Pandit Pran Nath of Gwalior (1844-1931) was a member of the Theosophical Society in India until the end of his life. He was possibly a chela of the Masters of Wisdom, and received at least one letter from Master K.H. He worked in the administration of the State of Gwalior, in India, and was once Minister of Education of his State, giving particular attention to foster girls' education.
Theosophical Society involvement
He joined the Theosophical Society as a young man and served as president of the Satya Marga Theosophical Society of Lucknow in the 1880's. He came into direct touch with the Mahatmas. In answer to a letter he sent with a series of questions regarding his spiritual path, he received Letter 6, published in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom First Series. In it Master K.H. wrote:
The process of self-purification is not the work of a moment, nor of a few months but of years — nay extending over a series of lives. The later a man begins the living of a higher life, the longer must be his period of probation for he has to undo the effects of a long number of years spent in objects diametrically opposed to the real goal. The more strenuous one's efforts and the brighter the result of his work, the nearer he comes to the Threshold. If his aspiration is genuine — a settled conviction and not a sentimental flash of the moment — he transfers from one body to another the determination which finally leads him to the attainment of his desire.
President-Founder H. S. Olcott referred to "the intellectual brilliancy shown by Pandit Pran Nath, F.T.S., in summarising my lectures at the above two places, in Urdu, with an eloquence and unhesitating fluency that were both admirable and remarkable".
By the end of his life, Pran Nath joined Co-Freemasonry and served as an officer in his local Lodge. He remained as an active member of the Theosophical Society until the last days of his life, passing away at the age of 87.
Pandit Pran Nath learned from the Maulvi Zahur-ul-Hassan of Jodhpur a technique of healing by using the sign of the pentagram and effected several cures. In December 1880 he published an article about one of his cures in The Theosophist, vol. 2, p. 58, entitled "Scorpion-bite". Part of this report is reproduced by H. S. Olcott in his Old Diary Leaves:
He [the patient] had been bitten by a scorpion in the great toe. The pain gradually increasing and rising up in his body he had bandaged tightly his whole leg to try and check it. When brought before me he could not stand upon the leg. I bade him open the bandages, but, as he hesitated, I myself opened them with my own hand and drew the figure described several times. After waiting a moment I asked him where the pain was now. He said it had descended to the knee; then I further unbound the bandage as far as the calf, drew the same figure as before and again asked him where the pain was. His reply was that now it extended no higher than the ankle. I then drew the figure on the foot, whereupon the pain was brought to the very point of the toe where he had been bitten, and, finding that it had become a mere trifle which he could easily bear, he declared himself cured and walked away after expressing his gratitude.
Pran Nath wrote two articles in The Theosophist:
- "Scorpion-bite", December 1880, vol. 2, p. 58.
- "The Antiquity & Sanctity of the Sanskrit Language", June 1881, vol. 2, p. 191.
He also wrote three reports in the Supplement to The Theosophist:
- "Satya Marga TS (Lucknow, Oudh)" [report of public meeting held], June 1883, vol. 4, p. 7.
- (We, the members of the Lucknow ...), Jan. 1884, vol 5, p. 19.
- "Satya Marga Theosophical Society", Dec. 1884, vol. 6, p. 165.
- Phenomenal by Parvati Charan Ghosh
- Anon., "obituary," The Theosophist 52 (September, 1931), 697.
- Curuppumullage Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom First Series No. 6 (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), 29-27.
- Henry Steel Olcott, Old Diary Leaves Third Series (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1975), 30.
- Anon., "obituary," The Theosophist 52 (September, 1931), 696.
- Henry Steel Olcott, Old Diary Leaves Fifth Series (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1975), 457.