Index to

The Secret Doctrine:

The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy.

H. P. Blavatsky

Prepared by John P. Van Mater

Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press (print and PDF eBook versions also available). Electronic version ISBN 978-1-55700-125-2. All rights reserved. This edition may be downloaded free of charge for personal use. Except for brief excerpts, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial or other use in any form without the prior permission of Theosophical University Press. For ease of searching, words are not accented in this version.



Quick Links: Aa-Af | Ag-Am | An-Aq | Ar-As | At-Az | Ba-Bi | Bj-Bo | Bp-Bz | Ca-Chm | Chn-Com | Con-Cz | Da-Dg | Dh-Dz | Ea-Em | En-Ez | Fa-Fz | Ga-Gl | Gm-Gz | Ha-Her | Hes-Hz | Ia-Iz | Ja-Jz | Ka-Kd | Ke-Kz | La-Lh | Li-Lz | Ma-Mam | Man-Mas | Mat-Me | Mi-Mom | Mon-Mz | Na-Ne | Nf-Nz | Oa-Oz | Pa-Pg | Ph-Pl | Pn-Pri | Prj-Qz | Ra-Rok | Rol-Rz | Sa | Sc-Se | Sf-Sk | Sl-Sq | Sr-Sz | Ta-Th | Ti-Tz | U-Va | Ve-Vz | Wa-Wz | X-Y-Z | Appendix of Foreign Phrases


Over one hundred years ago, in 1888, H. P. Blavatsky published her Secret Doctrine. Indeed it was an event, for these volumes disclose a description, inner and outer, of the structure and operations of the cosmos and the origin and evolutionary destiny of the kingdoms of nature. Much of its content would have been considered esoteric in former eras, part of the mystery teaching of the ancient schools of both East and West.

This wisdom has been known and taught in every age, in myth and legend, symbol and glyph, and comes down to us from out of the darkness of prehistory. Its substance or truth is also embodied in the various branches of learning, ancient and modern — religion, philosophy, science, literature, and art. Hence HPB, having stated certain principles, was able to illustrate, by referring to the world's literature, that what she was bringing forward has been part of the thought-life of all previous ages. This is no accident: every age has had its wise men, philosophers, artists, poets, who have speculated on cosmic and human life and described it in such a fashion that the universality of the secret doctrine or perennial philosophy may be seen on every hand by those who have the eyes to see it.

The Secret Doctrine is the most widely disseminated theosophical source book. Because of its encyclopedic range, indexing the SD has proved a complex and challenging task. My original instructions were: "Start by making your own index. Don't try to coalesce or combine the existing indices." Over the course of a number of years this phase of the project was completed. We then consulted an unpublished index to the SD compiled by Dr. Gertrude W. van Pelt — a longtime student with a penetrating and intuitive mind — and numerous valuable entries were gleaned. The indices prepared by Boris de Zirkoff and the United Lodge of Theosophists were also consulted, and further useful entries included.

Our entries are designed to be as straightforward and informative as possible, considering the wide range of subjects covered. Most subentries lead off with key words which are alphabetically arranged. In the course of compiling the index, it became apparent that many of the foreign terms used so widely by HPB are no longer spelled as they were by the scholars of her time. To aid the reader we have listed all foreign terms and proper nouns as they are given by HPB, while adding modern spelling in brackets or — when alphabetizing requires — referring the reader to the modern spellings under which the terms are indexed. Exceptions to listing the modern spelling are Tibetan and some Egyptian terms, as well as other foreign words when there is doubt about transliteration. In subentries modern spelling is generally used, but underdots are omitted. To facilitate recognition and pronunciation of Sanskrit words, the TUP conventions are*:

c is transliterated as ch
r is transliterated as ri
ch is transliterated as chh
s is transliterated as sh

For the convenience of the reader, many main headings, especially of foreign terms, are followed by definitions. Cited books whose titles are not given in the SD, are placed in brackets under the author. Also included are a list of abbreviations and an appendix of foreign phrases with translation.

A major guideline followed is that an index is not an interpretation. Its purpose is to point the reader to the essential material found in the book. If, for example, the word Lemuria is given, such entries are placed under that heading. The third root-race is often termed Lemurian; but where third root-race is given by HPB and not Lemuria, these references are under Root-Race-Third. In order to bring together all such similar entries or supplemental material, we have put "See also" after the main headings followed by one or more items. One may also consult terms in the subentries for additional references.

Many individuals have been involved in this project, and each and all have my hearty thanks and gratitude. Allow me to say in closing that I perceive the years spent on this task to have been a rare and inestimable privilege. It is still an ongoing enterprise, for I am sure that future students will revise, enlarge, clarify, and make more accurate the work already done, so that in time the index may become an increasingly useful tool for those following the ageless path of wisdom that HPB so magnificently sets forth.

John P. Van Mater

May 8, 1996
The Theosophical Society
Pasadena, California



*Cf. Bruce Cameron Hall, Sanskrit Pronunciation: Booklet and Cassette, TUP, 1992. (return to text)

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