[Note on the Policy of Mutual Toleration]
Theosophist, March, 1882
Article Selections from “The Samajees that India Needs”| Notes by H.P.B.
A correspondent, writing from Lahore, under date, February 17, informs us that our esteemed friend, Pandit Gopi Nath, Editor, Mittra Vilasa, Lahore, delivered . . . a lecture. The subject was “What Samajees are needed in Aryavarta?” . . . During the course of his lecture, our young friend declared that the Samajees “most needed in Aryavarta are those which make it incumbent upon themselves to preach the cause of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD and try to create union in the country instead of sectarian strife and disunion,” and not those which, on the plea of ignorance, “abuse their ancestors, their Shastras, their true leaders and all their brothers, who, unlike them, are the true followers of the doctrines their highly revered ancestors had preaches and declared through their valuable manuscripts.” It is those classes of so-called “reformers” that are doing the “greatest harm to the cause of nationality and Universal Brotherhood, both of which are, without the least doubt, among the chief wants of India.” The lecturer then “denounced vehemently the policy of the Arya and Brahmo Samajis,”1 . . .
1. A passage which we admire the least in this able lecture. Hence we would have our friends of the Arya and Brahmo Samajees distinctly understand that, by publishing the above, we do not mean to express our approval or otherwise of what our friend, Pandit Gopi Nath, may have said. We merely give room to the report of his lecture as we have received it, and in the same spirit of impartiality, as we would show to any other sentiments delivered in favour of either of the two Samajees referred to, if such were sent to us. We strictly adhere to our cardinal principle of mutual toleration and respect for the sincere beliefs and opinions of others, whether we agree with them or not. Personally we feel a profound respect for Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, although we feel bound to confess that we do not agree with all his views; and we are constrained to say nearly as much of the founder of the “New Dispensation,” with whose teachings personally we disagree from first to last.—Ed. [H.P.B.]