Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - LMW 2 No. 13

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Written by: Serapis Bey
Received by: Henry Steel Olcott
Sent via: unknown 
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Written on: unknown
Received on: unknown
Other dates: unknown
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Received at: unknown
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This is Letter No. 13 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series. In it Mahatma Serapis Bey writes about the trials of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in dealing with Michael C. Betanelly, who was briefly her husband.[1] Letters 9-20 of this series are closely related.


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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

She must encounter once more and face to face the dreaded one she thought she would behold no more. She must either conquer—or die herself his victim.

. . . how solitary, unprotected but still dauntless she will have to face all the great perils, and unknown mysterious dangers she must encounter . . . Brother mine, I can do naught for our poor Sister. She has placed herself under the stern law of the Lodge and these laws can be softened for none. As an Ellorian she must win her right . . . The final results of the dreaded ordeal depends on her and on her alone and on the amount of sympathy for her from her two brothers Henry and Elbridge, on the strength and power of their will sent out by both to her wherever she may be. Know, O Brother, that such will power strengthened by sincere affection will surround her with an impenetrable shield, a strong protecting shield, formed of the combined pure good wishes of two immortal souls – and powerful in proportion to the intensity of their desires to see her triumphant . . . and if she returns triumphant and alive . . . Pray, both of you, for our Sister, she deserves it.

God’s blessing on thee, Brother.

SERAPIS

IMAGE IS NOT
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NOTES:

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

Notes

  1. C. Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series (Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925), 35-36.
  2. C. Jinarājadāsa, 21.
  3. C. Jinarājadāsa, 22.
  4. C. Jinarājadāsa, 21-22.