OLCOTT MEETING AN ADEPT AT PONDICHERRY
M K Ramadoss
OLCOTT MEETING AN ADEPT AT PONDICHERRY ---
In a recent address at Pondicherry (Puducherry), the current head of Shankara Mutt in Congeevaram refered to it as land of Siddhas. Siddha is name used in India for Adepts. The head of the Mutt are initiates and Geoffrey Hodson visited it and met with then Head of the Mutt. The following incident should be of interest to theosophists. Olcott describes his visit to Pondicherry.
I knew quite enough French to speak without interpretation, whereupon I was called upon from all parts of the room to go ahead, and that I had finally to do despite my excuses and protestations. In a fashion that I dare not look back upon, I went on, and on, for more than an hour, expounding our ideas and Eastern philosophy as best I could; and the audience were kind enough to signify by loud applause that in coming out to India they had brought with them that lovely national trait of courtesy and forbearance for strangers who try to speak their tongue. You should, however, have seen the face and gestures of H. P. B. when I returned home and told her what I had done. She held up both hands in amazement, and made comments strongly suggestive of her horror at the possible and probable mistakes I had made in the use of genders and verbs! However, I did get through after a fashion, and we did form a T. S. Branch in the town, which was the chief thing after all.
I was so busy telling her the above and hearing her comments, that beyond a sweeping bow to the dozen or so of visitors sitting on the floor about her, whom she had been entertaining during my absence, I took no  notice of them. She, however, presently gave me a certain look, and by slightly inclining her head, made me look towards her right at one man who sat behind the others, and who met my startled gaze with a kindly smile. It was none other than one of the Masters known to me at New York during the writing of Isis Unveiled: one who disliked English so much that he always spoke and wrote French in his communications with me: the very one who gave me that cutting rebuke by duplicating several times the lead-pencil I hesitated to lend “H. P. B.”—his temporary shell. I can’t say if the others saw him, but certainly they could not have left him so unnoticed if they had, for he was to them, in majesty, as a lion to a whippet. I longed to approach and address him, but his eyes expressed the command that I should not, so I took my seat on the floor to H. P. B.’s left, where I had him in full view. The company did not stay long after my arrival, and he, after saluting H. P. B., like the rest, with folded palms, in the Indian fashion, spoke a word or two to her apart and followed them out.