Damodar K. Mavalankar was one of India’s quiet heroes who lent luster to a spiritual civilization. Damodar was born in 1857 at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. He belonged to a wealthy family of the Karhada Maharashtra Brahmana caste and received a sound English education to which his writings bear testimony. In his childhood Damodar had a critical illness and the doctors despaired of his life. When the family expected him to die at any moment, the lad had a vision which made a deep impression upon him. He saw as if in a dream a glorious personage who gave him a peculiar medicine and amazingly, from that time, the boy began to recover. Some years later, while engaged in meditation, he saw the identical personage and recognized him as his saviour. At this time Damodar read a book entitled Isis Unveiled by the Co-Founder of the Theosophical Society, H.P. Blavatsky, who in 1878 had moved the Headquarters of the Society from New York to Bombay, India. This book made a powerful impression upon him , and he hastened to pay his respects to Madame Blavatsky and her associates. He found that the man who, in his vision, had thrice saved his life was one of the Adepts who had founded the Society. Damodar became a F.T.S., and for six years, until he went to Tibet, was a most active Hindu figure in the movement. As Manager of the Publishing Department of the Society, he was partly responsible for the magazine, The Theosophist. According to custom, Damodar had been betrothed while quite young. Having dedicated himself as a chela to his Teacher, the Adept Koot Hoomi, he found it impossible to take up the duties of a householder. Damodar assigned his share of the ancestral estate to his father on condition that his wife be taken care of for life. Shortly afterwards, he left for Tibet, where he was to live at his Adept-Teacher’s asrama. Although both Madame Blavatsky and one or two friends said that they had heard from him, he did not return. Madame Blavatsky once wrote to a friend: ‘… Damodar was ready from his last birth to enter the highest PATH and suspected it. He had long been waiting for the expected permission to go to Tibet before the expiration of the seven years…’ [of probation]. Damodar developed psychically so rapidly that he was able to communicate with his Teachers phenomenally and transmit letters from them to members of the Society. He was also endowed with the power to heal the sick. Evidence of this will be found in the ‘Mahatma Papers’ in the British Museum. Olcott had expected Damodar to return and become H. P. Blavatsky’s successor. This book is an imprint of the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, and is imported from India.
Damodar & the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement
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