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Old Diary Leaves 1878-83

Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907), co-founder of the Theosophical Society, was a versatile man. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of American agricultural education and also served in the U.S. War Department. Later Olcott was admitted to the New York Bar and became interested in psychology and spiritualism, travelling to India and Sri Lanka with Madame Blavatsky to explore eastern spiritual traditions, especially Buddhism. In this volume (published in 1900) Olcott chronicles how he and Madame Blavatsky journeyed to India and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in the years 1878 to 1883 to oversee the foundation of new branches of their Society. This is part classic travel writing in which the author gives breathless descriptions of the beauty of Indian nature, culture and philosophy and part characterisation of Madame Blavatsky's 'psychological eccentricities' as Olcott experiences them. To him she was and remained 'an insoluble riddle'.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The voyage out; 2. Settling down at Bombay; 3. Laying foundations; 4. Many wonders; 5. A journey to northern India; 6. Northern wanderings; Dyanand Saraswati; Snake charming; The Theosophist started; 7. The future workers begin to arrive; 8. Visits to Allahabad and Benares; 9. Phenomena and Pandits; 10. First tour in Ceylon; 11. The popular enthusiasm; 12. The tour concluded; 13. A little domestic explosion; 14. Swami Dyanand Saraswati on yoga; 15. Simla and the Coerullians; 16. What happened at Simla; 17. Gorgeous scenes; 18. Benares the holy; 19. A master of djinns; 20. Ceylon Buddhism explained; 21. Creating a Sinhalese Buddhist fund; 22. From Bombay northward and back; 23. A houseboat journey with H. P. B.; 24. Baroda to Ceylon, and the healings of sick folk there; 25. Possible discovery of the secret of psychopathic healing; 26. Incidents of healings; 27. Touring and healing in Bengal; 28. Florid compliments; 29. Healing of the dumb man in Nelliappa Temple; 30. South Indian wonders.

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