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Koot Hoomi, Mahatma

(Kuthumi). One of the Mahatmas who inspired the founding of the Theosophical Society (TS). He is perhaps the most well-known among modern ADEPTS. His letters to various people have been published in several collections, primarily The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett and Letters of the Masters of the Wisdom, Series I and II. They have been a primary source of modern theosophical philosophy, in addition to the books penned by Helena P. BLAVATSKY.

The Mahatma Koot Hoomi (or K.H.) as a Punjabi “whose family was settled for years in Kashmir” (CW VI:277) but who, during the formative years of the TS was apparently living in the Himalayan regions. Fluent in English and French in addition to Eastern languages, he spent some time in Europe and studied in Oxford. In the 19th century, he and the Mahatma Morya took the responsibility of bringing to the public the principles of theosophy through the agency of Helena P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. They in fact co-authored with Blavatsky The Secret Doctrine, considered the most important work of modern theosophy.

In 1883, upon the request of Blavatsky, the Mahatma Koot Hoomi agreed to correspond with Alfred P. Sinnett, the editor of The Pioneer, then the most important English newspaper in India. Sinnett had witnessed extraordinary phenomena performed by Blavatsky and became convinced of their genuineness. He offered to help in the propagation of the teaching and desired to be in communication with one of the Adepts. What followed was a correspondence where the Mahatmas Koot Hoomi and Morya wrote more than one hundred letters that allowed posterity to see glimpses of the lives and teachings of Adepts. Sinnett comments on the letters of Mahatma K. H.:

Every letter that emanated from Koot Hoomi had continued to bear the impress of his gently mellifluous style. He would write half a page at any time rather than run the least risk of letting a brief or careless phrase hurt anybody’s feelings. His handwriting, too, was always very legible and regular. (Occult World, p. 158)

In October, 1881, the Mahatma K. H. went on a three-month retreat, during which the correspondence with Sinnett and Allan O. HUME was left to the care of the Mahatma Morya. The retreat was variously described as a “very long journey,” as going into the “void” (Tong-pa-ngi). It was apparently a superphysical journey, for Mahatma M. describes the physical body of K. H. as being “lifeless” during this retreat (ML, p. 89).

Aside from Blavatsky, who had lived with the Mahatmas in their ashram, there were others who had the fortune to meet him physically, such as Henry S. OLCOTT, W. T. BROWN, Damodar MAVALANKAR, R. Casava Pillai, MOORAD ALI BEG, Mohini CHATTERJI, Bhavani Shankar, in addition to many others who encountered him in his materialized body or mayavi-rupa, such as William EGLINTON, Nobin Krishna Bannerji, J. N. Ghosal, G. Soobiah Chetty, and Emma COULOMB. Eglinton was able to converse with the Mahatma K. H. on the ship Vega on March 22, 1882, after the ship left Sri Lanka. Among those identified as chelas or pupils of the Mahatma Koot Hoomi were DJUAL KUL, Damodar Mavalankar, Mohini Chatterji, Guala K. Deb, R. Casava Pillai, and Bhavani Shankar.

Two portraits of the Mahatma Koot Hoomi are in existence. They were done by the German artist Hermann Schmiechen, who painted them paranormally under the invisible guidance of Mahatma Morya.

Later theosophical writers such as Charles W. LEADBEATER stated that the Mahatma K. H. was Pythagoras and the Egyptian priest Sarthon in his previous lives (The Masters and the Path).

See also MAHATMA LETTERS to A. P. Sinnett, The; MORYA.

Vicente Hao Chin Jr.


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