Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

[Some Personal Memories of H.P.B]

by G. Soobiah Chetty

[Originally published in an article titled "H.P.B.'s Birthday,"
The Theosophical World
(Adyar, Madras, India), August 1937, pp. 173-174.]

H.P.B. was a unique person of varying mood and temper. She was of poor health. She disliked conventionalities and expressed her disapproval in strong terms. She was generally a most amiable "mother," recounting strange, charming and amusing stories, and giving instructive talks.

One morning, while taking breakfast, she was relating a very interesting comic story when Colonel appeared and remarked, "The old lady is in one of her lucid intervals this morning." H.P.B., recognizing his joke, laughed and continued her narrative unaffected by the satirical remark. But if anything like that happened when she was in a temper, she was an impossible person to bear with - the more intimate the personal relationship, the more "vigorous" was the language when things went wrong.

In the summer of 1883 I was with her at Ootacamund. She had placed a sum of money with me with instructions to spend for her. In a few days she wanted to know if she should pay any more than she had given me at first. I answered that there remained a portion of her money still unspent, and I proceeded to hand her a paper containing a statement of the expenditure. She flew into a rage, probably suspecting that I added my own money and spent it for her, and she said, "Soobiah, you are treating me like a stranger, giving me your accounts, while I look upon you as my son. Did I ask you to keep an account for me?" So saying, she snatched the paper from me, tore it up and threw it away.

During her stay with the Morgans, at Ootacamund, she was given one day for her breakfast some delicious fruit in syrup. She must have liked it very much, for she asked for more to be brought. Then, instead of eating it herself, she put it on one side and offered it to me later. Many such things showed the mother-heart in the great woman. I shall always remember this incident, one of the many that make me cherish her kindness with affection and gratitude.

There were many incidents also which showed how closely she was in touch with the Masters, and those of us living close to her witnessed this fact, especially the Colonel, Damodar, my father and myself.

One evening, the same year, H.P.B. received a telegram from the Colonel, who was then touring in north India, informing her that Damodar had suddenly disappeared and left no clue to show whither he had gone. On receiving the message, H.P.B. went to her table and quietly sat down. Suddenly the "feeling" of the room changed, and I at once knew that something occult was going to happen. I sat beside her and kept quite quiet.

She began writing down some words being spoken to her. I too heard the words, "Instruct Olcott not to let his (Damodar’s) luggage, especially the" - there was a pause. H.P.B. inquired, "Especially the what?" I immediately uttered the word "bedding." Then the message continued, "be touched by any third party." H.P.B. playfully said, "Soobiah, you are right, you are also becoming a medium." Of course it was the Master who gave her that message, as so often happened. And she did not know that Damodar had left his bedding behind, without which a Hindu seldom, if ever, travels. (In a letter to Mr. Sinnett later, she said, "Happy Damodar! He went to the land of Bliss, to Tibet, and must now be far away in the regions of our Masters.")

During the same year also Master K. H. appeared in my house in Mylapore. Early next morning when I met H.P.B. at Adyar, she told me that the same Master had appeared before her about the same time and presented her with yellow roses which she showed me. Let me say that yellow roses were then very rare, in fact unobtainable in Madras.

My father, who was to spend his holidays that year at Narayana Varam, where the sage known as Sarakaiswamy lived, a village about 80 miles from Madras, received by post a letter written in Tamil from the Master K.H. in which the Master suggested that my father should endeavour to collect funds for Mr. Sinnett’s paper, The Phoenix. My father accordingly gathered considerable support for it and was thanked by the Great One Himself. However, the plan for such a newspaper was later abandoned.

The recently revived attack against H.P.B. and against the genuineness of the Mahatma letters will fail and prove unsuccessful - as all previous attacks have failed.

I ask you to accept my personal assurance that the Great Ones do exist, and it is my unshaken belief that They are continuing their gracious condescension and watchfulness over The Society.