Theosophy also referred to as divine wisdom, is a system of esoteric philosophy seeking knowledge to understand the nature of divinity. It is believed that the mystical and occult philosophies are being handed down to selected and credible individuals by the eclectic collectors to impart ancient wisdom leading to individual enlightenment and salvation. The goal of theosophists is to explore and find the truth and bond between humanity, the universe and divine power. Beginning with Plato, theosophy has seen the emergence of many great theosophists from different religions and different parts of the world. Here is the list of 7 most popular theosophists in the history of the world, who have revolutionized the philosophical outlook of mankind.
7. Jakob Bohme:
Jakod Bohme is a German Theologian who is regarded as an original thinker. Bohme has written numerous books on modern philosophy and his theosophical thesis;among which two books De Signatura Rerum and Mysterium Magnum are note worthy. His philosophy and theories attracted a large group of followers who came to be known as Behmenists. The Six Theosophical Points and his last book, the 177 Theosophic Questions are not only earliest books written on Theosophy but also masterpieces in their own league.
6. Annie Besant:
Besides being one of the most popular theosophists, Annie Besant was a women’s rights activist, fighter for equality and freedom, writer and orator. Annie Besant became interested in theosophy after meeting Helena Blavatsky in 1890. She established the Central Hindu College and also worked as a president of Indian National Congress during her stay in India. Besant had always sought spiritual enlightenment and self-actualization as a whole person. She broke her membership with Fabian society and links with Marxists and worked with theosophical society till her death.
5. Radha Burnier:
Born in the city of Adyar, Radha Burnier worked as the president of the Theosophical Society Adyar for 33 years. Her father was a noted theosophist Nilakanta Sri Ram who had also served as the president of the Theosophical Society Adyar. Her popular writings include Human regeneration, lectures and discussions, No Other Path to Go, The Way of Self-Knowledge and Truth, Beauty and Goodness. In January 1984, the Nagarjuna University conferred on her the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of her ‘distinguished contribution to the advancement of learning and the promotion of human values’.
4. Rudolf Steiner:
Rudolf Steiner was a multi-faceted genius and very popular occultist who made great contribution to theosophy. He is considered to be the most prolific writers among the theosophists of the world. Through his books, Theosophy: An Introduction to the Spiritual Processes in Human Life and in the Cosmos, How to Know Higher Worlds, Cosmic Memory and An Outline of Esoteric Science, Steiner covered the topics of body, soul and spirit of humans, karma, rebirth and reincarnation, spiritual development and divinity. He wrote extensively and left behind a legacy of 400 volumes which includes 6000 of his lectures and also his artistic work.
3. Jiddu Krishnamurthy:
Hailed as the vehicle for Lord Maitreya, the new World Teacher, Jiddu Krishnamurthy walked away from the organization of Order of the Star and also rejected his mantel in later years. He is renowned speaker and writer on spirituality and philosophy who believed that the revolution in humans should come from within their psyche and not any external entity. He was a global citizen who traveled around the world, connecting to large and small groups of people through his philosophy. The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti’s Notebook are some of his very popular books.
2. Charles Webster Leadbeater:
Though very controversial during his lifetime, the influence of C.W. Leadbeater as a theosophist cannot be sidelined. When working as a priest of the Church of England, Leadbeater’s interest in spiritualism led him towards Theosophical Society with which he worked until his death in 1934. Leadbeater was a prolific author who brought out revolutionary classics on occultism. The Ananda College he founded in Ceylon now has nearly 6000 students.
1. Madame Blavatsky:
Helena Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875 along with Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge. Blavatsky believed that ancient civilizations possessed an archaic wisdom, which did not divide humans on bases of their race, creed, color, sex or caste. Blavatsky believed that occult science shone light on truth not only on physical level but also on Metaphysical levels. According to her the core knowledge of occult science had been preserved to be passed on only to carefully selected and trained Individuals throughout history. The Secret Doctrine is not just the greatest work of Madame Blavatsky but also one of the most insightful books written on Theosophy. Her other notable books are Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence.