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Re: Concept of Mahatma:

Nov 20, 2000 07:11 PM
by arthra999

Thanks for your Letter Peter and I hope you can see that I have 
sincerely replied to your post. Following your remarks , I have 
added my own. My best to you and trust that we can be friends.

--- In, "Peter Merriott" <nous@b...> 
> Art,
> > I think you are as free to embrace your Mahatmas as I am to
> > reject them.
> As far as I know we all agree with you on this. We are each 
free to believe
> as we wish. But our freedom to 'accept' or 'reject' is not the 
issue here.
> The motto of the TS states, "There is no religion higher than 
truth", and
> not "There is no truth higher than what we want to believe."

Truth is as we perceive it Peter. I am willing to concede that I only 
know a small portion.

> When you write into these Theosophical forums saying you 
urge people to
> reject HPB's teachers as nothing more than the spooks from 

What I mean to say is that spiritualism seems to have influenced 
the manifestations of the "mahatmas" in question, such as the 
mysterious letters that appear from the air. Many early 
theosophists we all know were spiritualists and mediums 
believing in these things and placing credance in them. Today 
there would not be so much credibility.

> when you say they are not real Mahatmas and nothing they 
have written
> measures up to what a real Mahatma would write;

Compare what Shri Aurobindo with Master Kuthumi?

when you accuse them of
> being snide-ish and causing divisions between people... 

As in the London Lodge and personally remarking about the 
then personages of the occult scene?

then I think it is
> only reasonable to expect that your fellow theosophists will ask 
you to
> offer something to substantiate those views. 

Good Peter, I agree and hoped we were speaking of these 
things.What I question is the presumed authority of the Masters 
speaking on matters of strategy in the London Lodge as in the 
Mahatma Letters. From what I know about spiritually advanced 
beings they would hardly concern themselves with such trivia or 

Sorry to be so blunt about this but anyone reading these letters 
can see their partisan and one sided concepts. Another area is 
the concern about orientalists like Hume and Max Muller. They 
made great contributions to oriental studies in their time! 

After all, it is the Mahatmas
> who were the real founders and inspiration of the original TS.

Theosophy is predates the TS by several thousands of years.

> But so far you have not offered one single thing to substantiate 
any of the
> above.
> Apparently HPB's teachers are all that you describe because... 
well, simply
> because you say they are.
> All the evidence to the contrary counts for nothing because... 
well, simply
> because you say it doesn't.

All that's been presented as to the existence of these 
:mahatmas" is hearsay and that by those who were rather 
believers themselves, so one would have to ask for an impartial 
witness or observer who would not be partial to the "proof'"...
> You appear to have side-stepped answering any of the issues, 
questions, and
> testimony put to you by members of this group *in response* to 
what you have
> said above.
Please note the latter. It was you who raised this issue of
> the reality of the Mahatmas existence.

Yes. I feel believing in their material existence lacks credibility 
and brings disrepute on us from those we would otherwise be 
our allies and friends.

There was no sign on the door.
> In addition...
> For some time now you have tried to present students of HPB 
and the Mahatmas
> as stuck in the past. 

That's true and what I'd like to see is more openess for the good 
of ourselves and the movement.

Yet you extoll the virtues of studying what you call
> "real Mahatmas" like:
> > "Ramakrishna, Ramana and Aurobindo [who] were 
> > incarnated for people to have Darshan with them and today 
> > are fortunate to have access to writings and impressions of
> > people who met them. In this way we as beings can weigh 
> > words and accept or reject their words and apply them or not 
> > our own lives and spiritual search.
> I like to study these too, along with many others, and as 
pointed out to
> you, what you have written about them could equally be said of 
HPB and the
> Mahatmas.

I'm glad you study them as well Peter but I think there is really 
little comparison between what these "Mahatmas" have 
expressed and an Aurobindo or a Ramakrishna.

I'm not including Madame Blavatsky in this as I think we are 
aware she at most claimed to be a channel ... We can still 
appreciate what she wrote in many cases and be proud that she 

But Art, you need to know that all of these Yogis you mention are
> dead, at least physically, and have been for some time. 

I think I mentioned Sancheti Asoo Lal. I'm particularly impressed 
with the Jain Dharma, but there are others. I think there are 
many Masters and Mahatmas that are worthy of our interest and 
attention that a Kuthumi or such.

The idea that
> weighing up their words of yester-year means one is in the 
present while
> weighing up the teachings of HPB and the Mahatmas means 
that one is somehow
> stuck in the past makes no sense.

I don't know Peter ... maybe not to you...

> Some months ago, in this group, you were advocating that the 
TS drop the
> writings and teachings of HPB and the Mahatmas as outdated 
and no longer
> relevant to Theosophy. Your idea of what counted as relevant 
for 'today'
> was a group you ran for 18 months studying "Jesus, Sun of 
> You also say you love "Viveka-Chudamani". Yes, I do too, and 
> and to hear someone comment on these who really knows 
his/her Vedanta is a
> wonderful thing.
> But Art, Jesus lived 2000 years ago and "Viveka-Chudamani", 
"The Crest Jewel
> of Wisdom", by Sankaracharya was written around 1200 years 
ago. So once
> again, to say that studying HPB and the writings of the 
Mahatmas is to be
> stuck in the past, yet to study 'Jesus' and the works of 
Sankaracharya is to
> be living in the present, has no real basis.

Actually I think David Fideler author of "Jesus Christ Sun of God" 
deserves a "GRS Mead award" and recommended this to the 
National Office...I don't think this was taken seriously, but we 
need to recognize authors like Fideler and applaud their efforts. 
The Crest Jewel was translated by my Guru Swami 
Prabhavananda and I had the bounty of listening to him expound 
and comment about this. This was a living experience Peter.
> Your latest advice to Nick is that he and others should move on 
from the
> perspectives offered by HPB and the Mahatmas a few 
generations ago. 

Again I think many of the writings of Madame Blavatsky are still 
worthy of study... What I'm speaking about are the "mahatmas". 
You know authorities in any field are cited but not always agreed 
with. We need to be willing work with our minds and disagree at 
times when necessary.

> write to do so "means breaking the old patterns and trying new 
ones." And
> what are these new patterns you think Nick should try? One 
such *new*
> pattern is to listen to Monks teaching doctrines promulgated by 
the Buddha
> 2500 years ago!! Yes, that sounds really "new". 

Also, did it ever occur to
> you that you might be telling this to someone who has been a 
genuine lover
> of Buddhism for many years?

I am very glad you are a genuine lover of Buddhism!

> Art, I don't believe there are members in this group who have 
any interest
> at all in converting you into a belief in the Mahatmas. Nor has 
> who has written here shown they regard a belief in their 
existence as an
> entry qaulification to the study of Theosophy. I certainly don't, 
> neither will I stand by while you 'rubbish' them.

Thanks Peter but I have to call them as I see them. I value your 
remarks and hope we can continue to discuss these issues.
> Conversely, you HAVE shown an interest in persuading people 
away from HPB
> and her Teachers.

I really have no agenda here to persuade people "away from 

> My own personal view is that it matters not whether a 'teaching' 
is 100
> years old or 100,000 years old. It is our own individual 
application to
> 'the work' that either brings the underlying truth 'alive' in this 
> moment or leaves it like a dead letter of the past. I maintain 
this is true
> whether we call ourselves Buddhists, Hindus, Theosophists or 
by any other
> label and whether we have gurus or not. Thus, what matters 
most of all is
> that we get on with the genuine study and apply ourselves to 
the path.
> ...Peter

Well said Peter but I do think some discrimination is called for. I 
respectfully disagree with you regarding the existence of the 
"Mahatmas" and suggest as I have that they are figures largely 
influenced by the spiritualist movement and are lacking in 

In Friendship,


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