Mahatma Letter to H. P. Blavatsky - LMW 1 No. 60

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Written by: Koot Hoomi
Received by: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: July, 1888
Received on: July, 1888
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: London
Via: unknown

This letter is Letter No. 60 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. Mahatma Koot Hoomi wrote to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky about Henry Steel Olcott and A. J. Cooper-Oakley.[1] In editions 1945-1974, before the First Series was resequenced in 1988, this was called Letter 47.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Such are the reasons why if he still occasionally feels M, he never senses me nor hears from, or of me though his thought wandered more than once [over] the scenes and house you made once familiar to him... Nor has he ever understood the symbolism hidden in the presence of my tiger or in that of the elephant of — —. There was a time when it was meant to impress his mind. The tiger, the world, could have been as subdued by you two, as I had tamed mine, and the elephant was his (Olcott’s) mental picture, had he remained within the area traced for him by us. But he showed moral weakness, as much as physical weakness on that day when Yakoob invited him to cross the watery abyss.

(Told him the question put to me by Olcott which — —) He wants to know why? Because the Society has liberated itself



  • tiger is symbolic of the world as a challenge or threat.
  • elephant is symbolic of Colonel Olcott.
  • Yakoob was one of the pupils of K.H. who tried to help Colonel Olcott in work on the astral plane.

Page 2

from our grasp and influence and we have let it go — we make no unwilling slaves. He says he has saved it? He saved its body, but he allowed through sheer fear, to its soul to escape, and it is now a soulless corpse, a machine run so far well enough, but which will fall to pieces when he is gone. Out of the three objects the second alone is attended to, but it is no longer either a brotherhood, nor a body over the face of which broods the Spirit from beyond the Great Range. His kindness and love of peace are great and truly Gautamic in their spirit; but he has misapplied that kindness; he allowed it to rest upon and benefit an unworthy



Page 3

object — a man whose soul is filled with the scum falling from other people’s wicked souls, with the pus exuding from other people’s wounds. The giving honours to a wicked man is like giving strong drink to him who has a fever. The bread he (C. Oakley) ate, the roof that sheltered him, the little ‘Society honours’ scattered on him by one whom he sought to destroy from the very day he entered Adyar, were all taken away by Henry from another man — whomsoever he may have been — who was worthy of all this, but for whom there was thus no room left near Olcott. This is his (Olcott’s) sin. No harm should be done even to the wretch whom gratitude fails to bind but



Page 4

he should not be permitted to lay claim to truth and honour, and given means to carry out his foul conspiracy, once that he stood confessed in Henry’s eyes — ‘the brute disguised in moss’. In our sight there is no crime worse than ingratitude and injustice; and to see one who suffers them without protest is equal to seeing in him a passive confederate to them. This policy has done more harm to the spirit of the Society and its growth than several Coulombs could do. For by allowing to remain at the Headquarters one who for four years never wrote a letter to a theosophist without enclosing in it a Parthian arrow against the Pres. Founder or his Co-Founder, Henry sanctioned his slanders.



  • the brute disguised in moss may be a literary reference indicating a person who hides his brutish inner nature with an outward appearance of quiet, harmless moss.
  • Parthian arrow is an arrow shot backwards at an enemy during a retreat; a parting shot.

Page 5

Behold, thought the Frenchmen, the Americans and the Germans who received such letters monthly — behold what one of the heads of the T.S. writes. No doubt H.S.O. remains only because he was elected for life and H.P.B. was rightly kicked out of Adyar. Where is she now? Her name is hardly mentioned, she is forgotten and gone and we are told that the ‘Masters’ are in direct correspondence and communication with C.O. — their true delegate being now at Madras — S.R. etc. There is a strange Karma, added Master smiling. Henry feared to break with C.O. lest he should lose S.R. and N.C.; and now he lost N.C. and S.R., and is forced to have C.O., who is the leading evil genius



  • C.O. is A. J. Cooper-Oakley.
  • S.R. is T. Subba Row
  • N.C. is Dr. Jonathan Neild Cook, an English epidemiologist and bacteriologist who served as Health Office in Madras and later in Calcutta.

Page 6

of the two?



Context and background

Mr. Jinarajadasa had these comments about this marginal note:

This also, as Letter 40, is not in the handwriting of any of the Masters. It is in the handwriting of H.P.B., written in thin notepaper in pencil. It is evident that it is a memorandum of the remarks of the Master K.H. regarding the situation of the T.S. in 1888. Mr. A. J. Cooper-Oakley and Mrs. Isabel Cooper-Oakley came out to India in 1884 with H.P.B. and C.W. Leadbeater. He was appointed in 1885 one of the four Recording Secretaries of the Society and continued to act in that capacity until 1887. He left Adyar to become the Registrar of the University of Madras (he was an M.A. of Cambridge). Sometimes later he was found dead in bed one morning, the coroner’s inquest giving as the cause an overdose of a sleeping mixture. C.W. Leadbeater told me that he had never met a man whose aura was so terribly ‘grey’ as that of Mr Cooper-Oakley, for he seemed to be utterly steeped in depression night and day.

Mrs Isabel Cooper-Oakley returned to England in 1885 as she found that her health suffered in the climate of India. She worked for the Society, in spite of handicaps to health, with unswerving devotion in England, Australia, Italy and Hungary, where she passed away.

The remarks of Master K.H. may have been one reason why H.P.B. insisted on forming the E.S.T., or in case Colonel Olcott refused, on making a separate division for Europe of the parent Theosophical Society under her direction. Happily Letter 19 which he received on board S.S. Shannon, broke down his opposition, and the two old comrades met in friendship, and the E.S.T. was born.

‘Yakoob invited him’: Yakoob was one of the pupils of the Master, and an attempt was made to train Colonel Olcott as a worker on the astral plane during sleep. Certain tests — of earth, water, air and fire — are given to the candidate. Presumably Yakoob invited H.S.O. to float in his astral over the sea, an action which can be done in a moment, provided the candidate recollects that he is in his astral body and not his physical, and that therefore he cannot fall. H.S.O. however failed in the test, and could not be ‘waked up’ then or after to the astral plane so as to become an invisible helper.[2]

Physical description of letter

The original of this letter is preserved at the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, India.

Publication history

This letter was not published in the early editions of Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series. It first appeared as Letter 47 in the 1945 edition, and was renamed as Letter 60 when the First Series was resequenced in 1988.

Commentary about this letter

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarajadasa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series (Adyar, Chennai, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 2011), 124-127, 174-175.
  2. C. Jinarajadasa, 174-175.