Henry S. Olcott
New York City
Our evening’s work on Isis was finished, I had bade goodnight to HPB, retired to my own room, closed the door as usual, sat me down to read and smoke, and was soon absorbed in my book. All at once, as I read with my shoulder a little turned from the door, there came a gleam of something white in the right-hand corner of my right eye; I turned my head, dropped my book in astonishment, and saw towering above me in his great stature an Oriental clad in white garments, and wearing a head cloth or turban of amber-striped fabric, hand-embroidered in yellow floss silk. Long raven hair hung from under his turban to the shoulders; his black beard, parted vertically on the chin in the Rajput fashion, was twisted up at the ends and carried over the ears; his eyes were alive with soul fire, eyes which were at once benignant and piercing in glance. He was so grand a man, so imbued with the majesty of moral strength, so luminously spiritual, so evidently above average humanity, that I felt abashed in his presence, and bowed my head and bent my knee as one does before a god or a godlike personage. A hand was lightly laid on my head, a sweet though strong voice bade me be seated, and when I raised my eyes, the Presence was seated in the other chair beyond the table. He told me he had come at the crisis when I needed him, that my actions had brought me to this point, that it lay with me alone whether he and I should meet often in this life as co-workers for the good of mankind, that a great work was to be done for humanity, and I had the right to share in it if I wished, that a mysterious tie, not now to be explained to me, had drawn my colleague [HPB] and myself together, a tie which could not be broken, however strained it might be at times. He told me things about HPB that I may not repeat, as well as things about myself, that do not concern third parties. At last he rose, I wondering at his great height and observing the sort of splendor in his countenance—not an external shining, but the soft gleam, as it were, of an inner light—that of the spirit. Suddenly the thought came into my mind: "What if this be but hallucination; what if HPB has cast a hypnotic glamour over me? I wish I had some tangible object to prove to me that he has really been here, something that I might handle after he is gone!" The Master smiled kindly as if reading my thought, untwisted the fehta [turban] from his head, benignantly saluted me in farewell and was gone: his chair was empty; I was alone with my emotions! Not quite alone, though, for on the table lay the embroidered head cloth, a tangible and enduring proof that I had not been "overlooked," or psychically befooled, but had been face to face with one of the Elder Brothers of Humanity. To run and beat at HPB’s door and tell her my experience was the first natural impulse, and she was as glad to hear my story as I was to tell it. I returned to my room to think, and the gray morning found me still thinking and resolving. I have been blessed with meetings with this Master and others since then.
[Note: Colonel Olcott elsewhere describes how the Master Morya left his room: "When I asked him to leave me some tangible evidence that I had not been the dupe of a vision, but that he had indeed been there, he removed from his head the puggri [turban] he wore, and giving it to me, vanished from my sight." H. S. Olcott, Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science (London, 1885), p. 123 —D. C., Editor.]
Source: Olcott, Henry Steel. Old Diary Leaves: The True Story of the Theosophical Society. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1895. Vol. 1 (1874–1878), 377, 379–81.
Purchase This TitleBrowse Titles
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
P.O. BOX 70
Larkspur CO 80118
Co-Masonry, Co-Freemasonry, Women's Freemasonry, Men and Women, Mixed Masonry