Mahatma Letter to A Member - LMW 1 No. 56

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People involved
Written by: Morya
Received by: unknown member
Sent via: uunknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: 1882
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: unknown
Via: unknown

This letter is Letter No. 56 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. Mahatma Morya writes to an unknown member about reliance on oneself rather than a deity.[1] In editions 1945-1974, before the First Series was resequenced in 1988, this was called Letter 43.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

A constant sense of abject dependence upon a Deity which he regards as the sole source of power makes a man lose all self-reliance and the spurs to activity and initiative. Having begun by creating a father and guide unto himself, he becomes like a boy and remains so to his old age, expecting to be led by the hand on the smallest as well as the greatest events of life. The saying, ‘Help thyself, and God will help thee’, he so interprets that when an undertaking results to his own advantage, he credits it to himself only; when a failure, he charges it to the will of his God. The Founders prayed to no Deity in beginning the Theosophical Society nor asked his help since. Are we expected to become the nursing mothers of the Bengal Theosophical Society? Did we help the Founders? No; they were helped by the inspiration of self-reliance, and sustained by their reverence for the rights of man, and their love for a country whose national honour has long been trampled into the mud, under the feet of her meek and lazy sons, indifferent to her woes, unmindful to her dying glory ... Your sins? The greatest of them is your fathering upon your God the task of purging you of them. This is no creditable piety, but an indolent and selfish weakness. Though vanity would whisper to the contrary, heed only your common sense.




Context and background

Mr. Jinarajadasa provided these notes about this letter and the previous one:

The transcription of these two letters was discovered in 1931 in H.P. Blavatsky’s scrap-book, vol. VIII, for the year 1882. In the scrap-book there is pasted a cutting from The Indian Mirror of Calcutta, dated 2 May 1882. There is no mention of the names of the recipients, and therefore it is not now possible to say where the original letters are. But the two letters are embodied in an editorial of the paper, and the editor was the Indian patriot and leader, Norendro Nath Sen, a devoted member of the Society. In printing the letters, he says: ‘We shall, however, take this opportunity to record some more phenomena, which we witnessed while Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott were staying in Calcutta.’[2]

Physical description of letter

The original of this letter is not extant; it is printed in a cutting from The Indian Mirror within HPB's scrapbook volume VIII for May, 1882.

Publication history

This was first printed by Norendro Nath Sen in The Indian Mirror of Calcutta, dated May 2, 1882. It was not published in the early editions of Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. It first appeared as Letter 43 in the 1945 edition, and was renamed as Letter 56 when the First Series was resequenced in 1988.

Commentary about this letter

The usual symbol of three dots in a triangle that represent M. is absent.

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarajadasa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 2011), 118, 170.
  2. C. Jinarajadasa, 170.