A Study in Karma


Annie Besant


Published in 1917


Annie Besant

1847 - 1933



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Old Friendships



Another fact of the greatest importance is that we are brought by karma in touch with people whom we have known in the past, to some of whom we owe debts, some of whom owe debts to us. No man treads his long pilgrimage alone, and the egos to whom he is linked by many ties in a common past come from all parts of the

world to surround him in the present. We have known some one in the past who has gone ahead of us in evolution; perchance we then did him some service, and a karmic tie was formed. In the present, that tie draws us within the orbit of his activity, and we receive from outside us a new impulse of force, a power, not

our own, impelling us to listen and to obey.


Many of such helpful karmic links have we seen within the Theosophical Society. Long, long ago, He who is the Master K.H. was taken prisoner in a battle with an Egyptian army, and was generously befriended and sheltered by an Egyptian of

high rank. Thousands of years later, help is needed for the nascent Theosophical Society, and the Master, looking over India for one to aid in this great work, sees His old friend of the Egyptian and other lives, now Mr. A.P. Sinnett, editing the leading Anglo-Indian newspaper, The Pioneer. Mr. Sinnett goes, as usual, to Simla; Mme Blavatsky goes up thither, to form the link; Mr. Sinnett is drawn within the immediate influence of the Master, receives instruction from Him, and becomes the author of The Occult World and of Esoteric Buddhism, carrying to thousands the message of Theosophy. Such rights we win by help given in the past, the right to help in higher ways and with further reaching effects, while we ourselves are also helped by the tightening of ancient links of friendship won by service, royally recompensed by that priceless gift of knowledge, gained by one and shed abroad for many.




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