President of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) since 1980,
passed away this morning in Adyar, Chennai, India.
We here at Theosophy Nexus want to send our sincere
condolences and extend our hearts to all those who are
feeling the loss of their dearly beloved friend today. We
invite you all to share your thoughts and reminiscences
here, should you wish.
In the passing of theosophical friends and co-workers, we
are reminded of the deep bonds we all share, those that
extend far beyond this world. Those bonds are untouched by
death, may well even be strengthened by it. Our hearts are
one, and one in the great work we have each, in our own way,
volunteered for. May Radha's journey continue, and may those
who knew her be strengthened in their service to the
theosophical movement, which was so near to her heart.
Just last year Radha gave a heartfelt talk about the oneness
of humanity that virtually all Theosophists accept in
theory, and that she spent her life working for. It is one
of the resources listed in the Theosophical Wiki article
that Pablo gave a link to. It is titled, "Some Thoughts on
the Work and Value of the Theosophical Society," and is
It could just as well have been titled, "Some Thoughts on
the Work and Value of the Theosophical Movement," for that
is really what it is about.
Toward the latter part of this talk she mentioned that she
was born into a Brahman family, a family of the Brahman
caste. She said that her father, past president of the
Theosophical Society, N. Sri Ram, as a young man wondered
why he should be different from those of any other caste. He
then gave up the privileges of the Brahman caste, and even
stopped using his name, Shastri, which indicated that he was
of the Brahman caste. So he lived his ideals, and he passed
them on to her. She, too, lived them. Jon mentioned that we
might share some reminiscences here. Nancy and I have one
that impressed us very much and showed us on a practical
level that she had traded in the distinctions of caste for
the oneness with others.
We had met Radha at the Krotona Institute of Theosophy when
she came to the U.S.A. and gave a series of presentations on
the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. She was a Sanskrit scholar,
and gave all of us in attendance some in-depth insight into
the sutras. Later, we went to India and showed up
unannounced at the International Theosophical Convention
held that year (1978) at the Indian National Headquarters in
Varanasi. We had no reservations; but when we pulled up in a
rickshaw she without hesitation invited us into her
quarters, and allowed us the use of her own bathroom. She
then served us toast and tea. All these things are unheard
of for a Brahman to do for mlecchas, outsiders. We were duly
impressed, and forever grateful for the lesson she gave with
her kind acts.
In honor of Radha Burnier,The
Oct.-Nov. 2014 is a double issue of 128 pages, including
thirty-five individual reminiscences and tributes. It also
includes two short articles by her, "What is Real?" and "Why
Secret Doctrine?". It has many photographs, and her
messages to the International Conventions, 1980-2013.