Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky

by G. Soobiah Chetty

[Reprinted from The Theosophist
(Adyar, Madras, India), October 1931, pp. 47-49.]

Friends, I will relate to you four or five incidents that came within my knowledge. I had very hard treatment from H.P.B. often; I bore it, knowing what she was. During 1883 or 1884 I used to come here to Adyar every day from my home in Mylapore, spending the night and going away early in the morning. One evening when I came, she was sitting just here. She took my new chaddar, and next morning she did not give it me back. Next day she had turned it into a blouse, and put it on. I was very pleased, and thanked her for the privilege of using my cloth! That evening she spoke to Bawaji, Damodar and me about the Tibetan Dugpas and Gelugpas. Two days afterwards I met her; she stopped and called me. I was wearing a red turban. She took the turban and threw it down, and said, "Soobiah, I hope you won’t wear a red turban again."

One morning I was about to go. She said, "Do not go, I have some work for you." She gave me a lot of papers to copy, twelve sheets of foolscap. I copied it and gave it to her. She looked at it, crumpled it and threw it into the waste-basket. She was in a rage. I went home and to the office, but I couldn’t do much, thinking of this incident. At one o’clock it struck me that I had written on both sides of the paper. So I hurried out and copied it all again, writing on one side only, and then gave it to her. "I suppose after this, Soobiah, you won’t copy on both sides in case of matter for the press. This is a very good lesson for you, and will make you feel your duty."

The third incident was this: I was the youngest of the lot of her office helpers, and was requested by my friends to ask her an important question. That day she was very kind, and so it was a good time for the question. "Madame," I said, "you preach control of temper, but you go into outbursts now and then." "Soobiah, that is my loss and your gain. If I didn’t have that temper, I should have become an Adept by this time."

She went to Ootacamund one summer, and sent for me. I went and stayed seven or eight weeks with her there, living in the same house. One day a European gentleman came to see her and I announced him. She said, "I do not want to see him." Because he was a man of high position, I persuaded her to see him. He asked impertinent questions, and she treated him similarly. When he left, she said, "You had better not bring any more such people to me. He came to examine me and ridicule me. Do not introduce such people."

Another day she gave me letters to post. "Have you any money left?" She asked. "Yes, Rs. 14 or 15," I said. She said, "You can’t have any left. You must have spent some of your own money. You are looking thin; your father will think I am not taking proper care of you." Once when I was in her room in the evening, the Master appeared. I saw His arm materialise as He gave her a paper.

Another incident was in regard to my house in Mylapore. One morning just as I was getting up, a message came to go to her. She said: "Your father wants you, you had better run." I found my father’s mother had died just an hour before. Two days after, she asked me the details of the death. She thought her passing away was inauspicious. She suggested that my father and the family vacate the house where we lived, but my father would not go. Fifteen days afterwards she again requested him to vacate the house for seven months or seven weeks. He would not. The result was there were four deaths within eight months in the family. Then my father agreed to go. Just before we left the house, H.P.B. said: "This is more fitted to be a Roman Catholic Church than a residence". The house had to be shut up for a few years. I wanted to sell it at any price. One day a man came and offered Rs. 10,000. He gave me Rs. 1,000 cash; I did not even know to whom I had sold it. It was for a Roman Catholic Convent. A year or two afterwards I went to the house to see it. The Lady Superior showed me round. She took me to the hall where H.P.B. had said this - it was a Roman Catholic Chapel! But she had passed away a year before that, and so I could not write it to her.

G. Soobiah Chetty