H. P. (Helena Petrovna) Blavatsky.

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The Theosophical Glossary labors under the disadvantage of being
an almost entirely posthumous work, of which the author only saw the
first thirty-two pages in proof. This is all the more regi'ettable, for
H.P.B., as was lier wont, was adding considerably to her original copy,
and would no doubt have increased the volume far beyond its i)resent
limits, and so have thrown light on many obscure terms that are not in-
cluded in the present Glossary, and more important still, have furnished
us with a sketcli of the lives and teachings of the most famous Adepts
of the East and West.

The Theosuphiced Glossary purposes to give information on the princi-
pal Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Tibetan, Pali, Chaldean, Persian, Scandinavian,
Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Kabalistic and Gnostic words, and Occult terms
generally used in Theosophical literature, and principally to be found in
Isis Unveiled, Esoteric Budelhism, The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theo-
sophy, etc.; and in the monthly magazines, The Theosophist, Lucifer and
The Path, etc., and other publications of the Theosophical Society. The
articles marked [w.w.w.], which explain words found in the Kahcdah, or
which illustrate Rosierucian or Hermetic doctrines, were contributed at
the special request of H.P.B. by Bro. W. W. Westcott, M.B., P.M. and
P.Z., who is the Secretary General of the Rosierucian Society, and Prae-
monstrator of the Kabalah to the Hermetic Order of the G.D.

H.P.B. desired also to express her special indebtedness, as far as the
tabulation of facts is concerned, to the Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary of
Eitel, The Hindu Classical Dictionary of Dowson, The Vishnu Parana of
Wilson and the Royal Masonic C yclopeedia of Kenneth Mackenzie.

As the undersigned can make no pretension to the elaborate and ex-
traordinary scholarship requisite for the editing of the multifarious and
polyglot contents of H.P.B. 's last contribution to Theosophical literature,
there must necessarily be mistakes of transliteration, etc., which special-
ists in scliolarsliip will at once detect. Meanwhile, however, as nearly
every Orientalist has his own system, varying transliterations may be ex
cused in the present work, and not be set down entirely to the "Karma
of the editor.

G. R. S. MEAD.

London, January, 1892.

1 5



■*>^» — The first letter in all the world-alphabets save a few, such for in-
stance as the Mongolian, the Japanese, the Tibetan, the Ethiopian, etc.
It is a letter of great mystic power and "magic virtue" with those who
have adopted it, and with whom its numerical value is one. It is the
Alcph of the Hebrews, symbolized by the Ox or Bull; the Alpha of the
Greeks, the one and the first ; the Az of the Slavonians, signifying the
pronoun "I" (referring to the "I am that I am"). Even in Astrology,
Taurus (the Ox or Bull or the Alcph) is the first of the Zodiacal signs,
its color being white and yellow. The sacred Alcph acquires a still more
marked sanctity with the Christian Kabbalists when they learn that this
letter typifies the Trinity in Unity, as it is composed of two Yocls, one
upright, the other reversed with a slanting bar or nexus, thus — x.
Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie states that "the St. Andrew cross is occultly
connected therewith". The divine name, the first in the series corre-
sponding with Alcph, is AeHeleH or Ahih, when vowelless, and this is a
Sanskrit root.

Aahla (Eg.). One of the divisions of the Kerneter or infernal re-
gions, or Amenti ; the word means the "Field of Peace".

Aanroo (Eg.). The second division of Amenti. The celestial field
of Aanroo is encircled by an iron wall. The field is covered with wheat,
and the "Defunct" are rei)resented gleaning it, for the "Master of Eter-
nity"; some stalks being three, others five, and the highest seven cubits
high. Those who reached the last two numbers entered the state of bliss
(which is called in Theosophy Devachan) ; the disembodied spirits whose
harvest was but three cubits high went into lower regions {Kdma-
loka). Wheat was with the Egyptians the symbol of the Law of Retribu-
tion or Karma. The cubits had reference to the seven, five and three
human "principles".

Aaron (Ilch.). The elder brother of Moses and the first Initiate of


the Hebrew Lawgiver. The name means the Illuminated, or the En-
lightened. Aaron thus heads the line, or Hierarchy, of the initiated
Nahim, or Seers.

Ab (Heh.). The eleventh month of the Hebrew civil year; the fiftli
of the sacred year beginning in July. [w. w. w.]

Abaddon (Heh.). An angel of hell, corresponding to the Greek

Abatur (Gn.) In the Nazarene system the "Ancient of Days'",
AntiquKS Alius, the Father of the Demiurgus of the Universe, is called
the Third Life or "Abatur". He corresponds to the Third "Logos" in
the Secret Doctrine. (See Codex Nazaroius.).

Abba Amona (Heh.). Lit., "Father-Mother"; the occult names of
the two higher Sephiroth, Chokmah and Binah, of the upper triad, the
apex of which is Sephira or Kether. From this triad issues the lower
septenary of the Sephirothal Tree.

Abhamsi (Sk.). A mystic name of the "four orders of beings"
which are, Gods, Demons, Pitris and Men. Orientalists somehow connect
the name with "waters", but esoteric philosophy connects its symbolism
with Akdsa — the ethereal "waters of space", since it is on the bosom and
on the seven planes of "space" that the "four orders of (lower) beings"
and the three higher Orders of Spiritual Beings are born. (See Secret
Doctrine I. p. 458, and "Ambhamsi".)

Abhasvaras (Sk.). The Devas or "Gods" of Light and Sound,
the highest of the upper three celestial regions (planes) of the second
Dhydna (q.v.) A class of gods sixty-four in number, representing a cer-
tain cycle and an occult number.

Abhava (Sk.). Negation, or non-being of individual objects; the
noumenal substance, or abstract objectivity.

Abhaya (Sk.). "Fearlessness" — a son of Dharma; and also a re-
ligious life of duty. As an adjective, "Fearless", Abhaya is an epithet
given to every Buddha.

Abhayagiri (Sk.). Lit., "Mount Fearless?" in Ceylon. It has an
ancient Vihdra or Monastery in which the well-known Chinese traveller
Fa-hien found 5,000 Buddhist priests and ascetics in tlie year 400 of our
era, and a School called Ahhayagiri Vasinah, "School of the Secret
Forest". This philosophical school was regarded as heretical, as the
ascetics studied the doctrines of both the "greater" and the "smaller"
vehicles — or the Mahdydna and the Hinaydna systems and Triydna or the
three successive degrees of Yoga ; just as a certain Brotherhood does now
beyond the Himalayas. This proves that the "disciples of Katyayana"
were and are as unsectarian as their humble admirers the Theosophists
are now. (See "Sthavirah" School.) This was the most mystical of all
the schools, and renowned for the number of Arhats it produced. The
Brotherhood of Ahhayagiri called themselves the disciples of Katyayana,
the favorite Chela of Gautama, the Buddha. Tradition says that owing


to bigoted intolerance and persecution, they left Ceylon and passed be-
yond the Plimalayas, where they have remained ever since.

Abhidharma .('.'?/fJ. The metaphysical (third) part of Tripitaka,
a very philoso])lneal Buddhist work by Katyayana.

Abhijfia (Sk.). Six phenomenal (or "supernatural") gifts which
Sakyamuni Buddlia acquired in the night on which he reached Buddha-
ship. This is the "fourth" degree of Dhyana (the seventh in esoteric
teachings) wliich has to be attained by every true Arhat. In China, the
initiated Buddhist ascetics reckon six such powers, but in Ceylon they
reckon only five. The first Abhijiia is Divyachakchus, the instantaneous
view of anything one wills to see ; the second, is Divyasrotra, the power
of comprehending any sound whatever, etc., etc.

Abhimanim (Sk.). The name of Agni (fire) the "eldest son of
Brahma, in other words, the first element or Force produced in the iini-
verse at its evolution (the fire of creative desire). By his wife Swaha,
Abhimanim had three sons (the fires) Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi, and
these had "forty-five sons, who, with the original son of Brahma and his
three descendants, constitute the forty-nine fires" of Occultism.

Abhimanyu (t<k.). A son of Arjuna. He killed Lakshmana, in
the great battle of the Mahabharata on its second day, but was himself
killed on the thirteenth.

Abhutarajasas (8k.). A class of gods or Devas, during the
period of tlie fifth Manvantara.

Abib (Hch.). The first Jewish sacred month, begins in March; is
also called Nisan.

Abiegnus Mens (Lot.). A mystic name, from whence as from a
certain mountain, Rosicrucian documents are often found to be issued —
"Monte Abiegno". There is a connection with Mount Meru, and other
sacred hills, [w.w.w.]

Ab-i-hayat (Pers.). Water of immortality. Supposed to give
eternal youth and sempiternal life to him who drinks of it.

Abiri (Gr.). See Kabiri, also written Kabeiri, the Mighty Ones,
celestials, sons of Zedec the just one, a group of deities worshipped in
Phoenicia : they seem to be identical with the Titans, Corybantes, Curetes,
Telchines and Dii Magni of Virgil, [w.av.w.]

Ablanathanalba (Gn.). A term similar to "Abracadabra".
It is said by ('. W. King to have meant "thou art a father to us"; it
reads the same from either end and was used as a charm in Egypt. (See

Abracadabra (Gn.). This symbolic word first occurs in a medi-
cal treatise in verse by Samonicus, who flourished in the reign of the
Emperor Septimus Severus. Godfrey liiggins says it is from Ahra or
Ahar "God", in Celtic, and cad "holy"; it was used as a charm, and
engraved on Kamcas as an amulet, [w.w.w.]


Godfrey Higgins was nearly right, as the word "Abracadabra" is a
later corruption of the sacred Gnostic term "Abrasax", the latter itself
being a still earlier corruption of a sacred and ancient Coptic or Egypt-
ian word : a magic formula which meant in its symbolism "Hurt me not",
and addressed the deity in its hieroglyphics as "Father". It was gen-
erally attached to an amulet or charm and worn as a Tat (q.v.), on the
breast under the garments.

Abraxas or Abrasax (Gn.). Mystic words which have been
traced as far back as Basilides, the Pythagorean, of Alexandria, a.d. 90.
He uses Abraxas as a title for Divinity, the supreme of Seven, and as
having 365 virtues. In Greek numeration, a. x, b. 2, r. 100, a. i, x. 60,
a. I, s. 200=365, days of the year, solar year, a cycle of divine action.
C. W. King, author of The Gnostics, considers the word similar to the He-
brew Shemhamphorasch, a holy word, the extended name of God. An
Abraxas Gem usually shows a man's body with the head of a cock, one
arm with a shield, the other with a whip, [w.w.w.]

Abraxas is the counterpart of the Hindu Abhimanim (q.v.) and
Brahma combined. It is these compound and mystic qualities which
caused Oliver, the great Masonic authority, to connect the name of Ab-
raxas with that of Abraham. This was unwarrantable ; the virtues and
attributes of Abraxas, which are 365 in number, ought to have shown
him that the deity was connected with the Sun and solar division of the
year — nay, that Abraxas is the antitype, and the Sun, the type.

Absoluteness. When predicted of the Universal Principal, it
denotes an abstract noun, which is more correct and logical than to apply
the adjective "absolute" to that which has neither attributes nor limita-
tions, nor can it have any.

Ab-Soo (Chald.). The mystic name for Space, meaning the dwelling
of ^& the "Father", or the Head of the source of the Waters of Knowl-
edge. The lore of the latter is concealed in the invisible space or akasic

Acacia (Gr.). Innocence; and also a plant used in Freemasonry as
a symbol of initiation, immortality, and purity; the tree furnished the
sacred Shittim wood of the Hebrews, [w.w.w.]

Achamoth (Gn.) The name of the second, the inferior Sophia.
Esoterically and with the Gnostics, the elder Sophia was the Holy Spirit
(female Holy Ghost) or the Sakti of the Unknown, and the Divine
Spirit; while Sophia Achamoth is but the personification of the female
aspect of the creative male Force in nature ; also the Astral Light.

Achar (Heh.). The Gods over whom (according to the Jews) Je-
hovah is the God.

Achara (Sk.). Personal and social (religious) obligations.

Acharya (Sk.). Spiritual teacher. Guru; as Sankar-ac/iariya, lit., a
"teacher of ethics". A name generally given to Initiates, etc., and
meaning "Master".


Achath (Hib.). The one, the first, feminine; achad being mascu-
line. A Talmudic word applied to Jehovah. It is worthy of note that the
Sanskrit term ak means one, ekata being "unity", Brahma being called
dk, or cka, the one, the first, whence the Hebrew word and application.

Acher (Ilch.). The Talmudic name of the Apostle Paul. The Tal-
mud narrates tlie story of the four Tanaim, who entered the Garden of
Delight, i.e., came to be initiated; Ben Asai, who looked and lost his
sight ; Ben Zoma, who looked and lost his reason ; Acher, who made depre-
dations in the garden and failed; and Rabbi Akiba, who alone succeeded.
The Kabbalists say that Acher is Paul.

Acheron (Gr.). One of the rivers of Hell in Greek mythology.

Achit (8k.). Absolute «07i-intelligence; as Chit is — in contrast —
absolute intelligence,

Achyuta (Sk.). That which is not subject to change or fall ; the
opposite to Chyuta, "fallen". A title of Vishnu.

Acosmism (Gr.). The precreative period, when there was no Kos-
mos but Chaos alone.

Ad (Assyr.). Ad, "the Father". In Aramean ad means one, and
ad-ad ' ' the only one ".

Adah (Assyr.). Borrowed by the Hebrews for the name of their
Adah, father of .Tubal, etc. But Adah meaning the first, the one, is
universal property. There are reasons to think that xik-ad, means the
first-horn or Son of Ad. Adon was the first "Lord" of Syria. (See
Isis Unv. II., pp. 452, 453).

Adam (Heh.). In the Kahalah Adam is the "only-begotten", and
means also "red earth". (See "Adam-Adami" in the Sec. Doct. XL, p.
452). It is almost identical with Athamas or Thomas, and is rendered
into Greek by Didumos, the "twin" — Adam, "the first", in chap, i of
Genesis, being shown, "male-female."

Adam Kadmon (Heh.). Archetypal Man; Humanity. The
"Heavenly Man" not fallen into sin; Kabbalists refer it to the Ten
Sephiroth on the plane of human perception, [w.w.w.]

In the Kahalah Adam Kadmon is the manifested Logos corresponding
to our Third Logos; the Unmanifested being the first paradigmic ideal
Man, and symbolizing the Universe i)i ahscondito, or in its "privation"
in the Aristotelean sense. The First Logos is the "Light of the World",
the Second and the Third — its gradually deepening shadows.

Adamic Earth (Alch.). Called the "true oil of gold" or the
"primal element in Alchemy. It is but one remove from the pure homo-
geneous element.

Adbhuta Brahmana (Sk.). The Brahmana of miracles; treats
of marvels, auguries, and various phenomena.

Adbhuta Dharma (Sk.). The "law" of things never heard be-
fore. A class of Buddhist works on miraculous or phenomenal events.


Adept (Lat.). Adeptus, "He who has obtained". In Occultism
one who has reached the stage of Initiation, and become a Master in the
science of Esoteric philosophy.

Adharma (8k.). Unrighteousness, vice, the opposite of Dharma.

Adhi (Sk.). Sui:)reme, paramount.

Adhi-bhautika duhkha (Sk.). The second of the three kinds of
pain; lit., "Evil proceeding from external things or beings."

Adhi-daivika duhkha (Sk.). The third of the three kinds of pain.
"Evil proceeding from divine causes, or a just Karmic punishment".

Adhishtanam (Sk.). Basis; a principle in which some other princi-
pal inheres.

Adhyatmika duhkha (Sk.). The first of the three kinds of pain;
lit., "Evil proceeding from Self", an induced or a generated evil by
Self, or man himself.

Adhyatma Vidya (Sk.). Lit., "the esoteric luminary". One of
the Fancha Vidyd Sdstras, or the Scriptures of the Five Sciences.

Adi (Sk.). The First, the primeval.

Adi (the Sons of). In Esoteric philosophy the "Sons of Adi" are
called the "Sons of the Fire-Mist". A term used of certain adepts.

Adi-bhuta (Sk.). The first Being; also primordial element.
Adhhuta is a title of Vishnu, the "first Element" containing all ele-
ments, "the unfathomable deity".

Adi-Buddha (Sk.). The First and Supreme Buddha — not recog-
nized in the Southern Church. The Eternal Light.

Adi-budhi (Sk.). Primeval Intelligence or Wisdom; the eternal
Budhi or Universal Mind. Used of Divine Ideation, "Mahabuddhi" be-
ing synonymous with Mahat.

Adikrit (Sk.). Lit., the "first produced" or made. The creative
Force eternal and uncreate, but manifesting periodically. Applied to
Vishnu slumbering on the "waters of space" during "pralaya" {q.v.).

Adi-natha (Sk.). The "first" "Lord"— ^(Zi "first" (masc), ndtha

Adi-nidana (Sk.). First and Supreme Causality, from Adi, the
iirst and Niddna the principal cause (or the concatenation of cause and


Adi-Sakti (Sk).. Primeval, divine Force; the female creative
power, and aspect in and of every male god. The Sakti in the Hindu
Pantheon is always the spouse of some god.

Adi-Sanat (Sk.). Lit., "First Ancient". The term corresponds
to the Kabalistic "ancient of days", since it is a title of Brahma — called
in the Zohar the Atteekah d Atteekeen, or "the Ancient of the An-
cients", etc.

Aditi (Sk.). The Vedic name for the Mulaprakriti of the Vedan-


tists ; the abstract aspect of Parabrahman, though both unmanifested and
unknowable. In the Vcdas Aditi is the "Mother-Goddess", her terrestrial
symbol being infinite and shoreless space.

Aditi-Gaea. A compound term, Sanskrit and Latin meaning dual,
nature in theosophical writings— spiritual and physical, as Gtea is the
goddess of the earth and of objective nature.

Aditya (Sk.). A name of the Sun; as Marttanda, he is the Son of

Adityas (SkJ. The seven sons of Aditi; the seven planetary gods.
Adi Varsha ^S'A-.;. The first land; the primordial country in which
dwelt the first races.

Adonai (Heh.). The same as Adonis. Commonly translated
"Lord". Astronomically — the Sun. When a Hebrew in reading came to
the name IHVH, which is called Jehovah, he paused and substituted the
word "Adonai", (Adni) ; but when written with the points of Alhim,
he called it "Elohim". [w. w. w.]

Adonim-Adonai, Aden. The ancient Chaldeo-Hebrew names
for the Elohim or creative terrestrial forces, synthesized by Jehovah.

Adwaita (Sk.). A Vedanta sect. The non-dualistic (A-dwaita)
school of Vedantic philosophy founded by Sankaracharya, the greatest
of the historical Brahmin sages. The two other schools are the Dwaita
(dualistic) and the Visishtadwaita ; all the three call themselves Ve-

Adwaitin (Sk.). A follower of the said school.

Adytum (Gr.). The Holy of Holies in the pagan temples. A name
for the secret and sacred precincts or the inner chamber, into which no
profane could enter; it corresponds to the sanctuary of the altars of
Christian Churches.

.ffibel-Zivo (Gn.). The Metatron or anointed spirit with the
Nazarene Gnostics ; the same as the angel Gabriel.

.ffiolus (Gr.). The god who, according to Hesiod, binds and looses
the winds ; the king of storms and winds. A king of^olia, the inventor
of sails and a great astronomer, and therefore deified by posterity.

.ffion or JEons (Gr.). Periods of time; emanations proceeding
from the divine essence, and celestial beings ; genii and angels with the

JEsir (Scand.). The same as Ascs, the creative Forces personified.
The gods who created the black dwarfs or the Elves of Darkness in
Asgard. The divine ^sir, the Ases are the Elves of Light. An allegory
bringing together darkness which comes from light, and matter born of

iEther (Gr.). With the ancients the divine luminiferous sub-
stance which pervades the whole universe, the "garment" of the Su-


preme Deity, Zeus, or Jupitor. With the moderns, Ether, for the meaning
of which in physics and chemistry see Webster's Dictionary or any other.
In esotericism ^ther is the third principle of the Kosmic Septenary;
the Earth being the lowest, then the Astral light, Ether and Akdsa (pho-
netically Akdsha) the highest.

JEthrobacy (Gr.). Lit., walking on, or being lifted into the air
with no visible agent at work; "levitation".

It may be conscious or unconscious ; in the one case it is magic, in the
other either disease or a power which requires a few words of elucidation.
We know that the earth is a magnetic body ; in fact, as some scientists
have found, and as Paracelsus affirmed some 300 years ago, it is one vast
magnet. It is charged with one form of electricity — let us call it posi-
tive — which it evolves continuously by spontaneous action, in its interior
or centre of motion. Human bodies, in common with all other forms of
matter, are charged with the opposite form of electricity, the negative.
That is to say, organic or inorganic bodies, if left to themselves will con-
stantly and involuntarily charge themselves with and evolve the form of
electricity opposite to that of the earth itself. Now, what is weight?
Simply the attraction of the earth. "Without the attraction of the earth
you would have no weight", says Professor Stewart; "and if you had
an earth twice as heavy as this, you would have double the attraction".
How then, can we get rid of this attraction ? According to the electrical
law above stated, there is an attraction between our planet and the or-
ganisms upon it, which keeps them upon the surface of the globe. But
the law of gravitation has been counteracted in many instances, by levi-
tation of persons and inanimate objects. How account for this? The
condition of our physical systems, say theurgic philosophers, is largely
dependent upon the action of our will. If well-regulated, it can produce
"miracles"; among others a change of this electrical polarity from
negative to positive ; the man 's relations with the earth-magnet would
then become repellent, and "gravity" for him would have ceased to
exist. It would then be as natural for him to rush into the air until the
repellent force had exhausted itself, as, before, it had been for him to
remain upon the ground. The altitude of his levitation would be
measured by his ability, greater or less, to charge his body with positive
electricity. This control over the physical forces once obtained, altera-
tion of his levity or gravity would be as easy as breathing. (See I sis Un-
veiled, Vol. I., page xxiii.)

Afrits (Arab.). A name for native spirits regarded as devils by
Mussulmen. Elementals much dreaded in Egypt.

Agapae (Gr.). Love Feasts; the early Christians kept such festi-
vals in token of sympathy, love and mutual benevolence. It became nec-
essary to abolish them as an institution, because of great abuse ; Paul in
his First Epistle to the Corinthians complains of misconduct at the feasts
of the Christians, [w.w.w.] .


Agastya (Sk.). The name of a g:reat Rishi, much revered in South-
ern India ; the reputed author of liymns in the Rig Veda, and a great
hero in the Rdmdyana. In Tamil literature he is credited with having
been the first instructor of the Dravidians in science, religion and phil-
osophy. It is also the name of the star "Canopus".

Agathodaemon (Or.). The beneficent, good Spirit as contrasted
with the bad one, Kakodiemon. The "Brazen Serpent" of the Bible is the
former ; the fiying serpents of fire are an aspect of Kakodaemon. The
Ophites called Agathodaemon the Logos and Divine Wisdom, which in
the Bacchanalian Mysteries was represented by a serpent erect on a pole.

Agathon (Gr.). Plato's Supreme Deitv. Lit., "The Good", our
ALAYA, or "Universal Soul".

Aged (Kah.). One of the Kabbalistic names for Sepliira, called also
the Crown, or Kcthcr.

Agla (Hch.). This Kabbalistic word is a talisman composed of the
initials of the four words "Ateh Gibor Leolam Adonai", meaning "Thou

Online LibraryH. P. (Helena Petrovna) BlavatskyThe theosophical glossary .. → online text (page 1 of 41)