The Religious and the Occult Paths

14 Oct 2017
14:30 -16:00
Besant Hall

The Religious and the Occult Paths

H. P. Blavatsky was the first person in modern times to talk in an open and clear way about the existence of Adepts teachers, known as “Mahatmas” or “Masters of Wisdom”. According to her, the Mahatmas are human beings who have perfected their natures to a degree that will be possible to humanity in general only after many more cycles of evolution. Having reached this high spiritual state, the Mahatmas are now in a position that enables them to help the rest of humanity realize the Truth. How did they manage to attain this goal so far in advance? According to Theosophical teachings there are two evolutionary roads open before us. One is the slow and steady path of progress through moral effort and gradual improvement, which is furthered by all religions in their exoteric teachings. This path is said to be safe, however the exchange for comfort is time. The other road is known as the Occult Path, which involves a shorter and faster but much more difficult journey. In it, the qualified aspirant is trained by a Master of Wisdom who guides him through a series of initiatory experiences, bringing the aspirant to the goal of perfection in a comparatively short time. This path, however, is said to be fraught with perils and dangers—for which reason its existence has been concealed from the public in most spiritual traditions of the past. In this talk we will explore the main features of these two paths and their goals.

Study books

Barker, A. T. (1979). The Mahatma Letters: to A.P. Sinnett from the Mahatmas M. & K.H. Adyar: Theosophical Publishing House. Third and revised edition.

Blavatsky, H. P. (1889). The Voice of the Silence. London: Theosophical Publishing Company.

Varma, S. S. (2005). Teachings on Discipleship, As outlined in the Mahatma Letters. First edition. Chennai: The Theosophical Publishing House.

Study chapters from a book

Subba Row, T. (2001). Occultism of Southern India. In: T. Subba Row Collected Writings, vol ll. San Diego: Point Loma Publications, Inc., p. 589-595. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Study articles

Blavatsky, H. P. (1884). “Are Chelas “Mediums”? Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. VI), p. 223-227. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Blavatsky, H. P. (1884). “Chelas”. Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. VI), p. 285-287. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Blavatsky, H. P. (1884). “Mahatmas and Chelas.” Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. VI), p. 239-241. Available at: [Accessed 20 April 2017].

Blavatsky, H. P. (1883). “Chelas and Lay Chelas.” Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. IV), p. 606-614. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Blavatsky, H. P. (1889). “Practical Occultism.” Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. IX), p. 155-162. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Blavatsky, H. P. (1885). “Spiritual Progress.” Collected Writings, [online] (Vol. VI), p. 331-337. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Chatterjee, M. M. (1884). “Qualifications for Chelaship.” The Theosophist, [online] (Vol. 5, No. 12), p. 281-283. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].

Judge, W.Q. (1888). “To Aspirants for Chelaship.” The Path, [online] (Vol. 3, No. 4), p. 105-116. Available at: [Accessed 20 February 2017].