International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
About Archives Practices Contribute Contacts Search


Periodical: The Kalpaka

Summary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Kalpaka, The.
A Magazine of Knowledge / The Psychic Review of the East (India's Only Psychic and Spiritual Review) / The Quarterly Journal of Psychic, Occult, Spiritual Sciences, Joga and Tantra Shastra.
1908 Monthly, then quarterly
Allahabad, then Tinnevelly,and then Coimbatore, South India. Publisher: Latent Light Culture. Editor: R.T. Sanjivi, K.T. Ramasami, S.V. Rengasami; Swami A.P. Mukerji, associate editor.
Succeeds: The Extract (1907)
Corporate author: Latent Light Culture
2/2, 1908-current. 32-40 pp., Rs. 5 (12s. or $3.00) a year.

The journal's title apparently refers to the story of the kalpaka tree that was said to give people whatever they wanted. It succeeded and continued the volume numbering of the Extract, also edited by Sanjivi, who had begun Latent Light Culture in Tinnevelly in 1905. The group relocated to Allahabad in 1951 and still exists, as does the journal.

The journal's original intention, noted in The Swastika in June 1907, was "the discussion of occultism in all its branches," with invitations to contribute extended to all New Thought and occult advocates in Europe and the United States. Together with its sometime competitor in Tinnevelly -- Self-Culture, edited by K.T. Ramasami, who later assumed the editorship of Kalpaka) -- the journal was an attempt to combine the wisdom and philosophies of India with the occultism of the West, primarily American and English and to do so in a profitable fashion. In practice, the journal was the promoter in India of pure, American-style magical New Thought, working in close cooperation with its western counterparts in publishing (and plagiarizing) the works of the leading New Thought authors like W.W. Atkinson, and having its principals' works printed in America by Sydney A. Flower's Psychic Research Company and Yogi Publishing Society of Chicago. One of the journal's first editors was Swami A.P. Mukerji, whose works were published in the United States by Yogi Publication Society (and copyrighted there by Latent Light Culture), and who returned the favor by plagiarizing Ramacharaka's (i.e., Atkinson's) lessons on drawing up, transmuting and storing the reproductive energy -- the same lessons that Theodor Reuss had "paraphrased" in the "Jubilee Edition" of the Oriflamme -- and publishing them in the United States in the 1920s as authentic Oriental Wisdom. The process worked both ways: The most successful of the journal's series of lessons was India's Hood Unveiled! Occult Mysteries Revealed!! This was "A Correspondence Course in Occult Sciences," featuring "practical and simple ancient Hindoo methods for Clairvoyance, Vayusthambam (Levitation) and Samadhi (Burial Alive) and Spirit Sight at Will," offered by the journal for $3.00. It was promptly plagiarized by L.W. de Laurence of Chicago and sold at $2.00. Undeterred, the journal was soon advertising (in the Swastika in 1909) a new set of lessons "in the development of the inner or occult powers. . . . The instruction includes development in such subconscious powers as: Personal Magnetism, Hypnotism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics, Psycho-Therapeutics, Mind-Reading, Telepathy, Magnetic Healing, Development of the Will, Clairvoyance, etc., and their practical application to specific cases." This interchange of cultures is also apparent in the publication of excerpts from the journal in American magazines. Excerpts from A.P. Mukerji and others were re-published in Hiram Butler's Bible Review and other journals. The journal published advertisements for the likes of mages like Prof. R.E. Dutton of McCook, Nebraska, and others, and advertised itself in New Age Magazine, the Aletheian, Nautilus, Azoth (its agent in the United States) and many other magazines. Notably, the journal's advertisement appeared in the Oriental University Register (the school catalogue of Helmuth P. Holler's degree mill in Washington, D.C.), and Latent Light Culture functioned in turn as a "branch" of Oriental University, conferring its degrees widely (for a suitable fee) in its South-India franchise area. (The editors of the journal were soon appending to their names various Lit. D., M.B., M.D., and Ph. D. degrees from Oriental University.)

The journal contained contributions by Sanjivi, Uriel Buchanan, Frederic W. Burry, W. George Wheeler, Victor E. Cromer (on phrenology), H. Stanley Redgrove (on alchemy), J. Millott Severn (on phrenology), P.S. Acharya (on topics like "The Mind that Makes the Body Rich" and the like), Paul Ellsworth (instructions on "How to Keep Young," and "Lessons in Master Consciousness" ("How to Utilize Cosmic Energy"), and poems by Florence Belle Anderson. Interspersed with these were excerpts from the likes of H.P. Blavatsky's "Preliminary Explanations" to her pupils. It also offered regular "Notes for the Month" (the editor's advice on various aspects of the pursuit of occult realization), correspondence from students, book and periodical reviews, reports on the activities of the various lodges of the Latent Light Culture

In the 1920s the representative of the organization in the United States was The Sahlen Kabir Premel El Adaros who published Things Kept Secret from the Foundation of the World (1922) and The Book of the Secret Word and the Higher Way (1924). The former noted that Adaros's Society of Transcendent Science in Chicago was the sole representative of The Kalpaka in the United States. From an advertisement in The Occult Digest, January 1939, we learn that the group included an Order of Krishna, "more ancient than the Masonic, Rosicrucian and other Mystic Orders." This had more than a passing connection with Aleister Crowley's work. In 1931 the journal accepted Crowley's "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" as the best translation of a line in the Bhagavad Gita (though it deferred to "occidental opinion" and used another version), and one of Crowley's later correspondents, David Curwen, was, as Henry Bogden and Phil Hine have discovered, a second degree member of the Order of Krishna.

Volumes 17-24, 1922-1924 are readable after a fashion online at the South Asia Archive. LOC microfilm; Association of Research Libraries; Brown University; Stanford University; Monash University; ZDB: Halle/S UuLB; Universiteit Utrecht; Harvard University; Universit├Ątsbibliothek Kiel; Stanford University.

Issues:Kalpaka V16 N1 Jan 1921
Kalpaka V16 N2 Feb 1921
Kalpaka V16 N3 Mar 1921
Kalpaka V16 N4 Apr 1921
Kalpaka V16 N5 May 1921
Kalpaka V16 N6 Jun 1921
Kalpaka V16 N7 Jul 1921
Kalpaka V16 N8 Aug 1921
Kalpaka V16 N9 Sep 1921
Kalpaka V16 N10 Oct 1921
Kalpaka V16 N11 Nov 1921
Kalpaka V16 N12 Dec 1921

Creative Commons License
IAPSOP materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
IAPSOP respects people's privacy and personal data rights.