A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas

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A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas

By H.P. Blavatsky

Case 7

Emma Coulomb
April 1880
Bombay, India

On the 5th of April [1880] Colonel Olcott came into my room and asked me if I would undertake to direct the domestic affairs, as the lady who looked after them did not wish to do so anymore.  I accepted with great pleasure this charge, as it gave me the chance of making myself useful.   We had already been initiated and had joined the [Theosophical] Society. 

Madame Blavatsky, seeing our earnest desire to please her in everything, one evening, taking hold of my arm and walking up and down in the library compound, all of a sudden said:  "Look here, run and tell the Colonel that you have seen a figure in the garden."  "Where is the figure?" I asked.  "Never mind," she said, "run and tell him so; we shall have some fun."   Thinking this to be a joke, I ran to him and told him.  As the Colonel came up Madame began to laugh, saying "See, she has been afraid of an apparition," and so they both went on laughing , and going up to the other bungalow, related the story to the rest of the people who were there.  I must conscientiously say that I did not know what they meant by this joke.

[Later] in one of [her good] moods [Madame Blavatsky] called me up and told me:  "See if you can make a head of human size and place it on that divan," pointing to a sofa in her room, " and merely put a sheet round it; it would have a magic effect by moonlight."  What can this mean?  I wondered.  But knowing how disagreeable she could make herself if she was stroked on the wrong side, I complied with her wish.  She cut a paper pattern of the face I was to make, which I still have; on this I cut the precious lineaments of the beloved Master, but, to my shame, I must say that, after all my trouble of cutting, sewing, and stuffing, Madame said that it looked like an old Jew---I suppose she meant Shylock.  Madame, with a graceful touch  here and there of her painting brush, gave it a little better appearance.  But this was only a head, without bust, and could not very well be used, so I made a jacket, which I doubled, and between the two cloths I placed stuffing, to form the shoulders and chest; the arms were only to the elbow, because, when the thing was tried on, we found the long arm would be in the way of him who had to carry it.  This beauty finished, made Madame quite another person.  

Let us see for what purpose the doll was made.  This was to give a convincing and material proof of the existence of the brothers [the Mahatmas], as their (said) invisible presence did not fully satisfy the truthseekers.

Among the many apparitions to which this doll has been instrumental, I will choose one seen by Mr. Ramaswamier, in December, 1881.  The Mahatma he saw in his astral body on the balcony at the head-quarters of the Theosophical Society in Bombay, on the memorable night of December, 1881, was no one else than Monsieur Coulomb, with the doll's head on his own.

The doll plays the greatest part in these apparitions, and, as I have already explained, it is carried on somebody's head; but at times it is placed on the top of a long bamboo, and raised to show that it is an astral body; but when the doll has not been at hand, even a white cloth wrapped round the person who was to perform the Mahatma was at times used, and answered the purpose.



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