Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) was one of the founders the Theosophical Society and her writings inspired not only most of esotericism then and now, but also influenced perceptions of and new interpretations of what we now know as „world religions“, e.g. Buddhism and Hinduism.
A mixture of bold orientalism, questionable conversations with „the Masters“, and an „arousing“ temperament – here I present: the best of H.P.B.:
What Annie Besant wrote about H.P.B.:
„Endurance and patience have certainly been the crowing qualities of H.P.B. as I have known her during the last years of her life, and as I have heard of her from those fortunate enough to have known her for more years than I can count during her present life. The most salient of her characteristics was implied in these crowning qualities; it was that of strength, steady strength, unyielding as a rock. I have seen weaklings dash themselves up against her, and then whimper that she was hard; but I have also seen her face to face with a woman who had been her cruel enemy – but who was in distress and, as I uncharitably thought, therefore repentant – and every feature was radiant with a divine compassion, which only did not forgive because it would not admit that it had been outraged. The hardness which can be tender is the hardness which is needed in our mollient Western life, in which one is sick of the shams that pass for values, of the falseness that stabs with a smile, and betrays with a kiss.
Unconventional, H.P.B. was always called, and the adjective was appropriate. She did not regard society conventions as natural laws, and she preferred frankness to compliment. Above all she had the sense of proportion, and that „rarest sense of all, common sense“.
She did not think that all natural piety was trampled underfoot when a woman smoked cigarettes, nor that every bond which held society together was ruptured when some solecism in manners was committed.
A traveller in many lands, she had seen social customs sos various that one or another was to her as unimportant as wearing a hat, a turban, or a fez, and she laughed at all the crude insular British ideas that a man’s merit depended on his agreement with our own notions.
On the other hand, she was rigidity itself in the weightier matters of the law; and had it now been for the injury the writers were doing themselves by the foulness they flung at her, I could often have almost laughed at the very absurdity of the contrast between the fraudulent charlatan and profligate they pictured, and the H.P.B. I lived beside, with honor as sensitive as that of the „vey gentil parfait knyghte,“ truth flawless as a diamond, purity which had in it much of a child’s candour mingled with the sternness which could hold it scatheless against attack.
Apart from all questions of moral obligation, H.P.B. was far too proud a woman, in her personality, to tell a lie. Brought up amid the highest born of the Russian nobility, inheriting much of their haughty contempt for the people around them, she would not have condescended to justify herself by untruth; she did not sufficiently care for „What would people say“ to stoop to any subterfuge to defend herself.
Looking at her generally, she was much more of a man than a woman. Outspoken, decided, prompt, strong-willed, genial, humorous, free from pettiness and without malignity, she was wholly different from the average female type.Annie Besant, „H.P.B. – As I knew her“, in: Lucifer, v. 8, 1891
Blavatsky and Dharmapala:
In December 1884, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott again visited Colombo on their way to Madras. I went to my father and told him I wanted to go to Madras and work with them. At first he consented. But, on the day set for my departure, he announced solemnly that he had had a bad dream and could not allow me to go. The high priest, the other priests I had known from childhood, my grandparents, all opposed me. Though I did not know what to do, my heart was determined on this journey, which I felt would lead to a new life for me. Madame Blavatsky faced the priests and my united family. She was a wonderful woman, with energy and will-power that pushed aside all obstacles. She said: „That boy will die if you do not let him go. I will take him with me anyway“.Return to Righteousness, 687.