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On the 20th February 2020, Blavatsky Lodge Mumbai, celebrated its 140th Anniversary. It was the first Lodge established in the Orient, by the Founders of the Theosophical Society. Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Col Henry steel Olcott arrived in India on the 16th February 1879 and established the Bombay Branch of the Theosophical Society on October 18, 1879. (It was rechristened as the-Blavatsky Lodge, Theosophical Society on 7th April 1891). The Charter for the Lodge is dated 20th February 1880 and signed by the Founders themselves.The Lotus seed of Theosophy was sown for the first time on Indian Soil.In the words of Dr.Jinarajadasa “The Blavatsky Lodge of Bombay is distinctly primus inter pares among the Theosophical Lodges of the World.” Meaning thereby that is is the oldest and continuously functioning Lodge in the world. The earliar two established, were the’ London Lodge’ and the ‘Ionian Theosophical Society’ in Greece. The former severed its connection from the Adyar flag for a while and the latter ceased to function. To again quote our past President Jinarajadasa “ The annals of Blavatsky lodge have an historical value not only to its members, but also to the members of the The Theosophical Society at large”. All the Presidents of the Theosophical Society from Dr.Annie Besant onwards, to the current President Bro Tim Boyd, have visited and Blessed the Lodge.

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The evening’s function started with a High Tea followed by a group photo session of Mumbai Theosophists who had gathered to celebrate the historic occasion. The programme was initiated by Bro Navin Kumar, the Vice President of the Lodge ( He was past President of the Lodge) with the Universal Prayer and a brief introduction of the Lodge. A Book Mark commemorating the 140th Anniversary was released by Bro Vinayak Pandya of the Bombay Theosophical Federation and the first Book Mark was presented to Sis Aban Patel, a senior lecturer of the Lodge. It was followed by the release of current issue of ’ Synergy Journal’ whose major content consisted of Theosophical articles. The journal was released by Bro Navin Kumar and the first copy handed to Dr.Ajay Hora, the senior most resident of Theosophical Colony in Juhu. He was for many years President of the Bombay Theosophical Federation. Bro Bertie Redwood introduced Synergy Foundation to the audience.It is a family Trust of Dr.Rajam pillai, which publishes the bilingual journal catering to the academic and student community of Mumbai. It is dedicated to Poetry, Literature. Art and Theosophy. Dr. Rajam Pillai is a member of the Lodge.

The Foundation has a partnership programme with Quest publication, the communication arm of the Kern Foundation in America, in sharing resources. Dr.Pillai is an author, translator and former editor of the Gandhian Hindi journal - Gandhi Pravah. The Highlight of the evening was a joint presentation entitled ‘ A Glorious History of the Blavatsky Lodge’. The visuals were presented by the Lodge President Kashmira Khambatta and consisted of archival records of the Lodge including the original minutes of the Lodge from 25th April 1880 onwards signed by Col Olcott. The lecture of the evening was delivered by Bro Arni Nare’ndran, Hon Tresurer of the Lodge.The talk began with a minute silence, offering Thanks and Gratitude to all who contributed to the Lodge in the last 140 years.

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The speaker traced the History of the Lodge from the time the founders arrived at Bombay in 1879, from Liverpool in a ship’SS Speke hall’ to the present times.Their experience at the ‘Crow’s Nest’ residence, the publication of the 1st issue of the Theosophist and other milestone events. The Lodge History was chronicled for the first fifty years, by Bro K.J.D.Wadia and after a long hiatus, the speaker had documented its course of 140 years of its exciting history. The Lodge stands as a witness to the city’s history. The Master of ceremony was Lodge Joint secretary Sister Nawaz Dhalla. Sr. Mahazaver Dalal, Secretary of the Bombay Theosophical Federation, felicitated the Lodge. she and her husband Brother Rustom Dalal are senior members of the Lodge. The vote of Thanks was rendered by Sis Jasmine Cawasji Honorary Secretary, with an inspiring message to all to stand for ‘Truth”in all its manifestation. Greetings were recived from Finland, Australia, United States and England. The programme ended with a Sanskrit prayer. Again to quote the Blessing of Dr, Jinarajadasa” May the Lodge Grow from Glory to Glory”

Arni Na’rendran,

Blavatsky Lodge- Mumbai