Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Елена Петровна Блаватская, Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya, often known as Madame Blavatsky; née von Hahn; Ukrainian: Олена Петрівна Блаватська, Olena Petrivna Blavatska; 12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891), better known as "Helena Blavatsky" or "Madame Blavatsky", was an occultist, spirit medium, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric movement that the Society promoted. Blavatsky was a controversial figure during her lifetime, championed by supporters as an enlightened Sage and derided as a charlatan by critics. Her Theosophical doctrines influenced the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in the West as well as the development of Western esoteric currents like Anthroposophy, and the New Age Movement.
- The possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction, like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and scientific authority. But the same question stands open from the days of Socrates and Pilate down to our own age of wholesale negation: is there such a thing as absolute truth in the hands of any one party or man? Reason answers, "there cannot be." There is no room for absolute truth upon any subject whatsoever, in a world as finite and conditioned as man is himself. But there are relative truths, and we have to make the best we can of them.
- Lucifer (February 1888)
- I ask you also to remember that, on this important occasion, my voice is but the feeble echo of other more sacred voices, and the transmitter of the approval of Those whose presence is alive in more than one true Theosophical heart, and lives, as I know, preeminently in yours. May the assembled Society feel the warm greeting as earnestly as it is given, and may every Fellow present, who realizes that he has deserved it, profit by the Blessings sent...
It must be remembered... that it (Theosophical Society) was intended to stem the current of materialism... For by “materialism” is meant not only an anti-philosophical negation of pure spirit, and, even more, materialism in conduct and action — brutality, hypocrisy, and, above all, selfishness — but also the fruits of a disbelief in all but material things, a disbelief which has increased enormously during the last century...
The function of Theosophists is to open men’s hearts and understandings to charity, justice, and generosity, attributes which belong specifically to the human kingdom and are natural to man when he has developed the qualities of a human being. Theosophy teaches the animal-man to be a human-man; and when people have learnt to think and feel as truly human beings should feel and think, they will act humanely, and works of charity, justice, and generosity will be done spontaneously by all.
- "There is often greater martyrdom to live for the love of, whether man or an ideal, than to die" is a motto of the Mahatmas.
- There is no religion higher than truth.
- Motto of the Theosophical Society. See for instance: Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume 6, p. 168
- Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins - the last Messiah who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle.
- Secret Doctrine I, p. 384
- We are in the Kali Yuga [Sanskrit term meaning Dark Age] and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now laboring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the "Gate" and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have sacrificed himself for Humanity--"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life" eternal, and therefore "few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14) So strait indeed, that at the bare mention of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat with a shudder... Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them!
- Studies in Occultism, (1888)
- Nothing of that which is conducive to help man, collectively or individually, to live — not "happily" — but less unhappily in this world, ought to be indifferent to the Theosophist-Occultist. It is no concern of his whether his help benefits a man in his worldly or spiritual progress; his first duty is to be ever ready to help if he can, without stopping to philosophize.
- I speak "with absolute certainty" only so far as my own personal belief is concerned. Those who have not the same warrant for their belief as I have, would be very credulous and foolish to accept it on blind faith. Nor does the writer believe any more than her correspondent and his friends in any "authority" let alone "divine revelation"!
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology (1877)
The Secret Doctrine Volume I & II (1888)
Practical Occultism (1888)
- How, then, can it be thought possible for a man to enter the “straight gate” of occultism when his daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power, with lust, ambition, and duties which, however honorable, are still of the earth...? Even the love for wife and family — the purest as the most unselfish of human affections is a barrier to real occultism... What lover... would not break the happiness of every other man and woman around him to satisfy the desire of one whom he loves? This is but natural... in the light of the code of human affections; less so, in that of divine universal love. p. 60
- For, while the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the “great orphan”? And how shall the “still small voice” make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants? What room is there left for the needs of Humanity en bloc...? He who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion, or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is... to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself if he would obtain... divine Wisdom and Knowledge. p. 62
The Key to Theosophy (1889)
- The purpose of this book is exactly expressed in its title, “The Key to Theosophy,” and needs but few words of explanation. It is not a complete or exhaustive text-book of Theosophy, but only a key to unlock the door that leads to the deeper study.
- HPB:...Theosophy is Divine Knowledge or Science... "Divine Wisdom," (Theosophia) or Wisdom of the gods, as (theogonia), genealogy of the gods. The word theos means a god in Greek, one of the divine beings, certainly not "God" in the sense attached in our day to the term. Therefore, it is not "Wisdom of God," as translated by some, but Divine Wisdom such as that possessed by the gods. The term is many thousand years old... It comes to us from the Alexandrian philosophers, called lovers of truth, Philaletheians, from phil "loving," and aletheia "truth." The name Theosophy dates from the third century of our era, and began with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples, who started the Eclectic Theosophical system.
- Our age, we say, is inferior in Wisdom to any other, because it professes, more visibly every day, contempt for truth and justice, without which there can be no Wisdom. Because our civilization, built up of shams and appearances, is at best like a beautiful green morass, a bog, spread over a deadly quagmire. Because this century of culture and worship of matter, while offering prizes and premiums for every "best thing" under the Sun, from the biggest baby and the largest orchid down to the strongest pugilist and the fattest pig, has no encouragement to offer to morality; no prize to give for any moral virtue.
- Because it has Societies for the prevention of physical cruelty to animals, and none with the object of preventing the moral cruelty practiced on human beings. Because it encourages, legally and tacitly, vice under every form, from the sale of whiskey down to forced prostitution and theft brought on by starvation wages...
- This is the age which, although proclaimed as one of physical and moral freedom, is in truth the age of the most ferocious moral and mental slavery, the like of which was never known before.
- Slavery to State and men has disappeared only to make room for slavery to things and Self, to one's own vices and idiotic social customs and ways. Rapid civilization, adapted to the needs of the higher and middle classes, has doomed by contrast to only greater wretchedness the starving masses.
- That the teachings of neither our modern teachers nor preachers are "wisdom from above" is fully demonstrated. It is proved not by any personal incorrectness in their statements or mistakes in life, for "to err is but human," but by incontrovertible facts.
- Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves... Aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.
- Wisdom and Truth are synonymous terms, and that which is false or well-known representative of the Church of England, that the Sermon of the Mount would, in its practical application, mean utter ruin for his country less than three weeks;
- To doubt the exalted wisdom of the religion of... the Church of England, or again of our great modern scientists, is to sin against the Holy Ghost and Culture. Woe unto him who refuses to recognize the World's "Elect."...their "wisdom" is at best -- "terrestrial, psychic, devilish."
- Valuing freedom of thought above all things as the only way of reaching at some future time that Wisdom, of which every Theosophist ought to be enamored, we recognize the right to the same freedom in our foes as in our friends.
- [We do not]... blame, but rather pity, in our innermost heart, the "wise men" of our age for trying to carry out the only policy that will keep them on the pinnacle of their "authority"; as they could not, if even they would, act otherwise and preserve their prestige with the masses, or escape from being speedily outcast by their colleagues.
- The origin of all religions -- Judaeo-Christianity included -- is to be found in a few primeval truths, not one of which can be explained apart from all the others, as each is a complement of the rest in some one detail. And they are all, more or less, broken rays of the same Sun of truth, and their beginnings have to be sought in the archaic records of the Wisdom-religion. Without the light of the latter, the greatest scholars can see but the skeletons thereof covered with masks of fancy
- Thus, what with several generations of most active Church Fathers ever working at the destruction of old documents and the preparation of new passages to be interpolated in those which happened to survive, there remains of the Gnostics -- the legitimate offspring of the Archaic Wisdom-religion -- but a few unrecognizable shreds.
- Those who translate Pistis by "Faith," are utterly wrong. The word "faith" as grace or something to be believed in through unreasoned or blind faith, is a word that dates only since Christianity.
- We hold that a good book which gives people food for thought, which strengthens and clears their minds, and enables them to grasp truths which they have dimly felt but could not formulate—we hold that such a book does a real, substantial good.
- You must bear in mind how many powerful adversaries we have aroused ever since the formation of our Society... Intrinsically, Theosophy is the most serious movement of this age; and one, moreover, which threatens the very life of most of the time-honoured humbugs, prejudices, and social evils of the day — those evils which fatten and make happy the upper ten and their imitators and sycophants, the wealthy dozens of the middle classes, while they positively crush and starve out of existence the millions of the poor.
- We have to contend against... the hatred of the Spiritualists... the constant opposition of the clergy of all denominations... especially the relentless hatred and persecution of the missionaries in India.
- To this day no one seems even to feel quite certain whether the Theosophists are a kind of Serpent-and-Devil worshipers, or simply “Esoteric Buddhists”—whatever that may mean. It was useless for us to go on denying, day after day and year after year, every kind of inconceivable cock-and-bull stories about us; for, no sooner was one disposed of, than another, a still more absurd and malicious one, was born out of the ashes of the first.
- So long as the T.S. has a few devoted members willing to work for it without reward and thanks, so long as a few good Theosophists support it with occasional donations, so long will it exist, and nothing can crush it.
Enquirer: I have heard many Theosophists speak of a “power behind the Society” and of certain “Mahatmas,” mentioned also in Mr. Sinnett’s works, that are said to have founded the Society, to watch over and protect it.
HPB: You may laugh, but it is so.
- We call them “Masters” because they are our teachers; and because from them we have derived all the Theosophical truths, however inadequately some of us may have expressed, and others understood, them. They are men of great learning, whom we term Initiates, and still greater holiness of life. They are not ascetics in the ordinary sense, though they certainly remain apart from the turmoil and strife of your western world.
- The Society will live on into and through the twentieth century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realization of the Brotherhood of all men.
- Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has rendered accessible and intelligible to the modern mind, the West will learn to understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further, the development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory symptoms of which are already visible in America, will proceed healthily and normally.
- It is curious to see how prophetic in almost all things was the writer of Vishnu Purâna when foretelling to Maitreya some of the dark influences and sins of this Kali Yug. For after saying that the “barbarians” will be masters of the banks… There will be contemporary monarchs, reigning over the earth— kings of churlish spirit, violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and wickedness... Wealth and piety will decrease until the world will be wholly depraved. Property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification.
- Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place, as it threatens to do, in a hot-bed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man’s mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal goodwill which will reign in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which is everywhere apparent around us today.
The Theosophical Glossary (1892)
- Adept (Lat.). Adeptus, “He who has obtained.” In Occultism one who has reached the stage of Initiation, and become a Master in the science of Esoteric philosophy.
- Aum (Sk.). The sacred syllable; the triple-lettered unit; hence the trinity in One.
- Aura (Gr. and Lat.). A subtle invisible essence or fluid that emanates from human and animal bodies and even things. It is a psychic effluvium, partaking of both the mind and the body, as it is the electro-vital, and at the same time an electro-mental aura; called in Theosophy the âkâsic or magnetic aura.
- Bodhisattva (Sk). Lit., “he, whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bodhi)”; those who need but one more incarnation to become perfect Buddhas, i.e., to be entitled to Nirvâna. This, as applied to Manushi (terrestrial) Buddhas. In the metaphysical sense, Bodhisattva is a title given to the sons of the celestial Dhyâni Buddhas.
- Buddha (Sk.). Lit., “The Enlightened”. The highest degree of knowledge. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the REAL SELF and learn not to separate it from all otherselves; to learn by experience the utter unreality of all phenomena of the visible Kosmos foremost of all; to reach a complete detachment from all that is evanescent and finite, and live while yet on Earth in the immortal and the everlasting alone, in a supreme state of holiness.
- Clairvoyance. The faculty of seeing with the inner eye or spiritual sight. As now used it is a loose and flippant term, embracing under its meaning a happy guess due to natural shrewdness or intuition, and also that faculty which was so remarkably exercised by Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg. Real clairvoyance means the faculty of seeing through the densest matter (the latter disappearing at the will and before the spiritual eye of the Seer), and irrespective of time (past, present and future) or distance.
- Buddha Siddhârta (Sk.) The name given to Gautama, the Prince of Kapilavastu, at his birth... Gautama, the Buddha, would not have been a mortal man, had he not passed through hundreds and thousands of births previous to his last.... (p. 66) During the years of his mission it is blameless and pure as that of a god—or as the latter should be. He is a perfect example of a divine, godly man. He reached Buddhaship—i.e., complete enlightenment—entirely by his own merit and owing to his own individual exertions, no god being supposed to have any personal merit in the exercise of goodness and holiness. Esoteric teachings claim that he renounced Nirvâna and gave up the Dharmakâya vesture to remain a “Buddha of compassion” within the reach of the miseries of this world.
...The religious philosophy he left... has produced for over 2,000 years generations of good and unselfish men. His is the only absolutely bloodless religion among all the existing religions tolerant and liberal, teaching universal compassion and charity, love and self-sacrifice, poverty and contentment with one’s lot, whatever it may he. No persecutions, and enforcement of faith by fire and sword, have ever disgraced it. No thunder-and-lightning-vomiting god has interfered with its chaste commandments; and if the simple, humane and philosophical code of daily life left to us by the greatest Man-Reformer ever known, should ever come to he adopted by mankind at large, then indeed an era of bliss and peace would dawn on Humanity. (p. 68)
- Karma (Sk.). Physically, action: metaphysically, the LAW OF RETRIBUTION, the Law of cause and effect or Ethical Causation. Nemesis, only in one sense, that of bad Karma. It is the eleventh Nidana in the concatenation of causes and effects in orthodox Buddhism ; yet it is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, the meta physical Samskâra, or the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire. There is the Karma of merit and the Karma of demerit. Karma neither punishes nor rewards, it is simply the one Universal LAW which guides unerringly, and, so to say, blindly, all other laws productive of certain effects along the grooves of their respective causations. When Buddhism teaches that “Karma is that moral kernel (of any being) which alone survives death and continues in transmigration ‘or reincarnation, it simply means that there remains naught after each Personality but the causes produced by it; causes which are undying, i.e., which cannot be eliminated from the Universe until replaced by their legitimate effects, and wiped out by them, so to speak, and such causes—unless compensated during the life of the person who produced them with adequate effects, will follow the reincarnated Ego, and reach it in its subsequent reincarnation until a harmony between effects and causes is fully reestablished.
- Lucifer (Lat.). The planet Venus, as the bright “Morning Star”. Before Milton, Lucifer had never been a name of the Devil. Quite the reverse, since the Christian Saviour is made to say of himself in Revelations (xvi. 22.) “I am . . . the bright morning star” or Lucifer. One of the early Popes of Rome bore that name; and there was even a Christian sect in the fourth century which was called the Luciferians.
- Magi (Lat.). The name of the ancient hereditary priests and learned adepts in Persia and Media, a word derived from Mâha great, which became later mog or mag, a priest in Pehlevi. Porphyry describes them (Abst. iv. 16) as “The learned men who are engaged among the Persians in the service of the Deity are called Magi”, and Suidas informs us that “among the Persians the lovers of wisdom (philalethai) are called Magi”...
- Magic. The great “Science”. According to Deveria and other Orientalists, “magic was considered as a sacred science inseparable from religion” by the oldest and most civilized and learned nations. The Egyptians, for instance, were one of the most sincerely religious nations, as were and still are the Hindus. “Magic consists of, and is acquired by the worship of the gods”, said Plato. Could then a nation, which, owing to the irrefragable evidence of inscriptions and papyri, is proved to have firmly believed in magic for thousands of years, have been deceived for so long a time. And is it likely that generations upon generations of a learned and pious hierarchy, many among whom led lives of self-martyrdom, holiness and asceticism, would have gone on deceiving themselves and the people (or even only the latter) for the pleasure of perpetuating belief in “ miracles”? ...
- Mahâtma. Lit., “great soul”. An adept of the highest order. Exalted beings who, having attained to the mastery over their lower principles are thus living unimpeded by the “man of flesh”, and are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution. Called in Pali Rahats and Arhats.
- Maitreya Buddha (Sk.). The same as the Kalki Avatar of Vishnu (the “White Horse” Avatar), and of Sosiosh and other Messiahs...
- Om or Aum (Sk.). A mystic syllable, the most solemn of all words in India. It is “an invocation, a benediction, an affirmation and a promise and it is so sacred, as to be indeed the word at low breath of occult, primitive masonry. No one must be near when the syllable is pronounced for a purpose. This word is usually placed at the beginning of sacred Scriptures, and is prefixed to prayers. It is a compound of three letters a,u,m, which, in the popular belief, are typical of the three Vedas, also of three gods—A (Agni) V (Varuna) and M (Maruts) or Fire, Water and Air. In esoteric philosophy these are the three sacred fires, or the “triple fire”in the Universe and Man, besides many other things...
- Paracelsus. The symbolical name adopted by the greatest Occultist of the middle ages—Philip Bombastes Aureolus Theophrastus von Hohenheim—born in the canton of Zurich in 1493. He was the cleverest physician of his age, and the most renowned for curing almost any illness by the power of talismans prepared by himself. He never had a friend, but was surrounded by enemies, the most bitter of whom were the Churchmen and their party. That he was accused of being in league with the devil stands to reason, nor is it to be wondered at that finally he was murdered by some unknown foe, at the early age of forty-eight. He died at Salzburg, leaving a number of works behind him, which are to this day greatly valued by the Kabbalists and Occultists. Many of his utterances have proved prophetic. He was a clairvoyant of great powers, one of the most learned and erudite philosophers and mystics, and a distinguished Alchemist. Physics is indebted to him for the discovery of nitrogen gas, or Azote.
- Pre-existence. The term used to denote that we have lived before. The same as reincarnation in the past. The idea is derided by some, rejected by others, called absurd and inconsistent by the third yet it is the oldest and the most universally accepted belief from an immemorial antiquity. And if this belief was universally accepted by the most subtle philosophical minds of the pre-Christian world, surely it is not amiss that some of our modern intellectual men should also believe in it, or at least give the doctrine the benefit of the doubt. Even the Bible hints at it more than once, St. John the Baptist being regarded as the reincarnation of Elijah, and the Disciples asking whether the blind man was born blind because of his sins, which is equal to saying that he had lived and sinned before being born blind...
- Psychology. The Science of Soul, in days of old: a Science which served as the unavoidable basis for physiology. Whereas in our modern day, it is psychology that is being based (by our great scientists) upon physiology.
- Reincarnation. The doctrine of rebirth, believed in by Jesus and the Apostles, as by all men in those days, but denied now by the Christians. All the Egyptian converts to Christianity, Church Fathers and others, believed in this doctrine, as shown by the writings of several. In the still existing symbols, the human-headed bird flying towards a mummy, a body, or “the soul uniting itself with its sahou (glorified body of the Ego, and also the kâmalokic shell) proves this belief. “The song of the Resurrection” chanted by Isis to recall her dead husband to life, might be translated “Song of Rebirth”, as Osiris is collective Humanity. “Oh! Osiris [here follows the name of the Osirified mummy, or the departed], rise again in holy earth (matter), august mummy in the coffin, under thy corporeal substances”, was the funeral prayer of the priest over the deceased. “Resurrection” with the Egyptians never meant the resurrection of the mutilated mummy, but of the Soul that informed it, the Ego in a new body. The putting on of flesh periodically by the Soul or the Ego, was a universal belief; nor can anything be more consonant with justice and Karmic law.
Quotes about HPB
- And we, who lived around her, who in closest intimacy watched her day after day, we bear witness to the unselfish beauty of her life, the nobility of her character, and we lay at her feet our most reverent gratitude for knowledge gained, lives purified, strength developed.
- I — who reverence her as my first Teacher, and who keep her in my heart with unceasing gratitude as the one who led me to my Master, whom I have now served with ever-increasing thankfulness for more than eighteen years — place here on record the facts of the past, with such comment as seems necessary.
- Mme Blavatsky is a bit wild and somewhat irrational and speaks as if she were the Oracle of Delphi. But I will admit that I find some interesting observations in her book which was published as you know, back in 1888, at a time when physics and science were in their swaddling clothes... I'm astonished how much in keeping it is with modern Physics... There are many other significant statements of hers which I find interesting, but for which i have no time to discuss now.
- Some, most unjustly, try to make H.S.O. and H.P.B., solely responsible for the state of things, those two are, say, far from perfect — in some respects, quite the opposite. But they have that in them (pardon the eternal repetition but it is being as constantly overlooked) which we have but too rarely found elsewhere —Unselfishness, and an eager readiness for self-sacrifice for the good of others; what a multitude of sins does not this cover! It is but a truism, yet I say it, that in adversity alone can we discover the real man. It is a true manhood when one boldly accepts one's share of the collective Karma of the group one works with, and does not permit oneself to be embittered, and to see others in blacker colours than reality, or to throw all blame upon some one "black sheep," a victim, specially selected. Such a true man as that we will ever protect and despite his shortcomings, assist to develop the good he has in him. Such an one is sublimely unselfish; he sinks his personality in his cause, and takes no heed of discomforts or personal obloquy unjustly fastened upon him. (370)
- Madame Blavatsky, as she was known, was an aristocratic, Russian-born medium who founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875 and who taught, among much else, that people could contact the spiritual realm with help from higher entities called Masters of Wisdom.
- Gustav Niebuhr in "New Millennium, Great Expectations", The New York Times (20 July 1996)
- From boyhood no problem had interested me so much as the mystery of man... [On meeting H.P.B.,] our acquaintance at once ripened into a friendship. We found ourselves to be congenial in opinion, and she brought to our intercourse the great resources of a mind stored with a mass of erudition with regard to the arcane or esoteric philosophies of the ancient times. I found her the most intellectual woman I had ever met in my life, a very eccentric personage, but a person who compelled you to either like her very much or to be very antagonistic to her. Besides these extraordinary literary and mental accomplishments of hers, she also possessed in a very striking degree psychical powers such as we read about in the accounts of the lives of ancient sages, and the proof of the reality of which powers was vouchsafed to many witnesses in America for years before we sailed from New York for India; so that naturally those of us who knew her in those times and subsequently, have been unaffected by all the imputations upon her character that have been so rife during the later years of her life... I now look back to that meeting as the most fortunate event of my life; for it made light shine in all the dark places, and sent me out on a mission to help to revive... occult science, which grows more absorbingly interesting every day.
- She was a splendid pianist, playing with a touch and expression that were simply superb. Her hands were models—ideal and actual—for a sculptor and never seen to such advantage as when flying over the keyboard to find its magical melodies... There were times when she was occupied by one of the Mahâtmas, when her playing was indescribably grand. She would sit in the dusk sometimes, with nobody else in the room beside myself, and strike from the sweettoned instrument improvisations that might well make one fancy he was listening to the Gandhâvas, or heavenly choristers. It was the harmony of heaven...she was loyal to the last degree to her aunt, her other relatives, and to the Masters; for whose work she would have sacrificed not only one, but twenty lives, and calmly seen the whole human race consumed with fire, if needs be.
- Henry Steel Olcott, Character Sketch of Madam Blavatsky, Old Diary Leaves, Volume One, (1895)
- Unconventionality was with her almost a cult, and nothing pleased her more than to do and say things to shock the prudish... HPB felt herself in revolt to every conventional idea of society, being in beliefs, tastes, dress, ideals, and behavior a social helot; ...The world was to her an empty sham, its prizes but dross, her waking life a lugubrious existence, her real life that of the night when, leaving the body, she would go and sit at the feet of her Masters.
So she felt little else than scorn and profound contempt for the blind bigots and narrow-thinking men of science, who had not even a stray glimpse of the truth, yet who would judge her with unrighteous judgment and conspire to silence her by a conspiracy of calumny. For clergymen as a body she felt hatred, because, being themselves absolutely ignorant of the truths of the spirit, they assumed the right to lead the spiritually blind, to keep the lay conscience under control, to enjoy revenues they had not earned, and to damn the heretic, who was often the sage, the illuminatus, the adept. We had one scrapbook into which we used to paste paragraphs from the newspapers telling of the crimes of clergymen and priests who had been brought to justice, and before we left for India there was a large collection of them. HPB made numberless friends, but often lost them again and saw them turned into personal enemies. No one could be more fascinating than she when she chose, and she chose it when she wanted to draw persons to her public work. She would be caressing in tone and manner, and make the person feel that she regarded him as her best, if not her only friend.
- Henry Steel Olcott, Character Sketch of Madam Blavatsky, Old Diary Leaves, Volume One, (1895)
- H. P. Blavatsky said, in language which no thoughtful mind could misinterpret: Come unto me, my Brothers. I have been taught. Only as I have been taught am I authorized to give; but what I have been taught I can give, and it is my duty to give it. She gave, and gave lavishly. What she gave was not her own; it is not my own; it is not your own. It is the common spiritual and intellectual heritage of mankind; it belongs to us all as human beings, to every son of man; and anyone who studies this common heritage of mankind and who follows the pathway that it opens... The pathway, remember, is endless, for it leads over and through the spacious fields of the spaces of invisible space.
- In her efforts to teach and help she was ready to investigate all subjects; she pointed out with abundant logic the necessity of the ideas of Theosophy being implanted in the minds of the people of the present age; that these ideas might lead the people from dogmatism and materialism into a larger and broader life. She declared that unless humanity awakened to its real needs and to its opportunities, the human family as a whole must retrograde into the shadow and lose sight of the spiritual life and light that rightfully belong to every man.
So it was that she established the Theosophical Society on entirely unsectarian and non-political lines. She accentuated tirelessly the truths of Theosophy; she declared that man's essential divine nature was a potent quality which should be aroused continuously: i. e., that man was dual in his nature -- that the higher, the nobler, the divine part, was the corrective and inspiring part, and that the human mind, no matter how splendidly trained, must be controlled by this higher self: before this man could not find his true place or realize his latent possibilities. She declared in her teachings that one who would know his strength must find his divinity, not outside himself but within; that he must understand the laws of evolution and involution; that spiritually he must realize that he is a part inseparable of the great human family; and that if he carried the investigation of Theosophy far enough, he would readily conceive of Deity as an all-powerful, omnipresent principle, rather than as a personal God existing at some point in space.
- Katherine Tingley, H.P. Blavatsky, and the Founding of the Thesophical Society, (10 January 1915)
H. P. Blavatsky and the Masters of Wisdom, by Annie Besant (1907)
- Sixteen years and a half have gone since Helena Petrovna Blavatsky passed away from this mortal world. Yet attacks are still made upon her veracity, upon her character, and good and sympathetic men still turn away from the Theosophical Society with: " Oh ! I do not care to belong to it ; it was founded by Mme. Blavatsky, who was convicted of fraud by the Psychical Research Society." The articles which defended her at the time have long been out of print, and are forgotten. Dr. Hodgson, the writer of the S.P.R. report, became a believer in phenomena far more wonderful than those which he denied in his youthful self-confidence, and also became himself the victim of misrepresentation and ridicule. The large circulation of Mme. Blavatsky's priceless works, the spread of the ideas which she spent her life in learning and teaching, the growth of the Theosophical Society which she founded at the orders of her Master, and with the aid of her colleague Colonel H. S. Olcott. the ever-increasing literature published by her pupils — all these form her substantial defence, the justification of her life's work. p. 1
- It is not right that the continued crucifixion of the Teacher should be regarded with complacency, while the world profits by the teachings, nor that she should be branded as fraud and impostor who brought to this age the truths now gaining such world-wide acceptance. It is but just that her defence should be obtainable so long as she is slandered. Therefore I — who reverence her as my first Teacher, and who keep her in my heart with unceasing gratitude as the one who led me to my Master, whom I have now served with ever-increasing thankfulness for more than eighteen years — place here on record the facts of the past, with such comment as seems necessary.
- Madame Fadeeff: proceeds: "The phenomena produced by the mediumistic power of my niece Helena are very curious and wonderful... so much force concentrated in a single individual — a whole group of the most extraordinary manifestations emanating from a single source... is certainly exceedingly rare and perhaps unparallelled... when she was here this power was in a condition far inferior to that which it has now reached... Helena... cannot be compared with anyone else. As child, as young girl, as woman, she was always too superior to her environment to be appreciated at her real value. She received the education of a girl of good family. She was well brought up, but was not at all learned, and as for scholarship, of that there was no question. But the unusual richness of her intellectual nature, the delicacy and swiftness of her thought, her marvellous facility in understanding, grasping and assimilating the most difficult subjects, such as would require from anybody else years of laborious study; an eminently developed intelligence, united with a character loyal, straightforward, frank, energetic — these gave her such an unusual superiority, raised her so high above the ordinary level of the insipid majority of human societies, that she could never avoid attracting general attention, and the consequent envy and animosity of all those who, in their trivial inferiority, felt wounded by the splendor of the faculties and talents of this really marvellous woman.
- Helena Petrovna was married, as a girl of seventeen, to an old man, and promptly took flight from her husband, on discovering what marriage meant, and roamed about the world in search of knowledge. In August, 1851... on a moonlight night, as her diary tells us, beside the Serpentine, " I met the Master of my dreams." He then told her that he had chosen her to work in a society, and some time afterwards, with her father's permission, she went into training for her future mission, passing through seven and ten years of probation, trial and hard work....
- Madame Fadeeff: "She was well brought up, well educated as a woman of the world, that is to say, very superficially. But as to serious and abstract studies, the religious mysteries of antiquity, Alexandrian Theurgy, ancient philosophies and philologies, the science of hieroglyphs, Hebrew, Samskrit, Greek, Latin, etc., she never saw them even in a dream. I can swear to it. She had not the least idea of the very alphabet of such things.... my niece spoke to me about them (the Masters of Wisdom), and that very fully, years ago. She wrote to me that she had seen and reknitted her connection with several of them before she wrote her Isis. Why should she have invented these personages? With what object ? and what good could they do her if they did not exist? Your enemies are neither wicked nor dishonest, I think; they are, if they accuse you of that, only idiotic.
- There was one policy with regard to the Masters, the phenomena worked by her, and Their communications, which she would not tolerate: the attempts to separate the occult from the philosophical, and to evade the criticism and the hostility of an ignorant world by exalting the philosophical at the expense of the occult. To do this, she repeatedly declared, was to invite the destruction of the Society. She was bitterly conscious of the unfairness with which she had been treated, and of the way in which many Theosophists were willing to sacrifice her to the mob, while profiting by her teachings, and declaring that the Theosophical Society had its own foundation, and could continue to exist, even if she were regarded as a fraud.
- What H. P. Blavatsky was the world may some day know. She was of heroic stature, and smaller souls instinctively resented her strength, her titanic nature. Unconventional, careless of appearances, frank to unwisdom — as the world estimates wisdom — too honest to calculate against the dishonesty of others, she laid herself open to continual criticism and misunderstanding. Full of intellectual strength and with extraordinary knowledge, she was humble as a little child. Brave to recklessness, she was pitiful and tender. Passionately indignant when accused of sins she loathed, she was generous and forgiving to a repentant foe. She had a hundred splendid virtues, and a few petty failings. May the Master she served with unfaltering courage, with unwavering devotion, send back to us again "the Brother you know as H. P. B., but we — otherwise."
- Annie Besant
- Geoffrey Hodson
- William Quan Judge
- Charles Webster Leadbeater
- Henry Steel Olcott
- Alfred Percy Sinnett
- The Ageless WisdomTeachings
- Alice Bailey
- Agni Yoga Teachings
- Masters of Wisdom
- Maitreya (Theosophy)
- Helena Roerich