B. P. WADIA’S FAMOUS STATEMENT OF RESIGNATION FROM “THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY – ADYAR.”
The resignation in 1922 of Bahman Pestonji Wadia from “The
Theosophical Society – Adyar” was a major and prominent event in the Theosophical world and played an important role in the shaping of the history and development of the modern Theosophical Movement. Mr Wadia had been far more than just a regular member of the Theosophical Society. He had had an important and influential role and had worked closely alongside Annie Besant (the then President) and had faithfully supported the teachings, claims, and endeavours of both she and her close colleague C. W. Leadbeater.
But having begun to look into the facts, he discovered numerous important factors which finally led him to his conclusion and clear declaration that “The Theosophical Society is disloyal to Theosophy.”
Realising with pain and great sadness that the Theosophical Society was a lost cause – “the disease is incurable” were his words – Mr Wadia resigned his membership and wrote an open letter to members of the Society in which he calmly explained his reasons for doing so. Thereafter he worked solely with and for the ULT, the United Lodge of Theosophists, and encouraged and invited all disheartened or dissatisfied Theosophical Society members to part company with what he called that “disloyal” and “soulless” enterprise and join forces instead with the ULT. It was largely due to his own endeavours in the nearly 40 years that followed (until his death) that the ULT gained an international presence and a revitalised force and energy which has never yet been extinguished.
The letter of resignation and explanation was published in pamphlet form under the title “To all Fellow Theosophists and Members of the Theosophical Society.” It is reproduced below, with just a few explanatory notes in square brackets, primarily for the purpose of explaining and clarifying the meaning of certain initials and abbreviations with which some of today’s readers may not be familiar.
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To all Fellow Theosophists and Members of the Theosophical Society
A STATEMENT BY B. P. WADIA
– – – – – – –
THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF
THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE
ADYAR, MADRAS, INDIA.
Dear Madam [i.e. Mrs Annie Besant] and Colleagues:
Herewith I beg to tender my resignation as a member of the General Council of the T.S. I have worked in and for the Society for eighteen years and in severing my connection with it I would like to put on record my deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks for the help rendered and co-operation given by officials and members at the Central Headquarters at Adyar during my stay of over a decade, and in my own Indian Section, and in the following Sections which I have visited in the service of Theosophy: America, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Holland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity of service given me in all these countries.
It is but meet that I should state my reasons for this step which I am taking. As I deal at length with the matter in the accompanying document, I will be content here with giving in brief my reasons and draw your attention to my letter to all Fellow-Theosophists.
I have come to the conclusion that the T.S. has strayed away from the “Original Programme” inspired by the “Original Impulses” whereby the Masters brought it into existence through the help of Their Messenger, H. P. Blavatsky. It is no more a Society of seekers of the Wisdom, but an organization where many believe in the few, and blind following has come to prevail; where shams pass for realities, and the credulity of superstition gains encouragement; and where the noble ideals of Theosophical Ethics are exploited and dragged in the mire of psychism and immorality. Theosophy as a system of thought put forward by the Masters through H.P.B. has ceased to be a serious subject of persistent study, and that which has taken its place has little resemblance to the original virile, healthy, and profound teachings. The T.S. as it exists today is disloyal to Theosophy and its Holy Cause, and I regard that those who remain loyal to Theosophy can not be loyal to the T.S.
I have earnestly and honestly endeavored to bring the above fact to the notice of the members by the only straight-forward course of preaching the Truth as H.P.B. taught it. Time, energy and money spent in the T.S. have brought the further knowledge that the existing conditions in the T.S. are so deep rooted and so wide spread that the disease is incurable. The T.S., as feared by H.P.B, has drifted on a sandbank and is, spiritually speaking, a dead body.
Under these circumstances there is but one honest course to be pursued, by the sincere Theosophist, and I have chosen it: to leave the Society from which the Life of the Lodge has departed; and must continue to work for Theosophy, loyal to the true Founders and to their Message, co-operating with all those brother-Theosophists who hold to the unassailable basis for union – “similarity of aim, purpose and teaching” in reference to that Message.
May I request you, Dear Madam and Colleagues, to accept my heartfelt thanks for your past co-operation and to give official publicity to this my letter of resignation.
Fraternally and sincerely yours,
B. P. WADIA.
July 18, 1922.
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To ALL FELLOW-THEOSOPHISTS.
The accompanying letter of resignation from the Theosophical Society with its Headquarters at Adyar outlines somewhat roughly the reasons which have led me to sever my connection with that body. As I have been closely associated with the Society for nearly twenty years, it is necessary that a fuller explanation be given for the benefit of enquiring friends, fellow-workers in the Great Cause, and all others who are or may become interested in Theosophy and the T.S., administered from and influenced by Adyar.
Having lived day by day for ten years at Adyar, the International Headquarters of the T.S., and having worked there in various capacities, I have an intimate knowledge of Adyar life and activities; and I am aware of the nature of the vitality which infuses that life and activity as well as the nature of the influence which both radiate. Since 1919, when I left Adyar, I have worked and observed the working of the various Sections of the Theosophical Society mentioned in my letter of resignation; thus I also possess a fair knowledge of the position of Theosophy in these twelve Sections, and the influences which shape the work of the organization in these lands.
What Would H. P. B. Do?
Theosophy for me is the bread of life, its Cause the object of primary concern to me. No sacrifice is too great for that Holy Cause and I leave the Theosophical Society in the interests of Theosophy. My going out of the Theosophical Society is actuated by the ideal of a more strenuous service of Theosophy, which I cannot render within the Theosophical Society.
In coming to this decision I have gained illumination from the Wisdom-Light of the greatest Theosophist of our age, that perennial and never-failing source of inspiration for seekers of Truth on the Path of Spirituality and all its by-ways – H. P. Blavatsky. Her clear and unequivocal words provide a great and worthy precedent, which the existing conditions in the T.S. compel me to follow.
Let me quote her words written in Lucifer of August, 1889, under circumstances which will become clear to any intelligent reader if he turns to the article entitled, “A Puzzle From Adyar,” from which they are taken. In reply to those who tried to commit H.P.B. to the Theosophical Society and “Adyar,” she wrote:
“It is pure nonsense to say “H.P.B. . . . is loyal to the T.S. and to Adyar” (!?) H.P.B. is loyal to death to the Theosophical Cause, and those great Teachers whose philosophy can alone bind the whole of Humanity into one Brotherhood. Together with Col. Olcott, she is the chief Founder and Builder of the Society which was and is meant to represent the Cause . . . Therefore the degree of her sympathies with the “T.S. and Adyar” depends upon the degree of the loyalty of that Society to the Cause. Let it break away from the original lines and show disloyalty in its policy to the Cause and the original programme of the Society, and H.P.B. calling the T.S. disloyal will shake it off like dust from her feet. And what does loyalty to Adyar mean, in the name of all wonders? What is Adyar, apart from that Cause and the two (not one founder, if you please) who represent it? Why not loyal to the compound or the bath-room of Adyar?
“I end by assuring him that there is no need for him to pose as Col. Olcott’s protecting angel. Neither he nor I need a third party to screen us from each other. We have worked and toiled and suffered together for fifteen long years, and if after all these years of mutual friendship the President Founder were capable of lending ear to insane accusations and turning against me, well, – the world is wide enough for both. Let the new Exoteric Theosophical Society, headed by Mr. Harte, play at red tape if the President lets them and let the General Council expel me for “disloyalty,” if again, Colonel Olcott should be so blind as to fail to see where the true friend and his duty lie. Only unless they hasten to do so, at the first sign of their disloyalty to the CAUSE – it is I who will have resigned my office of Corresponding Secretary for life and left the Society. This will not prevent me from remaining at the head of those – who will follow me.”
The T.S. is Disloyal to Theosophy
The events of the last few years when examined in their proper order of succession, and correctly linked up, produce a chain of evidence that leaves no doubt in the mind of the sincere student of the Wisdom and convinces him that the T.S. has proved disloyal to Theosophy and Its Holy Cause. It is necessary to see the chain of events forged; for each event in itself appears innocuous, and in certain instances even assumes a subtle form of correct Theosophy. When succeeding events in their true import and inner significance are linked up, the disloyalty to the “original programme” referred to by H.P.B emerges, clear and unmistakable, before the observing vision of the student. Standing on the lofty and serene mountain peak, with his feet planted on the eternal snow of Pure Reason, when the student observes with judicious care the valley of the Theosophical Society by the sunlight of the Wisdom of H.P.B and her Masters, he does not fail to see the illusory nature of the ever-shifting shadows and empty shells that dance therein. The children in the Valley playing with the moving shadows lose sight of the Sunlight, and mistake shadows for realities. Unconscious of the fact that the shadows are phantoms they pursue them, believing that they are treading the narrow path which will lead them to the Tree of Wisdom. I have been in that Valley and have played at the tragic game for a season, spending precious time and energy, but fortunately – for which the Great Powers be praised – I had been for a while on the mountain top ere I descended to the Valley and the Vision remained enshrined in the heart of my memory.
That being so, let me here make a confession. During all these years I have tried to promulgate the Theosophical teachings and have actively participated in the work of propaganda along many lines. Even while engaged in other fields of activity, I kept on with Theosophical work and in doing that work have erred through mistaking shams for realities, and moonlight for sunlight, and have believed, and led others to believe, that which I am now convinced is wrong. Even when the sacred memory of my early Vision on the Mountain Peak gave birth to suspicions, I put all doubts away, arguing with myself that perhaps I had not adequate knowledge. Thus for, awhile I was untrue to my own Higher Self, out of sincerity and humility; but good intentions or unselfish motives do not transform a wrong action into a right one. Thus I blundered and I hereby apologise to all concerned for the mistake, for which I blame no one but myself. False notions of devotion and allegiance, unverified acceptance of statements, belief in false doctrines and worship of personalities led me to influence others in these directions, for which Karma will demand its toll, and as earnest money I offer this sincere apology.
What is Theosophy?
Theosophy as a system of thought, which H.P.B., the accredited messenger from the Lodge of the Masters, put forward, stands unbroken and unbreakable. I accept H.P.B. as a Messenger of the Great Lodge because of the intrinsic merit, value, and truthfulness of her message. Because of the illumination which her Message brings and the inspiration to which it gives birth I accept the Messenger. The Messenger has always to be judged by the Message, not the latter by the claims of nor about the former. The internal evidence of the validity of her Message is overwhelming; its consistency is thorough; the soil in which it is rooted is the Field of the Ancient Hermitage, whereon succeeding generations of master-sowers have foiled and on which succeeding generations of student-seekers have reaped the harvest, whose quality can be tested, and which has been tested by me with reverence and humility, but also with courage and to the best of my intellectual capacity. That system of thought is not an evolving system for it is part of the
“uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the ‘Wise Men’ of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organizations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions – so obtained as to stand as independent evidence – of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences.” [Secret Doctrine Vol. 1, pp. 272-273, (1888 ed.)]
Therefore I fully agree and heartily concur in the view that
“none of us has any right to put forward his own views as ‘Theosophy,’ in conflict with hers, for all that we know of Theosophy comes from her. When she says ‘The Secret Doctrine teaches,’ none can say her nay; we may disagree with the teaching, but it remains ‘the Secret Doctrine’ or Theosophy; she always encouraged independent thought and criticism, and never resented differences of opinion, but she never wavered in the distinct proclamation, ‘The Secret Doctrine is‘ so-and-so . . . Theosophists have it in charge not to whittle away the Secret Doctrine for the sake of propitiating the Christian churches that have forgotten Christ, any more than they may whittle it away for the sake of propitiating Materialistic Science. Steadily, calmly, without anger but also without fear, they must stand by the Secret Doctrine as she gave it. . . . The condition of success is perfect loyalty; let the churches climb to the Wisdom Religion, for it cannot descend to them.” [“Theosophy and Christianity” by Annie Besant in Lucifer, October 1891.]
But a careful examination of the great quantity of “Theosophical” literature put forward during the last few years proves that the writers have been false to the charge “not to whittle away the Secret Doctrine” and when one calmly reviews the effects of these teachings on the outer activities of the T.S., in “orders,” “leagues,” “temples,” “churches,” as also on the life of its members, one does not fail to see the significance of the warning words of prophecy which H.P.B. uttered in the closing chapter of the Key to Theosophy which deals with the “Future of the T.S.” Picturing certain causes she drew the conclusion:
“The result can only be that the Society will drift off on to some sandbank of thought or other, and there to remain a stranded carcass to moulder and die.”
Those causes feared by H.P.B., and against which she warned the T.S., have been upon us for several years past and alas!
“the great need which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiased and clear judgment”
has been sorely felt, till to-day its complete absence has caused many, and among them myself, to despair of the life of the Society, though it may be that as a soulless corpse it may thrive like the lifeless temples and dead churches in East and West. [Note: It was the Master K.H. himself who informed HPB near the end of her life that under Col. Olcott’s influence the Adyar-governed part of the Theosophical Society had unwittingly broken away from the influence of the Masters and become “a soulless corpse” which would be destined to “fall to pieces” after Olcott’s death. Although these words of the Master have been published by the Adyar Society, they understandably avoid drawing attention to them, due to their obvious and damning implications.]
And on what sand bank of thought has the T.S. stranded ? On that of a ready-made programme of spiritual advancement, which has become a creed, with its saviour-initiates and eternal hell of lost opportunities, and the devil of jesuitical black magicians, and the permanent Garden of Eden 750 years hence in Southern California for the faithful who obey and follow like soldiers of a fanatical army, zealously if not too wisely; Pseudo-Theosophy has taken the place of Theosophy. The straight and virile doctrine taught by H.P.B. of seeking the God within, “The Initiator of Initiates” has been forgotten, and people are encouraged to look for initiates in the kingdom of mortality; and a threshold of divinity is laid down in the world of flesh, and a gateway erected thereon for the true believers to pass through; H.P.B.’s warning about “false prophets of Theosophy” and their “monstrous exaggerations and idiotic schemes and shams” [H.P.B. on “Pseudo-Theosophy” in Lucifer, March 1889.] has gone unheeded. A hierarchy of “initiates” has been set up within the T.S. and blind following and ludicrous worship of personalities has been rampant. This has happened in spite of the sterling words of H.P.B. written in 1888:
“It must be remembered that the Society was not founded as a nursery for forcing a supply of Occultists – as a factory for the manufactory of Adepts.”
How very different is the existing state of things in the T.S. if we think over the other words of H.P.B.:
“Let no man set up a popery instead of Theosophy, as this would be suicidal and has ever ended most fatally. We are all fellow-students, more or less advanced; but no one belonging to the Theosophical Society ought to count himself as more than, at best a pupil-teacher – one who has no right to dogmatise.” [H.P.B. in a letter to the Annual Convention of the American Section T.S., April 1888.]
Instead of fellow-students and pupil-teachers, the former hearing what had been heard by the latter, we have in the T.S. unverifiable pronouncements on the one hand and an extravagant credulity on the other; even a kind of “apostolic succession” has come to be an object of belief in the T.S., mainly through the secret and private organization of the E. S. [i.e. Esoteric Section.] Senseless pleas on behalf of “successors” of H.P.B. are put forward as serious arguments to bolster up false doctrines and crude teachings. It is forgotten, and allowed to be forgotten, that the only true “apostolic succession” is that of the Teaching and never of the people who claim teachership. Members have forgotten the method of checking up teachings and ipse dixits; and that “so and so said it” is all that is required. Thus a Theosophy as different from H.P.B.’s, as night is from day, has come to prevail – and alas! thousands of the members do not even know it.
The unconscious effect of some of these teachings, and the unexpected influence thereof has produced some strange anomalies. Thus, the “Brothers of the Brotherhood,” who ought to be of one mind, one will, one aim, one purpose, fingers on one hand, struggle and fight like adherents of diverse fanatical sects. This is the direct outcome of the fact that the ethics of Theosophy have been neglected and psychism has been installed. Here too the straight warning of H.P.B. has not been heeded:
“Once before was growth checked in connection with the psychic phenomena, and there may yet come a time when the moral and ethical foundations of the Society may be wrecked in a similar way.” [H.P.B.’s letter to the American Convention of April 1889.]
For what is wrecking if not psychic pronouncements and the materialisations of spiritual facts, the creation of half-gods which drive the Gods away? H.P.B.’s work Isis Unveiled was
“directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to men’s faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.“ [Preface to Isis Unveiled. Vol. II. 1877.]
And to-day some F.T.S. [i.e. “Fellows of the Theosophical Society”] are even teaching “forgiveness of sin” and “absolution;” Isis described apostolic succession as “a gross and palpable fraud,” but now there exists a “Theosophical Church” with all the “pernicious ecclesiasticisms,” including “apostolic succession,” by Masters! Said H.P.B.:
“The world needs no sectarian Church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mahomet, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church – the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way – the pure in heart see God.” [Isis Unveiled. Vol. II. p. 635.]
But to-day places of worship with their priests and officers, their ritual and ceremonials, their mummery and paraphernalia are encouraged as Theosophical.
The holy names of Masters are used on every occasion and at every turn. One cannot belong to “Their School” if politically one works in the non-violent, non-co-operation movement of the great Indian leader, Mr. M. K. Gandhi;
“no one can attack the L.C.C. [i.e. Liberal Catholic Church] and remain in the E.S. [i.e. Esoteric Section]“;
“Members must choose between the E.S. and the Loyalty League [i.e. a group formed by those members of the Society who wanted to show and voice their loyalty to H. P. Blavatsky and her teachings]; they cannot remain in both”;
all must believe in the near coming of a world-teacher to be in the E.S.; one must actively participate in certain movements because they are reported to be blessed by the Bodhisattva or the Christ, to be in the E.S.; messages, orders and instructions from “Masters and Devas” are issued, not only indicating what subsidiary activities a “loyal” Fellow should join, but also on the playing of church organs, on how quarreling youths should behave, on how to dress and what to chant in manipulating co-masonic rituals, and on a dozen other topics. These orders show absence of all these sense of proportion, enlightened intelligence, and sound reasonableness. Obey and follow, follow and obey, is the instruction to the people who are inoculated with the virus of the psychic madness which passes in the name of Theosophy.
The Steps Taken
When I first observed these tendencies, I accepted them with the true Asiatic devotion of a student toward more advanced students; but that same devotion compelled me to seek to understand that which was not clear, and by a persistent demand for adequate knowledge, through years of observation and reflection, I came cross conclusive, definite and unbreakable evidence which brought the logical conviction that those tendencies were untheosophical, and that the T.S. was slowly but surely straying away from the straight Path which the Masters had made for it through H.P.B. and that it was drifting on the sand bank to which H.P.B.’s finger of warning had pointed.
The reward of this persistent search brought in its train the sense of responsibility to my co-members in the T.S. Event followed event which gave me one opportunity and then another, and I made such use of them as my capacity and discrimination directed. The only sure method of helping the Society was to bring before the members the true teachings, the “original programme,” the tendencies of the “original impulses,” and this I did. With the message (1) of the Power of the God within and the living of the spiritual life, (2) of the untheosophical nature of blind following, (3) of the dangers confronting the T.S., (4) of the ancient, eternal and constant doctrine of Theosophy as against an evolving science, (5) of the Wisdom-Religion to be understood and lived and not the many creeds or one of them to be believed in, (6) of Service by life and not by words or works, and (7) of conforming intelligently to the teachings which H.P.B. did not write, invent or create, but with the help of the Masters, recorded, I journeyed through many countries, covering thousands of miles. I delivered that message in hundreds of members’ meetings, in scores of public lectures, through innumerable interviews, while keeping up an incessant correspondence. The message was courteously listened to and was even welcomed in a measure. Then, the members heard and read [i.e. from the leadership of the Society] that the study of H.P.B. recommended by me was the result of influences emanating from Jesuits and Black Magicians; strange motives, to say the least, were attributed; the name of tolerance was invoked and warning against getting dogmatic about H.P.B. was issued. It was asked, “Why ‘Back to Blavatsky’ “? to which I made response. “If not ‘Back to Blavatsky,’ then ‘Forward to H.P.B.’ ” What concerned me were H.P.B.’s teachings and the sacred duty of Theosophists “not to whittle away the Secret Doctrine.” But this was falsely described as an effort to belittle the present day leaders and as being actuated by hatred.
Reviewing the work done, the effort made, the energy expended, the time spent, I have the genuine satisfaction that large numbers of the T.S. members have been made aware of the conditions within the T.S. and of what the true line of teaching is. The members who have been subjected to the peculiar psychic influences referred to above were temporarily awakened to the fact of the existence of H.P.B.’s truly spiritual presentation of Theosophy; yet the habit of belief in personalities and of the acceptance of certain things as fully established facts wherefrom to consider all events and teachings, is so strong that the moment the whisper of “Black magician” and “Jesuitical influence” was heard, many of them with simple credulity turned to the “successors of H.P.B.” – “the eyes for the Society” – instead of using their own power of vision, moral and intellectual. I do not say this to criticise such members; almost all of them were ignorant of the true inwardness of the situation, ignorant of the fact that the original programme of the T.S. inspired by the original impulses which came from the Masters are both of them non est in the Theosophical Society.
Convinced of the fact that the T.S. had been fast drifting on a sand bank as prophesied by H.P.B., I tried on the one hand to the best of my ability to sound the bugle of alarm and warning, while on the other hand, I endeavored to get at the source of the trouble. I began comparing with studious care and impartial exactitude the H.P.B. teachings; taking my Secret Doctrine, I began not only re-reading but also comparing its teachings with the contents of the latter-day books and found them different. In some instances the later pronouncements flatly contradicted H.P.B.’s teachings and even the contents of Masters’ letters published by her. With care I pieced together the teachings and found where and how the clear crystal waters of Theosophy were made a muddy stream which quenched the thirst of thousands while at the same time poisoning them, as it moved on fast and faster through strange places. Tracing the course of the muddy stream to where it swamped the clear current I came to the spot marked, in H.P.B.’s language, as the end of the Cycle – 1897.
Prior to that on the plain between the two streams of white and grey waters more than one pitched battle had occurred, and as always material victory has been a spiritual defeat.
This is not the place to detail events of 1884-1885, nor of 1888-1891, nor of 1891-1893, nor of 1894-1895 and the physical defeat but moral victory of 1896.
Thus I was led to apply H.P.B.’s teachings to the events in the T.S. and the world at large with which the emanating of the teachings were intimately connected. Having studied some of the events of the pitched battle of 1894-1895 [i.e. the period of the most heated persecution and vilification of William Q. Judge by Annie Besant, Col. Olcott, and others, under the influence of G. N. Chakravarti] I proceeded to what is always a more important thing for the student, the cause of the war, and lo, they were there even prior to the publication of the Secret Doctrine by H.P.B. I found that lion-hearted, eagle-eyed spiritual Hercules, H.P.B. herself, had tried to check the advance of the hordes of barbarians who wanted to be masters of the white waters, for she perceived in them the tendency to colour them; she had succeeded but her passing away produced the catastrophe, and the close of the Cycle in the T.S. and the world coincided.
To continue my own narrative: I went in search of remnants of the physically defeated but morally victorious army, and in many lands with open eyes and with ears alert to hear the whisper of the Lost Word, I roamed as I tried myself to teach the truths for which the war had been waged. On the superb heights of Switzerland, on the fascinating beach of the Pacific Coast, in the enchanting Valleys of Tyrol, in the secret and silent crypt of Southern India, as also in the busy centres of New York, like a pilgrim hard singing his simple songs, and begging for the bread of life, I wandered, and the search has not been in vain.
The scattered soldiers had banded together, had actually erected a fortress, had unfurled the true Theosophical flag, and were sending forth the old familiar message.
William Q. Judge
In leaving the T.S. I think it my sacred duty to put on record one particular resultant of my study, referred to above, so that the present day members may have the opportunity, and the future members may have the warning, in reference to the teachings of Wm. Q. Judge. With H.P.B. and Col. Olcott, he was the founder of the T.S. and worked by the right method of teaching with all those who came in his contact. His life and work must be judged by the same standard which I have always applied to H.P.B. – the illumination and inspiration of his teachings; the internal evidence of the validity of his message and its consistency; and in addition, the dovetailing of his teachings with the teachings of the Secret Doctrine; and I accept him as a good and true Theosophist who lived and toiled, who fought and died, leaving behind his own legacy to the Theosophical Movement of the century which began with 1875 – a valiant servant of the Lodge and the Masters, who has been wronged in the T.S. and whose teachings remain unknown to this day to its members.
I accept Wm. Q. Judge as a true Theosophist, not only because of his own fine character and his own wonderful ethical teachings, but because he stuck to the line of the Masters and remained unto death faithful to the Original Programme which They laid down.
United Lodge of Theosophists
The small band of students who have gathered round the old flag and who have erected their Home of Service are known as the United Lodge of Theosophists, whose Declaration is as follows:
“The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy, without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal to the great founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.
“The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues. That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of the philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction of Universal Brotherhood.
“It holds that the unassailable Basis for Union among Theosophists, wherever and however situated, is “similarity of aim, purpose and teaching,” and therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws, nor Officers, the sole bond between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.
“It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or organization, and
“It welcomes to its association all those who are in accord with its declared purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the better able to help and teach others.”
With these friends I will render such service as I am capable of to the Cause of Theosophy, by adopting the only true method of earnestly studying and honestly proclaiming the Message of the Great Ones given in the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century. The assimilation and promulgation of this message is the task of our humanity which will take us to the promised year – 1975.
In closing, I must utter a word of appeal to the thousands of members of the T.S.
Theosophy, the Source of all philosophies and faiths, needs devoted servants who would give their lives for its Cause. It is mightier than any Society or organization and its Service far more important than that of any Society which endeavors or claims to speak on its behalf. In championing its cause sometimes we are blinded by the feuds of warring personalities; in the dust raised by conflicting bands of strivers we lose ourselves.
Theosophy re-proclaimed by H.P.B. under the guidance of the Lords of Wisdom and Compassion is Living Truth; the Masters who worked through her are living embodiments of Wisdom, and labour to-day by the same ancient and time-honored rules of Love and Altruism. They are our Elder Brethren and hence the Servants of Humanity. Their Wisdom is different from the wisdom of our world of science; Their Compassion different from that of our world of religion; Their Altruism different from that of our world of ethics; Their Service different from that of our world of philanthropy. Not by charity do They strive to establish the solidarity of Brotherhood, but by illuminating our minds and inspiring us “to work with the tide and assist the onward impulse,” reminding us that “it is always wiser to work and force the current of events than to wait for time.”
In Their Service is perfect freedom and that service is its own reward. Guided by the sure knowledge of H.P.B.’s teachings, inspired by the words of the Great Lords, I am choosing what to me is the right course, with hatred towards none, with love for all, in a spirit of uttermost impersonality – disregarding the sweet silvery voices of loved and revered personalities so easy to follow – because the Inner Ruler commands in a Golden Word: “Follow the Straight Line of the Masters of H.P.B.”
Those of you who are seeking That will find it, provided you are true to yourselves – intellectually honest, of pure motives, persistent in your search. I have tried to serve, and avenues of Service are never closed. That service of the Wisdom of the Masters through thorough self-sacrifice; through complete effacement of the lower self; through the repeating of what has been heard and tested, and fearlessly admitting ignorance where knowledge has not been tested; through walking humbly, but in serene self-confidence, on the Path of Spirituality – that Service I will try to render. Those of you who have been gracious enough to accept it in the past shall have the opportunity to do so in the future. In thanking you for co-operating with me in that Service in the past, I appeal to you to continue fearlessly and with a sense of justice, to go forward in the future. The Sun of Wisdom always shines brightly, on the just and the unjust, on the saint and the sinner; it never sets for anyone. To the spiritually healthy it gives more Life; from the sickly it removes all dross. Ours the task to avail ourselves of Its Radiance and to toil from ill-health to health, from weakness to vigour, from one glory to another. Be honest with your Selves, true to the Inner Ruler. Choose not “whom will ye serve,” but what, and where, and how will you serve, for the central Truth of Theosophy takes us away from the province of Personalities to the Realm of the Impersonal. “Be Theosophists, work for Theosophy; Theosophy first and Theosophy last” was the cry of H.P.B., and those who teach the Theosophy that H.P.B. taught, are her true successors; those who serve Theosophy in the light of those Teachings are the true Servants of the Servants of Humanity.
Your Faithful Servant,
B. P. WADIA.
July 18, 1922.
~ * ~
504 Metropolitan Bldg.,
Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A
THE GENERAL SECRETARY,
INDIAN SECTION T. S.,
Dear Sir and Brother:
I hereby beg to tender my resignation as a member of the Indian Council and of the Indian Section T. S. Allow me to draw your attention to the accompanying two documents. In doing so let me thank you and all those who have given me opportunities to serve the Motherland through Theosophy.
It is not necessary to narrate herein my special experiences in that service or to expatiate on the conclusions drawn therefrom; those brothers and friends in India, who, fired by the Wisdom of the great Masters which H.P.B. taught, desire to learn about my views and opinions, about my present work for Theosophy in the new world and about my future plans of Theosophical labour on the sacred soil of our Motherland can communicate with me at the above address; and it will be a joy and a help to hear from my co-religionists and my countrymen, from whom I am separated by thousands of miles but with whom I am united in the spirit of aspiration for and service of the ancient and glorious Aryavarta – for, the cause of Theosophy is the cause of the Motherland.
Fraternally and sincerely yours,
B. P. WADIA.
July 18, 1922.
– – – – – – –
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS
Like Robert Crosbie (the founder of the ULT), B. P. Wadia did not describe or present himself as a “Teacher” but merely as a student of Theosophy who was willing to help other students. His hundreds of articles were published anonymously during his lifetime in such magazines as “Theosophy,” “The Theosophical Movement” (which he founded), and “The Aryan Path” (which he also founded). It was only after his passing that many of them were compiled together and published in book form under his own name and under such titles as “Studies in The Secret Doctrine,” “Studies in The Voice of the Silence,” “Living the Life,” and “Thus Have I Heard.” All these and more are still in print and in demand today. For more information please visit the Books on Theosophy page.
~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ
THE OCCULT LIFE OF B. P. WADIA
Please Note: We are aware that there are three distinct and organisationally unrelated international societies which all use the name “The Theosophical Society,” i.e. Adyar, Point Loma, and Pasadena. In speaking of “The Theosophical Society” the above article is referring solely to Adyar in its worldwide influence. An article relating to G. de Purucker, Point Loma, and Pasadena, can be read at Examining The Point Loma & Pasadena “Successorship” Claim.
2 thoughts on “B. P. Wadia’s Resignation from The Theosophical Society”
I “discovered” theosophy in 1977 through the writings of Besant and Leadbeater. Theosophy was the answer to my soul-searching. I devoured these writings earnestly with all the gratitude I could muster and thanked my lucky stars for them as students of theosophy. Never once did I think of either of the two as “teachers”. As a student, I learned what they published. Never once in all the years since then have I heard ANY (even the slightest) disparagement of HPB or her writings or those of the Masters from members of the TS-Adyar–of which I am a life-member. I am an officer of my Lodge and have been for many years. I have attended innumerable theosophical programs, seminars, workshops, conferences, etc., not only through the TS-Adyar but at one time applied to be an Associate of the ULT as the local branch was closing due to inactivity. I, in fact, was a committee member who helped organize a West Coast Conference in the 80s that petitioned the ULT, TS-Pasadena, and Point Loma to join us, which they did. I could care less about the early history of the TS-Adyar or of Judge or of accusations against Besant and Leadbeater. What is important to me is THEOSOPHY by any means presented. I have enough intellectual capacity and emotional strength to evaluate what I read against what HPB and her Masters presented in the late 1800s. Yes, she and they are my touchstones and I use it (“original” theosophy) as comparison against everything I study that has come after. I know how to evaluate and then to reject or set aside what does not jive. Furthermore, I will NEVER reject TS-Adyar, will ALWAYS respect it as our spiritual home in India, will support it in whatever small way I can, and look askance at those who continually dredge up the past without any consideration for what has happened and is happening since. We must NEVER allow even HPB’s work to become a dogma–a dogma that she warned us could never be allowed to happen. Theosophy is a LIVING TRUTH to be brought to light throughout the decades and centuries. It must change as Society changes; mature as Society matures, evolve as Society evolves…. with all due caution and attention to the originating impulse. She, herself, called her most extraordinary work (the Secret Doctrine) an outline. It is up to us to fill in the blanks.
Thank you Peggy for your comment and for sharing your thoughts.
You state: “I could care less about the early history of the TS-Adyar or of Judge or of accusations against Besant and Leadbeater. What is important to me is THEOSOPHY by any means presented.”
Indeed, Theosophy itself is the most important thing. But what exactly IS Theosophy?
Towards the end of your comment, you explained that “Theosophy is a LIVING TRUTH to be brought to light throughout the decades and centuries. It must change as Society changes; mature as Society matures, evolve as Society evolves…. with all due caution and attention to the originating impulse.”
If Theosophy is a Truth – or rather, THE Truth, Timeless Truth, the Theosophia or Divine Wisdom – how is it possible that it could change, mature, and evolve?
In his “Studies in The Secret Doctrine,” B.P. Wadia (mentioned in the above article) describes Theosophy as something “eternal and unevolving, constant and unchanging, consistent and unvarying.”
Is it not “society” – or even The Theosophical Society – that must change, mature, and evolve in accordance with Theosophy rather than Theosophy which must change, mature, and evolve in accordance with either society at large or developments within The Theosophical Society?
Robert Crosbie, founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, once received a letter which included the following phrase: “Providing we remember that Theosophy is not a dogmatical presentment of the Wisdom-Religion – a system delivered for once to the Saints – but a progressive system of Religion.”
As the ideas you express seem to reflect this view quite closely, I hope you won’t mind if we share part of his response with you, which was published under the title “Is Theosophy a Progressive System of Religion?” –
“There is some confusion in this statement, for if there is such a knowledge as the Wisdom-Religion, it is the result of the observation and experience of the Masters of Wisdom, and as such stands for itself; it can neither be enlarged nor improved upon by its students. Furthermore, what was named “Theosophy” by Mme. Blavatsky is that same Wisdom-Religion so far as the latter has been promulgated by the Teacher. In regard to the latter statement H. P. B. herself has written:
” “The Secret Doctrine (or Wisdom-Religion) is not a series of vague theories or treatises, but is all that can be given out in this century. It will be centuries before much more is given.”
“A similar statement by William Q. Judge is as follows:
““It (Theosophy) is not a belief or dogma formulated or invented by man, but is a knowledge of the laws which govern the evolution of the physical, astral, psychical and intellectual constituents of nature and of man.”
“In the face of such statements and similar ones made by Those who brought Theosophy to us, the assumption that it is a system of progressive religion can only proceed from ignorance of the facts and a false conception which can only lead to confusion on the part of any “student.” Theosophy is not a religion, but Religion itself in the truest sense; even the use of the term “religion” without any qualification is misleading, for Theosophy is not “a belief” as religions are generally, but rather Religious Science; Scientific-Religion, and an all-inclusive Philosophy.
“As to “a dogmatical presentment,” Theosophy has never been put forth as a dogma, but as a relation of facts which have been gathered through observation and experience, which anyone can accept or reject without condemnation or praise. One might as well call the only exact science we use, viz., Mathematics, dogmatic or a dogma because it is presented as an assemblage of facts which the student can study, apply and prove for himself. Theosophy stands in exactly the same position: a presentation of Knowledge gained through aeons of time; it is not to be confounded with the speculations of any of its students, who at best are subject to their personal prejudices, predilections and weaknesses. It should also be clearly understood that every theosophical writer or leader – except Those who brought Theosophy to the world [“Those who brought Theosophy to the world” refers to H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge] – are students of more or less proficiency in the Science, and are therefore liable to misconceptions and erroneous applications, and that the only possibility of discerning such errors lies in a comparison with the Science as originally Presented.”
It is heartening to read that you yourself are inclined to make “a comparison with the Science as originally Presented” when it comes to reading and studying later teachings.
But one might sincerely wonder why to even bother giving one’s time, energy, and attention to those later teachings? In the article “Why Stick To The Original?” at https://blavatskytheosophy.com/why-stick-to-the-original/ we say that “For those Theosophists who study and promote only the original Theosophical teachings and who give no credence to the later versions of “Theosophy” from after the time of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge, this is not a matter of personal preference or likes and dislikes, as some may think, nor is it an example of “fundamentalism.” Students of original Theosophy are such because of three main things.” Those three main things are then listed, with accompanying quotations and references to show their validity.
We’ll include here the three points without the supporting passages and invite you to read that article if you’d like to do so:
” (1) They know that the Masters and HPB emphasised that Theosophy – the Esoteric Philosophy – is a very definite Body of Knowledge, a specific System of Teaching, and that contradictions, dilutions, and alterations are not part of it and cannot be accepted as legitimate Theosophical teaching. According to HPB, there is such a thing as “Pure Theosophy” and such a thing as “Pseudo-Theosophy.”
“(2) They also know that it was the Masters and HPB themselves who repeatedly emphasised the importance for Theosophists and the Theosophical Movement of staying true and faithful to what they variously called the “original lines,” “original programme,” “original impulse,” “original system,” and “original teachings.”
” (3) Thirdly, having acquainted themselves with the work, words, and writings of HPB, WQJ, and the Masters themselves in their many hundreds of letters such as those published in “The Mahatma Letters,” they are aware that under the Law of Cycles the Masters were only able and permitted to give out new teachings to the world between 1875-1900 and that no further or deeper information would or could be made available from the Esoteric Doctrine until the closing quarter of the following century – i.e. 1975-2000 – and that even this would be provisional.”
As for not caring at all “about the early history of the TS-Adyar or of Judge or of accusations against Besant and Leadbeater,” we are sorry to say that Adyar Society members HAVE to start caring about it and have to start coming clean with the facts, acquainting themselves with the real and unadulterated history, and admitting where grievous wrongdoing and even conscious fraud and deception has been perpetrated.
These things have been accessible and available to the general public for many years in books and literature from other Theosophical groups. The facts are out there and it is precisely those facts – and the persistent unwillingness of Adyar leaders to address them decently, openly, and satisfactorily – which result in many students of Theosophy keeping a permanent distance from the Adyar Society and having nothing positive to say about it.
Knowledge and promulgation of Theosophy has for long decades been tarnished…not by William Judge but by mistreatment, obscuration, and suppression of him and his occult status and writings and by the many ridiculous shams and escapades of Besant and “Bishop” Leadbeater, who those with access to the internet are thankfully able today to know “by their fruits” rather than by their claims or claims made on their behalf. All this and more has at the same time obscured and suppressed the work and teachings of HPB. It is not only ULT associates such as ourselves who say this. A growing number within the Adyar Society itself are saying the same, particularly here in England.
In closing, in regard to your words about “The Secret Doctrine” and ourselves having the right and responsibility to “fill in the blanks,” it may be of interest to recall that HPB stated in the preface to “The Secret Doctrine” that that book’s publication had “been rendered necessary by 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.”
She added that “some facts” presented in her and the Masters’ teachings “have been seized upon by various writers, and distorted out of all resemblance to the truth.”
Nowhere did she ever say anything to the effect of, “Do what you like with my teachings; interpret them however you want, in any light that you want, alter them if you want, and present them to others in whatever way suits you the most.”
If ever anyone attempted to do this, she protested strongly and attempted to counteract it. Why? Not because of any jealousy, pettiness, or wanting to be looked upon as some type of great authority, but simply because she was the one selected and specially trained, taught, and prepared by the Masters to do their work in the world. She was the one who knew them and who knew exactly what their teachings and philosophy are. She was the only one the Masters ever referred to as their “Direct Agent.”
If we really and truly care about Theosophy as the MASTERS know it and as the MASTERS teach it, then we will not seek to trim it, change it, dilute it, add to it, or “interpret” it in any way at all, for her writings need no “interpretation,” neither from ourselves nor any others. They only need to be diligently and intensively studied – in their OWN light and not in the light of the teachings of OTHERS, which will only inevitably cause confusion and misunderstanding – and then they will be found to interpret themselves perfectly. This is where the intuitional perception and understanding comes in.
Apologies for such a lengthy and detailed response but it was felt necessary and you are warmly invited to respond to this response if you so wish! In closing, it is truly encouraging to know that in nearly 40 years you have never “heard ANY (even the slightest) disparagement of HPB or her writings or those of the Masters from members of the TS-Adyar” but you ought to be aware that we receive emails and comments of such a disparaging nature from Adyar members and sympathisers on a fairly regular basis.
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