White Lotus Day


EVERY year on what is called White Lotus Day, May 8th, theosophists all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society.

A world-famous figure of mystery and controversy and a leading intellect behind the occult revival in the West, Blavatsky published The Secret Doctrine in 1888 as her magnum opus.

“The time had now come when it was necessary to speak plainly about the real interpretation of the spiritualistic manifestations,” wrote Charles J. Ryan, an early student of Theosophy.

“H. P. Blavatsky had gained the attention of the public by her brilliant intelligence, the charm of her striking personality, and her slashing attacks on materialism and other evils. Her voice would now be listened to and recognized as speaking with authority.”

In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from poet Sir Edwin Arnold‘s The Light of Asia, and from the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad-Gita.

Lotuses grew in unusual profusion in India on that day. May 8th became known as White Lotus Day ever since.

“That which men call death is but a change of location for the Ego, a mere transformation, a forsaking for a time of the mortal frame,” wrote her friend and colleague William Q. Judge

“a short period of rest before one reassumes another human frame in the world of mortals.”

“The Lord of this body is nameless — dwelling in numerous tenements of clay, it appears to come and go. But neither death nor time can claim it, for it is deathless, unchangeable, and pure, beyond Time itself, and not to be measured.”

Updated and republished at:

Helena Blavatsky:
An Extraordinary Life

7 responses to “White Lotus Day

  1. Pingback: The history of Madame Blavatsky-Movie | Villa Manor

  2. White Lotus Day provides theosophists with an opportunity to renew their gratitude to the great teacher who brought inspiration into our lives: “What man has done man can do.” If HPB and the Masters have achieved, so can we. Let us keep Theosophy as a guiding principle in our day-to-day life.

  3. What an incredible demonstration of the powers of man, and put to the highest use of it at that – that HPB was able to look into the astral plane, and with guidance from the Masters, obtain all the information needed to write down the Secret Doctrine. So, to be in her presence was to witness the living embodiment of the truths she wrote down – in action!…I feel it had to be impossible, no matter how great the souls around her, to not be in absolute awe of her, the teachings, and the teachers. What an amazing privilege it must have felt like to be a witness to this, knowing the world, willingly or unwillingly, would be changed by it…thank you for this, NAMASTE ALL!

    • Yes, its hard to imagine the world today without the foundation They (including HPB) built, rooted so deeply in the the Perennial Occult Philosophy and Science. They gave the needed boost to the spiritual, the “soul of things” at a time when the world was becoming ever more obsessed with material science and religion. It was a critical juncture. In retrospect, the timing was impeccable. The ‘hundred year cycle’ of re-presentation for the first time had got a firm foothold on the mind and heart of humanity, an influence that would thread its way through the following centuries, a result all other efforts had failed to achieve: The Secret Doctrine 1:272:

      “Let us recapitulate and show, by the vastness of the subjects expounded, how difficult, if not impossible, it is to do them full justice.

      “(1.) The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system: e.g., even in the exotericism of the Puranas. But such is the mysterious power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical signs and glyphs. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the soul of things there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have perceived but the external work of form. But modern science believes not in the “soul of things,” and hence will reject the whole system of ancient cosmogony. It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the ‘Wise Men’ of the Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual organisations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions — so obtained as to stand as independent evidence — of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences.”


      Secret Doctrine 1:272-3

  4. HAPPY WHITE LOTUS DAY!…HAPPY WHITE LOTUS DAY!…HAPPY WHITE LOTUS DAY!…What a wonderful post, thank you so much, TW…Precious and rare, the tremendous opportunity and gift we have in HPB and the Masters of Wisdom. It must have been quite something to be in her presence in those salons in those days. I am grateful to them and all their teachers who every single day elevate, sustain our world, helping us, waiting patiently for us to grab hold of these ideas and consciously make them the foundation of our reality. I am grateful for Theosophy Watch and for Theosophy. Hands down my favorite place in Manhattan is Grand Central Station. From a child, I’ve always loved it, a definite feeling of inspiration is Still There…a jewel…but, I must say I have a whole new level of respect for Eighth Avenue @ 47th Street! Thank you again, NAMASTE ALL.

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