Mahatma Letter No. 82

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People involved
Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: A. P. Sinnett
Sent via: unknown
Dates
Written on: unknown
Received on: autumn 1882
Other dates: none
Places
Sent from: unknown
Received at: Simla, India
Via: none

This is Letter No. 32 in Barker numbering. In this letter, Koot Hoomi wrote of the trouble that A. O. Hume had stirred up with his article "C.C.M. and Isis Unveiled" in The Theosophist. See below for Context and background.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

I am sorry for all that has happened, but it was to be expected. Mr. Hume has put his foot in a hornet's nest and must not complain. If my confession has not altered your feelings — I am determined not to influence you and therefore will not look your way to find out how the matter stands with you, my friend — and if you are not entirely disgusted with our system and ways; if in short it is still your desire to carry on a correspondence and learn, something must be done to check the irresponsible "Benefactor". I prevented her sending to Hume a worse letter than she wrote to yourself. I cannot force

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Page 2

her to transmit his letters to me nor mine to him; and since it is no longer possible for me to trust Fern, and that G.K. can hardly be sacrificed with any sense of justice, to a man who is utterly unable to appreciate any service rendered except his own, — what shall we do about it? Since we have mixed ourselves with the outside world, we have no right to suppress the personal opinion of its individual members, nor eschew their criticisms, however unfavourable to us — hence the positive order to H.P.B. to publish Mr. Hume's article. Only, as we would have the world see both sides of the question, we have also allowed the joint protest of Deb, Subba Row, Damodar and a

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NOTES:

  • G.K. probably refers to Djual Khool (spelled Gjual-Khul).
  • Mr. Hume's article entitled "C.C.M. and Isis Unveiled" was published in The Theosophist in Sept., 1882, pp. 324-326. Click here to read the article.
  • the joint protest was published as a response to Mr. Hume's article. See "A Protest" for a reproduction of this document.

Page 3

few other chelas — to follow his criticism of ourselves and our System in the Theosophist.

I gave you but hints of what at some other time I will write more at length. Think in the meantime of the difficulties that lie naturally in our way, and let us not, if your friendship for me is sincere, — by struggling with our chains, make them straiter and heavier. For my part I will run willingly the hazard of being thought a self-contradicting ignoramus, and criticized in unmeasured terms by Mr. Hume in print, provided you really profit by the tuition, and share from time to time your knowledge with the world. But to give you my thoughts without disguise I am never like to risk

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myself again with any other European but yourself. As you now see, connection with the outside world, can bring but sorrow to those who so faithfully serve us, and discredit to our Brotherhood. No Asiatic is ever likely to be affected by Mr. Hume's egotistical thrusts against us (the result of my last letter, and of the promise exacted that he will write to me more rarely and less than he has done) but these thrusts and criticisms that the European readers will accept as a revelation and a confession, without ever suspecting from whence they have arisen and by what a deeply egotistical feeling they have been generated — these thrusts are calculated to do a great harm — in a direction you have not hitherto

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dreamt of. Resolved not to lose so useful a tool (useful in one direction, of course) the Chohan permitted himself to be over-persuaded by us, into giving sanction to my intercourse with Mr. Hume. I had pledged my word to him that he had repented, — was a changed man. And now how shall I ever face my Great Master, who is laughed at, made the object of Mr. Hume's wit, called Rameses the Great, and such like indecent remarks? And he used terms in his letters, the brutal grossness of which prevents me from repeating them, which have revolted my soul when I read them; words so filthy as to pollute the very air that touched them, and that I hastened to

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send to you with the letter that contained it, so as not to have those pages in my house, full of young and innocent chelas, that I would prevent from ever hearing such terms.

Then you yourself, my friend influenced in this by him more than you know or suspect of — you yourself deduce but too readily from incompleteness "contradiction." The novelty or inexplicable aspect of any asserted fact in our science is not a sufficient reason for setting it immediately down as a contradiction, and proclaim as Hume does in his article that he could teach in one week that which he succeeded in drawing out of us in eighteen months, for your

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knowledge is as yet so limited that it would be difficult for him to say how much we do or do not know.

But I have lingered too long over this irrational, unphilosophical and illogical attack upon ourselves and System. One day we will show the invalidity of the objections preferred by Mr. H. He may be regarded as a sapient councillor in the municipality, but he could hardly be regarded in such a light by us. He accuses me of giving through him "false ideas and facts" to the world; and adds that he would willingly keep aloof from — break with us but for his desire of benefitting the world! Verily a most easy method of burking all the sciences, for there is not one in which "false facts" and wild theories do not abound. Only while the Western

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NOTES:

  • burking means smothering or suppressing quietly.

Page 8

Sciences make confusion still more confused our Science explains all the seeming discrepancies and reconciles the wildest theories.

However, if you do not bring him to his senses there will be soon an end to all — this time irrevocable. I need not assure you of my sincere regard for you and our gratitude for what you have [done] for the Society here — indirectly for us two. Whatever happens, I am at your service. I would, could I but see my way, do all that can be done for your friend Colonel Chesney. For your sake, if the crisis is avoided and the black cloud blows off — I will instruct him as far as I can. But — may it not be too late?

Yours in good faith,

K. H.

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Context and background

Physical description of letter

The original is in the British Library, Folio 1. According to George Linton and Virginia Hanson, the letter was written:

On both sides of 5" X 8" [12.7 X 20.3 cm] sheets of heavy smooth paper, in blue pencil, with large flowing script.[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), 140.


Additional resources