Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - LMW 2 No. 12

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Written by: Serapis Bey
Received by: Henry Steel Olcott
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: unknown
Other dates: unknown
Sent from: unknown
Received at: unknown
Via: unknown

This is Letter No. 12 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series. In it Mahatma Serapis Bey says that some of his messages to Henry Steel Olcott have been delayed, and they must be read carefully.[1] Letters 9-20 of this series are closely related.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes


Our brother should have received the forwarded messages long before they reached him, were it not for the feverish curiosity which got hold of our sister to know of the contents therein enclosed, by which wrong act she delayed the swiftness of the messages arrested in their course by the strong will power thrown over them. We forgive her for she suffers intensely . . .

Brother Henry must analyse the said letter and comprehend the true spirit of it, giving us his impressions as he understands them. By doing this he will give the Lodge an insight of his own faculties of analysis and intuition . . . Our sister has just mailed a letter to her Brother Henry in which he will find enclosed an obligation signed by her to the sum of $500 . . . her donation.

. . . in case of death. The possible emergency of such a case is no idle talk of our noble sister. The Dweller is watching close]y and will never lose his opportunity, if our Sister’s courage fails. This is to be one of her hardest trials . . . an Ellorian – eternal and immortal is her Augoeides.

We must leave the rest to the wisdom of our Brother, to the suggestions of his Atma and the devotion he may bear the Cause. He may be PROMPTED never ordered — “a Rosicrucian becomes and is not made”. Our brother’s mission cannot be completed or accomplished during his first stay in the Boston city. Let him plan the ground and prepare it for the reception of our Sister . . . if she survives the trial. For on good will to her and on the intensity of magnetic thought concentrated on our Sister much of her safety will depend in the perilous descent to the &ndash–. Thou knowest not yet, O Brother mine, of all the mysteries and powers of thought, yea, of human thought, my Brother . . . and our Sister will be saved! Her letter to thee and thy own knowledge of human heart must inspire thee, O Brother, with the words best adapted for this plan. . . . how dangerous for her will be the achievement of her duty and how likely to expect for both of you to lose a sister and a – Providence on earth.

The great Spirit be with thee, Brother.




Context and background

Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this background information on the series of letters numbered 9-20:

The letters which follow, all written by the Master Serapis, deal with certain incidents in the life of H.P.B., of which there has been scarcely any mention. Colonel Olcott describes in Old Diary Leaves the Philadelphia marriage of H.P.B., but evidently he has forgotten the true reason for it, for the account he gives of H.P.B.’s explanation of it differs from that given by the Master S. The man whom H.P.B. married was little better than a workman. He had lately come to America from Tiflis in Russia, and had built up a small business as an importer and exporter. He was sincerely drawn to Spiritualism, and evidently in the beginning was desirous of helping H.P.B. to carry out her great schemes to found a spiritual philosophy. On the strict understanding that his privileges as husband would only consist in making a home for her, so that she might carry out the plan of the Brotherhood, H.P.B. married him, though a woman of her aristocratic nature must have felt intensely humiliated to be linked to such a peasant. There was a stipulation that, even though married, she should retain her own name of Blavatsky. After H.P.B. left him, he obtained a decree of divorce, so that when she started for India, the sad incident of the second marriage was utterly closed...[2]

Physical description of letter

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

Five of the letters of the Master Serapis were received through the post, and their envelopes still remain, and bear the postmark. Four of them were posted in Philadelphia and one in Albany. Colonel Olcott received them in New York at his house, or in Boston care of the Postmaster. Seven of the letters are written on green paper with black ink.[3]

Publication history

Commentary about this letter

Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this commentary:

Throughout these letters about H.P.B., there are several references to the “Dweller on the Threshold.” This mysterious phrase occurs in Zanoni. It is evident that challenging the Dweller, and risking one’s very existence in the process, is one of the trials of the Initiate. There is no clue in the letters showing of what type were the dangers which confronted H.P.B., so that her very life was at stake.

These letters to Colonel Olcott from the Master S. mention incidents in H.P.B.’s inner life. As none have a right to peer inquisitely into the workings of the soul, I have omitted all references to such incidents, extracting out of the letters only such teachings as seem to me to have value to earnest students.[4]

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series (Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925), 33-35.
  2. C. Jinarājadāsa, 21.
  3. C. Jinarājadāsa, 22.
  4. C. Jinarājadāsa, 21-22.