H. P. Blavatsky:1831-1891
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was born in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine, in 1831. She is considered to have been the most prominent occultist in the West, representing the Brotherhood of the Masters of Wisdom. She brought Ancient Wisdom from the East, which she called Theosophy. In 1875, she founded the Theosophical Movement in New York, together with Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge. Her work consisted in a sort of open initiation making it possible for the 18th century man to take interest in and become acquainted with issues concerning the metaphysical aspect of life.
She was destined to present to the West the age-old spiritual science, Theosophy, which had long been the thread joining mankind with divine knowledge. For such a great work to be accomplished, overcoming any attachment to the things of the senses was required along with a pure inner nature that would allow her to undertake the immense responsibility of introducing the theosophical work that had been assigned her by her Master, as she assured herself.
From early childhood, she displayed perspicacity and, considering her age, striking psychic powers. Maturing, she turned out to be a woman of strong will, independent, uncompromising and a generous-hearted one, nurturing deep respect for justice. She was irrevocable in her faith in the Power governing the universe and displayed insuperable self-denial and devotion to the work laid in her hands by the Masters of Wisdom in order to be able to realize it on earth.
Her mother, a well-known author then, had dealt more than often in her books with the issue of the position of women in russian society and the lack of education opportunities.
Her grandmother along with her grandfather had been among the pioneers of russian enlightment. In her grandmother’s library, little Helena availed herself of the opportunity to read important books on history, physics, archaeology, thus acquiring knowledge that would help her later on to lucidly and scientifically explain to the West what she had learned in the East as a disciple there.
She received a diligent schooling, would play musical instruments easily and graciously, the piano being one of them, she would draw remarkably well and she was known for her linguistic aptitude. She was a particularly gifted person and would always confirm she intensely felt beside her a powerful inivisible presence protecting and guiding her. She used to describe events that had taken place centuries ago at places and castles she called at and people would often hear her speak with invisible entities.
Her psychic faculties, however, were only later to come under her full command, when her Masters strictly insisted upon her controlling her psychic and expanding her spiritual features. She withdrew on the Caucasus and Tibet where, being secluded, she managed to awaken her spiritual powers and bring forth the knowledge she had accummulated during her past lives and initiations.
Helena Blavatsky travelled almost throughout the world, we might say that her life was a continuous travelling bringing her in touch with age-old cultures, occult traditions, knowledge and monuments of ancient peoples. This sort of ceaseless communication with varying mentalities, religions, civilizations and peoples taught her to be tolerant towards other people’ s positions and filled her with a pluralism of knowledge, the latter two being stances of life that, afterwards, helped her make her Theosophical work come true.
Her mission started when, in 1851, she met in London her Master recognizing in him the person she had been speaking with in her dreams ever since a child. The task assigned to her was to bring back an aspect of divine wisdom to the Western world. Many of the well-sealed secrets became known through her books and articles and affected people’s attitude towards materialism, prejudices and superstitions common in societies of the recently bygone centuries.
She called that bulk of knowledge Theosophy, a term meaning the wisdom of the Divine Beings, which she used to define her work. Theosophy is considered as the cradle of Truth wherefrom spring wisdom and spiritual science of manifested life. Mankind, exactly like the whole of our planetary life, is one of the phenomenal presentations of the One Cosmic Principle, while everything on the planet such as initiation, science, art and mystic tradition is but the emanation of that inner nucleus. Those spiritual emanations of the ONE appear in our ranks through the immortal host of Initiators and Masters of Wisdom who convey esoteric Reality to mankind by gradually revealing the laws and ways that sustain its spiritual progression.
Helena Blavatsky’ s mission was to re-store Theosophy to the world scene – an idea that has renewed knowledge on the unity of life and consequent brotherhood of men – while, by uncovering part of Isis’ veil, she presented to humanity and particularly to the West the occult aspects of our life concealed till then under mystery symbols and known to but a few. Her work brought back to the world a part of Ancient Wisdom adapted to the needs of Western man’s evolution. She explained the inner causes and workings in universe and humans, helping the latter become aware of the cause and purpose of their existence on planet earth.
H.P. Blavatsky extensively spoke about the laws of Karma and Reincarnation, about after-death life, the sevenfold principles and planes, occult life of the planet and humanity and she particularly disclosed the existence and work of the Spiritual Hierarchy whose bright shadow is constantly among us.
Her greatest success is that she made it clear that behind phenomena there is a Divine Plan continually tuned to man’ s spiritual progress, one that can only be realized through personal will, effort and experience.
Such an evolutionary plan is furthered and supported by the Spiritual Beings who exist and remain with mankind for the sake of its spiritual evolution. Through the theosophical teaching she tried to inculcate such unifying principles as may help men overcome separativeness, dogmas and fanatical attachment to the personal. She, herself, wrote in a text, published after she had passed away in the “Lucifer” magazine (Sep. 1891), that:
“There is a road steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind, but yet a road, and it leads to the very heart of the Universe: I can tell you how to find Those who will show you the secret gateway that opens inward only, and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore.”
H.P.Blavatsky was the forerunner of the New Age, the pioneer of the universal idea and precursor of Universality. The Theosophical Movement’s motto “brotherhood of men” became the foundation of co-existence and solidarity among humans and helped smooth out ignorance and separativeness by proposing deeper understanding, sympathy, and altruism. She defined as “Practical Theosophy” and “Ethics” the application of the divine archetype on to daily life. Theosophist is he who applies what the divine knowledge outlines. A theosophist’s conduct is the outcome of the combination of ethics and knowledge of the esoteric laws governing the universe and man.
H.P.Blavatsky never spoke of herself as being an “authority”. She only said she was the “messenger” of the Great Ancient Lodge of the Masters of Wisdom and that she was offering the teachings of humanity’s Elder Brothers as “a nosegay of culled flowers having brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.”
Her major works are: “Isis Unveiled”, “The Secret Doctrine”, “The Key to Theosophy”, “The Voice of the Silence” and “From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan”. She collaborated in writing numerous articles for the magazines: “The Theosophist”, “Lucifer” and “The Path”, all of which articles are included in the fourteen volumes of her “Collected Writings”.
She departed on May 8, 1891, adding paragraphs to her texts to her last moment. Theosophists all over the world observe the day of departure of the Movement’s founder bringing along flowers, preferably white lotuses and reading excerpts from her books.
Her very last wish and advice to her disciples was “to keep the link unbroken” meaning to study and spread the genuine theosophical teaching as handed down from the Heart of Wisdom. Her wish is put down in “The Key to Theosophy” where she says:
“This book was written to encourage the study of Theosophy and to disseminate its knowledge to the whole world.”