Before the Conversion: Helena Blavatsky on Shakyamuni Buddha and Buddhism

The nineteenth-century saw its first public Western converts to Buddhism. Helena P. Blavatsky and Henry S. Olcott, an American lawyer who worked on U.S. Pres. Lincoln’s assassination case, were the two leading movers of the Theosophical Movement. They both converted in 1880. This was being contrasted with Helena Blavatsky’s letter claiming to have studied among Continue reading Before the Conversion: Helena Blavatsky on Shakyamuni Buddha and Buddhism

Siddhartha Gautama and Theosophists on Karma and Rebirth

Siddhartha Gautama, in speaking to the Jains asks the Niganthas (an order of contemplative Jains), if they believed that their sufferings are due to Karma coming over from past births. He asks, ‘friends, how do you know you existed in the past and that you did not exist?’ Have we not raised the same question? Devadaha Sutta: Continue reading Siddhartha Gautama and Theosophists on Karma and Rebirth

Siddhartha Gautama in Kalama Sutta: ‘Do not believe on faith…’

Believe nothing on faith alone, or on authority. “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities Continue reading Siddhartha Gautama in Kalama Sutta: ‘Do not believe on faith…’

The Context of Alfred P. Sinnett’s ‘Esoteric Buddhism’

Read A.P. Sinnett’s Esoteric Budhism 1884 In learning about ‘Theosophy,’ it is still wise to return to the very first installments, expressing what it is, namely Alfred Percy Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism (online 1884 ed.), or rather Budhism. This 1884 work was the result or learning acquired from correspondences between A.P. Sinnett and the two gentlemen, Koot Continue reading The Context of Alfred P. Sinnett’s ‘Esoteric Buddhism’