Ladies’ Theosophical Society

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The Ladies' Theosophical Society was a movement within the Theosophical Society, of which it seems there were a few Branches in India. The Branches were to be composed of native women — an innovation indeed at that time in India although foreign women were also accepted later.

In a letter from the Master M. to Mr. Sinnett, received in December 1881, there is a discussion about the formation of a "female Branch". The Master says that "a great good may result of such a movement" and adds that Master K.H. has "always felt the need of enrolling women". However, they will not be able to become the founders of conductors of it and encourages Mr. Sinnett to do it, with the aid of Mr. Hume.

A few articles were published in The Theosophist, as follows:

  • Vol. 3, December 1881 (Supplement), p. 1. A short notice entitled "Native Ladies' Theosophical Societies" says the first "Zenana Branch" to be open will be in Berhampore, Bengal.
  • Vol. 3, January 1882, p. 108. An article entitled: "A Few Words to Ladies Desiring to Join the Ladies' Theosophical Society"
  • Vol. 4, April 1883 (Supplement), p. 6. Announces the creation of a Branch at Calcutta.
  • Vol. 4, September 1883 (Supplement), p. 12. An extract from the proceedings of the Calcutta Branch written by Swarna Kumari Devi (Ghosal).

The Branch at Calcutta was established in March 1883 under the leadership of Sreemutti Swarna Kumari Devi Ghosal, wife of Theosophist Babu J. N. Ghosal and daughter of the venerated Babu Devendro Nath Tagore. She was the Secretary (and Vice-President), while Mrs. Alice Gordon was chosen as President.