Mahatma Letter No. 4

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: A. P. Sinnett/Koot Hoomi
Received by: Koot Hoomi/A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: H. P. Blavatsky
Written on: unknown
Received on: October 27, 1880
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Allahabad, India
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 4 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 143 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Would you wish the pillow phenomenon described in the paper? I will gladly follow your advice. Ever yours, A. P. Sinnett.



  • CXLIII is written in pencil at the top center, probably by Sinnett or Barker. At the top right is a number 267.

Page 2

It certainly would be the best thing to do, and I personally would feel sincerely thankful to you on account of our much ill-used friend. You are at liberty to mention my first name if it will in the least help you.

Koot Hoomi Lal Sing.



  • CXLIII is written in pencil at the top center, probably by Sinnett or Barker.

Context and background

This is a very short letter and one of the few in the volume where both sides of the correspondence are shown. Col. Olcott and H.P.B. had left Simla on October 21 for Amritsar and a tour of northwest India. The Sinnetts returned to Allahabad, their permanent residence, on October 24.

The test phenomenon of the pillow incident seemed to Mr. Sinnett so perfect that, before he left Simla, he wrote a short note asking the Mahatma whether he wished the story to be described in The Pioneer. The reply was received after the Sinnetts had reached Allahabad.

The Mahatma approved publication of the story “on account of our much ill-used friend” (H.P.B.) who had been subject to a great deal of adverse criticism following publication of the story of Brooch No. 1. And also as the result of another incident involving overzealousness on Col. Olcott’s part, mentioned in letter No. 5.

Sinnett says in The Occult World that the people who had flooded the Press with their comments (he calls them “simple comments”, meaning, obviously, “stupid comments” for some of them were ridiculously far-fetched; he mentions a number of them) had nothing to say about the “pillow incident.”

Physical description of letter

The original letter in in Folio 3 at the British Library. According to George Linton and Virginia Hanson:

APS's message is on one side of a card; the Mahatma's reply is on the other side.[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), 4`.

Additional resources