Table of Contents

Previous Chapter

Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
Table of Contents

Next Chapter

--- 405 ---

Chapter 12: The Discovery of Krishnamurti

          One day in April, 1909, not long after he had returned to Adyar, Leadbeater, accompanied by some of his disciples, including Johan van Manen, Ernest Wood, and B.P. Wadia, walked to the beach on the TS Estate for a swim. [1]  A number of Indian boys, the children of Theosophical workers living on the Estate, joined the party and Leadbeater was especially attracted to one of the boys whom he had not seen before.  He patted the head of this thin, unhappy looking child, and commented to B.P. Wadia that he felt a sense of well-being with the boy.

          When they had returned from the beach, Leadbeater told Dick Balfour-Clarke that he had been interested by the size and beauty of the boy's aura, as also by that of his brother. [2]  He was startled when Ernest Wood commented that the boy, whose name was Krishnamurti, was particularly dim-witted, and that Wood, who had been assisting him with his home-work, considered him to be without any great potential.  Undeterred, Leadbeater predicted that the boy would become a great spiritual teacher and speaker.  Wood was astounded, and asked whether he would be as great as Mrs Besant.  The reply shocked them all:  Krishnamurti was to be much greater than Mrs Besant.

--- 406 ---

          Certainly it was not his physical appearance that attracted Leadbeater;  as Mary Lutyens noted:

          "...apart from his wonderful eyes, he was not at all prepossessing at that time.  He was under-nourished, scrawny and dirty;  his ribs showed through his skin and he had a persistent cough;  his teeth were crooked and he wore his hair in the customary Brahmin fashion of South India, shaved in front to the crown and falling below his knees in a pigtail at the back;   moreover his vacant expression gave him an almost moronic look.... Moreover, according to Wood, he was so extremely physically weak that his father declared more than once that he was bound to die." [3]

          Krishnamurti was the son of a dedicated Theosophical worker, Jiddu Narayaniah, a Brahmin who had retired from his employment in the Civil Service in 1908 to work for the TS, and who resided in a small house just outside the Adyar Estate.  Narayaniah was a widower, the father of thirteen children, only four of whom had survived.  All four were boys, and one of them, Sadanand, was mentally deficient.  Krishnamurti, the eighth child, had been born on May 11th, 1895, in a small town about one hundred and fifty miles to the north of Madras, and he was thirteen when his

--- 407 ---

father moved with his family to Adyar. [4]

          Some time after his first meeting with Krishmamurti, Leadbeater told Ernest Wood that the boy was, in all probability, to become the "Vehicle" for the Lord Maitreya, and that he was to be trained for this purpose.  To understand the meaning of this, one must understand the operation of the Inner Government of the World according to Leadbeater. [5]

          In Leadbeater's evolutionary scheme of things, life, having descended into matter, passed through the stages of mineral, plant and animal, and then into Man.  His view of human evolution was very much that of the nineteenth century:  at the bottom of the ladder of evolution were the primitive peoples, like the Australian Aborigines, and at the top were the Europeans, notably the British. [6]  But evolution did not stop there.  As Man evolved thus far, so he could evolve further and deliberately develop the powers and potential which were latent within him.  If he made a definite effort to evolve consciously, he would pass out of the stream of ordinary, slow human evolution, onto a Path of higher and quicker development.

          The scheme of evolution progressed upwards from Man as he now is, through various stages of development

--- 408 ---

(called Initiations) to the level of the Masters, or super-men, of whom there were also varying degrees and grades, and beyond them to even more exalted beings, beyond whom was that Being Man calls God (called by Leadbeater the "Solar Logos").  And even beyond God as understood by Man there were yet higher and more exalted Beings. [7]  (For an outline of Leadbeater's evolutionary scheme, see Appendix 1)

          Whilst most people were content to go along with the slow, steady movement of evolution, carrying them over thousands of lifetimes towards perfection in the far, far distance, the occultist desired to speed up the process, and therefore to acquire those virtues which were prescribed by the Masters who rule the world.

          "When a man has succeeded in unfolding his latent possibilities so far that he attracts the attention of the Masters of the Wisdom, one of them will probably receive him as an apprentice upon probation.  The period of probation is usually seven years, but may either be shortened or lengthened at the discretion of the Master.  At the end of that time, if his work has been satisfactory, he becomes what is commonly called an accepted pupil. This brings him into close

--- 409 ---

relations with his Master, so that the vibrations of the latter constantly play upon him, and he gradually learns to look at everything as the Master looks at it." (8]

          The pupil is first placed upon probation, and then accepted as the pupil of a Master.

          He then begins to progress through the Great Initiations of which there are ultimately ten, although the tenth is held by the Logos alone.  Most pupils aspire perhaps to the first four Initiations, although even this would be rare in any one lifetime.  The Fourth Initiation is that of the Arhat, and brings the consciousness of the individual into the buddhic plane whilst he is in the body, and into nirvana when he leaves the body in trance or sleep. [9]  The Fifth Initiation, Asekha, makes [a person] into a Superman, he becomes an Adept, and can take pupils of his own.  Beyond this, the individual usually passes from contact with the earth, but those who determine to remain become members of the Occult Hierarchy, the Inner Government of the World.

          The seven Masters principally concerned with the government of the world on the inner planes exist on the level of the Sixth Initiation, the Chohan Initiation;   but above them stand the three principal officers in the

--- 410 ---

administration of the world from an occult point of view:  the Mahachohan, the Bodhisattva and the Manu. [10]  These are on the level of the Seventh Initiation.  The Eight Initiation is that of the Buddha, above whom comes the Lord of the World.  At the very top of the occult bureaucracy stands the Trinity of the Logos of this solar system.  Leadbeater noted Trinities in all the major world religions, and equated them directly with this Logos.

          It is certainly easier to understand this scheme for the Inner Government of the World by means of a diagram, although even that can not convey the overwhelming mass of detail which Leadbeater described about the officers and their work. (See Appendix 2)  The three principal officers concerned with world affairs are the Mahachohan, the Manu and the Bodhisattva. The Bodhisattava is the "World Teacher, Minister of Education and Religion", and his work is concerned with the spirituality of the world and of each civilization.  He occupies the position of "heart" in the way the Manu occupies that of "brain", and works out the details of the world's evolution.  The Mahachohan "directs the minds of men so that the different forms of culture and civilization shall be unfolded according to the cyclic plan".  Leadbeater likens the three to the Head, Heart and Hands, "all active in the world, moulding the race into one organic being, a Heavenly Man". [11]

--- 411 ---

          These three are positions rather than persons, and hence Leadbeater taught that the Lord Gautama, commonly thought of as the Buddha, once held the office of Bodhisattva, but that was now occupied by the Lord Maitreya. [12]  The Bodhisattava not only inspired the great religious leaders, like Laotze c 600 BC) and Confucius c 551-478 BC) in China, Pythagorus c 582-500 BC) in ancient Greece, Shri Shankaracharya (8th century AD) and Mahavira (6th century BC) in India, but also on two occasions actually took over the body of one of his pupils to speak directly to the world.  One the first occasion he manifested as Sri Krishna in India, and on the second as Christ in Palestine.  On neither occasion was an actual incarnation of the Bodhisattva involved;  the body of a close pupil, carefully prepared, was temporarily occupied by the Great Being, who spoke and taught through it.  In the case of Jesus Christ, Leadbeater taught that the body of the pupil Jesus was temporarily used as a vehicle for the Lord Maitreya, known in Christianity as the Christ, after his Baptism, and periodically until his Crucifixion.

          But the Bodhisattva's involvement in the religions of man was not a thing of the past:

          "He will come to earth many times more during the

--- 412 ---

progress of the root race, founding many such religions, and each time drawing round Himself such men of that race as are prepared to follow Him, from among whose number He chooses some whom He can draw into closer relation with Himself, some who are pupils in the innermost sense.   Towards the end of the race, when it is already far past its prime, and a new race is beginning to dominate the world, He will arrange that all His special pupils, who have followed Him in those previous incarnations, shall come to birth together about the time of His last life on the world." [13]

          As early as 1901, it seems, Leadbeater was presenting a group of students in London with teachings regarding "the coming of a new Messiah, a great spiritual teacher bringing a new religion", for whose coming a period of peace was required. [14]  Obviously, this concept developed until it reached the world view held by Leadbeater in 1909, within which the boy, Krishnamurti, was to be located.

          Leadbeater believed that the Aryan Root Race, the fifth root-race of the seven which made up one world period, was preparing to enter into its final phase.  By race, Leadbeater did not specifically mean an homogeneous,

--- 413 ---

physically identifiable group, although this was involved in the concept;  he referred literally to a group of incarnating entities, and the present population of the world was seen as consisting not only of the root race dominating this stage of evolution and called, rather unfortunately, the Aryan Root Race, but also remnants of Man's evolutionary past.  These remnants included peoples who belonged to the Atlantean Root Race, which preceded the Aryan, or the Lemurian, which preceded the Atlantean. [15]  The Aryan Root Race was preparing to enter its sixth sub-race, from which would develop the stock from which the Sixth Root Race would be developed.

          The present sub-race, the Teutonic, was characterized by the development of commercial and scientific fields, by individualistic pursuits.  The next sub-race was to be called the Austral-American, and was to be characterized by the development of intuitive faculties, and the emergence of a cooperative and fraternal spirit.  It was seen to be developing in Australia, and on the west coast of America. [16]

          In preparation for the emergence of a new sub-race, and the new Root Race, marking a new epoch in Man's evolution, Leadbeater believed that the World Teacher, the Lord Maitreya, was again going to incarnate temporarily

--- 414 ---

into the body of one of his pupils.  Lord Maitreya, who occupied the office of Bodhisattva, possessed a body of his own, of course:

          "The Lord Maitreya is wearing a body of the Keltic race at the present time, though when He comes to the world to teach His people as He intends to do very shortly, He will make use of a body prepared for Him by one of His disciples.  His is a face of wondrous beauty, strong, and yet most tender, with rich hair flowing like red gold about His shoulders.  His beard is pointed, as in some of the old pictures, and His eyes, of a wonderful violet, are like twin flowers, like stars, like deep and holy pools filled with the waters of everlasting peace.  His smile is dazzling beyond words, and a blinding glory of Light surrounds Him, intermingled with that marvelous rose-coloured glow which ever shines from the Lord of Love." [17]

          He lived in a house in the Himalayas, overlooking gardens and terraces, and the Indian planes.  No explanation was given as to why he did not appear in his own physical body when teaching, or why he found it necessary to occupy a body in one period, but was satisfied with inspiring a teacher in

--- 415 ---

another.   Leadbeater was equally familiar with the appearance, residences and work of most of the other Masters, and described them in some detail in private papers circulated amongst members of the ES. [18]

          Leadbeater believed that the Second Coming, in the christian sense, was about to happen, and in this he was not alone.  The latter years of the nineteenth and the early years of the twentieth century were punctuated with statements proclaiming the Adventist message. [19]

          The origin of Leadbeater's identification of the Christ of Christianity with the Maitreya of Buddhism is not a traditional Theosophical one.  His critics were quick to point out basic contradictions between his teachings and those of HPB.  She had declared:

          "No Master of Wisdom from the East will himself appear or send anyone to Europe or America.... until the year 1975." [20]

          and said of Maitreya:

          "Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins - the last MESSIAH who will come at the culmination of the

--- 416 ---

Great Cycle [21]


          "He will appear as Maitreya Buddha, the last of the Avatars and Buddhas, in the seventh Race.  Only it is not in the Kali yug, our present terrifically materialistic age of Darkness, the 'Black Age', that a new Saviour of Humanity can ever appear." [22]

          The origins of Leadbeater's identification of Maitreya with Christ, and of the Christology which followed it are unclear.  They may have derived from a relatively obscure magical fraternity, the Order of the Sat B'hai.  For a time this was controlled by an eccentric Englishman, John Yarker (1833-1913), who offered its rituals to HPB when she was contemplating developing the TS along semi-Masonic lines. [23]  In the Second Grade of the Sat B'hai the ritual refers to Christ and Maitreya as one and the same. [24]

          Nor is it clear when first this identification, or the imminence of the Coming was proclaimed.  It has been said that HPB told a group of Theosophists in 1889 that the real purpose for establishing the TS was to prepare humanity for a further teaching ministry by the World Teacher. [25]   However, there is nothing in HPB's published works to

--- 417 ---

support this claim.  Mary Lutyens claimed that Mrs Besant was giving out similar teachings in 1896. [26]  Certainly, Mrs Besant did proclaim the imminent coming of the Bodhisattva in a speech on the last day of 1908, and the idea received more attention in her speeches throughout the following year. [27]  For example, during her August, 1909, tour of the USA, many of her lectures were on "The Coming Christ" or "The Coming Race".

          Whatever the origins of the idea, or whenever its first proclamation within the TS, shortly after his discovery of Krishnamurti Leadbeater was teaching that the Master who had appeared as Sri Krishna and as Christ was preparing to return to lay the foundations of religion for the Sixth Root Race.  Initially this teaching was confined to the secret papers of the ES, but eventually it became a matter of speculation and rumour within the TS, and finally the subject of open discussion and was taken up enthusiastically, and publicly, by Mrs Besant.

          At the time of his meeting with Krishnamurti, Leadbeater was engaged in research that was to be published as Man: Whence, How and Whither (1913).  Mrs Besant's name appeared as co-author, though as with all their collaborations her contribution was minimal.  Leadbeater began with research on the future development of the Sixth

--- 418 ---

Root Race, assisted by Wood, who asked him questions as he reclined on his couch, and van Manen, who transcribed the answers.  In the course of these investigations involving examinations of the past lives of many people, Wood asked whether Hindus, like Europeans, travelled from race to race and country to country in the course of their incarnations.  Leadbeater decided to investigate, but felt that it would be preferable not to delve into the lives of members of the TS.  "Theosophists are always abnormal anyhow", he commented.  It was suggested that he should examine the past lives of the two boys whom he had met on the beach, and, after their father had given his enthusiastic support, the research began.

          These explorations culminated in two large volumes detailing some thirty lives of the young Krishnamurti, under the symbolic name of "Alcyone". [28]  Leadbeater again collaborated with Mrs Besant, although he completed twenty-eight of the lives, and she but two.  Great excitement was created at Adyar by the news of these occult researches, and an audience of enthusiastic Theosophists ascended to the roof of the headquarters building each evening after dinner to hear the latest revelations, all desperately hoping that their past lives would figure prominently, and favourably, in one of the instalments.

--- 419 ---

          Following the public descriptions, Leadbeater and Wood would retire to the octagonal room where Leadbeater would finalize and clarify the evening's readings, walking up and down in the room, occasionally checking some detail in his library, while Wood put his stenography to use taking it all down.  They often worked until two or three o'clock in the morning.  As Nethercot noted in his biography of Mrs Besant:

          "Usually, to an outsider, the process would have seemed identical with that in which an imaginative and fertile author dictates his copy to a private secretary and even at times asks the opinion of the secretary as to the impression he is producing." [29]

          Leadbeater now declared that Krishnamurti and his family had been brought to Adyar for some special reason, and that both he and his younger brother, Nityananda, were to undergo special training at the direction of the Masters.  When Nitya's Upangynam took place - the ceremony in which a Brahmin boy becomes a man, and is given his sacred thread - Leadbeater watched Krishnamurti intently, and afterwards asked the boys' father to bring them to his cottage one afternoon after school.  When Narayaniah did so, Leadbeater placed his hands on Krishna's head and described one of the

--- 420 ---

boy's former lives.  Krishna later recalled:

          "When I first went over to his room I was much afraid, for most Indian boys are afraid of Europeans.... the Europeans in India are by no means generally kind to us and I used to see many acts of cruelty which made me still more bitter.  It was a surprise to us, therefore, to find how different was the Englishman who was also a Theosophist." [30]

          After this, the boy was taken to Leadbeater every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, when the descriptions of the past lives continued, transcribed first by Narayaniah, and later by Wood.  At the time the boy spoke little English, and was extremely shy and frightened.  This not only hindered communication with Leadbeater, but made Krishna's school Life very difficult and unpleasant.  He was frequently put out of class, or caned, and suffered greatly at the hands of his teacher.

          Mrs Besant was in America at this time, and Leadbeater did not tell her of his "discovery" right away.  Even when more important developments occurred he maintained silence in his letters.  On August 1st, 1909, he was instructed by the Master to take Krishna and his brother to

--- 421 ---

the Master's house, in their astral bodies, whilst their physical bodies were asleep, and there they were placed upon Probation as the Master KH's pupils.

          "When [the Master] thinks of a man as a possible pupil He usually asks one who is already closely linked with Him to bring the candidate to Him astrally.  There is not generally much ceremonial connected with this step:   the Master gives a few words of advice, tells the new pupil what will be expected of him, and often, in His gracious way, He may find some reason to congratulate him on the work he has already accomplished.  He then makes a living image of the pupil -  that is to say, He molds out of mental, astral and etheric matter an exact counterpart of the causal, mental, astral and etheric bodies of the neophyte, and keeps that image at hand, so that He may look at it periodically.  Each image is magnetically attached to the person whom it represents, so that every variation of thought and feeling in him is accurately reproduced in it by sympathetic vibration and thus by a single glance at the image the Master can see at once whether during the period since He last looked at it there has been any sort of disturbance in the bodies it

--- 422 ---

represents - whether the man had been losing his temper, or allowing himself to be a prey to impure feelings, worry, depression, or anything of the kind.  It is only after He has seen that for a considerable time no serious excitement has taken place it the vehicles represented by the image, that He will admit the pupil into near relations with Himself." [31]

          Krishnamurti represented the first in a series of young people who, much to the chagrin of the older Theosophists, suddenly found themselves entering the occult path.  To pacify the older brethren, Leadbeater wrote:

          "Because the time is exceptional many young people have been put on probation in recent years, and their parents and the older members of the Society have sometimes wondered how it is that, notwithstanding their own sincere sacrifices and labours, often extending over twenty, thirty or even forty years, they have been passed over and the young people chosen." [32]

          The answer was simple:  the older members had to remember at

--- 423 ---

          "It has been your karma to work all this time preparing yourself and preparing the way for the coming of the World Teacher;  and just because you are good old members, you have attracted some of the souls who have been working up a high level of development in previous incarnations, so that they have been born to you [as] your children." [33]

          As was his custom, Leadbeater kept notes of his recollections of the occasions upon which Krishna, Nitya and one other boy were placed on probation, and these were eventually published.  Not unnaturally the boys had no recollection whatsoever.  Leadbeater, however, remembered every detail:

          "We found the Master Kuthumi seated on the verandah of His house, and as I led the young ones forward to Him, He held out His hands to them.  The first boy dropped gracefully to one knee and kissed His hand, and thenceforward remained kneeling, pressing against the Master's knee.  All of them kept their eyes upon Him, and their whole souls seemed to be pouring out through their eyes.  He smiled on them most beautifully and said:  'I welcome you with peculiar pleasure;  you have all worked with me in the past, and I hope you will do

--- 424 ---

so again this time.  I want you to be of us before the Lord comes, so I am beginning with you very early.  Remember this, that you wish to undertake is one of the most glorious of all tasks, but it is not an easy one, because you must gain perfect control over these little bodies;  you must forget yourselves entirely and live only to be a blessing to others, and to do the work which is given us to do.'  Putting His hand under the chin of the first boy as he knelt, He said with a bright smile:  'Can you do that?'  And they all replied that they would try.  Then the Master gave some valuable personal advice to each in turn, and asked each one separately:  'Will you try to work in the world under my guidance?'  And each said:  'I will.'  Then He drew the first boy in front of Him, and placed both His hands upon his head, the boy once more sinking to his knees.  The Masters said:  'Then I take you as my pupil on Probation, and I hope that you will soon come into closer relationship with me, and therefore I give you my blessing, in order that you may pass it on to others.'  As He spoke, the boy's aura increased wonderfully in size, and its colours of love and devotion glowed with living fire;  and he said:  'Oh Master, make me really good;  make me fit tp serve you.'" [34]

--- 425 ---

          The Master then blessed Nitya and the other boy who had accompanied Krishna, and led them all along a sloping path, to a bridge and across a river, and then into a cave.   He showed them the living images of all his probationary pupils, and materialized images of them to add to the collection, much impressing and amazing the young boys.  However, the Master rather embarrassed one boy:

          "In one of the images there was a patch of reddish matter, and the Master said to its original with a humourous glance:  'What is that?'  'I don't know', the boy replied;  but I think he guessed, for it was the result of an emotional strain the night before." [34]

          In Leadbeater's auric colour chart, "reddish" would have indicated sexual or sensual desire. [36]

          Despite these developments, Leadbeater did not tell Mrs Besant of Krishna's role, or even that he had been placed on probation.  In a letter to her on September 2nd, 1909, he commented that he had called on Narayaniah, and had been shocked to see the standard of their living quarters.  There was no water closet, and a "pariah village" crowded the house in at the back.  Leadbeater asked Mrs Besant

--- 426 ---

whether a larger house with some conveniences could not be arranged "for really he is one of our best and most reliable workers and I do not like to see him in this condition of discomfort".  He then mentioned Krishna for the first time.

          "Naraniah's [sic] children are very well behaved, and would cause us no trouble;  van Manen and I have taught some of them to swim, and have also helped the elder with English composition and reading, so we have come to know a little of them.  Also (but this is not generally known) I have used one as a case to investigate for past lives and have found him to have a past of very great importance, indicating far greater advancement than his father, or indeed than any of the people at present at Headquarters - a better set of lives even than Hubert's, though I think not so sensational. [37]  I am sure that he is not in this compound by accident, but for the sake of its influences;  I should not be at all surprised to find that the father had been brought here chiefly on account of that boy;  and that was another reason why I was so shocked to see the family so vilely housed, for it seems to me that if we are going to have the karma of assisting even indirectly at the bringing up of one whom the

--- 427 ---

Master has used in the past and is waiting to use again, we may as well at least give him the chance to grow up decently." [38]

          And on September 28th he wrote to her again:

          "The set of lives upon which I have been engaged proves of quite enthralling interest, and of the greatest importance." [39]

          He forwarded her the latest ten in the series of accounts of past incarnations, hoping that she would have a chance to consider them before her return to Adyar.

          Leadbeater noted that he was working on the previous ten lives and hoped "by degrees to continue them back quite a long way and to find out how this curious intensifying type came from the Moon Chain, and if possible how it differs from the rest".  He suggested that Mrs Besant, being "distinctly a member of that class", should have an interest in the subject.  Leadbeater's view of evolution carried the life-force which had become man on earth successively through a number of planets, and included a phase on what is now the moon;  Man had been in the mineral stage of evolution in one "chain-period", then in the vegetable, then in the animal on the lunar chain.

--- 428 ---

          "There [on the Moon] some of us attained our individualization, and so we were enabled to enter this Earth-chain as men.  Others who were a little more backward did not succeed in attaining it, and so had to be born into this chain as animals for a while before they could reach humanity." [40]

          Leadbeater wrote again to Mrs Besant on October 6th, noting what a contrast there was between the lives of Orion (Hubert van Hook) and Alcyone (Krishnamurti).  Although the former's were characterized by "stirring adventure and crushing karma", the latter's were full of "curiously persistent self-sacrifice".  Leadbeater was being assisted in his investigations by B.P. Wadia, and they had produced completed versions of the ten Alcyone lives which they sent, via commercial paper post, to Mrs Besant.  Leadbeater noted in his letter that he did not use the real names of the characters, with a few famous exceptions, and enclosed a private list giving the key to the meanings of the "Star names". [41]

          It was in this letter that he announced the identity of Alcyone to Mrs Besant for the first time:

          "Alcyone is at present a boy of 13 [in fact, he was

--- 429 ---

14 now], named Krishnamurti, the son of your E.S. Assistant Secretary Naraniah.  His present father appears in the lives sometimes, and is called Antares;  his younger brother Mizar [Nitya] is important, and his dead mother (Omega) and his elder brother Regulus also appear but not prominently.  With the assistance of Mr Clarke [Dick Balfour-Clarke] I am trying to teach him to speak English, and hope to have made some progress by the time you come. [42]

          The letter of October 14th continued the news of Krishnamurti's English lessons, and he noted:

          Naraniah has had a providential difference of opinion with his schoolmaster, who seems to have been utterly inefficient, so the two boys in whom He [the Master] is most interested are at present at home, and I am utilizing the opportunity to have them taught as much English as possible, taking them myself when I can spare the time, and getting Clarke, Wood and Subramania [Iyer] and others to assist.  I hope to have made considerable progress before your return, so that they may be able to talk intelligently to you.  I am endeavouring to steer a rather cautious course;  of

--- 430 ---

course, I must carry out the instructions given to me, but after all that has happened within the last three years, I must not take too prominent an interest in boys of 13!  When you are here I shall be bolder, and can do more of what He wishes." [43]

          Leadbeater forwarded her another set of lives of Alcyone, hoping that she would find time to read then on the steamer on her way back to Adyar, and yet another batch of lives was sent to Mrs Besant at Port Said.

          Mrs van Hook, who had come to Adyar at Mrs Besant's suggestion to ensure that Hubert, previously the candidate for the Vehicle of the Lord Maitreya, should be properly trained, was now tutoring Krishna and Nitya, together with her own son.  Mrs Russak and James Wedgwood were also present, and Leadbeater was very pleased to have the "old Weisser Hirsch party" almost reconstituted, lacking only Mrs Besant, who was coming, and Basil Hodgson-Smith, who was in England preparing for Oxford.

          A duplicate set of the lives of Alcyone had also been sent to Jinarajadasa, then lecturing in the United States;  he also received a photograph of Krishnamurti, regarding whose destiny Leadbeater had written to him, and

--- 431 ---

was inspired to cry out: "Ecce Homo - Thou art the man."  He also was inspired to write a poem of praise to him who was

to be the Vehicle, giving vent to the Adventist emotion that was soon to sweep over the Society:


          "Brother, great Brother, I long for Thy coming,

          Long is the night, and dreary is the day;

          Deaf are the people to my weak proclaiming,

          Only a few come to watch and to pray...


          Come to us soon, thou Captain of Salvation,

          Give to the world the solace of Thy word;

          Grant me release from my long tribulation,

          O sweet compassionate Face of the Lord! [44]


          Arundale met Krishna and Nitya at Adyar on May 29, 1910, and two years later, recalled that Krishna's face was that of "the Boy Christ in incarnation before me". [45]

          Mrs Besant had been fascinated by all the details she had received of Krishna's past and the promise of his future, and when she returned to Adyar from America on [-?-]mber 27th she assisted in the work of further investigation.  She investigated only two lives, however, and the accounts of them are significantly different in style to Leadbeater's. [46]  She also helped by checking details and

--- 432 ---

providing background material for other lives.

          Krishnamurti's role rapidly crystallized;  he was to be the Vehicle which the Lord Maitreya, the Christ, would use in teaching the world, establishing the new world religion, and laying the foundations for the new Root Race.   In this role, Krishnamurti was succeeding Sri Krishna, his [-?-]ian predecessor, and Jesus of Nazareth.  Whilst he was not to be the Christ himself, he was to be the body which the Christ himself would use, whilst his own purified and over-sensitive physical body remained in the seclusion of the Himalayan retreat which was his home.   In preparation for his occupancy, Krishnamurti's bodies, physical, astral and mental, had to be purified, refined and spiritualized, so that he would not only be worthy to contain the Lord, but that he would not be damaged or destroyed by the immense spiritual power which would pour into him, and through him into the world.

          It was for this that all his previous lives had been a preparation, and as Leadbeater and Mrs Besant scanned the akashic records for details of the thirty or so lives which were finally published, they could no doubt see the workings of the Inner Government of the world clearly displayed.  "The Lives", as they quickly came to be known in the Theosophical world, provided the foundation not only for

--- 433 ---

rising Star, but also for a great deal of spiritual snobbery, infighting and oneupmanship.

          More than anything, however, they provided Leadbeater with the strings whereby he manipulated, on a vast cosmic stage, the destinies of innumerable puppets [his] an universal drama the script of which he, and he alone, could write.

Table of Contents

Previous Chapter

Charles Webster Leadbeater 1854-1934 
A Biographical Study
by Gregory John Tillett
Table of Contents

Next Chapter