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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Krishnamachāri, S.

(Babajee). This man was most generally known to theosophists at the time as Babajee. Not a great deal is known about Babajee who appears in Theosophical Society (TS) history under various names. It is known that he worked at one time as a clerk in the Collector’s office at Nellore, a town some 150 kilometers north of Madras in India. He joined the small Theosophical staff at Bombay between 1880 and 1881, allegedly at the request of the Master KOOT HOOMI who had, it appears, accepted him as a probationary CHELA. Shortly after joining the staff he changed his name to Babajee. He also began to use the name Darbagiri Nath, on the ground that it was customary among his people to adopt a new name when taking the Br€hmanical thread.

While at the Bombay Headquarters Babajee acted as assistant to Damodar MAVALANKAR and continued in that capacity when the TS moved its headquarters to ADYAR. In March 1885 Babajee accompanied Helena P. BLAVATSKY to Europe. The rest of the party with Blavatsky having left for other destinations, Blavatsky was left with only Babajee to assist her during her stay in Italy and he took very good care of her. However, when they arrived at Eberfeld in Germany, for some reason which was never divulged, Babajee turned into a bitter enemy. He caused considerable trouble for the TS in Germany, particularly for the GEBHARD family. Sven Eek, in his book Damodar and the Pioneers of the Theosophical Movement (TPH, Madras, 1978, p. 538) suggests that Babajee’s conduct may have contributed to the suicide of one of Mary Gebhard’s sons. Doubt is thrown on this suggestion when the facts are taken into account. Hermann and Walther Gebhard were identical twins and Hermann shot himself on March 16, 1881, and his brother Walther shot himself April 10, 1885. This being so, it is a distinct possibility that the brothers both suffered from an inherited tendency toward extreme depression.

His conduct toward Blavatsky and other members of the TS made Babajee’s presence in Europe insupportable and he was given money and sent back to India where he vanished from public view. Babajee’s birth and death dates are not known.

P.S.H.

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