February 2014 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the February 2014 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
New Executive Committee
Our 2013 AGM was held on 28 December 2013. It was attended by 40 members in person, which is more than the required quorum, and 29 through proxies. The following office bearers and members of the new executive committee were elected without contention.
President: Chong Sanne
Vice President: Kam Chai Heng
Secretary: Lily Chong
Asst. Secretary: Tang Kwok Choon
Treasurer: Nancy Yeo
Asst. Treasurer: Choong Tsui Wei
Librarian: Serena M. L. Lee
Asst. Librarian: Hauw Tio Hiong
Djimmy Ong (Book Steward)
Choong Chi Pin (Asst. Book Steward)
Vivekhananthan M. (Events Coordinator)
Joseph Lam (Accounts)
Lee Suit Fun (co-opted)
Kavitha M. (co-opted)
N. C. Raghava (co-opted)
The Lure of Gurus
of The Chairman’s Address at the 2013 Annual General Meeting of the Singapore
Lodge Theosophical Society
I cannot help lamenting the large number of members who chose not to continue their membership with this great Society which is veritably the fountain of Truth. Nowhere else could members be privy to Truth in plainer language, without having to interpret and navigate through symbolism, parables, metaphors or allegories to get at the Truth. In Theosophy you are taught the Laws of Nature in no uncertain terms, unequivocal and scientifically expounded. You learn about the greater aspects of nature, both visible and invisible to normal physical perception. You understand the attributes of Man, God and the Universe and the relationship between them. With a knowledge of Theosophy, religions begin to make sense. Indeed many of us appreciate much better our respective religions, illuminated by the truth we learn from Theosophy.
I would like to quote what I said last year that The Theosophical Society was founded by the Great Ones for one primary object and that is to give out esoteric knowledge to the world so as to free mankind from superstitions and delusions and to ultimately lift man out of his ignorance which is the root of all suffering. Theosophy teaches that Man has a common origin and destiny. We are exhorted to live our lives in accord with Nature, enlightened with the right knowledge and the right understanding of the Laws of Nature. This would imply introspection and changing oneself and one’s modes of life so as to continually become a better human being. In other words, rightly applying and practising theosophical teachings to aid one’s own evolution and spiritual growth. This is why study classes are so helpful and illuminating. All our theosophical studies invariably point us in the right direction. For example, At the Feet of The Master gives out invaluable precepts to keep us on the right path. Understanding Theosophy and living a life in accord with the laws of nature would also ensure us of a happier future. While we cannot change the karma of our past we can certainly determine the karma of our future by the way we live our daily lives today. Indeed, man is the master of his own destiny!
Unfortunately, many who joined the Society do not remain long enough to make such a determination as is evident by the large number of defaulters each year. It seems that as soon as the novelty of Theosophy wears off, the “new” members would need to find newer attractions to capture their interest. But in a way this is not too surprising as ironically that was the very reason they came to the TS in the first place! They were attracted by the TS for one reason or another. We have to face the fact that the Theosophical Society also appeals to people who are searching in particular for phenomena and the “supernatural”. Rightly or wrongly, the Society has always been associated with psychic phenomena since the days of Madame Blavatsky. But once told that the “supernatural” is not supernatural after all, the seekers quickly lose their interest. They would prefer to be dumbfounded by phenomena than to understand the mechanics of the laws of nature behind such phenomena.
There is a particular fascination for “gurus” amongst such seekers. They are almost gullible and invariably mesmerized by people who are reputed to be able to perform “supernatural” feats, even though some only by reputation and never witnessed. In any case, they do not realize that one’s ability to perform super-physical feats does not necessary infer his spiritual attainment. One of the Masters of the Wisdom once commented on this subject.
“There are 100s of thousands of Fakirs, Sannyasis and Sadhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they are, on the path of error, never having had an opportunity to meet, see or even hear of us.” (ML-30)
Now the above is a very strong statement as Fakirs, Sannyasis and Sadhus are ascetics and mendicants, all considered highly religious and holy by people. But what is meant by their being “on the path of error” you may ask. The Master kindly explains in the following statements.
“Mr. Sinnett and Hume are exceptions. Their beliefs are no barrier to us for they have none. They may have had influences around them, bad magnetic emanations the result of drink, Society and promiscuous physical associations (resulting even from shaking hands with impure men) but all these are physical and material impediments which with a little effort we could counteract and even clear away without much detriment to ourselves.” (ML-30)
Now contrast this with the seemingly religious holy man who has the wrong beliefs:
“Not so with the magnetism and invisible results proceeding from erroneous and sincere beliefs. Faith in the Gods and God, and other superstitions attract millions of foreign influences, living entities and powerful agents around them, with which we would have to use more than ordinary exercise of power to drive them away. We do not choose to do so. We do not find it either necessary or profitable to lose our time waging war on the unprogressed Planetaries who delight in personating gods and sometimes well known characters who have lived on earth.” (ML-30)
The Master further explains,
“These are the gods the Hindus and Christians and Mahomedans and all others of bigoted religions and sects worship; and so long as their influence is upon their devotees we would no more think of associating with or counteracting them in their work than we do the Red-Caps on earth whose evil results we try to palliate but whose work we have no right to meddle with so long as they do not cross our path.” (ML-30)
An even clearer illustration is given by the Master in a specific reference to a certain guru.
“Suby Ram — a truly good man — yet a devotee of another error. Not his guru’s voice — his own. The voice of a pure, unselfish, earnest soul, absorbed in misguided, misdirected mysticism. Add to it a chronic disorder in that portion of the brain which responds to clear vision and the secret is soon told: that disorder was developed by forced visions; by hatha yog and prolonged asceticism. S. Ram is the chief medium and at same time the principal magnetic factor, who spreads his disease by infection — unconsciously to himself; who innoculates with his vision all the other disciples.” (ML-31)
The Master elaborates,
“There is one general law of vision (physical and mental or spiritual) but there is a qualifying special law proving that all vision must be determined by the quality or grade of man’s spirit and soul, and also by the ability to translate diverse qualities of waves of astral light into consciousness. There is but one general law of life, but innumerable laws qualify and determine the myriads of forms perceived and of sounds heard. There are those who are willingly and others who are unwillingly — blind. Mediums belong to the former, sensitives to the latter. Unless regularly initiated and trained — concerning the spiritual insight of things and the supposed revelations made unto man in all ages from Socrates down to Swedenborg — no self-tutored seer or clairaudient ever saw or heard quite correctly.” (ML-31)
To the above the Master adds ,
“But they are idolators, my friend. Their guru was no initiate, only a man of extraordinary purity of life and powers of endurance. He had never consented to give up his notions of a personal god and even gods though offered more than once. He was born an orthodox Hindu and died a self-reformed Hindu, something like Keshub Chunder Sen but higher, purer and with no ambition to taint his bright soul. Many of us have regretted his self-delusion but he was too good to be forcibly interfered with .” (ML-31)
Now you can see that it may actually do more harm than good sitting at the feet of such gurus and to be within their auras. But how many of you would heed the above warnings given by the Master? I am afraid many will continue to be fascinated, glamourized or otherwise enchanted by the lure of gurus. Please do yourself a service, do not forsake the Theosophical Society for a guru or gurus. Let the TS be your guiding light to awaken your intuition and viveka.
Abstract of Chairman’s Address given by Chong Sanne on 28 December 2013.
International Presidential Election
The Election Committee placed before the Executive Committee on 11 January 2014 all the nominations received from members of the General Council up to and including 10th January 2014, together with the relevant papers. The Executive Committee examined and counted the valid nominations and found Mr. C V K Maithreya and Mr. Tim Boyd to have qualified to be on the voting list, having received 14 and 15 nominations respectively.
Mr. C V K Maithreya
He is a fifth-generation member of The Theosophical Society and is 55 years old. He joined The Theosophical Society in 1968, 45 years ago. He is a graduate in English Language and Literature and has a Post-graduation with Honours in Personnel Management, Organisation Development, Labour Relations, Welfare & Law. He has further qualified in Training & Development. He has worked in industry and has been the owner of a Human Resource Management consulting company with international clients.
At different times, he has been the President of the Vasanta Youth Lodge, Adyar Lodge, Madras Theosophical Federation and Theosophical Order of Service, Chennai Region. He was a member of the Indian Section Council and he is on the National Board of the TOS, India. He has been involved with Co-Freemasonry and was the Chief Knight of the Round Table, India and Knight Counsellor on its International Senior Council.
He has been a writer of articles and a speaker on Theosophy who has toured India, the USA, East & Central Africa, Europe, Israel, Singapore, New Zealand & Australia. He has authored the books Theosophy, The Theosophical Society & The Founders and The Vision of Sanjaya (an esoteric interpretation of the Mahabharata).
Mr. Tim Boyd
Born: October 22, 1953 in New York City, USA; Education: Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; University of Chicago BA; Partner in Royal Associates (Real Estate Development).
Joined TS in 1974. Currently serves as President of the Theosophical Society in America and Editor in Chief for Quest magazine TSA. He has served as President and on the board of directors for the Theosophical Order of Service; Theosophical Book Gift Institute; Theosophical Society in America; has lectured and conducted workshops in the U.S, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand; his articles have been published in theosophical journals around the world.
He is a founding member of a spiritual community which was active in Chicago for more than 25 years. The group worked with troubled youth, taught meditation and healing methods, and established organic food gardens on vacant lots. His involvement with the TOS and the Chushul orphanage in Tibet led to an audience with the Dalai Lama which resulted in the TSA sponsoring his visit to Chicago in July of 2011 for a two day event attended by ten-thousand people. The event raised more than $400,000, all of which was donated to educational projects aiding Tibetan communities worldwide.