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Helen Zahara

May 26, 2008 04:24 PM
by prmoliveira

--- In, mkr777@... wrote:

> This reminds me an incident in late Helen Zahara's life. She was a 
> public/chartered accountant and wanted to work for TS. CJ was the 
> and he knew of the pittance TS normally pays for people who work, 
and work
> very long hours -- that is what all dedicated theosophists do.
> Because of her education and skills, knowing her potential to make 
money in
> business world, CJ told her to go out in the world and make some 
money and
> come back and work for TS. She took the advise and did so. 
> she did not live long after she came back. Most theosophists work 
for TS
> because of their dedication to theosophy and TS and they do not 
look at it
> as a job always looking at the clock!

(This what was published in the July 2007 issue of the Indo-Pacific 
Federation Newsletter about Helen Zahara. PO):

In Memoriam

Born in New Zealand, Helen Zahara came to Australia in her late 
teens. She joined the Theosophical Society in 1937 and was active in 
theosophical work in Sydney. At the invitation of C. Jinarajadasa, 
she went to Adyar, international Headquarters of the TS, in 1946 and 
became one of his secretaries. Soon after that she was appointed 
Recording Secretary of the TS, a position she served in for five 

In 1953, Helen went to the United States where she worked for two 
years as Assistant Editor of The American Theosophist while also 
lecturing in many cities throughout the country. Following her stay 
in that country she undertook an extensive lecture tour through 
sixteen Latin American countries, addressing her audiences in 
Spanish, which she learned in order to lecture in that language. 

Returning to Australia, Helen was elected General Secretary of the 
Australian Section from 1957 to 1965. It was during her period in 
that office that she organised the first Indo-Pacific Conference near 
Sydney.  She was the inspiration for the formation of the Indo-
Pacific Theosophical Federation, which was eventually established in 

In 1965, Helen was invited to return to the US to be the guest 
speaker at the Annual Convention and Summer School, and to undertake 
a lecture tour through that country. A year later she was appointed 
head of the Department of Education at "Olcott", the National 
Headquarters of the TS in America, as well as coordinator of the Kern 
Foundation programmes, including the publication of Quest Books for 
The Theosophical Publishing House. 

During the course of her work for the Society, Helen addressed 
audiences in more than thirty countries. In addition to Australia, 
India, the Latin American countries and the US, these include 
Pakistan, Burma, Malaysia, South Vietnam, England, Ireland and New 
Zealand.  Her travels and work in many lands, East and West, 
impressed upon her the urgent need for a practical philosophy of life 
based on a awareness of the human being's spiritual nature, the 
underlying meaning of the evolutionary process and the oneness of 
life. It was her sincere belief that the theosophical philosophy 
fulfils this need. She passed away at Wheaton, Illinois, USA, on 26th 
February 1973.

Joy Mills, former International Vice-President and former National 
President of both the American and Australian Sections, said of Helen 
at a memorial service held at "Olcott" on 27th February 1973: 

"Helen was a theosophical activist to whom brotherhood was a way of 
life, compassion a deed of love, truth a practical experience."

One of the memorable moments for her was her visit, together with Joy 
Mills, to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in 1972. She wrote in a letter 
to an Australian friend about the visit, on 2nd January 1973:

"The Dalai Lama was most gracious and we were served afternoon tea 
(English style). We were with him for about fifty minutes. At first 
he answered our questions in Tibetan and his secretary translated; 
then he spoke in good English himself. After we had finished our 
business discussion we got on to some philosophical talk. I asked him 
if he knew of the work of H.P.B., how she had been trained in Tibet 
and had taken her knowledge to the West. He did not seem to be aware 
of this. Then I mentioned some of her writings which were based on 
Mahayana Buddhism, particularly The Voice of the Silence. He looked 
at me and said, "can you please explain its essence." You can imagine 
the shock I got. Anyway I did my best aided by Joy and he said, yes, 
it sounded like Mahayana Buddhism. We have been laughing ever since 
at my trying to explain the essence of the V. of the S. to the Dalai 

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