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First S.P.R. Report on H.P.B.

Mr. Damodar’s experiences, as recounted here and in his communication to ourselves (given in Appendix IX.), are so prolonged and so varied that it seems impossible he can have been altogether deceived, and we therefore regard his evidence as some of the most important we have.


From The Theosophist, December-January, 1883-84, pp. 61, 62.


 By Damodar K. Mavalankar, F.T.S., Chela.

“On my return to the Headquarters from the North, where I had accompanied Colonel Olcott on his Presidential Tour, I learnt with regret and sorrow of further and still more malignant strictures by certain Spiritualists on the claims of the Founders of the Theosophical Society to be in personal relations with the Mahatmas of the sacred Himavat.  For me, personally, the problem is of course now solved.  It being impossible, I shall not even undertake to prove my case to those who, owing to prejudice and misconception, have determined to shut their eyes before the most glaring facts, for none are so blind as those who will not see, as the saying has it.  I should at the same time consider to have ill-performed my duty were I not to put my facts before those earnest seekers after truth, who by sincere aspiration and devoted study, have been bringing themselves closer and closer to the ‘Occult World.’  The best way, I believe, to carry conviction to an intelligent mind is to narrate the facts in as plain and simple a way as possible, leaving speculations entirely out of consideration.

“At the outset I must state what is known to many of my friends and brothers of the Theosophical Society, viz., that for the last four years I have been the CHELA of Mr. Sinnett’s correspondent.  Now and then I have had occasion to refer publicly to this fact, and to the other one of my having seen some of the other VENERATED MAHATMAS OF THE HIMALAYAS, both in their astral and physical bodies.  However, all that I could urge in favour of my point, viz., that these GREAT MASTERS are not disembodied spirits but living men --- would fail to carry conviction to a Spiritualistic mind blinded by its prejudices and preconceptions.  It has been suggested that either or both of the Founders may be mediums in whose presence forms could be seen, which are by them mistaken for real, living entities.  And when I asserted that I had these appearances even when alone, it was argued that I too was developing into a medium.

“In this connection a certain remark by Mr. C. C. Massey in a letter to Light of November 17th, is very suggestive, inasmuch as that gentleman is not only far from being inimical to us but is a Theosophist of long standing, bent solely on discovering truth and --- nothing but the truth.  The following extract from the said letter will show how great are the misconceptions even of some of our own fellow-members: ---

“Nevertheless, were it an open question, free from authoritative statement, so that such a suggestion could be made without offence by one who would, if possible avoid offence, I should avow the opinion that these letters, whether they are or are not the ipsissima verba of any Adept, were at all events penned by Madame Blavatsky, or by other accepted Chelas.  At least I should think that she was a medium for their production, and not merely for their transmission.  The fact that through the kindness of Mr. Sinnett I have been made familiar with the handwriting of the letters, and that it bears not the remotest resemblance to Madame Blavatsky’s, would not influence me against that opinion, for reasons which every one acquainted with the phenomena of writing under psychical conditions will appreciate.  But I am bound to admit that there are circumstances connected with the receipt by Mr. Sinnett of other letters signed ‘K.H.’ which are, as regards those, apparently inconsistent with any instrumentality of Madame Blavatsky herself, whether as medium or otherwise, and the handwriting is in both cases the same.

“Bearing well in mind the italicized portion in the above quotation, I would respectfully invite the Spiritualists to explain the fact of not only myself, but Colonel Olcott, Mr. Brown, and other gentlemen having on this tour received severally and on various occasions letters in reply to conversations and questions on the same day or the same hour, sometimes when alone and sometimes in company with others, when Madame Blavatsky was thousands of miles away; the handwriting in all cases being the same and identical with that of the communications in Mr. Sinnett’s possession.

 “While on my tour with Colonel Olcott, several phenomena occurred, --- in his presence as well as in his absence --- such as immediate answers to questions in my Master’s handwriting and over his signature, put by a number of our Fellows, and some of which are referred to in the last number of The Theosophist, while others need not be mentioned in a document going into the hands of the profane reader.  These occurrences took place before we reached Lahore, where we expected to meet in body my much doubted MASTERThere I was visited by him in body, for three nights consecutively for about three hours every time, while I myself retained full consciousness, and in one case, even went to meet him outside the house.  To my knowledge there is no case on the Spiritualist records of a medium remaining perfectly conscious, and meeting, by previous arrangement, his spirit-visitor in the compound, re-entering the house with him, offering him a seat and then holding a long converse with the ‘disembodied spirit’ in a way to give him the impression that he is in personal contact with an embodied entity!  Moreover HIM whom I saw in person at Lahore was the same I had seen in astral form at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society, and the same again whom I, in my visions and trances, had seen at His house, thousands of miles off, to reach which in my astral Ego I was permitted, owing, of course, to His direct help and protection.  In those instances, with my psychic powers hardly developed yet, I had always seen Him as a rather hazy form, although His features were perfectly distinct and their remembrance was profoundly graven on my soul’s eye and memory; while now at Lahore, Jummoo, and elsewhere, the impression was utterly different.  In the former cases, when making Pranam (salutation) my hands passed through his form, while on the latter occasions they met solid garments and flesh.  Here I saw a living man before me, the same in features, though far more imposing in His general appearance and bearing than Him I had so often looked upon in the portrait in Madame Blavatsky’s possession and in the one with Mr. Sinnett.  I shall not here dwell upon the fact of His having been corporeally seen by both Colonel Olcott and Mr. Brown separately, for two nights at Lahore, as they can do so better, each for himself if they so choose.  At Jummoo again, where we proceeded from Lahore, Mr. Brown saw Him on the evening of the third day of our arrival there, and from Him received a letter in His familiar handwriting, not to speak of His visits to me almost every day.  And what happened the next morning almost every one in Jummoo is aware of.  The fact is, that I had the good fortune of being sent for, and permitted to visit a Sacred Ashrum, where I remained for a few days in the blessed company of several of the much doubted MAHATMAS of Himavat and Their disciples.  There I met not only my beloved Gurudeva and Colonel Olcott’s Master, but several others of the Fraternity, including One of the Highest.  I regret the extremely personal nature of my visit to those thrice blessed regions prevents my saying more of it.  Suffice it that the place I was permitted to visit is in the HIMALAYAS, not in any fanciful Summer Land, and that I saw Him in my own sthula sarira (physical body) and found my Master identical with the form I had seen in the earlier days of my Chelaship.  Thus, I saw my beloved Guru not only as a living man, but actually as a young one in comparison with some other Sadhus of the blessed company, only far kinder, and not above a merry remark and conversation at times.  Thus on the second day of my arrival, after the meal hour I was permitted to hold an intercourse for over an hour with my Master.  Asked by Him smilingly, what it was that made me look at Him so perplexed, I asked in my turn: --- ‘How is it, MASTER, that some of the members of our Society have taken into their heads a notion that you were “an elderly man,” and that they have even seen you clairvoyantly looking an old man past sixty?’  To which he pleasantly smiled and said, that this latest misconception was due to the reports of a certain Brahmachari, a pupil of a Vedantic Swami in the N.W.P. --- who had met last year in Tibet the chief of a sect, an elderly Lama, who was His (my Master’s) travelling companion at that time.  The said Brahmachari having spoken of the encounter in India, had led several persons to mistake the Lama for himself.  As to his being perceived clairvoyantly as an ‘elderly man,’ that could never be, he added, as real clairvoyance could lead no one into such mistaken notions; and then he kindly reprimanded me for giving any importance to the age of a Guru, adding that appearances were often false, &c., and explaining other points.

“These are all stern facts and no third course is open to the reader.  What I assert is either true or false.  In the former case, no Spiritualistic hypothesis can hold good, and it will have to be admitted that the Himalayan Brothers are living men and neither disembodied spirits nor the creatures of the over-heated imagination of fanatics.  Of course I am fully aware that many will discredit my account, but I write only for the benefit of those few who know me well enough to see in me neither a hallucinated medium nor attribute to me any bad motive, and who have ever been true and loyal to their convictions and to the cause they have so nobly espoused.  As for the majority who laugh at, and ridicule, what they have neither the inclination nor the capacity to understand, I hold them in very small account.  If these few lines will help to stimulate even one of my brother Fellows in the Society or one right thinking man outside of it to promote the cause the GREAT MASTERS have imposed upon the devoted heads of the Founders of the Theosophical Society, I shall consider that I have properly performed my duty.

Adyar, Madras, 7th December, 1883.