Mahatma Letter No. 48

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Written by: Morya
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: Damodar
Written on: unknown
Received on: March 3, 1882
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Allahabad, India
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 48 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 47 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Cover sheet

Received Allahabad, 3rd March, 1882.

Reply to my remonstrance against treatment of Europe.

(Through Damodar.)



Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Well, say I am an ignoramus in your English ways, and I'll say you are one in our Tibetan customs and we will split the difference and shake our astral hands over Barnang and square the discussion.

The old woman? Of course she will be frantic — but who cares? It's kept from her however secret. No use making her more miserable than what she is. Cook is a pump of filth, with perpetually working pistons and the sooner he screws them up — the better for him. Your last letter to me is less a "petition" than a protest, my respected Sahib. It's voice is that of the war sankh of my Rajput ancestors, rather than the cooing of a friend. And I like it all the more I promise you. It has the right ring of honest frankness. So let us talk — for sharp as your voice may be, your heart is warm and you end by saying "Whether you decree that what seems to me right be done or not" you are ever ours faithfully etc. Europe is a large place but the world is bigger yet. The sun of Theosophy must shine for all, not for a part. There is more of this movement than you have yet had an inkling of, and the work of the T.S. is linked in with similar work that is secretly going on in all



  • Barnang (Tibetan bar snang) means "sky, atmosphere, space." It corresponds to the Sanskrit Ākāśa. In the printed editions of the Mahatma Letters it is misspelled as "Barnaway."
  • Cook refers to Rev. Joseph Cook, a Boston preacher who was visiting India and denounced Theosophy and Spiritualism.
  • Sahib means "friend" in Arabic and was commonly used in the Indian Sub-continent as a courteous term in the way that "Mr." and "Mrs." are used in the English language.
  • War sankh (or śaṅkha), refers to a sacred instrument made of a conch shell that signals the beginning and end of each day of warfare.

Page 2

parts of the world. Even in the T.S. there is a division, managed by a Greek Brother about which not a person in the Society has a suspicion excepting the old woman and Olcott; and even he only knows it is progressing, and occasionally executes an order I send him in connection with it. The cycle I spoke of refers to the whole movement. Europe will not be overlooked, never fear; but perhaps you even may not anticipate how the light will be shed there. Ask your Seraph — K.H. to let you have details thereof. You speak of Massey and Crookes: do you not recollect that Massey was offered 4 years ago, the chance to head the English movement and — declined? In his place was set up that old grim idol of the Jewish Sinai — Wild, who with his Christian rant and fanatical rot shut us out of the movement altogether. Our Chohan forbade us absolutely to take any part in it. Massey has to thank but himself for it, and you may tell him so. You ought to have learned by this time our ways. We advise — and never order. But we do influence individuals. Ransack the Spiritualistic literature if you will till the year 1877.



Page 3

Search and find in it — if you can, one single word about occult philosophy, or esotericism or anything of that element now so largely infused in the spiritual movement. Ask and enquire whether the very word of "occultism" was not so completely unknown in America, that we find Cora of the 7 husbands, the Tappan woman and talking medium inspired in her lectures to say that the word was one just coined by the Theosophists — then dawning —; that no one ever heard of elementary spirits and "astral" light — save the petroleum manufacturers and so on and on. Well ascertain this and compare. This was the first war cry, and the battle kept raging hot and fierce to the very day of the departure for India. To say and point out to Edison and Crookes and Massey — would sound much like boasting of that which can never be proven. And Crookes — has he not brought science within our hail in his "radiant matter" discovery? What but occult research was it that led him first to that. You know K.H. and me — buss! Know you anything of the whole Brotherhood and its ramifications? The Old Woman



  • Cora of the 7 husbands refers to Cora L. V. Scott (also known as Cora Hatch or Cora Tappan), one of the best-known mediums of the Spiritualism movement of the last half of the 19th century.
  • Buss! is an expression used by the Master that means "Enough!"

Page 4

is accused of untruthfulness, inaccuracy in her statements. "Ask no questions and you will receive no lies." She is forbidden to say what she knows. You may cut her to pieces and she will not tell. Nay — she is ordered in cases of need to mislead people; and, were she more of a natural born liar — she might be happier and won her day long since by this time. But that's just where the shoe pinches, Sahib. She is too truthful, too outspoken, too incapable of dissimulation: and now she is being daily crucified for it. Try not to be hasty, respected Sir. The world was not made in a day; nor has the tail of the yak developed in one year. Let evolution take its course naturally — lest we make it deviate and produce monsters by presuming to guide it. Massey talks of coming to India — does he not? And supposing that after coming here and doing what is right and spending the needed time for disciplinary training he should be sent back with a message? And supposing that



  • tail of the yak refers to the domesticated cattle of the Himalayan region. They are slow-growing, compared to other cattle, and have tails that resemble those of horses.

Page 5

Crookes and Edison and others have other things to discover? So I say, "WAIT." Who knows what may be the situation in November? You might think it such as to justify us in carrying out our "threat" to "lock the door," while it might seem very different to us. Let us all do our best. There are cycles of 7, 11, 21, 77, 107, 700, 11,000, 21,000 etc.; so many cycles will make a major and so on. Bide your time the record book is well kept. Only, look out sharp: the Dugpas and the Gelupkas are not fighting but in Tibet alone, see their vile work in England among the "Occultists and seers!" Hear — your acquaintance Wallace preaching like a true "Hierophant" of the "left hand" the marriage of "soul with the spirit" and getting the true definition topsy-turvy seek to prove that every practicing Hierophant must at least be spiritually married — if for some reasons he cannot do so physically there being otherwise a great danger of Adulteration of God and Devil! I tell you the Shammars are there already and their



  • "Your acquaintance Wallace", refers to Spiritualist Joseph Wallace.

Page 6

pernicious work is everywhere in our way. Do not regard this as metaphorical but as a real fact, which may be demonstrated to you some day.

Its quite useless to say anything more about Olcott's eccentricity and the inferiority of America to England; all that is real in your point we recognize and knew long ago; but you do not know how much that is mere superficial prejudice glares in your eyes like the reflection of a thin taper on deep water. Take care lest we should some day take you at your thought and put you in Olcott's place, after taking him to our own, as he has longed to have us do these several years. Martyrdom is pleasant to look at and criticise, but harder to suffer. There never was a woman more unjustly abused than H.B. See the infamous insulting letters she was sent from England for publication against herself and us and the Society. You may find them undignified perhaps. But the "Answers to Correspondents" in Supplement are written by myself. So do not blame her. I'm curious to know your frank opinion on them. Perchance you might think she might have done herself better.




Context and background

Evidently the letter is in reply to a letter from Sinnett addressed to the Mahatma M. before Sinnett realized that the Mahatma K.H. was again ready to resume correspondence. Much in this letter seems obscure because we do not have Sinnett’s comments to which the letter is in reply.

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 2. According to George Linton and Virginia Hanson, the letter was written:

In dark red ink, in rather fine M script, on three large-sized sheets of thin paper. The writing on the first page is diagonally across the sheet.[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), 99.