Jan Nicolaas Kind – Brazil
The Adyar Theosophical Academy (ATA)
Many good things are happening in the land of Theosophists at this very moment. To begin with, your editor is excited about the Adyar Theosophical Academy (ATA) project which took off not long ago. In our Good News category you’ll find a write up regarding ATA. Through this e-Magazine and its various platforms on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you will be kept informed about further developments.
Like it was in the early years of the modern Theosophical movement, when there were various Theosophical educational institutions worldwide, it seems that now, as we have seen in for example The Philippines with the Golden Link College, similar schools promise to operate very successfully.
Most childhood education specialists claim that young children learn best when: they're not pushed too hard; they have an opportunity to interact with their peers; and their parents and instructors treat them kindly. Likewise, children learn best when instruction and educational activities take up only a small portion of their days. This is especially true of children enrolled in pre-school programs since it's not good for young children to be separated from their parents for extended periods of time. Children usually do not benefit in programs with inexperienced teachers and large classroom sizes.
Children taught at an early age usually benefit in the following ways: improved social skills; less or no need for special education instruction during subsequent school years; better grades; and enhanced attention spans.
ATA aims to prepare students for life in all its dimensions, imparting wholesome education in its true sense. Whilst striving for academic excellence, ATA intends to promote an enlightened educational system that will incorporate the art and science of living wisely. ATA strongly believes that it is of central importance for students to learn to embrace their common humanity and their place in the web of life in our increasingly divisive world.
ATA’s vision is to educate and raise children to become competent, well-balanced, emotionally mature, socially responsible, morally upright, and spiritually sensitive individuals.
The ATA community will represent all strata of society without discrimination with regard to either social or economic position. ATA intends to do away with as many societal labels as possible and see an individual for what he or she is. (1)
Education means that you start teaching from the bottom, in order to go upwards.
Education is not only learning from books, memorizing some facts, but also learning how to look, how to listen to what the books are saying, whether they are saying something true or false. All that is part of education. Education is not just to pass examinations, take a degree and a job, get married and settle down, but also to be able to listen to the birds, to see the sky, to see the extraordinary beauty of a tree, and the shape of the hills, and to feel with them, to be really, directly in touch with them. As you grow older, that sense of listening, seeing, unfortunately disappears because you have worries, you want more money, a better car, more children or less children. You become jealous, ambitious, greedy, envious; so you lose the sense of the beauty of the earth. You know what is happening in the world. You must be studying current events. There are wars, 7 revolts, nation divided against nation. In this country too there is division, separation, more and more people being born, poverty, squalor and complete callousness. Man does not care what happens to another so long as he is perfectly safe. And you are being educated to fit into all this. Do you know the world is mad, that all this is madness - this fighting, quarrelling, bullying, tearing at each other? And you will grow up to fit into this. Is this right, is this what education is meant for, that you should willingly or unwillingly fit into this mad structure called society? And do you know what is happening to religions throughout the world? Here also man is disintegrating, nobody believes in anything anymore. Man has no faith and religions are merely the result of a vast propaganda. (2)
Press Note for Opening of the Adyar Theosophical Academy
On 24th June, the newly founded Adyar Theosophical Academy (ATA) formally opened on the lush green campus of The Theosophical Society. Mr. Vic Hao Chin, the Chairman of Golden Link Foundation, Philippines, planted Mangolia Champaca sapling to mark the school’s birthday and was joined by Mr. K. Jaikumar, the General Manager of TS, guests, teachers and students in putting soil and sprinkling water to symbolically nurture it collectively.
ATA has classes from preschool to Grade 2. The Opening program was well attended by the parents of all students as well as members and friends of the TS. After the tree planting, all gathered in the newly renovated hall of ATA. The program began with a Bengali devotional rendering by students of Bala Vidya Mandir, accompanied by Mr. Srinivasan, LEAP Foundation, followed by chanting by Ms Jaishree Kannan; a message by Mrs Sonal Murali, Director, ATA; a talk on theosophical education by Mr Vic Hao Chin Jr. and it ended with a joint creative activity between parents and students.
Young students continue planting and watering the plant
The younger children took home a gift of Rainmaker and the older ones put together a Terrarium.
The newly planted sapling soon received much awaited rains. The premises is already ringing with delightful laughter and pitter patter of children as they take their first step into schooling.
Theosophy Forward fully supports the Adyar Theosophical Academy; its editor will carefully follow the developments and report on them.
Renovation of Leadbeater Chambers has started. (from the most recent The Elephants Newsletter)
The renovation of Leadbeater Chambers (LBC) started last in May 2019. Scaffolds are up, all around LBC. Corrosion inhibition and civil rehabilitation, in corridor balusters, is well underway. For the treatment of corrosion, starting from the top floor, the weak pillars have been identified, plaster is being chipped off, holes are drilled, small pipes are inserted, and cement slurry is injected to fill the internal crevices. Many pillars on the top floor seem to be literally 'hollow' inside. Damaged balusters have been removed and casting of new balusters has begun, they soon will be installed in their respective places. This work is nearly halfway on the second floor. Both these rehabilitation jobs are expected to be completed by August 15th this year.
Besides the renovation work, General Manager Jaikumar and consultant maintenance Narasimhan have also started getting competitive quotations from four contractors, for the civil work and plumbing for LBC’s interiors, based on the plans we drew up last January and on the Bill of Quantities (BOQ) developed by consultant Mani.
Sponsoring a room
It is possible to sponsor one room or, if you wish, even more. With US$ 5,000 or 3.2 Lakh, Indian Rupees or € 4,500 you make it possible that one room can be renovated.
If you sponsor the project, it is considered to be a gift to the TS Renovation Fund. At the entrance to the room, near the door, there will be a plate stating: “this room was made possible by … your name … “. Until May 2019, 22 out of 60 rooms were sponsored.
International Theosophy Conferences (ITC)
Theosophy Forward and its editor have always supported the lofty ideals of International Theosophy Conferences. Especially for the readers of this e-Magazine, hereunder is a summary of the Objectives for ITC 2019, held at Olcott in Wheaton, Ill, the USA.
Objectives of ITC 2019: (July 25–28, directly after the TSA Annual Convention)
Theosophy is integral by its Nature. It is a seeing, knowing and understanding of the inner and outer relations that exist between all things, and all things, as The One Life! It is The One Life, recognized through the lenses of Science, Philosophy and Religion.
This year’s objectives are:
- To rediscover and deeply appreciate the Integral Nature of Theosophy!
- Demonstrate how Theosophy can be applied to offer the solution to any problem pertaining to our lives.
- To make the Theosophical Principles a “Living Power in The Minds and Hearts of Humanity” by working together as Theosophists from all streams, using each other’s genius.
As Theosophists we can serve mankind by showing how theosophical principles can be applied to offer the solution to today’s problems.
We welcome all students of Theosophy to come and work with us in our study groups, rediscovering the Integral Nature of Theosophy.
So, GO FOR IT AND REGISTER, joining the participants for a unique, back-to-back event in collaboration with the Theosophical Society in America. Click on the link ibelow (3)
Theosophical History and the Adyar Archives
In this second quarter issue, in the category Theosophical Encyclopedia, you will find special contributions from the Adyar Archives and Theosophical History, a superb magazine edited by Professor James Santucci.
Two angry (old) men
In the past your editor has written many times about M. K. Ramadoss and Dave Marsland. It is obvious that my epistles didn’t in any way stop those two from throwing their BS all over the internet, nor will this editorial halt them. Some time ago time I wrote:
I must admit that it really puts me off when I see that day in and day out, unsuspecting website visitors are confronted with the chimeras of an obscure grapevine moderator, MKR, whose only objective is to downgrade and insult anyone or anything related to the TSA administration or the current Adyar administration. It is a fact that the more he exposes himself the more people will see who he is: a pathetic pain the neck.
In cyberspace it is simple these days to remain fairly anonymous, and work from behind a keyboard in some darkish basement of one’s house, constantly annoying others on the internet, often using pen names, never publishing a recent photo or detailed background information through a curriculum, carefully hiding the full identity, thus acting typically cowardice. Together with a brother-in-arms called Dave Marsland who has his own disputes with the TS in the UK and the headquarters in Adyar, and therefore not an impartial source, operating from Wales and whose Cardiff lodge is not connected with Adyar, M. K. Ramadoss (MKR) seems to be fully engaged in nagging people. The only thing you could possibly learn from these two individuals is how one shouldn’t do things. There is a never-ending supply of bad news, half-truths or plain lies. It is disturbing to notice that some still seem to pass on flawed information to their sites, misusing revered democratic privileges such as freedom of speech or thought and transparency, most of the time not even to set “records straight” or serve the truth, but to settle personal grievances they have with third parties. Most, if not all of the info passed on to them is biased or false; often there is not a shred of evidence.
MKR in San Antonio – USA, continues to publish his extremely stupid, boring, cynical and false postings, repeating himself again and again. Not only does he clearly demonstrate who his favorite American president is, even the cows he claims that have disappeared mysteriously are back on his site, so, nothing new under the sun: let him say what he will: just TWITTER ON man, TWITTER ON, Dave Marsland in Wales however, who is not affiliated with the TS Adyar, or in that respect with any other Theosophical vehicle, has again lowered the bar by insinuating that boys who were staying at the HPB Hostel on the compound were kicked out some time ago and that some of them, because they had no other place to go, might have died in the streets of Chennai. That is tantamount to accusing the TS of committing an atrocity. and is undeserved, irresponsible and unacceptable. This appalling display of super-fake news cannot be ignored.
It clearly shows that something is most definitely very mixed up in Marsland’s head. It would be appropriate to undertake rigorous legal actions against him. Unfortunately the TS, as an international organization, is not equipped to do so on the local level. Marsland knows this. Thus we need to settle for simply expressing this sad message in this issue’s editorial. Your editor will take it upon himself to update readers as circumstances require by speaking honestly of the HPB hostel as in this e-Magazine and on its other platforms. These disturbed postings put on display much of the two gentlemen’s characters. There is a Dutch saying: “Zoals de waard is, vertrouwt hij zijn gasten.” Literal translation: “The innkeeper trusts his guests after his own character.” Meaning: If you cannot be trusted yourself, you will be less likely to trust others. There is no English equivalent for this saying.
Statler and Waldorf AKA Ramadoss and Marsland
How sad it is that these two are still polluting the airwaves. I would like to finish up this part with a grin on my face by comparing them with Statler and Waldorf, a pair of Muppet characters known for their cantankerous opinions and shared penchant for heckling. The two elderly men first appeared in The Muppet Show in 1975, where they consistently jeered the entirety of the cast and their performances from their balcony seats.
Brotherhood .. Sisterhood or Brotherhood a n d Sisterhood?
Recently I have been receiving emails from readers of Theosophy Forward who asked me why in the First Object of the TS in the first sentence it reads: “To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity ..” The emphasis on the word BROTHERHOOD, seems to cause difficulties in some parts of the world, while in other parts, no issues with the word Brotherhood occur. For many in English speaking territories, in our day and age, Brotherhood is considered to be a sexist word – excluding women. Therefore the mention of it in the First Object is thought to be incorrect and hence, altering the text ought to be considered. In Latin languages like, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian this sexist reading does not exist. I am told that for example in Hungarian, ‘Brotherhood’ translated to ‘testvériség’ which is a sexless term; ‘testvér’ is both male and female.
Although words always remain WORDS, and therefore they are subject to various interpretations, one might not be able to count on everyone’s understanding and usage of the word, as being gender-inclusive. It is also very personal. When I look at myself, I can honestly say that for me the word Brotherhood has never implied any sort of sexist idea, but then again, this is my own perception. In plain English: for me the word is 100% sexless and therefore fully acceptable. Brotherhood refers to all, regardless of sex. Also, in the English language, the word GUYS can be used for females as well – like saying, ‘man’ or ‘men’, in reference to man-kind, does not only apply to those of the male gender.
Let’s for a moment read what Gottfried de Purucker writes about Universal Brotherhood in his well-known Theosophical Glossary:
Universal Brotherhood as understood in the esoteric philosophy, and which is a sublime natural fact of universal nature, does not signify merely sentimental unity, or a simple political or social cooperation. Its meaning is incomparably wider and profounder than this. The sense inherent in the words in their widest tenor or purport is the spiritual brotherhood of all beings; particularly, the doctrine implies that all human beings are inseparably linked together, not merely by the bonds of emotional thought or feeling, but by the very fabric of the universe itself, all men – as well as all beings, both high and low and intermediate – springing forth from the inner and spiritual sun of the universe as its hosts of spiritual rays. We all come from this one source, that spiritual sun, and are all build of the same life-atoms on all the various planes.
It is this interior unity of being and of consciousness, as well as the exterior union of us all, which enables us to grasp intellectually and spiritually the mysteries of the universe; because not merely ourselves and our own fellow human beings, but also all other beings and things that are, are children of the same kosmic parent, great Mother Nature, in all her seven (and ten) planes or worlds of being. We are all rooted in the same kosmic essence, whence we all proceeded in the beginning of the primordial periods of world evolution, and towards which we are all journeying back. This interlocking and interblending of the numberless hierarchies of beings forming the universe itself extends everywhere, in the invisible worlds as well as in the worlds which are visible.
Finally, it is upon this fact of the spiritual unity of all beings and things that reposes the basis and foundation of human ethics when these last are properly understood. In the esoteric philosophy ethics are no mere human convention or rules of action convenient and suitable for the amelioration of the asperities of human intercourse, but are fundamental in the very structure and inextricably coordinated operations of the universe itself.
GdP’s deliberations are always deep, though somewhat didactic, repetitive and long at times, but in 2019, putting all our current prejudices aside, one can state that it is a splendid description.
Some might suggest Brother- and Sisterhood … this could again trigger another discussion about who has to come first, like Sister- and Brotherhood?
I cannot offer a good alternative for Brotherhood, if there were need for one. I think it is wise and productive, however, to discuss the matter in detail and to do some heart searching and some brainstorming. The arguments made by some are certainly valid. Many things still need to be much improved concerning women-men relationships. Nonetheless I feel that it is something women and men need to do TOGETHER based on the simple facts that, no matter what, they are ONE, and that the separation of the sexes, which started in the third root race is temporary, meaning that ultimately we will be ONE again; boys and girls will be no more.
To conclude, while looking at the evolution of the sexes we offer the following excerpt from Sunrise Magazine on this subject:
Our varying past and future conditions indicate that sex and sex differences are not fundamental to human existence. Because the earth has passed the most material point in its evolution, the emphasis for its kingdoms is shifting from physical manifestation to spiritual expression. Future human evolution depends on our cultivating the higher mental, intuitive, and spiritual qualities which show forth as compassion, selflessness, strength of will, knowledge, intuition, self-determination, self-expression, cooperation, service, justice, and love, among many others. Certain of these qualities have been associated primarily with one or the other of the sexes, as has been the case with less desirable traits such as aggression, violence, ignorance, competitiveness, subservience, weakness, frivolity, and passivity. Progress as human beings, however, rests on each individual achieving balanced spiritual growth. Both men and women need to bring forth all the positive human qualities emphasized in spiritual traditions worldwide, and to face and overcome the negative aspects in themselves. Pursuing this path of development, we can each become not only a more complete human being, but also a truer, fuller expression of the divine consciousness-center that we essentially are. (4)
We are looking for creative seekers-students
(2) Krishnamurti on Education
(4) Evolution and the Sexes, by Sarah Belle Dougherty -From Sunrise magazine, April/May 1995. Copyright © 1995 by Theosophical University PressEditorial