THE MASTER MORYA’s TURBAN




This head-cloth is a testimony of the existence of Master Morya, and the way Colonel Olcott obtained it; he narrated in his Diary:

« (We were living back then in New York City.) Our evening’s work on Isis Unveiled was finished, I had bade good-night to Blavatsky, retired to my own room, closed the door as usual, sat me down to read and smoke, and was soon absorbed in my book; which, if I remember aright, was Stephens’ Travels in Yucatan; at all events, not a book on ghosts, nor one calculated in the least to stimulate one’s imagination to the seeing of spectres.

My chair and table were to the left in front of the door, my camp-cot to the right, the window facing the door, and over the table a wall gas-jet.

I was quietly reading, with all my attention centered on my book. Nothing in the evening’s incidents had prepared me for seeing an adept in his astral body; I had not wished for it, tried to conjure it up in my fancy, nor in the least expected it.

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; the eyes of a mentor and a judge, but softened by the love of a father who gazes on a son needing counsel and guidance.

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 god-like 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 and myself together; a tie which could not be broken, however strained it might be at times.

He told me things about Blavatsky that I may not repeat, as well as things about myself, that do not concern third parties. How long he was there I cannot tell: it might have been a half-hour or an hour; it seemed but a minute, so little did I take note of the flight of time.

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 Blavatsky 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 fehtâ [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, one of the Masters of our dull pupil-race.

To run and beat at Blavatsky’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. Out of those thoughts and those resolves developed all my subsequent theosophical activities, and that loyalty to the Masters behind our movement which the rudest shocks and the cruelest disillusioning have never shaken.

I have been blessed with meetings with this Master and others since then, but little profit is to be reaped in repeating tales of experiences of which the foregoing is a sufficient example. However others less fortunate may doubt, I KNOW. »
(Old Diary Leaves, Vol. I, chapter 14, p.377-381)



And Colonel Olcott detailed more about this meeting in another of his writings:

« As the light gradually dawned on my mind, my reverence for the unseen teachers [the Mahatmas] who had instructed her [Blavatsky] grew apace. At the same time, a deep and insatiable yearning possessed me to seek their society, or, at least, to take up my residence in a land [India] which their presence glorified, and incorporate myself with a people whom their greatness ennobled.

The time came when I was blessed with a visit from one of these Mahatmas in my own room at New York - a visit from him, not in the physical body, but in the “double,” or Mayavi-rupa. 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.

That cloth I have still, and in one corner is marked in thread the cipher or signature he always attaches to the notes he writes to myself and others.

This visit and his conversation sent my heart at one leap around the globe, across oceans and continents, over sea and land, to India, and from that moment I had a motive to live for, an end to strive after. That motive was to gain the Divine wisdom; that end to work for its dissemination. »

(Source: Henry Olcott: “On Madame Blavatsky and the Mahatmas An extract from Olcott's lecture titled “Theosophy, the Scientific Basis of Religion,” delivered at the Town Hall, Calcutta, India, April 5, 1882.  Reprinted from Olcott's “Theosophy, Religion and Occult Science,” London, George Redway, 1885, p.121-124.)




And we discovered more about this meeting in the interrogation that made him members of the Society for Psychical Research in London:

« Colonel Olcott: I could name two cases where I have encountered the person [the Mahatma] both in the physical body and in the astral body.  There are also a number of instances in my experience where I have seen the person in the astral body but not in the physical, and in the physical but not in the astral; but in two cases I can state that I have known the person in both capacities....In both cases I saw them in the astral body first....

The first case I will mention is the case already reported in the pamphlet called “Hints on Esoteric Theosophy, No.1” ... The man who visited me was instantly recognized by me from a portrait which I had in my possession — the portrait which you see there.  In that instance the person was my Teacher, and I now exhibit the turban which he took off his head, when I demanded of him some tangible proof of his visit....

Mr. Myers: Was the Hindu you saw in New York indisputably the same as you subsequently saw in India?

Colonel Olcott: The same.

Mr. Myers: And whom you saw in the astral body?

Colonel Olcott: The same.

Mr. Stack: He suddenly appeared?

Colonel Olcott: He appeared when I was in my room before retiring at night. As it was my custom to lock my door, I presume that my door was locked at that time. I know that the door was not opened, for I sat in such a way reading that the door could not be opened without immediately attracting my notice. ... My own conviction is — in fact, I should be willing to affirm most positively that the door did not open and that the appearance and disappearance of my visitor occurred without using the means of ingress or exit....

Mr. Myers: How tall was the Hindu who appeared to you in New York?

Colonel Olcott: He was a model of physical beauty, about 6 ft. 6 in. or 7 in., in height, and symmetrically proportioned.

Mr. Myers: That is a very unusual height, and is in itself a tolerable identification.

Colonel Olcott: Great stature is not so rare among the Rajpoots [of India].

Mr. Myers: I presume that you were impressed by his height in New York?

Colonel Olcott: Yes.

 Mr. Myers: Have you seen other Hindus of that height?

Colonel Olcott: No. I have seen very tall Hindus, for I have been through the Rajpoot country; but taking him all in all, he was the most majestic human figure I ever laid my eyes upon. »

(Source: Henry Olcott's Deposition to the Society for Psychical Research, 1884. Reprinted from the First Report of the Committee of the Society for Psychical Research, Appointed to Investigate the Evidence for Marvellous Phenomena offered by Certain Members of the Theosophical Society, Appendix I, London, 1884, p.34-62)




And the meeting that Colonel Olcott had later with Blavatsky, the investigator, Howard Murphet related it in the following way:

« One night, after reading until very late as was her custom, Blavatsky seemed hardly to have fallen asleep when a loud banging on her door made her start up in bed.

Who the deuce could it be at such an hour?

Olcott was the only one sleeping in the apartment that night, and he would never waken her like this, unless. . . . The knocking continued insistently.

    -   “All right. I’m coming,” she called.

She opened the door to find Henry Olcott standing there, fully dressed, holding a candle. His eyes were shining and he was smiling blissfully, like a child who has just seen Santa Claus loading his stocking. And he held up something in his other hand, a turban of amber striped fabric, embroidered in yellow floss silk.

Even without seeing the embroidered “M” on it, she would have recognized the Master Morya’s turban.

In silence she came through the door, and they sat down in the writing room while Olcott told her (his voice often unsteady with emotion) how Master Morya had suddenly appeared in his room, looking as real and solid as if he were there in the flesh. »
(When Daylight Comes, 1988, chapter 13, p.111)



*  *  *  *  *  *


The turban that Master Morya gave to Colonel Olcott is still preserved in the Museum of Adyar, Madras, India. And below you can see a photo where a part of that turban appears.


The turban measures 8 ft. (244 cm) length and 2 ft. 1 ½ in. (65 cm) breadth, and you can see the Master Morya’s monogram in the bottom right corner.

Monogram detail




MEETING OF MOOLJEE THACKERSEY WITH MASTER MORYA




Mooljee Thackersey was a Hindu friend of Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, and about the encounter that Mooljee had with Master Morya, Colonel Olcott related it in his biographical work “Old Diary Leaveswhere he wrote:

« Blavatsky, Mooljee, and I left Bombay by train on 4th April, 1879, for a trip to Karli Caves. Our servant Babula accompanied us.

At Narel station we left the train, and took palanquins up the hill to Matheran, the chief sanatorium of' Bombay. I was given to understand that we had been invited to Karli by a certain Adept with whom I had had close relations in America during the writing of Isis Unveiled, and that the sundry provisions for our comfort en route had been ordered by him.

I was not in the least surprised, then, to find at Narel station a Hindu servant of the better class, i.e., not a. house menial, who came forward, and, after saluting, gave a message in Marathi, which Mooljee interpreted to be the compliments of this master, and a request that we should graciously choose whether we would have palanquins or ponies for the ascent, as both were ready.

Blavatsky and I chose palanquins, and Mooljee and Babula ponies.

(The palaquins were an elegant means used in India to scroll.)


Then away we went in the day-bright moonshine, twelve bearers to each “palkee” — fair-sized, strong, muscular, dark brown fellows, of the Thakoor clan, who trotted along in broken step (so as not to jar the person in the palkee), keeping time by a sweet-voiced, measured cadence that, in its novelty, was extremely pleasant to hear, but which grew monotonously tiresome after a while.

I had never before made such a poetical journey as this through that tropic night, with the sky ablaze with vividly bright stars before the moon had risen, myriad insects chirping to each other, the night birds crying to their mates, the great bats silently sailing in tortuous gyrations in quest of food, the palm fronds crackling and jungle leaves rustling, the smell of the earth, mingling now and again with that of spicy buds in a warmer air-current through which we passed, and with all the chant of the panting palkee-wallahs as they nimbly swung along.

We certainly reached the Alexandra Hotel in due course, supped at 11, went to bed quietly, rose early the next morning and enjoyed the splendid view from the verandah.

Mooljee was out when I awoke, but returned an hour later with the story that he had been aroused before daybreak by the man who had met us at Narel, and shown a completely furnished bungalow which, he said, was at our disposal free of rent, for such time as we chose to occupy it.

But by breakfast time, Blavatsky had become nauseated with what she called “the aura of Anglo-Indian civilization,” and refused to stop over a single day. So, despite the landlord's warning against the fierce heat of the sun, away we started and rode to Narel again, in a temperature like that of the stoke-room on a steamer. By good luck neither of us were sunstruck, and in due course got the train and went on to Khandalla, a delightful place in the hills.

Our same universal provider met us here also, with a spacious bullock-carriage in which he took us to the Government rest-house (dâk bungalow), where we spent the next day and night.

The evening of our arrival, Mooljee strolled down to the railway station for a chat with the station-master, an old acquaintance, and got a surprise. A train came in from Bombay and stopped at the platform, when he heard his name loudly called.

Looking from carriage to carriage he saw a Hindu beckoning and went to his window. The unknown proved to be the personage whom Blavatsky had visited!


He handed him a fresh bouquet of what seemed to be the same kinds of roses as he had seen in the mysterious garden of the taciturn gardeners, and which were the most beautiful he had ever seen.

-      "These," said the gentleman, as the train moved on, "are for Colonel Olcott; give him them, please."

So Mooljee brought them to me and told his story.


An hour later I told Blavatsky that I should like to thank the Adept for his courtesies to our party, and if she could get it delivered, should write him. She assented, so the, note was written and given her.

She handed it to Mooljee and requested him to go down the public road before us and deliver it.

-      "But," he asked, "to whom, and where; it bears no name nor address on the cover?"

-      "No matter; take it and you will see to whom you must give it.” – answered Blavatsky.

He accordingly moved off down the road, but after ten minutes came running back, breathless and exhibiting every sign of surprise.

-      "It's gone!" he faltered.

-      "What?" I asked.

-      "The letter, he took it." Mooljee answered.

-      "Who took it?" I inquired.

  -    "I don't know,” Mooljee answered, "unless it was a ghost because he came up out of the ground, or so it seemed to me. I was walking slowly along, looking to right and left, and not knowing what I must do to carry out Blavatsky's orders. There were no trees or bushes for a person to hide in, but just the white, dusty road. Yet suddenly, as if he had come out of the ground, there was a man a few yards off, coming towards me. It was the man of the rose-bungalow, the man who gave me the flowers for you at Khandalla station, and whom I had seen carried away in the train towards Poona!"

-      "Nonsense, man," I replied, "you've been dreaming."

-      "No", Mooljee answered, "I was as wide awake as I ever was in my life."

The gentleman said: "You have letter for me, that one in your hand; have you not?"

I could hardly speak, but I said: "I don't know, Maharaj, it has no address."

He said: "It is for me, give it."

He took it from me and said: "Now, go back."

I turned my back for an instant and looked to see if he was there, but he had disappeared; the road was vacant!

Frightened, I turned and ran, but had not got away fifty yards when a voice at my very ear said: "Don't be foolish, man; keep cool; all is right."

This frightened me still more, for no man was insight. I fled, and here I am.
_ _ _

Such was Mooljee's story, which I repeat exactly as he told it to me. II appearances go for anything, he must have spoken truth, for his fright and excitement were too evident to have been simulated by so clumsy an actor as he. At all events, a certain request contained in that letter was answered in a letter from this same Adept, which I got later, at the dâk bungalow in Bhurtpore, Rajputana, more than a thousand miles distant from this place of Mooljee's adventure. And that goes for something»
(Old Diary Leaves II, chapter 4)




THE MYSTERIOUS MANSION OF THE MASTERS IN MUMBAI




About this enigmatic residence, Colonel Olcott mentioned the following:

« There were a series of strange occurrences in which my friend Mooljee Thackersey was a witness. For example, on March 29, 1879, the day in question, Blavatsky told Mooljee to fetch a buggy, and, when it came, mounted into it with him. She refused to answer his questions as to whither she was going, simply telling him to order the driver to turn to right or left or go straight ahead, as she might direct.

What happened Mooljee told us on their return in the evening. She had directed the course by numerous windings of streets and country roads, until they found themselves at a suburb of Bombay [Mumbai], eight or ten miles distant, in a grove of coniferæ. The name is not written in my Diary, but I think it was Parel, though I may be mistaken. At any rate, Mooljee knew the place, because he had cremated his mother's body in that neighborhood.

Roads and paths crossed each other confusedly in the wood, but Blavatsky never faltered as to her course, and bade the driver turn and turn until they came to the seashore. Finally, to Mooljee's amazement, they were brought up by the gate of a private estate, with a magnificent rose-garden in front and a fine bungalow with spacious Eastern verandahs in the back ground.

Blavatsky climbed down and told Mooljee to await her there, and not for his life to dare come to the house. So there he waited in a complete puzzle; for such a property he, a lifelong resident of Bombay, had never heard of before.

He called one of several gardeners who were hoeing the flowers, but the man would tell him nothing as to his master's name, how long he had lived there, or when the bungalow was built: a most unusual thing among Hindus.

Blavatsky had walked straight up to the house, had been received cordially at the door by a tall Hindu of striking and distinguished appearance, clad entirely in white, and had gone inside.

After some time the two reappeared, the mysterious stranger bade her farewell, and handed her a great bunch of roses which one of the gardeners brought to his master for the purpose, and Blavatsky rejoined her escort, re-entered the buggy, and ordered the driver to return home.

All that Mooljee could draw out of Blavatsky was that the stranger was an Occultist with whom she was in relation and had business to transact that day. And the strangest part of this story to us was that, so far as we knew, there was no possibility of Blavatsky having learnt anything about his suburb and the way to it, at any rate since out arrival at Bombay, for she had never left the house alone, yet that she had shown the completes familiarity with both.


Mooljee was so amazed with his experience as to go on telling it to his friends in the town, which led one, who professed to know the suburb in question perfectly, to lay a wager of 100 rupees that there was no such bungalow by the seashore and that Mooljee could not guide anyone to it.

When Blavatsky heard this, she offered to bet Mooljee that he would lose the other wager; whereupon he, declaring that he could retrace every foot of the way by which they had gone, closed with the offer, and I had a carriage called at once, and we three entered it.

By another Hindu interpreter, I ordered the coachman, to strictly follow Mr. Mooljee's directions as to our route, and off we went. After a long drive by devious ways, we reached the wood, in whose shady depths the, mysterious bungalow was supposed to stand.

The, soil was almost pure sea-sand, bestrewn with a brown mulch of pine-needles, or those of some other conifer, possibly the casuarina. We could see a number of roads running in different directions, and I told Mooljee that he must keep a sharp look-out, or he, would assuredly get lost. He, however, was as confident as possible, despite the gibes thrown at him by Blavatsky about his state of mystification and the certain loss of his 100 rupees.

For an hour we drove on, now to this side, now to the other, now stopping for' him to dismount from the box and look about him.

At last—and just a minute or so after his declaring: himself perfectly sure that we were driving straight for the seaside bungalow—a train rattled by on a near embankment, and thus showed poor Mooljee that he had guided us in the very opposite direction from the one desired!

We offered to give him as much time as he liked to pursue his search, but he felt completely baffled and gave in as beaten. So we drove home.


There, Blavatsky told all of us that Mooljee would have found the mystical bungalow if a glamour had not been brought to bear on his sight, and, moreover, that the bungalow, like all other spots inhabited by Adepts, was always protected from the intrusion of strangers by a circle of illusion formed about it and guarded and kept potent by elemental servitors.

This particular bungalow was in the constant keeping of an agent who could be relied upon, and used as an occasional resting and meeting place by the Masters and his disciples when travelling.

All the buried ancient libraries, and those vast hoards of treasure which must be kept hidden until its Karma requires its restoration to human use, are, she said, protected from discovery by the profane, by illusory pictures of solid rocks, unbroken solid ground, a yawning chasm, or some such obstacle, which turns aside the feet of the wrong men, but which Mâya [illusion] dissolves away when the predestined finder comes to the spot in the fullness of time. »
(Old Diary Leaves II, chapter 4)