The Theosophical
Society in Australia

With International Headquarters at Adyar, Chennai, India.

Some Interesting Gems From The Theosophical Society

Articles & Texts

Some Interesting Gems from the Theosophical Society

By Tinh Van

With thanks to Jennifer Hissey
Originally published in Theosophy In Australia, June 2023


Mark Lee was a longtime associate of Krishnamurti. He said in an interview:

“There is the understanding or belief that if nine semiprecious jewels are magnetized, they have powers to protect the person who holds them or has them or they can protect a place. Krishnaji believed in this or knew this. And in India, in Brockwood and in Ojai he personally magnetized small caskets of jewels placed in gold and silver boxes. And these were then put into small plaster of Paris containers and buried in the north-east corners of buildings. And he left instructions as to how they were to be maintained. He wanted people to encourage them, to talk to them, to surround them with affection and keep some kind of a contact going. So that continues at least in the places that I am aware of.”

Padmanabhan Krishna, another associate, added:

“Yes. Well, I know that he had some sort of contact with these jewels, even after they had been placed. I don’t know if he received vibrations from them, but Radha Burnier told me that once Krishnaji was walking past the Garden of Remembrance in the TS at Adyar with her, and he stopped there and said to her: "Something has been changed here",
and Radha said: "No, sir, I have always seen it this way".
He said, "No, you find out, something has been changed here."

So, Radha went to John Coats who was then the President there and said, this is what Krishnaji said, has anything been done?

John Coats said: "Yes, there was this Dutch architect who came from Holland, and he said he could improve the looks of that whole garden and I gave him permission. When he moved one of the pillars, he found inside that a box containing jewels. He didn’t know what to do with it, so he brought it to me and it is still there with me."

So, Radha went and told Krishnaji this and he said: "That’s it! It should never have been removed from there. It was put there by me and Amma (Annie Besant) for the protection of the Society."
So, Radha said: "Sir, I can bring it back and you can replace it there."
He said: "No, it’s useless now. Once it has been handled and moved, you can’t do anything with them, but you can bring another box with another set of jewels, and I can magnetize them and you can put them somewhere else in the Society and it will protect. The north-east corner of the TS is along the path by the Adyar river going towards the sea.” [a]

We learn that the jewels were not necessarily polished, expensive specimens: a fragment or small chip is adequate for the purpose, things you can buy cheaply these days.

What are those nine semiprecious jewels? We can visit the legendary Star Amphitheatre in Sydney, built in 1923 - 24 and demolished in 1951, for the answer.

Papers in the archive at the Theosophical Society in Australia tell us that the foundation stone was laid by C.W. Leadbeater on the 28th of July, 1923. Beneath it, embedded in cement, lay tiny chips of unpolished stones (absolutely worthless in themselves), spiculae of diamond, sapphire, emerald, jasper, topaz, ruby, amethyst, turquoise and opal [b]

So, who assembled these gems at the Amphitheatre and for that matter, at Adyar? It wasn’t John Coats or Radha Burnier. Who, then? Now we know History has a twin called Mystery. Late in life, Krishnamurti regretted that some gems thus magnetized were left to die in India due to lack of care.


More about the Amphitheatre: as it was built for the World Teacher to use when He came, most, if not all papers written about it say:

– Krishnamurti talked only once there, and
– The occasion was in 1926.

But they rarely give the source or sources from where they get this information. It would require significant research to verify the information so often mentioned, quoted and accepted. But here are the facts:

– Krishnamurti talked there not just once but two to three times. [c]
– And it was during the Easter holidays in 1925, not 1926. [d]

Checking Krishnamurti’s movement in 1926, he appeared to be everywhere: in India, then Europe, then America. But never in Australia. So much for trusting academic and official papers. Above are some gems in Adyar, and the Amphitheatre. What about the TS in Australia in general? Are there gems here? Yes, definitely. Read on.


You may not have heard of Sulamith Wülfing, but very likely you’ve seen some of her beautiful paintings. They have always been popular in Theosophical circles. As a child in Germany, this internationally renowned artist sat at the feet of her father, looking around at the walls of their living room lined with bookshelves full of theosophical books. The Masters’ pictures hung on the wall and she heard him discussing theosophical principles, the Secret Doctrine, the Masters and many other esoteric subjects with his circle of friends. When she grew up Sulamith read those books herself, and graduated to Krishnamurti’s writings, never knowing that one day reading would save her life.

World War II came and her hometown was bombed. Sulamith fled to France and became a refugee. Being a German woman living in a French village she aroused suspicions, and the Resistance took her in for questioning, handling her roughly. Her interrogator at one stage demanded of her:
“What’s the truth?”
Exhausted and afraid, Sulamith mumbled in a daze, not really knowing what she was saying or even where she was:
“Truth is a pathless land.”
“You know Krishnamurti?” demanded her jailer, surprised. Well, someone who knows and follows the teachings of Krishnamurti can’t be a bad person." [e]

And so, her years of reading literally kept her from death.

By the way, the book Sulamith Wülfing by Marlene Maurhoff is a perfect gem in its own right and well worth seeking out.


The next gem is about psychometry. Geoffrey Hodson had two stones on the mantlepiece of his fireplace. One was collected from Derbyshire, in the centre of England. The other had been picked up from the southwest of Wales. The stones had been collected far from each other but now lay side by side. A friend who was a psychometrist picked up the stone from Derbyshire and “read” its terrible history. It had come from a place where ceremonies of human sacrifice had been performed, and Hodson was warned not to keep the stone. he promptly threw it in the fire.

After some time had passed, another psychometrist, knowing nothing about the previous stone, picked up the second, Welsh, stone and “read” it. This psychometrist said the same things about this second stone, exactly as the first friend had described. Hodson concluded that it was a case of impregnation, the second stone becoming charged with the radiations from the first. The psychometrist had read not the stone but the magnetism with which it was charged. Technically it was false vision that had been misled the psychometrist. [f]

A similar case illustrates the facts clearer. Two friends A and B go to see a psychometrist, they sit down side by side and the psychometrist starts to read. He talks about A’s mother, what she does, describing her house, what she does for work etc. Every detail is wrong and A tells the psychometrist that her mother is nothing like his description.

Then B, sitting next to A, pipes up with the news that it was, in fact, a very accurate description of her mother. That is precisely what her mother does, what her house is like, and what she does for work. Everything that has been said is correct. Dora Kunz, noted Theosophist, clairvoyant and healer, explained that when energetic work is performed one to one the reading is simple and the psychometrist finds it easy to tune in to the things which concern that one person. When a number of people are sitting close together in a group or meeting, it is not so easy. The reader may be getting flashes of impressions and pictures which are associated with different people. In such a case it may be difficult to sort out the individual person to whom a picture or impression belongs.


You ask for more gems at the Theosophical Society in Australia? Because you have such a nice aura with lovely colours, like a glorious sunset, here is a last, wonderful one. But you have to dig up for yourself this gem. Don’t worry, you’ll be given a clue, and the result will be worth the effort many times over. Guaranteed. Look up The Theosophist, March 1922, p. 619 and read the article Remember Gaeta. It was published a hundred years ago but is still relevant, and perhaps you could write for this magazine an interesting article about this extraordinary tale. Another gem could help us to read this true story with better understanding:

“…H. P. B. passed away suddenly, seated in a chair. As I helped carry the body over to a lounge I had a distinct impression that she had not “died”, but had deserted the body instantly for a set purpose. She had told Claude Wright that she did not want to come back as a baby, and so the chelas were looking for a body which she could appropriate at the moment it was vacated by the soul, though still organically in good condition.” (Memorabilia of H.P.B., James M. Pryse, The Canadian Theosophist, March 15, 1935, p. 1- 5.) 


Finally there are real gems at the HQ of the Theosophical Society in Australia. Like the gems of Krishnamurti and C.W.L.:
– They’re hidden,
– You need to say Hello to them daily.

But unlike the gems of Krishnamurti and C.W.L:
– They’re hidden, yes, but in plain sight, you don’t need to dig them up.
– Their effectiveness is still intact after you discover them.
– They won’t die if you don’t say Hello to them.
– And more precious, they can talk, which is priceless.

Because they can talk, if you present them with questions, they will guide you, point you toward the direction where you can most likely find what you are looking for. That’s not all. They can also give you more than you expect, that is, giving you without being asked, facts that you don’t know existed and which are very relevant to your research. Maybe they’re clairvoyant, I don’t know.

That’s why they’re gems. They represent and preserve the ‘corporate memory’ and thanks to their works, the library at the HQ has a good reputation internationally. Money can’t buy this expertise, only service can, and in this case it’s dedicated service to Theosophy.

So, visit the HQ of the Theosophical Society in Australia, say Hello to the gems there, and who knows, you might get their help to dig up some gems in the library for your enquiries. In the meantime, another archival dig has been organised …some sparks detected … but the gem needs to be polished before being presentable to you on the magazine … Be patient.

References - all can be found in the library at the HQ:

 [a] A Jewel on a Silver Platter, by Padmanabhan Krishna. p. 234 - 5.
 [b] The Star in the East, Oct 1923, p. 2
 [c] The Star in the East, July 1925, p. 1 and 7.
 [d] Letter 28 May, 1925, Dr. Mary Rocke, Director - The Star Amphitheatre
 [e] Sulamith Wülfing, by Marlene Maurhoff, p.129.
 [f] The Herald of the Star, June 1923, p. 236 - 242.

Image Attribution: Black Snake Dreaming. Wenten Rubuntja. 1978. Photo by John Hill. Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)


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