The Theosophical
Society in Australia

With International Headquarters at Adyar, Chennai, India.

Birth of George S Arundale

Anniversary, 1 December 2019.

george sydney arundale (1878-1945)

George Arundale was an English Theosophist, a Co-Freemason, Regionary Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church in India, Deputy Chief Scout of the Indian Boy Scout Movement, an educator, writer, and editor. He served as the third President of the Theosophical Society from 1934 to 1945.  

George’s father was a minister and a well-known architect. His mother died in childbirth and George was adopted by his aunt Francesca Arundale, who joined the Theosophical Society in 1881. George became a member in 1895 when he was 17, joining the London Lodge. His aunt was a prominent member and George was well acquainted with H.P. Blavatsky and Col. Olcott.   Prominent theosophists C.W. Leadbeater and C. Jinarajadasa were among his tutors, After graduating from St John’s College, Cambridge he went to India to teach history and English at the Central Hindu College, Benares going on to become its principal.  He later accompanied J. Krishnamurti and his brother Nityananda to Europe, as their tutor. 

From 1910 onward, Arundale lectured at many Theosophical Conventions in Europe and the United States, reinvigorating the Theosophical movement.  He held the post of General Secretary from 1915-16 before returning to India to assist Annie Besant in her political endeavours.  He became principal of the National University in Chennai where he was awarded the Doctor of Letters by Rabindranath Tagore.  He became the Organizing Secretary of the All-India Home Rule League and together with Besant and B.P. Wadia was interned under house arrest in 1917.  In 1920 Dr Arundale married Srimati Rukmini Devi, who was from a Theosophical Brahmin family.  They were initially ostracised by the Brahmin community for Rukmini married outside her caste and to a foreigner, but with Theosophical support, they were eventually accepted back into Indian society.  The Arundale family were well known in London society including among the aristocracy and artists. George was an accomplished pianist and composer. 

Dr Arundale wrote over 2200 Theosophical articles as well as many books and pamphlets. One of his well-known slogans, “Together Differently”, epitomises his attitude to the Theosophical movement and to the Theosophical Society. 

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