B. P. Wadia

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B. P. Wadia

Bahman Pestonji Wadia was an Indian member of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Chennai, India, and later of the United Lodge of Theosophists.

Early life and education

Deputation to England

Theosophical Society involvement

Mr. Wadia was admitted as a member of the Theosophical Society in Bombay on March 9, 1904.[1]

Work at Theosophical Publishing House

In 1921 Wadia resigned from the management of the enterprise and president Annie Besant appointed Fritz Kunz to succeed him. Mrs. Besant was considering a plan "for the organization of a publishing business on international lines" with Wadia appointed to that work.[2]

Internment with Annie Besant

Departure from TS Adyar

B.P.Wadia resigned from the Theosophical Society on the 18th of July 1922. His reasons for resigning were disseminated widely to members through an open letter in which he expressed his support for the impersonal policy of the ULT and the latter's one-pointedness in focusing exclusively on the original Theosophy of H. P. Blavatsky and her associates.

Activities in United Lodge of Theosophists

BPW in 1950s

Following his resignation from the Theosophical Society, Wadia left Adyar to work for the ULT in Los Angeles. In 1923 he founded several lodges on the east coast of the States. In 1925 he founded a lodge in the UK. In 1928 a lodge was founded in France, in 1929 in Mumbai, and in 1930 he began publishing the journal The Aryan Path. Other lodges of the ULT were founded in the States, Europe and India.


A street in Bangalore, B.P. Wadia Road, is named after him.


B. P. Wadia by Sanjay Chapolkar

The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 192 articles by BP Wadia, and additional articles may be found by searching under Wadia. Other contributions to The Theosophist were anonymous or signed as the Editor or by his initials.

He wrote books and pamphlets, and some of his writings were compiled for posthumous publication by the ULT though the Theosophy Company. A detailed list is available at "B.P. Wadia: Bibliography of Books and Articles" in Keeping the Link Unbroken.[3] Here are some of his works listed in order of publication:

  • Theosophy and New Thought. Bombay: Cosmopolitan Press, 1907.
  • Statement Submitted to the Joint Committee on Indian Reforms. London: Indian Parliamentary Committee and National Home Rule League (India), nd. 8 pages.
  • The Congress Souvenir 1917: an album containing over eighty portraits. With a life sketch of Mrs. Annie Besant. Madras: Congress Souvenir Agency, 1917. 90 pages with illustrations. Sketch by Sir S. Subramania Aiyer. and a short history of The Indian National Congress by B.P. Wadia.
  • Problems of National and International Politics. New York: Theosophical Association of New York, 1922. Available at Hathitrust and at Internet Archive. A lecture delivered at Adyar in December, 1917. 48 pages.
  • The Labour Problem in India. New York: Friends of Freedom for India, 1919.
  • Svadesh and Svaraj. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publisihing House, 1920. Adyar pamphlets no. 120. 8 pages. "Reprinted from The Adyar Bulletin, February, 1910."
  • Labour in Madras. Triplicane, Madras, India: S. Ganesan, 1921. 240 pages. Foreword by Col. Josiah C. Wedgwood. Available at Hathitrust.
  • Will the Soul of Europe Return? London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1921. Paper offered to the first World Congress of the Theosophical Society. On reconstruction of Europe following World War I.
  • To all Fellow Theosophists and Members of the Theosophical Society. A statement. Los Angeles, 1922. 18 pages.
  • Growth through Service. New York: The Theosophical Association of New York, 1922. Available at Hathitrust and Internet Archive. Two lectures presented in London on 7 and 14, 1921.
  • The Inner Ruler. New York: The Theosophical Association of New York, 1922. "Talks to students." Available at Google Books.
  • Some Observations on the Study of The Secret Doctrine. New York City: Theosophical Association of New York, 1922. Available at Hathitrust.
  • Foreword to Outlines of Jaina Philosophy: the Essentials of Jaina Ontology, Epistemology and Ethics by Mohan Lal Mehta. Bangalore: Jain Mission Society, 1954. 168 pages.
  • Our Soul's Need. Bangalore, 1958.
  • The Building of the Home. Bangalore: Indian Institute of World Culture, 1959. Also translated into Dutch.
  • "Thus Have I Heard," Leading Articles from "The Aryan Path". Bangalore: Indian Institute of World Culture, 1959. 422 pages.
  • Studies in "The Secret Doctrine". Theosophy Co. (India), Bombay 1961 and 1973.
  • Living the Life. Bangalore, India: Indian Institute of World Culture, 1981.
  • The Gathas of Zarathustra. London: Concord Grove Press, 1983. 95 pages. Five Gathas from the Zend Avesta. Includes: "The Zoroastrian philosophy and way of life" by B.P. Wadia and "Ormuzd and Ahriman" by H.P. Blavatsky.
  • The Law of Sacrifice. London and Santa Barbara: Concord Grove Press, 1985. 89 pages. Reprinted articles from 1924 and 1925.
  • The Gandhian Way. Mumbai: Asian Book Trust in association with Theosophy Company (India), 2000. 170 pages. "In this book, we have brought together articles on Gandhian philosophy by the late Sri B.P. Wadia, which originally appeared in "The Theosophical Movement" and "The Aryan Path" the two magazines founded and edited by him. (...) In this rare collection of articles, not only students of Theosophy but also the followers and old and young admirers of Gandhiji will find inspiration to lead a meaningful Spiritual life. (Foreword, by Usha Mehta)."

Additional resources


  1. Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at http://tsmembers.org/. See book 1, entry 25315 (website file: 2C/52).
  2. "The Theosophical Publishing House," The Messenger 8.10 (March 1921), 632.
  3. W. Dallas TenBroeck, "Biographical Notes on Sri B.P. Wadia" Keeping the Link Unbroken (Theosophical Research Monographs, 2004), 120.