This site contains a collection of terms and words found in certain text.

This glossary is based upon that in The Esoteric Writings of H. P. Blavatsky.

In order to present an expanded glossary, selections of words and terms were included from the books listed below. All efforts were made to maintain accuracy in copying. While there may be isolated spelling errors, no word has been added to nor subtracted from the original texts.

    The Bhagavad-Gita As It Is - by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Praphupada.

    Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi - by S. S. Cohen.

    Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge - by A. Osborne.

    Occult Glossary -1933 [1996 edition]. G. De Purucker - Theosophical Publishing House.

    Collation of Theosophical Glossaries - Compiled by Scott J. Osterhage.

    Working Glossary - 1892. W. Q. Judge.

    Theosophical Glossary - 1892. Posthumous publication edited by G. R. S. Mead.

    The Voice of Silence - 1889

Additional descriptions, definitions and terminology were included from:

    The Science of Yoga - by I. K. Taimni.

    The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi - 1972 Sri Ramanasramam Tiruvanamalai.

The underlined text or initials relate to the source of words and their description.

                                  BG = Bhagavad Gita.

                                  OG = Occult Glossary.

                                  RM = Books on the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.

                                  SD = Secret Doctrine.

                                  SY = Science of Yoga.

                                  TG = Theosophical Glossary.

                                  VS = Voice of Silence.

                                  WG = Working Glossary.

                                  Theos = Theosophical (HPB, A. Besant and others)

All other entries, which do not contain capitals showing source are from:

The Esoteric Writings of H. P. Blavatsky - 1980 Theosophical Publishing House.

Maintained and Updated

Mail / Comments



ABHEDA (RM no-otherness) See bheda)

ABHINIVESA (WG idle terror causing death)

(TG. dread of suffering; one of five afflictions in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy)

See kleshas.

ABHYASA (RM. As the Self of a person who tries to attain Self-realization is not different from him and as there is nothing other than or superior to him to be attained by him, Self-realization being only the realization of one's own nature, the seeker of Liberation realises, without doubts or misconceptions, his real nature by distinguishing the eternal from the transient, and never swerves from his natural state. This is known as the 'practice of knowledge.' This is the enquiry, [suitable for 'ripe souls'] leading to Self-realization. Others ['unripe souls'] should follow different methods, according to the state of their minds.

[1. Stuti]

[2. Japa]

[3. Dhyana]

[4. Yoga]

[5. Jnana] etc.).

ACARYA a spiritual master who teaches by example.

ACINTYA inconceivable.

ACINTYA-BHEDABHEDA-TATTVA (BG. Lord Caitanya's doctrine of simultaneous oneness and difference of the Absolute Truth).

ADAM KADMON or KADMONI, (Hebrew. First or Original Man - Woman).

(SD - The First or Heavenly Man, the Manifested Logos, the Divine Androgyne)

ADEPT (One skilled). Theos A fifth Initiate - one who has achieved union with the Third Logos; and uses Nirvanic waking consciousness.

Compare: Mahatma, Nirmanakaya, Nirvana, Tirthankara, Pentecost)

ADHI BUDA (adhi -Supreme: budh - to know) SD - Supreme Wisdom

ADHIKARI (RM. The qualified seeker of Truth)

ADI (First Beginning, Prime Cause) SD - First or Foundation Plane.

ADI-BUDDHA (First Enlightened or Wise One) Chief Deity of Northern Buddhists.

SD - Primeval Wisdom; the First Logos, or Abstract Principle of all the Buddhas

Compare: Amithaba, Vishnu.

ADI-BUDDHI (First Perception or Understanding) SD - Absolute Consciousness

ADI-GURU (RM. The ancient or primordial or original Guru. The Divine Source from which the power of initiation and guidance descends to a line of Gurus.

An epithet of Sri Shankaracharya and sometimes of Dakshinamurthi)

ADINA-GURU (RM. The founder of a line of Gurus. Except in the case of the founder of a new path, initiation [like ordination] is valid only when given by one who is duly authorised and whose authorisation goes back in an unbroken chain to the founder of his line).

ADITI (a = not; diti = cut, torn, or bound. The Boundless Whole, Aditi, Mother of the Gods, Eternal Space.

SD - Infinite, or Cosmic Space.

ADON, ADONAI, ADONIM, (Chaldeo-Heb. Adonai is plural form of Adon or Lord)

Adonis, Greek mythological derivation - Divine Lover of Aphrodite,

SD - Adam-Kadmon. Compare: Amen.

ADVAITA (A = not; dvaita = dual) Nondual, Of one nature, unchanging; a philosophy stressing Unity, absolute monoism of Shankara; non-identification.

(RM. Non-duality; the doctrine that nothing exists apart from the Spirit, but everything is a form assumed by the Spirit. [The principle doctrinal division among the Hindus is between the schools of Advaita and Dvaita. The Dvaitists or Dualists worship a Personal God separate from the worshipper. The Advaitists, while recognising the truth of this conception on its own plane, go beyond it to the conception of the Absolute in which man is absorbed back into THAT which is his Source and real Self, surviving in the pure Bliss and boundless Consciousness of Being.

See Dvaita).

ADYTUM (Greek - not to be entered) The sanctuary where only priests were permitted and from which oracles were delivered.

SD - Adyta, Halls of Initiation. Example: Tabernacle, Arcana.

AETHER (Greek - the burning or shining thing; the upper air or abode of the Gods; the God Aether, son of Chaos).

SD - Third Differentiation of evolving substance. (Akasha, Chaos)

Though the word Aether in its highest aspects is often used as synonymous with Akasha, and Akasha manifested as Aether, it more properly applies to matter of the Atmic, Nirmanic, 'Spiritual' Plane. If the planes be considered as horizontal, it is also one of the great perpendicular divisions of Elemental Life. Compare: Ether

AGNANA (RM. ignorance; lack of knowledge).

AGNI ang = to walk around; ag = to move tortuously or wind; anj = to anoint with oil, making to shine or beautiful). Fire. One of the oldest and most prominent deities of the Rig Veda.

AHAM BRAHMASMI (BG. realization that 'I am not this body.')

AHAMKARA (Aham = self; Kara = the Maker)

SD 'I-am-ness' or first shadowy outline of Selfhood, the tendency toward definiteness, origin of all manifestation. Reflected, it becomes great delusion of Separateness, Egoism.

AHIMSA (non-violence; non-injury; no intention to inflict pain or hurt on anything by thought, word or deed. Here the intent is crucial. Where one cannot live without inflicting pain or hurt on others and our environment a choice must be made to cause the least pain and also to be aware of the suffering of others (plants, animals and inanimates included.

This is not a form of pacifism; rather, it is a dynamic principle which includes the use of force where necessary to prevent suffering.

See yama and niyama).

AIN SOPH (Hebrew. No-Thing). SD - the Kabalistic Boundless Absolute.

AJNA CHAKRA (ajna = to command, to know + chakra = wheel).

SD - The force centre between the eyebrows, or Brow Chakra.

AJNANA (RM. Ignorance of the Self).

AKASHA (To Shine, to be Bright) SD - The Second Differentiation of evolving substance Chaos, Aether. Matter of the Monadic Plane. Akasha is often used when Chaos or Aether more exactly would be indicated, but always in such cases the Akashic element therein is stressed. It is the substratum and cause of Sound. In Akasha all auras find their essence, and therein is the root of Duality.

AKASHIC RECORDS SD - The Memory of Nature reflected in the Akashic element of various planes.

ALAYA (ali = to settle down upon, to melt, to unite with) an abode, a refuge,

SD - The Universal Soul or Self of all beings, 'man its crystal ray.'

Compare: Unity, Anima Mundi, Nyingpo.

AMARA-KOSHA (TG. [Sanskrit]. The 'immortal vocabulary.' The oldest dictionary known in the world and the most perfect vocabulary of classical Sanskrit; by Amara Sinha, a sage of the second century.

AMITABHA (a-mita = unmeasurable, abha = irradiant blazing splendour).

SD - very much the connotations given to Adi-Buddha, as well as title of one of Seven Dhyani-Buddhas, who is particularly the heavenly prototype of Lord Gautama Buhhda.


SD - Concealed God, Hidden Supreme Spirit; AMMON-RA, the Generator or Wisdom God. With degradation into phallacism, Ammon became the Creative God.

AMRITA (RM. Nectar).

ANAGAMIN (am = not + agamin = subject to returning). Buddhist term for Third Initiate.

ANANDA (transcendental bliss) A Trinity, with Chit and Sat. Beloved disciple of Lord Gautama Buddha.

ANANDAMAYAKOSHA (Ananda = bliss + Maya = full of + kosha = shell, wrapper, sheath). Bliss-Body.

ANIMA MUNDI (Latin. Anima = that which breathes or blows; from Sanskrit, an = to breathe; akin to Greek anemos = wind + Mundi = world). Soul of the World; the Life Principle pervading all. Compare: Unity, Breath, Khoom, Alaya.

ANKH Egyptian cross; see Tau

ANGAS (SY. angas of yoga. Their practice eliminate, step by step, the external causes of mental distraction. See antaranga and bahiranga).

ANTAHKARANA (antar = middle of interior + karana = cause, instrument, doing).

SD - technical use: the bridge between lower and higher Manas.

ANTARANGA (SY. section III, page 275; meaning = internal; the three remaining practices of Yogic technique laid down by Patanjali which culminate in Samadhi and by which all the mysteries of Yogic life are unraveled and the powers [siddhis] are acquired.

[1. concentration].

[2. contemplation].

[3. samadhi]. See samyama.

ANU-ATMA the minute spirit soul.


ANUPADAKA (Theos. The second plane of matter). See Akasha.

In SD applied to those Great Beings 'parentless' or 'self-born of the Divine Essence.'

APARIGRAHA (non-indulgence in the amenities which are superfluous to individual preservation; an ecologically based principle whose underlying meaning is the limiting of one's physical needs in harmony with supply and the needs of others. In addition, one should work (meditate) to move individual desires into more subtle realms which is more beneficial. See yama and niyama).

ARCANA (Latin, from arca = that which encloses or conceals). A Secret or Mystery. Deity worship. Compare: Sod, Adytum.

ARCA-VIGRAHA (BG. the incarnation of the Lord in an apparently material form to facilitate personal service by the devotee).

ARCHETYPE (Greek. First-Moulded or stamped). A Pattern or Model.

ARHAT (Buddhist. From root arh = worthy or deserving). Title given to Fourth degree Initiates, those who have attained Nirvana.

ARUDHA (RM. attainment of firm, innate self-consciousness [atma prajna] knowledge; effortless abidance in the Self in which the mind which has become one with the Self does not subsequently emerge again at any time).

ARUDRA DARSHAN (RM. The Day of the Sight of Siva).

ARUPA (a = without; rupa = form). Formless.

ARYABHATTA (a learned Hindu astronomer, inventor of Algebra.

ARYAN (loyal or devoted faithful to the Gods; noble, honorable, venerable, from arya, root ri = to rise or tend upwards). One whose life is based on spiritual values.

Used now to apply to Hindus, Iranians, and all Fifth Race peoples.

ASHRAM (a = moving towards, all around; + sharam = exertion, penance, austerity). A hermitage.

Compare: Vihara.

ASHTAVADHANA (RM. the ability to attend to eight different matters simultaneously).

ASMITA (WG. egoism).

(TG. selfishness, or 'I-am-ness'; one of five afflictions in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy.

See kleshas.

ASRAMA a spiritual order of life.

ASTANGA-YOGA (asta = eight + anga = parts). A mystic yoga system propounded by Patanjali.

ASTEYA (non-stealing; not to take possession of what belongs to others neither physically nor mentally. See yama and niyama).

ASTRAL (Greek. from aster, a star, shooting star, flame or fire)

(Theos. First type of matter or plane more subtle than physical.)

ASANA (TG. [Sanskrit] The third stage of Hatha Yoga, one of the prescribed postures of meditation).

ASURA a demon.

ASURAMAYA (TG. [Sanskrit] Known also as Mayasura. An Atlantean astronomer, considered as a great magician and sorcerer, well-known in Sanskrit works.

ASURIC (RM. diabolical, evil).

ATMA, ATMAN an = to breathe, at = to go or eternal movement; ah = to pervade and connected with aham = I; a (in a-ham) and ta = tis, meaning this my own self. The innermost essence of the individual as well as the Universal.

(RM. Atman - Self, Supreme Being, ultimate Reality, Brahman).

ATMASWARUPA (RM. literally 'the form of Spirit'; a term used for the universe to indicate that the universe has no intrinsic reality but exists only as a manifestation of the Spirit).

AUGOEIDES (Greek. augo = radiant sunlight + eidos or eide = form or shape, sometimes as ideal form).

(Theos. The Causal or Egoic Body with its aura, the permanent body of the Self as man.

AUM, OM, Pranava, the sacred syllable in its triple form, denoting the Hindu Trimuti. While most authorities agree that M = Shiva, some place A as Self and U as Brahma, the Not-Self, while others reverse this order. Compare: Om Mani Padme Hum, Amen, Tau.

AURA (Greek. The atmosphere inhaled, the vital air or breath, a bright light or gleam, a sound, an odour or exhalation).

(Theos. The vital and subtle emanations that surround the body of a living being).

AVALOKITESHVARA (Avalokita = to look down upon + Ishvara = the capable, the powerful, the Supreme Lord). 'The Lord who looks down from on High with Compassionate Glances with Face turned in every direction' is the popular Buddhist interpretation of this Celestial Buddha, or Lord.

SD - synonymous with Adi-Buddha. He gave mankind the magical formular 'Om Mani Padme Hum,' through which is attained the 'Adored One.'

Compare: Bodhisattva, Padmanpani, Dhyani-Buddhas, Kwan-Shai-Yin.

AVATARA (ava = to come down or become less + tri which has many meanings, among which are: to cross over a river, to fulfil, transport, save, liberate from, make a way through, pervade). One who descends from the spiritual sky. Divine Incarnation.

Example: Vishnu, Krsna.

(RM. An incarnation or manifestation of Vishnu, that is of God as the Preserver and Sustainer of the universe. Within the manvantara or cycle stretching [according to Christian symbolism] from the Earthly Paradise [the state of Adam before the fall] to the Heavenly Jerusalem [the consummation after the second coming of Christ) there are ten Avatars. The seventh is Rama, commemorated in the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic; the eight is Krsna, commemorated in the Bhagavad-Gita; the ninth is described as the non-Hindu Avatar and is identified as Buddha or Christ or both; the tenth is Kalki, the destroyer of sin with whose coming the kali yuga or dark age is to be ended. He is still to come and is equivalent to the second coming of Christ awaited by the Christians and Muslims and the Maitreya Buddha of the Buddhists. Sometimes the term Avatar is used more loosely to indicate a divine manifestation).

AVIDYA (a = without + vidy = knowledge, wisdom); ignorance, lack of enlightenment. See Nidana.

(RM. avidya - the primal nescience).

(TG. ignorance; one of five afflictions in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy). See kleshas.

AYURVEDA (the traditional Hindu system of medicine).




BAHIRANGA (SY. section II. page 127. meaning = external; The first five practices of Yogic technique laid down by Patanjali and of a preparatory nature, making the Sadhaka fit for the practice of Samadhi.

[1. asceticism].

[2. austerity].

[3. self-study].

[4. study which leads to the knowledge of the Self through Japa].

[5. self-surrender, or resignation to God].

See antaranga and samyana.

BHAGA (beauty, loveliness, adoration, affection from root bhaj to dispense, grant or bestow, worship, adore, be devoted to). Name of an Adept regarded in the Veda as bestowing wealth and presiding over love and marriage.

BHAGAVAD-GITA (the Song of the Bhagavan Krsna, admonishing Arjuna, his devotee).

An episode in the Sixth Book of the Mahabharata.

(RM. Literally the 'Divine Song' or more correctly, 'God-Song', since Bhagavad is a noun used adjectivally. The scripture of Sri Krsna, the eighth Avatar, probably the most widely studied and followed Hindu scripture).

BHAGAVAN (BG. bhaga = opulence + van = possessing] the Lord as the possessor of all opulences).

(RM. same as Bhagavad; commonly used word for God.

See Iswara, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva).

BHAKTA a devotee.

BHAKTA-MARGA (RM. the approach to God through love and devotion).

BHAKTI (has all the significance of its root bhaj (see bhaga) including that of allotment, division, separation, but is commonly translated in its meaning of love, reverence, devotion which is only possible when there is the maya of separation).

Compare: Yoga.

(BG. Pure devotional service to Lord Krsna).

(RM. Spiritual devotion).

BHAKTI-YOGA the system of cultivation of bhakti

BHAVA (from root bhu = to be or become) becoming, being, existing.

(BG. The preliminary stage of love of God).

BHEDA (RM. Otherness. The difference between bheda and abheda is substantially the same as that between dvaita and advaita. The exponent of bheda regards himself as 'other than God', whereas the exponent of abheda regards God as the Absolute or Infinite apart from which there can be no other).

BHIKSHA (RM. an offering of food to the Guru or to a sanyasin).

BHUMI (earth from root bhu = to be or become; also the base, as of a geometrical figure).

BHUTA (WG. Bhuta, an element; created being, elemental, ghost, goblin, imp, demon, phantom, elementary).

(OG. Bhuta(s) [Sanskrit] The past participle of the verb-root bhu, meaning 'to be,' or 'to become'; hence bhutas literally means 'has beens' entities that have lived and passed on. The bhutas are 'shells' from which all that is spiritual and intellectual has fled: all that was the real entity has fled from this shell, and naught is left but a decaying astral corpse. The bhutas are the spooks, ghosts, simulacra, reliquiae, of dead men; in other words, the astral dregs and remnants of human beings. They are the 'shades' of the ancients, the pale and ghostly phantoms living in the astral world, or the astral copies of the men that were; and the distinction between the bhuta and the kama-rupa is very slight).

BHODI (the illuminated or enlightened, perception, wisdom, to become awake, to blossom forth; from budh.

BODHISATTVA (Bodhi = wisdom + sattva = true essence, life breath, consciousness, goodness, harmony). The Heavenly Bodhisattvas such as Avalokiteshvara, are the 'Essence of Wisdom.' The earthly Buddhas-to-be or BODHISATTVAS, their reflections, are so resolved to become, Example: Maitreya.

BRAHMA SD. (Masculine) the Creator, Divine Architect, corresponds to Third Person of Christian Trinity, the Holy Spirit or Divine Creativity).

(RM. The highest and ultimate conception is Brahman [the neuter form of Brahma], the Absolute, about Which nothing can be postulated, since any assertion would be a limitation. The first stage in the manifestation of Brahman is Iswara, the Personal God. Iswara is then conceived of under the threefold aspects of [Brahma, the Creator]; [Vishnu, the Preserver]; and [Siva, the Destroyer]. There are temples to Vishnu and Siva but not to Brahma, as man is concerned with God as Preserver or God as Destroyer of forms in the Bliss of Union rather than with God as Creator. The 'h' in Brahma is either not pronounced or pronounced after the 'm', as Brahma).

BRAHMA-BHUTA (BG. the state of complete freedom from material contamination).

BRAHMACARI (BG. a celibate student under the care of a bona fide spiritual master).

BRAHMACHARYA (RM. enquiry into Brahman).

(Other. brahmacarya; God as ultimate Teacher; a striving to become more cognisant of the role God plays in everyday life and as a result a becoming more and more attracted to the Supreme. See yama and niyama).

BRAHMA-DANDA (Brahma, + danda = staff or mace, from dan = to subdue, tame, conquer, restrain and quiet). Staff of Brahma symbolised by the ascetic's actual danda.

BRAHMA-JIJNASA (BG. spiritual inquiry into one's real identity).

BRAHMAJYOTI (brahma = spiritual + jyoti = light).

(BG. the impersonal effulgence emanating from the body of Lord Krsna).

BRAHMA-LOKA (loka = abode). Abode or World of Brahma.

(BG. The abode of Lord Brahma, in the highest planetary system of the material universe).

BRAHMAN the Absolute, the Supreme Self, the Causeless Cause.

(BG. the all-pervading impersonal aspect of Krsna).

(RM. The vast, the Infinite, the absolute Reality, Pure Consciousness in nature).

See Brahma.

BRAHMANA ((BG. the intelligent class of men, according to the system of social and spiritual orders).

BRAHMA-RANDHRA (Brahma + randra = a slit, fissure, or hole, from radh = to subdue; rad = to split). The suture or aperture in the top of the head through which the soul passes at death.

Compare: Kundalini

BRAHMA VIDYA (Brahma + Vidya, Knowledge or Wisdom). The Knowledge of the Supreme Self.

BRAHMIN (RM. The Hindus were divided traditionally into four casts.

[1. Brahmins the highest, being devoted to a life of spirituality and study].

[2. Kshatriyas, the rulers, warriors and administrators].

[3. Vaishas, the middle classes].

[4. Shudras, the labourers].

BREATH or AIR always a symbol of the informing spirit.

BUDDHA (from budh = to know, to fathom a depth. The Wise or Perfectly Enlightened One, free from the necessity of all phenomenal existence, yet broods over mankind to bring all to the Way of Righteousness and Liberation. An Initiate, of the Eight Degree.

See Gautama, the last Buddha; also Dhyani-Buddhas.

Compare: Bodhi and see buddhi below.

BUDDHI (see Buddha, Bodhi, etc. Direct Perception, Intuition, Understanding).

BUDDHIC PLANE the middle or Intuitional plane of the Solar System. Compare: Loka.

BUDDHI-YOGA (BG. [buddhi = intelligence + yoga = mystic elevation]; devotional service).

BYTHOS (Gnostic. SD the first Father of unfathomable nature, the Second Logos.

Compare: Chaos, Duality, Vishnu.




CADUCEUS (Latin. Caduceum = a herald's staff; the staff of Mercury or Hermes, the messenger of the Gods.

(Greek. kerukeion, the caduceus of Hermes from root, to cry aloud).

As a physical symbol it is the spinal column wherein are intertwined the Ida and Pingala, the female and male forces, and forms a channel through which pours the sexless Sushumna power. Philosophical symbol of Spirit-Matter, intertwined in manifested universe. Compare: Serpent, Duality, Trinity, Kundalini.

CHAIN (Theos. = the incarnation of a Planetary Logos, through a seven-globed form, round which he successively passes his life-streams of evolving forms and consciousness seven times, stopping for a world-period of seven races on each globe. At most, three only of the globes are physical, the remainder having as their form the subtler matters.

Compare: Ring, Cycle, Yuga.

CHAKRA (from root kram = to step, walk, go towards; kri = to do, make, perform, accomplish). A wheel or circle; the discus of Vishnu, which Dr. Besant says in the 'whirling disc - the swastika - symbol of creation in time or succession.'

(Theos, = a force centre in vital-etheric or subtler bodies; in the etheric to be found on the surface of the physical).

(RM. The yogic and tantric paths [see marga] unfurl the spirit-force in man [kundalini] from its latency at the base of the spine and cause it to ascend through a series of spiritual centres in the body. Each of these is called a wheel or chakra. Each represents a different stage of development which is franchised as the kundalini attains it).

CHAOS (Latin. A yawning gulf).

(Greek. Chaos = Space, the first state of the universe, a Void and Formless Infinite).

(SD. The root of matter on the Adi plane, in its first remove from the Unknown Absolute, the impenetrable Veil between Incognizable and the LOGOS, the Waters of Life, the Unawakened or only stirring Virgin Mother, to become Akasha when the Creative Potency, sleeping or breathing within her bosom, fructifies her.

CHELA Disciple. Compare: Lanoo.

CHIT (to understand, to know, become conscious, perceive, attend, design). A trimurti, with Ananda and Sat.

(RM. Pure Consciousness, the nature of the Self, of Brahman).

CHIDABHASA (reflected consciousness; a kind of luminosity).

CHOHANS (Tibet? Lord). Seven Mighty Beings who, having passed the Sixth Initiation, have the power to focus within themselves the Ray-Streams or Attributes of Logoic Consciousness.

Compare: Dhyani Chohans.

CHOCHMAH SD the male Wisdom, the Second Person of the Kabalistic Trinity.

CHRESTOS (Greek. chrestes = one who expounds oracles; chrestos = auspicious; working for good). The terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrest and Chrestians were borrowed from the Temple vocabulary of the Pagans. Chrestos meant, a disciple on probation, a candidate for hierophantship; who, when he had attained it through Initiation, long trials, and suffering, and had been anointed, was changed into Christos.

Compare: The Key to Theosophy.

CHRISTOS (Greek translated to Hebrew = Messiah). the Anointed (with oil). The purified in esoteric or mystery language. In mystic symbology, meant the 'way', the Path, already trodden and the goal reached.

(Occult. [1] The Buddhi in man born at the First Initiation; [2] the Cosmic Buddhi, or Second Principle of the Triune Logos; [3] the World teacher, or Bodhisattva, the Christ who is anointed by and at one with his Cosmic Father Wisdom-Love, the Second Principle. Compare: Maitreya, Trinity, Jesus, Horus, Quetzo-Cohuatl.

CITTA (SY. section I [1, 2] derived from cit or citi; that instrument or medium through which the Jivatma materialises his individual world, lives and evolves in the world until he has become perfected and united with the Paramatma; broadly corresponds to 'mind' of modern psychology but it has a more comprehensive import and field for functioning; it is fundamentally of the nature of consciousness which is immaterial but affected by matter; it is not a sort of medium which is moulded into different forms when mental images of different kinds are produced; it is the basis of form side of matter).

Compare: Sat-Cit-Ananda.

CITTA-VRTTI (SY. section I [2, 5] page 9; since citta is not material it is not a vibration; vibrations can take place only in a vehicle and these vibrations may produce a citta-vrtti. It is not a mental image though it may be and is generally associated with mental images.

See citta, vrtti, klesas.

CONTEMPLATION (Latin. To mark out a temple wherein one could survey or vision the inner worlds in time and space,

Example: Contemplator). The fourth stage of mental process in which an object is visioned with the stilled mind. Samadhi.

COSMOCRATORES (Greek. Kosmos-universe + krator = bodily strength, might, a Lord in authority). The strong Lords of the Universe.

Compare: Dhyan Chohans, Creative Gods.




DAEMON, DAIMON (Greek. Divine Spirit or Power as contrasted with Theos. [see Theosophy] In person or manifest). Though used also of actual disembodied angels, the word was often used to indicate 'a flood of Divine Inspiration.'

DAIVIPRAKRITI (Daivi from Devi = Divine + prakriti = original or natural form, primary essence or substance).

(SD. The Light of Logos).

(OG. Sanskrit. A compound signifying 'divine' or 'original evolver,' or 'original source,' of the universe or of any self-contained or hierarchical portion of such universe, such as a solar system. Briefly, therefore, daiviprakriti may be called 'divine matter,' matter here being used in its original sense of 'divine mother-evolver' or 'divine original substance').

DAKSHINAMURTHI (RM. Siva manifested in ancient times as a youth who taught in silence, initiating and guiding his disciples by direct transmission of the Spirit).

DARSHANAS (seeing or sight, insight, perception, vision, showing the way; 'silent audience' in the presence of a holy man). Technically the six recognised systems of Indian philosophy as follows:

Purva; Uttara-mimamsa [Vedanta]; the Sankhya and Yoga; the Nyaya and Vaisheshika.

DESA-BANDA (SY. page 277; the phrase means confinement within a territory which allows a limited freedom of movement. The mind is interned, as it were, within the limited mental territory and has to be brought back immediately if it strays out. See dharana.

DEVA (root = div = to shine, be bright or splendid; possibly originally, 'to shoot forth as a ray of light,' to sport, to play). A Shining One, a Divine Being, God or Devi, Goddess, Angels.

DEVACHAN (Deva + Chan, Tibet = home or abode). Home or abode of the Gods; that protected area of the mental plane reserved for those who are building faculty between incarnations and enjoying the fruits of good deeds done in the previous incarnation.

DEVANAGARI (Deva + nagari = that which pertains to a city). The script of the Gods, generally used for Sanskrit.

DEVI (feminine of Deva [see above]) Duality as 'Every Deva has associated with him his Devi.'

DHARANA (RM. Concentration, focussing of attention). See desa-banda.

DHARMA (from root dhri = to hold, support, sustain, maintain, carry on, restrain, preserve; possibly from old form bhri = to bear, nourish, foster, cherish, suffer). Duty, Justice, Righteousness, Order, Law, Truth, Virtue, Innate Nature or Condition, Sacrifice.

(BG. the essential quality of the living being to render service).

(RM. Harmony, harmonious life or action. Also a man's role in life, since what is harmonious for one [say a soldier] may not be so for another [say a priest]).

DHARMAKAYA (Dharma + kaya = vesture). The Vesture of Truth. One of the Seven Paths open to the Adept, on which he drops all vehicles, atomic centres, and vestures lower than the Monadic plane and its triplicity of consciousness. The two other great vestures of Northern Buddhism are the Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya vestures.

DHIRA (BG. a sober man; one who has perfect material and spiritual knowledge).

DHYANA (root dhyani = meditation, reflection, contemplation, older form of dhi). Profound abstract religious contemplation, divine intuition and discernment. The four stages are: Analysis (Vitarka); Reflection (Vichara); Fondness (Priti); Bliss (Sukha).

(RM. dhyana denotes the repetition of the names, etc; mentally [japa] with feelings of devotion. In this method the state of mind will be understood easily. For the mind does not become concentrated and diffused simultaneously. When one is in dhyana it does not contact the objects of the senses; when in contact with objects it is not in dhyana. Those in this state can observe the vagaries of the mind then and there and, by stopping the mind from thinking other thoughts, fix it in dhyana. Perfection in dhyana is the state of abiding in the Self, [abiding in the form of 'that', tadakaranilai]; overcoming the obstacles to meditation. See Abhyasa).

DHYANA AVASTHA (SY. page 278 through 280; uninterrupted flow [of the mind] towards the object [chosen for meditation] is contemplation; this attainment shows that the mind is getting ready for the last stage and the real practice of yoga; unless and until this condition is fulfilled the practice of samadhi cannot be begun and the real secrets of yoga will remain hidden from the sadhaka).

See dharana, dhyana, pratyaya.

DHYAN CHOHAN Lords of Contemplation; the Divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of the Kosmos. See: Agnishvatta, Cosmocratores, Creative Gods, Narada.

DHYANI-BUDDHA (dhyana + Buddha) [see above]. The Five [or seven] Buddhas of Compassion, or Reflection:

Vairochana, Manifester of Phenomena or Source, Lord of the All-Pervading Wisdom.

Akshobhya of the Mirror-like Wisdom whose reflex Vajra-Sattva is 'The Triumphant One of Divine Heroic Mind.'

Dorjesempa; Ratna-Sambhava [Born of a Jewel]. The Beautifier, Lord of the Wisdom of Equality.

Amitabha [or boundless or Incomprehensible Light]. Lord of the Discriminating Wisdom.

Amogha-Siddhi. [Almighty Transcendent Conqueror of manifested Existence]. Lord of the All-Performing or All-Fulfilling Wisdom).

DIKSHA Initiation.

DJIN (Persian. An elemental).

DORJE-SEMPA (see dhyani-buddha above) Compare: Vajrasattva, Vajradhara; the Triumphant One of Divine Heroic Mind.

DRUIDS (Celtic. From drew = an oak; use in Greek drys or Dru-uids = the highly knowing).

Priest-Initiates of ancient Celts of Britain, Gaul and Germany. Their ceremonies were celebrated under oak trees.

DRUSES a Mohammedan Sect in Syria, characterized by a belief in a God above all attributes. Example: use: - Vedantin.

DUALITY explained under Trimurti and its references.

Compare: [Aditi, Diti]; [Aditya, Daitya]; [Advaita, Dvaita]; Adam Kadmon; Ahura Mazda; [Akasha, the root of all Duality]; Androgyne; Arupa; [Yang, Yin]; etc.

DVAITA Duality. School of Indian Philosophy stressing the Duality of Manifestation, Jivatma and Paramatma, Spirit-Matter, Life-Form, Dark-Light, etc.

(RM. The Dvaitists or Dualists worship a Personal God separate from the worshipper. The Advaitists, while recognizing the truth of this conception on its own plane, go beyond it to the conception of the Absolute in which man is absorbed back into THAT which is his Source and real Self, surviving in the pure Bliss and boundless Consciousness of Being. The principle doctrinal division among the Hindus is between the schools of Dvaita and Advaita. See Advaita.).

DVAPARA-YUGA (BG. the third age of the cycle of a maha-yuga).

DVESA (SY. section I, page 26; [dvesa and raga] two expressions of desire, a tremendous driving and disturbing force incessantly producing vrttis).

See vrttis and vairagya.

DWESHA (TG. hatred; one of five afflictions in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy).

See kleshas.

DZYAN, DZAN, DJAN Book of = Book of Real Knowledge obtained through Contemplation; the oldest book in the world, a Manual of Creation in its earlier portions.




EKAGRATA, EKAGRATVA (WG. eka = one + agrata = pointed; one-pointed; the perfect concentration of contemplation.

(OG. Sanskrit. A term signifying 'onepointedness' or 'absolute intentness' in the mental contemplation of an object of meditation. The perfect concentration of the percipient mind on a single point of thought and the holding of it there.

EKAGRATA PARINAMA a state of mind in the practice of yoga; uninterrupted, perfect concentration.

(SY. page 275; transformation of the mind; page 295 -unlike samadhi parinama, ekagrata parinama has established the tendency, 'the seed,' to persist without interruption.

See samadhi and samadhi parinama).

EKATANATA (SY. page 279; means 'extending continuously or unbrokenly' refers to the absence of interruptions from distractions which are present in dharana.

See dharana, dhyana, pratyaya, dhyana avastha).

EL very old Semitic (the Highest and One God, used not only for Jehovah, but for the Gods of other Nations. Translated as the Mighty, it is considered as rooted in the verb ol = to be strong). See also plural form ELOHIM.

Compare: Angels, Unity, Deity, YHVH.

ELEMENTALS (Latin. Theos . Creatures evolving in the Hierarchies of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Aether, and two other Elements. Gnomes are the lowest spirits of the earth line, undines of the water, salamanders of the fire, and sylphs of the air.

ELEMENTARIES (Theos. Remnants of the cast-off subtle bodies of disembodied spirits).

ELOHIM (Hebrew. [See EL] plural. Formed by adding a masculine plural ending im to the feminine noun Eloah, ALH).

The Male-Female Creative 'Gods' or Hierarchies of Beings who bring a Universe into being. In Genesis, mistranslated as 'God' in referring to the creation of the Universe.

ESSENES (Greek - Hebrew possibly hassaya = the modest, humble or pious;

kshim, 'the silent'; asa = the healers; asah = those who do wonders;

haza = the seers; ashen = the strong; seha = those who bathe, the pure).

A mysterious sect of Jewish Yogis.

ETERNITY (Greek aeternum, originally aviternum = aeon-long. Aeon). The true meaning of eternity, i.e. for a great age, has become warped into 'everlasting.'

(SD. Eternity = the seventh part of 311,040,000,000,000 years or an Age of Brahma, taken after eliminating 6,220,880,000,000 years of twilights, or a final total of 43,547,600,000,000 years.

Compare: Kalpa, Yuga).

ETHER (derived from aether). Technically the four most subtle substates of physical matter through which the finer forces of that plane are made manifest. Not Aether.

Compare: Linga Sharira.




FOHAT (SD. Tibet. 'The constructive Force of Cosmic Electricity - polarized - into positive and negative electricity' born at any point of friction or union as the relation between polar opposites. The Forthgoing Power of the Third Logos).

(TG. Tibet. A term used to represent the active [male] potency of the Sakti [female reproductive power] in nature. The essence of cosmic electricity. An occult Tibetan term for Daiviprakriti, primordial light: and in the universe of manifestation the ever-present electrical energy and ceaseless destructive and formative power. Esoterically, it is the same, Fohat being the universal propelling Vital Force, at once the propeller and the resultant).




GANGES (BG. a sacred river that flows from the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu).

GAUTAMA the sacerdotal name of the Buddha or Shakyamuni, founder of the Buddhist religion. Avatar of Vishnu.

Compare: with Gotama under Rishis; Zarathrustra, Bo-Tree.

GAYATRI (BG. a transcendental vibration chanted by the brahmanas).

GIRIPRADAKSHINA (RM. pradakshina is the circuit that is made of any holy place, walking round with one's right side inward, that is from south to west).

GODASA (BG. a servant of the senses).

GOLOKA VRNDAVANA (BG. Krsna's eternal abode in the spiritual sky).

GOSVAMI (BG. one who controls the mind and senses).

GRHASTHA (BG. one in the householder order of spiritual life).

GUNA, GUNAS (BG. Material quality(s) or mode(s) of nature.

(RM. The three sets of qualities constituents of the manifestation - tamas, rajas and sattva).

See sattvic.

GUPTA VIDYA the guarded or protected knowledge or wisdom.

GURU (from gri = to announce or proclaim or promulgate). A spiritual teacher.

Example use: Chela, Yugacharya, the planet Jupiter or its regent, Brihaspati.

GYAN, GNAN, JNANA (knowledge, the hidden or inner Gnosis or Wisdom).

See Jnana.




HATAH-YOGA (Ha = the Sun [swara]; tha = the moon [swara] or a union with the negative; hatha = by violence or force + yoga); (popular. Hatha = health; a form of yoga which aims at gaining mastery over the breath and other bodily processes, so that the physical body, both dense and vital, may be wholly under control).

Compare: Raja Yoga, Tantra, Pranayama.

HINAYANA (small vehicle). Used to denote the form of Southern Buddhism which holds strictly to the Buddha's written teachings.

Compare: Mahayana

HIRANYA-GARBHA shining, resplendent, or golden egg of the first nuclear Universe from which Brahma was born its creator.

HRDAYAM heart; Self [Atman].




IDA, ILA the androgynous daughter of Man. Occultly, the Second Race.

(Ida = offering, oblation; ila = flow, speech, the earth). Mother of Kuvera; also a name of Devi, feminine Force which flows up spine.

Compare: Pingala, Shushmna, Kundalini.

INDRA (in = to advance, press, or drive upon; id = even, just; ind = to be powerful). Lord of the Elements and cosmogenetic processes of the Heavens, Eastern Quarter and Aether.

INDRIYA (belonging to indra ) Organs or powers; the third Creation.

(WG. Indriyas, the senses; literally, 'belonging to Indra').

INITIATE, INITIATION (Latin. A beginning or commencement). To admit to secret religious rites.

(Theos. Great Stages on the Path of Super-humanity, to which a man who would serve the world is admitted, before the rest of his fellows.

Compare: Adept, Anagamin, Arhat, Bodhisattva, Buddha, Chohan, Pratyeka, Mahatma, Sanat Kumara, Chrestos, Christos, Druid, Serpent.

ISHTAR, ISTAR Babylonian = Ashtoreth, the old Semetic mother Goddess;

Phoenicia = Ashtarte; Arabia = Athtar [an Androgyne]. In Sabaea identified with the Sun and Morning Star; in Mecca and Assyria with Venus, and in Zidon with the Moon. She is Giver of Vegetation and Goddess of Spring. Creatrix of animals, Goddess of Wedlock and Maternity, Mother of Mankind, Giver of Revelations, Destroyer of Life, Storm and War Goddess; sometimes the star Sirius.

ISIS Egyptian. Third Person of Trinity, the Great Mother Goddess, Osiris, Horus. Daughter of Seb, god of the earth and Nut, goddess of the sky, she marries her brother Osiris and gives birth to Horus, the Sun-God.

ISVARA, ISWARA, ISHVARA (BG. a controller).

(RM. state of true knowledge or state of Godhood; God the Creator).

See Brahma.




JADA (RM. Inert, insentient)

JAGRAT (RM. the waking state).

JAGRAT SUSUPTI (waking sleep; sleep in which there is awareness alone, as opposed to ordinary sleep where there are neither thoughts nor awareness.

JAPA (RM. invocation or incantation; uttering the names of the gods or sacred mantras like OM either mentally or verbally) While following the methods of japa [and stuti] the mind will sometimes be concentrated and sometimes diffused, and the vagaries of the mind will not be evident.

See Abhyasa for full interpretation).

JAYANTHI (birthday).

JIVA (from jiv = to be alive, vivify, support life, to nourish, nurture). A living being; The ensouling or informing spirit.

Compare: Aja, Hamsa, Kshetrajna.

(BG. the soul or atomic living entity).

(RM. the individual or embodied Self).

JIVANMUKTA (mukta = loosened from + jivan = manifested existence). The liberated Adept.

(RM. the Liberated one still living in a body).

Compare: Moksha.

JIVATMAN, JIVATMA (see Jiva + Atma). The Supreme Spiritual Principle incarnate in manifested existence, particularly the Self of man.

JNANA, GNANA (BG. theoretical knowledge.

(RM. jnana is the annihilation of the mind in which it is made to assume the form of the Self through constant practice of dhyana or vichara [enquiry]; knowledge of the Self; Divine Wisdom or Understanding, Spiritual Enlightenment).

Compare: mouna.

JNANA BHOOMIKAS (RM. seven recorded stages based upon the experiences of the realised person:

[1. subheccha, the desire for enlightenment].

[2. vicharana, enquiry].

[3. tanumanasa, tenuous mind].

[4. satwapatti, self-realization].

[5. asamsakti, non-attachment].

[6. padarthabhavana, non-perception of objects].

[7. turyaga, transcendence].

Those who have attained the last four bhoomikas are called brahmavit, brahmavidvara and brahmavidvariya and brahmavid varistha respectively).

JNANA-MARGA (RM. the Path of Knowledge. This does not mean a path requiring great theoretical elaboration but one based on intuitive knowledge or spiritual understanding).

See marga.

JNANASHAKTI the power of understanding cognition.

Compare: Gyan, Shakti.

JNANENDRYAS (jnana = perception + indryas = sense organs; that which belongs to Indra). Organs of perception, the senses.

JNANI, GNANI (BG. one who is engaged in the cultivation of knowledge).

(RM. knower of the Self; one who attained complete Enlightment and is established in the Absolute Knowledge which is Liberation from all illusion of duality). Compare: Mukta.

JOD, YOD (Hebrew. The tenth letter of the alphabet. Signifies a hand.

As a numeral = 10.)




KABALA see Qabbalah

KAIVALYA (SY. section IV [30, 34] Exalted condition of consciousness and freedom from limitations in which a fully Self-realised Purusa lives; state of Enlightenment following re-mergence of the gunas because of their becoming devoid of the object of the Purusa. In this state the Purusa is established in his Real nature which is pure Consciousness. Finis.)

KALA (from the root kala = to impel, incite, urge on, accomplish). Time, Season.

KALI (from the root kal = to impel, incite, urge on, bear). Name of a die marked with one point and of that age which is said to be the Kali Yuga of strife, conflict, dissension, the shortest of the Yugas, (1200 years of the Gods or 232,000 years of men, beginning 18 February 3102 BC

KALI-YUGA (BG. the age of quarrel; last age in the cycle of a maha-yuga).

KALPA (practical, feasible, possibly from kirip = to order or arrange well). A cycle of time; usually a day or a day and night of Brahma, each one of which is 4,320,000,000 years.

Compare: Yuga, Eternity.

(BG. a day of Brahma, [twelve hours], 4,320,000,000 earth years).

KAMA (from the root kam = to wish, desire, long for). The principle of Desire, either Cosmic or Individual.

KAMA LOKA immediate after-death or purgatorial condition; place of desire.

KARANA SHARIRA (Casual Body). The immortal body of the human reincarnating ego.

KARANATMAN (the Casual Spirit or Soul). Compare: Atman.

KARMA (from the root kri = action, deed, work). The Law of Causation,

Balance, Compensation by which every action begets a reaction; the actor becomes the attractor for a similar action. Compare: Devachan, Lipika, Skandhas.

(BG. material action performed according to scriptural regulations).

(RM. the destiny that a man makes for himself by the law of cause and effect.

There are three kinds of karma.

[1. prarabdha, or that which is to be worked out in this life].

[2. sanjitha, or that which existed at the beginning of this life but is held over].

[3. agamya, or the new karma which is accumulated in this life and added to sanjitha].

The law of karma combines the two theories of predestination and cause and effect, since a man's present actions cause or predestine his future state. Karma also means action.

It is sometimes used to mean ritualistic actions performed as a marga or path to salvation. Just as karma is accumulated by a man's actions and desires, so it can be destroyed by divine love and knowledge and by renunciation of desires. Therefore, it is said that karma is like a mountain of gunpowder that can be burnt up by a single spark of jnana [Divine Knowledge]).

KARMA-MARGA (RM. the approach to God through harmonious and disinterested actions, that is, as is said in the Bhagavad-Gita, by acting without being attached to the fruits of one's actions, doing one's duty, not for profit or ambition, and not being deflected from it by fear or favour. This is normally accompanied by ritualistic acts).

KAVYAKANTA (RM. one whose speech is like poetry. A brilliant improvisor of poetry).

KEVALA NIRVIKALPA (RM. kevala = alone; remaining without concepts).

KIRTANA (BG. glorification of the Supreme Lord).

KLESAS (SY section II [2, 3]. Pain, affliction or misery; gradually it came to acquire the meaning of what causes pain, affliction, misery; philosophy of klesas is analysis of underlying, fundamental cause of human misery, suffering and the way this cause can be removed effectively; it is the foundation of the system of yoga outlined by Patanjali. Most necessary to understand this philosophy because of its answers to 'Why practice Yoga?' See page 130).

(VS. The love of pleasure or of worldly enjoyment, evil or good).

(TG. five kleshas [afflictions] in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy. The five Kleshas are:

Avidya, or ignorance.

Asmita, selfishness, or "I-am-ness".

Raga, love.

Dwesha, hatred .

Abhinivesa, dread of suffering.

KRPANA (BG. a miser).

KRSNALOKA (BG. Krsna's eternal abode in the spiritual sky).

KSATRIYA (BG. the administrative and protective occupation according to the system of four social and spiritual orders).

KOOT HOOMI (Tibet. One of the Two Chohan Adepts responsible for the formation of The Theosophical Society).

KOSHA shell, wrapper, sheath; possibly from root kush = to embrace, enfold. Man's various bodies are called koshas.

KRSNA, KRISHNA the dark one; possibly from root krish = to draw or attract to one's self, to draw into oneself and become master of. The Eight Avatar of Vishnu; Teacher of the Bhagavad-Gita and hero of the Bhagavat; Lord of Devotion, the lodestar of Indian hearts.

KRITA AGE (krita = accomplished, well-done, good). The Good Age, the first or Golden Yuga; Krita = the name of a die-face marked with four points, indicating the length of the age, according to the Puranas, 4,800 years of the gods = 1,728,000 years of men.

Compare: Satya.

KRIYA-SHAKTI (kriya = activity; action + shakti = energy or power). Technically the power of creative thought or divine activity; one of the seven great potencies used by Yogis, and one of the five powers of the Divine.

KSHETRAJNA (kshetra = the soil + jna = knowing). 'Knowing the body,' the soul or conscious principle in the corporeal frame. Compare: Atma, Jiva.

KUMARA (possibly from root kam = to wish or long for). A Virgin Youth.

(Theos. Applied to the Eternal Virgin Youth and his Disciples, Venusian Adepts, who founded and head the Occult Hierarchy. See Sana, Sanat and Sevens. This term is also applied to certain higher classes of Pitris born from the limbs of Brahma in the Ninth or special Creation, who refused to enter into generation, thus remaining virgin).

KUMBHABHISHEKAM (consecration).

KUNDALINI SHAKTI (kundalini = circular, spiral, coiling, possibly from root kun = to sound). A form of Devi.

(Theos. The seven-layered power residing in the base of the spine which has its origin from the ascending force of the Third Logos, coming from the earth; it has three aspects Ida, Pingala and Sushumma; in its milder form it is nerve force; its deepest layer quicken the body chakras, Compare: Caduceus, Sevens, Mother.

KURUKSHETRA (field of the Kurus). A region or extensive plain near Delhi, the scene of the great battles between the Kurus and Pandus. The battleground of the Self in striving to gain control of matter. Hindu tradition places the body-field of kurukshetra at the brow chakra.




LAKSHMI a mark, sign or token, good fortune; possible root lag = to cling or to clasp, unite; or lanj = to shine or manifest. Wife or Shakti of Vishnu, Goddess of Prosperity and the Lotus.

LAMA (Tibet. the superior one). Gurus or priests of equal rank in Northern Buddhist Monasteries. Compare: Dalai and Teshu Lamas.

LAMRIN (Tibet. a sacred volume or precepts and rules, written by Tsong-kha-Pa, 'for the advancement of knowledge.'

LANKA The island of Ceylon, now named Sri Lanka, though some accounts make this chief city of Ravana famed in the Ramayana much larger than the present island.

LANOO (Tibet? Disciple or Chela).

LAO TSE or TZU (China. the old-young). The Chinese philosopher, born 604 BC who taught the Tao, the way of the Inner Life.

LAYA (Li to adhere, dissolve). The act of union, sticking adherence, embrace, melting, dissolution. A Laya Centre is a neutral or zero point of equilibrium where substance becomes homogeneous and static.

(RM. a state of consciousness resembling dreamless sleep).

LEMURIA The continent now submerged in the Pacific which, with portions of land still extant, was the home of the Third Race, remnants of whose architecture are to be seen on Easter Island.

LHA (Tibet. Spirits of the highest spheres; given also as a term of respect to yogis and saints).

LILA (BG. pastime).

LINGA, LINGAM (a mark, sign or token; Example: lag = to cling to, clasp, unit). Symbol of the Divine generative power of Siva.

(RM. from root linga = to get absorbed; root meaning is 'that in which all beings are absorbed.' An upright pillar of stone often used to represent Siva or the Absolute on the grounds that any image or idol is limiting and therefore misleading).

LINGA SHARIRA the subtle or vital physical body, matrix of the gross visible body. The Etheric double, though sometimes applied to the astral body. Compare: Sthula.

LISHVARA PRANIDHANA (Iishvara = to seek the shelter of the Supreme; focusing all mental expressions on the nucleus of the universe in the act of meditation.

Meditation on the Supreme is the most meaningful human effort and should be practiced daily. See Niyama and Yama).

LIPIKA (from lipi = to write). The Four (and seven) Great Scribes, Lords of Karma who assess man's deeds, and adjust his karma that the utmost advantage may be therefrom derived.

LOGOS (No exact equivalent in any language. Greek. Logos never refers to 'word' as the name, but rather the innate substance or idea either expressible or expressed through the creative word). The manifested Deity who speaks the creative Word whereby universes spring into being and life.

(Theos. The three aspects of the Trimurti are spoken of as the First Logos, [the Father or Power Aspect, the Three-in-One]. The Second Logos, [Shiva, the Dual Positive-Negative Power of Wisdom-Love]. The Third Logos, [Vishnu. the One-in-Three, the Creator, Divine Intelligence or Activity. Brahma]. Though the order given in the Hindu Trimurti varies from the above, the principles correspond).

LOKA (open space, world, sky, heaven, a plane or division of the universe). The seven lokas or planes of matter and consciousness, invoked in Gayatri, are Bhur-loka = the earth;

Bhurva = the astral world; Svar = the Heaven world or lower mental plane;

Mahar = causal or higher mental plane; janar, tapar, and satya considered by Dr. Besant to be divisions of the buddhic world. Some authorities consider the above lokas to correspond respectively to the seven planes or worlds, physical, astral, mental, buddhic, atmic, or nirvanic, monadic, divine or adi.

LUCIFER (Latin. light-bearer). The planet Venus. Christian theology, the principal fallen angel.

LUNAR PITRIS (moon fathers). Those beings who, having achieved mind on the moon, assist Earth in form-building.




MAHACHOHAN (mighty lord; Chohan). Title applied to the Over-Lord of Rays. Commander-in Chief of Nature's Forces.

MAHA-MANTRA (BG. the great chanting for deliverance: 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.')

MAHAMAYA (great illusion). Of separateness; also that which makes the phenomenal universe appear as reality to the senses. Compare: Maya.

MAHARSHI (RM. Maha Rishi = the Great Sage. The name is used for one who opens a new path to Realization. It is also the name of Vishnu as the fountain-head of initiation and paths to Realization).

MAHASAMADHI (RM. the great or final or complete samadhi or absorption in the Self or Spirit. The term is sometimes used for the physical death of a great saint).

MAHAT (see Maha). Universal Intelligence and Consciousness,

the producer of 'I-am-I' or a sense of separated existence.

MAHATMA An Adept (see Atma). (BG. a great soul, or devotee).

MAHAT-TATTVA (BG. the total material energy).

MAHAYANA (greater vehicle). Applied to Northern Buddhism because it includes a greater range of teaching than the Hinayana.

MAITREYA (from mitra). The Compassionate and Friendly Lord, the present Bodhisattva. In Northern Buddhism regarded as one of the Bodhisattvas under the Dhyani Buddha, Vajra-Sattva.

MANAS (from man = to think or believe, mind, intelligence, understanding). Regarded in Hindu philosophy as a 5th or synthesizing sense.

Theos. the third highest of man's principles.

Compare: Psyche, Antahkarana, Taijasa.

MANDALA (from root mand = to clothe, surround, etc.).Circle, globe, wheel; a mystical diagram in which are drawn symbols representing aspects of Divinity and used in invoking the Gods.

MANTAPAM (a shrine or bare stone hall, with or without the image of a God inside.

MANTRA, MANTRAM (instrument of thought, sacred speech; possibly from man = to think or create + tra = to protect.

Compare: man = to sound). A series of syllables which, when correctly intoned, unleash potent forces; a sacred formular used as an incantation.


MANTRADHYANA (RM. meditation or spiritual awareness induced or supported by the use of incantations).

MANU (from man = to think or to create). The MAN par excellence, Farther of the Human Race. The term in occultism is generic and is applied to 'creators and fashioners' of each racial type; the seven root-Manus and seven seed-Manus; Chain Manus, etc. up to the LOGOS Himself. Vaivasvata Manu, of the Fifth or Aryan Race gave the code of laws and ethics still followed in India. The Manu, Chakshusha, is still the leader of the Fourth Atlantean or Mongolian Race.

Compare: Pitris, Manvantara.

MANUSHA, MANUSHI, MANUSHYA (belonging to or propitious to mankind). A Manushi Buddha, as contrasted with a Dhyani-Buddha, is one who incarnates on earth to teach mankind.

MANVANTARA (the period presided over by a Manu). According to Manu, this period comprises 71 great Yugas held equal to 12,000 years of the gods or 4,320,000 human years, or 1/14th of a day of Brahma.

MASORETIC POINTS (Hebrew. A system of symbols used to indicate the vowel sounds to be given the vowel-less Hebrew consonantal words).

MASSORAH (Hebrew. from root = to bind or root = to hand down). Traditional system of registration of words, consonants, vowels, etc.

MARGA (RM. mode of approach in the spiritual quest. Basically there are three margas.

[1. Jnana-marga, through knowledge of understanding, by which is meant spiritual knowledge and NOT mental knowledge; leads to disinterested activity free from the thought 'I am the doer of this and should have the praise or reward for it'].

[2. bhakti-marga, through love and devotion; leads to dedicated activity, seeing God manifested in all his creatures and serving him by serving them].

[3. karma-marga, through harmonious and disinterested activity].

The three margas are not mutually exclusive. There can be no spiritual knowledge without love. Also, love and devotion to God leads to understanding and to Union, which is Knowledge. For activity to be perfectly harmonious and disinterested it must be inspired by love and understanding. Although the margas merge and all lead to the same goal, they start from different points and their methods are different in practice. Apart from the three margas, there are two less direct and more elaborate developments of Bhakti-marga, that is the yogic and tantric paths).

MATH (a private temple or shrine, something like the chantries of mediaeval England).

MATRUBHHATESWARA (RM. God [Iswara] in the form of the mother).

MAULVI (Arabic. a Muslim learned in Islamic doctrine and law. The Islamic equivalent of a pandit.

MAYA (possibly from ma = to measure, form, create; or man = to think or create + ya = air, wind, he who moves). The principle of illusion, philosophically matter as veiling spirit.

Compare: Mahamaya, Mulaprakriti.

(Bhagavad Gita. [ma = not; ya = this] illusion; forgetfulness of one's relationship with Krsna.

(RM. maya is that which makes us regard as non-existent the Self, the Reality, which is always and everywhere present and all-pervasive and self-luminous, and as existent the individual soul [jiva], the world [jagat], and God [para] which have been conclusively proved to be non-existent at all times and places).

MAYAVADI (Bhagavad Gita. an impersonalist or voidist).

MAYAVI RUPA (illusory form). A temporary vehicle created for use in the subtle worlds.

MEDITATION (RM. abiding as one's Self without swerving in any way from one's real nature and without feeling that one is meditating. As one is not in the least conscious of the different states, waking, dreaming etc] in this condition, the sleep [noticeable] here is also regarded as dhyana. Dhyana is achieved through deliberate mental effort; in samadhi there is no such effort).

(RM. Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distractions of mind is a sign of its weakness. By constant meditation it gains strength, that is to say, weakness of fugitive thoughts gives place to the enduring background free from thoughts. This expanse devoid of thoughts is the Self. Mind in purity is the Self.)

MEDIUM (SY. section I, page 46; a person with a peculiar physical constitution, the peculiarity consisting in the ease with which the dense physical body can be partially separated from the etheric double or the Pranamaya Kosa).

See videhas

METEMPSYCHOSIS, (Greek. meta = change + empsychosis = of the animating soul). The transmigration of the soul after death into some other body. Vulgarly thought to be rebirth from human into lower or animal form).

MITHRA, MITHRAS, MITRA old form MITTRA (friend, from mid = to melt, love, expand; or from mith = to unite or pair as polar opposites). Mitra in the Vedic Pantheon was one of the seven earliest Aditya, presiding over Day, calling all to activity, beholding all with unwinking eye, sustaining earth and sky. Primordial Light. The Mysteries of Mithra, having their origin in esoteric teachings of the first Zarathustra, 29,700 BC became in later millennia the secret Masonry of the Roman soldier, the initiates of which were bound into a mystic body as ascetic soldiers of Light and Truth.

MOKSHA, MUKTA, MUKTI (from much through moksha = to loosen, set free, liberate). Regarded as deliverance from the thralldom of life in form.

(RM. Liberation or Deliverance. Salvation is generally used in a dualistic sense to mean the salvation of a purified soul in the presence of God; Moksha is used in the complete and ultimate sense of liberation from all ignorance and duality through realization of identity with the Self).

MONAD, MONAS (Greek. monas = alone, solitary, single, a unit). A unitary element assumed by Leibnitz. In occultism, the one indivisible Self, the integral sparks from the Parent flame or MONAD. Used also of any unit of consciousness from an atom to a Solar System. Compare: Atma.

MORYA Maru, a Dynasty of Indian Princes. A Chohan heading the First Ray or Ray of Will.

MOUNA (RM. silence. The extinction of the mind is the state in which there is a cessation of all efforts. Those established in this state, never swerve from their true state. Mouna [silence] and inaction refer to this state alone; state that transcends speech and thought.

See Abhyasa).

MOUNA DIKSHA (RM. Initiation through silence).

MOUNI (RM. one who is under mouna; one who has taken a vow of silence).

MOUNT MERU (RM. The mountain, which in Hindu mythology, is the Spiritual Centre of the universe [Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi affirmed that Arunachala is Mount Meru]).

MULAPRAKRITI (mula = root + prakriti). The original root or germ out of which al matter or form was produced. See Chaos, its first differentiation.

Compare: Maya, Plane, Prima Materia, Protomateria, Protyle, Shekinah.

MUKTA (RM. one who is Liberated; one who has attained moksha or deliverance; one who attains moksha during the life on earth is sometimes called Jivan-Mukti [Mukta while living]).

MUKTI (BG. liberation).

(RM. Final Liberation; deliverance; same as moksha).

MUNI (BG. a sage or self-realised soul).




NADIS (RM. channel, nerve, along which spiritual force flows; psychic nerves; abode of the vital forces, the mind and the light [of consciousness]).

NAGARJUNA (naga + arjuna = to shine). The first great Buddhist teacher of the Amitabha doctrine. Born 223 BC

NAN YAR RM. Who am I? enquiry into one's nature; used as key to unlock knowledge of self. The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi).

NARADA (Nara and da = to give). One of the seven great Rishis, and ten great Prajapatis, regarded as inventor of the Vina.

(S.D. a Dhyan Chohan).

NARAYANA (nara + ayana = going to). Vishnu, the primordial Saviour, or Creative-Preservative Spirit or Life-Principle, moving toward expression in form out of the waters of Chaos.

NATARAJA (RM. a name for Siva). See Siva, Rudra and Sambhu.

NEO-PLATONISM (Greek. new-Platonism). A philosophy which attempted to connect the teachings of Plato and Aristotle with the Eastern Wisdom. The Theosophy of the early Christian era, founded by Ammonius Saccas 175 - 250 AD with such representatives as Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, Porphyry, etc.

NEPHESH (Hebrew. soul, divine breath of life).

(H.P.B. This term is used very loosely in the Bible. It generally means Prana, 'life'; in the Kabalah it is the animal passions and the animal Soul). Compare: Kama.

NIDANA (ni-da = to give out correctly). Primary cause of essence. In Buddhism, the twelve causes of finite existence; each one arising out of the other progressively:

Advidya, Ignorance.

Samskara, forms.

Vijnana, consciousness.

Namarupa, name and bodiness.

Chadayatana, the senses and their objects.

Sparsa, contact.

Vedana, feeling.

Trishna, thirst.

Upadana, clinging.

Bhava, becoming.

Jati, birth.

Jaramarana, age and sorrow.

These are sometimes given in reverse order.

NIDRA (TG. sleep; also the female form of Brahma).

(SY. section I page 15; dreamless sleep; one of the five vrttis; when the remnant of the lower mind [without will and reason of the higher Self] withdraws beyond the threshold of brain consciousness).

See vrtti.

NIRGUNA (stringless, as a bow). Without attributes, the Supreme Being.

NIRODHA (SY. section III [9] page 294; derived from niruddham = restrained, controlled, inhibited; is that momentary unmodified state of mind which intervenes when one impression which holds the field of consciousness is replaced; by another impression. The impression which holds the field of consciousness is called vyutthana samskara and the opposing impression that tries to replace it is called nirodha samskara).

See nirodha-parinama also Compare: Samadhi parinama, and Ekagrata parinama

NIRODHA PARINAMA (SY. section III. [9] page 293; is that transformation of the mind in which it becomes progressively permeated by that condition of nirodha which intervenes momentarily between an impression which is disappearing and the impression which is taking its place; nirodha or complete suppression is the last in the cycle of transformations and comes after Samadhi parinama, and Ekagrata parinama in actual practice).

Compare: Samadhi parinama, and Ekagrata parinama; [page 295]).

NIRMANAKAYA (nirmana measuring, producing, creating; with Buddhist, transformation + kaya = body). The third great vesture in Northern Buddhism assumed by Buddhas who would incarnate to save the world. (Occult. The path of those Adepts Who remain as the guardian-wall of humanity to fill the spiritual reservoir or power for its use. As they do not give up their permanent atoms (nuclei of the bodies of the various planes), they can, if needed, come into physical incarnation. This term is also loosely used of the whole Hierarchy of Adepts who remain in physical incarnation to help and guide the world).

Compare: Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya, Trimurti.

NIRVANA (nir [nis] = out, forth, away from + va = to blow [as the wind], to move, to be agitated. By some, va is said to be from av-a = to desire or satisfy; by others, vai = to be languid, weary, extinguished). With the uncertain derivation, many meanings are given: blowing out, cooling, disappearance, refreshment, comfort, repose, serenity. The teaching of obtaining liberation from the thralldom of sensual experience in a state of Nirvana reaching the consciousness of the plane of Divine Causation (variously called 'Spiritual', 'Atmic', and 'Nirvanic') knows himself as the One and all its effect, thereby forever losing the illusion of the existence of a separated personality. Instead of being annihilation, such a state is one of supreme conscious Bliss.

(BG. the end of the process of materialistic life).

NIRVIKALPA SAMADHI (RM. completely free of thoughts [of the world]; state of trance, with suspension of the human faculties).

NISHKAMYAKARMA (RM. Action without attachment to the outcome, that is without egoism; action which does not create new karma).

NITI (guidance, direction, prudence).

NITYA (own; Vedic. = perpetual, eternal, everlasting).

NIVRTTI (RM. cessation of activity).

NIYAMA (inner culture); five of ten guiding principles that yoga was founded upon.

[1. shoaca; purity - physically, mentally, and spiritually].

[2. santosa; mental contentment].

[3. tapah; penance or selflessness].

[4. svadhyaya; study of scripture].

[5. Iishvara pranidhana; to seek the shelter of the Supreme].

See Yama for remaining five guiding principles.

NOUS (Greek. mind.) A Platonic term for the Supreme Intelligence; in man the Spirit or Conscious Self. Psyche.

NYINGPO See Alaya, for which it is the Tibetan equivalent.




OGDOAD (Greek. eight). A Gnostic term for Eight Divine Aeons or Spiritual Powers.

OM (RM. The Supreme mantra, representing the substratum of creative sound which sustains the universe. It is written with the three letters AUM but pronounced OM).

(OG. A word considered very holy in the Brahmanical literature. It is a syllable of invocation, as well as of benediction and of affirmation, and its general usage [as elucidated in the literature treating of it, which is rather voluminous, for this word Om has attained almost divine reverence on the part of vast numbers of Hindus] is that it should never be uttered aloud, or in the presence of an outsider, a foreigner, or a non-initiate, and it should be uttered in the silence of one's mind, in peace of heart, and in the intimacy of one's 'inner closet.' There is strong reason to believe, however, that this syllable of invocation was uttered, and uttered aloud in a monotone, by the disciples in the presence of their teacher. This word is always placed at the beginning of any scripture or prayer that is considered of unusual sanctity.

It is said that by prolonging the uttering of this word, both of the o and the m, with the mouth closed, the sound re-echoes in and arouses vibration in the skull, and affects, if the aspirations be pure, the different nervous centres of the body for good.

The Brahmanas say that it is an unholy thing to utter this word in any place which is unholy. It is sometimes written Aum.

0M MANI PADME HUM (Om see Aum; Mani = the Jewel; also the positive Male Principle, from root man = to sound; Padme = Padma, the Lotus, from padma = rich in stalks, or pad = to fall, to attain; Hum = a mantram syllable of power. Many six-syllable Tibetan mantrams begin with Om and end with Hum). 'Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus!' or 'Hail to Him who is the Jewel in the Lotus!' The essence mantra of Chenresi (Avalokiteshvara), the patron-god of Tibet, said to liberate even those who recite it in ignorance of its hidden significances.

OMKARA (BG. the impersonal sound representation of the Lord).

OM TAT SAT (BG. transcendental syllables chanted by brahmanas during sacrifice).

ORIGEN of Alexandria, who lived in the 3rd century, one of the most learned of the Greek Fathers. He believed in the threefold interpretation of Scriptures, in the pre-existence or reincarnation of spirit, and ultimate salvation.

OSIRIS (Egypt. Lord of Light and Resurrection - hence called by some Lord of the Dead).

First Person of the Egyptian Trinity: Osiris-Isis-Horus. The cult of Osiris dates from the time of Hermes Thrice-greatest, 40,000 BC.




PADMA (possibly from Pad-mat = rich in stalks; said to be from pad = to fall, to go, attain, participate in, turn one's self toward; a foot; also see pada = step). The Lotus Flower, a symbol of Perfection in Manifestation of the Divine.

Compare: Om Mani Padme Hum.

PADMAPANI (see Padma; Lotus-handed or bearing a Lotus Flower).

PALI (row, line, series of Buddhist sacred texts). An ancient dialect of Sanskrit preserved as a medium of sacred Buddhist writings.

PANDIT (RM. One learned in the Hindu scriptures, doctrines and law; sometimes transliterated 'pundit').

Compare: Maulvi.

PANTHEISM (Greek. God in all). A philosophy which regards the Divine as an indwelling and immanent Presence in every atom of Nature.

PARABRAHMAN (Para + Brahman). The Supreme Self or the Absolute.

See Atman.

PARACELSUS a symbolical name adopted by the Swiss physician-philosopher, Philip Bombaste Aureolus Theophrastus von Hohenheim, born in Zurich in 1493. To him, Physics is indebted for the discovery of Nitrogen (Azote).

PARAMAHAMSA (BG. the topmost class of devotees).

PARAMATMA, PARAMATMAN The Supreme Atma or Atman.

(BG. the Supersoul or localized aspect of the Supreme Lord).

PARAMITAS (para = the further shore + mita = moving [beyond] by measured steps). The six or ten perfections or paths belonging to a Bodhisattva.

PARAMPARA (BG. disciplic succession).

PARANIRVANA, PARINIRVANA (the highest Nirvana). The supreme state of consciousness recognised to be attainable by Buddhists.

PARANISHPANNA (para + nish = out of, forth from + panna from pad = having fallen down). That which comes or issues forth from the Absolute.

PARAYANAM (singing or chanting).

PARINAMAS (SY. transformations of the mind; See Nirodha parinama, Samadhi parinama, and Ekagrata parinama). page 295

PATANJALI, PATANJALA (pata = falling + anjali = the joined hands. This refers to the falling of Patanjali as a small snake into the reverential hands of the grammarian Panini).

The great authority on Yoga and concentration, founder of an Indian School of Philosophy.

PHENOMENA (the world).

PHILALETHES (Greek. philo = lover + aletheia = truth). Eugenius Philalethes was Rosicrucian name assumed by Thomas Vaughan, an eighteen century English occultist and alchemist.

PHILO (Greek. lover). An Alexandrian philosopher who sought to harmonize the western Greek and eastern Hebrew religions.

PIAL (a raised platform or stone or concrete couch often built outside a Hindu house or in the porch of it).

PINEAL GLAND (Latin. resembling a pine cone). A conical reddish-grey gland-like body attached to the roof of the third ventricle, from which it rises as a hollow outgrowth, lying between the anterior corpora quadrigemina. In some reptilian forms, it is raised on a stalk, bringing it near the upper surface of the head in the median line and has the structure of an eye with a more or less distinct retina and lens, and is then called the pineal or median eye. Physiologists recognize it to be a remnant of an important sense organ in ancestral forms.

(Theos. a connecting link between the physical and mental consciousness; when developed, an organ or thought-transference. The 'third eye' of mental perception in the past, it will be revivified with racial progress).

PINGALA (reddish-brown). The positive or right-hand [in males] spinal force.

See Caduceus, Kundalini, Ida, Sushumma.

PISTIS SOPHIA (Greek. pistis = faith + Sophia). An early Christian Gnostic text, teaching the doctrine of the Aeons.

PITARAS, PITRIS (from pa = to watch, guard, protect, shelter, rule, govern). The Fathers who set the types for mankind at the beginning of the various great epochs, races, chains, rounds, etc. See Manu, Kumara.

PITUITARY BODY (Latin. pituita = phlegm). A small, oval, reddish-grey vascular body attached to the infundibulum of the brain and occupying a depression in the middle line of the superior surface of the sphenoid bone. A ductless master-gland which plays an important part in body processes, particularly as regards growth, sexual and reproductive functions, and the balancing and control of other glands.

(Theos. [A. Besant]. It 'focuses the astral vibrations much as a burning-glass focuses the rays of the sun' thus rendering possible the transfer of astral consciousness to the brain).

PLANE (Latin. planus = level).

(Theos. a type of matter created by the impress of Logoic consciousness on root matter. The seven 'planes' or types of matter in the Solar System are:


Astral [Feeling, Emotional, or Desire].


Intuitional [Buddhic, Love-Wisdom].

Atmic [Nirvanic, Spiritual, or Will].

Monadic [Anupadaka].

Divine or Adi.

Compare: Chaos, Aether, Akasha, Mulaprakriti. The word 'plane' was used, though 'globe' or 'world' in some ways would be more expressive, because a cross-section of the seven 'planes' of a globe or solar system shows each subtler type of matter interpenetrating the grosser and extending beyond it in a definite 'plane').

PLANETARY LOGOI or SPIRITS, Lords of the Seven Great Planetary Systems of the Solar System, each of which is a channel for one of the Seven Rays or Aspects of Logoic Temperament, and to one of which each living thing belongs.

(Theos. given as Venus, Vulcan, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and two other as yet unknown planets, Uranus, the Earth with Mars and Mercury. Given in Hinduism as Surya, Sun; Budha [Wisdom]; Mercury; Shukra, Venus; Shani, Saturn; Chandra, Moon; Duja [born of the earth or hell], Mars; Guru or Jupiter.

PRADAKSHINA(see giripradakshina).

PRAJNA (SY. page 287; higher consciousness which appears in the state of samadhi and stands for all the states of consciousness in samadhi between the vitarka and asmita stages).

PRAKRITI (original or natural form from primary substance as opposed to vi-kriti or modified, changed substance). Personified female, Energies, or Shaktis, Nature.

Compare: Daiviprakriti, Mulaprakriti.

(BG. [that which is predominated], material nature).

PRAKRTILAYA (SY. section I, page 46; means 'merged-in-prakrti'; yogis of not high class who have obtained some kind of moksa [liberation]; pseudo-yogis who have the capacity to pass into a kind of passive state or trance which outwardly resembles samadhi; it is not real samadhi but jada-samadhi [merged in prakrti which is jada]).

PRALAYA (pra li = to dissolve, vanish, be absorbed). A period of rest as opposed to Manvantara. Compare: Samvarta, Yuga.

PRAMANA (SY. section I, pages 14-16; right knowledge; when there is a correspondence between the conception of a thing and the thing itself; one of the five vrttis. [Pramana and Viparyaya comprise all those images which are formed by some direct contact through the sense organs with the outer world of objects].

See vrtti.

PRANA (pra = to be filled). Breathing, breath, spirit, vital air.

(Theos. The life-breath of the various vehicles).

(RM. breath or vital force). Compare: Nephesh, Vayu.

PRANAMAYA-KOSA (SY. section I, page 46; etheric double).

PRANAVA (pra-nava = that which renovates, rejuvenates; or pra-nu = to praise).

The sacred word, AUM.

PRANAYAMA (the practice of stilling the mind through breath control).

PRARABDHA (RM. destiny [karma] which is running its course in the present time).

PRASADA, PRASADAM (BG. food offered to Krsna, the remnants of which are spiritual and can purify any living entity).

(RM. Some object given by the Guru as a vehicle of his Grace. When food is offered to the Guru it is usual for him to return a part of it as prasadam).

PRATYAYA (SY. page 279; this word covers a wide range of notions such as concept, idea, cause, etc. but in yogic terminology it is generally used for the total content of the mind which occupies the field of consciousness at a particular time).

See dhyana, ekagrata, ekatanata.

PRATYEKA (singly, solitary, each). Used in occultism to designate those great Beings at the level of the Buddha [eight initiation] who act as transmitters of the Will or Power Element, which path is solitary, as compared with that of a Buddha.

PREMA (BG. the highest perfectional stage of love of God).

PROCLUS (Greek. The last great exponent of Neo-Platonism, the man whose influence overshadowed the whole medieval Christian Church).

PUJA (Ritualistic worship).

PUJARI (one who performs puja).

PURANAS (belonging to ancient times). Sacred Hindu poetical works treating of the creation, destruction and renovation of worlds; the genealogy and deeds of gods and heroes; the reigns of the Manus and the deeds of their descendants. There are 18 principal Puranas and 18 supplementary Upa Puranas.

Compare: Vidya.

PURUSHA (RM. The Spirit. Atma is used in the pure sense of Spirit, whereas purusha is used more in the masculine sense where Spirit is contrasted or coupled with Substance [Prakriti]. In common speech it can be used for 'man' or 'husband').

PURVA SAMSKARAS (RM. 'latent tendencies' that appear to the individual consciousness even when there is on contact with external objects; immediate enquiry 'Who is it that sees them'? will cause them to disappear at once).

PYTHAGORAS (The famous Greek philosopher, mathematician, musician, born about 582 BC in Samos. This Adept brought the Eastern mysteries, in India known as Yavanacharya or Ionian teaching, to aid the west in the birth of its new civilization.




QABBALAH, KABBALAH, CABBALAH, KABALA, etc. (Hebrew. quabal = to receive; the traditional or received lore). The esoteric or mystic doctrine concerning God and the universe, asserted to have come down as a revelation to the elect from a remote past, and preserved by a privileged few. Called also hokmah nistarah = hidden wisdom.

Compare: Ain Soph, Kepher, Chokmah, Binah, Levi, Sephira, Zohar.

QUATERNARY (Latin. four). A Group of Four.

(Theos. the four lower principles, a square [ ] of influence which with the three higher aspects of Spirit make the sacred Seven. Compare: Numbers, Tetraktys Sesquitertia, Tetragrammaton, Maharajah, Lipikas; Yama, Varuna, Zodiac.

QUETZO-COHUATL (QUETZALCOATL) [the Green Feathered Serpent]. In Aztec tradition, a King from the East, [Atlantic]. Into a land rife with human ceremonial sacrifice, he introduced a cult of purification and penitential sacrifice.

QU-TAMY (Chaldean. The mystic recipient of the revelations of the moon-goddess in Nabathean Agriculture, an ancient Chaldean work).




RAGA (TG. One of five afflictions in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy. In Sankhya Karika, it is the 'obstruction' called love and desire in the physical or terrestrial sense).

See kleshas.

(WG. emotion, feeling, love; joy, pleasure; regret, sorrow; the quality of rajas; see guna).

(SY. section I, page 26; [raga and dvesa] two expressions of desire, a tremendous driving and disturbing force incessantly producing vrttis).

See vrttis, and vairagya.

RAJA YOGA (kingly Yoga). The control of the lower vehicles by developing higher aspects of consciousness, the Mind and Will. The Yoga of the Second or Wisdom Ray.

Compare: Hatha Yoga.

RAMA RAMACHANDRA (delight, rejoicing, from ram = to repose in calm tranquility, to be happy, rejoice, sport, etc. chandra = the moon). The Seventh Avatar of Vishnu. Ideal of the Fifth Race or Developed Humanity. The perfect Man, the true Aryan. 'Moon' in case of Rama has an occult significance as Rama is of the Solar-Dynasty.

RAJAS (RM. the qualities of activity [excitement, wrong actions, etc]. See gunas and sattvic).

RASA (BG. the mellow or relationship between the Lord and the living beings).

RAYS, SEVEN (Theos. Seven Aspects of Divine Consciousness).

Planetary Spirits:

[Ray 1. Will or Purpose].

[Ray 2. Wisdom-Love].

[Ray 3. Higher Creative Activity, Adaptability].

[Ray 4. the Bridge between life and form, Ray of Harmony].

[Ray 5. Scientific].

[Ray 6. Fiery Devotion].

[Ray 7. Ceremonial or Action Ray].

Compare: the Hindu names, Sushumna, Harikesha, Vishvakarman, Vishvatryarchas, Sannaddha, Sarvavasu.

RIG VEDA (rich, rig = lustre, splendour, a hymn, or a single verse + Veda).

The oldest of the Vedas, Hymns of Praise.

RIKSHA (from riksh = to kill or hurt, or from rich). The seven stars, the Pleiades; in later times the seven Rishis. The particular star in twenty-seven mansions of the moon under which one is born.

RISHI (possibly from driseh = to see; Rish, Arch or rich = to praise). A singer of sacred hymns also an inspired poet or sage; the seven ancient sages born of Brahma's mind, to whom the Vedic hymns are attributed. In the Shatapatha-Brahmana, their names are given as:

[Gotama, Go = cow, speech, earth].

[Bharadvaja, bringing or bearing food].

[Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, blazing fire].

[Vasistha, Kashyapa, and Atri].

In the Mahabharata: Marichi, Atri, An = giras [to mark, to go around], Pulaha, Kratu [plan, determination].

In Manu they are called Prajapatis, and are reckoned as ten, the additional three being Prachetas or Daksha, Bhrigu, and Narada. They represent the Constellation of the Great Bear to which it is said they were translated.

ROSICRUCIANS, ROSY CROSS (German. Rose-Cross). Name given to followers of Christian Rosenkreuz, an Adept who founded an Order in Germany about 1460. Popularly supposed to have been the invention of a German theologian, Johann Valentin Andrea, who in the 17th-18th century wrote anonymous pamphlets about the Order, calling himself a Knight of the Rose-Cross. The true Order of Rosicrucians has remained secret. Compare: Philalethes, Roger Bacon, Comte de St. Germain.

RUDRA (RM a name for Siva as 'He who proclaims himself aloud').

See Nataraja, Siva and Sambhu.

RUPA (a visible form, formal). Compare: Arupa, Duality, Agnishvatta, Barhishads, Skandhas. See svarupa.




SADHAKA (RM. who practices spiritual discipline; spiritual aspirant or seeker).

SADHANA (RM. spiritual discipline; spiritual quest or path; the technique of spiritual effort).

SADHU (BG. a holy man, or devotee).

(RM. This word should correctly mean 'one who has attained the Goal of sadhana' but is in fact used for one who has renounced home and property in the quest, whether there is attainment or not).

SAHASRARA (RM. The thousand petal lotus; psychic centre).

SAHAJA NIRVIKALPA SAMADHI (natural state of absorption in oneself without concepts).

SAKRIDAGAMIN, SAKARADAGAMIN (he will receive birth [only] once more). The Buddhist term for the second degree Initiate, he who need return but one more to birth.

SAHAJA SAMADHI (RM. permanent awareness of the Self, even when the world is present; not requiring trance or ecstasy but compatible with full use of the human faculties; the state of Jnani).

SAIVITE (RM. From the point of view of Siva; devotee of Siva. The main division in Hinduism is between Saivism [Siva] and Vaisnavism [Vishnu]. This corresponds to the difference between Advaita and Dvaita, since the devotees of Vishnu stop short of duality, while Saivism is the doctrine of non-duality. It also corresponds to the difference between Jnana-marga and Bhakti-marga, since the Advaitist proceeds by spiritual understanding and the vaitist by love and devotion to God. These differences are not similar to those between Christian sects, since both paths are recognised as legitimate and is followed according to the temperament of the person).

SAKTI, SHAKTI (RM. The Force, Energy or Activity of a Divine Aspect or Principle. In Hindu mythology a Divine Aspect or Principle is represented as a God and its Energy or Activity as the Wife of the God).

SAMADHI (samadh = to place or hold together, to unite or compose differences, to adjust, set right, solve difficulties). Profound contemplation and perfect absorption in the One; the eight and last stage of Yoga; ecstatic apperception; the highest point of focus of consciousness.

(BG. the state of trance when the mind is fixed on the Supreme).

(RM. [1. The state of being aware of the Self, or Being; absorption in the Spirit or Self with or without trance and suspension of the human faculties].

[2. The tomb of a saint; sometimes any tomb is so described].

[3. A euphemism for death. Instead of saying that someone has died it is customary to say that the person attained samadhi]).

SAMATVA (RM. The practice of treating all equally with like consideration, seeing all alike as manifestations of the Spirit).

SAMBHOGAKAYA (Sam = together with + bhoga = fruition, understanding, perception, cherishing, nourishing + kaya = vesture. Compare: Nirmana-kaya and Dharmakaya). The second great vesture in Buddhism, the body of those Dhyani-Buddhas who overshadow but do not incarnate.

(Occult. That path open to the Adept who chooses to drop all but his nirvanic nucleus.

Compare: Trimurti).

SAMBHU (RM. A name of Siva; Siva as the Bounteous). See Nataraja, Siva and Rudra.

SAMSARA (sam-sri = to pass through a succession of states or revolve). The wheel of birth and death or mundane existence.

SAMYANA (SY. page 286. three Yogic techniques [Dharana; Dhyana; Samadhi] taken together constitute Samyana; they are different phases of the same mental process, each succeeding stage differing from the preceding in the depth of concentration which has been attained and the more complete isolation of the object of contemplation from distractions).

See antaranga and Bahiranga.

SANA [the Ancient]; [Sanaka - the lesser Ancient]; [Sananda - joy-possessing];

[Sanandana - full of rejoicings]; [Sanatkumara - the Eternal Virgin Youth];

[Sanatsujata - the nobly-born and perpetually beautiful]. These with Kapila, are names of the seven Kumaras. Ribhu and Panchashikha are exoteric names in place of Sana and Sanatsujata, as given above. Sanatkumara, one of the four sons of Brahma and oldest of the progenitors of mankind, is to esotericists known as the Head of the Occult Hierarchy or Inner Government of the World, and a self-taken Initiate, of the Ninth Degree. Known as Kartikeya.

SANATANA-DHARMA (BG. the eternal religion of the living being, to render service to the Supreme Lord).

SANDHIS (to join or unite, bridge, combine). Intervals between Manvantaras.

SANDHYA (See foregoing). Boundary, limit, morning and evening twilight, dusk and daybreak or dawn, either of a day or an age.

SANKALPAS (RM. desires, preoccupations of the mind).

SANKHYA (calculating, deliberating, reasoning). Oldest Indian philosophy, founded by Kapila. A system dealing with the causes of manifestation, the various planes and vehicles in which consciousness expresses itself, and the Supreme Purusha viewed as an onlooker.

(BG. analytical study of the body and the soul).

SANKIRTANA (BG. congregational chanting of the Lord's glories).

SANSKRIT (carefully and accurately fabricated, polished, finished). A refined or polished language. The ancient Aryan language of India, from which are derived the modern Aryan tongues. Called 'The language of the Gods,' because of its hidden potencies.

SANNYASA (BG. the renounced order of life).

(RM. renunciation [of the world]).

SANTOSA (mental contentment; mental balance free from mental stress, guilt, mental-complexes; acceptance of one's lot and a moving toward the subtle inner sanctum of the Creator; a moving beyond pains, pleasures, achievements and failures.

See Niyama and Yama).

SASTRA (BG. revealed scripture).

SARASVATI (like flowing water). Goddess of speech and learning, in later mythology regarded as the shakti or wife of Brahma; sometimes identified with Vach.

SARVAGA (all-pervading, omnipresent). Compare: Unity.

SARVARDHIKARI (RM. Master or ruler).

SARVATMAN (sarva = all-pervading, universal + Atman ). Compare: Unity.

SASTRAIC (RM. Based upon or in accordance with the Sastras [scriptural rules governing conduct, art, science, government etc]).

SAT (present participle of as = being, existing, real, true).

(H.P.B. Be-ness, Asat, Sat, with Ananda and Chit forms a primordial Trimurti).

(RM. Pure Existence; Pure Being). See Sat-chit-ananda).

SAT-CIT-ANANDA (RM. Literally Being-Consciousness-Bliss. A term for the Divine State, since spiritually to know is to be, and to know or be the Self is pure Bliss).

SAT-CIT-ANANDA-VIGRAHA (BG. Krsna's form of eternity, knowledge and bliss).

SAD-GURU,SAT-GURU (RM. The Guru of Divine power as distinguished from guru in a more limited sense).

SATTVA (RM. the qualities of harmony, purity [right thinking, right acting etc.]; See gunas and sattvic).

SATYA (benevolent truthfulness; basically benevolent mental and verbal action. Here intent is paramount; a vigorous striving to maintain this benevolent truthfulness especially being truthful with oneself; regular self-examination and reflection are essential to maintain truthfulness. See yama and niyama).

SATTVIC (RM. The universe is brought into being and maintained in equilibrium by the combined action of the three gunas [stresses, tensions or tendencies]; [sattva, rajas and tamas]; tamas is the movement downwards from Spirit to matter, from Unity to multiplicity; rajas is the expansion outwards into activity and multiplicity; sattva is the ascent to the Spirit. Cosmically, the gunas are neither good nor evil but simply the mechanism of manifestation; however, in a human being tamas is the tendency to evil, malice and ignorance; rajas is the tendency to outer activity; sattva is the tendency to spirituality, involving freedom from worldly passions and attachments. 'Sattvi' and 'unsattvic' are English adjectival forms used respectively of anything that aids or impedes spiritual effort).

SATYA (from sat; true, real, genuine, good, virtuous, etc. Dharma).

Satyas are one of the twelve classes of great Gods. Compare: Vishvas, Loka.

SATTYA YUGA (satya + yuga). The first of the four Yugas, best or golden age.

(BG. the first of the four ages of a maha-yuga).

SAVIKALPA SAMADHI (RM. samadhi which retains a certain amount of thinking).

SENZAR the 'Mother-Sanskrit' reported to have been brought from Venus by the great Kumaras. Such age-old symbols as the Circle, Cross, Tau, Svastika, Triangle, Quaternary, Pentagon, etc, were important characters of this universal script. The Stanzas of Dzyan were written in Senzar according to H. P. Blavatsky.

SEPHIRA plural SEPHIROTH (Hebrew. derivation? to pierce, deepen, hollow; to shine or to be beautiful). In the Kabalah ten potencies or agencies through which the Divine produces the manifested Universe. They come forth in successive emanations from the Divine Light, some male, some female. From Ain Soph or the Absolute, emanates the Trinity as follows:

1. Kepher [Kaither = Crown, I-am-that-I-am with the Seraphim].

2. Chochmah [ Wisdom], Jah, with the Ophanim or perhaps the Cherubim.

3. Binah [Understanding], YHVH.

Then follow the seven;

4. Chesed [grace or mercy] or Gedoolah, male, active, [greatness], El or Power, with the Chashmalim or amber angels, and the planet Saturn.

5. Geburah [strength, severity, power], female, passive, Eloah, with, some say, the Seraphim, others the Chashmalim; the planet Jupiter.

6. Tiphaireth, Tiphereth [ornament, beauty or glory], Elohim or omnipotence, with the Malachim, or some say the Shinanim or angels; the planet Mars.

7. Naitsach [victory, or eternity], male, active, Jehovah, Zebaoth [Lord of hosts] with the beryl Tarsheeshim and the Sun.

8. Hod [majesty, splendour], female, passive, Elohim Zebaoth [might of hosts] with the B'ney Elohim [sons of God], the planet Venus.

9. Yesod [Foundation], El Chay [the power of life], with the Cherubim, or perhaps the Ishim, and Mercury.

10. Malchut [Kingdom or Government], Adonai, with the Isheem or some say the Malachim, the Moon.

SERPENT (Latin. from root = to creep). The serpent swallowing his own tail, as in the seal of The Theosophical Society, is the ancient symbol of eternity, the Chakra-Circle without beginning or ending within which all universes grow and decay. The serpent is likewise the symbol of Eternal Wisdom, Initiates being so designated.

Compare: Caduceus, Quetzo-Cohuatl, Kundalini.

SHABDA BRAHMAN (shabda = Sound or Word [See Logos] from shap = to cry aloud + da = giving + Brahman]. The Supreme Spirit, Logos, Ishvara, or the Veda, considered as a revealed Word or Sound.

SHAHADA (Arabic. The Islamic creed: La ilaha ill Allah, 'there is no god but God').

SHAKTI (root, shak = to be competent, powerful, to bear, give). Ability, power, capability, faculty, strength. The outgoing energy of a God is spoken of as his wife or shakti.

(RM. Divine Power).

SHAMBALLA (possibly from root sham = quiet or tranquility). In 70,000 BC and for many thousands of years thereafter the 'sacred white island' surrounded by the City of Manoa in Central Asia in the Gobi Desert. On this lived the Head of the Occult Hierarchy and his lieutenants, the Kumaras. Occultists still recognize His Presence there.

SHANKARACHARYA (shan-kara = causing happiness + acharya = one to whom one must have recourse = spiritual guide). A celebrated teacher of the Vedanta philosophy reported to have lived anywhere between 200 BC and 740 AD Founder of one of the principal Shaiva sects, the Dashnami-Dandins.

SHARIRA (that which easily moulders or is dissolved). The Body, bodily strength.

Compare: Upadhi, Sthula, Sukshma.

SHASTRAS (RM. Hindu scriptures).

SHELL (Theos. The cast-off remnants of subtle bodies that retain a certain likeness to the former wearer, influencing mediums in seances.

SHIVA, SIVA (shi = to rest, repose, sleep, says Unadi-s). (Shvi = to swell, grow, thrive, and shavas = power, strength, vigour, from shav = to transform). Siva is the cosmic dance of creation and destruction of the universe; The Regenerator of all; Supreme Bliss. With Brahma and Vishnu, the Hindu Trimurti.

(RM. In the simple theoretical sense Siva may be regarded [see under Brahma] as an aspect of Iswara [the Personal God]. However, to his devotees Siva is the Destroyer of the prison walls in which the Spirit of man is held, the Destroyer of the ego, of the duality of man and Iswara, of all limitations, leaving only Absolute Being, which is perfect Knowledge and pure Bliss. Therefore Siva is the Absolute personified, containing Iswara and all the gods and worlds as a dream within himself).

See: Nataraja, Rudra and Sambhu.

SHOACA (purity; physical, mental, and spiritual purity; keeping one's body and environment clean and attractive; keeping the mind pure and free of depravity and depression; keeping the spirit focused on the Supreme encouraging devotion.

See Niyama and Yama).

SHRAVAKA (root shru = to hear or be attentive, and obedient). A hearer or pupil, disciple, class of Buddhist saints or ascetics.

SIDDHA (sidh = to be accomplished, fulfilled, established, attained). Semi-divine being of great purity and holiness, specially characterized by possession of the eight siddhis [psychic powers].

See Siddhis.

SIDDHIS (powers of the Self; psychic powers). The eight usually enumerated are:

animan = the power to become as small as an atom.

mahiman = the power of increasing size at will.

laghiman or levitation = the power to make the body light as cotton wool.

gariman = the power to make oneself heavy at will.

prapti = the power to obtain anything desired.

prayamya = an irristible will.

ishi-tva = superiority and supremacy.

vashi-tva = the power to hold others in subjection to one's will.

The above are considered as special attributes of Shiva. To these are added Kama, vasayi-tva = the power of suppressing desire at will; the power of flight and permeability; strength like Narayana. Bodily suppleness, smoothness and immunity to fire; ability to transmute and disperse all substances, or alchemy; transparency of the body which casts no shadow; the power of making the body invisible to others; and the transmutation of the body in to vari-coloured rainbow radiances.

SIVASWARUPA (RM. The form of Siva; a name sometimes given to the universe to indicate that it has no intrinsic reality but exists only as a form assumed by Siva).

SKANDAS (Buddhist. skan = to rise). Five, esoterically seven, Karmic and innate attributes of the finite:

[1. rupa = form].

[2. vidana = perception].

[3. sanjna = consciousness].

[4. samskara = action].

[5. vidyana = knowledge.

See also Vidya.]. The essence of the attributes endures between incarnations, uniting at birth to form the personality.

SMRTI (SY. section I, pages 14 - 17; memory; one of the five vrttis; [Smrti and Vikalpa comprise all those images or modifications of the mind which are produced without any kind of direct contact with the outer world; they are the result of the independent activity of the lower mind using the sensuous perceptions which have been gathered before and stored in the mind].

See vrtti.

SOD (Hebrew. breast, fullness that pours itself out). An 'Arcanum' or religious mystery.

SOMA (root, su to distil, extract, or sprinkle; or, su = to generate). The mystic soma juice is supposed to have been pressed from a climbing plant Sarcostema Viminalis or Asclepias Acida which grows abundantly on the mountains of India and Persia, and whose exhilarating properties were used in ceremonial rites. The Soma God was all-powerful, all-pervading, healing all diseases, lord of all other gods, and the Supreme Being. Soma is identified with the Moon, Amrita, etc.

SOPHIA (Greek. primary and general meaning = craft, skill, artistic ability, especially in the fine arts, medicine, sports, etc.). From this grew the secondary meaning of skill in living, sage and sound judgement, political wisdom, knowledge of sciences, wisdom, philosophy.

To Aristotle, Sophia was the Supreme Science, the Science of Causes.

To Gnostics, Sophia was the female Logos, the Universal Mind, Wisdom incarnate.

Compare: Theosophy, Pistis Sophia, Sophia Achamoth.

SOPHIA ACHAMOTH (Greek. Daughter of Sophia). The reflection of Sophia in the Astral Light or lower plane of Ether.

SRAVANA (BG. the devotional process of hearing).

SRI (RM. Blessed or beautific. In modern times it is often used as a form of address, almost equivalent to 'Mr.'; however, it is still applied in its true sense to a Saint).

SROTAPANNA, SROTAPATTI (Buddhist. he who has entered the stream).

The First Initiation which plunges the Initiate into the stream of the One Life.

SRUTI (BG. scriptures received directly form God). See Upanishads.

STHULA (stout, bulky, thick, gross). The grosser physical, as used with sharira, etc.

STUTI (RM. singing the praises of the Lord with a great feeling of devotion).

While following the methods of stuti [and japa] the mind will sometimes be concentrated and sometimes diffused, and the vagaries of the mind will not be evident.

See Abhyasa for full interpretation).

SHUKSHMA (subtle, minute, atomic, delicate). Epithet of Shiva; the all-pervading-spirit. When used with sharira = the subtle body or bodies. Sukshmopdhi has the same meaning as with sharira.

SUDRA (BG. the labourer class of men according to the system of social and spiritual orders).

SUDDHA MANAS (RM. Purified sattvic mind).

SURABHI (BG. the cows in Krsnaloka, who supply unlimited milk).

SURYA (possibly originally sur-ya = heavenly one; or savan from root su. Compare: Sura;

possibly from sri = to move, to blow). The Sun-God, all creating, all-seeing son of Dyaus, the widespreading Sky.

SUSHUMNA (rich in happiness, highly blessed). The central sexless vital air, aspect of kundalini. in the spinal column. The main force channel or nadi which runs along the spinal column. Compare: Caduceus, Ida, Pingala.

SUSHUPTI (RM. the state of dreamless sleep).

SUTRA (from root siv = to sew; sutr to tie, thread). A short rule or precept, axiom, aphorism.

SUTRATMA, SUTRAM (thread-self; sutr to tie, thread). So-called because the permanent atoms or nuclei of the various bodies are strung on a buddhic life-web.

Compare: Buddhi, Atma.

SVADHYAYA (study of scripture; not the study of religious scripture but the study of spiritual subject in order to gain a clear understanding; a few minutes study each day allows the focusing of the mind on the inherent spiritual nature of all things.

See Niyama and Yama).

SVAHA (sv-adha = a good offering to the Pitris through fire). oblation personified, the wife of Agni, sometimes Rudra. A mystic word meaning 'So be it,' uttered with a rising inflection at the end of many mantrams to the Gods.

SVAMI, SWAMI (BG. one who can control his mind and senses).

(RM. Lord. It is used to mean 'the Lord' in speaking of God; also for a spiritual master or teacher whether or not he has attained any higher state; sometimes also as a mere sign of respect).

SVAPNA (RM. the state of dreamful sleep).

SVARA (svri - to sound). The seven tones of Hindu gamut: shadja, rishaba, gandhara, madhyama, panchama, dhaivata, nishada.

SVARUPA (BG. [sva = own + rupa = form] the real form of the soul).

SVASTIKA, SWASTIKA (sv-asti = health, welfare, joy, bliss). An auspicious object, especially used of the fiery cross whose extremities trail flames. Symbol of the Creative Fire of the Third Logos or Holy Spirit, Brahma. Its right arm points down in positive blessing, its left up in receptivity, as viewed in the Theosophical seal. It was one of the mystic symbols of the ancient Senzar and is found universally.

SWARUPA, SVARUPA RM. One's true form).

(SY. page 282. everything in manifestation has two forms, [rupa = external form expressing its superficial and non-essential nature]; and [svarupa = internal form which constitutes the very essence or substance of its true nature].




TAIJASA (tejas = sharp point of flame). Bright, luminous, fiery, shining. Used of Manas when it is overshadowed by Buddhi.

TALISMAN (Arabic. tilism = a magical image). An object charged with definite and strong etheric and more subtle vibrations which, through their over-tones, tend to awaken in whomever comes in contact, corresponding octaves of emotional and mental response. Talismans are general, adapted for a particular individual; ensouled as an indefinite centre of radiation; or linked with the maker as an outpost of his consciousness.

TALUQ (Urdu. A local government district).

TAMAS (RM. the qualities of darkness, of sloth, etc. See gunas and sattvic).

TANHA (Pali. thirst). Desire to live and manifest in phenomenal existence.

TANMATRAS (tan for tad = That + matra = measure). A measure of THAT; one of the changes in the Divine Consciousness producing a plane or tattva.

Compare: Tattva.

TANTRA (the warp or threads from tan = to extend or stretch out). An uninterrupted series; a religious treatise teaching magical and mystical formularies for the worship of deities, treating five subjects: [creation]; [world destruction]; [worship of the gods]; [attainment of the siddhis]; [modes of union with the Supreme by meditation]. Tantrikas = relating to Tantras.

TAO (Chinese. thought to be closely linked with Tau, the Sacred Word of the Atlantean root race). The Way, the Path, Nature, Reason; used for both the path [sadhana] and the Goal, that is the Self or Absolute [Atma]).

(Occult. The Inner Way or Flame of Life. The teaching given by Lao Tze in China in the 6th century BC in the Tao Te-King (te = action or manifestation + King = classic). The class of the Manifested Source.

TAPAS (RM. austerities, asceticism, penance).

(Other. tapah; penance or selflessness; serving those who suffer is essential for spiritual development, in order to overcome personal weaknesses while expanding will force; to serve those who suffer also enhances one's ability to give unconditionally.

See Niyama and Yama).

TAPASVIN (RM. the person of tapas, ascetic).

TAPASYA (BG. voluntary acceptance of some material inconvenience for progress in spiritual life).

TARAKA RAJA YOGA = S.D. One of the Brahminical Yoga systems for the development of purely spiritual powers, and the attainment of Nirvana.

TATRA (SY. page 279. means 'in that place'; the mental territory within which the mind is confined. See ekagrata.

THATHAGATA (of such a quality of nature; some translate tatha as 'beyond,' making the whole, 'he who has gone beyond'). 'One who is like those gone before' or 'He who follows in the footsteps of his Buddha predecessors.' An epithet of Gautama the Buddha.

TATTVA (state of being, reality as opposed to the illusory; essential nature). States of matter.

TATTVAVIT (BG. one who knows the complete Absolute Truth).

TAU See Tao. (Egyptian. Like the letter T, the Tau is a vertical standard on which rests a horizontal bar. With the circle resting thereon, it becomes the Crux Ansata or Egyptian Ankh in the centre of the Theosophical seal, symbol of Spirit which has descended into matter, been crucified therein, risen from death, and now rests triumphant on the two poles of manifestation, the vertical positive and horizontal receptive. Cross of Life or Immortality. Tau is the sacred word of the Atlanteans.

TETRAKTYS, TETRACTYS (Greek. four). The Pythagorean symbol representing the principle of manifestation, in which is to be found the Unity, the Duality, and the Trinity, as well as the Quaternary.


(Theos. manifested God + Sophia). As within the word Sophia is implied Creative art, both in form and in life, which is the Supreme Wisdom, so Theosophy might be defined as the Art of God-Craft, that Ancient Wisdom which through every mystery School of old taught its Initiates the Art of Arts - the release of the Shining Self.

THOTH, THOT (Greek form of Egyptian Tehuti).

(Egyptian. Scribe of the Gods, measurer of time, inventor of numbers; God of wisdom and magic, represented with the head of as ibis).

Compare: Hermes Trismegistus, Bird.

TIRTHA (RM. Sacred tank).

TRETA-YUGA (BG. the second age in the cycle of a maha-yuga).

TRILOCHANA (three-eyed). Epithet of Shiva, the third eye bursting forth to save the world from annihilation when Parvati (matter) his wife playfully blinded him.

Compare: Pineal Gland.

TRIMURTI (three formed). TRINITY. Within all Unity there is a Positive and Negative aspect, a Duality of Light and Darkness, Spirit-Matter, Silence-Sound, Life-Form, etc. Out of manifestation, this is balanced in stable equilibrium. The act of manifestation throws it out of its static equilibrium into instability. An 'unstable or dynamic equilibrium' is established by the immediate lightening flashing forth of the relation, between the opposite poles, the Duality thus becoming a Trinity without which manifestation is impossible.

The One (Deity) becomes Two (Deva or Angel) and Two becomes Three (or man).

TURIYA (fourth; whose power extends on all four sides). A state of oneness with the universal spirit; the fourth state of the soul.

Compare: Samadhi.

(RM. The experiencers [jivas] of the three states of [waking: visva]; [dreaming: taijasa]; and [deep sleep: prajna], who wander successively in these three states, are not the Self.

The state where the Self is witness to the three states, is called the fourth. When this is known, the three experiencers disappear and the idea, that the Self is a witness, also disappears, the Self is then described as beyond the fourth [turiyatita]).




UDANA (to breathe upwards). That vital air which rises up the throat and passes into the head. With Buddhists, an expression of joy or praise. Compare: Pranayama.

UPADESA (RM. upa = near + desa = place or seat; near the place or seat; showing a distant object quite near; [instruction from guru]).

UPADHIS (RM. adjuncts, joined or added to).

UNDINE, ONDINE Paracelsus so named the elemental spirits of water.

UNITY (one-ness). Monad. The one absolute Reality behind the multiplications of that Unity in numbered manifestations.

UNSATTVIC (RM. See sattvic).

UPADESA (RM. The instruction or guidance given to a disciple by his Guru).

UPADHI (upa = near + dha = to place, offer, keep, hold). Disguise, body, limitation.

Compare: Sharira.

UPANISHADS (sad with upa + ni = sitting at the feet of another to learn how 'to destroy ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit').

(Esoteric Doctrine. mystical writings revealing the secret sense of the Veda.

(BG. 108 philosophical portions of the Vedas).

(RM. the philosophical portions of the Vedas; deal solely with the means to Liberation)

UPASANA (RM. worship of form).




VACH (to speak, proclaim, etc.). The Goddess of the Creative Tone.

VAHAN, VAHANA (vaha = bearing or carrying). A vehicle, chariot, animal which can be ridden. In Hindu occultism, every God has his Shakti, and every God and Goddess his or her Vahan, the God expressed in matter or form. The Vahan is that type of form in which the power can be most readily embodied, symbolizes or expressed, usually some form of animal, etc. which typifies the particular quality of the God's manifestation, e.g. Nandi, Hamsa, Garuda, Ibis, Makara, Scarabeus, Eagle, Lamb, Cow, etc.

Compare: Shekinah, Vimana, Yama.

VAIKUNTHA (BG. without anxiety; the spiritual sky).

VAIRAGYA (RM. dispassion, detachment; non-attachment).

(SY. section I, page 26; the absence of any attraction towards objects which give pleasure; the practice is the elimination of the driving force of desire using the word desire in its widest sense of vasana.) See raga and dvesa.

VAIRAGYI (RM. the man of vairagya).

VAISNAVA (BG. a devotee of the Supreme Lord Vishnu or Krsna).

VAISYA (BG. the class of men engaged in business and farming according to the system of social and spiritual orders).

VAIVASVATA (patronymic from vivasat = the Brilliant One, a name of the Sun).

Vaivasvata Manu is the present Manu, literally Father of the Aryan Race, whose work of race-building after many preliminary millennia was definitely established through an incarnation in Central Asia 60,000 BC.

VAJRADHARA (Vajra = adamantine, hard, impenetrable, forked, zigzag, thunderbolt, diamond, lightning, from vaj = to go, roam, increase, be hard or strong, to prepare the way + dhara = holder). Usually translated Diamond or Thunderbolt-Holder, an epithet of Indra.

VAJRASATTVAS (vajra + sattva). Usually translated 'with adamant or diamond soul or heart.' Dorje-sempa and Maitreya, Dhyani-Buddhas.

VANAPRASTHA (BG. retired life).

VARUNA (universal encompasser; all-enveloper). An Aditya. One of the oldest Vedic gods, sometimes regarded as the Supreme Deity. He fashions and upholds heaven and earth, is Incarnate Wisdom. God of all the Waters of the firmament; Regent of the Western Quarter; King of the Nagas, Presides over Day.

VASANAS (RM. habits of the mind; latencies or tendencies inherent in a person, resulting from that persons actions in a previous life and governing those in this life unless overcome by tapas or by the Grace of his Guru).

VAYU (va = to blow, move, pierce, dry). The God of Wind. Often associated with Indra in the Rig-Veda. Regent of the Northwest Quarter, and of the vital airs: prana, apana, samana, vyana. Breath, Ida, Pingala, Sushumna.

See Woden.

VEDA (vid = knowing). The true or divine knowledge. The threefold knowledge being given in the Rig-Veda, from the fire the Yajur-veda, from air (Vayu), the Sama-veda (song-veda), from the sun. Compare: Surya. Then was added the Atharva-veda (fire and soma-veda), a veda of mantras, and formulae as to sacrifice. Vedic, pertaining to the Veda.

(RM. The earliest Hindu scriptures, revealed to the ancient Rishis).

VEDANTA (end of the Veda). That portion of the upanishads, which teaches the knowledge of Brahma or Universal Spirit, Paramatman, the material cause of all; Atman, as identical with the Supreme, and their existence in manifestation as only the result of Ajnana, or assumed ignorance of the Supreme, who is Creator and Creation, Actor and Act, Existence and Knowledge, Joy, and the above gunas. The goal of the Vedantist (Vedantin) is liberation of the human soul from the wheel of birth and rebirth, and re-identification with Paramatman. The philosophical system of the Upanishads.

VICHARA (enquiry into one's true nature; leading to knowledge of the Self. See dhyana; jnana).

(RM. Discrimination. The path of Self-enquiry taught by Sri Ramana Maharshi [the Maha-Yoga of Sri Ramana Maharshi is the enquiry 'Who am I?' followed by 'Who is asking?']. This path implies discrimination between the Real and the unreal, the Self and the ego, as the enquiry ultimately leads to the source of Self).

VIDEHA (RM. without a body).

(SY. section I, page 46; literally means 'the bodiless' and probably refers to the large number of psychics scattered throughout the world who are mediumistic by nature).

See medium and prakrtilaya.

VIDEHAMUKTA (RM. the Liberated who bad discarded his body).

VIDYA (knowledge, form vid = to see, perceive, understand, know, experience, feel, name, etc). The four Vidyas are:

[trayi = the triple Veda].

[anvikshiki = logic and metaphysics].

[danda-niti = the science of government].

[vartta = the arts].

Manu [VII, 43] adds a fifth and sixth,

[Atma-vidya = the science of Atma].

[Vidya Guhya].

There is also in vogue another classification: 4 Vedas, 6 Vedangas, Mimamsa, Myaya, the Puranas, and Dharma-Shastr or a total of fourteen.

VIGNANA (RM. Specialized knowledge; knowledge of the Self and also of the outer world).

VIJNANAMAYA-KOSHA (the sheath of intelligence or understanding).

Compare: Kosha.

VIJNANA (RM. knowledge; tranquil state of existence-consciousness experienced by the aspirant, likened to the waveless ocean or the motionless ether).

VIKALPA (SY. section I, pages 14 - 17; imagination, fancy; one of the five vrttis; [Vikalpa and Smrti comprise all those images or modifications of the mind which are produced without any kind of direct contact with the outer world; they are the result of the independent activity of the lower mind using the sensuous perceptions which have been gathered before and stored in the mind].

See vrtti.

VIKARMA (BG. work performed without the direction of the Vedas).

VIMANA (vi-ma = to measure out, traverse a course, pervade). The chariot of the gods; the aircraft of old.

Compare: Vahan, Merkabah.

VIPARYAYA (SY. section I, pages 14 - 17; wrong knowledge [example of mirage in desert]; when there is a lack of correspondence between the conception of a thing and the thing itself; one of the five vrttis. [Viparyaya and Pramana comprise all those images which are formed by some direct contact through the sense organs with the outer world of objects].

See vrtti.

VIRYA (SY. section I, page 49; a Sanskrit word which no one word in English can satisfy for translation; combines in itself the connotations of energy, determination, courage, all aspects of an indomitable will which ultimately overcomes all obstacles and forces its way to the desired goal; without this trait of character it is not possible for anyone to make the almost superhuman effort which is required in going through the yogic discipline to the end).

VISAYA (SY. section I, page 27; the objects [those which are seen and those merely heard about] which produce the attraction and consequent attachment). See vairagya [practice of which seeks to destroy the thirst for both kinds of enjoyment].

VISHISHTADVAITA (vi-shish = to distinguish or define + advaita).

A Hindu philosophy preached by Ramanujacarya.

VISHNU, VISNU (either from vish = to pervade, penetrate, embrace, convey, accomplish; or form vish = to enter, pierce, pervade, settle down, undertake). The all-pervading, encompassing penetrating Preserver of the Hindu Trimurti, the Second Logos, Mahavishnu, Shiva, Brahma.

Often identified with Narayana. His shakti is Lakshmi; his vahan, Garuda. His Ten Great Avataras as follows:

[1. Matsya, the Fish, Divine Life incarnate in the watery period with first dawnings of animal life].

[2. Kurma, the Tortoise, the Amphibian period].

[3. Varaha, the Boar, the Mammalian period].

[4. Narasimha, the Lion-man].

[5. Vamana, the dwarf, Infant Humanity, whose future kingdom is the earth, the heavens and the innermost heart].

[6. Parashu-rama, Rama, with the axe, the Avenger, the developed Fourth Race].

[7. Ramachandra, the Ideal Aryan Race or developed Humanity].

[8. Shri Krsna, the type of Superhumanity to be achieved in the Sixth Race].

[9. Gautama, the Buddha, the Supremely Enlightened One, who, having touched the threshold of Godhood, overshadows rather than incarnates; to be foreshadowed in the Seventh Race and achieved in the Seventh Round].

[10. the Kalki Avatar yet to come, type of Supreme Kingship only achieved by such as the Kumaras.

(RM. God in His Aspect of Preserver and Sustainer of the universe).

VIVEKA (RM. sign of wisdom; free from delusion after realizing the truth once).

VRTTI (SY. section I; from root vrt = to exist; way of existing, modifications, functionings, transformations; the modifications of the mind are five-fold [pancatayyah] and are painful or not-painful. They are:

[pramana, right knowledge].

[viparyaya, wrong knowledge].

[vikalpa, fancy, imagination].

[nidra, sleep].

[smrti, memory).

See citta, citta-vrtti, klesas.

VYANA (circulating or diffused through the body). One of the vital airs.

Compare: Prana, Pranayama, Vayu.

VYASA (distributing, expanding, amplifying, arranging, compiling). The original arranger of the Vedas. A generic title given to any compiler or author. The great Vyasa was he who gave the teaching of Unity to the Aryan root race.




WODEN, WODAN (Icelandic. wind or air in motion). Odin. Wednesday or Woden's Day is derived therefrom.

Compare: Vayu.




 (TG. X - This letter is one of the important symbols in the Occult philosophy.

As a numeral X stands, in mathematics, for the unknown quantity; in occult numerals, for the perfect number 10; when placed horizontally, it means 1,000; the same with a dash over it for 10,000; and by itself, in occult symbolism, it is Plato's logos (man as a microcosm) decussated in space in the form of the letter X.

The symbol of a X inscribed within a circle, or cross within the circle, has moreover a still clearer significance in Eastern occult philosophy: it is MAN within his own spherical envelope).




YAJNA (prayer, devotion, homage, praise). In later literature it means any act of sacrifice or worship.

YAMA (yam = to sustain, support, restrain, govern). Rein, curb, bridle. Lord of the Pitris, and Judge and Lord of the dead; as King of Justice, Dharma, Lord of the Southern Quarter.

(Other. to regulate or control); five of ten guiding principles that yoga was founded upon.

[1. Ahimsa; non-injury].

[2. Satya; benevolent truthfulness].

[3. Asteya; non-stealing].

[4. Aparigraha; non-indulgence in the amenities which are superfluous to individual preservation].

[5. Brahmacarya; God as ultimate Teacher].

See Niyama for remaining five guiding principles).

YANG (Chinese. S.D. Unity. The active male principle of Duality. Yang-Yin.

YASODHARA (maintaining or preserving glory). Name of an occult force. Name of wife of Buddha.

Compare: Gopa, Varna, Trimurti, Shakti.

YESOD, YESUD, YEZUD (Hebrew. Sephira).

YHVH, JAH, YAH, YAHWEH etc. (Hebrew. derived possibly from root, to fall, to cause to fall, to be, to blow; the Ineffable Name of the eternal and everlasting Existence, embodied in a Being of the Past, the Present, and the Future). Mispronounced Jehovah by German theologians in olden days, the inserted vowels being derived from Adonay. This sacred Tetragrammaton is said by learned Jewish theologians to take the pronunciation YAHWEH or YOD HEWAW (VAU) HE, though no one has been sure as to its accuracy since the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

YIN (Chinese. Feminine passive principle of Yang-Yin. Duality.

YOGA (the act of yoking, joining, uniting). Applied to practices designed to achieve the Supreme Union with Atma, Raja and Hatha Yoga. Some other forms of Yoga are Bhakti, Mantra and Yantra (diagrams and symbols, mandalas), Jnana, Karma (action),

Laya (the arousing of kundalini).

(BG. linking with the Supreme).

(RM. Literally 'Union'. An indirect approach [see Marga] which starts from the standpoint of duality and seeks to develops a person's latent powers by very technical means, with the final object of attaining Divine Union).

(SY section I[1, 2] page 6. Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind).

YOGA-SUTTRAS (SY. 196 suttras by Patanjali on the way and means of acquiring Liberation).

YOGI (RM. One who follows or has mastered the path of yoga).

YUGA (a yoke). An age. While the exoteric classification gives only four yugas - Krita or Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali - the esoteric cycles regard Kali as the turning or balancing point of greatest materiality in a series of seven cycles, retracing the Yugas until the age of regained or conscious innocence, Satya is realised. Technically, a Yuga is a very small part of a Kalpa. A half round is 306,720,000 years or 71 Maha Yugas; a Chain or Day of Brahma with its round-twilights is 4,320,000,000 years with an equal length pralaya or Night of Brahma. An age of Brahma or Maha Kalpa equals 100 years of Brahma at 3,110,400,000,000 each, the total being the period of a (Solar?) Universe during its Manvantara, with probably a period of equal dissolution or rest.

(RM. Age. According to Hindu, as to Graeco-Roman and Mediaeval, teaching there are four ages in the manvantara or cycle from the 'Earthly Paradise' of Adam before the fall to the 'Heavenly Jerusalem' or consummation after the tenth Avatar [see Avatar].

They are called the Sattya Yuga [age of Truth or Purity].

Dwapara Yuga [Second Age].

Tretya Yuga [Third Age].

Kali Yuga [Dark Age].

Their duration is said to be in the proportion of 4,3,2,1, so that the Kali Yuga is one-tenth of the entire manvantara).




ZARATHUSTRA, ZOROASTER (Lord of the Golden Shining). The Founder of the Parsi faith. He gave the Teaching of the Fire of Purity through which flamed the Joy of the Supreme.

Compare: Mithra, Ahura, Mazda, Ahriman, Airyaman, Avesta.

ZEN (Japanese) A corruption of the Chinese Ch'an which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit Dhyana. The School of Zen Buddhism which passed from China to Japan in the thirteenth to fourteenth centuries.

ZEND AVESTA Sacred text and its zend [interpretation] in Pahlavi. The sacred Zoroastrian teachings.

ZODIAC (Greek. of, or for animals, akin to zoos = living). An astronomical belt in the heavens 16 degrees broad, including the paths of the moons, and all the principal planets and, as its middle line, the ecliptic or sun's path.

(Occult. An astronomical mandala within which are marked by symbols, the Twelve Creative Hierarchies, through which the Seven Planetary Logoi or Spirits work. While the Tenth Creative Hierarchy is stated to be identical with the Tenth Sign of the Zodiac, no exoteric information is given as to whether the other Creative Hierarchies can be correlated in their exact order with the signs of the Zodiac as usually given).

ZOHAR, SOHAR (Splendour, light). A revelation of Kabala, given in the 13th century by Moses de Leon, who attributed it to Simeon ben Jochai, a 2nd century teacher.



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