H. P. BLAVATSKY
First Published 1892
S—The nineteenth letter; numerically, sixty. In
Hebrew it is the fifteenth letter, Samech, held as holy because “the sacred
name of god is Samech”. Its symbol is a prop, or a pillar, and a phallic
egg. In occult geometry it is represented as a circle quadrated by a cross, In
the Kabbalah the “divisions of
Gan-Eden or paradise” are similarly divided.
Sa or Hea (Chald.). The synthesis of the seven Gods in Babylonian mythology.
Sabao (Gr.). The Gnostic name of the genius of Mars.
Sabaoth (Heb.). An army or host, from Sâbô go to war;
hence the name of the fighting god—the
“ Lord of Sabaoth ”.
Sabianism. The religion of the ancient Chaldees. The latter believing in one impersonal, universal, deific Principle, never mentioned It, but offered worship to the solar, lunar, and planetary gods and rulers, regarding the stars and other celestial bodies as their respective symbols.
Sabians. Astrolaters, so called; those who worshipped
the stars, or rather their “regents ”.
(See “ Sabianism ”.)
Sacrarium (Lat.). The name of the room in the houses of the ancient Romans, which contained the particular deity worshipped by the family; also the adytum of a temple.
Sacred Science. The name given to the inner esoteric philosophy, the secrets taught in days of old to the initiated candidates, and divulged during the last and supreme Initiation by the Hierophants.
Sadducees. A sect, the followers of one Zadok, a disciple of Anti-gonus
Saccho. They are accused of having denied the immortality of the (personal)
soul and that of the resurrection of the (physical and personal) body. Even so
do the Theosophists; though they deny neither the immortality of the Ego nor
the resurrection of all its numerous and successive lives, which survive in
the memory of the Ego. But together with the Sadducees—a sect of learned
philosophers who were to all the other Jews that which the polished and learned
Gnostics were to the rest of the Greeks during the early centuries of our
era—we certainly deny the immortality of the animal soul and the
resurrection of the physical body. The Sadducees were the scientists and the
learned men of
Sadik. The same as the Biblical Melchizedec, identified by the mystic Bible-worshippers with Jehovah, and Jesus Christ. But Father Sadik’s identity with Noah being proven, he can be further identified with Kronos-Saturn.
Safekh (Eg.). Written also Sebek and Sebakh, god of darkness and night, with the crocodile for his emblem. In the Typhonic legend and transformation he is the same as Typhon. He is connected with both Osiris and Horus, and is their great enemy on earth. We find him often called the “triple crocodile ”. In astronomy he is the same as Mâkâra or Capricorn, the most mystical of the signs of the Zodiac.
Saga (Scand.). The goddess “who sings of the deeds of gods and heroes ”, and to whom the black ravens of Odin reveal the history of the Past and of the Future in the Norsemen’s Edda.
Sagardagan. One of the four paths to Nirvana.
Sakkayaditthi. Delusion of personality; the erroneous idea that “I am I ”, a man or a woman with a special name, instead of being an inseparable part of the whole.
Sakwala. This is a bana or “word” uttered by Gautama Buddha in his oral instructions. Sakwala is a mundane, or rather a solar system, of which there is an infinite number in the universe, and which denotes that space to which the light of every sun extends. Each Sakwala contains earths, hells and heavens (meaning good and bad spheres, our earth being considered as hell, in Occultism); attains its prime, then falls into decay and is finally destroyed at regularly recurring periods, in virtue of one immutable law. Upon the earth, the Master taught that there have been already four great “continents” (the Land of the Gods, Lemuria, Atlantis, and the present “continent” divided into five parts of the Secret Doctrine), and that three more have to appear. The former did not communicate with each other ”, a sentence showing that Buddha was not speaking of the actual continents known in his day (for Pâtâla or America was perfectly familiar to the ancient Hindus), but of the four geological formations of the earth, with their four distinct root-races which had already disappeared.
Sâkya (Sk.). A patronymic of Gautama Buddha.
Sâkyamuni Buddha (Sk.). A name of the founder of Buddhism, the great Sage, the Lord Gautama.
Salamanders. The Rosicrucian name for the Elementals of Fire. The animal, as well as its name, is of most occult significance, and is widely used in poetry. The name is almost identical in all languages. Thus, in Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, etc., it is Salamandra, in Persian Samandel, and in Sanskrit Salamandala.
Salmalî (Sk.). One of the seven zones; also a kind of tree.
Sama (Sk.). One of the bhâva pushpas, or “flowers of sanctity Sama is the fifth, or “resignation”. There are eight such flowers, namely: clemency or charity, self-restraint, affection (or love for others), patience, resignation, devotion, meditation and veracity. Sama is also the repression of any mental perturbation,
Sâma Veda (Sk.). Lit., “the Scripture, or Shâstra, of peace”. One of the four Vedas.
Samâdhâna (Sk.). That state in which a Yogi can no longer diverge from the path of spiritual progress; when everything terrestrial, except the visible body, has ceased to exist for him.
Samâdhi (Sk.). A state of ecstatic and complete trance. The term comes from the words Sam-âdha, “self-possession ”. He who possesses this power is able to exercise an absolute control over all his faculties, physical or mental; it is the highest state of Yoga.
Samâdhindriya (Sk.). Lit., “the root of concentration”; the
fourth of the five roots called Pancha Indriyâni, which are said in esoteric
philosophy to be the agents in producing a highly moral life, leading to
sanctity and liberation ; when these are reached, the two spiritual roots
lying latent in the body (Atmâ and Buddhi) will send out shoots and blossom. Samâdhindriya
is the organ of ecstatic meditation in
Samael (Heb.). The Kabbalistic title of the Prince of those evil spirits who represent incarnations of human vices; the angel of Death. From this the idea of Satan has been evolved. [w.w.w.]
Samajna (Sk.). Lit., “an enlightened (or luminous) Sage ”. Translated verbally, Samgharana Samajna, the famous Vihâra near Kustana (China), means “the monastery of the luminous Sage”.
Samâna (Sk.). One of the five breaths (Prânas) which carry on the chemical action in the animal body.
Sâmanęra. A novice; a postulant for the Buddhist priesthood.
Samanta Bhadra (Sk.). Lit., “Universal Sage ”. The name of one of the four Bodhisattvas of the Yogâchârya School, of the Mâhâyana (the Great Vehicle) of Wisdom of that system. There are four terrestrial and three celestial Bodhisattvas: the first four only act in the present races, but in the middle of the fifth Root-race appeared the fifth Bodhisattva, who, according to an esoteric legend, was Gautama Buddha, but who, having appeared too early, had to disappear bodily from the world for a while.
Sâmanta Prabhâsa (Sk.). Lit., “universal brightness” or dazzling light. The name under which each of the 500 perfected Arhats reappears on earth as Buddha.
Sâmânya (Sk.). Community, or commingling of qualities, an abstract notion of genus, such as humanity.
Samâpatti (Sk.). Absolute concentration in Râja-Yoga; the process of development by which perfect indifference (Sams) is reached (apatti).This state is the last stage of development before the possibility of entering into Samâdhi is reached.
Samaya (Sk.). A religious precept.
S’ambhala (Sk). A very mysterious locality on account of its future associations. A town or village mentioned in the Purânas, whence, it is prophesied, the Kalki Avatar will appear. The “Kalki”is Vishnu, the Messiah on the White Horse of the Brahmins; Maitreya Buddha of the Buddhists, Sosiosh of the Parsis, and Jesus of the Christians (See Revelations). All these “ messengers” are to appear “ before the destruction of the world “, says the one; before the end of Kali Yuga say the others. It is in S’ambhala that the future Messiah will be born. Some Orientalists make modern Murâdâbâd in Rohilkhand (N.W.P.) identical with S’ambhala, while Occultism places it in the Himalayas. It is pronounced Shambhala.
Sambhogakâya (Sk.). One of the three “Vestures” of glory, or bodies, obtained by ascetics on the “Path”. Some sects hold it as the second, while others as the third of the Buddhahshętras; or forms of Buddha. Lit., the “Body of Compensation” (See Voice of the Silence, Glossary iii). Of such Buddhakshętras there are seven, those of Nirmanakâya, Sambhogakáya and Dharmakâya, belonging to the Trikâya, or three-fold quality.
Samgha (Sk.). The corporate assembly, or a quorum of priests; called also Bhikshu Samgha; the word “church” used in translation does not at all express the real meaning.
Samkhara (Pali). One of the five Shandhas or attributes in Buddhism.
Samkhara (Pali). “Tendencies of mind” (See“ Skandhas”).
Samma Sambuddha (Pali). The recollection of all of one’s past incarnations; a yoga phenomenon.
Samma Sambuddha (Pali). A title of the Lord Buddha, the “Lord of meekness and resignation”; it means “perfect illumination ”.
Samothrace (Gr.). An island famous for its Mysteries, perhaps the oldest ever established in our present race. The Samothracian Mysteries were renowned all over the world.
Samothraces (Gr.). A designation of the Five gods worshipped at the island of that name during the Mysteries. They are considered as identical with the Cabeiri, Dioscuri and Corybantes. Their names were mystical, denoting Pluto, Ceres or Proserpine, Bacchus and Ćsculapius, or Hermes.
Sampajnâna (Sk.). A power of internal illumination.
Samskâra (Sk.). Lit., from Sam and Krî, to improve, refine, impress. In Hindu philosophy the term is used to denote the impressions left upon the mind by individual actions or external circumstances, and capable of being developed on any future favourable occasion—even in a future birth. The Samskâra denotes, therefore, the germs of propensities and impulses from previous births to be developed in this, or the coming janmâs or reincarnations. In Tibet, Samskâra is called Doodyed, and in China is defined as, or at least connected with, action or Karma. It is, strictly speaking, a metaphysical term, which in exoteric philosophies is variously defined; e.g., in Nepaul as illusion, in Tibet as notion, and in Ceylon as discrimination. The true meaning is as given above, and as such is connected with Karma and its working.
Samtan (Tib.). The same as Dhyâna or meditation.
Samvara (Sk.). A deity worshipped by the Tantrikas.
Samvarta (Sk.). A minor Kalpa. A period in creation after which a partial annihilation of the world occurs.
Samvartta Kalpa (Sk.). The Kalpa or period of destruction, the same as Pralaya. Every root-race and sub-race is subject to such Kalpas of destruction; the fifth root-race having sixty-four such Cataclysms periodically; namely: fifty-six by fire, seven by water, and one small Kalpa by winds or cyclones.
Samvat (Sk.). The name of an Indian chronological era, supposed to have commenced fifty-seven years B.C.
Samvriti (Sk.). False conception—the origin of illusion.
Samvritisatya (Sk.). Truth mixed with false conceptions (Samvriti); the reverse of absolute truth—or Paramârthasatya, self-consciousness in absolute truth or reality.
Samyagâjiva (Sk.). Mendicancy for religious purposes: the correct profession. It is the fourth Mârga (path), the vow of poverty, obligatory on every Arhat and monk.
Samyagdrishti (Sk.). The ability to discuss truth. The first of the eight Mârga (paths) of the ascetic.
Samyakkarmânta (Sk.). The last of the eight Mârgas. Strict purity and observance of honesty, disinterestedness and unselfishness, the characteristic of every Arhat.
Samyaksamâdhi (Sk.). Absolute mental coma. The sixth of the eight Mârgas; the full attainment of Samâdhi.
Samyaksambuddha (Sk.) or Sammâsambuddha as pronounced in Ceylon. Lit., the Buddha of correct and harmonious knowledge, and the third of the ten titles of Sâkyamuni.
Samyattaka Nikaya (Pali). A Buddhist work composed mostly of dialogues between Buddha and his disciples.
Sana (Sk.). One of the three esoteric Kumâras, whose names are Sana, Kapila and Sanatsujâta, the mysterious triad which contains the mystery of generation and reincarnation.
Sana or Sanaischara (Sk.). The same as Sani or Saturn the planet. In the Hindu Pantheon he is the son of Surya, the Sun, and of Sanjna, Spiritual Consciousness, who is the daughter of Visva-Karman, or rather of Chhâyâ the shadow left behind by Sanjna. Sanaischara, the “slow- moving ”.
Sanaka (Sk.). A sacred plant, the fibres of which are woven into yellow robes for Buddhist priests.
Sanat Kumâra (Sk.). The most prominent of the seven Kumâras, the Vaidhâtra the first of which are called Sanaka, Sananda, Sanâtana and Sanat Kumâra; which names are all significant qualifications of the degrees of human intellect.
Sanat Sujâtîya (Sk.). A work treating of Krishna’s teachings, such as in Bhagavad Gitâ and Anugîta.
Sancha-Dwîpa (Sk.). One of the seven great islands Sapta-Dwîpa.
Sanchoniathon (Gr.). A pre-christian writer on Phśnician Cosmogony, whose works are no longer extant. Philo Byblus gives only the so-called fragments of Sanchoniathon.
Sandalphon (Heb.). The Kabbalistic Prince of Angels, emblematically represented by one of the Cherubim of the Ark.
Sandhyâ (Sk.). A period between two Yugas, morning-evening; anything coming between and joining two others. Lit., “twilight”; the period between a full Manvantara, or a “Day ”, and a full Pralaya or a “Night of Brahmâ”.
Sandhyâmsa (Sk.). A period following a Yuga.
Sanghai Dag-po (Tib.). The “concealed Lord”; a title of those who have merged into, and identified themselves with, the Absolute. Used of the “ Nirvânees” and the “Jîvanmuktas
Sangye Khado (Sk.). The Queen of the Khado or female genii; the Dâkini of the Hindus and the Lilith of the Hebrews.
Sanjnâ (Sk.). Spiritual Consciousness. The wife of Surya, the Sun.
Sankara (Sk.). The name of Siva. Also a great Vedantic philosopher.
Sânkhya (Sk.). The system of philosophy founded by Kapila Rishi, a system of analytical metaphysics, and one of the six Darshanas or schools of philosophy. It discourses on numerical categories and the meaning of the twenty-five tatwas (the forces of nature in various degrees). This “atomistic school”, as some call it, explains nature by the interaction of twenty-four elements with purusha (spirit) modified by the three gunas (qualities), teaching the eternity of pradhâna (primordial, homogeneous matter), or the self-transformation of nature and the eternity of the human Egos.
Sânkhya Kârikâ (Sk.). A work by Kapila, containing his aphorisms.
Sânkhya Yoga (Sk.). The system of Yoga as set forth by the above school.
Sanna (Pali). One of the five Skandhas, namely the attribute of abstract ideas.
Sannyâsi (Sk.). A Hindu ascetic who has reached the highest mystic knowledge; whose mind is fixed only upon the supreme truth, and who has entirely renounced everything terrestrial and worldly.
Sansâra (Sk.). Lit., “rotation”; the ocean of births and deaths. Human rebirths represented as a continuous circle, a wheel ever in motion.
(Sk.). The classical language
of the Brahmans, never known nor spoken in its true systematized form
(given later approximately by Pânini), except by the initiated Brahmans,
as it was
pre-eminently “a mystery language”. It has now degenerated into the so-called Prâkrita.
Santa (Sk.). Lit., “placidity ”. The primeval quality of the latent, undifferentiated state of elementary matter.
Santatih (Sk.). The “offspring.”
Saphar (Heb.). Sepharim; one of those called in the Kabbalah— Sepher, Saphar and Sipur, or “Number, Numbers and Numbered ”, by whose agency the world was formed.
Sapta (Sk.). Seven.
Sapta Buddhaka (Sk.). An account in Mahânidâna Sűtra of Sapta Buddha, the seven Buddhas of our Round, of which Gautama Sâkyamuni is esoterically the fifth, and exoterically, as a blind, the seventh.
Sapta Samudra (Sk.). The “seven oceans ”. These have an occult significance on a higher plane.
Sapta Sindhava (Sk.). The “seven sacred rivers ”. A Vedic term. In Zend works they are called Hapta Heando. These rivers are closely united with the esoteric teachings of the Eastern schools, having a very occult significance.
Sapta Tathâgata (Sk.). The chief seven Nirmânakâyas among the numberless ancient world-guardians. Their names are inscribed on a heptagonal pillar kept in a secret chamber in almost all Buddhist temples in China and Tibet. The Orientalists are wrong in thinking that these are “the seven Buddhist substitutes for the Rishis of the Brahmans.” (See “Tathâgata-gupta”).
Saptadwîpa (Sk.). The seven sacred islands or “continents” in the Purânas.
Saptaloka (Sk.). The seven higher regions, beginning from the earth upwards.
Saptaparna (Sk.). The “sevenfold”. A plant which gave its name to a famous cave, a Vihâra, in Râjâgriha, now near Buddhagaya, where the Lord Buddha used to meditate and teach his Arhats, and where after his death the first Synod was held. This cave had seven chambers, whence the name. In Esotericism Saptaparna is the symbol of the “seven fold Man-Plant”.
Saptarshi (Sk.). The seven Rishis. As stars they are the constellation of ‘the Great Bear, and called as such the Riksha and Chitrasikhandinas, bright-crested.
Sar or Saros (Chald.). A Chaldean god from whose name, represented by a circular horizon, the Greeks borrowed their word Saros, the cycle.
Saramâ (Sk.). In the Vedas, the dog of Indra and mother of the two dogs called Sârameyas. Saramâ is the “divine watchman” of the god and the same as he who watched “over the golden flock of stars and solar rays”; the same as Mercury, the planet, and the Greek Hermes, called Sârameyas.
Saraph (Heb.). A flying serpent.
Sarasvati (Sk.). The same as Vâch, wife and daughter of Brahmâ produced from one of the two halves of his body. She is the goddess of speech and of sacred or esoteric knowledge and wisdom. Also called Sri.
Sarcophagus (Gr.). A stone tomb, a receptacle for the dead; sarc = flesh, and phagein = to eat. Lapis assius, the stone of which the sarcophagi were made, is found in Lycia, and has the property of consuming the bodies in a very few weeks. In Egypt sarcophagi were made of various other stones, of black basalt, red granite, alabaster and other materials, as they served only as outward receptacles for the wooden coffins containing the mummies. The epitaphs on some of them are as remarkable as they are highly ethical, and no Christian could wish for anything better. One epitaph, dating thousands of years before the year one of our modern era, reads :—“ I have given water to him who was thirsty, and clothing to him who was naked. I have done harm to no man.” Another: “I have done actions desired by men and those which are commanded by the gods”. The beauty of some of these tombs may be judged by the alabaster sarcophagus of Oimenephthah I., at Sir John Soane’s Museum, Lincoln’s Inn. “It was cut out of a single block of fine alabaster stone, and is 9 ft. 4 in.. long, by 22 to 24 in. in width, and 27 to 32 in. in height. . . . Engraved dots, etc., outside were once filled with blue copper to represent the heavens. To attempt a description of the wonderful figures inside and out is beyond the scope of this work. Much of our knowledge of the mythology of the people is derived from this precious monument, with its hundreds of figures to illustrate the last judgment, and the life beyond the grave. Gods, men, serpents, symbolical animals and plants are there most beautifully carved.” (Funeral Rites of the Egyptians.)
Sargon (Chald.). A Babylonian king. The story is now found to have been the original of Moses and the ark of bulrushes in the Nile.
Sarîra (Sk.). Envelope or body.
Sarisripa (Sk.). Serpents, crawling insects, reptiles, “the infinitesimally small”.
Sarku (Chald.). Lit., the light race; that of the
gods in contradistinction to the dark race called
zahmat gagnadi, or the race that fell, i.e., mortal men.
Sarpas (Sk.). Serpents, whose king was Sesha, the serpent, or rather an aspect of Vishnu, who reigned in Pâtâla.
Sârpa-rajnî (Sk.). The queen of the serpents in the Brâhmanas.
Sarva Mandala (Sk.) A name for the “Egg of Brahmâ”.
Sarvada (Sk.). Lit., “all-sacrificing ” A title of Buddha, who in a former Jataha (birth) sacrificed his kingdom, liberty, and even life, to save others.
Sarvaga (Sk.). The supreme “World-Substance”.
Sarvâtmâ (Sk.). The supreme Soul; the all-pervading Spirit.
Sarvęsha (Sk.). Supreme Being. Controller of every action and force in the universe.
Sat (Sk.). The one ever-present Reality in the infinite world; the divine essence which is, but cannot be said to exist, as it is Absoluteness, Be-ness itself.
Sata rűpa (Sk.). The “hundred-formed one”; applied to Vâch, who to be the female Brahmâ assumes a hundred forms, i.e., Nature.
Sati (Eg.). The triadic goddess, with Anouki of the Egyptian god Khnoum.
Sattâ (Sk.). The “one and sole Existence ”—Brahma (neut.).
Satti or Suttee, (Sk.). The burning of living widows together with their dead husbands—a custom now happily abolished in India; lit., “a chaste and devoted wife”.
Sattva (Sk.). Understanding; quiescence in divine knowledge. It follows ‘generally the word Bodhi when used as a compound word, e.g., “Bodhisattva”.
Sattva or Satwa, (Sk.). Goodness; the same as Sattva, or purity, one of the trigunas or three divisions of nature.
Satya (Sk.). Supreme truth.
Satya Loka (Sk.). The world of infinite purity and wisdom, the celestial abode of Brahmâ and the gods.
Satya Yuga (Sk.). The golden age, or the age of truth and purity; the first of the four Yugas, also called Krita Yuga.
Satyas (Sk.). One of the names of the twelve great gods.
Scarabćus, In Egypt, the symbol of resurrection, and also of rebirth; of resurrection for the mummy or rather of the highest aspects of the personality which animated it, and of rebirth for the Ego, the “spiritual body” of the lower, human Soul. Egyptologists give us but half of the truth, when in speculating upon the meaning of certain inscriptions, they say, “the justified soul, once arrived at a certain period of its peregrinations (simply at the death of the physical body) should be united to its body (i.e., the Ego) never more to be separated from it ”. (Rougé.) What is this so-called body? Can it be the mummy? Certainly not, for the emptied mummified corpse can never resurrect. It can only be the eternal, spiritual vestment, the EGO that never dies but gives immortality to whatsoever becomes united with it. “The delivered Intelligence (which) retakes its luminous envelope and (re)becomes Daїmon ”, as Prof. Maspero says, is the spiritual Ego; the personal Ego or Kâma Manas, its direct ray, or the lower soul, is that which aspires to become Osirified, i.e., to unite itself with its “god ”; and that portion of it which will succeed in so doing, will never more be separated from it (the god), not even when the latter incarnates again and again, descending periodically on earth in its pilgrimage, in search of further experiences and following the decrees of Karma. Khem, “the sower of seed ”, is shown on a stele in a picture of Resurrection after physical death, as the creator and the sower of the grain of corn, which, after corruption, springs up afresh each time into a new ear, on which a scarab beetle is seen poised; and Deveria shows very justly that “Ptah is the inert, material form of Osiris, who will become Sokari (the eternal Ego) to be reborn, and afterwards be Harmachus ”, or Horus in his transformation, the risen god. The prayer so often found in the tumular inscriptions, “the wish for the resurrection in one’s living soul” or the Higher Ego, has ever a scarabćus at the end, standing for the personal soul. The scarabćus is the most honoured, as the most frequent and familiar, of all Egyptian symbols. No mummy is without several of them; the favourite ornament on engravings, house hold furniture and utensils is this sacred beetle, and Pierret pertinently shows in his Livre des Morts that the secret meaning of this hieroglyph is sufficiently explained in that the Egyptian name for the scarabćus Kheper signifies to be, to become, to build again.
Scheo (Eg.). The god who, conjointly with Tefnant and Seb, inhabits Aanroo, the region called “the land of the rebirth of the gods ”.
Schesoo-Hor (Eg.). Lit., the servants of Horus; the early people who settled in Egypt and who were Aryans.
Schools of the Prophets. Schools established by Samuel for the training of the Nabiim (prophets). Their method was pursued on the same lines as that of a Chela or candidate for initiation into the occult sciences, i.e., the development of abnormal faculties or clairvoyance leading to Seership. Of such schools there were many in days of old in Palestine and Asia Minor. That the Hebrews worshipped Nebo, the Chaldean god of secret learning, is quite certain, since they adopted his name as an equivalent of Wisdom.
Séance. A word which has come to mean with Theosophists and Spiritualists a sitting with a medium for phenomena, the materialisation of “spirits” and other manifestations.
Seb (Eg.). The Egyptian Saturn; the father of Osiris and Isis. Esoterically, the sole principle before creation, nearer in meaning to Parabrahm than Brahmâ. From as early as the second Dynasty, there were records of him, and statues of Seb are to be seen in the museums represented with the goose or black swan that laid the egg of the world on his head. Nout or Neith, the “Great Mother” and yet the “Immaculate Virgin ”, is Seb’s wife; she is the oldest goddess on record, and is to be found on monuments of the first dynasty, to which Mariette Bey assigns the date of almost 7000 years B.c.
Secret Doctrine. The general name given to the esoteric teachings of antiquity.
Sedecla (Heb.). The Obeah woman of Endor.
Seer. One who is a clairvoyant; who can see things visible, and invisible—for others—at any distance and time with his spiritual or inner sight or perceptions.
Seir Anpin, or Zauir Anpin (Heb.). In the Kabbalah, “the Son of the concealed Father ”, he who unites in himself all the Sephiroth. Adam Kadmon, or the first manifested “Heavenly Man ”, the Logos.
Sekhem (Eg.). The same as Sekten.
Sekhet (Eg.). See “Pasht”.
Sekten (Eg.). Dęvâchân; the place of post mortem reward, a state of bliss, not a locality.
Senâ (Sk.). The female aspect or Sakti of Kârttikeya; also called Kaumâra.
Senses. The ten organs of man. In the exoteric Pantheon and
the allegories of the. East, these are the emanations of ten minor gods, the
terrestrial Prajâpati or “ progenitors ”. They are called in contradistinction
to the five physical and the seven superphysical, the “elementary senses”. In
Occultism they are closely allied with various forces of nature, and with our inner
cells in physiology.
Senzar. The mystic name for the secret sacerdotal language or the “Mystery-speech” of the initiated Adepts, all over the world.
Sepher Sephiroth (Heb.). A Kabbalistic treatise concerning the gradual evolution of Deity from negative repose to active emanation and creation. [w.w.w.]
Sepher Yetzirah (Heb.). “The Book of Formation”. A very ancient Kabbalistic work ascribed to the patriarch Abraham. It illustrates the creation of the universe by analogy with the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, distributed into a triad,, a heptad, and a dodecad, corresponding with the-three mother letters, A, M, S, the seven planets, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. It is written in the Neo-Hebraic of the Mishnah.
Sephira (Heb.) An emanation of Deity; the parent and synthesis of the ten Sephiroth when she stands at the head of the Sephirothal Tree; in the Kabbalah, Sephira,or the “ Sacred Aged ”, is the divine Intelligence (the same as Sophia or Metis), the first emanation from the “Endless” or Ain-Suph.
Sephiroth (Heb.). The ten emanations of Deity; the
highest is formed by the concentration of the Ain Soph Aur, or the Limitless
Light, and each: Sephira produces by emanation another Sephira. The names of
the Ten Sephiroth are—1. Kether—The Crown; 2. Chokmah—Wisdom; 3.
4. Chesed-—Mercy; Geburah—Power; 6. Tiphereth—Beauty; 7. Netzach—Victory; 8. Hod— Splendour;
9. Jesod_Foundation; and 10. Malkuth—The Kingdom.
The conception of Deity embodied in the Ten Sephiroth is a very sublime one, and each Sephira is a picture to the Kabbalist of a group of exalted ideas, titles and attributes, which the name but faintly represents. Each Sephira is called either active or passive, though this attribution may lead to error; passive does not mean a return to negative existence; and the two words only express the relation between individual Sephiroth, and not any absolute quality. [w.w.w.]
Septerium (Lat.) A great religious festival held in days of old every ninth year at Delphi, in honour of Helios, the Sun, or Apollo, to commemorate his triumph over darkness, or Python; Apollo-Python being the same as Osiris-Typhon in Egypt.
Seraphim (Heb.). Celestial beings described by Isaiah (vi., 2,) as of human form with the addition of three pair of wings. The Hebrew word is ShRPIM, and apart from the above instance, is translated serpents, and is related to the verbal root ShRP, to burn up . The word is used for serpents in Numbers and Deuteronomy. Moses is said to have raised in the wilderness a ShRP or Seraph of Brass as a type. This bright serpent is also used as an emblem of Light. Compare the myth of Ćsculapius, the healing deity, who is said to have been brought to Rome from Epidaurus as a serpent, and whose statues show him holding a wand on which a snake is twisted. (See Ovid, Metam., lib. xv.). The Seraphim of the Old Testament seem to be related to the Cherubim (q.v.). In the Kabbalah the Seraphim are a group of angelic powers allotted to the Sephira Geburah—Severity. [w.w.w.]
Serapis (Eg.). A great solar god who replaced Osiris in the popular worship, and in whose honour the seven vowels were sung. He was often made to appear in his representations as a serpent, a “Dragon of Wisdom ”. The greatest god of Egypt during the first centuries of Christianity.
Sesha (Sk.) Ananta, the great Serpent of Eternity, the couch of Vishnu; the symbol of infinite Time in Space. In the exoteric beliefs Sesha is represented as a thousand-headed and seven-headed cobra; the former the king of the nether world, called Pâtâla, the latter the carrier or support of Vishnu on the Ocean of Space.
Set or Seth (Eg.). The same as the Son of Noah and Typhon—who is the dark side of Osiris. The same as Thoth and Satan, the adversary, not the devil represented by Christians.
Sevekh (Eg.). The god of time; Chronos; the same as Sefekh. Some Orientalists translate it as the “Seventh”.
Shaberon (Tib.). The Mongolian Shaberon or Khubilgan (or Khubilkhans) are the reincarnations of Buddha, according to the Lamaists; great Saints and Avatars, so to say.
Shaddai, El (Heb.). A name of the Hebrew Deity, usually translated God Almighty, found in Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Ruth and Job. Its Greek equivalent is Kurios Pantokrator; but by Hebrew derivation it means rather “the pourer forth”, shad meaning a breast, and indeed shdi is also used for “a nursing mother”.
Shamans. An order of Tartar or Mongolian priest-magicians, or as some say, priest-sorcerers. They are not Buddhists, but a sect of the old Bhon religion of Tibet. They live mostly in Siberia and its borderlands. Both men and women may be Shamans. They are all magicians, or rather sensitives or mediums artificially developed. At present those who act as priests among the Tartars are generally very ignorant, and far below the fakirs in knowledge and education.
Shânâh (Heb). The Lunar Year.
(Sk.). A mysterious epithet
given to a robe or “vesture in a metaphorical sense”. To put on the “Shangna
robe” means the acquirement of Secret Wisdom, and Initiation.
(See Voice of the Silence, pp. 84 and 85, Glossary.)
Shâstra or S’âstra (Sk.). A treatise or book; any work of divine or accepted authority, including law books. A Shâstri means to this day, in India, a man learned in divine and human law.
Shedim (Heb.). See “Siddim ”.
Shekinah (Heb.). A title applied to Malkuth, the tenth Sephira, by the Kabbalists; but by the Jews to the cloud of glory which rested on the Mercy-seat in the Holy of Holies. As taught, however, by all the Rabbins of Asia Minor, its nature is of a more exalted kind, Shekinah being the veil of Ain-Soph, the Endless and the Absolute; hence a kind of Kabbalistic Műlaprakriti. [w.w.w.]
Shells. A Kabbalistic name for the phantoms of the dead, the “spirits” of the Spiritualists, figuring in physical phenomena; so named on account of their being simply illusive forms, empty of their higher principles.
Shemal (Chald.). Samâel, the spirit of the earth, its presiding ruler and genius.
Shemhamphorash (Heb.). The separated name. The mirific name derived from the substance of deity and showing its self-existent essence. Jesus was accused by the Jews of having stolen this name from the Temple by magic arts, and of using it in the production of his miracles.
Sheol (Heb.). The hell of the Hebrew Pantheon; a region of stillness and inactivity as distinguished from Gehenna, (q.v.).
Shien-Sien (Chin.). A state of bliss and soul-freedom, during which a man can travel in spirit where he likes.
Shiites (Pers.). A sect of Mussulmen who place the prophet Ali higher than Mohammed, rejecting Sunnah or tradition.
Shîla (Pali). The second virtue of the ten Pâramitâs of perfection. Perfect harmony in words and acts.
Shinto (Jap.). The ancient religion of Japan before Buddhism, based upon the worship of spirits and ancestors.
Shoel-ob (Heb.). A consulter with familiar “spirits”; a necromancer, a raiser of the dead, or of their phantoms.
Shoo (Eg.). A personification of the god Ra; represented as the “great cat of the Basin of Persea in Anu”.
Shűdâla Mâdan (Tam.) The vampire, the ghoul, or graveyard spook.
Shűle Mâdan (Tam.). The elemental which is said to help the “jugglers” to grow mango trees and do other wonders.
Shutukt (Tib.). A collegiate monastery in Tibet of great fame, containing over 30,000 monks and students.
Sibac (Quiché). The reed from the pith of which the third race of men was created, according to the scripture of the Guatemalians, called the Popol Vuh.
Sibikâ (Sk.). The weapon of Kuvera, god of wealth (a Vedic deity living in Hades, hence a kind of Pluto), made out of the parts of the divine splendour of Vishnu, residing in the Sun, and filed off by Visvarkarman, the god Initiate.
Siddhânta (Sk.). Any learned work on astronomy or mathematics, in India.
Siddhârtha (Sk.). A name given to Gautama Buddha.
Siddhas (Sk.). Saints and sages who have become almost divine also a hierarchy of Dhyan Chohans.
Siddhâsana (Sk.). A posture in Hatha-yoga practices.
Siddha-Sena (Sk.). Lit., “the leader of Siddhas”; a title of Kârttikeya, the “mysterious youth” (kumâra guha).
Siddhis (Sk.). Lit., “attributes of perfection”; phenomenal powers acquired through holiness by Yogis.
Siddim (Heb.). The Canaanites, we are told, worshipped these evil powers as deities, the name meaning the “pourers forth”; a valley was named after them. There seems to be a connection between these, as types of Fertile Nature, and the many-bosomed Isis and Diana of Ephesus. In Psalm cvi., 37, the word is translated “devils ”, and we are told that the Canaanites shed the blood of their sons and daughters to them. Their title seems to come from the same root ShD, from which the god name El Shaddai is derived.
The Arabic Shedim means “Nature Spirits ”, Elementals; they are the afrits of modern Egypt and djins of Persia,.India, etc.
Sidereal. Anything relating to the stars, but also, in Occultism, to various influences emanating from such regions, such as “sidereal force ”, as taught by Paracelsus, and sidereal (luminous), ethereal body, etc.
Si-dzang (Chin.). The Chinese name for Tibet; mentioned in the Imperial Library of the capital of Fo Kien, as the “great seat of Occult learning”, 2,207 years B.c. (Secret Doctrine, I., p. 271.)
Sige (Gr.). “Silence”; a name. adopted by the Gnostics to signify the root whence proceed the Ćons of the second series.
Sighra or Sighraga (Sk.). The father of Moru, “who is still living through the power of Yoga, and will manifest himself in the beginning of the Krita age in order to re-establish the Kshattriyas in the nineteenth Yuga” say the Purânic prophecies. “Moru” stands here for “Morya ”, the dynasty of the Buddhist sovereigns of Pataliputra which began with the great King Chandragupta, the grandsire of King Asoka. It is the first Buddhist Dynasty. (Secret Doctrine, I., 378.)
Sigurd (Scand.). The hero who slew Fafnir, the “Dragon”, roasted his heart and ate it, after which he became the wisest of men. An allegory referring to Occult study and initiation.
Simeon-ben-Jochai. An Adept-Rabbin, who was the author of the Zohar, (q.v.).
Simon Magus. A very great Samaritan Gnostic and Thaumaturgist, called “the great Power of God”.
Simorgh (Pers.). The same as the winged Siorgh, a kind of gigantic griffin, half phśnix, half lion, endowed in the Iranian legends with oracular powers. Simorgh was the guardian of the ancient Persian Mysteries. It is expected to reappear at the end of the cycle as a gigantic bird-lion. Esoterically, it stands as the symbol of the Manvantaric cycle. Its Arabic name is Rahshi.
Sinaї (Heb.). Mount Sinaї, the Nissi of Exodus (xvii., ii), the birth place of almost all the solar gods of antiquity, such as Dionysus, born at Nissa or Nysa, Zeus of Nysa, Bacchus and Osiris, (q.v.). Some ancient people believed the Sun to be the progeny of the Moon, who was herself a Sun once upon a time. Sin-aї is the “Moon Mountain ”, hence the connexion.
Sing Bonga. The Sun-spirit with the Kollarian tribes.
Singha (Sk.). The constellation of Leo; Singh meaning “lion”.
Sinika (Sk.). Also Sinita and Sanika, etc., as variants. The Vishnu Purâna gives it as the name of a future sage who will be taught by him who will become Maitreya, at the end of Kali Yuga, and adds that this is a great mystery.
Sinîvâlî (Sk.). The first day of the new moon, which is greatly connected with Occult practices in India.
Dtzeniouta (Chald.). The Book
of Concealed Mystery; one division of the Zohar.
(See Mathers’ Kabbalah Unveiled.)
Sirius (Gr.). In Egyptian, Sothis. The dog-star: the star worshipped in Egypt and reverenced by the Occultists; by the former because its heliacal rising with the Sun was a sign of the beneficent inundation of the Nile, and by the latter because it is mysteriously associated with Thoth-Hermes, god of wisdom, and Mercury, in another form. Thus Sothis-Sirius had, and still has, a mystic and direct influence over the whole living heaven, and is connected with almost every god and goddess. It was “Isis in the heaven ” and called Isis-Sothis, for Isis was “in the constellation of the dog ”, as is declared on her monuments. “The soul of Osiris was believed to reside in a personage who walks with great steps in front of Sothis, sceptre in hand and a whip upon his shoulder.” Sirius is also Anuhis, and is directly connected with the ring “Pass me not” ; it is, moreover, identical with Mithra, the Persian Mystery god, and with Horus and even Hathor, called sometimes the goddess Sothis. Being connected with the Pyramid, Sirius was, therefore, connected with the initiations which took place in it. A temple to Sirius-Sothis once existed within the great temple of Denderah. To sum up, all religions are not, as Dufeu, the French Egyptologist, sought to prove, derived from Sirius, the dog-star, but Sirius-Sothis is certainly found in connection with every religion of antiquity.
Sishta (Sk.). The great elect or Sages, left after every minor Pralaya (that which is called “obscuration” in Mr. Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism), when the globe goes into its night or rest, to become, on its re-awakening, the seed of the next humanity. Lit. “remnant.”
Sisthrus (Chald.). According to Berosus, the last of the ten kings of the dynasty of the divine kings, and the “Noah” of Chaldea. Thus, as Vishnu foretells the coming deluge to Vaivasvata-Manu, and, fore warning, commands him to build an ark, wherein he and seven Rishis are saved ; so the god Hea foretells the same to Sisithrus (or Xisuthrus) commanding him to prepare a vessel and save himself with a few elect. Following suit, almost 800,000 years later, the Lord God of Israel repeats the warning to Noah. Which is prior, therefore? The story of Xisuthrus, now deciphered from the Assyrian tablets, corroborates that which was said of the Chaldean deluge by Berosus, Apollodorus, Abydenus, etc., etc. (See eleventh tablet in G. Smith’s Chaldean Account of Genesis, page 263, et seq.). This tablet xi. covers every point treated of in chapters six and seven of Genesis—the gods, the sins of men, the command to build an ark, the Flood, the destruction of men, the dove and the raven sent out of the ark, and finally the Mount of Salvation in Armenia (Nizi r-Ararat); all is there. The words “the god Hea heard, and his liver was angry, because his men had corrupted his purity”, and the story of his destroying all his seed, were engraved on stone tablets many thousand years before the Assyrians reproduced them on their baked tiles, and even these most assuredly antedate the Pentateuch, “written from memory” by Ezra, hardly four centuries B.c.
Sistrum (Gr.). Egyptian ssesh or kemken. An instrument, usually made of bronze but sometimes of gold or silver, of an open circular form, with a handle, and four wires passed through holes, to the end of which jingling pieces of metal were attached; its top was ornamented with a figure of Isis, or of Hathor. It was a sacred instrument, used in temples for the purpose of producing, by means of its combination of metals, magnetic currents, and sounds. To this day it has survived in Christian Abyssinia, under the name of sanasel, and the good priests use it to “drive devils from the premises”, an act quite comprehensible to the Occultist, even though it does provoke laughter in the sceptical Orientalist. The priestess usually held it in her right hand during the ceremony of purification of the air, or the “conjuration of the elements”, as E. Lévi would call it, while the priests held the Sistrurn in their left hand, using the right to manipulate the “key of life”—the handled cross or Tau.
Sisumara (Sk.). An imaginary rotating belt, upon which all the celestial bodies move. This host of stars and constellations is represented under the figure of Sisumara, a tortoise (some say a porpoise !), dragon, crocodile, and what not. But as it is a symbol of the Yoga-meditation of holy Vasudeva or Krishna, it must be a crocodile, or rather, a dolphin, since it is identical with the zodiacal Makâra. Dhruva, the ancient pole-star, is placed at the tip of the tail of this sidereal monster, whose head points southward and whose body bends in a ring. Higher along the tail are the Prajâpati Agni, etc., and at its root are placed Indra, Dharma, and the seven Rishis (the Great Bear), etc., etc. The meaning is of course mystical.
Siva (Sk.). The third person of the Hindu Trinity (the Triműrti). He is a god of the first order, and in his character of Destroyer higher than Vishnu, the Preserver, as he destroys only to regenerate on a higher plane. He is born as Rudra, the Kumâra, and is the patron of all the Yogis, being called, as such, Mahâdeva the great ascetic, His titles are significant Trilochana, “the three-eyed”, Mahâdeva, “the great god ”, Sankara, etc., etc., etc.
Siva-Rudra (Sk.). Rudra is the Vedic name of Siva, the latter being absent from the Veda.
Skandha or Skhanda (Sk.). Lit., “bundles”, or groups of attributes; everything finite, inapplicable to the eternal and the absolute. There are five—esoterically, seven—attributes in every human living being, which are known as the Pancha Shandhas. These are (1) form, rűpa; (2) perception, vidâna; (3) consciousness, sanjnâ; (4) action, sanskâra; (5) knowledge, vidyâna. These unite at the birth of man and constitute his personality. After the maturity of these Skandhas, they begin to separate and weaken, and this is followed by jarâmarana, or decrepitude and death.
Skrymir (Scand.). One of the famous giants in the Eddas.
Sloka, (Sk.). The Sanskrit epic metre formed of thirty-two syllables: verses in four half-lines of eight, or in two lines of sixteen syllables each.
Smaragdine Tablet of Hermes. As expressed by Eliphas Lévi,“this Tablet of Emerald is the whole of magic in a single page”; but India has a single word which, when understood, contains “the whole of magic ”. This is a tablet, however, alleged to have been found by Sarai, Abraham’s wife (!) on the dead body of Hermes. So say the Masons and Christian Kabbalists. But in Theosophy we call it an allegory. May it not mean that Sarai-swati, the wife of Brahmâ, or the goddess of secret wisdom and learning, finding still much of the ancient wisdom latent in the dead body of Humanity, revivified that wisdom? This led to the rebirth of the Occult Sciences, so long forgotten and neglected, the world over. The tablet itself, however, although containing the “whole of magic ”, is too long to be reproduced here.
Smârtava (Sk.). The Smârta Brahmans; a sect founded by Sankarâchârya.
Smriti (Sk.). Traditional accounts imparted orally, from the word Smriti, “Memory” a daughter of Daksha. They are now the legal and ceremonial writings of the Hindus; the opposite of, and therefore less sacred, than the Vedas, which are Sruti, or “ revelation ”.
Sod (Heb.). An “Arcanum”, or religious mystery. The Mysteries of Baal, Adonis and Bacchus, all sun-gods having serpents as symbols, or, as in the case of Mithra, a “solar serpent”. The ancient Jews had their Sod also, symbols not excluded, since they had the “brazen serpent” lifted in the Wilderness, which particular serpent was the Persian Mithra, the symbol of Moses as an Initiate, but was certainly never meant to represent the historical Christ. “The secret (Sod) of the Lord is with them that fear him ”, says David, in Psalm xxv., 14. But this reads in the original Hebrew, “Sod Ihoh (or the Mysteries) of Jehovah are for those who fear him”. So terribly is the Old Testament mistranslated, that verse 7 in Psalm lxxxix., which stands in the original “Al (El) is terrible in the great Sod of the Kedeshim” (the Galli, the priests of the inner Jewish mysteries), reads now in the mutilated translation “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints”. Simeon and Levi held their Sod, and it is repeatedly mentioned in the Bible. “ Oh my soul ”, exclaims the dying Jacob, “come not thou into their secret (Sod, in the orig.), unto their assembly ”, i.e.. into the Sodalily of Simeon and Levi (Gen. xlix., 6). (See Dunlap, Sôd, the Mysteries of Adoni.)
Sodales (Lat.). The members of the Priest-colleges. (See Freund’s Latin Lexicon, iv., 448.) Cicero tells us also (De Senectute, 13) that “ Sodalities were constituted in the Idćn Mysteries of the MIGHTY MOTHER”. Those initiated into the Sod were termed the“ Companions ”.
Sodalian Oath. The most sacred of all oaths. The penalty of death followed the breaking of the Sodalian oath or pledge. The oath and the Sod (the secret learning) are earlier than the Kabbalah or Tradition, and the ancient Midrashim treated fully of the Mysteries or Sod before they passed into the Zohar. Now they are referred to as the Secret Mysteries of the Thorah, or Law, to break which is fatal.
Soham (Sk.). A mystic syllable representing involution: lit., “THAT I AM”.
Sokaris (Eg.). A fire-god; a solar deity of many forms. He is Ptah Sokaris, when the symbol is purely cosmic, and “Ptah-Sokaris-Osiris” when it is phallic. This deity is hermaphrodite, the sacred bull Apis being its son, conceived in it by a solar ray. According to Smith’s History of the East, Ptah is a “second Demiurgus, an emanation from the first creative Principle” (the first Logos). The upright Ptah, with cross and staff, is the “creator of the eggs of the sun and moon ”. Pierret thinks that he represents the primordial Force that preceded the gods and “created the stars, and the eggs of the sun and moon ”. Mariette Bey sees in him “Divine Wisdom scattering the stars in immensity ”, and he is corroborated by the Targum of Jerusalem, which states that the “Egyptians called the Wisdom of the First Intellect Ptah”.
Sokhit (Eg.). A deity to whom the cat was sacred.
Solomon’s Seal. The symbolical double triangle, adopted by the T.S. and by many Theosophists. Why it should be called “Solomon’s Seal” is a mystery, unless it came to Europe from Iran, where many stories are told about that mythical personage and the magic seal used by him to catch the djins and imprison them in old bottles. But this seal or double triangle is also called in India the “Sign of Vishnu ”, and may be seen on the houses in every village as a talisman against evil. The triangle was sacred and used as a religious sign in the far East ages before Pythagoras proclaimed it to be the first of the geometrical figures, as well as the most mysterious. it is found on pyramid and obelisk, and is pregnant with occult meaning, as are, in fact, all triangles. Thus the pentagram is the triple triangle—the six-pointed being the hexalp ha. (See “Pentacle” and “Pentagram”.) The way a triangle points determines its meaning. If upwards, it means the male element and divine fire; downwards, the female and the waters of matter; upright, but with a bar across the top, air and astral light ; downwards, with a bar—the earth or gross matter, etc., etc. When a Greek Christian priest in blessing holds his two fingers and thumb together, he simply makes the magic sign—by the power of the triangle or “trinity ”.
Soma (Sk.). The moon, and also the juice of the plant of that name used in the temples for trance purposes; a sacred beverage. Soma, the moon, is the symbol of the Secret Wisdom. In the Upanishads the word is used to denote gross matter (with an association of moisture) capable of producing life under the action of heat. (See “ Soma-drink ”.)
Soma-drink. Made from a rare mountain plant by initiated Brahmans. This Hindu sacred beverage answers to the Greek ambrosia or nectar, quaffed by the gods of Olympus. A cup of Kykeôn was also quaffed by the Mystes at the Eleusinian initiation. He who drinks it easily reaches Bradhna, or the place of splendour (Heaven). The Soma-drink known to Europeans is not the genuine beverage, but its substitute; for the initiated priests alone can taste of the real Soma; and even kings and Rajas, when sacrificing, receive the substitute. Haug, by his own confession, shows in his Aitareya Brâhmana, that it was not the Soma that he tasted and found nasty, but the juice from the roots of the Nyagradha, a plant or bush which grows on the hills of Poona. We were positively informed that the majority of the sacrificial priests of the Dekkan have lost the secret of the true Soma. It can be found neither in the ritual books nor through oral information. The true followers of the primitive Vedic religion are very few; these are the alleged descendants of the Rishis, the real Agnihôtris, the initiates of the great Mysteries. The Soma drink is also commemorated in the Hindu Pantheon, for it is called King-Soma. He who drinks thereof is made to participate in the heavenly king; he becomes filled with his essence, as the Christian apostles and their converts were. filled with the Holy Ghost, and purified of their sins. The Soma makes a new man of the initiate; he is reborn and transformed, and his spiritual nature overcomes the physical; it bestows the divine power of inspiration, and develops the clairvoyant faculty to the utmost. According to the exoteric explanation the soma is a plant, but at the same time it is an angel. It forcibly connects the inner, highest “ spirit” of man, which spirit is an angel like the mystical Soma, with his “irrational soul ”, or astral body, and thus united by the power of the magic drink, they soar together above physical nature and participate during life in the beatitude and ineffable glories of Heaven,
Thus the Hindu Soma is mystically and in all respects the same that the Eucharist supper is to the Christian. The idea is similar. By means of the sacrificial prayers—the mantras—this liquor is supposed to be immediately transformed into the real Soma, or the angel, and even into Brahmâ himself. Some missionaries have expressed themselves with much indignation about this ceremony, the more so, seeing that the Brahmans generally use a kind of spirituous liquor as a substitute. But do the Christians believe less fervently in the transubstantiation of the communion wine into the blood of Christ, because this wine happens to be more or less spirituous? Is not the idea of the symbol attached to it the same? But the missionaries say that this hour of soma-drinking is the golden hour of Satan, who lurks at the bottom of the Hindu sacrificial cup. (Isis Unveiled.)
Soma-loka (Sk.). A kind of lunar abode where the god Soma, the regent of the moon, resides. The abode of the Lunar Pitris—or Pitriloka.
Somapa (Sk.). A class of Lunar Pitris. (See “ Trisuparna.”)
Somnambulism Lit., “sleep-walking ”, or moving, acting, writing, reading and performing every function of waking consciousness in one’s sleep, with utter oblivion of the fact on awakening. This is one of the great psycho-physiological phenomena, the least understood as it is the most puzzling, to which Occultism alone holds the key.
Son-kha-pa (Tib.). Written also Tsong-kha-pa. A famous Tibetan reformer of the fourteenth century, who introduced a purified Buddhism into his country. He was a great Adept, who being unable to witness any longer the desecration of Buddhist philosophy by the false priests who made of it a marketable commodity, put a forcible stop thereto by a timely revolution and the exile of 40,000 sham monks and Lamas from the country. He is regarded as an Avatar of Buddha, and is the founder of the Gelukpa (“ yellow-cap ”) Sect, and of the mystic Brotherhood connected with its chiefs. The “tree of the 10,000 images” (khoom boom) has, it is said, sprung from the long hair of this ascetic, who leaving it behind him disappeared for ever from the view of the profane.
Sooniam. A magical ceremony for the purpose of removing a sickness from one person to another. Black magic, sorcery.
Sophia (Gr.). Wisdom. The female Logos of the Gnostics; the Universal Mind; and the female Holy Ghost with others.
Sophia Achamoth (Gr.). The daughter of Sophia. The personified Astral Light, or the lower plane of Ether.
Sortes Sanctorum (Lat.). The “holy casting of lots for purposes of divination”, practised by the early and medićval Christian clergy. St. Augustine, who does not “disapprove of this method of learning futurity, provided it be not used for worldly purposes, practised it himself ” (Life of St. Gregory of Tours). If, however, “it is practised by laymen, heretics, or heathen” of any sort, sortes sanctorum become—if we believe the good and pious fathers—sortes diabolorum or sortilegium—sorcery.
Sosiosh (Zend). The Mazdean Saviour who, like Vishnu, Maitreya Buddha and others, is expected to appear on a white horse at the end of the cycle to save mankind. (See “S´ambhala”.)
Soul. The yuch, or nephesh of the Bible; the vital principle, or the breath of life, which every animal, down to the infusoria, shares with man. In the translated Bible it stands indifferently for life, blood and soul. “ Let us not kill his nephesh ”, says the original text: “let us not kill him ”, translate the Christians (Genesis xxxvii. 21), and so on.
Sowan (Pali). The first of the “four paths” which lead to Nirvâna, in Yoga practice.
Sowanee (Pali). He who entered upon that “path”.
Sparsa (Sk). The sense of touch.
Spenta Armaita (Zend). The female genius of the earth; the “fair daughter of Ahura Mazda ”. With the Mazdeans, Spenta Armaita is the personified Earth.
Spirit. The lack of any mutual agreement between writers in the use of this word has resulted in dire confusion. It is commonly made synonymous with soul; and the lexicographers countenance the usage. In Theosophical teachings. the term “Spirit” is applied solely to that which belongs directly to Universal Consciousness, and which is its homogeneous and unadulterated emanation. Thus, the higher Mind in Man or his Ego (Manas) is, when linked indissolubly with Buddhi, a spirit; while the term “Soul”, human or even animal (the lower Manas acting in animals as instinct), is applied only to Kâma-Manas, and qualified as the living soul. This is nephesh, in Hebrew, the “breath of life”. Spirit is formless and immaterial, being, when individualised, of the highest spiritual substance—Suddasatwa, the divine essence, of which the body of the manifesting highest Dhyanis are formed. Therefore, the Theosophists reject the appellation “ Spirits” for those phantoms which appear in the phenomenal manifestations of the Spiritualists, and call them “shells”, and various other names. (See “Sukshma Sarîra”.) Spirit, in short, is no entity in the sense of having form ; for, as Buddhist philosophy has it, where there is a form, there is a cause for pain and suffering. But each individual spirit—this individuality lasting only throughout the manvantaric life-cycle—may be described as a centre of consciousness, a self-sentient and self-conscious centre; a state, not a conditioned individual. This is why there is such a wealth of words in Sanskrit to express the different States of Being, Beings and Entities, each appellation showing the philosophical difference, the plane to which such unit belongs, and the degree of its spirituality or materiality. Unfortunately these terms are almost untranslatable into our Western tongues.
Spiritualism. In philosophy, the state or condition of mind opposed to materialism or a material conception of things. Theosophy, a doctrine which teaches that all which exists is animated or informed by the Universal Soul or Spirit, and that not an atom in our universe can be outside of this omnipresent Principle—is pure Spiritualism. As to the belief that goes under that name, namely, belief in the constant communication of the living with the dead, whether through the mediumistic powers of oneself or a so-called medium—it is no better than the materialisation of spirit, and the degradation of the human and the divine, souls. Believers in such communications are simply dishonouring the dead and performing constant sacrilege. It was well called “Necromancy” in days of old. But our modern Spiritualists take offence at being told this simple truth.
Spook. A ghost, a hobgoblin. Used of the various apparitions in the seance-rooms of the Spiritualists.
Sraddha (Sk). Lit., faith, respect, reverence.
(Sk.). Devotion to the memory
and care for the welfare of the manes of dead relatives.
A post-mortem rite for newly kindred. There are also monthly rites of Srâddha.
Srâddhadeva (Sk.). An epithet of Yama, the god of death and king of the nether world, or Hades.
Srâmana (Sk.). Buddhist priests, ascetics and postulants for Nirvâna, “they who have to place a restraint on their thoughts ”. The word Saman, now “Shaman” is a corruption of this primitive word.
Srastara (Sk.). A couch consisting of a mat or a tiger’s skin, strewn with darbha, kusa and other grasses, used by ascetics—gurus and chelas— and spread on the floor.
Sravah (Mazd.). The Amshaspends, in their highest aspect.
Srâvaka (Sk.). Lit., “he who causes to hear ”; a preacher. But in Buddhism it denotes a disciple or chela.
Sri Sankarâchârya (Sk.). The great religious reformer of India, and teacher of the Vedânta philosophy—the greatest of all such teachers, regarded by the Adwaitas (Non-dualists) as an incarnation of Siva and a worker of miracles. He established many mathams (monasteries), and founded the most learned sect among Brahmans, called the Smârtava. The legends about him are as numerous as his philosophical writings. At the age of thirty-two he went to Kashmir, and reaching Kedâranâth in the Himalayas, entered a cave alone, whence he never returned. His followers claim that he did not die, but only retired from the world.
Sringa Giri (Sk.). A large and wealthy monastery on the ridge of the Western Ghauts in Mysore (Southern India) ; the chief matham of the Adwaita and Smârta Brahmans, founded by Sankarâchârya. There resides the religious head (the latter being called Sankarâchârya) of all the Vedantic Adwaitas, credited by many with great abnormal powers.
Sri-pâda (Sk.). The impression of Buddha’s foot. Lit., “the step or foot of the Master or exalted Lord”.
Srivatsa (Sk.). A mystical mark worn by Krishna, and also adopted by the Jains.
Sriyantra (Sk.). The double triangle or the seal of Vishnu, called also “Solomon’s seal ”, and adopted by the T. S.
Srotâpatti (Sk) Lit., “ he who has entered the stream ”, i.e., the stream or path that leads to Nirvâna, or figuratively, to the Nirvânic Ocean. The same as Sowanee.
Srotriya (Sk) The appellation of a Brahman who practises the Vedic rites he studies, as distinguished from the Vedavit, the Brahman who studies them only theoretically.
Sruti (Sk.). Sacred tradition received by revelation; the Vedas are such a tradition as distinguished from “ Smriti ” (q.v.).
St. Germain, the Count of. Referred to as an enigmatical personage by modern writers. Frederic II., King of Prussia, used to say of him that he was a man whom no one had ever been able make out. Many are his “biographies”, and each is wilder than the other. By some he was regarded as an incarnate god, by others as a clever Alsatian Jew. One thing is certain, Count de St. Germain—whatever his real patronymic may have been—had a right to his name and title, for he had bought a property called San Germano, in the Italian Tyrol, and paid the Pope for the title. He was uncommonly handsome, and his enormous erudition and linguistic capacities are undeniable, for he spoke English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Russian, Swedish, Danish, and many Slavonian and Oriental languages, with equal facility with a native. He was extremely wealthy, never received a sou from anyone—in fact never accepted a glass of water or broke bread with anyone made most extravagant presents of superb jewellery to all his friends, even to the royal families of Europe. His proficiency in music was marvellous; he played on every instrument, the violin being his favourite. “St. Germain rivalled Paganini himself”, was said of him by an octogenarian Belgian in 1835, after hearing the “Genoese maestro”. “It is St. Germain resurrected who plays the violin in the body of an Italian skeleton ”, exclaimed a Lithuanian baron who had heard both.
He never laid claim to spiritual powers, but proved to have a right to such claim. He used to pass into a dead trance from thirty-seven to forty-nine hours without awakening, and then knew all he had to know, and demonstrated the fact by prophesying futurity and never making a mistake. It is he who prophesied before the Kings Louis XV. and XVI., and the unfortunate Marie Antoinette. Many were the still living witnesses in the first quarter of this century who testified to his marvellous memory; he could read a paper in the morning and, though hardly glancing at it, could repeat its contents without missing one word days afterwards; he could write with two hands at once, the right hand writing a piece of poetry, the left a diplomatic paper of the greatest importance. He read sealed letters without touching them, while still in the hand of those who brought them to him. He was the greatest adept in transmuting metals, making gold and the most marvellous diamonds, an art, he said, he had learned from certain Brahmans in India, who taught him the artificial crystallisation (“quickening”) of pure carbon. As our Brother Kenneth Mackenzie has it :—“ In 1780, when on a visit to the French Ambassador to the Hague, he broke to pieces with a hammer a superb diamond of his own manufacture, the counterpart of which, also manufactured by himself, he had just before sold to a jeweller for 5500 louis d’or”. He was the friend and confidant of Count Orloff in 1772 at Vienna, whom he had helped and saved in St. Petersburg in 1762, when concerned in the famous political conspiracies of that time; he also became intimate with Frederick the Great of Prussia. As a matter of course, he had numerous enemies, and therefore it is not to be wondered at if all the gossip invented about him is now attributed to his own confessions: e.g., that he was over five hundred years old; also, that he claimed personal intimacy “with the Saviour and his twelve Apostles, and that he had reproved Peter for his bad temper ”—the latter clashing somewhat in point of time with the former, if he had really claimed to be only five hundred years old. if he said that “he had been born in Chaldea and professed to possess the secrets of the Egyptian magicians and sages ”, he may have spoken truth without making any miraculous claim. There are Initiates, and not the highest either, who are placed in a condition to remember more than one of their past lives. But we have good reason to know that St. Germain could never have claimed “personal intimacy ” with the Saviour. How ever that may be, Count St. Germain was certainly the greatest Oriental Adept Europe has seen during the last centuries. But Europe knew him not. Perchance some may recognise him at the next Terreur which will affect all Europe when it comes, and not one country alone.
Sthâla Mâyâ (Sk.). Gross, concrete and—because differentiated— an illusion.
Sthâna (Sk.). Also Ayâna; the place or abode of a god.
Sthâvara (Sk). From sthâ to stay or remain motionless. The term for all conscious, sentient objects deprived of the power of locomotion—fixed and rooted like the trees or plants; while all those sentient things, which add motion to a certain degree of consciousness, are called Jangama, from gam, to move, to go.
Sthâvirâh, or Sthâviranikaya (Sk.). One of the
earliest philosophical contemplative schools, founded 300 B.c. In the year 247
before the Christian era, it split into three divisions: the Mahâvihâra
Vâsinâh (School of the great monasteries), Jętavaniyâh, and Abhayagiri
Vâsinâh. It is one of the four branches of the Vaibhâchika School
founded by Kâtyâyana, one of the great disciples of Lord Gautama Buddha, the
author of the Abhidharma Jnana Prasthâna Shastra, who is expected to
reappear as a Buddha.
(See “Abhayagiri ”, etc.) All these schools are highly mystical. Lit., Stâviranikaya is translated the
“ School of the Chairman” or “President” (Chohan).
Sthirâtman (Sk.). Eternal, supreme, applied to the Universal Soul.
Sthiti (Sk.). The attribute of preservation; stability.
Sthűla (Sk.). Differentiated and conditioned matter.
Sthűla Sarîram (Sk.). In metaphysics, the gross physical body.
Sthűlopadhi (Sk.). A “principle” answering to the lower
triad in man, i.e., body, astral form,
and life, in the Târaka Râja Yoga system, which names only three chief principles in man. Sthűlopadhi corresponds to the jagrata, or waking conscious state.
Stűpa (Sk.). A conical monument, in India and Ceylon, erected over relics of Buddha, Arhats, or other great men.
Subhâva (Sk.). Being; the self-forming substance, or that “substance which gives substance to itself ”. (See the Ekasloha Shâstra of Nâgârjuna.) Explained paradoxically, as “the nature which has no nature of its own ”, and again as that which is with, and without, action. (See “Svabhâvat”.) This is the Spirit within Substance, the ideal cause of the potencies acting on the work of formative evolution (not “creation” in the sense usually attached to the word); which potencies become in turn the real causes. In the words used in the Vedânta and Vyâya Philosophies: nimitta, the efficient, and upâdâna, the material, causes are contained in Subhâva co-eternally. Says a Sanskrit Sloka:
“ Worthiest of ascetics, through its potency [ that of the “efficient” cause] every created thing comes by its proper nature ”.
Substance. Theosophists use the word in a dual sense, qualifying substance as perceptible and imperceptible; and making a distinction between material, psychic and spiritual substances (see “Sudda Satwa”), into ideal (i.e., existing on higher planes) and real substance.
Suchi (Sk.). A name of Indra; also of the third son of Abhimânin, son of Agni; i.e., one of the primordial forty-nine fires.
Su-darshana (Sk.). The Discus of Krishna; a flaming weapon that plays a great part in Krishna’s biographies.
Sudda Satwa (Sk.). A substance not subject to the qualities of matter; a luminiferous and (to us) invisible substance, of which the bodies of the Gods and highest Dhyânis are formed. Philosophically, Suddha Satwa is a conscious state of spiritual Ego-ship rather than any essence.
Suddhodana (Sk.). The King of Kapilavastu; the father of Gautama Lord Buddha.
Sudhâ (Sk.). The food of the gods, akin to amrita the substance that gives immortality.
S’udra (Sk.). The last of the four castes that sprang from Brahmâ’s body. The “servile caste” that issued from the foot of the deity.
Sudyumna (Sk.). An epithet of Ila (or Ida), the offspring of Vaivasvata Manu and his fair daughter who sprang from his sacrifice when he was left alone after the flood. Sudyumna was an androgynous creature, one month a male and the other a female.
Suffism (Gr.). From the root of Sophia, “Wisdom ”. A mystical sect in Persia something like the Vedantins; though very strong in numbers, none but very intelligent men join it. They claim, and very justly, the possession of the esoteric philosophy and doctrine of true Mohammedanism. The Suffi (or Sofi) doctrine is a good deal in touch with Theosophy, inasmuch as it preaches one universal creed, and outward respect and tolerance for every popular exoteric faith. It is also in touch with Masonry. The Suffis have four degrees and four stages of initiation:1st, probationary, with a strict outward observance of Mussulman rites, the hidden meaning of each ceremony and dogma being explained to the candidate; 2nd, metaphysical training; 3rd, the “Wisdom” degree, when the candidate is initiated into the innermost nature of things; and 4th final Truth, when the Adept attains divine powers, and complete union with the One Universal Deity in ecstacy or Samâdhi.
Sugata (Sk.). One of the Lord Buddha’s titles, having many meanings.
Sukhab (Chald.). One of the seven Babylonian gods.
Sukhâvati (Sk.). The Western Paradise of the uneducated rabble. The popular notion is that there is a Western Paradise of Amitâbha, wherein good men and saints revel in physical delights until they are carried once more by Karma into the circle of rebirth. This is an exaggerated and mistaken notion of Devâchân.
Suki (Sk.). A daughter of Rishi Kashyapa, wife of Garuda, the king of the birds, the vehicle of Vishnu; the mother of parrots, owls and crows.
Sukra (Sk.). A name of the planet Venus, called also Usanas. In this impersonation Usanas is the Guru and preceptor of the Daityas—the giants of the earth—in the Purânas.
Sűkshma Sarîra (Sk.). The dream-like, illusive body akin to Mânasarűpa or “thought-body ”. It is the vesture of the gods, or the Dhyânis and the Devas. Written also Sukshama Sharîra and called Sukshmopadhi by the Târaka Râja Yogis. (Secret Doctrine, I.,157)
Sűkshmopadhi (Sk.). In Târaka Râja Yoga the “principle” containing both the higher and the lower Manas and Kâma. It corresponds to the Manomaya Kosha of the Vedantic classification and to the Svapna state. (See “Svapna ”.)
Su-Męru (Sk.). The same as Meru, the world-mountain. The prefix Su implies the laudation and exaltation of the object or personal name which follows it.
Summerland. The name given by the American Spiritualists and Phenomenalists to the land or region inhabited after death by their “Spirits”. It is situated, says Andrew Jackson Davis, either within or beyond the Milky Way. It is described as having cities and beautiful buildings, a Congress Hall, museums and libraries for the instruction of the growing generations of young “ Spirits ”.
We are not told whether the latter are subject to disease, decay and death; but unless they are, the claim that the disembodied “Spirit” of a child and even still-born babe grows and develops as an adult is hardly consistent with logic. But that which we are distinctly told is, that in the Summerland Spirits are given in marriage, beget spiritual (?) children, and are even concerned with politics. All this is no satire or exaggeration of ours, since the numerous works by Mr. A. Jackson Davis are there to prove it, e.g., the International Congress of Spirits by that author, as well as we remember the title. It is this grossly materialistic way of viewing a disembodied spirit that has turned many of the present Theosophists away from Spiritualism and its “philosophy”. The majesty of death is thus desecrated, and its awful and solemn mystery becomes no better than a farce.
Sunasepha (Sk.). The Purânic “Isaac”; the son of the sage
Rishika who sold him for one hundred cows to King Ambarisha, for a sacrifice
and “burnt offering” to Varuna, as a substitute for the king’s son Rohita,
devoted by his father to the god. When already stretched on the altar Sunasepha
is saved by Rishi Visvâmitra, who calls upon his own hundred sons to take the
place of the victim, and upon their refusal degrades them to the condition of
Chândâlas. After which the Sage teaches the victim a mantram the
repetition of which brings the gods to his rescue; he then adopts Sunasepha for
his elder son.
(See Râmâyana.) There are different versions of this story.
Sung-Ming-Shu (Chin.). The Chinese tree of knowledge and tree of life.
Sűnya (Sk.). Illusion, in the sense that all existence is but a phantom, a dream, or a shadow.
Sunyatâ (Sk.). Void, space, nothingness. The name of our objective universe in the sense of its unreality and illusiveness.
Suoyator (Fin.). In the epic poem of the Finns, the Kalevala, the name for the primordial Spirit of Evil, from whose saliva the serpent of sin was born.
Surabhi (Sk.). The “cow of plenty ”; a fabulous creation, one of the fourteen precious things yielded by the ocean of milk when churned by the gods. A “cow” which yields every desire to its possessor.
Surarânî (Sk.). A title of Aditi, the mother of the gods or suras.
Suras (Sk.). A general term for gods, the same as devas; the contrary to asuras or “no-gods“.
Su-rasâ (Sk.). A daughter of Daksha, Kashyapa’s wife, and the mother of a thousand many-headed serpents and dragons.
Surpa (Sk.). “Winnower.”
Surtur (Scand.). The leader of the fiery sons of Muspel in the Eddas.
Surukâya (Sk). One of the “Seven Buddhas”, or Sapta Tathâgata.
Sűryâ (Sk.). The Sun, worshipped in the Vedas. The offspring of Aditi (Space), the mother of the gods. The husband of Sanjnâ, or spiritual consciousness. The great god whom Visvakârman, his father-in-law, the creator of the gods and men, and their “carpenter”, crucifies on a lathe, and cutting off the eighth part of his rays, deprives his head of its effulgency, creating round it a dark aureole. A mystery of the last initiation, and an allegorical representation of it.
Sűryasiddhânta (Sk.). A Sanskrit treatise on astronomy.
Sűryavansa (Sk). The solar race. A Sűrayavansee is one who claims descent from the lineage headed by Ikshvâku. Thus, while Râma belonged to the Ayodhyâ Dynasty of the Sűryavansa, Krishna belonged to the line of Yadu of the lunar race, or the Chandravansa, as did Gautama Buddha.
Sűryâvarta (Sk.). A degree or stage of Samâdhi.
Sushumnâ (Sk.). The solar ray—the first of the seven rays. Also the name of a spinal nerve which connects the heart with the Brahmarandra, and plays a most important part in Yoga practices.
Sushupti Avasthâ (Sk.). Deep sleep; one of the four aspects of Prânava.
Sűtra (Sk.). The second division of the sacred writings, addressed to the Buddhist laity.
Sűtra Period (Sk.). One of the periods into which Vedic literature is divided.
Sűtrâtman (Sk.). Lit., “the thread of spirit”; the immortal Ego, the Individuality which incarnates in men one life after the other, and upon which are strung, like beads on a string, his countless Personalities. The universal life-supporting air, Samashti prau; universal energy.
Svabhâvat (Sk.). Explained by the Orientalists as “plastic substance”, which is an inadequate definition. Svabhâvat is the world-substance and stuff, or rather that which is behind it—the spirit and essence of substance. The name comes from Subhâva and is composed of three words—su, good, perfect, fair, handsome; sva, self; and bkâva, being, or state of being. From it all nature proceeds and into it all returns at the end of the life-cycles. In Esotericism it is called “Father-Mother”. It is the plastic essence of matter.
Svâbhâvika (Sk.). The oldest existing school of Buddhism. They assigned the manifestation of the universe and physical phenomena to Svabhâva or respective nature of things. According to Wilson the Svabhâvas of things are “the inherent properties of the qualities by which they act, as soothing, terrific or stupefying, and the forms Swarűpas are the distinction of biped, quadruped, brute, fish, animal and the like ”.
Svadhâ (Sk.). Oblation; allegorically called “the wife of the Pitris ”, the Agnishwattas and Barhishads.
Svâhâ (Sk). A customary exclamation meaning “May it be perpetuated” or rather, “so be it”. When used at ancestral sacrifices (Brahmanic), it means “ May the race be perpetuated!”
Svapada (Sk.). Protoplasm, cells, or microscopic organisms.
Svapna (Sk). A trance or dreamy condition. Clairvoyance.
Svapna Avasthâ (Sk.). A dreaming state; one of the four aspects of Prânava; a Yoga practice.
Svarâj (Sk.). The last or seventh (synthetical) ray of the seven solar rays; the same as Brahmâ. These seven rays are the entire gamut of the seven occult forces (or gods) of nature, as their respective names well prove. These are: Sushumnâ (the ray which transmits sunlight to the moon); Harikesha, Visvakarman, Visvatryarchas, Sannadhas, Sarvâvasu, and Svarâj. As each stands for one of the creative gods or Forces, it is easy to see how important were the functions of the sun in the eyes of antiquity, and why it was deified by the profane.
Svarga (Sk.). A heavenly abode, the same as Indra-loka; a paradise. It is the same as—
Svar-loka (Sk.). The paradise on Mount Meru.
Svasam Vedanâ (Sk.). Lit., “the reflection which analyses itself ”; a synonym of Paramârtha.
Svastika (Sk.). In popular notions, it is the Jaina cross, or the “four-footed” cross (croix cramponnée). In Masonic teachings, “the most ancient Order of the Brotherhood of the Mystic Cross” is said to have been founded by Fohi, 1,027 B.C., and introduced into China fifty-two years later, consisting of the three degrees. In Esoteric Philosophy, the most mystic and ancient diagram. It is “the originator of the fire by friction, and of the ‘ Forty-nine Fires’.” Its symbol was stamped on Buddha’s heart, and therefore called the “ Heart’s Seal”. It is laid on the breasts of departed Initiates after their death ; and it is mentioned with the greatest respect in the Râmâyana. Engraved on every rock, temple and prehistoric building of India, and wherever Buddhists have left their landmarks; it is also found in China, Tibet and Siam, and among the ancient Germanic nations as Thor’s Hammer. As described by Eitel in his Hand-Book of Chinese Buddhism. . (1) it is “found among Bonpas and Buddhists”; (2) it is “one of the sixty-five figures of the Sripâda” ; ( it is “the symbol of esoteric Buddhism” ; (4) “the special mark of all deities worshipped by the Lotus School of China”. Finally, and in Occultism, it is as sacred to us as the Pythagorean Tetraktys, of which it is indeed the double symbol.
Svastikâsana (Sk.). The second of the four principal postures of the eighty-four prescribed in Hatha Yoga practices.
Svayambhű (Sk.). A metaphysical and philosophical term, meaning “the spontaneously self-produced” or the “self-existent being ”. An epithet of Brahmâ. Svâyambhuva is also the name of the first Manu.
Svayambhű Sűnyatâ (Sk.). Spontaneous self-evolution; self-existence of the real in the unreal, i.e., of the Eternal Sat in the periodical Asat.
Sveta (Sk.). A serpent-dragon; a son of Kashyapa.
Sveta-dwîpa (Sk.). Lit., the White Island or Continent; one of the
Sapta-dwipa. Colonel Wilford sought to identify it with Great Britain, but failed.
Sveta-lohita (Sk.). The name of Siva when he appears in the 29th Kalpa as “a moon-coloured Kumâra”.
Swedenborg, Emmanuel. The great Swedish seer and mystic. He was born on the 29th January, 1688, and was the son of Dr. Jasper Swedberg, bishop of Skara, in West Gothland; and died in London, in Great Bath Street, Clerkenwell, on March 29th, 1772. Of all mystics, Swedenborg has certainly influenced “Theosophy” the most, yet he left a far more profound impress on official science. For while as an astronomer, mathematician, physiologist, naturalist, and philosopher he had no rival, in psychology and metaphysics he was certainly behind his time. When forty-six years of age, he became a “Theosophist”, and a “seer”; but, although his life had been at all times blameless and respectable, he was never a true philanthropist or an ascetic. His clairvoyant powers, however, were very remarkable; but they did not go beyond this plane of matter; all that he says of subjective worlds and spiritual beings is evidently far more the outcome of his exuberant fancy, than of his spiritual insight. He left behind him numerous works, which are sadly misinterpreted by his followers.
Sylphs. The Rosicrucian name for the elementals of the air.
Symbolism. The pictorial expression of an idea or a thought. Primordial writing had at first no characters, but a symbol generally stood for a whole phrase or sentence. A symbol is thus a recorded parable, and a parable a spoken symbol. The Chinese written language is nothing more than symbolical writing, each of its several thousand letters being-a symbol.
Syzygy (Gr.). A Gnostic term, meaning a pair or couple, one active, the other passive. Used especially of Ćons.
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