The last known “Mahatma Letter” was written by the Master K.H. to Annie Besant in the year 1900.
The letter was received after several years of silence on the part of the Masters, a silence which was largely inevitable after H. P. Blavatsky’s death in 1891, in light of what the Master K.H. had said some years previously in a letter to A. P. Sinnett about the “reservoir of force” enabling the Masters to communicate with others via letters being focused through HPB. William Q. Judge was able to receive and transmit letters on the Masters’ behalf, up until his death in 1896, but this was not to the same degree as during HPB’s time.
As the Mahatma K.H. said elsewhere about HPB, “With occult matters she has everything to do. . . . She is our direct agent. . . . there is no likelihood of our finding a better one. . . . Theosophists should learn it. You will understand later the significance of this declaration so keep it in mind.”
Received nine years after the passing of HPB, this is the last legitimate contact and communication from the Masters on record.
Some Theosophists have made the valid point that surely the Masters would have no wish or inclination to communicate with Mrs Besant by this point in time, seeing as she had openly broken her Esoteric Section pledges, developed a habit of belittling and depreciating the spiritual status and teachings of HPB, and subjected William Quan Judge – the vice-president of the Theosophical Society and one of its co-founders – to such relentless and conspiratorial persecution for his refusal to join in with the criticism and depreciation of HPB that the Society had split into two and Judge had died an untimely death due largely to the strain and effects of the attacks against him.
Yet perhaps the Masters, in their great compassion and wisdom, saw that there was still some hope for Mrs Besant to turn things around, learn from her mistakes and failures, and set “The Theosophical Society – Adyar” in a new direction for the new cycle which was dawning in 1900, which related amongst other things to the gradual dawning of the New Age of Aquarius.
As it happened, Mrs Besant failed to take note of the advice and warnings contained in the letter (although she did recognise it as being a genuine communication from the Master and, to their credit, the Adyar Society even publishes a large part of the letter in one of their books) as has been explained to some extent in the numbered notes which follow.
Just before she had died, HPB had written to William Judge about Mrs Besant, informing him that she was “not psychic or spiritual in the least – all intellect.”
All of us can learn and benefit from reading and reflecting upon the words of the Master K.H. in this letter, especially those of us who are actively involved with Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement. We are all prone to the same mistakes as Mrs Besant was and, for all we know, if we had been in her position we may well have fallen into the same traps and snares.
For the benefit of those readers who may be somewhat unfamiliar with Theosophy, we should briefly add that it was always maintained by H. P. Blavatsky that the Masters are living in physical bodies right here on Earth, albeit in purposeful seclusion and isolation from the toxicity of everyday life. The modern idea of “Ascended Masters” is a false one and has fraudulent and very unsavoury origins.
The Master K.H., along with the Master M., are Adepts of the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood and provided the inspiration and direction for the founding of the Theosophical Society, as well as the preparatory teaching and occult training of HPB during the years she spent in Tibet and other parts of the Himalayas prior to the founding of the Movement.
A psychic and a pranayamist who has got confused by the vagaries of the members.  The T.S. and its members are slowly manufacturing a creed. Says a Thibetan proverb ‘credulity breeds credulity and ends in hypocrisy.’ How few are they who can know anything about us. Are we to be propitiated and made idols of.  Is the worship of a new trinity made up of the blessed M., Upasika and yourself to take the place of exploded creeds.  We ask not for the worship of ourselves. The disciple should in no way be fettered. Beware of an esoteric popery.  The intense desire to see Upasika reincarnate at once has raised a misleading Mayavic ideation. Upasika has useful work to do on higher planes and cannot come again so soon.  The T.S. must safely be ushered into the new century. You have for some time been under deluding influences.  Shun pride, vanity and love of power. Be not guided by emotion but learn to stand alone. Be accurate and critical rather than credulous. The mistakes of the past in the old religions must not be glossed over with imaginary explanations.  The E.S.T. must be reformed so as to be as unsectarian and creedless as the T.S.  The rules must be few and simple and acceptable to all. No one has the right to claim authority over a pupil or his conscience. Ask him not what he believes. All who are sincere and pure minded must have admittance. The crest wave of intellectual advancement must be taken hold of and guided into spirituality. It cannot be forced into beliefs and emotional worship.  The essence of the higher thoughts of the members in their collectivity must guide all action in the T.S. and E.S. We never try to subject to ourselves the will of another. At favourable times we let loose elevating influences which strike various persons in various ways. It is the collective aspect of many such thoughts that can give the correct note of action. We show no favours. The best corrective of error is an honest and open-minded examination of all facts subjective and objective. Misleading secrecy has given the death blow to numerous organizations. The cant about ‘Masters’ must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work.  You will have to leave a good deal of your emotions and credulity before you become a safe guide among the influences that will commence to work in the new cycle.  The T.S. was meant to be the corner-stone of the future religions of humanity. To accomplish this object those who lead must leave aside their weak predilections for the forms and ceremonies of any particular creed and show themselves to be true Theosophists both in inner thoughts and outward observance.  The greatest of your trials is yet to come.  We watch over you but you must put forth all your strength.
 “A psychic and a pranayamist who has got confused by the vagaries of the members.” – This message from the Master K.H. was written by occult (i.e. metaphysical) means across a letter to Mrs Besant from an Indian man whilst said letter was on its way in the postal system from India to the London headquarters of the Theosophical Society in England. This method of precipitating messages across, or on the margins or back, of letters sent by others and already in the postal system, was also used fairly frequently by the Masters during H. P. Blavatsky’s lifetime when communicating with various Theosophists around the world.
This first sentence is a brief summary by the Master, for the benefit and warning of Mrs Besant, of the nature of her correspondent. Pranayama is the practice of the suppression and manipulation of the breath in certain forms of physical yoga practices, particularly Hatha Yoga. The practice and nature of pranayama, Hatha Yoga, and the resultant effects of both are firmly criticised and warned against by HPB and the Masters throughout their teachings. They describe Hatha Yoga as “the lower Yoga” and say that the Masters are all “unanimously opposed” to the practice of pranayama. Theosophy also abounds with warnings against psychism and emphasises that the psychic is not the spiritual and that there is actually nothing spiritual about being psychic.
The correspondent had apparently misunderstood the nature, aims, and real teachings of the Theosophical Movement due to many members of the Adyar Society being confused, mistaken, and ignorant themselves as to what Theosophy was all about. After this initial sentence, the Master enters into his compassionate message of warning and reproof to Mrs Besant.
 “How few are they who can know anything about us. Are we to be propitiated and made idols of.” – The person who thinks they somehow automatically have the right to know about the character, personality, previous incarnations, spiritual role and position, etc. of any of the Masters and Adepts of the Great Brotherhood is sorely mistaken. No-one has the right – but many have the impudence, ignorance, and deluded sense of self-importance – to attempt to classify, define, and describe the Masters and their individual characteristics, attributes, and functions.
Some people have even drawn up tables and charts purporting to show the occult positions and hierarchical structure of the Brotherhood of Masters. No-one who truly possessed such privileged knowledge and inside information would ever dream of doing such a thing. The inner workings of the Brotherhood are simply none of our business and are beyond our comprehension anyway.
Robert Crosbie, founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, said that “All such are mere speculations and an attempt in fact to drag those great Beings down to our plane of terrestrial conceptions – ‘a misuse of sacred names,’ as H.P.B. wrote in the ‘Key to Theosophy’.”
Some members of the Adyar Society were beginning to worship and pray to the Masters and imagined that the Masters were in some way required to respond to their supplications. This type of misguided and emotionally driven devotionalism eventually reached its crescendo a few decades later, with the dawn of the “Ascended Masters” movement.
 “Is the worship of a new trinity made up of the blessed M., Upasika and yourself to take the place of exploded creeds.” – The “blessed M.” refers to the Master M., whilst “Upasika” (a Buddhist term literally meaning a female lay-disciple) refers to HPB.
 “We ask not for the worship of ourselves. The disciple should in no way be fettered. Beware of an esoteric popery.” – An “esoteric popery” was unfortunately exactly what Mrs Besant later developed, supported even by a so-called “Theosophical Church” called the Liberal Catholic Church. Demanding immediate and unquestioning obedience in all matters from the members of her Society and unhesitatingly expelling from the Society anyone and everyone who dared to question or challenge her orders, claims, and methods, she eventually reached such heights of self-delusion, paranoia, and religious megalomania that the Adyar Theosophical Society came to resemble “a bizarre quasi-Christian cult,” which was exactly how it appeared to the father of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
 “The intense desire to see Upasika reincarnate at once has raised a misleading Mayavic ideation. Upasika has useful work to do on higher planes and cannot come again so soon.” – Almost immediately after the passing of HPB in 1891, rampant speculation began in certain quarters of the Theosophical world as to when and where she would be reincarnated. This “intense desire” to see her “reincarnate at once” resulted in much delusion, guesswork presented as fact, and misleading psychic proclamations about the matter.
Very few Theosophists, then as now, had gained any clear realisation of who and what HPB actually was – and is. In various letters the Masters had referred to her as their “direct agent,” their “brother,” and “not a chela” but far beyond the level of a mere chela. A letter from one Master to Col. Olcott had even spoken of that Master having to submit to and follow the orders of HPB. The inner HPB was an Adept and high Initiate in her/his own right and was far beyond the regular human cycle of normal reincarnation.
Despite the Master K.H. definitively asserting in this letter that HPB “cannot come again so soon,” this was flagrantly ignored by Mrs Besant who apparently thought that her close colleague C. W. Leadbeater knew better than the Master, seeing as she later accepted and promulgated his self-proclaimed “clairvoyant revelations” about the reincarnation of HPB.
 “You have for some time been under deluding influences.” – Mrs Besant had several years previously fallen under the influence of a Hindu Brahmin called G. N. Chakravarti who had ended up using all sorts of means to plant doubt and suspicion in her mind – and, through her, in the minds of many members of the Adyar Society around the world – as to the legitimacy, reliability, and accuracy of HPB and her teachings. The barely disguised contempt and conceit with which Mrs Besant began to speak of HPB after coming under Chakravarti’s influence and psychological control had a very destructive effect in the Society, especially when combined with the appallingly conceited and misleading criticism of HPB being regularly churned out at that time by Col. Olcott, who had seemingly turned against her after her death.
 “Be accurate and critical rather than credulous. The mistakes of the past in the old religions must not be glossed over with imaginary explanations.” – HPB’s writings had fearlessly exposed, revealed, and explained some of the major mistakes and crimes committed throughout history by various religions, particularly Christianity. The Hindu Brahmins’ persecution of early Buddhism and enforcement of caste-related cruelties, child marriage, widow burning, and so forth, had also not escaped stern criticism from the pen of HPB.
All this had been done not for the sake of mere fault finding but for the sake of exposing grievous errors and superstitions so that they might be corrected and rectified, leading to greater harmony and true brotherhood among men. Under the influence of Chakravarti and Olcott, however, Mrs Besant had come to believe that such an approach was in fact detrimental to universal brotherhood. But obviously the Masters did not agree.
 “The E.S.T. must be reformed so as to be as unsectarian and creedless as the T.S.” – E.S.T. stands for “Eastern School of Theosophy,” the later name of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society. Its original aims, objectives, and rules had been altered and distorted by Mrs Besant and became even more so later on when she finally parted company with Chakravarti, only to replace him with C.W. Leadbeater as her new “guide.”
 “The crest wave of intellectual advancement must be taken hold of and guided into spirituality. It cannot be forced into beliefs and emotional worship.” – One has only to read some of the various written descriptions of the Liberal Catholic church services presided over by self-styled “Archbishop” C. W. Leadbeater with Mrs Besant’s direct blessing and approval to see how this sage advice was eventually entirely rejected.
 “The cant about ‘Masters’ must be silently but firmly put down. Let the devotion and service be to that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part. Namelessly and silently we work and the continual references to ourselves and the repetition of our names raises up a confused aura that hinders our work.” – This is perhaps the most important part of the letter in regard to Theosophists and spiritual people today. It is stated that the work of the Masters in the world is not helped but hindered by people frequently referring to them and mentioning their names.
In the original Theosophical teachings, the emphasis is on the Esoteric Philosophy itself and not on the Masters. Details and descriptions about the Masters are almost entirely absent from the writings of HPB, other than the simple assertion that such a thing as a hidden esoteric Brotherhood guiding and watching over the spiritual evolution of humanity exists. The Master K.H. confirms here that the emphasis and attention should most definitely not be on the Masters and also that the devotion and service of Theosophists should not be directed towards the Masters but towards “that Supreme Spirit alone of which each one is a part.”
He states unmistakably that all this talk about Masters – and today’s “Ascended Masters” movements within the New Age movement consist of little else – must be silently and firmly put down.
 “You will have to leave a good deal of your emotions and credulity before you become a safe guide among the influences that will commence to work in the new cycle.” – The clear implication here is that Mrs Besant was not at that time a “safe guide” for Theosophists. Sadly, history shows that she never became one either.
 “. . . those who lead must leave aside their weak predilections for the forms and ceremonies of any particular creed . . .” – Mrs Besant had grown up in England as a Christian and had been married to a Church of England minister. She later became an outspoken atheist and materialist before eventually becoming a Theosophist. Under Chakravarti’s influence she was received by the Indian Brahmins into the fold of sectarian orthodox Hinduism. Later, under Leadbeater’s influence, she reverted back to her early favouritism for Christianity, albeit Leadbeater’s peculiar psychically inspired form of Christianity. Under the rulership of Besant and Leadbeater, the Adyar Theosophical Society ended up taking on a distinctly Christian tone, emphasis, and nature in its teachings, practices, pronouncements, and publications, even to the extent of endorsing the practice of confession and priestly absolution of sins in the Liberal Catholic Church and proclaiming the Second Coming of the Christ, with whom the two claimed to be personally acquainted!
 “The greatest of your trials is yet to come.” – The greatest of Mrs Besant’s trials was no doubt in the form of C. W. Leadbeater. Six years after this letter, Leadbeater was forced out of the Theosophical Society in shame and disgrace after admitting under oath to having performed sexual acts on young boys in his care. Only a couple of years later, Mrs Besant took it upon herself to invite him back, much to the shock and disgust of many members of the Society.
She swiftly raised him to a place of prominence, although he never actually had any official title or designated position or role, and the rest, as they say, is history. Leadbeater gained almost complete psychological control and domination over Mrs Besant, brought scandal after scandal upon the Society through his continuing perversions, the Society lost 15,000 members around the world, the name and teachings of H.P. Blavatsky were purposely suppressed and pushed well into the background, and the notion of what Theosophy actually is was deliberately and systematically distorted and misrepresented.
A comparison between some of Mrs Besant’s early writings and speeches and those of her later days shows painfully her complete descent from the high spiritual philosophy of genuine Theosophy into the murky and unsavoury depths of delusional psychism and fantasy. From having been a great and increasingly promising and influential spokesperson for the true Theosophical cause, she ended up as a living example and object lesson of the potentially disastrous nature of failed chelaship. And it all began the moment she allowed others to plant doubts in her mind against HPB, the Messenger of the Masters.
After HPB’s passing, William Judge had written: “Not only was H.P.B. predominant with us in 1875, but she is yet. . . . it remains a fact that the T.S. stands or falls by H. P. Blavatsky. Give her up as an idea, withdraw from the path traced by her under orders, belittle her, and the organization will rot; but remember her and what she represented, and we triumph.”