OLD DIARY LEAVES, Fourth Series (1887-92)
by Henry Steel Olcott
THE BUDDHIST PLATFORM SUCCESSFULLY
I THINK that I could hardly be accused of vain-glorious boasting if I should say that an event of such importance as that described in the last chapter deserved to be made much of by all Western Orientalists, especially such as devote themselves to Pali literature and the study of Buddhism. Certainly, its significance was recognised throughout the Buddhistic nations of the East. Yet, within the ten years which have elapsed since the signing, scarcely any notice whatever has been taken of it by the European and American scholars. I am afraid I shall have to ascribe this to a small-minded prejudice against our Society, out of which, they think, no good can come. Time, however, will set that right.
To get the signatures needed was not such a very easy matter after all; I had to pass through an experience of that procrastinating and preternaturally cautious policy which seems peculiar to the Chinese
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and Japanese character. I wrote in my Diary: “There is a lot of polite humbugging going on about signing my Platform—idle excuses of all sorts.” But by the 7th of November things were looking decidedly better; in fact, I could quite well have been satisfied to take it away with me as it stood that evening. The next morning all was finished and the document complete. To celebrate the event, a dinner in the Japanese style was given me, at which 178 persons were present. If I quote the full text of the Platform, with the names of the signers, the document will be placed on permanent record, and my readers have the chance of judging for themselves as to its importance. Here it is:
“FUNDAMENTAL BUDDHISTIC BELIEFS
“I. Buddhists are taught to show the same tolerance, forbearance, and brotherly love to all men, without distinction, and an unswerving kindness towards the members of the animal kingdom.
“II. The universe was evolved, not created; and it functions according to law, not according to the caprice of any God.
“III. The truths upon which Buddhism is founded are natural. They have, we believe, been taught in successive kalpas, or world periods, by certain illuminated Beings called BUDDHAS, the name BUDDHA meaning ‘Enlightened’.
“IV. The fourth Teacher in the present Kalpa was Sakya Muni, or Gautama Buddha, who was born in a royal family in India about 2,500 years ago. He is
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an historical personage, and his name was Siddhartha Gautama.
“V. Sakya Muni taught that ignorance produces desire, unsatisfied desire is the cause of rebirth, and rebirth the cause of sorrow. To get rid of sorrow, therefore, it is necessary to escape rebirth; to escape rebirth, it is necessary to extinguish desire; and to extinguish desire, it is necessary to destroy ignorance.
“VI. Ignorance fosters the belief that rebirth is a necessary thing. When ignorance is destroyed, the worthlessness of every such rebirth, considered as an end in itself, is perceived, as well as the paramount need of adopting a course of life by which the necessity for such repeated rebirths can be abolished. Ignorance also begets the illusive and illogical idea that there is only one existence for man, and the other illusion that this one life is followed by states of unchangeable pleasure or torment.
“VII. The dispersion of all this ignorance can be attained by the persevering practice of an all-embracing altruism in conduct, development of intelligence, wisdom in thought, and destruction of desire for the lower personal pleasures.
“VIII. The desire to live being the cause of rebirth, when that is extinguished, rebirths cease, and the perfected individual attains by meditation that highest state of peace called Nirvâna.
“IX. Sakya Muni taught that ignorance can be dispelled and sorrow removed by the knowledge of the four Noble Truths, viz.:
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1. The miseries of existence;
2. The cause productive of misery, which is the desire, ever renewed, of satisfying
oneself without being able ever to secure that end;
3. The destruction of that desire, or the estranging of oneself from it;
4. The means of obtaining this destruction of desire.
“The means which he pointed out is called the Noble Eightfold Path; viz., Right
Belief; Right Thought; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Means of Livelihood;
Right Exertion; Right Remembrance; Right Meditation.
“X. Right Meditation leads to spiritual enlightenment, or that development of that Buddha-like faculty which is latent in every man.
“XI. The essence of Buddhism, as summed up by the Tathâgata (Buddha) himself, is—
To cease from all sin,
To get virtue,
To purify the heart.
“XII. The universe is subject to a natural causation known as ‘Karma’. The merits and demerits of a being in past existences determine his condition in the present one. Each man, therefore, has prepared the causes of the effects which he now experiences.
“XIII. The obstacles to the attainment of good Karma may be removed by the observance of the following precepts, which are embraced in the moral code of Buddhism, viz., (1) Kill not; (2) Steal not;
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(3) Indulge in no forbidden sexual pleasure; (4) Lie not; (5) Take no intoxicating or stupefying drug or liquor. Five other precepts, which need not be here enumerated, should be observed by those who would attain, more quickly than the average layman, the release from misery and rebirth.
“XIV. Buddhism discourages superstitious credulity. Gautama Buddha taught it to be the duty of a parent to have his child educated in science and literature. He also taught that no one should believe what is spoken by any sage, written in any book, or affirmed by tradition, unless it accord with reason.
“Drafted as a common platform upon which all Buddhists can agree.
“(Sd.) H. S. OLCOTT, P.T.S.
“Approved on behalf of the Buddhists of Burmah, this 3rd day of February, 1891 (A.B. 2434):
“Tha-tha-na-baing Sayadawgyi; Aung Myi Shwe bôn Sayadaw; Me-ga-waddy Sayadaw; Hmat-khaya Sayadaw; Htî-lin Sayadaw; Myadaung Sayadaw; Hla-htwe Sayadaw; and sixteen others.
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“Approved on behalf of the Buddhists of Ceylon, this 25th day of February, 1891 (A.B. 2434). Mahanuwara upawsatha puspârâma vihârâdhipati Hippola Dhamma Rakkhita Sobhitâbhidhana Mahâ Nâyaka Sthavirayan-wahanse wamha.
“(Hippola Dhamma Rakkhita Sobhitâbhidhana, High Priest of Malwatte Vihara at Kandy.)
“Mahanuwara Asgiri Vihârâdhipati Yatawattç Chandajottyâbhidhana Mahâ Nâyaka Sthavirayan wahanse wamha.
“(Yatawattç Chandajottyabhidhana, High Priest of Asgiri Vihara at Kandy.)
“Hikkaduwe Srî Sumangala Sripâdasthâne saha Kolamba palate pradhana Nayâka Sthavirayo (Hikkaduwe Srî Sumangala, High Priest of Adam’s Peak and the District of Colombo).
“(Sd.) H. SUMANGALA
“Maligâwe Prâchina Pustakâlâyâdhyahshaka Sûriyagoda Sonuttara Sthavirayo (Suriyagoda Sonuttara, Librarian of the Oriental Library at the Temple of the Tooth Relic at Kandy).
“Sugata Sâsanadhaja Vinayâ chairya Dhammâlankârâbhidhâna Nayâka Sthavira.
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“Pawara neruttika chariya Maha Vibhavi Subhuti, of Waskaduwa.
“(Sd.) W. SUBHUTI
“Accepted as included within the body of Northern Buddhism.
“Shaku Genyu (Shin Gon Su Sect).
“Fukuda Nichiyo (Nichiren „ ).
“Sanada Seyko (Zen Shu „ ).
“Ito Quan Shyu.
“Takehana Hakuyo (Jodo „ ).
“Kono Rioshin (Ji-Shu „ ).
“Kira Ki-ko (Jodo Seizan „ ).
“Harutani Shinsho (Tendai „ ).
“Manabe Shun-myo (Shin Gon Su „ ).
“Accepted for the Buddhists of Chittagong.
“Nagawa Parvata Viharashipati.
“Guna Megu Wini-Lankara.
“Harbang, Chittagong, Bengal.”
The reader will observe that whereas the Fourteen Propositions are approved unreservedly by the Buddhist priests of Ceylon, Burmah, and Chittagong, they are accepted by those of Japan as “included within the body of Northern Buddhism”.
On the 7th of November I saw the funeral procession of Prince Kinni, uncle of the emperor.
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Shinto and Buddhist priests took part in the ceremony; plants and trees in tubs were carried before the corpse, and a great profusion of flowers. Then followed a battalion of the imperial guard, with officers in blazing uniforms; then diplomatic functionaries in full dress; then the pupils of the military schools; and bringing up the rear, citizens riding in jinrickshas.
On another evening I saw a public exhibition of the marvellous juggling for which the Japanese are renowned, but as it was substantially of the same character as that described in Chapter VII of the present Series, I need not dwell on details. I may say, however, that a second sight of the performance of some of the most wonderful tricks did not help me to a comprehension of the juggler’s secrets.
After paying ceremonial visits to the High Priests of both Hongwanjis—the Higachi and Nischi (the former personage having the social rank of Duke)—and other Chief Priests of sects, and after giving another address at Chounin Temple before the Kosai-kai and a monster audience, I left Kyoto for Kobé on the 9th, with Hogen San, one of the young priest-students who had been sent in 1889, by my advice, to study Sanskrit and Pali under Sumangala, and Noguchi San, my old friend, and on the 10th embarked on the Messageries S.S. “Oxius” in a rain storm. We reached Woo-sung, the port of Shanghai, in the evening of the 12th. Most of the passengers went up to the city by water, a distance of fourteen miles, the next morning,
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and spent the day looking through the Chinese quarter—a most unpleasant excursion, by reason of the unnameable smells which almost suffocate one. We returned to the ship by moonlight, and sailed at 3 p.m. on the 14th for Hong Kong. His Excellency the French Ambassador to Japan and family were on board as passengers, and I had the great pleasure of becoming well acquainted with them. The four children had a most talented governess, a Polish lady, who had an admirable system of instruction. Her pupils were learning four languages simultaneously; but one language was assigned to each of four consecutive days, and they were allowed to speak, write, and read only that language. The parents lent themselves to this system in their intercourse with their children, and the result was that the latter were getting a thorough proficiency in each language.
Hong Kong was reached on the 17th, and we were all delighted with the appearance of that great commercial mart. I went by the funicular railway to the top of the “Peak,” and enjoyed a magnificent view of the harbor and environs. The next morning we sailed for Saigon, the coquettish-looking little French capital of their Cochin China possessions. As I had been there twice before, I stayed on board until evening, when I took a drive and walk with some Japanese passengers. We sailed for Singapore early on “the morning of the 22nd and reached there on the second day; at 5 p.m. we left again for Colombo. The weather from Japan onward had been rather
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rough, but it was fair with us from Singapore to Colombo, where we arrived at 1 p.m. on the 29th.
The High Priest Sumangala congratulated me warmly on my success with the Platform, and expressed the hope of a more friendly intercourse between the Southern and Northern Divisions.
A cruel report that Miss Pickett’s death had been the result of suicide having been spread by certain malevolent persons, among them Dr. Daly, I felt it my duty to make a thorough inquiry, and, associating myself with Count Axel Wachtmeister as a committee, with Proctor Mendes, Mr. Peter d’ Abrew, and Miss Roberts as interpreters, a number of witnesses were examined, and every effort made to arrive at the truth. The result was our entire conviction that it had been an accident occurring to her when she was walking in a fit of somnambulism. It was very gratifying to see with what affection her memory was cherished by the whole Buddhist community, her slanderers having nearly all been half-caste Christians, than whom no more rancorous bigots exist. The fact is that she had committed the unpardonable offence of making a public profession of Buddhism, and had come to undertake the education of Sinhalese girls of respectable families, whom the missionaries had been marking out as their prey for many years. As they dared not kill her—as once they tried to do to me—they spread the falsehood that she had killed herself.
Mrs. Maire Musæus Higgins, widow of Mr. Anthony Higgins, F.T.S., of Washington, D.C., had answered
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an appeal in the Path, Mr. Judge’s magazine, for help for the Women’s Education Society from qualified lady teachers. No inducements of salary or luxurious living were held out—quite the contrary. Mrs. Higgins was then in the receipt of a salary of $900 as a clerk in the Post Office Department of Washington, a sum amply sufficient for all her wants. She was a native of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and daughter of a judge of the High Court. Having adopted teaching as a profession, she had passed all the examinations up to the highest, and was highly qualified for any teaching post. Her heart was touched by the appeal of the Sinhalese women, and she wrote me tendering her services without conditions. After due consideration and consultation all round, the offer was accepted and money sent her for her passage tickets out. I found her at Colombo, on my return from Japan, acting with the W. E. S. On the 7th of December I presided at an adjourned meeting of that Society. Mrs. Weerakoon resigned the Presidency, and Mrs. Higgins was elected Executive President. The accounts which were laid before the meeting were found hopelessly confused and laid on the table. This is not at all to be wondered at, considering that, up to that time, Sinhalese ladies had never acted together as an organised body, nor had the least familiarity with book-keeping or accounts. Being aware of the inevitable difficulties that would assail Mrs. Higgins if certain of the ladies on the Managing Board of the Society were allowed to interfere with her household and school management,
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by reason of their ignorance, and, in some cases, illiteracy, I had Mrs. Weerakoon come forward in the presence of the audience and formally relinquish on behalf of the Society all right of meddling. This gave the new régime a fair start, and all would have gone on well until now if this sensible arrangement had been adhered to. But it was not, and the result was the ultimate withdrawal of Mrs. Higgins, after a long trial, and the starting by her of a girls’ school on her own account. Of this I shall have to speak later. After a stay of ten days, I left Colombo for Madras in the P. & O. S.S. “Chusan”. We anchored off Madras harbor after dark on the 12th, in a pelting rain. I landed the next morning, and received the usual hearty welcome from my Indian colleagues and Messrs. B. Keightley and S. V. Edge. At Adyar I found Miss Anna Ballard, an American journalist, who had been travelling professionally, and had come to make me a protracted visit.
From this time forward my time was fully taken up with editorial work, official correspondence, and preparations for the Annual Convention. An unprecedented number of European and American ladies came to that year’s meeting. Among them, Miss F. Henrietta Müller, B.A. (Cantab.), that most ardent and eccentric lady reformer, who allowed her furniture to be sold in London for taxes as a protest against the denial of women’s rights, who became, in India, a fervent worker with us for the revival of Eastern Philosophy, going so far as to adopt a young Hindu
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as a son and make her will in his favor, and who, more recently, rushed back into the Christian fold, repudiating us, our Indian colleagues, and the movement in general. Withal, a kind-hearted and generous friend so long as the momentary mood lasted. That excellent young man and devoted son, the young Count Wachtmeister, was also among the delegates present. He is one of the most accomplished non-professional musicians I ever met, and I deeply regretted our not having a piano at Adyar, so that he might have delighted the Delegates by his skill.
The Convention met as usual at noon on 27th December, an exceptionally large number of countries being represented. Besides leading men from all parts of India, we had people from Ceylon, Japan, England, America,Burmah, Tibet, and Sweden. It is always encouraging to the Hindus to see these foreigners coming from distant lands and personally testifying to the spread of our movement.
In my Annual Address, after an outlook over the state of the whole movement, I put on record my views as to the non-sectarian basis of our Society and the evil of intolerance; and as, within the past twelve-month (1900) even, I have had to defend that basis against a prevalent misconception in several countries, which was preventing excellent persons from joining us, I feel it a duty to quote my remarks on the occasion in question. I said:
“My belief is that if less intolerance towards Christianity had been shown hitherto by the Founders
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of the Society and their colleagues, we should have suffered and made to suffer less, and would to-day have had a thousand Christian wellwishers where we have one. We may truly say we have had cruel provocation, but that does not really excuse us for lacking the courage to return good for evil, and so proving untrue to our ideal of brotherhood. So imperfect have we all been in our consistency of behavior, that, years ago, the Masters told us that being a Fellow of the Theosophical Society was not at all equivalent to being a real Theosophist, i.e., a knower and doer of godlike things. To return: it is, of course, no more important to humanity as a whole that Theosophy should be recognised and practised within the Christian than within the Hindu, the Buddhist, or any other Church: on the other hand, it is equally important; and our Society will not have fully proven its capacity for usefulness until it has kindly and patiently helped earnest and willing followers of each and every religion to find the key, the one only master-key, by which their own Scriptures can be understood and appreciated. I deplore our intolerance, counting myself a chief offender; and I do especially protest against and denounce a tendency which is growing among us to lay the foundations of a new idolatry. As the co-Founder of the Society, as one who has had constant opportunities for knowing the chosen policy and wishes of our Masters, as one who has, under them and with their assent, borne our flag through sixteen years of battle, I protest against the first giving way to the
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temptation to elevate either them, their agents, or any other living or dead personage to the divine status, or their teachings to that of infallible doctrine. Not one word was ever spoken, transmitted, or written to me by the Masters that warranted such a course, nay, that did not inculcate the very opposite. I have been taught to lean upon myself alone, to look to my Higher Self as my best teacher, best guide, best example, and only savior. I was taught that no one could or ever would attain to the perfect knowledge save upon those lines; and so long as you keep me in my office, I shall proclaim this as the basis, the only basis and the palladium of the Society. I am led to make the above remarks by what I have seen going on of late.”
With regard to H. P. B.’s sudden death, and the bringing of her ashes to Adyar, I said:
“The blackest sorrow of the year, or rather of all our years, was the sudden death of Madame H. P. Blavatsky, at London, on the 8th of May last. The awfulness of the shock was increased by its suddenness. She had been an invalid for years, it is true, but we had seen her more than once snatched back from the very brink of the grave, and at the time of her demise she had laid plans for continued work in the near future. Some building was being done by her order at the London Headquarters; she had pending engagements unsettled, among them a most important one with myself. Her niece saw her on the previous day, and made an appointment with her. In short, I do not believe she meant to die, or knew she would die
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when she did. Generally, of course, she knew that she was liable to depart after certain work had been finished, but circumstances make me think she was surprised by a physical crisis, and died before she expected she would. If she had lived, she would have undoubtedly left her protest against her friends making a saint of her or a bible out of her magnificent though not infallible writings. I helped to compile her Isis Unveiled, while Mr. Keightley and several others did the same by The Secret Doctrine. Surely we know how far from infallible are our portions of the books, to say, nothing about hers. She did not discover nor invent Theosophy, nor was she the first or the ablest agent, scribe, or messenger of the Hidden Teachers of the Snowy Mountains. The various Scriptures of the ancient nations contain every idea now put forth, and in some cases possess far greater beauties and merits than any of her or our books. We need not fall into idolatry to signify our lasting reverence and love for her, the contemporary teacher, nor offend the literary world by pretending that she wrote with the pen of inspiration. Nobody living was a more staunch and loyal friend of hers than I, nobody will cherish her memory more lovingly. I was true to her to the end of her life, and now I shall continue to be true to her memory. But I never worshipped her, never blinded my eyes to her faults, never dreamt that she was as perfect a channel for the transmission of occult teaching as some others in history had been, or as the Masters would have been glad to have found.
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As her tried friend, then; as one who worked most intimately with her, and is most anxious that she may be taken by posterity at her true high value; as her co-worker; as one long ago an accepted, though humble, agent of the Masters; and finally, as the official head of the Society and guardian of the personal rights of its Fellows—I place on record my protest against all attempts to create an H. P. B. School, sect, or cult, or to take her utterances as in the least degree above criticism. The importance of the subject must be my excuse for thus dwelling upon it at some length. I single out no individuals, mean to hurt nobody’s feelings. I am not sure of being alive very many years longer, and what duty demands I must say while I can.
“And now, brethren and friends, I come to a matter of the deepest, saddest interest. H. P. Blavatsky’s body was cremated by her order, often reiterated and at long intervals. Before leaving India for Europe for the last time, she executed what proved to have been her last Will and Testament, and the original document is on file here as provided by law. Its date is the 31st of January, 1885. The witnesses were P. Sreenivasa Row, E. H. Morgan, T. Subba Row, and C. Ramiah. It contains a clause to the effect that she wishes her ashes to be buried within the compound of the Headquarters at Adyar; and another requesting that annually, on the anniversary of her death, some of her friends should assemble here and read a chapter of The Light of Asia and one of Bhagavad-Gita.
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In compliance with her sacred wish, therefore, I have brought her ashes from London; across the Atlantic, across the American continent, across the Pacific, from Japan to Ceylon, and thence hither, that they may find the last resting-place she longed for, the holiest tomb that a servant of the Indian sages could have. Together we came, she and I, from New York to India, over seas and lands, in the beginning of 1879, to re-light the torch at the temple-door of Gnyânam: together have we come now—I living, she a memory and a handful of dust—again in 1891 Parted are we in body, yet united in heart and soul for our common cause, and knowing that we shall one day, in a future birth, again be comrades, co-disciples and colleagues. My private duty towards her is fulfilled: I now turn over to the Society the honorable custody of her ashes, and as President shall see that her last wishes are fulfilled so far as feasible.”
I then removed a silken covering, and exposed a closed, handsomely engraved Benares vase, in which were the ashes of Madame Blavatsky. All present rose to their feet and stood in solemn silence until the mortuary urn was re-covered.
When it came to a discussion as to the disposal of the ashes, my suggestion for the building of a mausoleum or dagoba within our compound met with general disapproval. The subject of the disposal of the ashes of the dead having never before been mooted by me, I was greatly struck—and, I must confess, equally pained—to find how absolutely antagonistic were the
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views of Indian and Western peoples on this question. In the opinion of my Hindu colleagues, to have planted Madame Blavatsky’s ashes in or near our premises would have defiled them so that no orthodox Hindu could come there without going through purificatory ceremonies afterwards. In the course of the discussion, they put it to me whether a believer in the Higher Self ought to regard the dust of the body which the ego’s personality had occupied as anything better than refuse to be got rid of as soon as possible, preferably by the Hindu method of casting it into a running stream or into the sea. My answer was, that since it was also their custom to preserve in tombs the corpses of recognised Yogis, it seemed to me a shame and a mark of ingratitude that the ashes of one who had been possessed of not only the knowledge but also the transcendental powers of an advanced Yogi, and who had so dearly loved India, and so unselfishly worked for the spiritual welfare of the Indians, should not be buried, as she had requested in her Will, at the Headquarters. Finding at last that my arguments would not avail to overcome their deep-rooted prejudices, and feeling personally hurt at what I conceived to be cold ingratitude, I finally consented to the adoption of a resolution to the effect that I should have full power to dispose of the ashes as I thought best. My private conviction was that at the bottom they were willing to have me do what I liked, provided that I did not bring the matter to their notice, and so compromise their caste responsibilities in case they
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should knowingly allow me to carry out H. P.B.’s wishes.
It should be remembered that for years I had been trying to disembarrass myself of the responsibility of having the Government bonds belonging to the Society vested in my name, for no one could foresee the certainty of my escaping the accidents of travel, and so leaving the money to be entangled in my private affairs and subject to the risks of legal complications. Again and again I had brought it forward at Conventions, and this time got a resolution passed for the execution of a Trust Deed. In due course this document was drafted and executed, and was duly registered in the office of the Registrar of Deeds at Saidapet.
Many lectures were given before the Convention by Delegates, and addresses at the public celebration of our sixteenth Anniversary at Pachaiappah’s Hall. After a most successful session, throughout which excellent feeling prevailed, the Convention adjourned sine die on the 29th.
Advantage was taken of the presence of a number of ladies at the Convention to get them together and discuss the question of female education in India. Various suggestions were made, but, owing to the ignorance of the ladies as to the real status of woman in the Hindu household, they were nearly all impracticable. Finally a suggestion of mine was adopted, that an address should be issued by the ladies to the Hindu public with a view to ascertaining the feasibility of organising a Women’s Educational League for India,
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Such a movement having been successfully begun in Ceylon, it appeared possible that a similar one could be started in India, with some modifications adapted to the different conditions of domestic Indian life. The practical difficulty in the way of any such movement would be the lack of ready-made leaders, the restrictions upon women consequent upon the widespread prevalence of the zenana or purdah system being extremely embarrassing. Of course, the choice of Brahmo ladies in that capacity would be quite unthinkable outside their own small and entirely unorthodox community; orthodox ladies would probably never accept their leadership, any more than they would that of any European lady who was a recognised Christian, for a suspicion would at once arise that it was a new trick of the missionaries to gain converts, or open the way for the breaking down of caste. That no such difficulty would attach to a movement managed by professedly Theosophical white ladies is plain enough when we see the light in which Mrs. Besant is regarded in the Hindu family. Recognising this, it has for many years been a cherished plan of mine to get out from Western countries lady members of our Society like Miss Palmer, Mrs. Higgins, Mlle. Kofel, Miss Weeks, and others who have had training as teachers, and who would come out with the intention of devoting themselves exclusively to this work of creating a Women’s League. This, however, is a matter for the future, for it requires special capital and a thoroughly digested programme before I should consent to have it begun.
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Among the interesting personages at the Convention was a Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Peking. He brought me the following memorandum from Babu Sarat Chandra Das, the Tibetan Translator to the Government of Bengal:
“Lama Tho-chiya, of a Manchurian family, belongs to Yung-ho-kung, the great Buddhist Monastery of Peking, which I visited in 1885.
“He is a friend of His Excellency Shang Tai, the present Chinese Imperial President (Amban) of Lhasa.
“During his stay here, Lama Tho-chiya was my guest. He now proceeds to Buddha Gaya with only 20 rupees, which I have put into his pocket. He is deserving of help in every way. He has come thus far from Manchuria, travelling on foot.”
The Lama’s portrait may be seen in the annual group photograph of 1891, seated between Miss Müller and Mr. Keightley, and it will be noted how delicate, refined, and spiritual are his features, and how little they resemble the Mongolian type.
On the last day of year, Dr. Emma Ryder told me that, while practising at Bombay, she had come to know that Mme. Coulomb and the missionaries had arranged a scheme by which Mrs. Besant was to be dragged into court on a pretext, so as to reopen the old scandal against H. P. B.; moreover, that that woman was malicious to a degree. The plot, however, if ever made, came to naught, for Mrs. Besant was not molested in any way.
Mr. Keightley and I sat the old year out and shook hands for luck on the threshold of the New Year. My
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journeying in the year 1891 footed up to 43,000 miles by sea and land. Of course the most conspicuous event of that past twelvemonth was the death of Mme. Blavatsky, upon the 8th of May, in the 7th month of the 17th year of our association in this work.