Clairvoyant Investigations by C.W. Leadbeater And "the Lives of Alcyone" (J. Krishnamurti)

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, January 12,1912.
4  He left for a tour in Java, July 21, 1911.
Miss J. Whittam, Hubert Van Hook.
6  At 10.00 a.m. was his "breakfast" or morning meal, usually porridge, milk, fruits.
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 backwards.]

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 hugely.

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 29, 1909.

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 14,1909.

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.