Woman of the Century/Helene Petrovna Blavatsky

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
BLAVATSKY, Mme. Helene Petrovna, theosophist and author, born in Russia in 1830, and died in London, Eng., 8th May, 1891. She was the oldest daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn, of the Russian Horse Artillery, and granddaughter of Lieut.-Gen. Alexander Hahn von Rallenstem-Hahn, a noble family of Mecklenburg, settled in Russia. Her mother was Helene Fadeef, daughter of Privy Council Andrew Fadeef and his wife, Princess Dolgouriki. Mile Hahn became the wife of General Nicole V. Blavatsky at the age of seventeen, but, the marriage proving an unhappy one, they separated after three months of married life. Mme. Blavatsky began the studies of mysticism and the languages at an early age, and became very proficient in the latter, speaking nearly forty European and Asiatic tongues and dialects. She was also a great traveler, having visited almost every part of Europe, and living for more than fortv years in India. She spent a great deal of time m Canada and the United States, studying the Indian race and traditions, and also the mystic sects among the negroes. Mme. Blavatsky endeavored several times to penetrate the mysteries of Buddhism in India, hut did not succeed till 1855, when, with the aid of an oriental disguise, she succeeded in entering a monastic house of the Buddhists, in Thibet. Sne afterwards embraced that religion and her book, "Isis Unveiled," which was published in 1877, is the most remarkable work of the kind in existence. In 1878 she organized the Theosophical Society in America, and the following year she returned to India to disseminate its tenets among the natives. She established a society in Egypt for the study of modern spiritualism. She was a naturalized citizen of the United States, and her third and last husband was an American, Henry S. Olcott, who assisted her in her various psychical researches and publications. It was believed by many that she was a Russian spy, and that her theosophical ideas were only subterfuges to hide her real purposes. Among her esoteric works are "The Secret Doctrine," "Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy," "Key to Theosophy" and "Voices of Silence." She at one time published in London, a paper called "Lucifer," the organ of Theosophy.