Theosophical Society Annual Conference

The Divided World and a Fragmented Mind

I Satya Sundaram

The 102nd Annual Conference of the Telugu Federation, The Theosophical Society, was held on the theme ‘Who am I in this Divided World’ at Ananda Theosophical Lodge, Tadepalligudem-534101, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, on 25th & 26th February, 2023. The Federation President was Mr K S Ramachandra Rao and the Federation Secretary was Mr P Raghu Rama Rao. The host Lodge President was Mr K Pandu Ranga Rao, and the Lodge Secretary was Mr D Narasimha Rao.

The word theosophy means Divine Wisdom–knowledge dealing with the evolution of the world and man’s endeavours towards progress and perfection. The stress is on harmonious relations. An attempt is made to understand the Supreme Power behind nature. Theosophy is easily understood and rationally accepted. Also, whatever theosophy says need not be final. Truth will come out with experience and experimentation. Theosophy strongly believes in universal religion and universal brotherhood.

The Three declared objects of the Theosophical Society are:
*    To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
*    To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
*    To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.

Theosophy lays emphasis on harmonising all branches of knowledge which should not be studied in isolation. It tells people life has a meaning and purpose. The quest for wealth beyond a stage proves calamitous. People have to respect divine laws. There is fear of death because people do not want to disown all they have acquired (N C Ramanajuchary: Why Theosophy? Department of Studies, Indian Section, Theosophical Society, Varanasi, p, 11).

Madame Blavatsky (1831-91), the Chief Founder of Theosophical Society, in her article, “Practical Occultism”, made a distinction between the theosophist and the practical occultist. According to her, a theosophist is one who loves pure and unselfish life, finds more joy in helping others, sacrifices his pleasure for the sake of others, loves truth, goodness and wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer (article by Tim Boyd, The Indian Theosophist, September 2020, p, 384).

Annie Besant (1847-1933) said the attitude of the theosophist would always be that of a learner in life. She declared that the man who did not use his talent was the worthy of heaviest punishment (The Theosophical Life and the Three Gems of Theosophy. The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai, p, 3).

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) had observed that discrimination should be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish (The Theosophical Life, p, 26). He also declared: “Do not accept a thing because it has been accepted by many. He believed fundamental changes can be brought about only through a transformation of consciousness (foreword to the book, On God). Also, one can realise truth only when one keeps the mind completely free. According to him, mind management is important. Regarding education, he observed, “The purpose of education is to cultivate right relationship, not only between individuals, but also between the individual and society (J. Krishnamurti: Education and the Significance of Life. P, 34).

At the Inaugural Session, Mr Shikhar Agnihotri, international Speaker, The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, has underscored the need for maintaining a sound physical and mental health. He regretted that people are capable of creating divisions. Even in the name of religion, wars are going on. He also said mind control has been neglected.

Mr S Venkateswara Rao, Telugu Federation Lecturer, spoke on “The Scientific Perspective of Theosophical Society”. He pointed out that the modern world is divided, not scientifically but mentally, in terms of attitudes and human values.

Mr G Subrahmanyam, Vice-President, The Telugu Federation, delivered a lecture on “Theosophy Breaks All Barriers”. Theosophy can dispel delusions and illusions because it strongly believes in universal religion and universal brotherhood. The theosophist has to cultivate a learning mind and a helping mind. All the barriers to mental maturity can be easily eliminated.

Dr A I Basavaraj Reddy, Former President, Rayalaseema Theosophical Federation, spoke on the theme “Fragmented Mind- Universal Mind”. He also emphasised on comprehensive education which gives importance to both technical skills and soft skills.

Mr B Durga Prasad, Secretary, Srikrishna Paramatma Lodge, Kaviti, delivered a lecture on “Responsibility of man in this divided world.” Most people are interested in rights and privileges, not responsibilities. Man is insouciant to environment, and behaves irresponsibly. Hence, the world witnesses natural calamities, loss of soil fertility, desertification and climate change. Gandhiji said nature is kind enough to meet everyman’s need, not everyman’s greed.

Mr K V Gopalakrishna, Secretary, Rajahmundry Divyajnana Samajam, gave a lecture on “The responsibility of Man in this Divided World”. Man is capable of changing the world. Yet, he is reluctant to direct the world in the right direction.

There was a Lecture on “Realising the Relationship” by Mr Shikhar Agnihotri, National Speaker, The Indian Section, Varanasi. Man cannot live in isolation though each one has his own or her own experiences. Meditation is no doubt necessary, but it should be taken up in a healthy environment. The aim is to dispel negative thinking. Also, service may be of many kinds. In need not be in the form of money.

Ms Gowri, Programme Announcer (Retd), All India Radio, Chennai, has delivered a Lecture on “Unity in Diversity”. She said India is known for unity in diversity. People of different religions and cultures live together peacefully. Of course, now and then, fissiparous forces raise their ugly heads. People should preserve and promote unity in diversity. She also observed that modern technology (for instance, computer) has reduced burden on man and enlarged his vision. But, the new technologies should be handled carefully.

Ms M Lakshmi, National Lecturer, spoke on “The Role of the Mind in Discovering Truth”. Managing mind is very important. Mind is responsible for both pleasure and pain. A fragmented mind is not able to realise truth. Man is not able to serve the society because of the feeling of “I”.

The Conference underscored the need for revamping Lodges by enhancing membership, and by involving the youth in the activities of the Lodges. It drew attention to the role of theosophy in the context of a fragmented mind and a divided world.

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Vol 55, No. 46, May 14 - 20, 2023