For two reasons, students of Theosophy consider the month of August as a very important and sacred month. It is on the midnight of August 11-12 that our Guru and Teacher, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, was born, in the year 1831, in a noble family in Russia. Again, it is during this month of August that the Hindu festival of Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami takes place. This year the festival falls on August 26-27. It is also called Krishna Jayanti, the birthday of Sri Krishna—the great Avatara. He was born at midnight on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Shravan, in the city of Mathura. The peerless Teacher of mankind entered this world—covered with the darkness of ignorance—with His Light Supernal.
Therefore, it behooves us to pay homage to the Great Teacher of mankind and imbibe His teachings and apply them in our daily lives. We also pay homage to our teacher H.P.B., who was sent into this world by the custodians of the Wisdom-Religion as their accredited messenger, to reiterate the same old Brahma-Vidya or Atma-Vidya or Theosophy. The only way by which we can pay homage to H.P.B. is to "make Theosophy a living power in our lives."
H.P.B.'s mission was to change the Mind and Buddhi of the race. Her appeal to the thoughtful portion of humanity is very strong in spite of her enemies and detractors. Her message is totally flawless. Her teachings have withstood critical analysis by philosophers, scientists and eminent thinkers for the past 115 years. She gave us the perennial philosophy that is constant, consistent, eternal and logical, to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be subtracted.
Theosophy, the divine message, offers us a rational explanation of our existence and destiny. It points out that by voluntary self-discipline one may control one's lower personal nature and acquire unselfish and noble qualities that can transform the animal man into a human man and then into a divine man. Her message inspires us to awaken the inborn desire to find the Path and to attain to Self-realization. She points out that the "Way" lies within. Each man has the power to redeem himself.
During her lifetime "she was greatly beloved and as greatly hated. She was lauded and vilified, hailed as a prophetess and repudiated as a charlatan." Unfortunately, the world at large has heard too much about her but has known too little. She was an embodiment of the law of sacrifice.
She sacrified a life of ease and comfort to tread the path of woe, and wandered all over the globe for over 20 years—even to places where human beings do not have an easy access. It was done with a view to gain knowledge—not for herself, but for humanity. She gave up her all and devoted herself—soul, mind and body—to the service of humanity. Underlying all this, was the principle of compassion and sacrifice. She taught lofty metaphysics to enable us to practise Universal Brotherhood.
The personality of H.P.B. was remarkable and complex. It was, in fact, a perpetual enigma, even to those who knew her intimately and those most devoted to her. She was called the "Sphinx of the 19th century." Behind the rough and unconventional personality of H.P.B. there was a nobility and force of character of the highest quality. Her heart was fixed on the great goal of Humanity, to show the path of Love and Truth. She worked with an iron will, unswerving purpose and spirit of utter self-sacrifice, so that at least a few might benefit from the Wisdom-Religion with which she was entrusted by the custodians—the Mahatmas.
H.P.B. was a great and remarkable woman who was a pioneer of the modern Theosophical Movement. In a letter written by her to her sister, Madame Jelihovsky, from Ostend, in 1886, we find:
She brought once more to light the Divine Nature of man wnd showed the path that will lead to it. She had inflexible purpose, a steadfast devotion to the cause of Theosophy and the Masters, whom she served. Theosophy reached the hearts and understanding of many people whose nature and intuition had reached a certain point of development.
She had a quality of unselfishness and an eager readiness for self-sacrifice. She worked ceaselessly for the cause of humanity. She had absolute devotion to the Masters and willingness to endure and suffer all, to the very last gasp of breath, in Their service. She sacrificed her last drop of life-blood so that those who have eyes to see could get a glimpse of the Path that leads to the Heart of the Universe.
She never asked for or sought anything, that this world could give, for her own self. She wandered the earth in search of occult knowledge and in due course found it. When it became her mission to direct others to the path that leads to the "Heart of the Universe," she concentrated all her energies on that work, sacrificing her position, health, wealth and reputation, to give the message to the world.
Her life may be summed up in the words of Life on the Path: