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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Morya, Mahatma

One of the two Adepts who were behind the founding of the Theosophical Society (TS). He was the guru of Helena P. Blavatsky and Col. Henry Steel Olcott. Many of his letters were preserved and are now part of an important collection of the Mahatma letters.

HPB first met him in 1851 in London, during the Great Exhibition opened by Queen Victoria. Among the members of the Indian delegation she recognized him as the Master whom she had seen in her visions ever since she was young. It was in Hyde Park that the Mahatma Morya spoke to her about the work ahead of her.

The Mahatma Morya was a Rajput prince. He lived with the Mahatma Koot Hoomi in Tibet during the early years of the Theosophical Society. HPB described him to Charles Johnston as a giant, six feet eight, and splendidly built; a superb type of manly beauty. When asked how old he was, she answered: “My dear, I cannot tell you exactly, for I do not know. But this I will tell you. I met him first when I was twenty, — in 1851. He was in the very prime of manhood then. I am an old woman now, but he has not aged a day. He is still in the prime of manhood. That is all I can say. You may draw your own conclusions” (CW VIII:400).

HPB saw the Mahatma Morya again when she went to Tibet to train under her guru. In 1875, while in the United States, she was instructed by him to form a society, “a secret society like the Rosicrucian Lodge. He [Morya] promises to help.” This led to the founding of the Theosophical Society. During this period, HPB wrote in her Scrapbook that Master Morya was daily appearing in the Kama-rupa.

After the founding of the TS, Col. Olcott was considering moving to India. One evening, while alone in his room, he saw the body of the Mahatma Morya materialize. He prostrated himself before his guru. The Mahatma spoke to him for an hour about the future work of the Theosophical Society. When his guru was about to leave, Olcott thought whether this was just an illusion cast over him by HPB. The Mahatma smiled, unfurled his turban, put it on the table, and then disappeared before Olcott’s eyes. This turban, with the initial of the Mahatma, is now in the archives of the Theosophical Society in India.

Mahatma Morya, according to HPB, predicted about when India would be independent from the British. “Master says that the hour for the retirement of you English has not struck nor will it — till next century and that ‘late enough to see even Dennie an old, old man’ as KH said some time ago.” Dennie was Alfred P. Sinnett’s son who was born in 1868 and would have been 79 years had he lived till 1947 when India became independent.

The Mahatma was a very close companion of the Mahatma Koot Hoomi, and it was he who took over the correspondence with A. P. Sinnett when Koot Hoomi went on a long retreat.

His letters were direct. A. P. Sinnett wrote that the Mahatma M. “did not beat about the bush with us at all. . . . On one occasion one of us had written, ‘Can you clear my conceptions about so and so?’ The annotation found in the margin when the paper was returned was ‘How can I clear what you haven’t got!’”

Madame Blavatsky wrote that several times in her life, Mahatma Morya cured her of her illness — once or twice when she was at the brink of death and declared dying by the doctors. On one occasion she was in the last stages of Bright’s disease. “I went to Sikkim . . . and there my beloved Master repaired kidneys and liver, and in three days’ time I was as healthy as ever. They say it was a miracle. He only gave a potion to drink seven times a day from a plant in the Himalayas.” In January 1885, HPB became seriously ill and became comatose. The doctors had said that she would die in that condition. A permit from Madras for her cremation in fact had been obtained. In the evening, while Mr. and Mrs. Cooper-Oakley, Damodar Mavalankar, Bawaji D. Nath and Dr. Franz Hartmann were waiting in the outer room, the Mahatma Morya appeared in the verandah, passed through the outer room and entered HPB’s room. After she recovered, she said that the Master gave her the choice of dying and be relieved of her sufferings, or live a few more years to write The Secret Doctrine. Reacting to the amazement of the doctor, HPB said, “Ah! Doctor, you do not believe in our great Masters” (H.P.B. by Sylvia Cranston).

In two separate letters, both the Mahatma KH and M affirmed that The Secret Doctrine was a joint work of HPB and the two of them.

The portraits of Mahatma Morya and Koot Hoomi were made by Hermann Schmiechen in 1884. Although Schmiechen had never seen the adepts, he was able to paint them under the invisible guidance of the Mahatma Morya and some chelas. In a letter to HPB, the Mahatma wrote: “Say to Schmiechen that he will be helped. I myself will guide his hands with brush for K’s portrait” (LMW I, 158).

Aside from those who have met the Mahatma Morya physically, there were many others who have reported seeing him in his astral body, such as Mary Gebhard, Mohini Chatterjee, James Pryse, and Geoffrey Hodson.

See Adepts; Koot Hoomi.

Vicente Hao Chin Jr.

© Copyright by the Theosophical Publishing House, Manila

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