Prayāg Theosophical Society

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The Prayāg Theosophical Society was a branch of the Parent Society formed at Allāhābād on January 1, 1881. On November 6 of that year the name was changed to "Prayāg Psychic Theosophical Society".

Prayāga is an old name for the city of Allāhābād. In the Veda it is mentioned as the location where Brahma, the Creator of the Universe according to Hindu mythology, attended a sacrificial ritual.

The Prayāg Branch was to be composed exclusively of the natives of India. However, when the Rules were written on November 6, 1881, it was established that any Fellow of the Theosophical Society was eligible to membership in it.

Babu Benee Madhab (or Benemadhab) Bhattachārya, President of the Prayag TS, bought a plot of ground to build a Theosophical Hall.

A notable member of this lodge was Professor G. N. Chakravarti, who represented Brahmanism at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. His uncle was also one of the earliest members.[1]

Message from "the Brothers"

On November 4, 1881, Mme. Blavatsky sends a letter to Mr. Sinnett with a message from Master M. This was in response to a claim from some of the members of the Prayag T.S. to correspond directly with the Masters. To this, the Master comments:

What has Benemadhab or any other of the many claimants done to have a right to such a claim? Nothing whatever. They join the Society, and though remaining as stubborn as ever in their old beliefs and superstitions, and having never given up caste or one single of their customs, they, in their selfish exclusiveness, expect to see and converse with us and have our help in all and everything.[2]

Following that, Master M. asks Mr. Sinnett to convey "those who may address him with similar pretensions" a message beginning: "The 'Brothers' desire me to inform one and all of you, natives..."

In this letter Master says they are "disciples of the true Arhats, of esoteric Buddhism" and denounces some superstitions held in Hinduism.

Mr. Bhattachāry later denounced the Theosophical Society as a Buddhist propaganda.

Notes

  1. "The Theosophical Movement" Theosophy 10 (October, 1922), 391.
  2. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 30 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 95.