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Madame Blavatsky

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Biography

Madame Blavatsky (1831-1891) is the pioneer esotericist of our age.

1831 Born August 12 at Dnepropetrovsk (Ekaterinoslav), Ukraine. Daughter of Col. Peter von Hahn and Helena Andreyevna, nee de Fadeyev, renowned novelist who died young. Granddaughter on maternal side of Privy Councillor Audrey de Fadeyev and Princess Helena Pavlovna Dolgorukov, who supervised her education at Saratov and Tiflis, Caucasus. Endowed from childhood with remarkable psychic powers.

1849 Married Nikifor Blavatsky, a State Official, very much her senior.

1849-50 Left him and traveled in Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and France.

1851 Met her Master in London.

1852 Embarked for Canada later in the year; went to New Orleans, Mexico, South America, West Indies, thence via the Cape and Ceylon to India.

1853 Attempted but failed to enter Tibet. Returned to England via Java.

1854 Came to America again, crossing the Rockies with a caravan of immigrants. May have visited South America again.

1855 Left for India late in the year, via Japan and the Straits.

1856-57 Traveled throughout India, Kashmir, Ladakh, parts of Tibet, Burma.

1858 Returned to Europe via Java, staying in France and Germany. Then returned to Russia, reaching Pskov on Christmas Night.

1860 Left for the Caucasus early in the year, where she traveled among the native tribes, remaining there until 1864-65. Experienced severe physical and psychic crisis acquiring complete control over her occult powers.

1866-67 Left Russia again and traveled extensively in Balkans, Egypt, Syria, Italy. Returned to Italy in 1867 and paid a short visit to southern Russia. Was present at the battle of Mentana, November 3, 1867, and was wounded.

1868 Went to India and Tibet with her Master.

1870 Returned to Greece.

1871 Embarked for Egypt and was shipwrecked near the island of Spetsai, July 4.

1871-72 Settled in Cairo. Traveled to Syria, Palestine, Lebanon in 1872, returning for a short time to Odessa.

1873 After brief travels in Eastern Europe, went to Paris in spring. On her Master's orders left for New York, landing July 7.

1874 Met Col. Henry Steel Olcott at the Eddy farmhouse, Chittenden, Vermont, October 14.

1875 September 8, founded the Theosophical Society, together with Col. Olcott, William Q. Judge, and others. Inaugural address of Col. Olcott delivered November 17.

1877 Published her first great work, Isis Unveiled, in the fall.

1878 Became an American citizen, July 8. Left for India with Col. Olcott, December 17, settling at Bombay.

1879 Launched her first magazine, The Theosophist, in October, which resulted in rapid growth of Theosophical work in India, 1879-83.

1882 Transferred headquarters to Adyar, Madras, India on December 19.

1884 Left for Europe, February 20, accompanied by Olcott and others. After visiting Nice, settled for a while in Paris to work on The Secret Doctrine. Briefly visited London. Moved to Elberfeld, Germany, in the fall. Went to London in October and soon after sailed to India, reaching Adyar December 21.

1885 Gravely ill, February. Sailed for Naples March 31, leaving India for good. After a brief stay at Torre del Greco, settled at Wurzburg, Germany, where she wrote a large part of The Secret Doctrine.

1886 Moved to Ostende in July, visiting Elberfeld on her way.

1887 Transferred her residence to London in May, where the Blavatsky Lodge was established, and her second magazine, Lucifer was launched in September.

1888 Published The Secret Doctrine, late fall. Founded the Esoteric School.

1889 Published The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence.

1890 Established European headquarters of the Theosophical Society, at 19 Avenue Road, London, where she died.

1891 Died May 8. Cremated at Woking Crematorium, Surrey, England.

Note: Chronology taken from H.P.B.: The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement - by Sylvia Cranston. (This is the best biography of Madame Blavatsky, representing many years of research in its preparation.)

Her Major Contribution

Launched the Theosophical Movement calling her message Theosophy.
First introduced knowledge of eastern religions to the West - including the ideas of karma and reincarnation.
First showed that all major religions are derived from one original religious philosophy.
Demonstrated that the ancient wisdom was still known.
Presented a portion of that ancient wisdom.
Performed phenomena not explainable by "known" laws of science.
Gave the logical basis for morality and brotherhood.
Required that the first objective of the Theosophical Movement be Universal Brotherhood without regard to race, creed, sex, caste, or color.


Bibliography

Text of Blavatsky Online

Books

Isis Unveiled 
1877 
over 1300 pages. 
Sold out first day in print.

 

Isis is a wonderful book that makes anyone, entering the 21st century, think of our real human being condition and the destiny of human race. Written so many decades ago, it retains the Blavatsky's wisdom and, if not so unveiled as the title states, opens a new vision to our past and, surely, our bright future.


The Key to Theosophy 
1889 
An introductory book.

Almost all expositions of Tibetan Buddhism that are current in the west, logical studies of mahdyamika, ethical studies of prajanaparamita, mantra and tankha practice from the Tantric or Varjayana presume upon an intimate knowledge of the arguments, psychology and metaphysics of a Buddhism as described in this work. Even Madame Blavatksy wrote in Key to Theosophy, a popular introduction to the context of her theosophy embodied in her magnum opus The Secret Doctrine, recommended that the Buddhism of Tsong-kha-pa would be an explanation to her own occultism. It took many years before any attempt was made to summarize or introduce even parts of this work. Not because the text was scarce but that the technical command of Tibetan scholastic language, logic, hermeneutics, and exegeses of Buddhist scripture were needed to approach this powerful work. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path of Enlightenment is the first of a series of three projected volumes. In this first volume the reader is brought into basic Buddhist teachings as characterized in a Buddhist monastic setting, for people of little or middling capacity in religion to cultivate the awakening of Bodhichitta. The work is being expedited by a committee of exceptional Buddhist scholars and is being translated in a straightforward manner without commentary or cumbersome notes.


The Voice of the Silence  
1889 - an inspirational book - studied by disciples.

Even D.T. Suzuki, famous Zen master, after reading this book said, "This is the true mahayana buddhism!" Great book.

This book contains some high level lessons given to seekers who are really engaged in the path of truth and duty. H.P. Blavatsky had written this book from what she had learned by heart when she was studying in Himalayan places.The first lesson makes us understand Maya's illusory structure and dangers that it creates on our path. You should learn how to recognize them and deafeat them, then you'll begin to listen to the voice of silence which is the voice of your inner master. Second lesson teaches us about two different paths: heart one and eye one. Third and last lesson is about seven gates to Nirvana and describes us the weapons we should gather or create before fighting dangers we will encounter at each gate. But main lesson is that we should never give up. So if you think that your path is the one of duty for yourself but even more for mankind, this book is for you!


  The Secret Doctrine  
1888- her master work - over 1500 pages.

 

This rare third volume of the Secret Doctrine (virtually impossible to find) completes the papers left by H. P. B. It is a complete course on Occultism! Nothing is left out. Almost 100 chapters. Partial contents: One Key to all Sacred Books; The ABC of Magic; Chaldean Oracles; The Book of Hermes; Three Ways Open to the Adept; Names are Symbols; Characters of the Bible; The Book of Enoch; Hermetic and Kabalistic Doctrines; Numbers and Magic; Occult Weapons; The Duty of the True Occultist; Two Eternal Principles; St. Paul the real founder of Christianity; Apollonius no Fiction; Biographies of Initiates; Kabalistic Readings of Gospels; Magic in Antioch; The Septenary Sephira; Seven Keys to all Allegories; The Mystery of the Sun; Magical Statutes; Masonry and Jesuits; Mysteries and Masonry; Egyptian Initiation; Root of Races; Celestial Wheels; Christian Star Worship; Defense of Astrology; The Seven Rays; Secret Books; Tibetan Prophecies; Swedenborg; Occult Secrecy; and much more! Blavatsky was an occult master. If you are a serious mystical student, you ll need this rare and illuminating book.


Image N/A The Secret Doctrine : The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy (2 Volume Set)

This rare third volume of the Secret Doctrine (virtually impossible to find) completes the papers left by H. P. B. It is a complete course on Occultism! Nothing is left out. Almost 100 chapters. Partial contents: One Key to all Sacred Books; The ABC of Magic; Chaldean Oracles; The Book of Hermes; Three Ways Open to the Adept; Names are Symbols; Characters of the Bible; The Book of Enoch; Hermetic and Kabalistic Doctrines; Numbers and Magic; Occult Weapons; The Duty of the True Occultist; Two Eternal Principles; St. Paul the real founder of Christianity; Apollonius no Fiction; Biographies of Initiates; Kabalistic Readings of Gospels; Magic in Antioch; The Septenary Sephira; Seven Keys to all Allegories; The Mystery of the Sun; Magical Statutes; Masonry and Jesuits; Mysteries and Masonry; Egyptian Initiation; Root of Races; Celestial Wheels; Christian Star Worship; Defense of Astrology; The Seven Rays; Secret Books; Tibetan Prophecies; Swedenborg; Occult Secrecy; and much more! Blavatsky was an occult master. If you are a serious mystical student, you ll need this rare and illuminating book.


Image N/A

Theosophical Glossary : A Photographic Reproduction of the Original Edition
1892 Theosophical Glossary - published posthumously - not fully edited by her.

Miscellaneous other articles, notes, and personal correspondence during her life.


 

Other Publications

Theosophical University Press  Online offers full-text editions most Theosophical University Press publications, including SUNRISE magazine and several out-of-print titles. These may be downloaded free of charge for offline viewing (screen or printer copy). Because of current limitations in the ASCII character font, and to facilitate text searches, all diacritical marks have been removed from most online editions of these texts. Footnotes and graphics in the original editions have been incorporated into the text where practical. A search engine is on site.

 

1879 The Theosophist - monthly magazine started in India.

1887 Lucifer - monthly magazine (literally meaning "light bringer") started in London.

1889 Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge - stenographic recording of Blavatsky's answers to student questions in 1889.


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