The founder and guiding light of theosophy was a woman named Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891). She spent more than twenty years traveling the world, meeting with experts in the occult. She was initiated into secret societies all over the globe. She studied in Egypt, Mexico, Tibet, Canada, and the United States, where she met Colonel Henry Olcott (1832-1907). He was a scientist and a lawyer who had been investigating the new phenomenon of Spiritualism for years. The two of them formed the Theosophical Society in 1875, convinced that science and the occult supernatural could expand both mind and spiritual power. In 1878 Blavatsky published Isis Revealed, in which she looked to the wisdom of the ancient masters for guidance in the modern world.
It soon became obvious to them that real wisdom could only be found in the East. So they traveled to India, where they established their headquarters in Madras, thus they linked their understanding of Theosophy with both Buddhism and Hinduism. They took such a proactive position for Indian independence from Britain and so become friends with the local Hindu intellectual community, and then Theosophy began to flourish.
Mrs Blavatsky published her most important work, The Secret Doctrines, in 1888 . It shows a lot of Hindu spiritual influence with its imagery of the One universal principle, which flows through all things, fighting through creation and then returning to the One. All reality is one universal consciousness. Humans, existing at different spiritual levels, are linked to the One.
Later Theosophical leaders developed a whole master hierarchy. Solar Logos rules the