Apparitional [Paranormal] Features of some of the Appearances of the Mahatmas
Nov 29, 2005 10:49 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell
Apparitional [Paranormal] Features of
some of the Appearances of the Mahatmas
Some readers of the compilation titled
"A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas"
may have noticed that Emma Coulomb's and Richard
Hodgson's "explanations" of the appearances and
encounters with the Mahatmas do NOT deal with
what I will call the "paranormal" features of many
of the encounters with the Mahatmas. For this reason
alone (not to mention others), I find the explanations
by Coulomb and Hodgson inadequate and unconvincing.
In his classic work titled "Apparitions", the
psychical researcher/parapsychologist G. N. M. Tyrell
listed the various features of an apparition. He came up
with this list after studying hundreds of apparitional
cases looking for common features. Some of these
features or characteristics are as follows:
Apparitions can appear as real and solid persons
but if you touched an apparition, your hand would go right
Apparitions appear in three dimensions, and can be
walked around and viewed from all perspectives.
Apparitions can appear luminous.
Apparitions can disappear in a variety of ways. They
can walk out the door, or they can vanish on the spot, walk through
walls, or slowly fade into nothingness.
It is also to be noted that apparitions many times appear to glide
instead of walk.
In the two documents I earlier provided at:
NOTICE the following tesimonies and compare and contrast them
with the general features given by Tyrell:
"I suddenly saw, at the distance of about 15 paces, a gleaming
substance which assumed the figure of a man. It was not walking on
the ground, but appeared to be gliding through mid-air among the top-
most branches of the trees. It glided forwards and backwards four or
"Shortly after the figure again appeared on the hill, and suddenly
vanished, leaving a brightness which gradually faded away."
"The figure seemed faintly luminous....The figure gradually
vanished, and for a minute or two afterwards the place where it had
been seemed to be gleaming with a milky brightness."
"I received a letter . . . which was brought to me in the most
incomprehensible and mysterious manner, by a messenger of Asiatic
appearance, who then disappeared before my very eyes."
"The four of the party, happening to sit so they could look out of
the window into the street (a room in second story of house), saw
pass the window on the outside the forms of two men."
"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."
"Within about 2 or 3 minutes I heard HPB's voice in her room calling
me. I got up with a start and went in. She said 'some persons want
to see you' and after a moment added, 'Now go out, do not look at
me.' Before however I had time to turn my face, I saw her gradually
disappear on the spot and from that very ground rose up the form of
"On the next occasion, when we were chatting in the above verandah
as usual, another Brother, clothed in a white dress, was suddenly
seen as if standing on a branch of a tree. We saw him then
descending as though through the air, and standing on a corner edge
of a thin wall. Madame then rose up from her seat and stood looking
at him for about two minutes, and—as if it seemed—talking inaudibly
with him. Immediately after, in our presence, the figure of the man
disappeared, but was afterwards seen again walking in the air
through space, then right through the tree, and again disappearing."
"The figure in coming up to Madame Blavatsky's room was seen by
us "to float through the air," and we also distinctly heard it
talking to her...."
"That very night while I was going to bed in Col. Olcott's room,
with all doors closed, and in good lamp light, I was startled to see
coming out, as it were, of the solid wall, the astral form of my
most revered Guru Deva, and I prostrated before him, and he blessed
me and desired me to go and see him beyond the Himalayas, in good
Telugu language. The conversation that passed between us is too
sacred to be mentioned here. He disappeared in the same way as he
"[The second time I saw an astral appearance was] two or three days
after that. We were sitting on the ground --- on the rock, outside
the house in Bombay, when a figure appeared a short distance away.
It was not the same figure as on the first occasion. This [astral
figure] was the same shining colour as before. It seemed to float.
There was no sound accompanying it. It seemed like phosphorus in the
dark. The hair was dark, and could be distinguished from the face.'
"Of the three persons present one left the room, and the other two --
- Narasimhulu and Soobiah --- drew near to him. He made certain
signs which the brothers did not understand, but remembered vividly.
He asked for one pice; and when they went to the money-box they
found it contained exactly one pice, which they gave to Him. He
turned and left the house, followed by the two brothers, and
suddenly disappeared, to their great astonishment."
"His manner of walking was so gentle that not a footstep, not the
slightest sound, was audible; nor did he appear to move, by his
gestures. It was only the change of position that made us see he had
come nearer and nearer....He held out and put his hands twice over
Mme. B.'s head. She then stretched out her hand which passed through
his—a fact proving that what we saw was a mayavi rupa [apparitional
body], although so vivid and clear as to give one the impression of
a material physical body. She immediately took the letter from his
hands. It crumpled, as it were, and made a sound. He then waved his
hands toward us, walked a few steps, inaudibly and imperceptibly as
before, and disappeared! Mme. B. then handed the letter to me, as it
was intended for me."
"He materialised partly, and I was able to see a hazy form and
though hazy I saw His arm clearly handing something to H.P.B."
"In one corner of the room there appeared a thin vapoury substance
of a shining white colour. Gradually it took shape, and a few dark
spots became visible, and after a short time it was the fully-formed
body of a man, apparently as solid as an ordinary human body. This
figure passed and re-passed us several times, approaching to within
a distance of a yard or two from where we were standing near the
window. It approached so near that I think that if I had put out my
hand I might have touched it."
"During the night. . . I was visited by Dj.K... who talked with me
about sundry pesons and things. Mr. Leadbeater. . . sleeping on
another charpai in the same room, heard the two voices and saw a
column of light by my bedside, but could not distinguish the form of
"Another time I remember that the rooms gradually filled until there
was no vacant seat. On the sofa sat a distinguished Hindu, in full
panoply of turban and dress. The discussion proceeded and apparently
our distinguished guest was much interested, for he seemed to follow
intelligently the remarks of each speaker. The President of the
Lodge arrived that night very late, and coming in looked around for
a seat. He walked up to the sofa and sat down — right in the middle
of the distinguished Hindu, who promptly, and with some surprise,
fizzled and vanished!"
"One night I awoke suddenly owing to an extraordinary feeling that
there was in the room. The air was all throbbing, and it seemed as
if an electric machine was playing there; the whole room was
electric. I was so astonished (for it was my first experience of the
kind) that I sat up in bed, wondering what on earth could be
happening. It was quite dark, and in those days I was not a bit
clairvoyant. At the foot of the bed a luminous figure appeared, and
stood there from half a minute to a minute. It was the figure of a
very tall man, and I thought, from pictures I had seen, it was H. P.
B.'s Master. Near him was another figure, more faintly luminous,
which I could not clearly distinguish. The brilliant figure stood
quite still, looking at me, and I was so utterly astounded that I
sat perfectly still, simply looking at Him...."
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