Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary: Man-Mar

Copyright © 1999 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.

EDITORS’ NOTE: This online version of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary is a work in progress. The manuscript, originally produced in the 1930s and ’40s, is currently being revised and expanded, and will be updated periodically. Comments, corrections, and suggestions are welcome; please send to eglossary@theosociety.org

For ease of searching, diacritical marks are omitted, with the exception of Hebrew and Sanskrit terms, where after the main head a current transliteration with accents is given.

Quick links: Aa-Adh | Adi-Ag | Ah-Al | Am-Ani | Anj-Arc | Ard-Asr | Ass-Atm | Ato-Az | Ba-Be | Bh-Bo | Br-Bz | Ca-Ce | Cha-Chy | Ci-Cz | Da-Der | Des-Dir | Dis-Dz | Ea-El | Em-Ez | F | Ga-Gl | Gn-Gz | Ha-Hh | Hi-Hz | I | J | Ka | Ke-Kz | La-Li | Lo-Lz | Ma-Mam | Mas-Me | Mi-Mo | Mp-Mz | Na-Ne | Nf-Nz | O | Pa-Peq | Per-Pi | Pl-Pral | Pram-Prj | Pro-Pz | Q-Rec | Red-Roos | Root-Rz | Sa-Sal | Sam-Saq | Sar-Sec | Sed-Sez | Sh-Sir | Sis-Som | Son-Sq | Sr-Sum | Sun-Sz | Ta-Tel | Tem-Thn | Tho-Tre | Tri-Tz | U | Va-Vih | Vij-Vz | W-X | Y | Z

ETG Main Page

List of Abbreviations


Man [from Sanskrit the verbal root man to think; cf Latin mens mind, Sanskrit manas, manu] The human kingdom, which is the midpoint of evolution, reaching relative consciousness in the fourth round, but attaining full human or manasic consciousness only the fifth round. On the last three rounds of the evolutionary journey man tends to become a god, and then divinity itself, and like every other original life-atom to reassume its primeval form as a member of the dhyani-chohanic host. Spiritual primeval intelligences, in order to become fully self-conscious gods, must pass through the human stage — not necessarily that of terrestrial man but including all intelligences which have achieved their evolutionary unfolding from within the appropriate equilibrium between spirit and matter.

Man may be considered as having three main bases or upadhis: 1) the monadic or divine-spiritual, emanating from the supreme or cosmic monad of our universe; 2) the mental-intuitional, supplied by the manasa-dhyanis and manifesting from the sun in their evolutionary passage; and 3) the vital-astral-physical, as well as the emotional-psychic, from the moon-chain.

In the widest sense, the term is used for the Heavenly Man or Third Logos, or even the unified Triad of the first three cosmic Logoi, called the Crown of the Sephirothal Tree in the Qabbalah, the originant and not the copy of the universe, and therefore being the latter’s source as well as the ultimate pattern toward which all in the universe tends.

Mana (Sanskrit) Māna [from the verbal root man to think] Opinion, conception, idea; also self-conceit, arrogance, pride (especially in the compound aham-mana). In Buddhism, one of the six evil feelings or one of the ten fetters to be discarded. As a neuter noun, consideration, respect, honor. In astrology the name of the tenth mansion or house.

Mana (Sanskrit) Māna [from the verbal root to measure] as a masculine noun means dwelling, building, house; as a neuter noun, measuring, dimension, computation as of time; in philosophy, proof, demonstration. See also PRAMANA

Manas (Sanskrit) Manas [from the verbal root man to think] The seat of mentation and egoic consciousness; the third principle in the descending scale of the sevenfold human constitution. Manas is the human person, the reincarnating ego, immortal in essence, enduring in its higher aspects through the entire manvantara. When imbodied, manas is dual, gravitating toward buddhi in its higher aspects and in its lower aspects toward kama. The first is intuitive mind, the second the animal, ratiocinative consciousness, the lower mentality and passions of the personality. “ ‘Manas is dual — lunar in the lower, solar in its upper portion’ . . . and herein is contained the mystery of an adept’s as of a profane man’s life, as also that of the post-mortem separation of the divine from the animal man” (SD 2:495-6).

At present manas is not fully developed in mankind, and kama or desire is still ascendant. In the fifth round, however, manas “will be fully active and developed in the entire race. Hence the people of the earth have not yet come to the point of making a conscious choice as to the path they will take; but when in the cycle referred to, Manas is active, all will then be compelled to consciously make the choice to right or left, the one leading to complete and conscious union with Atma, the other to the annihilation of those beings who prefer that path” (Ocean 59). Those human beings who cannot rise to the higher manasic and buddhic aspects of themselves in the fifth round will fall into their nirvanic rest for the remainder of this embodiment of the earth-chain, to re-emerge at the beginning of the next embodiment of the earth to pick up their evolutionary journey.

The annihilation of those who choose the left-hand or matter path occurs because they use their manasic faculty to its prostitution for selfish and evil purposes, which leads to a final rupture of the manasic links. When this rupture is complete, the entity being no longer attached to the higher triad sinks rapidly into the whirlpool of absolute matter and is finally disintegrated into its component life-atoms. The higher triad or monad thus freed from its downward-tending personality, after a period of rest in spiritual realms evolves a new lower garment in which to manifest in a later manvantara.

If the union between the lower or personal manas, and the individual reincarnating ego or higher manas, has not been effected during the course of past lives, then the former is left to share the fate of the lower animal, gradually to dissolve into its component life-atoms and to have its personality annihilated. But even then the spiritual ego remains of necessity a distinct being.

“The higher and the lower Manas are one . . . and yet they are not — and that is the great mystery. The Higher Manas or Ego is essentially divine, and therefore pure; no stain can pollute it, as no punishment can reach it, per se, the more so since it is innocent of, and takes no part in, the deliberate transactions of its Lower Ego. Yet by the very fact that, though dual and during life the Higher is distinct from the Lower, ‘the Father and Son’ are one, and because that in reuniting with the parent Ego, the Lower Soul fastens upon and impresses upon it all its bad as well as good actions — both have to suffer, the Higher Ego, though innocent and without blemish, has to bear the punishment of the misdeeds committed by the lower Self together with it in their future incarnation. The whole doctrine of atonement is built upon this old esoteric tenet; for the Higher Ego is the antitype of that which is on this earth the type, namely, the personality” (TBL 55-6).

Should the human personality be of a heavily gross and materialistic type so that very few spiritual impulses are gathered in after death by the higher triad, then this higher triad is reincarnated almost immediately because there was nothing in the life just lived to call for the devachan experience of the personality. There can be no devachan for the manasic personality unless this personality has had in the life just lived at least a modicum of spiritual thought, yearning, and impulse. It is the higher manas which experiences devachan because of the spiritual qualities inherent in this higher manas and to which it has given imperfect expression in the life just lived. It is in devachan that this higher manas has its field of spiritual-mental activity, where it receives its due compensation, its mead of reward, for all the spiritual disappointments, sufferings, and imperfect expressions which it had to bear during earth-life.

Mahat or universal mind is the source of manas: what manas is in the human constitution, mahat is in the cosmic constitution. Manas is thus a direct ray from the cosmic mahat. Manas is sometimes loosely called the kshetrajna or real incarnating and permanent spiritual ego, the individuality; but the kshetrajna strictly speaking is the buddhi-manas or higher manas.

Manasa(s) (Sanskrit) Mānasa [from mānasa intelligent from manas mind] Adjective of manas; in theosophical literature, title for the Sons of Wisdom or manasaputras, those intellectual beings, spiritual pitris or dhyanis, who endowed humanity with manas or intelligence; hence, the immortal egos in man. See also AGNISHVATTAS; MANASAPUTRAS

Manasa-dhyanis (Sanskrit) Mānasa-dhyāni-s [from mānasa mental, intelligent from manas mind + dhyāni-s class of pitris from dhyāni meditation] The agnishvatta pitris, the givers of manas (mind) and intellectual consciousness to man; those solar and lunar pitris or dhyanis who incarnated by irradiation from themselves in the mentally senseless forms of semi-ethereal flesh of third root-race mankind. In the Puranas, considered the highest of the pitris (fathers of mankind). The agnishvattas or manasa-dhyanis are intimately connected evolutionally and in occult cosmology with the sun, and are hence often called the solar ancestors of mankind. They are, in fact, one of the several classes of monads springing directly from mahat who provided man with his intellect, mind, and sense of individual moral responsibility.

Manasa-pitris (Sanskrit) Mānasa-pitṛ-s [from mānasa mental from manas mind + pitṛ father] Fathers of mind; those spiritual beings who endowed mankind with intelligence. “The monad of the animal is as immortal as that of man, yet the brute knows nothing of this; it lives an animal life of sensation just as the first human would have lived, when attaining physical development in the Third Race, had it not been for the Agnishwatta and the Manasa Pitris” (SD 2:525n). See also AGNISHVATTAS; MANASA-DHYANIS; MANASAPUTRAS

Manasaputras (Sanskrit) Mānasaputra-s [from mānasa intelligent from manas mind + putra son, child] Sons of mind. Mind manifesting in the universe is called mahat; when manifesting in particular entities it is called manas. Manasa signifies beings who are endowed with the fire of self-consciousness which enables them to carry on trains of self-conscious thought and meditation. Hence the manasaputras are children of cosmic mind, a race of dhyani-chohans particularly evolved along the lines of the manasic principle.

From the hierarchy of compassion, the light-side of nature as contrasted with the matter-side, came these semi-divine manasaputras who incarnated in the quasi-senseless, intellectually dormant human race at about the midpoint of the third root-race of this fourth round. By their own spiritual-intellectual fire and flame they quickened the latent mental fires in infant humanity stimulating the thought principle, just as parents teach a little child to think, quickening its mind, by means of books, by precept, by example, and by words. It is the most simple thing to do and yet a glorious achievement. It shows how inferior beings are protected and guided by higher beings, or dhyani-chohans, just as a child is watched, loved, and guided by its parents. Mind was quickened in mankind by the manasaputras, but there was already latent mind in man — unevoked; it required the coming of the superior developed mind, a part of the latter’s own flame to the wick of the unlighted candle, to set the unlighted candlewick aflame in its turn; but it could not be set aflame unless mind were already latent there.

These manasaputras are a mystery in the human constitution: they are both ourselves and a descent into us of our higher selves. They are entities from the buddhic hierarchy of compassion, from the luminous arc of evolving nature, and they are under the guidance of the Silent Watcher of the planetary chain, their supreme head.

“These advanced entities are otherwise known as the Solar Lhas, as the Tibetans call them, the solar spirits, who were the men of a former kalpa, and who during the third Root-race thus sacrifice themselves in order to give us intellectual light — incarnating in those senseless psycho-physical shells in order to awaken the divine flame of egoity and self-consciousness in the sleeping egos which we then were. They are ourselves because belonging to the same spirit-ray that we do; yet we, more strictly speaking, were those half-unconscious, half-awakened egos whom they touched with the divine fire of their own being. This, our ‘awakening,’ was called by H. P. Blavatsky, the incarnation of the Manasaputras, or the Sons of Mind or Light. Had that incarnation not taken place, we indeed should have continued our evolution by merely ‘natural’ causes, but it would have been slow almost beyond comprehension, almost interminable; but that act of self-sacrifice, through their immense pity, their immense love, though, indeed, acting under Karmic impulse, awakened the divine fire in our own selves, gave us light and comprehension and understanding; and from that time we ourselves became ‘Sons of the Gods,’ the faculty of self-consciousness in us was awakened, our eyes were opened, responsibility became ours; and our feet were set then definitely upon the path, that inner path, quiet, wonderful, leading us inwards back to our spiritual home. . . .

“These Manasaputras, children of Mahat, are said to have quickened and enlightened in us the Manas-manas of our manas-septenary, because they themselves are typically manasic in their essential characteristic or Swabhava. Their own essential or manasic vibrations, so to say, could cause that essence of Manas in ourselves to vibrate in sympathy, much as the sounding of a musical note will cause sympathetic response in something like it, a similar note in other things” (OG 96-7).

The “descent” of the manasaputras before the middle of the third root-race was only a partial descent, and even today they are not yet fully incarnated in us, they have not yet fully manifested their splendor within us because our minds are not yet fully evolved. The descent is still in progress and will continue until the very end of the fifth round. Even the titan-intellects of the human race have not yet fully expressed the powers of the manasaputra above and within them. These manasaputras are incarnating ever more and more, just as the growing child develops more mental power as each year passes. As man proceeds along the evolutionary pathway and unfolds his inner nature, he will bring forth his own latent manasaputra and in the next manvantara he will light the way for lesser entities.

“In addition to this, there was still another class of Manasaputras who, as it were, started the whole thing going by inflaming . . . with their own fire of intelligent thought and self-consciousness those of the human race who, at that time, in the early part of the Third Root-Race in this Round, were ready, who caught the flame; and then their own mental apparatus, their own manasic powers, burst as it were into bloom as a rose unfolds rapidly its petals when the season comes for it to do so. And these Manasaputras . . . were the highly evolved entities from previous cosmic manvantaras, who deliberately, belonging as they do to the hierarchy of the Buddhas of Compassion, as it were left their own sublime spheres and descended among men and taught them — and then withdrew” (SOPh 468).

Manasa Rupa (Sanskrit) Mānasa Rūpa [from mānasa mental + rūpa body, form] Mind-body; the seat, veil, or vehicle of the reincarnating ego.

Manasasarovara (Sanskrit) Manasasarovara [from mānasa intelligent + sarovara lake of excellence] The lake of excellent intelligence; a sacred lake in the Himalayas of Tibet, as well as its tutelary deity said to be a naga (serpent, adept, sage). The lake, also called Anavatapta, is a place of yearly pilgrimage for the Hindus because the Vedas are claimed to have been written on its shores. Its name has reference to its historic occult connection with Sambhala, hence the reference is to its being the source of the Vedas, of inspiration, and therefore of knowledge and wisdom.

Manasic [from Sanskrit manas mind] Anglicized equivalent of Sanskrit manasika (mental, intelligent).

Manas-samyama (Sanskrit) Manas-saṃyama [from manas mind + saṃyama concentration] Concentration of the mind; the perfect control and concentration of the mind during yoga practices. See also SANNYASA

Manas-sutratman (Sanskrit) Manas-sūtrātman [from manas mind + sūtrātman thread-self] The manasic or reincarnating ego, which reincarnates in earth-life after earth-life.

Manas-taijasa (Sanskrit) Manas-taijasa [from manas mind + taijasa radiant, radiating] The radiant mind; the mind which radiates its own manasic characteristic or svabhava. As this with invariability takes place when manas is stimulated by buddhi, it likewise signifies the union of manas with buddhi, or the human reason lighted by the inspiring fire of the spiritual or buddhic monad.

Manasvin (Sanskrit) Manasvin [from manas mind] Of the nature of intelligence; those essentially intellectual and even spiritual dhyanis or solar pitris who endowed man with intellectually spiritual and mental powers of understanding and self-consciousness. A variant of manasas, kumaras, vairajas, manasaputras, and agnishvattas; hence the manasvin are identified with the human egos.

Manava-dharma-sastra. See MANU, LAWS OF

Manavas or Manavah (Sanskrit) Manavas, Manavaḥ The nominative plural of manu.

Mandakini (Sanskrit) Mandākinī Going slowly; one name of the Ganges River, especially its flow on the plains of India.

Manawyddan (Welsh) Son of Llyr. Llyr Llediaith, “of defective utterance,” is the Irish Boundless Lir. Manawyddan probably equates with Irish Mananan Mac Lir.

Mandala (Sanskrit) Maṇḍala A circle, ball, wheel, ring, or circumference, as the orbit of a heavenly body, and hence a great circle in astronomy, an orb. Also one of the ten mandalas (circles, divisions) of the Rig-Veda Samhita.

Also the sacred circular pictures in Buddhist art.

Mandara (Sanskrit) Mandara A sacred mountain which in Hindu mythology served the gods and asuras as a churning-stick on the occasion of the churning of the ocean for the recovery of the amrita and 13 other precious and holy things, which had been lost during the preceding deluge. See also KURMA-AVATARA

Mandragora (Greek) The mandrake plant; it has somewhat vaguely the shape of a human body, frequently very suggestive in form and posture. It was and still is in some lands much prized, not only for its medicinal virtues as a narcotic, but for use as a philtre or antidote to barrenness; also it could be used by sorcerers in their malefic arts. In the secret catechism of the Druses, the sons of God create men by descending to earth and animating seven mandragoras — i.e., mannikins.

Mandrake. See MANDRAGORA

Mandukya Upanishad or Mandukyopanisad (Sanskrit) Māṇḍūkyopaniṣad [from maṇḍūka frog] A short but important Upanishad of the Atharva-Veda.

Manduka Yoga (Sanskrit) Maṇḍūka-yoga [from maṇḍūka frog] A “particular kind of abstract meditation in which an ascetic sits motionless like a frog” (Monier-Williams). However, all true yoga practice involves complete mental abstraction from exterior concerns and the outer environment, so that all yogis, while practicing yoga sit motionless “like a frog.” It is not a particularly high kind of yoga, in any case, for true spiritual yoga is the yoga of the inner man, implying intense intellectual and spiritual concentration on affairs and subjects of spiritual character, and need not necessarily involve any sitting in yoga whatsoever. The true disciple may be doing his master’s business and going about in pursuit of his duties from day to day, and yet be practicing this spiritual yoga without a moment’s intermission. All forms of yoga practice which involve postures, sittings or similar things in which the physical body is active or inactive, technically belong to one of the various kinds of hatha yoga and are to be discouraged.

Manes (Latin) [from manus good] Deified ancestral spirits, the benevolent class of shades, as distinguished from the larvae and lemures, which were malevolent. The word seems originally to have denoted a class of titans, kabiri, or dhyanis, and to have ranked in the sequence of patriarchs, heroes, and manes, who acted as divine instructors of earlier races. But far later, in Roman usage, the name became degraded and applied to the better astral shades or denizens in kama-loka, which in so many lands have been propitiated by offerings as is still the case with some peoples. Sometimes they wear a retributive aspect, as in Vergil, where the painful purification of the shades before they can pass to Elysium is described: “Each of us suffers his own Manes” (Aeneid 6:743).

Difficult as it is to distinguish as among the manes, larvae, and lemures, the manes were considered by Roman philosophers and poets equivalent to the human soul or monad; whereas the larvae and lemures were distinctly the shells or shades existent in the astral light and being the cast-off portions of the human monad when it ascends into, or reaches, devachan.


Man-Fish. See DAG; OANNES


Mania (Latin) In Latin mythology the mother of lares or dii lares, and likewise the guardian or possibly even the source of the manes; according to Arnobius, the mother of the seven kabiri — Blavatsky remarks that “Mania is the female Manu . . . Ila or Ida, the wife and daughter of Vaivasvata Manu . . . The Manes and Mania of Arnobius are names of Indian origin, appropriated by the Greeks and Latins and disfigured by them” (SD 2:143). Another name for this mysterious divinity was Lara or Larunda. In the human constitution the archaic Latins called the higher manasic element the genius (called in women the juno); the other parts of the human constitution consisted of a manes and a lares, which correspond with the lower and higher human ego.

Manichaeans A sect which originated in the 3rd century in Persia and rapidly diffused itself in Mesopotamia and beyond the Oxus, lasting under one or another form down to the 13th century. Its founder was Mani, said to have been a Persian, whose name in Greek became Manes or Manichaios. Little can be ascertained about him, but he is said to have been a natural mystic, conscious of a mission, and endowed with the breadth of view and concentrated zeal characteristic of the founders of systems. He successfully amalgamated the religious, philosophical, and mystical ideas of his time and surrounding countries into a coherent system adapted to the tastes of the age.

The salient feature of Manichaeism is its uncompromising dualism, for it recognized a world of light and a world of darkness as eternally coeval; and there is a God of light opposed to a hostile Satan. Teachings of the esoteric gnosis as taught by Neoplatonists, Gnostics, and others were materialized, and both doctrine and ritual assumed forms less exacting and therefore better calculated for perpetuation in an age of increasing materialism. It showed little affinity for Christianity or facility for combination with it, and Manichaeism and Christianity may be regarded as Oriental and Occidental products of the same materializing influence transforming and adapting the original gnosis. It has more affinity with Gnostic than with ecclesiastical Christianity, for there was a large amount of truly esoteric thought and teaching in what for centuries passed under the name of Manichaeism.

Manifestation. See MANVANTARA

Maninanjari (Sanskrit) Maṇimañjarī Row of jewels or pearls; one of the writings of the Madhva philosophical sect.

Manipura (Sanskrit) Maṇipūra Jewel-center, jewel-town; one of the seven most important chakras in the human body, connected with the solar plexus.

Manjusri (Sanskrit) Mañjuśrī [from mañju beautiful + śrī an epithet of holiness, dignity, and reverence] The holy beautiful one; a name of the dhyani-bodhisattvas, the guardians and Silent Watchers of the globes of our planetary chain. Another title is Vajrapanins.

In exoteric Buddhist literature, Manjusri is looked upon as the god of wisdom because the title is personalized or anthropomorphized as an individual, but “It is erroneous to take literally the worship of the human Bodhisattvas, or Manjusri. It is true that, exoterically, the Mahayana school teaches adoration of these without distinction, and that Hiuen-Tsang speaks of some disciples of Buddha as being worshipped. But esoterically it is not the disciple or the learned Manjusri personally that received honours, but the divine Bodhisattvas and Dhyani Buddhas that animated . . . the human forms” (SD 2:34n).

Man-Lion. See SIMHA

Manneras The title of one who had completed the seven degrees in the Egyptian Mysteries. As a symbol of the successful passing of all the degrees the one becoming a hierophant was given a tau (the Egyptian cross).

Mannheimar (Icelandic) [from mann man + heimar home] In Norse myths, the world or segment of the solar system which is the home of mankind, as distinct from other segments which are primarily inhabited by other forms of life, such as god-heimar (the abode of gods).

Mano (Gnostic) In the Codex Nazaraeus, chief scripture of the Nazarene Gnostics, the chief of the aeons, the King of Splendor, from whom shoot forth five refulgent rays of divine light. The Codex describes Mano as the supreme King of Light, the great first one: he who first emanates from Ferho, the unknown formless life, generally equivalent to the Second Logos in theosophy.

“He is the Second ‘Life’ of the second or manifested trinity ‘the heavenly life and light, and older than the architect of heaven and earth’ (Cod. Naz., Vol. I, p. 145). These trinities are as follows. The Supreme Lord of splendour and of light, luminous and refulgent, before which no other existed, is called Corona (the crown); Lord Ferho, the unrevealed life which existed in the former from eternity; and Lord Jordan — the spirit, the living water of grace (Ibid. II., pp. 45-51). He is the one through whom alone we can be saved. These three constitute the trinity in abscondito. The second trinity is composed of the three lives. The first is the similitude of Lord Ferho, through whom he has proceeded forth; and the second Ferho is the King of Light — Mano. The second life is Ish Amon (Pleroma), the vase of election, containing the visible thought of the Jordanus Maximus — the type (or its intelligible reflection), the prototype of the living water, who is the ‘spiritual Jordan.’ (Ibid. II., p. 211) The third life, which is produced by the other two, is Abatur (Ab, the Parent or Father). This is the mysterious and decrepit ‘Aged of the Aged,’ the Ancient ‘Senem sui obtegentem et grandaevum mundi.’ This latter third Life is the Father of the Demiurge Fetahil, the Creator of the world, whom the Ophites call Ilda-Baoth . . . though Fetahil is the only-begotten one, the reflection of the Father, Abatur, who begets him by looking into the ‘dark water.’ Sophia Achamoth also begets her Son Ilda-Baoth the Demiurge, by looking into the chaos of matter. But the Lord Mano, ‘the Lord of loftiness, the Lord of all genii,’ is higher than the Father, in this kabalistic Codex — one is purely spiritual, the other material. So, for instance, while Abatur’s ‘only-begotten’ one is the genius Fetahil, the Creator of the physical world, Lord Mano, the ‘Lord of Celsitude,’ who is the son of Him, who is ‘the Father of all who preach the Gospel,’ produces also an ‘only-begotten’ one, the Lord Lehdaio, ‘a just Lord.’ He is the Christos, the anointed, who pours out the ‘grace’ of the Invisible Jordan, the Spirit of the Highest Crown . . .” (TG 204-5).

The trinity of Mano, Spiritus, and Lehdaio is equivalent to the Father, Mother, and Son of the Christian system. From one standpoint Mano is comparable also to the Hindu Manu (cf IU 2:229).

Manodhatu (Sanskrit) Manodhātu [from manas mind + dhātu world, sphere] The sphere or world of the mind or intellect; a generalizing name not only for one of the divisions of the mental plane, but also for the sum total of each person’s mental faculties.

Manojava (Sanskrit) Manojava Swift as thought; a name of Indra in the sixth manvantara, which corresponds with the sixth manu of this round, the seed-manu of globe C, or again with the third root-race of this round.

Manomaya-kosa (Sanskrit) Manomaya-kośa [from manas mind + maya built of, formed of from the verbal root to measure, form, with the idea of illusory manifestation + kosa sheath] The sheath formed of mind, the human soul; according to the Vedantic classification of the human principles, the third of the pancha-kosa (five sheaths) which enclose the divine monad or atman. Manomaya-kosa corresponds with the lower manas combined with kama, and therefore has a closer affinity with the fourth principle, kama, than with the sixth or buddhi.

Mansarovara Lake. See MANASAROVARA

Manticism [from Greek mantis seer from mainomai to act ecstatically under a divine impulse] A seer, one inspired with divine ecstasy; according to Plato, one who uttered oracles while under a divine impulse, which in its lowest forms was a kind of frenzy, while a prophetes (prophet) was one who interpreted the oracles. Frenzy, now used only to denote madness or anger, meant in classic times a state of exaltation both of mind and psychical nature which enabled inner faculties of perception to come into play, whereby seership and prophetic power were attained. Certain exhalations from the earth would often act upon the body of the seer or seeress, inducing a state of physical receptivity, as occurred in the grotto of Delphi; and Cicero speaks highly of the better side of the power thus conferred. The condition produced by Bacchic rites was similar, but in later times degenerated into mere frenzy or ravings in the modern sense of the word; and as these rites became degraded into profligacy, the meaning of the word frenzy naturally altered pari passu.

Mantra (Sanskrit) Mantra That portion of the Vedas which consist of hymns as distinct from the Brahmana and Upanishad portions. The mantras considered esoterically were originally as magical as they were religious in character, although the former today is virtually forgotten, although remembered as a fact which once was. In the composing of the mantras the rishis of old knew that every letter had its occult significance, and that the vowels especially contain occult and even formidable potencies when properly chanted. The words of the mantra were made to convey a certain hid meaning by certain secret rules involving first the secret potency of their sound, and incidentally the numerical value of the letters; the latter however was relatively unimportant. Hence their merely verbal significance is something quite different from their meaning as understood of old.

The language of incantations or mantras is the element-language composed of sounds, numbers, and figures. He who knows how to blend the three will call forth the response from the regent-god of the specific element needed. For, in order to communicate with the gods, men must learn to address each one of them in the language of his element. Sound is “the most potent and effectual magic agent, and the first of the keys which opens the door of communication between Mortals and the Immortals” (SD 1:464).

The hidden voice or active manifestation of the latent occult potency of the mantras is called vach. The would-be magician attempting to evoke the “spirits of the vasty deep” by uninstructed chanting or singing of any ancient mantras will never succeed in using the mantras effectively in a magical way, until he himself has become so cleansed of all human impurities as to be able at will and with inner vision to enter into communion if not direct confabulation with the inner realms.

The Scandinavian runes in certain respects correspond to the Hindu mantras.

Mantra Period One of four periods into which Vedic literature has been divided, used especially to describe the Vedic hymns and sacrificial formulas. Some chronologists speculate that this period ended some 20,000 years ago — but may be as old as a million years into the past.

Mantra-sastra (Sanskrit) Mantra-śāstra The hymn portion of the Vedas; all the parts of the Vedas which are different from the Brahmanas (theological interpretations).

Mantra-tantra-sastra (Sanskrit) Mantra-tantra-śāstra A scripture on the science of magic and incantation.

Mantrika-sakti (Sanskrit) Māntrika-śakti The power or occult potency of mystic words, sounds, numbers, or letters — the power of the mantras. The vibrational, formative, or creative power inherent in sound — every sound being a vibration, and every vibration having its own numerical keynote. “The whole of the ancient Mantra Shastra has this force or power in all its manifestation for its subject-matter. The power of The Word which Jesus Christ speaks of is a manifestation of this Sakti. The influence of its music is one of its ordinary manifestations. The power of the mirific ineffable name is the crown of this Sakti” (Five Years of Theosophy 111).

Manu (Sanskrit) Manu [from the verbal root man to think] In Hindu mythology, the son of Svayambhuva, father and husband of Ila, parents of humanity as well as the prajapatis and other manus, who are the entities collectively which appear first at the beginning of manifestation, and from which everything is derived. They are identical with the sishtas, and function as prajapatis in a smaller but strictly analogical manner. Manu is collective humanity: “Manu is the synthesis perhaps of the Manasa, and he is a single consciousness in the same sense that while all the different cells of which the human body is composed are different and varying consciousnesses there is still a unit of consciousness which is the man. But this unit, so to say, is not a single consciousness: it is a reflection of thousands and millions of consciousnesses which a man has absorbed.

“But Manu is not really an individuality, it is the whole of mankind. You may say that Manu is a generic name for the Pitris, the progenitors of mankind. They come . . . from the Lunar Chain. They give birth to humanity, for, having become the first men, they give birth to others by evolving their shadows, their astral selves. They not only give birth to humanity but to animals and all other creatures. . . . But, as the moon receives its light from the Sun, so the descendants of the Lunar Pitris receive their higher mental light from the Sun or the ‘Son of the Sun.’ For all you know Vaivasvata Manu may be an Avatar or a personification of Mahat, commissioned by the Universal Mind to lead and guide thinking Humanity onwards” (TBL 78).

The manus are said to have emanated the ten prajapatis or progenitors of mankind, called also maharshis (great rishis). It is said of Brahma that he emanated himself as Manu, and that he was born of, and was identical with, his original self, while he constituted his female portion Sata-rupa (hundred forms). There are 14 manus in any manvantara (“between manus”) arranged in pairs, a root-manu and a seed-manu for each portion of a cycle. These pairs of manus in a planetary round, a root-manu on globe A and a seed-manu on globe G, are given as: 1) Svayambhuva, Svarochisha; 2) Auttami, Tamasa; 3) Raivata, Chakshusha; 4) Vaivasvata (our progenitor), Savarna; 5) Daksha-savarna, Brahma-savarna; 6) Dharma-savarna, Rudra-savarna; 7) Rauchya, Bhautya.

“Vaivasvata, thus, though seventh in the order given, is the primitive Root-Manu of our fourth Human Wave (the reader must always remember that Manu is not a man but collective humanity), while our Vaivasvata was but one of the seven Minor Manus, who are made to preside over the seven races of this our planet. Each of these has to become the witness of one of the periodical and ever-recurring cataclysms (by fire and water) that close the cycle of every Root-race. And it is this Vaivasvata — the Hindu ideal embodiment, called respectively Xisuthrus, Deukalion, Noah and by other names — who is the allegorical man who rescued our race, when nearly the whole population of one hemisphere perished by water, while the other hemisphere was awakening from its temporary obscuration” (SD 2:309).

Manu is in one sense the Third Logos; in another the spiritual man, the monad, the real and deathless spiritual ego in us, which is the direct emanation of the one Life or the absolute deity of our universe. The manus collectively, in this sense, are the four higher classes of dhyani-chohans who were the fathers of the concealed man — the subtle inner man.

Thus root-manus and seed-manus are sishtas, for the seed-manu at the end of a life-wave’s evolution on a globe is virtually identic with the root-manu on that same globe when the life-wave reaches it again to begin on that globe a new course of racial development or evolution. The difference between root- and seed-manus being that the root-manus are really the seed-manus plus the most evolved monads of the life-waves reaching the globe first, conjoining with the seed-manus and thus slightly modifying things.

Manu is likewise the name of a great ancient Indian legislator, the alleged author of the Manava-dharma-sastra or Laws of Manu.

Manu, Laws of, Manava-dharma-sastra Also called the Manu-samhita; The Code (or Institutes) of Manu. Well-known archaic Hindu codes or institutes comprising maxims of various kinds, attributed to the first manu, known as Svayambhuva, who according to archaic records lived nearly 30 million years ago during the satya yuga of the race during which he appeared. One of the most important Smriti (unwritten traditional teachings).

The Laws of Manu is one of the main pillars of ancient Hindu law, and is held in the highest reverence. Tradition says that Manu wrote down the laws of Brahma in 100,000 slokas, which formed 24 books and a thousand chapters. He gave the work to Narada, one of the archaic sages, who abridged it for the use of mankind to 12,000 verses. Narada in his turn gave the Code to Sumati, a son of Bhrigu who for greater convenience reduced it to 4,000 verses.

The Laws of Manu is recognized as approaching the Vedas in age. It is not merely a law book in the European sense of being a mere code of legal enactments; the chief topics of its twelve extant books are 1) cosmogony; 2) the sources of the law, sacraments, initiation, discipleship; 3) marriage and the duties of a householder or the second social order; 4) means of subsistence, and private study and morals; 5) diet, purification, and the duties of women; 6) the duties of a recluse and ascetic, or the third and fourth social orders; 7) government, and the duties of a king and the military caste; 8) judicature and law, civil and criminal; 9) duties of husband and wife, miscellaneous regulations concerning conduct and the duties of a king; 10) duties and occupations of the castes and mixed castes; 11) penances and expiations; and 12) metempsychosis and final liberation.

Manusha (Manushya) Buddha (Sanskrit) Mānuṣa, Mānuṣya-Buddha [from manu man + buddha awakened one] A human buddha, born in a human body for compassionate work among mankind, generally mahatmas of a high degree and great initiates. There are three forms in which, or planes upon which, the Wondrous Being of the planetary chain manifests itself: 1) adi-buddha in the dharmakaya; 2) dhyani-buddha in the sambhogakaya; and 3) manusha-buddha living at will or need as a nirmanakaya. The last is the lowest, yet in one sense the highest aspect — highest on account of the immense, willing self-sacrifice involved in its incarnation in human flesh. The manusha-buddhas are the eighth in the descending scale of the Hierarchy of Compassion. Each one of the seven root-races on this globe is ushered in by a manushya-buddha. Furthermore, preceding the racial cataclysm that ensues around the midpoint of each root-race, a manushya-buddha of less degree appears on earth. Hence, such a buddha is also termed a racial buddha. Gautama was such a manushya-buddha.

Every human being in his constitution contains elements and principles derivative from the universe ranging from the divine to the physical; consequently there is in every human being, expressed or as yet unexpressed, a manushya-buddha, who really is the spiritual-intellectual center of all the noblest impulses, intuitions, and energies active in the human constitution.

Evolution signifies the unfolding of already existing and fully active capacities, powers, functions, principles, and elements, latent in most men merely because the vehicle enabling them to manifest their transcendent powers in the ordinary human being has not yet been built up through evolutionary growth. Thus, the manushya-buddha is in every human being, though only in the rare evolutionary flowers of the human race coming at long intervals is a human being born who because of past striving is an imbodiment of the manushya-buddha within him. As the future brings forth what it has in store for the human race, all human beings living at the end of the seventh round will be human buddhas because already they will have become a dhyani-chohanic host. Sometimes spelled Manushi-Buddha.

Manushya (Sanskrit) Manuṣya A human being; a man; as an adjective, human. Sometimes spelled manushi.

Manusmriti (Manusmṛti). See MANU, LAWS OF

Manu-Svayambhuva (Sanskrit) Manu-svāyambhuva The self-producing manu, manu the self-become; a name of Brahma as son of Svayambhuva, the self-producer or Brahman. Identical with ’Adam Qadmon and the cosmic androgyne man of other philosophical systems, the Third Logos, and on a much lower scale the androgyne human referred to in Genesis. As ’Adam Qadmon is the synthesis of the Sephiroth, so is Manu-Svayambhuva the synthesis of the prajapatis (lords of progeny), ancestors or parents of all beings.

Manvantara (Sanskrit) Manvantara [from manu + antara between] Between two manus; a period of activity or manifestation. Manu is the entities collectively aggregated into a unity which appear first at the beginning of manifestation and from which, like a cosmic tree, everything is derived or born. A manvantara, therefore, is the period of activity between any two manus, on any plane, since in any such period there is a root-manu at the beginning of evolution and a seed-manu at its close, preceding a pralaya.

One has to gather from context what the meaning of the manvantara referred to is, remembering that what is applicable to a lesser period applied also to a greater, and conversely. When speaking of a manvantara of our planet, a period of one round of the planetary chain is usually meant. There is also the manvantara of any globe of the planetary chain. Seven rounds of the planetary chain make a mahamanvantara of a planet, a Day of Brahma. A solar manvantara is a period of seven Days of Brahma. The Life of Brahma is a mahamanvantara or mahakalpa of the solar system. A minor or globe manvantara is the duration of the seven root-races on any particular globe of the planetary chain. Even a root-race is sometimes called a manvantara because there is a root-manu and seed-manu to each race. The period of a human life is sometimes called a paurusha manvantara; the period of a planet’s life, a bhaumika manvantara; the life period of the solar system, a saurya manvantara, the life period of the universe, a prakritika manvantara, which last can become synonymous with the saurya manvantara.

When the time arrives for the re-opening of a planetary manvantara, the planet

“descends again into manifestation through the inner divine planetary thirst for active life and is directed to the same solar system, and to the same spot, relatively speaking, that its predecessor (its former self) had, attracted thither by magnetic and other forces on the lower planes. It forms, in the beginning of its course or journey downwards, a planetary nebula; after many aeons it becomes a comet, following ultimately an elliptical orbit around the sun of our solar system, thus being ‘captured,’ as our scientists wrongly say, by the sun; and finally condenses into a planet in its earliest physical condition. The comets of short periodic time are on their way to rebecoming planets in our solar system, provided they successfully elude the many dangers that beset such ethereal bodies before condensation and hardening of their matter shield them from destruction” (Fund 63).

In a similar manner at the re-opening of a solar manvantara, a cosmic nebula is gradually formed of the principles of the former cosmos with its sun and planets, etc. Then

“this cosmic nebula drifts from the place where it first was evolved, the guiding impulse of karma directing here and directing there, this luminous nebulosity moving circularly, and contracting, passing through other phases of nebular evolution, such as the spiral stage and the annular, until it becomes spherical, or rather a nebular series of concentric spheres. The nebula in space, as just said, takes often a spiral form, and from the core, the center, there stream forth branches, spiral branches, and they look like whirling wheels within wheels, and they whirl during many ages. When the time has come — when the whirling has developed pari passu with the indwelling lives and intelligences within the cosmic nebula — then the annular form appears, a form like a ring or concentric rings, with a heart in the center, and after long aeons, the central heart becomes the sun or central body of the new solar system, and the rings the planets. These rings condense into other bodies, and these other bodies are the planets circulating around their elder brother, the sun; elder, because he was the first to condense into a sphere” (Fund 61-2).

In the first half of a manvantara (planetary as well as human) there is the descent of spirit into matter, and in the second half an ascent of spirit at the expense of matter. A manvantara or period of material manifestation is a temporary spiritual death, whereas the dawn of the succeeding pralaya is spiritual birth.

Maqom (Hebrew) Māqōm A place, a dwelling place; also a city, a village. In the Qabbalah a secret place, in the cosmos referring to the heavenly celestial matrix or womb, on earth to the mystical Holy of Holies, and in the human being to the womb. This purely physiological usage is a degradation of the original highly mystical and impersonal sense as the womb of space or of the Vedic Aditi — the cosmic Virgin Mother, continuously bringing into manifested birth universes and all that are in them.

Mara (Sanskrit) Māra [from the verbal root mṛ to die] That which kills, death, destroyer; in exoteric Indian literature, the representation of temptation, esoterically personified temptation through men’s vices, which kill the soul. Maha-Mara is the king of the maras, or temptations collectively, the great ensnarer, and is usually represented “with a crown in which shines a jewel of such lustre that it blinds those who look at it, this lustre referring of course to the fascination exercised by vice upon certain natures” (VS 76).

Mara is the god of darkness and death: “Death of every physical thing truly; but Mara is also the unconscious quickener of the birth of the Spiritual” (SD 2:579n). The hosts of Mara refer to the unconquered passions that the neophyte must slay or transmute before he is reborn spiritually, or can become a dvija (twice-born). Mara is also a name frequently given to Kama, the personified god of love or desire.

Marabout or Marabut [from Arabic morabit a hermit] A devotee or hermit; specifically, a member of the Moorish religious order of Northern Africa who were successors of the Morabits (or Al-moravides), Moslem Moors who flourished in Morocco and Spain during the 11th and 12th centuries. However the term now has the significance of a Moslem saint.


Marcionites Followers of Marcion, a reformer of Christianity of the 2nd century who, failing to bend the Church to his views, founded a society of his own in Rome, whence it spread to Asia Minor, gaining great influence and for a time seriously competing with the established Church. Though often described as a Gnostic, he holds a position rather between the Gnostics and those who sought to establish a less philosophical and more concrete system — a church. He had known Christianity at a time when the Gnostic teachings still formed a recognized element; but he found the existing Church too far along the path of materialization of metaphysical ideas and adaptation to mundane politics, and he sought to restore the doctrine and ritual to an older, purer form. He favored the teachings of Paul, whom he regarded as the true interpreter of Christianity, and condemned the Old Testament as being a corrupting influence, while regarding the historical view of the Gospels as a literalization and carnalization of metaphysical allegories and symbolic teaching. His teachings contain many Gnostic elements: man is formed by the God of the Old Testament, who lays upon him laws which he cannot obey, so that he falls under the power of the lower Demiourgos. But another God, the God of Mercy, sends his son into the world to save man. Yet this son appears in the reign of Tiberius and is crucified in Palestine. The lower Demiourgos, the adversary of man and of the God of Mercy, is at the same time an agent of that God.

Among the many varieties of Christianity which had vogue, Marcionism was one of the best attempts to find a workable adjustment between the ancient teachings and the conditions of the world at that time. But the spirit of a declining age prevailed in favor of the Church; the influence of Marcion can be traced for a few centuries, but his association finally lost its identity amid divergences and absorptions into other systems, especially Manichaeism.

Marcosians Followers of Marcus, in Greek Markos, a 2nd century Gnostic, who gave out in some respects more of the esoteric truths than any other Gnostic. Among his teachings he describes the deity as a tetrad, or as represented by 30 letters composing four syllables (cf SD 1:351).

Marcus, Markus. See MARCOSIANS

Marduk (Babylonian) Also Merodach (Hebrew) Patron deity of ancient Babylon, the local Bel (lord) of later times. Originally a solar deity, as the son of space, and the titular god of that city, he was elevated to the supreme rank in the Babylonian pantheon under Khammurabi (c. 2250 BC) during the time that Babylon became the chief center of the states surrounding the Euphrates Valley. The attributes of the older Chaldean deities Bel and Ea were applied to Marduk, especially as he was regarded as the son of Ea — the son of himself — and this prominence was maintained until the downfall of Babylon except during the five centuries of the Cassite control (1750-1200 BC). After 1200 Marduk’s only rival was Assur in Assyria. As well as the attributes, many of the mythologic exploits of Bel were transferred by the priests to Marduk, and thus he became known as the slayer of the serpent Tiamat. Marduk was also regarded as the creator of the world and of mankind (which was formerly attributed to Bel), and the eleven-day festival celebrating this event was held yearly at the time of the spring equinox (the New Year among the Babylonians).

The ideaographic representation of the word Marduk is equivalent to “child of the sun,” significantly stressing his solar characteristics, while that of his consort Zarpanitu (or Sarpanit) is equivalent to “the shining one.” Marduk is also identified with the planet Jupiter.

Mare (Latin) The sea; after the Christian era southern European mariners associated Mare with Mary, the Virgin-Mother — the reference being to the sea of space, or the representation of the cosmic Virgin-Mother.

Marga (Sanskrit) Mārga Path; in Buddhism the noble eightfold path that leads to nirvana.

There are four commonly recognized margas, forms of yoga or spiritual and intellectual training: 1) karma yoga (path of action; 2) bhakti yoga (path of faith or love); 3) raja yoga (path of kingly yoga); and 4) jnana yoga (wisdom path). These four pathways correspond with the four Hindu castes: Sudra (the agricultural); Vaisya (commercial); Kshattriya (administrative, military, ruler); and Brahmana (philosopher, sage).

Marichi (Sanskrit) Marīci A ray of light; in the Puranas and the Laws of Manu, the chief of the maruts, one of the seven mind-born sons of Brahma, as well as one of the seven sages (saptarshi), father of Kasyapa and of Surya (the sun). Chinese Buddhists and Taoists “have made of this conception the Queen of Heaven, the goddess of light, ruler of the sun and moon” (TG 207).

Ma-rig-pa (Tibetan) Ignorance, nescience; equivalent of Sanskrit avidya.

Marisha (Sanskrit) Māriṣā Daughter of the sage Kandu and the celestial nymph Pramlocha, who gave birth to Marisha by means of the collected perspiration issuing from her pores. Soma matured this by his rays, and gradually it increased in size till the exhalation that had rested on the tree tops became the lovely girl (VP 1:15). She represents the second root-race or sweat-born.

With Prachetasas, the production of the mind-born sons of Brahma, Marisha gives birth to the patriarch Daksha, the father of the first humanlike progenitors of the third root-race, the egg-born.

Markandeya Purana (Sanskrit) Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa One of the 18 principal Puranas of ancient India, named from its supposed author Markandeya. It expounds the nature of Krishna and explains some of the incidents of the Mahabharata. It differs from many of the other Puranas in that its 9000 verses are largely narrative, rather than containing arguments of a sectarian character.

Marrtanda. See MARTANDA

Mars Next to Jupiter, probably the chief Roman divinity, the oldest form among the Italians being Maurs, which became Mars. Identified in later times with the very similar Greek Ares, both being gods of war and strength.

This divinity signifies creative energy, the initial act of generation; so Mars is not merely a martial deity but likewise a patron of tilth, sometimes identified with earth as a source of being (SD 2:143-4). Mars is in one sense identified with Brahma and Adam-Jehovah (Adam meaning red earth) as symbol for primitive and initial generative powers for human procreation (SD 2:43), corresponding to the Egyptian Artes or Ertosus, the Biblical Cain and Hindu Karittikeya and the Egyptian Gnostic Sabaos.

Also Mars is the fourth from the sun of the visible planets in our solar system and nearest to the orbit of the earth; enumerated as one of the seven sacred planets of the ancients. The celestial body we see, as indeed is the case with all the other visible planets including earth, is but the lowest globe of a septenary chain. Mars has an important connection with the earth, because the rector or genius of the Martian planetary chain has a characteristic influence over globe F of the earth-chain, and by correspondence in earthly matters will have especial influence over the coming sixth root-race. In astrology, its zodiacal houses are Aries and Scorpio; its day of the week is Tuesday.

Mars is at present in obscuration — its life-waves are functioning on other globes of its planetary chain than the lowest sphere or globe D, which is the orb we see; nevertheless sishtas are present awaiting the proper time period for resuming their waking and intense evolutionary activities. Mars has ended its third round and is preparing now for the beginning of its fourth round.

Martanda or Marttanda (Sanskrit) Mārtāṇḍa, Mārttāṇḍa [from mārta mortal, transitory + aṇḍa egg] The sun or sun god of the Vedas; an earlier form is mṛtāṇḍa. Cosmologically a title applied to any celestial orb, though most commonly a name of the sun or Surya, as being phenomenal productions of Brahma-prakriti or of the productive and generative dual cosmic spirit. Just as the egg bears the seed of a future being, so the celestial bodies were each supposed to contain the life-germ of its own future imbodiment as a higher entity — in other words, the celestial bodies reproduce themselves in new imbodiments. The highest adaitya of the sun is likewise called preeminently Marttanda; it is also a name for the number 12, referring to the 12 solar logoi, intimately connected with the 12 mansions or constellations of the zodiac.

“AEther, whether Akasa is meant by the term, or its lower principle, Ether — is septenary. Akasa is Aditi in the allegory, and the mother of Marttanda (the sun), the Deva-matri — ‘Mother of the gods.’ In the solar system, the sun is her Buddhi and Vahan, the Vehicle, hence the 6th principle; in Kosmos all the suns are the Kama rupa of Akasa and so is ours. It is only when regarded as an individual Entity in his own Kingdom that Surya (the sun) is the 7th principle of the great body of matter” (SD 1:527n).

Martinists Followers of French mystic Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803). After a brief career in the army, he devoted himself to study and become a theosophist and student of Boehme. He sought to restore Masonry to its primeval character and to reintroduce into it occultism and theurgy; his rectified rite has ten degrees, later reduced to seven. But his efforts met with failure and he was accused of introducing ideas and rites at variance with the supposed archaeological history of Masonry. His society was first established at Lyon; its members believed in the possibility of communicating with planetary spirits and minor gods and genii of the ultramundane spheres. It was the Martinists, according to some, who invented the name astral light.

Maru (Sanskrit) Maru [from the verbal root mṛ to die, become sterile] A sterile tract of land, a desert; a king belonging to the Ikshvaku family and also a country and its inhabitants.

Marut(s) (Sanskrit) Marut-s A class of spiritual or highly ethereal beings, properly classed as belonging to the middle sphere between heaven and earth. They are one of the classes of agnishvattas, and hence in strait union with the asuras — indeed leaving mythologic legends about the maruts aside, there are times when the distinctions between the maruts and asuras vanish.

In the Vedas the maruts are described as children of heaven (spiritual spheres) and ocean (cosmic space), armed with golden weapons, such as lightning and thunderbolts, as having iron teeth and roaring like lions, and residing in the north, as riding in golden cars drawn by ruddy horses — all of which is merely mythologic elaborations of symbolic fancy. The maruts are mythologically represented as storm gods and the friends and allies of Indra. Esoterically they belong to the hierarchies of those dhyani-chohans who enlightened the early races of mankind. In one sense they are our human egos as emanations from the manasaputras, and from another viewpoint, they are the manasaputras themselves, a class of the agnishvattas. Hence the allegory of Siva transforming the lumps of flesh into boys and calling them maruts, to show senseless men transformed by becoming the vehicles of the solar pitris or fire-maruts, and thus rational beings. Again, they are the adepts who incarnate on earth to help mankind.

The Vayu-Purana shows that the Maruts, “the oldest as the most incomprehensible of all the secondary or lower gods in the Rig Veda — ‘are born in every manvantara (Round) seven times seven (or 49); that in each Manvantara, four times seven (or twenty-eight) they obtain emancipation, but their places are filled up by persons reborn in that character.’ ” In the Ramayana Diti, the lower or manifested aspect of Aditi, “anxious to obtain a son who would destroy Indra, is told by Kasyapa the Sage, that ‘if, with thoughts wholly pious and person entirely pure, she carries the babe in her womb for a hundred years’ she will get such a son. But Indra foils her in the design. With his thunderbolt he divides the embryo in her womb into seven portions, and then divides every such portion into seven pieces again, which become the swift-moving deities, the Maruts. These deities are only another aspect, or a development of the Kumaras [or agnishvattas], who are Rudras in their patronymic, like many others” (SD 2:613).

The maruts have their representatives on lower planes, which causes much of the confusion and apparently contradictory statements about them. “The Maruts represent (a) the passions that storm and rage within every candidate’s breast, when preparing for an ascetic life — this mystically; (b) the occult potencies concealed in the manifold aspects of Akasa’s lower principles — her body, or sthula sarira, representing the terrestrial, lower, atmosphere of every inhabited globe — this mystically and sidereally; (c) actual conscious Existences, Beings of a cosmic and psychic nature” (SD 2:615).

Marut-jivas (Sanskrit) Marut-jīva-s [from marut a class of divine beings + jīva monad] Those monads which have been, are, or will be during long ages passing through the evolutionary stage called agnishvattas or kumaras, a direct hint of the real significance of the term marut itself. All maruts are jivas, the latter explaining characteristics and functions of the maruts.

In a more specific and limited sense, marut-jivas are the monads of adepts who have attained liberation, nirvana, or are very close to attaining it, but who wish to be reborn on earth for the sake of helping humanity. It is apparent that the nirmanakayas, as well as a large part of the sambhogakayas, therefore fall within the category of the marut-jivas.

Marutvat, Marutavan (Sanskrit) Marutvat, Marutavān Of the nature of the maruts; in a restricted sense a title meaning the lord of the maruts, a name of Indra.

Mary The Christian ecclesiastical teachings as to Mary’s perpetual virginity, her absolute sinlessness, and the role of intercessor were unknown during the ministry of Jesus and the immediately succeeding beliefs of the primitive Christians; although these three ideas in connection with the cosmic Virgin-Mother were familiar to exoteric and mythologic thought worldwide for ages preceding their adoption by Christian theologians some time after primitive Christianity. As to the idea of the perpetual virgin, as early as the latter part of the 2nd century Clement of Alexandria mentions it, but without accepting it, and not until the 4th century did it become a doctrine of the Church. Absolute sinlessness as a dogma seems to have been accepted as reluctantly as the former idea. Both Augustine and Anselm state their view that Mary the mother “was conceived in iniquity,” and born “in original sin.” The dogma of the intercession was not recognized by the Church until the 3rd century, when a wave of popular emotion initiated feast and holy days that are still observed.

The month of May was made sacred to Mary by the Christians, copying an ancient Greco-Latin view and practice, for the same month had been sacred to the Greek Maia or the Latin Vesta.

Blavatsky associates Mary with the Egyptian Isis and the Hindu Devaki (mother of Krishna) — both of whom are represented as suckling an infant; with Maya, the mother of Gautama Buddha, there is an interesting association of both similarity in name and idea. By Southern European mariners after the Christian era Mary has been associated with Mare, the Latin word for the sea — there being here again an early pagan teaching of the sea of space, or the representation of the cosmic Virgin-Mother. In another distinctly mystical sense the sea, like the Sanskrit Maya (illusion), symbolizes the illusory nature of all phenomenal life — illusory because noneternal and yet the womb or matrix in and from which universes are born; and in the case of individual human beings, the birth of wisdom from experience in the illusions of life.

Thus the Christian Mary became clothed with various religio-mystical ideas and teachings associated from immemorial time with both cosmic events and with human experiences in life and initiation. The Christ in man is born as a child of the virgin-mother spirit, man’s own higher consciousness — a mother which remains perpetually virginal, by its nature intrinsically sinless, and which functions between the personal man of flesh and the god within us as the intercessor, as indeed the inner Christ itself is. See also ANA; ANAITIS

Maryada (Sanskrit) Maryādā A limit, boundary, line, border; by extension of meaning, the content or outline of the intrinsic moral law, including likewise ethics, or established customs or rules, and hence signifying rectitude.

Mary Magdalene A woman of Palestine, who had been a woman of low repute but who reformed and became a follower of Jesus. In the Gospels, however, she first appears in company with “certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities” (Luke 8:2), and it is specified that out of Mary in particular went seven devils. The women were all reputable apparently — among them Joanna, wife of the royal steward — and there is nothing in the text to indicate that the disorders were morally reprehensible.

The Pistis Sophia is a Gnostic work, and certain Gnostic schools were contemporaries of the primitive Christians and undoubtedly contributed heavily to primitive Christian belief. Here Mary Magdalene is one the twelve disciples, asking more questions than any one of the others, and making observations which called forth frequent commendation. Phrases like “And Jesus said, Well done, Mary” and “Jesus commended Mary” are numerous. The questions, many of them at least, appear to pertain to the highest Mysteries. The following is a typical one: “Mary Magdalene came forward and . . . said unto Jesus: ‘Bear with me O Master, and reveal unto us all the things which we seek out. Now therefore, Master, how is it that the First Mystery has Twelve Mysteries, where the Ineffable has One and only One Mystery?’ ” (sec 237). In section 231 we find the following as words of Jesus: “Wherefore I said unto you once on a time: ‘In the Region where I shall be, my Twelve Servants (Diakonoi) shall also be with me, but Mary Magdalene and John the Virgin shall be the most exalted among my Disciples . . .’ ”

Top of File


BCW - H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings

BG - Bhagavad-Gita

BP - Bhagavata Purana

cf - confer

ChU - Chandogya Upanishad

Dial, Dialogues - The Dialogues of G. de Purucker, ed. A. L. Conger

Echoes - Echoes of the Orient, by William Q. Judge (comp. Dara Eklund)

ET - The Esoteric Tradition, by G. de Purucker

FSO - Fountain-Source of Occultism, by G. de Purucker

Fund - Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, by G. de Purucker

IU - Isis Unveiled, by H. P. Blavatsky

MB - Mahabharata

MIE - Man in Evolution, by G. de Purucker

ML - The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, ed. A. Trevor Barker

OG - Occult Glossary, by G. de Purucker

Rev - Revelations

RV - Rig Veda

SD - The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky

SOPh - Studies in Occult Philosophy, by G. de Purucker

TBL - Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Secret Doctrine Commentary), by H. P. Blavatsky

TG - Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky

Theos - The Theosophist (magazine)

VP - Vishnu Purana

VS - The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky

WG - Working Glossary, by William Q. Judge

ZA - Zend-Avesta

Theosophical Society Homepage