Helena Blavatsky, also known as Madame Blavatsky, whose maiden name was Helena von Hahn and then married Helena Petrovna Blavatskaya -Elena Petrvana Ballatska, in Russian-, (Yekaterinoslav, August 12, 1831 – London, May 8, 1891) , was a Russian writer, occultist and theosophist. She was also one of the founders of the Theosophical Society and contributed to the dissemination of modern theosophy. His most important books are Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine , written in 1875 and 1888, respectively.
She was accused of frauds and deliberate deceptions throughout her life, and also the opposite: they were attributed mediumistic and clairvoyant powers, as well as the ability to produce phenomenal manifestations consuming part of their vitality (which, according to some, shortened the years of his life and his state of health).
His writings include statements that have been interpreted in a racist and anti-Semitic way, and that were reinterpreted by some Nazi occultists. He defended the theory of the transmigration of souls or reincarnation.
He was born in the city of Ekaterinoslav (now Dnipropetrovsk), located on the banks of the Dnieper River in southern Russia (now the territory of Ukraine). The surname Blavatsky is due to a brief marriage to an «older man», called Nikífor Vasílievich Blavatsky, at 17 years of age. Strictly speaking, the correct and coherent spelling with the Russian feminine form of the surname would be Blavátskaya.
In October 1874 Blavatsky met Colonel Henry Olcott, as well as William Quan Judge, a young Irish lawyer in New York. The founding of the Theosophical Society occurred on September 7, 1875, with the participation of sixteen theosophists, Helena Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, Charles Sotheram, Dr. Charles E. Simmons, WL Alden, GH Felt, J Hyslop, DE de Lara. CC Massey, ED Monachesi, Henry J. Newton, HM Stevens, Jonh Storer Cobb, Dr. Britten, and his wife, their names are recorded in the minutes Judge wrote as secretary.
In September 1875, Blavatsky published his first major work, Isis Unveiled , a book dealing with the history and development of the occult sciences, the nature and origin of magic, the roots of Christianity and, according to the perspective of the author, the failures of Christian theology and the errors established at the time by official science.
In this same year, Blavatsky was granted American citizenship. In 1878, Blavatsky and Henry Olcott moved the headquarters of the Theosophical Society to the city of Adyar, in India. They then met Alfred Percy Sinnett, the editor of the official newspaper of the Government of India, «The Pioneer» of Allahabad. This contact was very important for Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society.
In October 1879 the publication of the first issue of the theosophy magazine was launched, which was called «The Theosophist» (which is still published), Blavatsky being the responsible editor. The Theosophical Society grew rapidly, having as members very important people.
In 1880 Blavatsky and Olcott had spent some time in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), a stay that generated and increased interest in the ethical system of esoteric Buddhism of the mahāyāna. In September of this year, Blavatsky and Olcott had visited Sinnett and his wife in Simla, India.
The serious interest of Sinnett in the teachings and the work of the Theosophical society founded by Blavatsky was reflected in a correspondence between Sinnett and Mahatma KH As a result of this correspondence, Sinnett wrote » The Hidden World» (1881) and «Esoteric Buddhism» (1883). Both books exerted great influence and managed to increase interest in theosophy in general and the Theosophical Society in particular.
The responses and communications sent by the Mahatmas to Sinnett are contained in a correspondence that lasted from 1880 to 1885 and were published in 1923 as the » Letters of the Mahatmas for AP Sinnett .» The original letters of the Mahatmas are kept in the British Museum in London and can be seen with special permission from the rare manuscript department of the British Museum.
In May 1882 Blavatsky and Olcott had acquired a large estate in Madras, in India, in the Adyar district, officially establishing the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society there.
Alexis and Emma Coulomb, two members of Adyar’s working group, accused Blavatsky of fraud. This one returned to Adyar the 21 of December of 1884 to investigate the situation. He wanted to prosecute the Coulomb, conspired with the editors of a publication in Madras, the Christian College Magazine, but the bureaucracy of the Theosophical Society delayed the case. Very disappointed, resigned from the position of corresponding secretary in Adyar and went to Europe in 1885 to never return to India. This attack seriously affected Blavatsky’s health. In Würzburg, (Germany), he began to write The Secret Doctrine , which was his masterpiece. In May 1887, accepting the invitation of Theosophists from England, he moved to London.
According to the witnesses of the time, Blavatsky worked incessantly on his projects, with his health seriously resented. The volume of his work can be considered in the work The Secret Doctrine . In this it includes 2,000 citations, with exact indications of pages and authors, relating the books that could not have been read, at least directly. Another example of his extensive work and dedication is the book Isis Unveiled , with more than 1,300 pages.
According to British critic William Emmett Coleman, to write Isis without a veil , Blavatsky would need to have studied 1,400 books, which would be impossible because he traveled constantly with a small number of books in his personal library. On the other hand, if Blavatsky had read all the books (many available only in a few museums or distant libraries) of which he quotes verbatim excerpts in extenso, during his books, it would have taken him several lives to conclude reading them all.
On the other hand, her critics accuse her of racism, particularly when Blavatsky mentions some ethnic groups such as the Australian aborigines, for example, as belonging to an inferior race, since she identifies them as «an atlanto-lemurian crossroads». With regard to the Semites, particularly the Arabs, he said that they were «spiritually degenerate.»
In The Secret Doctrine , Volume II (in English) she refers to the Arabic and Hebrew language that had become materialistic, failing to easily show the essence of things, as expressed in the Sanskrit from which they derive.
Helena Blavatsky died in London in 1891. Her body was incinerated and a third of her ashes were left in Europe, a third in the United States, led by William Quan Judge and the remaining third is in the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society, deposited inside a statue made in his memory.
After the death of Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, the leadership of the Theosophical Society was handed over to his secretary Annie Besant, who had already managed with his audacity to create an important schism that produced the departure of William Quan Judge, who was harassed and persecuted by the followers of Besant.
In his last will, it is said, Blavatsky asked the theosophists to celebrate the date of his death as the day of the White Lotus: «I wish that every year, the anniversary of my death, my friends will gather in the Central Residence of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, to read a chapter of The Light of Asia by Sir Edwin Arnold and another of the Bhagavad Gita. «
However, this seems to be a manipulation considering the events that originated in Adyar with the betrayal of the Coulomb, after which Subba Row turns its back on Blavatsky, allying with Charles W. Leadbeater in what is now known as The Theosophical Society .
In Spain Blavatsky had an indefatigable follower, Mario Roso de Luna, known as «the Wizard of Logrosán», who likes to define himself as «theosophist and ateneist» and who wrote a biography about