Mahatma Letter No. 134

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Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Written on: unknown
Received on: November 8, 1884
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: London
Via: unknown 

This is Letter No. 134 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 4th chronological edition. It corresponds to Letter No. 64 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Entirely private except for Mohini and F.A.

Good friend —

This is not an answer to your last. The letter to my address sent by you through Mohini was never written by yourself. Verily it was penned by one, at that time, entirely under the influence of a creature of Attavada —

"The sin of Self, who in the Universe
As in a mirror sees her fond face shown."

— and only hers; whose every word he then implicitly trusted; perhaps, (this is to a certain extent a justification) because there came no half expected interference, no word of warning from our quarters. Thus — no response to it, for we rather turn a new page.

Ah, how long shall the mysteries of chelaship overpower and lead astray from the path of truth the wise and perspicacious, as much as the foolish and the credulous! How few of the many pilgrims who have to start without chart or compass on that shoreless Ocean of Occultism reach the wished-for land. Believe



  • F.A. refers to Francesca Arundale, a prominent member of the Society in England at the time, Treasurer of the London Lodge, and one of the few who received a letter from the Mahatma K.H.
  • It was penned by one... The letter was written by Laura Holloway
  • Attavada is the delusion that the personality is separate from the One Self.

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me, faithful friend, that nothing short of full confidence in us, in our good motives if not in our wisdom, in our foresight, if not omniscience — which is not to be found on this earth — can help one to cross over from one's land of dream and fiction to our Truth land, the region of stern reality and fact. Otherwise the ocean will prove shoreless indeed; its waves will carry one no longer on waters of hope, but will turn every ripple into doubt and suspicion; and bitter shall they prove to him who starts on that dismal, tossing sea of the Unknown, with a prejudiced mind!

Nevertheless, feel not too much perplexed. The hour of trial is half over; try rather to understand the "whys and whatfors" of the situation, to study more seriously the laws that govern our "Occult World." I grant you, those laws do seem very often unjust, even, at times cruel. But this is due to the fact that they were never meant either for



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the immediate redress of wrongs, or the direct help of those who offer at random their allegiance to the legislators. Still, the seemingly real, the evanescent and quick passing evils they bring about are as necessary to the growth, progress and final establishment of your small Th. Society as those certain cataclysms in nature, which often decimate whole populations, are necessary to mankind. An earthquake may, for all the world knows, be a bliss and a tidal wave prove salvation to the many at the expense of the few. The "fittest" were seen to survive in the destruction of every old race and made to merge into, and assimilate with, the new, for nature is older than Darwin. Say rather, then, to yourself "whatever happened, there can be no cause for regret"; for it is not so much that new facts should be revealed to the "inner group" as that old puzzles and mysteries should have been explained and made clear to its few entirely staunch members. Even an innocent quotation mark fallen from under my pencil and by you objected to, would have had a world of meaning for one, less beclouded than you were in writing your last



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letter — based entirely on the crafty insinuations of your would-be sibyl. It was absolutely necessary that within the personal experience of those few staunch members (yourself included) the secret working of Karma should take place; that its deeper meaning should be practically illustrated (as also its effects) — on those self-opinionated volunteers and candidates for chelaship who will rush under the dark shadow of her wheels.

As against the above some will say — how then about her great clairvoyance, her chelaship, her selection among the many by the Masters?

Her clairvoyance is a fact, her selection and chelaship, another. However well fitted psychically and physiologically to answer such selection, unless possessed of spiritual, as well as of physical unselfishness a chela whether selected or not, must perish, as a chela in the long run. Self personality, vanity and conceit harboured in the higher principles are enormously more dangerous than the same defects inherent only in the lower physical nature of man. They are the



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breakers against which the cause of chelaship, in its probationary stage, is sure to be dashed to pieces unless the would-be disciple carries with him the white shield of perfect confidence and trust in those he would seek out through mount and vale to guide him safely toward the light of Knowledge. The world moves and lives under the shadow of the deadly upas-tree of Evil; yet its dripping is dangerous to, and can reach only those whose higher and middle natures are as much susceptible of infection as their lower one. Its venomous seed can germinate but in a willing, well prepared soil. Bring to your memory the cases of Fern, Moorad Ali and Bishen Lal, good friend, and remember what you have learnt. The mass of human sin and frailty is distributed throughout the life of man who is content to remain an average mortal. It is gathered in and centred, so to say, within one period of the life of a chela — the period of probation. That, which is generally accumulating to find its legitimate issue



  • Upas-tree (Antiaris toxicaria) secretes a juice which is deadly poison. Strychnine is made from the seeds of a specie of Upas tree.

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only in the next rebirth of an ordinary man, is quickened and fanned into existence in the chela — especially in the presumptuous and selfish candidate who rushes in without having calculated his forces.

"One who dug so many and deep pit-falls for her friends and brothers fell into them herself" — said M. to H.P.B. on the night of the mutual revelations. I tried to, but could not save her. She had entered, or rather I should say — forced herself into the dangerous path, with a double purpose in view:

(1) To upset the whole structure in which she had no part, and thus obstruct the path to all others, if she did not find the system and Society at the level of her expectations; and

(2) To remain true and work out her chelaship and natural gifts, that are considerable indeed, only if those expectations were all answered. It is the intensity of that resolution that first attracted my attention. Led on gradually and gently into the right direction the acquisition of such an individuality would have been invaluable. But there are persons, who,



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without ever showing any external sign of selfishness, are intensely selfish in their inner spiritual aspirations. These will follow the path once chosen by them with their eyes closed to the interests of all but themselves, and see nothing outside the narrow pathway filled with their own personality. They are so intensely absorbed in the contemplation of their own supposed "righteousness" that nothing can ever appear right to them outside the focus of their own vision distorted by their self-complacent contemplation, and their judgment of the right and wrong. Alas, such an one is our new mutual friend L.C.H. "The right in thee is base, the wrong a curse," was said by our Lord Buddha for such as she; for right and wrong "cheat such as love themselves," and the others only in proportion to the benefits derived — though these benefits be purely spiritual. Aroused some 18 months ago to spasmodic, hysterical curiosity



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by the perusal of your Occult World and later on by that of Esoteric Buddhism to enthusiastic envy, she determined to "find out the truth" as she expressed it. She would either become a chela herself — first and foremost, to write books, thus eclipsing her "lay" rival, or upset the whole imposture in which she had no concern. She decided to go to Europe and seek you out. Her surexcited fancy, putting a mask on every stray spook, created the "Student" and made him serve her purpose and desire. She believed in it sincerely. At this juncture foreseeing the new danger I interfered. Darb. Nath was dispatched and made to impress her thrice in my name. Her thoughts were for a certain period guided, her clairvoyance made to serve a purpose. Had her sincere aspirations conquered the intense personality of her lower self I would have given the T.S. an excellent help and worker. The poor woman is naturally good and moral; but that very purity is of so narrow a kind, of so Presbyterian a character, if I may use the word, as to be unable to



  • surexcited fancy. The French word surexcité means overexcited.

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see itself reflected in any other but her own Self. She alone is good and pure. All others must and shall be suspected. A great boon was offered her — her wayward spirit would allow her to accept of none that was not shaped in accordance with her own model.

And now she will receive a letter from me which will contain my ultimatum and conditions. She will not accept them, but will complain bitterly to several among you, suggesting new hints and insinuations against one whom she professed to adore. Prepare. A plank of salvation is offered to her but there is very little hope that she will accept it. However, I will try once more; but I have no right to influence her either way. If you will accept my advice, abstain from any serious correspondence with her until some fresh development. Try to save "Man" by looking it over with Mohini, and by erasing from it the alleged inspirations and dictation by "Student." Having had also "an object and a purpose" in view, I had to leave her under her self-delusion that this new book was written with the view of "correcting the mistakes" of Esoteric Bu



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ddhism (— of killing it — was the true thought); and it was only on the eve of her departure that Upasika was ordered to see that Mohini should carefully expunge from it all the objectionable passages. During her stay in England Mrs. H. would have never permitted you to see her book before the final publication. But I would save five months labour of Mohini and will not permit it to remain unpublished.

Much as remains unexplained, the little you may have gathered from this letter will serve its purpose. It will start your thoughts in a new direction and will have unveiled another corner in the domain of psychological Isis.

If you would learn and acquire Occult Knowledge, you have, my friend, to remember that such tuition opens in the stream of chelaship many an unforeseen channel to whose current even a "lay" chela must perforce yield, or else strand upon the shoals; and knowing this to abstain for-ever judging on mere appearance. The ice is broken once more. Profit by it if you may.

K. H.



Context and background

This letter was dictated to and written by Djual Khul in H.P.B.’s cabin while she was on her way to Egypt and thence to India. Probably, it was written on November 8. It mainly concerns Mrs. Holloway and deals with the “probation” about which H.P.B. complained in her covering letter (see Letter No. 133). Sinnett had sent on to the Mahatma a letter which Mrs. Holloway had written and sent through Mohini. It must have been rather heavy with self-conceit (“Attavada”).

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 folded note paper. There are variations in the weight of the lines, giving the effect of someone using a soft pencil which had been sharpened a few times during the writing.[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), 199.