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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Simla Eclectic Theosophical Society

A special branch of the Theosophical Society (TS) founded in August 21, 1881, intended to be under the direct instruction of the MAHĀTMAS. Its first President was Allan O. HUME, with Alfred P. SINNETT as Vice President, while Ross Scott was the Secretary.

The formation of the branch was suggested by Sinnett and Hume who wanted to have a special group directly under the guidance of the Mah€tmas and not under the jurisdiction of Helena P. BLAVATSKY and Henry S. OLCOTT, the two co-founders of the Theosophical Society. They wanted to be taught occult laws that will enable them to demonstrate the truths of theosophy. It was originally to be called the Anglo-Indian branch. As conceived, the branch drew up the following objectives:

1. To support and countenance the Theosophical movement by demonstrating to the native community that many Europeans respect, sympathize, and are desirous of promoting it.

2. To obtain through the assistance of the Adept Brothers of the First Section of the Parent Society a knowledge of the psychological truths which they have experimentally ascertained, and thus acquire a means of successfully combating the materialism of the present age. The Society shall only admit as members persons already Fellows of the TS.

With regard to the request for direct instruction, the Mahātma KOOT HOOMI opposed the idea (The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, # 2):

You seek all this, and yet, as you say yourself, hitherto you have not found “sufficient reasons” to even give up your “modes of life” directly hostile to such modes of communications. This is hardly reasonable. He who would lift up high the banner of mysticism and proclaim its reign near at hand, must give the example to others. He must be the first to change his modes of life; and, regarding the study of the occult mysteries as the upper step in the ladder of Knowledge must loudly proclaim it such despite exact science and the opposition of society.

The Mahātma also rejected their request to establish an Anglo-Indian Society independent from the Parent Society, mentioning the vital contributions of both Olcott and Blavatsky to the TS. To form a separate Anglo-Indian Society would indicate ingratitude toward the Founders and, as he wrote, “ingratitude is not one of our vices.” He also described the motives for such a formation as selfish.

Under the terms of the Adepts, the branch was organized. The Mahātma Koot Hoomi stated that he was given permission by the Chohan to give time “to the progress of the Eclectic.” The disparity between the purposes of Hume and those of the Adepts proved to unbridgeable. By autumn of 1882, the relationship between Hume and the Mah€tmas had quickly degenerated to such a low point that Hume resigned as President of the branch. The branch eventually collapsed.

V.H.C.

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