Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary

editors’ note: This online version of the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary is a work in progress. For ease of searching, diacritical marks are omitted, with the exception of Hebrew and Sanskrit terms, where after the main heading a current transliteration with accents is given.

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Jabal (Hebrew) Yābāl Stream; in the Bible, the son of Lamech and Adah: “he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle” (Genesis 4:20). Blavatsky compares Jabal to the kabiri who were the instructors of mankind in agriculture (SD 2:390).

Jabalas (Sanskrit) Jābālās A school whose students study the mystical portions of the White Yajur-Veda.

Jachin (Hebrew) Yākhīn The right-hand pillar set up before the temple of Solomon by Hiram (1 Kings 7:21). From the Qabbalistic standpoint, Jachin is the right pillar of the Sephirothal Tree composed of Hochmah (wisdom), Hesed (mercy), and Netsah (firmness). Its companion Boas (Bo‘az), the left pillar, consists of Binah (intelligence), Geburah (strength), and Hod (splendor). Jachin and Boaz together represent the dual manas, or higher and lower ego.

Jacob (Hebrew) Ya‘aqob The younger son of Isaac, founder of the nation of the Israelites, and twin brother of Esau; the Israelites are occasionally called Beith ya‘aqob (house of Jacob). The twins symbolize the dual principle in nature, Jacob being the feminine and Esau the masculine principle.

Jacob’s pillar is equivalent to the linga; the twelve sons of Jacob are parallel to the Hindu rishis and can correspond to the twelve signs of the zodiac. The dream of Jacob, in which he sees angels ascending and descending a ladder from heaven to earth may be interpreted as the transferring of matter from plane to plane, or as the constant circulation of peregrinating monads or beings upwards and downwards, thus fulfilling destiny and feeding the structure of the universe.

Jacobites A Christian sect in 6th century Syria “which held that Christ had only one nature and that confession was not of divine origin. They had secret signs, passwords and a solemn initiation with mysteries” (TG 161).

Jadoo (Hindi) Jādū. Sorcery, black magic, or the power of casting enchantments as practiced by the jadugars, wizards, or sorcerers in India.

Jadoogar Jadugar (Hindi) In India, one who practices jadu or sorcery. Believed by the populace to be the possessor of the evil eye inasmuch as such a sorcerer is able to inspire hatred or love at will, cause sudden maladies or even death, and cause disease among cattle, in addition to other practices of a necromantic character.

Jadu. See JADOO

Jadupati. See YADAVA

Jagaddhatri (Sanskrit) Jagaddhātrī [from jagat the world + dhātrī mother, nurse] World-mother, world foster-mother; applied to Sarasvati and Durga, among other Hindu goddesses. Used particularly in connection with Krishna in his aspect of the Logos, the avatara, and likewise with his brother Balarama, who both are brought to their mother, Devaki, by means of Jagaddhatri. Cosmologically, the name refers to a spiritual substance which is one of the first few removes from Brahman. In the building of worlds it is the cosmic matrix out of which worlds are born, and which therefore acts not only in the sense of mother, but likewise as foster-mother, nurse, and producer.

Jagadyoni (Sanskrit) Jagadyoni [from jagat world + yoni womb] The womb of the world; applied to Brahma, Vishnu, and Krishna. It is the material cause of the universe and not the mother of the world, as often translated. It signifies a portion of the spatial deeps to be womb or source of some celestial body such as a planet, or a group of bodies such as a solar system. Jagad-yoni, therefore, is any portion of kosmic space which through karmic destiny is to be the focus out of which shall spring a celestial globe or solar system. It parallels in certain senses the Hindu hiranyagharba and Greek pleroma (BCW 11:491).

Jagannatha (Sanskrit) Jagannātha [from jagat world + nātha protector, lord] World protector, governor or lord of the world; title of Vishnu and Krishna, especially in his avataric manifestation from Vishnu; also of Rama, a previous avatara. “This deity is worshipped equally by all the sects of India. . . . He is the god of the Mysteries, and his temples, which are most numerous in Bengal, are all of a pyramidal form” (IU 2:301). Applied specifically to the idol of Vishnu-Krishna at Puri in Orissa, Bengal, which is drawn through the street in a huge vehicle, under the wheels of which devotees were supposed to allow themselves to be crushed — the modern English form is Juggernaut, meaning any law, custom, or belief that demands blind devotion and ruthless sacrifice.

In cosmology, Jagannatha is the cosmic hierarch of a particular cosmic unit out of which all flows in evolutionary procession, forming the periods of that universe’s manifestation, and back into which in due course all again is gathered, to reissue forth again when the new cosmic manvantara opens. Thus in a sense Jagannatha parallels the productive member of the Hindu triad, Brahma.

Jagat (Sanskrit) Jagat [from the verbal root gam to go] The world or earth; the universe; in the plural, people in general or mankind. Originally that which moves or goes continuously, in constant action, hence that which cosmically is alive.

Jagrat (Sanskrit) Jāgrat [from the verbal root jāgri to be awake] The waking state of consciousness; the first of the four states of consciousness (avasthas) mentioned in Yoga philosophy. Jagrat is often compounded with avastha (condition, state) as jagradavastha. See also SUSHUPTI; SVAPNA; TURIYA

Jah (Hebrew) Yāh [from hāyāh to be, come to pass, become] An abbreviation of Jehovah — although probably the original from which Jehovah is derived — occurring especially in the phrase “Jah is his name.” It signifies cosmic being, albeit in a restricted sense. In the Qabbalah, Jah is the divine name of the Sephirah Hochmah; also the masculine aspect of the hermaphrodite conception of Jehovah. See also JAH-HAVAH; JAH-VEH; JEHOVAH

Jah-Havah, Ja-Heva, Jah-Hovah. Also Jah-Eve, etc. Western Qabbalist term designating Jah or Yah as the masculine aspect and Hovah (or Eve) as the feminine aspect of Jehovah: the two when joined forming an androgynous being; it also refers to the time when humanity was androgynous, later separating into sexes. See also JEHOVAH.

Jahnavi (Sanskrit) Jāhnavī Jahnu’s daughter; applied to the river Ganges. In the Mahabharata, when the Ganges came from heaven it flowed over the earth and inundated the sacrificial ground of Jahnu, who drank up its waters. He consented to discharge them from his ears, and hence the river is regarded as his daughter.

Jah-Veh (Hebrew) YHVH One transliteration of Jehovah, referring specifically to Genesis 4:26: “then men began to call themselves Jehovah,” i.e., they knew themselves to be then males and females.

Jaimini (Sanskrit) Jaimini Celebrated sage and philosopher of antiquity, pupil of Vyasa, to whom the Sama-Veda was transmitted by his teacher (Bh-P 1.4.21). The founder of the Purva-Mimansa or Karma-Mimansa system — one of the six Darsanas or schools of Hindu philosophy.

Jaina Cross. See SVASTIKA

Jains, Jainas [from jina victorious] Followers of the jinas; one of the major Indian religions. Scholars place their origin in the 5th century BC, believing them to be the last direct representatives of the philosophical schools which then flourished. Jainism, however, became overshadowed with the rise of Buddhism, which it closely resembles; but came to the front when the Buddhist fervor waned in India. The first recorded Jain teacher is Vaddhamana (known as Mahavira, “the great hero”), a contemporary of Gautama Buddha; the Jains themselves state that there was a succession of teachers antedating him, and enumerate 24 Jinas or Tirthankaras. Jains deny the authority of the Vedas and do not believe in any personal supreme god. They have a complex religious philosophy which includes belief in the eternity of matter, the periodicity of the universe, and the immortality of human’s and animal’s minds. They are particularly known for avoiding harming any living thing.

Jakin. See JACHIN

Jala (Sanskrit) Jala Water, or liquid matter; one of the five elements or states of prakriti. It comes forth from tejas (fire), and its specific quality or sense is gandha (smell). See also APAS; BHUTA; ELEMENT (BCW 13:67)

Jalarupa (Sanskrit) Jalarūpa [from jala water + rūpa form, body] Water-form, water body; applied to the tenth zodiacal sign, Makara, equivalent to Capricorn, represented as a beast with the head and forelegs of an antelope, and the body and tail of a fish.

“Taken variously to mean a shark, a dolphin, etc.; as it is the vahan of Varuna, the Ocean God . . .” (SD 2:577). It appears on the banner of Kama, god of love, and is connected with the immortal egos (TG 162).

Jamblichus. See IAMBLICHUS

Jambu-dvipa (Sanskrit) Jambu-dvīpa [from jambu rose-apple tree (a gigantic tree said to flourish on Mount Meru) + dvīpa continent, continental island] The middle of the seven dvipas or continents enumerated in the geography of the Puranas and the Mahabharata, which relate that Mount Meru rises from the center of Jambu-dvipa. This dvipa was divided into nine varshas (parts or divisions): 1) Bharata, or India situated south of the Himalayas, the southernmost division; 2) Kimpurusha; 3) Hari-varsha; 4) Ila-vrita, the central varsha containing Mount Meru; 5) Ramyaka; 6) Hiran-maya; 7) Uttara-Kuru; 8) Bhadrasva, east of Ila-vrita; 9) Ketu-mala, west of the central varsha. Each varsha was apportioned to one of his nine sons by Agnidhra, king of Jambu-dvipa.

Generally the seven dvipas may be regarded as the seven globes of the earth-chain, Jambu-dvipa “alone representing our globe, the six others are the (to us) invisible companion globes of this earth. This is shown by the very nature of the allegorical and symbolic descriptions. Jambu (dwipa) ‘is in the centre of all these (the so-called insular continents) and is surrounded’ by a sea of salt water (lavana),” the other six are surrounded by seas of wine, clarified butter, etc. (SD 2:320).

Jam-pe-yang (Tibetan) ’jam dpa’i dbyangs. Equivalent of Sanskrit manjughosha, another name of the bodhisattva Manjusri.

Janaka (Sanskrit) Janaka [from the verbal root jan to be born, come forth] A king of the Mithila dynasty reigning at Videha; grandson of Ikshvaku, founder of the solar dynasty (Suryava-nsa).

Twenty generations later, another king of the same name reigned at Videha, famed for his good works, knowledge, and sanctity, also called Siradhvaja (he of the plow-banner) for, as related in the Ramayana, when the king was preparing the ground for a sacrifice for obtaining offspring, a maiden, Sita, sprang up ready formed from the furrow which he had made with his plow. Through his righteous life he became a Brahmin and one of the Rajarshis — referred to in the Bagavad-Gita (ch 3). It is also related that he and his preceptor-adviser, Yajnavalkya, prepared the way for the Buddha.

Used as an adjective meaning generating, producing.

Jana-loka. See JANARLOKA

Janardana (Sanskrit) Janārdana [from the verbal root jan to be born, come forth + the verbal root ard to move, agitate] The adored of mankind, exciting or agitating men, besought by mortals; in the Puranas, the one cosmic intelligent life, manifesting in the threefold aspect of fashioner, preserver, and regenerator (Brahma, Vishnu, Siva). Also applied to Krishna in his avataric manifestation of Vishnu.

A philosophical translation is world-mover, signifying the inherent intelligent vitality of a manifested cosmic unit; the ever-born.

Janarloka (Sanskrit) Janarloka [from jan to be born + loka world, place] Also janoloka. Birth-world, world of pious men or saints; the third, counting downwards, of the seven lokas (principles or planes of a hierarchy), its tala (element or matter side) being sutala. Exoterically said to extend beyond the solar system, the abode of the kumaras belonging to a high plane, but one nevertheless inferior to those living in taparloka. The siddhas (saints, pious men) are stated to have their spiritual dwellings or rest periods in janarloka. There too, according to the Puranas, animals destroyed in the general kosmic conflagration are born again (SD 1:371).

These lokas and talas are invisible spheres of a nature far more ethereal so far as the majority of the lokas is concerned than bhurloka, our material earth. The lokas apply not only to the solar system, but to the planetary chain and to every one of its globes.

Jangama (Sanskrit) Jaṅgama [from the verbal root gam to go, move] Goers, movers; living entities which are self-moving, such as beasts and human beings. Used in contrast with sthavara (fixtures), beings not able to move at will, such as the minerals and plants.

As an adjective, movable or locomotive.

Jang-Chhub. See CHANG-CHUB

Janman (Sanskrit) Janman [from the verbal root jan to be born] Birth.

Janna. See DHYANA

Janus (Latin) [from janua a gate] Oldest and most exalted of the Roman gods, he was called the oldest of the gods and the beginning of all things, the origin of all organic life and especially human life; from him sprang all wells and rivers, and he had power also on the seas. He had no Greek counterpart, and may originally have been a god of sun and light, who opened and closed the day; later he was especially the god of beginnings and endings, such as the closing and opening of cycles, symbolized in his statues by his having two faces, one before and one behind, visioning the future and the past; also of all doors, entrances, and passages, he being pictured as a porter with a staff and key. He was saluted every morning, at the beginning of all the months (calends), and at the first of the year. When the Romans began their year near the winter solstice (153 BC), they called the month Januarius, the month of Janus, as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. They connected the name Janus with Dianus, one aspect of the divine sun, whose feminine is Diana, the moon.

Janus was also considered the most ancient Italian king, who built a temple by the Tiber and gave a friendly welcome to Saturn.

The Christians transformed him into St. Peter, ruling the gate or entrance to heaven.

Jao-Jehovah. See IAO

Japa (Sanskrit) Japa [from the verbal root jap to murmur, whisper] The practice of certain yogis of repeating in a murmuring tone passages from the scriptures or mantras, or the names of a deity.

Japheth (Hebrew) Yefeth The second son of Noah, supposed to be the ancestor of the northern and western nations, and of the Indo-European stocks. Blavatsky equates Japheth with the titan Iapetus (SD 2:344).

Jara-marana (Sanskrit) Jarā-maraṇa [from jarā aging, old age from the verbal root jṛ to age, grow old + maraṇa dying, death from the verbal root mṛ to die] Old and age and death. The skandhas or groups of attributes — everything finite in the human constitution which is brought over from the last life as karmic tendencies or impulses — reunite at a person’s new birth. They thus constitute his new personality, making the new person not only the child of the person of the last life, but actually a reappearance of that personality plus whatever changes or modifications death and the devachanic interval have brought to pass. After the maturity of the incarnating person is reached, these skandhas which form the human personality slowly begin to weaken and separate in preparation for death. This process continuing finally brings about jara-marana, decrepitude and death.

Jaras (Sanskrit) Jaras [from the verbal root jṛ to become old] The becoming old, decay, old age; a hunter in the Mahabharata who accidentally wounded Krishna and caused his death. Mystically, it may be described as that vital cyclic power of constant movement in manifested beings by which youth becomes maturity and then old age, then producing infancy, youth, maturity, and old age again.

Jared, Yered (Hebrew) Yered [from the verbal root yārad to descend] In Genesis 5, a decedent of Seth and son of Mahalaleel; his life-span is given as 962 years — representing a cycle of a race and identified with the third root-race (SD 2:597). His son was Enoch, father of Methuselah. See also CAIN

Jasher, Book of; Sepher Hay-Yashar (Hebrew) Sēfer hay-Yāshār Book of the upright or honorable ones; a poetic collection of Hebrew stories and allegories portraying the religious beliefs of the people of the time of its compilation. Regarded by some scholars as a 12th century composition in Spain, others hold it is not earlier than the time of Solomon. At all events, the Book of Jasher is older than the Mosaic Pentatuech, because references to it are found in Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel, and Isaiah. “Although rejected by the orthodox Rabbis, we cannot help thinking that, as in the case of the apocryphal Gospels, . . . the Book of Jasher is the true original from which the subsequent Bible was in part composed. . . . both are corner-stones of the Mosaic and Christian religions” (IU 2:399).

Jata (Sanskrit) Jāta [from the verbal root jan to be born, come forth] Born, brought into existence, produced; when applied to human beings, a son; a living being. As a proper noun, one of the seven kumaras.

Jataka (Sanskrit) Jātaka [from the verbal root jan to be born] A birth story; the 550 Jataka tales form one of the books of the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Buddhist canon. These stories are supposed to have been related by the Buddha and are considered by some to be the accounts of his former lives, and by others to be a group of tales built of occult truth and past experiences of the Buddha and treated in an allegorical way by some of his first and greatest disciples in order to depict a synopsis of the evolutionary history of the human race.

“Gautama, the Buddha, would not have been a mortal man, had he not passed through hundreds and thousands of births previous to his last. Yet the detailed account of these, and the statement that during them he worked his way up through every stage of transmigration from the lowest animate and inanimate atom and insect, up to the highest — or man, contains simply the well-known occult aphorism: ‘a stone becomes a plant, a plant an animal, and an animal a man.’ Every human being who has ever existed, has passed through the same evolution. But the hidden symbolism in the sequence of these re-births (jataka) contains a perfect history of the evolution on this earth, pre and post human, and is a scientific exposition of natural facts. One truth not veiled but bare and open is found in their nomenclature, viz., that as soon as Gautama had reached the human form he began exhibiting in every personality the utmost unselfishness, self-sacrifice and charity” (TG 65).

Jatayu (Sanskrit) Jaṭāyu King of the vultures, steed of Vishnu and other gods, son of Aruna and Syeni according to the Mahabharata; or son of Garuda according to the Ramayana. Jatayu promised his aid to Rama, and when the demon-king Ravana was carrying off Rama’s wife Sita, the king of birds gave pursuit, but was mortally wounded after a furious battle with Ravana. In the Puranas, when Rama’s father, King Dasaratha, went to the ecliptic to recover Sita from Sani (Saturn), his chariot was consumed by a glance from Sani’s eye, but Jatayu caught the falling king and saved him.

“Jatayu is, of course, the cycle of 60,000 years within the great cycle of Garuda; hence he is represented as his son, or nephew, ad libitum, since the whole meaning rests in his being placed on the line of Garuda’s descendants” (SD 2:570-71). Birds have been from time immemorial the emblems of migrating and evolving monads.

Jati (Sanskrit) Jāti [from the verbal root jan to be born, come forth from intrinsic inner vital power] Birth, production, the form of existence fixed by birth; also rank, family, race. In Buddhism, one of the twelve nidanas (causes of existence).

“The cause and the effect in the mode of birth taking place according to the ‘Chatur Yoni,’ when in each case a being, whether man or animal, is placed in one of the six (esoteric seven) gati or paths of sentient existence, which esoterically, counting downward, are: (1) the highest Dhyani (Anupadaka); (2) Devas; (3) Men; (4) Elementals or Nature Spirits; (5) Animals; (6) lower Elementals; (7) organic Germs. These are in the popular or exoteric nomenclature, Devas, Men, Asuras, Beings in Hells, Pretas (hungry demons), and Animals” (TG 103).

Java Aleim (Hebrew) Yĕhovāh ’Elōhīm More commonly Jehovah Elohim. Lord God — in Genesis (ch 1) the word ’elohim is used; in chapter 2, Yehovah or Lord makes its appearance; and elsewhere the words are combined into Yehovah ’Elohim. In the esoteric philosophy of Mesopotamia, used as a term for the head of a college of priests (’Elohim) which at one time flourished in Chaldea; the possessor of the “word,” passing it on to his successor only at the moment of death. See also ELOHIM

Jave, Javo. See JEHOVAH

Javidan Khirad (Persian) Eternal intellect; the original Javidan Khirad which is supposed to be the teachings of Houshang, one of the mythical Pishdadian kings (Para-Dhata), the ancient law givers. Ibn-e-Moskouyeh (Iranian historian, 923-1030) wrote a book under the same name. In the introduction to this book he writes: “In my youth I had read a book called Estetalat-al-Fahm by Jahiz (160-255 Hejra) in which he had spoken of Javidan Khirad with such unparalleled praise that was unheard of. I searched for this book and traveled everywhere until at last I found it with the Mobed-Mobedan (the chief of Mobeds) of Fers.”

Jaya (Sanskrit) Jaya [from the verbal root ji to conquer] Conquering, winning, victorious. As a noun, conquest, victory, hence a favorite proper name, applied to gods and goddesses, Arjuna, the sun, etc. In the Puranas, the jayas are the twelve great gods (or twelve great hierarchies of beings) created by Brahma to assist him in his work of creation in the very beginning of the kalpa. Also termed chhandajas — those born of their own will or svabhava, in human and other form. Being lost in samadhi they neglected to create, and therefore they were cursed to be born repeatedly in each manvantara until the seventh. They are called respectively: Ajitas, Tushitas, Satyas, Haris, Vaikunthas, Sadhyas, and Adityas. They are equivalent to the manasaputras or reincarnating egos.

Jaya-indriyanam is a philosophical term meaning victory over or restraint of the senses.

Jebel Djudi. See JEBEL JUDI

Jebel Judi (Arabic) The holy mountain or flood-mountain of Arabian legends which in the flood legends of other Near Eastern peoples appears as Mount Ararat, and the Babylonian Mount of Nizir, where the ark or container of lives landed.

Jehoshua (ben Pandira or Panthera). See JESUS

Jehovah (Hebrew) Yĕhovāh In the Bible, the god of the Hebrews; a modern mispronunciation of the Hebrew alphabetic characters, resulting from the combining by the Jews themselves of the Hebrew consonants of this word (YHVH) with the vowels of the word Adonai (my lords) because the Jews, while always writing or copying the alphabetic characters of the name correctly in their manuscripts, when reading it never pronounced the word YHVH, but read “Adonai” in its stead — writing the Massoretic points of Adonai to vocalize YHVH to produce Yahovah. Consequently when the Bible came to be studied by those unfamiliar with the real pronunciation of YHVH, it was read in various ways, commonly as Jehovah. It is now held by some scholars that YHVH should be pronounced yahweh or yave. It is also given as Yihweh (he will be, or it will be) (SD 2:129). However, Josephus, a priest who undoubtedly knew the correct pronunciation, wrote that it would be highly unlawful for him to divulge it as the Jews regarded it as too holy to pronounce aloud.

Blavatsky writes that the rendering Ja-ho-vah is “a perversion of the Holy Name”: that the majority of the Jews themselves were ignorant of the true pronunciation. “Alone, out of all their nation the high priests had it in their possession, and respectively passed it to their successors,” before their death. “Once a year only, on the day of atonement, the high priest was allowed to pronounce it in a whisper” (IU 2:398-9).

The Hebrews were not the only ones who knew of and revered a divinity whose name when written was conveyed by vowels mainly, as for instance the Gnostic Iao, Ieuo, or Iaou. All these ancient peoples by these vowel-words desired to express the fluid life-giving energy of the globe, of the moon, and of the planetary source — in this case, Saturn.

The early Christian Fathers connected the moon and its functions with Jehovah — as the proximate but not causal “giver of life and death.” Moreover “With the Israelites, the chief function of Jehovah was child-giving, and the esotericism of the Bible, interpreted Kabalistically, shows undeniably the Holy of Holies in the temple to be only the symbol of the womb. . . . This idea must certainly have been borrowed by the Jews from the Egyptians and Indians . . .” (SD 1:264). Jehovah is likewise identified with the serpent or dragon that tempted Eve, the dragon often standing for the primordial principle.

In the Qabbalah, Jehovah is regarded as hermaphrodite and connected with the female Sephirah Binah. The Qabbalists show the word to be “composed of the two-fold name of the first androgyne — Adam and Eve, Jod (or Yodh), Vau and He-Va — the female serpent as a symbol of Divine Intelligence proceeding from the One-Generative or Creative Spirit” (IU 2:398).

From the standpoint of the Jews, Jehovah was their patron deity, the regent of the planet Saturn. See also TETRAGRAMMATON

Jehovah Nissi (Hebrew) Yĕhovāh Nissī [from nēs lofty, an elevation + ī mine] Jehovah, my elevation; in the Bible the altar built by Moses (Ex 17:15); Blavatsky maintains that this aspect of Jehovah was equivalent to Dionysos or Bacchus, and that the Jews worshiped this deity (the androgyne of Nissi) as the Greeks might have worshiped Bacchus and Osiris. Tradition has it that Bacchus was reared in a cave of Nysa, which is between Phoenicia and Egypt. As the son of Zeus, he was named for his father (gen Dios) and the place: Dio-Nysos (the Zeus or Jove of Nysa). Diodorus identifies this Dionysos with Osiris.

Jehovah-Tzabaoth, -Tsebaoth, or -Sabbaoth The seventh Sephirah of the superior septenary, identified with Netsah (triumph), who “esoterically . . . corresponds with Haniel (human physical life), the androgyne Elohim, with Venus-Lucifer and Baal, and finally with the Letter Vau or Microprosopus, the Logos. All these belong to the formative world” — also with Siva, Saturn, and the angel Michael or Mikael; “Mikael and his angels, or Jehovah-Tzabaoth (the ‘Host’) who refused to create as the seven passionless, mind-born, sons of Brahma did, because they aspire to incarnate as men in order to become higher than the gods — fight the Dragon [of esoteric wisdom], conquer him, and the child of matter is born” (BCW 8:148). See also TSEBA’OTH (SD 1:459)

Jehovists one of the two main trends of ancient Jewish religious thought, the other being the Elohists. “The portions belonging to these respectively are so blended together, so completely mixed up by later hands, that often all external characteristics are lost. Yet it is also known that the two schools were antagonistic; that the one taught esoteric, the other exoteric, or theological doctrines; that the one, the Elohists, were Seers (Roeh), whereas the other, the Jehovists, were prophets (Nabi), and that the latter — who later became Rabbis — were generally only nominally prophets by virtue of their official position, . . . That, again, the Elohists meant by ‘Elohim’ ‘forces,’ identifying their Deity, as in the Secret Doctrine, with Nature; while the Jehovists made of Jehovah a personal God externally, and used the term simply as a phallic symbol — a number of them secretly disbelieving even in metaphysical, abstract Nature, and synthesizing all on the terrestrial scale. Finally, the Elohists made of man the divine incarnate image of the Elohim, emanated first in all Creation; and the Jehovists show him as the last, the crowing glory of the animal creation, instead of his being the head of all the sensible beings on earth” (BCW 14:183-4). David is said to have introduced this worship in Judea after living among the Tyrians and Philistines where such rites and beliefs were common: “David knew nothing of Moses, it seems, and if he introduced the Jehovah-worship, it was not in its monotheistic character, but simply as that of one of the many [Kabeirean] gods of the neighbouring nations — a tutelary deity of his own [hebrew characters]to whom he had given the preference, and chosen among ‘all other [Kabeiri] gods,” (IU 2:45). Blavatsky holds that the Jehovists altered the Mosaic texts. ( )

Jerusalem (Hebrew) Yĕrūshālēm, Yĕrūshālayim Represents the earth; in Christian and Qabbalistic symbology, also the city of God or the heavenly Jerusalem, the goal of human spiritual attainment. “In Hebrew it is written Yrshlim or ‘city of peace,’ but the ancient Greeks called it pertinently Hierosalem or ‘Secret Salem,’ since Jerusalem is a rebirth from Salem of which Melchizedek was the King-Hierophant, a declared Astrolator and worshipper of the Sun, ‘the Most High’ . . .” (TG 164). Plutarch relates that Typhon or Set after a long battle with Horus fled on an ass in to Palestine and there founded Hierosolymus and Judaeus — these two names meaning Jerusalem and the Jews (Isis and Osiris, sec 31).

Jeshida. See YEHIDAH

Jeshu ben-Panthera. See JESUS

Jesirah. See YETSIRAH

Jesod. See YESOD

Jesus [Latin of Greek Iesous from Hebrew Yēshūa‘ contraction of Yĕhōshua‘ a proper name meaning savior or helper, or that which is spacious or widespread] Indubitably a historical character, whose life as narrated in the Gospels is pure allegory, a story of the initiation chamber. There is a story current from medieval times among the Jews, mentioned in the Sepher Toledoth Yeshua‘ (Book of the Generations of Jesus), to the effect that the Jesus of the Gospels was a Jehoshua ben Panthera, a Jewish adept living about 100 BC. Jesus illustrates the typical sequence in occult history: 1) the coming of a leader or teacher to a people needing to be led and taught; 2) his passing, followed by the adoration, even worship, of his followers; 3) the gradual transformation of historic facts into more or less embroidered legends or mythological tales, which in time cluster so thickly about his memory that his identity as a person, and even his name, are lost; 4) the myth, allegory, or legend; and 5) the efforts of other, later teachers to explain, interpret, and reinstate this earlier teacher, now a purely mythic figure or else materialized and misunderstood.

The Christian Gospels appear to have originated in mystery-dramas, beautiful and often sublime in their inner significances, in which were depicted the experiences of the neophyte and adept in his union with the Logos, and hence such unified individual was called a Logos incarnate as a man, the Logos itself being variously named as Christos or Dionysos, and to have been by stages adapted and given a semi-historical guise, as has happened in other instances besides the Christian mythos. Christ therefore, or the Christos, is not a particular man or an especial incarnation of divinity, but a generic term for the divine as incarnated in all human beings, although Jesus was undoubtedly the name of this great Jewish initiate-avatara as an individual. Hence this universal allegory in its Christian version has a true historical peg to hang from; for there did appear, sometime before the Christian era, a special cyclic messenger who was due to come on the change of the ecliptic point from one sign of the celestial zodiac to another, from the sign of Aries to Pisces. In theosophical literature, Jesus is considered to be an avatara, the messenger for the European Messianic or Piscean cycle. As such, Jesus represented a ray sent from the Wondrous Being or spiritual hierarch of the earth into the soul of a pure human being, while the racial buddha, Gautama Buddha, supplied the intermediate or psychological nature in this act of white magic.

“But it is probable that the theosophic effort which Jesus attempted to initiate did not endure for fifty years after his death. Almost immediately after his passing, his disciples, all half-instructed, and in some cases almost illiterate, men . . . foisted upon the world of their time the forms and beliefs of early Christianity; and had there been nothing but these, that religious system had not lived another fifty years. But what happened? During the oncoming of the dark cycle after Jesus (which began as before said about the time of Pythagoras), the last few rays from the setting sun of the ancient light shone feebly in the minds of certain of these Christian Fathers, Clement of Alexandria for one, and Origen of Alexandria for another, and in one or two more like these, who had been initiated at least in the lowest of some of the then degenerate pagan Mysteries; and these men entered into the Christian Church and introduced some poor modicum of that light, . . . which they still cherished; and these rays they derived mainly from the Neo-pythagorean and the Neoplatonic system” (Fund 486-7).

The Hebrew name Jah or Jehovah became identified in the mind of Christians with the name of Jesus, although Jesus never was in any wise identical with the Jewish Jehovah, but was identified in initiation through his own inner god or Father in Heaven, and the Jewish Jehovah mystically was the regent of the planet Saturn.

The first three letters in Greek make I.H.S. placed at the head of representations of the crucified Jesus, often said to stand for Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus the savior of men) or In hoc signo (in this sign), with reference to the alleged vision of a cross of the Emperor Constantine. Jesus is a form of a worldwide mystery-name, whose importance was its meaning, usually given as a three-letter monogram, analogous to the Sanskrit Aum. We find it in the Greek Gnostic Iao and variants are common in ancient Greece, such as Iasios, Iasion, Iason, Iasos; and initiates were known as Iasides or sons of Iaso. See also AVATARA

Jetavaniya (Sanskrit) Jetavanīya [from Jetavana a grove near Sravasti where the Buddha at one time promulgated his doctrines] A Buddhist mystical school of Ceylon, which tradition alleges was founded about 247 BC by Katyayana, a favorite disciple of Gautama Buddha. One of the three divisions of an early Buddhist school called the Sthavirakaya founded some 300 BC.

Jethro (Hebrew) Yithrō Also called Reuel (Exodus 2). In the Bible the father of seven daughters: one, Zipporah, he gave in marriage to Moses. These daughters represent his various spiritual, intellectual, and psychic powers and faculties, as the offspring of the monadic or egoic center.

In one sense Jethro is the initiator of Moses: “Jethro is called the ‘father-in-law’ of Moses; not because Moses was really married to one of his seven daughters. Moses was an Initiate, if he ever existed, and as such an ascetic, a nazar, and could never be married. It is an allegory like everything else. Zipporah (the shining) is one of the personified Occult Sciences given by Revel-Jethro, the Midian priest Initiator, to Moses, his Egyptian pupil” (SD 2:465n). See also REUEL-JETHRO

Jetzira(h). See YETSIRAH


Jewels of Wisdom, The Seven Theosophical term for seven fundamental teachings explanatory of the universe, its structure, laws, and operations. As enumerated with their Sanskrit names, they are: 1) reimbodiment (punarjanman); 2) the doctrine of consequences, results, or of causes and effects (karma); 3) hierarchies (lokas and talas); 4) individual characteristics involving self-generation or self-becoming (svabhava); 5) evolution and involution (pravritti and nivritti); 6) the two paths (amritayana and pratyekayana); and 7) the knowledge of the divine self and how the One becomes the many (atma-vidya).

Jhana (Pali) Jhāna Meditation in wisdom, equivalent to Sanskrit dhyana. This experience was originally divided into four states: the mystic, with his mind free from sensuous and worldly ideas, concentrates his thoughts on some special subject such as the impermanence or mayavi character of all exterior things; uplifted above attention to externals and ordinary reasoning he experiences keen joy and quiet ease both of body and mind; the bliss passes away and he becomes suffused with a sense of inner completeness, in its higher stages approaching cosmic ranges; he becomes aware permanently of purest lucidity of intellect and perfect equanimity.

Jhana Bhaskara. See JNANA BHASKARA


Jigten gonpo (Tibetan) ’jig rten mgon po (Jig-ten Gon po) [from ’jig rten world (cf Sanskrit loka) + mgon po lord (cf Sanskrit natha)] Lord or guardian of the world, equivalent of Sanskrit lokanatha; title applied to Avalokitesvara or Chenrezi.

Jinn, Jinni, Jinnee (Arabic) Jinnī, singular jinniy, plural jinn; also genii. In the Koran a class of beings, both male and female, between angels and human kind and represented as being created from smokeless fire, abounding particularly in desert places. Popularly jinn are regarded as being able to appear to mankind in the form of domestic animals or of human beings of gigantic size, the benevolent ones appearing in beautiful shape, the malevolent in horrible guise.

Jinshnu (Sanskrit) Jiṣṇu [from the verbal root ji to win, conquer] Victorious, triumphant, winning; as a proper noun, a name of Vishnu and of Indra, equivalent of the Hebrew Michael, the leader of the archangels. Also applied to Arjuna as the son of Indra.

Jiva (Sanskrit) Jīva A living being, or center of potential vitality and intelligence, equivalent to monad as well as life-atom. “Beginning its career as an unself-conscious god-spark, a jiva — a cosmic elemental born from the cosmic element — its destiny is to pass through all intermediate stages of evolution until finally it becomes a full-blown god, a jivanmukta” (FSO 225).

Jiva is also used for the cosmic life principle or force and is sometimes used interchangeably with prana, the life principle of the human constitution.

Jivanmukta (Sanskrit) Jīvanmukta [from jīva living being + mukta freed] A freed jiva, a human being who has attained freedom as an individualized monad from the material spheres, “who lives in the highest portions of his constitution in full consciousness and power even during earth-life” (OG 73).

Often signifies the loftiest class of initiates, adepts, or mahatmas, whether imbodied or disimbodied; also one who has reached nirvana during life.

Jivanu (Sanskrit) Jīvānu [from jīva living entity + anu atom, indivisible particle] Life-atom; a term coined by de Purucker for “a ‘life-atom,’ a life-infinitesimal, the ‘soul’ of the chemical atom. . . . [it] lasts only for a certain period of time within the cosmic manvantara” (FSO 274). See also LIFE-ATOM

Jivatman (Sanskrit) Jīvātman [from jīva living being + ātman self] The human spiritual ego, which is deathless until the end of the solar mahamanvantara. Strictly, the spiritual monad whose especial seat is the buddhi principle, the seed and the fruit of manas. Its range of consciousness is the solar system.

Jivatmas. See JIVANMUKTA

Jnana (Sanskrit) Jñāna [from the verbal root jñā to know, have knowledge, understand] Intelligence, understanding, knowledge; the old philosophers said that parabrahman is not jnata (known), not jnana (knowledge), and not jneya (that which may be known), nevertheless parabrahman is the one source of which these three modes of understanding are manifestations.

Jnana and vidya are closely similar, with perhaps the suggestion of intuitive intellectual cognizance expressed in jnana, and a more active and individualized activity expressed by vidya. Either word can stand for knowledge or wisdom; in theosophy jnana is often translated as innate or intuitive knowledge, and vidya as reflective or stored-up cognizance of intellectual and other values, or wisdom, though these distinctions are somewhat arbitrary. See also JHANA

Jnana Bhaskara (Sanskrit) Jñāna-bhāskara The sum of knowledge; a Sanskrit medical work; also “a work on Asuramaya, the Atlantean astronomer and magician, and other prehistoric legends” (TG 165).

Jnana-darsana-suddhi (Sanskrit) Jñāna-darśana-śuddhi [from jñāna knowledge, wisdom + darśana vision, teaching + śuddhi purity, truth, perfection] Purity or perfection in the vision (or teaching) of knowledge or wisdom.

Jnana-devas (Sanskrit) Jñāna-deva-s [from jñāna knowledge, wisdom + deva god] Gods of knowledge or wisdom; the higher classes of gods or devas including the manasaputras, agnishvattas, and kumaras. In one sense these jnana-devas are our reincarnating egos; in another, the term is applied to high sages such as the mahatmas, with the implication that they have been successful in attaining, or are in training for attaining, self-conscious union with the god within.

Jnana-sakti (Sanskrit) Jñāna-śakti [from jñāna knowledge, wisdom + śakti power, energy] Wisdom-power, the power of pure intellect which is a ray from the Logos, and therefore is the consciousness of the higher manas. Each of the saktis — whether jnana-sakti, ajnana-sakti, ichchha-sakti, or kriya-sakti — manifesting in the universe or in an individual being, is the expression of a force of nature; and therefore as each such force of nature is the emanation from a cosmic entity, each one of them has its own svabhava (individuality or essential characteristic) which differentiates it sharply from all other forces of nature.

Jnana-sakti has the power or intrinsic faculty of movement of intelligence in the universe, which likewise expresses itself in man, a child of that universe; consequently it acts according to its own peculiarities or characteristics. The adept, knowing this through the power of his spiritual monad, can at any time select any one of these saktis of his constitution and use it alone or in combination with others to produce both interior or exterior phenomena. He does so by an expenditure of one or the other of the saktis that he is using, which are concentrated so to speak in his constitution. Hence their use is always followed by a corresponding reaction, much after the fashion of an electrical discharge; and a certain time is always required for the constitution to reestablish its normal equilibrium. Such equilibrium is a condition of health.

Thus when an adept for some noble object purposes to use his inner powers, it is rare indeed that a single one of these saktis is employed alone. First there may be an evocation from his constitution of the sakti of ideation or high mentation giving the picture of what must be done, thus directing the flow of the will; then follows the evocation of ichchha-sakti or desire to perform the object in view. This combines with kriya-sakti or mental power guiding the desire and the will along the proper path to the end desired. Other saktis may or may not be called into function as needed. The saktis most commonly having a phenomenal effect or repercussion on the physical plane are ichchha-sakti, combining with kriya-sakti, guided by jnana-sakti.

Jnana-vidya (Sanskrit) Jñāna-vidyā [from jñāna knoweldge + vidyā wisdom] Equivalent to Brahma-vidya or theosophy, the wisdom-tradition or gnosis. (BCW 11:271)

Jnana Yoga (Sanskrit) Jñāna-yoga The form of yoga practice and training where the attaining of union with the spiritual-divine essence within is by means of cultivating wisdom, spiritual insight, and intuition.

Jnanendriya (Sanskrit) Jñānendriya [from jñāna intelligence, knowledge + indriya sense organ] Organ of sensation or perception, sense organ; especially the five human inner senses of perception in contradistinction to the karmendriyas — the five physical senses through which the former work. Synonymous with buddhindriya, which mystically could mean the organ of buddhi, but commonly describes the physical organs of perception and sensation through which intelligence works: the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin. See also INDRIYA; SENSES

Jnanesvari (Sanskrit) Jñāneśvarī [from jñāna knowledge + īśvarī queen] Queen of knowledge; a mystic treatise in which Krishna describes to Arjuna the condition of a fully illuminated yogi.

Jnanin (Sanskrit) Jñānin [from the verbal root jñā to know] A sage, one who is endowed with knowledge concerning the spiritual and the divine; as an adjective, wise.

Jnata (Sanskrit) Jñāta [from the verbal root jñā to know] Known, ascertained, understood. Jnatri [Jñātṛ], a noun, means one who knows or understands.

Jneya (Sanskrit) Jñeya [from the verbal root jñā to know] That which is to be or can be known or understood.

Job (Hebrew) ’Iyyōb Persecuted, tried; one of the books in the Bible, depicting the story of Job, regarded by Blavatsky as far older than the Pentateuch. She points out that there is no reference to any of the Hebrew patriarchs, that Jehovah is not mentioned in the poem itself, that there is no mention of the Sabbatical institution, and that there is a direct discussion on the worship of the heavenly bodies (prevailing in those days in Arabia). “The Book of Job is a complete representation of ancient initiation and the trials which generally precede this grandest of all ceremonies. The neophyte perceives himself deprived of everything he valued, and afflicted with foul disease. His wife appeals to him to adore God and die; there was no more hope for him” (IU 2:494-5). Elihu the hierophant teaches Job, now ready to learn the meaning of his experience, and Job is able to contact his own higher self or inner god.

Jod. See YOD

Jod-hevah, Jod-he-vau-he. See JEHOVAH; TETRAGRAMMATON

John the Baptist Considered by Christians the last of the Hebrew prophets and the forerunner and announcer of Jesus. His statement “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matt 3:11), is explained to mean that John as a non-initiate could impart no greater mysteries than those pertaining to the plane of matter — the exoteric gnosis and ritualism; while Jesus could impart the fire of spiritual knowledge (SD 2:566). His disciples are described as dissenters from the Essenes (IU 2:130).

The rite of baptism was an important function of the Less Mysteries, and in various forms was universal over the earth, so that John the Baptist appears as a teacher in the Less Mysteries, which he seems to have resurrected as a rite in Judea at about the time when Jesus lived. A baptismal rite is known to have been practiced as a function of the Less Mysteries not only among the Chaldeans and Akkadians, but likewise among the Egyptians and certain of the ancient Greeks.

Jonah, Jonas (Hebrew) Yōnāh Dove; a Hebrew prophet, son of Amitai, about whom the Bible story relates that he heard the voice of the Lord commanding him to go to Nineveh and cry out against the city because of its wickedness. But instead of following the command, Jonah set off upon a vessel bound to Jaffa, was subsequently cast overboard and swallowing by a “big fish,” in which he remains three days. This is reminiscent of the three days allotted to the initiation experience, and also of the fact that fish is a mystery-term imbodying the idea of either an advanced adept whose consciousness swims in the ether of space or, as in this place, an emblem of the initiation chamber. Further, primitive Christians often spoke of Jesus as the big fish and of themselves as little fishes (pisciculi).

Mystically, there is likewise another convergence of ancient esoteric symbolic ideas, as Jonah means “dove,” which has always been an emblem of the spirit or cosmically of the Second Logos; thus a dove or initiated human being entered for three days into a big fish, and upon the expiration of this term was again cast forth. Like all such mystery-tales, several different deductions may be drawn. Thus W. Q. Judge interprets the story as an astronomical cycle (Ocean 122).

Jord (Icelandic, Scandinavian) Earth; in Norse myths the daughter of Night (nott). The mystic symbology of the Edda calls Night a daughter of the primeval frostgiant from whose substance the worlds were formed, and a sister of the sustaining power Trudgalmer, with whom she bore a son, Udr (rich, prolific, devastating), indicating Bergelmir, the end and fruitage of a life cycle. Her second marriage to one of the creative deities produced the earth, while a third union with Delling (dawn) made her the mother of bright Day.

Jordan (Hebrew) Yardēn “The flowing” (a river) — with a collateral idea of descent from a higher place, in which lies its mystical significance. “Many Christian hymns speak of the mystical Jordan and of reaching the ‘shore beyond,’ a conception which appears to be more or less identic with that of Buddhism. ‘This side’ is the life of the world, the usual or common pursuits of men. The ‘other shore’ is simply the life spiritual, involving the expansion in relatively full power and function of the entire range of man’s nature. In other words, to reach the ‘other shore’ means living at one with the divinity within, and hence partaking of the universal life in relatively full self-consciousness” (FSO 43-4). This symbolism applies to other holy rivers, such as the Nile and Ganges.

Blavatsky, commenting on the Pistis Sophia, says that the Jordan is “the mystic ‘River’ which stopped the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt ‘which is the body’ (V, 7)” (BCW 13:30n); the Philosophumena (bk 8, ch 3) states that at Jesus’ baptism he left his “impression” in the Jordan, so that after his physical body had been destroyed by crucifixion, his soul “might put on the body, which had been impressed in the water when he was baptized, instead of the fleshly body” — an allegory of initiation. See also ERIDANUS; HAP; MANO

Joseph (Hebrew) Yōsēf [from yāsaf to increase, enlarge] In the Old Testament (Genesis 37-50), the eleventh son of Jacob, first by his favorite wife Rachel; known for his coat of many colors, he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and later was instrumental in the Jews settling in Egypt. Joseph “was an Initiate, otherwise he would not have married Aseneth, the daughter of Petephre (’Potiphar’ — ‘he who belongs to Phre,’ the Sun-God), priest of Heliopolis and governor of On” (BCW 14:357). His second dream that “the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance” to Joseph (Genesis 37:9-10) may be a reference to the zodiac, the eleven “stars” or zodiacal constellations bowing to the twelfth because that one was “his star.” The twelve sons of Jacob are also a reference to the twelve signs of the zodiac, Joseph corresponding to Sagittarius (SD 1:649).

In the New Testament, Joseph the carpenter is the father of Jesus (Matt 1:16, Luke 2:4), considered as connecting him to the house of David despite the Christian doctrine that Mary conceived Jesus immaculately without human father. Cosmically, he may be connected with such mythic carpenters as Visvakarman and Tvastri. In another sense, Joseph is Jesus’ spiritual teacher, Joseph ben Pandira (IU 2:201). (2nd Joseph)

Joshua, Josue (Hebrew) Yĕhōshua‘ In the Old Testament, son of Nun (nun, “fish”) and successor of Moses, who led the Israelites in the invasion and settlement of Caanan; in the Middle Ages, rated among the “Nine Worthies.” Moses died or disappeared “from the top of Mount Pisgah (Nebo, oracular Wisdom), after he had laid his hands upon Joshua, who thus became ‘full of the spirit of wisdom,’ i.e., initiated” (BCW 14:264-5). Jesus [from Hebrew Yeshua‘ contraction of Yehoshua‘ savior, helper, or that which is spacious or widespread] is sometimes identified with Joshua, Qabbalistically.

Jotunn, Jotun (Icelandic) Giant; in the Norse Edda the giants represent the material spheres in which gods embody, thus enlightening those dark worlds while gaining there the “mead” of experience. There are giants of varying types and degrees. The ultimate source of matter (Sanskrit mulaprakriti) is named Mimir in the Edda. Other giants represent periods during which the gods animate a world, race, or other living being. Each named giant is a life period or material embodiment of a god; it exists for as long as the energizing deity is embodied, and dies, slain by the hammer of Thor, at the end of that period. Within the long span of a giant’s life a number of giantesses, “daughters” of the giant, represent smaller cycles, races or subraces of the giant, their father. A giant is thus both a manifest entity and the lifetime of such an entity, thus paralleling the aeons of Greek mythology.

Distinct from the living giants are the thurses or frost giants, symbolizing periods of nonlife when the gods are absent in their supernal heavens.

Jotunheim (Icelandic, Scandinavian) [from jotunn giant + heimar home, land] In Norse mythology, the home of the giants, one of the nine worlds of the Eddas, described as beyond the ocean which surrounds Midgard, and separated from the home of the gods (Asgard) by Ifing — the river which never freezes over. Jotunheim stands for the material spheres of life visited by the gods who gain the “mead” of wisdom by embodying in worlds. Such a sphere is the earth and so also are the other planets and celestial bodies, though of varying evolutionary status.

Jove or Iove (Gnostic) An anglicized form of Jupiter, the highest god of the Romans, corresponding to the Greek Zeus. See also JUPITER; ZEUS

Also, one of the seven stellar spirits or genii of the seven sacred planets of the Egyptian Gnostics, Jove corresponding to the genius of the moon, also known as Iao. Again, one of the seven sons of Ialdabaoth who make up the second hepdomad, corresponding to Jehovah (SD 1:449). See also ASTAPHAI

Jubal (Hebrew) Yūbāl [from yābēl to flow, stream forth] River, stream; in the Bible the son of Lamech and Adah: “father of all such as handle the harp and organ” (Genesis 4:21). Jubal is compared to the kabiri who “fabricated the harp for Kronos and the trident for Poseidon” (SD 2:390).

Juda(h) (Hebrew) Yĕhūdāh In the Old Testament, the fourth son of Jacob (Genesis 29:35), ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, which later became one of the main elements of the kingdom of Judah (933-586 BC). He corresponds to the zodiacal sign Leo the Lion.

Judas Judas Iscariot was the disciple of Christ who betrayed him and later committed suicide. Taking the twelve disciples of Christ as a symbolic dodecad, he was a type of Adversary or Satan, representing the polar opposite of what is most revered. His treachery therefore is the discharge of his function, though the symbol has become a narrative of betrayal and crime. It is an old mystical saying that “every Savior has his Judas,” every Messiah his Adversary.

Judas also is identified with another of the twelve disciples — written Jude in Matthew and Luke, and Judas in John — generally identified with Thaddaeus. Again, the author of the Book of Jude, called the brother of James and sometimes identified with the Jude discussed above.

Judgment, Day of In theosophy, a testing of the soul of a candidate for initiation, as in the judgment of the soul before Osiris in the Egyptian Book of the Dead; or to the final readjustment at the end of a cycle of manifestation, when there is an involution or return to the original divine and cosmic unity; sometimes spoken of as the Day Be-with-us or Day Come-to-us. All the karma of the cycle of manifestation then will have been balanced, all accounts paid.

In Christianity, the idea takes color from Hebrew prophetic denunciations, such as that of Zephaniah who, after denouncing Judah and Jerusalem, promises a reign of universal peace under a Jehovah or Yahveh. In Revelations 14:14-20, there is a judgment which is evidently connected with the expected appearance of a Messiah. In the episcopal creeds believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ who “shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”

Juggernaut. See JAGANNATHA

Jul, Jol (Scandinavian, Icelandic) [from hjol wheel, related to the solar solstice at midwinter; cf Anglo-Saxon geol December] The midwinter festival, when the sun begins its northward course, was celebrated long before that season of the year became Christmas. There are innumerable reminders of its importance to the ancient Norsemen in the names of yule games, yule banquets, yule logs, etc. The Jolahelgi (yule holiday) was a sacred season, and had special significance when there was a Jola-tungl (yule moon). Their Yule lasted thirteen days, whence are derived the names threttandi (the thirteenth) for Epiphany, the 6th of January, as also the English Twelfth-night.

One of Odin’s names is Jolnir.

Juno. See HERA

Jupiter (Latin) [from Jov + pater father; probably from same root as Greek Zeus and Sanskrit dyaus bright sky] The sky god or the ruler of heaven, the father of gods, identified in popular thought among the ancients with the Greek Zeus. He corresponds to the Hindu Brihaspati. The sixth world of the ancient Syrians was that of Jupiter or Bel, and was ruled by the Dominions (SD 1:435). See also ZEUS

Also the fifth planet from the sun in the solar system, regarded as one of the seven sacred planets of the ancients. In theosophy the regent or rector of Jupiter exercises a particular influence over globe B of the earth-chain, and also the globe on the ascending arc preceding globe A. Its zodiacal houses are Sagittarius and Pisces; its day is Thursday.

The Master KH remarked to Sinnett: “your science has a theory, I believe, that if the earth were suddenly placed in extremely cold regions — for instance where it would exchange places with Jupiter — all our seas and rivers would be suddenly transformed into solid mountains; the air, — or rather a portion of the aeriform substances which compose it — would be metamorphosed from their state of invisible fluid owing to the absence of heat into liquids (which now exist on Jupiter, but of which men have no idea on earth). Realize, or try to imagine the reverse condition, and it will be that of Jupiter at the present moment.

“The whole of our system is imperceptibly shifting its position in space. The relative distance between planets remaining ever the same, and being in no wise affected by the displacement of the whole system; and the distance between the latter and the stars and other suns being so incommensurable as to produce but little if any perceptible change for centuries and millenniums to come; — no astronomer will perceive it telescopically, until Jupiter and some other planets, whose little luminous points hides now from our sight millions upon millions of stars (all but some 5000 or 6000) — will suddenly let us have a peep at a few of the Raja-Suns they are now hiding. There is such a king-star right behind Jupiter, that no mortal physical eye has ever seen during this, our Round. Could it be so perceived it would appear, through the best telescope with a power of multiplying its diameter ten thousand times, — still a small dimensionless point, thrown into the shadow by the brightness of any planet; nevertheless — this world is thousands of times larger than Jupiter. The violent disturbance of its atmosphere and even its red spot that so intrigues science lately, are due — (1) to that shifting and (2) to the influence of that Raja-Star. In its present position in space imperceptibly small though it be — the metallic substances of which it is mainly composed are expanding and gradually transforming themselves into aeriform fluids — the state of our own earth and its six sister globes before the first Round — and becoming part of its atmosphere” (ML 167).

Jurassic Period. See GEOLOGICAL ERAS


Justinian (483-565) Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, who preserved Roman law for future Europeans, and who closed the last Mystery schools at Athens. (Fund 486)

Jyotis (Sanskrit) Jyotis [from the verbal root jyut to shine] Light (of the sun, dawn, fire, lightning), brightness (of sky); also light personified; the sun and moon. In the plural, the planets and stars. Also, spiritual light as the divine principle of life or source of intelligence (especially when used with paurusha — human). In the Puranas, one of the seven prajapatis.

Jyotisham-jyotis (the light of lights) in the Upanishads refers to the supreme spirit or the hierarch of our solar hierarchy.

Jyotisha (Sanskrit) Jyotiṣa [from the verbal root jyut to shine] An astronomer; as a neuter noun, astronomy, also called jyotisha-vidya. One name for Hindu astrology. Likewise the name of one of the six Vedangas (parts of the Vedas), a short tract giving instructions for fixing the days and hours of Vedic sacrifices.

Jyotisham (Jyotch or) Jyotis (Sanskrit) Jyotiṣām-jyotis Light of lights, phrase used to describe the supreme spirit or Brahman in the Upanishads (TG 166; BCW 4:580).

Jyotsna (Sanskrit) Jyotsnā [from the verbal root jyut to shine] Moonlight, or a moonlit night. Also one of the bodies assumed by Brahma, one of the 16 kalas (parts or divisions of the moon). In the plural, lights or splendors, with particular reference to the innate radiance of astronomical bodies.

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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

MU - Mundaka Upanishad

M-Wms Dict - Sanskrit-English Dictionary, by Monier Williams

N on BG - Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, by T. Subba Row

OG - Occult Glossary, by G. de Purucker

Rev - Revelations

RV - Rig Veda

SBE - Sacred Books of the East, ed. Max Müller

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 University Press Online Edition