“Has Krishnaji Failed?” Book Review Of “The Initiate In The Dark Cycle”

By C. W. Leadbeater

Book Review of “The Initiate in the Dark Cycle”, by His Pupil,

George Routledge & Sons Ltd. (London). Price 1 2/6, post free.

From The Australian Theosophist, August, 1933, Page 123.

(Editors Note: ‘His Pupil’ was Theosophical Society member, Cyril Scott. See his autobiography “Bone Of Contention” published in 1969.)

This is the third of a series of books which began some years ago with a volume ‘The Initiate’. This third volume has more story in it, and there is a distinct Theosophical flavour in many of the conversations. It is evident that the writer is well acquainted with our ideas, and he mentions both Madame Blavatsky and our President (Dr. Besant) in a respectful and appreciative manner.

The point which is arousing some controversy is that he has a good deal to say about Krishnaji also, with much of which I cannot quite agree, though there is some truth in it. He seems to think that Krishnaji has failed in his mission, has been largely left to himself, and will soon be superseded by a female teacher, who is to draw the whole world into her train. I do not know anything about this lady, but I do not consider that Krishnaji is a failure. I admit that some of his statements have been inaccurate, a little fanatical, and not always tactfully put; but he is doing a difficult and important piece of work to the best of his ability.

I do not know the name of the author of this book; there was a persistent rumour that Bishop Wedgwood was the Initiate, and Sir Cyril Scott the pupil; that story, however, is explicitly denied in this volume. It is clear that the author belongs to a certain group of students, one of whom (a certain Mr. Bryan Ross) has recently written a book which he has entitled ‘Through the Eyes of the Masters’, which will probably also attract some attention. It contains several chapters, each of which is supposed to have been written or dictated by one of the Masters. There is nothing harmful in them, though they do not “ring true,” and are hardly up to the level one would expect. They are accompanied by nine illustrations, intended to be portraits of our Masters; some of them are quite good faces, but they emphatically do not resemble those Great Ones whom we know so well. I cannot recommend that book, because the portraits are all wrong, and I doubt the alleged authorship, though I fancy the writer fully believes in his own impressions and visions.

But ‘The Initiate in the Dark Cycle’ is different; it reminds me in some ways of Mr. Sinnett’s novel ‘Karma’; there are many nice passages in it, and I think on the whole it will do more good than harm. Read the book and form your own judgment.