BEYOND : This refers to the Great Beyond. It indicates that state of existence beyond the physical in which we find ourselves, it refers to life beyond the Vale of Death.
People throughout ages, and all over the world, have speculated on the nature of ‘The Beyond.’ It is unfortunate that so-called scientists want to weigh everything, test everything, and prove everything, because that limits their ability to perceive the obvious. When a person is ready to receive the truth, then the truth comes to him, and he knows the truth of that truth for that which it needs no proof, while that which is not cannot be proven.
BHAGAVAD GITA :This is one of the great Scriptures of India in which a truly enlightened Teacher teaches that which should not be altered. The eighteen chapters of this book each deal with one aspect of human life, and show how by using the physical, emotional, mental, ethical, and spiritual abilities of one's Ego at the same time one can attain to true harmony of body and spirit.
This book teaches that only through true harmony can Man progress into Divinity, and so obtain release from the wheel of birth, growth, death, and rebirth.
The actual meaning of the words are — Bhaga, the Sun. Vad means Godlike. Gita means Song.
BHAGAVAN : A term indicative of one's personal God. The God whom we worship irrespective of the name which we use, and in different parts of the world different names are used for the same God.
It is the God with six attributes, which are :
1. Power and dominion.
BHAJAN : A form of worship of one's God through singing. It does not refer so much to spoken prayers, but is specifically related to singing. One can chant prayers, and that would be Bhajan.
An example of that in the Christian religion is the chanting of the Psalms.
BHAKTA : One who worships God, a follower of God. Again, it must be stressed that this can be any God, it does not relate to any particular creed or belief, but is a generic term.
BHAKTI : An act of devotion to one's God. The act of identifying oneself as a child of God, as a subject of God, and admitting that one is subservient and obedient to God.
BHAVA : This is being, feeling, existing, emotion. Among human beings there are three stages of Bhavas :
1. The pashu-bhava is the lowest group of people who live solely for themselves and for their own selfish pleasures. They think ill and do ill to others. They have no interest except in their own social or financial advantage, and they never help others in any way at all. They are the people on the lowest step of evolution.
2. The vira-bhava are the middle group. They have ambition and desire to progress upwards. They are strong, and frequently have quite a lot of energy. Unfortunately, they are selfish and domineering when they think someone might be getting more than they. They are the type who want to be ‘Do-gooders,’ not for the sake of helping others, but so that they shall be known as great and holy people always ready to assist those in need. Actually, it is very false policy to have anything to do with do-gooders, because they are selfish, egocentric people who have a long, long way to go.
3. This group, the divya-bhava, is of a much better type, with harmonising people who are thoughtful, unselfish, and really interested in helping others unselfishly. They will go to great effort to help those who seek help, and they do not do it for self-gain.
Sadly enough, this group are very much in the minority at present.
BODHA : That knowledge which can be imparted to another person whom one is teaching. It is also referred to as wisdom or understanding.
One can teach a person from a textbook and a certain amount of knowledge will be absorbed parrot fashion, but the real knowledge comes by being ‘rubbed off’ from the teacher and passing to the pupil. It is knowledge acquired by copying the teacher.
BODHI : A Buddhist word which indicates that one has a clear appreciation of the nature of that which is beyond this life. It is perfect knowledge, it is perfect understanding, we in the flesh are mere figments of the Ego's imagination, formed for the purpose of gaining experience.
BRAHMA : A Hindu God frequently represented with four arms and four faces and holding various religious symbols. But there is another Brahma. Brahma — this is a state. It indicates that everything is in a stage where change is accomplished by the thought of all incarnate minds, minds which shape the present and the future, and it means ‘to expand,’ just as the experience of all living creatures constantly expands.
BRAHMACHARI : One who has taken the first monastic vows. Or it may be a spiritual person who is devoted to the observance and practices of a form of religion but as yet has taken no particular monastic vows.
BRAHMACHARYA : This is the fourth of the Abstinences. The things enjoined on one by this are purity of thought, purity of word and deed, an initiation in which one takes vows, a celibate stage so that one may gain the necessary experience of astral travelling. It should be noted that the latter stage has four separate stages ; the first of which is that in which the individual is governed by a Teacher.
BRAHMALOKA : This is that plane of existence where those who have succeeded in the Earth life go that they may commune with others in the next plane of existence. It is a stage where one lives in divine communication while meditating on and preparing for fresh experiences.
It is, in fact, a stage where one goes to the Hall of Memories and consults the Akashic Record that one may see what one has accomplished during the last life on Earth, and what has been left undone.
It is here that one is able to consult with those of great experience, so that one may plan one's next incarnation to remedy the defects of the last and to make a step farther in overcoming one's Karma.
BRAHMA-SUTRAS :All these words come from India, and the Brahma-Sutras are very famous aphorisms which place before one the principal Teachings of the Upanishads. The Upanishads will be dealt with under U and under V.
It is a sad fact that every translator and commentator, particularly in the Western world, injects his own opinions into his translations and commentaries, people are not content to merely translate. Thus it is that in the Brahma-Sutras one translation may not agree with another, and unless one can see the original by way of the Akashic Record one can be led sadly astray.
BREATH : One should also give it the name of Pranayama, but as this would mean nothing to the majority of people, let us be content with the word Breath.
There is a special supplement at the end of this Dictionary dealing with various systems of breathing, dealing with various exercises in the matter of breathing, so let us now state that breathing relates to the rhythm in which we take in air, hold it, and release it.
As an instance let us take one's own unit of time, and then have one unit of time for breathing in, four units of that time for retaining the breath, and two units of that time for exhaling. That is a comfortable breathing rhythm for inducing calmness.
As the unit of time one might take three seconds, so that we breathe in for three seconds, hold one's breath for three times four, that is, twelve seconds, and exhale for three times two, that is, six seconds.
It is strongly advised that you do not practice different systems of Yogic breathing until you know what you are doing, because until you have definite knowledge of what you are trying and why and what the results may be, you can endanger your health. The exercises given at the end of this Dictionary are quite, quite harmless, and are, in fact, really helpful.
BUDDHA : This is not a God, this is a person who has successfully completed the lives of a cycle of existence, and by his success in overcoming Karma is now ready to move on to another plane of existence.
A Buddha is a person who is free from the bonds of the flesh. The one who is frequently referred to as ‘The Buddha’ was actually Siddhartha Gautama. He was a Prince who lived some two thousand five hundred years ago in India ; he renounced all material possessions in order to find enlightenment. He found Nirvana, which does not mean, as it is usually translated, everything full of nothingness. We shall deal with Nirvana under the letter N.
Every one of us should strive to attain to Buddhahood which is a state of being, an exalted state of being. It is not a God.
Western people are often puzzled by ‘The Thousand Buddhas.’ They think that there are at least a thousand Gods, which, of course, is too fantastic to be even ridiculous !
Buddhahood is a state of being. One can attain Buddhahood no matter what one's station in life. The Prince or the garbage collector can each be pure and holy. Down on this Earth we are like actors on a stage, and we take the ‘dress’ or status which will be of most assistance to us in learning that which we have to learn. The Thousand Buddhas, then, is merely an indication that one can attain to Buddhahood in a thousand or so different ways.
Why the thousand ? Well, think of a small boy who says, ‘My father ? Ah ! He's got millions of 'em !’ The thousand, then, is merely a figure of speech. Buddha is a symbol, not the graven image of a God. The Buddha figures are just reminders of what we can be if we want to be, and if we work to be.
BUDDHI : A word meaning wisdom, and we must always keep before us the awareness that wisdom and knowledge are quite different things. Wisdom comes with experience ; knowledge can be obtained without the wisdom to apply that knowledge which we have gained. We have to attain to Buddhi, which is wisdom, before we can pass on to Buddhahood which is wisdom and knowledge.
BUDDHISM : Frequently people refer to Buddhism as a religion. Actually, it would be far more correct to say it is a Way of Life, a code of living, a manner of passing our time upon this Earth, so that we shall hurt none and advance our own spiritual progress in the quickest time with the least effort.
Here are various things which one must do, and various things which one must not do. The Buddhists refer to them as The Four Noble Truths :
1. There is suffering and there is a cause for that suffering. Suffering can be overcome, and then there is a way of peace.
2. Nirvana. Mind and matter are in a state of constant change. The mind causes the spirit to bog down as if stuck in clay. Withdraw the mind, and then one attains to Nirvana and so becomes free from suffering and the cycle of continual rebirth, living, dying, and being reborn.
As in most religions, or ways of life, there are different branches. Just as the Christian Religion has a whole horde of different branches from the Plymouth Brethren to the Roman Catholic faith, so does the Buddhist school branch into two — they are The Hinayana, which means the Narrow Way, and The Mahayana, which means the Great Way. The former is rather austere, it has a narrow outlook, it relates to the achievement of personal sanctity through seclusion and asceticism. This is indeed a rigorous living.
The latter, Mahayana, prefers to follow the precepts of Gautama Buddha as a divine incarnation.
One might say that one of these calls upon a person to progress by his own efforts, while the other says that you can only work and progress by following the precise and undeviating example of another.