Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2003.

A Casebook of Encounters
with the Theosophical Mahatmas

  Compiled and edited by Daniel H. Caldwell

[Draft copy; revisions still to be made]

Master MoryaMarion Meade in her 1980 biography titled Madame Blavatsky, The Woman Behind The Myth wrote:

"In all, about nine or ten persons testified to having seen the Mahatmas: Annie Besant, Henry Olcott, Damodar Mavalankar, Isabel Cooper-Oakley, William Brown, Nadyezhda Fadeyev, S.R. Ramaswamier, Justine Glinka and Vsevolod Solovyov. Franz Hartmann said that while he never actually saw them, he felt their presence." (p. 497.)

I remember the first time reading this statement by Meade and exclaiming to myself, "Oh Marion Meade, you haven't done your homework!" Off the top of my head, I could count at least twenty-five people who testified to having seen the Mahatmas during H.P.B.'s lifetime. And despite Meade's statement to the contrary, Franz Hartmann had testified that he had actually seen one of the Mahatmas. Master Koot Hoomi

It is a historical fact that more than twenty five individuals testified to having seen and been in contact with the Mahatmas during H.P.Blavatsky's lifetime.

In this paper I have compiled most of these testimonies in chronological order.   The narratives have been transcribed from the original sources but material not relevant to the subject has been silently deleted. The original texts, however, can be found from the source references. Explanatory words added by the editor are enclosed within brackets.

For more background information, see:

The Mahatmas & Their Letters:  Online & Printed Sources

Case 1
Nadyezhda A. de Fadeyev
November 11, 1870
Odessa, Russia

I [will] narrate what happened to me in connection with a certain note, received by me phenomenally when my niece [H.P. Blavatsky] was at the other side of the world, and not a soul knew where she was—which grieved us greatly. All our researches had ended in nothing. We were ready to believe her dead, when—I think it was about the year 1870—I received a letter from him whom I believe you call Kouth-humi [Koot Hoomi]—which was brought to me in the most incomprehensible and mysterious manner, by a messenger of Asiatic appearance, who then disappeared before my very eyes. This letter begged me not to fear anything, and announced that she was in safety.

My niece spoke of [these Mahatmas] to me, and at great length, years ago. She wrote me that she had again met and renewed her relations with several of them, even before she wrote her Isis [Unveiled]. If I who have ever been, and hope ever to continue, to be a fervent Christian, believe in the existence of these men—although I may refuse to credit all the miracles they attribute to them—why should not others believe in them? For the existence of at least one of them, I can certify. Who, then, could have written me this letter to reassure me at the moment when I had the greatest need for such comfort, unless it had been one of those adepts mentioned? It is true that the handwriting is not known to me; but the manner in which it was delivered to me was phenomenal, that none other than an adept in occult science could have effected it. It promised me the return of my niece—and the promise was duly fulfilled.

[The letter from Koot Hoomi referred to in the above passage is preserved in the archives of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, India. A facsimile of it with background information is in C. Jinarajadasa’s Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series, 3–5.]

Source: Theosophical Society, General Council. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky Brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church of Madras, and Examined by a Committee Appointed for that Purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. Madras, India: Theosophical Society, 1885, pp. 94–95.

Case 2
Henry S. Olcott.
ca. February 1876
New York City

Wonder treads upon wonder.  I wrote an account of my [first] interview with the Brother I took for a Hindoo Brahmin, and was sorry enough afterwards I had said a word about it, either in letter or lecture.  [Then] I began to doubt my own senses and fancy the scene had all been an objective hallucination but I have seen him again yesterday and another man was with him.

Other persons have seen this man in New York.  He is not a Brahmin, but a swarthy Cypriote.  I did not ask him before of what country he was.

I was reading in my room yesterday (Sunday) when there came a tap at the door.  I said "come in" and then entered the Brother with another dark skinned gentleman of about fifty with a bushy gray beard and eye brows.

We took cigars and chatted for a while. 

He said he would show me the production of flowers as the adepts do it.  At the same time pointing to the air, fancy --- the shadowy outlines of flower after flower and leaf after leaf grew out of nothing.  The room was perfectly light; in fact the sun was shining in.  The flowers grew solid.  A beautiful perfume saturated the air.   They were suspended as the down of a thistle in the air; each separate from the other.  Then they formed themselves into bouquets and a splendid large one of roses, lilies of the valley, camelias, jessamine and carnations floated down and placed itself in my hand.  Then the others separated again and fell in a shower to the floor.  I was stupefied with the manifestation.

[Then] as he spoke [again] rain drops began pattering around us in the room and positively a drenching shower was falling about us.  The carpet was soaked and so were my clothes, the books on the table, and the bronzes, and clock, and photos on the mantel piece.  But neither of the Brothers received a drop.

They sat there and quietly smoked their cigars, while mine became too wet to burn.   I just sat and looked at them in a sort of stupid daze.  They seemed to enjoy my surprise but smoked on and said nothing.  Finally the younger of the two (who gave me his name as Ooton Liatto) said I need not worry.  Nothing would be damaged.

The shower ceased as suddenly as it had begun.  Then the elder man took out of his pocket a painted lacquered case.  Upon opening the case a round flat concave crystal was displayed to view.  He told me to look in it.  Holding it a few inches from my eye and shading my eye from the light so that there might be no reflected rays cast upon the glass, the box exhaled a strong spicy aromatic odor much like sandal wood but still not just that.  Whatever I wished to see, he said I need simply think of, only taking care to think of but one thing at a time.  I did as directed.

I thought of my dead mother as she used to sit with me twenty years ago.  I saw as it were a door in the far distance.  It came nearer and nearer, and grew plainer until I lost consciousness of external objects and seemed to be in the very room I had in mind.  Details long forgotten, pictures, furniture, &c. came into view.  My mother sat there, and the conversation of twenty years ago was renewed.

I thought of a landscape --- lo!  I stood upon the spot and mountain, valley, river, and buildings lay smiling before me.  I was there --- not in my room in 34th Street.  So for more than an hour, the thing went on.  I seemed able to flit from one clime to another with the speed of thought, and to call up any spirit I wished to talk with.  Things too that had occurred to me when out of the body (all recollection of which had been obliterated upon the return of my spirit to flesh) were shown me.   But these were only a few and unimportant, for when I seemed to be growing inquisitive, some power prevented my seeing anything.

Was I hallucinated?  No sir, I was not.  At least I can't imagine a person being hallucinated and still be in such a state of mental activity as I was in.  I have never been psychologized.  I am like cast iron so far as sensitiveness to mesmeric influence while I used to be a strong mesmeriser myself.

The seance being over as I supposed, I asked Liatto if he knew Madam B.  He stared too.  But as I thought he ought to know her, since her flat was in the same house, I went on to discant [comment] upon her character, her virtues, her intellectuality, &c. &c.  The elder Brother asked me to present their compliments to Madam and say that with her permission they would call upon her.

I ran down stairs, rushed into Madam's parlour and there sat these two identical men smoking with her and chatting as quietly as if they had been old friends.  Madam motioned to me as if I had better not come in, as if they had private business to talk over.  I stood transfixed looking from one to another in dumb amazement.  I glanced [at] the ceiling (my rooms are over Madame B's) but they had not tumbled through.

Madam said,  "What the Devil are you staring at Olcott? What's the matter? You must be crazy."  I said nothing but rushed up stairs again, tore open my door and  the men were not there.  I ran down again; they had disappeared.   I heard the front door close, looked out of the window and saw them just turning the corner.  Madam said they had been with her for more than an hour.  And that is all she would tell me about them.

When I showed her my wet clothes and the bouquet of flowers that remained in evidence that I had not been hallucinated, she only said, "That's nothing remarkable.   Ask me no questions for I shall tell you nothing.  Let the Brothers do what they please for you, I shan't have my name put out again as a medium."

In a half hour from the time the two men left, there was not a drop of moisture in the room nor a shade of dampness to indicate that there had been a shower.  But my clothes stayed wet and had to be dried before the fire.


Case 3
Henry S. Olcott
March 1877
New York City

I say Isis [HPB] is a man. Let me add that she is (in my opinion) a Hindu man. At any rate, this thing happened tonight after my sister and her husband had gone home: Isis was leaning back in her chair, fooling with her hair, and smoking a cigarette. She got one lock in her fingers and pulled it, and fingered it in an absent way—talking the while, when lo! the lock grew visibly darker and darker until, presto! it was as black as coal. I said nothing until the thing was done, when suddenly catching her hand I asked her to let me have this neat specimen of miracle making as a keepsake. You ought to have seen her face when she saw what she had done in her brown study. But she laughed good-naturedly, called me a sharp Yankee, and cut off the lock and gave it to me. I will send you a bit of it as a talisman. Mind you, this was cut off of Isis’s head in my sight and under the full blaze of the chandelier. This one lock showed against the blonde silky and crinkled hair of Blavatsky’s head like a skein of black sewing-silk upon a light-brown cloth. Now what this teaches me is just this—The Blavatsky shell is a shell tenanted by a copper-colored Hindu Solon or Pythagoras, and in this moment of abstraction his own hair—previously there only in its astral condition—became materialized and now stays so. Mind you these are my private speculations.

Why, I can't tell you the number and variety of exhibitions of magical power she has given me and others during the past four months. They exceed all I had seen before. She has done her wonders before 4, 5, and 8 persons, some of them comparative strangers. On Monday night, in the presence of Dr. Billing, Dr. Marquette, Mr. and Miss Monachesi, Mr. Curtis, and myself, these things happened in full light; she made the music of a musical box to be heard in the air. The four of the party, happening to sit so they could look out of the window into the street (a room in second story of house), saw pass the window on the outside the forms of two men. One of them was a Brother I know well, and whose portrait was materialized instantly for me some months ago. The other was a younger Brother—an advanced pupil who can travel in his [astral] double.

I saw a splendid exhibition of willpower recently. Isis and I were alone after dinner, in the parlor, when she bade me turn the gas very low and sit quiet at the other side of the room. I made the light very dim, and upon looking at her through the gloom in a few minutes, I saw beside her dark figure (she was dressed in a dark gown) a man’s figure in white, or light robes, and with a shawl wound in Eastern fashion about his head. She told me to look away for a moment, and then to turn up the gas. She sat there with the very shawl transferred to her own head, and no one else visible but us two. She gave me the shawl. It was powerfully perfumed with the familiar odor. In one corner was worked the name of the same Brother above alluded to, and in the same Zensar character. It is on his portrait, in my bedroom.

Source:  Quoted by Besterman 1934, 148–54.

Case 4a
Henry S. Olcott
New York City

Our evening’s work on Isis was finished, I had bade goodnight to HPB, retired to my own room, closed the door as usual, sat me down to read and smoke, and was soon absorbed in my book. All at once, as I read with my shoulder a little turned from the door, there came a gleam of something white in the right-hand corner of my right eye; I turned my head, dropped my book in astonishment, and saw towering above me in his great stature an Oriental clad in white garments, and wearing a head cloth or turban of amber-striped fabric, hand-embroidered in yellow floss silk. Long raven hair hung from under his turban to the shoulders; his black beard, parted vertically on the chin in the Rajput fashion, was twisted up at the ends and carried over the ears; his eyes were alive with soul fire, eyes which were at once benignant and piercing in glance. He was so grand a man, so imbued with the majesty of moral strength, so luminously spiritual, so evidently above average humanity, that I felt abashed in his presence, and bowed my head and bent my knee as one does before a god or a godlike personage. A hand was lightly laid on my head, a sweet though strong voice bade me be seated, and when I raised my eyes, the Presence was seated in the other chair beyond the table. He told me he had come at the crisis when I needed him, that my actions had brought me to this point, that it lay with me alone whether he and I should meet often in this life as co-workers for the good of mankind, that a great work was to be done for humanity, and I had the right to share in it if I wished, that a mysterious tie, not now to be explained to me, had drawn my colleague [HPB] and myself together, a tie which could not be broken, however strained it might be at times. He told me things about HPB that I may not repeat, as well as things about myself, that do not concern third parties. At last he rose, I wondering at his great height and observing the sort of splendor in his countenance—not an external shining, but the soft gleam, as it were, of an inner light—that of the spirit. Suddenly the thought came into my mind: "What if this be but hallucination; what if HPB has cast a hypnotic glamour over me? I wish I had some tangible object to prove to me that he has really been here, something that I might handle after he is gone!" The Master smiled kindly as if reading my thought, untwisted the fehta [turban] from his head, benignantly saluted me in farewell and was gone: his chair was empty; I was alone with my emotions! Not quite alone, though, for on the table lay the embroidered head cloth, a tangible and enduring proof that I had not been "overlooked," or psychically befooled, but had been face to face with one of the Elder Brothers of Humanity. To run and beat at HPB’s door and tell her my experience was the first natural impulse, and she was as glad to hear my story as I was to tell it. I returned to my room to think, and the gray morning found me still thinking and resolving. I have been blessed with meetings with this Master and others since then.

[Note: Colonel Olcott elsewhere describes how the Master Morya left his room: "When I asked him to leave me some tangible evidence that I had not been the dupe of a vision, but that he had indeed been there, he removed from his head the puggri [turban] he wore, and giving it to me, vanished from my sight." H. S. Olcott, Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science (London, 1885), p. 123 —D. C., Editor.]

Source:  Olcott, Henry Steel. Old Diary Leaves: The True Story of the Theosophical Society. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1895. Vol. 1 (1874–1878), 377, 379–81.

Case 4b
Henry S. Olcott
New York City

I could name two cases where I have encountered the person both in the physical body and in the astral body.  There are also a number of instances in my experience where I have seen the person in the astral body but not in the physical, and in the physical but not in the astral; but in two cases I can state that I have known the person in both capacities. In both cases I saw them in the astral body first. The first case I will mention is the case already reported in the pamphlet called “Hints on Esoteric Theosophy --- No. 1,” In that instance the person was my Teacher [Mahatma Morya] , whose photograph lies on the table here; and I now exhibit the turban which he took off his head, when I demanded of him some tangible proof of his visit. The man who visited me was instantly recognised by me from a portrait which I had in my possession --- the portrait which you see there.  He appeared when I was in my room before retiring at night.  As it was my custom to lock my door, I presume that my door was locked at that time.  I know that the door was not opened, for I sat in such a way reading that the door could not be opened without immediately attracting my notice. My own conviction is --- in fact, I should be willing to affirm most positively --- that the door did not open and that the appearance and disappearance of my visitor occurred without using the means of ingress or exit.  The phantom man had a phantom turban on his head, and he fully materialised the turban only by drawing to it through the current --- electric, odic, astral, ethereal, or whatever you please --- which is constantly running between the projected phantasm and the body, all the residual coarser atoms of the head cloth upon the solid body left behind. He was a model of physical beauty, about 6ft. 6in. or 7in. in height, and symmetrically proportioned. Great stature is not so rare among the Rajpoots. I have seen very tall Hindus, for I have been through the Rajpoot country; but taking him all in all, he was the most majestic human figure I ever laid my eyes upon.


Case 5
Henry S. Olcott
January 1879

The most striking incident of our stay in London was the meeting of a Master by three of us as we were walking down Cannon Street. There was a fog that morning, so dense that one could hardly see across the street, and London appeared at its worst. The two who were with me saw him first, as I was next to the curb, and just then my eyes were otherwise occupied. But when they uttered an exclamation, I turned my head quickly and met the glance of the Master as he looked back at me over his shoulder. I did not recognize him for an acquaintance, but I recognized the face as that of an Exalted One; for the type once seen can never be mistaken. We three friends kept together in the City and went together back to Dr. Billing's house, yet on entering we were told by both Mrs. Billing and HPB that the Brother had been there and mentioned that he had met us three—naming us—in the City. Mrs. Billing described him as a very tall and handsome Hindu, with a peculiarly piercing eye which seemed to look her through. For the moment she was so staggered that she could not say a word, but the stranger said: "I wish to see Madame Blavatsky," and moved towards the door of the room where she sat. Mrs. Billing opened it for him and bade him enter. He did so, and walked straight towards HPB, made her an Oriental salutation, and began speaking to her in a tongue the sounds of which were totally unfamiliar to Mrs. Billing.

Source:  Olcott, Henry S. Old Diary Leaves: The Only Authentic History of the Theosophical Society. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1900. Vol. 2 (1878–1883), 4–6.

Case 6a
Henry S. Olcott
February-July, 1879
Bombay, India

Before leaving New York, I had written Hurrychund to engage for us a small, clean house in the Hindu quarter. We were taken to a house on Girgaum Back Road, standing in a comparatively forlorn compound, and adjoining his glass-roofed photographic studio.  The ladies of our friends’ families called on HPB and a number of Hindu and Parsi gentlemen on our whole party; but the rush of visitors began the next morning.

On the evening of 17th February, a reception was held at the photographic studio, at which over 300 invited guests were present.

We changed quarters, bought furniture and other necessaries, and on 7th March settled ourselves down in the little house, 108 Girgaum Back Road, for the next two years. Every evening we held an impromptu durbar, when the knottiest problems of philosophy, metaphysics, and science were discussed. Visitors kept on crowding our bungalow, and stopping until late every evening to discuss religious questions.

We were completely happy in our retired cottage under the cocoa-palms. And under those umbrageous palms, we were visited in person by Mahatmas; and their inspiring presence made us strong to proceed in the path we were treading.

[On July 15, Mahatma Morya] visited me in the flesh at Bombay, coming in full daylight, and on horseback. He had me called by a servant into the front room of HPB’s bungalow (she being at the time in the other bungalow talking with those who were there). He came to scold me roundly for something I had done in TS matters, and as HPB was also to blame, he telegraphed to her to come, that is to say, he turned his face and extended his finger in the direction of the place she was in. She came over at once with a rush and, seeing him, dropped on her knees and paid him reverence. My voice and his had been heard by those in the other bungalow, but only HPB and I, and the servant saw him.

[Note: In Colonel Olcott’s diary for July 15, 1879, the following entry is written: "[I] had visit in body of the Sahib!! [He] sent Babula to my room to call me to HPB’s bungalow, and there we had a most important private interview. Alas! how puerile and vain these men make one feel by contrast with them." –DHC.]

Source: Hume, A. O. Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1: Is Theosophy a Delusion? Do the Brothers Exist? Calcutta, India: Calcutta Central Press, 1882.

Case 6b
Henry S. Olcott
July, 1879
Bombay, India

One day at Bombay I was at work in my office when a Hindu servant came and told me that a gentleman wanted to see me in Madame Blavatsky’s bungalow --- a separate house within the same enclosure as the main building.  This was one day in 1879.  I went and found alone there my Teacher.  Madame Blavatsky was then engaged in animated conversation with other persons in the other bungalow.  The interview between the Teacher and myself lasted perhaps 10 minutes, and it related to matters of a private nature with respect to myself and certain current events in the history of the Society.  He put his hand upon my head, and his hand was perfectly substantial; and he had altogether the appearance of an ordinary living person.  When he walked about the floor there was noise of his footsteps, which is not the case with the double or phantasm. He was then stopping at a bungalow, not far from Bombay, belonging to a person connected with this brotherhood of the Mahatmas, and used by Mahatmas who may be passing through Bombay on business connected with their order.  He came to our place on horseback. I have seen him at other times.


Case 7
Emma Coulomb
April 1880
Bombay, India

On the 5th of April [1880] Colonel Olcott came into my room and asked me if I would undertake to direct the domestic affairs, as the lady who looked after them did not wish to do so anymore.  I accepted with great pleasure this charge, as it gave me the chance of making myself useful.   We had already been initiated and had joined the [Theosophical] Society. 

Madame Blavatsky, seeing our earnest desire to please her in everything, one evening, taking hold of my arm and walking up and down in the library compound, all of a sudden said:  "Look here, run and tell the Colonel that you have seen a figure in the garden."  "Where is the figure?" I asked.  "Never mind," she said, "run and tell him so; we shall have some fun."   Thinking this to be a joke, I ran to him and told him.  As the Colonel came up Madame began to laugh, saying "See, she has been afraid of an apparition," and so they both went on laughing , and going up to the other bungalow, related the story to the rest of the people who were there.  I must conscientiously say that I did not know what they meant by this joke.

[Later] in one of [her good] moods [Madame Blavatsky] called me up and told me:  "See if you can make a head of human size and place it on that divan," pointing to a sofa in her room, " and merely put a sheet round it; it would have a magic effect by moonlight."  What can this mean?  I wondered.  But knowing how disagreeable she could make herself if she was stroked on the wrong side, I complied with her wish.  She cut a paper pattern of the face I was to make, which I still have; on this I cut the precious lineaments of the beloved Master, but, to my shame, I must say that, after all my trouble of cutting, sewing, and stuffing, Madame said that it looked like an old Jew---I suppose she meant Shylock.  Madame, with a graceful touch  here and there of her painting brush, gave it a little better appearance.  But this was only a head, without bust, and could not very well be used, so I made a jacket, which I doubled, and between the two cloths I placed stuffing, to form the shoulders and chest; the arms were only to the elbow, because, when the thing was tried on, we found the long arm would be in the way of him who had to carry it.  This beauty finished, made Madame quite another person.  

Let us see for what purpose the doll was made.  This was to give a convincing and material proof of the existence of the brothers [the Mahatmas], as their (said) invisible presence did not fully satisfy the truthseekers.

Among the many apparitions to which this doll has been instrumental, I will choose one seen by Mr. Ramaswamier, in December, 1881.  The Mahatma he saw in his astral body on the balcony at the head-quarters of the Theosophical Society in Bombay, on the memorable night of December, 1881, was no one else than Monsieur Coulomb, with the doll's head on his own.

The doll plays the greatest part in these apparitions, and, as I have already explained, it is carried on somebody's head; but at times it is placed on the top of a long bamboo, and raised to show that it is an astral body; but when the doll has not been at hand, even a white cloth wrapped round the person who was to perform the Mahatma was at times used, and answered the purpose.

Source:  Coulomb  7-9, 30-1, 34-6, 46-8, 52-3.

Case 8
Damodar K. Mavalankar
June 23—July 1880
Ceylon and then on ship back to Bombay

In Ceylon [in a] particular village, HPB, Col. Olcott, and myself were the only three persons that stopped one night, the rest of our party having gone to a further place. We were all busy there initiating people and forming a branch of our [Theosophical] Society till about 12 in the night. HPB and Col. Olcott went to bed at about one. As we had to stay in the village only one night, we had got down in the Rest House where comfortable accommodation can be had only for two travelers. I had therefore to lie down in an armchair in the dining room. I had scarcely locked the door of the room from the inside and laid myself in the chair when I heard a faint knock at the door. It was repeated twice before I had time enough to reach the door. I opened it and what a great joy I felt when I saw [Mahatma Morya] again! In a very low whisper he ordered me to dress myself and to follow him. At the back door of the Rest House is the sea. I followed him as he commanded me to do. We walked about three quarters of an hour by the seashore. Then we turned in the direction of the sea. All around there was water except the place we were walking upon which was quite dry!! He was walking in front and I was following him. We thus walked for about seven minutes when we came to a spot that looked like a small island. On the top of the building was a triangular light. From a distance, a person, standing on the seashore would think it to be an isolated spot which is covered all over by green bushes. There is only one entrance to go inside. After we reached the island, we came in front of the actual building. There in a little garden in front, we found one of the Brothers sitting. I had seen him before, and it is to him that this place belongs. [Mahatma Morya] seated himself near him and I stood hefore them. We were there for about half an hour. I was shown a part of the place. How very pleasant it is! And inside this place he has a small room where the body remains when the spirit moves about. What a charming, delightful spot that is! What a nice smell of roses and various sorts of flowers! The half hour was finished and the time for our leaving the place was near. The master of the place, whose name I do not know, placed his blessing hand over my head, and [Mahatma Morya] and I marched off again. We came back near the door of the room wherein I was to sleep and he suddenly disappeared there on the spot.

I omitted to mention to you the two other places where I was taken. One of them is near Colombo, a private house of [Mahatma Morya], and the other one near Kandy, a library.

One evening on the steamer on our way back to Bombay [in July 1880], we finished our dinner [and] I went in [my cabin] and put on [my] coat. Without thinking I put my hands into my pockets as I usually do and lo! in the right-hand one I felt some paper. I took it out, and to my surprise I found a letter addressed to Mme. Blavatsky. I took it nearer to the light. The cover was open and on it were written in red the words: "For Damodar to read." I then read the letter. Thinking all the time of this matter, I lay down in my bed. Absorbed in deep thought, I was startled on the sound of footsteps in the cabin which I had locked from inside. I looked behind and there was [Mahatma Morya] again and two others! What a pleasant evening that was! Speaking of various things in regard to knowledge and philosophy for about half an hour!

Source:  Mavalankar, Damodar K. Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement. Comp. Sven Eek. Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1965, 55–8.

Case 9
Henry S. Olcott
August 4, 1880
Bombay, India

On the evening of 4th August, Mahatma [Morya] visited HPB, and I was called in to see him before he left. He dictated a long and important letter to an influential friend of ours at Paris, and gave me important hints about the management of current [Theosophical] Society affairs. I was sent away before his visit terminated, and left him sitting in HPB’s room.

[Olcott's actual handwritten diary for that date reads:

"M [orya] here this evening & wrote to Fauvety of Paris. He says 5000
English troops killed in Afghanistan in the recent battle. . . ." DHC. ]

Source:  Olcott, Henry S. Old Diary Leaves: The Only Authentic History of the Theosophical Society. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1900. Vol. 2 (1878–1883), 208.

Case 10
Damodar K. Mavalankar
September 1880
Bombay, India

[On] Aug. 27, 1880, HPB and Col. O. left Bombay for Simla and other places in the North [of India]. I worked all alone in HPB’s compartments. [One day in September] at about 2 in the morning after finishing my work, I locked the door of the room and lay in my bed. Within about 2 or 3 minutes I heard HPB’s voice in her room calling me. I got up with a start and went in. She said "some persons want to see you" and after a moment added, "Now go out, do not look at me." Before however I had time to turn my face, I saw her gradually disappear on the spot and from that very ground rose up the form of [Mahatma Morya]. By the time I had turned back, I saw two others dressed in what I afterwards learned to be Tibetan clothes. One of them remained with [Mahatma Morya] in HPB’s room. The other one I found seated on my bed by the time I came out. Then he told me to stand still for some time and began to look at me fixedly. I felt a very pleasant sensation as if I was getting out of my body. I cannot say now what time passed between that and what I am now going to relate. But I saw I was in a peculiar place. It was the upper end of Cashmere at the foot of the Himalayas. I saw I was taken to a place where there were only two houses just opposite to each other and no other sign of habitation. From one of these came out the person [Koot Hoomi, who] ordered me to follow him. After going a short distance of about half a mile, we came to a natural subterranean passage. After walking a considerable distance through this subterranean passage, we came into an open plain. There is a large massive building thousands of years old. The entrance gate has a large triangular arch. Inside are various apartments. I went up with my Guru to the Great Hall. The grandeur and serenity of the place is enough to strike anyone with awe. While standing there, I do not know what happened, but suddenly I found myself in my bed. It was about 8 in the morning. What was that I saw? Was it a dream or a reality? Perplexed with these ideas, I was sitting silent when down fell a note on my nose. I opened it and found inside that it was not a dream but that I was taken in some mysterious way in my astral body to the real place of Initiation. 

Source:  Damodar K. Mavalankar. Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement. Comp. Sven Eek. Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1965, 58–62.

Case 11
A. P. Sinnett
October 19, 1880
Simla, India

I saw K. H. in astral form on the night of 19th of October. 1880—waking up for a moment but immediately afterwards being rendered unconscious again (in the body) and conscious out of the body in the adjacent dressing room, where I saw another of the Brothers afterwards identified with one called Serapis by Olcott.

Source: Sinnett, A.P.  A Note.  The Mahatma Letters, 3rd ed., p. 10.

[Some four years later, while William Judge was in London and on a visit to Mr. Sinnett's home, the following interesting conversation ensued.  Mr. Judge wrote:

"I asked him [A.P. Sinnett] about his sight of K.H. and he related thus: 'He was lying in his bed in India one night [October 19, 1880], when suddenly awakening, he found K.H. standing by his bed.  He rose half up, when K.H. put his hand on his head, causing him to fall at once back on the pillow. He then, he says, found himself out of the body, and in the next room, talking to another adept whom he describes as an English or European, with light hair, fair, and of great beauty.  This is the one [adept] Olcott described to me in 1876 and called by name -------.  Please erase that when read. . . . S[innett] says he [the European adept] is very high. . . ."  Letters That Have Helped Me, Theosophy Company edition, p. 196. ]

Case 12
Henry S. Olcott
Oct. 26, 1880
The Golden Temple
Amritsar, India

At a shrine where the swords, sharp steel discs, coats of mail, and other warlike weapons of the Sikh warrior priests are exposed to view in charge of the akalis, I was greeted, to my surprise and joy, with a loving smile by one of the Masters, who for the moment was figuring among the guardians, and who gave each of us a fresh rose, with a blessing in his eyes.

[In Olcott's own handwritten diary, the entry for October 26, 1880 reads:

"...In the afternoon we went to the Golden Temple again & found it as lovely as before. Saw some hundreds of fakirs & gossains more or less ill-favored. A Brother there saluted H.P.B. and me & gave us each a rose."  DHC.]

Source:  Olcott, Henry S.  Old Diary Leaves, Volume III, pp. 254-255

Case 13
Henry S. Olcott
Febuary 19, 1881
Bombay, India

Hilarion is here en route for Tibet and has been looking over, in, and through the situation.  [He] finds Bombay something morally awful.  [Hilarion's] views on India, Bombay, the T.S. in Bombay, Ceylon. . ., England and Europe, Christianity and other subjects highly interesting.

Source:  Olcott, Henry S. Diaries.   Entry for Feb. 19, 1881.

Case 14
Martandrao Babaji Nagnath
April 1881
Bombay, India

I have had constant occasions to visit [Theosophical] headquarters at Breach Candy, Bombay. My connection with the Founders of the Society has been close, and my opportunity good for studying Theosophy. I am therefore inclined, for my satisfaction and for the information of students of Nature, to record here my experiences of certain phenomena, which came under my observation on several occasions in the presence of brother Theosophists and strangers. I have also had the rare privilege to see the so-called and generally unseen Brothers [Mahatmas] of the 1st section of the Theosophical Society.

In the month of April 1881, on one dark night, while talking in company with other Theosophists with Madame Blavatsky about 10 p.m. in the open verandah of the upper bungalow, a man, six feet in height, clad in a white robe, with a white [turban] on the head, made his appearance on a sudden, walking towards us through the garden adjacent to the bungalow from a point—a precipice—where there is no path for any one to tread. Madame then rose up and told us to go inside the bungalow. So we went in, but we heard Madame and he talking for a minute with each other in an Eastern language unknown to us. Immediately after, we again went out into the verandah, as we were called, but the Brother had disappeared.

On the next occasion, when we were chatting in the above verandah as usual, another Brother, clothed in a white dress, was suddenly seen as if standing on a branch of a tree. We saw him then descending as though through the air, and standing on a corner edge of a thin wall. Madame then rose up from her seat and stood looking at him for about two minutes, and—as if it seemed—talking inaudibly with him. Immediately after, in our presence, the figure of the man disappeared, but was afterwards seen again walking in the air through space, then right through the tree, and again disappearing.

Source:  Hume, A. O. Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1: Is Theosophy a Delusion? Do the Brothers Exist? Calcutta, India: Calcutta Central Press, 1882, 103, 104–105.

Case 15
Bhavani Shankar
July 13, 1881
Bombay, India

In a bright moonlight, on the night of the 13th July 1881, we were engaged in a talk with Madame Blavatsky as usual in the same verandah. Monsieur Coulomb and Madame Coulomb were present on the spot as also all the persons of the house and Madame Blavatsky's servant. While we were conversing with Madame B., the Mahatma, known as Mr. Sinnett's Correspondent and the Author of the letters published in the "Occult World," made his appearance in his "Mayavi Rupa" or "Double," for a few minutes. He was clad in the white dress of a "Punjabee" and wore a white turban. All of those, who were present at that time, saw his handsome features clearly and distinctly, as it was a bright moonlight night. On the same night, a letter was drafted to the "London Spiritualist" about our having seen the Mahatmas. As we were reading the letter in question, the same Mahatma showed himself again. The second time when he made his appearance, he was very near us, say at the distance of a yard or two. At that time, Monsieur and Madame Coulomb said, "Here is our Brother," meaning the Mahatma. He then came into Madame B.'s room and was heard talking with her and then disappeared. Monsieur Coulomb and Madame Coulomb signed the letter drafted to the "London spiritualist," testifying to the fact of their having seen the "Mahatma." Since Madame Coulomb now says that the Mahatmas are but "crafty arrangements of muslin and bladders" and her husband represented the Mahatmas, how are we to reconcile this statement with the fact that in "the London Spiritualist" of the 19th August 1881, appeared a letter signed by five witnesses, including myself, testifying to the fact of their having seen a Mahatma, while they were writing that letter; and that this document is signed by both the Coulombs? There is, therefore, no doubt that they were with the company who signed the paper. Who was it then that appeared on that occasion as a Mahatma? Surely neither Monsieur and Madame Coulomb with their "muslin and bladders" nor Madame B.'s servant who was also present, but the "double" of a person living on the other side of the Himalayas. The figure in coming up to Madame Blavatsky's room was seen by us "to float through the air," and we also distinctly heard it talking to her, while all of us, including her servant and the Coulombs, were at the time, together, in each other's presence.

Source:  Theosophical Society. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky Brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church of Madras, and Examined by a Committee Appointed for That Purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. Madras, India: Theosophical Society, 1885, 75-80.

Case 16
Mirza Moorad Alee Beg
August, 1881

“Having just read in the London Spiritualist a review of Mr. Sinnett’s book, ‘The Occult World,’ I find in it more than a doubt expressed as to the reality of the ‘Brothers,’ that body of mystics to which the personage known as ‘Koot Hoomi Lal Singh’ belongs.  The Editor of the paper would have his readers believe that the said person is a creation of Madame Blavatsky’s fancy.   ‘Mr. Sinnett,’ he says, ‘has never seen Koot Hoomi, nor does he mention that any other Theosophist in India has had that privilege.’

“As some persons may express the same doubts, and also some, while admitting their genuine character, may attribute them to agency other than that to which Madame Blavatsky refers them (the so-called ‘Brothers,’ &c.), I hereby declare that not only have I within the last few days seen one of the persons so designated at the Headquarters of the Society at Bombay, but that I have very good reasons (which I cannot go into more fully now) to know that the said persons are not ‘spirits’ but real human beings exercising powers out of the ordinary.  Both before and after my connection with the Theosophical Society I have known and conversed with them personally and witnessed the most wonderful results (which would ordinarily be described as miraculous), but I must emphasise my declaration that I do not regard them as supernatural and am altogether materialistic (or rather naturalistic) in my conceptions of the agency producing them.  Further I testify that I have the strongest conviction, based on reasons which, though authoritative, are purely natural and physical, that the said ‘Brothers’ are a mysterious fraternity, the ordinary location of which is the regions north of the Himalayas.

Source:  " 'The Occult World' and the 'Spiritualist,' " The Theosophist, August, 1881, p. 230.

Case 17
Damodar K. Mavalankar
August, 1881

The criticisms upon Mr. Sinnett’s book ‘The Occult World’ force upon me the duty of testifying from personal experience and knowledge to the fact that those whom we call our ‘Brothers of the First Section,’ of whom ‘Koot Hoomi Lal Singh’ is one, and who possess the so-called ‘miraculous’ powers, are real and living beings and not disembodied spirits as the Editor of the Spiritualist would have his readers think.  It is but by a long course of study and training that such can be attained.  It is not belief with me but knowledge, for, if I have seen one of them, I have at least seen about half a dozen on various occasions, in broad daylight, in open places, and have talked to them, not only when Madame Blavatsky was in Bombay but even when she was far away and I here.  I have also seen them at time when I was travelling.  I was taken to the residences of some of them and once when Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky were with me.  Further than that I cannot say, and shall not give any more information either about them or the places they reside in, for I am under a solemn obligation of secrecy and the subject is too sacred for me to be trifled with.  I may, however, mention that I know ‘Koot Hoomi Lal Singh’ personally and have seen and conversed with him when Madame Blavatsky was here as also when she was far away.  But under what circumstances I am not at liberty to disclose.

We Hindus who know the ‘Brothers’ think it equally absurd and ridiculous to insinuate that either Madame Blavatsky is a lunatic or an impostor, or that persons like Mr. Sinnett could have ever become her dupes.  Neither is she a medium, nor are the ‘Brothers’ ‘disembodied Spirits.’

Case 18
Henry S. Olcott
Sept. 27, 1881

On the night of that day [Sept. 27th, 1881] I was awakened from sleep by my Chohan (or Guru, the Brother [Morya] whose immediate pupil I am).  He made me rise, sit at my table and write from his dictation for an hour or more. There was an expression of anxiety mingled with sternness on his noble face, as there always is when the matter concerns H.P.B., to whom for many years he has been at once a father and a
devoted guardian.

Source: Hume, A.O. Hints On Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, pp. 82-83.

Case 19
Bhavani Shankar
December 1881
Bombay, India

One night while I was sitting with some of my friends near Madame Blavatsky in the open verandah close to her writing room, a Mahatma, who was then near Bombay, came walking through the garden attached to Col. Olcott's bungalow and stood silent near a tree the distance of some eight or ten yards away from us. Madame Blavatsky then went down the wooden staircase leading into the garden, approached the Mahatma and saluted him by touching the back of his hands with both of her open palms. He delivered a packet to her and then disappeared. Madame B. came up afterwards and opened the packet and in it there was a letter from Allahabad. The envelope in question was quite unaddressed, but it bore the official stamp of the Allahabad Post Office of December the 3rd, 1881, and the official stamp of the Bombay Post Office of the same date, viz., 3rd December. The two places are 1,000 miles apart.

Source:  Theosophical Society. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky Brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church of Madras, and Examined by a Committee Appointed for That Purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. Madras, India: Theosophical Society, 1885, 75-80.

Case 20

Henry Olcott and Damodar K. Mavalankar

Dec. 28, 1881
Bombay, India

“The undersigned, returning a few moments since from a carriage ride with Madame Blavatsky, saw, as the carriage approached the house, a man upon the balcony over the porte cochere, leaning against the balustrade, and with the moonlight shining full upon him.   He was dressed in white, and wore a white Fehta on his head.  His beard was black, and his long black hair hung to his breast.  Olcott and Damodar at once recognised him as the ‘Illustrious.’ [Master Morya.] He raised his hand and dropped a letter to us.  Olcott jumped from the carriage and recovered it.  It was written in Tibetan characters, and signed with his familiar cypher.  It was a message to Ramaswamier, in reply to a letter (in a closed envelope) which he had written to the Brother a short time before we went out for the ride.  M. Coulomb, who was reading inside the house, and a short distance from the balcony, neither saw nor heard any one pass through the apartment, and no one else was in the bungalow, except Madame Coulomb, who was asleep in her bedroom.

“Upon descending from the carriage, our whole party immediately went upstairs, but the Brother had disappeared.

Source: Hume, A.O.  Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, pp. 72-73.

Case 21
Ross Scott et al
Jan. 5, 1882
Bombay, India

We were sitting together in the moonlight about 9 o'clock upon the balcony which projects from the front of the bungalow. Mr. Scott was sitting facing the house, so as to look through the intervening verandah and the library, and into the room at the further side. This latter apartment was brilliantly lighted. The library was in partial darkness, thus rendering objects in the farther room more distinct. Mr. Scott suddenly saw the figure of a man step into the space, opposite the door of the library; he was clad in the white dress of a Rajput, and wore a white turban. Mr. Scott at once recognized him from his resemblance to a portrait [of Morya] in Col. Olcott's possession. Our attention was then drawn to him, and we all saw him most distinctly. He walked towards a table, and afterwards turning his face towards us, walked back out of our sight.  When we reached the room he was gone. Upon the table, at the spot where he had been standing, lay a letter addressed to one of our number. The handwriting was identical with that of sundry notes and letters previously received from him. 

[The above statement is signed by: "Ross Scott, Minnie J.B. Scott, H.S. Olcott, H.P. Blavatsky, M. Moorad Ali Beg, Damodar K. Mavalankar, and Bhavani
Shankar Ganesh Mullapoorkar."  This same event is described in Olcott's diary for Jan. 5, 1882: "Evening. Moonlight. On balcony, HPB, Self, Scott & wife, Damodar ....[etc]... M[orya] appeared in my office. First seen by Scott, then me....Scott clearly saw M's face....M left note for me on table in office by which he stood...." DHC]

Source: Hume, A.O. Hints On Esoteric Theosophy, No. 1, 1882, pp. 75-76.

Case 22

Henry S. Olcott
Jan. 28, 1882
Bombay, India

M[orya] showed himself very clearly to me & HPB in her garden.  She joining him they talked together

Source:  Olcott, Henry S.  Diary for January 28, 1882.

Case 23
Bhavani Shankar
March 1882
Allahabad, India

In the month of March 1882, while I was stopping at Mr. Sinnett's house at Allahabad, some occult phenomena occurred independent of Madame Blavatsky, who was then at Bombay. One evening, Mr. Sinnett gave me a note addressed to my Master, "K.H." I took it to my room and kept it near my pillow. Every care was taken in bolting and fastening all the glass doors of the room where my bed was. I placed a lamp by my bed and began to read the article "Elixir of Life." But I was not able to devote my attention to the study of the article in question as it became wholly directed to the letter addressed to the Mahatma. It was between 10 and 11 P.M. that this letter disappeared and I saw my Master while he was leaving the room with the letter which was placed near my pillow. The doors of the room were well closed, and a light was burning by my bedside and there was no one else in the room. When I got up the morning next day, I found a reply from my Master to the address of Mr. Sinnett under my pillow and gave it to him. During my short stay at Allahabad with Mr. Sinnett, I had had independent communication with my Master while Madame Blavatsky was in another part of India.

Source: Theosophical Society. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky Brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church of Madras, and Examined by a Committee Appointed for That Purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. Madras, India: Theosophical Society, 1885, 75-80.

Case 24
William Eglinton
March 22–24, 1882,
S. S. Vega, Indian Ocean, west of Ceylon

On the 22nd March, 1882, I was at sea [on board the S. S. Vega], having left [Colombo,] Ceylon about 6 p.m. the same day. I occupied a deck cabin forward under the bridge. About ten o'clock I was in this cabin undressing preparatory to sleeping on deck, my back being to the open door. On turning round to make my exit, I found the entrance barred by what I took, at first sight, to be a khitmaghur or native butler.

Thinking he had come on some message, I waited for him to speak, but as he did not do so, and deeming his manner insolent from his not having demanded entrance, and not paying the deference usual to Europeans, I angrily told him, in Hindustani, to go away; whereupon he stepped into the cabin, grasped me by the right hand, and gave me the grip of a Master Mason before I had sufficiently recovered from my astonishment. I requested him to tell me why he had intruded upon me and to state his business.

Speaking in perfect English, he deliberately informed me he was "Koot Hoomi Lal Singh," and I was at the moment so profoundly impressed with his general appearance, his knowledge of Freemasonry, and the statement that he really was the person, mystic, or Adept of whom I had heard so much during my residence in India, that without hesitation I accepted him as such. We then entered into conversation of some length, of no particular importance to anyone but myself, but it proved to me that he was intimately acquainted with both the Spiritualistic and Theosophical movements, as well as with friends of mine in India.

He was in every respect an intelligent man, perfectly formed, and in nowise differing, in outward semblance at any rate, from the thousands of natives one sees in the East. Nor was it hallucination, for I was in full possession of all my faculties; and that it was not a subjective vision is proved by the grasp of the hand, and the very evident materiality of the figure. Some little thing attracted my attention from him for a moment, for I was criticizing him keenly, and when I turned my head again—he was gone! Two steps took me to the open door, where I had the advantage of scanning both the fore and aft decks, but I could observe no one in the act of retreating, although no living being could have in the time escaped from the range of my vision.

The next day I searched the ship, even going down into the shaft tunnel to find a person in appearance like the man I had seen on the previous night, but without obtaining the slightest clue to his identity, although my mind was then dwelling upon the possibility of a man having been commissioned to come on board at Ceylon on purpose to deceive me. But the more I reflected the more difficult I found it to accept such a theory.

"Koot Hoomi" had promised to take a letter to Mrs. Gordon, at Howrah, if I would write one when on board. I thought my having seen the "figure" a good opportunity to convey the news in the manner suggested, and I accordingly wrote, asserting my complete belief that the person I had seen was none other than the Great Master.

Source:  Collated from:  Eglinton, William. Light (London), June 24, 1882, p. 301, and January 30, 1886, pp. 50–1.

Case 25
Mrs. Alice Gordon
March 23–24, 1882,
Howrah, a suburb of Calcutta, India

Colonel Olcott told me that he had had an intimation in the night from his Chohan (teacher) that K.H. had been to the Vega and seen Eglinton. This was at about eight o’clock on Thursday morning, the 23rd [of March]. A few hours later a telegram, dated at Bombay 9 minutes past 9 pm on Wednesday evening, came to me from Madame Blavatsky, to this effect: "K.H. just gone to Vega." It corroborated, as will be seen, the message of the previous night to Colonel Olcott. We then felt hopeful of getting the letter by occult means from Mr. Eglinton. A telegram [from Mme. Blavatsky] later on Thursday asked us to fix a time for a sitting, so we named 9 o’clock Madras time, on Friday 24th.

At this hour we three—Colonel Olcott, Colonel Gordon, and myself—sat in the room which had been occupied by Mr. Eglinton. We had a good light, and sat with our chairs placed to form a triangle, of which the apex was to the north. In a few minutes Colonel Olcott saw outside the open window the two "Brothers" and told us so; he saw them pass to another window, the glass doors of which were closed. He saw one of them point his hand towards the air over my head, and I felt something at the same moment fall straight down from above on to my shoulder, and saw it fall at my feet in the direction towards the two gentlemen. I knew it would be the letter, but for the moment I was so anxious to see the "Brothers" that I did not pick up what had fallen. Colonel Gordon and Colonel Olcott both saw and heard the letter fall. Colonel Olcott had turned his head from the window for a moment to see what the "Brother" was pointing at, and so noticed the letter falling from a point about two feet from the ceiling. When he looked again the two "Brothers" had vanished.

There is no verandah outside, and the window is several feet from the ground.

I now turned and picked up what had fallen on me, and found a letter in Mr. Eglinton’s handwriting, dated on the Vega the 24th. We opened the letter carefully, by slitting up one side, as we saw that someone had made on the flap in pencil three Latin crosses, and so we kept them intact for identification. The letter is as follows:

My Dear Mrs. Gordon, —At last your hour of triumph has come! After the many battles we have had at the breakfast-table regarding K.H.’s existence, and my stubborn skepticism as to the wonderful powers possessed by the "Brothers," I have been forced to a complete belief in their being living distinct persons. I am not allowed to tell you all I know, but K.H. appeared to me in person two days ago, and what he told me dumbfounded me.

[Colonel Olcott in his diary for March 24, 1882 pens the following: "At 9 the Gordons and I sat together. Morya and K.H. appeared at the windows and notes from Eglinton (from on board the Vega), Morya, K.H and H.P.B., tied together, dropped through the air on Mrs. Gordon’s shoulder. A stupendous phenomenon all round. E. says in his note that he is sending it off by the Brothers to H.P.B. after showing it to a fellow passenger, Mrs. Boughton, and having her mark the envelope." DHC]

Source: Gordon, Alice. "Instantaneous Transmission of Another Letter." Psychic News (Calcutta, India), March 30, 1882, 60–1.

Case 26
Henry S. Olcott
August 18, 1882
Ceylon, (at a village on the way to Colombo) 

[I had a] night visit from M[orya] who directed telegram to be sent to A[llan] H[ume] about Fern's visions. . . . .

Source:  Olcott, Henry S.  Diaries.  Entry for Aug. 18, 1882.

Case 27
R. Casava Pillai
May-October 1882,
Nellore, Bombay and Darjeeling, India.  

In 1881, I had the good fortune to come in contact with a chela, who was then in the lower stages of his spiritual development at Nellore. His friendship with me brought me in contact with Brother Damodar K. Mavalankar, F. T. S., early in 1881. Just at this time, the familiar and sacred face of my Guru Deva [Kut Humi] used to appear before me oftener in my dreams, and with a more gracious and approving countenance.

Early in 1882, under the auspices of the chela I have above referred to --- who then happened to be at the head-quarters of the Theosophical Society at Bombay --- arrangements were made for the organization of the Nellore Branch. On an application from the members here, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott arrived at Nellore [in May, 1882], and this branch has been opened.

Madame Blavatsky told me, while she was at Nellore, that the "Brothers had spoken to her about me, and that they were watching me long before this," and I replied "that I knew it to be the case." This conversation took place while T. Vijaraghava Charlu, F.T.S., and C. Kotiah Chetty Garu, F. T. S., and some others were present. It was after this that I really thought more seriously of the appearance of the Mahatmas before me in dreams and otherwise. I then began to concentrate my attention upon the beautiful features of the latter Mahatma, my most revered Guru Deva, whom I then knew to be Mahatma Kut Humi. It was not in vain I did so. Within four or five days I had a response to my prayer. The blessed Mahatma from that time forward used to give me instructions in my dreams --- not exactly dreams --- but a state of half-wakefulness, for want of a better word I call them dreams, and that in one of I believe, it was about the end of May --- I fervently prayed to Him that I might be allowed the happiness of seeing Him in his physical body, to which, after a moment's consideration, the Guru Deva replied that I should have to cross the Himalayas alone.

I left Madras on the evening of the 11th September 1882 by the mail train, and reached the [Theosophical] Society's head-quarters at Bombay on the 13th September.

That very night while I was going to bed in Col. Olcott's room, with all doors closed, and in good lamp light, I was startled to see coming out, as it were, of the solid wall, the astral form of my most revered Guru Deva, and I prostrated before him, and he blessed me and desired me to go and see him beyond the Himalayas, in good Telugu language. The conversation that passed between us is too sacred to be mentioned here. He disappeared in the same way as he appeared.

On the following day, the 15th September, myself and Madame Blavatsky started for the North. We reached Chandernagore on the morning of the 19th by the mail train.

I there left Madame Blavatsky and her servant near the Railway Station,  and crossed the Hughly by a boat to the other side, and walked about 5 miles to the Nalhati Station, and then took the mail train for Siliguri, which I reached on the 20th early in the morning, and took the rail for Darjiling which place I reached about evening and met Babaji Dharbagirinath that very night just when I was in the greatest fix to find my way to the North.

We were both together until the 28th. We travelled together, both on horse-back and on foot in Bhutan, Sikkim, &c. We visited several "Gumpas" (temples).

In the course of these travels, just about Pari or Parchong on the northern frontier of Sikkim, I had the good fortune and happiness to see the blessed feet of the most venerated Masters Kut Humi and M[orya] in their physical bodies. The very identical personages whose astral bodies I had seen in my dreams, &c., since 1869, and in 1876 in Madras, and on the 14th September 1882 in the head-quarters at Bombay. Besides, I have also seen a few advanced chelas, and among them, the blessed Jwalkool who is now a Mahatma.

In conclusion, let me say --- that I am, owing to the grace of my Guru Deva, in direct correspondence with Him and have received several letters from Him since 1882, and that even so late as January 1885, I received a letter directly from Him, permitting me to publish an account of my travels.

Source: Pillai, R. Casava.  "How a Hindu of Madras Interviewed a Mahatma at Sikkim." The Indian Mirror (Calcutta), Vol. XXV, March 3, 1885, p. [2] and March 7, 1885, p. [2].

Case 28
S. Ramaswamier
September–October 1882
Darjeeling, India, and later in Sikkim

My health having been disturbed by official work and worry, I applied for leave on medical certificate and it was duly granted. One day in September last, while I was reading in my room [in the town of Tinnevelly, southern India], I was ordered by the audible voice of my blessed Guru, [Morya], to leave all and proceed immediately to Bombay, whence I had to go in search of Madame Blavatsky wherever I could find her and follow her wherever she went. Without losing a moment, I closed up all my affairs and left the station. Arrived at Bombay, I found Madame Blavatsky gone. Really not knowing whither I had best go, I took a through ticket to Calcutta.

On the 23rd [of September], I was brought by Nobin Babu from Calcutta to Chandernagore, where I found Madame Blavatsky, ready to start with the train. When the train arrived, she got into the carriage. I myself had barely the time to jump into the last carriage.

[During] the first days of her arrival [at Darjeeling] Madame Blavatsky was living at the house of a Bengalee gentleman, a Theosophist [and] was refusing to see any one. To all our importunities we could get only this answer from her: that we had no business, to stick to and follow her, that she did not want us, and that she had no right to disturb the Mahatmas with all sorts of questions.

In despair, I determined, come what might, to cross the frontier, which is about a dozen miles from here, and find the Mahatmas, or—DIE. Without breathing a word of my intentions to anyone, one morning, namely, October 5, I set out in search of the Mahatma. The same afternoon I reached the banks of the Rungit River, which forms the boundary between the British and Sikkim territories.

That whole afternoon I traveled on foot, penetrating further and further into the heart of the Sikkim Territory, along a narrow foot-path. I travelled before dusk not less than twenty or twenty-five miles. Throughout, I saw nothing but impenetrable jungles and forests on all sides of me, relieved at very long intervals by solitary huts belonging to the mountain population.

At dusk I began to search around me for a place to rest in at night. After a sound sleep, undisturbed by any dream, I woke and found it was just dawning. When it became quite light, I wended my way on through hills and dales.

It was, I think, between eight and nine am, and I was following the road to the town of Sikkim, whence, I was assured by the people I met on the road, I could cross over to Tibet easily in my pilgrim's garb when I suddenly saw a solitary horseman galloping towards me from the opposite direction. From his tall stature and the expert way he managed the animal, I thought he was some military officer of the Sikkim Raja. Now, I thought, am I caught. But as he approached me, he reined the steed. I looked at and recognized him instantly. I was in the presence of my own revered Guru. The very same instant saw me prostrated on the ground at his feet. I arose at his command and, leisurely looking into his face, I forgot myself entirely. I knew not what to say: joy and reverence tied my tongue. I was at last face to face with "the Mahatma of the Himavat" and he was no myth. It was no night dream; it is between nine and ten o'clock of the forenoon. There is the sun shining and silently witnessing the scene from above.

He speaks to me in accents of kindness and gentleness. Nor was it until a few moments later that I was drawn to utter a few words, encouraged by his gentle tone and speech. Never have I seen a countenance so handsome, a stature so tall and so majestic. He wears a short black beard, and long black hair hanging down to his breast. He wore a yellow mantle lined with fur, and, on his head a yellow Tibetan felt cap.

When the first moments of rapture and surprise were over and I calmly comprehended the situation, I had a long talk with him. He told me to go no further, for I would come to grief. He said I should wait patiently if I wanted to become an accepted Chela.

The Mahatma, I found, speaks very little English—or at least it so seemed to me—and spoke to me in my mother-tongue—Tamil. I asked the blessed Mahatma whether I could tell what I saw and heard to others. He replied in the affirmative. He was pleased to say when I offered my farewell namaskarams (prostration) that he approached the British Territory to see [HPB].

Before he left me, two more men came on horseback, his attendants I suppose, probably Chelas, for they were dressed like himself, with long hair streaming down their backs. They followed the Mahatma, as he left, at a gentle trot.

For over an hour I stood gazing at the place that he had just quitted, and then, I slowly retraced my steps. I had eaten nothing since the day before, and I was too weak to walk further. My whole body was aching in every limb. At a little distance I saw petty traders with country ponies, taking burden. I hired one of these animals. In the afternoon I came to the Rungit River and crossed it.  I took another horse immediately and reached Darjeeling late in the evening.

I could neither eat, nor sit, nor stand. Every part of my body was aching. My absence had seemingly alarmed Madame Blavatsky. She scolded me for my rash and mad attempt to try to go to Tibet, after this fashion. I recounted all that had happened to me.

Ramaswamier, S. "How a 'Chela' Found His Guru." Theosophist (Bombay, India) 4 (December 1882): 67–9.

Case 29
Mohini M. Chatterji
December 1882
Bombay, India

I have seen apparitions of Mahatmas on several occasions --- five or six, I should think.  It was in the month of December, 1882, that I saw the apparition of one of the Mahatmas for the first time.   I do not remember the precise date, but it can be easily ascertained.  It was a few days after the anniversary of the Theosophical Society was celebrated in that year.   One evening, eight or 10 of us were sitting on the balcony at the headquarters of the Society.  I was leaning over the railings, when at a distance I caught a glimpse of some shining substance, which after a short time took the form of a human being.   This human form several times passed and re-passed the place where we were.  I should think the apparition was visible for four or five minutes [at a distance from me of] about 20 or 30 yards.

It appeared at a place where there was a declivity in the hill, the house being at the top of the hill.  There was also a bend at the spot, so that if an ordinary human being had been walking there it would have been impossible for him to have been seen.  I saw the whole figure, however, so that it must have been floating in mid-air.

[Other persons besides me also saw the figure.] One was Novin Grishna Bannerji, who is deputy collector at Berhampore, Moorshedabad, Bengal.   Another was Ramaswamier, who is district registrar at Madura, Madras.  A third was Pundit Chandra Sikir, who lives at Bareilly, N.W.P.

It was first observed by Ramaswamier and myself. It seemed to us to be the apparition of the original of the portrait in Colonel Olcott’s room, and which is associated with one of the Mahatmas. This occurred about half-past nine or 10 o’clock on a bright moonlight night. [The figure walked up and down] and then disappeared. It seemed to melt away.

[The second time I saw an astral appearance was] two or three days after that.   We were sitting on the ground --- on the rock, outside the house in Bombay, when a figure appeared a short distance away.  It was not the same figure as on the first occasion. This [astral figure] was the same shining colour as before. It seemed to float.   There was no sound accompanying it. It seemed like phosphorus in the dark.  The hair was dark, and could be distinguished from the face.

Colonel Olcott was present on the first occasion, and, as I have already stated, the apparition that appeared was that of his Master [Morya].

Sources:  Collated from:  "The Theosophical Mahatmas, " Mohini M. Chatterji, The Pall Mall Gazette (London), October 2, 1884, p. 2.  and ADD SPR

Case 30
S. Ramswamier
November 1882
Bombay, India  

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.

Case 31
Nobin Krishna Bannerji
November 1882
Bombay, India  

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.

Case 32
J.N. Ghosal
November 1882
Bombay, India  

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.

Case 33
G. Soobiah Chetty
December 24, 1882
Adyar, Madras, India  

HPB and Col. Olcott arrived in Madras on December 19, 1882. A few days after their arrival, on a Sunday morning, Madame Blavatsky was unpacking, assisted by "the boys" --- Damodar K. Mavalankar, Narasimhulu and Soobiah Chetty, and Krishnaswami, known as "Bhavaji." Among the articles were found two portraits; and Narasimhulu and Soobiah were examining them intently, as they recognised in one of them a sadhu they had seen some years before. Noticing them handling the pictures, HPB pounced upon them and forbade it, saying they were pictures of the Masters. The two brothers said they had seen the person portrayed in one of them. HPB declared this could not be true; but a fortnight later she was told that they had indeed seen the Master M. in 1874; that He had visited the city of Madras in His physical body; and that they were two of the four persons who had seen Him then. She asked them to describe the visit.

They said that early one morning a sadhu entered their home unannounced. A strikingly tall man, clothed in a long white dress and white pagri, with black hair falling on his shoulders, and black beard, stood within the door. Of the three persons present one left the room, and the other two --- Narasimhulu and Soobiah --- drew near to him. He made certain signs which the brothers did not understand, but remembered vividly. He asked for one pice; and when they went to the money-box they found it contained exactly one pice, which they gave to Him. He turned and left the house, followed by the two brothers, and suddenly disappeared, to their great astonishment. They could find no trace of Him in the street. It was this sudden and mysterious disappearance that impressed the visit so deeply upon them that they always remembered it in detail.

Source:  Chetty, G. Soobiah.  "Master M.'s Visit to Madras in 1874."  Adyar Notes and News, October 25, 1928, p. 2.

Case 34
Emma Coulomb
March 1883
Adyar, Madras, India

I shall speak of the apparition which Mr. Sinnett saw on the terrace of Colonel Olcott's bungalow [at Adyar, Madras in March 1883]; and for precision's sake it behooves me to give here a short description of what took place on the arrival of Mr. Sinnett at head-quarters.

Madame told me:  "What are we to do now? Mr. Sinnett wants to go and sleep in Colonel's bungalow."  To this I answered that I was very sorry, because I knew that Colonel did not like anyone to occupy his rooms; but Madame said, "He wants to go there because he expects a visit from the Mahatma."  I shrugged my shoulders.   A little later in the day she asked me to go upstairs.  I went.   "Come here," she said.  "See, Mr. Sinnett would go into the Colonel's bungalow to sleep, because, as I told you, he expects a visit from the Mahatma.   Do you think it would be possible for Mr. Coulomb  to go quietly in the night, and through the window close to his bed pass a letter and go away, or even show himself at a distance.  Mr. Sinnett would never dare to move if I tell him not."  I answered that I would ask my husband, but that I was sure he would not do it, because Mr. Sinnett was not a simpleton:  he might go after the apparition and find out what is was, and then what would become of her?  I told my husband, and he refused point-blank, saying that he would not do it.  Whether anyone else did it instead, or not, this I could not say; but what I can affirm is, that Mr. Sinnett did not stay very long in the bungalow, and I heard him say that it was no use staying any longer.  A few days after this, Madame asked to have Koot-Hoomi shown on Colonel's bungalow.   Baboula, Madame's servant, took the Christofolo [the nickname for the "doll"], all wrapped up in a shawl, and with Mr. Coulomb went all along the compound on the side of the swimming-bath to the end of the pasture, returning in a straight line back to Colonel's bungalow up to the terrace, where it was lifted up and lowered down to give it a vapoury appearance.  I went up to Madame to say that all was ready, and found her at the window, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett, looking through an opera-glass; I was very much annoyed that she should be so imprudent, but this is her nature.  Another day, she asked that the Mahatma should be taken to the island in the middle of the [Adyar] river opposite the main bungalow.  It was impossible to oblige her at this time, because the tide was high and the moonlight as bright as day, so that the servant, who had to carry the bundle, could not cross the river; consequently the apparition did not take place, to Madame's great annoyance, because she had already invited Mr. and Mrs. Sinnett to go up and see.

Source:  Coulomb, pp. 7-9, 30-1, 34-6, 46-8, 52-3

Case 35
Damodar K. Mavalankar
April 1883
Adyar, Madras, India

Last night was a memorable one. Narasimhulu Chetty and myself were seated on a chair quite close to Mme. Blavatsky’s bed, fanning her and talking together, so as gradually to induce sleep in her. Suddenly Mme. B. gave a start and exclaimed, "I feel him [Mahatma Morya]." She enjoined on us strictly not to leave our places, nor to get excited, but remain where we were and be perfectly calm and quiet. Suddenly she asked for our hands and the right hand of each of us was held by her.

Hardly two minutes had elapsed and we saw him coming from the screen door of Mme. B.’s bed-room and approaching her. His manner of walking was so gentle that not a footstep, not the slightest sound, was audible; nor did he appear to move, by his gestures. It was only the change of position that made us see he had come nearer and nearer. He stood exactly opposite Mme. B.—not quite an arm's length from us. We were on this side of the bed; he on the other.

You know I have seen him often enough to enable me to recognize him at once. His usual long white coat, the peculiar Pagri [turban], long black hair flowing over the broad shoulders, and long beard were as usual striking and picturesque. He was standing near a door, the shutters of which were open. Through these the lamplight, and through the windows which were all open, the moonlight, were full upon him. And we being in the dark, i.e., having no light on our eyes—we being turned against the windows through which the moonlight came—we could see distinctly and clearly.

He held out and put his hands twice over Mme. B.’s head. She then stretched out her hand which passed through his—a fact proving that what we saw was a mayavi rupa [apparitional body], although so vivid and clear as to give one the impression of a material physical body. She immediately took the letter from his hands. It crumpled, as it were, and made a sound. He then waved his hands toward us, walked a few steps, inaudibly and imperceptibly as before, and disappeared! Mme. B. then handed the letter to me, as it was intended for me. Never shall I forget last night’s experience; so clear, so vivid and tangible it was!

Source:  Mavalankar, Damodar K. "Echoes from the Past." Theosophist (Adyar), May 1907, 633–4. Reprinted in Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement, comp. Sven Eek.  Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1965, 307–9.

Case 36
G. Soobiah Chetty
Summer 1883 and later that year
Ootacamund, India & Mylapore, India

In 1883 H.P.B. spent the summer with General and Mrs. Morgan at "The Retreat" in Ootacamund. She invited or rather directed me to go there, and I obeyed the call with pleasure. I was glad to avail myself of the opportunity given me of having the rare privilege of living for some time under the same roof as H.P.B. and under her influence. H.P.B.’s intense desire was to attract the attention of men of position to Theosophy. For this purpose she worked hard and succeeded eventually. One day as we were discussing as to how this object could be secured, a very strong influence was felt. This was due to the appearance of Master M. in the room. He materialised partly, and I was able to see a hazy form and though hazy I saw His arm clearly handing something to H.P.B. My surmise that He had come there to give directions as to how the desired object could be gained was found to be correct. H.P.B. told me so.

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.

Source:  Collated from:  Chetty, G. Soobiah, "A Reminiscence of H.P.B.",  The Theosophist (Adyar, Madras, India), May 1924, pp. 244-245; and "H.P.B.'s Birthday," The Theosophical World (Adyar, Madras, India), August 1937, pp. 173-174.

Case 37
William T. Brown
October–December 1883

After a railway journey [from Madras] of six and twenty hours, I joined Colonel Olcott at the town of Sholapur.

We arrived at Jubbulpore [and] on the evening of the lecture, Colonel Olcott, Damodar, several fellows of the Society, and I drove together to the place of the public meeting. There the Colonel delivered an impressive address to a large audience. During the lecture some three or four majestic figures had attracted my particular attention. They did not seem to hang upon the lips of the speaker, as did the rest of the audience, but remained calmly dignified, occasionally only exchanging pleasant glances. I was not surprised to learn afterwards that some Mahatmas had been present at the meeting in astral form.

And now let us proceed to Allahabad. At this ancient city a most stirring lecture was delivered. Here I saw and recognized the Mahatma [Koot Hoomi].

Although I was enabled to look at him but for a minute, I knew that it was he and recognized him by his portrait, which I had scrutinized some weeks before. On our return to the bungalow at which we were being entertained, my impression was corroborated by Damodar, who volunteered the remark that his master had been there. Damodar, I may remark, had not been at the lecture.

The place to which our narrative really next pertains is the city of Lahore. Here, as elsewhere, Colonel Olcott delivered stirring addresses to large audiences; but Lahore has a special interest, because there we saw, in his own physical body, Mahatma Koot Hoomi himself.

On the afternoon of the 19th November, I saw the Master in broad daylight, and recognized him, and on the morning of the 20th he came to my tent, and said, "Now you see me before you in the flesh; look and assure yourself that it is I," and left a letter of instructions and silk handkerchief.

On the evening of the 21st, after the lecture was over, Colonel Olcott, Damodar, and I were sitting outside the shamiana (pavilion or pandal [temporary, open-sided shelter roofed with bamboo matting], when we were visited by Djual Khool, the Master's head Chela, who informed us that the Master was about to come. The Master then came near to us, gave instructions to Damodar, and walked away.

On leaving Lahore the next place visited was Jammu, the winter residence of His Highness the Maharajah of Cashmere.

At Jammu I had another opportunity of seeing Mahatma Koot Hoomi in propria persona. One evening I went to the end of the "compound" (private enclosure), and there I found the Master awaiting my approach. I saluted in European fashion, and came, hat in hand, to within a few yards of the place on which he was standing. After a minute or so he marched away, the noise of his footsteps on the gravel being markedly audible.

Source: Brown, William T. Some Experiences in India. London: London Lodge of the Theosophical Society, 1884, 5–7, 10–11, 12, 13, 15–17.

Case 38a
Henry S. Olcott
Nov. 19–20, 1883
Lahore, India

My camp was thronged with visitors during the three days of our stay, and I gave two lectures under the largest shamiana to multitudes, with great pots of fire standing along the sides to modify the biting November cold.

I was sleeping in my tent, the night of the 19th, when I rushed back towards external consciousness on feeling a hand laid on me. The camp being on the open plain, and beyond the protection of the Lahore Police, my first instinct was to protect myself from some possible religious fanatical assassin, so I clutched the stranger by the upper arms, and asked him in Hindustani who he was and what he wanted. It was all done in an instant, and I held the man tight, as would one who might be attacked the next moment and have to defend his life. But the next instant a kind, sweet voice said: "Do you not know me? Do you not remember me?" It was the voice of the Master K.H. A swift revulsion of feeling came over me, I relaxed my hold on his arms, joined my palms in reverential salutation, and wanted to jump out of bed to show him respect. But his hand and voice stayed me, and after a few sentences had been exchanged, he took my left hand in his, gathered the fingers of his right into the palm, and stood quiet beside my cot, from which I could see his divinely benignant face by the light of the lamp that burned on a packing case at his back. Presently I felt some soft substance forming in my hand, and the next minute the Master laid his kind hand on my forehead, uttered a blessing, and left my half of the large tent to visit Mr. W. T. Brown, who slept in the other half behind a canvas screen that divided the tent into two rooms. When I had time to pay attention to myself, I found myself holding in my left hand a folded paper enwrapped in a silken cloth. To go to the lamp, open and read it, was naturally my first impulse. I found it to be a letter of private counsel. On hearing an exclamation from [Brown's] side of the screen, I went in there and he showed me a silk-wrapped letter of like appearance to mine though of different contents, which he said had been given him much as mine had been to me, and which we read together.

The next evening, after the visits to Mr. Brown and myself, we two and Damodar sat in my tent, at 10 o'clock, waiting for an expected visit from Master K.H. The camp was quiet, the rest of our party dispersed through the city of Lahore. We sat on chairs at the back of the tent so as not to be observed from the camp: the moon was in its last quarter and had not risen. After some waiting we heard and saw a tall Hindu approaching from the side of the open plain. He came to within a few yards of us and beckoned Damodar to come to him, which he did. He told him that the Master would appear within a few minutes, and that he had some business with Damodar. It was a pupil of Master K.H. Presently we saw the latter coming from the same direction, pass his pupil—who had withdrawn to a little distance—and stop in front of our group, now standing and saluting in the Indian fashion, some yards away. Brown and I kept our places, and Damodar went and conversed for a few minutes with the Teacher, after which he returned to us and the king-like visitor walked away. I heard his footsteps on the ground. Before retiring, when I was writing my diary, the pupil lifted the portiere, beckoned to me, and pointed to the figure of his Master, waiting for me out on the plain in the starlight. I went to him, we walked off to a safe place at some distance where intruders need not be expected, and then for about a half hour he told me what I had to know. There were no miracles done at the interview, just two men talking together, a meeting, and a parting when the talk was over.

[In Colonel Olcott’s diary for Tuesday, November 20, 1883, the entry reads: "1:55 a.m. Koot Hoomi came in body to my tent. Woke me suddenly out of sleep, pressed a note (wrapped in silk) into my left hand, and laid his hand upon my head. He then passed into Brown’s compartment and integrated another note in his hand (Brown’s). He spoke to me." DHC]

Source:  Olcott, Henry S. Old Diary Leaves: The Only Authentic History of the Theosophical Society. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1900, 1929. Vol. 3 (1883–1887): 37–9, 43–5.

Case 38b
Henry S. Olcott
Nov. 19–20, 1883
Lahore, India

I have seen Mahatma Koot Hoomi in the body.  While at Lahore I received from the Mahatma Koot Hoomi, through one of his associates --- a former pupil --- an intimation that he would visit me in the body.  On the second night of my stay, I was awakened while asleep in my tent by someone putting his hands upon me.  In the instant of awaking, having a vague impression that this might be an intruder, I seized him with both hands, at the same time asking him in Hindustanee who he was.  He replied, “Do you not remember me?”  The tone of the voice immediately recalled the Mahatma Koot Hoomi, and it then flashed across my memory that I was to have been visited by him.  In the next moment I was in full consciousness, and let go my hold of him, slipping my hands down the whole length of his arms to his hands, having first caught him by the shoulders.  So I felt the substance of his arms all the way down.  A brief colloquy ensued, and he then, as I lay in bed, took my left hand, and placing the fingers of his right hand into contact with my palm, I felt growing up, as it were, some substance underneath his fingers.  In another moment he closed my hands upon this substance, said something more to me, bade me “Good-night,” and went out of the tent.  I then got up, and, going to the light burning in the tent, found that what he had left me was a small package enveloped in Chinese silk.  On opening the package, I found within a letter in a Chinese envelope to my address.  The note is of a personal character, and need not be printed; but I will allow you gentlemen to read it.  The handwriting of the communication is identical with that of the many communications received at various times by Mr. A. P. Sinnett and many other persons.  Madame Blavatsky was at Madras at that time, a distance of perhaps 2,500 or 3,000 miles


Case 39
Damodar K. Mavalankar

Nov.–Dec., 1883
Lahore, India and later at Jammu, Kashmir

While on my tour [of northern India] with Col. Olcott, we reached Lahore, where we expected to meet in body my Master [Koot Hoomi]. There I was visited by him in body, for three nights consecutively and, in one case, even went outside the house meeting [the Master] in the compound, re-entering the house with him, offering him a seat, and then holding a long converse. 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, Jammu, and elsewhere, the impression was utterly different. In former cases, when making pranam (salutation) my hands passed through his form, while on the latter occasions they met solid garments and flesh.

I shall not here dwell upon the fact of his having been corporeally seen by both Col. Olcott and Mr. Brown separately, for two nights at Lahore. [Later at] Jammu I had the good fortune of being sent for, and permitted to visit a sacred ashram 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 [Koot Hoomi] and Col. Olcott’s Master [Morya], but several others of the Fraternity, including one of the highest. 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 perplexedly, 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 passed sixty?" To which he pleasantly smiled and said that this latest misconception was due to the reports of a certain pupil of a Vedantic Swami. 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, etc., and explaining other points.

Source: Damodar K. Mavalankar. "A Great Riddle Solved." Theosophist (Adyar), December 1883–January 1884, 61–2. Reprinted in Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement, comp. Sven Eek. Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1965, 334–6

Case 40
Mohini M. Chatterji
February, 1884
Adyar, Madras, India

Since an attempt is now being made by the opponents of the Theosophical Society to discredit the whole movement by circulating the report that the "Mahatmas," or Eastern Adepts, are but "crafty arrangements of muslin and bladders," I ask permission to say a word.   I have sacrificed all my worldly prospects, as is well known in my native city of Calcutta, to devote myself to the propagation of the esoteric philosophy of my race, in connection with the Society so unjustly slandered.  Needless to say I should not have taken this step, with many others of my countrymen, if the Theosophical Society were but a sham, and the Mahatmas vulgar "concoctions of muslin and bladders." 

To a Brahman, like myself, it is repugnant to speak of the sacredly confidential relationship existing between a spiritual teacher and his pupil yet duty compels me in this instance to say that I have personal and absolute knowledge of the existence of the Mahatma who has corresponded with Mr. Sinnett, and is known to the Western world as "Koot-Hoomi."   I had knowledge of the Mahatma in question before I knew Mdme. Blavatsky, and I met him in person when he passed through the Madras Presidency to China last year.

I have [also] seen apparitions of Mahatmas on several occasions --- five or six, I should think. 

[One] instance which I will describe was the last that occurred just before my leaving India.  We were sitting in the drawing-room on the first-floor of the house at Adyar.  It was about 11 o’clock at night.  The window looks over a terrace or balcony.  In one corner of the room there appeared a thin vapoury substance of a shining white colour.  Gradually it took shape, and a few dark spots became visible, and after a short time it was the fully-formed body of a man, apparently as solid as an ordinary human body.   This figure passed and re-passed us several times, approaching to within a distance of a yard or two from where we were standing near the window.  It approached so near that I think that if I had put out my hand I might have touched it. [This figure was Mr. Sinnett’s correspondent, Koot Hoomi.] 

After a while I said that as I should not see him [Master Koot Hoomi] for a long time, on account of my going to Europe, I begged he would leave some tangible mark of his visit.  The figure then raised his hands and seemed to throw something at us.  The next moment we found a shower of roses falling over us in the room --- roses of a kind that could not have been procured on the premises.   We requested the figure to disappear from that side of the balcony where there was no exit.  There was a tree on the other side, and it was in order to prevent all suspicion that it might be something that had got down the tree, or anything of that kind, that we requested him to disappear from the side where there was no exit.  The figure went over to that spot and then disappeared.  It passed us slowly until it came to the edge of the balcony, and then it was not to be seen any more. [The disappearance was sudden.]

The height [of the balcony] was 15 or 20 feet, and moreover, there were people downstairs and all over the house, so that it would have been impossible for a person to have jumped down without being noticed.  Just below the balcony there is an open lawn.  There were several persons looking at the moment, and my own idea is that it would have been perfectly impossible for a person to have jumped down. There is a small flight of steps just below the balcony, and if a man had jumped from the balcony he must have fallen upon the steps and broken his legs. 

When the figure passed and re-passed us we heard nothing of any footsteps.  Besides myself, Damodar and Madame Blavatsky were in the room at the time.

[On the balcony there was] the moonlight, and the figure came to within so short a distance that the light, which was streaming out of the window, fell upon it.  This was at the Madras [Theosophical Society] headquarters, about either the end of January or the beginning of February last; in fact, just before I left Madras.

Sources:  Collated from "The Theosophical Mahatmas, " Mohini M. Chatterji, The Pall Mall Gazette (London), October 2, 1884, p. 2.  and ADD SPR

Case 41
Bhavani Shankar
January 1884
Jubbulpore, India

During my travels in the north, I have received communications from my Master [Koot Hoomi] direct, independent of anybody else and have seen the Mahatmas in their "double".

In the month of January 1884, I was at Jubbulpore and putting up with Brother Nivaran Chandra Mookerjee, who was then the Secretary of the Bhrigu Kshetra Theosophical Society. One night, while I was with him, I was explaining to some twenty-seven members of that Branch, the article "Elixir of Life" and they were listening to me with great attention. On a sudden, there was death-like silence for some time. I then felt the influence of Madame Blavatsky's Venerated Master, and it was so strong that I could not bear it. The current of electricity generated by an electro-magnetic battery is nothing when compared with that current generated by the trained Will of an Adept. When a Mahatma means to show himself to a Chela, he sends off a current of electricity to the Chela indicating his approach. It was this influence which I felt at that time.  A few minutes after, the Mahatma (Madame B's Master) was actually present in the room where the meeting of the members was held and was seen by me and Bro. Nivaran while some of the members only felt the influence. All the members would have seen him much more vividly, had it not been for the fact that he did not materialize himself much more objectively.

I have seen the same Mahatma, viz., Madame B's Master, several times in his double during my travels in the North. Not only have I seen Madame B's Master in his double but also my Venerated Guru Deva "K.H."  I have also seen the latter, viz., my Master in his physical body and recognized him.

Source: Theosophical Society. Report of the Result of an Investigation into the Charges against Madame Blavatsky Brought by the Missionaries of the Scottish Free Church of Madras, and Examined by a Committee Appointed for That Purpose by the General Council of the Theosophical Society. Madras, India: Theosophical Society, 1885, 75-80.

Case 42

Franz Hartmann
December 1883–February 1884
Adyar, Madras, India

On the evening of December 4, 1883, I arrived at Madras and was kindly received by Mr. G. Muttuswami Chettyar, who conducted me to his carriage, and away we went towards Adyar, situated in a suburb of the city of Madras, about six miles from the landing place of the steamer.

Before retiring to rest, I expressed a desire to see the pictures of the Mahatmas, these mysterious beings, superior to man, of whom I had heard so much, and I was taken upstairs, to see the "shrine" in which those pictures were kept. The pictures represented two men with oriental features and in corresponding dress. The expression of their faces was mild and yet serene.

[Some time later] I [saw] Mahatma [Morya] in his astral form. He appeared to me, accompanied by the astral forms of two chelas. His presence left an exhilarating and elevating influence, which did not fade away until several days after.

The impaired health of Madame Blavatsky had rendered it desirable that she should have a change of air, and the physicians which were consulted, advised her to go to Europe, where Col. Olcott was called on account of some official business. Madame Blavatsky therefore resolved to accompany Col. Olcott.

Two days before Madame Blavatsky left, February 5th, 1884, I went unasked up to her room to speak with her in regard to Society matters.

After this conversation, the thought came in my mind to ask her opinion in regard to a certain subject of which I had been thinking. Madame Blavatsky advised me to apply to the [Master Morya] himself, to ask him mentally, and that the Master himself would answer my question. A few seconds later she said she felt his presence, and that she saw him writing. I must say that I too felt his influence and seemed to see his face, but of course this circumstance will carry conviction to no one but myself.

Just then another lady came in, to my great annoyance, and expressed her wish to have a pair of pincers, which was needed for some purpose, and remembering that I had such a pair of pincers in the drawer of my writing desk, I went downstairs into my room to get them. I opened the drawer, saw the pincers and a few other things in there, but no vestige of any letter, as I had removed my papers the day before to another place. I took the pincers and was about to close the drawer, when—there lay in the drawer a great envelope, addressed to me in the well-known handwriting of the Master and with the seal bearing his initials in Tibetan characters. On opening it, I found a long, very kind letter treating of the identical questions about which I had just been talking with Madame Blavatsky, besides giving a detailed and satisfactory answer to the very question which had so perplexed my mind, and a satistactory explanation of certain matters, which for some time had been foremost in my mind, but of which I had said nothing at all.

Moreover, there was in the same envelope a photograph, cabinet-size, of the Master’s face, with a dedication to me at the back.

Now, if I know anything at all, I know that my drawer contained no such letter, when I opened it, and that there was nobody visible in my room at that time. The letter, giving a detailed answer to my question, must have been written, sealed and put into the drawer in less than four minutes, while it took exactly forty minutes to copy it the next day; and finally, it treated a very difficult problem in such an elaborate and yet concise manner, that only an intelligence of the highest order could have done the same.

Source:  Collated from:  Hartmann, Franz. Report of Observations Made during a Nine Month Stay at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India. Madras, India: Printed at the Scottish Press by Graves, Cookson, and Co., 1884, 11–2, 13–5, 28–30; Hartmann, Franz. "Phenomenal." Supplement to Theosophist (Adyar) 5 (April 1884): 65.

Case 43
Mary Gebhard
April 7, 1884

On the 7th of April last, being, at a meeting of the Theosophical Society at Mr. Finch’s rooms, Lincoln’s Inn, I had a vision, in which I saw the Mahatma M.  At the moment I was listening attentively to Colonel Olcott’s opening speech to the Society.   I saw standing on my right side, a little in front, a very tall, majestic-looking person, whom I immediately recognised to be the Mahatma, from a picture I had seen of him in Mr. Sinnett’s possession.  He was not clad in white, but it seemed to me to be some dark material with coloured stripes, which was wound round his form.  The vision lasted only a few seconds.  As far as I could learn, the only persons besides myself who had seen the Mahatma were Colonel Olcott, Mr. Mohini, and, of course, Madame Blavatsky.

Source:  First S.P.R. Report on H.P.B., 1884, Appendix XXXIX, p.

Case 44

Vera P. de Zhelihovsky
May 1884
Paris, France

We were four of us at Rue Notre Danle des Champs, 46—Mme. N. A. de Fadeyev, Mme. Blavatsky, the eminent Russian author, M. Solovyov, and I—having tea at the same table of the little drawing-room, about 11 pm. Mme. B. was asked to narrate something of her "Master," and how she had acquired from him her occult talents. While telling us many things, she offered us to see a portrait of his in a gold medallion she wore on a chain round her neck, and opened it. It is a perfectly flat locket, made to contain but one miniature, and no more. It passed from hand to hand, and we all saw the handsome Hindoo face in it, painted in India.

Suddenly our little party felt disturbed by something very strange, a sensation which it is hardly possible to describe. It was as though the air had suddenly changed, was rarefied—the atmosphere became positively oppressive, and we three could hardly breathe. HPB covered her eyes with her hand, and whispered: "I feel that something is going to happen. Some phenomenon. He is preparing to do it."

She meant by "He," her guru-master, whom she considers so powerful.

At that moment Mr. Solovyov fixed his eyes on a corner of the room, saying that he saw something like a ball of fire, of oval form, looking like a radiant golden and bluish egg. He had hardly pronounced these words when we heard, coming from the farthest end of the corridor, a long melodious harp—a melody far fuller and more definite than any of the musical sounds we had previously heard.

Once more the clear notes were repeated, and then died away. Silence reigned again in the rooms.

I left my seat and went into the passage hall, brightly lighted with a lamp. Useless to say that all was quiet, and that it was empty. When I returned to the drawing room I found H. P. Blavatsky sitting quietly as before at the table between Mme. de Fadeyev and Mr. Solovyov. At the same time, I saw as distinctly as can be, the figure of a man, grayish, yet quite clear form, standing near my sister, and who, upon my looking at him, receded from her, paled, and disappeared in the opposite wall. This man—or, perhaps, his astral form—was of a slight build, and of middle size, wrapped in a kind of mantle, and with a white turban on his head. The vision did not last more than a few seconds, but I had all the time to examine it, and to tell every one what I distinctly saw, though, as soon as it had disappeared, I felt terribly frightened and nervous. Hardly come back to our senses, we were startled with another wonder, this one palpable and objective. HPB suddenly opened her locket, and instead of one portrait of a Master, there were two—her own facing his!

Source:  Sinnett, A. P. Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky.  Compiled from Information Supplied by her Relatives and Friends. London: George Redway, 1886, 266–9.

Case 45
Laura C. Holloway

July 1884

Mr. [Hermann] Schmiechen, a young German artist, [was] residing in London [and] a number of Theosophists gathered at his studio. Chief among Mr. Schmiechen’s guests was HPB, who occupied a seat facing a platform on which was [Schmiechen’s] easel. Near him on the platform sat several persons, all of them women, with one exception. About the room were grouped a number of well-known people, all equally interested in the attempt to be made by Mr. Schmiechen.

Strange to relate that though the amateur smoker considered herself an onlooker it was her voice which uttered the words "begin it," and the artist quickly began to outline a head. Soon the eyes of every one present were upon him as he worked with extreme rapidity. While quiet reigned in the studio and all were eagerly interested in Mr. Schmiechen's work, the amateur smoker on the platform saw the figure of a man outline itself beside the easel and, while the artist with head bent over his work continued his outlining, it stood by him without a sign or motion. She leaned over to her friend and whispered, "It is the Master KH; he is being sketched. He is standing near Mr. Schmiechen."

"Describe his looks and dress," called out HPB. And while those in the room were wondering over Madame Blavatsky's exclamation, the woman addressed said: "He is about Mohini's height; slight of build, wonderful face full of light and animation; flowing curly black hair, over which is worn a soft cap. He is a symphony in greys and blues. His dress is that of a Hindu—though it is far finer and richer than any I have ever seen before—and there is fur trimming about his costume. It is his picture that is being made."

HPB’s heavy voice arose to admonish the artist, one of her remarks remaining distinctly in memory. It was this "Be careful, Schmiechen; do not make the face too round; lengthen the outline, and take note of the long distance between the nose and the ears." She sat where she could not see the easel nor know what was on it.

How many of the number of those in the studio on that first occasion recognized the Master’s presence was not known. There were psychics in the room, several of them, and the artist, Mr. Schmiechen, was a psychic, or he could not have worked out so successfully the picture that was outlined by him on that eventful day.

The painting of the portrait of the Master "M" followed the completion of the picture; both were approved by H.P. B., and the two paintings became celebrated among Theosophists the world over. They are a source of inspiration to those who have had opportunity to study the wonderful power and expression depicted in them by Mr. Schmiechen.

 Source:  Langford, Laura C. "The Mahatmas and Their Instruments." Word (New York) 15 (July 1912): 204–6.

Case 46
C. Ramiah
Madras, India

In the year 1864 I was working in another district when one night in a dream I saw a Mahatma seated high in the air with a very brilliant star for his ring, and he pointed me out to his Chela standing near, and beyond this, nothing further occurred.

About the year 1880, one night, I was carried in my dream to a rural village at the foot of a great chain of mountains; and there I saw a Mahatma dressed in a Buddhist’s gown and hood, with bare feet. I at once prostrated myself at his feet, when he bade me rise, placed his two hands on my head, and directed me to persevere in the mode of life I have been following. A few months rolled away and nothing particular occurred.

In the year 1881, the newly established Theosophic Society attracted the attention of all people; and hearing that a Mahatma was favorably disposed to its successful working, I prayed that I may be favored with faith. I repeated this prayer every night; and it so happened that one night, in my dream, I was carried to the same chain of mountains, when I perceived the same Mahatma (who already appeared to me in the Buddhist’s gown) standing on an isolated rock; and there was a deep chasm between him and me. Not being able to go nearer, I prostrated on the ground, when I was ordered to rise and was asked what I wanted. I repeated the prayer that I wanted to know more of faith, when, to my surprise, a large volume of brilliant fire burst forth from his breast with several forked tongues, and a few particles of fire flew in my direction and they were absorbed in my person. The Mahatma disappeared after this, and here ended my second dream.

In the middle part of the year 1883, one night, I was carried in my dream to a great chain of mountains when some one led me into their recesses. There I found a great rock temple in the form of a hall of oblong size, and I perceived the same Mahatma, who had shown himself to me on the two previous occasions, seated on a low stool with a shrine opposite to him, and there were two rows of Mahatmas, one on each side, all dressed in Buddhist’s gown except the Chief. I prostrated as usual and was ordered to rise. I was then told to go round the shrine, and some one led me round, and there I found two or three ladies in deep devotion.  I came back to the Chief, and after prostrating before him once more, I left the place.

I was thinking over these dreams, and at last my mind became so heavy with these thoughts that I prayed to the Mahatmas for relief. In my dream again about two months ago, I was told to go to Mr. T. Subba Row, the worthy President of the Madras Branch of the Theosophical Society, and to him I went after the voice repeated itself a second time. To him I explained my whole experience, and he kindly asked me to call at the Head-Quarters of the Theosophic Society in order to see if I could recognize the features of the Mahatma who appeared to me in my dream.

I went thither the same evening, and at about 4 P.M., the "Shrine" doors were opened, and to my surprise I identified in the photo of the Illustrious Mahatma K. H. the exact features of the Mahatma of my dreams.

After identifying the Mahatma of my dreams with the Mahatma K. H., whose picture graces the shrine at Adyar Head-quarters, I resolved to call to my mind the form of the Mahatma, and after a few determined trials I succeeded in impressing my mind with his exact features, not omitting even the Buddhist’s gown and bare feet. I willed this often, and each time the features became more and more clearly defined. At one time the Mahatma appeared seated, oftentimes standing, and on a few occasions he appeared standing on an elevated place; and in my efforts to approach him from the low land, in which I then fancied I was, he extended his hand as if to help me in climbing up. All the above were visions in open day time during my hours of prayer, and they were not dreams.

As time rolled on I observed the features of the Mahatma to wear an expression of sorrow, and this I thought was due to my sinful life.  A change, however, came over me soon, and to my extreme regret I perceived that mental clouds intervened between the Mahatma and me, hiding him altogether from my view; and they followed each other in rapid succession. When they were dispersed by an effort of the will, the internal light which enabled me to see the Mahatma with my mind’s eye became so intense and displayed such variegated colors, that I was not able to see any thing. On other occasions this same internal light became so unsteady that an effort to see him pained the mind’s eye.

I felt very sorry for the above interruption, when one day, while in prayers, I perceived a ray of light of golden hue shine within me, and as I followed it, it grew in intensity, and the golden hue was diffused all over in me. It did not however stop here, and it extended itself to the whole earth, and even went beyond it, lighting up as far as the mind’s eye can reach or comprehend. In this light I perceived worlds moving and all sorts of matter and human and other forms moving in this ocean of light. The vision was splendid to behold, and after a lapse of about five minutes the light gradually contracted itself to the original single ray, and in the light which it diffused, I perceived the sublime and glorious form of the Mahatma. I must, however, add here that so long as this ray of light of golden hue was seen by me, neither the clouds, nor the intensely strong light with variegated colors, nor unsteadiness of light, disturbed the vision.

I have no control over this splendid ray of light as it appears when I am unaware, and does not appear when I want it to appear. Its duration is also not fixed nor its intensity either.

I mentioned all this to my esteemed friend Mr. Soobba Row, and he advised me to see well and distinguish what objects I saw in that glorious light, and I did not waste the advice.

One day while at prayers the golden ray of light appeared, and in seeing through it I perceived the figure of the Mahatma; and as I found my mind’s eye upon him he receded. I followed him, and steadily he walked over an ascent, and then I perceived that a mountainous country was at hand. He went up mountains and down again, now turning to the right and then to the left, until at last he came upon a broad river and then disappeared. Instinctively I walked alongside of the bank of the river in the hope of finding a ford, and came to its narrowest part. There was a rude bridge of reeds here spanning the river, and trusting myself to the protecting care of the Mahatma, who brought me so far, I made a venture, and before I was aware of my dangerous position, I found myself on the other side. Here was up and down hill work again, and when I perceived that I was much exhausted, a large lake was disclosed to my view, the margin of which was graced with clusters of beautiful trees, with a sprinkling of rudely built houses on the shore; and on my nearer approach I perceived they were inhabited. (1)

Thirsty and hungry, I ventured into the house nearest to me, and with one voice all the inmates greeted me and made me participate in their meals. After this, they clothed me in a gown and hood of pale yellow color, and after similarly clothing themselves, they took me to the rock temple in "Husthagerry" where to my surprise and infinite joy I found the Mahatma K. H. seated before the altar on the same low stool as before. We all prostrated before him, and thus ended this interesting vision.

About the latter part of last August I was in prayers as usual when the golden ray of light having appeared the Mahatma stood in it in all his glory. He receded again, and I followed him close, and after traversing the same path over mountains as before, he disappeared at the lake. There were no persons living on the borders of the lake and the houses were all empty. Without knowing the why or the wherefore I tried to reach the rock temple, but I missed my way. After traversing many mountains and dangerous valleys, I came upon a broad tableland and at some distance I perceived a cluster of fine tall trees beneath the shadow of which there stood a neat house facing eastward. Thither I went, and at its entrance I saw Mahatma K. H. seated alone, and my mind told me it was his own house. I mentioned this curious vision to Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar, and he told me that I must try and see what more I can; and this resolve I at once made. (2)

Three or four days after this interview, the same vision appeared to me, and facing the house of the Mahatma K. H. there appeared another cluster of trees with a house under, with a distance of about a mile or two between the houses; and there was also a small temple with a circular dome half way between them. This other or second house I learnt by intuition belonged to another Mahatma.(3)

There was no exchange of words between the Mahatma and myself in any one of the visions.

I am sorry I am not an artist or I would have sent you a sketch of the scenery of the two houses with the picturesque temple half way between the houses.

Endnotes to C. Ramiah's account by the Editor of The Theosophist

(1) The correspondent could not have described the place more accurately, if he had seen it physically. If he had persevered a little and gone further, only a short distance, he might have seen a certain place allowed to be visited only by initiates. Perhaps to prevent his approaching it his course might have been diverted on the way. -- Editor.

(2)  This is a correct description, as far as it goes, of the house of the MAHATMA. -- Editor.

(3) This description corresponds to that of the house of the other MAHATMA, known to Theosophists. -- Editor.

Source: Collated from:   Ramiah, C. "Dreams about Mahatmas Realized [PartI], Supplement to The Theosophist, September, 1884, pp. 125-126; Ramiah, C. "Psychological Experiences" [Part II], Supplement to The Theosophist, October, 1884, pp. 138-139.

Case 47
Vsevolod S. Solovyov

August 26–27, 1884
Brussels, Belgium and then later at Elberfeld, Germany

Having received a letter from my countrywoman, Madame Helena Blavatsky, in which she informed me of her bad health and begged me to go to see her at Elberfeld, I decided to take the journey. But as the state of my own health obliged me to be careful, I preferred to stop at Brussels, which town I had never seen, to rest, the heat being unbearable.

I left Paris on the 24th of August. Next morning, at the Grand Hotel in Brussels, where I was staying, I met Mlle. [Justine de Glinka] (daughter of [a] Russian ambassador and maid of honour to the Empress of Russia). Hearing that I was going to Elberfeld to see Mme. Blavatsky, whom she knew and for whom she had much respect, she decided to come with me. We spent the day together expecting to leave in the morning by the nine o’clock train.

At eight o’clock, being quite ready to depart, I go to Miss [de Glinka’s] room and find her in a great state of perplexity. All her keys, which she always kept about her person in a little bag and that she had in this bag on going to bed, had disappeared during the night, although the door was locked. Thus, as all her baggage was locked, she could not put away the things she had just been using and wearing. We were obliged to postpone our departure to the one o’clock train and called a locksmith to open the largest trunk. When it was opened, all the keys were found in the bottom of the trunk, including the key of this trunk itself, attached as usual to the rest. Having all the morning to spare, we agreed to take a walk, but suddenly I was overcome by weakness and felt an irresistible desire to sleep. I begged Miss [de Glinka] to excuse me and went to my room, and threw myself on the bed. But I could not sleep and lay with my eyes shut, but awake, when suddenly I saw before my closed eyes a series of views of unknown places that my memory took in to the finest detail. When this vision ceased, I felt no more weakness and went to Miss [de Glinka], to whom I related all that had happened to me and described to her in detail the views I had seen.

We left by the one o’clock train and lo! after about half an hour’s journey, Miss [de Glinka], who was looking out of the window, said to me, "Look, here is one of your landscapes!" I recognized it at once, and all that day until evening, I saw, with open eyes, all that I had seen in the morning with closed eyes. I was pleased that I had described to Miss [de Glinka] all my vision in detail. The route between Brussels and Elberfeld is completely unknown to me, for it was the first time in my life that I had visited Belgium and this part of Germany.

On arriving at Elberfeld in the evening, we took rooms in a hotel and then hurried off to see Madame Blavatsky at Mr. Gebhard’s house. The same evening, the members of the Theosophical Society who were there with Mme. Blavatsky showed us two superb oil paintings of the Mahatmas [Morya] and Koot Hoomi [painted by Mr. Schmiechen]. The portrait of M. especially produced on us an extraordinary impression, and it is not surprising that on the way back to the hotel, we talked on about him and had him before our eyes. Miss [de Glinka] may be left to relate her own experience during that night.

But this is what happened to me:

Tired by the journey, I lay peacefully sleeping when suddenly I was awakened by the sensation of a warm penetrating breath. I open my eyes and in this feeble light that entered the room through the three windows, I see before me a tall figure of a man, dressed in a long white floating garment. At the same time I heard or felt a voice that told me, in I know not what language, although I understood perfectly, to light the candle. I should explain that, far from being afraid, I remained quite tranquil, only I felt my heart beat rapidly. I lit the candle, and in lighting it, saw by my watch that it was two o’clock. The vision did not disappear. There was a living man in front of me. And I recognized instantly the beautiful original of the portrait we had seen during the evening before. He sat down near me on a chair and began to speak. He talked for a long time. Among other things, he told me that in order to be fit to see him in his astral body I had had to undergo much preparation, and that the last lesson had been given me that morning when I saw, with closed eyes, the landscapes that I was to see in reality the same day. Then he said that I possess great magnetic power, now being developed. I asked him what I ought to do with this force. But without answering, he vanished.

I was alone, the door of my room locked. I thought I had had a hallucination and even told myself with fright that I was beginning to lose my mind. Hardly had this idea arisen when once again I saw the superb man in white robes. He shook his head and, smiling, said to me, "Be sure that I am no hallucination and that your reason is not quitting you. Blavatsky will prove to you tomorrow before everyone that my visit is real." Then he disappeared. I saw by my watch that it was three o’clock. I put out the candle and immediately went into a deep sleep.

Next morning, on going with Miss [de Glinka] to Madame Blavatsky, the first thing she said to us with an enigmatical smile was "Well! How have you passed the night?" "Very well," I replied and I added, "Haven't you anything to tell me?" "No," she replied, "I only know that the Master was with you with one of his pupils."

That same evening, Mr. Olcott found in his pocket a little note, that all the Theosophists said was in the handwriting of M: "Certainly I was there, but who can open the eyes of him who will not see."

This was the reply to my doubts, because all the day I had been trying to persuade myself that it was only a hallucination, and this made Madame Blavatsky angry.

I should say that on my return to Paris, where I am now, my hallucinations and the strange happenings that surrounded me, have completely stopped.

Source: Hastings, Beatrice. Solovyoff's Fraud. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Edmonton Lodge of the Theosophical Society in Canada, 1988, 27–9.

Case 48
Damodar K. Mavalankar

September 23, 1884.
Madras, India

I had the moral certainty concerning the existence of the Himalayan Mahatmas long before I heard of the name of the Theosophical Society, nay, even before it was formed in America.  Being of a religious turn of mind, it was the constant end and aim of my aspirations to come in contact with personal relations with the Yogis.  When some of the orthodox Brahmins told me that in this Kali Yuga no true Yogi could be found, I always argued that either no Yogi could have existed in any Yuga, or that if any existed before there must be similar persons now, however small may be their number at the present time.  Our sacred literature was too full of the events of the lives of such great men, and I could never believe that it was all the fiction of a poetic brain.  These men must have their successors living in some secluded part of the world, watching the destinies of the world, and assisting every individual effort to rise in the scale of progress.  For such arguments and belief I was looked upon as a religious enthusiast, and being constantly engaged in the performance of religious rites and observances, not on a few occasions fear was entertained that I might run away into the jungles in search of the Mahatmas.  In my childhood I had a very dangerous illness, and doctors gave me up for lost.  While my relatives were every moment expecting my death, I had a vision which made such a deep impression on my mind that I could never forget it.  Then I saw a certain personage --- whom I then considered to be a Deva, i.e., God --- who gave me a peculiar medicine; and curiously enough, I began to recover from that time.   Some years after that, while I was one day engaged in meditation, I saw the identical Personage and recognised him as my Saviour.  Once more He saved me from the clutches of death.  It was some years after this last occasion that the founders of the Theosophical Society came to India; and within a few months I joined the Society.   Since then I have witnessed several phenomena, both in the presence and absence of Madame Blavatsky, in the company of others or while alone.  These several accounts have from time to time been published in the Theosophist over my own name.   There are several other occurrences not so mentioned, which I wrote about in private correspondence to Theosophical friends in London and New York. Especially the account of my going to the Mahatmas and staying with them last year, will be of interest to inquirers after truth.  This account was published in the Theosophist for January, 1884.  I may here add that some time after I joined the Society, I saw several Mahatmas, both in their astral form and physical bodies, one of whom was the Mahatma known as Mr. Sinnett’s correspondent and the author of the letters published in “The Occult World.”  And when I saw Him, I at once identified Him with the majestic Power I had seen in my youth thrice, He who had saved my life twice and appeared once during my meditation.  I have got several letters from Him and others; and all those, written by the same person, whether received by me direct or through anybody else, bear the same handwriting.  Latterly, since They have chosen to give me verbal instructions, I have been receiving very few written communications.  Before joining the Society, as well as after, during Madame Blavatsky’s absence as well as her presence, under a thousand and one different circumstances, I have received several letters for myself or for others from different Mahatmas, have seen them, talked to them, heard their voices, and seen several kinds of phenomena.


Case 49
Laura C. Holloway

October 1884

I left H.P.B. in London [for my trip back to New York].

Going on board the steamer in the afternoon I retired at once to my stateroom and, later on, while reading quietly the room was filled with a blazing light that came like a flood upon me.

Two Masters stood in the midst of this light and conversed with me.  It was the most transcendent Vision I had ever seen, or shall hope to see again, and while these enlightened Beings were with me they instructed me regarding my future

One of the glorious Beings I saw on that never-to-be-forgotten evening at sea, was H.P.B., and then and there my vision was strengthened, and I was carefully instructed regarding my one gift --- the power to pass easily from the physical to the astral plane, and the tasks I was to perform on that plane, while living in the body and doing my duty according to my ability.

Source: Excerpt from letter written by Mrs. Holloway and dated September 11, 1923.  This letter is preserved in the H.P.B. Library, Toronto, Canada.

Case 50
Richard Hodgson

December 1884–March 1885
Madras, India

In November [1884] I proceeded to India for the purpose of investigating on the spot the evidence of the phenomena connected with the Theosophical Society. [Monsieur] and Madame Coulomb, who had been attached to the Theosophical Society for several years in positions of trust, had charged Madame Blavatsky with fraud, and had adduced in support of their charge various letters and other documents alleged by them to have been written by Madame Blavatsky.

From these Blavatsky-Coulomb documents it appears that Mahatma letters were prepared and sent by Madame Blavatsky; that Koot Hoomi is a fictitious personage; that supposed "astral forms" of the Mahatmas were confederates of Madame Blavatsky in disguise --- generally the Coulombs; that alleged [occult] phenomena --- some of them in connection with the so-called Shrine at Adyar --- were ingenious trickeries, carried out by Madame Blavatsky, with the assistance chiefly of the Coulombs.

I was left without any doubt that the [astral] appearances [of the Mahatmas] might have been well produced by [Monsieur] Coulomb in disguise.  I have seen [Monsieur] Coulomb disguised as a Mahatma, and can understand that the figure may have been very impressive.  A dummy head (with shoulders), like that of a Hindu, with beard, &c. and fehta [turban], is worn on the top of the head of the person disguised.   A long flowing muslin garment falls down in front, and by holding the folds very slightly apart, the wearer is enabled to see, and to speak also, if necessary.  I do not think it in the least degree likely that any of the witnesses would have penetrated this disguise had the figure been even much nearer than it was, and the light much better.

I cannot regard Colonel Olcott's testimony as of any scientific value.  In particular, his testimony to the alleged "astral" appearance [of the Mahatma Morya] in New York proves, in my opinion, no more than that he saw someone in his room, who may have been an ordinary Hindu, or some other person, disguised, as a Mahatma for the purpose, and acting for Madame Blavatsky.  And the same may be said of all his testimony to apparitions of Mahatmas.

I need not here say much on the other alleged appearances of Mahatmas, in either their ordinary physical or their "astral" bodies.  A confederate in disguise is generally an easy and sufficient explanation of them.  There is no real difficulty in applying this explanation even to the case of Mr. Ramaswamier, whose account of his experience has made so much impression on Mr. Sinnett.

The resources of Madame Blavatsky are great; and by the means of forged letters, fraudulent statements of Chelas, and other false evidence, she may yet do much in the future for the benefit of human credulity.  But acting in accordance with the principles upon which our Society [for Psychical Research] has proceeded, I must express my unqualified opinion that no genuine psychical phenomena whatever will be found among the pseudo-mysteries of the Russian lady alias Koot Hoomi Lal Sing alias Mahatma Morya alias Madame Blavatsky.

Source: Hodgson 1885, 3: 207-9, 261-2, 249-50, 241, 239, 245-6, 313–4, 317.

Case 51
Henry S. Olcott

January 8, 1885
Adyar, Madras, India

During the night, chela "D.K." visited and talked with me about persons and things.  [C.W.] Leadbeater sleeping in another bed in my room heard his voice and mine and saw a phosphorescent light by my bed but could not see his form.  M[orya] and five chelas were at the place together.  H.P.B. saw them all.

[In his handwritten diary for Jan. 8, 1885, Colonel Olcott wrote:

"During the night. . . I was visited by Dj.K... who talked with me about sundry pesons and things.  Mr. Leadbeater. . . sleeping on another charpai in the same room, heard the two voices and saw a column of light by my bedside, but could not distinguish the form of my visitor."]

Source:  Olcott, Henry S.  Old Diary Leaves.  Volume III, p. 208.

Case 52
Henry S. Olcott

February 7–8, 1885
Adyar, Madras, India

Again has our Master [Morya] snatched HPB from the jaws of death. A few days ago she was dying and I was recalled from Burma by telegraph, with little or no prospect of seeing her again. But, when three physicians were expecting her to sink into coma and so pass senseless out of life, He came, laid his hand upon her, and the whole aspect of the case changed.

The day before yesterday things looked so bad that Subba Row and Damodar lost heart and got quite panicky and said the T.S. would go to the dogs. Well, yesterday came here a certain Indian yogi, dressed in the usual saffron robes, and accompanied by a female ascetic—his supposed disciple. I was called, came and sat down, and we stared at each other in silence. Then he closed his eyes, concentrated himself, and gave me psychically his message. He had been sent by the Mahatma [Narayana] at Tirivellum (the one who dictated to HPB the "Replies to an English F.T.S.") to assure me that I should not be left alone. He recalled to me my conversation of the 7th with [Damodar] and [Subba Row]. And he asked me (mentally) if I could for a moment have believed that he, who had always been so true to me, would leave me to go on without help. Then he and his Maya of a she-chela went up to HPB’s sick-chamber, and she—contrary to every Hindu usage for females of the sort—went straight at the [Old Lady] and made passes over her, and at the Guru’s command began to recite mantrams. Then the Guru took from beneath his robe a ball, the size of an orange, of the nirukti or sacred ashes used in Hindu temples for external application after the bath, and told the disciple to put it in a small cupboard that hangs over the head of HPB’s bed. He told the latter that when she needed him she should simply think of him in his present visible form and mentally repeat his name thrice. Then there was some conversation all around, and they went away.

Source:  Olcott, H. S. "Letters of H. S. Olcott to Francesca Arundale." Theosophist (Adyar) 53 (September 1932), 732–4.

Case 53
Henry S. Olcott

September 25, 1885
Gooty, India

". . . In night [I] had visit from M[orya] and Majji. . . . "

[In a letter dated October 10, 1885 to Francesca Arundale, Henry Olcott mentions this visit from Morya:

". . . that night [at Gooty] I was visited by my Guru [Morya] and 'Majji'. . . . "

Source:  Olcott, Henry S.  Diaries.  Entry for Sept. 25, 1885; Olcott, Henry S.  Letter from Henry S. Olcott to Francesca Arundale.   The Theosophist (Adyar, Madras, India), December 1932, p. 275.

Case 54
Countess Constance Wachtmeister

Oct.–Dec. 1885
Wurzburg, Germany

In the autumn of 1885, I was making preparations to leave my home in Sweden to spend the winter with some friends in Italy, and incidentally, en route to pay Madame Gebhard a promised visit at her residence in Elberfeld [Germany].

It was while I was engaged in putting my affairs in order, in view of my long absence, that an incident occurred, not indeed singular in my experience, but out of the normal. I was arranging and laying aside the articles I intended to take with me to Italy when I heard a voice saying, "Take that book, it will be useful to you on your journey." I may as well say at once that I have the faculties of clairvoyance and clairaudience rather strongly developed. I turned my eyes on a manuscript volume I had placed among the heap of things to be locked away until my return. Certainly it seemed a singular inappropriate vade mecum for a holiday, being a collection of notes on the Tarot and passages in the Kabbalah that had been compiled for me by a friend. However, I decided to take it with me, and laid the book in the bottom of one of my traveling trunks.

At last the day came for me to leave Sweden, in October 1885, and I arrived at Elberfeld, where I met with a cordial and affectionate greeting from Madame Gebhard. However, the time was drawing near for me to pass on into Italy. My friends never ceased pressing me to join them there, and at last the date of my departure was fixed.

When I told Madame Gebhard that I must leave her in a few days, she spoke to me of a letter she had received from HPB.  She was ill in body and depressed in mind. Her sole companions were her servant and an Indian gentleman.

My luggage was soon ready, and a cab was actually waiting for me at the door when a telegram was put into my hands containing these words, "Come to Wurzburg at once, wanted immediately—Blavatsky."

It was evening when I reached Madame Blavatsky’s lodgings, and as I mounted the stairs my pulse was a little hurried while I speculated upon the reception which awaited me.

Madame Blavatsky’s welcome was a warm one.

I remember very well that it was then, on going into the dining room together to take some tea, that she said to me abruptly, as of something that had been dwelling on her mind.

"Master says you have a book for me of which I am much in need."

"No, indeed," I replied, "I have no books with me."

"Think again," she said, "Master says you were told in Sweden to bring a book on the Tarot and the Kabbalah."

Then I recollected the circumstances that I have related before. From the time I had placed the volume in the bottom of my box it had been out of my sight and out of my mind. Now, when I hurried to the bedroom, unlocked the trunk, and dived to the bottom, I found it in the same corner I had left it when packing in Sweden, undisturbed from that moment to this. But this was not all. When I returned to the dining room with it in my hand, Madame Blavatsky made a gesture and cried, "Stay, do not open it yet. Now turn to page ten and on the sixth line you will find the words . . . ." And she quoted a passage.

I opened the book which, let it be remembered, was no printed volume of which there might be a copy in HPB’s possession, but a manuscript album in which had been written notes and excerpts by a friend of mine for my own use; yet, on the page and at the line she had indicated, I found the very words she had uttered.

When I handed her the book I ventured to ask her why she wanted it.

"Oh," she replied, "for The Secret Doctrine. That is my new work that I am so busily engaged in writing. Master is collecting material for me. He knew you had the book and told you to bring it that it might be at hand for reference."

Source:  Wachtmeister, Countess Constance, and others. Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine. London, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1893, 16–21, 22–3, 25–6, 32.

Case 55
Sriman Swamy

March 1887
Lhasa, Tibet

In reply to your enquiries I may say that I certify on my word as a Sanyassi that I have twice visited Tibet since the year 1879; that I have personally become acquainted with several Mahatmas, among whom were the two known to the outside word as Mahatma “M” and Mahatma “K. H.”; that I spent some time in their company; that they told me that they and other Mahatmas were interested in the work of the Theosophical Society; that Mahatma “M” told me he had been the (occult) guardian of Madame Blavatsky from her infancy.

And I further certify that in March 1887 I saw Mr. Damodar K. Mavalankar at L’hassa, in a convalescent state.  He told me, in the presence of Mahatma “K. H.” that he had been at the point of death in the previous year.

Source:  "News of Damodar." Lucifer (London), Volume 5, September 1889, p. 68.

Case 56
Charles Johnston

Spring 1887

I first met dear old "HPB," as she made all her friends call her, in the spring of 1887. Some of her disciples had taken a pretty house in Norwood, where the huge glass nave and twin towers of the Crystal Palace glint about a labyrinth of streets and terraces. London was at its grimy best.

HPB was just finishing her day’s work, so I passed a half hour upstairs with her volunteer secretary, a disciple who served her with boundless devotion.

So the half hour passed, and I went downstairs to see the Old Lady. She was in her writing room, just rising from her desk, and clad in one of those dark blue dressing gowns she loved. My first impression was of her rippled hair as she turned, then her marvelously potent eyes, as she welcomed me: "My dear fellow! I am so glad to see you! Come in and talk! You are just in time to have some tea!" And a hearty handshake.

HPB with a quizzically humorous smile [asked]: "Of course you have read the SPR Report?—The Spookical Research Society—and know that I am a Russian spy, and the champion impostor of the age?"

"Yes, I read the Report. But I knew its contents already. I was at the meeting when it was first read, two years ago."

"Well," said HPB, again smiling with infinite humor, "and what impression did the frisky lambkin from Australia [Richard Hodgson] make upon your susceptible heart?"

"A very deep one. I decided that he must be a very good young man, who always came home to tea; and that the Lord had given him a very good conceit of himself. If he got an opinion into his head, he would plow away blandly, and contrary facts would be quite invisible. And all that Mr. Sinnett says in the Occult World seems to me absolutely unshaken by the whole Report."

"There is one thing about the SPR Report I want you to explain. What about the writing in the occult letters [of the Masters]?"

"Well, what about it?" asked HPB, immediately interested.

"They say that you wrote them yourself, and that they bear evident marks of your handwriting and style. What do you say to that?"

"Let me explain it this way," she answered, after a long gaze at the end of her cigarette. "Have you ever made experiments in thought-transference? If you have, you must have noticed that the person who received the mental picture very often colors it, or often changes it slightly, with his own thought, and this where perfectly genuine transference of thought takes place. Well, it is something like that with the precipitated letters. One of our Masters, who perhaps does not know English, and of course has no English handwriting, wishes to precipitate a letter in answer to a question sent mentally to him. Let us say he is in Tibet, while I am in Madras or London. He has the answering thought in his mind, but not in English words. He has first to impress that thought on my brain, or on the brain of someone else who knows English, and then to take the word forms that rise up in that other brain to answer the thought. Then he must form a clear mind picture of the words in writing, also drawing on my brain, or the brain of whoever it is, for the shapes. Then either through me or some chela with whom he is magnetically connected, he has to precipitate these word shapes on paper, first sending the shapes into the chela’s mind, and then driving them into the paper, using the magnetic force of the chela to do the printing, and collecting the material, black or blue or red, as the case may be, from the astral light. As all things dissolve into the astral light, the will of the magician can draw them forth again. So he can draw forth colors of pigments to mark the figures in the letter, using the magnetic force of the chela to stamp them in, and guiding the whole by his own much greater magnetic force, a current of powerful will.

"That sounds quite reasonable," I answered. "Won't you show me how it is done?"

"You would have to be clairvoyant," she answered, in a perfectly direct and matter-of-fact way, "in order to see and guide the currents. But this is the point: Suppose the letter [is] precipitated through me; it would naturally show some traces of my expressions, and even of my writing; but all the same, it would be a perfectly genuine occult phenomenon, and a real message from that Mahatma. Besides, when all is said and done, they exaggerate the likeness of the writings. And the experts are not infallible. We have had experts who were just as positive that I could not possibly have written those letters, and just as good experts, too. But the Report says nothing about them. And then there are letters, in just the same handwriting, precipitated when I was thousands of miles away. Dr. Hartmann received more than one at Adyar, Madras, when I was in London; I could hardly have written them. But you have seen some of the occult letters? What do you say?"

"Yes," I replied; "Mr. Sinnett showed me about a ream of them: the whole series that the Occult World and Esoteric Buddhism are based on. Some of them are in red, either ink or pencil, but far more are in blue. I thought it was pencil at first, and I tried to smudge it with my thumb; but it would not smudge."

"Of course not!" she smiled; ‘the color is driven into the surface of the paper. But what about the writings?"

"I am coming to that. There were two: the blue writing, and the red; they were totally different from each other, and both were quite unlike yours. I have spent a good deal of time studying the relation of handwriting to character, and the two characters were quite clearly marked. The blue was evidently a man of very gentle and even character, but of tremendously strong will; logical, easygoing, and taking endless pains to make his meaning clear. It was altogether the handwriting of a cultivated and very sympathetic man."

"Which I am not," said HPB, with a smile; "that is Mahatma Koot Hoomi; he is a Kashmiri Brahman by birth, you know, and has traveled a good deal in Europe. He is the author of the Occult World letters, and gave Mr. Sinnett most of the material of Esoteric Buddhism. But you have read all about it."

"Yes, I remember he says you shriek across space with a voice like Sarasvati’s peacock. Hardly the sort of thing you would say of yourself."

"Of course not," she said; "I know I am a nightingale. But what about the other writing?"

"The red? Oh that is wholly different. It is fierce, impetuous, dominant, strong; it comes in volcanic outbursts, while the other is like Niagara Falls. One is fire, and the other is the ocean. They are wholly different, and both quite unlike yours. But the second has more resemblance to yours than the first."

"This is my Master," she said, "whom we call Mahatma Morya. I have his picture here."

And she showed me a small panel in oils. If ever I saw genuine awe and reverence in a human face, it was in hers, when she spoke of her Master. He was a Rajput by birth, she said, one of the old warrior race of the Indian desert, the finest and handsomest nation in the world. Her Master was a giant, six feet eight, and splendidly built, a superb type of manly beauty. Even in the picture, there is a marvelous power and fascination; the force, the fierceness even, of the face; the dark, glowing eyes, which stare you out of countenance; the clear-cut features of bronze, the raven hair and beard—all spoke of manhood strength. I asked her something about his age. She answered:

"My dear, I cannot tell you exactly, for I do not know. But this I will tell you. I met him first when I was twenty—in 1851. He was in the very prime of manhood then. I am an old woman now, but he has not aged a day. He is still in the prime of manhood. That is all I can say. You may draw you own conclusions."

Then she told me something about other Masters and adepts she had known. She had known adepts of many races, from Northern and Southern India, Tibet, Persia, China, Egypt; of various European nations, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, English; of certain races in South America, where she said there was a Lodge of adepts.

Source: Johnson, Charles. 1900. "Helena Petrovna Blavatsky." Theosophical Forum (New York) 5–6 (Apr.–Jul.). Reprint in Blavatsky, Collected Writings, 8:392–409.

Case 57
Violet Tweedale


On another occasion when I was alone with Madame Blavatsky, she suddenly broke off our conversation by lapsing into another language, which I supposed to be Hindustani. She appeared to be addressing some one else, and on looking over my shoulder I saw we were no longer alone. A man stood in the middle of the room. I was sure he had not entered by the door, window, or chimney, and as I looked at him in some astonishment, he salaamed to Madame Blavatsky and replied to her in the same language in which she had addressed him.

I rose at once to leave her, and as I bade her good-by she whispered to me, "Do not mention this." The man did not seem aware of my presence; he took no notice of me as I left the room. He was dark in color and very sad looking, and his dress was a long, black cloak and a soft black hat, which he did not remove, pulled well over his eyes. I found out that evening that none of the general staff were aware of his arrival, and I saw him no more.

Source:  Tweedale, Violet. Ghosts I Have Seen and Other Psychic Experiences. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1919, 51, 56–61.

Case 58
Henry S. Olcott

October 25, 1888
Approaching Rome, Italy by train

[I had] the most unexpected and splendid visit from M[orya] in the train.  I felt so rejoiced. . . . He was so kind, so loving and compassionate; despite all my faults and shortcomings, he bears with me and holds to me because of the useful work I have now and then done, and of my fervent desire to do my duty.  If he has not told you already, he will; so I shall not flog my tired brain to describe how he came, talked, looked and went.  Goodnight, Chum -- to you and to all . . . .

[In his handwritten diary for Oct. 25, 1888, Henry Olcott penned the following: 

"At 9:30 [I] took train for Rome via Pistoia and Pisa.  In train all night. . . . [I] had a most encouraging visit from M[orya] in the train." ]

Sources:  Letter dated Oct. 26, 1888 from Henry Olcott to H.P. Blavatsky (quoted in Hammer on the Mountain, Howard Murphet, Wheaton, Illinois, Theosophical Publishing House, 1972, p. 236); Olcott, Henry S.  Diaries.   Entry for Oct. 25, 1888.

Case 59
Archibald Keightley

April 1889

The meetings of the Blavatsky Lodge were out of the ordinary. The discussions were out of the ordinary. The discussions were informal and all sat round and asked questions of Mme. Blavatsky. All sorts and conditions of men and women were present and one part of our delight was for Mme. Blavatsky to reply by the Socratic method — ask another question and seek information on her own account.

Sometimes there would be unseen visitors, seen by some but not by others of us. Results were curious. Mme. Blavatsky felt the cold very much and her room was therefore kept very warm, so much so that at the meetings it was unpleasantly hot very often. One night before the meeting time, I came downstairs to find the room like an ice-house, though fire and lights were fully on. I called H.P.B.’s attention to this, but was greeted with a laugh and "Oh, I have had a friend of mine here to see me and he forgot to remove his atmosphere." Another time I remember that the rooms gradually filled until there was no vacant seat. On the sofa sat a distinguished Hindu, in full panoply of turban and dress. The discussion proceeded and apparently our distinguished guest was much interested, for he seemed to follow intelligently the remarks of each speaker. The President of the Lodge arrived that night very late, and coming in looked around for a seat. He walked up to the sofa and sat down — right in the middle of the distinguished Hindu, who promptly, and with some surprise, fizzled and vanished!

Source:  Keightley, Archibald.  "Reminiscences of H.P. Blavatsky," The Theosophical Quarterly (New York), October 1910, pp. 109-122.

Case 60a
Annie Besant

July 1889
Fontainebleau, France

My first-hand experience of the Masters had been clear, definite, and absolutely convincing to me.  The experience began in 1889.  In the beginning of the year, before I joined the T.S., I was making desperate efforts to pierce the darkness, and was seeking with passionate earnestness to obtain some direct evidence of the existence of Soul and of the superphysical worlds; one evening as I sat alone, concentrating my mind on this longing, I heard the Master's voice --- but knew not whose its was ---and after some questions asked by Him and answered by me, came the promise that I should soon find the light --- a promise quickly verified.  As I did not till later know Who had spoken to me, I ought not to put this as evidence at that time, and it was in the summer of of 1889 that I gained my first direct evidence.  I as in Fontainebleau [staying with Madame Blavatsky], and was sleeping in a small room by myself; I was waked suddenly and sat up in bed startled, to find the air of the room thrown into pulsing electrical waves, and then appeared the radiant astral Figure of the Master [Morya], visible to my physical eyes.

Source: Besant, Annie.  The Case Against W.Q. Judge, p. 10.

Case 60b
Annie Besant

July 1889
Fontainebleau, France

I will tell you about the first occasion on which I saw my Master. Soon after I had joined the Society, it happened that I was in England at a time when H. P. B. was in Fontainebleau, France, where The Voice of the Silence was written. She wrote me to go over and join her, which I did with joy. She was living in a delightful old house out in the country, and I was put in a bed-room near hers, a door connecting the two. One night I awoke suddenly owing to an extraordinary feeling that there was in the room. The air was all throbbing, and it seemed as if an electric machine was playing there; the whole room was electric. I was so astonished (for it was my first experience of the kind) that I sat up in bed, wondering what on earth could be happening. It was quite dark, and in those days I was not a bit clairvoyant. At the foot of the bed a luminous figure appeared, and stood there from half a minute to a minute. It was the figure of a very tall man, and I thought, from pictures I had seen, it was H. P. B.’s Master. Near him was another figure, more faintly luminous, which I could not clearly distinguish. The brilliant figure stood quite still, looking at me, and I was so utterly astounded that I sat perfectly still, simply looking at Him; I did not even think of saluting Him. So I remained motionless and then gradually the figure vanished. Next day I told H. P. B. what had happened, and she replied: ‘Yes, Master came to see me in the night, and went into your room to have a look at you.’ This was my first experience of seeing a Master; it must have been clearly a case of materialisation, for as I have said, I was not in the least clairvoyant at the time.

Source:  Besant, Annie.  "In the Twilight."  The Theosophist (Adyar, Madras, India), May 1910, pp. 1098-1100.

Case 61
James Morgan Pryse

August 1889
Los Angeles, California

My mind kept dwelling on Paracelsus, with a distinct impression that he was again incarnated; so I resolved to find him, if possible, and in my daily meditation concentrated my mind on him.  One evening [in 1889] while I was thus meditating the face of H. P. B. flashed before me.  I recognized it from her portrait in Isis, though it appeared much older.  Thinking that the astral picture, as I took it to be, was due to some vagary of fancy, I tried to exclude it; but at that the face showed a look of impatience, and instantly I was drawn out of my body and immediately was standing “in the astral” beside H. P. B. in London.  It was along toward morning there, but she was still seated at her writing desk.  While she was speaking to me, very kindly, I could not help thinking how odd it was that an apparently fleshy old lady should be an Adept.  I tried to put that impolite thought out of my mind, but she read it, and as if in answer to it her physical body became translucent, revealing a marvellous inner body that looked as if it were formed of molten gold.   Then suddenly the Master M. appeared before us in his mayavi-rupa.  To him I made profound obeisance, for he seemed to me more like a God than a man.  Somehow I knew who he was, though this was the first time I had seen him.  He spoke to me graciously and said, “I shall have work for you in six months.”  He walked to the further side of the room, waved his hand in farewell and departed.  Then H. P. B. dismissed me with the parting words, “God bless you,” and directly I saw the waves of the Atlantic beneath me; I floated down and dipped my feet in their crests.   Then with a rush I crossed the continent till I saw the lights of Los Angles and returned to my body, seated in the chair where I had left it.  Thus by looking for Paracelsus, while resolved not to intrude on H. P. B. and the Master M., I found them all.   For H. P. B. simply was Paracelsus, and in my ignorance of that fact I had blundered, happily stumbling upon a triumphant outcome vastly beyond anything I had expected.

Source:  Pryse, James Morgan.  "Memorabilia of H.P.B."  The Canadian Theosophist, March 15, 1935, pp. 1-5.

Case 62
Julia Keightley

May 1891

A few days after Madame Blavatsky died, HPB awoke me at night. I raised myself, feeling no surprise, but only the sweet accustomed pleasure. She held my eyes with her leonine gaze. Then she grew thinner, taller, her shape became masculine; slowly then her features changed, until a man of height and rugged powers stood before me, the last vestige of her features melting into his, until the leonine gaze, the progressed radiance of her glance alone remained. The man lifted his head and said, "Bear witness!" He then walked from the room, laying his hand on the portrait of HPB as he passed. Since then, he has come to me several times, with instructions, in broad daylight while I was busily working, and once he stepped out from a large portrait of HPB.

Source:  Wachtmeister, Constance and others. Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine. London, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1893,

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