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Koot Hoomi

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Koot Hoomi, from a painting by Charles Sindelar (1875 - 1947), based on the sepia-tone "Portrait of Mahatma Koot Hoomi" painted by Hermann Schmiechen (1855 - 1925) in 1884 and approved by H. P. Blavatsky as a true likeness
Koot Hoomi, from a painting by Charles Sindelar (1875 - 1947), based on the sepia-tone "Portrait of Mahatma Koot Hoomi" painted by Hermann Schmiechen (1855 - 1925) in 1884 and approved by H. P. Blavatsky as a true likeness

Koot Hoomi (also known as Master Koot Hoomi, Kuthumi, K.H. or Mahatma Koot Hoomi Lal Singh (c. 1810 - c. 1900) is one of the Ascended Masters who inspired the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875. During the 1870s, he corresponded with the English Theosophists A. P. Sinnett and A. O. Hume, who were living in India at the time, and his existence was brought to public notice in Sinnett's book, "The Mahatma Letters." Another founder of Theosophy, Colonel Henry S. Olcott, said that he had "personally known him since 1875," and described his home in Tibet, near the home of another Ascended Master, El Morya. Olcott wrote, "They live near each other with a small Buddhist temple about midway between their houses." After his death and ascension, Koot Hoomi became even more widely known in the New Age tradition through the Ascended Masters teachings of I Am Movement led by Guy Ballard and Edna Ballard in the 1930s, and he is generally recognized as an Ascended Master by other denominations or branches of the New Age Movement of the 20th and 21st centuries.

According to the cosmology of reincarnation, which is a widespread belief in New Age thought, Koot Hoomi had lived many lives previous to the 19th century. Adherents of Theosophy and other New Age denominations may not agree on all of his incarnations, but there a reference to a "Rishi Kuthumi" in the Hindu Puranas.( (For example, in the "Vishnu Purana" Book 3, Chapter 6, Rishi Kuthumi is said to have been a pupil of Paushyinji.) Theosophists also claim that earlier incarnations of Koot Hoomi include Thutmose III (1482 BCE - 1425 BCE ), Egyptian pharaoh; Pythagoras (c. 582?- c. 500? BCE), Greek mathematician; Balthazar of the Three Magi (c. 50 BCE - 1 CE), Persian astrologer; Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), Italian Catholic saint; Shah Jahan (1628-1658), ruler of the Mughal Empire; and Mahatma Koot Hoomi Lal Singh (c. 1810 - c. 1900).

Koot Hoomi was described by his 19th century contemporaries as a Kashmiri Brahmin, "as fair in complexion as the average Englishman," with flowing brown hair, blue-green eyes, and a brown beard, "which, as the sunlight catches it, becomes ruddy with glints of gold." According to Madame Blavatsky, he had "travelled a good deal in Europe," and spoke both French and English. After his travels as a young man, he is said to have led a solitary life for the most part, with El Morya as his closest friend. Mahatma Koot Hoomi Lal Singh is believed by Theosophists to have been the final incarnation of Rishi Kuthumi. At the close of the century, he is said to have ascended, but he is still in contact with sincere students as a spirit guide, helper, and teacher of the occult.

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