Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (HPB), one of the founders of the Theosophical Society, died on May 8th 1891 and White Lotus Day is a Theosophical celebration of her passing. HPB herself suggested in her last will and testament that her friends should gather on the anniversary of her passing each year and read from The Light of Asia (E0729) and from the Bhagavad Gita (E0741).
Although her friend and co-founder of the Theosophical Society, H.S. Olcott, named the day, the symbolism of the White Lotus is best described by HPB herself:
The underlying idea, in this symbol, is very beautiful, and, furthermore, shows an identical parentage in all the religious systems. Whether as the Lotus or water-lily, it signifies one and the same philosophical idea: namely, the emanation of the Objective from the Subjective, Divine Ideation passing from the abstract into the concrete, or visible form.
Special Collections & Archives collects material related to Spiritualism and theosophy. The collection includes books by notable theosophists such as HPB herself, Annie Besant, Charles Leadbetter, and William Quan Judge.
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Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine. Vol. 1. (London: Theosophical Pub. Soc, 1893-1897) 407. G16335