Besant Theosophical College, commonly known as BT College, is in Madanapalle, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in south India.
“Lead me from the Unreal to the Real…
“Lead me from Darkness to Light…
“Lead me from Death to Immortality…”
…are the founding ethos of the BT College, and continue to motivate and inspire the students of independent India. BT College was established in 1915 with a mission ‘to produce a serene atmosphere intellectually enlightened, spiritually inspired, emotionally balanced, morally upright, socially committed’ young men and women who will be agents of social transformation in India. Since British to Independent India, the institution provides education as service’.
Woods National College:
Besant Theosophical College was originally named as Woods National College. The college was founded on 19th July 1915 with the pioneering efforts of Annie Besant (British socialist, theosophist, supporter of Indian and Irish independence from British Empire: 1847-1933) and with the support from noble theosophical workers. The theosophists were inspired and motivated to work for the establishment of the college. Professor Ernest Wood took the lead to establish a college in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh which was under Madras Presidency during the British colonial rule. Professor Ernest Wood was the paternal uncle of Annie Besant who took an active part in establishing this college.
The principal of the college, Dr D. Mallikarjuna Rao M.Sc, B.Ed, M. Phil, PhD told www.thetelugus.com the college continues to emphasize the significance of its founding principle: education as service. In a state where education is almost synonymous with commerce in the 21st century, the college strives to place the social importance of education: education as a service.
BT College was the first college in the entire Rayalseema region in British India. Mallikarjuna Rao said ‘only after this college was established, the Arts College in Anantapur was started in 1917’. He said the college’s uniqueness is also inculcating the ideals of secularism: the staff and the students assemble every day for daily dedication in the form of invocation and prayers representing Christianity, Hinduism and Islam before the commencement of regular work for the day.
The invocation is: “O Rishi Maitreya, the teacher of devas and men, send thy blessings. We pray thee on this our work of theosophical education designed to uplift they ancient land thou who art the lover of little children, the protector of youths and maidens, the saviour of the world.”
BT College strives to imbibe values among its students the pathway to The Golden Stairs. THE GOLDEN STAIRS, according to H. P. Blavatsky is: “A clean life, an open mind, a pure heart, an eager intellect, an unveiled spiritual perception, a brotherliness for all, readiness to give and receive advice and instruction, a courageous endurance of personal injustice, a brave declaration of principle, a valiant defense of those who are unjustly attacked and a constant eye to the ideal of human progression and perfection which the sacred science depicts. These are the GOLDEN STAIRS up the steps of which the learner may climb to the temple of divine wisdom.”
BT College’s motto is ‘education as service”. Mallikarjuna Rao recalled that the institution was established as service to the people of Rayalaseema region which was then under the Madras Presidency during the British Raj. The task of the founders was to provide education as service with a missionary zeal. Since 1915, the college has been striving ‘to be a leader in the field of education by pursuing the best practices for the holistic development of the students as intellectually competent, socially committed citizens that the country needs’ today. He said the institution has succeeded in providing quality education for many students. Its alumni include Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy the former chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh and union minister in the Government of India and Justice S. V. Bhatt who served as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court
The college lays emphasis on ethics, human values, ideals of theosophy as propagated by its legendary founder Annie Besant.
On the top 10 things to do in Madanapalle is to visit Besant Theosophical College. Here you can discover the idealism and pragmatism of its founders, and the consistent need for everyone to think about a service to the society.
The institution was established as service to the people of Rayalaseema region which was then under the Madras Presidency during the British Raj. The task of the founders was to provide education as service with a missionary zeal. The institution has succeeded in providing quality education for many students. Its alumni include Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy who served as the chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Justice S. V. Bhatt who served as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. New generation of leaders like C. Narasimha Reddy of BJP was raised in Madanapalle, so is Y. Satya Kumar the national secretary of BJP.
The college was visited by Mahatama Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, C V Raman, C. Rajagopalachari among inspirational personalities of pre- and post-independent India. Today, the college lays emphasis on ethics, human values, and ideals of theosophy as propagated by its Annie Besant and the co-founder of Theosophical Society, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
One of the top 12 things to do in Madanapalle is to visit BT College, where you can discover the idealism and pragmatism of its founders.