Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - LMW 2 No. 15
|Written by:||Serapis Bey|
|Received by:||Henry Steel Olcott|
This is Letter No. 15 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. Letters 9-20 of this series are closely related.
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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes
Upon returning from the office know the Brotherhood will be assembled in her room, and seven pairs of ears will listen to your reports and judge of the progress your Atma does in relation to intuitional perceptions. Heed her not when she will tell you that your words do not interest her; go on, and know you are talking in the presence of your Brethren. When needed they will answer you through her. God’s blessing upon thee, Brother mine.
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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...
Physical description of letter
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.
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.
- C. Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series (Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925), 37-38.
- C. Jinarājadāsa, 21.
- C. Jinarājadāsa, 22.
- C. Jinarājadāsa, 21-22.