W. Q. Judge's Student Glossary





A GLOSSARY is said to be “a vocabulary explaining words which are obscure, antiquated, local, or peculiar to some cult or special study.  “This little work is not a dictionary, because to be such it should contain all the words of some language, which it does not.

This is an attempt to furnish students of Theosophical literature who are not Sanskritists with a glossary — nothing else — of the many Sanskrit and other strange words found so often in books and writings published and written by members of our Society.  Readers will therefore understand that we are not offering them a Sanskrit grammar, nor a book which will make clear all that they wish to know about the proper pronunciation of Sanskrit words.  The latter would be, in our opinion, a hopeless work, and is not attempted.

Rarely is even a dictionary complete; and we do not claim that this glossary contains every foreign word which may be met in Theosophical books; but it has all the important ones.

In order to give some notion of the proper pronunciation of Sanskrit, but only by way of a guide, and not as an authority, a short table is put at the end of these paragraphs, which if carefully studied will help readers to come somewhat near to the right sound.

Yet even the table will be blind to those who cannot see that if we postulate for e the sound of a in gay, we must spell Kate as Ket.  Those who speak Spanish will very readily acquire the right pronunciation when they know that as in Spanish so in Sanskrit, in nearly all cases, a is ah, e is like a in gay, i is ee, o is oh, u is oo, ai is i and au is ow, none of these sounds being altered by juxtaposition or combination of letters.

It is well to remember, too, that a little common sense and memory will enable us to see at once that if one writer writes Arjoon he means what another does by Arjuna.  The old edition of Wilkins’ translation of the Bhagavad-Gita comes as near as any later work to giving the right sound in English form.  He spells Gita as Geeta, Arjuna as Arjoon, Pandu as Pandoo, Amrita as Amreeta, Krishna as Kreeshna.


a as a in father.

e as a in hate.

i as i in pique.

o as o in go.

u as oo in root

ai as i in mine.

au as ow in now.

EXAMPLES.  — Avidya, ah-veed yah; Buddha, Bood-dhah; ha-tha-yoga, hat-ha yo gah; Isvara, Eesh-wah-ra; Siva, Shee-vah; Surya, Soor yah; yuga, yoo gah.




Students of Theosophical Literature.

Abhava, non-existence, non-entity; privation, negation, destruct-tion, death.  (a, not; bhava, being: non-being.)

Abhinivesa, idle terror causing death.

Abhutarajasas, bright incorporeal beings, deities having not even astral forms.  (a, not; bhuta, element; raj, shine.)

Abhyasana, uninterrupted contemplation of an object.  (abhi, into; asa, throwing: “throwing [one’s self] into [study].”)

Acharya, a holy teacher; an instructor in the mysteries.  (Literally, “one who knows the achara, or rules.”)

Achit, one of the three inseparable aspects of Parabrahmam.  (a, devoid of; chit, thought, intelligent force, mind.)

Achyuta, the “unfalling,”that which is not subject to “fall;” a title given to Krishna in the Bhagavat-Gita; a name of Vishnu.

Adept  (Eng. ), as used in these times is applied to the Mahatmas, but as there are black and white, high and low Adepts, that use is erroneous.  The word strictly means an expert or master in some particular art or science.  In Theosophical literature the term is generally applied to those occultists who have passed beyond the age of pupilage and have, so to speak, “come of age” in the study and practice of occultism, being more than chelas but less than full Initiates.

Adharma, unrighteousness, wickedness, vice.

Adhibautika, natural; a term applied to natural and extrinsic pain.

Adhibhuta, the lord of lives; the Supreme Spirit when dwelling in all elemental nature through the mysterious power; of nature’s illusion.  (adhi, over; bhuta, element.)

Adhidaivata,  (also Adhidaiva), presiding deity, lord of all the gods; the Supreme Spirit as dwelling in the solar orb  (meaning, according to Eastern ideas, that the supreme power for this solar system has its place in the sun), or when fully manifest in man.  (adhi, over; daiva, a god.)

Adhidaivika, a term applied to superhuman pain.

Adhivajna, the Supreme Spirit as director of the body, as it is held in the ancient doctrine that one spirit guides all men, assuming in each an apparent separateness which is due to the personal lower self.  (adhi, over; yajna, sacrificial ceremony: “ director of the sacrificial ceremony “ — which is human life.)

Adhyatma , the soul of souls; the over-soul.  (adhi, over; atma, soul.)

Adhyatmika, relating to the soul  (adhyatma); a term applied to natural and inseparable pain.

Adi, the first, the beginning; the unknown Deity, Brahma.

Adi-Buddha, first or primeval wisdom; an aspect of Para­brahmam.  (adi, first; buddha, wisdom.)

Adi-Buddhi, the first or unmanifested consciousness.

Adi-Sanat, “the first ancient,” Brahma, the creator.

Aditi, “the boundless,” i. e., space; aether; akasa; Vedic name for mulaprakriti; abstract space, or ideal nature, corresponding with the Egyptian Isis, the female side of procreative nature.

Adityas, the twelve sun-gods who bring about the universal conflagration of this solar system.

Adi-Varsha, the first country; the Eden of the first races.

Adonai, a Hebrew word, meaning “Lord,” which was used in reading the sacred scrolls as a substitute for the unut­terable name of four letters, the J-H-V-H.  This term was used by mediaeval writers as a name for certain class­es of the Dhyan Chohans.

Adrishta, unseen; beyond reach of consciousness; the merit or demerit attaching to a man’s conduct in a former in­carnation, and the corresponding  (apparently arbitrary) punishment or reward in the present or a future incarna­tion; destiny.

Advaita, non-duality; the one secondless existence, the one reality; a system of philosophy based on non-duality.

Agami, one of the three sorts of karma.  (a, not; gami, go­ing.)  (See Karma.)

Agni, name of a god; fire, especially fire from heaven; some­times indirectly signifying Parabrahmam.

Agnihotri, a priest and invoker of fire.  (agni, fire, especial­ly fire from heaven; hotri, priest, offerer, invoker.)

Agnisvattas, gods of fire and air; one of the two kinds of Pitris, incorporeal, without even astral forms, who are fashioners of the inner man.

Ahamkara, egoism; that which within us says, I am the actor, for me all this is being done”; in Sankhya philos­ophy, the third of the eight producers of creation.  (Aham I; kara, making:  the making of self.)

Ahriman, the evil principle of the universe; the “Satanof Zoroastrianism; an asura.

Aisvarya, power; superhuman powers of omnipresence, om­nipotence, invisibility, etc.

Aitareya-Brahmana, name of a Upanishad.  (See Brahmana.)

Aitihya, oral communication, traditional instruction.

Aja, not born, existing from all eternity; a term applied to the higher deities.

Ajnyana, ignorance.

Akasa, the subtle fluid that pervades all space, and exists everywhere and in everything, as the vehicle of life and sound; “out-look,” open space, sky, aether.  It is said that by a knowledge and use of the akasa all magical feats can be performed.

Akhyayikas, short tales or anecdotes.

Aksha, eye; any round thing.

Akshara, unbroken, imperishable; Brahma, Vishnu, or Siva; the syllable Om; the soul.  (aksha, a round thing, a circle, unbroken [like a circle].)

Akta, anointed, initiated.

Alaya, the over-soul.  (a, not; laya, dissolution: non-dis­solution, permanence.)

Amanasa, the mindless.  (a, not; manas, mind.)

Amitabha, a Dhyani-Buddha; the celestial name of Gautama Buddha, much used in Japanese Buddhism.  (Literally, of unmeasured splendor.”)

Amrita, the water of immortality obtained, according to an allegory in the Mahabharata, from the churning of the ocean by the suras and asuras, meaning the spiritual cul­tivation resulting from the conflict between our higher and lower nature; Soma Juice; immortality; the col­lective body of immortals; the immortal light; final eman­cipation.  (Literally, “deathless.’’)

Anaisvarya, powerless, without supremacy.

Ananda, bliss; an aspect of Parabrahmam.

Anandamya-kosa,the spiritual soul, buddhi.  (See Kosa.)

Ananta, infinite; a term applied to different deities, and to the seven-headed serpent couch upon which Krishna  (the manifested Vishnu) reclines when he creates the worlds; the infinite beyond time and space.

Anavasada, indifference to miseries.

Anayam, a measure of time, 180 days.

Andhatamisra, utter darkness of the soul.

Anima, a power or siddhi by which one can go into the smallest atom.

Anima Mundi  (Latin), the soul of the world.  In Esotericism it means the actual soul or psychic force of the world; that is, that this globe as a whole with its creatures has its own soul.

Anishtubha, a peculiar Sanskrit metre.

Anitya, temporary, not everlasting.

Annamaya-Kosa, the material body.  (See Kosa.)

Antahkarana, the channel of communication between the higher and lower aspects of manas; the seat of thought and feeling.  (antar, within; karana, instrument or means of causing.)

Anu, atomic.

Anuddharsha, contentment, satisfaction with one’s condition.

Anugita, an episode from the fourteenth book of the Maha­bharata.  It gives the discourse between Krishna and Arjuna after the battle with which the Bhagavad-Gita opens.  (anu, after;  gita, song: an after-song.)

Anumana, inference, drawing a conclusion from given prem­ises, one of the means of obtaining knowledge according to the Sankhya or Nyaya systems.

Anumapaka, the basis of inference.

Anumata, producer of satisfaction in the doer of an act, though not himself concerned in action, still appearing as such.

Anupadaka, without progenitors; a name applied to celestial beings generally, and also to the highest Adepts.

Anusrava, Vedic tradition; acquired by repeated hearing.

Anyathajnana, confounding of the attributes of one thing with those of another.  (anyatha, otherwise; jnana, know­ing

Ap, water; air; the intermediate region.

Apah,  (plural of Ap), divinities-and potencies.

Apam-Napat, Vedic name for Agni, or fire as sprung from water; intelligent force pervading nature the “light of the Logos,” Fohat.  (apam, water; napat, offspring.)

Apana, breathing out, expiration, one of the five vital airs,  (opposed to prana); a cultivated physical faculty utilized in certain Hatha Yoga exercises.

Apavarga, the emancipation of the soul from the misery of repeated re-births; final beatitude.  (apa, from, away; varga, purified, exempt.)

Aprithaksiddha, inseparable and eternal union, such as thatexisting between Chit, Achit and Isvara.

Aranis, the two pieces of wood used in producing, by attri­tion, the sacred fire.

Arghya, a libation to gods or saints, of rice, flowers, etc., with
water, or of water only, in a small boat-shaped vessel.

Arghyanath, lord of libations, a title of the Maha-Chohan.

Arghya-Varsha, the land of libations; the mystery name of
the land whence the Kalki avatar is expected to come.

Arhats, initiated holy men of the Buddhist and Jaina faiths; often used synonymously with Rishi, Mahatma, and Adept.  (Literally, “worthy ones.”)

Arjuna, a personality in the Bhagavat Gita, son and avatar of Indra, allegorically representing man; also spoken of as Nara.  (arjuna, silver white. nara, man, the primal man, a hero.)

Arupa, formless, colorless.  (a, not; rupa, color, form.)

Arya, a man of the Vedic Indian tribes, an Aryan.  (Liter­ally, ‘‘one of the faithful.”)

Aryasangha, the whole body of the Aryans; name of the founder of the Yogachara  (Yogakara) school of Buddhism.

Aryavarta, the sacred land of the Aryans; India.

Asakti, disability.

Asana a posture of a devotee, the manner of sitting forming part of the eight-fold observances of ascetic; one of the eight means or stages of Yoga.  (See Yoga.)

Asat, non-being.

Asmita, egoism.

Astral Body  (Eng.), a term very 1oosely used in Theosoph­ical literature to cover every kind of phantasmal or ethereal appearance of the human form.  Its principal meanings are as follows:

(1)      The term is used as the English equivalent of the Sanskrit linga-sarira, and then means the ethereal or subtle form round which the physical body is built up, a form which serves as the vehicle of prana or life, and constitutes the mould into and from which the atoms of gross matter are continually passing.  The linga-sarira or astral body in this sense can exude or ooze out from the physical body and become perceptible to the physical senses.  This frequently occurs in the case of spiritualistic mediums, many of whose phenomena, espe­cially the so-called materializations, are produced through the agency of this astral body.  But the linga-sarira can never go far from the physical body and disintegrates, as a rule, shortly after the death of the latter.

(2)      The term astral body” is also used to mean the mayavi-rupa or thought-form, or illusionary form.  As its name implies, the latter is a form or body created by the power of thought, and it is this mayavi-rupa which is seen in cases of the apparitions of living persons at a distance from the physical body.

(3)      The term “astral body” is also sometimes used in regard to the kama-rupa or body of desires, which remains in the astral world after the death of the physical body, and the disintegration of the linga-sarira proper, when it slowly fades out as the energy that it has derived from the true ego, the manas-buddhi, is dissipated.

Astral Light  (Eng.), the light derived from the stars; the lowest principle of akasa.  This term has been so indiscrim­inately used as to be now synonymous with akasa and ether.  Although called “light,” it is such as can only be perceived psychically.  A tenuous medium, or ether, interpenetrating all space, and which cannot be properly understood unless the doctrine is fully admitted that the apparently solid world and material objects are all illusions or space made visible.  (See Akasa.)

Asu, vital spirit, vigorous life; the breath; spiritual life.

Asura, a spiritual, divine being;  (derived from asu, breath;) an evil spirit, a demon of the highest order in perpetual hostility with the gods;  (incorrectly derived from a, not, and sura, god:  a non-god, a demon.).

Asura-Maya, name of a great Atlantean magician, who is said to have been a great astronomer.

Asvamedha, the horse-sacrifice, a ceremony of Vedic times.

Asvatha, the holy fig tree, symbolizing the universe.

Atharva-Veda, the fourth of the Vedas.

Atma, the spirit of the universe; spirit; soul; the animating spiritual breath; the permanent Self; the highest prin­ciple of life in the universe; in one sense Brahma, the supreme deity and soul of the universe.

Atma-Vidya, knowledge of soul or the Supreme Spirit.

Atri, a famous Rishi, author of a number of Vedic hymns.

Atyantika Pralaya, absolute dissolution or obscuration, as, for instance, of a whole planetary chain.

Augoeides  (Greek, literally meaning the “self-luminousor “shining one“), a term applied by the Neo-Platonists to the Higher Ego or Individuality of man, as contradis­tinguished from his lower self or personality.  In the Se­cret Doctrine the hints given in Isis Unveiled are ex­plained by the statement that the Augoeides, the “Father in Heaven,” the “Higher Ego,” are synonymous terms referring to the Manasa-Dhyani, who incarnated in or overshadowed the mindless men of the third race, and thus conferred on them the potency of divine, conscious immortality.

Avabohda, waking, perception, discrimination, knowledge.

Avalokitesvara, a Bhodisattva; the manifested Logos, the synthesis of the seven Dhyani-Buddhas or Dhyan-Chohan­ic hosts.  (avalokita, seen; isvara, lord : the lord who is manifest [to the Self]. Rhys Davids renders it, “the lord who looks down from on high.”)

Avarana-Sakti, the power that makes one thing appear as another.

Avastha, state, condition.

Avastha-Traya, the three states of the soul, according to Vedanta philosophy, known to uninitiated humanity, name­ly:  jagrata, waking state; svapna, dreaming state; and sushupti, dreamless sleep.  (See also Turiya.)

Avatara, an avatar, the appearance of any deity upon earth, but more particularly the incarnations of Vishnu in his ten principal forms, namely: the fish, tortoise, boar, man­-lion, dwarf, the two Ramas, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki, the last yet to come, and which will take place at the end of the four yugas.

Avidya, without knowledge, ignorance, illusion; personified illusion, or Maya; in Buddhism, ignorance together with non-existence.  (a, not, Without, vidya, knowledge.)

Avikara, changeless, undifferentiating.

Avyakta, indiscrete or undifferentiated matter, the primor­dial principle whence the phenomenal world is produced; mulaprakriti; the all-soul.  (See Mulaprakriti.)


Bandha, fettering; bondage, as opposed to moksha or emancipation.

Barhishad, a class of lunar pitris who are creators of physical man.  (baris, sacrificial grass, kusa ; sad, seated: seated on the kusa grass.)

Bhagavad-Gita, an epic in the Mahabharata, consisting of a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, which is car­ried on in a chariot drawn up between two opposing armies.  The chariot means, esoterically, the body; Ar­juna is the Ego; Krishna is the Supreme Spirit, and the opposing hosts of Kauravas and Pandavas are the higher and lower natures of man; the horses may be called the mind, which draws the body.  The poem has been translated by Burnouf into French, by Lassen into Latin, by Stanis­lav Gotti into Italian, by Galanos into Greek, by Wilkins, Davies, Thompson, Kasinath Telang, Chintamon, Mohini, Arnold and others into English.  (bhagavat, having happi­ness, blessed; gita, song: song of the blessed one.)

Bhakti, devotion, a thing apportioned or set apart, portion.

Bhakti-Yoga, systematized devotion for the attainment of union with Parabrahmam, prescribed in the Visishtadvaita Catechism as the contemplation of Parabrahmam, with its various attributes and qualities, without any interrup­tion whatever, throughout one’s whole life, and at the same time discharging one’s duties to the best of one’s ability, or true devotion.”   (See also the Bhagavad-Gita for prescription of and insistence upon attainment of devotion, conjoined with strict performance of duty.)

Bharata, “the one supported,” an epithet of Agni as being maintained or kept alive by men; the true consciousness, of which the consciousness of the interior faculties is a reflection; an epithet given Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita to signify his intimate relation with his race and nation.

Bharata-Varsha, India.

Bhima, son of Vayu the god of the wind; presiding deity of the air, allegorically representing power; a Vidarbhan king; the higher nature of man.  (Literally, “terrible.”)

Bhishma, the grandsire  (grandfather’s step-brother) of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas, allegorically representing the lower nature of man.  (Literally, “horrible.”)

Bhoga, fruition, enjoyment.

Bhokta, the consciousness pervading the Buddhi, and which appears as conscious beings.

Bhrantidarsanatah, false perception, the perception of one who moves  (or thinks) unsteadily, without aim.

Bhrigu, the planet Venus; a race of beings described in the Rig-Veda as cherishing fire brought to them by the wind, or as kindling fire from the aranis; that one of the ten Maharshis from whom these beings descended.  It in some sense gives a clue to the use and function of Venus in relation to our earth.

Bhuh, the world.

Bhurloka, the place of earth, the terrestrial world.

Bhuta, an element; created being, elemental, ghost, goblin, imp, demon, phantom, elementary.

Bhuta-Dak, a “spirit-medium”; one who holds communion with elementals.   (A mongrel word, dak usually meaning “carriage.”)

Bhutatma, the vital soul, or elemental self, as opposed to Kshetrajna.  (bhuta, elemental; atma, self, soul.)

Bhuvah, Sky.

Bodisattva, one who has perfect wisdom as his essence, and who will attain in only one or a certain number of births to the state of a Buddha; the terrestrial correspondent of a Dhyani-Buddha, a human Buddha.

Brahma, the Absolute, Parabrahmam.

Brahmā, the creator; the impersonal universe-pervading spirit personified under this name; the lord or ruler over a Brahmanda, at the end of whose “life” that system is resolved into its final elements and reabsorbed by Para­brahmam.

Brahmacharin, an ascetic mendicant who lives under the di­rection of a spiritual ’Master and is vowed to celibacy and mendicancy.

Brahmacharya, life of religious studentship and holiness.

Brahma-Kalpa, a “day of Brahmā,” embracing a period of fourteen manvantaras, together with the sandhis inter­vening between two Manus, equal in all to 1,000 maha­yugas, or 4,320,000,000 solar Years.

Brahman, religious devotion, prayer; one who prays, a priest.

Brahmana, a class of prose works appended to the Vedas, as the Rig-Veda has the Aitareya-Brahmana and the Kaushitaka-Brahmana; the White Yajur-Veda has the Satapatha-Brahmana; the Black Yajur-Veda has the Tait­tiriya-Brahmana; the Sama-Veda has eight Brahmanas; and the Atharva-Veda has the Gopatha-Brahmana.  They are esoteric keys to the ceremonial magic of the Vedas.

Brahmanda, a macrocosm, the mundane egg; a division of infinite space containing the fourteen lokas.  (Brahmā, the creator; anda, egg.)

Brahma-Pura, a Vedic term for the heart, also for the body.  (brahma, Brahma; Pura, city:  city of Brahma.)

Brahma-Putras, sons of Brahma.

Brahma-Randhra, an opening in the crown of the head through which the soul is said to escape at death.  Nine openings of the human body are usually reckoned, the Brahma-randhra being the tenth.  It is, however, in the right sense, an astral current and not a material place or opening.  (brahma, the Supreme, the Atma; randhra, an opening, any one of the openings of the human body.)

Brahma-Rishi,  (also Bramarishi), a priest-sage.

Brahma-Samadhi, abstract meditation upon Brahma, perfect absorption in thought upon the Supreme Spirit.

Brih, prayer; expansion.

Brihaspati, the personification of exoteric ritualism; the planet Jupiter.

Brihat-Saman, a sacred verse which is said to reveal the path to Nirvana.

Buddha, a manifestation of the Supreme, the first Buddha being Avalokitesvara, from whom emanate the seven Dhyani-Buddhas  (“Buddhas of contemplation“), who by the power of meditation create for themselves the celes­tial Bodhisattvas, who incarnate on earth at the beginning of each human cycle as men, and become human Bodhi­sattvas and finally terrestrial Buddhas, of whom there have been four, humanity being now in the fourth round.

Buddhi, intelligence; in the Sankhya philosophy, intellect as the second tattva, coming next to and proceeding from mulaprakriti or avyakta; the passive spiritual vehicle, or latent ideation, of Atma, serving to connect it with manas, the individual self.  (See Manas.)

Budha, awake, intelligent, wise; the planet Mercury.

Bythos, the abyss, or chaos, — a Gnostic term.


Caduceus  (Greek), the rod of Mercury, consisting of two serpents twined about a staff. Sometimes the staff also terminates in the head of a serpent.

Chaitanya, the Supreme Spirit considered as the essence of all being.

Chakra, wheel, discus, center; in the body, centres of psy­chic energy; the weapon of Vishnu, symbolizing cyclic evolution; a cycle.

Chakshus, the eye.

Chandala, an outcast, a pariah.

Chandra, the moon.  (Literally, glittering.”)

Charvaka, a Hindu philosopher, founder of the Charvaka system of philosophy, which is .considered by some to be materialistic.

Chaturmasya, three sacrifices performed every four months, at the beginning of the three seasons.

Chela, pupil, disciple.  (See Lanoo.)

Chemi, the land of Egypt.

Chetana, knowledge of right and wrong; the thinking prin­ciple.  (See Chaitanya.)

Chhaya, a reflected image, shadow, shade; the astral image projected as a model for material man.

Chidatma, the Logos — that is, the unitary soul and intelli­gence in one aspect  (chit, intelligence; atma, soul.)

Chinmatra, pure intelligence.

Chit, intelligence, perception; the element of immaterial and eternal spirit in each human being, the individual soul; intelligent force; potential understanding; one of the as­pects of Parabrahmam.  It is held that chit and achit do not exist without Parabrahmam, but, like substance and quality, are in inseparable union with one another and with Parabrahmam.

Chitra-Gupta, name of one of the beings recording the vices and virtues of mankind in Yama’s world.  (chitra, visible, ether; gupta, guarded, preserved: preserved in the ether.)

Chitta, thought, mind, reason; the heart considered as the seat of intellect; notice  (in the sense of observation).

Christos  (Greek), the Higher Self, Isvara.

Chyuta, “the fallen,” a term applied to those Dhyanis who, incarnating in human form, “fell” into gernation.

Crore, 10,000,000.

Crux Ansata  (Latin), the ansated cross.  (See Svastika.)


Dagoba, a conical erection of brick or stone surrounding relics among the Buddhists, built on a platform.

Daityas, descendants of Diti, demons, giants who lived in the earliest ages.

Daitya-Yuga, an age of the demons, consisting of 12,000 divine years.

Daiva-Prakriti, the synthesis of the six forces in the astral light; the Light of the Logos.”

Daksha, ability, faculty, strength, power — all with especial application to spiritual power and will; son of Marisha, Kandu’s daughter, an allegorical personage introduced in the Puranas.

Dalada, the left canine tooth of Buddha — a relic.

Dama, Victor, a son of Bhima; house, home; self-restraint.

Danavas, sons of Danu, demons and foes of the gods; spoken of in the Bhagavad-Gita as evil spirits or fallen angels.

Danda, chastisement, correction; conquest; a measure of time, 6o making a siderial day.

Danu, one of the daughters of Daksha and mother of the Danavas.

Darsanas, the six systems of Hindu philosophy, viz: Sankhya of Kapila, Yoga of Patanjali, Nyaya of Gotama, Vaiseshika of Kanada, Purva-Mimansa of Jamini, Uttara-Mimansa or Vedanta of Vyasa.

Deha, the body.

Demiurgos  (Greek.), the creator, not in any personal sense, but as the aggregate of creative forces in the universe.

Deva  (also Devata), a celestial being, a god.

Devachan, heaven, the subjective rest between incarnations.

Devadatta, the conch-shell of Arjuna; one of the vital airs.  (deva, god; datta, given:  god-given.)

Devaki, the mother of Krishna.

Devanagiri, the character in which Sanscrit is usually written.  (Literally, “the divine-city writing.”)

Devarshi, divine sage, demi-god.(deva, god; rishi, sage.)

Devi  (feminine of Deva), an elemental being, a goddess.

Dhairya, fortitude, firmness.

Dhananjaya, a title of Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita; an epi­thet of Soma; a particular vital air which nourishes the body.  (dhanam, booty, wealth; jaya , conquering:  con­quering wealth.)

Dharana, maintaining, supporting, upholding; steadfast concentration.  (See Yoga.)

Dharma, law; duty; religion; good works; custom, usage, correct course of conduct; natural action of anything under its laws; virtue.

Dharma-Megha, cloud of virtue; one of the ten Bhumis  (earths, worlds) with Buddhists.  (dharma, virtue; megha, cloud.)

Dharman, accordant with nature; according to the estab­lished order of things.

Dharma-Sastra, book of laws.

Dhoti, the cloth wrapped around the loins of Hindus.  It is from 2 1/2, to 3 1/2 yards long, and 2 or 3 feet broad.  It is found represented upon the oldest frescoes and sculptures.

Dhritarashtra, a blind king, one of the personalities in the Mahabharata, who allegorically represents material exist­ence — of which his blindness and thirst for prolonged life are typical.  He is the first character prominently men­tioned in the Bhagavad-Gita, where, being blind, he anxiously asks for particulars of the battle, the defeat of his side meaning that material existence will fall into ins­ignificance.  (dhrita, firm, supported; rashtra, kingdom: “whose empire is firm.”)

Dhriti, patience, steadfastness; a certain evening sacrifice offered to the asvamedha.

Dhruva  (also Dhruvatara), the pole-star.  (Literally, “re­maining in one place.”)

Dhurti, decay; injury, damage.

Dhyana, meditation; abstract contemplation; divine intui­tion.  (See Yoga.)

Dhyan Chohans, the highest creative intelligences; gods; souls who become gods and co-workers with nature.

Dhyani-Buddha, a spiritual or mental Buddha, of whom seven, and sometimes ten, are mentioned; the first beings emanated by Avalokitesvara.

Diksha, ceremonies preliminary to sacrifice; new-birth — a rite of initiation; initiation personified as the wife of Soma.

Dikshita, initiated; an initiate.

Dioscuri  (Greek), the twin brothers Castor and Pollux.

Dis, space; a cardinal point of the compass.

Dnyana.  (See Jnana.)

Dnyana-Marga(See Jnana-Marga.)

Dnyana-Yoga.  (See Jnana-Yoga.)

Dosha, faults.

Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandu princes, being a per­sonification of yoga-maya, or the power of illusion.

Dravya, thing, object, substance, nine kinds of which are reckoned in the Nyaya philosophy, viz: prithivi, earth; ap, water; tejas, fire; vayu, air; akasa, ether; kala, time; dis, space; atma, soul; and manas, mind.

Driksthiti, the state in which one having converted his in­ternal eye into one of pure knowledge, views the whole of this transitional world as Brahma; the real concentration.  (drik, one who sees, a seer; sthiti, standing, steadiness.)

Drishta, seen, perceived.

Drisya, visible, to be seen.

Dugpa  (Thibetan), a sorcerer or “red-cap” of Bhootan.  (See Gelupa.)

Duhkha, misery, uneasiness, anguish; pain personified as the son of Narada and Vedana.

Durga, a goddess, the wife of Siva — goddess of destruction, called also Kali.

Dvaita, dualism; a system of philosophy which asserts the distinctness from each other of the human spirit and the universal spirit.

Dvapara.  (See Dvapara-Yuga.)

Dvapara-Yuga, the third of the four ages.  (See Yuga.)

Dvaraka, Krishna’s city, submerged by the sea.  A temple still remains on the peninsula of Guzerat, an object of pilgrimage.  (Literally, “city with many gates.”)

Dvesha, hate.

Dvija, an initiated Brahman, Kshatriya, or Vaishya.  (dvi, twice; ja, born:  twice-born.)

Dvipa, an island, peninsula, any land surrounded by water; any continent on which a root-race is evolved.


Egg of the World, the egg form assumed by the Supreme Spirit, according to the Rig-Veda, from which the world is evolved.

Ego  (Latin), I ; myself; self.

Eka. one, single.

Ekagrata, one-pointed; the perfect concentration of con­templation.  (eka, one; agrata, pointed.)

Ekanekarupa, the one and the many in outward form.

Elementals  (Eng.), nature-spirits presiding over the ele­ments of fire, air, etc.; beings evolved from or constituting the lower, elemental nature of man; centers of force in the astral light.

Elementary  (Eng.), the psychic remnant left in the astral sphere after death, where it eventually becomes dissipated.  Though abandoned by the real Ego, it may retain the elements of the lower personality, and through accession of force from elementals, or from a living mediumistic person, may present a spurious semblance of the dead, which is easily mistaken for the spirit of that person.  Kabalistic works call the elementals “elementaries,” without distinguishing them from the “shells” of the dead.

Epopta  (Greek), a seer; one initiated into the Greater Mys­teries.


Fakir, a Mohammedan ascetic wonder-worker; the equiva­lent among the Mohammedans of the Hindu yogi.

FlagÆ  (Latin), a name given by Paracelsus to one of the higher groups of Dhyan Chohans.

Fohat  (Thibetan), force; force in its highest aspect, — that which gives differention and life to cosmic matter.


Gandha, odor, smell; fragrant substance; fragrance; per­fume.

Gandharvas, heavenly singers belonging to Indra’s court, a class of elemental spirits.

Gandiva, the bow of Arjuna, which was made from the plant gandi.  It was presented by Soma to Varuna, by him to Agni, and by Agni to Arjuna.

Ganesa, the god of wisdom, who is said to cause obstacles and remove them.  He is the son of Siva and Parvati, and is represented as a short fat man with an elephant’s head, having but one tusk; usually he is riding a rat, or is attended by one.  He is said to have written down the Mahabharata, as dictated by Vyasa.  He is the allegorical representation of magical learning.  (gana, body of attendants, Siva’s troop; isa, commander:  leader of the attendants of Siva.)

Grima, a siddhi, or power in magic, giving control over gravitation, so that one can become light or heavy at will.

Garuda, a mythical bird pictured as attendant upon Vishnu, as the eagle is the bird of Jove.  It is a Symbol of the great cycle of cosmic activity.

Gatha, a sacred verse, to be chanted or sung; a religious verse, but not belonging to the Vedas.

Ghee, a common word for ghi or ghrita — clarified butter, used both for culinary and religious purposes.

Ghora, frightful, disagreeable; an epithet of Siva.

Ghrana, the nose; smell; smelling.

Ghrita, ghee, butter clarified and hardened.

Gnana.  (See Jnana.)

Gnani.  (See Jnanin.)

Gnyana.  (See Jnyana.)

Govinda, the finder of cows, the searcher for cows, an epi­thet of Krishna or manifested Vishnu.

Grihastha, a priest of the exoteric ritual only; a house­holder.  (griha, house; stha, standing, abiding.)

Guha, a cave or subterranean resort of a yogi.

Guna, a quality, attribute; as a term in philosophy, one of the three pervading qualities of prakriti, matter, which specifically are: sattva, truth, purity; rajas, passional ac­tivity; tamas, darkness.  (guna, a single thread of a cord.)

Gunavisesha, modifications or affections of the qualities.

Gupta-Vidya, guarded or secret knowledge.  (gupta, hidden; vidya, knowledge.)

Guru, a spiritual parent or preceptor.  (guru, weighty, im­portant, worthy of honor.)


Ha, the sun; a symbol for the breath called prana in Hatha Yoga practices.

Hamsa,  (also Hansa), a mythical bird, corresponding some­what to the swan, and which is the vehicle of Brahmā; it symbolises spiritual wisdom.   (Probably derived from aham, I, and sa, that: “I am that,” i.e., the Supreme Spirit, —sa being a form of tad or tat.  It may also be de­rived from han, “to go,” and would then mean “who goes eternally.” See also Soham.)

Hanuman,  (Hanumat), a monkey-chief, the most celebrated of a vast host of ape-like beings, who, according to the Ramayana, were created by the gods to be the allies of Rama-chandra in his war with Ravana.  Hanumat was the son of Pavana or Maruta, “the Wind,”  (according to some legends, of Siva,) and had many magical powers.  (Literally, “having large jaws.”)

Hari, pale yellow or golden, bay — “bays,” the bay coursers of Indra; “the Remover,” a title given to Krishna.

Harivant, “lord of the bay coursers” — a title of Indra.

Hatha-Yoga, a system of physical practices designed to cultivate will-power, withdraw the mind from external objects, and bring about certain changes of condition in the physical body, for the attainment of the lower siddhis or magical powers.  It involves great austerities, difficult and often painful postures, control of the breath, etc., is attended with great dangers, and yet, at its best, results in merely abnormal cultivation of physical and psychical powers, at the expense of spiritual progress.   (hatha, violence, force; yoga, union, contemplation:  forcing the mind to abstain from external objects.)

Hermetic Philosophy, the philosophic system of Hermes Trismegistus, of which unreliable fragments alone remain in Western literature.

Hermetist, one who follows the philosophy of Hermes Trismegistus.

Hetumat, having cause or origin; proceeding from a cause.  (Literally, “having the hetu,” reason for an inference, the second member of the five-membered Nyaga syllogism.)

Heya-Gunas, bad qualities.

Hierophant  (Eng.), an instructor in the Mysteries, an initator.  (Greek hieros, sacred; phantes, one who shows.)

Hina-Yana, the inferior or lesser vehicle, a system of Buddhistic teaching.  (See Maha-Yana.)

Hindu, a Hindoo; the name of the religion of the Hindus.

Hiranya-Garbha, a name of Brahmā, the creator, said to have been born from a golden egg which was formed out of the seed deposited by the self-existent Brahma in the waters; a symbol for universal abstract nature.  (hiranya, golden; garbha, the conceiving womb, the fruit of the womb:  “gold-scion,” or “fruit of the golden [egg].”)

Holy Triad, in Buddhisim, the Lord  (Buddha), the Law, and the Assembly.

Hotri, a priest conversant with the Rig-Veda., an offerer of sacrifices with fire.

Hridaya, the heart; the center or essence of anything; divine knowledge.

Hrishikesha, lord of the organs of sense, or the faculties.  (hrishika, any organ of sense, or indriya; isa, master, ruler.)   (See Indriyatman.)


IAO  (Hebrew), among the Semites, a name for the Supreme Spirit, as Aum is among the Aryans.

Ichchha, wish, desire.

Ichchhanabhighata, unobstruction of wish.

Ichchha-Sakti, the power of will, in the sense of strong desire.

Ida, a magnetic current on the right side of the human body, between the heart and the Brahma-randhra.

Iksvaku, son of Manu Vaivasvata, and founder and first king of the solar dynasty in Ayodhya, the capital of Rama, said to be the modern Oude.

Indra, one of the great powers of nature; the name of a god, or power, in heaven  (svarga) found in Sanskrit literature, sometimes directly and at other times indirectly signifying Parabrahmam.

Indriyas, the senses.  (Literally, “belonging to Indra.”)

Isa, lord; the name of one of the Upanishads, which treats of spiritual identity or unity.

Isvara, lord, master; an epithet of Siva, also of Durga or any other female sakti; the Supreme Spirit, or Atman, — the usual meaning in modern Theosophical works; one of the three inseparable realities — Chit, Achit and Isvara — combined in Parabrahmam, the three-in-one, which pervades and controls the universe; that part of the trinity which, assuming a form of suddasatva  (intellectual substance), enables yogis to engage in contemplation who would otherwise be incapable of contemplating or comprehending the impersonal deity.  (Pronounced, and often written, Ishwara.)


Jagat, movable; all that moves; the animated beings of the visible, material universe.

Jagad-Yoni, an epithet of Siva, Brahmā, Vishnu and Krish­na.  (jagat, world; yoni, womb:  womb of the world.)

Jagannatha, a Hindu god, the “Juggernaut” of the Chris­tian missionaries.  He is the allegorical representation of the soul indwelling in the body and in the world.  (jagat, movable, the body, the world; natha; ruler, master.)

Jagrata, waking existence, one of the three states of con­sciousness known to ordinary man.  (See Avastha-Tray.)

Jaina, a sect founded in India by Rishabadeva.  They deny the infallibility of the Vedas; give reverence to holy men called Tirthankaras, and will kill nothing that has life.  They are followers of Jina, and affirm Nirvana.   (The Anglicized form of the word is Jains.)

Janaka, a celebrated king and Adept who is taken as an ex­ample of one who, in the midst of the performance of duties, yet became proficient in divine science.

Jana-Loka, the fifth of the seven lokas, the one where the sons of Brahma reside.  (jana, created beings; loka, place, world.)

Janardana, “giver of all that men ask,” one of Krishna’s titles; a class of deities.  (jana, created beings, men; ar­dana, moving:  agitating men.)

Janman, birth; existence; term of life.

Japa, a religious exercise, consisting of repeating in a mur­muring tone passages from scriptures, muttering prayers or spells, counting the beads of a rosary, etc.  (Literally, “whispering,” “muttering.”)

Jaya, a class of deities, the twelve great gods created by Brahmā to assist him in the work of creation; a name of the sun.  (Literally, “conquering.”)

Jihva, the tongue ; tongue of flame of Agni.

Jina, a name of Buddha.

Jiva, living; the principle of life; the vital principle in the material body; monad; individual soul; the name adopted in Esoteric Buddhism for one of the seven human prin­ciples.  There are, it is taught, three classes of jiva or souls:  first, nityas, those who permanently enjoy supreme bliss, and are never subject to matter or karma; second, muktas, those who have attained supreme bliss, and are freed from all miseries and from the necessity for rein­carnation; third, baddhas, who are subject to all karma and to the miseries arising from connection with matter.

Jivan-Mukta, one who has during life attained freedom from conditioned existence; a soul in conscious union with the Supreme Spirit.

Jivan-Mukti, emancipation, redemption.  (See Jivan-Mukta.)

Jivatma the human spirit; the intellectual life of the ego; the Logos; living soul; sometimes applied to the monad which passes through all incarnations.  (jiva, life; atma, soul.)

Jnana, knowledge, especially of the higher truths of religion and philosophy.  (See Vidya.)

Jnana-Marga, knowledge of the way.  (jnana, knowledge; marga path.)

Jnana-Sakti, power of knowing.

Jnana-Yoga, the religion of knowledge.

Jnanendriyas, the organs of sense, or perception; the or­gans by which external objects are perceived.

Jnanin, a sage; one possessed of occult wisdom.

Jyotis, light; star; heavenly body; the light in the head.


Kabala  (Hebrew), the esoteric meaning of the scriptures and the traditions of the Jews, derived by them from the Chal­deans.  As, in the Hebrew language, the consonants only were usually written and the vowels omitted, the letters being at equal distances and without punctuation, and each letter representing also a numeral, the real meaning could be concealed under an apparently real wording.

Kaivalya, emancipation of the soul from matter; enjoyment by the jiva, in its real condition, of supreme bliss.  (Lit­erally, isolated,”detached.”)

Kala, time.  (See Time.)

Kalayana, truth-seeking, mercy, charity; fair, lovely.

Kali, black; an epithet of Siva; the goddess Durga.

Kalidasa, the greatest dramatist of India, well known in European literature.  His drama Sakuntala was first translated into English in 1789.  He is said to have lived in the sixth century A. D.

Kali-Yuga, the age of vice, a period of 432,000 years of mor­tals in Brahmanical computation.  It is the present yuga, the age in which we live, and is described in the Maha­bharata as characterized by great material advance, with spiritual darkness.  (See Yuga.)

Kalki Avatar, the tenth and last avatar of Vishnu, who will appear at the end of the four yugas.  (See Avatara.)

Kalpa, a day of Brahma, or 1,000 yugas, a period of 432,000,000 years of mortals.  (See Yuga.)

Kama, desire, longing, love.

Kama-Dhuk, a mythological animal, the cow of plenty.

Kama-Rupa, one of the human “principles”; “desire-form.”  (kama, desire; rupa, form.)

Kapila, a great Indian sage, who founded the Sankhya school of philosophy.

Karana-Sarira, the causal body in which the Logos is re­flected.  (karana, causal; sarira, body.)

Karanopadhi, the spiritual soul or buddhi, the vehicle of atma.  (karana, causal; upadhi, basis.)

Karma, the law of universal harmony, or the self-adjusting force of nature restoring harmony disturbed by action; the self-enforcing equation of action — cause and effect in endless succession; the moral law of compensation, oper­ating to produce all conditions of life, misery and happiness, birth, death and rebirth, being itself both cause and effect, action and the effect of action, the rewarder of good and the punisher of evil, and being always in oper­ation, involving all worlds up to that of Brahmā.  The three divisions of karma in the Siamese school are: thittham wethaniya kam, fruits experienced at once, or in this life; aprapara wethaniya kam, fruits for next life; aprapara wethaniya kam, fruits in future lives from the third onward.  In the Indian schools some of its great divisions are:  kar­ma now being experienced; karma that we are making for the next incarnation or incarnations, and delayed kar­ma from other lives still unexperienced.   (karma, action, work deed; derived from the root kri, “to make,” which is akin to the Latin cre-are, whence comes the English “cre-ate.”)

Karma-Yoga, the religion of good deeds, or the proper per­formance of duty, as prescribed in the Bhagavad-Gita, always keeping in view the Supreme Spirit.

Karmendriyas, the five organs of action, namely:  vak, voice; pani, hand; pada, foot; payu, anus; upastha, organs of generation.  (karma, action; indriya, organ.)

Karshvares, the Seven spheres of our planetary chain.

Karttika, a name of Skanda.  (See Karttikeya.)

Karttikeya, Skanda, the god of war, so called because he was nourished by the Pleiads or Karttikas.

Karya, action, effect.

Kashaya, in the practice of yoga, that disposition of the mind which impels to thinking of unpleasant things.

Kashta.  (See Time.)

Kasi, Benares; the sacred city; consciousness fully devel­oped and figured as located between the eyebrows.

Kasyapi, an epithet of Aruna, charioteer of the sun; also of Garuda, the bird of Vishnu.  (Literally, “having black teeth.”)

Kesava, one of the titles of Krishna.  (Literally, “having long or much handsome hair.”)

Khanda, broken; a portion; a chapter; divisions of some of the Upanishads.

Khanda-Kala, conditioned time; time reckoned by the revo­lutions of the planets.

Kim-Purushas, heavenly spirits.

Kosa,  (Kosha), sheath; a term, especially Vedantic, for five of the human principles, regarded as successive “sheaths” around the divine monad.

Krishna, one of the manifestations, within the comprehen­sion of finite intelligence, of the Absolute and, in Itself, Unknowable One; the personification of the Supreme Spirit; the human spirit; a divine Avatar who remained in mortal form 125 years and died 3,001 B.C.  (Literally, “dark,” “black.”)

Krita, made, done, well done, good; the side of a die marked with four spots.

Krita-Yuga, the first age, sometimes called satya-yuga, “the age of truth,” containing 4,800 divine years, which mul­tiplied by 360 gives 1,728,000 years.  (See Yuga.)

Krittikas, the Pleiads.

Kriya, performance, duty, action; doing one’s duty, as pre­scribed in the Vedas, as perfectly as possible.

Kriya-Sakti, the power of thought which, by its knowledge, produces results on the objective plane.  (kriya, power; sakti, power:  capability to act.)

Ksha, loss; destruction of the world; the fourth incarnation of Vishnu, as the man-lion, or nara-sinha.

Kshana, a measure of time.  (See Time.)

Kshanti, indifference, patience, forbearance.

Kshara, water; that which streams or flows; perishable; a material body.

Kshatra, rule, dominion, temporal power; the second or military tribe or caste.

Kshatriya, the second or military tribe or caste in India.

Kshetra, a field; the field of evil passions, i. e., the body.

Kshetra-Jna, the embodied soul.  (kshetra, field; jna, know­ing.)

Kuchakri, “the intriguer,” a title that has been by some commentators on the Bhagavad-Gita applied to Krishna, because of a certain allegory concerning him.

Kumaras, gods who incarnated in the third root-race.  (Lit­erally, “easily dying.”)

Kumbhaka, immovable concentration on the conviction of the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Spirit; in hatha-yoga, stopping the breath by shutting the mouth and closing the nostrils with the fingers of the right hand.

Kumudi-Pati, the moon.  (kumud, lotus, water-lily; pati, father:  father of the lotus.)

Kundalini-Sakti, the serpentine force, the astral fire, an aspect of buddhi, the basic force of all manifested nature.  (kundalini, annular, spiral, winding; sakti, force.)

 Kunti. Arjuna’s mother.

Kuravas, sons of Kuru  (who was the ancestor of both Pandu and Dhrita-rashtra, though this patronymic is applied on­ly to the descendants of the latter); the personified evil propensities of man, his vices and their allies.

Kuru-Kshetra, the field of the battle between the Kurus and the Pandus; allegorically, the human personality as the contested ground between cosmic energy and spiritual forces.  (kuru, son of Dhrita-rashtra or personified mate­rial existence, the cosmic or astral forces; kshetra, a field.)

Kusa, the poa cynosuroides, a grass with long stalks and nu­merous pointed leaves, considered sacred and used in certain religious ceremonies.  It is said to have strong magnetic properties.

Kusinagara, the scene of Buddha’s nirvana, said to be some one hundred miles north by north-east of Benares.

Kutastha, in philosophy, whatever is immovable, unchange­able, perpetually and universally the same, the indestructible spirit.  (kuta, the summit:  stha, Standing on the peak.)

Kuthumi, a pupil of Panshyinji and teacher of the Sama-Veda.


Laghima, lightness, one of the magic powers by which one can control weight.

Lakh, (also LAC), 100,000.

Lakshana, characteristic mark; topic.

Lakshmi, a mark or sign of luck, good or bad, but usually good, and so of wealth, prosperity; the goddess of wealth.

Lalita-Vistara, Nepalese life of Buddha.

Lanka, the capital of ancient Ceylon; the island of Ceylon,

Lankrika, psycho-physiological powers supposed to be developed by physiological means; the results obtained by hatha-yoga practices.

Lanoo  (Thibetan), disciple, chela, neophyte or student of the Mysteries, under the instruction of a Guru or Master.

Laya, passivity; a neutral center; in yoga practice, the nat­ural disposition toward passivity of mind, one of the ob­stacles to concentration.

Lha (Thibetan), pitris, spirits.

Lingam, the genital organ, membre virile, phallus.

Linga-Sarira, the astral form upon which the physical body is concreted.  (linga, characteristic; sarira, body.)

Logos (Greek), the word; the first cause; the Demiurgos; Isvara; Brahmā; a mirror reflecting universal mind; the great unseen; the unknown light; the one ray.

Lokas, worlds, places, spheres.  The Vishnu-Purana gives seven, namely:  pitri-loka; Indra, or svarga; marut-loka, or devi-loka; mahar-loka, or gandharva-loka; janar-loka, of saints; tapar-loka, of the seven sages; Brahma-loka, or satya-loka, of infinite truth. The loka of Krishna, called go-loka, is indestructible.

Lokothra, psychic powers accompanying spiritual develop­ment.


Macrocosm the great world, or universe, of which the micro­cosm, or little world—man—is a copy.

Madhava, a title of Krishna.  (Literally, “made of honey.”)

Madhu, the demon of darkness; a giant who was slain by Krishna.

Madhvacharya, a great philosopher, who taught that the relation between Deity and man is that of master and servant. He founded a system of philosophy and established monastic orders that exist to the present day.

Madhya-Stha, neutral, indifferent, unconcerned. (nadhya, middle, medius; stha, standing.)

Maha-Bhutas, the five great elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth. (maha, great; bhuta, element.)

Maha-Kalpa, 100 years of Brahma, comprising 36o days and nights of Brahma, making 311,040,000,00000 solar years. (maha, great; kalpa, age.)

Maha-Purusha, the Supreme Spirit (maha, great; purusha, spirit.)

Mahat, intellect in the universal sense; first manifested in­tellect.

Mahatma, great soul. As applied to beings it is held by some to mean a perfectly developed sage who has become one with universal spirit. (maha, great; atma, spirit mahatma, the Supreme Spirit, or maha-tattva; mahatma, great-souled, powerful.)

Maha-Yana, the great vehicle,” a system of Buddhism promulgated by Nargajuna.

Mahesvara, the great lord, the Supreme Spirit. (maha, great; isvara, master.)

Mahima, a power or siddhi by which one can expand the con­sciousness and perception so as to embrace the largest mass or the greatest space.

Mahimnastava, a hymn of praise.

Maitreya, the title of an Upanishad composed by Maitri, wife of Yajnavalkya; name of a Buddha yet to come.

Makara, in the Hindu zodiac the tenth sign, Capricornus, said to have been the eighth sign under the old system; a fabulous sea-monster sometimes confounded with the crocodile.

Malimluch, a demon, an imp.

Manas, mind, in the widest sense as applied to thought and emotion; the intellect, feelings, disposition; one of the seven human principles, the individual self or reincarnat­ing ego, corresponding to the Greek Nous.

Manas-Putras, mind-born sons. (See Augoeides.)

Manava, (fem. Manavi), human; descended from Manu.

Mantra, (also Mantram), incantation; spell; charm; sacred text; essential virtue, in sound or otherwise, of verse or word.

Manu, mankind; a name applied to each of fourteen spiritu­al sovereigns of humanity, the first being, Svayambhuva. (sprung from the Self-Existent), and the seventh or present Manu being Vaivasvata (sun-born). They are personifi­cations of collective humanity. The Hindu “Laws of Manu“ are ascribed to Svayambhuva.

Manvantara, the period of creative, formative and re-con­structive activity on the cbjective planes of the universe, intervening between two pralay as; a period of evolution; the life of a Manu.

Mara, death; the world of death, i. e., this world; with Bud­dhists, the Destroyer, Evil One.

Marttanda, our sun; the sun-god; an aditya.

Martya-Loka, the world of mortals, this world. (martya, mortal; loka, world.)

Maruts, the storm-gods; Indra’s companions.

Mati, understanding; devotion.

Matrika-Sakti, the power of sound.

Matsya, a species of fish; the twelfth sign of the zodiac, Pisces; name of one of the eighteen Puranas, so called because said to have been communicated by Vishnu in the form of a fish to Vaivasvata Manu.

Mauna, the state of a sage or muni who abandons all doubts as to the relations of Brahma and Jagat.

Maya, illusion, which produces the diverse manifestations of the one reality, entering into all finite things; in the Sankhya system, prakriti.

Maya-Krita, made by illusion, illusionary.

Mayavi-Rupa, illusionary body, the form used by an Adept when appearing at a distance from his physical body. (mayavi, illusionary; rupa, form.)

Melhas (Thibetan), fire-gods.

Meru, the celestial mountain where the gods and highest spiritual beings are said to dwell. It is compared to the seed-vessel of a lotus, the leaves of which are formed by the various continents (dvipas), the central dvipa being Jambu. Meru is thought by some to mean the north ­polar continent, now unseen.

Metempsychosis, transmigration, the passage of the soul (psyche) from one body to another.

Microcosm, a little world; man. (See Macrocosm.)

Mimansa, an Indian philosophical system founded by Jaimini. It, in effect, denies the doctrine of free-will. (Literally, “something to be considered.”)

Misrana, Mixing.

Mlechchha, a foreigner, barbarian, outcast, non-Aryan.

Moha, dullness; insensibility; destruction; delusion of mind preventing the discernment of truth by leading men to believe in the reality of worldly objects.

Moksha, salvation; complete liberation from conditioned ex­istence and enjoyment of supreme bliss. Those who at­tain it may reincarnate on earth to aid humanity, but in doing so are not subject to karma or to the conditions of matter, and return to moksha when their term of volun­tary reincarnation ends. Two kinds of moksha—kaivalya and Brahmanda, also called sayujya—are described in the Visishtadvaita philosophy.

Monad, an ultimate atom; an unextended point; an elemen­tal; the spirit, the ego.

Mriga, a wild animal.

Mrityu, death.

Muhurtta. (See Time.)

Muktatma, liberated spirit. (mukta, freed; atma, spirit.)

Mukti, salvation, deliverance, release from conditioned ex­istence.

Mula-Bandha, having roots, deep-rooted.

Mula-Prakriti, undifferentiated matter; the root of matter; the first emanation of Parabrahmam, being itself an as­pect of Parabrahmam. (mula, root; prakriti, matter.)

Mumukshutva, desire for moksha or final emancipation.

Mundane Egg. (See Egg of the World, also Hiranyagharba.)

Muni, an ascetic, a saint, a holy man; pressure, impulse; a man driven by inward pressure or impulse.


Naga, a serpent; a tree; a mountain; the sun; the number seven; a symbol of wisdom; an Initiate.

Naimittika-Pralaya, that change by which, at the end of each Brahma-kalpa, all things in an individual solar sys­tem are resolved into their primitive elements. (naimittika, periodical; pralaya, dissolution.)

Nakshatra, star; the 27 lunar houses or signs of the zodiac.

Nara, man; the primal man; a hero; a title of Arjuna.

Naraka, a state of being, “in a certain locality,” in which­ the jivatma feels pain as a punishment for or effect of bad karma; hell, limited in duration by karma; a place of re­tribution for evil karma, supposed to be situated near the earth and in an etherial condition—variously described by different systems as of numerous divisions, generally said to be twenty-one in number.

Narayana, son of the primal man; Vishnu, a manifestation of Parabrahmam. (nara, water; ajana, moving: moving on the water.)

Natha, lord, protector, ruler.

Nephesh (Hebrew), the “breath of life”; the vital soul; manas. In the Kabala the division is: neschamah, ruaclz, nephesh.

Neschamah (Hebrew), the spirit; atma. (See Nephesh.)

Nimisha, the time taken to twinkle the eye. (See Time.)

Nimitti-Karana, the instrumental cause.

Nirakara, formless; Vishnu; universal spirit.

Nir-Guna, devoid of attributes or qualities.

Nirmalah, free from love, hate, etc.

Nirmanakayas, men who have reached the point where they can enter nirvana but voluntarily relinquish it and remain on earth in an unseen body in order to help men.

Nirukta, uttered, pronounced; explained.

Nirvana, the extinguishment of desire; the kingdom of in­effable peace; annihilation of the illusions of matter; con­scious rest in omniscience. Called Niebban in Burmah and Nippang in China.

Nir-Vikarah, formless.

Nish-Karma, karmless. (nis, without; karma, karma.)

Nish-Kriya, actionless; a term for the Supreme Spirit. (nis, without; kriya, action.)

Nitya, constant; daily; always.

Nitya-Muktah, separate.

Nitya-Pralaya, constant dissolution; the change which takes place, perceptibly and imperceptibly, in everything in the universe of matter, from the globe to the atom, without cessation.

Niyama, act of obligation; voluntary penance; constant and inseparable consciousness of unity with Brahma.

Noumena (Greek), realities, as opposed to phenomena or illusionary appearances.

Nous (Greek), the Higher Manas or Reincarnating Ego.

Nyaya, method, system; logic; the system of philosophy of Gautama.

Nyayya, normal, right, regular.


Occultism, the real science of things, now unknown to un­initiated humanity; the science of the unknown astral and spiritual planes; secret knowledge.

Om, the name of the Deity, considered as sacred by the Brahmans and Buddhists alike. Its sounds are said by them to contain a mystery and to symbolize the universe. Its full form is Aum. The first sound, in its utterance,—­a sound of a—represents Brahma, and signifies creation; its second sound—a sound of u—represents Vishnu, and signifies the preservation of the universe; the third, or stoppage“—the sound of m—represents Siva, and sig­nifies destruction. Its occult significance is very great. Its substitute word is Pranava.

Om-Kara, the name of Om.

Osha, burning, combustion.


Pada, foot; step ; pace; stride; footprint; mark; vestige; portion; path.

Padma, the lotus-not the plant itself, but the flower only.

Padmi, the lotus—the whole plant, padma being the flower only.

Pancha-Karmendriya, the five organs of action. (pancha, five; karma, action; indriya, organ.)

Pancha-Kosa, the five-fold screen, case or sheath of the soul—­anna-maya, prana-maya, manomaya, vignana-maya and ananda-maya. (pancha, five; kosa, sheath.)

Pancha-Maha-Bhut, the five gross elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether. (pancha, five; maha, great; bhuta, ele­ment.)

Pancha-Maha-Prana, the five great airs—the ascending and descending airs, the airs of circulation, assimilation and respiration. (pancha, five; maha, great; prana, breath.)

Pancha-Ratnani, the five jewels, or five most admired epi­sodes in the Mahabharata.

Pancha-Tan-Matras, the five subtle elements. (See Tan-Matras.)

Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu—Yudhi-sthira, Bhima, Ar­juna, Nakula, and Saha-deva,—and their adherents: personalities in the Mahabharata who represent the higher principles in man.

Pandita, a learned Brahmin.

Pani, the hand.

Papa, evil, destructive; bad karma; one of the hells.

Para, the opposite shore of a river; the limit or utmost reach, applied to the first half—now completed—of the present maha-kalpa, of which the universe has but just entered upon the second half; other, chief, highest.

Para-Brahma, (also Para-Brahmam), the Absolute, above all, yet in all and containing all; Brahma, the Unknow­able, above and beyond Brahma and all creators.

Para-Devata, the highest deity-in the sense of the highest abstraction of the human mind.

Para-Guru, highest teacher, in an occult and religious sense.

Paramapada, the supreme state, or path—vaikuntha loka—above all material worlds, and composed of intellectual substance—suddha-sattva—in which supreme bliss is enjoyed.

Paramartha, the highest or most sublime truth.

Paramitas, the Buddhistic six and ten perfections belonging to a Bodhisattva. (Literally, “transcendent.”)

Para-Nirvana, beyond nirvana.

Parinama change, alteration, advance in age.

Parvati, a name of Durga, the goddess representing cosmic energy.

Pasa, a noose, a cord.

Pasu, domestic animal, sacrificial animals; uninitiated per­sons.

Payu, the anus.

Pentagram, a figure of this shape:       

Phala, fruit (of action); result.        

Phrabat, the holy footprint of Buddha, said to be in Siam, where a temple is erected over it. It is visited by pil­grims every year. There are many alleged footprints of Buddha in India and other places.

Para Chitr, Siamese equivalent of Divine Spirit.

Pinda, lump, ball, especially the ball or cake of meal offered to the manes of deceased ancestors. (See Sraddha.)

Pindi, a meal cake.

Pingala, a particular current in the body: the right of three currents running from the os coccygis to the head, which, according to the anatomy of the Yoga system, are the chief passages of breath. (Literally, “yellowish.“)

Pisacha, an evil spirit or demon; an evil ghost.

Pitri-Patri, lord or king of the pitris.

Pitris, fathers, lunar spirits, beings perfected (within its scope) upon the lunar chain of planets, transferred hith­er to lead and guide humanity. Some Indian wonder­workers claim the help of pitris.

Pitri-Yajna, sacrifice to the manes or pitris. (pitri, fore­father; yajna, sacrifice.)

Pleroma, space; akasa.

Prabhuta, governed, presided over.

Pradhana, in the Sankhya systems, the source of the mater­ial world; the manifestation of mulaprakriti. (Literally, “the originant.“)

Pragna, (also Prajna), consciousness; wisdom personified; the energy of Adi-buddhi.

Praja-Patis, creators; the seven progenitors of the first seven divisions of men on the planet. (praja, offspring; patis, fathers, lords.)

Prakasana, manifesting to; enlightening; an epithet of Vishnu.

Prakrita, essential, natural.

Prakrita-Pralaya, the change of the universe from its pres­ent to a latent condition and its dissolution in unmanifest­ed nature, in which no evolution can take place until the dawn of a new manvantara. This takes place at the end of each maha-kalpa, and the pralaya continues during an expanse of time equal to a maha-kalpa—311,040,000,000 solar years.

Prakriti, nature; cosmic matter, always in combination with spirit—purusha. (Literally, “procreated.“)

Prakriti-Sambandha, connection with matter; being bound to matter.

Pralaya, change from the present objective, or manifested, into a latent or elemental condition; destruction; dissolu­tion.

Prana, breath; the force derived from the sun, which is represented in man by the breath; one of the seven hu­man principles.

Prana-Maya-Kosa, the vital sheath surrounding the soul.

Pranava, a substitute word for the sacred word Aum.

Pranayama, suspending the breath: by rechaka, or holding the left nostril and breathing through the right; puraka, closing the the right and breathing through the left nos­tril; kumbhaka, both nostrils closed and breathing sus­pended.

Prapatti, a phase of Yoga—devotion and means for attain­ment of supreme bliss—in which one contemplates: first, one’s own inability to practice either of the other kinds of Yoga; and, second, the attributes and qualities of Isvara as the sole redeemer. Prapatti is much approved in the Visishtadvaita school of religious philosophy. It is particularly intended for those who are unable to contemplate the impersonal Deity.

Prarabdha-Karma, that karma which has already begun to produce results, such as we now experience.

Pratibha, comprehension, understanding.

Pratyagatma, the individual soul.

Praty-Ahara, restraint of the organs of sense from all out­ward things and directing them entirely to mental im­pressions. (Literally, drawing back, restraint.“)

Praty-Aksha., perception, apprehension by the senses. (prati,near; aksha, eye: in sight.)

Praty-Eka-Buddha, a Buddha who obtains emancipation for himself only. (Literally, one by one.“)

Pretya-Bhava, the state after death. (pretya, having died; bhava, being.)

Prithivi, the earth.

Pura, filling; rising of a river; flood; high water; formerly.

Puranas, a large class of Indian works of an historical and prophetic character. They are eighteen in number, as Brahma, Padma, Vishnu, Vrihan-naradiya, Bhagavata, Martanda, Agni, Bhavisya, Brahma-vairvata, Linga, Vara­ha, Skanda, Vamana, Kurma, Matsya, Garuda, Brahman­da. There are eighteen minor Puranas. (Literally, “tales of old times, from pura, “formerly, “once upon a time.“)

Purusha, spirit; the intelligence pervading nature; the di­vine spirit infusing matter.

Prushottama, the Supreme Spirit. (purusha, life principle, spirit; uttama, uppermost, highest.)

Purva-Mimansa, one of the six systems, of Indian philosophy; an Upanishad (sometimes called the Karma-Mimansa), being an inquiry into the first or ritual portion of the Veda. It is really an interpretation of the text of the Veda, and is generally called the Mimansa, the term Ve­danta”end of the Veda“being applied to the Uttara­-Mimansa, which is an exposition of the later portion of the Veda or Upanishads. (purva, prior, ancient; mimansa, discussion.)

Pushan, the Deity in the sun.


Raga, emotion, feeling, love; joy, pleasure; regret, sorrow; the quality of rajas. (See Guna, also Rajoguna.)

Rajasika, equivalent to rajoguna.

Raja-Yoga. (See Yoga.)

Rajoguna, the quality in nature that impels to action, of mixed good and evil in its development in man, inasmuch as no action can be performed by an imperfect man without some taint of self. (rajas, energy, activity; guna, a quality, a “single thread.“)

Rakshasas, nocturnal demons who disturb sacrifices; a name for the Atlanteans, or men of the fourth race. (Literal­ly, “harmers,” “destroyer.“)

Ramanujacharya, name of the founder of a system of re­ligious philosophy and monastic orders still in existence. He taught that the Supreme Spirit is the only reality.

Rasa, juice; sapidity, taste; inclination.

Rasasvada, in yoga practice, the disposition (one of the ob­stacles) of the mind to fly from the object selected for contemplation to pleasurable ideas. (rasa, juice; asvada, tasting, enjoying: the sipping of juices, perception of enjoyment.)

Ratha, car, chariot, war-chariot; the body as the vehicle of the soul.

Rechaka, emptying; expelling the breath out of one of the nostrils, in yoga practice; the negation of phenomenal illusion and conviction of spirit as the only reality.

Rig-Veda. (See Veda.)

Rishi, singer of sacred songs; poet; one of those to whom the Vedas were revealed, later regarded as a patriarchal sage. The seven Rishis are the seven Dhyan Chohans, or creative spirits.

Ruach (Hebrew), in the Kabala, the spiritual soul, or bnddhi.

Ruchi, light; beauty; desire, passion.

Rudras, a class of storm-gods (maruts) led by Rudra, who became in later Sanskrit literature Siva—the third member of the trinity. (Siva, " the gracious one," an euphe­mism for Rudra, ”the howling one”, the terrible one.”)

Rupa, form, external appearance, body: visibility.


Sadaika-Rupa, the immutable nature, or essence; change­less form. (sada, always; eka, one; rupa, form.)

Sadatma, the ego. (sada, always; atma, soul.)

Sadhanas, possessing riches, having spiritual accomplish­ments.

Sadhu, a holy man. (Literally, "leading straight to the goal.”)

Saha-Deva, one of the "sons of the sun," representing water, in Mahabharatic allegory. (saha, with; deva, god.)

Sahakarikarana, the auxiliary cause.

Sakriya, mutable, movable.

Sakshi, witness. (Literally, “one having eyes.")

Sakti, power, ability; the power to create.

Sakya-Muni, the "Sakya-saint," a title of Gautama Buddha, Sakya being the name of the family of Buddha.

Salokya, living in one and the same place with Isvara.

Sama, the first qualification of a disciple—perfect mastery over the mind. (Literally, "same," "level," "equal.")

Samadhana, being constitutionally incapable of deviating from the path of right.

Samadhi, abstract meditation; perfect absorption of thought into the Supreme Spirit,—the highest and last stage of yoga.

Samaja, company, convention.

Samana, good; honored.

Samarthya, having considered; being determined.

Sama-Veda. (See Veda.)

Sambhava, proportion; identity.

Sam-Yoga, junction,—one of the twenty-four gunas of the Nyaya system.

Sanchta-Karma, that karma which is latent, producing no effect, owing to the active operation of other karma, but which will operate in a future incarnation. (sanchita, piled up, accumulated; karma, karma.)

Sandhi, the period at the expiration of each yuga and equal to one-sixth of its duration; occurring also at the end of each manvantara. (san, together; dhi, putting; junction.)

Sandhya, morning or evening twilight; the period whi8ch precedes a yuga.

Sandhyansa, the portion of a sandhi (twilight) succeeding a yuga, and equal in duration to the dawn preceding the yuga. (sandhi, period between day and night; ansa, a part, a portion.)

Sangha, the order, the assemblage.

Sanjaya, the charioteer of King Dhrita-rashtra and narrator in the Bhagavad-Gita.

Sanjna, name of the Gayatri, or most sacred verse of the Vedas; name of a daughter of Visva-karman and wife of the sun, allegorically signifying spiritual consciousness.

Sankalpa, volition, strength of mind; thought, reflection.

Sankaracharya, one of the great systems of Indian philosophy,—a speculative system as broadly distinguished from the practical, or that based upon exercise of the moral and religious duties. (Literally, “the summing up [of philosophy].”)

Sannyasa, asceticism; withdrawal from the world of pain.

Sannyasin, one who retires from worldly concerns; an ascetic.

Sansara, migration; passing through a succession of states; passing from one body to another, reincarnation.

Sansaya, doubt; error.

Sansiddhika, innate.

Sanskara, fancy, imagination; inclination.

Sant, tranquil, pleasant.

Sanyama, the combination of attention, contemplation and abstract meditaion; in yoga practice, restraint due to the foregoing combination.

Sapta, seven.

Saptarshi, (also Sapta-Rishi), the first seven sages or great teachers of men. (sapta, seven; rishi, sage.)

Sarasvati, the wife or female sakti of Brahma. (Literally, “watery.”)

Sarira, body; attributes. The sarira of Parabrahmam may be spoken of as qualities.

Sariri, substances.

Sarupya, having body or shape, similar to that of Isvara.

Sarva-Jna, omniscient. (sarva, all; jna, knowing.)

Sarva-Sakti, omnipotent. (sarva, all; sakti, power.)

Sastra, a religious or scientific treatise, any sacred book or standard authority.

Sat, truth, "be-ness,"self-existence; one of the aspects of Parabrahmam.

Sat-Karyyam, existent effect.

Sattva, being, existence, entity, life; truth, reality; in phi­losophy, the highest of the three gunas.

Satya, real, true; truth, unconditioned reality.

Satyaki, a great hero, an allegorical personification introduced in the battle described in the Bhagavad-Gita.

Satya-Loka, the highest heaven; place of truth.

Satya-Yuga, the first of the four ages, the golden age, con­taining 1,728,000 of mortal years. (See Yuga.)

Savitri, the sun; the divine sun. According to Sayana, Savitri is the sun before rising, and after rising until its its setting it is called Surya. (Literally, "the vivifier.")

Sawan, Siamese for heaven.

Sayujya, a state of moksha (supreme bliss), which includes salokya and sarupya, but does not mean absolute union with Parabramam.

Sesha, name of the thousand-headed serpent—also called Ananta—sometimes represented as forming the couch and canopy of Vishnu while he sleeps during the night of Brahma. It is a symbol of eternal matter.

Shat-Kona, a symbol consisting of two interlaced triangles, one pointing up, the other down—"Indra's thunderbolt" with the Hindus, "Solomon's seal" with the Jews. (shat, six; kona, angle, point.)

Siddha, one who has attained psychic powers by proficiency in occult sciences; perfect; one who has attained perfec­tion; he who has acquired siddhis.

Siddhartha, a title of Gautama Buddha.

Siddhas, demi-gods, with superhuman powers.

Siddhasana, a particular posture in religious meditation, de­scribed as putting the left heel under the body and the right heel in front of it.

Siddhi, magic power; extraordinary power that may be ac­quired by man through spiritual development.

Sishta, chastened, corrected, taught, instructed, ruled.

Siva, one of the Hindu trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Siva), the destroyer, or transformer. (Literally, "the gracious one,” an euphemism for Rudra, "the howler," the hor­rible one.")

Skanda, a name of Karttikeya, son of Siva and god of war. (Literally, “leaping.”) (See Karttideya.)

Skandhas, the impermanent elements that enter into man's constitution and which he assumes upon incarnating. (Literally, "branches," “ramifications.")

Smriti, remembrance; tradition; laws handed down by hu­man authors, not "revealed," as sruti.

So’ham, the reverse of Hamsa, symbolizing black magic. (sas, that; aham, I: I that very person, I myself—express­sive of bad egoism—while Hamsa (ah ARVA-SAKTI, omnipotent. (sar 'cr, all; sakti, power.)

Solomon’s Seal, two interlaced triangles, one pointing up, the other down, one dark and the other light, expressing the union of spirit and matter.

Soma, the moon; a liquid expressed from the moon-plant.

Sparsa, tangibility, that which may be touched.

Sparsanaka, that which touches, (used in speaking of the skin.)

Sraddha, an oblation to the manes, made at the same time as the pinda offering.

Sraddha, trust, faith.

Sri, beautiful appearance, beautiful; goddess of fortune and, prosperity and of beauty; also a title of honor," the glorious," as Sri Krishna. SASTRA, a religious or scientific treatise, any sacred book or standard authority.

Srotram, the ear.

Sruti, revelation; utterance; sacred utterance handed down by tradition.

Sthambha, stiffness, rigidity, stupor, studidity, stupefaction; a magical faculty, many kinds of which are enumerated in the Tantras.

Sthavara, standing, powerless of locomotion; the lower orders of created things, vegetable and mineral.

Sthula, the differentiated condition of matter.

Sthula-Saria, the gross physical body.

Sthulopadhi, the lowest of the three bases in the Taraka-Yoga classification of the human principles, inclusive of the shtula-sarira, prana and the linga-sarira. (sthula, physical; uphadhi, basis, vehicle.)

Suchi, flaming, glowing: the solar fire; the fire of passion and animal instinct.

Sukha, pleasure.

Sukra, the planet Venus; clean, bright.

Sukshma, atomic, intangible, small, tine, the undifferentiated condition of matter.

Sukshma-Sarira, the subtle body, the "double."

Sukshmavastha, the latent condition of the attributes be­fore evolution began.

Sukshmopadi, the psychic body in the dreaming state; the subtle body used by the dreamer.

Suras, good spiritual beings, the antitheses of asuras.

Surya, the sun.

Sushumna, one of the seven principal rays of the sun; a particular tube in the spinal cord, lying between the vessels called ida and pingala, through which the spirit passes. (See Brahma-Randhra, Ida and Pingala.)

Sushupti, the state of dreamless sleep, in which the ego has real experiences of very high spiritual nature. It is en­tered by all persons, whether virtuous or vile. (See Avastha-Traya.)

Sutra, the sacred cord worn by the two higher Hindu castes; a religious verse, aphorism or extract.

Sutratman, in Vedantic philosophy, the spiritual essence which passes through the five subtle principles of the human being and links them together as by a thread. (sutra, thread; atman, soul: thread-soul.)

Svabhava, the real nature of a thing; concrete aspect of mula-prakriti, the one substance.

Svabhavika, a sect of Buddhist philosophers who accounted for all things by the laws of nature.

Svami, master, lord; spiritual preceptor.

Svapna, the dreaming state, intermediate between jagrata and sushupti. (See Avastha-Traya.)

Svarga, heaven, Indra's paradise, said to be situated on the mountain Meru. It is a state in which the disembodied soul enjoys bliss—under karmic limitations—for a space of time commensurate with the spiritual energy which produced the state.

Svastika, any lucky or auspicious object; a sign shaped like a Greek cross, with the extremities of the four arms bent at right angles in the same direction.

Svayam-Bhuva, the first Manu. (svayam, himself; bhuva, be­ing, existing: self-existing.)


Taijasi, bright, luminous, brilliant; in Vedanta philosophy, the ”radiant one,” i. e., manas illuminated by atma-bud­dhi.

Tamas, darkness; the gloom of hell; a division of hell; mental darkness, constituting one of the five forms of avidya—ignorance—in the Sankhya philosophy; the lowest of the three qualities of matter. (See Guna, also Tamo-Guna.)

Tamasha, show, display; trick, jugglery, performance of phenomena.

Tamisra, gloom; darkness of mind, illusion.

Tamoguna, the lowest of the three qualities of nature, pre­dominating in earth and water, and in human beings pro­ductive of sloth, indifference and inaction. (tamas, dark­ness; guna, quality.)

Tanha, desire; the will to live; thirst for life.

Tan-Matra, a subtle element, or rudiment of elementary matter, of which five are popularly enumerated, viz: sab­da, sparsa, rupa, rasa and gandha, from which are pro­duced the five gross elements. (tat, that; matra, element.)

Tantra, a religious or magical treatise. The Tantras are very numerous in India, and are usually in the form of a dialogue between Siva and Durga. They comprise five subjects, viz: the creation; the destruction of the world the worship of the gods; the attainment of all objects, especially the six mystic yoga powers; the four methods of attaining union with the Supreme Spirit Though many of them contain noble philosophy, the practice, by uninitiated persons, of the rites and formularies contained in the Tantras leads invariably to black magic.

Tantrika, one versed in the Tantras; also, a black magician.

Tapas, burning, heat; self-castigation, asceticism; devotion.

Tapasvin, an ascetic, one who practices religious austerities.

Tat, that, the Absolute.

Tathagata, a name of Buddha used in his discourses when he speaks of himself. (Literally, "going the same way [as his predecessors.]")

Tattva, truth, reality as opposed to illusion. The Sankhva system has twenty-five tattvas,viz:avyakta, buddhi, ahankara, the five tan-matras, the five maha-bhutas, the eleven organs and purusha. The Mahesvaras enumerate five tattvas, corresponding vvitli the five elements. In Vedantic philosophy tattwa is called maha-vakya, "the great word," by which the identity of the whole universe with Brahma is expressed. (tat, that; tva, thou: that art thou.)

Tau (Greek), the letter T; the cross of that shape.

Tejas, flame; radiance, brilliance.

Thirty-Two Characteristics, the thirty-two marks some or all of which are found on spiritually developed men, or Bodhisattvas. On Buddha all were found.

Thvak, the skin as the organ of touch.

Time, kala, is divided by the Hindus as follows: 15 nimishas (twinklings of the eye) equal 1 kashta; 30 kashtas equal 1 kala; 30 kalas equal 1 kshana; 12 kshanas equal 1 mu­hurtta; 30 muhurttas equal 1 day and night.

Tirthankara, (also Tirthankar), a Jaina term signifying nearly the same as Avatara; a Jaina Arhat. (Literally, "bathing in holy water.")

Tirthika, a pilgrim.

Titiksha, endurance, patience, resignation, forbearance.

Treta, third; name of the second of the four yugas or ages. It contains 1,296,000 years of mortals. (See Yuga.)

Tri-Lokas, the three worlds—of men, gods and semi-divine beings. (tri, three; lokas, worlds.)

Tri-Pitakas, the three classes of the sacred books of the Buddhists, viz : Sutra-Pitaka, Vinaya-Pitaka and Abhi­dharma-Pitaka. (tri, three; pitaka, basket, collection.

Trishna, thirst; thirst for life.

Turiyatita, a state of consciousness beyond turiyavastha; name of an Upanishad. (turiya, fourth; atita, having passed beyond.)

Turiyavastha, the fourth state of consciousness, not attain­able by the ordinary man but only by Initiates. (turiya, fourth; avastha, state.)

Tushti, satisfaction ; acquiescence; indifference.

Tyaga, forsaking; abandonment of the world of illusion.


Udasini, indifferent, free from affection; a stoic philosopher; a religious mendicant. (ud, apart; asini, sitting: sitting apart.)

Upachaya, accumulation, aggregation.

Upadi, foundation, basis.

Upadrashta, the absolute consciousness within us.

Upamana, comparison, analogy; in Nyaya philosophy, the third of the four means of correct knowledge.

Upanayana, the ceremony of investiture with the sacred thread of the two higher Hindu castes; initiation. (Lit­erally, "leading to [a teacher.]")

Upanishads, ancient Sanskrit mystical writings, by many au­thors. The actual number of Upanishads is not known. Muller placed them at 149 in 1865; Weber at 235; there are, however, many more. Those translated and edited by Muller are: Chandogya, Talavakara, Aitareya, Kau­shitaka, Vajaseneya, Sanhita, Katha, Mundaka, Taitiri­yaka, Brihadaranyaka, Svetasvatara, Prasna, and Maitre­yana-Brahmana. (Literally, "secret knowledge.")

Uparati, ceasing, stopping; the renunciation of all formal religion—the third qualification of a disciple.

Upasama, cessation, stopping; quiet; tranquillity; patience.

Upasana, devotion, adoration; religious meditation. (Liter­ally, "sitting by the side of [Isvara.]")

Upaya, that by which one reaches an aim, expedient, means.

Uragas, an order of celestial beings, higher elementals, who possess great knowledge. They are usually represented as semi-divine serpents, having human heads of great beauty. (uras, breast; ga, going: going upon the breast.)

Urdhva-Loka, the world above, heaven. (urdhva, upper; loka, world.)

Usanas, the planet Venus.

Ushmapa, a spirit of an inferior order, a deceased ancestor. (Literally, "feeder on warmth.".)


Vach, speech, word; the mystic Word, the Logos or collect­ive host of Dhyan Chohans.

Vahan, vehicle, carrier.

Vaikriti, modification, change.

Vaikritika, constructive; incidental.

Vairagya, (also Viraga), freedom from worldly- passion, ab­sence of all worldly desires.

Vaisva-Nara, the internal fire which causes digestion; in Vedanta philosophy, the spirit of humanity, the collective consciousness of mankind; an epithet of Savitri. (vaisva pervading, common to all; nara, man, mankind.)

Vaivasvata-Manu, the Manu reigning during the present manvantara. (See Manu.)

Vajra-Sattva, having a heart of adamant. (vajara, adaman­tine; sattva, soul, heart.)

Varanaka, surrounding, enveloping, covering.

Vasana, knowledge derived from memory; an impression remaining unconsciously in the mind from past good or evil actions, and hence producing pleasure or pain.

Vasu-Deva, name of the father of Krishna, who was also the brother of Pritha, or Kunti, the mother of the five Pandu princes. (vasu, excellent; deva, a god,)

Vayu, air, wind.

Vedana, sensation, knowledge obtained through the senses.

Vedanta, a system of philosophy. (See Purva-Mimansa.)

Vedas, the sacred books of the earlier Hindu religion. Orig­inally there were three Vedas, but a later work called the Atharva-Veda has been added to these and constitutes the fourth Veda. Collectively they are termed Sruti, "revelation," or " utterance "—the sacred utterance handed down by tradition. Rig-Veda signifies "Veda of verses," from rig, a spoken stanza; Sama-Veda, "Veda of chants," from saman, a song or chant; Yajur-Veda, Ve­da of sacrificial formulas, "from yajus, a sacrificial text. The distinctive quality of the Vedas is the power of in­vocation. (veda, knowledge, divine knowledge.)

Vibhu, pervading all natural things, omnipresent.

Vidya, knowledge, learning science.

Vignana, act of perceiving; worldly knowledge of any kind.

Vihara, a Buddhist or Jaina temple or convent.

Vikalpa, distinction; duality; doubt.

Vikara, (also Vikriti), change, alteration; in Sankhya phi­losophy, a production, or that which is evolved from a previous pra-kriti or producer.

Vikshepa, casting asunder; refuting in argument.

Vina, the Indian lute, a seven-stringed instrument of the guitar kind, said to have been invented by Narada.

Viparaiti-Gnana, confounding one thing with another, the effect of imperfect and consequently confused knowledge. (viparaiti, turned around, inverted; gnana, knowing.)

Viraga. (See Vairagya.)

Vishada, despondency, distress of mind, despair; stupefaction.

Vishaya, an object sense. Five vishayas are enumerated, one for each indriya, or organ of sense, and each corres­ponds with one of the five elements.


Viseshas, Species; the distinctions existent between objects.

Vishnu, the second member of the Hindu trinity. (Literal­ly, "all-pervading.")

Visishta, separated, set apart by itself; distinguished.

Visva-Devas, a class of deities particularly worshipped at the sraddhas, or funeral ceremonies.

Vivasvat, the sun; the first manifestation of divine wisdom at the season of creation.

Viveka, discrimination, good judgment; in Vedanta philoso­phy, the power of separating the invisible spirit from the visible world, spirit from matter, truth from untruth, reality from illusion. (Literally, ".a separating apart.")

Vritti, event; procedure, action; established rule; occupa­tion, means of subsistence.

Vyakta, discrete, discernible, manifest, evident.

Vyasa, a mythical Indian sage and poet, to whom the com­pilation of the Vedas, the Maha-bharata and other works is ascribed The Vishnu-Purana enumerates twenty-eight Vyasas, and the first Vyasa is said to have been Svayam­bhuva, or Brahma himself.

Vyashti-Sarga, specific and individual creation. (vyashti, manifold; sarga, creation.)


Yakshas, sprites, ghosts, elementals who guard treasures. (Literally, "restless ones.")

Yama, forbearance; the first stage of yoga; the god of death. Yama and his sister Yami constituted the first human pair, in allegorical Vedic tradition, and he is consequently so honored as the father of mankind and king of the pitaras, or ancestors. Later he becomes "the restrainer," and, as "the punisher," rules the dead in the underworld.

Yatana-Deha, a body evolved from the sukshma-sarira, in which the soul is clothed during its stay in naraka—hell.(yatana, requital, pains of hell; deha, body.)

Yoga, the second of the two divisions of the Sankhya phi­losophy, teaching the means of attaining complete union with the Supreme. Eight stages or means of yoga, mental concentration and union with Isvara, are enumer­ated, viz: yama, forbearance, freedom from cruelty; ni­yama, restraint, religious observances; asana, bodily postures; pranayama, regulation of the breath; pratya­hara, full control of thoughts and feelings; dharana. Steadying of the mind; dhyana contemplation; samadhi, perfect meditation, the highest of the mystic trances. To the system of mental and ethical training the term raja-yoga, “kingly union” is applied, while physical and psychic practices in the .line of black magic and spiritualism are called hatha-yoga, "violent control." (yoga, yoking, union.)

Yoga-Bala, the force of devotion; the power of mragic.

Yogacharya, a teacher of magic; a teacher of the yoga phi­losophy. (yoga, philosophy, acharya, teacher.)

Yoga-Vidya, knowledge of yoga. divine knowledge.

Yogi, (also Yogin), a follower of the yoga system, a contem­plative saint; a magician.

Yuga, an age; a cycle. There are four, ages of the world, the durations of which constitute together a maha-yuga, or great age. They are thus set forth in Brahmanical computations: Krita-yuga contains 1,728,000 solar years; treta-yuga, 1,296,000 dvapara-yuga, 864 000 ; kali-yuga, 432,000. These four make one maha-yuga, of 4,320,000 years, and 71 such maha-yugas form the period of the reign of one Manu, containing 306, 720,000 years. The reigns of 14 Manus (embracing the duration of 944 maha­-yugas) equal 4,294,080, 000 years; and, adding to these the sandhis (twilights), equal to 6 maha-yugas, or 25,920,­000 years, the total of these reigns and interregnums of 14 Manus is 1,000 maha-yugas, which constitute a kalpa, or "day of Brahma," amounting to 4,320,000,000 solar years. As Brahma's "night" is of equal duration, one day and night of Brahma would contain 8,640,000,000 solar years; and 360 such days and nights make a year of Brahma, containing 3,110, 040, 000, 000 solar years; while 100 such years of Brahma constitute the whole period of Brahma's age, comprising 31 1, 040, 000, 000, 000 years of mortals. Among lesser yugas is an astronomical cycle of five years. (yuga, a yoke, a yoking [of human beings], and so, human generation, a generation of men, an age of the world. The four yugas have received their names from the marks on dice, the best mark being four points and the worst one: krita is the side of a die marked with four points;treta, the side having three spots; dvaapara, two spots; and kali, one spot.)