Friends, as there have been so many misconceptions and misunderstandings; in the newspapers and magazines concerning me, I think it would be best if I made a statement to clarify the position. People generally desire to be saved by another, or by some miracle, or by philosophical ideas; and I am afraid that many come here with this desire, hoping that by merely listening to me they will find an immediate solution to their many problems. Neither the solution to their problems nor their so-called salvation can come through any person or any system of philosophy. The understanding of truth or of life lies through one's own discernment, through one's own perseverance and clarity of thought. Because most of us are too lazy to think for ourselves, we blindly accept and follow persons or cling to ideas which become our means of escape in times of conflict and suffering.
First of all, I want to explain that I do not belong to any society. I am not a Theosophist nor a Theosophical missionary, nor have I come here to convert you to any particular form of belief. I do not think it is possible to follow anyone, or to adhere to a certain belief, and at the same time have the capacity for clear thought. That is why most parties, societies, sects, religious bodies, become means of exploitation.
Nor do I bring an oriental philosophy, urging you to accept it. When I speak in India I am told there that what I say is a western philosophy, and when I come to the western countries, they tell me that I bring an oriental mysticism which is impractical and useless in the world of action. But if you really come to think of it, thought has no nationality, nor is it limited by any country, climate or people. So please do not consider that what I am going to say is the result of some peculiar racial prejudice, idiosyncrasy, or personal peculiarity. What I have to say is actual, actual in the sense that it can be applied to the present life of man; it is not a theory based on some beliefs and hopes, but it is practicable and applicable to man.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
1st Public Talk 13th April, 1935