Theosophical Society

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An organization co-founded in the USA in 1875 by Helena Petrovna (‘Madame’) Blavatsky (1831–1891)—a self-styled mystic and occultist of Russian origin—and Colonel Henry S. Olcott (1832–1907). In 1878 Blavatsky moved to India, taking the headquarters of the Society with her to Adyar, a suburb of Madras (Chennai), which remains its international headquarters. She was intent on blending Eastern (mostly Hindu) spirituality, including such ideas as karma, and reincarnation (rebirth), with what she thought of as Western science. This amalgam of ideas is reflected in her publications, notably Isis Unveiled (1877), The Secret Doctrine (1888), and the Journal she founded, The Theosophist. Perhaps the Society's most notable member has been Annie Besant, who succeeded Colonel Olcott as president in 1907, and was later responsible for the education and training of Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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