Adyar, the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society, hosted a significant event on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Ali Ritsema, a General Secretary of the Dutch Section of the Theosophical Society for three terms, gave a PowerPoint presentation on “Karma” at the monthly meeting of the Madras Theosophical Federation. It was a well-structured, cogent one-hour presentation with frequent interaction by the audience. A local newspaper, the Hindu, carried a brief announcement of the Program:
The meeting was preceded by a serving of Indian ghee sweets (made with clarified butter), bonda (a south Indian sweet or spicy snack), and tea. The venue was the historic Blavatsky Bungalow. The ambience and the weather were perfect, perhaps bestowed by some good karma and grace.
After the Indian sweets and tea into the Blavatsky Bungalow
Ali mainly drew from Buddhist teachings, Blavatsky’s books The Key to Theosophy and The Secret Doctrine, as well as The Mahatma Letters and other classic books. Ali’s presentation visibly inspired everyone in the audience. Her slides were elegantly made with illustrations pleasing to the eyes and the text in attractive colors.
S. Ramu, the president of the Madras Theosophical Federation, introduced Ali to a record crowd of about 100 people. In his concluding remarks, Ramu quoted J. Krishnamurti as having said that we do not take the laws of karma seriously because, if we did, our conduct would be vastly different from what it actually is. He expressed his hope that Ali’s message would inspire a transformation in the lives of all those who attended the program.
Ali Ritsema, well versed, convincing and always inspiring
When the meeting ended, many of the participants surrounded Ali with further questions and gave her their e-mail addresses, as she generously agreed to send them an electronic file with her slides. Mr. S. K. Srinivasan, Secretary of the Madras Theosophical federation proposed a vote of thanks.
Photos by courtesy of Richard Dvořák