Rai Pyare Lāll Sāhab

From Theosophy Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Rai Pyare Lāll Sāhab

Rai Pyare Lāll Sāhab was an Indian judge and a member of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Chennai, India. "Rai Sāhab" is an honorific title.

Annie Besant wrote of her friend following his death at age 71 on November 18, 1910:

Since 1883 he had been a member of the Theosophical Society,and through evil and good report he bravely stood by his flag.

Pyare Lāll was born on September 18, 1839, in Delhi, the capital city of so many fortunes - Inḍraprasṭha, as good Hinḍūs still love to call it. There is a prophecy that Delhi is to be ruined nine times, and each time it is to rise again and flourish; seven such destructions lie behind it. The boy learned Persian and Arabic with Muhammadan lads, sons of his father's friends, and the boyish association left behind it a friendly feeling towards Musalmāns that lasted throughout his life. he was still a lad when the Sepoy War broke out [in 1857], and lived in Delhi through the siege; in his old age he would tell many a story of that wild time. In 1858 he went to Agra to complete his English education, gained a scholarship and studied in the Government College, rising very rapidly through the classes, and becoming a teacher in 1860.

Pyare Lāll did not, however, remain in the teaching profession, but in 1869, after two years as Head Clerk, he became Musarim of the Judge's Court in Meerut, and as he found the legal profession attractive, he passed the Law Examination in 1873, and came out second on the list. In two years he was appointed a Munsif, and then was made a Sub-Judge at Cawnpore, From this he rose to be Judge of the Small Cause Court at Agra, and later officiated in the responsible post of District and Sessions Judge.

His services were found so valuable that he was given a three years' extension after completing the age for retirement, and he was rewarded with the title of Rai Sāhab.

His career as a Theosophist was as active and as honorable as his judicial service and he devoted himself most earnestly to the task of purifying and reforming popular Hinduism by the infusion into it of Theosophy. He became an Inspector of Branches, and later Provincial Secretary, and worked diligently to the end. He was one of the Founders of the Central Hinḍū College, and supported it in every way. He also was one of the Founders of the Hinḍū Girls' School in Delhi, one of the most flourishing institutions of its kind and one which will long fool his loss.

Rai Sāhab was a most delightful personality; to a keen and well-trained intellect, he added a childlike simplicity, and a heart of gold. How often did he move us to laughter by some quaintly naïve remark; how often did he win our admiration by the rare generosity so unconsciously manifested! Truly of such as he is the kingdom of heaven. And with all his good-nature and friendliness he was steady and strong, firm in his attachments, unshakable in his loyalty. or myself, when he passed away, I lost on earth a steadfast friend, but the sure tie between us cannot break.[1]


  1. Annie Besant, "Theosophical Worthies: Rai Pyare Lāll Sāhab," The Theosophist 32.8 (June, 1911), 453.