Black Dwarfs. The name of the Elves of Darkness, who creep about in the dark caverns of the earth and fabricate weapons and utensils for their divine fathers, the Æsir or Ases. Called also “Black Elves”.
Black Fire (Zohar.) A Kabbalistic term for Absolute Light and Wisdom; “black” because it is incomprehensible to our finite intellects.
Black Magic (Occult.). Sorcery; necromancy, or the raising of the dead, and other selfish abuses of abnormal powers. This abuse may be unintentional; yet it is still “black magic” whenever anything is produced phenomenally simply for one’s own gratification.
B’ne Alhim or Beni Elohim (Heb.). “Sons of God ”, literally or more correctly “Sons of the gods”, as Elohim is the plural of Eloah. A group of angelic powers referable by analogy to the Sephira Hôd.
[w. w. w.]
Boat of the Sun. This sacred solar boat was called Sekti, and it was steered by the dead. With the Egyptians the highest exaltation of the Sun was in Aries and the depression in Libya. (See “Pharaoh”, the “Son of the Sun”.) A blue light—which is the “Sun’s Son”—is seen streaming from the bark. The ancient Egyptians taught
that the real colour of the Sun was blue, and Macrobius also states that his colour is of a pure blue before he reaches the horizon and after he disappears below. It is curious to note in this relation the fact that it is only since 1881 that physicists and astronomers discovered that “our Sun is really blue”. Professor Langley devoted many years to ascertaining the fact. Helped in this by the magnificent scientific apparatus of physical science, he has succeeded finally in proving that the apparent yellow-orange colour of the Sun is due only to the effect of absorption exerted by its atmosphere of vapours, chiefly metallic; but that in sober truth and reality, it is not “a white Sun but a blue one”, i.e., something which the Egyptian priests had discovered without any known scientific instruments, many thousands of years ago!
Boaz (Heb.). The great-grandfather of David. The word is from B, meaning “in”, and oz “strength”, a symbolic name of one of the pillars at the porch of King Solomon’s temple. [w. w. w.]
Bodhi or Sambodhi (Sk.). Receptive intelligence, in contradistinction to Buddhi, which is the potentiality of intelligence.
Bodhi Druma (Sk.). The Bo or Bodhi tree; the tree of “knowledge the Pippala or ficus religiosa in botany. It is the tree under which Sâkymuni meditated for seven years and then reached Buddhaship. It was originally 400 feet high, it is claimed; but when Hiouen-Tsang saw it, about the year 640 of our era, it was only 50 feet high. Its cuttings have been carried all over the Buddhist world and are planted in front of almost every Vihâra or temple of fame in China, Siam, Ceylon, and Tibet.
Bodhidharma (Sk.). Wisdom-religion; or the wisdom contained in Dharma (ethics). Also the name of a great Arhat Kshatriya (one of the warrior-caste), the son of a king. It was Panyatara, his guru, who “gave him the name Bodhidharma to mark his understanding (bodhi) of the Law (dharma) of Buddha”. (Chin. San. Diet.). Bodhidharma, who flourished in the sixth century, travelled to China, whereto he brought a precious relic, namely, the almsbowl of the Lord Buddha.
Bodhisattva (Sk). Lit., “he, whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bodhi)”; those who need but one more incarnation to become perfect Buddhas, i.e., to be entitled to Nirvâna. This, as applied to Manushi (terrestrial) Buddhas. In the metaphysical sense, Bodhisattva is a title given to the sons of the celestial Dhyâni Buddhas.
Bodhyanga (Sk.). Lit., the seven branches of knowledge or understanding. One of the 37 categories of the Bodhi pakchika dharma, comprehending seven degrees of intelligence (esoterically, seven states of
consciousness), and these are (1) Smriti “memory”; (2) Dharma pravitchaya, “correct understanding” or discrimination of the Law ; (3) Virya, “energy” ; (4) Priti, “spiritual joy” ; (5 )Prasrabdhi, “tranquillity” or quietude; (6) Samâdhi, “ecstatic contemplation”; and (7) Upeksha “absolute indifference”.
Boehme (Jacob). A great mystic philosopher, one of the most prominent Theosophists of the mediæval ages. He was born about 1575 at Old Seidenburg, some two miles from Görlitz (Silesia), and died in 1624, at nearly fifty years of age. In his boyhood he was a common shepherd, and, after learning to read and write in a village school, became an apprentice to a poor shoemaker at Görlitz. He was a natural clairvoyant of most wonderful powers. With no education or acquaintance with science he wrote works which are now proved to be full of scientific truths; but then, as he says himself, what he wrote upon, he “saw it as in a great Deep in the Eternal”. He had “a thorough view of the universe, as in a chaos”, which yet “opened itself in him, from time to time, as in a young plant”. He was a thorough born Mystic, and evidently of a constitution which is most rare one of those fine natures whose material envelope impedes in no way the direct, even if only occasional, intercommunion between the intellectual and the spiritual Ego. It is this Ego which Jacob Boehme, like so many other untrained mystics, mistook for God; “Man must acknowledge,” he writes, “that his knowledge is not his own, but from God, who manifests the Ideas of Wisdom to the Soul of Man, in what measure he pleases.” Had this great Theosophist mastered Eastern Occultism he might have expressed it otherwise. He would have known then that the “god” who spoke through his poor uncultured and untrained brain, was his own divine Ego, the omniscient Deity within himself, and that what that Deity gave out was not in “what measure pleased,” but in the measure of the capacities of the mortal and temporary dwelling IT informed.
Bonati, Guido. A Franciscan monk, born at Florence in the XIIIth century and died in 1306. He became an astrologer and alchemist, but failed as a Rosicrucian adept. He returned after this to his monastery.
Bona-Oma, or Bona Dea. A Roman goddess, the patroness of female Initiates and Occultists. Called also Fauna after her father Faunus. She was worshipped as a prophetic and chaste divinity, and her cult was confined solely to women, men not being allowed to even pronounce her name. She revealed her oracles only to women, and the ceremonies of her Sanctuary (a grotto in the Aventine) were conducted by the Vestals, every 1st of May. Her aversion to men was so great that no male person was permitted to approach the house of the consuls where
her festival was sometimes held, and even the portraits and the busts of men were carried out for the time from the building. Clodius, who once profaned such a sacred festival by entering the house of Caesar where it was held, in a female disguise, brought grief upon himself. Flowers and foliage decorated her temple and women made libations from a vessel (mellarium) full of milk. It is not true that the mellarium contained wine, as asserted by some writers, who being men thus tried to revenge themselves.
Bono, Peter. A Lombardian; a great adept in the Hermetic Science, who travelled to Persia to study Alchemy. Returning from his voyage he settled in Istria in 1330, and became famous as a Rosicrucian. A Calabrian monk named Lacinius is credited with having published in 1702 a condensed version of Bono’s works on the transmutation of metals. There is, however, more of Lacinius than of Bono in the work. Bono was a genuine adept and an Initiate ; and such do not leave their secrets behind them in MSS.
Boodhasp (Chald.) .An alleged Chaldean; but in esoteric teaching a Buddhist (a Bodhisattva), from the East, who was the founder of the esoteric school of Neo-Sabeism, and whose secret rite of baptism passed bodily into the Christian rite of the same name. For almost three centuries before our era, Buddhist monks overran the whole country of Syria, made their way into the Mesopotamian valley and visited even Ireland. The name Ferho and Faho of the Codex Nazaraeus is but a corruption of Fho, Fo and Pho, the name which the Chinese, Tibetans and even Nepaulese often give to Buddha.
Book of the Dead. An ancient Egyptian ritualistic and occult work attributed to Thot-Hermes. Found in the coffins of ancient mummies,
Book of the Keys. An ancient Kabbalistic work.
Borj (Pers.). The Mundane Mountain, a volcano or fire-mountain; the same as the Indian Meru.
Borri, Joseph Francis. A great Hermetic philosopher, born at Milan in the 17th century. He was an adept, an alchemist and a devoted occultist. He knew too much and was, therefore, condemned to death for heresy, in January, 1661, after the death of Pope Innocent X. He escaped and lived many years after, when finally he was recognised by a monk in a Turkish village, denounced, claimed by the Papal Nuncio, taken back to Rome and imprisoned, August 10th, 1675. But facts show that he escaped from his prison in a way no one could account for.
Borsippa (Chald.). The planet-tower, wherein Bel was worshipped in the days when astrolaters were the greatest astronomers. It was dedicated to Nebo, god of Wisdom. (See “Birs Nimrud ”.)
Bragadini, Marco Antonio. A Venetian Rosicrucian of great achievements, an Occultist and Kabbalist who was decapitated in 1595 in Bavaria, for making gold.
Bragi (Scand.). The god of New Life, of the re-incarnation of nature and man. He is called “the divine singer” without spot or blemish. He is represented as gliding in the ship of the Dwarfs of Death during the death of nature (pralaya), lying asleep on the deck with his golden stringed harp near him and dreaming the dream of life. When the vessel crosses the threshold of Nain, the Dwarf of Death, Bragi awakes and sweeping the strings of his harp, sings a song that echoes over all the worlds, a song describing the rapture of existence, and awakens dumb, sleeping nature out of her long death-like sleep.
Brahma (Sk.). The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter, and Brahmâ, the male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is 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. Brahmâ on the other hand, the male and the alleged Creator, exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated.
Brahmâ’s Day. A period of 2,160,000,000 years during which Brahmâ having emerged out of his golden egg(Hiranyagarbha), creates and fashions the material world (being simply the fertilizing and creative force in Nature). After this period, the worlds being destroyed in turn, by fire and water, he vanishes with objective nature, and then comes Brahmâ's Night.
Brahmâ’s Night. A period of equal duration, during which Brahmâ. is said to be asleep. Upon awakening he recommences the process, and this goes on for an AGE of Brahmâ composed of alternate “Days”, and “Nights”, and lasting 100 years (of 2,160,000,000 years each). It requires fifteen figures to express the duration of such an age; after the expiration of which the Mahapralaya or the Great Dissolution sets in, and lasts in its turn for the same space of fifteen figures.
Brahmâ Prajâpati(Sk.). “Brahmâ the Progenitor”, literally the “Lord of Creatures”. In this aspect Brahmâ is the synthesis of the Prajâpati or creative Forces.
Brahmâ Vâch (Sk.) Male and female Brahmâ. Vâch is also some-times called the female logos; for Vâch means Speech, literally. (See Manu Book I., and Vishnu Purâna.)
Brahma Vidyâ(Sk.) The knowledge, the esoteric science, about the two Brahmas and their true nature.
Brahmâ Virâj. (Sk.) The same: Brahmâ separating his body into two halves, male and female, creates in them Vâch and Virâj. In plainer terms and esotericlly Brahmâ the Universe, differentiating, produced thereby material nature, Virâj, and spiritual intelligent Nature, Vâch—which is the Logos of Deity or the manifested expression of the eternal divine Ideation.
Brahmâcharî(Sk.) A Brahman ascetic; one vowed to celibacy, a monk, virtually, or a religious student.
Brahmajnâni (Sk.) One possessed of complete Knowledge; an Illuminatus in esoteric parlance.
Brâhman (Sk.) The highest of the four castes in India, one supposed or rather fancying himself, as high among men, as Brahman, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins, is high among, or above the gods.
Brâhmana period(Sk.) One of the four periods into which Vedic literature has been divided by Orientalists.
Brâhmanas (Sk.) Hindu Sacred Books. Works composed by, and for Brahmans. Commentaries on those portions of the Vedas which were intended for the ritualistic use and guidance of the “twice-born (Dwija) or Brahmans.
Brahmanaspati (Sk.). The planet Jupiter; a deity in the Rig -Veda, known in the exoteric works as Brihaspati, whose wife Târâ was carried away by Soma (the Moon). This led to a war between the gods and the Asuras.
Brahmâpuri(Sk.) Lit., “the City of Brahmâ.
Brahmâputrâs (Sk.) The Sons of Brahmâ.
Brahmarandhra (Sk.) A spot on the crown of the head connected by Sushumna, a cord in the spinal column, with the heart. A mystic term having its significance only in mysticism.
Brahmârshîs(Sk.). The Brahminical Rishis.
Bread and Wine. Baptism and the Eucharist have their direct origin in pagan Egypt. There the “waters of purification” were used (the Mithraic font for baptism being borrowed by the Persians from the Egyptians) and so were bread and wine. “Wine in the Dionysiak cult, as in the Christian religion, represents that blood which in different senses is the life of the world” (Brown, in the Dionysiak Myth). Justin Martyr says, “In imitation of which the devil did the like in the
Mysteries of Mithras, for you either know or may know that they also take bread and a cup of water in the sacrifices of those that are initiated and pronounce certain words over it”. (See “Holy Water”.)
Briareus (Gr.) A famous giant in the Theogony of Hesiod. The son of Cœlus and Terra, a monster with 50 heads and 100 arms. He is conspicuous in the wars and battles between the gods.
Briatic World or Briah (Heb.) This world is the second of the Four worlds of the Kabbalists and referred to the highest created “Archangels”, or to Pure Spirits. [ w.w.w.]
Bride. The tenth Sephira, Malkuth, is called by the Kabbalists the Bride of Microprosopus; she is the final Hé of the Tetragrammaton ; in a similar manner the Christian Church is called the Bride of Christ.
Brihadâranyaka (Sk.) The name of a Upanishad. One of the sacred and secret books of the Brahmins; an Aranyaka is a treatise appended to the Vedas, and considered a subject of special study by those who have retired to the jungle (forest) for purposes of religious meditation.
Brihaspati (Sk.) The name of a Deity, also of a Rishi. It is like wise the name of the planet Jupiter. He is the personified Guru and priest of the gods in India ; also the symbol of exoteric ritualism as opposed to esoteric mysticism. Hence the opponent of King Soma—the moon, but also the sacred juice drunk at initiation—the parent of Budha, Secret Wisdom.
Briseus(Gr.) A name given to the god Bacchus from his nurse, Briso. He had also a temple at Brisa, a promontory of the isle of Lesbos.
Brothers of the Shadow. A name given by the Occultists to Sorcerers, and especially to the Tibetan Dugpas, of whom there are many in the Bhon sect of the Red Caps (Dugpa). The word is applied to all practitioners of black or left hand magic.
Bubasté (Eg.) A city in Egypt which was sacred to the cats, and where was their principal shrine. Many hundreds of thousands of cats were embalmed and buried in the grottoes of Beni-Hassan-el Amar. The cat being a symbol of the moon was sacred to Isis, her goddess. It sees in the dark and its eyes have a phosphorescent lustre which frightens the night-birds of evil omen. The cat was also sacred to Bast, and thence called “the (destroyer of the Sun’s (Osiris’) enemies”.
Buddha (Sk.). Lit., “The Enlightened”. The highest degree of knowledge. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the REAL SELF and learn not to separate it from all otherselves; to learn
by experience the utter unreality of all phenomena of the visible Kosmos foremost of all; to reach a complete detachment from all that is evanescent and finite, and live while yet on Earth in the immortal and the everlasting alone, in a supreme state of holiness.
Buddha Siddhârta (Sk.) The name given to Gautama, the Prince of Kapilavastu, at his birth. It is an abbreviation of sarvârtthasiddhaand means, the “realization of all desires”. Gautama, which means, on earth (gâu) the most victorious (tama) “was the sacerdotal name of the Sâkya family, the kingly patronymic of the dynasty to which the father of Gautama, the King Suddhodhana of Kapilavastu, belonged. Kapilavastu was an ancient city, the birth-place of the Great Reformer and was destroyed during his life time. In the title Sâkyamuni, the last component, muni, is rendered as meaning one mighty in charity, isolation and silence”, and the former Sâkya is the family name. Every Orientalist or Pundit knows by heart the story of Gautama, the Buddha, the most perfect of mortal men that the world has ever seen, but none of them seem to suspect the esoteric meaning underlying his prenatal
biography, i.e., the significance of the popular story. The Lalitavistûra tells the tale, but abstains from hinting at the truth. The 5,000 jâtakas, or the events of former births (re-incarnations) are taken literally instead of esoterically. Gautama, the Buddha, would not have been a mortal man, had he not passed through hundreds and thousands of births previous to his last. Yet the detailed account of these, and the statement that during them he worked his way up through every stage of transmigration from the lowest animate and inanimate atom and insect, up to the highest—or man, contains simply the well-known occult aphorism : “a stone becomes a plant, a plant an animal, and an animal a man”. Every human being who has ever existed, has passed through the same evolution. But the hidden symbolism in the sequence of these re-births (jâtaka) contains a perfect history of the evolution on this earth, pre and post human, and is a scientific exposition of natural facts. One truth not veiled but bare and open is found in their nomenclature, viz., that as soon as Gautama had reached the human form he began exhibiting in every personality the utmost unselfishness, self-sacrifice and charity. Buddha Gautama, the fourth of the Sapta (Seven) Buddhas and Sapta Tathâgatas was born according to Chinese Chronology in 1024 B.C; but according to the Singhalese chronicles, on the 8th day of the second (or fourth) moon in the year 621 before our era. He fled from his father’s palace to become an ascetic on the night of the 8th day of the second moon, 597 BC., and having passed six years in ascetic meditation at Gaya, and perceiving that physical self-torture was useless to bring enlightenment, be decided upon striking out a new path, until he reached the state of
Bodhi. He became a full Buddha on the night of the 8th day of the twelfth moon, in the year 592, and finally entered Nirvâna in the year 543 according to Southern Buddhism. The Orientalists, however, have decided upon several other dates. All the rest is allegorical. He attained the state of Bodhisattva on earth when in the personality called Prabhâpala. Tushita stands for a place on this globe, not for a paradise in the invisible regions. The selection of the Sâkya family and his mother Mâyâ, as “the purest on earth,” is in accordance with the model of the nativity of every Saviour, God or deified Reformer. The tale about his entering his mother’s bosom in the shape of a white elephant is an allusion to his innate wisdom, the elephant of that colour being a symbol of every Bodhisattva. The statements that at Gautama’s birth, the newly born babe walked seven steps in four directions, that an Udumbara flower bloomed in all its rare beauty and that the Nâga kings forthwith proceeded ‘‘to baptise him ”, are all so many allegories in the phraseology of the Initiates and well-understood by every Eastern Occultist. The whole events of his noble life are given in occult numbers, and every so-called miraculous event—so deplored by Orientalists as confusing the narrative and making it impossible to extricate truth from fiction—is simply the allegorical veiling of the truth, it is as comprehensible to an Occultist learned in symbolism, as it is difficult to understand for a European scholar ignorant of Occultism. Every detail of the narrative after his death and before cremation is a chapter offacts written in a language which must be studied before it is understood, otherwise its dead letter will lead one into absurd contradictions. For instance, having reminded his disciples of the immortality of Dharmakâya Buddha is said to have passed into Samâdhi, and lost himself in Nirvâna—from which none can return., and yet, notwithstanding this, the Buddha is shown bursting open the lid of the coffin, and stepping out of it ; saluting with folded hands his mother Mâyâ who had suddenly appeared in the air, though she had died seven (days after his birth, &c., &c. As Buddha. was a Chakravartti (he who turns the wheel of the Law), his body at its cremation could not be consumed by common fire. What happens Suddenly a jet of flameburst out of the Swastica on hisbreast, and reduced his body to ashes. Space prevents giving more instances. As to his being one of the true and undeniable Saviours of the World, suffice it to say that the most rabid orthodox missionary, unless he is hopelessly insane, or has not the least regard even for historical truth, cannot find one smallest accusation against the life and personal character of Gautama, the “Buddha”. Without any claim to divinity, allowing his followers to fall into atheism, rather than into the degrading superstition of deva or idol-worship, his walk in life is from the beginning to the end, holy and