Death of Blavatsky

Blavatsky (Helena Petrovna), Death of

May 8
The anniversary of the death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) is commemorated by members of the Theosophical Society, which was founded in New York in 1875 by Blavatsky and Henry Olcott. Theosophy, a pantheistic philosophical-religious system that seeks to learn about reality through mystical experience and by finding esoteric meanings in sacred writings, is regarded as the precursor of American Hinduism. Olcott and Blavatsky moved to India in 1878, and the international headquarters for the Theosophical movement remains in Adyar (near Madras) today.
Blavatsky believed that she possessed extraordinary psychic powers, although in 1884 the Indian press accused her of concocting spiritualist phenomena. When the London Society of Psychical Research declared her a fraud the following year, Blavatsky left India and never returned. She did, however, complete her most important work, The Secret Doctrine (1888), an overview of Theosophical teachings, along with numerous other books, before her death in 1891.
Theosophical Society in America
1926 N. Main St.
P.O. Box 270
Wheaton, IL 60189
630-668-1571; fax: 630-668-4976
DictWrldRel-1989, pp. 320, 757
EncyRel-1987, vol. 2, p. 245
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Judge broke away from the central organization, led by Annie Besant (1847-1933) after the death of Blavatsky, to form an American section of the society.