Theosophy at large (II)
Sep 03, 2004 03:52 PM
by Pedro Oliveira
The following is what N. Sri Ram wrote in "The
Theosophist" (November 1956) about Annie Besant's work
before joining the TS in 1889.
"It was about 1884 that she met Bernard Shaw, some
five years before she became a Theosophist. At that
time the one ruling passion of her life was an immense
desire to give herself to the task of helping and
lifting those who were downtrodden and miserable.
Writing of the unemployed in England and their
miseries, and also of the exploitation of the employed
by the employers of that time, she says:
But ah! how patient they were for the most part, how
sadly, pathetically patient, this crucified Christ,
Humanity; wrongs that would set my heart and my tongue
afire would be accepted as a matter of course. O blind
and mighty people, how my heart went out to you;
trampled on, abused, derided, asking so little and
needing so much; so pathetically grateful for the
pettiest services; so loving and so loyal to those who
offered you but their poor services and helpless love.
Deeper and deeper into my innermost nature ate the
growing desire to succour, to suffer for, to save. I
had long given up my social reputation, I now gave up
with ever-increasing surrender ease, comfort, time;
the passion of pity grew stronger and stronger, fed by
new sacrifice, and each sacrifice led me nearer and
nearer to the threshold of that gateway beyond which
stretched a path of renunciation I had never dreamed
of, which those might tread who were ready wholly to
strip off self for Man's sake, who for Love's sake
would surrender Love's return from those they served,
and would go out into the darkness for themselves that
they might, with their own souls as fuel, feed the
Light of the World."
["Autobiography", chapter XIII]
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