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Re: HPB & HSO taking Pansil

Jul 24, 2008 01:46 PM
by Anton Rozman

And here is excerpt from Olcott's "Old Diary Leaves":

On 25th May, H.P.B. and I "took pansil" from the venerable 
Bulatgama, at a temple of the Ramanya Nikaya, whose name at the 
moment escapes me, and were formally acknowledged as Buddhists. A 
great arch of greenery, bearing the words: "Welcome to the members of 
the Theosophical Society," had been erected within the compound of 
the Vihara. We had previously declared ourselves Buddhists long 
before, in America, both privately and publicly, so that this was but 
a formal confirmation of our previous professions. H.P.B. knelt 
before the huge statue of the Buddha, and I kept her company. We had 
a good deal of trouble in catching the Pali words that we were to 
repeat after the old monk, and I don't know how we should have got on 
if a friend had not taken his place just behind us and whispered them 
seriatim. A great crowd was present and made the responses just after 
us, a dead silence being preserved while we were struggling through 
the unfamiliar sentences. When we had finished the last of the Silas, 
and offered flowers in the customary way, there came a mighty shout 
to make one's nerves tingle, and the people could not settle 
themselves down to silence for some minutes, to hear the brief 
discourse which, at the Chief Priest's request, I delivered. I 
believe that attempts have been made by some of my leading colleagues 
of Europe and America to suppress this incident as much as possible, 
and cover up the fact that H.P.B. was as completely accepted a 
Buddhist as any Sinhalse in the Island. This mystification is both 
dishonest and useless, for, not only did several thousand persons, 
including many bhikkus, see and hear her taking the pansil, but she 
herself boldly proclaimed it in all quarters. But to be a regular 
Buddhist is one thing, and to be a debased modern Buddhist sectarian 
quite another. Speaking for her as well as for myself, I can say that 
if Buddhism contained a single dogma that we were compelled to 
accept, we would not have taken the pansil nor remained Buddhists ten 
minutes. Our Buddhism was that of the Master-Adept Gautama Buddha, 
which was identically the Wisdom Religion of the Aryan Upanishads, 
and the soul of all the ancient world-faiths. Our Buddhism was, in a 
word, a philosophy, not a creed.

Old Diary Leaves, Second Series, pp. 168/169

--- In, mkr777@... wrote:
> In a message I posted couple of years ago, I mentioned that HPB & 
HSO became
> Buddhists because no other religion will accept them. Our dear 
friend late
> Dallas Tenbroeck, a long time Theosophical Scholar, requested if I 
> find the cite. Here it is.
> Annie Besant, in the closing lecture of the Theosophical Convention 
of 1909
> said:
> "Both the Founders joined Buddhism, because it was the only eastern 
> that would accept them, and they wanted to emphasise the value of 
> religion. Buddhism offers an open door to those who desire to come, 
> Colonel Olcott, with his leanings of the past to Buddhism, went 
into it
> heart and soul, Madame Blavatsky's joining was of a more supreficial
> character. I once asked her why she had joined Buddhism and she 
> "Well my dear, I wanted to show that I thought a religion of the 
East was
> rather better than the religion of the West."
> ===***===
> M K Ramadoss, Member, San Antonio, Texas, USA
> For quick access to all the important messages on TS International 
> go to:
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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