[On the Religious Neutrality of the T.S.]
Theosophist, October, 1881
Letter Selections by Raghu Nandan | Editor’s Note by H.P.B.
To the Editor of The Theosophist.
Madame,—On Saturday, the 23rd of July, 1881, Shri Shrikrishna Parsanna . . . delivered a long address on “Dharma Sadhan” . . . The main object of the lecture was to re-infuse into the hearts of the young and so-called educated India, that love for our ancient religion believed in and professed by the noble-minded and pure-hearted Aryas of the days of old. . . . Madame, we never thought until now, that our ancient and long-neglected Aryan religion would ever regain its former footing, or reappear before the public in anything like a scientific garb, lending strength and power to its utterances. And now, we hope and feel confident that, owing to the indefatigable efforts of our young champion, the Lecturer, and the untiring zeal of the Association, of which he is the Secretary, the mists which veiled so long our religion from the eyes of young India will soon be swept away. . . .
In this connection, I must congratulate the Theosophical Society, which has been lately established at Bombay whose work and efforts have aided in enlightening our views upon our own Religion. May the blissful hand of the Divine Power help on the advocates of the religion, inculcated in the Aryan Shastras. The dissemination and exposition of Oriental religions will not only prove profitable to modern Inida, but likewise to every enquiring mind the world over.
Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]—To avoid misunderstanding and especially “misrepresentations” on the part of our opponents, we must remark in connection with the above letter that we “advocate” no more the religion taught in the Aryan Shastras than we do any other faith. Our journal is absolutely unsectarian and equally open to every sincere and honest defender and advocate of his own faith—whatever the latter may be. We are devoted admirers of the Vedas, holding it in veneration as the oldest, and, as we believe, the wisest book of the world, although its mystical and allegorical language needs the interpretation of one who thoroughly understands its spirit. As we do not feel competent to decide which of the various and many interpreters is the right one, we try to be impartial to all and let every sect (with the exception of the “Maharaja sect,” of course,) to advocate its own cause before the public. The Founders of the Theosophical Society and Proprietors of this Journal are the staunch allies and devoted friends of Swamijee Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, and author of the Veda Bhashya; but though the recognized supreme chief of a number of our Theosophists who belong to the Arya Samaj, neither the President of the Parent Society, Col. H. S. Olcott, nor yet its Corresponding Secretary, Mme. H. P. Blavatsky, can ever be his followers any more than those of any other Preacher, as the Rules of our Society strictly forbid its Founders and the Presidents of its many Branches to advocate either in our journal, or at mixed and general meetings, any one religion in preference to any other. We are all upon neutral ground, and even our own personal religious leanings or preferences have nothing to do and must not interfere with the general work. We preach and advocate an incessant and untiring search for truth, and are ever ready to receive and accept it from whatever quarter. We are all enquirers and never offered ourselves as teachers, except in so far as to teach mutual tolerance, kindness and reciprocal enlightenment and a firm resistance to bigotry and arrogant conceit whether in religion or science.