Published: Monday, 01 July 2013 04:08
Jinarajadasa, Curuppumullage (1875-1953). Fourth President of the Theosophical Society.
Jinarajadasa was born in Sri Lanka on December 16, 1875, one month after the Theosophical Society was founded. His parents were Buddhists and he was raised as such. In 1886 the prominent Theosophical worker Charles Leadbeater visited Sri Lanka in connection with Buddhist education there and met Jinarajadasa. At the age of thirteen he was taken to England by Leadbeater and after a period of private education went up to St. John’s College, Cambridge, and in 1900 graduated in Sanskrit and Philology. After graduation, Jinarajadasa returned to Sri Lanka and accepted an appointment as vice principal of Ananda College (1900-01). He joined the Theosophical Society on March 14, 1903, and worked energetically for the Society in Sri Lanka until, at the request of Annie Besant, then international president of the Theosophical Society, he spent two years in Italy on Theosophical work, during which time he attended the University of Pavia for post-graduate study. After his time in Italy, he commenced a period of international lecturing for the Theosophical Society, which continued until the outbreak of war in 1939.
Jinarajadasa was married in 1916 to Dorothy M. Graham who was a prominent worker for the Theosophical Society, a Justice of the Peace for Madras, and founded the Women’s Indian Association in 1917.
Jinarajadasa held many positions in the Theosophical Society, including vice president, 1921-28; head of the Manor in Sydney, Australia, 1934; and director of the Adyar Library, 1930-32. In 1935 he became Outer Head of the Esoteric School of Theosophy.
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