Founding of the Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society was founded in New York in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Russian in origin, and the American Colonel G.S. Olcott with the support of others. In 1879, the international headquarters was transferred to Bombay, and later, in 1882, to Adyar, a suburb of Madras (now Chennai).
The Theosophical Society is an international organization with members in almost 70 countries, belonging to different races, professing different religions and working in various fields. They are united by the fact that they share the goals of the Theosophical Society and want to promote harmony and understanding at all levels, want to unite people of goodwill, regardless of their religious beliefs. They are united by a desire to learn the truth and share knowledge with others.
They are connected with each other not by a common faith, but by a common search and striving for Truth. This truth is achieved by study, reflection, purity of life and service to higher ideals and is viewed as a reward to strive for, and not as a kind of dogma established by authority.
They believe that faith should be the result of individual education and intuition, not precede them, and be based on knowledge, not assertion.
They consider it necessary to show tolerance for everyone, even the intolerant, seeing it as a duty, not a privilege, and try to eradicate ignorance, not punish it. They view each religion as an expression of Divine Wisdom, preferring to study rather than condemn, and practice rather than preach.
Founders of the Theosophical Society
Three Objects of the Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society was formed in New York on 17 November 1875, and incorporated at Chennai (Madras) on 3 April 1905. Its three Objects are:
- To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour.
- To encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.
- To investigate unexplained laws of Nature and the powers latent in man.
The emblem of the Theosophical Society
Resolution passed by the General Council of the Theosophical Society (2019)
Due to the conditions prevailing in many countries at the present time, the General Council declares that since the Theosophical Society stands for a worldwide brotherhood of people regardless of race, creed, sex, caste or color, any form of racism, policy or action based on racial discrimination, for the benefit of some and to the detriment of others, contradicts the main essence and goals of the Society.
As the Theosophical Society has spread far and wide over the world, and as members of all religions have become members of it without surrendering the special dogmas, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths, it is thought desirable to emphasize the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion, by whomsoever taught or held, that is in any way binding on any member of the Society, none which any member is not free to accept or reject. Approval of its three Objects is the sole condition of membership. No teacher, or writer, from H.P. Blavatsky onwards, has any authority to impose his or her teachings or opinions on members. Every member has an equal right to follow any school of thought, but has no right to force the choice on any other. Neither a candidate for any office nor any voter can be rendered ineligible to stand or to vote, because of any opinion held, or because of membership in any school of thought. Opinions or beliefs neither bestow privileges nor inflict penalties. The Members of the General Council earnestly request every member of the Theosophical Society to maintain, defend and act upon these fundamental principles of the Society, and also fearlessly to exercise the right of liberty of thought and of expression thereof, within the limits of courtesy and consideration for others.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society in 1924.
The Theosophical Society, while cooperating with all other bodies whose aims and activities make such cooperation possible, is and must remain an organization entirely independent of them, not committed to any objects save its own, and intent on developing its own work on the broadest and most inclusive lines, so as to move towards its own goal as indicated in and by the pursuit of those objects and that Divine Wisdom which in the abstract is implicit in the title 'The Theosophical Society'.
Since Universal Brotherhood and the Wisdom are undefined and unlimited, and since there is complete freedom for each and every member of the Society in thought and action, the Society seeks ever to maintain its own distinctive and unique character by remaining free of affiliation or identification with any other organization.
Resolution passed by the General Council of The Theosophical Society in 1949.
The freedom of Lodges and Branches is defined by the scope of the Society’s Objects as well as its essential mandate to make Theosophy known as a practical living Wisdom, which can uplift human consciousness to a realisation of the Oneness of life. Therefore, although the Society has no official creed of its own and upholds freedom of thought, and while it is acceptable to invite some outside speakers who can contribute to the exploration of the Ageless Wisdom, it is not appropriate for our platform to be used by such speakers to actively promote other organisations or belief systems. Each Lodge and Branch was chartered by the International President to be a representative of the Society in its area. Its work and programme should reflect the character, altruistic ethos and spirit of the Theosophical Society.
Resolution passed by the General Council of the Theosophical Society (2019).
Mission of the Theosophical Society is to serve humanity by cultivating an ever-deepening understanding and realization of the Ageless Wisdom, spiritual self-transformation, and the unity of all life.
Modern life of the Theosophical Society
International Headquarters of Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, India
Adyar Main Building, Presidential Residence
Secretariat Administration Building
Temple gate, park decoration
Central Hall of Headquarters
Retreat Centers and Schools of Wisdom
Ukrainian delegation in Naarden (Netherlands), School of Wisdom
Adyar, Bungalow of Blavatsky, Schools of Wisdom are held here
Bhovali Retreat Center, Gimiliyas, India
Retreat center in Kreivili, Finland
Social programs of the Theosophical Society
Kindergarten for children from low-income families
The vegetarian lifestyle movement
Orphanage for boys named after H.P. Blavatsky
Charitable veterinary care
International congresses, conferences, conventions, forums
European Congress in Paris, France, 2014
European Congress in Helsinki, Finland, 2007
X World Congress in Rome, Italy, 2010
International Conference in Moscow, Russia, 2013
General Meeting of the Society, Convention, Adyar, India
Opening of the Convention, Adyar, India, 2012.
Parties to the Adyar Convention, India, 2015.
Anyone who wants to learn, wants to be tolerant, have noble goals and work hard can become a member of the Society. And it will depend on him whether he becomes a real Theosophist.
- The Society has branches, sections in different countries. These branches or sections are subdivided into cells. They are largely autonomous, they set their own rules, elect officers, and ensure that the funds needed to achieve the goals of the Society are raised.
- An application for membership of the Society is usually submitted to the secretary of the organization or the group leader of the community. If there is no cell in your city, applications can be submitted to the President of the Theosophical Society.
- Since August 2019, the Theosophical Society in Ukraine has the status of a National Section.
- You can find out how to subscribe to the Society's publications in its local branches.