Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary

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Qabbalah (Hebrew) Qabbālāh [from qābal to receive, hand down] Also Cabala, Kabala, Kabbalah, etc. Tradition, that which is handed down; the theosophy of the Jews. Originally these truths were passed on orally by one initiate to chosen disciples, hence were referred to as the Tradition. The first one historically alleged to have reduced a large part of the secret Qabbalah of the Chaldees into systematic, and perhaps written, form was the Rabbi Shim‘on ben Yohai, in the Zohar; but the work of this name that has come down to the present day — through the medieval Qabbalists — is but a compilation of the 13th century, presumably by Moses de Leon.

The principal doctrines of the Qabbalah deal with the nature of the divine incomprehensible All (’eyn soph); the divine emanations of the Sephiroth; cosmogony; the creation or emanation of angels and men, and of their destiny. The Jewish Qabbalah was derived from the Chaldean Qabbalah, and “mistaken is he who accepts the Kabalistic works of to-day, and the interpretations of the Zohar by the Rabbis, for the genuine Kabalistic lore of old! For no more to-day than in the day of Frederick von Schelling does the Kabala accessible to Europe and America, contain much more than ‘ruins and fragments, much distorted remnants still of that primitive system which is the key to all religious systems’ . . . The oldest system and the Chaldean Kabala were identical. The latest renderings of the Zohar are those of the Synagogue in the early centuries” (SD 2:461-2).

Blavatsky refers to a work no longer extant, the Chaldean Book of Numbers, as the basis for the Qabbalah. Tentative mention is also made of an alleged manuscript left by Count Saint-Germain giving keys for interpreting the Qabbalah.

“The kabalist is a student of ‘secret science,’ one who interprets the hidden meaning of the Scriptures with the help of the symbolical Kabalah, and explains the real one by these means. The Tanaim were the first kabalists among the Jews; they appeared at Jerusalem about the beginning of the third century before the Christian era. The books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Henoch, and the Revelation of St. John, are purely kabalistical. This secret doctrine is identical with that of the Chaldeans, and includes at the same time much of the Persian wisdom, or ‘magic.’ History catches glimpses of famous kabalists ever since the eleventh century. The Mediaeval ages, and even our own times, have had an enormous number of the most learned and intellectual men who were students of the Kabala . . . The most famous among the former were Paracelsus, Henry Khunrath, Jacob Bohmen, Robert Fludd, the two Van Helmonts, the Abbot John Trithemius, Cornelius Agrippa, Cardinal Nicolao Cusani, Jerome Carden, Pope Sixtus IV., and such Christian scholars as Raymond Lully, Giovanni Pico de la Mirandola, Guillaume Postel, the great John Reuchlin, Dr. Henry More, Eugenius Philalethes (Thomas Vaughan), the erudite Jesuit Athanasius Kircher, Christian Knorr (Baron) von Rosenroth; then Sir Isaac Newton, Leibniz, Lord Bacon, Spinosa, etc., etc., the list being almost inexhaustible. As remarked by Mr. Isaac Myer, in his Qabbalah [p. 170], the ideas of the Kabalists have largely influenced European literature. ‘Upon the practical Qabbalah, the Abbe de Villars (nephew of de Montfaucon) in 1670, published his celebrated satirical novel, “The Count de Gabalis,” upon which Pope based his “Rape of the Lock.” Qabbalism ran through the Mediaeval poems, the “Romance of the Rose,” and permeates the writings of Dante.’ No two of them, however, agreed upon the origin of the Kabala, the Zohar, Sepher Yetzirah, etc. Some show it as coming from the Biblical Patriarchs, Abraham, and even Seth; others from Egypt, others again from Chaldea. The system is certainly very old; but like all the rest of systems, whether religious or philosophical, the Kabala is derived directly from the primeval Secret Doctrine of the East; through the Vedas, the Upanishads, Orpheus and Thales, Pythagoras and the Egyptians. Whatever its source, its substratum is at any rate identical with that of all the other systems from the Book of the Dead down to the later Gnostics” (TG 167-8).

The Jewish Qabbalah even in its present partial or mutilated form is a more or less faithful echo of that once universal archaic wisdom-religion of mankind, which as the Qabbalah itself plainly states was originally delivered by “ ‘Divinity’ to a select company of angels in Paradise,” and from these angels — occult initiates or adepts — disseminated as the ages passed more or less faithfully among the different races of mankind.

Qadesh. See QODESH

Qadesh Qedeshim. See QODESH QODASHIM

Qadmon, Adam. See ’ADAM QADMON

Qaniratha, Qavaratha. See HVANIRATHA; KARSHVAR

Qedem (Hebrew) Qēdem The east, the eastern country; applied to the east wind. Also used for former times, antiquity, as that which precedes the present and the future, just as the east is the quarter where the sun begins its heavenly journey before it reaches midheaven and sinks into the west.

Qelippoth (Hebrew) Qĕlīppōth Shells, rinds, the outer covering or body of any entity. Because beings in the lowest world of the Qabbalah are considered shells infilled with a certain proportion of degenerate spiritual powers and functions, these beings are often called demons.

In the Qabbalah, the lowest of the four worlds, ‘olam ‘asiyyah, is therefore likewise called ‘olam qelippoth, in that all the beings pertaining to this sphere need the use of a vehicle, termed a rind or shell, which though subject to formation, birth, change, and dissolution as a form, is not so as to its essential life-atoms — except as these life-atoms themselves undergo rebirth and change, but not dissolution as do the shells.

Just as in the superior ‘olams there are the analogic divisions into the ten Sephiroth, likewise in this lowest sphere there are ten degrees, each growing denser and darker in its descent farther from the Sephirothic ray. The first two degrees of this descending scale are considered as absence of visible form — termed in Genesis Tohu Bohu. The third degree is termed the abode of darkness (the darkness which covered the face of the earth of Genesis). Then follow, in descent, the seven infernal halls Sheba‘ Heichaloth, or hells in which are distributed the various princes of darkness and entities undergoing purgation — the prince of the whole region being Sama’el (the angel of “venom” or death).

“note what we read in the Zohar (ii. 43a): ‘For the service of the Angelic World, the Holy . . . made Samael and his legions, i.e., the world of action, who are as it were the clouds to be used (by the higher or upper Spirits, our Egos) to ride upon in their descent to the earth, and serve, as it were, for their horses.’ This, in conjunction with the fact that Q’lippoth contains the matter of which stars, planets, and even men are made, shows that Samael with his legions is simply chaotic, turbulent matter, which is used in its finer state by spirits to robe themselves in. For speaking of the ‘vesture’ or form (rupa) of the incarnating Egos, it is said in the Occult Catechism that they, the Manasaputras or Sons of Wisdom, use for the consolidation of their forms, in order to descend into lower spheres, the dregs of Swabhavat, or that plastic matter which is throughout Space, in other words, primordial ilus. And these dregs are what the Egyptians have called Typhon and modern Europeans Satan, Samael, etc., etc. Deus est Demon inversus — the Demon is the lining of God” (TG 269).

Thus Qelippoth has a dual meaning: first and less customary, the unorganized matter of space out of which spiritual beings build their bodies in order to manifest on this physical plane; second and more customary, is the physical bodies themselves as thus built, containing the vital and other characteristics of living beings. The word corresponds to the rupa-worlds — the imbodied beings of this world or sphere.

Qeren (Hebrew) Qeren [from qāran to emit rays, shine, have horns; power, strength, might] A horn, a vessel made of horn; a musical instrument; a ray, beam, flash, so that the deities represented with horns — such as Ashtoreth or Astarte — might also be associated with rays or beams of light. The Greek god Pan was always depicted with horns, as were several Egyptian deities, while the Atef-crown uses the horns as a symbol of strength and power. Moses, too, was often depicted with horns.

Qarnayim or karnaim is the dual form, thus signifying “two horns.” See also CRIOCEPHALUS

Q’lippoth. See QELIPPOTH

Qodesh (Hebrew) Qodesh Also Kedosh, Kedesh. Holiness, sanctity; a holy place, sanctuary; that which is holy or consecrated. The feminine plural, Qedeshoth, and masculine plural, Qedeshim, in Biblical times referred to the women and men of degenerate times who were attached to certain temples as temple servants, the women here being equivalent to the nachnis (nautch-girls of the Hindu pagodas) or temple prostitutes. The men were “Galli, the mutilated priests of the lascivious rites of Venus Astarte, who lived ‘by the house of the Lord’ ” (TG 169).

Qodesh Qodashim The “holy of holies” in the temple; while in the Zohar the Holy Ancient one is called ‘Attiqa’ Qaddisha. In the Codex Nazaraeus the sun was named Kadush (holy).

Qoheleth (Hebrew) Qoheleth Preacher, speaker, one who addresses an audience; the title of Solomon in Ecclesiastes.

Qol (Hebrew) Qōl Also Kol. Voice, sound; rumor. Bath Qol (daughter of the voice) is an ancient Hebrew reference to inspiration or afflatus, whether arising within the prophet himself or heard from a source without him.

Quadrivium (Latin) [from quattuor four + via path] A place where four roads meet and cross; used by Boethius and medieval scholars to denote the higher division of the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; the lower division, or trivium, consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Quaternary A group of four; the number four, fourfold. Many quaternary groupings may be made. The septenate is divisible into three and four, usually as the higher triad and the lower quaternary; here the quaternary is terrestrial as opposed to celestial, mortal as opposed to immortal, material as opposed to spiritual. It is seen in the four lower human principles, the four lower cosmic elements, the fourfold shapes in physical bodies, etc. It is the square of the number 2; the first of the regular polyhedra is the tetrahedron or triangular pyramid, having four sides and four corners. The septenate may otherwise be regarded as two triangles and a central point, as in Solomon’s seal; and this gives two quaternaries, a higher and a lower, by adding the point to either of the triangles. These two quaternaries are also called the higher and lower — or celestial and terrestrial — tetraktys. The higher group is given in Platonism as: to agathon, nous, psyche, and hyle; and the lower group is the four cosmic elements of fire, earth, air, and water. The lower tetraktys is said to be the root of illusion or mahamaya, and this is what the Tetragrammaton, or four-lettered name, becomes in materialized Judaism.

Deity is spoken of as fourfold, the four-faced Brahma, the creative Logos which is a three-in-one with its emanated light as a fourth; or in another system, the ineffable, silence, father, and truth; or again in still another system the three flames and four wicks. Of the seven groups of angels or higher dhyani-chohans, the rupa-dhyanis form a quaternary; often in exoteric writings only four of seven are mentioned, the higher three being esoteric.

The two principal meanings of the quaternary are summed up in the tetraktys; it has four planes, and the fourth plane is in itself a four. The higher triad with the material world added as a pendant unit makes a quaternary; and this material world unfolded makes a new quaternary. There is a celestial or spiritual quaternary, just as there is a material and physical quaternary; and the element-principles of the universe may be so divided that an intermediate quaternary springs into view.

Quaternary Era or Period. See GEOLOGICAL ERAS

Quetzalcoatl, Quetzocohuatl (Toltec, Nahautl?) The name of a great teacher, according to the traditions of the Toltecs, who came to them from Tullan or Yucatan and dwelt for twenty years among the people, teaching them to follow a virtuous life, to cease all wars and violent deeds of any kind, to abolish human and animal sacrifices and instead to give offerings of bread and flowers. He taught the people, likewise, the art of picture-writing and the science of the calendar and the artistry of the workers in metals for which Cholula later became famed.

Quetzalcoatl was described as a being of another race, a “white” man with noble features, long black hair and full beard, dressed in flowing robes, whereas the Toltecs were dark-skinned and nearly beardless. Legend tells that he departed to the land of Tlapallan; others say he went to Coatzacualco on the Atlantic coast. Native tradition there still keeps up the divine name of Gucumatz, which among the Quiche means feathered serpent — Quetzalcoatl in Aztec having the same meaning.

In Mexican religion Quetzalcoatl is regarded as a great deity, a god of the air. In the Quiche cosmogony, as told in the Popol Vuh Gucumatz is one of the first deities to appear, and holds the position of a minor creator.

Quetzalcoatl’s “wand and other ‘land-marks’ show him to be some great Initiate of antiquity, who received the name of ‘Serpent’ on account of his wisdom, long life and powers. To this day the aboriginal tribes of Mexico call themselves by the names of various reptiles, animals and birds” (TG 269).

Qui Circumambulat Terram (Latin) Who walks around the earth — said of the Devil by medieval theologians; but there is no reason for restricting it to the maleficent works of Satan. The Fall of ethereal and spiritual beings has been distorted by Christian theology to signify the evil works of the Devil on earth, but theosophically the phrase could refer to the monads who fell from their spiritual estate in order to gain experiences in lower cosmic planes, and who thus pursue their peregrinations not only around the earth, but circle through the globes of our planetary chain and from planet to planet of the seven sacred planets of the solar system.

Quidditas (Latin) [from quid what] The whatness of a thing, its essential characteristic, that by virtue of which it is what it is, the svabhava, coined by the medieval Scholastics. Anglicized into quiddity.

Quietists A type of religious mysticism which arose within the Roman Catholic Church in Italy and Spain during the latter half of the 17th century, especially in connection with a priest named Miguel de Molinos, who published his Spiritual Guide in Rome in 1675. The book of this apparently simple and pious man shows how to attain a state of inward peace by withdrawal of the thoughts and desires from all earthly matters and fixing them in contemplation of what the aspirant conceives to be the divine and in prayer. This he regarded as the only essential, doctrine and ritual being of no consequence. His views won great popularity and he received high favors from the Pope; but they did not at all suit the purposes of those then in power. Molinos was condemned and imprisoned and a persecution instituted against Quietists in general.

Also used to denote other schools or sects of the same type, or to designate a particular attitude of mind or policy in which passive resignation is adopted. These Occidental Quietists of whatever affiliation represent what the hatha yogis are in India. While there are certain aspects of distinctly commendable character in true Quietism, it is nevertheless still more true that Quietism of any sort is in a sense spiritual and intellectual somnolence, and therefore runs directly counter to the far higher spiritual precepts wherein man is enjoined to be as fully awake and as alive as possible in the world in which he lives in order that he may do his full duty to his fellows and to the world, the while cultivating the higher spiritual, intellectual, and psychological parts of his constitution.

Quinary (Latin) A group of five, fivefold, the number five. A legitimate fivefold grouping of human and cosmic principles is found in some systems; the four commonly accepted elements or tattvas and their crown or synthesis, for example, make a quinary, but if the synthesis is regarded as a ternary, we get a septenary; and the same if we add to the five two higher principles which have been ignored.

But at the same time there is a fivefold grouping which in contrast with the sevenfold denotes evil and imperfection (cf SD 2:575-6).

Five has a special connection with the fact that we are in the fifth root-race, during which five elements will become partially manifest, and we use the denary scale. See also PENTAGRAM

Quindecimviri (Latin) [from quindecim fifteen + viri men] The priests in ancient Rome who had charge of the Sibylline Books. Originally two in number and called duoviri, they later became ten (decemviri), and Sulla increased them to fifteen, Julius Caesar to sixteen, and some of the emperors in later times made further additions. Thus, as being members of a commission or board, or what the Romans called a Collegium, they were State functionaries with definite duties as well as powers.

Quis ut Deus (Latin) One like god; used in connection with the angelic power called by ancient medieval Hebrew and Christian mystics Michael [from Hebrew mi who + cha like + ’el God or a divinity].

Qu-tamy (Chaldean) The mystic student or initiate represented as receiving certain doctrines originally told by Saturn to the Moon, who communicated them to her idol, which revealed them to her devotee — according to the Nabathean Agriculture.


Ra (Egyptian) . In the dynastic period, the deity of the sun, regarded as the maker of all visible things, of heaven and all its gods, and of the Underworld (Tuat) and its denizens. More generally, Ra was the cosmic formative activity of the universal soul or Logos, and therefore in one sense of the anima mundi in its highest parts. Hence another facet of its meaning is the everlasting light which dwells forever in the cosmic darkness which is — itself.

The worship of the sun was of very ancient origin in Egypt. Like Horus, Ra was depicted in a hawk-headed form known as Amen-Ra (Heru-khuti). The principal seat of the worship of Ra was at An or Heliopolis. The original deity of this city was Tem, but when the priests of Ra became more powerful during the 5th dynasty, they combined the two deities into one as Ra-Tem. In later dynastic times, although the priests of Ra were the most powerful in Egypt, the common people clung to their ideas of Osiris so tenaciously that eventually the priests placed Osiris as the deity of the sun — and this movement may have been initiated from within the sacerdotal sanctuary itself, because the attributes of Osiris and of Ra were alike, Osiris being a more limited entity than the abstract Ra of cosmic space.

Rabbi (Hebrew) Rabbī [from rab great, a chief, leader] My master, my teacher; the master was addressed by his pupils with the word rabbi or rabbenu (our teacher), Moses being customarily called Mosheh rabbenu (our teacher Moses). Equivalent to the Sanskrit guru, but during the closing decades of the Second Temple, the term became commonly associated with the scribes as merely an honorary title. Then during the time of the Mishnah period, all scholars were termed Rabs (or Chaldean plural Rabbin). Later the sect of the Qaraites, who rejected the Talmud, designated all believers in its by this term. Rabbi is likewise now applied to the modern Jewish clergy.

Rabbinical literature is generally understood to mean writings concerning the Jewish traditions since the beginning of the Talmudic period.

Race(s) During evolution on each of the globes of the earth-chain, the human life-wave passes through seven evolutionary stages called root-races, of which we are at present in the fifth root-race of the fourth round on the fourth globe. Each root-race is divided into seven subraces, of which we are now in the fourth of the fifth root-race. These subraces are themselves subdivided into smaller divisions, and these again into still smaller racial units. G. de Purucker divides each root-race into: 1) primary subrace; 2) secondary subrace; 3) family race; 4) national race; 5) tribal race; 6) tribal generation; and 7) individual man (about 72 years) — each division containing seven of the succeeding type.

Each root-race reaches its evolutionary maximum at its midpoint, when a racial cataclysm occurs and the race begins to decline. At the same time the seeds of the succeeding root-race appear, and the new root-race in its infancy begins to run parallel with the race that is declining, so that there is continual overlapping.

The complex scheme of major races and their subdivisions — overlapping each other and in various stages of their evolution, intermingling and crossing with one another — gives rise to the immense variety of types which we see on earth today. See also ROOT-RACE(S)

Race-Buddha, Racial Buddha On each globe of a planetary chain, as the life-wave touches it in a round, there appears a mahabuddha; and another mahabuddha appears when the life-wave leaves the globe after completing its round. For each root-race during such a globe-round there appears a racial buddha, each of these being one of seven rays from the mahabuddha who appears at the opening of the round. At the middle of the root-race the racial buddha pertaining to it overshadows a human vessel and a manushya-buddha is born — the latest of these known in history being Sakyamuni or Gautama.

The appearance of these buddhas, particularly of the mahabuddhas, is identic in more than one way with the appearances of the manus, whether of a round, a globe, or indeed a race. A manu opening the drama of life is called the root-manu, and the manu ending the drama for whatever period it may be is called the seed-manu. See also MAITREYA-BUDDHA; MANUSHA-BUDDHA

Radha (Sanskrit) Rādhā Prosperity, success; as a proper noun, a celebrated cowherdess or gopi beloved by Krishna. Regarded by some as an avatara of Lakshmi, as Krishna was of Vishnu, she has been mystically interpreted as the human ego seeking Krishna, the spiritual ego in man.

Radiation Generally, the emission of life energies, or various kinds of energic outflowings or productions radially outward from a center. Thus it is a name for the entire cosmic process of formation of worlds; the production of many out of one, the passing from unity to measureless diversity and multiplicity. The radiations of the ten or twelve solar logoi from the heart of the solar chain, streaming through and permeating the entire extent of the sun’s kingdom and becoming focalized in the different planetary bodies, illustrate the modus of the general principle of radiation.

According to theosophic teachings physical matter is a condensation of light, as is being experimentally verified. It is evident that the subject of the emanation of innumerable forms of life energy on all the planes of the cosmos is a very wide one, and the words fohat, light, life, electricity, etc., are used in this connection. These radiations may be classified on a septenary, denary, or duodenary system, as when we speak of the seven, ten, or twelve rays of the solar logos. See also RAY

Radioactivity Scientific discovery has done much to verify the occult axiom that there are no permanent bodies, but that everything is in a state of flux and interchange. Theosophy views the physical universe as an ocean of life, partly imbodied and partly noncorporeal, and regards such terms as matter, energy, wave, and particle as descriptive of various manifestations of this life. The chemical elements are now considered by science to be centers or vortices in a fluid ocean, continually giving and receiving emanations from each other. Thus all forms of physical matter emit radiation and radioactive phenomena are instances of a general law. The emanations studied by science are described partly as actinic rays and partly as emitted particles; and the disintegration series results in a continual emission of both these forms of emanation, accompanied by an elevation of the temperature of the radioactive body above that of its surroundings, a loss of its own mass, the formation of temporary unstable elements of lower atomic weight, until an end-product is reached. Calculations as to the age of the solid crust of the earth, based on disintegration rates, are extremely unreliable, as they involve unverified assumptions as to the rate of this process in past ages. Theosophy states that during the descending arc of cosmic evolution, the process of concretion is predominant, and during the ascending arc the process of disintegration or etherealization is predominant. This indicates that the rate of radioactive disintegration has been on the increase in comparatively recent times, and will continue at an enlarging rate into the geologic future.

Raga (Sanskrit) Rāga Desire, passion, love, affection; in Patanjali’s Yoga philosophy the five klesas (afflictions) are named: avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (desire), dvesha (aversion), and abhinivesa (tenacity of mundane existence).

Ragnarok (Icelandic) [from ragna plural of regin ruler + rok sentence, judgment, reason, ground, origin] In Norse mythology, the time when the ruling powers (gods) return to their ground, are reabsorbed in their divine origin. The judgment is their evaluation of the life that has just been completed. Ragnarok has commonly been called the twilight of the gods, probably because of confusion with rokkr (twilight). It has also been interpreted as they age of fire and smoke, because in Swedish rok means smoke. However, in Icelandic it has a more sacred meaning referring to wonders and signs, and the departure of the gods to their home ground, the source of their being.

On the cosmic scale Ragnarok brings to a close a universal cycle of activity. When a world dies the god Heimdal, guardian of the rainbow bridge between the realms of the gods and Midgard, domain of humanity, blows the Gjallarhorn, summoning the gods of life to the final battle against the forces of destruction. Lesser judgments take place when single world systems reach their term, as recorded in the “Lay of Odin’s Corpse” (Odins Korpgalder), which deals with a death of one planet, and relates the deities’ efforts to elicit from the planetary soul an accounting of its past cycle of activity.

The end of the world is vividly portrayed in the foremost poem of the Elder Edda, Voluspa, which depicts horrors presaging the departure of the gods from this sphere of life. However, this is by no means the end for it is followed by a new creation, when a reborn earth is seen arising in serene beauty and contentment.

Ragnarok has sometimes been personified as a world-destroying monster which is held in check until its proper time. Its approach is heralded by an overwhelming preponderance of evil which presages the end of the gods’ reign. This is another way of depicting the withdrawal of the beneficent powers to their supernal realms, leaving matter in a condition of entropy.

Ragnarok is succeeded by the Fimbulvetr or Fimbulvinter — the long winter of nonbeing, when nothing exists (in the relevant portion of space) for their are no energies (gods) to organize matter. At the appropriate time Heimdal will once more summon the beneficent powers with his Gjallarhorn for a new tour of duty.

Rahasya (Sanskrit) Rahasya A secret doctrine or teaching; any subtle idea or recondite point of thought; mystical or esoteric teachings. Also a name of the Upanishads. As an adjective, secret, mysterious. The form sa-rahasya also means secret wisdom.

Rahat. See ARHAT

Rahamim (Hebrew) Raḥamīm Tender love or affection; mercy, compassion. In the Qabbalah, used for one of the sources of the three classes of soul-sparks coming from ’Adam Qadmon, corresponding to the latter’s three emanations: Hesed (grace or ardor) forming Hebel (or Abel); Geburah (strength or judgment) forming Qayin (or Cain); and Rahamim forming Sheth (or Seth). These three were subdivided into twelve, and the twelve into 70 or 72 species, called the principal roots of the human race.

Ra’hmin Seth. See RAHAMIM

Rahu (Sanskrit) Rāhu The seizer; a daitya supposed to seize the sun and moon and thus cause eclipses. “A giant, a Demi-god, the lower part of whose body ended in a Dragon or Serpent’s tail. During the churning of the Ocean, when the gods produced amrita — the water of Immortality — he stole some of it, and drinking, became immortal. The Sun and Moon, who had detected him in his theft, denounced him to Vishnu, who placed him in the stellar spheres, the upper portion of his body representing the Dragon’s head and the lower (Ketu) the Dragon’s tail; the two being the ascending and descending nodes. Since then, Rahu wreaks his vengeance on the Sun and Moon by occasionally swallowing them. But this fable had another mystic meaning, since Rahu, the Dragon’s head, played a prominent part in the mysteries of the Sun’s (Vikarttana’s) initiation, when the candidate and the Dragon had a supreme fight” (SD 2:381).

Rahula (Sanskrit) Rāhula The son of Gautama Buddha. Although the Buddha was a sixth-round man, his son was a fourth-round man; for a person’s egoic monad is the real person which locates him on the evolutionary ladder of life, whatever his body may be. The ego of the Buddha’s son was an egoic monad which had as yet evolved, not sixth round attributes and capacities, but only those of the fourth round. Thus a person’s body belongs to the evolutionary race in which his ego incarnates, however much the body may be influenced from above by the egoic power. Rahula became a disciple of his father’s teachings.

Raibhyas (Sanskrit) Raibhya-s A class of gods of the fifth manvantara, the first half of the third round. See also MANU

Raivata (Sanskrit) Raivata The fifth manu.

Raivata-manvantara (Sanskrit) Raivata-manvantara The manvantaric life cycle inaugurated and presided over by Raivata-manu, the fifth of the 14 manus. Another word for manus is dhyani-chohans. As there are seven root-manus and seven seed-manus for the seven rounds of our earth-chain, Raivata-manu inaugurated and presided over the third round as its root-manu.

Rajagriha (Sanskrit) Rājagṛha The ancient capital of Magadha, famous for its conversion to Buddhism in the days of the Buddhist kings. It was the royal residence from Bimbisara-raja to Asoka, and the seat of the first Synod or Buddhist Council held 510 BC.

The famous Saptaparna cave, in which the Buddha’s select circle of arhats were initiated, was in this famous city.

Rajamsi (Sanskrit) Rajāṃsi [from rajas region of clouds, atmosphere, heavens, world above] Heaven worlds, atmospheres; the six rajamsi above prithivi, our earth-globe, refer to the six higher globes of our earth-chain (cf Rig-Veda 1:34; 3:56; 7:10, 411; 5:60, 6).

Raja, Rajan (Sanskrit) Rājan King or prince in India.

Rajarshi (Sanskrit) Rājarṣi [from rājan king + ṛṣi sage] Kingly or royal sages; kings and princes who follow the path of illumination and initiation, corresponding to the king-hierophants of ancient Egypt. There were three classes of rishis in India: the rajarshis, the devarshis, and brahmarshis.

Rajas (Sanskrit) Rajas In Oriental philosophy, one of the three gunas (qualities) in the correlations of force and matter, the other two being sattva (truth, goodness) and tamas (inertia). It is the guna of longing, passion, activity, resulting from the fundamental urge in nature producing change and the longing for change. See also TRIGUNA

Rajasa (Sanskrit) Rājasa The adjectival form of rajas.

Rajasic Anglicized adjective of rajasika.

Rajasas (Sanskrit) Rājasa-s Shining ones; one name of the agnishvattas, especially the older or early ones called the kumaras, for this group of monads are the fire-pitris, fire often standing for intellectual light or life. This group of monads endowed mankind with the fire of mind and of intellect.

Raja-star or Raja-sun King sun; coined by the Master KH, referring to a sun having subordinate solar individuals under its control and oversight, one of the latter in our case being our own sun. Theosophy teaches that even suns evolve during the course of aeons of time; as every sun is but the visible representative or reflection of an inner spiritual power or essence, and as everything in the universe is progressive, whatever is, whether atom or sun, is but an entity pursuing its individual evolutionary course of unfolding destiny.

Such a raja-star is said to be “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 . . . to the influence of that Raja-Star” (ML 167).

Raja Yoga (Sanskrit) Rāja-yoga Royal union; more generally, the balance of all the faculties — physical, mental, moral, and spiritual. Raja yoga is a true system of developing psychic, intellectual, and spiritual powers and union with one’s higher self, the inner divine source of all our being. This royal union with the self within must be attained by self-directed evolution. Union with this inner divinity is the source of all human genius and inspiration. Man increases his receptivity to the divine powers in his inmost being by cooperating with nature on its spiritual even more than its physical and astral planes, and by intellectual and spiritual aspiration combined with a fervent love for all beings.

Raja Yogin, Raja Yogi (Sanskrit) Rāja-yogin A devotee who practices raja yoga.

Raka (Sanskrit) Rākā The 14th day of the waxing moon, when the moon is full; the goddess presiding over the actual day of full moon. This day, as also the two quarters and new moon, was considered as appropriate for occult practices not only in India, but over all the ancient world.

Raksha (Sanskrit) Rakṣā [from the verbal root rakṣ to protect] A bracelet or amulet; any mysterious token used as a charm or protection.

Rakshasas (Sanskrit) Rākṣasa-s [from the verbal root rakṣ to protect] The preservers; in modern popular superstition in India, commonly associated with evil spirits and demons. Esoterically they are the gibborim (giants) of the Bible, the fourth root-race or Atlanteans:

“when Brahma created the demons, Yakshas (from Yaksh, to eat) and the Rakshasas, both of which kinds of demons, as soon as born, wished to devour their creator, those among them that called out ‘Not so! oh, let him be saved (preserved)’ were named Rakshasas (Vishnu Purana Book I, ch. v.). The Bhagavata Purana (III, 20, 19-21) renders the allegory differently. Brahma transformed himself into night (or ignorance) invested with a body, upon which the Yakshas and Rakashasas seized, exclaiming ‘Do not spare it; devour it.’ Brahma then cried out, ‘Do not devour me, spare me.’ This has an inner meaning of course. The ‘Body of Night’ is the darkness of ignorance, and it is the darkness of silence and secrecy. Now the Rakshasas are shown in almost every case to be Yogis, pious Saddhus and Initiates, a rather unusual occupation for demons. The meaning then is that while we have power to dispel the darkness of ignorance, ‘devour it,’ we have to preserve the sacred truth from profanation. ‘Brahma is for the Brahmins alone,’ says that proud caste. The moral of the fable is evident” (SD 2:165n).

The rakshasas or men-demons of Lanka, the opponents conquered by Rama in the Ramayana, are some of the latest representatives of the Atlanteans in their last days. These rakshasas correspond to the Greek titans, the Egyptian colossal heroes, the Chaldean izdubars, the Jewish ’eimim (terrifiers) of the land of Moab, and with the famous giants anakim (‘anaqim) mentioned in Numbers 13:33.

Rakshasi-bhasha (Sanskrit) Rākṣasī-bhāṣā The language of the rakshasas, spoken of in old Sanskrit works; these rakshasas were Atlanteans. The Atlanteans, however, did not have one single language any more than has our own present fifth root-race; for during the millions of years that Atlantis lasted, numerous languages were born, attained their culmination, and finally died out. There were as many, if not more, distinctions and differences among the Atlantean languages as there are today among us. Just as present fifth root-race languages are highly inflected, the tongues of the Atlanteans would all more or less fall under what modern grammarians would call the agglutinative class. Further, just as we today have relics of Atlantean speech in the agglutinative specimens that have come down to our time, so the Atlanteans had historical remnants among them of tongues belonging to the preceding third root-race.

Ram The English word ram and the Latin aries contain the Aryan root ar or ra, so common in names denoting the masculine, fiery, and creative aspect of nature, seen in the word Aryan itself. In the zodiac of the fifth root-race the sign of the ram leads off, and in astrology is called a fiery, cardinal sign, the house of Mars (Ares), as well as the house of exaltation of the sun (Ra). The symbol of Aries is a ram’s horns, and it corresponds with the head in the human anatomy. Ram’s horns on the head of a hieroglyphic figure usually denote that an initiate is meant. The symbol of a ram’s head and horns is, however, often phallic, a symbol of generative power, though this can be but a degradation of its original meaning. Sphinxes with ram’s heads, called criosphinxes, are said to represent the period of the equinoctial points passing through the sign Aries of the celestial zodiac, following upon the age when the bull was the sign.

Egyptian deities with heads of rams, “are solar, and represent under various aspects the phases of generation and impregnation. Their ram’s heads denote this meaning, a ram ever symbolizing generative energy in the abstract, while the bull was the symbol of strength and the creative function” (TG 82). See also MENDES

Rama (Sanskrit) Rāma The seventh avatara or incarnation of Vishnu and the eldest son of King Dasaratha of the solar race. Hero of the Ramayana, his full name is Ramachandra, and tradition makes him the first king of the divine or earliest dynasties as given in the Hindu epics. He married Sita, a feminine avatara of Lakshmi (Vishnu’s consort), who was carried away by Ravana, the demon-king of the rakshasas of Lanka, a remnant of Atlantis. This act led to the famous war related in the Ramayana.

Ramanujacharya (Sanskrit) Rāmānujācārya A celebrated Vaishnava reformer, founder of a Vedantic school which taught the doctrine of Visishtadvaita (qualified nonduality), that the human spirit is separate and different from the supreme spirit, though dependent from it and ultimately to be united with it. He lived at Kanchipura and Sri-ranga in South India, and is supposed by many Occidental Orientalists to have lived from 1017-1137. His followers believe him to have been an incarnation of Sesha.

This Vedantic sect is one of the three most important Vedanta schools, the other two being the Advaita (nondualistic) school, of which the chief exponent and teacher was the avatara Sankaracharya; and that of the Dvaitas (dualists). Of these three, the Advaita teachings of Sankaracharya is by far the closest to theosophy. The differences as among these three Vedantic schools are mainly manners of considering the relation of the human and cosmic spirit-souls. The Advaita in common with theosophy considered the cosmic spirit to be the fountainhead of all later differentiations of consciousness; and therefore it teaches that all such later individualizations are nevertheless all rooted in the cosmic spirit. The Dvaita school believes that there is a distinct difference of identity between individuals and the cosmic spirit (as likewise do the Christians), although individuals nevertheless issue forth from the cosmic spirit. The Visishtadvaita school believes that although all individuals ultimately issue forth from the cosmic source, they yet possess only qualified identity with it.

Ramayana (Sanskrit) Rāmāyaṇa [from Rāma an avatāra of Viṣṇu + ayana goings, adventures] One of the famous epic poems of India, relating the adventures of Rama, an avatara of Vishnu, in 48,000 lines. It is often termed the Iliad of the East.

“The whole History of that period [the struggle between the Atlantean and the Aryan adepts] is allegorized in the Ramayana, which is the mystic narrative in epic form of the struggle between Rama — the first king of the divine dynasty of the early Aryans — and Ravana, the symbolical personation of the Atlantean (Lanka) race. The former were the incarnations of the Solar Gods; the latter, of the lunar Devas. This was the great battle between Good and Evil, between white and black magic, for the supremacy of the divine forces, or of the lower terrestrial, or cosmic powers. . . . The Ramayana — every line of which has to be read esoterically — discloses in magnificent symbolism and allegory the tribulations of both man and soul” (SD 2:495-6).

The siege and subsequent surrender of Lanka (whose remnant is Ceylon or Sri Lanka) to Rama is placed by Hindu chronology — based upon the zodiac — at many hundreds of thousands of years ago, and the statement that the present island of Ceylon is the northern headland of ancient Lanka gives a hint as to how far back these events are to be placed.

Raphael (Hebrew) Rĕfā’ēl [from rāfā’ to knit together, compose by joining, repair and mend, cure, heal + ’ēl divinity] The builder of God, the composer of God; one of the four (later seven) angels stationed about the throne of God; also called Suriel or Suryal. In the vision of Ezekiel, the seer describes the four faces beheld: that of the face of the man is made equivalent to Raphael in the Ophite scheme. Originally the dragon was one of the four sacred animals, but it was altered to the face of a man (SD 1:127). In the Book of Enoch (ch 20) Raphael is considered as the angel of the spirits of men, and is commissioned to “heal [rebuild or re-compose] the Earth which the angels have defiled.”

Rasa (Sanskrit) Rāsa The mystery-dance performed by Krishna and the gopis, in which Krishna remains in the center while the shepherdesses revolve about him. This dance is still celebrated in a yearly festival, especially in Rajastan. It represents, astronomically, the circling of the planets around the sun, as did other circle dances, e.g., the dance of the Amazons around the priapic image, the dance of the daughters of Shiloah (Judges 21), and the dance of David around the ark (IU 2:45).

In rasa we see the same general connection which the Pythagoreans referred to when they spoke of the music of the spheres, or again that a celestial body in following its path does so to the accompaniment of natural sound or music which the motion evokes. The rasa dance signifies stately, quiet, but continuous movement of the bodies of those participating around another in the center who represents the sun, while those dancing around him in various orbits or circles represent the planets. Such dances were representative of the life in nature moving in circular or spiral ways to the accompaniment of sound or music, the roots of such movements being found in the akasa, sound itself being the distinguishing characteristic of akasa according to ancient correspondences.

Rasatala (Sanskrit) Rasātala [from rasā taste + tala sphere, place] Place of taste or contact; a place or sphere where the apparatus of the inner and outer organs of sense are active. The fourth counting downwards of the seven talas. The corresponding loka or pole is maharloka. Rasatala corresponds to sparsa (touch), and to some of the hierarchies of ethereal, semi-objective dhyani-chohans of the astral matter of the manasa-manas.


Ra-shu (Egyptian) Rā-shu. The solar force emanating from the sun (Ra). In chapter 17 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Demiurge is represented as becoming this solar force. “The solar fires formed in and out of the primordial ‘waters,’ or substance, of Space” (TG 276).

Rasi (Sanskrit) Rāśi A heap, mass, quantity, number; in astronomy, a sign of the zodiac (as being a certain number of degrees); in astrology a mansion or house, a twelfth part of the ecliptic.

Rasi-chakra(Sanskrit) Rāśi-cakra [from rāśi number, assortment, mansion + cakra wheel] The zodiacal circle or zodiac.

Rasollasa (Sanskrit) Rasollāsa [from rasa fluid, liquid + ud-las to come forth, appear] Also rasollāsā. “The first of the eight physical perfections, or Siddhis (phenomena), of the Hatha Yogis. Rasollasa is the prompt evolution at will of the juices of the body independently of any nutriment from without” (TG 276).

Rasshoo. See RA-SHU

Rata (Sanskrit) Rāta [from the verbal root ra to give, grant] That which is given or offered; a sacrificial offering.

Rathapala (Sanskrit) Rathapāla A great Hindu arhat (cf VS 83-4); featured in the allegorical legend Rathapala-sutrasanne.

Ratnatraya. See TRISARANA

Ratnavabhasa-kalpa (Sanskrit) Ratnāvabhāsa-kalpa [from ratna jewel + avabhāsa splendor + kalpa age] The age that shall be as of the splendor of jewels — used in Buddhism for the closing kalpa or age of mankind on this fourth globe during the fourth round. “The age in which all sexual difference will have ceased to exist, and birth will take place in the Anupadaka mode, as in the second and third Root-races. Esoteric philosophy teaches that it will take place at the end of the sixth and during the seventh and last Root-race in this Round” (TG 276). Differentiation into two sexes is but a passing phase of human and animal evolution. It was preceded by hermaphroditism and other forms of reproduction. The very end of the fifth and the early sixth root-race will see the beginning of the ceasing of sex and the introduction of the anupapadaka or parentless mode.

Ratri (Sanskrit) Rātri Night, the darkness and stillness of the night; one of the four bodies of Brahma. Mystically and philosophically, it has a dual meaning: cosmic night as pure spirit which preceded day or manvantara, signifies pralaya and is highly spiritual. In the other meaning night signifies the darkness of relatively perfect matter, unenlightened by the rays from spirit. To this last meaning is ascribed the ancient Hindu statement that Brahma assumed his body of Night for the purposes of emanating the hierarchies of the nether world or matter, commonly called collectively the rakshasas. This corresponds to the archaic Tibetan view of the dread mamo-chohans, as presiding not only at the pralayas, but as being the laws of night or absolute matter.

Raumas or Raumyas (Sanskrit) Rauma-s, Raumya-s [from roma hair] Hairy; a race or tribe of the early third root-race said to have been created from the pores of Virabhadra, a distinguished hero and one of the avataras of Siva, commonly stated to have had a thousand heads and a thousand arms and who destroyed Daksha’s sacrifice. An allusion to the sweat-born races, they were called Raumas because their origin was from the romakupas (hair- or skin-pores).

Ravana (Sanskrit) Rāvaṇa The giant king-demon of the rakshasas, sovereign of Lanka (Ceylon or Sri Lanka), a remnant of Atlantis. One of the remaining ruling black magicians of the last days of the Atlantis period, he carried away Sita, Rama’s wife, which led to the great war described in the Ramayana.

Raven In every ancient cosmogony the precosmic generative source of all is denoted by a circle, head, or egg, which because of its abstraction in thought is always associated with darkness or blackness, as dark and night precede light. Hence we find black birds — ravens, black doves, black swans, etc. — associated therewith, on the principle that birds are emblematic of the movements of the peregrinating monads in both time and space, wings being the important point here, in which connection we may include the winged globe of Egypt. Noah sends out first a raven after the Ark has settled; the deluge signifies cosmic pralaya, after which begins the real creation of our earth and humanity.

These cosmic birds, or the cosmic head or egg, do not signify boundless space, but are the cosmic points or foci of evolutionary development out of which grow, as from seeds, the celestial bodies, their inhabitants, and their karmic attributes.

The Raven (Corax) was also the lowest degree in the dignities of the Mithraic Brotherhood.

Ravi (Sanskrit) Ravi A particular form of the sun when regarded as one of the twelve adityas; also used for the sun in general, or for the divinity of which the sun is a reflection.

Ray [from Latin radius rod, staff, beam, ray] An indefinitely small thread of light or other form of radiant energy, whether undulatory or emissive, considered as propagated in a straight line and with a definite velocity. The figurative use of the word must not blind us to the fact that everything physical has its prototypes on planes above. As our sun sheds rays of a great number of kinds, and interchanges of radiation take place throughout our solar system and locally on each planet, so rays are emanated throughout the universe on all its visible and invisible planes, and represent the spiritual, intellectual, and fohatic and life-giving forces — mystically in each case a Mercury on his winged way bearing the messages of the gods.

Rbhu. See RIBHU

Rc. See RICH

Rddhi. See RIDDHI

Rddhi-pada. See RIDDHI-PADA

Reabsorption The return into the oneness of spirit, either of the cosmos or of man, at the end of the full cosmic cycle of evolution and involution. Since in this state there is no differentiation of substance or matter as human beings understand it, individuality is not lost but only temporarily asleep in a spiritual laya-state, and only for the time during which this state lasts; when reemergence takes place, the individual characteristics of the entities which have been absorbed and are now re-evolved, reappear. “The thread of radiance which is imperishable and dissolves only in Nirvana, re-emerges from it in its integrity on the day when the Great Law calls all things back into action” (SD 2:80).

Realism The doctrine of Realists as opposed to Nominalists; the doctrine that physical objects have reality independently of psychological factors, opposed to the idealism of philosophers such as Berkeley; a matter-of-fact attitude, as opposed to an imaginative one; Realism in art. In the first sense, the Nominalists held that particulars or individuals alone are real, and their attributes mere abstractions: e.g., that color and motion, considered apart from colored or moving bodies, are mere abstractions. The Realists held that universals or generals, such as color and motion, have at least a relative reality independently of objects which manifest them. An intermediate position was held by the Conceptualists, who recognized that abstractions have a psychological reality, an existence in the mind.

These views are all partial and one-sided; there can be but one absolute reality, by contrast with which all else is maya or appearance; hence, using the word reality in any other connection is to use it in a relative sense. Behind physical things and events lie causes which are relatively real; while these latter are themselves but manifestations of still more real causes on a still higher plane; and so forth.

Reality Words such as reality, truth, and good are understood in reference to their opposites; and the opposite of reality is appearance or illusion. There can be but one fundamental or all-pervading reality, and the word in this sense becomes an equivalent to the one All, parabrahman, by contrast with which all else is maya or appearance. Reality when implying various conceptions is therefore a relative term, and we can but say that one thing is real by comparison with another thing which is relatively unreal. A dream seems real enough until we awake, and then our waking mind seems real; yet this also will seem unreal when we awake to a still higher consciousness. Reality, like truth and unity, cannot be an object of knowledge except by intuition, which then functions on its own plane; for any mental faculty beneath intuition is itself relatively unreal, and its findings or deductions partake of the nature of their source; and all such deductions are understandable only by reference to their opposites. It is precisely this existence in nature of opposites which brings about the various mayas under which human understanding necessarily labors.

Reason The wisdom which ensues from the union of buddhi with manas, as contrasted with the higher immanent wisdom of atma-buddhi; also the human mind, which finds its place in the union of the higher and lower nature through the mediating fourth principle or kama, which itself works through what the Qabbalists call nephesh or the Latins the anima. Again, in some European philosophers, the characteristics of the Logos, which is stated to be cosmic mind or the Third Logos.

In Greek mythology Prometheus is represented as endowing man with reason and the use of the mental faculties, which corresponds to the descent of the manasaputras during the third root-race. In present mankind reason is a quality of manas, and its presence is the chief characteristic distinction between man and animal.

Rebecca, Rebekah (Hebrew) Ribĕqāh In the Bible the wife of Isaac, mother of Esau and Jacob. When Rebecca was about to become a mother, she felt that the children were struggling within her, so she inquired of the Lord as to the meaning of this, and received the answer: “Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). Rebecca gave birth to twins, “and the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau” (25:25); and the other was called Jacob.

Genesis 25:24-34 contains “the allegorical history of the birth of the Fifth Race,” as explained in Jewish allegorical fashion; and “Esau represents in the Bible the race which stands between the Fourth and the Fifth, the Atlantean and the Aryan” (SD 2:705).


Recaka. See RECHAKA

Recapitulation Known as the biogenic law. In embryology, the supposed process in which any embryo reproduces many of the progressive type-forms of the organisms that precede it in the line of development. The points of similarity between the series of forms that prevail from the simplest types of life to those of higher animals, and the resemblances in embryonic development of different organisms, are interpreted as evidence of a common descent. This implies that the imbodying entity — man, for instance — is the product of a progressive series of forms. Theosophy, however, shows the original unit of every manifested being to be an unself-conscious spark of divine life which becomes involved progressively in all grades and forms of matter during uncounted periods of time and varied rounds of experience. Thus the common descent and the evolutionary urge are fundamentally spiritual in origin.

The human embryo, in rapidly epitomizing its individual and racial history, sketches strange conditions which were normal in the early root-races. Its brain, in the second month, forms more than twenty percent of the body, as compared with about two percent in the adult body; the early embryonic and adult heart have similar relative proportions. This dominance of brain and heart, the external prominence of the pineal gland, the organ of spiritual sight, the indifferent sex, etc., all point to type-forms suitable for the spiritual and intellectual unself-conscious egos manifesting in their early racial career. Today the reincarnating ego, with its vast ages of experience in matter, is the unseen organizer which summarizes its past, in overseeing the building of its body according to karmic specifications. Primeval man, though ethereal, was potentially human, and had retained from previous life cycles the form-pattern and seed-types of all grades below him. Hence, from him came all the subhuman creatures that developed and became specialized in their evolutionary turn.

Rechaka (Sanskrit) Recaka [from the verbal root rec to empty, purge] A hatha yoga practice for the regulation of the breath: the breath is expelled from one nostril while the other nostril is held closed with the finger, and then the operation is repeated with the other nostril. These operations, extremely dangerous to health and mental balance, should be discouraged. See also KUMBHAKA; PURAKA; HATHA YOGA; YOGA

Recorders Members of a class of sacred writers, initiators, and recorders of the archaic teachings, as for instance, Enoch, Hermes, and Thoth. Cosmogonically, the lipikas or recorders of karma.

Rector (Latin) Ruler, regent; the seven hierarchies of the creative Logos have each its rector or chief dhyanis, and these may be called cosmocratores, maharajas, pillars, etc. Kepler supposed that the motions of the planets are due to rectors — sidereal and cosmic forces, and Plato assigns to the planets their rulers. In theosophy every cosmic body has its rector or indwelling spiritual monad.

Rectores Tenebrarum harum (the rulers of these darknesses) is an ecclesiastical expression equivalent to the cosmocratores of Ephesians 6:12. But the rectors of light are really the same as the cosmocratores, the two being merely opposite poles — the former the higher pole and the latter the lower pole; but ecclesiasticism has turned the lower aspect into evil demons and powers of darkness.

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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