Copyright © 1999 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
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 head a current transliteration with accents is given.
Quick links: Aa-Adh | Adi-Ag | Ah-Al | Am-Ani | Anj-Arc | Ard-Asr | Ass-Atm | Ato-Az | Ba-Be | Bh-Bo | Br-Bz | Ca-Ce | Cha-Chy | Ci-Cz | Da-Der | Des-Dir | Dis-Dz | Ea-El | Em-Ez | F | Ga-Gl | Gn-Gz | Ha-Hh | Hi-Hz | I | J | Ka |Ke-Kz | La-Li | Lo-Lz | Ma-Mam | Man-Mar | Mas-Me | Mi-Mo | Mp-Mz | Na-Ne | Nf-Nz | O | Pa-Peq | Per-Pi | Pl-Pral | Pram-Prj | Pro-Pz | Q-Rec | Red-Roos | Root-Rz | Sa-Sal | Sam-Saq | Sar-Sec | Sed-Sez | Sh-Sir | Sis-Som | Son-Sq | Sr-Sum | Sun-Sz | Ta-Tel | Tem-Thn | Tho-Tre | Tri-Tz | U | Va-Vih | Vij-Vz | W-X | Y | Z
Thor (Scandinavian) Thorr (Icelandic) [from thonor thunder; cf Swedish tordon, German donner] Best known as the Norse god of thunder and lightning, champion of the gods and subduer of giants in the ongoing battle between these opposites: gods meaning energy and giants typifying inertia. Like the Latin Jupiter, Thor controls the weather and represents the planet Jupiter. The hair of his beautiful wife Sif represents the golden harvest, whether of grain or of experience — the mead or nectar of the gods.
The sagas depict Thor as blunt, hot-tempered, without fraud or guile, of few words and ready blows. His chariot, drawn by the two goats Toothcrusher and Toothgnasher, has an iron whiffletree, and sparks fly from its wheels and from the goats’ hooves. Thor’s fiery eyes color the scarlet clouds, his beard is red, on his brow he wears a crown of stars, and under his feet rests the earth whose defender he is. His chariot cannot cross the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, for its lightnings would set the bridge on fire, so the god daily fords the river beneath it when he attends the Thing (parliament) of the gods.
The symbology connected with this deity is multiform and complex, as he functions on many levels. Thor’s various names indicate his many aspects as electromagnetic force which he represents in all its spectrum. His “shelf” (plane) is Thrudvang, his mansion Bilskirnir (flash, from bil momentary + skirnir shining). He is comparable to the Greek Eros, the Vedic Kama, the primal motive power which gave rise to the creative divinities from whom emanated the cosmos. In this capacity he is named Trudgalmer (sound of Thor, Icelandic Thrudgelmir), the sustaining power that maintains the cosmos as a viable functioning entity throughout its existence. Trudgalmer has two sons in space: Mode (force) and Magne (strength), the forces of repulsion and attraction recognized in radiation and gravitation or as centrifugal and centripetal force. As the life force in all living beings Thor is called Vior; as electricity on earth his name is Lorride. The terrestrial Lorride has two adopted children, Tjalfe (speed) and Roskva (work).
Thor is sometimes known as Akuthor [from the verbal root aka ride in a vehicle, travel], sometimes as Vingthor (winged Thor) or Vingner (the winged one). His day is Thursday (Thor’s day, Anglo-Saxon Thunresdaeg). His hammer mjolnir (miller) is the sacred instrument with which life forms are created and annihilated. It symbolizes the power that brings beings to birth and is the slayer of giants, whereby their lives are ended, for giants represents the lifeterms of living beings.
Thorah. See TORAH
Thor’s Hammer. See MJOLNIR
Thoth, Thot (Greek) Tehuti (Egyptian) Teḥuti. Egyptian god of wisdom, equivalent to the Greek Hermes, Thoth was often represented as an ibis-headed deity, and also with a human head, especially in his aspect of Aah-Tehuti (the moon god), and as the god of Mendes he is depicted as bull-headed. Although best known in his character of the scribe or recorder of the gods, holding stylus and tablet, this is but another manner of showing that Thoth is the god of wisdom, inventor of science and learning; thus to him is attributed the establishment of the worship of the gods and the hymns and sacrifices, and the author of every work on every branch of knowledge both human and divine. He is described in the texts as “self-created, he to whom none hath given birth; the One; he who reckons in heaven, the counter of the stars; the enumerator and measurer of the earth [cosmic space] and all that is contained therein: the heart of Ra cometh forth in the form of the god Tehuti” — for he represents the heart and tongue of Ra, reason and the mental powers of the god and the utterer of speech. It has been suggested that Thoth is thus the equivalent of the Platonic Logos. Many are his epithets: his best known being “thrice greatest” — in later times becoming Hermes Trismegistus.
In The Egyptian Book of the Dead, the deceased must learn to master everything he encounters in the underworld, and does this through the instruction of Thoth, who also teaches the pilgrim the way of procedure. Finally when the deceased reaches the stage of judgment, it is Thoth who records the decree pointed out to him by the dog-headed ape on the balance, the scales of which weigh the heart against the feather. The gods receive the verdict from Thoth, who in turn announce it to Osiris, enabling the candidate to enter the realm of Osiris, as being one osirified. Thus Thoth is the inner spiritual recorder of the human constitution, who registers and records the karmic experiences and foretells the future destiny of the deceased, showing that each person is judged by himself — for Thoth here is the person’s own higher ego; as regards cosmic space, Thoth is not only the cosmic Logos, but its aspect as the intelligent creative urge inherent in that Intelligence.
Thoth was also arbiter of the gods as in the battle between the god of light and the god of darkness, restoring the equilibrium which had been destroyed during the conflict. Similarly in the fights between Horus and Set, when the evil has a temporary ascendancy, Thoth restores harmony. Interestingly,
“Thoth remains changeless from the first to the last Dynasty. . . . the celestial scribe, who records the thoughts, words and deeds of men and weighs them in the balance, liken him to the type of the esoteric Lipikas. His name is one of the first that appears on the oldest monuments. He is the lunar god of the first dynasties, the master of Cynocephalus — the dog-headed ape who stood in Egypt as a living symbol and remembrance of the Third Root-Race” (TG 331).
Thothori Nyan Tsan (Tibetan) Tho-tho-ri-gnan-btsan. An early Tibetan king of the 4th century, during which Buddhism was first introduced into Tibet.
Thot-Sabaoth, Thautsabaoth, Thantabaoth The bear; found mainly on early Gnostic and even later Hebrew talismans, one of the planetary regents governing its own hierarchy of intelligent and quasi-intelligent nature powers in the planetary system of the Chaldeans, which with variations is virtually universal in the Eastern countries surrounding the Mediterranean.
Thought In The Secret Doctrine, used in senses quite different from the ordinary: abstract absolute thought, of which mind is a concrete manifestation, or of which voice or the Logos is a manifestation. Pymander is quoted as saying that passive or unconscious mind generates active idea — and active idea here is the same as the activity of the Logos. Thought, impressed on the astral light, exists in eternity, whether active or passive.
Kriyasakti, one of the innate human powers, is the power which thought has of expressing itself analogically in action. Thoughts are imbodied elemental energies. The human brain does not create them, it only transmits them, because the human brain is but the vehicle transmitting intellectual, mental, and emotional energy from the monadic center within, and this monadic center itself originates thought.
Thought Transference. See TELEPATHY
Thraetaona (Avestan) Thrāetaona, Freton (Pahlavi) Frētōn, Feraydun (Persian) Feraydūn [from Avestan thrae trice + taona potent] The Avestan fire god possibly connected in meaning with Traitana or (Trita in the Hindu Vedas), or the son of the waters, in India generally called Apam Napat and stated to be born from the cloud through the lightning. He slew the dreadful serpent Azhi Dahaka in the four-cornered Varena (the heavens) — Feraydun (Thraetaona) with his three sons versus Azhi Dahaka with three heads. In the Vendidad (20) he is described as the first healer. Blavatsky calls Thraetaona the Persian Michael, and equates Apam Napat with fohat.
Another meaning of Feraydun is the sphere of the fixed stars (the light spheres). See also AZHI-DAHAKA; ZOHAK
Thread-soul, Thread-self. See SUTRATMAN
Three The first odd truly manifested number in the Pythagorean system, the second in emanation from the first odd number, the unit or monad. Because it was odd, like its grandparent the monad, it partook of the qualities and attributes of the latter and hence occupied a noteworthy place in the mystical numerative system of the Pythagorean school. It was designated as corresponding to a superficies because it is the first of all numeral causes generating a plane figure. Even a circle probably may in one sense be said to comprise a triad, for it has a center, a circumference, and a space contained within the latter. The number three, however, was commonly represented by the ancient thinkers by the triangle, the three sides making a complete plane figure. “This number is truly the number of mystery par excellence,” remarks Blavatsky; in order to understand the esoteric side of the mysteries connected with it, however, one is obliged to study the Hindu symbolism of numerals “as the combinations which were applied to it are numberless” (SD 2:575).
The Pythagoreans regarded the number seven as a compound of three and four: “On the plane of the noumenal world, the triangle was, as the first conception of the manifested Deity, its image: ‘Father-Mother-Son’; and the Quaternary, the perfect number, was the noumenal, ideal root of all numbers and things on the physical planes” (SD 2:582). The early Pythagoreans regarded the number three mystically as the vehicle of deity. If the duad was considered by these and other thinkers to be the first numerical element in cosmic manifestation, so following the same line the triad or three was considered the first number with which began the emanative series of hierarchies building all the planes inner and outer of the manifested worlds. See also TRIAD
Three-dimensional The physical plane of objectivity is often spoken of as the three-dimensional world, because in our space considered as a system of points, three rectilinear coordinates are necessary to determine the position of a point. When one of these three dimensions becomes zero, the volume of the body also becomes zero, and it vanishes from the physical planes. Mathematics speaks of n-dimensions, but some of these dimensions may be vectors, such as force or velocity, so that it is necessary to avoid drawing false analogies.
Dimension or dimensional is a word which when strictly used refers to measuring in one or another direction. Now the intuition which has led many modern scientists and philosophers to speak of more than three dimensions of space is a true one, but a more correct way of phrasing these suppositions dimensions would be to speak of the philosophical qualities or attributes of space. Thus, time in the Relativity Theory of Einstein may logically enough be considered a dimension, because it is a quality or mode of measuring space from event to event, so that by such mensuration the mind can picture to itself not only the continuous present, but likewise the past and future. Furthermore, any entity possessing the commonly accepted three dimensions could not exist or be, unless the time element entered into the equation; in other words, unless a being or thing exists in time it obviously cannot exist at all, and thus it is that time logically and correctly can be called a dimension of space. As long as matter or physical space exists, however, there will be for such physical space three dimensions and no more, to which it is likewise philosophically accurate enough to add the fourth dimension modernly called time; but theosophy is not satisfied with restricting itself to these four ways of measuring the attributes or qualities of space, but adds others, one of the most important being consciousness, which is such an attribute of abstract space as time is, or as our length, breadth, and thickness.
The objection to the terms dimensions and dimensional arises merely because they apply with strict accuracy only to the three standard manners of measuring physical objects, and likewise to the time element or points of duration; but when applied to the higher modes or qualities of the cosmic continuum, these words can be strictly used only by distorting the idea of mensuration they involve. We cannot easily say that consciousness is capable of mensuration in the manner in which we mensurate off particles or bodies of physical substance, for such mensuration does not apply. But to speak of space as containing in itself a quality which we humans cognize as intelligence, consciousness, love, or hate is to speak with accuracy, for all these qualities exist.
Three Faces Generally refers to the Hindu Trimurti — the three-faced deity known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; but also refers to the Qabbalistic Faces or Heads: the Long Face (Macroprosopus), the first Sephirah; the Short Face (Microprosopus), the lower nine Sephiroth; and the White Face (or White Head), from which the other two faces originate. The three Faces have a close analog in the three persons of the Christian Trinity in the original form of the procession — Father, Holy Ghost, and Son — and whether Faces or Persons, they are the three veils, masks, or personae of the one godhead: one in three, and three in one. There are similar triads in other mystically religious systems. “There are two Faces, one in Tushita (Devachan) and one in Myalba (earth); and the Highest Holy unites them and finally absorbs both” (TG 333).
Three Fires Used by theosophists for the three higher principles of the human constitution, atma-buddhi-manas, which when united by will and aspiration become the one holy flame; represented in The Egyptian Book of the Dead by three birds.
Three-in-One In the order of succession of cosmic principles, as represented by numbers, two Ones are spoken of: the unmanifested One and its offspring, the semi-manifested One. The latter in turn emanates its offspring, a third One, which is often called the Three-in-One. In every cosmogony this triad or trinity is found at the head of cosmic manifestation; it is a unit, yet can be viewed under its three aspects. For when considering the activities taking place at the beginning of a cosmic awakening, our human minds find it exceedingly difficult to conceive complete divine unity, but must intuit it in its triple aspect. Various names are given to this triad, such as non-ego, spiritual darkness, and spirit-matter-life.
There is a Three-in-One within every human being: “Rudimentary man . . . becomes the perfect man . . . when, with the development of ‘Spiritual Fire,’ the noumenon of the ‘Three in One’ within his Self, he acquires from his inner Self, or Instructor, the Wisdom of Self-Consciousness, which he does not possess in the beginning” (SD 2:113).
The tetrad was esteemed by the Qabbalists and Pythagoras as a relatively perfect number because it emanates from the One, and is the fulfilled emanational rounding out of the originating One, the first unit or rather the Three-in-One.
Three-tongued Flame The immortal spiritual triad, atma-buddhi-manas; the four wicks are the four lower principles (SD 1:237). Also called the three fires, which when reunited in nirvana become one. See also THREE FACES
Thrones An angelic group in the Christian celestial hierarchy, as outlined by the pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. The Thrones rank third in the ninefold scheme, being preceded by the Seraphim and Cherubim; the second and intermediate triad is formed of Dominions, Virtues, and Powers; while the third triad is formed of Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. This scheme was derived from Hebrew angelology, which comes from the Chaldean; although this Christian angelic scheme has been philosophically powerfully affected by Neoplatonic and neo-Pythagorean thought. “They who are called in Theology ‘the Thrones,’ and are the ‘Seat of God,’ must be the first incarnated men on Earth” (SD 2:80). The Zohar states that the Benei ’Elohim (sons of god) belong to the tenth subdivision of the Thrones. The ancient Syrians defined their world of Rulers similarly to the Chaldeans: the lowest world was the sublunary, our earth, ruled by Angels; then Mercury, Archangels; Venus, Principalities; Sun, Powers; Mars, Virtues; Jupiter, Dominions; and Saturn, Thrones.
The pseudo-Dionysius was a Christian writer of unknown date; the first authentic mention in extant early Christian literature of his writings is found in the records of the Council held at Constantinople, 532 AD, under Emperor Justinian.
Thrud(r), Thrudgelmir (Icelandic) Trudgalmer (Swedish) [cf Greek gymnazein, Scandinavian idrott sport, German drude] The dynamic principle, Thor on a cosmic scale, where this dynamism is the primary force to emerge from the great Unknown at the start of any period of manifestation. In this capacity Thrud appears before any of the gods, as does the Hindu Kama and Greek Eros.
Thumoeides (Greek) [from thymos passional soul + eidos form] The name given by Plato to a division of the psychomental nature, the animal or passional soul, kama-manas, in contrast with a still lower division of kama-manas which he called epithumetikon (appetitive, or that which has appetite for). Above both these, which together comprise what other Greek philosophers called the psyche, is the nous, the seat of inspiration, intuition, the highest intellection, and similar noble attributes or faculties, corresponding to the buddhi-manas or atma-buddhi-manas.
Thummim (Hebrew) Tummīm [from tom innocence, integrity, truth] Truth, perfections; associated as an appurtenance with the breastplate of the Jewish high priest. In the casting of the Urim and Thummim, the latter showed a man’s innocence (cf 1 Sam 14:41, where tamin is translated “lots”). The urim and thummim
“were the instruments of magic divination and oracular communication — theurgic and astrological. This is shown in the following well-known facts: — (1) upon each of the twelve precious stones was engraved the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob, each of these ‘sons’ personating one of the signs of the zodiac; (2) both were oracular images, like the teraphim, and uttered oracles by a voice, and both were agents for hypnotisation and throwing the priests who wore them into an ecstatic condition. The Urim and Thummim were not original with the Hebrews, but had been borrowed, like most of their other religious rites, from the Egyptians, with whom the mystic scarabaeus, worn on the breast by the Hierophants, had the same functions. . . . when the Jewish ‘Lord God was called upon to manifest his presence and speak out his will through the Urim by preliminary incantations, the modus operandi was the same as that used by all the Gentile priests the world over” (TG 334).
Thumos (Greek) Similar to soul, but generally referring to the passional or emotional nature, and answering to kama-manas.
Thunder Sometimes called the voice of God, as used frequently in the Old Testament and the Apocalypse. With the Romans it was popularly considered a manifestation of Jupiter Tonans — hence the name thundering Jupiter. Apart from its physical relations, and as one of the phenomena of sound, it may be considered a manifestation of the fifth cosmic element, akasa, whence sound is born, it being understood that what our ears feel as sound is a sense interpretation to us of vibrational effects. Science appears to identify sound per se with the merely vibrational effects which accompany it or are caused by it, or even at times evoke it.
Thunderbolt Now usually, a discharge of lightning, but it implies a missile. The thunderbolts of Jove are well known, and the Lord God thunders from heaven, considered in both cases a sign of wrath. Jupiter Tonans (Jupiter, the thunderer) was one aspect of the Roman Lord of Heaven; Indra, in India, was wielder of the thunderbolt. Atmospheric thunder is a manifestation of electricity, heat, light, and sound; and must have its correspondences on higher cosmic planes. A deeper knowledge of nature would unfold to us the connection between outward events and those inner events of which the former are the manifestation. The arts of ancient augurs and diviners were based on such knowledge, but in the accounts about this we may certainly find much which is mere superstition.
A certain aspect of the ancient view regarded the crash of lightning and its destructive effect as due to a bolt or missile, nor need we imagine, as exotericists of all ages have, that a god hurls his missile upon earth or the heads of his rebellious human children. Nature, being a hierarchy composed of almost innumerable subordinate entities, is under the strict governance or law of divine intelligences, so that nothing whatsoever happens haphazardly. From this viewpoint, the thunderbolt is an actual discharge of energy reaching objectivization, not by chance but in accordance with intelligent causation or law — not by inscrutable fate, but by past actions whose effects in time produce the thunderbolt. The same reasoning applies to other natural phenomena, such as earthquakes, tidal waves, sinkings of continents, volcanoes and, on a smaller scale, such life-giving and fructifying events as rains, sunshine, storms, and those continuous but nondestructive electrical interchanges which are so largely instrumental in producing the varied phenomena of life around us.
Thurse (Icelandic) [possibly related to Danish tosse fool] Giant; the difference between the giant and the thurse, as these terms are used in Norse mythology, is subtle. From the tales it would appear that giant is used most often to indicate the passage of a long time (cf Greek aeon), whereas the thurse aspect is accentuated to show the senselessness of matter uninspired by the gods.
Thyan-kam (Tibetan) Attributed to the great Buddhist Tibetan adept Tsong-kha-pa in a work of Aphorisms: “the power or knowledge of guiding the impulses of cosmic energy in the right direction” (SD 1:635).
Ti (Chinese) In the I Ching, the name for the beneficent sustaining power or chief spirit of the universe. One of the minor deities is described there as engaging in rebellion against his superior, in which he maintains that he himself is ti. In consequence of this the rebellious spirit with seven choirs of celestial spirits were exiled upon earth: this “brought a change in all nature, heaven itself bending down and uniting with earth” (SD 2:486) — a Chinese version of the Fallen Angels. Back of this tale itself lies the fundamental concept that all things originate in the divine, emanate from it, and ultimately return to it, so that at any stage of this spiritual procession, any minor entity can claim that its inmost selfhood is identical with the highest, the originating source.
Tiahuanaco A region near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, the site of cyclopean ruins of vast edifices whose age is unknown. The lake is 12,500 feet above sea level, and owing to its altitude the district is capable of sustaining only a scanty population, yet it was evidently the seat of a great civilization in prehistoric times when the climate appears to have been far milder. Within a comparatively recent period, geologically speaking, the Andes have risen to their present height. Opinions are sharply divided as to the age of the monuments, ten to fifty thousand years having been suggested. Blavatsky inclines to a greater age, suggesting that these remarkable works were erected by people of Lemurian stock, but who actually then were of Atlantean racial connection, and who had inherited at least fragments of the pre-Atlantean-Lemurian tradition. Three main types of pre-Inca constructions exist: the buildings made of enormous polygonal stones, the Tiahuanaco style, and the pre-Inca roads and aqueducts. Markham, in The Incas of Peru, speaking of Tiahuanaco, writes: “The city covered a large area, built by highly skilled masons, and with the use of enormous stones. One 36 ft. by 7 ft. weighs 170 tons, another is 26 ft. by 16 by 6. Apart from the monoliths of ancient Egypt, there is nothing to equal this in any other part of the world . . . The point next in interest to the enormous size of the stones is the excellence of the workmanship. The lines are accurately straight, the angles correctly drawn, the surfaces true planes . . . Not less striking are the statues with heads adorned with curiously shaped head-dresses . . . There is ample proof of the very advanced stage reached by the builders in architectural art.”
Tiamat (Chaldean) Chaldean serpent, slain by Bel, the chief deity. The tale is repeated in the later Babylonian account, with the exception that Marduk or Merodach (producer of the world) replaces Bel. The mythologic serpent, described as the imbodiment of evil both physical and moral, was enormous (300 miles long), it moved in undulations 6 miles in height. When Marduk finally slew Tiamat he split the monster into two halves, using one as a covering of the heavens, so that the upper waters would not come down. Tiamat is cognate with the Babylonian tiamtu, tamtu, “the ocean,” rendered Thalatth by Berosus in his Chaldean cosmogony. There is here likewise the reference to the waters of wisdom, the divine wisdom and the lower wisdom of manifestation.
Blavatsky explains that the serpent Tiamat is the great mother, “the living principle of chaos” (TG 334). “The struggle of Bel and then of Merodach, the Sun-god, with Tiamat, the Sea and its Dragon, a ‘war’ which ended in the defeat of the latter, has a purely cosmic and geological meaning, as well as an historical one. It is a page torn out of the History of the Secret and Sacred Sciences, their evolution, growth and death — for the profane masses. It relates (a) to the systematic and gradual drying up of immense territories by the fierce Sun at a certain pre-historic period; one of the terrible droughts which ended by a gradual transformation of once fertile lands abundantly watered into the sandy deserts which they are now; and (b) to the as systematic persecution of the Prophets of the Right Path by those of the Left” (SD 2:503). See also TAMTI
Tiaou, Tiau. See TUAT
T’ien (Chinese) Heaven, the abode of the ancestors; when applied to the human being, spirit: “Wander to where the ten thousand things [the cosmos] both begin and end, unify your nature, foster your life-breath, concentrate your ‘power’ till it is one with the force that created all things after their kind — do this, and your t’ien (heaven) shall maintain its integrity” (Chuang Tzu, 19:2).
T’ien-chan (Chinese) The universe, referring to the matter side or forms.
Tien-Hoang. See T’IEN-HUANG
T’ien Hsin (Chinese) The heaven of mind or that which is absolute, referring to the ideal or subjective heaven, and therefore to the state or condition of the Absolute of any hierarchy. “Universal Ideation and Mahat, when applied to the plane of differentiation” (TG 345).
T’ien-huang (Chinese) The aggregate of the heavenly hierarchies of the dhyanis, described in legends as twelve hierarchies of celestial beings, with human faces and dragon bodies. They evolve men by incarnating themselves in seven figures of earth, “the dragon standing for divine Wisdom or Spirit” (SD 2:26).
T’ien-Sin. See T’IEN HSIN
Tikkoun, Tikkun. See TIQQUN
Timaeus (Greek) A dialogue of Plato in which the Pythagorean philosopher Timaeus gives an account of aspects of cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis. Timaeus himself is stated to have written what was regarded by Pythagoras as a book of great worth entitled Peri Psyche Kosmou Kai Physeos (On the Soul of the World and of Nature).
Time Theosophy speaks of absolute undivided time or duration, and of manifested or divided time: the former as causal or noumenal, the latter as effectual or phenomenal, and therefore mayavi or illusional. “Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in which the illusion can be produced; but ‘lies asleep’ ” (SD 1:37). Duration is ‘olam (occult or hid) in the Qabbalah, signifying duration in eternity or endless perpetuity. Among the Greeks it was called Chronos and even Kronos, and sometimes referred to as Saturn among the Latins; yet its occult or eternally secret activities during periods of manifestation were at times referred to in Hindu philosophic thought as Rudra-Siva, or occasionally as Vishnu.
Theosophy divides boundless duration into unconditionally eternal and universal time, and a conditioned or periodic or “broken” one (SD 1:62). One is the abstraction or noumenon of infinite endless time (Kala); the other its phenomenon, appearing periodically. The symbol of causal or relatively boundless time, so far as the universe is concerned, is often given as a circle, which mathematically is a beginningless and endless line. A spiral line represents time returning upon itself in cycles, and yet transcending itself at each cyclic sweep, devouring its children, as Kronos among the Greeks is said to do; and the serpent with its tail in its mouth often stands for the same ideas. Time, meaning divided or phenomenal time, or manvantaric cycles, is often mentioned as an offspring of space, the latter considered as a container of manifestation. Mystically, theosophy looks upon present and past as well as future as being illusional effects of that beginningless and endless Now, eternal duration.
Tiph’ereth (Hebrew) Tif’ereth Beauty, glory, honor; the sixth Sephiroth which according to the Qabbalah is emanated from the five preceding Sephiroth, although this Sephirah is particularly regarded as the union of the two immediately preceding — Mercy or Love, and Power or Judgment. These three form the second triad or face, the so-called Microprosopus or Inferior Countenance, called in the Qabbalah Ze‘eyr ’Anpin. Being thus regarded as the union of the masculine and feminine potencies, Beauty — excluding Kether (Crown) — forms the head of the central Pillar of the Sephirothal Tree. Its Divine Name is commonly given as ’Elohim; in the Angelic Order it is represented as the Shin’annim. In its application to the human body, as corresponding to the Heavenly Man or ’Adam Qadmon, Tiph’ereth is regarded as the chest or region immediately beneath the heart, the second great center following upon the first, or that of the head, Kether. In its application to the seven globes of our planetary chain it corresponds to globe F (SD 1:200). From this Sephirah is emanated the seventh, Netsah.
Tiqqun (Aramaic) Tīqqūn [from the verbal root tāqan to prepare, establish, set in order, make form or solid] The first manifestation or Third Logos: the Logos of creative activity or the Demiourgos (world-builder). If one adds the philosophical idea always connected with the Third Logos of the immanent karma from the past manvantara guiding through divine ideation the operations of the creative Logos, the deep significance of the term becomes clear. Tiqqun may be called the first born from the active-passive field of logoic activity which in connection with its emanated hierarchies is termed in the Qabbalah the Heavenly Man, ’Adam Qadmon.
Tirthakas. See TIRTHIKAS
Tirthankara (Sanskrit) Tīrthaṃkara [from tīrtha a place of pilgrimage + kara maker, or doer from the verbal root kṛ to make, do] Also tirthakara. Jain saints and chiefs, of which there are 24; equivalent to Jaina, or Jaina arhat.
Tirthikas (Sanskrit) Tīrthika-s [from tīrtha holy place] The holy ones; “the Brahmanical Sectarians ‘beyond’ the Himalayas called ‘infidels’ by the Buddhist in the sacred land, Tibet, and vice versa” (VS 85-6).
Tirukkanda Panchanga (Tamil-Sanskrit) The Tirukkanda Almanac, a Tamil calendar compiled by Chintamany Raghanaracharya, son of the famous Government astronomer of Madras, and Tartakamala Venkata Krishna Rao in 1884-5 for the Kali yuga 4986. These learned Brahmins based their labor upon fragments of very ancient astronomical works attributed to Asuramaya — the celebrated Atlantean astronomer (SD 2:51). See also PANCHANGA
Tiryaksrotas (Sanskrit) Tiryaksrotas [from tiryak horizontal, lying crosswise, crooked + srotas stream, current] Those animals in which the digestive canals are involved or crooked; according to the Puranas, the fifth of the seven creations of living beings by Brahma, the creation of sacred animals. “The esoteric meaning of the expression ‘animals’ is the germs of all animal life including man. Man is called a sacrificial animal, and an animal that is the only one among animal creation who sacrifices to the gods. Moreover, by the ‘sacred animals,’ the 12 signs of the zodiac are often meant in the sacred texts . . .” (SD 1:446n).
All these seven emanations or creations of Brahma refer to the seven periods of the evolution of living racial classes, whether higher or lower, and whether involving large or smaller time periods. The Tiryaksrotas (or Tiaryagyonya) creation corresponds only on earth to the dumb animal creation. “That which is meant by ‘animals,’ in primary Creation, is the germ of awakening consciousness or of apperception, that which is faintly traceable in some sensitive plants on Earth and more distinctly in the protistic monera” (SD 1:455). See also URDHVASROTAS
Tiryns A city in Argolis, belonging to the Achaean age, said to have been founded by Proetus, brother of Acrisius, who was succeeded by Perseus; and the scene of the early life of Heracles. The site was excavated by Schliemann and Dorpfeld, and an ancient palace discovered. The walls, together with cyclopean masonry in other places, were constructed under the guidance of very late Atlantean initiates, who colonized parts of Europe when it had begun to arise from under the waters of the Atlantic, and when their own vast continental system had largely disappeared. Actually, it may be that the builders of the so-called cyclopean stonework or masonry structures in Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor, and perhaps elsewhere, were immigrants from Plato’s Atlantis or Poseidonis, as related in the Timaeus, and referred to by other Greek and Roman writers.
Tishya (Sanskrit) Tiṣya The sixth or eighth nakshatra (asterism); also a name in the Mahabharata and Harivansa for kali yuga (the fourth age, our present age) which commenced at the death of Krishna in 3102 BC.
Tismat. See TIAMAT
Titanidae. See TITANS
Titans (Greek) In Greek mythology, builders of worlds, often called cosmocratores, and as microcosmic entities the progenitors of human races; as such, of various orders, so that in mythology they were considered good or bad, as angels or entities of matter. Hesiod’s original heaven-dwelling titans, six sons and six daughters of Ouranos and Gaia (heaven and earth), were Oceanos, Coios, Creios, Hyperion, Iapetos, Kronos, Theia, Rheia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys, but other names were later included, such as Prometheus and Epimetheus; and later still the name was given to any descendant of Ouranos and Gaia. Rebellions taking place against the rulers of heaven, followed by falls and castings out, refer to the descent of creative powers to form new worlds and races. In the rebellion of titans, first against Ouranos in favor of Kronos, then against Kronos in favor of Zeus, the titans are mixed up with other sons of heaven and earth — Hecatoncheires (hundred-handed), Cyclopes, etc. — and the accounts in detail are extremely intricate and confused.
The titans, in one respect, are fourth root-race giants, the Hindu daityas, who at one time obtain the sovereignty of earth and defeat the minor gods; they are thus fallen beings — Python, suras and asuras, corybantes, curetes, Dioscuri, anaktes, dii magni, idaei dactyli, lares, penates, manes, aletae, kabeirio, manus, rishis, and dhyani-chohans — who watched over and incarnated in the elect of the third and fourth root-races.
Titiksha (Sanskrit) Titikṣā [from the verbal root tij to urge, incite to action, be active in endurance or patience] Patience, resignation, endurance; not mere passive resignation, but an active attitude of patience in supporting the events of life. Mystically, the fifth state of raja yoga — “one of supreme indifference; submission, if necessary, to what is called ‘pleasures and pains for all,’ but deriving neither pleasure nor pain from such submission — in short, the becoming physically, mentally, and morally indifferent and insensible to either pleasure or pain” (VS 93). The meaning however is not of a cold, heartless, impassive attitude towards the sufferings of others, but an active positive attitude, so far as one’s individual pleasures or pains are considered, but likewise involving an active attitude of compassion for the tribulations and sufferings of others. The same thought is involved in the title Diamond-heart, given to adepts: as hard and indifferent to one’s own sorrows as the diamond is hard and enduring, yet like the diamond reflecting in its facets as in mirrors the sufferings and sorrows of all around.
Also personified as a goddess, the wife of Dharma (divine law) and daughter of Daksha.
Tityus The divine deluge, a giant of Euboea, son of Gaia (earth), referring to a great flood (SD 2:142). The father of Europa, an ancient Atlantean chief on the rising shores of Europe, the descendants of whose companions were the first Europeans.
T’murah. See TEMURAH
To Agathon. See AGATHON, TO
Tobo In the Codex Nazaraeus, a being who conducts the soul of Adam from Orcus to the place of life. Adam represents mankind, and Tobo is the wise ones who send down light to show the way out of the darkness of ignorance. In 2 Chronicles 17, Tob-Adonijah and Tobijah are two of the Levites sent to preach to the cities of Judah, tob here meaning good.
Todas Regarded as one of the so-called autochthonous tribes of India, living in the region of the Nilgiri or Blue Hills in the Madras Presidency in Southern India. Their language is said to be different from any other in India, likewise their characteristics and features appear to be unique in many respects. Blavatsky claims that it is not only their exterior looks which make them distinct from the barbarous tribes surrounding them, but the spiritual world of their inner life which sets them apart, their having remarkable psychic power based upon spiritual understanding and knowledge. The other four tribes of the Nilgiris, who all revere the Todas, state that these Todas were originally in possession of the mountains when their own ancestors first arrived, seeking permission from the Todas to inhabit these mountain slopes. Blavatsky asserts that they possess a species of literacy something like the cuneiform of the ancient Persians; and further that the Todas divide themselves into seven clans, and this total of 700 men is supposed to remain constant at this figure — children being born to them only as they are needed to keep the group up to the fixed number.
Tohu Bohu, Tohu-vah-bohu (Hebrew) Tohū Bohū [from tohū wasteness + bohū emptiness, void] Used in Genesis (tohu wabhu) for the state preceding the appearance of the manifested universe — primeval chaos. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2). These two words are closely similar in meaning, tohu signifying that which lies waste, without inhabitants or other manifested activity; and bohu signifying that which is empty or void; so that the combination can be translated as the uninhabited void, which corresponds exactly to the Greek Chaos, the nonmanifest condition of our solar system or even galaxy, before manvantara began — the condition during pralaya.
Tong-pa-ngi, Tong-pa-nid A spiritual, intellectual, and psychic condition entered upon by an adept during trial in an initiation (ML 375); the virtually unsolvable mystery of the unfathomable abysses of the spirit.
To On (Greek) [from to the + einai to be] That which is, the reality as opposed to the seeming; the essence or real nature of a thing, used by Plato for the ineffable All of the universe, equivalent to the First Logos.
Tophet (Hebrew) Tofeth An abhorrence, that which causes loathing; a place in the valley of Ben Hinnom (called Gehenna), near Jerusalem, celebrated for the worship of Moloch, where fires were kept burning and human sacrifices were at one time said to have been offered (Jer 7:31). “The locality is thus the prototype of the Christian Hell, the fiery Gehenna of endless woe” (TG 335). Its occult meaning was virtually identic with that of the Gehenna or Aruchi, and was the type on earth of the ultimate condition of those who through a course of earth-lives have deliberately chosen evil as their god.
Torah (Hebrew) Tōrāh Instruction, doctrine, precept; a revelation, oracle. Used by the Hebrews to describe the Mosaic writings, the Pentateuch. A distinction was drawn between the original written law — the Mosaic Torah and the rest of the scriptures (torah shabbichethab, “law which is in the writing”) — and what the later Jews called the oral law or torah by mouth (torah shebbe‘al peh,
“law which is upon the mouth” or from the lips) which became codified as the Mishnah and is supposed to have been handed down by Ezra.
“Of the ‘hidden Thorah’ it is said that before At-tee-kah (the ‘Ancient of all the Ancients’) had arranged Itself into limbs (or members) preparing Itself to manifest, It willed to create a Thorah; the latter upon being produced addressed It in these words: ‘It, that wishes to arrange and to appoint other things, should first of all, arrange Itself in Its proper Forms.’ In other words, Thorah, the Law, snubbed its Creator from the moment of its birth, according to the above, which is an interpolation of some later Talmudist. As it grew and developed, the mystic Law of the primitive Kabbalist was transformed and made by the Rabbins to supercede in its dead letter every metaphysical conception; and thus the Rabbinical and Talmudistic law makes Ain Soph and every divine Principle subservient to itself, and turns its back upon the true esoteric interpretations” (TG 331).
Tortoise In China, a favorite symbol, and Confucius regarded it as sacred; in India the same veneration is given to it, for in one of the preceding manvantaras Vishnu is said in the Puranas to have taken the form of a tortoise to uphold the earth and its beings; his second avatara is called the Tortoise or Kurma avatara.
The Satapatha-Brahmana tells of the collective creator, Prajapati, taking the form of a tortoise to create offspring, and it states that the name of one of the celebrated rishis, Kasyapa, means a tortoise. Also in Hindu astronomy the tortoise is prominent, for the host of stars and constellations are regarded as being placed on a rotating belt in the figure of a sisumara or tortoise.
Touch Second in serial order in the evolution of the elements and senses, corresponding with the element air. See also SENSES
Toum. See TUM
Tower of Babel. See BABEL
Towers An edifice which rests on earth and, mystically speaking, aspires upwards toward heaven; coming under the general description of high places appropriate, like mountaintops and other natural and artificial elevations, to the worship of celestial powers. Found in many parts of the world, their origin is lost in the obscurity of ages. Prominent among them are the round towers found in Ireland, Scotland, Corsica, Sardinia, etc., undoubtedly used for different purposes at different times: by warriors as fortresses, by priests as sanctuaries and initiation chambers, or as watchtowers, belfries, or places of refuge. The cylindrical shape indicates symbolically the great positive and active principle in nature. In the Bible the tower is erected physically, and spoken of metaphorically, as an emblem of might and aspiration.
Toyambudhi (Sanskrit) Toyāmbudhi [from toya river + ambudhi ocean] The collector or receptacle of rivers; “a country in the northern part of which lay the ‘White Island’ ” (TG 336) or Sveta-dvipa — one of the seven islands or continents spoken of in the Puranas.
Trailokya (Sanskrit) Trailokya [from tri three + loka world, sphere] Also Triloka. The three worlds — heaven, earth, and the lower regions (esoterically the spiritual, psychic or astral, and terrestrial spheres); as ordinarily given in Brahmanical philosophy as Bhur (earth), Bhuvah (firmament, heaven), and Svar (skyey atmosphere). The Buddhist trailokya or division into three worlds is somewhat different, being from lowest to highest: kama-dhatu or -loka (desire world), rupa-dhatu (form world), and arupa-dhatu (formless world).
The trailokya are all, in each case, nonphysical spheres, and pertain to the postmortem states of entities. These three worlds are wholly exoteric groupings — not meaning false, but not sufficiently explained in the exoteric literature to develop the real significances. In theosophy there are seven or ten groupings of the postmortem realms or states. These states cannot be grouped under the Brahmanical three worlds, but under the three Buddhist dhatus or lokas. Rupa-dhatu and arupa-dhatu may be called dhyanas (contemplation), thus designating the deeply contemplative character of the excarnate egos sunken in the profound deeps of consciousness. See also TRIBHUVANA
Trance [from Latin transpire to cross, pass over] A state in which the soul seems to have passed out of the body into another state of being, a rapture, an ecstasy. In a general way, the entranced conditions thus defined are divided into varying degrees of a negative, unconscious state, and into progressive gradations of a positive, conscious, illumining condition. Examples of all degrees of these conditions have occurred among peoples in all ages, and the two conditions may exist coordinately, or either may exist as an active factor to the virtual exclusion of the other.
Although in both kinds of entranced cases there is a more or less temporary dissociation of the human soul — a disruption of the normal relations of the personality — the resulting psychological conditions in typical cases of the two classes are distinctly opposite. In the unconscious state, the person’s mental-psychological or intermediate nature is in a subnormal and unnatural condition, even if he is seeing and reporting clairvoyant visions of unknown past events and of as yet unknown future. While his dislocated intermediate nature is thus functioning upon the chaotic astral plane, he is devoid of the judgment and will power of his higher mind, and is as helpless as in a nightmare or disorderly dream.
This subnormal state may result from self-psychologization or from the hypnotic or psychological influence of another person; the person may be the unconscious victim of primitive nature forces; or he may be controlled by some disembodied human elementary, as sometimes happens in cases of mediumship. In any one of the above unconscious “absences,” no memory of the experience is self-consciously retained afterwards.
In cases of ecstasy, on the other hand — or of the true seer — there is supernormal activity of the mental-spiritual nature of the person whose human soul in being freed or absent from its kama-manasic desires and consciousness, becomes allied with his higher mind. Thus he becomes intellectually highly lucid, spiritually conscious, and illumined. His now quiescent personal self offers no bar to the reality of the light of truth flowing into him from his own higher nature. His condition, whether a spontaneous exaltation, a state self-induced, or invoked at will, is a direct contrast with the mediumistic state. He is vividly self-conscious of his experience, and he retains the memory of it. Such an exalted state of entrancement is only possible for those individuals who are prepared by great purity of life and a trained will, which are also prerequisites for the mystic rites of the higher initiations.
A person is entranced in various minor degrees when he is temporarily absent-minded, or is absorbed in a brown study, and even in a certain sense when he is asleep. Many persons of mediumistic or psychic constitution become negatively absent from their ordinary senses, or they cultivate such a state for the purpose of becoming conscious on the astral plane. These unfortunates, who yield to the psychic lure of the unknown, receive nothing but a confused and unreliable vision. Worse yet, they thus open their own natures to the invasion and possible possession by astral entities of all kinds, even by excarnate actively evil beings — the elementaries — seeking physical satisfaction of unexpended intense desires. Not a few of such victims become such from their craving to get out in the astral, and to cultivate powers for the controlling of others, as taught by various pseudo-occultists who brazenly advertise their appeals to selfish human nature.
Any phase of negative trance state is therefore unnatural and often highly dangerous, because the whole trend of nature is towards an ever greater self-consciousness and a stronger spiritual will and nobler intellectual activity.
Transcendentalists Those who assert that true knowledge is obtained by faculties of the mind which transcend sensory experience; those who exalt intuition above empirical knowledge, or that derived from the sense organs, and even that derived from ordinary mentation. Used in modern times of some post-Kantian German philosophers, and of the school of Emerson. The term, however, has been used in different senses by different people.
Transfiguration Most familiar in reference to the event described in Matthew 17 where Jesus is said to have taken three disciples onto a high mountain and is transfigured before them, so that his face shines as the sun and his raiment is as white as the light; and Moses and Elias appear with him. A church festival exists in commemoration of this event. The Greek word is metamorphosis (transformation). The phenomenon occurred at a certain stage in the initiation of a candidate in the Mysteries, when his personal self made contact with the god within him, the augoeides (the glorious) and caused his body to shine with radiance.
Transformation The process by which a substance takes on a new form, as for example when oxide of hydrogen appears first as water and then as steam. Colloquially we say that the water has changed into steam, but it would be more accurate to say that something which manifested as water manifests now as steam. The distinction is important because of the serious errors made by overlooking it. As applied to evolution it means that a soul takes on different bodies. It is the soul or monad that is transformed, rather than the form. Wherever there is change of form there is an underlying substance, power, or essence which remains the same throughout the changes, the same in essence but different in form. The Greek equivalent is metamorphosis.
Transformism Adopted from the French, it is the process of evolution as understood by Lamarck and Darwin, as distinguished from evolution in its true etymological sense as used in theosophy. It means the supposed transformation of one kind of organism into another kind of organism, by purely physical processes. Evolution means that a living monad or soul unfolds itself from within outwards, thus producing the forms by which it manifests itself on the physical planes; and clothing itself in a graduating and constantly improving succession of forms, according to changes in its own growth and requirements.
Translucid Earth The material of which the earth is composed is subject to evolution, like everything else; and it has reached its present condition only after a series of changes. There was a time when the earth, as also the beings upon it, were semi-ethereal and translucent (translucid); later it became opaque, and later still cooled and hardened by stages to its present condition (cf SD 2:312).
Transmigration The belief that human souls after death pass into other bodies either human or animal, and mistakenly given as a synonym for reincarnation, metempsychosis, etc. Transmigration in general means the passing of an entity from one imbodiment to another, without regard to the status of the entity or the form of the imbodiments, so that it includes various specific meanings denoted by other terms. Actually the word refers to the transmigration of life-atoms, especially those of the human vehicles after dissolution. According to their own affinities and degree of development, these life-atoms which have composed the lower human principles transmigrate to other physical psychomental bodies, there to pursue each its own further specific evolution, unretarded by the temporary association with its former body. Eventually, when the proper cyclic time arrives, they are all again attracted back to the reincarnating human entity to which they formerly belonged. The teaching as to the transmigration of the life-atoms is very important in elucidation of the unity of all life, the interaction of all nature, and the working of karma.
The meanings of transmigration, metempsychosis, metensomatosis, the Hebrew gilgulim, etc., are not synonymous. Each one of these words has its own particular significance, although many of these different words overlap to a certain extent. Thus a being who reincarnates on earth — takes up a body of flesh — likewise transmigrates in the sense of passing over from one condition of life to another, followed by a third and yet others; and that during this process there is a certain change of the condition of the soul or migrating entity which is the particular meaning of metempsychosis; and furthermore, the assumption of a new physical body which is part of the meaning of reincarnation appears in the specific term metensomatosis, and yet again the phase of rebirth is likewise involved. Each one of these different terms, and others, sets forth one particular aspect of the destiny and adventures of the peregrinating entity.
Transmutation Generally the transmutation of inferior metals into gold, although the reverse process properly falls under the same term. Three things are involved: the old metal, the new metal, and the underlying essence common to both. To transmute lead into gold we must change something which is now lead so that this something will then be gold. Transmutations are now being performed in chemistry on this principle. The alchemists reasoned that, since all elements come from a root-element, it must be possible to perform transmutations by reducing the gross elements to their subtle substratum. Apart from the love of knowledge, one sees no object in the physical process other than that of acquisitive gain. If the language of alchemy is taken allegorically, as it very frequently was and is, transmutation means the refinement of the gross elements of human nature. The scientific thinkers and researchers who are leading the world in scientific experimentation in the ultimates of matter are the modern alchemists or transmutationists.
Transubstantiation The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that the bread and wine of the Eucharist or Communion are miraculously transmuted into the veritable (literal) body and blood of Jesus, due to a literal interpretation of figurative language used by Jesus. It is not mere consecration of the elements — bread and wine — though in what the difference consists it is hard to define. See also BREAD AND WINE
The ancients had their own views about such things, as in the Bacchic rites of Greece and Rome in which bread and water or wine were considered to be mystically — not veritable and actual — symbols of certain of the mysteries of the divinity they revered.
Tree A variant of the cross or tau, to be considered in connection with the serpent which is wound round it. The two together symbolize the world tree with the spiritual, intellectual, psychic, and psychological aggregate of forces encircling the world tree and working in and through it — these forces often grouped in the Orient under the name of kundalini. In minor significance, the two together symbolize the life-waves, or any life-wave, passing through the planes, spirit circling through matter, fohat working in the kosmos. Thus the tree symbol stands for the universe, and correspondentially for man, in whom the monadic ray kindles activity on the several planes; while the physiological key of interpretation applies to the analogies in the human body with its various structures through which play the pranic currents. The tree, by its form, represents evolution, for it begins with a root and spreads out into branches and twigs; only as applied to the kosmos the root is conceived to be on high and the branches to extend downwards. Thus there is the Asvattha tree of India or bodhi tree, the Norse Yggdrasil, the tree Ababel in the Koran, the Sephirothal Tree which is ’Adam Qadmon. In the Garden of Eden it is stated that there were two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which signifies the two knowledges. It is said in Gnosticism that Ennoia (divine thought) and Ophis (serpent), as a unity, are the Logos; as separated they are the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, the former spiritual, the latter manasic. Adam eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge which means in one important allegory of human evolution that mankind after the separation of the sexes became endowed with manas, or that when humanity began to be endowed with dual manas, the rays then separated into the opposite sexes; and lest he should partake of the Tree of Life and become immortal, in the then imperfect state of evolution, he is turned out of Eden. It is stated that buddhi becomes transformed into the tree whose fruit is emancipation and which finally destroys the roots of the Asvattha, which here is the symbol of the mayavi life. This latter tree is also the emblem of secret and sacred knowledge, guarded by serpents or dragons; it may also refer to a sacred scripture. Dragons guarded the tree with the golden apples of the Hesperides; the trees of Meru were guarded by a serpent; Juno, on her wedding with Jupiter, gave him a tree with golden fruit, as Eve gave the fruit to Adam. Blavatsky says of Eve: “She it was who first led man to the Tree of Knowledge and made known to him Good and Evil; and if she had been left in peace to do quietly that which she wished to do, she would have conducted him to the Tree of Life and would thus have rendered him immortal” (La Revue Theosophique 2:10). See also ASVATTHA, YGGDRASIL
Both adepts and sorcerers were called trees. Tree worship in decadent times degenerated into a variety of phallicism.
Tretagni (Sanskrit) Tretāgni [from tretā triad + agni fire] A triad of fire; in Hindu religious ritual the three sacred fires taken collectively — the sacrificial, the household, and southern fire. These three sacred fires are obtained by the attrition of sticks commonly made of the wood of the Asvattha tree, mystically called the Tree of Wisdom and Knowledge.
Treta Yuga (Sanskrit) Tretā Yuga [from tretā triad, triple + yuga age] The second of the four great yugas which constitute a mahayuga (great age). It is said that during this age three parts of truth prevail; its duration is 1,296,000 years.
In the Mahabharata Hanuman, the learned monkey chief, gives a description of the treta yuga: “In the Treta Yuga sacrifice commenced, righteousness decreased by one-fourth; men adhered to truth, and were devoted to a righteousness dependent on ceremonies. Sacrifices prevailed with holy acts and a variety of rites. Men acted with an object in view, seeking after reward for their rites and their gifts, and were no longer disposed to austerities and to liberality from a simple feeling of duty” (abridgment by Muir 1:144). See also SATYA YUGA
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