1. What’s your name, where are you from and how long have you been a member of the TS?
My name is Chittaranjan Satapathy. I am from India. I have been a member of the TS for about 32 years.
2. Are you active in your Lodge/Section and if so, what do you do?
My membership is with the Mayfair Lodge in Kolkata which is far away from Adyar where I am living for the last 6 years. In June 2014, I was elected as the Vice President of the TS. Prior to that, I worked as the International Secretary of the TS, Director of the Adyar Library and Research Centre and Secretary of the Olcott Education Society for various lengths of time. Initially, I also spent some time looking after the Adyar gardens.
3. How did you first learn about Theosophy or come in contact with the Society?
I learnt about the TS through a commemorative postage stamp issued by the Indian Government on 17 November 1975. That day I joined my civil service job in New Delhi and on a visit to the nearby post office to post a letter I saw this stamp.
4. What does Theosophy mean to you?
To me Theosophy is a way of life.
5. What is your favourite Theosophical book and why?
There are several. But if I have to choose one – it would be The Theosophical Life by Annie Besant. It is simple and its message is clear – “Theosophical life must be a life of service.” Another one would be The Voice of the Silence by HPB which beautifully sketches a roadmap for a spiritual journey helpfully pointing out the pitfalls that one would have to overcome.
6. What in your opinion is the biggest challenge the TS is facing at the moment?
The biggest challenge before us is how to reach Theosophy to more and more people. The entire Arab world and the vast majority of Chinese speaking people seem to have very limited access to Theosophical literature.
7. Is there anything you would wish for the future of the Theosophical Movement?
Perhaps it would not be possible in the near future for all the Theosophical groups to come under one umbrella, but they should co-operate with each other and work for the spread of Theosophy together.
We do need persons to speak and write about Theosophy but we need more workers in every Theosophical organization, and at all levels, who are able to live Theosophy – by their living examples alone they would be able to draw more people to Theosophy than any amount of writing and speaking can do.
From the editor:
Opinions and ideas expressed in the mini-interviews are exclusively of those who are being interviewed. They don’t necessarily represent the ideas and opinions of the compilers of Theosophy Forward. The responses of the interviewees are not edited for content. Some contributors give short answers to the questions while others touch upon the subject more elaborately.