then be co-operating in such matters. That piece alone
will, I think, make a good Theosophist article; I shall put it together and
get it into type, and then I will send you a proof in advance. There are also
some points about the education of that period (in that community only) that
are of interest, and perhaps they will come in later. I also acquired some
fragmentary information as to conditions in Europe then, but that I shall
be careful not to publish, as it might offend the amour propre of members.
I have not even mentioned it to the group here, though I have read to them
Wood's notes of most of the investigation. The whole material is still somewhat
inchoate, but I think I can make out of it an article which will please you,
though I cannot hope to reproduce the vividness of the impression which
it made upon me. I asked at first whether it was intended to be kept in
any way private, but was told : "No, publish it; it will do good." Outsiders
will take it merely as a vision, but that will not matter. The additional
life and activity which so noticeably permeates the Society seems to be showing
itself also in these bits of new revelation which are just now being put
in our way so freely; evidently conditions are improving all round. Several
other things are already looming before me, and it looks as though we should
not lack interesting matter for some time to come.
C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, August 19, 1909.
I have now finished the dictation of my articles on "The Beginnings
of the Sixth Root-Race", and Wood is engaged in typing them out. When
he has done I will send you a carbon copy of them; I do not think he can
possibly finish them for this mail, but perhaps I may as well send what
he has ready. He says that he can prepare the first four articles in time
for the mail, so I will forward them, because you may possibly find them
of interest for your people at the Convention, for I calculate that this
should reach you just when you are at Chicago. By the time you get this
the first article will be in print. I think the matter is of importance,
and I know that They arranged that it should be made public just now, though
it seemed to arise through a mere accident. I will send the remaining chapters
or articles by the following mail. I do not know when you can find time
to read them on such a tour; perhaps you may have to leave them until you
are on the steamer. If you do get through them while on American soil,
shall you want them after having read them? If you do not, it would be a
kindness to hand them to Raja*, for I know they would interest him. But
it must be understood that they are not to be published anywhere until after
their appearance in The Theosophist. Wood has been very useful to me in
this business by taking everything down in shorthand, which has much expedited
the work, and saved me a great deal of trouble. I hope you can conveniently
leave him here until Wedgwood comes, for he will be helpful in the incarnation
work, which I shall undertake next.
* 1 received them when I was lecturing in California in 1910.
20 The Deva who has the supervision of
the welfare of the Theosophical Headquarters at Adyar. For a description
of his role, see The Theosophist, October-November, 1933, "The Angel of
Adyar" by C. W. Leadbeater. It is there narrated how H. P. B. begged from
the Occult Authorities that a high Deva be put in charge.
21 Later in 1924, 1925 and 1926 at Sydney
and Adyar, Mr. Wood was of the greatest help to Mr. Leadbeater in cutting
and pasting and putting together, with necessary connecting sentences,
from the reports of addresses, articles and other manuscript material, the
books The Masters and the Path and The Hidden Side in Freemasonry. There
are entries in the diaries of Mr. Leadbeater of all the occasions in Sydney
when Mr. Wood came to consult Mr. Leadbeater concerning the arrangement of
the material of the book.
22 Certainly not "almost a giant". The height
of Mr. Leadbeater barefooted was 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 metres).
23 He was on the 5th Ray (that of Science),
and his sub-Ray was the 7th (the Ray of Ceremonial).
24 He left, accompanied by J. A. Mazel, for
Java first and to Australia afterwards on March 12, 1914. He left to me
the work of seeing through the press The Lives of Alcyone from p. 489
(the middle of Life 34) to their conclusion, and also the supervision and
guidance of the boy D. Rajagopalacharya, aged 13, who had been "discovered"
by him at Calicut on December 26, 1913.
25 A serious handicap which limited his output
of work very greatly. He was also diabetic. Once, on my inquiring what
the heart was like, he looked at it clairvoyantly and described its condition
as that of a boiled tomato - soft and collapsed. He had to spend most
hours of the day in bed and do his work of dictation and writing from there.
He reserved all his strength for Church and Masonic meetings, though when
his condition was better he would attend Theosophical meetings and give
short addresses. A helper was always ready to give him a teaspoonful of
sal volatile with water, for suddenly all would "go black" while standing,
when about to commence some work; but the instant sal volatile was taken,
the body righted itself as if by magic.
26 C. W. Leadbeater to Annie Besant, October
Naraniah has had a providential difference of opinion with
his schoolmaster, who seems to have been utterly inefficient, so the two
boys in whom He* is most interested (Alcyone and Mizar) are at present at
home, and I am utilising the opportunity to have them taught as much English
as possible, taking them myself when I can spare the time, and getting Clarke,
Wood, Subramania and others to assist. I hope to have made considerable
progress before your return, so that they may be able to talk intelligently
to you. I am endeavouring to steer a rather cautious course; of course
I must carry out the instructions given to me, but after all that has happened
within the last three years, I must not take too prominent an interest
in boys of 13! When you are here I shall be bolder, and can do more of
what He wishes. I think that when Mrs. Van Hook comes she will also be
useful, as she will be teaching Hubert, and perhaps these other boys can
join in occasionally.
* The Master K. H.
27 The Central Hindu College of Benares
which became the nucleus of the present "Benares Hindu University."
28 Those who helped in teaching were C. W.
Leadbeater, E. Wood, Fabrizio Ruspoli, R. Balfour-Clarke, S. V. Subramania
Iyer, Mrs. A. Van Hook and Mrs. M. B. Russak (Mrs. Hotchener). From February
1912 to December 1913, Dr. Besant made me tutor, companion and man of business
to the two boys.
29 From what I saw myself, there was a definite
training, and one precise so as to produce the effect needed. The boys
came from a family without a mother, with most things needing to be done
done in a slipshod manner. The first essential was scrupulous cleanliness
- not ceremonial cleanliness; finger-nails and toes had to be kept without
a speck of dirt. The body, including the head, was well washed with soap,
and each day the hair dressed with oil. John Cordes was put in charge of
physical exercises - Indian clubs, parallel bars, etc.; these had to begin
to the minute.
Everything was by schedule - meals, study, games - to teach both
boys alertness to time and circumstance. One special part of the work was
entrusted to the late Admiral Don Fabrizio Ruspoli of Italy; it was to teach
the boys cycling. Bicycling was not for the sake of mere exercise; its aim
was to teach self reliance and quick reactions (most needed on Indian roads
where men, carts, animals are "all over the shop", and nobody knows if he
will go on the right side of the road or the left or the middle). There
was also developed a slowly increasing resistance to fatigue as the outings
(in which Hubert Van Hook often joined) were slowly lengthened, once to
Chingleput, 66 miles there and back. The younger boy, Nityananda, joined
in the outings and in all studies but not in the physical exercises. I
have published in The Theosophist, July and September 1932, the instructions
received from the two Masters by Dr. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater concerning
the training of the two brothers.
30 At the meetings of the Esoteric School.
Search this site-
Eclectic Theosophical History-
Eclectic theosophical history by author-
Eclectic Theosophical history by subject-