Hurrychund Chintamon and Freemasonry

Among the many things for which I am indebted to Leslie Price, one had been forgotten on my bookshelves for many years until this week. A damaged, discarded library copy of A Commentary on the Text of the Bhavagad Gita happens to be the earliest book authored by any founding member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. Its dedication, surprising to me, was to the Freemasons of the world:

TO THE FREEMASONS OF THE WORLD, A HARMLESS AND KINDLY CRAFT, THE PARTIZANS OF MORAL INDEPENDENCE AND MENTAL FREEDOM, WHOSE PURPOSE IT IS TO TEACH MIND TO STAND ALONE, UNFETTERED BY THE MOORINGS OF SOCIAL, POLITICAL, OR RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE, THIS WORK, AS A MARK OF HIGH ESTEEM AND FRATERNAL CONSIDERATION, IS DEDICATED, BY THEIR HUMBLE BROTHER, THE AUTHOR.

But I should not have been surprised in light of this list of Chintamon’s writings of the 1870s:

A history of Lodge Rising Star of Western India identifies Chintamon as the first Hindu accepted into the craft there:

For the first time it was in this year [1872] that a Hindu Brother named Harichand Chintaman sought admission in the lodge as a visitor. As on the ground of their being polytheists and not monotheists the Hindus were not taken in the Order, a discussion arose but ultimately the Worshipful Master admitted the Brother as he belonged to a regularly constituted lodge of Masons in England and also held a certificate from the Grand Lodge.

Google search yielded evidence that up to twenty years later Chintamon was again actively involved in the world of London Freemasonry, long past his associations with the Arya Samaj, Theosophical Society, and HBofL. He was quoted in Ars Quatour Coronatum in discussion at a meeting of the Quator Coronati Lodge in 1891 on the subject of the relationship of Masonry to Hinduism:

A list of those present at the meeting includes Wynn Westcott among others:

Via ancestry.com I learn that Chintamon was still in London listed in a voting directory of 1894. Secondary sources indicate he returned to India within the decade.

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