The Singapore Lodge Theosophical Society
C. W. Leadbeater (1847-1934)
Just as Madame H. P. Blavatsky is regarded as one of the greatest occultists of the 19th Century, C. W. Leadbeater is similarly regarded by many as one of the greatest occultists of the 20th Century.
Charles Webster Leadbeater joined the Theosophical Society in the company of Sir William Crookes and Mrs. Crookes in London on November 21, 1883. He left for India with Madame H. P. Blavatsky at the end of 1884 and dedicated the rest of his life till his death on March 1, 1934, aged 87, to the service of the Theosophical Society. The sole interest of his life during fifty-one years was to work for the Society; he has to his credit a magnificent record of service rendered to mankind through his lectures on Theosophy in many lands, and through his books on many aspects of the Ancient Wisdom.
Since the early days, many students of theosophy owe a debt of gratitude to CWL, as he was fondly referred to. His remarkably lucid writings make theosophy more comprehensible. He expounded the ancient wisdom in simple language, making the secret doctrines less of a mystery. Yet, he was cruelly maligned by some of his detractors and unjustly drawn into controversies, during and even after his lifetime. The monumental work, Occult Chemistry, which he co-authored with his colleague, Annie Besant, was largely ignored for the past hundred years. Only now, nuclear and particle physicists are beginning to discover the validity of the occult investigations of CWL conducted a century ago, on the structure of subatomic particles, and thus indirectly vindicating him.
CWL was an inspiration and a teacher to many, including both clairvoyants and lesser endowed members. One of his pupils, C. Jinarajadasa, assumed office as the Fourth International President of the Theosophical Society on February 17, 1946. It was CWL who discovered J. Krishnamurti who later went on to become a renowned philosopher in his own right, and also D. Rajagopalacharya, the confidant of Krishnamurti. Arguably, without CWL’s clairvoyant power, the world indeed might not have known of Jinarajadasa, Krishnamurti or Rajagopal.
Geoffrey Hodson, a renowned seer and lecturer, says,
“Although not myself privileged to have been a pupil of C. W. Leadbeater, I met him personally on many occasions and throughout the fifty-six years of my membership of the Theosophical Society I have benefited very greatly from his writings.”
Commenting on the cruel attacks on Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson remarked to members of the Theosophical Society,
“After H. P. Blavatsky, your great leaders, A. Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, have played a very great and noble part in the process of unveiling. The world scorns them as was inevitable. We honour them as amongst the greatest of the servants of the Brotherhood. It was not so much they who made mistakes but those with whom they were associated, and upon whom their part of the plan depended. Over and over again the human pens - with which, on behalf of the Brotherhood, they tried to write - broke like dried reeds in their hands. But they laboured on, forming occult Centres on the old models and giving the best training they could to those who sat at their feet. Ignorant, blind, and cruel world not to recognize the stature of those who overtopped by so much the greatest men and women of their time…”
“…The difficulty under which great occultists living out in the world must labour is that their real power and powers cannot be revealed. Their Initiate faculties can only show in their work and not in themselves. H.P.B. was granted permission, nay ordered, to use hers to attract human minds to Theosophy and the T. S. But the variation in the rule was only a partial success and so her successors veiled their powers and let the world misjudge them when often by an act of will they could have confounded their cruel critics…”
On the work done by C. W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant in Occult Chemistry, Stephen M. Phillips, Ph. D., a particle physicists says,
"Demonstrating knowledge of some supersensory aspect of the world that is confirmed by advances in science many years later is, arguably, the most convincing type of ESP because this circumstance permits the sceptic no room for doubt or rational explanation if the correlations between scientific facts and the psychic’s observations are so numerous and precise as to make the possibility of lucky guessing improbable in the extreme. The paper will examine a rare example of such ESP in which ostensible, paranormal descriptions of atoms and subatomic particles published a century ago have turned out to be confirmed by facts of nuclear and particle physics..."
In an autographed gift copy of Voice of the Silence for Leadbeater, H.P.B. addressed him as “my sincerely appreciated and beloved brother and friend” and in another gift, her Key to Theosophy, she wrote “to my old and well-beloved friend”. These short notes are indicative of the affection she had for CWL and perhaps her knowledge of his future role in the society she founded under the instructions of the Masters.
In the half century he served the Theosophical Society, in addition to giving lectures around the world, C. W. Leadbeater wrote some 50 books and contributed numerous articles regularly to The Theosophist. His books include:
How Theosophy Came To Me tells us how C. W. Leadbeater found the Theosophical Society and more importantly, his Master. What was the driving power in his life which made him firm and faithful to the end? The answer is given in this small book.
Go to read How Theosophy Came To Me