The Collaborative Theosophical Society of America and Krishnamurti Archive Preservation Project
The goal of this Preservation and Indexing project The Ross Collection contains over 20,000 correspondences, transcripts, audio recording, personal interviews, original photographs, first edition books and pamphlets, many esoteric and private documents, lectures given by Krishnamurti to ES groups through 1949, and describe activities, events, and ceremonies many of which involved Krishnamurti and his grooming as the World Teacher.
Central to the project is the personal experience, knowledge and over forty-years of experience Joseph Ross brings to this preservation project. Few people are alive today who can see, understand and articulate the significance these documents, their individual meaning and how they relate. The goal is to identify, index and digitize the contents of the The Ross Collection in a shared, up-to-date, web-based database that is accessible to qualified researchers and archives thought out the world.
What makes the collection so unique and valuable are two broad categories:
First: the unique, rare and often intimate contents of The Ross Collection helps to completely document the extraordinary life of Krishnamurti and…
Second: The Ross Collection documents and reveals how the concepts, beliefs, forms and expectations of the organizers in many ways prevented them from understanding and ‘living’ Krishnamurti’s core message.
Future generations can learn from these events but only if the story so well documented in The Ross Collection is preserved and made available.
The Ross Collection began in the 1970’s with Rukmini Devi, George Arundal’s wife asked Joseph ross to catalogue her collection which included that of her husband, private letters of Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, C. Jinarajadasa and many other influential leaders, and transcripts of occult sessions in 1925 that caused tremendous conflicts with Krishnamurti and the death of his brother Nitya. Today the collection contains over 100 boxes, thousands of pages, correspondences, recordings and photographs.
The Krishnamurti archives will be interested in all the original lectures Krishnamurti gave to members of the Esoteric Section up to 1946. Of equal significance are the thirty hours of private recording with Rukmini Devi as she describes her experiences with her husband and the leaders of the society regarding the grooming of Krishnamurti, rituals, initiations, the politics Krishnamurti rejected. This includes the evolution of Self Preparation and the origins of the Egyptian Rite in 1925 which all influences Krishnamurti’s changing views of discipleship.
Virtually every branch of the Theosophical society will be interested in the original documents of the Esoteric School founded by H.P.B. Blavatsky, the split within the society between W. Q. Judge and Annie Besant, rare photographs of Theosophical conventions, Co-Masonry documents, and Liberal Catholic Ordinations in Old Hollywood. There are rare silk paintings of Leadbeater, Besant, Olcott, and HPB.
Over the past 35 years Joseph Ross has traveled the world reading, studying, and collecting private interviews with members of the Theosophical Society, and searching for Theosophical material related to Krishnamurti, the Krotona Institute and the early days of the Society, now over 100 legal sixe boxes, containing over 20,000 pages and publications.
In the 1960’s Joseph began independent studies of Theosophy and was part of study groups at Krotona Institute under the direction of Dr. Taylor.
In 1970’s Rukmini Devi, George Arundal’s wife convinced Joseph of the importance of preserving the authentic documents she had collected which included that of her husband who was Krishnamurti’s early tutor. Rukmini was present and participated in many of the most intimate activities involving Krishnamurti beginning in the early 1920’s. This began a 35 year expanding effort which includes private letters of Annie Besant, C.W. Leadbeater, C. Jinarajadasa and many other influential leaders, and transcripts of occult sessions in 1925 that caused tremendous conflicts with Krishnamurti and the death of his brother Nitya.
Joseph’s steadfast commitment has been to preserve the authentic record of Krishnamurti’s early life and the events that influences his mature teachings. Comparing original documents with those published it became clear that important information which may prove embarrassing to individuals or to organizations was routinely deleted, edited or being destroyed
In 1989, as part of this commitment Ross began publishing documents that describes Krishnamurti’s relationship with the Theosophical Society and its leaders, including eight books, 2,685 pages to help prevent censorship or concealment form distorting Krishnamurti’s legacy, that of the Theosophical Society and indirectly the Krotona Institute.
The next decade is critical. With each passing day fewer and fewer people are alive who have the experience and skill to see and index the patterns and relationships that are hidden in plain sight in the TS and Krishnamurti archives. Because of this intense and long history with the people and events that surrounded Krishnamurti: 1900 – 1949 and beyond, Joseph represents an invaluable colleague and resource.