Madras Week 2012: The Roads Project: Day 7: Blavatksy Avenue



Where is Blavatsky Avenue?

Blavatsky Avenue is in the Theosophical Society, it is the road which leads from Durgabai Deshmukh road to the famous Banyan Tree. There is a memorial arch to her and Colonel Olcott on this Avenue (both we founders of the Theosophical Society).

Who was Helena Blavatsky?


“There is no religion higher than truth.” (Motto of the Theosophical Society)

Helena Petrovna von Hahn was born at Ekaterinoslav, in Southern Russia, on the 12th of August, 1831.  She was an eager learner, interested in linguistics. She had a keen artistic eye, and was also an accomplished pianist.

She was seventeen when she married Nikifor V Blavatsky, Vice-Governor of the Province of Yerivan. However, the marriage soon broke down and she left him to travel. She visited Turkey, Egypt and Greece.

On her twentieth birthday, being then in London, she met the Mahatma Morya. She came under his guidance, and he suggested the nature of the work she could do in the future.

In1874, Madame Blavatsky met Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, who had acquired considerable renown during the Civil War, had served the U.S. Government with distinction, and was at the time practicing law. She also met William Quan Judge, a young Irish Lawyer, who was to play a unique role in the future Theosophical work.

On September 7, 1875, Blavatsky, Olcott and Judge, together with several others, founded The Theosophical Society, as “promulgating the ancient teachings of Theosophy, or the Wisdom concerning the Divine which had been the spiritual basis of other great movements of the past, such as Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, and the Mystery-Schools of the Classical world” (de Zirkoff, 1968)

Though they began with the vague aim of “collecting and diffusing a knowledge of the laws which govern the universe” (de Zirkoff, 1968); their goals soon took a more specific form:

1.  to form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.

2.  to encourage the study of Comparative Religion, Philosophy and Science.

3.  to investigate unexplained laws of Nature, and the powers latent in man.

(de Zirkoff, 1968)

In 1882, a large estate was bought in Adyar, in Madras, and the Theosophical Headquarters were moved there. The Headquarters soon became a centre for world-wide activity in the movement. Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott travelled to many districts, founded branches, spoke to visitors, engaged in reams of correspondence with interested people, and brought out a Journal of scholarly writing to rekindle India’s interest in her own spiritual heritage.

de Zirkoff, B. (Summer 1968). Who is Helena  Petrovna Blavatsky?: A Sketch of her Life and Work for Theosophy. In Blavatsky Archives. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from


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