Annie Besant

Year of birth : 1847
Parents : William Wood and Emily Morris
Education : Adyar, Madras Presidency, British India


“ Better remain silent, better not even think,

if you are not prepared to act. 

“ Liberty is a great celestial Goddess, strong,

beneficent, and austere, and she can never

descend upon a nation by the shouting of crowds,

nor by arguments of unbridled passion,

nor by the hatred of class against class. "

“ No soul that aspires can ever fail to rise;

no heart that loves can ever be abandoned.

Difficulties exist only that in overcoming them

we may grow strong, and they who have suffered

are able to save. ”

Books by the Master

" The Political Status of Women " ... " My Path to Atheism " ... " The Law Of Population " ... " Marriage, As It Was, As It Is, And As It Should Be: A Plea For Reform " ... " Autobiographical Sketches " ... " Why I became a Theosophist " ... " The Devachanic Plane " ... " The seven principles of man " ... " The Ancient Wisdom " ... " Thought Forms " ... " Bhagavad Gita (translation) " ... " Study in Consciousness – A contribution to the science of psychology " ... " Introduction to Yoga " ... " Australian Lectures " ... " Jainism " ... " Man and his bodies " ... " Man's life in this and other worlds " ... " Occult Chemistry (With Charles Webster Leadbeater) " ... " Initiation: The Perfecting of Man " ... " The Doctrine of the Heart " ... " Esoteric Christianity " ... " The Future of Indian Politics (booklet) " ... " The Life and Teaching of Muhammad, Madras " ... " Memory and Its Nature (With Helena Blavatsky) "


Annie Besant was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. She was married at 20 to Frank Besant but separated from him over religious differences.

In 1890 Besant met Helena Blavatsky and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew while her interest in secular matters waned. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she travelled to India where in 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu College (CHC) at Benares which was formed on underlying theosophical principles, and which counted many prominent theosophists in its staff and faculty. Its aim was to build a new leadership for India. The students spent 90 minutes a day in prayer and studied religious texts, but they also studied modern science. In 1907 she became president of the Theosophical Society, whose international headquarters were in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai).

Besant met fellow theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater in London inApril 1894. Leadbeater claimed clairvoyance and reputedly helped Besant become clairvoyant herself in the following year. Together they clairvoyantly investigated the universe, matter, thought-forms, and the history of mankind, and co-authored a book called Occult Chemistry.

Besant was a prolific writer and a powerful orator. In 1889, she was asked to write a review for the Pall Mall Gazette on The Secret Doctrine, a book by H. P. Blavatsky. After reading it, she sought an interview with its author, meeting Blavatsky in Paris. In this way she was converted to theosophy. Besant's intellectual journey had always involved a spiritual dimension, a quest for transformation of the whole person. 

Blavatsky had stated in 1889 that the main purpose of establishing the society was to prepare humanity for the future reception of a "torch-bearer of Truth", an emissary of a hidden Spiritual Hierarchy that, according to theosophists, guides the evolution of mankind. This was repeated by Besant as early as 1896; Besant came to believe in the imminent appearance of the "emissary", who was identified by theosophists as the so-called World Teacher.When Blavatsky died in 1891, Besant was left as one of the leading figures in theosophy and in 1893 she represented it at the Chicago World Fair.