AUTHOR OF "ISIS UNVEILED", “THE SECRET DOCTRINE", " THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY"
THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY,
7, DUKE STREET, ADELPHI, W.C.
The Path Office: 132, NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK, U.S.A.
The Theosophist Office: ADYAR, MADRAS, INDIA.
FROM A PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRODUCTION
OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION
THE THEOSOPHY COMPANY
LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
The Theosophical Glossary labours 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 regrettable, for H.P.B., as was her wont, was adding considerably to her original copy, and would no doubt have increased the volume far beyond its present limits, and so have thrown light on many obscure terms that are not included in the present Glossary, and more important still, have furnished us with a sketch of the lives and teachings of the most famous Adepts of the East and West.
The Theosophical Glossary purposes to give information on the principal Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Tibetan, Pâli, 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 Buddhism, The Secret Doctrine, The Key to Theosophy, 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 Kabalah, or which illustrate Rosicrucian 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 Rosicrucian Society, and Præmonstrator 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 Purâna of Wilson, and the Royal Masonic Cyclopædia of Kenneth Mackenzie.
As the undersigned can make no pretension to the elaborate and extraordinary 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 specialists in scholarship will at once detect. Meanwhile, however, as nearly every Orientalist has his own system, varying transliterations may be excused in the present work, and not be set down entirely to the “Karma” of the editor.
G. R. S. MEAD.
LONDON, January, 1892
A —The first letter in all the world-alphabets save a few, such for instance 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 Aleph 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 Aleph) is the first of the Zodiacal signs, its colour being white and yellow. The sacred Aleph acquires a still more marked sanctity with the Christian Kabalists when they learn that this letter typifies the Trinity in Unity, as it is composed of two Yods, one upright, the other reversed with a slanting bar or nexus, thus— a. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie states that “the St. Andrew cross is occultly connected therewith”. The divine name, the first in the series corresponding with Aleph, is AêHêIêH or Ahih when vowelless, and this is a Sanskrit root.
Aahla (Eg.). One of the divisions of the Kerneter or infernal regions, 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 represented gleaning it, for the “Master of Eternity”; 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 (Kâmaloka). Wheat was with the Egyptians the symbol of the Law of retribution or Karma. The cubits had reference to the seven, five and three human “principles
Aaron (Heb.). The elder brother of Moses and the first Initiate of the
Hebrew Lawgiver. The name means the Illuminated, or the Enlightened. Aaron thus heads the line, or Hierarchy, of the initiated Nabim, or Seers.
Ab (Heb.). The eleventh month of the Hebrew civil year; the fifth of the sacred year beginning in July.
Abaddon (Heb.). An angel of Hell, corresponding to the Greek Apollyon.
Abatur (Gn.). In the Nazarene system the “Ancient of Days”, Antiquus Altus, 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 Nazaræus)
Abba Amona (Heb.). 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.
Abhâmsi (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 Akâsa—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 “Ambhâmsi”.)
Abhâsvaras (Sk.). The Devas or “Gods” of LightandSound, the highest of the upper three celestial regions (planes) of the second Dhyâna (q.v.) A class of gods sixty-four in number, representing a certain cycle and an occult number.
Abhâva (Sk.). Negation, or non-being of individual objects; the noumenal substance, or abstract objectivity.
Abhaya (Sk.). “Fearlessness”—a son of Dharma; and also a religious 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 Vihâra or Monastery in which the well-known Chinese traveller Fa-hien found 5,000 Buddhist priests and ascetics in the year 400 of our era, and a School called Abhayagiri Vâsinah,, “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 Mahâyâna and the Hinayâna systems and Triyâna or the three successive degrees of Yoga; just as a certain Brotherhood does now beyond the Himalayas. This proves that the “disciples of Kâtyâyana were and are as unsectarian as their humble admirers the Theosophists
are now. (See “Sthâvirâh" School.) This was the most mystical of all the schools, and renowned for the number of Arhats it produced. The Brotherhood of Abhayagiri called themselves the disciples of Kâtyâyana, the favourite Chela of Gautama, the Buddha. Tradition says that owing to bigoted intolerance and persecution, they left Ceylon and passed beyond the Himalayas, where they have remained ever since.
Abhidharma (Sk.). The metaphysical (third) part of Tripitaka, a very philosophical Buddhist work by Kâtyâyana.
Abhijñâ (Sk.). Six phenomenal (or “supernatural”) gifts which Sâkyamuni Buddha acquired in the night on which he reached Buddhaship. This is the “fourth” degree of Dhyâna (the seventh in esoteric teachings) which 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 Abhijñâ is Divyachakchus, the instantaneous view of anything one wills to see; the second, is Divyasrotra, the power of comprehending any sound whatever, etc., etc.
Abhimânim (Sk.). The name of Agni (fire) the “eldest son of Brahmâ”, in other words, the first element or Force produced in the universe at its evolution (the fire of creative desire). By his wife Swâhâ, Abhimânim had three sons (the fires) Pâvaka, Pavamâna and Suchi, and these had “forty-five sons, who, with the original son of Brahmâ and his three descendants, constitute the forty-nine fires” of Occultism.
Abhimanyu (Sk.). A son of Arjuna. He killed Lakshmana,in the great battle of the Mahâbhârata on its second day, but was himself killed on the thirteenth.
Abhûtarajasas (Sk.). A class of gods or Devas, during the period of the fifth Manvantara.
Abib (Heb.) The first Jewish sacred month, begins in March; is also called Nisan.
Abiegnus Mons(Lat.). 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 Phœnicia: they seem to be identical with the Titans, Corybantes, Curetes, Telchines and Dii Magni of Virgil. [w.w.w.]
Ablanathanalba (Gn.). A term similar to “Abracadabra”. It is said by C. 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.
Abracadabra (Gn.). This symbolic word first occurs in a medical treatise in verse by Samonicus, who flourished in the reign of the Emperor Septimus Seveus. Godfrey Higgins says it is from Abra or Abar
“God”, in Celtic, and cad ‘‘holy” ; it was used as a charm, and engraved on Kameas 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 Egyptian word: a magic formula which meant in its symbolism ‘‘Hurt me not”, and addressed the deity in its hieroglyphics as “Father”. It was generally 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, AD. 90. He uses Abraxas as a title for Divinity, the supreme of Seven, and as having 365 virtues. In Greek numeration, a. 1, 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 Hebrew 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.
Abraxas is the counterpart of the Hindu Abhimânim (q.v.) and Brahmâ combined. It is these compound and mystic qualities which caused Oliver, the great Masonic authority, to connect the name of Abraxas 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 predicated of the UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE, it denotes an abstract noun, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective “absolute ” to that which has neither attributes nor limitations, nor can IT have any.
Ab-Soo (Chald.). The mystic name for Space, meaning the dwelling of Ab the “Father”, or the head of the source of the Waters of Knowledge. The lore of the latter is concealed in the invisible space or akasic regions.
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.]
Achamôth (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 Achamôth is but the personification of the female aspect of the creative male Force in nature; also the Astral Light.
Achar (Heb.). The Gods over whom (according to the Jews) Jehovah is the God.
Âchâra (Sk.). Personal and social (religious) obligations.
Âchârya (Sk.). Spiritual teacher, Guru; as Sankar-âchârya, lit., a “teacher of ethics”. A name generally given to Initiates, etc., and meaning “Master”.
Achath (Heb.). The one, the first, feminine; achad being masculine. A Talmudic word applied to Jehovah. It is worthy of note that the Sanskrit term ak means one, ekata being “unity”, Brahmâ being called ák, or eka, the one, the first, whence the Hebrew word and application.
Acher (Heb.). The Talmudic name of the Apostle Paul. The Talmud narrates the story of the four Tanaim, who entered the Garden of Delight, i.e., came to he initiated; Ben Asai, who looked and lost his sight; Ben Zoma, who looked and lost his reason; Acher, who made depredations in the garden and failed; and Rabbi Akiba, who alone succeeded. The Kabalists say that Acher is Paul.
Acheron (Gr.). One of the rivers of Hades in Greek mythology.
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 Kosmos 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 Jubal, etc. But Adah meaning the first, the one, is universal property. There are reasons to think that Ak-ad, means the first-born or Son of Ad. Adon was the first “Lord” of Syria. (See Isis Unv. II., pp. 452, 453.)
Adam (Heb.). In the Kabalah Adam is the “only-begotten”, and means also “red earth”. (See “Adam-Adami” in the S.D. II p. 452.) It is almost identical with Athamas or Thomas, and is rendered into Greek by Didumos, the “twin”—Adam, “the first”, in chap. 1 of Genesis, being shown, “male-female.”
Adam Kadmon (Heb). Archetypal Man; Humanity. The
“Heavenly Man” not fallen into sin; Kabalists refer it to the Ten Sephiroth on the plane of human perception. [w.w.w.]
In the Kabalah Adam Kadmon is the manifested Logos corresponding to our Third Logos; the Unmanifested being the first paradigmic ideal Man, and symbolizing the Universe in abscondito, 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 homogeneous element.
Adbhuta Brâhmana (Sk.). The Brâhmana of miracles; treats of marvels, auguries, and various phenomena.
Adbhuta Dharma (Sk.). The “law” of things never heard before. 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 (Sk.). Unrighteousness, vice, the opposite of Dharma.
Adhi (Sk.). Supreme, 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”.
Adhishtânam (Sk.). Basis; a principle in which some other principle inheres.
Adhyâtmika 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.
Adhyâtma Vidyâ (Sk.). Lit., “the esoteric luminary”. One of the Pancha Vidyâ Sastras, or the Scriptures of the Five Sciences.
Âdi (Sk.) The First, the primeval.
Âdi (the Sons of). In Esoteric philosophy the “Sons of Adi” are called the “Sons of the Fire-mist”. A term used of certain adepts.
Âdi-bhûta (Sk.). The first Being; also primordial element. Adbhuta is a title of Vishnu, the “first Element” containing all elements, “the unfathomable deity”.
Âdi-Buddha(Sk.). The First and Supreme Buddha—not recognised in the Southern Church. The Eternal Light.
Âdi-budhi (Sk.). Primeval Intelligence or Wisdom; the eternal Budhi or Universal Mind. Used of Divine Ideation, “Mahâbuddhi” being synonymous with MAHAT.
Âdikrit (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.).
Âdi-nâtha (Sk.). The “first” Lord”—Âdi “first” (masc.), nâtha “Lord”.
Âdi-nidâna (Sk.). First and Supreme Causality, from Âdi, the first, and Nidâna the principal cause (or the concatenation of cause and effect).
Âdi-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.
Âdi-Sanat (Sk.). Lit., “First Ancient”. The term corresponds to the Kabalistic “ancient of days”, since it is a title of Brahmâ—called in the Zohar the Atteekah d’Atteekeen, or “the Ancient of the Ancients”, etc.
Âditi (Sk.). The Vedic name for the Mûlaprakriti of the Vedantists; the abstract aspect of Parabrahman, though both unmanifested and unknowable. In the Vedas Âditi is the “Mother-Goddess”, her terrestrial symbol being infinite and shoreless space.
Âditi-Gæa. A compound term, Sanskrit and Latin, meaning dual, nature in theosophical writings—spiritual and physical, as Gæa is the goddess of the earth and of objective nature.
Âditya (Sk.). A name of the Sun; as Mârttânda he is the Son of Aditi.
Âdityas (Sk.). The seven sons of Âditi; the seven planetary gods.
Âdi Varsha (Sk.). The first land; the primordial country in which dwelt the first races.
Adonai (Heb.). 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, Adon. The ancient Chaldeo-Hebrew names for the Elohim or creative terrestrial forces, synthesized by Jehovah.
Adwaita (Sk.). A Vedânta sect. The non-dualistic (A-dwaita) school of Vedântic philosophy founded by Sankarâchârya, the greatest of the historical Brahmin sages. The two other schools are the Dwaita (dualistic) and the Visishtadwaita; all the three call themselves Vedântic.
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.
Æbe1-Zivo (Gn.). The Metatron or anointed spirit with the Nazarene Gnostics; the same as the angel Gabriel.
Æolus (Gr.). The god who, according to Hesiod, binds and looses the winds; the king of storms and winds. A king of Æolia, the inventor of sails and a great astronomer, and therefore deified by posterity.
Æon or Æons (Gr.). Periods of time; emanations proceeding from the divine essence, and celestial beings; genii and angels with the Gnostics.
Æsir (Scand.). The same as Ases, the creative Forces personified. The gods who created the black dwarfs or the Elves of Darkness in Asgard. The divine Æsir, the Ases are the Elves of Light. An allegory bringing together darkness which comes from light, and matter born of spirit.
Æther (Gr.). With the ancients the divine luminiferous substance which pervades the whole universe, the “garment” of the Supreme Deity, Zeus, or Jupiter. With the moderns, Ether, for the meaning of which in physics and chemistry see Webster’s Dictionary or any other. In esotericism . is the third principle of the Kosmic Septenary; the Earth being the lowest, then the Astral light, Ether and Âkâsa (phonetically Âkâsha) the highest.