Theosophy and India’s Spiritual Revolution
Historic parallels and solutions to our present situation may be found in the subjugation of India during British rule. In the face of European dominance, its science, militarism, commerce, its admixture of Christianity and materialism, projected a sense of superiority upon native Indians for which answers were difficult to find. But an awakening occurred, a spiritual renaissance that led to the reclamation of India’s spiritual identity which was the first step in the political revolution that would lead to its freedom. Ironically this spark came from a Russian woman and her American friends, Col. Olcot and A.P. Sinnet, founders of the Theosophical movement.
In Sylvia Cranston’s biography of Helena Petrovna Blavatsy, entitled HPB, she quotes Oriental Religions and American Thought by Professor Carl Jackson.
“Weakened by inner decay and overwhelmed by foreign rule and missionary attacks, both Hinduism and Buddhism were at a low point by the late nineteenth century, with educated youth rapidly breaking away. One of the period’s most dramatic developments was the astonishing resurgence of both in which the Theosophical Society played a considerable role in sparking the desire for renewal.”
Cranston also writes, “In the 1940’s, India’s renowned philosopher-president S. Radhakrishnan expressed the same view. ‘When, with all kinds of political failures and economic breakdowns we Indians were suspecting the values and vitality of our culture, when everything round about us and secular education happened to discredit the value of Indian culture, the Theosophical Society rendered great service by vindicating those values and ideas. The influence of the Theosophical Movement on general Indian Society is incalculable.’”
Ghandi, Neru and other prominent Indians were at one time members of the Theosophical society. In fact, Ghandi explained to his biographer Louis Fisher that in the beginning the “top congressman of the Indian National Congress were theosophists.” Theosophy had created a bridge to India’s greatest spiritual treasures such as the Vedas, Buddhism and the ancient teachings of the East. It was this heritage that informed Ghandi’s political philosophy and non-violent revolution as the means for the victory of Indian home-rule.
The Teachings of the East reinvigorate Western Spirituality
It was not only the release of the Teachings of the Mahatmas of Northern India, such as M and KH through Blavatsky that led to India’s rebirth but many other great Lights of the East such as Ramikrishna, Vivikenanda, Sri Auribindo, Babaji’s lineage including Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yuktesar and Yogananda.
While there are so many that could be named these ones bear special significance because they would now bring the vital teachings of the East to the West to:
- Reinvigorate America’s spiritual life,
- Help the West, in general, to grasp the essential truth of Christ’s teachings,
- Spur the evolution of consciousness, and
- Supply the important missing links such as reincarnation.
As it was with India, the solution to America’s political crisis is to be found in a return to the spiritual, moral and ethical principles upon which it was founded and from which the most extraordinary documents of human liberty and freedom were created. America is not suffering from a political crisis but a struggle for its soul. Consciousness must change.
America can look to India’s historic struggle for freedom as a mirror in which it may see itself and to understand the hope of the future lies in a spiritual renaissance.