"Good Christian" that Dr. Oldfield was, he tried to convert his young Indian
Two vegetarian bachelor "brothers" who had been studying the Hindu "Bhagavad Gita" (Song of the Blessed One), using Edwin Arnold's poetic rendition, "The Song Celestial," invited Gandhi to read and translate the original Sanskrit version of that epic poem with them. Edwin Arnold would later agree to serve as vice-president of Gandhi's Bayswater Food Society, and Mohan found his "Light of Asia," a life of the Buddha, just as compelling as his work on the "Gita."
The unnamed bachelor "brothers" were both Theosophists, and they tried to convert Gandhi to that esoteric sect. At one point they brought him to Blavatsky Lodge in London, where he met the mysterious founder of Theosophy, Madame Helena Blavatsky, then mortally ill. Her "Key to Theosophy," Gandhi recalled, "stimulated in me the desire to read books on Hinduism and disabused me of the notion fostered by the missionaries that Hinduism was rife with superstition." At London's Theosophical Society he first met Madame's recent convert, her most brilliant disciple, Anne Besant.
Annie tried her eloquent best to lure Mohandas into Theosophy, as she would later convert Motilal Nehru and his only son, Jawaharlal, but Gandhi remained impervious to all her allures, as he was to Dr. Oldfield's attempts to bring him "up" to Christ. "It was only after I came in contact with...Christians, that I resolved...I should be termed a Hindu," he later reflected.