Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa

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Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa
Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa
Born 16 December 1875
Sri Lanka
Died 18 June 1953 (aged 77)
United States
Nationality Sri Lankan
Education Ananda College
University of Cambridge
University of Pavia
Known for Theosophy
Occult Chemistry
Spouse(s) Dorothy M. Graham

Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa (16 December 1875, Sri Lanka–18 June 1953, United States) was an author, occultist, freemason and theosophist. The fourth president of the Theosophical Society,[1] Jinarajadasa was one of the world's foremost Theosophical authors, having published more than 50 books and more than 1600 articles in periodicals during his life. His interests and writings included religion, philosophy, literature, art, science and occult chemistry. He was also a rare linguist, who had the ability to work in many European languages.[2]

Early life[edit]

Jinarajadasa was born on 16 December 1875 in Sri Lanka to a family of Sinhalese parents. He was one of the first students of Ananda College, Colombo. In 1889, when Charles Webster Leadbeater, the first principal of Ananda College was asked by A.P. Sinnett to come back to England to tutor his son, Leadbeater agreed and also brought one of his pupils, Jinarajadasa, to England with him. Thanks to Leadbeater, Jinarajadasa went to St John's College, Cambridge where he studied oriental languages and four years later took his Degree in the Oriental Languages Tripos.[3]


He then came back to Ceylon and became the vice principal of Ananda College in Colombo. Jinarajadasa returned to Europe, to study at the University of Pavia, Italy. He soon became proficient in Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Around 1904 he visited Chicago, where he met and influenced Weller van Hook, the well-known surgeon and author, who then became a theosophist. During his lifetime, Jinarajadasa traveled to many countries despite all the war difficulties of that era for his devoted service to Theosophy.

He also traveled to South America, where he lectured in Spanish and Portuguese and founded branches of the Theosophical Society (TS). He was the Vice-President of the Theosophical Society from 1921 to 1928. After the death of Dr. Arundale in 1945, Jinarajadasa became president of the Theosophical Society Adyar. In 1949 he founded the School of Wisdom in Adyar, which attracted students from many countries. He was also a Freemason, joining Le Droit Humain also known as Co-Masonry. Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa was the president of Theosophical Society until his death on 18 June 1953 in the United States.[4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1916, Jinarajadasa married the English feminist Miss Dorothy M. Graham, who founded the Women's Indian Association (WIA) in Adyar with Annie Besant in 1917. She accompanied him in his travels around the world for some years. At one stage of his life, he resided in Brazil. By 1953 he declined renomination as president of the Theosophical Society due to poor health and installed Nilakanta Sri Ram as his successor. He visited America where he died on 18 June 1953 at the national headquarters of the Theosophical Society, called “Olcott”. His body was cremated; half of his ashes were sent to Adyar for deposit in the Garden of Remembrance there. The rest were kept at Olcott until the late 1990s, when they were deposited in an American Garden of Remembrance created to receive them.

Works (selection)[edit]

Jinarajadasa wrote many works on Theosophy, Theology, philosophy, literature, art and science. He also participated in Annie Besant's and Charles Leadbeater's researches on Occult Chemistry. In 1913 Jinarajadasa was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contribution to Theosophical literature.

  • Art and the Emotions, 1922
  • Art As Will and Idea, 1927
  • The Bhagavad Gita, 1915
  • Christ and Buddha, 1908
  • Christ the Logos, 1920
  • Clairvoyant Investigations, 1947
  • The Conventions of the Indian Constitution, 1921
  • Did Madame Blavatsky Forge the Mahatma Letters?, 1934
  • Discourses on the Bhagavad Gita, 1953 (A speech in Bangalore from 1946)
  • The Divine Vision, Three Lectures Delivered in London, 1928
  • The Early Teachings of the Masters 1881-1883, 1923
  • The Faith That is the Life, 1920
  • The Flame of Youth, 1931
  • Flowers and Gardens: A Dream Structure, 1913
  • First Principles of Theosophy, 1921
  • The Future of the Theosophical Society, 1931
  • Gods in Chains, 1929
  • Goethe's Faust, Analysed in a Series of Incidents in Successive Incarnations, 1932
  • The Heritage of Our Fathers, 1918
  • How We Remember Our Past Lives, 1915
  • The Ideas of Theosophy
  • In His Name, 1913
  • Is and Is to Be, 1940
  • K.H. Letters to C.W. Leadbeater, 1941
  • The Law of Christ, 1924
  • Lecture Notes, 1930 (cover design by Manishi Dey)
  • Letters of the Masters of Wisdom - First Series, 1919
  • Letters of the Masters of Wisdom - Second Series, 1926
  • The Lord's Work, 1917
  • The Master: Meditations in Verse, 1931
  • The Mediator and Other Theosophical Essays, 1927
  • The Meeting of the East and the West, 1921
  • The Message of the Future, 1916
  • The Nature of Mysticism, 1917
  • The New Humanity of Intuition, 1938
  • Occult Chemistry: Investigations by Clairvoyant Magnification, 1908
  • Practical Theosophy, 1918
  • The Real and the Unreal, 1923
  • The Reign of Law, Buddhist Essay, 1923
  • Release: A Sequel to the Wonder Child
  • The Religion and Philanthropy of Freemasonry
  • The Ritual of the Mystic Star
  • The Seven Veils of Consciousness, 1952
  • The Smaller Buddhist Catechism, 1914 (jointly authored with C.J. Leadbetter)
  • The Theosophist's Attitude, 1927 (jointly authored with C.J. Leadbetter)
  • Theosophical Outlook, 1919
  • Theosophy and Reconstruction, 1919
  • Theosophy and Modern Thought, 1914
  • Unfolding the Intuition, 1936 (with a foreword by Sidney A. Cook)
  • The Way and After: A Theosophist's Viewpoint, 1939
  • Women in Freemasonry, 1944
  • The World as Idea, Emotion and Will, 1948

Jinarajadasa published more than 1,600 articles in periodicals such as The Adyar Bulletin, The American Theosophist, The Australian ES Bulletin, The Herald of the Star, The Messenger, Sishya (The Student), The Theosophic Messenger, The Theosophist, and World Theosophy. Mr Jinarajadasa was also editor of The Theosophist for three periods.


  1. ^ "About the TS". The Theosophical Society, International Headquarters, Adyar. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "C.Jinarājadāsa". The Theosophical Society, Adyar. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  3. ^ "Jinarājadāsa". Theosophical Society in Greece. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  4. ^ "The TS International Presidents in History". Theosophical Society in America. 

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