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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Triad A group of three, a triple unity, three-in-one, the number three; it represents the limits of ratiocinative thought, for we cannot go beyond the duality of subject and object, and must postulate a unitary essence common to both. A triad stands at the head of all great cosmogonies and philosophies: spirit-matter, Purusha-prakriti, subject-object, male-female, father-mother, motion-space, etc., plus the fundamental unity and source enclosing each emanated duad — the ineffable, parabrahman, ’eyn soph, etc. Theosophy shows three distinct triadic representations of the universe, making nine, or with a synthesis ten: the ever-existing, the pre-existing, and the phenomenal, allegorized as the initial, the manifested, and the creative triads.

Another form of the triad is that in which the unit is considered as the offspring of the duad, as in the familiar triad Father-Mother-Son; and thus we get a quaternary of the primordial triad with the manifested universe as Son. These two triads or triangles represent fire and water respectively; interlaced they make Solomon’s seal or the seal of Vishnu. The triad and quaternary together make the septenate; the higher triad in man is atma-buddhi-manas; kama, prana, and linga-sarira make a lower triad. The triad and the quaternary here repeat the duality of spirit and matter, metaphysical and physical. The Qabbalistic Sephirothal Tree shows an upright triad, two inverted triads, and a synthesizing unit below called Malchuth.

Triangle An emblem of the triad or three-in-one, expressing more than the three dots alone: the points, lines, and the whole figure give a septenate composed of two triads and a monad. The triangle also symbolizes twin rays proceeding from a central point, and when the other ends of these lines are joined, the base line signifies that which is produced by the interaction and interblending of the two formative rays. The apex, the side lines, and the base thus represent the three chief stages of cosmic evolution. The idea is further elaborated in the square pyramid. The Pythagoreans recognized the triangle as the first regular rectilinear figure, as three is the first odd number — the one being considered as the origin and unit, out of which all subsequent parts flow. The usual form of the triangle in symbology is equilateral, with the apex up or down. The circle, triangle, and square form another important triad representing stages in evolution. For interlaced triangles, see also SIX-POINTED STAR


Tribal Race, Tribal Generation. See RACE(S)

Tribhuja (Sanskrit) Tribhuja [from tri three + bhuja arm, side] Three-sided, a triangle.

Tribhuvana (Sanskrit) Tribhuvana Three worlds; in Hindu literature the three bhuvanas are svarga (heaven), bhumi (earth), and patala (the lower regions). Esoterically the tribhuvanas are the spiritual, psychic or astral, and terrestrial spheres.

Trailokya, although also referring to the exoteric three worlds, involves in its mystical and esoteric meaning a far wider range of geography of the invisible spheres.

Tri-bochana. See TRILOCHANA

Tricephalos. See TRIKEPHALOS

Tridandin (Sanskrit) Tridaṇḍin [from tri three + daṇḍa staff] A class or sect of sannyasins (ascetics) who constantly hold a kind of club branching off into three rods at the top. Also one who possesses three kinds of self-command: control of his own thoughts, words, and deeds. The name at times has been given to the threefold Brahmanical thread.

Tridasa (Sanskrit) Tridaśa [from tri three + daśa ten] Thirty; as used in ancient India, it refers in round numbers to the general cycles of the Vedic deities, of which there were 33 ordinary ones: the 12 adityas, the 8 vasus, the 11 rudras, and 2 asvins. When the Hindu trimurti or triad is added to these, the number becomes 36, one of the archaic numbers of esoteric computation, not only in chronology but likewise in theology and theogony. Thirty-six is half of 72, which is 1/5 of 360, and 1/6 of the highly mystical key number 432, with ciphers added or not, according to the computation undertaken. Following the law of chronological analogy, thirty, which is 1/12 of 360, is the foundation number of esoteric computation, to which ciphers may be added according to the scheme held in mind. The 33 crores (330 million) deities usually enumerated in the Hindu pantheon are to be understood similarly, 33 being a round number for 36; for here too the 33 crores must be taken in connection with the trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, themselves aggregates, giving the important figure 36.

Trigunas (Sanskrit) Triguṇa-s The three qualities; all differentiated beings and matter are considered to possess three inherent qualities or characteristics: sattva (purity, goodness, truth); rajas (activity, passion, desire); and tamas (quiescence, indifference, darkness). Each of these three qualities has both a good and an imperfect or evil side, and possesses in itself the other two qualities; for instance, there is sattva-sattva, rajas-sattva, tamas-sattva, etc. Thus in the different hierarchies in the cosmos, the beings composing these hierarchies may be classified not only under one of the three gunas, as essentially manifesting that characteristic, but likewise during their evolution they pass through the phases of the other two qualities, although under the dominance of the main quality from which they as individuals derive.

In the Bhagavad-Gita (chs 14, 17) the three great qualities are spoken of as born from nature and binding the imperishable self to manifested life. Of these the sattva quality by reason of its characteristics entwines the soul to rebirth through its attachment to wisdom and knowledge; rajas produces aspiration as well as propensity and thirst, and imprisons the ego through the consequences produced from such action; tamas has its good side but likewise is the deluder of all creatures, and imprisons the ego in a body by characteristics such as indifference, idleness, and sleep. The fruit of righteous acts is called pure and holy and appertains to sattva; from rajas is gathered fruit both good and that which produces pain or sorrow; and tamas produces steadfastness and immovability in a good cause, as well as in a bad sense being the cause of senselessness, ignorance, and indifference. Those in whom the sattva quality is established are said to mount on high; those who are full of rajas remain in the middle sphere, the human world; while those who are overborne by the evil aspect or quality of tamas sink below.

The wisdom which perceives in all nature one single principle, indivisible and incorruptible, not separate essentially but only evolutionally in the separate objects seen, is of the sattva quality. The knowledge which perceives different and manifold principles as present in the world of created beings as being intense and aggressive in action is of the rajas quality. The knowledge which perceives enduring stability and disdain of useless change, or which on the other hand is mean, attached to one object alone as if it were the whole, which does not see the true cause and meaning of existence, is of the tamas quality. Thus each of the three qualities has its positive and negative side, and the initiate or adept seeks to make all three qualities manifest in his life in their highest aspects.

Trijnana (Sanskrit) Trijñāna [from tri three + jñāna knowledge] The threefold knowledge, consisting of three degrees: knowledge based on faith or inner conviction, on theoretical knowledge, and on personal and practical knowledge.

Trikaya (Sanskrit) Trikāya [from tri three + kāya vesture, body] The three glorious vestures or states in which the consciousness of an adept clothes itself: 1) the nirmanakaya (Tibetan pru-lpai-ku) in which the bodhisattva after entering the path to nirvana by the six paramitas appears to mankind in order to teach and which thus is associated with the Buddhas of Compassion; 2) the sambhogakaya (Tibetan dzog-pai-ku) the body of bliss impervious to all material sensations assumed by one who has fulfilled the three conditions of spiritual, intellectual, and moral perfection; and 3) the dharmakaya (Tibetan chos-ku) the nirvanic body or robe in which all nirvanis and full Pratyeka Buddhas exist.

The Wondrous Being or hierarch manifests in three forms, the highest being in direct spiritual intercommunion with cosmic adi-buddha, and this highest aspect or form is the dharmakaya state in which, at least in the inferior portions of it, the dhyani-buddha abides; the second form or state is that of the dhyani-bodhisattva, who is in the sambhogakaya state in direct intercommunion with the lower part of the dhyani-buddha just above it in abstruse power and consciousness; the third and lowest form or aspect, yet in one sense the highest morally on account of the immense, willing self-sacrifice involved, is the manusha-buddha who lives and works in the nirmanakaya state.

“This is a most abstruse teaching which, however, once understood, explains the mystery of every triad or trinity, and is a true key to every three-fold metaphysical symbol. In its most simple and comprehensive form it is found in the human Entity in its triple division into spirit, soul, and body, and in the universe regarded pantheistically, as a unity composed of a Deific, purely spiritual Principle, Supernal Beings — its direct rays — and Humanity. The origin of this is found in the teachings of the prehistoric Wisdom Religion, or Esoteric Philosophy. The grand Pantheistic ideal, of the unknown and unknowable Essence being transformed first into subjective, and then into objective matter, is at the root of all these triads and triplets (TG 338-9).


Trikephalos (Greek) Three-headed; with the Latin triplex (triple), applied to Hermes or Mercury, as one with the Sun and Venus (SD 2:542).

Trikuta (Sanskrit) Trikūṭa The three peaks; a “mountain on which Lanka (modern Ceylon) and its city were built. It is said, allegorically, to be a mountain range running south from Meru. And so no doubt it was before Lanka was submerged, leaving now but the highest summits of that range out of the waters. Submarine topography and geological formation must have considerably changed since the Miocene period. There is a legend to the effect that Vayu, the god of the wind, broke the summit off Meru and cast it into the sea, where it forthwith became Lanka” (TG 339-40).

Trilochana (Sanskrit) Trilocana [from tri three + locana eye] The three-eyed; an epithet of Siva.

Triloka. See TRAILOKYA

Trimorphos (Greek) Triple-formed, triple; applied to a triple personification of the moon in ancient iconology representing the lunar body as a goddess with three heads, which also became with the ancient Romans Diva triformis (the triple goddess): Diana-Hecate-Luna. Also applied to the three Fates — Moirai trimorphai.

Applicable in mysticism to any entity or thing which was subject to understanding in three manners. Thus even time could be considered as threefold because of being divisible in our human conception into past, present, and future, etc.

Trimurti (Sanskrit) Trimūrti [from tri three + mūrti imbodiment, form] The Hindu triad, consisting of Brahma, the emanator or evolver; Vishnu, the sustainer or preserver; and Siva, the beneficent, the destroyer, and the regenerator. These three entities as individualized divinities form the apex or crown of the spirit of the solar system. In the human being, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva represent the three divine-spiritual principles of the seven — directly following forth from the highly recondite superspiritual triangle which, with the seven principles, make the full ten human principles.

In the world of matter, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are each personified by earth, water, and fire, i.e., each of these divinities combines in itself these three elements, one predominating when the divinity manifests one of its three fundamental gunas. “In Indian Puranas it is Vishnu, the first, and Brahma, the second logos, or the ideal and practical creators, who are respectively represented, one as manifesting the lotus, the other as issuing from it” (SD 1:381n). But Brahma, for instance, because of the significance of expansion inherent in the name, could equally well be looked upon as the source of Vishnu, manifesting as the cosmic waters or Second Logos. This perhaps is the reason why in this Trimurti, Brahma is called the emanator or evolver, and Vishnu the sustainer or preserver.

These three persons or aspects of the triad are really three sides of the same cosmic reality; and to gain an accurate understanding of their respective functions it should be born in mind that any one of the three may at any time, if the matter is considered from a different viewpoint, be said to contain the functioning elements of the other two in addition to its own. “Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are a trinity in a unity, and, like the Christian trinity, they are mutually convertible. In the esoteric doctrine they are one and the same manifestation of him ‘whose name is too sacred to be pronounced, and whose power is too majestic and infinite to be imagined’ ” (IU 2:277-8).

In the Vedas, where neither Brahma nor Siva is known under these names, the trinity usually consists of Agni (fire), Vayu (air), and Surya (sun), the originants of the terrestrial, atmospheric, and heavenly fire respectively. The Padma-Purana states that in the beginning the great Vishnu desiring to produce the whole world, became threefold, in himself the creator, preserver, and destroyer. In order to produce the world, the supreme spirit emanated from the right side of his body, himself, as Brahma; then, to preserve the universe, he produced from the left side of his body, Vishnu; and to destroy the world he produced from the middle of his body the eternal Siva.

The three persons of the Trimurti are the three qualificative gunas or attributes of the universe of differentiated spirit-matter, self-formative, self-preserving, and self-destroying for purposes of regeneration and perfectibility. Because Brahma is the considered the formative or emanative force, it is said to be personified imbodiment of rajas, the quality of activity, of desire for creation — that desire owing to which the universe and everything in it is called forth into being. Vishnu because of its preservative and sustaining function is said to be the imbodied sattva, which characterizes the intermediate period between full growth and the beginning of decay; and Siva is said to be the imbodiment of tamas which, in one of its functions, is the attribute of stagnancy and final decay, and thus becomes the destroyer.

The Jewish Qabbalistic triad, Sephirah, Hokhmah, and Binah, is identical in certain philosophical respects with the Hindu Trimurti.

Trinity The divine powers at the head of every theogony. In the Christian Trinity, the original idea of a triune divinity is preserved but has become confused and adapted to theological speculation. If the Holy Ghost is regarded as feminine, as it was in primitive Christianity, we have the trinity of Father-Mother-Son. The present manner of the procession of the Holy Ghost in the Occident is due to the early theological quarrels which was one of the main causes of the final rupture between the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches — the filioque (“and from the son”) controversy. The Orthodox held with the original procession of Father, Holy Ghost, and Son, while in the West the Holy Ghost or Spirit has become a kind of emanation from the Father or Son, or both of them, and is scarcely distinguishable in its attributes from the Son; while the place of Mother has been filled in the Roman Catholic Church by Mary who, though the mother of Jesus, nevertheless is not a member of the Trinity.

But there is another trinity besides that of Father-Mother-Son, that of the one divine root and its dual aspects — a conception altogether lost in Christianity. The Christian God is at best but a Demiourgos or inferior creative power, and his necessary attributes clash irreconcilably with those pertaining to the supreme hierarch of our universe; but in many of the sayings of Jesus and in the Epistles of Paul is clear evidence of the true teachings as to the Trinity and the relation of the Father and the Son.

In the orthodox Christian view of its theological Trinity the three persons of the Godhead are not three gods but one God, and yet three Persons or individuals. So that we have one Godhead who is three-in-one, and yet one-in-three, which is not three gods, nor yet one God, but both. Moslems aver that the Christian Trinity is not one God in three aspects, but actually three gods manifesting as one, and the strict monotheism of Islam refuses to admit the logical monstrosity. The Christian Churches lost sight of the mystical origin of its own trinity out of the neo-Pythagorean and Neoplatonic mysticism.

All the great religious and philosophical systems of antiquity contained a divine or spiritual triadic unity as the cosmic source and focus of all beings and things, out of which emanate the universe and all that is in it. Examples are the Osiris-Isis-Horus of Egypt or the Brahma-Vishnu-Siva of India; yet these triads of gods are emanated reflections or representatives on lower planes of the still more sublime and ineffable triadic mystery above and beyond them.

Tripada (Sanskrit) Tripada Three-footed; for instance, fever in India is said to be three-footed because it has three stages of development: cold, heat, and sweat.

Tripitaka (Sanskrit) Tripiṭaka [from tri three + piṭaka basket] The three baskets, pitaka being the name by which one of the collections of Buddhist sacred scriptures is known. This threefold collection consists of Sastra-pitaka often called the Sutra-pitaka, the rules or precepts; Vinaya-pitaka, the discipline and rules for the priesthood and ascetics; and Abhidharma-pitaka, the philosophical and metaphysical dissertations. “There is a fourth division — the Samyakta Pitaka. But as it is a later addition by the Chinese Buddhists, it is not accepted by the Southern Church of Siam and Ceylon” (TG 341).

Triplex [from Latin ter thrice + plicare to fold] Threefold or triform; applied to Mercury, as being in close esoteric connection with the Sun and Venus; and to Diana (in the aspects of Diana, Luna, and Hecate), etc.

Tripurantaka-Siva (Sanskrit) Tripurāntaka-Śiva [from tri three + pura city + antaka making an end, destroying] A title of Siva, said to have destroyed Tripurasura.

Tripurasura (Sanskrit) Tripurāsura [from tri three + pura city + asura god] The three cities of the asuras. Hindu legend says that Maya or Asuramaya built for the asuras a threefold city of gold, silver, and iron, in the sky, air, and earth respectively. The god Siva destroyed this city with a threefold flame.

Triratna. See TRISARANA

Trisarana (Sanskrit) Triśaraṇa The three refuges or protections, also called triratna or ratnatraya (three jewels); the Buddhist formula Buddha, dharma, sangha or samgha. Originally bodhi, dharma, and sangha (wisdom, its laws, and its priests or spiritual exponents).

“The philosopher of the Yoga-charya School would say — as well he could — ‘Dharma is not a person but an unconditioned and underived entity, combining in itself the spiritual and material principles of the universe, whilst from Dharma proceeded, by emanation, Buddha [’reflected’ Bodhi rather] as the creative energy which produced, in conjunction with Dharma, the third factor in the trinity, viz., “Samgha,” which is the comprehensive sum total of all real life.’ Samgha, then, is not and cannot be that which it is now understood to be, namely, the actual ‘priesthood’; for the latter is not the sum total of all real life, but only of religious life. The real primitive significance of the word Samgha or ‘Sangha’ applies to the Arhats or Bhikshus, or the ‘initiates,’ alone, that is to say to the real exponents of Dharma — the divine law and wisdom, coming to them as a reflex light from the one ‘boundless light’ ” (TG 342).

Further, the Buddha meant is not any particular Buddha but Adi-Bodhi or the First Logos, “whose primordial ray is Mahabuddhi, the Universal Seal, Alaya, whose flame is ubiquitous, and whose influence has a different sphere on each of the three forms of existence, because, once again, it is Universal Being itself or the reflex of the Absolute” (TG 343).

Trishna (Sanskrit) Tṛṣṇā Thirst, longing; equivalent to the Pali tanha (thirst for life); the thirst or desire which draws the intermediate nature or human ego back into incarnation in earth-life.

“After death has released the intermediate nature, and during long ages has given to it its period of bliss and rest and psychical recuperation — much as a quiet and reposeful night’s sleep is to the tired physical body — then, just as a man reawakens by degrees, so does this intermediate nature or human ego by degrees recede or awaken from that state of rest and bliss called Devachan. And the seeds of thoughts, the seeds of actions which it had done in former lives, are now laid by the fabric of itself — seeds whose natural energy is still unexpended and unexhausted — and inhere in that inner psychical fabric, for they have nowhere else in which to inhere, since the man produced them there and they are a part of him. These seeds of former thoughts and acts, of former emotions, desires, loves, hates, yearnings, and aspirations, each one of such begins to make itself felt as an urge earthwards, towards the spheres and planes in which they are native, and where they naturally grow and expand and develop” (OG 175-6).

Also the fifth of the twelve nidanas; because every human faculty has its nobler aspect, trishna can likewise mean love, signifying pure devotion. The pure love and desire that a bodhisattva expresses when becoming a nirmanakaya is the spiritual aspect of trishna.

Trismegistus (Greek) Thrice greatest; a title given to the mysterious personage after whom the Hermetic philosophy is named. In Egypt, he is equivalent to the god Thoth, but the title was also a generic name assumed by many ancient Greek writers on philosophy and alchemy. This title was likewise given to the supreme initiator in the ancient Mystery-system and therefore corresponding directly, both as regards function and position, to what in theosophical philosophy is called the mahachohan. The title, therefore, applies both to the divinity and its human representatives. See also HERMES; PYMANDER

Trisula (Sanskrit) Triśūla The trident of Siva.

Trisuparna (Sanskrit) Trisuparṇa [from tri three + su beautiful + parṇa wing, leaf] A Brahmin who is thoroughly familiar with certain parts, supposedly three in number, of the Vedas.

Triton (Greek) A deity of the sea, offspring of Poseidon and Amphitrite, represented as dwelling with them under the sea, and as having the upper part of his body human in shape, the lower part that of a dolphin, whose functions are mythologically represented as arousing or calming the billows by means of his conch shell. The dolphin was placed by Poseidon among the signs of the zodiac, and became with the Greeks Aigokeros (goat-horned) or Capricorn — the monster with a goat’s horns and the hind parts of a dolphin.

“Triton belongs in esoteric interpretation to the group of fish symbols — such as Oannes (Dagon), the Matsya or Fish-avatar, and the Pisces, as adopted in the Christian symbolism. The dolphin is a constellation called by the Greeks Capricornus, and the latter is the Indian Makara. It has thus an anagrammatical significance, and its interpretation is entirely occult and mystical . . . Suffice to say that it is as physiological as it is spiritual and mystical. (See Secret Doctrine II., pp. 578 and 579.)” (TG 344).

Poseidon, Amphitrite, and Triton may either be considered as cosmic powers or entities, or as their microcosmic reflections as powers of the seas of earth. This shifting of significances, all nevertheless having a fundamental or essential identity, is typical of ancient mystical thought of all countries.

Triune. See THREE-IN-ONE

Trividha-dvara (Sanskrit) Trividha-dvāra [from trividha triple, threefold + dvāra door, gate, entrance, opening] The threefold gate, which is “body, mouth, and mind; or purity of body, purity of speech, purity of thought — the three virtues requisite for becoming a Buddha” (TG 344).

Trividya (Sanskrit) Trividyā [from tri three + vidyā knowledge, science] The three knowledges or sciences; the three fundamental axioms in mysticism: “(a) the impermanency of all existence, or Anityata; (b) suffering and misery of all that lives and is, or Dukha [duhkhata]; and (c) all physical, objective existence as evanescent and unreal as a water-bubble in a dream, or Anatmata” (TG 344).

Trivikrama (Sanskrit) Trivikrama [from tri three + vikrama step, stride, pace — progression or permeating possession] The three steps of Vishnu; also applied to this deity in the Rig-Veda in connection with the three strides which he made as he stepped through the seven regions of the universe. “The first step he took on earth, in the form of Agni [god of fire]; the second in the atmosphere, in the form of Vayu, god of the air; and the third in the sky, in the shape of Surya, the sun” (TG 344).

Triyana (Sanskrit) Triyāna [from tri three + yāna vehicle, way] The three vehicles, ways, conditions, or degrees by which the neophyte, and later adept, crosses the ocean of births, deaths, and rebirths or samsara. The three vehicles are likewise three degrees of yoga known as sravaka, pratyeka-buddha, and bodhisattva.

“The term Triyana is also used to denote the three schools of mysticism [in India] — the Mahayana, the Madhyimayana and Hinayana schools; of which the first is the ‘Greater,’ and the second the ‘Middle,’ and the last the ‘Lesser’ Vehicle. All and every system between the Greater and the Lesser Vehicles are considered ‘useless.’ Therefore the Pratyeka Buddha is made to correspond with the Madhyimayana. For, as explained, ‘this (the Pratyeka Buddha state) refers to him who lives all for himself and very little for others, occupying the middle of the vehicle, filling it all and leaving no room for others.’ Such is the selfish candidate for Nirvana” (TG 344-5).

Triyuga (Sanskrit) Triyuga [from tri three + yuga age] The three ages — the satya yuga, the treta yuga, and the dvapara yuga — preceding our present age or kali yuga. See also YUGA

Trizna (Bulgarian) [from Slavonic tryzen pang, torment] A festival for the dead held in Bulgaria, Moldavia, and Wallachia on the 7th of May. The principal feature of the feast is the placing of a light on every grave, drenching the grave with wine, and the burning of great quantities of fragrant herbs or incense on the graves. Sometimes the evocation of the departed one is resorted to by means of drops of blood which are pricked from the eldest surviving relative of the deceased. The Bulgarians believe that the seven weeks from the eve of Easter Sunday to Trinity Day is a period when the souls of the deceased descend on earth, to commune with their loved ones or to beg forgiveness of those they have wronged.

Trojans. See TROY

Troy, Trojans Since Schliemann rediscovered at Hissarlik the several superincumbent sites of ancient Troy, there has been increasing reason for placing confidence in the historicity of what have been regarded as fables. The Trojan War, for instance, is now known to be a historical fact, although according to The Secret Doctrine it should be dated much earlier than the 1200 BC or so at present allowed by archaeology. In Isis Unveiled the Homeric account of this war is described as a Greek counterpart of the Ramayana. Allegory and fact are curiously mixed in such narrations, but it is well known that mythoi were originally and intentionally built on a basis of former factual occurrences.

Ragon, in his defense of the antiquity of Masonry, recalls the statements of classical writers that Neptune and Apollo offered themselves to Laomedon as masons “to build the city” of Troy, a well-known expression symbolically interpreted as meaning to establish a religious cult or Mystery school. Troy lay in a strategic position in regard to the trade routes of the ancient world and relics from distant lands prove that it was an active center of traffic. Even the first city, built in what archaeologists call the Neolithic period, was a strong and dominant center. Excavations at the lowest level revealed a great fortified wall with two towers and a stone carving of a human face, antedating by some 18 centuries the Troy of which Homer sang and which was the seventh city of the nine, counting upwards, that successively occupied the same site.

Troll (Scandinavian) In common usage, an evil gnome or spirit depicted in stories as an ugly and dangerous sprite. As a prefix, used in Scandinavian tongues to denote magical or extrasensory means (e.g., trollkonst magic art, trollkaring old woman, hag, who practices magic arts). In this context it has come to mean almost exclusively an evil influence but there remain tales where a troll is seen as a model of gratitude and faithfulness. This may be a case where the spiritual influences of one culture become regarded by succeeding peoples as demonic. It is also possible that the trolls exemplified less evolved characteristics which become the faithful servants of him who overcomes these weaknesses in himself.

Tropical Year The time taken by the center of the sun’s disc to travel from one tropic to the same tropic again, and being 365.2422 mean solar days, or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45.5 seconds. This is shorter than the sidereal year (the interval between two successive passages of the sun across the same point in the stellar sphere), because the tropics recede by precession. On the tropical year depends the regular succession of the seasons, and it is the one which is adapted to the civil calendar by the Julian and Gregorian intercalations. See also YEAR

Tsaba’ (Hebrew) Tsābā’ [from the verbal root tsābā’’ to go forth or march out to war] A host, army; tseba’ hash-Shamay (the host of heaven) refers either to the host of cosmic spirits or angels, or to the manifested dwellings of the lower hierarchies of them, the stars. See also TSEBA’OTH (the plural).

Tsadiq (Hebrew) Tsaddīq He that has a righteous cause; innocent, just, righteous; a title of Melchizedek (King of righteousness), also applied to Noah (Genesis 6:9). Some hold that Sadic (Tsaddiq) was the patriarch Noah (as also Melchizedek) and “the identity of Noah and Melchizedek being established, the further identity of Melchizedek, or Father Sadik, with Kronos-Saturn is proved also”; Blavatsky also terms Noah a kabir, the kabiri being sons of Sydic or Zedek, and shows Sadik as a regent over the eighth planet, Terra (SD 2:391).

Tsala. See TSELEM

Tsang (Tibetan) bTsan. Strength, might; used particularly as an equivalent for nyingpo or alaya, the world-soul. Alaya is used mainly in the Mahayana contemplative schools of Northern Buddhism, being equivalent of mulaprakriti in its essence as the root or substance of all things; hence alaya is likewise equivalent frequently to akasa, especially in the mystical sense.

Tsaphon. See TZYPHON

Tseba’oth (Hebrew) Tsĕbā’ōth‘ Plural of tsābā’ (host, army) with a general application to groups of active beings in celestial spheres or on earth; used in the phrase hosts or army of heaven, and likewise as signifying the host of the individuals of an army of men. It is also used of the aggregate of the stars, sun, and moon, etc., conceived as living beings. In the Old Testament the name is occasionally connected with Jehovah (Yehovah); thus Yehovah Tsebao’th appears, signifying association with war or conflict.

In ancient times the name came to be linked frequently with Sabazius, usually identified with Dionysos, Plutarch in several places (cf Symp 4:6) hinting that the Jews in their worship were connected in some manner with Sabazius or Dionysos. Blavatsky states that the Jewish connection is with Saturn, both with the god and the planet, who was “the patron-guide of Israel” (SD 1:459).

Tsedeq. See TZEDEQ

Tsela‘ (Hebrew) Tsēlā‘ A rib, side; a quarter of the heavens; a part or division. Used in reference to the Biblical allegory of the formation of Eve or woman from a rib, side, or portion of Adam (Genesis 2:21-3), who was the first man only in the sense of first humanity or mankind. The Biblical allegory refers to the teaching that the third root-race was androgynous or hermaphrodite — that the individuals of humanity were dual-sexed — so that when the sexes separated into the distinct male and female portions of mankind, as mankind is at present, the Jewish writers described this biological and historical physiological event as the separation of woman from man. One could equally say that man was separated from woman, or that man was made from a rib or side of woman. The ridiculous supposition that the female part of mankind was born from the male part of mankind because the first woman was separated from the first man by the Lord God taking one of the ribs of the latter and forming a woman out of it, arose from the error of understanding the Hebrew word Adam as signifying one individual human being of the present male type.

Tselem (Hebrew) Tselem A form, image, likeness; a shadowy image, a shadow. Hence also the astral “shadow” of the human physical body — the model-body or linga-sarira. It corresponds to the Sanskrit chhayas: in the tselem of ’elohim was made ’Adam (Zohar iii, 76, Crem ed.), i.e., in the image of the pitris was fashioned mankind (cf Genesis 1:27); but not only “in the image” but likewise of the substance of the shadow itself humanity was formed; in other words, the pitris projected their astral shadows which became the lower principles of the individuals of the human race. See also TSULMA’

Tsien’sin, Tsien-sin. See T’IEN HSIN

Tsien-Tchan. See T’IEN-CHAN

Tsimtsum (Aramaic) Tsimtsūm [from the verbal root tsāmam to contract, press together] Contraction; a Qabbalistic term containing the philosophical idea of a previous expansion — otherwise there could have been no subsequent contraction. Hence, tsimtsum is used to designate centrifugal and centripetal motion, expansion and contraction, which under the direction of the supreme of the Sephiroth brought forth and maintains the universe.

“The Unknown Absolute, above all number, manifested Itself through an emanation in which it was immanent yet as to which it was transcendental. It first withdrew Itself into Itself, to form an infinite Space, the Abyss; which It then filled with a modified and gradually diminishing Light or Vitalization, first appearing in the Abyss, as the centre of a mathematical point which gradually spread Its Life-giving energy or force throughout all Space. This concentration or contraction and its expansion, being the centripetal and centrifugal energies of creation and existence, the Qabbalists called Tzimtzum. The Will of Ain Soph then manifests Itself through the Ideal Perfect Model or Vitalizing Form, first principle and perfect prototype in idea, of all the to be created, whether spiritual or material. This is the Mikrokosm to the Ain Soph, the Makrokosm as to all the created. It is called the Son of Elohim, i.e., God, and the Adam Illa-ah or Adam Qadmon, the Man of the East or Heavenly Adam” (Myer, Qabbalah p. 231).

This idea is analogous to the Hindu inbreathing and outbreathing of Brahma.

Tsimtsum is stated to be particularly active in the third ‘olam or lowest triad of the Sephirothal Cosmic Tree — each Sephirothal Tree is divided into a set of three triads, called respectively 1) intelligible or intellectual world; 2) formative or paradigmatic world; and 3) the natural world. It is in this last triad of Sephiroth, called ‘olam ham-Muteba‘, where tsimtsum is specifically active.

Tsiruph. See TEMURAH

Tsi-tsai (Chinese) The Self-existent, that which is the unknown darkness, the root of wu-liang-shih (the boundless age).

Tso-ch’an (Chinese) Sitting dhyana or contemplation, practicing dhyana; equivalent to the Taoist tso-wang (sitting with blank mind), defined as “Slackening limbs and frame, blotting out the senses of hearing and sight, getting clear of outward forms, dismissing knowledge and being absorbed into That which Pervades Everything” (Chuang Tzu 6:10).

Connected with the meditation there was practiced by certain individuals some form of breath control, as expressed by Chuang Tzu: the breathing of the sage is not like ordinary men, “he breathes with every part of him right down to the heels” (6:2). However, this author condemned physical exercises analogous to the yoga asanas (postures).

Tsong-kha-pa (Tibetan) “The man from Tsong-kha,” a district in Amdo — his personal name was Blo bzang grags pa (Lo-zang Dag-pa); a great teacher and reformer of Tibetan Buddhism (1357-1419), founder of the Gelukpa school.

Tsulma’ (Aramaic) Tsūlmā’. A shadow, image; used in the Qabbalah in connection with the neshamah and ruah: during the last seven days of man’s life, it is said, every night the neshamah goes up from a person and the tsulma’ is no more shown; when the tsulma’ goes away the ruah goes with it (Zohar i 117a, Crem ed). The Hebrew equivalent is tselem (shade or shadow, hence a likeness or image of a being or thing), corresponding more or less both to the human model-body or linga-sarira, and to the mayavi-rupa or higher image of a human being, sent forth at will.

Tsurah (Hebrew) Tsūrāh Prototypal form; in the Qabbalah, the divine prototype considered as the highest principle “which remains above.” “In Occultism it embraces Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the Highest Triad; the eternal divine Individual” (TG 349).  The plural is tsūrōth.

The Qabbalah likewise states that the tsurah produces as its reflection the neshamah, and that the latter is connected with its divine prototype by a vital thread of spiritual radiance, up which even the neshamah aspires to rise to perfect union with its prototype. The tsurah is the spiritual monad, including as it does the three highest principles, and because this monad is an emanative product from the all-encompassing cosmic divinity, it is the divine prototypal form or entity; next, the highest part of the tsurah or monad is the neshama or spirit, which clothes itself in ruah or buddhi-manas; which again clothes itself in the astral monad represented by nephesh; which in its turn incarnates in guph, or the material physical body. The Hebrew Qabbalah so frequently strives to clothe its thought from the vulgar vision by detailed — although usually correct — modification of essential ideas, that its real significant teaching is not always readily apparent.

Tuat (Egyptian) Ṭuat. Also Tiau, Tiaou. The region of the underworld or of the dead, though it was not situated under the earth, or answer to the popular conception of the Christian hell, even though the Tuat is often described as a place of retribution. One of the post-mortem states described in The Egyptian Book of the Dead as being situated in the region of the moon.

In popular mythology the Tuat was separated from the world by a range of mountains and consisted of a great valley, shut in by mountains, through which ran a river (the counterpart of the Nile, reminding one of the Jordan of the Jews and Christians), the banks of which were the abode of evil spirits and monstrous beasts. As the sun passed through the Tuat great numbers of souls were described as making their way to the boat of the sun, and those that succeeded in clinging to the boat were able to come forth into new life as the sun rose from the eastern end of the valley to usher in another day. Tuat was also depicted as the region where the soul went during night, returning to join the living on earth during the day.

Originally it was described as the abode of the night-sun, through which the sun god Ra passed during the night, only to arise renewed in the morning. “What is the Tiaou The frequent allusion to it in the ‘Book of the Dead’ contains a mystery. Tiaou is the path of the Night Sun, the inferior hemisphere, or the infernal region of the Egyptians, placed by them on the concealed side of the moon. The human being, in their exotericism, came out from the moon (a triple mystery — astronomical, physiological, and psychical at once); he crossed the whole cycle of existence and then returned to his birth-place before issuing from it again. Thus the defunct is shown arriving in the West, receiving his judgment before Osiris, resurrecting as the god Horus, and circling round the sidereal heavens, which is an allegorical assimilation to Ra, the Sun; then having crossed the Noot (the celestial abyss), returning once more to Tiaou: an assimilation to Osiris, who, as the God of life and reproduction, inhabits the moon” (SD 1:227-8).

The Tuat was divided into twelve regions, called fields (sekhet), corresponding to the number of hours of the night; or again it was described as being composed of seven circles (arrets), each under the guardianship of a watcher. The realm of Osiris is represented as Sekhet-Aarru or -Aanre (the fields of Aanroo), which was divided into 15 Aats (houses), having 21 Pylons. One of the regions of the Tuat was known as Amenti (Egyptian Amentet, “the hidden place”], a term often applied to the whole region of the dead.

Tubal-Cain (Hebrew) Tūbal Qayin According to the Biblical account, the son of Lamech and Zillah, “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron” (Genesis 4:22). Blavatsky calls him a kabir, the equivalent of Hephaestos or Vulcan, and also says that it “is a word used in the Master-Mason’s degree in the ritual and ceremonies of the Freemasons” (TG 345).

Tula (Sanskrit) Tulā Balance; the seventh zodiacal sign, Libra, representing sevenfold man or Nara encased or involved in the 36 tattvas (elements), pendant from the inmost principle, paramatman or the superdivine monad, who is itself free from all material attachments and lives in cosmic ranges.

Tulku (Tibetan) sprul sku [short for sprul pa’i sku (tul-pe-ku) from sprul pa phantom, disembodied spirit; cf Sanskrit nirmāṇakāya body of magical transformation] Applied to a lama of high rank, often to the head abbot of a monastery; specifically, to those lamas who have proved their ability of remembering their office and standing in a former incarnation, e.g., by selecting articles belonging previously to themselves, describing details of a former life, surroundings, etc. The two most important tulkus in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy are the Tashi and Dalai Lamas. Tulku is often referred to as an incarnation but, outside of the many varieties of an incarnating or imbodying power or energy, incarnation in popular usage is the direct continuance of a previous imbodiment. These so-called living buddhas of Tibet are one kind of tulku — the transmission of a spiritual power or energy from one Buddha-lama of a Tibetan monastery when he dies, to a child or adult successor. If the transmission is successful, the result is tulku.

Tulku is of many different kinds and very closely parallels the Hindu doctrine of avatara. Taking Jesus as an example: here was a life-long tulku, a ray from a divinity; a tulku of that divinity so far as that ray goes, a divine manifestation, and hence a true avatara in the Brahmanical sense. Again, Gautama Buddha was tulku of his own inner buddha or inner god. The average person, however, is merely overshadowed occasionally, if he really aspires, by a touch of the divine flame from within the higher parts of his own constitution, and yet even for these fugitive instants such person is tulku. But when Gautama attained buddhahood, he was relatively infilled with his own inner buddha, and therefore was that god’s human tulku. That was for Siddhartha the man, nirvana; he then entered dharmakaya and this portion of him was then known of men no more: that portion of him was a man become divine.

Another kind of tulku is where a human mahatma will send a ray from himself, or a part of himself, to take imbodiment, perhaps only temporarily, perhaps almost for a lifetime, in a neophyte-messenger that this mahatma is sending out into the world to teach. The messenger in this instance acts as a transmitter of the spiritual and divine powers of the mahatma. Blavatsky was such a tulku, imbodying frequently the very life of, and hence guided by, her own teacher. While this incarnation of the teacher’s higher essence lasted, she was tulku. When for one reason or another the influence or ray was withdrawn for a longer or shorter period, tulku then and there became nonexistent.

Still another aspect of the tulku doctrine is illustrated by the case of Blavatsky. Where is she now? Blavatsky has not yet again reincarnated — she has not yet been born as a child — but she has at certain times, and for one certain individual, with that individual’s consent, organized as it were tulku for that individual. For the time being, therefore, we can say that Blavatsky has partially imbodied in that chosen individual for the purpose of special transmission. In all cases of tulku, they are incarnations or appearances. If Blavatsky, for instance, were to make tulku of a person for a month or a year, for the time being that person would be tulku, but when that particular work was done, the influence would be withdrawn and tulku would stop.

There is again another kind of avataric incarnation or tulku, a temporary physical appearance of an adept in the mayavi-rupa. Certain Tibetan lamas are known to be able to perform this feat, and thus they too have been properly called tulkus, which is the type of tulku that certain Orientalists have referred to as “an appearance.”

Another type of tulku of an opposite and essentially evil character is that brought about by a hypnotist who temporarily displaces the psychological nature of his entranced subject through psychologization or even hypnosis plus mesmerism. This, however, is more often than not an act of black magic and fraught with grave dangers, both to the hypnotist and the one entranced. Every clever hypnotist actually makes a tulku of his victim in a black magic sense. When he puts an idea into the brain of his victim, that one week from now at three o’clock in the afternoon he is going to do some essentially foolish or undignified act — for the time being that hypnotist is working a black magic tulku on that victim, and every psychologist and hypnotist knows the possibility of this fact, though the scientific explanation of the term may be strange to him. A key example of black magic tulku was what the medieval Europeans used to call werewolves. This doctrine of the tulku, however, is at heart beautiful and sublime, and hence highly reverenced by the Tibetans.

Tum (Egyptian) Tum. A primordial divinity issued from Nut, considered equivalent to the Vedic Aditi or kosmic space; as one of the main functions of Tum is generating the heavenly bodies and all celestial beings, it is a virtual equivalent of fohat. He generates the other gods and gives himself whatever form he likes, issuing from Nut, “the great female which is in the bosom of the waters” — the great deep or space. In The Book of the Dead he is described as the north wind, spirit of the west, and the setting sun of life — which is “the vital electric force that leaves the body at death, wherefore the defunct begs that Toum should give him the breath from his right nostril (positive electricity) that he might live in his second form. . . .

“ . . . Both Fohat and Toum are addressed as the ‘Great ones of the Seven Magic Forces,’ who, ‘conquer the Serpent Apap’ or Matter” (SD 1:673-4). The Book of the Dead clearly portrays the activities of Tum-Fohat during manvantara, and during pralayas Tum sinks into Akab, the great deep or space.

Tum [possibly Sanskrit tvam thou] An ancient fraternity, formerly existing in Northern India, and well known in the days of the persecution of Buddhists there. Tum “has a double meaning, that of darkness (absolute darkness), which as absolute is higher than the highest and purest of lights, and a sense resting on the mystical greeting among Initiates, ‘Thou art thou, thyself,’ equivalent to saying ‘Thou art one with the Infinite and the All’ ”; “The ‘Tum B’hai’ have now become the ‘Aum B’hai,’ spelt, however, differently at present, both schools having merged into one. The first was composed of Kshatriyas, the second of Brahmans” (TG 345).

In Slavic languages tma is still in use as a word meaning darkness.

Turanian A word of vague meaning, used as an alternative to Mongolian in that scheme which divides humanity into three main divisions of 1) Black, Ethiopian, or Negro; 2) Yellow, Mongolian, or Turanian; and 3) White, Caucasian. It thus excludes Aryans, Semites, and Hamites, which are subdivisions of the Caucasian; also it incorrectly gives Ethiopian as synonymous with Negro. The name is derived from Tur, one of three brothers in Persian legend who were ancestors of three divisions of the human race. In accordance with the idea of basing ethnography upon linguistics, it has since been replaced by the word Ural-Altaic, as denoting a group of peoples and their languages in northern and central Asia, eastern Russian, and Turks, Magyars, Finns, Basques, and Lapps in Europe. The languages are agglutinative.

Turiya (Sanskrit) Turīya The fourth; the state of consciousness which the Buddhas and Christs, and occasionally great but less evolved people, reach in their times of spiritual ecstasy — high samadhi. It is the fourth state of the famous Taraka-Raja-Yoga system in India, equivalent to a raising and temporary coalescence of the human consciousness with the atman, otherwise called nirvana. In this turiya state the divine self is perceived by the individual entitative self as its parent; and the atman thus is realized to be in its essence free of any mayavi distinction from its universal divine source. Turiya, the highest of all the states into which the consciousness may cast itself or be cast, “which is a practical annihilation of the ordinary human consciousness, is an attainment of union with atma-buddhi overshadowing or working through the higher manas. Actually, therefore, it is becoming at one with the monadic essence” (OG 72).

Turiya is a state or condition of consciousness which to the eye of an observer seems to be that of the deepest abstraction from things of the material world — that state which to most people would seem to be a complete or perfect trance, physically speaking. The higher consciousness of the human being, often unconsciously to the brain-mind consciousness, enters into turiya and brings about for the physical person a condition of perfectly dreamless sleep; however, it is a state of the highest or most exalted spiritual and intellectual activity.

“In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it [the monad] loses its name, as it loses it when the real ONE self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi (the Turiya state) or final Nirvana; ‘when the disciple’ in the words of Sankara, ‘having attained that primeval consciousness, absolute bliss, of which the nature is truth, which is without form and action, abandons this illusive body that has been assumed by the atma just as an actor (abandons) the dress (put on)’ ” (SD 1:570).


Turiya-avastha, Turiya-samadhi. See TURIYA

Turvasa (Sanskrit) Turvaśa A legendary hero and ancestor of the Aryan race; Subba Row mentions that he was a maharshi who became a jivanmukta.

Tushitas (Sanskrit) Tuṣita-s [from the verbal root tuṣ to become calm, be satisfied or pleased] One name of the Hindu adityas, planetary regents because of their intimate connection with the sun, the son of Aditi, called Martanda. Hence in esoteric Northern Buddhism, the tushitas are a class of divinities of great purity said to have a deva-loka (celestial region) of their own, but in the highest parts of the material plane where all the bodhisattvas are reborn before they descend on this earth as future buddhas. See also JAYA

Tvashtri (Sanskrit) Tvaṣṭṛ The divine artist and carpenter of the gods, father of the gods and of the sacred creative fire, and therefore equivalent to the Greek cosmic Demiurge. Maker of divine weapons, such as Indra’s Thunderbolt, and teacher of the ribhus or adityas, he was considered as the great patron of initiates. The Tvashtri of the Vedas is synonymous with the Visvakarman of the Puranas. Many of the functions ascribed in Hindu legend to Tvashtri are reminiscent of similar functions ascribed to the Greek Hephaestos or Latin Vulcan.

Twelve Perhaps the most esoteric of all numerals; so profound was the reverence with which the ancients regarded it that the records concerning it are almost innumerable, found in virtually all branches of human thought and activity. Thus we find it in the twelve hours of the day and of the night; the twelve months of the year; the twelve great gods of ancient pantheons; the twelve apostles in the New Testament and the twelve tribes in the Old Testament; the twelve nidanas in Buddhism; and pointing directly to cosmogonical matters, the twelve signs of the zodiac.

As Plato puts it in the Timaeus, the universe was constructed by divinity in accordance with geometrical laws, the first cosmogonic basis of which was the dodecahedron — outside of the ever-productive and cosmically fecund One. Philo Judaeus likewise regarded twelve as a sacred number, writing that the sun visits serially the signs of the zodiac monthly, during the twelve months of the year, “and it is to honour that sign that Moses divided his nation into twelve tribes, established the twelve cakes (Levit. xxiv, 5) of the shewbread, and placed twelve precious stones around the ephod of the pontiffs (See De Profugis)” (SD 1:649).

In the Qabbalah it is said that creation was accomplished during the twelve hours of a day: “The ‘twelve hours of the day’ are again the dwarfed copy, the faint, yet faithful, echo of primitive Wisdom. They are like the 12,000 divine years of the gods, a cyclic blind. Every ‘Day of Brahma’ has 14 Manus, which the Hebrew Kabalists, following, however, in this the Chaldeans, have disguised into 12 ‘Hours.’ The Nuctameron of Apollonius of Tyana is the same thing. ‘The Dodecahedron lies concealed in the perfect Cube,’ say the Kabalists. The mystic meaning of this is, that the twelve great transformations of Spirit into matter (the 12,000 divine years) take place during the four great ages, or the first Mahayuga” (SD 1:450).

In theosophic writings the complete number of globes of a planetary chain is given as twelve: five globes being unmanifested and seven manifested.

Twice-born. See DVIJA

Twilight When used in theosophic philosophy, refers to the sandhya or sandhi, an interval between the light and dark, or dark and light, part of a cycle, smaller or greater, thus the cosmic cycle called an Age of Brahma is 311,040,000,000,000 years, of which 2 percent is the sum of the twilights.

Also used for the four bodies Brahma assumed at creation: night, evening twilight, day, and morning twilight; archaic Hindu legend states that the three higher classes of pitris were born in the body of night, the four lower classes from the body of evening twilight, gods from the body of day, and men from the morning twilight.

In Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux were day and night, and their consorts Phoebe and Hilaira were the twilights.

Twin-Souls To quote Blavatsky: “The star under which a human Entity is born . . . will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara. But this is not his astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality, the former with the individuality. The ‘Angel’ of that Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha will be either the guiding or simply the presiding ‘Angel,’ so to say, in every new rebirth of the monad, which is part of his own essence, through [though] his vehicle, man, may remain for ever ignorant of this fact. The adepts have each their Dhyani-Buddha, their elder ‘twin Soul,’ and they know it, calling it ‘Father-Soul,’ and ‘Father-Fire’ ” (SD 1:572-3).

Thus when Jesus speaks of my Father and your Father, he means the cosmic paramatman or universal spirit presiding over our universe, of which every monad in the present solar manvantara — except those peregrinating through our solar system as visitors — is an offspring or spark; furthermore, every class of adepts has its own bond of spiritual communion which knits them together, because of identity of origin in a dhyani-buddha of our universe; and thus it is that every buddha, indeed every great adept, meets at his last initiation all the great adepts who had reached buddhahood during the preceding ages. “Such communion is only possible between persons whose souls derive their life and sustenance from the same divine ray” (Subba Row in SD 1:574). The awareness of such a community of origin pertains to planes of being far above the personal self, and it has nothing to do with so transitory a phase of human evolution as sex.

However, certain human beings, because of a common monadic origin in an identic spiritual source, are by that fact of the same spiritual family, and in consequence have bonds among themselves of intensive sympathy, and sympathetic intellectual understanding and processes of mentation, which cause them to feel more at-one with each other than with human beings similarly united but not derivative from the same spiritual ray. Yet all these different cosmic dhyani-buddhas or spiritual rays themselves converge or coalesce on a still loftier plane into another kosmic entity still more sublime than the former ones; and this again is but one of many others who on a divine plane still loftier than the last, find their common point of origin in a kosmic individuality still grander.

Two The prime religious and mystical meaning in the science of numeration is finite completion, involving defined limits, and hence standing in sharp contrast to the indefiniteness associated with the nonfinite or cosmic; and therefore Pythagoras and his school looked upon two as beginning the series of even numbers, each one signifying a completion or a balance, suggesting the material worlds as contrasted with the spiritual. The binary was regarded as “the origin of differentiation, hence of contrasts, discord, or matter, the beginning of evil. . . . With the early Pythagoreans, however, the duad was that imperfect state into which the first manifested being fell when it got detached from the Monad. It was the point from which the two roads — the Good and the Evil — bifurcated. All that which was double-faced or false was called by them ‘binary’ ” (SD 2:574-5). It was represented geometrically as a line, because two is produced by the first motion from indivisible spiritual nature: the line also forms the tie or union between two points.

Two is the significant primal number of manifestation, of the famous pairs of opposites. Pure unmanifested spirit is in human understanding unitary, and not broken up into manifested and therefore contrasting minor points or units, and for this reason partakes of some of the attributes of non-finity, which becomes through manifestation finite points — generated by the duality emanating at the beginning of manifestation, which duality is expressible mathematically by the duad or the number two: “the Duad, although the origin of Evil, or Matter — thence unreal in philosophy — is still Substance during Manvantara, and is often called the third monad, in Occultism, and the connecting line as between two Points . . . And from this Duad proceeded all the Scintillas of the three upper and the four lower worlds or planes — which are in constant interaction and correspondence” (SD 1:618).

Two-dimensional Space Used figuratively to denote the aspect of nature in the second round, when but two elements had been unfolded. It may be used mathematically to denote a twofold manifoldness. It is wrongly used in those ingenious speculations as to the possibility of an objective two-dimensional space; for the three dimensions of matter in space are interdependent, and if one vanishes, the other two vanish. A surface may be defined graphically and suggestively as two-dimensional, but it is only an aspect of a solid body.

Twofold Man Used of the period in human history when human beings were androgynous. This in one sense was the representative on earth of the cosmic ’Adam Qadmon which becomes the Microprosopus (small face) as distinguished from the cosmos itself, called in the Qabbalah Macroprosopus (great face). The twofold man, whether cosmic or terrestrial, belongs to the secondary creation, the creation of darkness or matter, or the vast intricacies of cosmic differentiations, as distinguished from the primary creation, the first emanations from cosmic spirit imbodying entities of spiritual and intellectual power, and hence often called the creation of light, which in its latter stage became that of the self-evolved gods or ’elohim.

Tylwyth Teg (Welsh) The fair family; the Welsh fairies, also known as Bendith y Mamman (mothers’ blessings).

Tyndareus A king in Lacedaemon, expelled and received by King Thestios of Aetolia, by whose daughter Leda he becomes father of the Dioscuri or Tyndaridae, Castor and Pollux. In some accounts both these children are the offspring of Zeus, in others Pollux only, and in still others both are sons of Tyndareus. Most commonly Leda is considered the bride of both Zeus and Tyndareus, and the result of this double union was the birth of Polydeuces (or Pollux) and Helena, later Helen of Troy, who were the children of Zeus, and of Castor and Clytemnestra, the children of Tyndareus. See also DIOSCURI


Typhoeus, Typhon (Greek) Typhoeus in Hesiodic theogony is a son of Tartarus and Gaia, a fire-breathing titan with a hundred heads and begetter of destructive hurricanes. He rebels against the gods and is killed by Zeus with a thunderbolt and buried under Mount Etna. Typhon was originally his son — post-type of himself — but the two were later identified. He represents the necessary counterpart of Zeus, as darkness is of light, Set of Osiris, or Satan of God. He is the Dragon Apophis, the Accuser in The Egyptian Book of the Dead, murderer of Osiris, destroyed by Horus; the dark side of Zeus, as Set is the dark side of Osiris, and night the dark side of day; Python, Loki, Rahu, and falling demons in general. In one form he is the dragon slain by St. Michael or St. George.

The original meaning is sublime, for Typhon in its prototypal significance is chaos, the unorganized womb or fountain of production, which calls forth the creative energy by resisting it, and is equally necessary with the former. When humanity falls into matter, then these dark-side potencies of nature acquire for mankind a distinctly evil connotation, and their names can be given to vast destructive forces which the misuse of the human will has engendered.

In a more restricted sense as connected with our earth, Typhon was not only the causative agent, but likewise the symbol of all seismic and volcanic phenomena, as well as being, even according to ancient Greek philosophical thought, in intimate connection with meteorological phenomena as evidenced by winds and storms. See also SET; CROCODILE

Types, Ancestral In biology used in connection with theories of evolution, which seek for ancestral types which may have served as staring points for physical development. But the causes operative on the physical plane on which science relies, are in fact only secondary causes. The true ancestral types are astral, and indeed, because of distant causal action, even spiritual models reflected in the astral and thence into the physical, and thus governing shape, form, and their correlations with other effects. The secondary causes come into play mainly after the physicalization of the astral forms (cf SD 2:648-9).

Tyr, Tivi (Icelandic) [Used mainly in plural, tivar gods; cf Latin divus, Sanskrit deva, Greek dios, Zeus] In Norse mythology, often used in combinations like valtiva (god of the slain, or god of the chosen, god of choice). Tyr is the generic name for a lofty divinity. As a planetary deity, Tyr represents the valiant Mars, god of war, of fresh undertakings, and of beginnings. He is associated with the zodiacal constellation Aries, which has similar connotations. Tyr’s day is Tysdagr (Tuesday).

In the Edda, Tyr is represented as having had one hand torn off by the wolf Fenris, a sacrifice he willingly made for the perpetuation of life.

Tzabaoth. See TSEBA’OTH

Tzaila. See TSELA‘

Tzedeq (Hebrew) Tsedeq Straightness, righteousness; suffix in Melchizedek (king of righteousness). Also used as a Qabbalistic name for the planet Jupiter.

Tzelem. See TSELEM

Tzigadze. See SHIGATSE

Tzim-tzum. See TSIMTSUM

Tziruph. See TEMURAH

Tzite (Quiche) A berry tree with red seeds, used for divination by the ancient Quiche seers and sorcerers together with maize grains. In the Popul Vuh one of the early races of mankind is described as being fashioned out of tzite wood. Blavatsky explains that this was the third root-race; in Hesiod’s cosmogony Zeus creates his third human race out of the ash tree, and in the Scandinavian cosmogony mankind is also produced from the ask or ash tree.

Tzon-kha-pa. See TSONG-KHA-PA

Tzool-mah. See TSULMA’; TSELEM

Tzuphon. See TZYPHON

Tzurah, Tzure. See TSURAH

Tzyphon (Hebrew) Tsāfōn [from the verbal root tsāfan to conceal, hide, hold back, treasure] The north or northern quarter, hence the north wind and, because the north was regarded among the ancients as a land of darkness and obscurity, this word came to mean whatever is hid or concealed, hence treasured up or held back. Thus it has come to signify among certain Shemitic mystics a doctrine which is concealed or secret — esotericism.

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BCW - H. P. Blavatsky: Collected Writings

BG - Bhagavad-Gita

BP - Bhagavata Purana

cf - confer

ChU - Chandogya Upanishad

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

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

ET - The Esoteric Tradition, by G. de Purucker

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

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

IU - Isis Unveiled, by H. P. Blavatsky

MB - Mahabharata

MIE - Man in Evolution, by G. de Purucker

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

MU - Mundaka Upanishad

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

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

OG - Occult Glossary, by G. de Purucker

Rev - Revelations

RV - Rig Veda

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

SD - The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky

SOPh - Studies in Occult Philosophy, by G. de Purucker

TBL - Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge (Secret Doctrine Commentary), by H. P. Blavatsky

TG - Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky

Theos - The Theosophist (magazine)

VP - Vishnu Purana

VS - The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky

WG - Working Glossary, by William Q. Judge

ZA - Zend-Avesta

Theosophical University Press Online Edition