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Re: Concept of Mahatma

Nov 20, 2000 08:18 PM
by Blavatsky Archives


I will briefly reply to your latest email addressed to Peter.

You write to Peter:

> 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 
> credibility.

Art, you certainly have every right to disagree with Peter and to 
believe as you see fit. I think that is one thing that all of us 
will agree on. 

But having said that, let me turn my attention to a few of your 
statements that deal with the Masters of HPB.

For example, you say the Mahatmas are figures that lack "credibility" 
but exactly what you mean by that term is unclear to me. I can try 
to guess what you might mean by that but it is fairly 
imcomprehensible as to what you really mean. 

I assume also that you have no desire to give us any details which 
would make your position understandable.

Again, you seem quite reluctant to actually deal with the eyewitness 
accounts of the Theosophical witnesses. You are short on any 
specifics and instead make generalizations such as:

> 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'"...

Hearsay??? I have no clear understanding or idea of what you really 
mean by this. 

But are you also EQUALLY sceptical of ALL other witnesses who claim 
to have observed or experienced psychic and/or spirtual 
manifestations/experiences? There are many materialistic minded 
skeptics of the paranormal and the spiritual who use your SAME 
argument of HEARSAY to pooh-pooh the reality of any thing beyond the 
physical. In other words, do you use your HEARSAY argument just on 
the theosophical witnesses or do you apply it to all witnesses of 
similar happenings?

For example, Aurobindo claimed he "saw" Koot Hoomi. Yogananda claimed 
to be in contact with Babaji who appears as elusive as the 
theosophical Masters. Are you equally skeptical of their claims?
Or what about Sai Baba and his paranormal claims? Do you also apply 
the HEARSAY skeptical argument to those claims?

Art, believe or disbelieve as you see fit. But if you want to 
communicate your views about HPB's Masters and feel that thoughtful 
students of Theosophy might benefit from your views, you will have to 
present more detailed explanations if you want us to understand your 
position and the reasons why you have adopted that stance. 

The devil is in the details.


--- In, arthra999@y... wrote:
> 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...> 
> wrote:
> > 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 
> 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 
> spiritualism;
> 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 
> tribble. 
> 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 
> physically
> > > incarnated for people to have Darshan with them and today 
> we
> > > are fortunate to have access to writings and impressions of
> > > people who met them. In this way we as beings can weigh 
> their
> > > words and accept or reject their words and apply them or not 
> to
> > > 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 
> did.
> 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 
> God,".
> > 
> > You also say you love "Viveka-Chudamani". Yes, I do too, and 
> Atma-Bodhi,
> > 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.
> You
> > 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 
> anyone
> > who has written here shown they regard a belief in their 
> existence as an
> > entry qaulification to the study of Theosophy. I certainly 
> but
> > 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 
> HPB"
> > 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 
> present
> > 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 
> credibility.
> In Friendship,
> Art

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