Mahatma Letter to H. S. Olcott - LMW 2 No. 21

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Quick Facts
People involved
Written by: Serapis Bey
Received by: Henry Steel Olcott
Sent via: unknown 
Written on: unknown
Received on: 23 November 1876
Other dates: none
Sent from: unknown
Received at: New York
Via: none

This is Letter No. 21 in Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series. In this brief message Mahatma Serapis Bey, writing through an amanuensis, advises Henry Steel Olcott to have patience.[1] This letter is grouped with number 22 by the compiler, Mr. Jinarājadāsa.

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Page 1 transcription, image, and notes

Patience, good friend, work[s] miracle[s]. Patience severe teacher[s] themselves will soften. I thank Mr. Olcott for the benevolent honour done my unsuccessful face.




  • the benevolent honour done my unsuccessful face refers to "a picture of the Master Serapis which is among these early letters."[2]

Context and background

Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this background information:

THE short letter which follows is not in the narrow and pointed script of the Master Serapis. The script is round and large. It will be seen that the language is defective...

At the back of the letter, colonel Olcott has written in pencil: “Found stuck behind corner of Apollo’s picture Nov. 23/76. Got a frightful scolding that morning because Judge handled the picture.”[3]

Physical description of letter

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

Publication history

Commentary about this letter

Mr. Jinarājadāsa provided this commentary:

On the other hand, the letter evidently refers to a picture of the Master Serapis which is among these early letters. It is painted on thin paper, and its size is 3 ½ by 2 5/8 inches. It is drawn in pencil, and painted with a brush in a brown which is now faded. The background is blue. The picture shows an ascetic face, somewhat resembling Cardinal Newman’s, with brown flowing hair and short rounded beard. The Master wears a triangular jewel, within it a radiating sun surmounted by a cross, and at the apex of the triangle a crown and stars.[4]

Additional resources


  1. C. Jinarājadāsa, Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Second Series (Adyar, Madras,India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1925), 46.
  2. C. Jinarājadāsa, 45.
  3. C. Jinarājadāsa, 45.
  4. C. Jinarājadāsa, 45.