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Encyclopedia > Mahatma

Mahatma is Sanskrit for "Great Soul" (महात्मा mahātmā: महा mahā (great) + आत्मं or आत्मन ātman (soul)). This epithet is applied to people like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, though sources vary on who first gave him this name. Many sources, such as Dutta and Robinson's Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology, state that Rabindranath Tagore first accorded him this title [1]. Others state that the title "Mahatma" was first accorded to Gandhi on January 21, 1915 by Nautamlal Bhagavanji Mehta on January 21, 1915 at Kamribai School in Jetpur, India [2]. The Sanskrit language ( , ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 22 official languages of India. ... An epithet (Greek - επιθετον and Latin - epitheton; literally meaning imposed) is a descriptive word or phrase. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869–January 30, 1948) (Devanagari : मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી) was a national icon who led the struggle for Indias independence from British colonial rule, empowered by tens of millions of common Indians. ... Rabindranath Tagore in Kolkata, c. ... January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Nautamlal Bhagavanji Mehta was an Indian freedom fighter and a strong supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. ...

The term is used to refer to adepts, liberated souls, or professionals.

The word was popularised in theosophical literature in the late 19th century when Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, one of the founders of the Theosophical Society, claimed that her teachers were adepts or Mahatmas who reside in Tibet. Seal of the Theosophical Society Theosophy is a body of ideas which holds that all religions are attempts by man to ascertain the Divine, and as such each religion has a portion of the truth. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Helena Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Hahn (also Hélène) (July 31, 1831 (O.S.) (August 12, 1831 (N.S.)) - May 8, 1891 London, England), better known as Helena Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky was the founder of Theosophy. ... The Theosophical Society was the organization formed to advance the spiritual doctrines and altruistic living known as Theosophy. ... The adept masters the highest of esoterical knowledge. ... This article is becoming very long. ...

The Ascended Masters are sometimes given this title by some Theosophists. According to some Theosophical and New Age teachings, the Mahatmas are not disembodied beings, but people involved in overseeing the spiritual growth of individuals and the development of civilisations. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... For other uses, see Civilization (disambiguation). ...

Blavatsky was the first person in modern times to claim contact with the Theosophical Adepts, especially the Masters Koot Hoomi and Morya. Kuthumi or Koot Hoomi or Master K.H. is a theosophical Mahatma, also known as an Ascended master or Master of the Wisdom. According to theosophical teachings, he is one of the members of the Spiritual Hierarchy which oversees the development of the human race on this planet. ... Master Morya, or El Morya Khan, is known in many New Age religions as the Ascended Master of the Blue or First Ray(See Seven Rays). ...

In September and October 1880, Mme. Blavatsky visited A. P. Sinnett at Simla in northern India. The serious interest of Sinnett in the Theosophical teachings of Mme. Blavatsky and the work of the Theosophical Society prompted Mme. Blavatsky to establish a contact by correspondence between Sinnett and the two Adepts who were sponsoring the Society, K.H. and M. Shimla Shimla (शिमला) is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and a hill station in North India. ... The Theosophical Society was the organization formed to advance the spiritual doctrines and altruistic living known as Theosophy. ...

From this correspondence Sinnett wrote The Occult World (1881) and Esoteric Buddhism (1883), both of which had an enormous influence in generating public interest in theosophy. The replies and explanations given by the Mahatmas to the questions by Sinnett are embodied in their letters from 1880 to 1885, published in London in 1923 as The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett. The Mahatmas also corresponded with a number of other persons during the early years of the Theosophical Society. Many of these letters have been published in two volumes titled Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, Series 1 and Series 2. A mandala used in Vajrayana Buddhist practices. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ... The Mahatma Letters are letters that were supposedly written by the mystical theosophical Mahatmas to certain theosophists. ...

There has been a great deal of controversy concerning the existence of these particular Adepts. Mme. Blavatsky's critics have doubted the existence of her Masters. See, for example, W.E. Coleman's "exposes." More than twenty five individuals testified to having seen and been in contact with these Mahatmas during H. P. Blavatsky's lifetime.[3] In recent years, K. Paul Johnson has promoted an interesting but controversial theory about the Masters.

After H.P.B.'s death in 1891, numerous individuals have claimed to be in contact with her Adept Teachers and have stated that they were new "messengers" of the Masters conveying various esoteric teachings.[4]



  1. ^ Dutta, Krishna and Andrew Robinson, Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology, p. 2
  2. ^ Kamdartree.com
  3. ^ A Casebook of Encounters with the Theosophical Mahatmas
  4. ^ Madame Blavatsky & the Latter-Day Messengers of the Masters


  • Dutta, Krishna and Andrew Robinson. Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology. Picador/Macmillan: London, 1997.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Mahatmas (107 words)
Mahatmas is Sanskrit for "Great Souls." While the term is popularly applied to people like Mohandas Gandhi, the term is widely used to refer to adepts or liberated souls.
The word was popularized in theosophical literature in the late 19th century when Madame Helena P. Blavatsky, one of the founders of the Theosophical Society, revealed that her teachers were adepts or Mahatmas who reside in Tibet.
The Mahatmas were not disembodied beings, but people with flesh and blood, and who are involved in overseeing the growth of individuals and the development of civilizations.
Mahatmas and Chelas - Chapter 1 (1359 words)
We may note that Dr. de Purucker calls the mahatmas "Masters of Life," for that is what a mahatma is. He is a graduate in nature's great university of evolutionary development with its immense ranges of knowledge -- knowledge founded upon experience and "self-directed evolution." Thus, the mahatma is the perfect flower of human evolution.
For the mahatmas it is far different, although theosophy tells us that within all people lie sleeping organs of perception belonging to these unknown planes of their being.
The mahatmas are men and women who have awakened and developed these sleeping faculties, and it is from their training of these faculties that they derive their transcendent powers.
  More results at FactBites »



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