Madame Blavatsky was born on August 12, 1831. Her name at birth was Helena Petrovna Hahn or Helena Von Hahn, her father being a German Colonel in Russian service, and her mother was the daughter of Princess Helene Dolgorukov of the Dolgorukov noble family. Born in Ekaterinoslav, then known as Dnepropetrovsk, in Ukraine - which was then part of the Russian Empire, she and her brother were brought up in their maternal grandparents’ house. The servants at this feudal household believed in Old Russian superstitions, and made her believe that she had supernatural powers.
She was married to Nikifor Vassilievitch Blavatsky – vice governor of Erivan (Yerevan, Armenia) - in July 1848, a few weeks before her 17th birthday, but ran away after three unhappy months. From then onwards up to 1858, she spent traveling the world, visiting places, such as Egypt, France, Quebec, England, South America, Germany, Mexico, India, Tibet, and Greece, as told to her biographer.
She was a co-founder of the Theosophical Society – an organization formed to advance the spiritual doctrines and altruistic living. She was a great authority on Theosophy – Greek for ‘wisdom of the divine’ – the doctrines of which she derived while in Tibet. She did much to spread the concepts of Eastern religions, philosophies, and occult in the Western world.
Her New York Days
She emigrated to New York City in 1873, and it was here that she impressed upon people of her psychic abilities, and was encouraged to continue her mediumship. Her physical and mental psychic feats, which she continued throughout her career, included levitation, clairvoyance, out of body projection, telepathy, and clairaudience.
Another of her psychic skills was materialization. This involved producing of physical objects out of thin air. She was quite adept at all these psychical accomplishments, but according to her, she was more interested in the areas of theory and laws of how these phenomena worked, rather than performing them herself.
She had written a number of books that include:
• Isis Unveiled – about the mysteries of ancient and modern science and theology.
• The Secret Doctrine – a fusion of Science, Religion, and Philosophy.
• The Voice of the Silence
• The Key to Theosophy
• Nightmare Tales
The Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky is a collection of her articles, which has 15 volumes.
Theosophy is the philosophy Blavatsky brought down to the West from the masters of this wisdom in Tibet. Theosophy, the name given to this wisdom by Blavatsky, is the wisdom of the ancients - our purpose in life, nature, the universe, the highest god-like principles, etc - and was universal. The masters of this philosophy are located mostly in Tibet, and now also around the world. They help preserve this ancient wisdom.
The wise masters, at times, send forth one of their own, or a messenger, to spread their wisdom to the rest of the humanity. After searching for a century for a messenger in the 1800s, they finally selected Madame Blavatsky. These masters in Tibet trained her for two years, from 1868 to 1870. She spread this message across the world from 1875 onwards, when she co-founded the Theosophical Society on September 8.