[Notes on “The Recluses of the Himalayas”]
Theosophist, May, 1882
Article Selections by G… P… C… | Introductory Note & Notes by H.P.B.
The following interesting communication was received by an influential Officer of the Government of India, from a native gentleman, about 18 months ago, and kindly handed over to use then for publication in The Theosophist. For certain reasons, we thought it better to withhold its publication, as it expressed feelings of disrespect to and criticism upon one whom we considered in those days yet as a friend. As, however, since then we have become wiser, and feel more respect, than we have hitherto felt, for orthodox Brahmins,—nothwithstanding still our divergences of opinions,—we now give publicity to the letter. The reader will observe that our statement as to the existence of real Yogis and adepts, elsewhere than in Buddhistic Tibet, namely, in Southern and Northern India, in our own day, is here supported by the testimony of an eye-witness.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
Sir,—I have carefully examined The Theosophist which you kindly lent me today. Mr. N. C. Paul, whose treatise on Yoga Philosophy is referred to [see “Commentary on A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy”], was a Bengali gentleman, and a native of Calcutta, of the Kayastha caste. His full name was Babu Nobin Chander Paul. . . . He prepared that treatise with the assistance of a Sannyasi, or ascetic, and had it published then at the late Benares Recorder Press.
I think the Russian Lady (Madame Blavatsky) is in search of a famous Yogi of these Hills. That Yogi is generally known by the appellation of Siddhiji, and when I saw him last year in a khud below Sanjowli, I took him to be a common man. His accents and mode of speaking led me to regard him as a native of Orissa. The Ranas of these Hills venerate him as a man gifted with the most miraculous powers. . . .
The greatest Yogi of the present age in India, is Babu Bharat Das, now residing in a cave at the village of Samah, 7 miles north of the town of Akhmoor in the Jammu Territory. This Yogi seldom comes out of his cave, and lives on milk alone which is daily supplied to him by a Brahmin . . .
I am not a Theosophist, nor do I wish to ever become one, as I am an orthodox Hindu and an opponent of Dayanand,1 whose great admirer our Theosophist Lady is. . . . But I am ready to give her every assistance in my power in her enquiries about the Hindu Yoga philosophy. . .
1. The Reformer who turned upon those who were his friends and allies, just because they would not limit the membership of their Society to Arya Samajists alone, but accepted into their Brotherhood orthodox Hindus as well, respecting them as much as they did any other member.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
I also wish to tell the Russian Lady that the name of the great Tantrik philosopher of Cashmere is Bidh Kol. He is an old man and lives at Srinagar.
There lives also near Ghulami-ka-Bagh in the vicinity of the town of Jammu, a Yogi, named Harhallabh Gir who, some of the Jummavites told me, performs great phenomena now and then.
I also wish to inform her that the greatest Aryan astrologer of the present age, is Jai Bhattachary, of Jam Baree, in the town of Howiah on the other side of Calcutta.2 He is a wonderful seer and prophet. I have seen even European gentlemen and ladies consulting him and receiving from him appropriate answers.
2. We have been informed that this old astrologer died a few months ago.—Ed. [H.P.B.]