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Mr Wadia in Buffalo
[Extracts from the Canadian Theosophist. Vol 1. No. 3 page 40 ] 

© 2005 Online Teosofiska Kompaniet Malmö 

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May 15, 1920 Mr. Wadia addressed the members in Buffalo. It was based on the concluding chapters of The Key To Theosophy. He used the phrase ”Back to Blavatsky.”

... In the third volume of the Secret Doctrine [Collected Writings XII] HPB speaks of an attempt to tell the world in the fourteenth century, and over again at the end of the last quarter of every century to bring to Europe and the Western world the knowledge of spiritual truths. ...

He commended the study of  The Key to Theosophy, and would preface his remarks about it by saying that these writings of HPB must be taken in a certain light. She makescertain claims. The light she was bringing was not of her own making, but the Light of the Masters of the Great White Lodge. The questions for his readers were: Was she the Light Bringer? Did she bring the Light?

”Which of you has taken the trouble to read her books?” Mr. Wadia pointedly asked. She changed the point of view, he said, of every sincere reader.

Those thinking in terms of their village she made think in terms of the globe. Those who thought in terms of the globe she made think of in terms of cosmoses. They would find if they studied the movements of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries that there is a continuity with the light of the 19th  though it is different in one respect, the previous ones being private, shrouded in mystery and clouds and with an occult atmosphere, while that of the last century is public. Knowledge is power.

You must make up your minds, is HPB, the Messenger of the great Lodge or not, and is the light still burning? She presents a set of teachings about the future of the Society of the utmost value. These principles could have been applied to the future of the T.S. ten or twenty years ago. What are these principles?

”I am of the opinion we are at the point of a very critical moment in the history of the movement on account of world events,” said Mr. Wadia. In 1875 the Society was started. If it fails or has failed, another impulse will be given in 1975. In fifty more years would come the birth of another movement. What would the function of this new movement be if we let the present one fail?

”I don’t mean there will be no Theosophical Society. There may be thousands and thousands of members, but will the members keep the force and life of the Master that has molded and guided the Society? As a spiritual entity it will fail if the life is withdrawn and ceases to mould the shape and form of it. Therefore to judge the movement we require the measure that HPB lays down,” he asserted.

He quoted from The Key to Theosophy, in the closing chapter, where HPB speaks of  ”The great need” which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiased and clear judgement. Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in a failure, because sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth alone can impart.

You must remember that all our members have been bred and born in some creed or religion; that all are more or less of their generation, both physically and mentally; and consequently that their judgment is but too likely to be warped and unconsciously biased by some or all of these influences.

If, then, they can’t be freed from such inherent bias, or at least taught to recognize it instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the Society will drift off on to some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain, a stranded carcass, to molder and die.

In judging our own work this principle of unbiased judgment must be invoked. ... If these principles are observed the Society will live on into and through the 20th century. It has lived into it. Will it live through it?

It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded ideas of religion, duty and philanthropy. Slowly, but surely, it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realizations of the Brotherhood of all men. Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has rendered accessible and intelligible to the modern mind, the West will learn to understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further, the development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory symptoms of which are already visible in America will proceed healthily and normally. Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place, as it threaten to do, in a hotbed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man’s mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal good-will which will reign in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which are everywhere apparent around us to-day.

Mr. Wadia asked them to look at their own condition inside and outside the Society, and at their psychic development. Had these things taken place? He read the further passages, describing the centennial efforts to spread the truth and predicting the result should the present only be successful.

If we find that we are not doing so our duty is to bring those original impulses back to their proper place. We have a unique duty to perform and discharge in the 20th century, and we must be bold enough to fulfill it. It would be wise, he thought, for every Theosophist to take stock of the situation. This was true of every section, every lodge, every official, every member of the Society.

We live according to the principles of HPB or we do not. There should be an individual effort to follow it out. Certain things done come up to the standard HPB sets. Others do not, and still others threaten to fall short. We must judge that, and he would like to see us take up this task. ...

If it is true, then, he quoted again, ”this next impulse will find a numerous and united body of people ready to welcome the new torchbearer of Truth”. ...

My business is to put to you a question and let you find the answer. ... These original mpulses of which he spoke have to do with the Masters. You must find the meaning. Where do we find these impulses? In The Secret Doctrine, in Isis Unveiled, in The Voice of the Silence and in The Key to Theosophy. ...

Everyone talks of treading the path of Service, but there are paths of service which are of no concern. There is great talk about sacrificing in the Society. It is a wonderful idea sacrificing for a wider ideal. But what do we sacrifice? The knowledge of the great truths of Theosophy? Do we possess it in such a manner as to be able to give it? We take it second hand - accept it wholesale. How are we to build faculty but by going to the source of inspiration? ...

The members of a Society whose motto is, There is no religion higher than truth, need to face facts. Be realistic. Know the truth. When these questions are answered you will find the work of Theosophy going smoothly and produce the results of which HPB speaks.


We changed the passage to an ‘active voice,’ we modified it to fit our times, but, we hope we have kept the essence of who this historical figure was during a time period of much change within the Society. He felt that the ‘Society’ was moving in a direction that was contrary to the basic teachings.

Whether it was or not is not the point. The important fact is that ‘we’ should study and apply what we have. We find it amusing to read how B. P. Wadia felt we could by our philosophy and thoughts make such a huge difference in the world of today.

Can it really make that much of a difference? Look at Gandhi. He, not only believed, but was a living example of what he ‘THOUGHT.’ He did make an impact - a huge impact! He, however, lived his thoughts.

The High Country Theosophist
Vol. 17 No. 5  Boulder, Colorado
September/October 2002 


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