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Updated: November 1, 2013 10:46 IST

Her heart and soul were given to Theosophy

Staff reporter
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Radha Burnier. Photo: N. Sridharan
The Hindu Radha Burnier. Photo: N. Sridharan

Radha Burnier, international president of the Theosophical Society, died here on Thursday after a prolonged illness. She was 90.

Radha Burnier played a role in enriching the philosophy behind Theosophy by making it relevant to present-day issues. She was actively involved with service-oriented organisations that deal with education, animal welfare and environmental issues.

“She breathed her last at 9 p.m. following an acute myocardial infarction. She had a mild stroke three years ago. She also battled cancer, had a surgery and her health deteriorated on Thursday. Yet she continued to be an inspiration for many youngsters. She was a great personality,” said S.D. Inbaraj, honorary medical officer of the Theosophical Society.

“She is a lady of highest principles and integrity. Her heart, soul and life were given to the cause of Theosophy,” said S. Harihara Raghavan, honorary general manager at the Theosophical Society.

“The body will be kept in the Headquarters Hall of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, for people to pay their last respects,” said Mr. Raghavan.

According to the Theosophical Society’s website, Dr. Burnier was in her fifth term as president of the Theosophical Society, having taken office as the seventh president in 1980. She supervised the research and publication work of the Adyar Library and Research Centre as its director during 1959-79. She was also a well-known exponent of Indian classical dance.

Dr. Burnier has lectured all over the world on Theosophical and cultural topics. Her talks and writings are known for clarity of thought and depth of vision. Dr. Burnier was born in the Theosophical Society’s estate at Adyar, Chennai, on November 15, 1923 into a Theosophical family. She was the daughter of N. Sri Ram who was the fifth president of the Theosophical Society. Her grandfather A. Nilakanta Sastri, a civil engineer by profession and a Sanskrit scholar, was an early member of the Society.

She played a major role in well-known director Jean Renoir’s classical film The River in 1948. .

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An era has come to an end. The flame has extinguished but the light of her work will always be there to guide the The Theosophical Society and the Theosophists.

from:  Saumitra Das
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 23:06 IST

May her soul rest in peace.

from:  radha rajagopalan
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 15:05 IST

May her soul rest in peace

from:  mahadevappa.K.
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 14:35 IST

Pranaam and prayers.

from:  Sreejith Menon
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 13:39 IST

My peace and prayers remain with the great departed soul. Whenever I
remember Adyar her face surges forward with the elegant smile and the
divine seriousness. I salute her and hope that in many more lives she
will be there to guide us all into the holy path of Theosophy.

from:  Sivadas.s
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 10:08 IST

may her soul rest in peace

from:  Parvathy Mahesh
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 07:52 IST

My heartfelt condolences for the lofty towering personality of theosophical society. She gave her whole life to the cause of theosophy. Let her inspire us in all our deed and thoughts.

from:  dr Gnanadev Molakalmuru
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 07:36 IST

This is a truly sad news. As a young man from Brazil I was invited by her to serve as international Secretary of the Theosophical Society. I knew her since 1983. She was a woman of profound insight, dauntless courage who helped countless people in need. She had the great privilege of a close contact with J. Krishnamurti and explored the depths of his teachings with a searching and undogmatic mind. During her thirty-three years as President of the TS she helped the organization to remain focused on its essential aim: Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. She made the teachings of Theosophy relevant to the modern hero and will be remembered as one of the spiritual heroes of modern India. Profound Pranams, Radhaji.
Pedro Oliveira
Sydney, Australia

from:  Pedro Oliveira
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 06:31 IST

Radha Burnier was an inspiring personality who rendered yeoman service to the Theosophical society for several decades.Her indomitable spirit and intellect enabled the society to perform its functions with great distinction. The Society and the public at large will miss her guidance and leadership.

from:  C V Aravind
Posted on: Nov 1, 2013 at 06:06 IST
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