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Re: Mrs Besant's "leading men"

Sep 29, 2004 04:48 AM
by prmoliveira

--- In, gregory <gregory@z...> wrote:

> As George Bernard Shaw said of Mrs Besant that she always need 
a "leading 
> man" to play to. 

Pronouncements about "initiations" and "messages" were made by Annie 
Besant, Oscar Kollerstrom, George Arundale and James Wedgwood at the 
Ommen Star Camp in August 1925, not in 1924. It is possible that such 
pronouncements played a major role in Krishnamurti's decision to 
dissolve the Order of the Star in August 1929.

The notion that Besant, at every stage of her public life, was 
dependent on men is curious in view of her many accomplishments.

After the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago, she was accused of 
have been 'psychologised' by Chakravarti and of being under his 
influence. Interestingly enough, after the Judge split, in 1895, she 
helped, with her lecturing, to rebuild the American Section of the TS 
which went to become the second largest Section in the world wide 
Adyar TS, and still is.

In 1907, when also accused of being deluded by Leadbeater, she was 
elected President of the TS with overwhelming support from members 
world wide. During the 26 years of her presidency the growth of TS 
Lodges and members was exponential, reaching 45,000 in 1928.

In 1917, she was interned by the British government in India in 
Ootacamund, together with George Arundale and B. P. Wadia. When she 
emerged from internement she was elected President of the Indian 
National Congress and was in the forefront of the Home Rule movement.

In July 1924 in Queen's Hall, London, the Golden Jubilee of Annie 
Besant's public work was celebrated. C. Jinarajadasa, then editor 
of "The Theosophist", quoted from a letter he received about the 
occasion which said: 'I am amazed ... this is no narrow Jubilee: it 
is the history of the past fifty years.' Many of her former 
colleagues in the social and political struggle came to pay her 
homage, including the well-known member of parliament, George 
Lansbury. Five hundred delegates representing almost every branch of 
progressive work attended. Dr Marion Phillips in her speech said:

"Her presence, her work, her spirit belongs to the ages of heroism in 
the world's history. ... She has made it possible for us to believe 
in and to put into practice today ideas that were regarded with 
horror when first put before the world."

Ben Tillet, M.P., said: 'Her work should live not in monuments of 
stone but in the monumental progress she has helped to bring.'

"The Theosophist", September 1929, carries an excerpt from an 
interview of Annie Besant by a journalist from Reuters. Asked how she 
felt after the man she had announced to the world as the vehicle of 
the World Teacher, whom she had educated and encouraged since he was 
a young boy, had dissolved the Order of the Star, she said:

"My fundamental belief in Mr Krishnamurti as a World Teacher makes me 
more inclined to observe and study, rather than express an opinion on 
the method chosen by one whom I consider far my superior."

Phtographs from that time show Annie Besant seated in the audience 
whenever Krishnamurti was speaking. 

Towards the end of his life Krishnamurti declared, more than once, 
that, after sixty years of public speaking, he had never met anyone 
who had been transformed. He also said that the only person who, if 
she was not already too old, would have achieved that transformation 
was Annie Besant. When asked why, he replied: "You have no idea of 
how great her capacity for love was."


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