Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

Adepts and Adept Writings

by John Roger

[Reprinted from The Theosophical Forum (Point Loma, California), 
August 1944, pp. 343-348.]

Each of the great world movements had an Adept Founder who gave a Message and an Impulse to the world before he departed.  The disciples and adherents collected and arranged the teachings given, then guarded and disseminated them through the centuries.  Witness the Tao of Lao-Tze and the Dharma of Gautama Buddha, for instance, still powerful and vital after 2500 years.

The Adept Founders of The Theosophical Movement are no less in stature than the Adept Founders of the preceding world movements.  The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett tells us that the Tibetan Brother who helped H. P. B. at Adyar reached “the further shore,” achieving Arhatship, and how His Master, K. H., entered “the old tower, within whose bosom have gestated generations of Bodhisatwas,” emerging victor.  The status of the Mahatma M. was well guarded by H. P. B.  However, it is evident that the Adept Founders of The Theosophical Movement stand equal to the Great Ones who preceded them.

In the lives of all Adept Founders there are the usual stories of miracles and phenomenal occurrences, but the teachings were the great miracles which endured through the centuries.  So, the Adeptship of the Theosophical Founder-Adepts is not proven by “astral bells,” “materialized teacups,” or even by several apparently miraculous recoveries of their Messenger, but by the transmission of their message through space, its reception by their Messenger, and its publication for the enlightenment of mankind.  As Gautama Buddha once said --- “the true miracle is the miracle of instruction and enlightenment.”

Their Message, Theosophy, is as important today as the Message of Shri Krishna or Shankara was in their day, and it comes from the same source, the same Brotherhood, and for the same purpose, the enlightenment of Humanity.  The Adept Founders defined Theosophy in The Secret Doctrine as “the accumulated Wisdom of the Adept-Seers of the Ages.”  Yet we realize that the writings given through H. P. Blavatsky are but an exoteric introduction to the esoteric wisdom of the “initiates and proficients in occult science and philosophy,” to quote the first revision of the Original Programme.  Hence, it is our first duty to collect the original Theosophical writings, so that they too may be given the opportunity of enduring for centuries.  The Theosophical Society was founded for no other reason than to record and transmit the Message of its Adept Founders, and to fulfill their Original Programme.  This is our mission.

To the Theosophical Society of Covina mainly belongs the honor and merit of collecting and having published for the first time a series of volumes containing the complete works of H.P. Blavatsky. (1)   We wonder how many Theosophists are aware that some of the articles already published in this series, and others to be published, were written by the Adepts themselves?  In the first five years of The Theosophist, H. P. B. (also Subba Rao and Damodar, who edited The Theosophist in her absence) received several articles for publication, the source of these articles being discovered in books published since 1920, to which we will refer.

1. “Thoughts on Death and Satan.”  The Theosophist, October, 1881 (and Complete Works, Vol. III, p. 90).  According to The Mahatma Letters this is a contribution from the Master K. H., who says, page 196: “This will perhaps make Eliphas Levi’s hints still more clear to you, if you read over what he says, and my remarks in the margin, thereon.”

2. “Answers to Correspondents.”  The Theosophist, March, 1882 (and Complete Works, Vol. III, page 288).  By the Mahatma M.  The Mahatma Letters, p. 273, says: “See the infamous insulting letters she was sent from England for publication against herself and us and the Society. . . . But the ‘Answers to Correspondents’ in Supplement are written by myself. . . . M.”  Here we see the difference between the typical Blavatsky letter and that of the Adept.

3. “Mental Puzzle.”  The Theosophist, June, 1882.  Signed “One of the Hindu Founders of the T. S., Tiruvallam Hills.”  This is the Adept often referred to by H. P. B. as “the Old Gentleman.”  (Not re-published).

4. “Harmonics of Smell.”  The Theosophist, August, 1882 (and Complete Works, Vol. IV, p. 59).  In The Mahatma Letters, p. 102:  “I have just noticed an article on smell by some English professor (which I will cause to be reviewed in the Theosophist and say a few words).”  (K. H.)

5. “Isis Unveiled and The Theosophist on Reincarnation.”  The Theosophist, August, 1882 (and Complete Works, Vol. IV, p. 63).  See The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, p. 26: “K. H. was so kind as to dictate to me last night nearly all of my answer to Massey.”  Also see Mahatma Letters, p. 183.

6. “What is Matter and What is Force?”  The Theosophist, September, 1882 (and Complete Works, Vol. IV, page 82).  See The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, p. 8: “And finally a criticism upon Col. O.’s Lecture ‘Is electricity Force or Matter’ and an answer by Ma. K. H. --- who is becoming a true penny-a-liner, a proof reader through astral light and what not.”

7. “Death and Immortality.”  The Theosophist, November, 1882 (and Complete Works, Vol. IV, page 111).  This article is a continuation of No. 1 above, because of controversy.  The first part is a letter by N. D. Khandallawala with a long note by the Mahatma K. H.  See The Mahatma Letters, page 189: “the answer to which you found incorporated in yours when I wrote for you the materials for your answer to Mr. Khandallawala’s letter that you had sent back to H. P. B.”

8. Throughout The Mahatma Letters there are many references to Eliphas Levi and his Works.  It would be interesting to know why the Adepts were referring to him.  The Mahatma Letters, page 134:  “To reconcile you still more with Eliphas, I will send you a number of his MSS. --- that have never been published, in a large, clear, beautiful handwriting with my comments all through.”  The comments are signed E. O. for Eminent Occultist, or K. H.  They were written in French and translated by A. O. Hume.  The Mahatma Letters, page 156: “In the forthcoming Theosophist you will find a note or two appended to Hume’s translation of Eliphas Levi’s Preface in connection with the lost continent.”  K. H., referring to The Theosophist of November, 1882.  (E. O. footnotes are given in the Complete Works, Vol. IV, page 120).

9. Another Eliphas Levi article, with E. O. footnotes.  The Theosophist, January, 1883 (and Complete Works, Vol. IV, p. 141).

10. A long article by Eliphas Levi which was not published in The Theosophist, but was published in the Theosophical Miscellanies, series, Calcutta, 1883.  (Out of print.)  One of the E. O. footnotes is about Jesus: “but he preached a century before his birth.  E. O.”  There may be other Levi articles, since we find H. P. B. saying, page 56, Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett: “Except of the volume annotated on the margin by K. H. and sent to Hume and a MS. commented upon by Djwal Khool, I took no interest in Eliphas Levi’s MSS.”

11. “Devachan and Avitchi.”  The Theosophist, March, 1883.  The Mahatma Letters, page 196-7: “There must be for such a nature a state corresponding to Devachan, and this is to be found in Avitchi. . . . And, to complete your ‘Fragment’. . . I found it necessary to add to devachan --- Avitchi as its complement and applying to it the same laws as to the former.  This is done, with your permission, in the Appendix.”  K. H.

12. “Replies to Inquiries Suggested by Mr. A. P. Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism.”  Answers as follows: I.  Do the Adepts deny the Nebular Theory?  II.  Is the Sun merely a Cooling Mass?  III.  Are the Great Nations to be swept away in an hour?  IV.  Is the Moon immersed in Matter?  V.  About the Mineral Monad.  VI.  “Historical Difficult” - Why?  VII.  Philological and Archaeological “Difficulties”; Sakya Muni’s Place in History (by Subba Row); Inscriptions Discovered by General Cunningham.  VIII.  Sri Sankaracharya’s Date and Doctrine (Subba Row).  The Theosophist, August, September, October, November, 1883.  The references to the “Replies” are so many that it would take too much space to quote them all.  After the vicious attack upon the Messenger of the Adepts in 1884 it is rather curious to note that these “Replies” were addressed to Mr. Myers, a member of the Society for Psychical Research.  In Old Diary Leaves, Vol. 2, p. 466, Colonel Olcott says: “Part of her work was the taking from dictation from her invisible teacher of the ‘Replies to an English F. T. S.’” One of the questions was of such an esoteric nature that when H. P. B.’s co-chela, Subba Rao read it, Damodar said he “turned green.”  See also Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, page 46: “It is I who had to copy most of the Replies written half by M.” etc.  And page 63: “But [Dr. Kingsford] can hardly be an infallible Seer, or else Maitland would not have attributed to ‘Mad. Blavatsky’ a sentence written by the Tiravellum Mahatma in Reply No. 2 of October. . . . I have his MSS.”  Also page 68: “What do you mean by saying that ‘their Lordships’ write too much for your London Society.  It is my Boss and two others you do not know.”  Enough has been quoted to prove that the “Replies” are the work of three Adept Brothers and their chelas.  These “Replies” began August, 1883 and continued for several months, and with the exception of the first, are to be found in Five Years of Theosophy.  The “Replies” contain priceless information by three Adepts, and hence deserve our closest study. (2)

13. “The Elixir of Life.”  The Theosophist, March and April, 1882.  H. P. B. says in her article “Re-classification of Principles”: “The Elixir of Life was written by its author under direct dictation, or inspection in his own house.”  (Out of print.)

14. Review of Oxley’s Philosophy of SpiritThe Theosophist, December, 1881.  The Mahatma Letters, page 274: “Having received no reply to his summons to K. H., he criticises --- mildly so far --- the utterances of that ‘Internal Power’ --- for which new title I feel rather obliged to him.  At the sight of the gentle rebuke, our blunderbuss Editor failed not to explode.  Nor would she be soothed, until Djwal-Khul, with whom the famous review was concocted. . . was authorized, under the safe nom-de-plume of ‘Reviewer’ to answer. . . the Seer, in a few innocent foot-notes.”  K. H.

15. The footnotes by the ‘Reviewer,” otherwise the Master Djwal-Khul, appeared in The Theosophist, March, 1882.

16. Statement on behalf of his Master, by the Master Djwal-Khul, in The Theosophist, September, 1882.

17. “The Real and the Unreal.”  “Dream Life.”  “Various States of Devachan.”  The Theosophist, August, 1883.  See The Mahatma Letters, p. 339: “Again and once more, an attempt has been made to dispel some of that great mist that I find in Mr. Massey’s Devachan.  It will appear as a contribution to the August number of the 'Theosophist,' and to that I shall refer Mr. Massey and yourself.”

The above list is by no means exhaustive, as everything that has been published would have to be carefully sifted.  Bound together in one volume, these writings would find their place beside The Secret Doctrine and The Mahatma Letters.

As the disciples and adherents collected and preserved the Messages of the Adepts of the past, just so should we collect and correlate every word, foot-note, letter or article of the Theosophical Adept Founders, because only by doing so will it be possible to end the present controversies as to what is or is not Theosophy.

We must provide a yardstick and a body of proof in writing, which will prevent the next generation of Theosophists from falling into the errors which have been the cause of so much delusion in our time.  Only the Adept writings can extricate us now: only their Wisdom can form the basis for a sensible and logical exposition of what these Great Beings intended to be called “Theosophy.”  With the help of all true students and seekers it can be done.

John Roger
7011 Woolston Road, Philadelphia, 38, Pa.


(1)  The first four volumes of this series have been published by arrangement made with Rider and Co., London, England; also a reprint (in one large volume) of Isis Unveiled.  We have been assured by Rider and Co., that printing of the rest of the volumes will be resumed after the war. --- Eds. [of Theosophical Forum]

(2)  The “Replies” will appear in Vol. V of the Complete Works. --- Eds. [of Theosophical Forum]