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Archival Notes on the Relation of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy to the Theosophical Society

12 Oct 2019
17:30

Archival Notes on the Relation of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy to the Theosophical Society

This paper is narrowly based on a published misstatement by Rama P. Coomaraswamy, the son of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (“AKC”), where he stated that while his father was “acquainted” with Annie Besant, AKC “was never directly involved in the Theosophical movement.” The historical facts do not support this statement. Accordingly, of the relevant historical facts, this paper sets forth a copy of AKC’s application for membership into the Theosophical Society; a 1906 letter by AKC from the Ceylon Observer defending the Theosophical Society and praising H.S. Olcott; AKC’s own words from his letters declaring his admiration for Annie Besant; an account of his long friendship and association with Bhagavan Das; a list of AKC’s many publications in The Theosophist together with a book through the Theosophical Publishing House; an account of his communication with Fritz Kunz, a prominent member of the Theosophical Society and editor of Main Currents in Modern Thought. The reader will thereafter be able to judge accurately either the probity of Rama Coomaraswamy’s statement, or the converse based on the weight of historical evidence, and determine which is correct.