Mahatma Letter to A Member - LMW 1 No. 9

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: unknown member
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: probably 1883
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: unknown
Via: unknown

This letter is Letter No. 9 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. Mahatma Koot Hoomi advises an unknown member against trying for chelaship.[1]

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Sigh not for chelaship; pursue not that, the dangers and hardships of which are unknown to you.

Verily many are the chelas offering themselves to us, and as many have failed this year as were accepted on probation. Chelaship unveils the inner man and draws forth the dormant vices as well as the dormant virtue. Latent vice begets active sins and is often followed by insanity. Out of 5 lay chelas chosen by the Society and accepted under protest by us, 3 have become criminals and 2 are insane. Throw a glance around, make an enquiry at Bareilly and Cawnpore, and judge for yourself.

Be pure, virtuous, and lead a holy life and you will be protected. But remember, he who is not as pure as a young child better leave chelaship alone. I have forbidden at the Headquarters to send any letters to me.


P.S. 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 living the 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.



Context and background

Mr. Jinarajadasa provided these notes about this letter:

Reprinted from The Link, November 1908. The date, from the context, is evidently the end of 1883. This ‘P.S.’ occurs as the first part of Letter 6, and so it would seem that the Master used here as a postscript what he had said in answer to the question of Pandit Pran Nath.[2]

Physical description of letter

According to Mr. Jinarajadasa, the original of this letter is not extant.

Publication history

This letter was published in 1919 as Letter 9 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 9 throughout all editions.

Commentary about this letter

The postscript is worded very much like Letter 6 of this series, which was addressed to Pran Nath.

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarajadasa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 2011), 33, 144-145.
  2. C. Jinarajadasa, 144-145.
  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.