Some Words of B.P. Wadia

Bahman Pestonji Wadia (1881-1958), better known simply as B.P. Wadia, playedB.P. Wadia an influential role in the growth and development of the United Lodge of Theosophists (ULT), both in his native India and around the world. Initially a member of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, India, he was there an associate of Annie Besant and an avid supporter of the teachings and practices promoted by her and her colleague C.W. Leadbeater.

Eventually, as he began a serious and dedicated study of the original teachings of Theosophy as presented in the books and writings of H.P. Blavatsky, he became painfully aware that the Theosophical Society, under the leadership and influence of Besant and Leadbeater, had become little more than a deceptive and harmful sham, as un-Theosophical as it was anti-Theosophical. He later declared, “The Theosophical Society is disloyal to Theosophy.”

Wadia, extremely disheartened at how HPB’s books and teachings had been pushed aside, neglected, and replaced by supposed psychic revelations and spurious claims, unhesitatingly left the Adyar Society when he learnt of the United Lodge of Theosophists. The ULT had been founded in Los Angeles in 1909 by Robert Crosbie with the mission to “Spread Broadcast the original teachings of Theosophy as found in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.” Wadia enthusiastically aligned himself with the work and mission that Crosbie had begun and ended up being one of the greatest and most influential blessings that the ULT – and the cause of Theosophy itself – had ever known.

For more about the ULT and a brief overview of the Theosophical Movement past and present, please see the article titled Why I finally decided to “join” the United Lodge of Theosophists. A few things that were said in that article may be worth repeating here:

* “Because the Theosophists of the ULT treat HPB seriously and with respect, they naturally hold her written teachings in high esteem and go to the effort of properly and carefully reading and studying them, which is something that many Theosophists sadly never do.”

* “The ULT holds unashamedly to the fundamentals of genuine Theosophy.”

* “The United Lodge of Theosophists is well aware that the main emphasis of original and genuine Theosophy is on Eastern spirituality, Eastern esotericism, Eastern philosophy, and not that of the West.”

* “As a result of the ULT’s faithfulness to what was described by the Masters as “the original impulse,” the ULT is alive, active, and respected in India, with main branches in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Madras. B.P. Wadia, the Indian man who spearheaded the ULT after Robert Crosbie’s passing, is still held in high regard in his home country.”

* “The United Lodge of Theosophists is in fact the most active in general of all branches of the Theosophical Movement today, both online and in the real everyday world. There are active and lively Lodges and Study Groups across the USA as well as in India, the UK, Greece, Brazil, France, Belgium, Mexico, Sweden, Cameroon, Italy, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Canada.

* “‘Independent Devotion to the Cause of Theosophy’ is the main policy of the ULT and so it is clear that no-one chooses to become associated with it unless they are truly devoted, passionate, and committed to the Theosophical cause.”

* “I felt the time had come to affiliate myself with this admirable and hard working branch of the Theosophical Movement, which takes Theosophy seriously and realises just how incredibly valuable and important for humanity the teachings and mission of H.P. Blavatsky actually are. I believe that history will one day be thankful that the United Lodge of Theosophists worked relentlessly to keep genuine Theosophy alive in the world.”

And so, with all that in mind, let us embark upon these words from B.P. Wadia himself, which are quoted from various parts of the book “Studies in The Secret Doctrine.”

~ * ~

“Those who have learnt their ‘theosophy’ at any source other than that of H.P.B. need a serious warning: between her teachings and those that commonly pass as Theosophy there is an unbridgeable gulf; the difference between the two is as between day and night. H.P.B. referred to ‘the wild and fanciful speculations in which many Theosophists and students of mysticism have indulged, during the last few years, in their endeavour to, as they imagined, work out a complete system of thought from the few facts previously communicated to them’ (S.D. I. viii). There were only a few, to be counted on the fingers of one hand, to whom the above words applied, when they were penned by H.P.B.; today, alas! their number is – legion.”

“Knowledge and not belief is what H.P. Blavatsky offered. If today the world of knowledge does not to a greater extent examine her teachings it is because her many followers are denizens of the world of belief; alas! even a greater number, adopting the appellation of her system of thought, display crass ignorance of it. An impartial and critical study of her system of thought, not with a desire either to prove that she is right or to prove that she is wrong, but to find out what her teachings are: that is what is wanted. Do they solve the intricate problems which confront us? Do they illuminate our intelligence? Do they satisfy the yearnings of the human heart? Do they inspire us to a noble life-struggle, to a greater altruism, to a grander selflessness? Above all are they in harmony with the established facts of ancient science, proven laws of ancient ethics, profound truths of ancient philosophy? Do they illumine the obscure and make known that which is unknown today but which has been fully known in the past?”

“From Universals to particulars has always been the process of teaching and exposition in the schools of esoteric science.”

“It is necessary to proceed from fundamental principles; the mastering of postulates and axioms should precede the attempt at solving problems or theorems.”

“The contrast of the absolute and relative knowledge is shown in The Secret Doctrine. The modern scientist rejects the first and accepts the second; the ancient scientist accepted the eternal, constant and consistent knowledge, whose teachings he attained through the mysteries of Initiation; for him all else was illusion, but of that illusion he took note and did not deny its existence.”

“While the influence of [Pythagoras] on European civilization is not so well known as that of Plato, we must not overlook the fact of Pythagoras being the Father of European Esotericism. The abstruse metaphysics, the philosophy of numbers, the science of music and forms, the symbolism of virtues, forces and gods, which Pythagoras taught in the silence of the sanctuary, have naturally escaped the attention of the concrete mind of the race to which we belong. Plato, however, fortunately for the West, does not share the same fate and his influence on European civilization has not only been immense and lasting but is also traceable and recognized.”

“It falls to the lot of Theosophy to enlighten our generation on the subject of God, and this the Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine do. There is no Personal God anywhere and that is why there is no miracle anywhere. Having indicated what God is not, let us resolve to discard this word [i.e. the word “God”] which through its usage has become a source of great confusion and a pitfall for the unwary whose name is legion.”

“The theologian has made such blasphemous mockery of the Divine Law which is God, by transforming It into a personal being, and then investing him with powers and faculties and belongings, that men of knowledge, even scanty knowledge, cannot but brush it all aside. Those who have some reverence left in their hearts in this twentieth-century civilization rightly look upon this God of the theologian as a rank and intolerable blasphemy.”

“The initial steps of this momentous journey [of inner, spiritual evolution] have to be taken now and here by every earnest student of the Wisdom. The first of these is to reject, without any mental reservation, without any equivocation whatever, all religious, philosophic or scientific creeds which teach the existence of an Intelligent Ruler of men, Father of His children; which teach dependence on power, force or law outside of man himself; which inculcate the practice of ceremonial and ritual for appeasing powers sub- or super-human; or which encourage the notion of man becoming a ministering angel or deva with a view to propitiate the desires of mortals. To all who are in churches or mosques or schools where either or all of the above doctrines are taught, East or West, Theosophy says – ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.’ (II Corinthians, vi. 17) That is the first step – the complete rejection of orthodox creeds which have to be blindly believed, or which encourage dependence on outer agencies, personal or institutional.”

“The approach of Theosophy, in this day and generation, has to be, therefore, through the clear Message of our era [referring to “The Secret Doctrine”]. Once its great Teachings are grasped, religions, sciences, arts and philosophies show forth the grandeur of what is truly good and beautiful in all of them. Theosophy provides the common basis which unifies them all and co-ordinates what seems contradictory in each.”

“From the Vedas of ancient Aryavarta down to H.P.B.’s Secret Doctrine, all proclaim the existence, immortal and immemorial, of ‘the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical.’ But priests are the enemies of the prophets, advocates and upholders of the letter that killeth and destroyers of the Spirit that giveth life.”

“The Knowledge of the Adepts is Archetypal Knowledge – Gupta Vidya, the Buddhi, which is the Vehicle of Atma – Para Vidya. This Archetypal Knowledge has a revealed aspect – the Universal and Impersonal Wisdom-Religion, and an esoteric one into the mysteries of which one has to be initiated.”

“The book, The Secret Doctrine, is a ray of the SECRET DOCTRINE, eternal and unevolving, constant and unchanging, consistent and unvarying. The soul and substance of the SECRET DOCTRINE have to be looked for in the body of The Secret Doctrine, with its material organs and organisms. Not the soul in its completion, nor the substance in its entirety have incarnated in the book. Further, let the student make note of the very important fact that the Message of H.P.B.’s Secret Doctrine is not her whole Message. Four eternal basic principles have come into incarnation in Isis UnveiledThe Secret DoctrineThe Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. The first is like the human voice of conscience, warning and advising us to beware of the dangers of the lower self of the world of matter; then came the monumental volumes which enlighten the human head to think spiritually. The Key to Theosophy enables our hands to act in terms of that thinking, and, lest one-sided activity engendered should push the student into exaggerations, The Voice of the Silence was given.”

“If history has taught any lesson it has certainly taught this: every genuine spiritual Message has suffered corruption at the hands of well-meaning but non-intuitive and therefore non-spiritual followers of the Messenger. Such have blundered into separating the Message and the Messenger; in proceeding from the latter to the former; in examining the former in the light of the life-activities of the latter, instead of studying these life-activities in terms of the Message. In the Theosophical Movement of our age history repeats itself and anyone who cares to do so can draw the parallel of its events in the early centuries of the Christian era.”

Isis Unveiled is a much neglected study. If for many The Secret Doctrine has remained a sealed mystery, or if, for an equally large number of readers, it is but an abracadabra, one of the chief reasons is this neglect of the previous work – a veritable Forerunner, a magnificent ‘attempt to aid the student to detect the vital principles which underlie the philosophical systems of old’.”

“Individual man has to attain universal self-consciousness by following the path of responsibility. Reverence of and reliance on the Self within, his Rex Lux, the Lord of Splendour and of Light, leads man on to the goal where the Great Cry is heard – ‘Aham eva param Brahman: I am verily the Supreme Brahman.’ That Impersonal Principle has to be embodied by us. Human intelligence and self-consciousness make that a possibility.”

“To study with her these holy subjects so that our minds may be knit closer together and all feel the beneficence and the grace of our common immortality, and realize, however dimly, that within us is the Secret Doctrine – to that great task and noble enterprise all are invited. To learn from the Message of H.P.B. is possibly only as we serve it and the present task is, then, to inspire as many as possible to participate in the vindication and recognition of The Secret Doctrine. This can only be done as earnest minds ponder over its contents, and earnest hearts grow aflame to serve.”

“The idea to get hold of and retain in our memory is that there is a Witness in us of the panorama of growth, who has watched in the beginningless past as he is watching today and as he will watch in the endless future. This is Atma, the One Life, mirrored in Buddhi, the unbreakable vehicle – the Eternal Spectator. Next, there is that in us which is the experiencer, the sufferer, the enjoyer who learnt in the mineral and grew in the vegetable and moved in the animal and acts, feels, thinks, wills in the human. This is Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the immortal Triad, the individualization of the Supreme Spirit – the Eternal Pilgrim.”

“The great obstacle of the Personal-God-Notion in the mind of the aspirant to spiritual life has to be removed. One of the questions often asked is: ‘If I give up God what is the substitute?’ The answer of modern science is agnostical, that of Theosophy is gnostical. Theosophy rejects miracle, accident, chance; it also rejects the view that the ultimate mystery of Life, i.e., Spirit, Mind, Matter, cannot be solved.”

“Karma, the infallible Law, is the substitute Theosophy offers in place of God. … If the student-aspirant wishes to have some insight into the Theosophical concept of Deity he must begin to see the action of the unerring Law everywhere. He must attempt to perceive that the universe is not run by the caprice of a personal god, nor is it the fortuitous concurrence of atoms. There is intelligence at work in the harmony and design manifesting everywhere in nature and this is the result of Law. Karma has a metaphysical as well as psychological aspect – the former can be studied in the cosmos, the latter in one’s own individual life.”

“It has been said that The Secret Doctrine should be regarded as a book of reference, a kind of Theosophical encyclopaedia – this estimate is false. The Secret Doctrine is a book to be read and studied, not only to be referred to. It is a book by which the student can and should evaluate other teachings, but he should not use it to amplify or advertise the views and opinions of other books. Then, it has been said that The Secret Doctrine is too profound, too deep, too complex and intricate a book to be read and studied by the ordinary man. The alarm thus caused is false. Let not the student be glamoured or daunted either by the false estimate of the book, or by the false sense of alarm roused.”

“In the mind as constituted today religious Names and Forms of God or Gods act not as a help but as a hindrance in glimpsing the truth about the Deity which is Law. Therefore, The Secret Doctrine mostly discards such personifications (Names) and humanizations (Forms) and reverts to metaphysical symbols, such as Space, Motion, Time, Light, a contemplation on which brings the answer that – God is LIFE.”

“It is very necessary that the student memorize this stupendous fact: As souls, minds, bodies, we are aspects of the One Life; our powers and faculties, reasoning, emotional, instinctual or sensuous, are also aspects of that same One Life; the One Life in differing degrees of density assumes differing characteristics and, in spite of the very evident fact that in us and in Nature conflicting and opposing forces operate through a variety of forms, they all, forces and forms alike, are but the manifestation of the One Life.”

“Let every single student be thoroughly impressed with an idea, which the Masters have endeavoured to impart to Theosophists at large, namely, the great axiomatic truth that the only eternal and living reality is that which the Hindus call Paramatma and Parabrahman.”

“True appreciation of The Secret Doctrine depends on correct assimilation of its contents through the unfoldment of that spiritual faculty which follows the purification of mind by study of metaphysics. This faculty is Buddhi conjoined with Manas.”

The Secret Doctrine and other writings of H.P.B. are portions of the immemorial and imperishable Record of Knowledge. Theosophy as presented by her and her Predecessors is a system of thought neither progressive nor evolving. When they study Theosophy men learn today what always has been known. All that we can gain of instruction in this age has been suitably epitomized for us in the works of H.P.B.”

“A careful examination of the Table of Contents and the structure of the book [i.e. “The Secret Doctrine”], some thought bestowed on the Preface, Introductory, the Proem of the first volume and the Preliminary Notes of the second, and a comparison of these with the Table of Contents of the two volumes of Isis Unveiled, together with what is written in their Prefaces, will convince him that in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky there is a fullness, nay a completeness, which is unique; that her books are not like other books. More of this careful study in a truly reverent attitude, and there dawns on his mind the idea that in her writings the end of knowledge is attained. The process continued, and the sun of his ideation reaches the zenith of conviction. Not only is there end of knowledge attained in these volumes, but it is proven and therefore provable knowledge.”

“The basis and playground of these dual forces of action-reaction, of day-night, of manvantara-pralaya, is Existence. Yoga, union with the Divine, is the realization of the same Life manifesting in all forces, energizing all forms.”

“The student of The Secret Doctrine has to undertake the practice of this yoga, this union with the Divine. There is no one within whose reach the beginnings of this higher life do not lie. Theosophy is for all, but everyone must want it for himself; therefore is it only for those who want it. In proportion as each wants it, he takes it, and in that measure gains the clear vision of true understanding and the unmistakable realization of the Unknowable Self. Very different from the so-called yoga-practices is this simple life which is strenuous, this hourly living which is heroic.”

“Unless the student by repeated study and continued contemplation comes to the conclusion that The Secret Doctrine is a fragment of Siddhanta – that therefore in it there are neither errors nor mistakes, nor superfluous rubbish nor strange contradictions, but that all is purposefully and deliberately put together – he will grope in the dark. This attitude towards the contents of the book is essential if real benefit is to be derived from its study. … The Secret Doctrinecontains full information on every conceivable subject necessary for the progress of man individually and of humanity en masse. It is this attitude, once reached, which transforms the mind and gives it the tone to truly understand the Message.”

“The bridge each human soul has to cross is that of Intelligent Responsibility and Sacrifice, through self-induced and self-devised efforts.”

“Theosophy does not believe in miracles, and therefore in no era of miracles. It affirms, because it knows, the unerring working of Law, and therefore rejects the existence of miracle-workers and of their parent the Miracle-Worker named God. With us God is Law, and beings high and low, from Shining Lords and Super-Men to elementals and elementaries are creatures born under Law, live and serve by Law, change and unfold because of the Law. For Theosophy there are no unsolved mysteries.”

“The philosophy of The Secret Doctrine is not speculative but can be practically realized and demonstrated by each one for himself. Its science is exact – the ‘mathematics of the Soul’ as pointed out by W.Q. Judge – and its doctrine is single in the sense that any one factor discarded, the whole system crumbles to nothingness. In this lies the power as well as the proof of Theosophy, as a system of synthetic knowledge.”

“Lest the reader regard all this as cold metaphysical abstractions it is necessary to reiterate what has been said so often before that the study of metaphysics is the beginning of the practical application of the Heart Doctrine.”

“A right contact with H.P.B.’s writings develops the intuitive faculty and also unfolds that mental perception which enables us to see universal principles hidden in and underlying a myriad particulars. The Secret Doctrine teaches its students to make the right use of their hearts as well as their heads. The purification and illumination of both heart and mind result from the correct study of the book, but not until a third factor also is brought into play. We have already emphasized …how we should take H.P.B.’s message as a whole without discarding any of her writings. Similarly the message of The Secret Doctrine can only be received by a threefold exercise which brings into play the energies of the whole man. By the lower analytical and reasoning mind the hundred facts and the thousand details of the book can be understood; but it is the higher synthetic mind only which can have the understanding of the universals. Even that higher mind does not succeed in its task if it is unaided by the apperception of the intuition, which is the energy of the Heart. Even this heart faculty has to be further energized into action, and then only the contents of The Secret Doctrine in all their glory stand revealed.”


“The advice and instruction so often given that helpfulness ought to be a matter of habit with all students of the Wisdom and all aspirants to spirituality is rooted in this fact of unity which exists in the whole of Nature.”

“Without hesitation it can be asserted that the teachings contained in The Secret Doctrine will not be thoroughly understood by one who is not actively altruistic. It will remain a sealed book in spite of higher understanding and intuitive perceptions, unless these two are made use of on the plane of action. What distinguishes a Theosophist from a student of Theosophy is this altruism. In The Key to Theosophy it is said, ‘Theosophist is, who Theosophy does’ – not thinks, not studies, not feels, but does. Speaking of the pledged member of her esoteric school, H.P.B. said that he ‘has to become a thorough altruist’ (Key, p.15). Her writings are full to the brim of this teaching concerning altruism…. Let it be clearly understood, however, that this altruism must be founded on the rock of knowledge of the universals, and devotion to the Law of which they are the manifested aspects.”

“The Western world has first to be trained in the idea that the philosophy of the Ancients is far from speculative and that Eastern metaphysics is a science that is highly practical. The writings of H.P.B. go to make this amply clear. In our own Theosophical Movement we have suffered through the obtuseness of many early students who failed to see the reasons for viewing, studying and examining the teachings of the Masters through H.P.B. in their true setting and perspective, viz., metaphysical and philosophical.”

“It was pointed out how a latent spiritual faculty is unfolded by the right study of the book. Now, the full understanding of all its contents is possible only with a complete unfoldment of that faculty. The understanding of the contents of The Secret Doctrine and the unfoldment of the faculty which is attained thereby react on each other. The more we study, the greater the unfoldment; the more the unfoldment of the faculty, the greater the understanding of the instruction. The deliberate and conscious attempt on our part to accelerate the force of this interplay is essential to transform the intellectual recognition of the teachings into spiritual realization. Thus The Secret Doctrine becomes a living book and a book to live by; do not live by it and the volumes remain cold and dead, a mass of confusing issues, a veritable jungle of details of some interest but of no value.”

“Mme. Blavatsky … was fighting a battle of ideas and did not wage a war of words. Hence it is essential that the earnest students take note that in reference to terms and terminology they must endeavour to grasp her ideas and not memorize her words, to repeat her thoughts and not her language, to understand her propositions and fundamentals and not be bothered by her un-methodic method and her planless plan.”

“Before the Secret Doctrine can fulfil its mission to the searcher for truth and the striver after perfection, that searcher must arrive for himself at the conviction, or ‘faith’ that The Secret Doctrine embodies, as far as any book can do, the Wisdom-Religion – or Truth. How is this to be achieved? Many read its statements – and pass on to other books and other statements. Many continue to read it without ever ‘making up their minds’ whether it is to be relied upon, or the reverse. Many accept it on ‘faith,’ as that word popularly means. They ‘believe’ it is true, but they do not know for themselves. Truth has no more power to carry conviction to the curious, the indolent or the contentious than water has power to remain in a leaky vessel – or enter a closed one. The Secret Doctrine invites study, thought, reflection, comparison, examination, cross-examination, verification – philosophically, logically, ethically, evidentially. How else can the Truth be known to us but by testing it out? The credibility of theSecret Doctrine statements of fact and philosophy will be found the more impregnable the more they are laid siege to. The light they will shed on science, religion, and all the unsolved problems of life is the light of Truth, and will give the student the illumination of Self-knowledge.”

“There is a tendency on the part of many who are sincere in their attachment to the Cause of Theosophy to overlook the implications of the correct view of Theosophy, namely, that it is a definite system of thought, a philosophy whose principles are clearly defined and a science whose findings are precise. Their desire to be broadminded and tolerant leads them to define Theosophy as something so all-inclusive as to become obscure, something so general as to become vague. … Let not the student of the present generation lose the full significance of H.P.B.’s remark in The Key to Theosophy (p.72) that ‘we have no two beliefs or hypotheses on the same subject’.”

“When we see the matrix of pralayic space in the bed in which our body sleeps and on waking recognize its potency to refresh and build that body; when we see the water with which we bathe the body as the purifying nature with which consciousness rejuvenates itself; when in every morsel of food eaten, every drop of water drunk, every breath of air inhaled, every affection absorbed, every word of knowledge assimilated, we see the ‘mighty magic of prakriti’ strong to devour as to regenerate; when in every idea put forth, and every word spoken, and every love given, and in every deed done, we see the creative power of consciousness; when in every child we see the Divine Babe, in every woman Devaki, the mother of Krishna, in every father the mighty Prajapati, in every faithful wife the peerless Sita; when in every melody we hear the music of Orpheus and in every movement perceive the grace of Terpsichore; when in every enlightened mind we see Hermes, in every virile body Herakles, and in every Nara, man – Narayana, god, aye, even in the sick and infirm, that which is named Daridra-Narayana, the God who elevates through illness; when in our every virtue we see the incarnation of Vishnu, and in every vice that of Ravana, and in every overcoming and change that of Shiva – then only do we raise the self by the Self unto the SELF.”

SOME RELATED ARTICLES: Who was William Quan Judge?, An Invitation to The Secret Doctrine, Words from The Masters about H.P. Blavatsky, The Masters and Madame Blavatsky, Golden Keys to The Secret Doctrine, Is Theosophy a Progressive System of Religion?, How to successfully study the Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky and Why I finally decided to “join” the United Lodge of Theosophists.

BY B.P. WADIA: Deity, Law, Being, To Understand the Real HPB, B.P. Wadia on Blavatsky’s Books, On Prayer and Worship, B.P. Wadia on Theosophical Meditation, and Daily Theosophy Quotes.

The article “B.P. Wadia, a Life of Service to Mankind” by Dallas TenBroeck on the Theosophy Online website may also be of interest and that can be read by clicking here.

Click HERE or on the picture above for a number of ULT-related links and contact details which may be useful for those who are looking for spiritual centres, study groups, etc. around the world which are representative of genuine Theosophy.

“The object of Theosophical study and work is not individual development, but that each and all should become true helpers of Humanity.”
 Robert Crosbie 

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