UNITED FLAVOURS History & Culture

Promoting brotherhood

A like-minded community: A meeting of the members of the Theosophical Society   | Photo Credit: By special arrangement

ORIGIN: Founded in 1875 by Madame H.P. Blavatsky and Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, the Theosophical Society (TS) is an organisation that subscribes to universal brotherhood as the religion of mankind. And inspired by its noble objectives, its Kochi arm came into being in 1891. Called Sri Sankara TS Lodge, the Kochi unit of the Theosophical Society soon became the centre stage of socio-cultural activities in the city. In the Society’s parlance, branches are referred to as lodges. Swami Vivekananda is said to have visited the Society’s Kochi Lodge during his visit to Kerala in December 1892.

The Theosophical Society had a part in the country’s freedom struggle, including the formation of Indian National Congress. And leaders like Annie Besant gave TS a new dimension in its activities. Anyone with a genuine interest in universal brotherhood is welcome to join the Theosophical Society. And, those interested are advised to attend classes for a year. Classes are held regularly at the Society’s office near Pallimukku in Kochi.

ACTIVITIES: The Theosophical Society has not contained its activities to discourse alone. Instead, right from the beginning, it has steered its way into a host of social activities, many being pioneering concepts in those days. The Theosophical Society paved the way for national education by starting schools across Kerala. It started travelling libraries in bullock carts to spread the power of wisdom. Education for women and organisation of social feasts to eradicate caste oppression were some of its seminal initiatives for social reformation in Kerala. It was through the Theosophical Society that the western world heard the word ‘Karma’ which later went on to distil the thoughts of the world.

Many of its social initiatives are streamlined through its wing called Theosophical Order of Service (TOS). It runs a weekly Naturopathy Centre along with organic products from its premises and has arrangements for homeopathy consultancy on call. The Society’s office is a storehouse of books which include a special section on J. Krishnamurti. Old volumes of ‘The Theosophist’ are also kept intact here. Discourses on various topics are held four times a week (Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat) and it’s also an occasion for the members to meet and interact with each other.

IMPACT: Ask about the impact of the Theosophical Society’s presence in the city and pat comes the reply from one of its senior members - “We don’t really believe in impacts that are visible. The Society with its dedicated work has had a telling effect on the consciousness of a few generations. It could effectively address the crest of a more holistic thought wave and unknowingly, the message is trickling down”. He also reiterates that the desire to join the Theosophical Society is on the rise among the youth.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To know more about the Theosophical Society and its programmes call 9446503084 (Secretary) or 9495969707 (President), Email: theosophy.kochi@gmail.com

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 6:24:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/promoting-brotherhood/article5325682.ece

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