An Invitation to The Secret Doctrine — H. P. Blavatsky

Copyright © 1988 by Theosophical University Press


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Adam Kadmon (Heb) In the Kabbalah, archetypal or primordial humanity, macrocosmic or Heavenly Man in contradistinction to the earthly Adam; the Sephirothal Tree of Life.

Adi-Sanat (Skt) "First Ancient," title of Brahma, highest manifesting divinity.

Ah-hi (Senzar) Dhyani-chohans, primordial seven logoi, the elohim, a class of celestial beings through which universal mind manifests.

Akasha, Akasa (Skt, fr kas, "to shine") "space, vacuity," aether, the fifth cosmic element; subtle spiritual essence or substance which pervades all space.

Alaya (Skt) The "indissoluble"; in Buddhism the universal soul or mahabuddhi.

Amanasa (Skt) The mindless, protohuman races. See Manas.

Amshaspend(s) (Pahlavi) In Zoroastrianism, "immortal benefactors," the six or seven creative deities, aspects of Ahura Mazda; similar to the elohim or sephiroth.

Anthropogenesis (fr Gk anthropos "man" + genesis "birth") Genesis and evolution of mankind.

Anupapadaka (Skt) "Parentless," self-born or -existing; applied in Buddhism to certain self-created gods and dhyani-buddhas.

Arhat (Skt) High initiate; in Buddhism, those who have attained nirvana; more generally, an ascetic.

Arupa (Skt) "Formless," unmanifest.

Aryan Race (Skt, fr arya, "noble") Indo-European people who migrated into Northern India, Aryavarta; in theosophy applied to the 5th root-race (present humanity).

Asura(s) (Skt) A "not-god" in post-Vedic period, demons or evil spirits hostile to the suras (gods); in the most ancient portions of the Rig Veda, divine beings, supreme spirit (possibly fr asu, "breath"); in theosophy, intellectual deities.

Atman (Skt) "Self," universal spirit, the highest consciousness in all entities, including man.

Bhashya (Skt) A treatise or commentary.

Bhuta (Skt) A "has-been"; ghost or astral shell of a deceased person minus soul and spirit.

Brahma(n) (Skt) The impersonal, absolute, ultimate reality; the unmanifest Logos.

Brahma (Skt) Hindu creator god; individualized, periodical generative aspect of Brahman; hierarch of a universe.

Buddhi (Skt, fr budh, "to wake up") Human spiritual soul, principle of intuitive knowledge.

Chhaya (Skt, chaya) A "shade, shadow," the astral or model body.

Chhaya-loka (Skt) Shadow of cosmic spirit; also the sphere of shades, kama-loka.

Chohan(s) "Lord," superior chief, divine or human.

Cosmogenesis (fr Gk kosmos "world" + genesis "birth") Genesis and evolution of the cosmos.

Crore Ten million.

Dakini (Skt) Female demons attendant on Kali; mindless elemental beings in female form; equivalent to Khado.

Dangma (Tib) Freed or purified soul, a high adept, mahatma.

De minimus non curat lex (Lat) The law does not concern itself with trifles.

Demiourgos (Gk) Cosmic artificer, supreme architect; collectively, the creative powers which build the universe.

Devamatri (Skt) ``Mother of the gods,'' cosmic or mystic space.

Dhyani(s) (Skt, fr dhyana, "deep contemplation") Spiritual beings.

Dhyani-Buddha (Skt) A spiritual architect of worlds who emanates divine creative forces, the cosmic prototype of a human buddha.

Dhyani-Chohan(s) "Lords of meditation," creative gods, celestial beings superior to man.

Dzyan A "corruption" of Skt dhyana (spiritual "meditation") and jnana (wisdom, divine knowledge).

Dzyu Real knowledge; the collective wisdom of the dhyani-buddhas which becomes fohat.

Elementals Ethereal beings born from and animating the elements; classes of beings evolutionally lower than the minerals.

Elohim (Heb, plural) Gods, usually translated God; corresponds to the creative logoi or hosts emanated from the First Logos.

Facies totius Universi . . . (Spinoza) "The face of the whole universe, though it varies in infinite modes, yet remains always the same."

Fohat (Turanian compound, fr Mongolian pho, fo, "buddha, buddhi") The cause or essence of cosmic vitality or electricity, divine ideative energy of the universe.

Fons et origo (Lat) Source and origin.

Jiva (Skt) Individualized "life'' force, a living being or monad; also cosmic life principle, prana.

Jnana Yoga (Skt) "Union'' with the divine through "knowledge'' and wisdom.

Kabbalah (Heb) The esoteric "tradition'' or theosophy of the Jews.

Kabiri (Gk, kabeiroi, possibly of Phrygian origin) Divine instructors of arts, sciences, and agriculture, linked with cosmic and terrestrial fire; also, regents of seasons and cosmic cycles.

Kalpa (Skt) An age or vast time cycle.

Kama (Skt) "Desire"; love in all its ranges, cosmic and human.

Karana (Skt) "Cause" of existence and of death, the Causeless Cause.

Karma (Skt) "Action" and reaction, cause and effect, absolute justice and harmony.

Khado or Khadomas (Tib) Female demons, mindless elemental beings in female form, equivalent of Skt dakini.

Kriyasakti (Skt) "Power of action," the creative power of thought and spiritual will.

Kshatriya (Skt) In Hinduism, a member of the warrior, administrator, and ruler class.

Kwan-Shi-Yin (Chin) Male aspect of divine wisdom, the first manifested Logos or the seventh (highest) universal principle.

Kwan-Yin (Chin) Buddhist "goddess of compassion," female aspect of Kwan-Shi-Yin.

Kwan-Yin-Tien (Chin) "Melodious heaven of sound," abode of Kwan-Yin.

Lanoo Student, disciple, chela.

Lha(s) (Tib) Celestial being ranging from the highest to a terrestrial spirit; equivalent to Skt deva.

Lhamayin (Tib) Non-deity, demon, elemental; spirits of lower spheres.

Life-wave Kingdom or family of monads which progress through the 7 globes of a planetary chain.

Lipika (Skt) "Scribe," celestial recorders on the astral light of every thought, word, and act; highest cosmic agents of karma.

Logos, (Logoi, pl) (Gk) "Word," manifested deity, the living expression of divine thought.

Lusus naturae (Lat) Freak of nature.

Mahabuddhi (Skt) "Great buddhi,'' cosmic intelligence or mind, source of human mind.

Mahat (Skt) The "great"; cosmic mind or intelligence; source of manas.

Manas (Skt, fr man, "to think") Self-conscious mind, human intelligence.

Manasa (Skt) Adjectival form of manas: manasa-dhyani, manasaputras, mind-born sons of Brahma.

Mandukya (Skt) An Upanishad dealing with the sacred syllable Om.

Manu (Skt) Progenitor of mankind; collectively, the pitris or entities who begin and end a planetary life cycle.

Manushya (Skt) "Human," especially a human buddha who guides and inspires a root-race or life-wave.

Manvantara (Skt) "Between manus," a period of manifested life which alternates with rest periods (pralayas).

Matripadma (Skt) Mother lotus.

Maya, Mahamaya (Skt) "Illusion," the noneternal, that causes us not to perceive reality as it is.

Metempsychosis (Gk) "Reensoulment,'' the progress of a monad through soul after soul; an aspect of reimbodiment.

Mlechchhas (Skt) "Outcastes"; in Hinduism, foreigners, barbarians; also those unworthy of esoteric learning.

Monad(s) (fr Gk monas, "one, unit") Indivisible, divine center of every living being, atomic to cosmic.

Mulaprakriti (Skt) "Root-nature," undifferentiated cosmic substance, the veil or opposite pole of Parabrahman.

Mutatis mutandis (Lat) Necessary changes being made.

Nastika (Skt) "Atheist," unbeliever, one who does not worship idols or the anthropomorphic gods of orthodox religions.

Nidanas (Skt) "Bonds," in Buddhism, the twelve causes of existence, the chain of causation.

Nirvana (Skt) "Blown out," liberation from material existence; absolute consciousness.

Occult(ist) (fr Lat occultus, "hid") Concealed, obscured by something else, as in astronomy; a truth seeker, adept in hidden wisdom and knowledge.

Oeaohoo The "7-voweled" sacred name representing the sevenfold root from which all proceeds; parent of the gods.

Parabrahm(an) (Skt) "Beyond Brahman," precosmic source of divinity and being, the Ineffable, unnameable That; also spiritual pole of mulaprakriti.

Paramartha (Skt) True or supreme self-consciousness; in Buddhism, absolute or nirvanic consciousness.

Paranishpanna, paranirvana or parinirvana (Skt) "Beyond nirvana"; the state when all life is withdrawn into the divine source and all matter is dissolved (cosmic pralaya).

Pitri(s) (Skt) "Fathers," progenitors of the human race.

Prakriti (Skt) Primal nature, spiritual and ethereal substance; opposite pole of Purusha.

Pralaya (Skt) "Dissolution,'' death, a period of latency between manvantaras, planetary or cosmic.

Pro re nata (Lat) For a special emergency or business.

Purana(s) (Skt) "Ancient" stories; collections of Hindu allegories and myths on cosmic and human life-cycles.

Purusha (Skt) "Ideal or cosmic man," Hindu equivalent of Adam Kadmon; the universal spirit that animates prakriti, its substantial counterpart or pole; the individual spiritual self or monad of any entity.

Root-Race(s) The main serial divisions of the life-waves on any planetary globe, each lasting millions of years; present-day humanity comprises the 5th of 7 great root-races.

Round(s) The procession of any life-wave through all the globes of a planetary chain; also the completion of 7 root-races on any one globe (globe-round).

Rupa (Skt) Form, body.

Sapta (Skt) Seven.

Saptasarma [Saptaparna] (Skt) "Seven-leaved parna tree," the man-plant, the seven-principled human being.

Sarpa (Skt) Serpent.

Sat (Skt) "Truth, reality, pure being'' — the essence of Brahman.

Senzar Mystic name for the secret sacerdotal language, the "Mystery-speech" of initiated adepts; original language of the Stanzas of Dzyan.

Sephiroth (Heb) In the Kabbalah, the ten divine emanations from Ain Soph (the Boundless) which form the Tree of Life or tenfold universe.

Sien-Tchan (Chin) The material universe, world of illusion.

Silent Watcher The summit of a hierarchy; the terrestrial Silent Watcher is the Mahaguru, the Great Sacrifice, who renounces nirvana and individual progress for the sake of all lower sentient beings.

Sishta(s) (Skt) "Residue, remainders," those left behind; the most evolved representatives of each kingdom which remain behind at the end of a cycle to serve as seeds for that kingdom in the next cycle.

Sloka (Skt) Verse of a stanza; the usual Sanskrit epic meter of 32 syllables.

Soma (Skt) Hindu male lunar deity; also a "beverage'' from a sacred plant which can induce spiritual vision.

Stanzas of Dzyan Source text of The Secret Doctrine, excerpted from Chinese, Tibetan, and Sanskrit translations of the original Senzar commentaries and glosses on the Book of Dzyan.

Sutratma (Skt) "Thread-self," the abiding self or soul which survives death, the spiritual essence (atman), stream of self-consciousness, individuality, or thread of radiance upon which the personalities of its various incarnations are strung.

Svabhavat (Skt) "Self-existent," cosmic consciousness-substance, the reservoir of Being, akasa.

Tridasa (Skt) "Thrice ten," in round numbers the sum of the Hindu pantheon, 330 million deities (lives).

Upadhi (Skt) "Vehicle" or body on any plane.

Upanishad (Skt) Esoteric doctrine; philosophical texts belonging to the Vedic cycle.

Vahana (Skt) "Vehicle" or form imbodying a consciousness.

Veda(s) (Skt) "Knowledge," oldest, most sacred collection of Hindu scriptures: Rig-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, and Atharva-veda, each containing 4 divisions of text — Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanishad.

Vedanta (Skt) "End or completion of the Vedas"; one of the six main Brahmanical schools.

Vidya (Skt) "Wisdom, knowledge,'' esoteric science.

Voluspa "The Sibyl's Prophecy," mystic poem opening the Elder Edda, the Norse theosophy.

Yati A measure of length, about 3 feet.

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