Mahatma Letter No. 118

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Morya
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Dates
Written on: unknown
Received on: January 1884 - see below
Other dates: none
Places
Sent from: unknown
Received at: London
Via: none

This is Letter No. 96 in Barker numbering. See below for Context and background.

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Cover sheet

Received 1883 or '84?

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NOTES:

Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

My humble pranams Sahib. Your memory is not good. Have you forgotten the agreement made at Prayag and the pass-words that have to precede every genuine communication coming from us through a भूत डाक् Bhoot-dak or medium? How likely the seance of December the 15th — coroneted card, my letter and all! Very similar — as a Peling pundit would say. Yes, first a loving greeting from old woman to Lonie misspelled on card Louis, then to C. C. Massey whose name she now never pronounces, and that greeting coming after supper — when C.C.M. had already left. Then my message in a feigned hand when I am at dead loggerheads with my own; again I am made to date my supposed message from Ladhak December 16th, whereas I swear I was at Ch-in-ki (Lhassa). Smoking your pipe. Best of all my asking you to "prepare for our coming as soon as we have won over Mr. Eglinton Sahib!!!" One Saturday and Lord Dunraven having failed why not try again.

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NOTES:

  • Pranams are gestures of respect in Indian culture.
  • Sahib means "friend" in Arabic and was commonly used in the Indian Sub-continent as a courteous term in the way that "Mr." and "Mrs." are used in the English language.
  • Peling (phyi-gling, 'outer continent') is a Tibetan word meaning outsider or foreigner, particularly a Westerner.

Page 2

A solemn evening, that Saturday, at Picadilly over old Sotheran the mouldy bookseller. Knew premises well, felt amused and watched with your leave. Why feel so disgusted? Spooks worked remarkably well nothing abashed by my presence of which neither W.E. nor his bodyguard knew nothing. My attention was attracted by their forging H.P.B.'s handwriting. Then I put aside my pipe and watched. Too much light for the creatures coming from a Picadilly Street though Sotheran emanations helped good deal. I would call your friend Mr. Myers' attention to psychic fact of rotten emanations. Raise a good boot crop. Yes; the room with windows overlooking Picadilly is a good place for psychic development. Poor entranced wretch.

"We wish to state to prevent any future misunderstanding that whatever phenomena may present themselves to you this evening we are in no way responsible for them and have no hand in their production." This is pure self-abnegation —

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NOTES:

  • Sotheran indicates Henry Sotheran Limited, and antiquarian bookseller that was established in London in 1815.

Page 3

modesty is no name for it. He paced the room and I followed from a distance. He went to Mr. Ward's writing desk and took a sheet of his monogram paper — and I helped myself to one — just to show you I watched. As for all of you you did not watch very keenly while he was guided to place paper and envelope between the leaves of a book and when he laid it upon the table, or you would have seen something very interesting for science. The clock's silvery tongue strikes ten — fifteen and K.H.'s form descending a hill on horseback — (he is in the far off woods of Cambodia now) is supposed to cross the horizon of "Uncle Sam's" vision — and disturbs the activity of the Pisachas. The astral disturbance impedes their dull progress. Their bells are fine — very.

Now Sahib, you must not be too hard upon the wretched young fellow. He was utterly irresponsible

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NOTES:

  • "Uncle Sam" refers to Samuel Ward.

Page 4

on that night. Of course his belonging to your L.L.T.S. is pure nonsense for a paid and suspected medium is no peer for English gentlemen. Yet he is honest in his way and however much K.H. made fun of him in his card addressed to the Gordons — that all of you took seriously at the time — he is really honest in his way and to be pitied. He is a poor epileptic subject to fits especially on the days when he is expected to have dinner with you. I mean to ask K.H. to beg a favour from Mr. Ward: to save the poor wretch from the two elementaries — which have fastened on him like two barnacles. It is easy for good "Uncle Sam" to get for him an appointment somewhere and thus save him from a life of infamy which kills him, he will thereby do a meritorious and a Theosophical act of charity. Mr. Ward is wrong. W.E. is not guilty

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NOTES:

  • barnacles are crustaceans that attach themselves firmly to ships.
  • "Uncle Sam". See previous note.

Page 5

of any conscious, deliberate jugglery that night. He got a passionate desire to join the L.L. and as the wish is father to the deed — his astral ticks fabricated that letter of mine through means of their own. Had he done it himself he would have remembered it was not my handwriting as he is familiar with it through Gordons. Woe to the spiritualists! Their Karma is heavy with the ruin of men and women they entice into mediumship, and then throw off to starve like a toothless dog. At any

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NOTES:

Page 6

rate ask him for the card of Upasika with her alleged writing on it. It is a good thing to keep and show occasionally to the Masseys of the L.L. who believe pure lies and will suspect fraud where none is meant. You are at liberty to regard me as a "nigger" and savage Sahib. But though I am the first to advise Mrs. K.'s re-election — nevertheless, I would sooner trust W.E.'s clairvoyance than Mrs. K.'s or rather her rendering of her visions. But this will soon stop. Subba Row is vindicating you. — Writing an answer to the Australian convert.

M.

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NOTES:

Context and background

Physical description of letter

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

The small envelope enclosing this letter is preserved in the B. M. Folio 3. It is addressed in M's script: "Sinnett Sahib, Esq. from M." It has no postmark.

The first part of the letter is on a folded sheet of smooth note paper about 5" X 8" [12.7 X 20.3 cm] in size. From the text, we learn that this was a sheet of Sam Ward's monogramed note paper. The monogram is a strange one, consisting of a compass face, about 3/4" [1.9 cm]in diameter, printed in red in the upper left-hand corner of the sheet. Outside the circle, in the southwest quadrant, are the letters "S. W." (which at first glance one would naturally assume to mean southwest, but apparently in this case standing for Sam Ward). The writing on this sheet is in small script and bright red ink. The second sheet is a small one, about 4 1/2" X 7" [11.4 X 17.8 cm], of extra heavy paper. The script is larger. On this sheet there is considerable unevenness in eight of lines and some smearing of ink.[1]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter

Notes

  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), 186-187.


Additional resources