Leadbeater, Damodar and Krishnamurti
Sep 08, 2004 11:33 PM
While sorting a stack of files, I found one misplaced from my archives: it contained a collection of documents relating to Leadbeater produced by an eminent Australian Theosophist, Colonel J.M. Prentice. Glancing through it, I found copies of some letters from him to various Theosophists (including Boris de Zirkhoff, Mary Lutyens, T.H. Redfern) on matters to do with Leadbeater. The following is an extract from a letter from Colonel Prentice to Mrde Zirkoff, December 16, 1957 (with original punctuation) which may be of interest:
³Now, Bro. Boris, I am going to break MY pledge of secrecy and reveal something that I don¹t think has ever been mentioned before; certainly not to my knowledge. The reason is that the revelation was covered over by Leadbeater¹s discovery of the young Kirshnaji, and may have been HIS way of commandeering the king position.
In 1908 he was living in Taormina, in exile and disgrace, when A.B. called on him, leaving her ship at Naples, en route to London. There he psychologized her into believing that they were both Arhats, that they had taken the 4th degree of Initiation together, and they must not allow anything to separate them. A.B. swallowed all this -- my informant at the time was Colonel Peacock.
Well now, in September 1908 she held a General Meeting of the E.S. in Melbourne, which I attended. After some preliminary instruction she suddenly assumed her pythoness attitude, ordered all notebooks to be closed, all pencils put away, and not notes taken. After hinting at her own approaching end (she was 60 on 1st October of that year) she said that she had been instructed to announce to the E.S. that the Inner Head had told her that her place would be taken by a much more advanced Chela and she went on to say that DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR would be returning to the outer world, after initiationin Tibet, to become theosophical leader and OUTER HEAD of the School. Remember I am quoting after nearly 50 cluttered years, and these may not have been her exact words, but they were the sense of what she had said. NOW, if you can get hold of THE THEOSOPHIST for 1908 you will find, unless I am badly mistaken, a reference to the fact that on White Lotus Day she unveiled alife-size portrait of Damodar, in the Shrine Room at Adyar, and implied that she wanted the faithful to recognize him when he returned...... I remember it very vividly and can visualise the page on which it was printed.
Naturally, all this was discussed in whispers and only by the elect: Shravakas (Hearers) like myself were not permitted to say anything at all. But the fact remained, and we were all keenly interested in see this come true. BUT IT DIDN¹T.
Next year, or rather some months later, Leadbeater sprung HIS surprise -- the enunciation of the World Teacher mythos, and this discovery of Krishnaji. From then on there was no further reference whatsoever to Damodar.²
Included also were detailed notes taken by Colonel Prentice at a meeting hehad with Harold Morton in 1962, from which the following brief extract is taken:
³Morton said that he was deeply convinced that CWL had completely hoaxed Mrs Besant in regard to their occult achievements, and that he had intendedto use her as the means of proclaiming him [i.e. Leadbeater] as the vehicle of the reincarnating Christ. (This confirms the story told to me by F.T. BROOKES in 1913) His tarnished reputation however made it impossible for him to claim such an exalted status for himself, and so he had to seek out a suitable subject, whom he could dominate.²
Harold Morton was one of Leadbeater¹s close pupils, and was serving as his secretary at the time of Leadbeater¹s death. He was also a Liberal Catholic priest.
F.T. Brooks (not ³Brookes²) is one of the more fascinating, if all but unknown, players in the Leadbeater-Krishnamurti saga. He became a tutor to Jawarharlal Nehru and persuaded him to join the Theosophical Society. He stayed with Leadbeater for a number of months in London in 1895, and his ³past lives² were researched by Leadbeater. Brooks subsequently resigned and published a number of interesting books (now largely lost and forgotten) containing fascinating accounts of the ³inner² working of the TS at thetime, and of the ES: ³My Resignation² (?1914), ³Neotheosophy Exposed² (1914) and ³The Theosophical Society and its Esoteric Bogeydom² (1914).
Dr Gregory Tillett
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