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The Campbell Library Newsletter

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library

The Theosophical Society in Australia

No 19 — May 2008


To HPB with Kind Regards

Picture of H.P. BlavatskyCol. H. S. Olcott, in his book Old Diary Leaves (Fourth Series, 1887-1892), mentions his Executive Notice of 17th April, 1892, which instituted the day in which members all over the world would remember H. P. Blavatsky and her enduring contribution to the Theosophical Society and to the world.

He wrote:

“In her last Will, H. P. Blavatsky expressed the wish that yearly, on the anniversary of her death, some of her friends ‘should assemble at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society and read a chapter of The Light of Asia and (extracts from) Bhagavad-Gita; and since it is meet that her surviving colleagues should keep green the memory of her services to humanity and her devoted love for our Society, the undersigned suggests that the anniversary be known among us as White Lotus Day, and makes the following official order and recommendation:

  1. At noon, on 8th May, 1892, and on the same day in each succeeding year, there will be held a commemorative meeting at the Headquarters, at which extracts from the before-mentioned works will be read and brief addresses made by the Chairman of the meeting and others who may volunteer.
  2. A dole of food will be given in her name to the poor fishermen of Adyar and their families.
  3. The flag will be half-masted from sunrise until sunset, and the Convention Hall decorated with White Lotus flowers.
  4. Members living outside Madras can arrange for their food by applying to the Recording Secretary at least one week in advance.
  5. The undersigned recommends to all Sections and Branches throughout the world to meet annually on the anniversary day, and, in some simple, unsectarian, yet dignified way, avoiding all slavish adulation and empty compliments, express the general feeling of loving regard for her who brought us the chart of the climbing Path which leads to the summits of Knowledge.”

The Theosophist, the international magazine founded by HPB in Bombay, October 1879, recorded in its June 1892 issue, the first celebration of “White Lotus Day” which was held at the Headquarters Hall at Adyar. The meeting was presided by Col. Olcott and it included recitation of some selected passages from the Sanskrit text of the Bhagavad-Gita; readings of the English version of the former recitation from one of the volumes of the Sacred Books of the East, as well as reading from some verses from the Zend Avesta by a Parsi member, Mobed Rustomji. This last reading invoked the blessing of the Fravarshis — “an ancient Zend word which has the same significance as the English expression “Higher Ego”, or spiritual self of man. It is the belief of the Parsees that these great personages who have passed through the limited circle of human existence still take an interest in the progress of mankind, and that their benign influence can be drawn to those who are pure in heart and have spiritual aspirations.” The meeting was also addressed by S. E. Gopala Charlu, Recording Secretary of the TS, who spoke on the mystical significance of the white lotus, which is “a flower full of mystical significance and to the nations of Egypt, India and Greece denoted the symbol of cosmic evolution, and the supremacy of spirit over matter. It was significant of Madame Blavatsky’s teaching which had the tendency to vindicate the supremacy of the spiritual over the physical man.”

We dedicate this issue of the Campbell Library Newsletter to H. P. Blavatsky and to HPB, “with kind regards.”

Pedro Oliveira

HPB Speaks Out

(1) The Founders had to exercise all their influence to oppose selfishness of any kind, by insisting upon sincere, fraternal feelings among the Members — at least outwardly; working for it to bring about a spirit of unity and harmony, the great diversity of creeds notwithstanding; expecting and demanding from the Fellows, a great mutual toleration and charity for each other's shortcomings; mutual help in the research of truths in every domain — moral or physical — and even, in daily life.

(2) They had to oppose in the strongest manner possible anything approaching dogmatic faith and fanaticism — belief in the infallibility of the Masters, or even in the very existence of our invisible Teachers, having to be checked from the first. On the other hand, as a great respect for the private views and creeds of every member was demanded, any Fellow criticising the faith or belief of another Fellow, hurting his feelings, or showing a reprehensible self-assertion, unasked (mutual friendly advices were a duty unless declined) — such a member incurred expulsion. The greatest spirit of free research untrammelled by anyone or anything, had to be encouraged. (http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/theos/th-origp.htm)

In the East the spirit of “non-separateness” is inculcated as steadily from childhood up, as in the West the spirit of rivalry. Personal ambition, personal feelings and desires, are not encouraged to grow so rampant there. When the soil is naturally good, it is cultivated in the right way, and the child grows into a man in whom the habit of subordination of one's lower to one's higher Self is strong and powerful. In the West men think that their own likes and dislikes of other men and things are guiding principles for them to act upon, even when they do not make of them the law of their lives and seek to impose them upon others.

Let those who complain that they have learned little in the Theosophical Society lay to heart the words written in an article in the Path for last February:— “The key in each degree is the aspirant himself”. It is not “the fear of God” which is “the beginning of Wisdom”, but the knowledge of SELF which is WISDOM ITSELF. (https://cdn.website-editor.net/e4d6563c50794969b714ab70457d9761/files/uploaded/PracticalOccultism_HPBlavatsky.pdf )

“Behold the truth before you: A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for one’s co-disciple, a readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a loyal sense of duty to the Teacher, a willing obedience to the behests of Truth, once we have placed our confidence in, and believe that Teacher to be in possession of it; a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principle, a valiant defence of those who are unjustly attacked, and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the Secret Science (Gupta-Vidya) depicts –– these are the Golden Stairs up the stairs of which the learner may climb to the Temple of Divine Wisdom.” (http://collectedwritings.net/)

He who does not practice altruism, he who is not prepared to share his last morsel [ This must be taken in its widest sense also, i.e., spiritual knowledge, etc. ] with a weaker or poorer than himself, he who neglects to help his brother man, of whatever race, nation, or creed, wherever and whenever he meets suffering, and who turns a deaf ear to the cry of human misery; he who hears an innocent person slandered, and does not undertake his defense as he would undertake his own, is no Theosophist. (http://hpb.narod.ru/DailyLife.htm)

This Newsletter is published occasionally. Editor: Pedro Oliveira.
The Theosophical Society in Australia is not responsible for opinions expressed herein.


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