Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.


by S. Subramania Iyer

[Reprinted from Supplement to The Theosophist,
(Adyar, Madras, India) February 1884, p. 31.]

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I attended the eighth anniversary of the Theosophical Society held last December, in Madras. I was at the Adyar Head-Quarters several times on the occasion. I was also in the occult room. I witnessed certain phenomena when in the room on the 26th and the 28th of December last. Having been asked to testify to them, I hereby do so: -

2.  The room in question is situated upstairs. In the room is the shrine - a wooden cupboard put up against a wall. It is not fixed to the wall but only touches it. I have carefully examined the shrine inside and outside and also the wall against which it is put. I found nothing to suspect the existence of any contrivances which could account for what I saw. Inside the cupboard are two framed likenesses of two of the Mahatmas overhung with pieces of yellow silk, a silver bowl, and some images.

3.  On the 26th, it was at about 7 P.M. that I went up to the shrine. There were 14 other Theosophists present. We were all quite close to the shrine. Madam Blavatsky opened the shrine with a key which she had and took out the silver bowl. It was shown to the gentlemen present. There was nothing in it. Mr. Venkata Jagga Row, C. S., then dropped into it a letter addressed by him to one of the Revered Mahatmas. The bowl was then placed inside the shrine which was locked by Madam Blavatsky. In about 5 minutes the shrine was opened and the silver bowl taken out and shown. The letter put in by Mr. Venkata Jagga Row had disappeared and in its place there were 5 letters in the bowl. Four of them were addressed to particular persons present and the other to all the delegates from the different Branches of the Theosophical Society. This last I saw. It was in the handwriting known to or recognized by the Theosophists as that of Mahatma K. H. I had seen the same handwriting before in letters in the possession of my friend Mr. S. Ramaswamier at Madras.

4.  On the 28th, I went to the shrine at about 10:30 A.M. Seven persons were present. The windows were open and it was broad day light. Madam Blavatsky gave the key of the shrine to Mr. P. Srinivasa Row, Small Cause Judge, Madras, and stood aside amongst us. Mr. Srinivasa Row opened the shrine, took out the silver bowl and showed it to all present. There was nothing in it. He put it into the shrine, locked it and kept the key. About 5 minutes after he was told by Madam Blavatsky to open the shrine which he did. He then took out the selfsame silver bowl and in it was an envelope well gummed, addressed to Mr. Srinivasa Row. I saw him open the envelope and found it to contain a letter in the handwriting of Mahatma K. H. and currency notes for Rs. 500. (1)

5.  I saw no room for deception, no wires, no springs inside or outside the shrine. I requested permission to examine the shrine and was allowed to do so. Not only did I not see any wire or spring or any contrivance, but I felt none when I put my hand into the shrine and examined it.

6.  What I may here say may not carry conviction where the overwhelming testimony already recorded by Mr. Sinnett and others has failed to produce any. Yet I may be allowed to subjoin my testimony, however slight, in the hope that it may not be altogether useless.

7.  I know a very acute and able man, a friend of mine, also jeered at me on finding my name appear in the Theosophist as a member of the society, but who in less than two months from that time became a Theosophist himself and the Vice-President of his Branch.

S. Subramania Iyer, B. L.,
High Court Vakil, Madura,

Madura, 10th January 1884.


(1)  This sum was to indemnify a Theosophist, who had to bear an unjust expense. - MANAGER