Ragunath Row

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Dewan Bahadur Ragunath Row

Dewan Bahadur Ragunath Row (also spelled Ragoonath or Raghunath) was the first President of the Madras Theosophical Society, of which T. Subba Row was the Corresponding Secretary.

On June 3, 1882, Mme. Blavatsky answered a letter of his that was later published under the title of Hindu Widow Marriage. In 1887 Mme. Blavatsky remarked about him:

Ragunath Rao, a Brâhmana of the highest caste, who has presided for three years over The Theosophical Society of Madras, and who is at present Prime Minister (Dewan) of the Holkar, is the most fervent reformer in India.

He is fighting, as so many other Theosophists, the law of widowhood, on the strength of texts from Manu and the Vedas. He has already freed several hundred young widows, destined to celibacy because of the loss of their husbands in their childhood, and he has made possible their remarriage in spite of the hue and cry of protest on the part of orthodox Brâhmanas. He laughs at castes; and the one hundred odd Theosophical Branches in India help him in this all-out war against superstition and ecclesiastical cruelty.[1]

In December 1888, when Col. Olcott left for Japan, he appointed Ragunath Row as part of a committee to exercise all Executive functions on his behalf during his absence.


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. VIII (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1990), 82.