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About the TS
The Theosophical Society was founded in New York on 17 November 1875. Since 1882 its International Headquarters (often referred to as 'Adyar') has been located in Adyar, Chennai (formerly Madras), India.
Official Journal: The monthly magazine The Theosophist, founded by H.P. Blavatsky in 1879.
President: Mrs Radha Burnier
Vice-President: Mr M.P. Singhal
Secretary: Mrs Kusum Satapathy
Treasurer: Mr T.S. Jambunathan
The Theosophical Society is composed of students, belonging to any religion in the world or to none, who are united by their approval of the Society's Objects, by their wish to remove religious antagonisms and to draw together people of goodwill whatsoever their religious opinions, and by their desire to study religious truths and to share the results of their studies with others. Their bond of union is not the profession of a common belief, but a common search and aspiration for Truth. They hold that Truth should be sought by study, by reflection, by purity of life, by devotion to high ideals, and they regard Truth as a prize to be striven for, not as dogma to be imposed by authority. They consider that belief should be the result of individual study or intuition, and not its antecedent, and should rest on knowledge, not on assertion. They extend tolerance to all, even to the intolerant, not as a privilege they bestow but as a duty they perform, and they seek to remove ignorance, not punish it. They see every religion as an expression of the Divine Wisdom and prefer its study to its condemnation, and its practice to proselytism. Peace is their watchword, as Truth is their aim.
Freedom of Thought
As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held, or because of membership in any school of thought. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise the right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society in 1924.
Freedom of The Society
The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title 'The Theosophical Society'.
Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affilliation or identification with any other organization.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society in 1949.
- Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, President-Founder, 1875-1907
- Dr Annie Besant, 1907-1933
- Dr George S. Arundale, 1934-1945
- Mr C. Jinarajadasa, 1946-1953
- Mr N. Sri Ram, 1953-1973
- Mr John Coats, 1973-1979
- Mrs Radha Burnier, 1980 -
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