Our Fifth Year
Theosophist, August, 1883
Again we have the pleasure of noting the continued prosperity of The Theosophist, and the fact that its publication will be continued as heretofore. The experimental stage was passed a few months after the journal was launched, and it now appears to be growing in influence even more decidedly than in circulation. Yet the latter has long been extensive enough to reach regular subscribers in nearly every quarter of the globe; and the contributions which some of these have made to its columns have been alike instructive and interesting. With some of them friendships have also been formed by the founders of the Society which are likely to be lasting. Such is the case usually where the tie is based upon a community of intellectual tastes and moral aspirations. Begun as a convenient channel through which to reach the scattered members of our Society, the journal has become a delight to its founders, and the task of conducting it a labour of love. Its most important feature is that the adept Mahatmas, until now hidden from the sight of the public, and guarding the fact of their very existence a close secret, have permitted many occult truths to be given out, through Chelas, in its pages. And as these seeds of thought have here and there found soil for their germination, though for the most part they have fallen on the hard and stony ground of modern “culture” (!), the series of Fragments of Occult Truth will be continued and other pregnant ideas thus disseminated. The hidden meaning of the Aryan Shastras being a matter of the highest importance for Hindus and others to learn, such expositions will be from time to time made in the journal. We shall begin this work by expounding, so far as permitted, the esoteric meaning of the text of the Bhagavad Gita. One of the first numbers of our Volume V will contain the first chapter, and the commentary be continued monthly until the whole is finished. Some of our readers, especially Hindus, will be doubtless astonished to discover the almost perfect identity between the concealed sense of this immortal epic and the Arhat Tibetan Doctrine, which has been in part expounded in the Fragments and other writings. Colonel Olcott will, as heretofore, write in the intervals of leisure allowed him by his arduous official duties; and, at our request, explain the scientific rationale of his seemingly miraculous cures. A new field of scientific discovery has been opened up by the learned Prof. Jaeger, of Stuttgart, in his researches into the nature of odors and the law of their propagation. This subject involves even the question of a molecular psychology, and its high value was shown by Dr. Leopold Salzer, F. T. S., of Calcutta, in his paper at the first anniversary celebration of the Bengal Theosophical Society, reprinted in our number for July. Should any additional discoveries be made in this field, Dr. Salzer will, with his usual kindness, report them through The Theosophist. The masterly expositions of ancient Aryan philosophy, by Mr. T. Subba Row, B. A., B. L., F.T.S., which have attracted wide notice in Europe and America as well as at home, will be continued; and we are promised the favours of many other able scholars.
As there is every likelihood of an eager demand for the forthcoming volume, on the above and various other accounts, it will be but a kindness to remind our present subscribers and readers that we publish an edition only large enough to meet the demand, and cannot undertake to supply back numbers after the edition has been exhausted. To be sure of a set for the year, then, one must send in his name and money as early as possible. Since the magazine is not published for profit, and the proprietors have hitherto given its whole earnings and much more towards the support of the Theosophical Society, we will not consider ourselves open to the reproach of covetousness, if we beg our subscribers to try to enlarge its circulation. Each can without much trouble send in the name of at least one new subscriber, and so help on a movement which grows by its own inherent vitality, and has never been nursed or stimulated by artificial means. Fellows of the Society are especially bound to do this much, since the Supplement published solely for the benefit of our numerous Branches to announce and discuss in it our Society’s business—is printed entirely at the expense of the Founders. The circulation of The Theosophist is the soil from which every recent branch of the Society has sprung.
The Business Notice of the Manager will be found on our last page.