Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Statement of Mr. S. J. Padshah


[Reprinted from 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. 69-73.]


I have seen the article of the Christian College Magazine reproduced in most Indian newspapers. Recalling to my memory all the facts and incidents that have transpired, and which have come within my own observation, I cannot hesitate for a moment to pronounce the letters embodied in that article as fictitious outcomes of Madame Coulomb’s mediumship.

The allegations of the Coulombs (warmly resented in Madras) were left unchallenged in Northern India, and I therefore addressed a long letter to the Pioneer, the editor of which kindly gave it a prominent place in his issue of the 23rd. I am glad to be able to say that the publication of this letter has had a marked effect in non-theosophical circles.

Permit me to state a few facts in addition to those I have already published in the Pioneer. I have received two letters in all from the revered Mahatma, whose name is so irreverently dragged in the present controversy. The first I received at about ten minutes to ten on the evening of the 15th July 1881. I copy the endorsement which I immediately made on the back of the envelope which contained the letter: - "Received about ten minutes to ten - a little while after Madame had retired and Baboola had left the lamp on the table. I had just written the first two lines of a poem I was composing on the Brothers, and was thinking how to finish the third, when I heard a sound as if a large butterfly had fallen on the table. It was this letter. It fell from some height. The doors of the room and shutters were closed. My gratitude and thanks. 15-7-81., S. J. P." After I had examined the room to see that there was no trickery in the affair, and satisfying myself that none was possible, I fell on my knees and uttered some words to myself mentally. The following morning I saw Madame Blavatsky in her study. After some conversation she told me she was satisfied that I was devoted to the cause, for the Master had watched me and she proceeded to relate all that had happened in my room after I had received the letter, startling me at the same time by reciting word for word my unspoken thought. This letter contained an allusion to Mr. Sinnett and his wife who were then in England.

The second letter from the Master I received somewhere about the beginning of the following September. I must relate the history of this letter. I had composed a philosophical elegy on the death of Baron Du Potet, which I wished to see published in the Theosophist. It was an ambitious attempt. I forwarded it to Madame Blavatsky, who considered it important enough to be seen by the Mahatma K. H. The Master, after reading it, sent it with his compliments to Mr. Sinnett for his opinion. Mr. Sinnett attentively read the poem, but was of opinion that it would be better not to publish it. This criticism filled more than three sides and a half of the Pioneer notepaper. Mr. Sinnett had evidently written more on some other subject, but the writing (some traces of which are still there) was made somehow to fade away, and the Master begins his letter to me on the last page of Mr. Sinnett’s letter and adds half-a-page of notepaper of his own. He continues Mr. Sinnett’s criticism, but in a much more kindly manner.

"Your spirit," he writes, "is undoubtedly most closely akin to and largely vivified by that of poetry, and your intellectual instinct pierces easily into all the mysteries and abysses of nature, often giving a beautiful form, verity and harmony to your verse, as far as I am able to judge of English poetry. A true seer is always a poet, and a poet can never be a true one - unless he is in perfect unity with occult nature, - ‘a creator by right of his spiritual revelation’ as the great Danish poet expresses it. I was anxious, therefore, you should learn, how far you had succeeded in impressing others. For, it is not enough to carry the true poetic instincts within the recesses of one’s soul; these have to be so faithfully mirrored in verse or prose, as to carry the intelligent reader away, wherever the poet’s fancy may wing its flight. I sent your poem after reading it myself to Mr. Sinnett who was at one time considered in the London literary circles as one of the best critics of the day. Writing for me, and at my express wish, his opinion is thoroughly unbiassed, and I believe the criticism is calculated to do you the greatest good. Take up the suggestion, and work over the poem, for you may make of it something grand. Bear with the world and those who surround you. Be patient and true to yourself and Fate, who was a step-mother to you, my poor young friend, may yet change and her persecutions be changed into bounties. Whatever happens know - I am watching over you."

I have quoted this letter at such length for several reasons. Madame Blavatsky, with all her accomplishments, has hardly any partiality for poetry. I have never succeeded in interesting her in any volume of verse. She, as well as Col. Olcott, has often chaffed me about my partiality for Shelley; and I have reason to believe, from what has frequently fallen from her lips, that she considers a poet to be a poor useless creature. But examine the tone of this letter. The critic, whatever else he is, is himself a poet. In half a dozen lines he surveys the whole domain of true poetry, and with all the authority of conviction lays it down that a true poet cannot but be an occultist.

The Master advises me to bear with the world and those who surrounded me. The advice came in good time, for I was on the point of coming to an open rupture with those that surrounded me at the Head-quarters - the Coulombs!

The Master’s watchful care has since saved me from many perils. Since my arrival at Lucknow though receiving no favours from him, he has often helped me in the hour of trial.

I have forgotten to relate the manner in which I received this last letter. It was about eleven o’clock in the night.

I had just left Mr. Mavalankar and proceeded upstairs to my room. The lamp was burning on the table. I examined the bed, and lifted the curtains aside to see that no mosquitos had got in. There was then no thing or person in the room except the usual furniture. The house was unusually still. I went to the door and closed it. After closing the door I had to pass the bedstead before I could reach the lamp to lower the wick. I noticed nothing. After turning down the light I went to my bed, and lo! right at my feet lay two white objects on the floor. A moment ago there had been nothing there, and now there was my poem and the Mahatma’s letter! In falling they had made no sound. How was it done?

S. J. Padshah,
Fellow, Theosophical Society.