Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - LMW 2 No. 24

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Narayan
Received by: Henry Steel Olcott
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: unknown
Other dates: none
Sent from: unknown
Received at: probably New York
Via: none

This is Letter No. 24 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series. In this brief message Mahatma Narayan, the "Old Gentleman," admonishes Colonel Olcott not to allow anyone to believe that he was a Christian, even when being kind to "an insane person."[1]

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

You may — and ought to be — kind to and lenient with an insane person. But not even for the sake of such a kindness have you the right to keep back your religion, and allow him even for one twinkling of the eye to believe you are a Christian or that you may be one. You have to make once for ever your choice — either your duty to the Lodge or your own personal ideas.


Notation at bottom in blue pencil, in Blavatsky handwriting:

The Old Gentleman

2019 color scan LMW2-24_1_thm.jpg

1925 glass plate LMW2-24_1a_thm.jpg


Note on back of Page 1

Notation on back of folded page:

Mr. Olcott



Context and background

Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this context:

Among the many Adepts who used H.P.B.’s body when she was writing Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, is one who was called “the Old Gentleman.” Her Diary of 1878 several times refers to Him, either as Narayanor by a symbol which He used as His signature. The letter which follows is the only one in this Adept’s script. H.P.B. writes, at the bottom of the letter, in blue pencil, (which is very faint in the reproduction) “the old gentleman your Narayan.” The letter is written in red pencil. The incident, to which the letter refers, is nowhere recorded. The Master was living in 1885 not far from Madras, when T. Subba Row and C. W. Leadbeater visited Him. A letter to the Theosophist from Him in 1882, refuting the accusations against the Founders of Swami Dayanand Saraswati of the Arya Samaj, appears in the June Supplement, pp. 6—8. It is dated “Tiruvallam Hills, May 17,” and signed, “One of the Hindu Founders of the Parent Theosophical Society”.[2]

Physical description of letter

The original of this letter is preserved at the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, India.

Publication history

This letter was published in 1925 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series and then reproduced with a facsimile in Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters?[3]

Commentary about this letter

No commentary was provided by Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this commentary.

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series (Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925), 46.
  2. C. Jinarājadāsa, 52.
  3. C. Jinarājadāsa, Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters? (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1934), 43.