Theosophical Terms

This glossary has been created by extracting, collating and rearranging many of the glossary terms to be found in the following three books by Geoffrey A. Farthing:
Deity, Cosmos and Man, When We Die and After-Death Consciousness and Processes  As indicated by Mr. Farthing in these books, the actual definitions and wording for these glossary terms were taken (extracted)  from The Secret Doctrine (H.P. Blavatsky), The Key to Theosophy (H.P. Blavatsky), The Theosophical Glossary (H.P. Blavatsky) and a few other works. 

For the current version of this glossary, all material has been rechecked by going back to these original sources by Blavatsky, etc. and some additional definitions have also been added from HPB's The Theosophical Glossary and the Glossary to HPB's 1890 ed. of The Key to Theosophy.  More terms will be added from time to time as found in H.P.B.'s voluminous articles.  The three books by Mr. Farthing are highly recommended to inquirers and students who would like to study Theosophy as presented by H.P. Blavatsky and her Masters.  Print copies of all three books can be purchased from the publisher Point Loma Publications.  


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Absoluteness. When predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE, it denotes an abstraction, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective "absolute" to that which can have neither attributes nor limitations.

Abidharma  The metaphysical (third) part of Tripitaka, a very philosophical Buddhist work by Katyayana.

Absolute  More properly just absoluteness. The One Everlasting Reality, never itself manifesting but underlying all manifestation. Parabrahman (lit. beyond Brahman). From THE SECRET DOCTRINE (Proem), "An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless and Immutable Principle on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception ... (it) is the rootless root of "all that was, is or ever shall be."

The adjective derived from 'Absoluteness'. When predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE it denotes an abstract noun which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective in the "Absolute" to that which has neither attributes nor limitation, nor can IT have any

Adept (Lat. adeptus). In Occultism, one who has reached the stage of initiation and become a master in the Science of Esoteric Philosophy.

Adi     Original, the first, supreme; 7th (highest) Tattva.

Aditi   Space.

Aether      In THE SECRET DOCTRINE the equivalent of Akasha, the primeval manifested 'substance', undifferentiated - (see Akasha and Ether; divine luminiferous substance which pervades the whole universe.

Ahamkara  The egotistical, I-making principle in man.

Ahamkara (alt. Ahankara). The conception of "I", Self-consciousness or Self-identity; the "I", the egotistical and Mayavic principle in man, due to our ignorance which separates our "I" from the Universal ONE-SELF, Personality Egoism. Simply egoity.

Ah-Hi      "..the collective hosts of Spiritual Beings .. intelligent Forces that give to, and enact in, Nature her "laws" .. (The Secret Doctrine - Stanza I, sloka 3)

Akasa The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space, primordial substance.

Akasha (alternative Akasa) Primordial spacial substance (Aether).The subtle, super-sensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primitive substance erroneously identified with Ether. It is to Ether what spirit is to matter or Atma to Kama-rupa. It is, in fact, the Universal Space in which lies inherent the eternal ideation of the Universe in its ever-changing aspects on the planes of matter and objectivity, from which radiates ... expressed thought.

Alaya  lit. indissoluble; equivalent to Akasa. The Universal Soul. The name belongs to the Tibetan system of the contemplative Mahayana School. Identical with Akasa in its mystic sense, and with Mulaprakriti, in its essence, as it is the basis or root of all things.

Alaya-Vijnana  A compound of Alaya as defined above and Vijnana, the principle which dwells in the Vijnanamaya Kosha (the sheath of intellect) and corresponds to the faculties of Higher Manas.

Anastasis  The continued existence of the Soul.

Anima Mundi (Lat.) The "Soul of the World," the same as Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine Essence which pervades, permeates, animates, and informs all things, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense "the seven-skinned Mother" of the stanzas in the Secret Doctrine; the essence of seven planes of sentiency, consciousness, and differentiation, both moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvana; in its lowest, the Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians, and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes, of igneous and ethereal nature in the objective world of forms, and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it is meant, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, and Mahat is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE.

Antahkarana   lit. Intermediate instrument; regarded as the bridge between Lower and Higher Manas in H.P.B.'s works.

The path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal soul of man. It serves as a medium of communication between the two, and conveys from the Lower to the Higher Ego, all those personal impressions and thoughts of men which can, by their nature be assimilated and stored by the undying Entity, and be thus made immortal with it, these being the only Elements of the evanescent Personality that survive death and time. It thus stands to reason that it is only that which is noble, spiritual and divine in man can testify in Eternity to his having lived.

Anthropogenesis  From anthropos(Greek), man, and genesis, origins or beginnings.

Anupadaka  Usually taken to mean "parentless" in theosophical writings; 6th Tattva.

Arhat (Buddhism). A high initiated disciple.

Arupa "Bodiless", formless, as opposed to rupa, "body", or form.

Arupa Loca  Literally a place of no form. Rupa is form, Arupa is formless, Loca simply means a place.

Ashta-Vijnyana  Ashta literally means eight. Vijnyana corresponds to the faculties of the Higher Mind.

Astral Body. The ethereal counterpart or shadow of man or animal. The Linga Sarira (q.v.), the "Doppelgaenger" or double, not to be confused with the ASTRAL SOUL, another name for the lower Manas or Kama-Manas, so-called, the reflection of the Higher Ego.

(or Astral Double). Astral is from the Latin word for star: shining body surrounding and interpenetrating the physical. The model in the inner world around which the physical body is formed. The vehicle of prana, the life-principle.

The ethereal counterpart or phantom or shadow of man and animal, the Linga-sarira, the second principle of man's constitution; sometimes called the astral double.

Astral Light  The invisible region that surrounds our globe, corresponding to the Linga-sarira in man; the vehicle of the life principle (third principle in Cosmos), Prana; the highest principle of the terrestrial atmosphere though undetectable physically.

The lower levels of Akasha; lasts for a Manvantara while Akasha is everlasting. The realm of powers, energies and qualities that show forth in manifest existence. The inner seat of all memory, a record of all that has happened.

The invisible region that surrounds our globe, as it does every other, and corresponding to the second Principle of Kosmos (the third being Life, of which it is the vehicle) and to the Linga-Sarira or the Astral Double in man. The subtle Essence, visible only to a clairvoyant eye and the lowest but one (viz., the earth) of the Seven Akasic or Kosmic Principles.

Asuras  The Asuras, esoterically, are spiritual and divine beings in spite of the common exoteric meaning of elementals and evil gods.

Atma(n)  The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the seventh Principle, so-called, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul.

The seventh principle in Cosmos and man. Spirit. The ONE SELF. The God above, rather than in man.

The Supreme Universal Self: the seventh Principle of Cosmos and correspondingly the divine aspect in Man's constitution, (as the latter it is usually spelt Atma).

Attavada  The sin of personality.

Aum  The sacred syllable; the triple-lettered unit; hence the trinity in one.

Aura  A subtle invisible essence or fluid which emanates from human and animal bodies and even things. It is a psychic effluvium, partaking of both the mind and the body, as it is the electro-vital and at the same time and electro-mental aura; called in Theosophy the akashic or magnetic aura. The Auric Body is this aura regarded as an entity. See however Auric Egg below.

Auric Egg or Envelope  In Esoteric Science this is an akashic sheath surrounding all the principles of a man. It endures from life to life and contains all the karmic influences and effects generated by a man during his physical lives. It is so to speak the boundary of a man's spiritual being demarking him whilst he remains an individuality from the generality of cosmic life.

Demarks a man, or anything, as an entity, from the generality of Cosmos, by an akashic sheath. Contains, and is directly related to both the divine and the physical man. It is:
a) the preserver of every karmic record
b) the storehouse of all the good and evil powers of man
c) furnishes man with his Astral form, etc.

Avidya  Opposed to Vidya, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by, the illusion of the senses.

Avitchi  Lit. the waveless state. The state of continuous agony, not necessarily after death only or between two births, for it can take place on earth as well. Some soulless men are condemned to it on this physical plane.

"Hell", a state; not necessarily after death only or between two births, but on this earth also, for those who become totally spiritually bereft ... "the perfect antithesis of Devachan" (The Secret Doctrine, Vol.III, 494/5).


Bardo  Lit. between, until, during, as long as. Esoterically sometimes used for the state between lives, after death.

Beness. A term coined by Theosophists to render more accurately the essential meaning of the untranslatable word Sat. The latter word does not mean "Being," for the term "Being" presupposes a sentient consciousness of existence. But as the term Sat is applied solely to the absolute principle, that universal, unknown, and ever unknowable principle which philosophical Pantheism postulates, calling it the basic root of Kosmos and Kosmos itself, it could not be translated by the simple term "Being." Sat, indeed, is not even, as translated by some Orientalists, "the incomprehensible Entity"; for it is no more an "Entity" than a non-entity, but both. It is as said absolute BENESS, not "Being"; the one, secondless, undivided and indivisible ALL -- the root of nature both visible and invisible, objective and subjective, comprehensible and -- never to be fully comprehended.

Bhut (Bhoot)  Ghost or phantom; a secondary meaning is "heretics". To call them demons is incorrect.

Bodhi  A shortened version of Bodhi Tree under which Gautama, the Buddha, obtained illumination. Bodhi is to awaken or enlighten, hence spiritual wisdom.

 Illumination, spiritual wisdom, receptive intelligence.

Bodhisattwa  Lit. "he, whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bodhi)". One who needs but one more incarnation to become a perfect Buddha, to be entitled to Nirvana.

lit. One whose essence is wisdom; one who renounces Nirvana.

Brahma  With an accent over the second 'a' is male and regarded as the Creator aspect of the trinity of which Vishnu is the preserver and Siva the destroyer aspects.

Brahma(n)  The impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. If spelt with an accent over the last 'a' it is the male and the alleged Creator who exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e. disappears and is annihilated.

In neuter form Brahman "is the impersonal supreme, uncognizable but all-pervading son of the universe", from "the essence of which all emanates and into which all returns".

Buddhi  The universal soul or mind; the spiritual soul in man (the sixth Principle), the vehicle of Atma.

The vehicle of Atma; the potentiality of intelligence, 6th principle in Cosmos, and in man's constitution; often signifies intuition (direct perception).

Universal Soul or Mind. Mahabuddhi is a name of Mahat (see Alaya); also the spiritual Soul in man (the sixth principle), the vehicle of Atma, esoterically the seventh.

Buddhi-Taijasi (Sans.) A very mystic term, capable of several interpretations. In Occultism, however, and in relation to the human "Principles" (exoterically), it is a term to express the state of our dual Manas, when, reunited during a man's life, it bathes in the radiance of Buddhi, the Spiritual Soul. For "Taijasi" means the radiant, and Manas, becoming radiant in consequence of its union with Buddhi, and being, so to speak, merged into it, is identified with the latter; the trinity has become one; and, as the element of Buddhi is the highest, it becomes Buddhi-Taijasi. In short, it is the human soul illuminated by the radiance of the divine soul, the human reason lit by the light of the Spirit or Divine SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS.


Causal Body. This "body," which is in reality no body at all, either objective or subjective, but Buddhi the Spiritual Soul, is so-called because it is the direct cause of the Sushupti state leading to the Turya state, the highest state of Samadhi. It is called Karanopadhi, "the basis of the cause," by the "Taraka Raj" Yogis, and in the Vedanta System corresponds to both the Vignanamaya and Anandamaya Kosha (the latter coming next to Atma, and therefore being the vehicle of the Universal Spirit). Buddhi alone could not be called a "Causal body," but becomes one in conjunction with Manas, the incarnating Entity or EGO.

Chain (of Worlds)  The name given to six subjective, non-physical globes and one objective physical one forming an integral system corresponding in man to his physical body and his six inner principles. An entirely esoteric conception.

Chain (Planetary)  In Occultism a series of seven globes, usually six subjective, and one objective (physical), as is our Earth with its six companion globes, three preceding and three succeeding it in evolutionary development. The Chain preceding the Earth Chain is said to have been the Lunar (or Moon) Chain.

Chhaya  "Shade" or "shadow"; the astral image of a person in esoteric philosophy.

(lit."a shadow") The rudiment of form, projected by the Lunar ancestors, of terrestrial man to become that of his astral model body.

Chiliocosm  The term including the Rupa and Arupa Locas of Devachan.

Comprises several states of being within Devachan.

Clairaudience. The faculty -- whether innate or acquired by occult training -- to hear things at whatever distance.

Clairvoyance. A faculty of seeing with the inner eye or spiritual sight. As now used, it is a loose and flippant term, embracing under its meaning both a happy guess due to natural shrewdness or intuition, and also that faculty which was so remarkably exercised by Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg. Yet even these two great seers, since they could never rise superior to the general spirit of the Jewish Bible and Sectarian teachings, have sadly confused what they saw, and fallen far short of true clairvoyance.

CosmogenesisThe beginnings or origins of Cosmos

Cosmos (Greek Kosmos) The world or universe as an orderly or systematic whole. The word is sometimes used in Esoteric Science to connote the immediate visible universe or even the solar system.

The ordered Universe generally - as opposed to chaos. Used in various orders of magnitude, e.g. our Solar System or the visible universe about us.

Cycles  (Greek Kyklos, a circle) A period of time in which events happen in a certain order, and which constantly repeats itself; a necessary series of changes. In Occultism the whole process of universal becoming is regarded as cyclical and is itself seen as composed of an infinite series of cycles within cycles


Daimon (Daemon)  A word with a meaning identical with that of "God", "Angel" or "Genius". The Daemon of Socrates is the incorruptible part of the man, or rather the real inner man which we call Nous or the rational divine Ego. To be distinguished from "demon".

Demiurge The supernatural power that built the universe and man.

Deva A celestial being with many popular meanings from god to angel (from div, to shine)

A god, a "resplendent" Deity, Deva-Deus, from the root div, "to shine." A Deva is a celestial being -- whether good, bad or indifferent -- which inhabits "the three worlds," or the three planes above us. There are 33 groups or millions of them.

Deva Chan  (or Devachan) The "dwelling of the gods". A state intermediate between two earth-lives, into which the Ego (Atma, Buddhi, Manas, or Trinity made One) enters, after its separation from Kama-rupa, and the disintegration of the lower principles on earth.

(lit. the dwelling of the gods) The subjective, blissful state enjoyed by the Ego after death, where there is no sorrow.

 Lit. the "dwelling of the gods"; A state intermediate between two earth-lives, and into which the Ego (Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the Trinity made one) enters after its separation from Kama Rupa, and the disintegration of the lower principles, after the death of the body, on Earth.

Dharmakaya  Lit. "the glorified spiritual body". The third or highest of the three bodies developed by every initiate who has crossed or reached the end of what is called "the fourth Path" (in Esotericism the sixth portal prior to his entry on the seventh). This body corresponds to the buddhic plane of consciousness. The three bodies are 1) Nirmanakaya, 2) Sambhogakaya and 3) Dermakaya, the last being the highest and most sublimated of all as it places the ascetic on the threshold of Nirvana.

Dhyan Chohans The "Lords of Light". The highest gods, answering to the Roman Catholic Archangels. The divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of Cosmos; sometimes the denizens of the three superhuman kingdoms.

(lit. Lord of Light) The entities comprising the post-human kingdoms. The divine intelligences that conduct the processes of Cosmos, ruling the lesser intelligences, the elementals.

Dhyani  An abbreviation of Dhyan Chohan (see above).

Doppelgaenger  A synonym of the "Double" and of the "Astral Body" in occult parlance.

Double. The same as the Astral body or "Doppelganger."

Dugpa. Latterly the term has become a synonym for "sorcerer", "adept of black magic" and everything vile. It is from the Dugpas that orientalists have learned of Buddho-Lamaism in Tibet and have formed a completely wrong impression of it. Because of this Northern Buddhism in its purified, metaphysical form is almost entirely unknown.


Ego (Lat.) "I"; the consciousness in man of the "I am I," or the feeling of I-am-ship. Esoteric philosophy teaches the existence of two Egos in man, the mortal or personal, and the higher, the divine or impersonal, calling the former "personality," and the latter "individuality."

Egoity (from the word "Ego"). Egoity means "individuality" -- indifferent -- never "personality," as it is the opposite of Egoism or "selfishness," the characteristic par excellence of the latter.

Eidolon (Gr.) The same as that which we term the human phantom, the Astral form.

Eighth Sphere  See Avitchi.

Elements In Occultism the word is applied to the old philosophers' elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Occultism adds another, "Ether", which is just starting to manifest and there are two more to come in the sixth and seventh Rounds. Each element has a correspondence with a tattva, a sense, a sound, and so on.

States or conditions of substance at all levels of being, reflecting into physical objective existence as the fiery; vaporous, airy, gaseous; watery, fluidic; and earthy, solid, states. To each of these states the medieval philosophers ascribed temperaments, viz sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy and choleric (or bilious).

Elementals Spirits of the Elements, the creatures evolved in the four kingdoms or elements - earth, air, fire and water. These were called by the Kabalists, gnomes (of the earth), sylphs (of the air), salamanders (of fire) and undines (of water). Except a few of the higher kinds, and their rulers, they are rather forces of nature .. and have many names as 'little people' etc.

The spirits of the Elements; the invisible creatures usually associated with the mediaeval philosophers' Elements, viz., Earth, Water, Air, Fire, but there are other kinds; the living forces in Nature.

Spirits of the Elements. The creatures evolved in the four Kingdoms or Elements. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Except for a few of the higher kinds and their rulers they are rather forces of Nature. These Forces, as servile agents of the Occultists, may produce various effects; but if employed by "Elementaries" (see next) - in which they enslave the mediums - they will deceive the credulous.

Elementaries The kama-manasic reliquae of the dead in Kama-loca after the departure to Devachan of the higher trinity. Because of their separation from the Egoic influence, they tend to manifest only the baser, more depraved elements in the deceased's character. They can materialize at seances through a medium and can use elementals to produce phenomena.

The phantoms or spooks of disembodied persons; elementary "spirits" who have been men; souls divorced from their higher triads and their physical bodies, existing in kama-rupic envelopes and irresistibly drawn to earth amid elements congenial to their gross natures. The duration of their stay in Kama-loka varies but ends invariably in disintegration. See also Kama-rupa.

Properly the disembodied soul of the depraved, these souls having some time prior to death separated from themselves their divine spirit and so lost their chance for immortality; the term is also applied to the spooks or phantoms of disembodied persons in general, i.e. to those whose temporary habitation is the Kama Loca.

Elohim  This seems to be the plural of the feminine noun Eloah .. and seems to imply the emitted active and passive essences .. "Elohim" has been said to represent a sevenfold power of Godhead.

In Occultism taken to mean a hierarchy of creators in the formation of Cosmos. It is a plural noun.

Esoteric. Hidden, secret. From the Greek Esotericos -- "inner," concealed.

Ether  In Occultism an Element (corresponding to the 5th Tattva) which will become manifest in the 5th Round. It is not to be confused with the chemical ether and is not the ether of 19th century science, i.e. the medium in which electromagnetic waves were supposed to travel; this latter meaning would correspond to the non-physical Astral light.


Fohat (Tib.). A term used to represent the active (male) potency of the Sakti (female reproductive power) in nature. The essence of cosmic electricity. An occult Tibetan term for Daiviprakriti primordial light: and in the universe of manifestation the ever-present electrical energy and ceaseless destructive and formative power. Esoterically, it is the same, Fohat being the universal propelling Vital Force, at once the propeller and the resultant.


Globes (A - Z)  It is said in Occultism that the earth is one of seven globes of a Chain, itself physical and objective but its six companion globes are subjective and invisible. It is said that during the life of a globe the life wave passes seven times round the Chain and that in each Round the kingdoms of Nature including the human go through seven evolutionary stages. The human stages are known as Root Races. See also Chain.

Gnosis (Gr.) Lit. "knowledge." The technical term used by the schools of religious philosophy, both before and during the first centuries of so-called Christianity, to denote the object of their enquiry. This spiritual and sacred knowledge, the Gupta Vidya of the Hindus, could only be obtained by Initiation into Spiritual Mysteries of which the ceremonial "Mysteries" were a type.


Hallucinations. A state produced sometimes by physiological disorders, sometimes by mediumship, and at others by drunkenness. But the cause that produces the visions has to be sought deeper than physiology. All such, particularly when produced through mediumship, are preceded by a relaxation of the nervous system, generating invariably an abnormal magnetic condition which attracts to the sufferer waves of astral light. It is these latter that furnish the various hallucinations, which, however, are not always, as physicians would explain them, mere empty and unreal dreams. No one can see that which does not exist -- i. e., which is not impressed -- in or on the astral waves. But a seer may perceive objects and scenes (whether past, present or future) which have no relation whatever to himself; and perceive, moreover, several things entirely disconnected with each other at one and the same time, so as to produce the most grotesque and absurd combinations. But drunkard and seer, medium and adept see their respective visions in the astral light; only while the drunkard, the madman, and the untrained medium, or one in a brain fever, see, because they cannot help it, and evoke jumbled visions unconsciously to themselves without being able to control them, the adept and the trained Seer have the choice and the control of such visions. They know where to fix their gaze, how to steady the scenes they wish to observe, and how to see beyond the upper outward layers of the astral light. With the former such glimpses into the waves are hallucinations; with the latter they become the faithful reproduction of what actually has been, is, or will be taking place. The glimpses at random, caught by the medium, and his flickering visions in the deceptive light, are transformed under the guiding will of the adept and seer into steady pictures, the truthful representation of that which he wills to come within the focus of his perception.

Hierarchy  From the Greek, hieros, sacred, and archein, to rule; a body classified in successively subordinate grades. In Occultism the body and grades are represented by collective hosts.

Hiranyagarbha (sometimes as two words Hiranya Garbha). The radiant or golden egg or womb. Esoterically the luminous "fire-mist" or ethereal stuff from which the Universe was formed.


Illusion. In Occultism everything finite (such as the Universe and all in it) is called Illusion or Maya.

Individuality. One of the names given in Theosophy and Occultism to the human Higher Ego. We make a distinction between the immortal and divine and the mortal human Ego which perishes. The latter or "Personality" (personal Ego) survives the dead body but for a time in Kama Loka: the Individuality prevails for ever.

Initiate. From the Latin Initiatus. The designation of anyone who was received into and had revealed to him the mysteries and secrets of either Masonry or Occultism. In times of antiquity they were those who had been initiated into the arcane knowledge taught by the Hierophants of the Mysteries; and in our modern days those who have been initiated by the adepts of mystic lore into the mysterious knowledge, which, notwithstanding the lapse of ages, has yet a few real votaries on earth.


Jhana  Knowledge; occult wisdom.

Jiva  Life, as the Absolute; the Monad also or "Atma-Buddhi".

The general cosmic Life Principle.

Jivanmukta  An Adept or Yogi who has reached the ultimate state of holiness, and separated himself from matter; a Mahatma, or Nirvanee, a dweller in bliss and emancipation. Virtually one who has reached Nirvana during life.

Jivatma  The One universal life, generally; but also the divine Spirit in Man.

The highest spiritual (Life) Principle especially when regarded as individualized, as in man.


Ka  A name of Brahma in his phallic character as generator or Prajapati.

Kalpa  The time period of a planet, generally a cycle of time, but usually representing a "day" and "night" of Brahma, a period of 4,320 million years.

A period of time; a 'day' and 'night' of Brahma - many millions of earth years.

Kama  The first conscious, all-embracing desire for universal good, love, and for all that lives and feels, needs help and kindness, the first feeling of infinite tender compassion and mercy that arose in the consciousness of the ONE FORCE as soon as it came into life and being as a ray from the ABSOLUTE. More commonly thought of as evil desire, lust, volition; cleaving to existence. Kama is generally identified with Mara, the tempter.

The 4th principle in Cosmos and man. It is fohatic force regarded as expressing itself as desire, emotion and passions, particularly in man.

Desire, the passional nature of man; the fourth principle in his constitution, associated with his emotions and desires, the cleaving to existence; volition.

Kama Loca The semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied "personalities", the astral forms, called Kama-rupa (fourth and part of man's fifth principle) remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effect of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of human and animal passions and desires.

That region of, or place in, the Astral Light where the kamic remains of defunct human beings exist for a while (maybe up to some years) and then dissipate.

Kama-prana  A compound of Kama and Prana, which see.

Kama Rupa (Sans.) Metaphysically and in our esoteric philosophy it is the subjective form created through the mental and physical desires and thoughts in connection with things of matter, by all sentient beings: a form which survives the death of its body. After that death, three of the seven "principles" -- or, let us say, planes of the senses and consciousness on which the human instincts and ideation act in turn -- viz., the body, its astral prototype and physical vitality, being of no further use, remain on earth; the three higher principles, grouped into one, merge into a state of Devachan (q. v.), in which state the Higher Ego will remain until the hour for a new reincarnation arrives, and the eidolon of the ex-personality is left alone in its new abode. Here the pale copy of the man that was, vegetates for a period of time, the duration of which is variable according to the element of materiality which is left in it, and which is determined by the past life of the defunct. Bereft as it is of its higher mind, spirit and physical senses, if left alone to its own senseless devices, it will gradually fade out and disintegrate. But if forcibly drawn back into the terrestrial sphere, whether by the passionate desires and appeals of the surviving friends or by regular necromantic practices -- one of the most pernicious of which is mediumship -- the "spook" may prevail for a period greatly exceeding the span of the natural life of its body. Once the Kama Rupa has learnt the way back to living human bodies, it becomes a vampire feeding on the vitality of those who are so anxious for its company. In India these Eidolons are called Pisachas, -- and are much dreaded.

Karma (Sans.) Physically, action; Metaphysically, the LAW of RETRIBUTION; the Law of Cause and Effect or Ethical Causation. It is Nemesis only in the sense of bad Karma. It is the eleventh Nidana in the concatenation of causes and effects in orthodox Buddhism; yet it is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, the metaphysical Samskara, or the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire. There is the Karma of merit and the Karma of demerit. Karma neither punishes nor rewards; it is simply the one Universal LAW which guides unerringly and, so to say, blindly, all other laws productive of certain effects along the grooves of their respective causations. When Buddhism teaches that "Karma is that moral Kernel (of any being) which alone survives death and continues in transmigration" or reincarnation, it simply means that there remains nought after each personality, but the causes produced by it, causes which are undying, i. e., which cannot be eliminated from the Universe until replaced by their legitimate effects, and so to speak, wiped out by them. And such causes, unless compensated during the life of the person who produced them with adequate effects, will follow the reincarnated Ego and reach it in its subsequent incarnations until a full harmony between effects and causes is fully re-established. No "personality" -- a mere bundle of material atoms and instinctual and mental characteristics -- can, of course, continue as such in the world of pure spirit. Only that which is immortal in its very nature and divine in its essence, namely, the Ego, can exist for ever. And as it is that Ego which chooses the personality it will inform after each Devachan, and which receives through these personalities the effects of the Karmic causes produced, it is, therefore, the Ego, that Self, which is the "moral Kernel" referred to, and embodied Karma itself, that "which alone survives death."

Kingdoms The kingdoms of nature, but taken in Occultism to include three elemental ones below the mineral and three above the human, making ten in all.

Kosha  Lit. a sheath, as in Anandamaya-kosha, "the illusive sheath of bliss", identical with our Atma-Buddhi or the Spiritual Soul. A mayavic or illusory form. One of the five Koshas or "principles" in man,

Kriyasakti  The mysterious thought- (or will-) directed power that enables a potent user of it to produce phenomenal effects.

Kumara  Lit. a virgin boy or young celibate, a holy youth. The name was given to a class of high spiritual entities associated with the very early development of humanity. Two other classes mentioned were the Agnishvattas and the Manasaputras.

One class of Solar Pitris, closely concerned with humanity. In the formation of earth men they were said, because of their purity, to "refuse to create". They are sometimes referred to as "the mind-born Sons" and Agnishvattas, sometimes equated to Egos.


Law, The  A synonym for Karma in its broadest sense. It is the whole Cosmic operation. In The Secret Doctrine it says, "Deity is Law and vice versa." Because everything from the highest to the lowest in Cosmos is living and therefore sentient, it behaves in its characteristic way fulfilling its role in the grand scheme of things. This is how they are ordered. The Universe is self-regulating; there is no outside Law-giver or Regulator.

Laya  A condition of dissolution, of rest, of non-activity. A laya centre is a state of inactive neutrality, where substance ceases to be differentiated; sometimes likened to Nirvana.

Lha  Spirit of the highest spheres, whence the name of Lhasa, residence of the Dalai Lama. Title often given to saints and yogis in Tibet who have attained great occult powers.

Linga Sarira   (Sharira) The "Astral Body" of man or animal; the vital and prototypal body; the reflection of the man of flesh. It is born before and dies or fades out, with the disappearance of the last atom of the body.

The model body, the Sanscrit name for the Astral Body, man's 2nd principle, the vehicle of prana.

The "astral body" of man or animal. The eidolon, the vital and prototypal body; the reflection of the man of flesh. It is born before, and dies or fades out with the disappearance of the last atom of the body.

Lipika  (lit. The 'Recorders) They are said to enter in the book of the unfading cosmic memory every detail of all that has happened during a Manvantara. The highest in the Hierarchy of Celestial Beings; they create a division between the arupa (spiritual) and the rupa (lower, form) levels of existence.

Logos  (lit. word or sound) The Collective Being of a system, i.e. Solar or Planetary. Usually represented as being threefold; unmanifest (1st), manifest (2nd), intelligent (mind, Mahat, in action) (3rd).

The manifested deity with every nation and people; the outward expression, or the effect of the cause which is ever concealed. Thus, speech is the logos of thought; hence it is aptly translated by the "Verbum" and "Word" in its metaphysical sense

Loka (Loca)  A region or circumscribed place. In metaphysics, a world or sphere or plane. The Puranas in India speak incessantly of seven and fourteen Lokas, above, and below our earth; of heavens and hells.

Lunar Pitris  The beings who had reached the human stage in the Lunar (Moon) Chain who formed the chhayas (shadows) of the Astral bodies of the humanity to be on our planet.


Maha  Great, e.g. Mahatma, Great Soul.

Mahat   Lit. the "great one". The first principle of Universal Intelligence and Consciousness. The producer of Manas, the thinking principle and of Ahankara, egotism or the feeling of "I am I" in the lower manas.

Cosmic Ideation, Divine Mind, Universal Mind principle, which reflected into and individualized in man, is his Manasic principle (5th). Regarded in The Secret Doctrine as an Entity, the highest in our scheme, a collectivity of divine beings.

Mahatma  Lit. great soul. Adepts of the highest order, exalted beings who, having attained the mastery over their lower principles, are thus living unimpeded by the "man of flesh", and are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution; Arhats.

Manas  Lit. the mind, the mental faculty which makes of man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from the mere animals. Esoterically it means when unqualified the Higher Ego or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified, it is Buddhi-Manas or the Spiritual Soul in contradistinction to its human reflection, Kama-Manas.

Manasa  Lit. the efflux of the Divine Mind, signifying the Manasa or Divine Sons, arupa and incorporeal, of Mahat .. (They) are identical with Kumara, the Manasa-Putra (mind sons) and are finally identified with the human "Egos".

Manasa-Putra  Lit. sons of Mind, see above. Also termed the Solar Pitris, the great benefactors of the human race acting in the capacity of awakening the dormant mind principle during the Third Root Race of humanity.

Solar Pitris who bestowed the spark of Mind upon the up-until-then otherwise 'mindless' man of the Third Root Race.

Manas Taijasa  Lit. the radiant Manas. A state of the Higher Ego, which only high metaphysicians are able to realize and comprehend.

Manu  A great Regent or Watcher of a planetary system. There are 14 Manus (7 primeval ones) who are each the patron or guardian of a cycle in a Manvantara. In India a great legislator, hence the Laws of Manu.

Manus  The great Regents of a planetary system; the collective beings who act as the progenitors of the successive Races of men on the planet.

Manvantara  A period of manifestation as opposed to Pralaya (dissolution or rest). Applied to various cycles, especially to a day of Brahma, 4,320 million Solar years.

The period of influence of the Manu; otherwise a period of activity always alternating with a period of rest - Prayala.

A period of manifestation, as opposed to Pralaya (dissolution, or rest), applied to various cycles, especially to a Day of Brahma, 4,320,000,000 Solar years - and to the reign of one Manu - 308,448,000.

Mara  The Destroyer, the Evil One; the god of Temptation, hence the "death" of the soul, the seducer who tried to turn Buddha away from his path.

Master. A translation from the Sanskrit Guru, "Spiritual teacher," and adopted by the Theosophists to designate the Adepts, from whom they hold their teachings.

Maya (Sans.) Illusion; the cosmic power which renders phenomenal existence and the perceptions thereof possible. In Hindu philosophy that alone which is changeless and eternal is called reality: all that which is subject to change through decay and differentiation, and which has, therefore, a beginning and an end, is regarded as MAYA -- illusion. .

Mayavi-rupa  Illusive form; the body of "astral" projection, formed from the thought, as distinct from the emotional elements of the kama-manasic mortal soul (fourth and lower fifth principles) of man; it is to be distinguished also from the astral body, the Linga-Sarira, man's second principle, which cannot be separated far from his physical body. From the Mayavi-rupa can be formed a semi-material apparitional likeness of a man even while he lives, similar to a materialized "spook" at a sťance.

The "double" in esoteric philosophy, to be distinguished from the Linga Sarira; the vehicle of projection.

An illusory, thought-projected form. The vehicle of so called 'astral' travel of any but a short distance from the physical body. Short distance travel may be in the Astral Body proper. The mayavi-rupa is also sometimes projected when someone dying thinks of another to whom it then appears.

Mediumship. A word now accepted to indicate that abnormal psycho-physiological state which leads a person to take the fancies of his imagination, his hallucinations, real or artificial, for realities. No entirely healthy person on the physiological and psychic planes can ever be a medium. That which mediums see, hear, and sense, is "real" but untrue; it is either gathered from the astral plane, so deceptive in its vibrations and suggestions, or from pure hallucinations, which have no actual existence, but for him who perceives them. "Mediumship" is a kind of vulgarised mediatorship in which one afflicted with this faculty is supposed to become an agent of communication between a living man and a departed "Spirit." There exist regular methods of training for the development of this undesirable acquirement.

Microcosm. The "little" Universe meaning man, made in the image of his creator, the Macrocosm, or "great" Universe, and containing all that the latter contains. These terms are used in Occultism and Theosophy

Monad  The Unity, the One; in Occultism it often means the unified triad, Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the duad, Atma-Buddhi, that immortal part of man which reincarnates in the lower kingdoms, and gradually progresses through them to Man and then to the final goal - Nirvana.

(lit. a unit) An ultimate unit of being; in Occultism the Unit Spirit in or over-shadowing everything. A unit of life. In man the combination of Atma and Buddhi when in association with an entity. Regarded cosmically as the indivisible One, the Unit Life of the System in existence, whence all 'lives'.

The Unity, the One; in Occultism often applied to the higher duad, Atma-Buddhi; in man, in conjunction with the higher mind principle, Manas, it becomes the Ego, the reincarnating entity. Without an association with Manas, Monad is unconscious in any sense in which we understand that word.

Moon Chain  See Chain. The Moon or Lunar Chain is said to be the one that next preceded ours, the Earth Chain, regarded as its re-incarnation inheriting its principles, life energies, etc.

Mulaprakriti  The abstract deific feminine principle -undifferentiated substance. Akasa. Lit. the "root of nature" (Prakriti) or Matter.

Root-matter, undifferentiated, the abstract Substance-principle unmanifest; corresponds to Akasa as undifferentiated Substance in manifestation.

Myalba. In esoteric philosophy of Northern Buddhism the name of our Earth, called Hell for those who reincarnate in it for punishment.


Necromancy  he raising of the images of the dead, considered in antiquity and by modern Occultists as a practice of black magic. Many witches were necromancers and were condemned as such.

Nephesh (Heb.) "Breath of Life, Anima, Mens Vitae, appetites. The term is used very loosely in the Bible. It generally means Prana, 'life'; in the Kabbalah it is the animal passions and the animal soul." Therefore, as maintained in theosophical teachings, Nephesh is the Prana-Kamic Principle, or the vital animal soul in man.

Nidana  One of the twelve causes of existence; as links in the chain of causation of the whole range of existence. The Nidanas are listed under their Sanskrit names in the Theosophical Glossary.

Nirmanakaya  Lit. a transformed "body"; a state; a man who, while leaving behind his physical body, retains every other principle save the kamic. Instead of entering Nirvana he remains to help mankind in an invisible yet effective manner.

Nirvana (Sans.) According to the Orientalists, the entire "blowing-out," like the flame of a candle, the utter extinction of existence. But in the exoteric explanations it is the state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness, into which the Ego of a man who had reached the highest degree of perfection and holiness during life, goes after the body dies, and occasionally, as is the case of Gautama Buddha and others, during life.

A state of Egoic consciousness free of the limitations and conditioning of ordinary existence; the highest spiritual attainment. Not extinction but absolute existence and consciousness.

Noumena  The true essential nature of being as distinguished from the illusive objects of sense.

Noumenon  The inner, invisible, essential nature behind all visible, objective phenomena or anything that can be an object of sense.

Nous  The Higher Mind or Soul; Spirit as distinct from animal soul - psyche; divine consciousness or mind in man.


Occult  Lit. hidden. The secrets of Nature at all levels of being. An Occultist is one who studies them. Occultism covers all arcane sciences.

Ordinarily, simply 'hidden' from Latin 'to hide'. "The doctrine or study of things hidden or mysterious - theosophy, etc." (Chambers). Occult Sciences, the Hermetic or Esoteric Sciences which explore the secrets of Nature.

Occultist. One who practises Occultism, an adept in the Secret Sciences, but very often applied to a mere student.

Odyle  Matter, tenuous. A force supposed to manifest in light, magnetism, chemical action, hypnotism, etc. (Reichenbach).


Parabrahm  Lit. beyond Brahma. The Supreme Infinite Brahma, "Absolute" -, the attributeless, secondless reality. The impersonal and nameless universal Principle.

The indescribable, unknowable, unvarying 'absolute' postulated as preceding and sustaining the manifest Universe.

The Boundless All; Absoluteness; Eternal, Boundless, Immutable Principle.

Paramatma(n)  The Supreme Soul of the Universe.

Paranirvana  Absolute Non-Being, the state reached by the human Monad at the end of the Great Cycle.

Absolute Non-Being, which is equivalent to absolute Being or "Be-ness", the state reached by the human Monad at the end of the great cycle.

Personality. The teachings of Occultism divide man into three aspects -- the divine, the thinking or rational, and the irrational or animal man. For metaphysical purposes also he is considered under a septenary division, or, as it is agreed to express it in theosophy, he is composed of seven "principles," three of which constitute the Higher Triad, and the remaining four the lower Quaternary. It is in the latter that dwells the Personality which embraces all the characteristics, including memory and consciousness, of each physical life in turn. The Individuality is the Higher Ego (Manas) of the Triad considered as a Unity. In other words the Individuality is our imperishable Ego which reincarnates and clothes itself in a new Personality at every new birth.

Pisachas  Fading remnants of human beings in Kama-loca, as shells and Elementaries.

In the Puranas, goblins or demons created by Brahma. In the southern Indian folk-lore, ghosts, demons, larvae, and vampires - generally female - who haunt men. Fading remnants of human beings in Kama Loca, as shells and Elementaries.

Plane. From the Latin Planus (level, flat), an extension of space, whether in the physical or metaphysical sense. In Occultism, the range or extent of some state of consciousness, or the state of matter corresponding to the perceptive powers of a particular set of senses or the action of a particular force.

Prakriti  The material aspect in Nature in general as opposed to Purusha, the spiritual nature and Spirit.

The manifest substance aspect, as opposed to the spiritual (purusha) aspect of the One, the material of the universe.

Pralaya  A period of obscuration or repose - planetary, cosmic or universal. The opposite of Manvantara.

The period of rest or inactivity after a Manvantara, or period of activity. Literally meaning dissolution but often applying to a state of suspended being. Can apply variously to a Universe, a solar system or a planet.

Prana (Sans.) Life Principle, the breath of life, Nephesh.

The Life Principle (Jiva) when associated with an individual, e.g. man. No body or even inner personal principle can live without it. The breath of life.

The life principle, the third in man's constitution; the breath of life; vitality, the vital fluid. When it is absent from a body or organism that body is "dead", and the coordinating and controlling functions of other principles cannot then operate.

Principle(s)  The Elements or original essences, the basic differentiations upon and of which all things are built up; the seven individual and fundamental aspects of the one universal reality in Kosmos and in man.

Prithivi  (lit. the Earth) Sometimes the Element Earth, when regarded as a Tattva.

Protean Soul. A name for Mayavi rupa or thought-body, the higher astral form which assumes all forms and every form at the will of an adept's thought.

Psyche  Lit. soul: in Theosophy the mortal soul, the inner (fourth and lower fifth) principles of Personality.

Psychism. The word is used now to denote every kind of mental phenomena, e.g., mediumship as well as the higher form of sensitiveness. A newly-coined word.


Quaternary. The four lower "principles in man," those which constitute his personality (i.e., Body, Astral Double, Prana or life, organs of desire and lower Manas, or brain-mind), as distinguished from the Higher Ternary or Triad, composed of the higher Spiritual Soul, Mind and Atman (Higher Self).


Race In Occultism, humanity is represented as passing through seven main development stages during one Round; (q.v.) each such stage is a Root Race, which is divided in seven Sub-Races and each of these is further sub-divided.

Races, Root  In Esotericism humanity is said to progress in its physical, psychical, and spiritual development by stages. There are seven main stages represented by Seven Root Races and each Root Race has seven Sub-Races which are themselves further divided. The physical characteristics (not the psychical nor spiritual) of the Root Races are roughly represented by colour, black (3rd), brown (4th) and white (5th); the earlier Races were not fully physical until the middle of the 3rd Root Race.

Recollection, Remembrance, Reminiscence. Occultists make a difference between these three functions. As, however, a glossary cannot contain the full explanation of every term in all its metaphysical and subtle differences, we can only state here that these terms vary in their applications, according to whether they relate to the past or the present birth, and whether one or the other of these phases of memory emanates from the spiritual or the material brain; or, again, from the "Individuality" or the "Personality."

Reincarnation, or Re-birth; the once universal doctrine, which taught that the Ego is born on this earth an innumerable number of times. Now-a-days it is denied by Christians, who seem to misunderstand the teachings of their own gospels. Nevertheless, the putting on of flesh periodically and throughout long cycles by the higher human Soul (Buddhi-Manas) or Ego is taught in the Bible as it is in all other ancient scriptures, and "resurrection" means only the rebirth of the Ego in another form.

Reliquiae  Lit. remains. In Theosophy the remains of the psyche after death, in Kama-loca.

Ring-Pass-Not  As a man's skin demarks him, as an entity, from his surroundings at physical level, so he is said in Occultism to be so 'entified' in the inner world by a ring-pass-not. Occultism also teaches that every manifest thing and creature has such a ring

Rosicrucians  Originally disciples of Christian Rosenkreuz (1460); mystical students of the Kabbala and western magic.

Round  In Occultism this word is used in a special way to denote the passage of the "Life Wave" round all the seven globes of a Chain once.

In Esotericism a Round is the name given to the passage of the Life Wave round all the seven Globes of a Chain. On Earth it represents the time taken for all seven Root Races to develop.

he passage of the life wave round the seven globes of a planetary Chain. This earth is in its fourth Round.

Rupa  Body: form, the forms of the gods which are subjective to us.

(lit. a form) This applies not only to the objective physical world but to inner worlds, normally invisible, but visible to clairvoyant sight. There even such normally subjective phenomena as feelings and thoughts become perceptible.

Sometimes associated with the sense of sight.


Sakkayaditthi. False belief that the personality (Sakkaya) is permanent and unchanging.

Sakti: Power; the active female energy of a deity; universal energy.

Sakwala: This is a bana or "word" uttered by Gautama Buddha in his oral instructions. Sakwala is a mundane, or rather a solar system, of which there is an infinite number in the universe, and which denotes that space to which the light of every sun extends. Each Sakwala contains earth, hells and heavens (meaning good and bad spheres, our earth being considered as hell, in Occultism); attains its prime, then falls into decay and is finally destroyed at regularly recurring periods, in virtue of one immutable law.

Samadhi. A state of ecstatic and complete trance, conferring absolute control over all faculties.

The term comes from the words Sam-adha, "self-possession". He who possesses this power is able to exercise an absolute control over all his faculties, physical or mental; it is the highest state of Yoga.

Samma-Sambuddha. The recollection of all one's past incarnations: a yoga phenomenon. A title of Buddha, perfect illumination.

Sanna. A Skandha, abstract ideas.

Self. There are two Selves in men -- the Higher and the Lower, the Impersonal and the Personal Self. One is divine, the other semi-animal. A great distinction should be made between the two.

Skandhas. The attributes of every personality, which after death form the basis, so to say, for a new Karmic reincarnation. They are five in the popular or exoteric system of the Buddhists: i.e., Rupa, form or body, which leaves behind it its magnetic atoms and occult affinities; Vedana, sensations, which do likewise; Sanna, or abstract ideas, which are the creative powers at work from one incarnation to another; Samkhara, tendencies of mind; and Vinnana, mental powers.

Somnambul(ism). Lit. sleepwalking. Performing every function of waking consciousness in one's sleep with utter oblivion of the fact on waking.

Sthula Sharira. The Sanskrit name for the human physical body, in Occultism and Vedanta philosophy.

The gross physical body, the lowest of man's seven principles.

Sthulopadhi. The physical body in its waking, conscious state (Jagrat).

Sukshmopadhi. The physical body in the dreaming state (Svapna), and Karanopadhi, "the causal body."

Succubi. Female devils supposed to consort with men during sleep.

Sukhaviti. A paradise of physical delights enjoyed between lives, a mistaken notion of Devachan.

The Western Paradise of the uneducated. The popular notion is that there is a Western Paradise of Amitabha, wherein good men and saints revel in physical delights until they are carried once more by Karma into the circle of rebirth. This is an exaggerated and mistaken notion of Devachan.

Summerland. The fancy name given by the Spiritualists to the abode of their disembodied "Spirits," which they locate somewhere in the Milky Way. It is described on the authority of returning "Spirits" as a lovely land, having beautiful cities and buildings, a Congress Hall, Museums, etc., etc. (See the works of Andrew Jackson Davis.)

Sushupti The state of deep sleep: the third of the 4 states of consciousness.

Swabavat  The mystic Essence, equivalent to Mulaprakriti, Father-Mother, the primordial Spirit-Substance Principle from which all manifest existence, Nature, proceeds, and into which all returns at the end of the Mahamanvantara.


Taijas (Sans.) From tejas "fire"; meaning the "radiant," the "luminous," and referring to the manasa rupa, "the body of Manas," also to the stars, and the star-like shining envelopes. A term in Vedanta philosophy, having other meanings besides the Occult signification just given. Tanha. The thirst for life.

Desire to live and the clinging to life on this earth, causing rebirth or reincarnation.

Tanmatra(s). A characteristic property; noumena of the element-principles of earth, water, air, fire and ether.

Taraka Raja Yoga. A system of brahminical Yoga culminating in liberation.

Tathagata. One who is like his predecessors (the Buddhas) and successors.

"One who is like the coming"; he who is, like his predecessors (the Buddhas) and successors, the coming future Buddha or World-Saviour. One of the titles of Gautama Buddha, and the highest epithet, since the first and the last Buddhas were the direct immediate avatars of the One Deity.

Tattva   From Tat, That, the original homogeneous Element of Life, in which the several basic qualities of things in Nature arise as the Elements or Tattvas.

Tejas Fire.

Tetraktis. The sacred Pythagorean Four; same as Tetragrammaton, symbolized by a triangle of four dots a side with one in the middle making ten dots, the number of perfection.

Theosophist  A student of Theosophy, the Ancient Wisdom, the Wisdom Religion, Esoteric Science, Occultism, etc. One who tries to live in accordance with the eternal verities of existence.

Theosophia (Gr.) Lit., "divine wisdom or the wisdom of the gods."

Triad  A threefold unity; a trinity taken as one. In Occultism the higher triad is the Atma - Buddhi - Manas combination. Its symbol is the triangle.

Atma-Buddhi and the "Envelope" which reflects their light, the three in one. Also applied to Atma, Buddhi, and Manas, and in the Kabala to the three supernal Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, the One and its two aspects, male and female.

Tribuvana The three worlds, heaven, earth and hell, in popular beliefs. Esoterically the spiritual, psychic (astral) and the terrestrial regions.

The three worlds - Swarga, Bhumi, Patala - or Heaven, Earth and Hell in popular beliefs; esoterically, these are the Spiritual and Psychic (or Astral) regions, and the Terrestrial sphere.


Upadana: (Lit. acquiring) material cause ; specifically clinging to earth life.

Lit. acquiring an adhana. Clinging to earth life: a material cause.

Upadhi (Sans.) Basis of something, substructure; as in Occultism -- substance is the upadhi of Spirit.

Upadhi. Lit. a substitute. A disguise, basis or vehicle; carrier of something less material than itself, e.g. body upadhi of spirit.


Vahan (Sans.) "Vehicle," a synonym of Upadhi.

Vayu  Air, as such, and as a Tattva or Element.

Vidya (Sans.) Knowledge, or rather "Wisdom Knowledge."

Vijnana: Consciousness, intelligence; one of the Nidanas.


Yama     (lit.) God of the Dead. Unrestrained activities of the mind.

Yoga (Sans.) A school of philosophy founded by Patanjali, but which existed as a distinct teaching and system of life long before that sage. It is Yajnawalkya, a famous and very ancient sage, to whom the White Yajur Veda, the Satapatha Brahmana and the Brihak Aranyaka are attributed and who lived in pre-Maha-bharatean times, who is credited with inculcating the necessity and positive duty of religious meditation and retirement into the forests, and who, therefore, is believed to have originated the Yoga doctrine. Professor Max Muller states that it is Yajnawalkya who prepared the world for the preaching of Buddha. Patanjali's Yoga, however, is more definite and precise as a philosophy, and embodies more of the occult sciences than any of the works attributed to Yajnawalkya.

Yogi or Yogin (Sans.) A devotee, one who practises the Yoga system. There are various grades and kinds of Yogis, and the term has now become in India a generic name to designate every kind of ascetic.

Yuga (Sans.) An age of the world of which there are four, which follow each other in a series, namely, Krita (or Satya) Yuga, the golden age; Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga, and finally Kali Yuga, the black age -- in which we now are.