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Pakistan, Theosophy in

Before it became the Theosophical Society (TS) in Pakistan, for many years the lodges in that area were a part of the Indian Section of the Theosophical Society. The Indian Section is a very large one, having in excess of 10,000 members and the Karachi Lodge was one of its most active components.

In 1947 the Indian sub-continent was partitioned into two large separate countries, that of India and Pakistan, and, as a geographical necessity, Karachi and all other lodges within the area of Pakistan had to be formed into a separate section. There were more than thirteen lodges in the area at that time, but most of them were very small with a lack of trained leadership to carry out activities. Due to continuing disturbances and the large scale exodus of non-Muslims from the new country, even these small lodges ceased to be.

The Karachi Lodge. The Karachi Lodge which had about 300 members in 1947-48 shrank to a unit of about 50 persons. It had to be strengthened and reorganized. By 1992, it had a membership of about 130 members. This lodge began in 1896 during a visit to Karachi of Annie Besant. It started with 7 or 8 members who represented at least five major religions. Slowly, but surely, it grew to be an influential organization in the city. This was due to the quality of these early members who were dedicated and devoted and were fine students of Theosophy. The greatest among them was Jamshed Nusserwanjeer who could be called one of the very great men of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent.

The Karachi Lodge owns an impressive double-storied building and runs many useful activities. It has a fine library of over 11,000 volumes, has regular weekly Study Classes and all the great theosophical leaders have visited it at one time or another and used its platform. It has a very active group of the Theosophical Order of Service, which, in co-operation with the Save the Children Fund in London, helps hundreds of needy school and college students who pursue their education. It runs a Montessori School for small children and is involved in animal welfare work.

Theosophical Work in Other Parts of Pakistan. Among other lodges, there is the Besant Lodge at Hyderabad, Sind, about 110 miles away from Karachi. It has its own building. Once a very active lodge, it has slowed down in its work due to loss of membership and other social conditions prevailing in that city.

There was a very fine lodge at Quetta. Its building was destroyed by the 1935 earthquake and the lodge as such has never really recovered from that loss, its members having migrated during the trauma of conditions during partition. There are small groups of members at Lahore and other areas of Pakistan but due to the lack of leadership to organize activities, theosophical work has remained fluidic.


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