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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Sarah, Sarai (Hebrew) Śārāh Princess; in the Bible, the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Like Eve, a type-figure standing for motherhood and in a phallic sense for the womb. One key to interpreting the verses: “God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be” (Genesis 17:15), lies in the moon and water; Blavatsky compares it to the Hindu legend of Brahma and Sarasvati or Sri (SD 2:77).

Sarama (Sanskrit) Saramā [from the verbal root sṛ to run] The fleet one, the runner; the dog belonging to Indra and the gods, the divine watcher “over the golden flock of stars and solar rays.” She is the mother of the two dogs called Sarameyas. Some European etymologists connect the names of the Greek Hermes and Helena with Sarama or Sarameya. Sarama has certain elements of mystical similarity to Agathodaemon in Greek Gnosticism, and to the Egyptian Hermes-Anubis, one of the dogs (vigilance) which watch over the celestial flock (occult wisdom and its students) (cf SD 2:28).

Sarameyas (Sanskrit) Sārameya-s The two children of Sarama (the female watchdog of Indra), four-eyed brindled watchdogs of Yama, the god of the Underworld, whose duties include watching over the celestial flock (occult wisdom and its students).

Saraph (Hebrew) Śārāf Fiery, burning, glowing, filled with light and warmth; also serpent. In the Old Testament, the serpent that Moses is ordered to make is the mystical Saraph, and in this almost purely physiological connection it represents Jehovah, the chief of the fiery serpents (SD 2:387). Flying serpent is the generally accepted translation of saraph me‘opheph (Isaiah 30:6) — commonly connected in Christian theology with the Devil; but the expression is metaphorical and has nothing to do with the Evil One. This curious, significant phrase more accurately means both covered or enwrapped flame or fire, or flying fire. And as saraph also signifies serpent, it could equally mean covered or concealed serpent, or flying serpent.

There is a strong mystical parallel, and possibly some remote etymological connection, between the Sanskrit sarpa (serpent) and the Hebrew saraph, the parallel doubtless arising in the same esoteric thread of mystical thought. See also SERAPHIM

Sarasvati, Saraswati (Sanskrit) Sarasvatī The ethereal, the elegant one; the divine consort or wife of Brahma, his feminine alter ego, a later form or aspect of Vach (voice or the Word), a title of the Third Logos in Greece as well as in India. This parallels the Bath Qol (daughter of the voice, daughter of the Word) of mystical Hebrew thought, which can be taken either as the feminine aspect of the Logos itself, or as its daughter — the inspiration flowing forth from, or the feminine or vehicular side of, the Logos. The goddess of hidden learning and esoteric wisdom, Sarasvati is usually shown riding on a peacock with its tail spread. She is similar to the Gnostic Sophia, to the Sephirah of the Hebrew Qabbalah, and to the Holy Ghost of the Christians.

Sarasvati is also a sacred river spoken of in the Vedas, and as a river goddess she was often invoked to bestow vitality, renown, and riches; elsewhere she is described as moving along a golden path and as destroying the monster-demon Vritra.

Sarcode (Greek) sarkodes. Fleshly; the name given by Dujardin (1835) to the rudimentary substance of unicellular organisms, and since replaced by the words protoplasm or bioplasm.

Sarcophagus (Greek) Flesh-eating; limestone in Assus in the Troad had the property of consuming the bodies placed in coffins made of it, and so was called sarcophagos lithos (flesh-eating stone) or lapis Assius (stone of Assus), and the name came to be applied to stone coffins in general. A sarcophagus was placed in the adytum of a temple and mystically signified the matrix of nature and resurrection. In initiation ceremonies the candidate, representing the energizing ray, descended into the sarcophagus representing nature’s fecund womb, and emerged therefrom, which symbolized resurrection after death. In the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid, the candidate descended into the sarcophagus, where his body was entranced while his spiritual ego confabulated with the gods, descended into Amenti or the Underworld, and did works of charity to invisible beings; being carried during the night before the third day to the entrance of a gallery where the beams of the rising sun awoke him as an initiate.

The Mysteries of ancient times, and the rites connected with them, were very largely based on the secret and carefully hid events which occurred to a person after death, so that the secrets of death, and the resurrection from death, formed a large part of the initiation ceremonies of the ancient Mysteries. Thus it was that the sarcophagus or coffin, the emblem of death, held not only the physical body of the dead person, but likewise the entranced body of the neophyte whose soul was peregrinating into the invisible worlds and in and through the Underworld.

Sargon Sharru-konu (Assyrian) Also Sarru-kinu. The legitimate king; of the two Sargons in Babylonian history, one is regarded as the first historical king in the old Babylonian period, whose reign has been placed about 3800 BC. He ruled over northern Babylonia, making Agade (Akkad) his capital. He made conquests in Syria and erected the temple Eulbar in honor of Anunit. His story is cited by Blavatsky as the original of the familiar Biblical story of Moses: the mother of Sargon was a princess who placed her babe in an ark of rushes, sealing the ark with bitumen and setting it adrift on the river. The ark was found by a watercarrier, Akki, who brought up the child as his own. In time Sargon became the monarch of Babylonia, reigning at Agadi, which was near the city of Sippara (cf Zipporah, the name of the wife of Moses).

The second Sargon was king of Assyria from 722-705 BC.

Sarira (Sanskrit) Śarīra [from the verbal root śri to protect, shelter, enter into; or from the verbal root śṝ to waste away, decay] Body, bodily frame; that which is impermanent and subject to dissolution.

Sarisripa (Sanskrit) Sarīsṛpa [from the verbal root sṛp to crawl] Those who wish to crawl or creep; a creeping animal, reptile, snake, insect, or anything which, being small, crawls or creeps. As a proper noun, a name of Vishnu, with reference to the preserver’s constant vital essence pervading or creeping throughout the manifested universe.

Sarku (Babylonian, Chaldean) Light race; in the Babylonian legends, the name of one of the two first races. While the dark race (Zalmat-Qaqadi) was the first to fall into generation or mortality, the light race remained apart for a long while — hence was considered to be a race of gods. The dark race has also been called by Europeans the Adamic race, which was “one of the two principal races that exited at the time of the ‘Fall of Man’ (hence our third Root-race) . . .” (TG 384).

Saros (Greek) [from Chaldean deity Sar] Sar’s symbol was a circle, denoting a great cycle of time, as well as the number 3,600, the square of 60. The length of this cycle is not revealed, as we need to know the unit which is to be multiplied by 3,600. Just as the day is comprised in the year, so the year is comprised in the Great Saros. It is likely that the word applies to several different large cycles.

Also used now to denote the small cycle within which the luni-solar eclipses approximately recur: a period of 6585.32 days or 233 lunations.

In connection with the saros and the naros or neros, the key number of all these cycles is based on the duodenary system where the base number is 12. Thus, 5 times 12 is 60, itself an esoteric key number; and the square of 60 in 3,600. Again 60 plus 12 is 72, a key number of the highest esoteric import. Six hundred, commonly called the Chaldean naros or neros, is 50 times 12; and 50 and its double 100 are again highly important esoteric key figures. Thus 100 is the square of 10, a distinctly esoteric key number; 10 and 12 are intimately related in ancient chronological calculations.

Sarpa (Sanskrit) Sarpa [from the verbal root sṛp to wriggle, creep, crawl] Serpent; the serpent has ever symbolized in occultism wisdom, immortality — therefore renewed birth — and secret knowledge; hence sarpa is applied to an initiate, as is naga (Sanskrit serpent). “There is a notable difference esoterically between the words Sarpa and Naga, though they are both used indiscriminately. Sarpa (serpent) is from the root Srip, serpo to creep; and they are called ‘Ahi,’ from Ha, to abandon. ‘The sarpa was produced from Brahma’s hair, which, owing to his fright at beholding the Yakshas, whom he had created horrible to behold, fell off from the head, each hair becoming a serpent. They are called Sarpa from their creeping and Ahi because they had deserted the head’ (Wilson). But the Nagas, their serpent’s tail notwithstanding, do not creep, but manage to walk, run and fight in the allegories” (SD 2:181-2n).

Sarpa was the original Sanskrit term for a snake or serpent, whereas naga, although likewise signifying a snake or serpent — which it does consistently throughout the range of Sanskrit literature — nevertheless early became identified in mystical thought with initiates because of their power of casting off physical body after physical body almost at will. Both terms therefore signify serpent or snake, and both later were used almost indiscriminately to signify initiates; nevertheless, because of habit or use, naga is the more common term for a full initiate, sarpa in this sense being of less frequent usage.

Just as the forces of nature are in themselves neutral, and become “good” or “bad” as they are used by individuals, similarly so is a symbol usable in a good or a bad sense. In the use of nagas and sarpas, the Brothers of Light are properly called nagas, and the Brothers of Darkness are more properly called sarpas, as the root srip which means to wriggle, hence to insinuate, to creep in by stealth and deceive. Both the Brothers of Light and of Darkness are focuses of power, subtlety, wisdom, and knowledge; in the one case rightly and nobly applied, and in the other wrongly applied. The former are the nagas or serpents of light: subtle, wise, and with power to cast off the garment or vehicle when the body has grown old and to assume another at will. The latter are more strictly the sarpas or serpents of darkness, insinuating, worldly wise, selfishly shrewd, deceitful, venomous, and dangerous, and yet possessing the same powers, but in less degree, and using them wrongly, thus deceiving human hearts and succeeding in their work often by lies and misrepresentations. Nevertheless, precisely because nagas and sarpas are used almost indiscriminately, either word may apply both to the servants of light or of darkness.

Sarpanit. See ZARPANITU

Sarparajni (Sanskrit) Sarparājñī [from sarpa serpent + rājñī queen] The queen of the serpents;

“the Aitareya-Brahmana calls the Earth Sarparajni, . . . Before our globe became egg-shaped (and the Universe also) ‘a long trail of Cosmic dust (or fire mist) moved and writhed like a serpent in Space.’ The ‘Spirit of God moving on Chaos’ was symbolized by every nation in the shape of a fiery serpent breathing fire and light upon the primordial waters, until it had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a serpent with its tail in its mouth — which symbolises not only Eternity and Infinitude, but also the globular shape of all the bodies formed within the Universe from that fiery mist. The Universe, as well as the Earth and Man, cast off periodically, serpent-like, their old skins, to assume new ones after a time of rest ” (SD 1:74).
“The Earth is said to cast off her old three skins, because this refers to the three preceding Rounds she has already passed through; the present being the fourth Round out of the seven. At the beginning of every new Round, after a period of ‘obscuration,’ the earth (as do also the other six ‘earths’) casts off, or is supposed to cast off, her old skins as the Serpent does . . .” (SD 2:47).

Also, certain verses of the Rig-Veda deal with this subject.

Sarvada (Sanskrit) Sarvada [from sarva all + the verbal root to give] He who gives all, the all-sacrificing; title of Buddha, who in a former birth sacrificed everything to save others. Also a title of Siva.

Sarvaga (Sanskrit) Sarvaga [from sarva all + ga going, permeating] The all-permeant; the spirit-substance of the world, hence its soul. Equivalent to the anima mundi, or in a more abstract sense to the supreme cosmic essence or Second or Manifest-unmanifest Logos, which in early Christianity was feminine and called the Holy Spirit.

Sarva-mandala (Sanskrit) Sarva-maṇḍala [from sarva all, complete + maṇḍala globe, orb] The complete globe or orb; hence the Egg of Brahma or the universe, applicable to any of the numerous Eggs of Brahma, whether a galaxy, sun, planet, or even a nebula or comet.

Sarva-medha (Sanskrit) Sarvamedha [from sarva all, whole, universal + medha sacrifice] The universal sacrifice, spoken of in the Rig-Veda as being performed by Visvakarman, the cosmic architect or demiurge. It is a ten days’ sacrificial ceremony — the ten having reference not only to the ten cosmic planes, but to other decads in the universe, such as the ten primordial conscious forces, etc.

Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (Sanskrit) Sarvam khalvidam brahma [from sarvam all + khalu indeed + idam this, the manifested universe + brahma the supreme mind or spirit of our universe] All this universe is indeed Brahman. Brahman is universal because the infilling, indwelling, and inspiring cosmic mind and consciousness of our home-universe; the reference is not to boundless infinitude or parabrahman (beyond Brahman).

Saratman (Sanskrit) Sarvātman [from sarva all + ātman self] The all-self; in the Vedas, the all-pervading spirit of the universe.

Sarvavasu (Sanskrit) Sarvavasu [from sarva all + vasu one of the 12 adityas or solar divinities, rays, or logoi] One of the seven principal logoi or rays of the sun.

Sarvesa (Sanskrit) Sarveśa [from sarva all + īśa lord, ruler] The lord of all; the supreme spirit, the hierarch of the universe, which can be connected either with Brahman considered as the First Logos, or with Brahma considered as the Third Logos.

Sastra (Sanskrit) Śāstra [from the verbal root śās to direct, bid, instruct] An order, precept, rule, advice; any instrument of teaching; any book or treatise, especially religious or scientific; any sacred scripture or composition of supposedly divine authority such as the Vedas.

Sastra-devatas (Sanskrit) Śastra-devatās [from śastra weapon + devatā celestial being, god] The gods of divine weapons; in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the lords or conscious agents behind the mystical powers exercised by the great-souled heroes, rather than the weapons themselves. They are likewise in ancient Hindu conception the self-conscious, conscious, and quasi-conscious powers behind the forces of nature, especially those forces which can wreak injury or damage in the phenomenal world, such as earthquakes, tidal waves, storms of all kinds, and lightning.

Sat (Sanskrit) Sat [from the verbal root as to be] Being; the real, the enduring fundamental essence of the world, “for Sat is in itself neither the ‘existent,’ nor ‘being.’ Sat is the immutable, the ever present, changeless and eternal root, from and through which all proceeds. But it is far more than the potential force in the seed, which propels onward the process of development, or what is now called evolution. It is the ever becoming, though the never manifesting. Sat is born from Asat and ASAT is begotten by sat: the perpetual motion in a circle, truly; yet a circle that can be squared only at the supreme Initiation, at the threshold of Paranirvana” (SD 2:449-50).

Sat is not Being, but Be-ness, since whatever is manifested is something phenomenal, not ever-lasting. Sat (pure being), chit (pure thought), and ananda (bliss) together signify the state of the Absolute.

In the Vedanta, used as the self-existent or universal spirit.

Sata (Sanskrit) Śata Hundred.

Satan [from Hebrew śāṭān adversary, opposer from the verbal root śāṭan to lie in wait, oppose, be an adversary; or possibly from the verbal root shut to whip, scourge, run hither and thither on errands; Greek satan, satanas] Adversary; with the definite article (has-satan) the adversary in the Christian sense, as the Devil. This Satan of the exoteric Jewish and Christian books is a mere figment of the monkish theological imagination. From the second possible derivation many eminent Shemitic scholars have held that the Satan of the Book of Job was a good angel arranged by God to try the characters of men in order to help them; and therefore supposedly to be different from the Satan of other books of the Bible. The theosophist would not limit the good angel to the Book of Job alone, but would look upon the adversative or contrary forces of nature as being the means upon which each one tries his will, resolution, and determination to evolve and grow spiritually and intellectually. The Satan of this hypothesis is in a sense our own lower character combined with the lower forces of nature surrounding earth and elsewhere.

Sata-rupa (Sanskrit) Śata-rūpā [from śata hundred + rūpa form, body] The hundred-formed one; applied to Vach who, as the feminine Brahma or universal nature, assumes myriad forms. Hundred here does not denote a specific numerical limit, but is used as the Greek word myriad (10,000) often is, to signify an immense quantity; albeit the number has a distinct occult significance likewise.

According to archaic Hindu legend, Sata-rupa, as nature, was the daughter of Brahma, and likewise the mother of the first manu, called Svayambhuva.

Satellite [from Latin satelles an attendant, assistant] Astronomically, a globe which revolves around a larger one which is its primary, but usually restricted to globes revolving around planets. The satellites of Uranus and Neptune have revolutions opposite in direction to that of the satellites of the other planets, said to be due to their axes having been inverted in the pregenetic battles fought by the growing planets before the final formation of the cosmos (SD 1:101).

In theosophy the moon is only physically a satellite of the earth; in other respects it is the earth’s mother. Modern astronomy knows nothing as to the actual cosmological role played in the spatial deeps by the satellites of the planets or of the suns — particularly those moon-satellites, which being true moons (as is the moon of earth) are the extinct astral bodies or kama-rupas of the former physical imbodiments of the globe-chain, which now they accompany as attendants. The parts that the true moons especially play in the drama of cosmogonical history is enormous. Such true moons are the dwellers on the threshold of the globes which they thus attend.

Sati or Satet (Egyptian) Sati or Satet [from the verbal root sat to pour out, shoot, throw, emanate, evolve forth] Worshiped at Abu or Elephantine, the consort of Khnemu, and sister-goddess of Anqet, and the second member of a triad. Together with Khnemu her attributes are watery, so that she is depicted as sprinkling water and scattering seed. She was associated with Isis-Sothis, and at Dendera with Isis-Hathor; and was associated by the Greeks with Hera. Her temple at Abu was considered one to the holy places in ancient Egypt, for in the Book of the Dead the Osirified defunct mentions that he has visited the Temple of Satet which was one of the ancient initiation localities. With Isis she was connected with the star Sept (Sirius), where dwelt the soul of Isis.

Satkiri Chakram of Vishnu. See SIX-POINTED STAR

Satta (Sanskrit) Sattā [from the verbal root as to be, exist] Being, existence; a name of Brahman as implying essential being.

Sattra (Sanskrit) Sattra A great soma sacrifice or a sacrificial session, which lasted one year and was based upon the revolution of the sun in its yearly course. Also, refuge, asylum, or place of sanctuary, which in ancient conceptions were supposed to be brought into being by mystical sacrifice.

Sattva (Sanskrit) Sattva [from sat being] True essence, spiritual essence, reality, true being. Also one of the trigunas (three qualities), the other two being rajas and tamas. “Sattwa is the quality of truth, goodness, reality, purity. These three gunas or qualities run all through the web or fabric of Nature like threads inextricably mingled, for, indeed, each of these three qualities participate likewise in the nature of the other two, yet each one possessing its predominant (which is its own Swabhava) or intrinsic characteristic. One who desires to gain some genuine understanding of the manner in which the Archaic Wisdom looks upon these three phases of human intellectual and spiritual activity must remember that not one of these three can be considered apart from the other two. The three are fundamentally three operations of the human consciousness, and essentially are that consciousness itself” (OG 153-4). As the human being is the microcosm of the macrocosm, the same gunas can be discovered in the cosmos.

Sattvika or Sattvic (Sanskrit) Sāttvika [from sattva reality] Pertaining to the quality of goodness; sattvic is the anglicized form.

Saturn The sixth planet from the sun in our solar system, the last of the seven sacred planets of the ancients. In theosophy the regent or rector of Saturn exercises its own characteristic influence especially on our earth, globe D, and closely combines in this respect with the influence emanating from the moon; its influences was likewise especially felt over the fourth root-race. In astrology, its zodiacal houses are Aquarius and Capricorn; its day of the week is Saturday.

Family-races also are born under the especial influence or partial regency of Saturn — as for instance the Jews; but though Saturn in astrology is called the great malefic this is a one-sided view; and indeed astrologers themselves realize that there are influences which Saturn showers from itself, as does every planet, which are of distinctly spiritual and beneficent character.

With the Jews, the tribal deity Jehovah represents the racial divinity or Saturn, and hence it is that the Jews considered Jehovah as their own god, for he is in fact the dominating planetary influence on their race. The mystical type-figure for Saturn in the lands of the Near East was the ass, that patient, faithful animal, as greatly beloved as a companion of man in the Near East even today as the dog is in many parts of the West. One is reminded of the conqueror of Jerusalem who, entering the Holy of Holies in the temple of Jerusalem, stated that all he saw was a golden ass — nor was there either irony or sarcasm intended, for the ancients recognized all these matters as being allegorical and mystical. One is likewise reminded of the statement made in the New Testament that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass and the foal of an ass.

The planet Saturn in one sense is spiritually farther advanced than is the earth, although in quite different sense it is younger in its present embodiment.

Saturnus [possibly from Latin sero to sow] was one of the oldest Italic deities — among other things patron of agriculture — who became assimilated with the Greek Chronos or Kronos. Like Kronos he dethrones his father Uranus and is himself dethroned by Jupiter (Zeus); his mutilation of his father indicates that eternal time becomes limited; his devouring of his children is symbolic of time which both gives birth to events and then destroys them. He presides over the Golden Age of innocent but unprogressive peace, when men are unable to rule themselves and are ruled by genii; his kingdom was Lemuria. The Latins represented him as having, after his dethronement by Jupiter, become king of Italy, which was therefore called Saturnia, and presiding over the Golden Age; and Vergil voices the prophecy that such a Saturnian Age shall one day return.

The same idea underlies the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbath, a period of rest), the Lord’s day, and Jehovah in one of its meanings is Saturn, the genius of the Hebrew nation. It was from Saturn that came the teachings revealed to Qutamy in Nabathean Agriculture. Among the many equivalents of Saturn are Chium, Seth, Cain, Ildabaoth among the Egyptian Gnostics, Agruerus, Sydyk (Melchisedec), and Satan — the girdle about the loins of Satan is the rings of the planet Saturn. In the Biblical list of Gnostic emanations, Saturn corresponds to Thrones.

Saturnalia (Latin) [from Saturnus Saturn] A Roman festival held on the 17th of December and for a week following, honoring the deity Saturnus; undoubtedly this was the beginning of the occult festival held in celebration of the winter solstice. Saturnus was identified by Roman scholars with the Greek Kronos, though his attributes at times are rather those of Demeter, who presides over the gifts of earth. Legend states that Tullus Hostilius founded the festival, but also that Romulus founded it under the name of Brumalia [from bruma winter solstice]. This is the time when the sun enters Capricorn, one of the houses of Saturn. The observances described are almost identical with those which we associate with Christmas; and Christmas again links up with a Norse version of the solstice festival. There was a general relaxation of discipline and social barriers; a spirit of joy and mirth; the interchange of gifts; abolition of distinctions of rank and social casts; no fighting or punishment. All over Europe, in Ancient Mexico, and in many other places, candles or fires were lighted. Even the harmless familiar Christmas and New Year festivals are themselves but exoteric forms of what in its essence was a dramatic presentation of the mysteries of initiation appropriate to this particular one of the four sacred seasons. Saturnalia has got its present meaning from the licentiousness into which this celebration degenerated.

Occultly the Saturnalia derived its name not only from the regent of the planet Saturn, but also from the esoteric teachings of the Mystery schools dealing with Saturn’s cosmogonical role. There were also the somewhat distorted mythologic ideas concerning the Age of Saturn, or the period of beginnings, of human happiness and innocence. While the Age of Saturn is usually placed at the beginnings of human history, Saturn likewise closes an evolutionary period when the age of innocence and happiness plus spirituality and intellect shall have returned. Saturn therefore both opens and closes a grand evolutionary period.

Satya (Sanskrit) Satya Truth, reality, being or esse; as an adjective, true, virtuous, good, faithful, etc.

Satya-loka (Sanskrit) Satya-loka [from satya reality + loka world, place] Reality-world; the first or highest of the seven lokas, its corresponding tala and nether pole being atala. Satya-loka is the abode of the nirvanis. Being the highest and most spiritual loka, it is therefore the inmost because closest to the radiating spiritual center, and yet it extends its influence in, above, through, and beyond all the other inferior lokas. It is also referred to as the abode of truth.

Satyan Nasti Paro Dharmah (Sanskrit) Satyān nāsti paro dharmaḥ There is no religion (duty, law) higher than truth (reality); the motto of the Theosophical Society, adopted from the Rajas of Benares.

Satyas (Sanskrit) Satya-s [from satya truth, reality] A name given in each kalpa to the twelve great gods (jayas) emanated by Brahma to bring about cosmic production or being. See also SADHYA

Satyavrata (Sanskrit) Satyavrata [from satya truth + vrata vow] A vow of truthfulness; a name of Vaivasvata-Manu, the manu of our present manvantara, corresponding to Noah.

Satya Yuga (Sanskrit) Satya Yuga [from satya reality, truth + yuga age] The age of purity, reality, and truth, sometimes called the krita yuga, lasting 1,728,000 years. The first of the four great yugas constituting a mahayuga (great age). “The Krita is the age in which righteousness is eternal, when duties did not languish nor people decline. No efforts were made by men, the fruit of the earth was obtained by their mere wish. There was no malice, weeping, pride, or deceit; no contention, no hatred, cruelty, fear, affliction, jealousy, or envy. The castes alike in their function fulfilled their duties, were unceasingly devoted to one deity, and used one formula, one rule, and one rite. Though they had separate duties, they had but one Veda and practised one duty” (MB abrig Muir, 1:144).

What exist as the four great ages forming a great age, occur because of analogical repetitions. There is a greater age of immensely longer duration than even the mahayuga mentioned above: the same series of four immense periods — of length respectively in the ratios of 4, 3, 2, 1 — is likewise found in the manvantaric history of a globe as well as of a round. Every root-race has likewise its mahayuga; and it is evident that the satya yuga of the seventh root-race will be a far more advanced one than is the satya yuga of the fourth root-race, because in the former everything will be more evolved and on a higher plane. Consequently, there is not one single satya yuga, but many, both on lower and higher planes.

Satyrs [from Greek satyroi] The luxuriant psychovital powers of nature, associated with Dionysos or Pan. They were represented in mythology as having bristly hair, snub nose, pointed ears, incipient horns, a tail; when they became confused with the Latin fauns they acquired goat’s horns and hoofs. They loved the music of the pipes, dance, song, and wine; and like Puck and nature spirits of Western Europe, they were elfish and given to pranks.

The satyrs of tradition represent historically an extinct race of quasi-animal men. The third root-race united themselves with animal beings, thus producing those creatures with which the late Lemurians and early Atlanteans again mated, this unnatural union producing the anthropoids; but the first miscegenation was between races to which the names human and animal did not imply so marked a distinction as they do now, and the union was fertile and not so unnatural as it would be today. The Nephilim (giants) of Genesis 6:4 were late second and third root-race human protoplasts, and vague recollections of the former existence of these mindless races brought about their identification by the early Hebrews with the satyrs. It seems likely that the apparition of nature spirits to country people would be connected by them with the tradition of satyrs; and actual beings of this kind, though extinct as a physical race, persist in astral form.

Saul (Hebrew) Shā’ūl A Biblical king; of particular interest is his anointing and initiation by Samuel, who said: “the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man” (I Sam 10:6). After his initiation he was able to prophesy, but after he became king, the spirit of prophecy left him. Although Saul prohibited divination or necromancy by means of those who had familiar spirits, he himself commanded the wise woman of Endor to bring before him the spirit of Samuel.

Saundarya-lahari (Sanskrit) Saundarya-laharī [from saundarya beautiful + laharī large wave, billow] One of Sankaracharya’s works, the title evidently a metaphor implying waves of beautiful thought or ocean of beautiful thought.

Saurya Pralaya and Saurya Manvantara (Sanskrit) Saurya-pralaya, Saurya-manvantara [from sūrya sun + pralaya dissolution; manvantara manifestation] The dissolution, or manifestation, of the solar system; frequently termed a mahapralaya or mahamanvantara.

Savarna (Sanskrit) Sāvarṇa Similar in color or appearance or class; the eighth manu. A name used either alone or in combination for all the manus succeeding the eighth, except the last two, the 13th and 14th. Being the eighth manu of our earth-chain, Savarna is the seed-manu of the present fourth round; and Savarna’s culmination of svabhavic individuality will be during the last root-races on globe G of our planetary chain.

Savarna (Sanskrit) Savarṇā The feminine being substituted by Saranyu for herself as a wife or alter ego of the sun. She is said to have given birth to Manu, and is called in later legend Chhaya (shadow). Saranyu (the quick, the fleet) is the Vedic character for the Sanjna of the Puranas. Saranyu is represented in legend as being the wife of Vivasvat (the sun) and mother of the two Asvins. The legend of this substitution has reference to cosmological mysteries, for the consort of the sun, for purposes of production of the hierarchies of living beings in the solar kingdom, must be that portion of the solar entity which is capable of productive power, and not of the higher parts of the sun’s entity. Thus Saranyu stands for the solar intellect or mind, while Savarna would be a fit prakriti-companion for the generative power of the sun.

Savior Applied to manasaputras, buddhas, bodhisattvas, avataras, messiahs, the Agathodaemon, etc. See also SALVATION

Savitri (Sanskrit) Sāvitrī [from the verbal root to pour out, stimulate, set in motion] Vivifier, stimulator; an aspect of the sun deity.

Also used interchangeably with Gayatri, a verse of the Rig-Veda (3, 62, 10).

Sayana or Sayanacharya (Sanskrit) Sāyaṇa, Sāyaṇācārya The celebrated commentator on the Rig-Veda, who flourished under Vira-bukka I of Vijaya-nagara (1350-79). Some of his works were written in conjunction with his brother Madhava, who was the prime minister of Vira-bukka, also known as Madhavacharya, a celebrated teacher and scholar. Madhavacharya brought into clearer focus the Dvaita-Vedanta (dualistic Vedanta), according to which Brahma and the human soul, although intimately connected, are distinct. This teaching is in direct contradistinction with that of Sankaracharya, the greatest historic exponent of the Advaita-Vedanta (nondualistic Vedanta), according to the teaching of which, spirit and matter, Brahman-atman (divinity) and the human spirit, are one in essence.

Scapegoat. See AZAZEL

Scarab [from Latin scarabaeus cf Greek karabos a beetle, Sanskrit śarabha a locust, Egyptian kheperȧ from kheper to become, come into being anew] The Egyptian symbol of the god Khepera — the urgent spiritual impulse of creation, or regenerative revolving and reimbodiment. In modern times applied to the beetle Scarabaeus sacer or aegyptorum — the sacred scarab. Orientalists generally regard the scarab as the symbol of resurrection because the beetle rolls a ball of dung containing its eggs, which it leaves to be hatched by the sun’s rays. This is said to represent in the small what was believed to take place in the great, that the sun was moving across the heavens holding within itself the germs which in course of stellar time evolve forth and remanifest in the solar cosmos. “Khem, ‘the sower of seed,’ is shown on a stele in a picture of Resurrection after physical death, as the creator and the sower of the grain of corn, which, after corruption, springs up afresh each time into a new ear, on which a scarabaeus beetle is seen poised; and Deveria shows very justly that ‘Ptah is the inert, material form of Osiris, who will become Sokari (the eternal Ego) to be reborn, and afterwards be Harmachus,’ or Horus in his transformation, the risen god. The prayer so often found in the tumular inscriptions, ‘the wish for the resurrection in one’s living soul’ or the Higher Ego, has ever a scarabaeus at the end, standing for the personal soul. The scarabaeus is the most honoured, as the most frequent and familiar, of all Egyptian symbols” (TG 293).

“This mystical symbol shows plainly that the Egyptians believed in reincarnation and the successive lives and existences of the Immortal entity. Being, however, an esoteric doctrine, revealed only during the mysteries by the priest-hierophants and the Kings-Initiates to the candidates, it was kept secret” (SD 2:552).

Schemal. See SHEMAL

Scheol. See SHEOL

Schesoo-Hor. See SHEMSU-HERU

Schoo. See SHU

Schools of the Prophets “Schools established by Samuel for the training of the Nabiim (prophets). Their method was pursued on the same lines as that of a Chela or candidate for initiation into the occult sciences, i.e., the development of abnormal faculties or clairvoyance leading to Seership. Of such schools there were many in days of old in Palestine and Asia Minor. That the Hebrews worshipped Nebo, the Chaldean god of secret learning, is quite certain, since they adopted his name as an equivalent of Wisdom” (TG 294).

Blavatsky points so specifically to the Hebrew and other similar schools in Asia Minor because these are the best known; yet similar schools of the prophets, under other names, have existed in all countries and ages, as for instance in Greece, where they were called Mysteries, and in Egypt.

Science [from Latin scientia from scire to know] In its widest sense formulated knowledge, a knowledge of structure, laws, and operations. The unity of human knowledge may be artificially divided into religion, philosophy, and science. Science and philosophy, as presently understood, have in common the quality of being speculative, as opposed to religion, which in the West is supposed to be founded merely on faith and moral sentiments. The present distinction between science and philosophy lies largely in their respective fields of speculation. What is known as modern science investigates the phenomena of physical nature and by inferential reasoning formulates general laws therefrom. Its method is called inductive and its data are so-called facts — i.e., sensory observations; whereas deductive philosophy starts from axioms. Yet a scientist, in order to reason from his data at all, must necessarily use both induction and deduction.

Modern science has limited its field of study to the laws of physical nature; but in the 20th century the illusive and entirely phenomenal nature of matter and energy, formerly assumed to be eternal and indestructible, is better realized by scientists who have traced the chain of physical causation to a point beyond physical limits altogether and admit that the physical world consists of phenomena occurring in an ultraphysical substance.

In modern sciences dealing with biology, evolution, and anthropology, legitimate inference from facts has been much interfered with by preconceived ideas. Modern science suffers from its failure to see the necessity of postulating an astral or formative world behind the physical, this astral world being in itself but one stage in a rising scale or ladder of invisible worlds. To ascertain the facts upon which to build a true inductive system, we must admit the existence in man of means of direct perception other than those afforded by the physical senses.

Scin-lecca, Scin-laeca, Scin-lac (Anglo-Saxon) [from scinan to shine, quiver with light, flash + lic body; cf Scandinavian skin shining] Shining body; adopted by Bulwer-Lytton in A Strange Story to express an idea similar to the Sanskrit mayavi-rupa, which often signifies merely a doppelganger or astral human form. Blavatsky uses the term both as the astral double of a medium and as a spiritual double of an adept (IU 2:597, 104). In her later writings the term was dropped in favor of Sanskrit terminology.

The term has always had, even in Anglo-Saxon times, a distinctly mystic significance; e.g., scin-sckaeft meant magic or sorcery; scin-laeca a magician, wizard, warlock, sorcerer; scinn, a spirit, apparition, phantom, specter, ghost — all popular words in Anglo-Saxon England.

Scintilla (Latin) Spark; found in Lucretius and other ancient philosophical writers on cosmogony. See also SPARK

Scorpio The scorpion; eighth sign of the zodiac, in astrology a watery, fixed sign, the night house of Mars. Its physiological correspondence in the human being is the organs of reproduction. Metaphysically, Scorpio stands for one of the four Maharajas of the four quarters and corresponds to the eagle of the four sacred animals. This sign originally formed part of Virgo-Scorpio, and was later made into a separate sign.

A curious medieval European representation of the zodiac, called Ezekiel’s Wheel (cf IU 2:461-2), places Scorpio as equivalent to Adam-Eve. “The Adam of the first chapter is the spiritual, therefore pure androgyne, Adam Kadmon. When woman issues from the left rib of the second Adam (of dust), the pure Virgo is separated, and falling ‘into generation,’ or the downward cycle, becomes Scorpio, emblem of sin and matter” (IU 2:463).

It was alleged by ancient Hindu philosophers that the sun when located in this division of the zodiac is called Vishnu and relates to the 12th skandha of Bhagavata (12 Signs of the Zodiac). In other respects, Scorpio is intimately and even causatively connected with the human organs of reproduction and their functioning, because it is a spiritually and otherwise productive and generative sign — functions which are primordially spiritual and which therefore have their reflection in all the lower hierarchical ranges emanating from the original spiritual productive power. Although Vishnu in other senses is looked upon as the sustainer or continuer, this is achieved by a constant efflux of productive or generative energy from the original cosmic power.

If the twelve sons of Jacob in the Hebrew scheme are made equivalent to the twelve signs of the zodiac, Dan is assigned to Scorpio; Dan is described as a serpent by the way, who bites the horse’s heels and causes the rider to fall backward — and one must here remember the role always ascribed in archaic occultism to the serpent: the Agathodaemon or the Kakodaemon, the serpent of wisdom and the serpent of evil.

In the Brahmanical zodiac Vrischika corresponds to Scorpio and its deity is Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love. “The sign in question properly signifies the Universe in thought or the universe in the divine conception.

“It is properly placed as the sign opposite to Rishabham [Taurus] or Pranava. Analysis from Pranava downwards leads to the Universe of Thought, and synthesis from the latter upwards leads to Pranava (Aum)” (12 Signs of the Zodiac).

Scythian Applied by the Greeks originally to various peoples, but generally to the warlike nomads of the steppes of what is now southern Russia; during the Roman Empire, applied to similar peoples in the more northerly parts of Asia. Blavatsky says they are late Atlantean subraces (SD 2:774).


Sea of Curds. See CURDS

Sea of Fire In the Stanzas of Dzyan, “the Super-Astral (i.e., noumenal) Light, the first radiation from the Root, the Mulaprakriti, the undifferentiated Cosmic Substance, which becomes Astral Matter. It is also called the ‘Fiery Serpent . . .’ ” (SD 1:75).

Sea of Milk Cosmic matter, the “curds,” the Milky Way.

Seal of Solomon. See SIX-POINTED STAR

Seal of the Theosophical Society

ts seal

Composed of a serpent in the form of a circle (Ananta-sesha) biting its tail — standing for eternity and boundless wisdom.


Its scales signify the illimitable diversity of wisdom or truth, and likewise the innumerable smaller cycles within boundless duration. The circumscribed svastika at the meeting point of the head and tail is a practically universal ancient emblem portraying evolution, the endless movement of spirit in and through matter.


Within the large circle formed by the serpent are two interlaced triangles (called in India the seal of Vishnu, in the West the seal of Solomon). The white triangle pointing upwards denotes the spiritual fire of consciousness, concealed wisdom, or spirit. The downward-pointing black triangle, sometimes colored blue or red, refers to the manifested worlds of matter, or to wisdom revealed in the worlds of manifestation. The two triangles interlaced form a six-pointed star, which means the manifested Logos, or the third cosmic emanation of the ineffable One. Again, the six-pointed star refers to the six general forces or powers of nature, the six principles, the six planes — which are represented as being all synthesized by their origin, the seventh, when a point or dot is placed within the star, for this point is what Pythagoras called the Monas monadum (the monad of monads).

“The double triangle — the Satkiri Chakram of Vishnu — or the six-pointed star, is the perfect seven. In all the old Sanskrit works — Vedic and Tantrik — you find the number 6 mentioned more often than the 7 — this last figure, the central point being implied, for it is the germ of the six and their matrix. . . . the central point standing for seventh, and the circle, the Mahakasha — endless space — for the seventh Universal Principle. In one sense, both are viewed as Avalokitesvara, for they are respectively the Macrocosm and the microcosm. The interlaced triangles — the upper pointing one — is Wisdom concealed, and the downward pointing one — Wisdom revealed (in the phenomenal world). The circle indicates the bounding, circumscribing quality of the All, the Universal Principle which, from any given point expands so as to embrace all things, while embodying the potentiality of every action in the Cosmos. As the point then is the centre round which the circle is traced — they are identical and one, and though from the standpoint of Maya and Avidya — (illusion and ignorance) — one is separated from the other by the manifested triangle, the 3 sides of which represent the three gunas — finite attributes. In symbology the central point is Jivatma (the 7th principle), and hence Avalokitesvara, the Kwan-Shai-yin, the manifested ‘Voice’ (or Logos), the germ point of manifested activity; — hence — in the phraseology of the Christian Kabalists ‘the Son of the Father and Mother,’ and agreeably to ours — ‘the Self manifested in Self’ — Yih-sin, the ‘one form of existence,’ the child of Dharmakaya (the universally diffused Essence), both male and female. Parabrahm or ‘Adi-Buddha’ while acting through that germ point outwardly as an active force, reacts from the circumference inwardly as the Supreme but latent Potency. The double triangles symbolize the Great Passive and the Great Active; the male and female; Purusha and Prakriti. Each triangle is a Trinity because presenting a triple aspect. The white represents in its straight lines: Gnanam — (Knowledge); Gnata — (the Knower); and Gnayam — (that which is known). The black — form, colour, and substance, also the creative, preservative, and destructive forces and are mutually correlating . . .” (ML 345-6).

Within the star is placed the crux ansata, the handled cross or tau, one aspect of which is the particularized functions or activity of spirit in matter so far as our own world is concerned, and more especially insofar as intelligence is working upon cosmic matter. It is a symbol often associated with the adept or initiate as typifying his union with spiritual intelligence rather than with the powers and potencies of unspiritualized life in the material world.


When Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott went to India in 1879, the Sanskrit word Aum was placed above the seal, while below it was added the phrase: Satyan nasti paro dharmah (there is no religion [law] higher than truth [reality]) which was adopted as the motto of the Theosophical Society.

In some respects the seal of the Theosophical Society is similar to the personal seal of Blavatsky: however, in place of the tau within the interlaced triangles, her seal had the initials E B (E standing for Elena, pronounced Yelena in Russian, and B for Blavatsky). Inside the circle are astrological and Qabbalistic signs stated by some to refer to Blavatsky herself, while above the seal is a countess’ coronet belonging to her family.

The seal of the Theosophical Society can be said to refer to a universe expanding into manifestation from its origin in cosmic spirit, emanation picturated by the comprehending serpent of space and duration. Just as the serpent periodically sheds its old skin, a universe, after a period of rest or dormancy, is again emanated, the child of its former self, for another period of cosmic manifestation.

Seance (French) A session; used of sittings of Spiritualists with a medium in order to obtain communications or other phenomena.

Seasons The seasons are at least in part due to the inclination of the earth’s axis, and wholly according to this explanation in modern astronomy. If there were no inclination — if the ecliptic coincided with the equator, and the earth’s axis with the poles of the equator — there would be no seasons. In satya yuga there were no changes of season, but an eternal spring which lasted as long as the lack of polar inclination endured, but which came to an end when the third root-race fell into “sin” — the two events coinciding. The earth’s axis when without inclination is at right angles with the plane of the ecliptic. The titans or kabiri are described in The Secret Doctrine as the generators and regulators of the seasons, thus showing that they take their part with the karmic lipikas in the cosmic history of the globe. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter correspond with other quaternaries, such as the four points of the compass and the four elements; and also represent a cycle of changes from birth to dissolution and rebirth.

In theosophical literature the earth’s axis is said to undergo a secular movement of inclination with interims of pausings and smaller changes, or what may be called librations; and this secular movement is on the whole continuous, so that in course of long ages the axis of the earth becomes inverted, and consequently the poles are reversed; continuing their movement, they finally return to the position of right angularity with the plane of the ecliptic. Enormous changes must take place during this cycle upon the earth, not only as regards seasons, but likewise as regards geological and marine convulsions and cataclysms — evidences of which are apparent not only in the geological record, but in many otherwise unexplained and perhaps unexplainable botanical and zoological migrations. What is at one time land becomes sea, and vice versa. See also EQUINOX; SOLSTICE

Seb (Egyptian) Seb. One of the older Egyptian deities, the son of Shu and Tefnut, brother and husband of Nut, father of Osiris and Isis, Set and Nephthys. A goose (seb) was held sacred to the god. One popular legend states that Seb first appeared flying through the air in the form of a goose — reminiscent of the Sanskrit kala-hansa (bird of eternity). Seb was the vitalizing divinity of cosmic space, often called earth: the earth was described as being formed of Seb’s cosmic body, and hence was in turn called the house of Seb. Being so closely associated with the earth, through popular misunderstanding he was regarded as the custodian of the dead in their tombs, and therefore held a prominent place in the scenes of the Underworld depicted in The Book of the Dead.

Heliopolis was the principal seat of his worship, it being held that at that spot, with his consort Nut, he produced the great Egg of Space, out of which emerged the sun god in the shape of a phoenix (bennu). Because of this he was styled the Great Cackler. Another of his titles was Erpat (chief of the gods), as he is more like the Hindu parabrahman than even Brahma, and hence the womb of cosmic being. A favorite representation of Seb is that of a prostrated man, one hand pointing to heaven, the other to earth — the prostrated form representing the earth — over whom bends a woman, Nut, her body being spangled with stars — representing the sky.

In Gerald Massey’s series of seven principles of the Egyptians, Seb is enumerated as the fifth (ancestral soul) (SD 2:632). In the individual person Seb stands for the reincarnating ego or monadic root with its accumulated wisdoms of each human imbodiment, and hence the source and urgent impulse for future imbodiments. “Manas corresponds precisely with Seb, the Egyptian fifth principle, for that portion of Manas, which follows the two higher principles, is the ancestral soul, indeed, the bright, immortal thread of the higher Ego, to which clings the Spiritual aroma of all the lives or births” (SD 2:632n).

Sebakh. See SEBEK

Sebek (Egyptian) Sebek. Also Sebeq and Sebeq-Ra. The planet Mercury in the Greco-Roman period in Egypt; also the crocodile-headed deity about whom very little has come down to us. Because of his association with the crocodile and Set, his attributes were popularly considered as evil; in The Book of the Dead, however, Sebek is named together with three other deities as dwelling on the mount of sunrise, helping Horus to be reborn daily. He is represented as giving the eyes to the deceased and assisting the pilgrim to be reborn.

Secondary Age. See GEOLOGICAL ERAS

Secondary Creation The creation of the manifested universe, after that of the unmanifested universe which is called the primary creation. In a more restricted meaning, the evolution and progression into manifestation of the almost innumerable hierarchies of builders of the universe, both higher and lower — the primary in this connection referring to the purely spiritual hierarchies and individuals which issued from the womb of space along the lines of primary spiritual emanation as already residing karmically in cosmic ideation.

Ancient cosmogonies in general begin with the secondary creation and with the creation of manifested light; what precedes this is called darkness or night, because the unmanifested absolute light can thus be named only by contrast with the manifested light. Thus in Genesis 1:2, darkness is upon the face of the deep, and in verse 3 “light” is created. When spirit has permeated every atom of the seven principles of kosmos, there is a period of stabilization and preparation, and then the secondary creation begins. In the primary creation earth is in possession of the three elemental kingdoms (SD 1:449-50, 2:312). In the primary creation, mahat functions as universal ideation or divine thought, while in the secondary it differentiates into innumerable emanating streams of individualization, which is the field for the coming into activity of the innumerable hosts of monads — described as the appearance of egoity. The primary creation is that of light or spirit; the secondary that of darkness or matter — these being employed in a relative sense, and in a sense the reverse of that mentioned above.

Second Birth In the New Testament, man is said to be born first of the flesh and afterwards of the spirit; in Christian theology, occasionally applied to regeneration — being admitted to the Kingdom of God or becoming a Christian. This is an echo of the Mysteries, where the successful candidate was said to be born again, just as in India the initiate is called dvija (twice-born), one who has undergone the second birth or the birth of the inner person in and from the subordinated outer or personal one. The second birth is no mere metaphor but an actual event in the candidate’s inner life, analogous in a way to the physical birth, resulting in a bringing into activity of the spiritual nature within, which thereafter passes through stages of growth from that of the newborn initiate or child upwards and onwards. An Egyptian papyrus bearing the emblem of an egg floating over a mummy typifies the second birth of the Osirified dead (SD 1:365).


Second Continent Used in The Secret Doctrine to signify the land mass or configuration of our earth-globe during the second root-race, as each root-race is said to have a continent or group of land masses for the scene of its life history. “The ever-blooming lands of the Second Continent (Greenland, among others) were transformed, in order, from Edens with their eternal spring, into hyperborean Hades. This transformation was due to the displacement of the great waters of the globe, to oceans changing their beds; and the bulk of the Second Race perished in this first great throe of the evolution and consolidation of the globe during the human period” (SD 2:138). Also called the Hyperborean continent. See ROOT-RACE, SECOND

Second Death Adopted from its use by the ancients, such as the Greeks and Romans who wrote and taught of the second death even publicly (cf Key 98-9). When a person dies the three lower of his seven principles (sthula-sarira, linga-sarira, prana) are immediately cast off, and the four higher principles (kama, manas, buddhi, atman) enter kama-loka, there to await the second death. The length of time that this fourfold entity remains in kama-loka is determined by the general characteristics of the life just ended on earth: if there has been during life but small attachment in the intermediate nature (kama-manas) to things of earth, there will perforce by little or nothing to hold the entity in kama-loka, which it will traverse relatively rapidly; and the preparation for the entry into the next state of consciousness or devachan proceeds normally and smoothly.

The sojourn in kama-loka will be longer if the deceased has strong and active attractions earthward, for in such cases the defunct is earth-bound, and the time before the second death occurs, after which follows the entry into devachan, is in all cases proportionate to the strength of the attraction towards earth and its affairs.

The second death takes place when the two highest human principles, atman and buddhi, free themselves from the fourfold entity, but such separation of the monad takes place only after it has assimilated all the higher intellectual and truly spiritual attributes which the manas principle has stored up during the last life on earth. The ego then is freed from all low attractions and enters into devachanic bliss for a period according to its richness in human spiritual qualities. After the monad in the second death has abandoned the lower part of manas joined to kama, there remains the shell or spook (kama-rupa) which under normal conditions immediately begins to disintegrate in kama-loka. Thus after the second death the immortal triad — atman, buddhi, and all the spiritual and intellectual aroma of the manas — is freed, and the reimbodying ego or higher manas enters the devachanic state, and sleeps blissfully there till beginning its new cycle of descent towards reincarnation.

Second Logos A logos is the unitary or monadic head of a cosmic hierarchy, such as a universe, from which emanates the various rays or subordinate members of the hierarchy. Next in cosmic evolution after the Absolute of a universe comes the first manifestation called the First or Unmanifest Logos, the parent-precursor of the Manifest-unmanifest Logos, the Second Logos invested with feminine characteristics, and hence often called spirit-matter, life, the spirit of the universe, the combined Brahman-pradhana. It is likewise spoken of as Father-Mother or more commonly as the cosmic Mother. The First Logos does not create, but emanates the Second Logos, which in its turn gives birth to the Third Logos or Brahma-prakriti or Purusha-prakriti, which because of its generative and productive function in cosmogony is called the creative logos. Each higher logos emanates the one immediately below it. See LOGOS; SVABHAVAT

Second Principle When the seven human principles are counted from above, buddhi; when from below, linga-sarira.

Second Race. See ROOT-RACE, SECOND

Second Round. See ROUND, SECOND

Second Sight A Scottish name for natural or cultivated clairvoyance, as found among the Scottish Highlanders. The function partakes of several converging inner powers or attributes, but it generally means seeing in the astral light figures not physically visible, or distant scenes or future events.


Top of File


BCW - H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings

BG - Bhagavad-Gita

BP - Bhagavata Purana

cf - confer

ChU - Chandogya Upanishad

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

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

ET - The Esoteric Tradition, by G. de Purucker

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

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

IU - Isis Unveiled, by H. P. Blavatsky

MB - Mahabharata

MIE - Man in Evolution, by G. de Purucker

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

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