Mahatma Letter No. 129

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Written on: unknown
Received on: August 1884
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: London
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 129 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 60 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Cover sheet

A. P. Sinnett Esq



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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

My good friend — Shakespeare said truly that "our doubts are traitors." Why should you doubt or create in your mind ever growing monsters? A little more knowledge in occult laws would have set your mind at rest long ago, avoided many a tear to your gentle lady and pang to yourself. Know then that even the chelas of the same guru are often made to separate and keep apart for long months while the process of development is going on — simply on account



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Page 1 - bottom

of the two contrary magnetisms that attracting each other prevent mutual and INDIVIDUALIZED development in some one direction. There is no offence meant or even possible. This ignorance has caused of late immense suffering on all sides. When shall you trust implicitly, in my heart if not in my wisdom for which I claim no recognition on your part? It is extremely painful to see you



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Page 2

wandering about in a dark labyrinth created by your own doubts every issue of which, moreover, you close with your own hands. I believe you are now satisfied with my portrait made by Herr Schmiechen and as dissatisfied with the one you have? Yet all are like in their way. Only while the others are the productions of chelas, the last one was painted with M.'s hand on the artist's head, and often on his arm.


Pray remain for the Wednesday meeting — if you feel you are not to leave the INNER CIRCLE. Otherwise — go, remembering my friendship had WARNED YOU. Only avoid, if you do, hurting the feelings of those who sin thro' an excess, not lack of devotion.



Context and background

A. P. Sinnett had of late been fighting doubts, in part brought about by his conviction that the Mahatma had indeed taken possession of Laura Holloway and spoken through her and the Mahatma’s denial that this had ever taken place.

The letter also speaks of the portrait by Herr Schmiechen. Col. Olcott had with him a profile portrait of the Mahatma M. which had been done for him some time earlier by one who, he said, was not an occultist, and while the likeness was unquestionable, it did not show what the Colonel called “the soul-splendour that lights up an adept’s countenance.” He wished very much to get a better portrait. He approached several artists in London, and while he characterized the results as "instructive" none of the portraits was, on the whole, better than the one he already had. To his great delight, Herr Schmiechen agreed to have an inspirational test tried with him. Col. Olcott wrote:

"The photograph was handed him with no suggestion as to how the subject should be treated. He began work on the 19th of June and finished on 9th July. Meanwhile I visited his studio four times alone and once with H.P.B., and was enchanted with the gradual development or the mental image which had been vividly impressed upon his brain, and which resulted in as perfect a portrait of my Guru as he could have painted from life. Unlike the others, who all copied the profile idea, Schmiechen gave the face in full front view, and poured into the eyes such a flood of life and sense of the indwelling soul as to fairly startle the spectator. It was as clear a work of genius and proof of the fact of thought-transference as I can imagine." (Old Diary Leaves vol. III, p. 156)

Herr Schmiechen also painted a portrait of the Mahatma K.H., two of H.P.B. Undoubtedly Sinnett had received one of the copies of the portrait of the Mahatma K.H.

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 3. George Linton and Virginia Hanson described the letter this way:

KH script in blue pencil on a single sheet of heavy rough paper which looks as though it had been cut by hand. The envelope is preserved in the folio, It is a small white one, bearing only the address "A. P. Sinnett, Esq." in blue pencil and KH script. Beneath this are some unrecognizable characters. There is no stamp or postmark.[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), 200.