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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Morgan, Henry Rodes

(1822-1909). A major general in the British army and a member of the Theosophical Society who was a witness to phenomena demonstrated by the Mahatmas in the early years of the Theosophical Society. He resided in Ootacamund in Tamil Nadu, south India, where all his ten children were born.

In August, 1883, he came to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Madras (now Chennai) to see the painting of Mahatma K.H. Emma COULOMB opened the cupboard of the shrine hurriedly, and a china tray fell from it and broke to pieces. While Emma Coulomb was lamenting the accident, General Morgan suggested that they get some China cement to put together the fragments of the tray. They did so and tied it with a cloth and put it back into the shrine and the doors were locked. Damodar Mavalankar was in the room sitting about ten feet away, and while General Morgan was conversing with Damodar, an idea occurred to General Morgan that if the Adepts “considered it of sufficient importance, they would easily restore the broken article, if not, they would leave it to the culprits to do so.” He recounted: “Five minutes had scarcely elapsed after this remark when Damodar, who during this time seemed wrapped in a reverie — exclaimed, ‘I think there is an answer.’ The doors were opened, and sure enough, a small note was found on the shelf of the shrine — on opening which we read ‘To the small audience present. Madame C— has occasion to assure herself that the Devil is neither so black nor so wicked as he is generally represented; the mischief is easily repaired.’ [¶] On opening the cloth, the China tray was found to be whole and perfect; not a trace of the breakage on it! I at once wrote across the note, stating that I was present when the tray was broken and immediately restored, dated and signed it, so there should be no mistake in the matter. It may be here observed that Madame C— believes that the many things of a wonderful nature that occur at the Head-Quarters, may be the work of the Devil — hence the playful remark of the Mahatma who came to her rescue. The matter took place in the middle of the day in the presence of four people” (CW 6, pp. 418-9).

In the same testimony, General Morgan refers to two other incidents: “I may here remark that a few days before I came into the room of my house just as Madame Blavatsky had duplicated a ring of a lady in a high position [Sara M. Carmichael], in the presence of my wife and daughter in broad daylight. The ring was a sapphire and a valuable one — and the lady has preserved it. On another occasion a note came from the above lady to my wife and was handed into the drawing-room in the presence of several people. On opening it a message was found written across the note in the well known characters of the ADEPT. The question is how the message got into the note? The lady who wrote it was perfectly astounded when she saw it — and could only imagine it was done at her own table with her own blue pencil” (Ibid., p. 419).

Bibliography: Zirkoff, Boris, ed., Blavatsky Collected Writings 6 (2nd ed., Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1975).

Vicente R. Hao Chin, Jr.

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