Mahatma Letter of Sinnett to/from M - 1881-10-17

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Written by: Morya, A. P. Sinnett
Received by: A. P. Sinnett, Morya
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: 17 October 1881
Received on: unknown
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: Simla
Received at: unknown
Via: unknown

This letter has not been published previously. A. P. Sinnett wrote to Mahatma Morya, who added a note and gave the original to H. P. Blavatsky to preserve. This letter is a reaction to Mahatma Letter No. 29 in which M. criticizes A. O. Hume.

Note to H. P. Blavatsky from M.

Note written in blue ink across the top of page 1:
My God! how your Dad does bully them in his letters! It’s Benjamin who wrote them for him. But he is going to pass the handwriting into my hand - he says – & get the best of the damned English.



  • Dad. It is known that Col. Olcott called his master "Father," "Dad," and "Daddy." According to C. W. Leadbeater, there is a stage of discipleship called "Sonship", when the intimacy between Master and chela is like a father-son relationship.
  • Benjamin is a nickname for Djual Khul, a chela of Mahatma K.H. who was used at times as intermediary to precipitate some of the letters sent to Mr. Sinnett.

Page 1 of Sinnett letter transcription, image, and notes

October 17

My respected friend,
(If I may call you friend and I think I may now venture to do so) I am pained to think you have had so much uncongenial trouble in writing this letter. It is a perfect analysis of Hume’s character, - will the shock of receiving it, (if I pass it on) so far modify that character as to



Page 2

enable him to receive it with something approaching mental humility? Of that I am doubtful ; yet it seems a great pity to waste the trouble you have taken by not passing on the letter. On the whole I incline to do this. If he cannot accept this rebuke in its good part, it may be impossible for him to go on with the work of the Society and better that this



Page 3

should be diverted into a new channel,- (if it pleases you to carry on the instruction thro’ me)

So far as I can imagine myself in your place I would not have written some of the things this letter contains[.] Better than arguing away the reproaches which Hume has permitted himself to direct against you, as regards Don Quichote, etc., --- you might have loftily waved all that aside. I would have said: “You think &



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speak of me in a way which need only be noticed so far as it affects the frame of mind in which you propose to apply to me for philosophical instruction[.] For your respect I care as little as you for my displeasure. But passing over your superficial disagreeableness I recognise your goodness of motive, your abilities, your potential usefulness. We had better get to work again without



Page 5

further parley, and while you persevere you will find me ready to help - but not to flatter, not to dispute.”

The first ten lines of your letter seem to me likely to do harm, to jar upon all these nerves that have been painfully excited. The irony seems to me too much an echo of Hume’s style[.] I would greatly prefer



Page 6

(I mean I think it would be much better) that the letter should begin at “So utterly”[.]

And I would, as far as my judgment goes, omit from, - “He calls me a don Quichote” - on the reverse of page 4 - to “cloud the whole horizon” on the reverse of page 5.

I would also of course -- this follows from the emendation I have suggested -- omit the proposal at the end of the



  • "... on the reverse of page 5" - slip of the pen; "... on the reverse of page 7" is correct.

Page 7

letter, that we should go over the memo jam & mark passages.

You are sure not to put down my criticisms of your letter to impertinence on my part. I understand that you have sent it to me first that I may tell you how I think it will operate on Hume’s mind. In my opinion its operation will be better with the



Page 8

alterations I have suggested. If you do not think it worth while to make these you can tell the Old Lady so without further trouble and then I can pass on the letter.

To think that all this effort and writing on your part, which might have been spent in giving us precious teaching has been wasted on



Context and background

Master M. was corresponding with Sinnett during the period in late 1881 when Master K.H. was in retreat. M. responded to many questions from Sinnett and A. O. Hume, resulting in the Cosmological Notes. The Master became annoyed by Hume and addressed his concerns in a lengthy letter, Mahatma Letter No. 29. The current letter is a response by Sinnett, who evidently believed he had been invited to act as an editor to M.'s letter before it could be delivered to Hume.

Physical description of letter

Two sheets of paper were written on both sides and folded to make 8 pages. Letterhead of The Pioneer was used, as can be seen in the imprints on pages 1 and 5. Notations by M. are in blue ink, although he generally used red ink. This letter is in the Surendra Narayan Archives at Adyar.

Publication history

This letter has never been published before.

Commentary about this letter

The chief significance of this letter is that it is a rare example of Sinnett's side of his correspondence with the Mahatmas. Sinnett goes into full editorial mode, critiquing M.'s style of addressing Hume, and proposing changes in wording.

Additional resources