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by Henry Steel Olcott


THE first volume of these historical sketches covered the period from the meeting of Madame Blavatsky and myself, in 1874, to our departure from New York for Bombay in December, 1878; the second tells of our adventures in India and Ceylon, the formation of Branches, the giving of lectures, healings of the sick by hundreds, occult phenomena produced by H.P.B. etc., and brings us down to the autumn of 1883: at this time we take up the thread of narrative, and go forward to the month of May, 1887. I think the reader will agree with me that the subject-matter of this volume possesses absorbing interest, quite equal to that in its two preceding volumes, if not even greater. Accounts are given among other things of my meetings with several of the "Masters" in the course of my travels, and of the results of the same, of our removal of the Society's Headquarters from Bombay to Madras, of H.P.B.'s last departure from her beloved Indian home into the exile of an European residence. The troublous times of the Coulomb conspiracy are dealt with in this volume, and the true story of the S.P.R. Report is placed on record, so that each member of our world-wide organisation may be


in a position to refute the slanders which, even at this date, echo in some quarters round the name of Mme. Blavatsky. The building and formal installation of the Adyar Library, with ceremonies of an unprecedented character conducted by Indian pandits, Buddhist monks, Parsi mobeds, and a Muslim maulvi, are described, and numberless details of the growth of the Theosophical movement, and of our Society in particular, are given. The story takes us to Europe as well as through Eastern lands, the intelligent reader being afforded the chance of watching the gradual outworking of the plan of the unseen Founders, whom, their visible agents know to be at work through this channel in spreading throughout the world a knowledge of the principles which were taught by the Ancient Sages, and the general understanding and adoption of which would cure most of the evils which now afflict mankind. For men suffer because of ignorance of themselves and their environment, and the false ideals of happiness which they struggle for are begotten by their ignorance—by nothing else. The war of individual men, of classes, and of nations can never—will never—cease until the ideal of the Perfect Man, the omnipotence of His perfected Will, and the irresistible force of the law of Karma are grasped by the public mind, and the present popular ignorance is dispelled.

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