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H P Blavatsky
A DETAILED BIOGRAPHY
Petrovna von Hahn was born at Ekaterinoslav (now Dniepropetrovsk.), a town on the river
Russia at the Time of H P Blavatsky’s Birth
Russian Society at the Time of H P Blavatsky’s Birth
almost eighteen, she married the middle-aged Nikifor
V. Blavatsky, Vice-Governor of the
The Great Exhibition (London) of 1851
On her twentieth birthday, in 1851, being then in London, she met the individual whom she had known in her psycho-spiritual visions from childhood --- an Eastern Initiate of Rajput birth, the Mahatma Morya or M. as he became known in later years among Theosophists. He told her something of the work that was in store for her, and from that moment she accepted fully his guidance.
the same year,
a covered wagon.
late 1855, she left for
1868 she went via
further travels through the
her relatives at
H.P. Blavatsky was then forty-two years old and in controlled possession of her many and most unusual spiritual and occult powers. In the opinion of the Mahatmas, she was the best available instrument for the work they had in mind, namely to offer to the world a new presentation, though only in brief outline of the age-old Theosophia, "The accumulated Wisdom of the ages, tested and
verified by generations of Seers...," that body of Truth of which religions, great and small, are but as branches of the parent tree. The Mahatmas assess H P B’s suitability as a teacher in the Mahatmas Letters to A P Sinnett.
task was to challenge on the one hand the entrenched beliefs and dogmas of Christian
Theology and on the other the equally dogmatic materialistic view of the
science of her day. A crack, however, had recently appeared in the twofold set
of mental fortifications. It was caused by Spiritualism, then sweeping
In October, 1874, H.P.B. was put in touch by her Teachers with Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, a man of sterling worth who had acquired considerable renown during the Civil War, had served the U.S. Government with distinction, and was at the time practicing law in New York. She also met William Quan Judge, a young Irish Lawyer, who was to play a unique role in the future Theosophical work.
On September 7, 1875, these three leading figures, together with several others, founded a society which they chose to call The Theosophical Society, as promulgating the ancient teachings of Theosophy, or the Wisdom concerning the Divine which had been the spiritual basis of other great movements of the past, such as Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, and the Mystery-Schools of the Classical world. The Inaugural Address by the President-Founder, Colonel
to be the official date of the founding of the Society. Starting from a generalized statement of objectives, namely, "to collect and diffuse a knowledge of the laws which govern the Universe," the Founders soon expressed them more specifically. After several minor changes in wording, the Objects stand today as follows:
1. To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
2. To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
3. To investigate unexplained laws of Nature, and the powers latent in man.
September 1877, a powerful impact was made upon the reading and thinking public
by the publication of H.P. Blavatsky’s first monumental work, Isis Unveiled,
which was issued by J.W. Bouton in
the nature and origin of Magic, the roots of Christianity, the errors of Christian Theology and the fallacies of established orthodox Science, against the backdrop of the secret teachings which run as a golden thread through bygone centuries, coming up to the surface every now and then in the various mystical movements of the last two thousand years or so.
contact soon proved of the utmost importance. After a tour of northwestern
India, the Founders returned to Bombay and started, in October, 1879, their first
Theosophical Journal, The Theosophist (still published today), with H.P.
Blavatsky as Editor. The society experienced then a rapid growth, and some very
remarkable people were attracted to it both in
May-July, 1880 the Founders spent some time in
A.P. Sinnett and his wife Patience at Simla in northern
Buddhism (1883), both of which had an enormous influence in generating public interest in Theosophy. The replies and explanations given by the Mahatmas to the questions by Sinnett were embodied in their letters from 1880 to 1885 and were published in 1923 as The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. The original letters from these Teachers are preserved in the British Library where they
can be viewed by special permission in the Department of Rare Manuscripts.
May, 1882, a large estate was bought in southern
is during this period that Colonel Olcott engaged in widespread mesmeric
healings until February, 1884, when he left for
staying almost five months in
a vicious attack on her by Alexis and Emma Coulomb (two of her staff members at
Adyar) was rapidly building up. She returned to Adyar on
Coulomb attack, as was later proved, had no solid foundation whatsoever. It was
based on forged and partially forged letters, purporting to have been written
by H.P. Blavatsky, with instructions to arrange fraudulent psychic phenomena of
various kinds. A Christian missionary magazine in
the Society for Psychical Research (
vicious attack had a most unfavorable effect on H.P. Blavatsky’s health. Having
her arrival in
H.P. Blavatsky had virtually lost control of The Theosophist, she founded in
September, 1887 Lucifer, a monthly magazine designed, as stated on its
title-page, "to bring to light the hidden things of darkness." Also
in the same month, H.P.B. moved to
H.P.B. continued to write her great work which was finally completed and published in two large volumes in October-December, 1888. Her indefatigable helpers in the transcription and editing of the manuscript were Bertram Keightley and Archibald Keightley, whose financial backing was also of immense assistance.
The Secret Doctrine was the crowning achievement of H.P. Blavatsky’s literary career. Volume I is concerned mainly with the evolution of the Universe. The skeleton of this volume is formed by seven Stanzas, translated from the Book of Dzyan, with commentary and explanations by H.P.B. Also in this volume is an extended elucidation of the fundamental symbols contained in the great religions and mythologies of the world. The second Volume contains a further series of Stanzas from the Book of Dzyan, which describe the evolution of humanity.
Also in October, 1888, Madame Blavatsky formed the Esoteric Section (or School) of the Theosophical Society for the deeper study of the Esoteric Philosophy by dedicated students, and wrote for them her three E. S. Instructions.
In 1889 H.P. Blavatsky published The Key to Theosophy, "a clear Exposition, in the form of Question and Answer, of the Ethics, Science and Philosophy for the study of which the Theosophical Society has been founded," and the devotional mystical gem called The Voice of the Silence, containing selected excerpts translated from an Eastern scripture, The Book of the Golden Precepts, which she had learnt by heart during her training in the East.
July, 1890, H.P. B. established the European Headquarters of the Theosophical
Society at 19 Avenue Road,
this address H.P. Blavatsky died on
Against the background of her writings and teachings, her life and character, her mission and occult powers, H.P. Blavatsky is destined to be recognized in time as the greatest Occultist in the history of Western civilization and a direct agent of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood of Adepts.
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