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Part 2: Master Morya in the Mayavi Rupa: The Testimony of Henry S. Olcott

Mar 30, 2002 04:52 PM
by Daniel Caldwell

Henry S. Olcott
New York City 

Our evening’s work on Isis was finished, I had bade
goodnight to HPB, retired to my own room, closed the
door as usual, sat me down to read and smoke, and was
soon absorbed in my book. All at once, as I read with
my shoulder a little turned from the door, there came
a gleam of something white in the right-hand corner of
my right eye; I turned my head, dropped my book in
astonishment, and saw towering above me in his great
stature an Oriental clad in white garments, and
wearing a head cloth or turban of amber-striped
fabric, hand-embroidered in yellow floss silk. Long
raven hair hung from under his turban to the
shoulders; his black beard, parted vertically on the
chin in the Rajput fashion, was twisted up at the ends
and carried over the ears; his eyes were alive with
soul fire, eyes which were at once benignant and
piercing in glance. He was so grand a man, so imbued
with the majesty of moral strength, so luminously
spiritual, so evidently above average humanity, that I
felt abashed in his presence, and bowed my head and
bent my knee as one does before a god or a godlike
personage. A hand was lightly laid on my head, a sweet
though strong voice bade me be seated, and when I
raised my eyes, the Presence was seated in the other
chair beyond the table. He told me he had come at the
crisis when I needed him, that my actions had brought
me to this point, that it lay with me alone whether he
and I should meet often in this life as co-workers for
the good of mankind, that a great work was to be done
for humanity, and I had the right to share in it if I
wished, that a mysterious tie, not now to be explained
to me, had drawn my colleague [HPB] and myself
together, a tie which could not be broken, however
strained it might be at times. He told me things about
HPB that I may not repeat, as well as things about
myself, that do not concern third parties. At last he
rose, I wondering at his great height and observing
the sort of splendor in his countenance—not an
external shining, but the soft gleam, as it were, of
an inner light—that of the spirit. Suddenly the
thought came into my mind: "What if this be but
hallucination; what if HPB has cast a hypnotic glamour
over me? I wish I had some tangible object to prove to
me that he has really been here, something that I
might handle after he is gone!" The Master smiled
kindly as if reading my thought, untwisted the fehta
[turban] from his head, benignantly saluted me in
farewell and was gone: his chair was empty; I was
alone with my emotions! Not quite alone, though, for
on the table lay the embroidered head cloth, a
tangible and enduring proof that I had not been
"overlooked," or psychically befooled, but had been
face to face with one of the Elder Brothers of
Humanity. To run and beat at HPB’s door and tell her
my experience was the first natural impulse, and she
was as glad to hear my story as I was to tell it. I
returned to my room to think, and the gray morning
found me still thinking and resolving. I have been
blessed with meetings with this Master and others
since then.

[Note: Colonel Olcott elsewhere describes how the
Master Morya left his room: "When I asked him to leave
me some tangible evidence that I had not been the dupe
of a vision, but that he had indeed been there, he
removed from his head the puggri [turban] he wore, and
giving it to me, vanished from my sight." H. S.
Olcott, Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science
(London, 1885), p. 123. See a photograph of the
turban at: ]

Quoted from:
Olcott, Henry Steel. Old Diary Leaves: The True Story
of the Theosophical Society. Vol. 1 (1874–1878). New
York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1895, pp. 377, 379–81] 

[Note: The above extracts have been transcribed from
the original source but material not relevant to the
subject has been silently deleted. The original texts,
however, can be found from the bibliographical
references. Explanatory words added by the editor are
enclosed within brackets.]

Daniel H. Caldwell
"...Contrast alone can enable us to appreciate things at
their right value; and unless a judge compares notes and
hears both sides he can hardly come to a correct decision."
H.P. Blavatsky. The Theosophist, July, 1881, p. 218.

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