The Arya and its “Outstation” Correspondence
Theosophist, November, 1882
There exists a class of men—among the great variety composing genus homo—who, by their modes of thought and action, have to be viewed as a distinct group, a specimen entirely sui generis. We would bottle and label them as the “India-rubber,” or “Elastic men.” These individuals whenever defeated, will neither hide their diminished heads, nor will they honestly admit that which, to all others, is an accomplished and an undeniable fact: namely, that in the affray, whatever its nature, they have come out second best. On the contrary, prudently allowing a certain period of time to elapse between the event and a fresh attack—a period sufficient, as they craftily calculate, to sweep away from people’s minds the correct remembrance of details—they will pounce most unexpectedly upon their ex-antagonist and try to crack his head. They will, once more, impose upon the public an absolutely false account of facts, and feel placidly confident that they have whitewashed themselves in the sight of some weak-minded fools.
Such is evidently the malignant purpose of “AN OUTSTATION ARYAN CORRESPONDENT” in the October number of the Arya—a purpose that could be formed only by a mind originally and essentially elastic, and executed by an intellect naturally narrow, and a mode of reasoning enfeebled and contracted by bad education.
It is sufficient to read the first paragraph of “A SUMMARY REVIEW ON (?) EXTRA SUPPLEMENT (sic) TO THE THEOSOPHIST FOR JULY,” to smile in sincere pity at the puny efforts of that unlucky advocate of a cause perdue. We cannot help admiring, though, the sublime coolness with which he opens the fire from his popgun in the first paragraph:
“In reply to Colonel Olcott’s defence against Swamiji Dayanand Saraswati’s charges I (and who are you, Babu “Sir Oracle?”) can in no way see that in any one single instance does the Colonel prove that those charges are not well-founded and perfectly correct.”
And forthwith our brave Volunteer for “Forlorn Hope,” sets out—in the very face of facts and Swami’s suicidal autographs engraved from his original letters and published in the July Supplement—to prove that white is black and vice versa. “ A SUMMARY REVIEW” being, of course, unworthy of a serious review, or even a passing notice in the THEOSOPHIST, we write these few lines with quite a different object than that of answering the unknown “I.” Indeed, no sane man,—acquainted with Swami’s many public and emphatic denials that he had ever belonged to or permitted his name to be entered as a member of the Theosophical Society,—could undertake, after reading the said July Supplement, to express but one view upon the question. In the presence of (a) Swami’s autograph letter authorizing Colonel Olcott to represent and act for him in every meeting of the Council of the Society; (b) his letter acknowledging the receipt and acceptance of a Diploma from New York, which makes him necessarily a Fellow, he having kept that Diploma for nearly two years before sending it back, or, in other words, resigning; and (c) Mrs. A. Gordon’s letter testifying to the fact that she was initiated by Swami Dayanand Saraswati at Benares, something plainly showing that Swami must have been himself initiated before he could initiate anyone else, hence that he was a “Fellow”;—in the presence of these three facts alone, we say, who but an enemy of Swami would care to revive in the public memory the recollection of his exposure and of his fruitless attempts “to cog the dice and shave truth,” as Mr. Artemus Ward would say?
Thus, it is not the luckless “OUTSTATION CORRESPONDENT”—who, in his lame would-be review, only outwits himself, and “shooting at a pigeon kills but a crow”—that we address, but the Editor of the Arya. We had always regarded him as rather a discreet, truthful, and intelligent young man. Hence—our sincere and rather amused surprise. Conceding to him willingly the said qualities, we are compelled to suspect that he has suddenly turned an enemy to his great Patron. Otherwise, how should he permit such an awkward and dangerous question to be revived in the columns of his monthly? Unwilling to suspect his own good faith, we are vainly seeking for a plausible motive that could have made him depart from prudent policy. It cannot be that he jumped at the opportunity of giving a hit to a sleeping rival through the hand of an anonymous correspondent, for he is too intelligent to be ignorant of the fact that abuse from certain quarters is the highest praise. We abuse and hate but what we fear.
What is the THEOSOPHIST more, indeed, “than a series of stories of Bhuts, Jins, etc.”? This sentence alone affords us the correct standard of the intelligence of the “OUTSTATION” critic. Well, we reply that, even were it so, the THEOSOPHIST would have yet that great advantage over the Arya (especially in its October garb) that it can appear on the drawing room table of the highest and most respectable European families, as well as in the hands of the most innocent Aryan maiden or boy, without any fear of shocking the modesty of either. We are sorry to observe this new departure in the Arya. The disgusting and indecent wording of the articles—“AYUR VEDA ON HEALTH,” and “PHYSIOLOGICAL YOGA OF TANTRA PHILOSOPHY”—is amply sufficient to make any journal lose all those subscribers who have any sense of decency, at any rate among respectable native families and Europeans. Even purely medical works and journals, when offered to the general public, avoid such sincere phraseology, and, for the sake of that same decency, give certain words in Greek or Latin. We are afraid that, unless our colleague prudently veils in future the naked hideousness of his terms “in the obscurities of some learned tongue,” the postal authorities might be under the painful necessity of interfering with the free circulation of his inspired organ. Why our modest and pious friend, the Editor of the Arya, should have suddenly begun vying in obscenities and immodest terms with the venerable prophet of Israel, Hosea—is another psychological mystery that no Occultist could ever undertake to unriddle.