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Foundations of Esotericism

On-line since: 31st March, 2004

Glossary of Indian-Theosophical Terms

Arhats:

Adepts, initiates, occult teachers, Mahatmas or Masters.

Arupa:

Without form.

Arupa plane:

The higher regions of Devachan. Higher Spiritual World (R.S.)

Atma:

The breath of life-spirit. The seventh and highest principle in man. Spirit Man. (R.S.)

Avidja:

Non-knowledge.

Avitchi:

Hell.

Bhava:

Individual existence.

Bodhisattva:

One whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi) pre-stage to Buddha-hood.

Buddhi:

Theosophical: World-soul or World-mind and as 6th principle of the human being: Spiritual soul. Called by Rudolf Steiner Life Spirit.

Buddhi-Manas:

Higher Manas in contradistinction to Lower Manas (Kama Manas). Higher Ego.

Chela:

Occult pupil.

Causal body:

According to Rudolf Steiner, the extract of the etheric and astral bodies which man bears from Earth-life to Earth-life and continually enriches.

Devachan:

Spiritual World. See under Planes.

Devas:

Spiritual Beings functioning on planes higher than the physical.

Dhyan-Chohans:

Planetary Spirits, perfected human beings of earlier Rounds. — Oriental name for the Archai or Archangels.

Jara-marana:

The Fall.

Jati:

What before birth presses towards birth.

Kali Yuga:

Yuga: age; Kali: dark.

Kama:

General Astrality, i.e. substance of wishes and desires.

Kama-Manas:

Earthly consciousness or Lower Manas, in contradistinction to Higher Manas (Buddhi-Manas). Also called by Rudolf Steiner, Intellectual Soul.

Kama-prana consciousness:

General consciousness of life.

Kama-rupa:

Astral Body, Body of Desires.

Kriya-shakti:

The power of self-procreation.

Kundalini fire, kundalini light:

Serpent-fire, Serpent force. Described by Rudolf Steiner in ‘How to Attain Knowledge of the Higher Worlds’ as ‘force active in Spiritual Perception’, and as ‘An Element of Higher Matter’.

Linga Sharira:

Etheric body.

Lipikas:

Also called Maharajas: Exalted spiritual beings connected with human destiny (Karma): Lords of Karma, who guide incarnation.

Maha-para-nirvana:

Highest of the Seven Planes.

Manas:

Literally, spirit. As human principle called by Rudolf Steiner, Spirit-Self.

Manvantara:

Cosmic Day; seven rounds, a period of manifestation in contradistinction to period of dissolution or rest — Pralaya.

Mental World, Mental Plane:

Devachan.

Nama-rupa:

Distinction between name and form (subject and object).

Nidamas:

The twelve Nidanas are the twelve Karma-forces which bring about incarnation. See Lecture 15.

Nirmanakaya:

According to Rudolf Steiner an astral body so highly developed that at death no traces are left behind: Body of a Buddha-Being who has achieved perfection.

Para-nirvana plane:

Lying still higher than the Nirvana Plane (See under Planes).

Pitris:

Fathers or Fore-runners of Earth-men on Old Moon and Old Sun.

Planes:

The Theosophical-Indian terminology for the seven planes, levels or worlds was already replaced by Rudolf Steiner as far as possible by German expressions in his Theosophy (1904) and in later lectures.

Theosophical Literature:

Anthroposophical Literature:

1. Physical Plane

The same, also: physical world, world of understanding.

2. Astral Plane

The same, also: Soul World or Land, Imaginative World, Elementary World.

3. Devachan or Mental Plane

The same, also Spirit Land, Spiritual World, World of the Harmony of the Spheres, World of Inspiration.

   Rupa-Devachan

Lower Devachan, Lower Spiritual World, also Heavenly World.

   Arupa-Devachan

Higher Devachan, Higher Spiritual World, World of true Intuition.

4. Shushupti or Buddhi plane

Buddhi plane, also World of Fore seeing.

5. Nirvana plane

Nirvana plane

6. Para-nirvana plane

Nirvana plane

7. Maha-pari-nirvana plane

Nirvana plane

This world above the World of Fore-seeing is of such a nature ‘that in accordance with truth and uprightness its name may not be given in European languages, for it would not do to choose just any name for what in Oriental languages is called Nirvana and which is higher than the World of Fore-seeing.’ Rudolf Steiner, Lecture, Berlin, 25 October 1909 in The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness. See also The Theosophy of the Rosicrucian. The East in the Light of the West. Macrocosm and Microcosm. Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy and Philosophy.

Praja-patis:

The Creative forces (from the point of view of embodiment).

Pralaya:

Sleep condition; Existence during a Rest-period between two Manvantaras, also called a closed orbit.

Prana:

General Life-principle; when poured into the physical body, spoken of as etheric body. Sometimes Life Ether.

Root Races:

The seven main epochs or ages of the Fourth Globe or Condition of Form in Earth evolution: 1. Polarian, 2. Hyperborean, 3. Lemurian, 4. Atlantean, 5. Aryan or Post-Atlantean Root-Race; the following two epochs are always called the 6th and 7th Root-Races.

Rupa:

Body, form.

Rupa Plane:

Lower Devachan, Lower Spirit World. (R.S.)

Sanja:

Perfection.

Sanskara:

The organising tendency, desire.

Shad-ayatana:

What the understanding makes out of a thing.

Shushupti plane:

Buddhi plane. See under Planes.

Skandhas:

According to Buddhistic reaching the five fundamental principles in every human being: body, sensation, thinking, will, consciousness. According to Rudolf Steiner virtually identical with Karma. See Lecture 17 of the Course.

Sparsha:

Contact with existence.

Tat twam asi:

‘That art thou’: Famous formula of the Vedas.

Trishna:

Thirst for existence.

Upadana:

Feeling of comfort in existence.

Vedana:

Karmic results of feelings and sensations.

Vijnana:

Consciousness. Understanding, intellectual knowledge.




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