Masters of the Ancient Wisdom (Theosophy)

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The Masters of the Ancient Wisdom are reputed to be enlightened beings originally identified by the Theosophists Helena Blavatsky, Henry S. Olcott, Alfred Percy Sinnett, and others. These Theosophists claimed to have met some of the so-called Masters during their lifetimes in different parts of the world.[1] Sometimes they are referred to by Theosophists as Elder Brothers of the Human Race, Adepts, Mahatmas, or simply as The Masters.

Helena Blavatsky was the first person to introduce the concept of the Masters to the West. At first she talked about them privately, but she stated that after a few years two of these adepts, Kuthumi (K.H.) and Morya (M.), agreed to maintain a correspondence with two British Theosophists – Alfred P. Sinnett and A. O. Hume. This communication took place from 1880 to 1885, and during those years the reputed existence and objectives of the Mahatmas became public. The original letters are currently kept in the British Library in London and have been published as the Mahatma Letters.

Skeptical view[edit]

K. Paul Johnson suggests in his book The Masters Revealed: Madam Blavatsky and Myth of the Great White Brotherhood that the Masters that Madam Blavatsky claimed she had personally met are idealizations of certain people she had met during her lifetime.[2]

Also see the article “Talking to the Dead and Other Amusements” by Paul Zweig New York Times October 5, 1980, which maintains that Madame Blavatsky's revelations were fraudulent.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leadbeater, C.W. The Masters and the Path Adyar, Madras, India: 1925--Theosophical Publishing House--Diagram 5, Facing page 248, provides details about the "Great Ones" functioning on initiation levels five through nine. C.W. Leadbeater’s Spiritual Hierarchy Chart (The Bodhisattva=Maitreya)
  2. ^ Johnson, K. Paul The Masters Revealed: Madam Blavatsky and Myth of the Great White Brotherhood Albany, New York: 1994 State University of New York Press
  3. ^ “Talking to the Dead and Other Amusements” by Paul Zweig New York Times October 5, 1980

Further reading[edit]

  • Campbell, Bruce F. A History of the Theosophical Movement Berkeley:1980 University of California Press
  • Godwin, Joscelyn The Theosophical Enlightenment Albany, New York: 1994 State University of New York Press
  • Johnson, K. Paul The Masters Revealed: Madam Blavatsky and Myth of the Great White Brotherhood Albany, New York: 1994 State University of New York Press
  • Melton, J. Gordon Encyclopedia of American Religions 5th Edition New York:1996 Gale Research ISBN 0-8103-7714-4 ISSN 1066-1212 Chapter 18--"The Ancient Wisdom Family of Religions" Pages 151-158; see chart on page 154 listing Masters of the Ancient Wisdom; Also see Section 18, Pages 717-757 Descriptions of various Ancient Wisdom religious organizations
  • Sender, Pablo Mahatmas versus Ascended Masters Wheaton, Il:Quest Summer 2011, The Theosophical Society in America. Online access.