Mahatma Letter No. 23

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Written on: late September, 1881
Received on: late September or early October, 1881
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Simla, India
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 23 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 104 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

NOTE: A Russian translation is available at Teopedia.

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Cover sheet

P.P.C. letter written before retirement



  • CIV penciled at top.
  • ? Oct 81 in pencil.
  • P.P.C. is an abbreviation of the French phrase "pour prendre congé" meaning "to take leave" or "to go on vacation."


A P. Sinnett Es



  • CIV penciled at top.
  • Number 180 penciled in upper right corner.
  • p.p.c. is an abbreviation of the French phrase "pour prendre congé" meaning "to take leave" or "to go on vacation."

Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

My dear friend: Your note received. What you say in it shows me that you entertain some fears lest I should have been offended by Mr. Hume's remarks. Be at ease, pray, for I never could be. It is not anything contained in his observations that annoyed me, but the persistence with which he was following out a line of argument that I knew was pregnant with future mischief. This argumentum ad hominem — renewed and taken up from where we had left it off last year was as little calculated as possible to draw the Chohan from his principles, or force him into some very desirable concessions. I dreaded the consequences and my apprehensions had a very good foundation, I can assure you. Please assure Mr. Hume of my personal sympathy



  • argumentum ad hominem is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic of the person supporting it.

Page 2

and respect for him and give him my most friendly regards. But I will not have the pleasure of "catching up" any more of his letters or answering them for the next three months. As nothing whatever of the Society's original programme is yet settled upon, nor do I hope of seeing it settled for some time to come I have to give up my projected voyage to Bhootan, and my Brother M. is to take my place. We are at the end of September and nothing could be done by October 1st that might warrant upon my insisting to go thither. My chiefs desire me particularly to be present at our New Year's Festivals, February next, and in order to be prepared for it I have to avail myself of the three intervening months. I will, therefore, bid you now good-bye my good friend, thanking you warmly



  • The next three months The Master is referring to a retreat for initiation he took between the months of October and December, 1881.
  • Our New Year's Festivals refers to the Tibetan New Year called Losar (Wylie: lo-gsar) which varies in its date but generally falls on February or even early March (the 1882 losar was on February 18). Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days.

Page 3

for all you have done and tried to do for me. January next I hope to be able to let you have news from me; and, — save new difficulties in the way of the Society arise again from "your shore" — you will find me in precisely the same disposition and frame of mind in which I now part with both of you. Whether I will succeed in bringing my beloved but very obstinate Brother M. to my way of thinking is what I am now unable to say. I have tried and will try once more, but I am really afraid, Mr. Hume and he would never agree together. He told me he would answer your letter and request through a third party — not Mad. B. Meanwhile she knows quite enough to furnish Mr. Hume with ten lectures had he but a desire to deliver them, and were he but to recognise the fact, instead of entertaining such a poor of her in one direction and such a very erroneous conception in some others. M.



Page 4

promised me though to refresh her failing memory and to revive all she has learned with him in as bright a way as could be desired. Should the arrangement fail to get Mr. Hume's approbation: I will have but to sincerely regret it, for it is the best I can think of.

I leave orders with my "Disinherited" to watch over all as much as it lies in his weak powers.

And now I must close. I have but a few hours before me, to prepare for my long, very long journey. Hoping we part as good friends as ever, and that we might meet as better ones still. Let me now "astrally" shake hands with you and assure you of my good feelings once more.

Yours as ever,

K. H.



Context and background

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 3. According to George Linton and Virginia Hanson, the letter was written:

In blue ink on both sides of a single sheet of rippled white paper. The envelope is in the folio. It is addressed to A. P. Sinnett, Esq., with a "P.p.c." written in the lower right-hand corner. The script on the envelope is different from that of the letter.[1]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter


  1. George E. Linton and Virginia Hanson, eds., Readers Guide to The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), 72.