Blavatsky on the Brahmins

Temple Brahmin in India

H. P. Blavatsky’s words about the present day exoteric Hinduism and about the Brahmins – the orthodox Hindu priests and religious leaders – are worth considering, in light of their clarity and force:

“At present the Brahmins are as ignorant of the occult sciences as the Buddhists of Ceylon! . . . In India, among the 150,000,000 Brahmins of every degree, one would not find 150 initiates, including the Yogis and Paramahamsas. . . . their temples have become cemeteries where lie the corpses of their once beautiful symbols and where reign supreme superstition and exploitation. If it were different, why would American Theosophists have gone to India? Why would have thousands of Brahmins entered The Theosophical Society eager to belong to a centre where they might encounter from time to time a true Mahatma of flesh and blood from the other side of the “great mountain”? . . . What do we Theosophists have to do with Brahmanism, except to combat its abuses, since The Theosophical Society was established in India nine years ago. . . . It is the loss of the keys to symbolism and to the laws of Manu which has produced all the errors and all the abuses that have infiltrated into Brahmanism. . . . what do we have in common with orthodox Brahmanism? . . . it should be clear at last that the Theosophists fight the Brahmanism of the pagodas, as they do all the superstitions, all the abuses, and all the injustices. . . . Brahmins . . . those at least who have remained ultra-orthodox and who fight every benevolent reform – persecute us and hate us as much as do the Christian clergy and the missionaries. We break their idols; they endeavour to smash our reputations . . . The brotherhood of the Theosophists throughout India are the only ones to see the haughty Englishman sitting down at the same table with equally arrogant Brahmins, mellowed and humanized by the example and the lessons of the Theosophists who serve the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, the descendants of those Rishis and Mahatmas which Brahmanism has always revered, though it has ceased to understand them. . . . it is not the “priesthood of India” that attempts to bring the Occident back to the ancient wisdom, but rather a few Occidentals from Europe-America who, led by their Karma to the happiness of knowing certain Adepts of the secret Himalayan Brotherhood, attempt, under the inspiration of these Masters, to lead the priesthood of India back to the primitive and divine esotericism.”

The above words are excerpts from her important article titled “Misconceptions” which is published in the book “Theosophy: Some Rare Perspectives” by Theosophy Company, the printing and publishing branch of the United Lodge of Theosophists.

The Theosophical criticisms of Brahmins are certainly not directed against the whole of the Brahmin caste, since not all members of that caste are priests, religious leaders, or even believers in any type of religious or spiritual teaching. It is the priests, leaders, and main proponents of Brahminical orthodoxy who are meant.

A visit to almost any Hindu temple will show that the above words are just as valid and true today as they were then. The priests continue to keep the people in superstition, ritualism, idolatry, and ignorance, and continue to grow fat (quite literally, in many cases!) on the monetary donations extracted through exploitation from the unsuspecting masses, while at the same time they continue to maintain their utter silence regarding any esoteric knowledge which they may perchance possess, proudly believing that Truth is exclusively reserved for them alone.

HPB’s fascinating and entertaining Indian travelogue “From The Caves and Jungles of Hindostan” provides some interesting insights and perspectives on the Brahmins, amongst many other matters.

Incidentally, many Theosophists are sceptical as to the real motives, aims, and characters of many of the Indian gurus, swamis, and yogis, who either come to the West or build up a large following of devotees in the West. The increasing amount of exposures and accusations of fraud, abuse, and cult-like brainwashing, on the part of many of the most prominent of such individuals, only serves to suggest that many of these “God-Men” (and women) are not quite as “enlightened” as they claim to be.

At a time when Swami Vivekananda was gaining increasing popularity in the USA, William Quan Judge – who in private letters described Vivekananda as a “sly” and cunning person – stated that “Those Hindus who come here are not teachers. They have come here for some personal purpose and they teach no more nor better than is found in our own theosophical literature: their yoga is but half or quarter yoga, because if they knew it they would not teach a barbarian Westerner. What little yoga they teach is to be read at large in our books and translations.” (“Forum Answers” p. 116) That should not necessarily be taken as entirely applying to every single Hindu guru who comes to the West – there can of course be exceptions to a rule – nor necessarily even to Vivekananda, since Judge did not specifically name him in that, but it is worth keeping in mind.

Brahminical opposition to Theosophy, HPB, and her work and teachings, really began openly in the late 1880s with T. Subba Row, despite him having been her friend and also a disciple of the Mahatma M., her own Teacher and Guru. Subba Row objected to so many esoteric truths and such a degree of formerly secret knowledge being given out and made accessible to Westerners. It reached its peak a few years after HPB’s death (which was in 1891) in the form of G. N. Chakravarti, an orthodox Brahmin who gained psychological and psychic control and influence over Annie Besant, which resulted in disaster for the Theosophical Society and led to the first split occurring therein in 1895.

Chakravarti did all in his power to divert attention from HPB’s teachings and to ensure that both they and she became distorted, depreciated, diluted, and criticised and belittled as much as possible by Theosophists. In this he found willing accomplices in such misguided individuals as Besant, G. R. S. Mead, and Col. Olcott. More has been written and explained about this in such articles as Col. Olcott’s Disloyalty to H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge’s “New Era of Western Occultism” and The Final Mahatma Letter.

William Judge opposed Chakravarti and his efforts and relentlessly supported and promoted HPB and her work and teachings, for which he was in his turn relentlessly persecuted and conspired against by Besant, Olcott, and others, in an attempt to silence him and drive him out of the Society. The recently published book “The Judge Case: A Conspiracy which ruined the Theosophical CAUSE” shows that Chakravarti was the main instigator of all this behind the scenes, as Judge was well aware. He also knew that Chakravarti was himself only acting under the orders and inspiration of others, his clandestine Brahmin superiors.

HPB had once written that the Brahmins are the Jesuits of India . . . not in terms of their religious beliefs but in terms of their activities, methods, and sinister determination to retain and increase their power and control on as many levels as possible. Just as orthodox Brahmanism vehemently opposed Buddha and Buddhism, succeeding in driving it away from India just a few centuries after Buddha’s death, it likewise opposed HPB, her teachings, and the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood of Adepts behind her, which is an unequivocally Buddhist Brotherhood, a Brotherhood and Lodge of the pure and real Esoteric Buddhism. (See The REAL Esoteric Buddhism, The Letter from the Maha Chohan, The Great Tsong Kha-pa, Alaya – The Universal Soul, Self, Non-Self, Emptiness & Voidness in Buddhism and Theosophy, The Secret Book of Dzyan, and “The Voice of The Silence” – An Authentic Buddhist Text.)

Note well these words from the Master M., written in the 1880s for the Hindu members of the Prayag branch of the Theosophical Society in India, of which Chakravarti was himself a member:

“For ages we never corresponded with anyone, nor do we mean to. What has Benemadhab or any other of the many claimants done to have a right to such a claim? Nothing whatever. They join the Society, and though remaining as stubborn as ever in their old beliefs and superstitions, and having never given up caste or one single of their customs, they, in their selfish exclusiveness, expect to see and converse with us and have our help in all and everything. . . . unless a man is prepared to become a thorough theosophist i.e. to do as D. Mavalankar did, – give up entirely caste, his old superstitions and show himself a true reformer (especially in the case of child marriage) he will remain simply a member of the Society with no hope whatever of ever hearing from us. The Society, acting in this directly in accordance with our orders, forces no one to become a theosophist of the IId. Section. It is left with himself and at his choice. It is useless for a member to argue ‘I am one of a pure life, I am a teetotaller and an abstainer from meat and vice. All my aspirations are for good etc.’ and he, at the same time, building by his acts and deeds an impassable barrier on the road between himself and us. What have we, the disciples of the true Arhats, of esoteric Buddhism and of Sang-gyas [Note: the Tibetan name for Buddha] to do with the Shasters and Orthodox Brahmanism? There are 100 of thousands of Fakirs, Sannyasis and Saddhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they are, on the path of error, never having had an opportunity to meet, see or even hear of us. Their forefathers have driven away the followers of the only true philosophy upon earth away from India and now, it is not for the latter to come to them but to them to come to us if they want us. Which of them is ready to become a Buddhist, a Nastika as they call us? None. Those who have believed and followed us have had their reward. Mr Sinnett and Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no barrier to us for they have none. They may have had influences around them, bad magnetic emanations the result of drink, Society and promiscuous physical associations (resulting even from shaking hands with impure men) but all this is physical and material impediments which with a little effort we could counteract and even clear away without much detriment to ourselves. Not so with the magnetism and invisible results proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs. Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attracts millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents around them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away. We do not choose to do so.”

After HPB was no longer on the scene, Chakravarti denounced the letter as a fraud and forgery perpetrated by her and succeeded in making Besant, Olcott, A. P. Sinnett, and others, agree with him and say the same. He could not accept that the Masters most closely linked with the Movement were not Hindus or at least not partial to Hinduism, just as many of the Besant/Leadbeater/Hodson and Bailey followers today refuse to accept that those Masters are not essentially Christians or at least especially partial to Christianity.

But the facts are the facts and this particular letter is in harmony and keeping with all of the Masters’ other letters and all that is known about the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood from the original and most authentic sources. As Judge pointed out when defending the letter, if the Masters ever permitted HPB to fraudulently send a misleading, deceptive, or even slightly inaccurate letter under THEIR NAMES and without doing anything to stop, counteract, or correct it, then neither those Masters nor HPB – who they alone spoke of as their “Direct Agent” – are to be trusted or revered in relation to anything whatsoever.

Judge’s warnings to Besant that Chakravarti – who she had accepted as her personal spiritual guide – was in fact a black magician and of “the dark side,” were rejected and unheeded, until around a decade after Judge’s untimely death, when Besant finally came to the same conclusion herself, denouncing Chakravarti and sending him away.

But by this time the damage had already been done. She replaced him with the infamous C. W. Leadbeater, whereupon it seemed that the real Jesuits proceeded to take over!

For an explanation of this statement, the reader is invited and encouraged to read Theosophy, The Jesuits & The Roman Catholic Church and The Case against C. W. Leadbeater along with the section titled “THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT AFTER H. P. BLAVATSKY” in the article Theosophy – An Explanation and Overview. The article 14 Good Reasons to Question the Alice Bailey Teachings may also be read in this regard.

There has always been opposition to Truth, both covert and open. The perceptive and observant may find and notice it amongst certain Theosophists even today. The greatest enemies of Theosophy have always been within the Theosophical Movement itself, since that is where they can work the most effectively and insidiously, without their true aims and motives being suspected, except by the very few. Sadly but truly, most of this occurs within “The Theosophical Society – Adyar” which has for over a century been far more of a pseudo-Theosophical or even anti-Theosophical Society.

Some Theosophists are of the belief and opinion that the same Brahminical and Jesuitical forces and influences of old are still subtly at work – to keep the original and genuine Theosophy as suppressed, obscured, and misrepresented as possible – and that they will remain so for quite some time to come.

Some readers may possibly find some of these statements and assertions to be somewhat extreme or unlikely. This is why we suggest a careful reading of all the articles linked to above, so that it may be more clearly understood why we say what we say.

These closing words are from Robert Crosbie, founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists:

“All the many crises in the old Theosophical Society, all the attacks on H.P.B. and W.Q.J., showed a virulence that could not have arisen from mere personal opinion or interest.

“Time and again have warnings been given, but few have heeded them; or, if heeded at all, the facts stated have been used against any opposed, without making sure that those who so used them were themselves right.

“The defection of Mrs Besant from loyalty to the Path shown, and to H.P.B. and W.Q.J., was due to such Dark side efforts. In her last message to students, H.P.B. said, “Never is the danger greater than when ambition, and a desire to lead, dresses itself up in the peacock feathers of altruism.” She knew; and in that last Message are many prophecies, some of which have already been fulfilled. She said that the Brahmins are the Jesuits of India. Mrs Besant fell under the influence of Brahmins and the Brahminical lines, and their influence can be clearly seen in her evolution and in all the developments in her society. The Dark Ones could not destroy or pervert all the efforts of the White Lodge, but they could, did, and do minimize and corrupt them. In a consideration of all this may be found the explanation of many things that might otherwise be a puzzle. All those who do not follow the lines laid down by the Messengers [Note: this is referring to H. P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge] are certain to be misled. Yet the way is clear; the pity of it is that otherwise sincere and devoted persons will not heed the warnings given; will not study, think, and apply what was recorded for them and their guidance.” (“The Friendly Philosopher” p. 35-36)

“I was looking over the magazine article you mentioned. It is interesting, instructive in places, intelligent and bountifully interspersed with diagrams. It gives the impression of great learning on the subject. But it speaks here and there of the Logos and His care of His children. Too much of the personal God under another name, thus leaving “His” poor, ignorant, sinful children none the wiser as to their godlike nature! The article made me think of the way the Jesuits side-tracked Masonry. They entered it, obtained its secrets, invented “higher degrees” to draw attention from what lay hidden in the original ones, and gradually made it innocuous, and incapable of leading to the knowledge that they feared. Much that is going on and has gone on in the . . . . society has the appearance of leading into innocuous desuetude. This is the mode of working of Brahmano-Jesuitical forces, and the ordinary thinker is unable either to perceive, or credit it if warned. It is not believed that there are Dark Forces and their agents in the world, and that they war within that which they would destroy; that they dress themselves up in “sheep’s clothing” so as to be unsuspected. But it is too true. Every failure to establish the Wisdom-Religion is to be traced to the work of the Dark ones among the unsuspecting stupid “sheep,” who are appealed to through their weakness and led astray. There is no panacea for stupidity and ignorance but self-knowledge, discrimination; anything that leads away from them leads to desolation. Would that there might be some way by which eyes could be opened to a wise and proper consideration of all things. Yet, if one should publicly point out these things, “untheosophical” would be the least charge laid at his door. All that we can do is to accentuate the difference between the Eye Doctrine and the Doctrine of the Heart with full exemplification. The . . . talk glibly of these, but in the words of Kipling, “what do they understand?” Those in that society who have the “heart-desire” may find that doctrine, but the mass have it not, and are kept from its consideration by every means.” (p. 161-162)

Of course, much has changed and improved in “The Theosophical Society – Adyar” since that era and one should not necessarily assume that that Society as a whole is today being governed or guided by “Brahmano-Jesuitical forces.” Nonetheless, serious students of Theosophy, especially those who aspire to work for Theosophy, will do well to familiarise themselves with the above information.


This article may have raised more questions about various things. Please make use of the site search function (the magnifying glass symbol at the top of the page) and visit the Articles page to see the complete list of over 300 articles covering all aspects of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement.

~ ~