Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

[Astral Apparitions
of the Mahatmas at Bombay]

compiled by Richard Hodgson

[First published in Richard Hodgson's "Account of Personal Investigations in India,
and Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' Letters,"
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research,
Volume III, 1885, Appendix VII, pp. 348-351.
On the testimonies given below, Mr. Hodgson wrote that the:
"accounts were taken down by me in writing at the time the
statements were made to me by the several witnesses."]

Account by Mr. Ramaswamier
(District Registrar, Madura).


At the end of the following year (1882), at the [Theosophical Society] headquarters at Bombay, several of us were together on the upper balcony. I am unable to recollect any of the others. I suddenly saw, at the distance of about 15 paces, a gleaming substance which assumed the figure of a man. It was not walking on the ground, but appeared to be gliding through mid-air among the top-most branches of the trees. It glided forwards and backwards four or five times. I could not recognise the person, could not see whether it had a beard or not, cannot say whether it was tall or not. The night was moonlight. Time between eight and nine p.m.


About the same time, at the end of 1882, I was sitting with Madame Blavatsky, Madame Coulomb, Norendra, Janaki, Nobin K. Bannerji, and others in a verandah adjoining Madame Blavatsky’s writing-room.

On one side was a hill gradually rising to a top. The hill was covered with thorns. I saw something like a flash of light, and gradually it assumed the figure of a person about 20 feet distant. Time between 7 and 8 p.m. I cannot say whether it was moonlight or not. I did not recognise the figure; cannot say whether it had a beard or not; cannot say whether it had a turban or not. Madame went near the foot of the hill and exchanged some signs with the figure. Madame then went to her room by the path on our side, and the figure went in the direction of Madame’s room by the other side.

Afterwards Madame came to us in great excitement and said that one of the delegates had polluted the house, and it was for this reason the figure could not come near us. Shortly after the figure again appeared on the hill, and suddenly vanished, leaving a brightness which gradually faded away.


Account by Mr. Nobin Krishna Bannerji
(Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector, and Manager-General
of Wards’ Estates in Moorshedabad, Bengal).


On the occasion of the seventh anniversary [convention of the Theosophical Society], in 1882, one evening before the anniversary celebration, at about 7 p.m., I was sitting in the balcony of the headquarters in Bombay, in company with Norendra Nath Sen, Mohini, Madame, Ramaswamier, and several others. We were talking when Madame said, "Don’t move from your seat until I say," or something to that effect. This made us expect that something was about to happen. Some were standing near the railing of the balcony, others were seated a little back. After a few moments those standing near the rails saw something, and made some remarks which induced the rest of the party, excepting myself and Norendra, to get up and go towards the rails, and look at the object. We didn’t stir, as nothing further was said by Madame, but kept turning our heads in expectation of seeing something. But we didn’t perceive anything. Some four or five minutes after, we inferred from the remarks made, that the others had seen some luminous astral figure walking to and fro below the balcony on the side of the hill. It was not pitch dark. Objects could be seen at a distance, but not distinguished clearly.


The same party with the addition of Mr. Ghosal were sitting together on the north extremity of the bungalow facing the sea, at about 7:30 p.m., when some remark of Madame’s made us expect to see something immediately. Shortly after we saw a form standing on a rock close to the adjoining bungalow, about 10 yards distant. The light was about the same as on the previous occasion. There was no tree near and the figure could be seen clearly. The figure was dressed in a white flowing garment, with a light coloured turban, and a dark beard. The figure was that of a man of apparently ordinary size, but I could not recognise who it was. From my description Colonel Olcott recognised one of the Mahatmas. He mentioned the name, which we afterwards found to be correct, as Madame and Damodar corroborated it. The figure seemed faintly luminous, but I am unable now to recollect any further details concerning its description. The figure gradually vanished, and for a minute or two afterwards the place where it had been seemed to be gleaming with a milky brightness. The rock itself has some date and other trees upon it but the spot where the figure appeared was bare. The figure was standing still when we saw it.


Account by Mr. Chandra Sekhara
(Teacher in High School, Bareilly, N. W. P.).


In 1882 I went to Bombay in November, reaching there on the morning of 26th inst. The anniversary was postponed from November 27th to December 7th. On the evening of the 27th, about 8 p.m., we i.e., about 10 or 11 of us, including the delegates, were seated in the balcony with Madame B. and Colonel Olcott. Mohini M. Chatterji, Bishen Lall, and Janaki Nath Ghosal were present. We were chatting together, and Madame Blavatsky, with some other brethren, quickly rose up, and looked towards the garden below the balcony. I rose up and looked out, but not in the proper direction. J. N. Ghosal pointed me to the proper quarter, and I saw a luminous figure walking to and fro below the balcony, on the third terrace field. [This was explained to mean that there were two fields and a portion of a third between the speaker and the figure.] Each field is about 10 yards wide. The third field is full of thorny trees, so that it is difficult for a man to walk freely. The trees varied in size, and the foliage occupied a good deal of space. The figure was upright. I saw him walk three times over a distance of about 40 yards, and then disappear. There was no moonlight. The figure appeared nearly 6ft. high, well-built, but I could not distinguish the features. I could not tell whether he had a beard. My sight is ordinary.


The following day we were seated in the verandah near the Occult Room, when Madame said that she felt something extraordinary. The time was between 7 and 8 p.m. Suddenly we saw the luminous body of one who was explained to me to be another Mahatma, on the high rock adjoining the Occult Room. The distance of the figure was about 16 yards. Madame Coulomb was with us. I could not distinguish the features clearly, not sufficient for recognition. I cannot say whether the figure had a beard. As soon as we saw the figure, Madame Coulomb exclaimed, in a nervous manner, "There! There!" And in a minute Colonel Olcott said, "Madame [Blavatsky], go to the foot of the rock, and talk to the Mahatma." Madame went to the rock, and in a short time after she came back shivering, and said the Mahatma would be willing to come forward to talk to the audience, but there was some man in our company whose sin was so great that it would be difficult for the Mahatma to approach, and therefore he had to go away. The figure disappeared suddenly before Madame returned.


Account by Mr. J. N. Ghosal

One evening, at the Bombay headquarters, on the 27th or 28th of November, 1882, about 9 or 10 p.m., Madame Blavatsky, Mohini, Chandra Sekhara, Damodar, Nobin Krishna Bannerji, Norendra Nath Sen, and a few others besides myself, were sitting in the balcony. Some of them had been called there by me, as I was then expecting that some phenomenon would take place. My attention was drawn by a sound among some trees down below, about 10 yards from the balcony. The sound was like the stirring of leaves. Immediately after I saw the tall figure of a man apparently more than 6ft. in height, clad in white, near the trees. It was a clear moonlight night. The figure was well-built. I could not distinguish the features very well, saw something like a beard, but not very distinctly. A white turban was on the head. The figure began to walk backwards and forwards for two or three minutes. Madame Coulomb joined the group, and the figure disappeared, making the same kind of sound, like stirring of leaves, which I heard before the appearance of the figure. But it appeared to me, and a few of those present were of the same opinion, that the figure walked over one of the trees and suddenly disappeared. Not being able to distinguish the features, I inquired of Madame, and was told it was the astral appearance of her Master.

Next morning I went to the spot where the figure appeared, and found the spot so low that any one walking on the ground could not have been entirely seen from the balcony.

[This is the only "astral figure" Mr. Ghosal has seen.]


Account by Mr. Norendra Nath Sen
(Editor of the Indian Mirror, Calcutta).

I saw the astral figure on the rock at the Bombay headquarters. It was 7 or 8 p.m., and the figure was about 20 yards distant. I recognised no more than that it appeared to be the figure of a man, who came down from the rock and went with Madame Blavatsky into her room.