Published by Blavatsky Study Center.  Online Edition copyright 2020.

A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas.
H.P. Blavatsky claimed personal contact with certain Adepts, Masters and Mahatmas living in Tibet, Ladakh, India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. During her lifetime and since her death, there has been a great deal of controversy and skepticism concerning the existence of these Mahatmas. Almost all of H.P.B.'s critics have doubted the actual existence or reality of her Masters. Nevertheless, more than twenty five people testified to having seen and/or been in contact with the Mahatmas during Madame Blavatsky's life time. In the pages of this book, the reader will find the detailed accounts and testimonies of most of these witnesses in which they relate their sightings, encounters and meetings with H.P.B.'s Adept Teachers.


A Casebook of Encounters
with the Theosophical Mahatmas

  Compiled and edited by Daniel H. Caldwell

Master Morya

Marion 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 book 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.’



A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas.
H.P. Blavatsky claimed personal contact with certain Adepts, Masters and Mahatmas living in Tibet, Ladakh, India, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. During her lifetime and since her death, there has been a great deal of controversy and skepticism concerning the existence of these Mahatmas. Almost all of H.P.B.'s critics have doubted the actual existence or reality of her Masters. Nevertheless, more than twenty five people testified to having seen and/or been in contact with the Mahatmas during Madame Blavatsky's life time. In the pages of this book, the reader will find the detailed accounts and testimonies of most of these witnesses in which they relate their sightings, encounters and meetings with H.P.B.'s Adept Teachers.