First received after revival in February, 1882.
Letter №47 (ML-45)
Mahatma K.H. - A.P. Sinnett
Covers - 1. Pages - 11.
My Brother — I have been on a long journey after supreme knowledge, I took a long time to rest. Then, upon coming back, I had to give all my time to duty, and all my thoughts to the Great Problem. It is all over now: the New Year's festivities are at an end and I am "Self" once more. But what is Self? Only a passing guest, whose concerns are all like a mirage of the great desert. . . .
Anyhow — this is my first moment of leisure. I offer it to you, whose inner Self reconciles me to the outer man who but too often forgets that great man is he who is strongest in the exercise of patience. Look around you, my friend: see the "three poisons" raging within the heart of men — anger, greed, delusion, and the five obscurities — envy, passion, vacillation, sloth, and unbelief — ever preventing them seeing truth. They will never get rid of the pollution of their vain, wicked hearts, nor perceive the spiritual portion of themselves. Will you not try — for the sake of shortening the distance between us — to disentangle yourself from the net of life and death in which they are all caught,
the New Year's festivities refers to the Tibetan New Year called Losar (Wylie: lo-gsar) which is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. The exact date varies with the year. In 1882 losar fell on February 18.
In Buddhism the three poisons are the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara, and the five obscurities (or hindrances) are negative mental states that impede the awakening of wisdom.
o cherish less — lust and desire? Young Portman is seriously meditating to leave all, to come over to us, and "become a Tibetan monk" as he puts it. His ideas are singularly mixed upon the two entirely different characteristics and qualifications of the "Monk" or Lama and the living "Lha," or Brother: but let him try by all means.
Aye — I am only now able to correspond with you. At the same time let me tell you that it is more difficult than before to exchange letters with you, though my regard for you has sensibly increased, instead of being lessened — as you feared — and will not diminish unless — but as the consequence of your own acts. That you will try to avoid in raising any such obstacle, I know well; but man, after all, is the victim of his surroundings while he lives in the atmosphere of society. We may be anxious to befriend such as we have an interest in, and yet be as helpless to do so, as is one who sees a friend engulfed in a stormy sea when no boat is near to be launched and his personal strength is paralysed by a stronger hand that keeps him back. Yes, I see your thought . . . but you are wrong.
Young Portman has not been identified.
Blame not the holy man for strictly doing his duty by humanity. Had it not been for the Chohan and his restraining influence you would not be reading now again a letter from your trans-Himalayan correspondent. The world of the Plains is antagonistic to that of the mountains, that you know; but what you do not know is the great harm produced by your own unconscious indiscretions. Shall I give you an instance? Remember the wrath produced on Stainton Moses by your too imprudent letter quoting ad libitum and with a freedom pregnant with the most disastrous results from my letter to you about him. . . . The cause generated at that time has now developed its results: not only has S.M. completely estranged himself from the Society some of whose members believe in us, but he has determined in his heart the utter annihilation of the British Branch. A psychic Society is being founded and he has succeeded in bringing over to it Wyld, Massey and others. Shall I also tell you the future of that new body? It will grow and develop and expand and finally the Theos. Soc. of London will be swamped in it, and lose first its influence then — its name, until Theosophy in its very name
ad libitum is a Latin phrase for "at one's pleasure".
A psychic Society refers to the Society for Psychical Research, which was to cause much trouble to Mme. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Dr. George Wyld, C. C. Massey, William Stainton Moses, and others were members.
becomes a thing of the Past. It is you alone, the simple action of your swift pen which will have produced the nidana and the ten-del, the "cause" and its "effect" and thus the work of seven years, the constant untiring efforts of the builders of the Theos. Society will perish — killed by the wounded vanity of a medium.
This simple act on your part is silently digging out a chasm between us. The evil may yet be averted — let the Society exist but in name till the day it can get members with whom we can work de facto — and by the creation of another counteracting cause we may save the situation. The hand of the Chohan alone can bridge it, but it must be yours that places the first stone for the work. How will you do it? How can you do it? Think of it well, if you care for further intercourse. They want something new, a Ritual to amuse them. Consult with Subba Row, with Sankariah the Dewan Naib of Cochin, read attentively his pamphlet extracts from which you will find in the last Theosophist (see, "A Flash of
Nidana (Tibetan: Ten-del) is a Sanskrit word that means "chain of causation." In Buddhism the term is usually translated as "dependent origination," and refers to the concatenation of cause and effect that drives consciousness into successive rebirths.
of Light upon Occult Free Masonry." Page 35). I can come nearer to you, but you must draw me by a purified heart and a gradually developing will. Like the needle the adept follows his attractions. Is this not the law of the disembodied Principles? Why then not of the living also? As the social ties of the carnal man are too weak to call back the "Soul" of the deceased except where there is a mutual affinity which survives as a force in the region within the terrestrial region, so the calls of mere friendship or even enthusiastic regard are too feeble to draw the "Lha" who has passed on a stage of the journey to him he has left behind, unless a parallel development goes on. M. spoke well and truthfully when saying that a love of collective humanity is his increasing inspiration; and if any one individual should wish to divert his regards to himself, he must overpower the diffusive tendency by a stronger force.
All this I say, not because its substance has not been told you before, but because
Lha is a Tibetan word usually translated as "god", which the Mahatmas sometimes use to refer to themselves.
I read your heart and detect in it a shade of sadness, not to say disappointment, that hovers there. You have had other correspondents but are not perfectly satisfied. To gratify, I write you therefore with some effort to bid you keep a cheerful frame of mind. Your strivings, perplexities and forebodings are equally noticed, good and faithful friend. In the imperishable RECORD of the Masters you have written them all. There are registered your every deed and thought; for, though not a chela, as you say to my Brother Morya, nor even a "protege" — as you understand the term — still, you have stepped within the circle of our work, you have crossed the mystic line which separates your world from ours, and now whether you persevere or not; whether we become later on, in your sight, still more living real entities or vanish out of your mind like so many dream fictions — perchance an ugly night-mare — you are virtually OURS. Your hidden Self has mirrored itself in our Akasa; your nature is — yours, your essence is — ours. The flame is distinct from the log of wood which serves it temporarily as fuel;
at the end of your apparitional birth — and whether we two, meet face to face in our grosser rupas — you cannot avoid meeting us in Real Existence. Yea, verily good friend your Karma is ours, for you imprinted it daily and hourly upon the pages of that book where the minutest particulars of the individuals stepping inside our circle — are preserved; and that your Karma is your only personality to be when you step beyond. In thought and deed, by day, in soul-struggles by nights, you have been writing the story of your desires and your spiritual development. This, every one does who approaches us with any earnestness of desire to become our co-worker, he himself "precipitates" the written entries by the identical process used by us when we write inside your closed letters and uncut pages of books and pamphlets in transit. (See pp. 32, 35 Report sent by Olcott, once more.) I tell you this for your private information and it must not figure in the next pamphlet from Simla. During the past few months, especially, when your weary brain was plunged in the torpor of sleep, your eager soul has often been searching after me, and the
current of your thought been beating against my protecting barriers of Akas as the lapping wavelets against a rocky shore. What that "inner Self," impatient, anxious — has longed to bind itself to, the carnal man, the worldlings' master has not ratified: the ties of life are still as strong as chains of steel. Sacred, indeed, some of them are, and no one would ask you to rupture them. There below, lies your long-cherished field of enterprise and usefulness. Ours can never be more than a bright phantom-world to the man of thorough "practical sense"; and if your case be in some degree exceptional, it is because your nature has deeper inspirations than those of others, who are still more "business-like" and the fountain-head of whose eloquence is in the brain not in the heart, which never was in contact with the mysteriously effulgent, and pure heart of Tathagata.
If you hear seldom from me, never feel disappointed, my Brother, but say — "It is my fault." Nature has linked all parts of her Empire together by subtle threads
Tathagata is the name the Gautama Buddha of the scriptures uses when referring to himself.
effulgent is radiant or shining brightly; emanating joy or goodness.
of magnetic sympathy, and, there is a mutual correlation even between a star and a man; thought runs swifter than the electric fluid, and your thought will find me if projected by a pure impulse, as mine will find, has found, and often impressed your mind. We may move in cycles of activity divided — not entirely separated from each other. Like the light in the sombre valley seen by the mountaineer from his peaks, every bright thought in your mind, my Brother, will sparkle and attract the attention of your distant friend and correspondent. If thus we discover our natural Allies in the Shadow-world — your world and ours outside the precincts — and it is our law to approach every such an one if even there be but the feeblest glimmer of the true "Tathagata" light within him — then how far easier for you to attract us. Understand this and the admission into the Society of persons often distasteful to you will no longer amaze you. "They that be whole
Tathagata refers to "the Buddhist teaching that everyone is potentially a Buddha".