Mahatma Letter to F Arundale - LMW 1 No. 20

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Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: Francesca Arundale
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: early September 1884
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Elberfeld
Via: unknown

This letter is Letter No. 20 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. Mahatma Koot Hoomi helps Francesca Arundale with advice concerning the London Lodge and its members.[1]

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F. Arundale FTS




Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

I have followed your many thoughts. I have watched their silent evolution and the yearnings of your inner soul; and since your pledge permits me to do so, having a few things to tell you concerning yourself and those you love—I take the opportunity, one of the last there are to write to you directly, to say a few words. You know of course that once that H.P.B.’s aura in the house is exhausted you can have no more letters from me.

I want you to be acquainted with the situation as it now stands. Your loyalty to the cause entitles you to this.

First about your friend – Mrs H. Poor child! By placing so constantly her personality over above her inner and better Self – tho’ she knows it not – she has done all she could for the last week to sever herself from us for ever. Yet so pure and genuine she is that I am ready to leave a chink in the door she slams unconsciously to herself into her own face, and await for the entire awakening of the honest nature whenever that time comes. She is without artifice or malice, entirely truthful and sincere, yet at times quite false to herself. As she says her ways are not our ways, nor can she comprehend them. Her personality coming in so strong in her ideas of the fitness of things, she cannot certainly understand our acts on our plane of life. Tell her in all kindness, that if H.P.B. (as an example) was wrong last night – as she always is, from the Western point of view, in her everlasting natural impulses apparently so rude and indelicate – she did it after all at her Master’s direct order. She never stops one moment to consider the propriety of things when concerned in carrying out such orders. In the eyes of



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you, the civilized and cultured portion of mankind, it is the one unpardonable sin; in our sight – i.e., uncultured Asiatics – it is the greatest virtue; for before it became with her a habit, she used to suffer in her Western nature and perform it as a self-sacrifice of her personal reputation. But, if she was wrong, Mrs H. was not right either. She allowed her womanly pride and personality – which were entirely out of question, at any rate out of H.P.B.’s thoughts – to get mixed up and prime in a question of pure rules and discipline. Padshah and Mohini were more to be blamed than either of the two. You must remember that both have set themselves voluntarily apart from worldly Society Eastern and Western for a specific object; and to say nothing of the relative decency or indecency of any social custom of any country, there are rules of conduct controlling chelas which cannot be departed from in the slightest degree. I pray you, to use your influence with her, if you wish her good, to have her book published before the years 1885. Tell her also, since she has cut herself away from me, that she will have in good time the help of the adept who writes stories with H.P.B. Yet since novelettes interest her more than metaphysics she has no need for the present of Mohini’s help.



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He is certainly more wanted in London.

Pray place the question at your first meeting before the Council. He can be left in England only if the majority, or at any rate the Inner Circle, will express desire to have his services. Some arrangement will have to be made about him. He has thrown up his profession to serve the Cause and is dependent now upon the Parent Body, which is too poor, as you know, to keep him in London. However, his temporary guardian is H.S.O., and he can only be allowed to lay all the pros and cons before him, and then leave him to make his own decision and face his own karma. The council will have to address themselves to Col. Olcott.

Having overheard your conversation with H.P.B. on the night of her arrival, I may say, that you are right. To your aged mother, who has trodden with you in many stony paths of belief and experience since your childhood, you owe a great duty. Not a blind and unjust obedience whose consequences may be most harmful to her as to yourself; but a dutiful assiduity, and loving help to develop her spiritual intuitions and prepare her for the future. Many crosses and domestic sorrows have left their bleeding scars on her heart. She is unconsciously doing herself harm – great harm by not curbing her temper. She draws to her bad ‘astral’ influences, and creates a current so antagonistic to



  • your aged mother is Mrs. Mary Anne Arundale.

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ours that we are often forced sorrowfully away. She and you have earned happy rewards for your kindness to our messengers, and Karma will not forget them. But look to the future; see to it that the continual performance of duty under the guidance of a well developed Intuition shall keep the balance well poised. Ah! If your eyes were opened, you might see such a vista of potential blessings to yourselves and mankind lying in the germ of the present hour’s effort, as would fire with joy and zeal your souls! Strive, towards the Light, all of you brave warriors for the Truth, but do not let selfishness penetrate into your ranks, for it is [un] selfishness alone that throws open all the doors and windows of the inner Tabernacle and leaves them unshut.

To you personally, child, struggling thro’ darkness to the Light, I would say, that the Path is never closed; but in proportion to one’s previous errors so is it harder to find and to tread. In the eyes of the ‘Master’ no one is ever ‘utterly condemned’. As the lost jewel may be recovered from the very depths of the tank’s mud, so can the most abandoned snatch himself from the mire of sin, if only the precious Gem of Gems, the sparkling germ of the Atma, is



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developed. Each of us must do that for himself, each can if he but will and persevere. Good resolutions are mind-painted pictures of good deeds: fancies, day-dreams, whisperings of the Buddhi to the Manas. If we encourage them they will not fade away like a dissolving mirage in the Shamo desert, but grow stronger and stronger until one’s whole life becomes the expression and outward proof of the divine motive within. Your acts in the past have been the natural fruit of an unworthy religious ideal, the result of ignorant misconception. They cannot be obliterated, for they are indelibly stamped upon the record of Karma, and neither tears nor repentance can blot the page. But you have the power to more than redeem and balance them by future acts. Around you are acquaintances, friends and associates – in, and outside, the T.S. who have committed the same and even more grievous faults, thro' the same ignorance. Show them the dreadful consequences of it, point them to the Light, lead them to the Path, teach them, be a missionary of love and charity, thus in helping others win your own salvation. There are innumerable pages of your life-record still to be written up; fair and blank they are as yet. Child of your race and of your age, seize the diamond pen and inscribe them with the history of noble deeds, days well spent, years of holy striving. So will you win your way ever upward to the



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higher planes of spiritual consciousness. Fear not, faint not, be faithful to the ideal you can now dimly see. You have much to unlearn. The narrow prejudices of your people bind you more than you suspect. They make you intolerant, as last night, of the petty offences of others against your artificial standards of propriety, and disposed to lose sight of essentials. You are not yet able to appreciate the difference between inner purity and ‘outer culture’. Were the ‘Masters’ to judge you by your own social canons, where would you stand? The very society whose hypocritical rules of propriety you stand for so vehemently, is a festering mass of brutishness within a shell of decency. From their ignorant and malevolent intolerance you appeal to us, because your intuition tells you that they will not accord you justice. Learn, then, to look at men below the surface and to neither condemn not trust on appearances. Try, child, HOPE, and accept my blessings.




Context and background

Mr. Jinarajadasa provided these notes about this letter:

Mrs H. Poor child! Mrs Laura C. Holloway, Most illuminating notes by the Master on Mrs Holloway appear in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter 64 pp. 354-359. This Letter appears, in part, as No. 42, page 86 of this volume.

I pray you to use your influence with her … to have her book published before the year 1885... she has no need for the present of Mohini’s help. This refers to Man, Fragments of Forgotten History which was being written by Mrs Holloway jointly with Mohini M. Chatterjee.

Most illuminating notes by the Master on Mrs Holloway appear in The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter 64.[2]

Physical description of letter

According to Mr. Jinarajadasa, the original letter is at the Adyar headquarters of the Theosophical Society.

Publication history

This letter was published in 1919 as Letter 20 in the first edition of Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1881-1888, later known as the First Series.[3] It has kept this designation as Letter 20 throughout all editions.

Commentary about this letter

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarajadasa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 2011), 53-58, 156-157.
  2. C. Jinarajadasa, 139-140.
  3. Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, 1881-1888. Adyar, Madras, India; London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1919. Foreword by Annie Besant; transcribed and compiled by C. Jinarajadasa.