T. lobsang rampa wisdom of the ancients


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JAGRAT : This refers to the waking state, being awake in the body as opposed to being asleep in the body. Being in a condition where one is aware of that which is occurring about one, where one is able to see, to hear, to speak, to feel, etc.

People are aware during the daytime, they know what is going on about them, they are able to attend to their business, but most people are not aware during their sleep, and it is necessary to be so aware before one can consciously do astral travelling, because the physical body must have rest, but the astral does not require rest — not for a few thousand years anyway — and thus if the physical body is resting and the astral body is just held captive, or wandering unguided in the wilderness, there is much waste of opportunity.

JAPA : A word which means ‘repetition.’ It has nothing at all to do with meditation, but merely indicates that one repeats a word with the idea that perhaps one can get help from other sources. Sometimes they can !

In Tibet people used to go about mumbling, ‘Om, Om, Om,’ and sometimes twirling a prayer wheel. In India people will say, ‘Ram, Ram, Ram,’ when they are sore afraid or in need of that Rama, whom they often consider to be a God, will come rushing to their help.

In much the same way, in parts of Europe, people will call upon their own God time after time. That is Japa.

JATI : This is one’s personal status in the physical world. How are you ? Are you rich, poor, healthy, or ill ? Jati refers solely to one’s material status, and must not be confused with the spiritual standards. It must also be stated that sadly enough those who are richest in material things are frequently quite impoverished in spiritual matters.

JEN : This is a word from the Chinese. It means the art of one's fellow man. It means being charitable and having benevolent feelings towards one’s fellow man.

Jen is the basis of the Teachings of Confucius.

JIVA : A name for the individual living unit, complete with body, mind, various senses, and all that which makes up one human being. Usually this unit, this human being, is not aware of its purpose here on Earth, and it experiences birth, pleasure, pain, death, and all that which makes up life on Earth.

Frequently it rails at the unkind fate which sent it down to Earth, ‘Well, I didn't ask to be born, did I ?’ unknowing the reason and unprepared to learn that which has to be learned.

If people knew how simple it is to die, if they knew that no one is ever discarded, no one is ever fried eternally, then perhaps they would think ‘Oh, I will have a good time in this life, I can easily come back and clear up the mess in the next life.’ Thus, they have to ‘drink of the Waters of Leith,’ so that the memory of past lives is swept away because not until they have reached a certain stage can they know —

JNANA : This is knowledge, awareness of life beyond the life of the world. It is knowledge of the Overself, knowledge of why one comes to the Earth, what one has to learn, and how one has to learn it. It is the knowledge that although an Earth life may be a terrible, terrible experience, yet it is just the twinkling of an eye in the time of the Greater Life.

Poor consolation while we are down here !

JNANI : This is a person who knows, a person who follows the road of knowledge, one who tries to reach to the Greater Reality and to escape from the shackles and pains of life on Earth. A person who can approach this stage is indeed approaching liberation or Buddhahood.


KAIVALYA : Upon this Earth most people are unaware of what they were in a past life, unaware of why they have come back to this Earth. People say, ‘Oh, we only have one life, let's make the most of it !’ These are blind people, blind spiritually, blind mentally. When they have reached the state of Kaivalya they will be aware of what awaits them on the other side of that which is called Death.

That word, Kaivalya, means liberation from the blindness and the follies of the world.

KAMA : This is desire, a craving. It is a memory of the pleasures and the pains previously experienced. Often these memories are the causes of habits such as smoking or drinking.

A person smokes because of some pleasure imagined in connection with smoking, or because you have to be a smoker to be ‘grown-up.’ If people could only remember how sick they were the first time they smoked they wouldn't do it.

People who drink intoxicants, well, it's a great pity, it's a stupid idea, in fact, because intoxicants drive one's astral body out of one's physical, and I don't blame the astral for getting out of such a stench as that left by stale spirits.

KARMA : This is an old law by which many people of the Eastern world regulate their lives. It is a very good law provided it is used in a common-sense manner.

You go to a shop and you buy a lot of goods. If you are lucky you can have them ‘on the bill,’ but you have bought your goods and they have to be paid for some time, you do not get them free.

You go through life and life after life doing things of which, in the still small hours of the morning, you regret, things of which you are ashamed when you are alone and can think about it, you do things which can harm another person. Well, it's a pity because as you sow so shall you reap.

In the same way, one should do kindnesses to others, 'Throw your bread upon the waters and it shall return to you.' Unfortunately, when it returns it may be a bit soggy, but that's not the idea. Do good to others, the more good you do, the more good has to be done to you.

If you come to Earth and you have a miserable time it means that you are being paid back for giving other people a miserable time in another life, and when you get to that happy, happy stage that you are living your last life on Earth, then you certainly will have a miserable time because you have to clear up all debts. Just as when you are ready to move to another district you rush around to the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker (or should do if you are honest), and you pay what you owe. If you are an optimist you try to collect money which is owing to you, but that is a different matter. The law of Karma states that — Do as you would be done by because you have to pay back good as well as bad.

It is my personal belief that too rigid an adherence to the law of incarnation and the law of Karma may have been responsible for the degeneration of India and China, because in India as well as in China, people used to sit beneath the trees and say, ‘Ah ! So what ? I have plenty more lives in front of me, let me sit like Ferdinand the Bull and smell the flowers in this life.’ So it led to slothfulness.

As for China — I have actually seen this ; a man fell in a river and definitely was drowning. None of the Chinese were remotely interested ; they were asked afterwards why they had done nothing to save the drowning man. Their answer was to the effect that if they had saved that man FROM HIS KARMA, they would have had his Karma to deal with as well as their own. So, too rigid an adherence makes for apparent callousness. One has to take the good old Buddhist Way — not too bad or the police get after you, and not too good (impossible on this Earth !) or you are too pure to stay here. The Middle Way in all things.

KLESHA : Actually there are five Kleshas because these are the names of the five main things which cause people trouble, cause people to come back to Earth time after time until they haven't any more Kleshas.

Klesha number 1 — ignorance. And from ignorance there is conceit. If one has ignorance and conceit one is not able to perceive the faults within one and so eliminate them.

Desire of the wrong sort is another of the things which has to be avoided. Do you covet those things which you should not covet ? Then you'd better look out, it's holding up your progress.

Aversion is another definite trouble. Aversion makes it difficult for one to 'get on' with another person, it makes one the square peg in the round hole, or is it the round peg in the square hole ? It doesn't matter which, one is as bad as the other. One has to adopt the Middle Way, and not fall in love too often, but not hate people for too long.

Possessiveness is the fifth trouble. We might call people stingy, misers, grab-alls, scrooges, they are a miserable crowd anyhow, and until a person gets rid of possessiveness that person is not able to acquire because, to repeat an old story, one cannot receive until one is ready to give.

The Kleshas are the things which one must eradicate before one can break free of the round of birth, living, dying, rebirth.

KNOWLEDGE : Knowledge ? Do I need to explain what knowledge is ? I think I do ! We have to have three things before we can have knowledge. First, we must have inference, we must become aware of something, because until we are aware of a thing we cannot perceive its presence or its existence.

Secondly, we must have reliable information because until we have reliable information to support that which we infer we are not even starting to obtain knowledge.

Thirdly, we must have a form of intuition so that we may understand that which lies behind the matter which we have inferred and about which we have obtained reliable information. We have to have this intuition so that we may understand different aspects of which we desire to know about.

KOAN : This is a word from Zen Buddhism. People of the West often cannot make any sense out of a Koan, because it is a peculiar statement which apparently is without any logic and which has no sense whatever. But the student has to meditate upon it and supply a suitable answer.

No easy answer is possible, but when an answer does come to one, then it is usually as sudden as a burst of thunder ; the answer comes as a revelation.

As a mild, mild, mild example let me say this as a specimen of a Koan :

'The gramophone record and the gramophone needle can produce music ; listen to the music of the record without the needle.'

It is like trying to compare the abstract with the concrete, or trying to discuss a three-dimensional matter with a person who lives in one dimension.

KOSHA : This is a covering or sheath. Sometimes it is termed a container. There are five Koshas described in certain Upanishads. These are located each within the other. The inner one is the body which is fed by food, that is, the physical body, and if you want the Eastern name for it, it is Annamayakosha.

The second is the body of Prana, and this is the part which keeps mind and body together. The Eastern name for it ? Pranamayakosha.

Third, we have the sheath of the mind which has the sense impressions. This contains the higher and lower minds. The Eastern word is Manomayakosha.

Fourth is the sheath, or body, of intellect or wisdom. This is the start of the Buddhi, and the Eastern name for this fourth Kosha is Vijnanamayakosha.

The fifth Kosha is the body of bliss, and which often is referred to as the Ego. It is ‘A Sheath of Joy,’ and the Eastern name is Anandamayakosha.

KOWU : This is a Chinese word which means the study, or investigation, of occult matters, and the rectification of misunderstandings which have occurred in previous studies.

KRIYA YOGA : This is a branch of Yoga which has three sections. The first section enables one to control the body and the functions of the body.

The second section gives one the ability to study mental things and to develop the memory so that one is able to obtain from the sub-conscious all that which one has previously learned.

The third gives one a desire to be attentive to one's spiritual requirements. It gives one an incentive to put aside the things of the flesh, and to progress through spirituality rather than through one's bank balance.

By devoting oneself to Kriya one can subdue the Kleshas which are the bane of human life.

KUMBHAKA : This is a special form of breathing, a special method or pattern of breathing. It is the retention of the breath between breathing in and breathing out, and much benefit can be obtained from practicing according to certain fixed rules.

At the end of this Dictionary there will be a section devoted to different breathing exercises, so it is hoped that you will manage to keep breathing until you have read the words which come between this and that later section.

KUNDALINI : This is a life force. It is THE life force of the body. Just as a car cannot run without having electricity to fire the mixture in the cylinders, so humans cannot live in the body without the life force of Kundalini.

In Eastern mythology the Kundalini is likened to the image of a serpent coiled up below the base of the spine. As this special force is released, or awakened, it surges up through the different Chakras and makes a person aware of esoteric things. It awakens clairvoyance, telepathy, and psychometry, and enables one to live between two worlds, moving from one to the other at will without inconvenience.

The Kundalini is a dangerous thing indeed, and one should not try to awaken that Kundalini without absolutely adequate supervision from an Adept. You cannot do it by reading a book ! If you meddle about and awaken your Kundalini the wrong way it can lead to madness. It is one of the most dangerous things in this world to try to raise the Kundalini without knowing what you are doing.

The average human is only one-tenth conscious. Perhaps, actually, that flatters the average human ! The point is that if one can raise the Kundalini one becomes very much more conscious, one can dominate others. But when one has raised the Kundalini one loses the desire to dominate others for self-gain.

People wonder where exactly is the Kundalini, where is ‘at the base of the spine ?’

The Kundalini force actually starts midway between the organ of generation and the organ of excretion. Now, having given you that information it is suggested that you do not try experiments with the Kundalini unless you have a real Guru who can help you, and you must have utter faith in that Guru. If you have no Guru for the moment, remember — when the student is ready the Guru will appear, but the Guru knows, and the student does not know, when the student is ready.

The Bible story of Adam and Eve, complete with serpent and apple, is merely the story of Eve having her Kundalini awakened.

‘The Serpent tempted Eve,’ and Eve suggested naughty, naughty things to Adam who certainly learned fast, and took a hearty bite of the Apple of Knowledge. Now look at what happened to all us poor humans since !

Do you get it ? Eve, the Mother of all Living, the same as now Mary is a more or less general term for Woman throughout the world. The serpent is the serpent force of the Kundalini, and the apple is the Fruit of Knowledge. So you don't meddle with the Kundalini, or it will bite your brains.

KUTHASTHA : This is the self, the true Overself, that part of one which stands above all the changing items of the world.

This is the part of one which enables one to feel friendship for those who would do one ill.

You can imagine that this Kuthastha is the one who stands above and looks down and supervises your actions ; you can regard it as the Guardian Angel which is always watching to see what you are doing.

Kuthastha is that which stands beyond all illusions, that which cannot be deceived or misled. It is what you have to become eventually.

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