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Madame Blavatsky on the letter written by Sriman Swamy

Nov 13, 2002 06:49 PM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

In a letter dated "London, 21-Nov., 1889" to Mr. N. D. Khandalavala, 
Madame Blavatsky made the following comments on the letter written by 
Sriman Swamy: 

"My Dear Mr. Khandalavala, 

I have given to your letter of the 25th Oct., the closest attention, 
though there is nothing in it I did not know before; and now shall 
answer it with all seriousness. . . . As regards the state of the 
Indian Sections of the Society, and the complaints against Olcott, I 
observe the following things. . . . 

. . . That Damodar is believed to have been driven away by harsh 
treatment to live or die as he pleased; and that he is, in fact, 

. . . . That the publication of Sriman Swamy's letter by me [in 
Lucifer] is traceable to Col. Olcott's 'craving for strange stories 
and his anxiety to publish them without throughly verifying them in 
the first instance.' 

. . . Let me reply. . . . 

. . . Damodar is not dead, and Olcott knows it as well as I do. I 
had a letter from him not more than 3 months ago. . . . 

. . . No matter what your lying Sriman Swamy may, or may not be --- 
one cannot always tell --- he passed successfully through a cross 
examination by Mr. Subba Row, who pronounced him a real 'chela of the 
2nd Class' to several witnesses in Madras --- Judge Srinivas Row 
among others, Olcott, etc. Without help he [Sriman Swamy] identified 
the two portraits [of the Masters M. and K.H.] saying which was 
which, and gave facts not obtainable from books. The certificate he 
gave was sent [to me] by Harte as a duplicate of what was to appear 
in the Theosophist, and I printed it [in the September 1889 issue of 
Lucifer] for reasons of my own, even after Harte had written that he 
suppressed it (1) (through funk of the disbelieving Hindus) at 
Adyar. I made no comments on it [when published in Lucifer] because 
there were two fibs in it: (a) Damodar never was at Lhassa nor 
Sriman Swamy either, and not being permitted to say where he saw 
Damodar he gave a wrong name; and (b) My Master never told him what 
he says of me, but he heard it from a chela. I printed it with the 
lies, for two reasons --- firstly, since I published it at all I had 
no right to change one word; secondly, I wanted to see what they 
would say in India to this; in India where every lie is believed and 
repeated most readily, while truth is rejected, smothered shot out of 
the guns (metaphorically) by rulers and by the ruled. Aye, India 
does crucify truth as readily as it is crucified here [in England]. 
Therefore, it was not yet intimated to me Mr. Subba Row had 
discovered his mistake about the Swamy being 'a chela of the 2nd 
Class,' whatever it may mean in India, as in Tibet it means 
nothing. . . ." The Theosophist (Adyar, Madras, India), August 1932, 
pp. 618-619, 623-625. 

(1) The letter from Sriman Swamy was never published in the 
Theosophist. H.P. Blavatsky printed it in Lucifer. See Madame 
Blavatsky's comments above. --- BA Editor. 

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