“It is admitted on all hands that from time immemorial the distant East was the land of knowledge. Not even in Egypt were botany and mineralogy so extensively studied as by the savants of archaic Middle Asia.
Sprengel, unjust and prejudiced as he shows himself in everything else, confesses this much in his Histoire de la Medicine. And yet, notwithstanding this, whenever the subject of magic is discussed, that of India has rarely suggested itself to any one, for of its general practice in that country less is known than among any other ancient people.
With the Hindus it was and is more esoteric, if possible, than it was even among the Egyptian priests. So sacred was it deemed that its existence was only half admitted, and it was only practiced in public emergencies. It was more than a religious matter, for it was considered divine.
The Egyptian hierophants, notwithstanding the practice of a stern and pure morality, could not be compared for one moment with the ascetical Gymnosophists, either in holiness of life or miraculous powers developed in them by the supernatural adjuration of everything earthly.
By those who knew them well they were held in still greater reverence than the magians of Chaldea. Denying themselves the simplest comforts of life, they dwelt in woods, and led the life of the most secluded hermits, while their Egyptian brothers at least congregated together.
Notwithstanding the slur thrown by history on all who practiced magic and divination, it has proclaimed them as possessing the greatest secrets in medical knowledge and unsurpassed skill in its practice.”
H. P. Blavatsky