Theosophical Society In Chennai

Written by Sudhir Kumar

The Theosophical Society was founded initially in the United States of America as a center for discourses, discussions and enlightenment on various religions and philosophies of the world. It was established in 1857 by Henry Steel Olcott and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in an effort to understand the truth behind all religions without their coverings of rites, rituals and superstitions.

About Theosophical Society :

The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875, is a worldwide body whose primary object is Universal Brotherhood based on the realization that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One. The Society imposes no belief on its members, who are united by a common search for Truth and desire to learn the meaning and purpose of existence by engaging themselves in study, reflection, purity of life and loving service.

Theosophy is the wisdom underlying all religions when they are stripped of accretions and superstitions. It offers a philosophy which renders life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love guide the cosmos. Its teachings aid the unfoldment of the latent spiritual nature in the human being, without dependence or fear.

Attractions Of Theosophical Society :

Although the Society was originated in America, the founders decided to make their headquarters in Chennai, India and thereby, the Theosophical Society came into being on the banks of the Adyar River. The place has a large library housing a collection of rare manuscripts, documents and literature. Named The Adyar Library and Research Center, the library was founded in 1886 by Colonel Olcott, one of the founders of the society, with just a small collection of valuable books. Which, over the years, grew into one of the world’s most important Oriental libraries with about 20,000 palm-leaf valuable manuscripts from India, Sri Lanka, China and other parts of the world, and over 250,000 printed books including some rare Latin, Chinese and Tibetan books.

You will also find a Buddhist shrine amidst a coconut grove with in the Society complex. A fairly recent construction, the shrine houses a gray sandstone statue of Buddha, with the inscription “He taught the cause of all things as also the means of cessation”. The statue depicts Buddha as the Teacher of Dharma; behind the Buddha statue is a Bodhi tree, which is believed to have been grown from a sapling from the tree under which Buddha received enlightenment. In front of the shrine is a lily tank, and adjacent to it an ancient gong.

 Features of Theosophical Society in Chennai :

  • Theosophical Society in Chennai also has a plastic figure of H. P. Blavatsky behind a marble platform on the north side of the hall.
  •  Soon after Colonel Olcott died in 1907, another plaster statue of him was placed beside that of Madame Blavatsky, with the inscription engraved on the pedestal- The Founders of the Theosophical Society: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 1831-1891-Henry Steel Olcott 1832-1907.
  •  You will find several trees soothing your sight with green in the campus.
  •  Theosophical Society in Chennai also has a spectacular 200 year old banyan tree that spreads across a huge area and can offer shade to more than 3,000 people.
  •  You will find many houses, Hindu Temple, Jain Temple, Church and a Buddhist Temple.
  •  Theosophical Society in Chennai also has a wonderful library full of precious manuscripts catering to all major faiths and sacred books.
  • You must visit the Buddhist shrine in the premise of Theosophical Society in Chennai.

Freedom of  Thought In Theosophical Society :

s the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members.

Freedom of The Society :

The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title ‘The Theosophical Society’.
Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affilliation or identification with any other organization.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society in 1949.

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Sudhir Kumar

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