Mahatma Letter No. 116

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: H. S. Olcott
Received by: H. P. Blavatsky
Sent via: unknown
Written on: unknown
Received on: November 25 or 27, 1883 - see below
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: Jammu
Received at: Madras, India
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 116 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 128 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Cover sheet

No. 2 from Olcott



Page 1 transcription, image, and notes


To (Station) Adyar, Madras

From (Station) Jammoo

To (Person) Madame Blavatsky Editor of the Theosophist.

From (Person) Colonel Olcott

Damodar left before dawn at about eight o'clock letters from him and Koothumi found on my table — Don't say whether return or not — Damodar bids us all farewell conditionally and says brother theosophists should all feel encouraged in knowing that he has found the blessed masters and been



Page 2

called by them. The dear boys recent development astonishing. Homey bids me await orders.

Madras 25-11-83. Hour 17-30.



  • Homey was probably a misspelling of Koot Hoomi by the telegraph operator.

Context and background

A few hours later, Olcott sent a second telegram explaining in more detail, and including the message from Damodar, which he had found along with that of the Mahatma’s. Olcott related how, even before he sent the telegram to H.P.B. he had an instinct to take Damodar’s luggage, his trunk and bedding, and pack them away under his own cot.

That evening, he received a telegram in reply from H.P.B. She told him that a Master had told her that Damodar would return, and she added that the Colonel must not let Damodar’s luggage, especially his bedding, be touched by anyone else. "That was strange, was it not," asks the Colonel, "that she, at Madras, i.e., some 2,000 miles away — should tell me to do the very thing it had been my first impulse to do on finding out about the lad’s departure?"

In Old Diary Leaves vol. 3, p. 54, Olcott makes the following comments:

It was on the 25th of November, at daylight, that Damodar left us: he returned in the evening of the 27th — after an absence of some sixty hours, but how changed! He left, a delicate-framed, pale student-like young man, frail, timid, deferential; he returned with his olive face bronzed several shades darker, seemingly robust, tough, and wiry, bold and energetic in manner: we could scarcely realise that he was the same person.

Damodar describes his experience with considerable restraint, though he was permitted to tell of it. It was first published in The Theosophist for Dec.-Jan. 1883-84, pp. 61-2. It is now found in the book Damodar by Sven Eek (pp. 333-36); and the story is related in Geoffrey Barborka’s book The Mahatmas and Their Letters (pp. 247-50). Here is the pertinent part:

. . . I had the good fortune of being sent for, and permitted to visit a Sacred Ashram where I remained for a few days in the blessed company of several of the much doubted Mahatmas of Himavat and Their disciples. There I met not only my beloved Gurudeva and Col. Olcott’s Master (Morya), but several others of the Fraternity, including One of the Highest. I regret [that] the extremely personal nature of my visit to those thrice blessed regions prevents my saying more of it. Suffice it that the place I was permitted to visit is in the Himalayas, not in any fanciful Summer Land, and that I saw Him in my own sthula sarira [physical body] and found my Master identical with the form I had seen in the earlier days of my Chelaship.

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 3. George Linton and Virginia Hanson described the letter and its companion, No. 115, in this way:

Two telegrams from HSO to HPB regarding the disappearance of DKM. The note on ML-129 from KH is in blue pencil, added probably while the telegram was in transit.[1]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter


  1. George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 184.