- Was founded by Madame Blavatsky & Col. Olcott in New York in 1875 to revive the ancient religions of Asia mainly Hinduism, Buddhism & Zoroastrianism.
- Though Adyar (near Madras) became its headquarters in 1882.
- propagating Hindu beliefs, reincarnation & Karma.
- The beliefs of the Theosophical Society were a strange mixture of religion, philosophy & occultism.
- It preached universal brotherhood of men irrespective of distinction of caste, creed, race or sex.
- It promoted a sense of national pride among the Indians.
- It did commendable work in the field of education.
- Its most successful venture in this direction was the opening of the Central Hindu College at Varanasi in 1898.
- The Theosophical Society proved to be a very potent factor “in the awakening & self-respect of Indians”.
- Madame Annie Besant, an Irish Lady joined the Theosophical Society in 1882 & came to India in 1893.
- Dr. Besant became the President of the Theosophical Society in 1907, after the death of Col. Olcott.
- She dedicated herself in politics & joined Indian National Congress in 1915 & became its first woman President in 1917.
- Started the Home Rule League in September 1916 on the pattern of the Irish Home Rule League & propagated progressive views through her newspaper “New India” & “Common Weal“.
- She was also instrumental in bringing Tilak back into Congress at Lucknow session (1916).