Marco Pallis - Introduction to Tibetan Art [SCR]

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Tibetan Art

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Introduction to Tibetan Artby: Marco PallisSource: Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 1, No.1. FOR anyone schooled in present-day conventions of artistic appreciation, approach to Tibetan art will not be altogether easy: to catch its real spirit, a considerable readjustment of values is called for. The almost exclusively aesthetic motives evoked in most of us by the word "art," as also the current belief that "self-expression" must necessarily be a primary consideration with every artist, represent notions hardly translatable in Tibetan terms. As far as the Tibetan artist's conscious attitude to the products of his skill is concerned, they one and all come under the heading of utilities, various in kind and degree of significance, "utility" here being taken to cover both the practical use of any particular object of human manufacture and also its symbolical suggestiveness, as a "reminder" of the sacred Doctrine and of the unique opportunity provided by this "human life hard to obtain"; regarded in this way, not only objects obviously serving what one would call "a religious purpose" but also things supplying the humblest needs of everyday life are able to become links between that life and "the one thing needful," that on which all subordinate utilities converge and in which they will find their ultimate fulfillment. Therefore each work of art appears, to the Tibetan mind, as fulfilling this twofold usefulness, at once practical and intellectual; in assessing its quality and value a man will consequently ask himself, firstly, "is this thing well made for its purpose?" and secondly, "is this thing correctly made?", that is to say, does it conform to those traditional canons whereby the universal light of the Doctrine is caused to reveal itself through the particular symbolism of the object in question?There is in fact a twofold way of recognizing such a symbolism, namely through the use for which the object is destined in the first place, whether of eating, clothing, sitting or otherwise, and also through the various ornamental features traditionally associated with its construction: here again, "ornament" must never be interpreted as meaning unnecessary decoration, luxurious in its appeal, but rather as belonging to an artistic algebra, the signs of which can be read by those who speak that particular traditional language. Where then does the aesthetic element come in, it may be asked, seeing that Art must needs have its attractive appeal, otherwise one could hardly call it by that name? The answer is that the element of attractiveness, beauty, is simply taken for granted, as a quality naturally attaching to anything properly made, so that its presence hardly needs to be stressed when discussing the merits of that thing: that is why the Tibetan language, as compared with those of Europe, seems at first sight to be deficient in expressions of aesthetic values of all sorts; it would not be easy to translate an average book of artistic criticism into Tibetan so as to render its thought intelligible to the reader.As for the Tibetan artist himself, he knows that his own skill, be it great or small, must, on pain of being self-defeating, be both inspired by, and dedicated to, the all-determining spiritual Norm; and this Norm, on its own showing, is ego-negating, it excludes in principle all individualistic exhibitionism. Such is the nature of artistic inspiration in the Tibetan world: the more closely we are able to identify ourselves with this point of view, the nearer we will get to understanding what Tibetan art is all about.* * *Historically speaking, the motives figuring in the Tibetan tradition derive mostly from Buddhist India; Chinese influences, which made themselves felt later, only affect accessory features, especially in the field of social amenities such as official dress, cooking and domestic decoration of various kinds: for instance carpets, used for sitting or for saddlecloths, were an importation from China as proved by the nature of the designs, though these, and also the actual technique, have been characteristically Tibetanised. For certain materials entering into the construction of artistic objects, especially silk which is not produced in Tibet, and certain categories of household requisites, such as porcelain, Tibet has always remained dependent on China as its source of supply; so long as these Chinese products were of good quality, the Tibetans benefited; when, following the Revolution of 1912, the craftwork of China began to deteriorate rapidly, Tibet could not but suffer from the results, both in actual fact and through the effect on public taste. It must, however, be repeated that the basic forms and the most telling motives in Tibetan art, across all their historical transformations, still clearly reflect the original Indian influence that came to Tibet with Buddhism; an influence which subsequently got passed on to the Mongols, whose conversion to the Buddhist faith was the work of Tibetan missionaries round about the 16th century. Mongolian art has always remained an offshoot of the Tibetan artistic stem: in certain departments, such as that of sacred iconography, it is often quite difficult to tell from which of the two regions a particular object derives. Here again, it is the Indo-Buddhist forms that represent the constant element wherever the Lamaic tradition prevails.Nevertheless, this insistence on the Indian presence must not be taken to imply that Tibetan art has ever lacked originality; the opposite is the truth, for the creative genius of the race never failed to leave its own imprint on anything the Tibetans happened to borrow from whatever quarter. Their conscious intention, however, has always been to adhere to traditional Buddhist models: "originality," in Tibetan parlance, can only mean faithfulness to the origins: the idea of intentional innovation remains alien to the spirit of this artistic-ally gifted peopleor did so until, at long last, they became exposed to the disintegrating influence of the modern industrialized civilization, first through commerce and more recently through military invasion; but this is a side of the story that need not be gone into here, though it had to be mentioned lest anybody should think that the state of affairs described in this survey still prevails in any large degree, for unhappily this is no longer the case. The question of what can or cannot be preserved, or else revived, in a predictable future is not one to which a simple answer can be given.* * *The stage is now set sufficiently to enable one to give brief consideration to each of the arts in which the Tibetans have been pre-eminent, starting with Architecture: though the population of Tibet has always been relatively sparse, so that the available labor in any one valley can but rarely have exceeded a few hundreds, the country from end to end was dotted about with monasteries, temples and minor shrines and monuments of all sorts, often constructed on a scale that would be amazing did one not know (if one has lived in the Tibetan world) that the spirit of devotion is able to make up for the absence of material resources in a degree unheard of in places where everything has to be paid for in money; this spirit is not something confined to the distant past, for I myself while in Northern Sikkim have seen the trunks of colossal cedars lying in the forest ready for carrying on men's shoulders some fifty to a treefor the repair of the great temple of Sakya, to the northward of Mount Everest: this journey of some sixty odd miles involved a crossing of the main Himalayan range by a pass 18,000 feet high; each village or valley on the way took turns to offer its services, for no reward except the merit accruing to the deed this was the same spirit in which Chartres was built, visibly being displayed in the middle of the 20th century. Having seen this much, one cannot be surprised at the magnitude of the results in other parts of the country.Tibetan architects have all along shown a wonderful instinct both in siting their buildings and in taking advantage of the natural features of the ground: a slight slope imparted to the walls, Egyptian fashion, makes the human constructions seem as if they were growing spontaneously out of the ground. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that there exists no example of Tibetan architecture, but amounts to a masterpiece in some degree; many of the small shrines and monasteries vie with the greatest in respect of architectural perfection, and no two of these are alike. These facts give one the measure of the frightful artistic loss consequent on the Chinese Communist occupation of Tibet, with the destruction of religious buildings that followed the fighting in 1959; in the eastern parts of the country where guerilla resistance first arose, this destruction started earlier. It is small consolation to be told that, according to the accepted Communist practice, monuments of recognized "cultural" importance have been spared and even repaired where they had suffered damage in the fighting: the Potala, for instance, and other well-known buildings close to Lhasa, do not stand in any danger at present. This in no wise offsets, however, the far more widespread loss of buildings of no particular renown but not necessarily of lesser artistic merit, many of which, as refugees have testified, have either been destroyed outright, or desecrated and turned into barracks for the troops or else abandoned to the action of the weather and to the desultory quarrying of their materials: the all-over architectural loss is beyond computing.To imagine what all this amounts to, in artistic wastage, let us for a moment picture an England fallen under similar occupation by a godlessly totalitarian enemy (quod absit) who would despoil and destroy most of our parish churches while meticulously preserving as "national monuments," a few specially selected cathedrals: what value would attach to the message vehicled by these few privileged examples once they had been isolated from the whole where properly they belong? Such has been the fate of Tibetan architecture in the last few years; it is only in certain favored districts lying in Indian territory that it survives intact, especially in Ladak (often called "Little Tibet") which is a district attached to Kashmir. To this must be added whatever is to be found in the cis-Himalayan States such as Sikkim and Bhutan, where the architectural style is akin to that of the Tibetan motherland, but modified in various ways in response to climatic differences, such as the replacement by a high pitched roof of the flat roofing usual on the central plateau, where rainfall is very small: in Ladak, on the other hand, conditions are so similar that the buildings there could just as well be found on the plateau itself.While on the subject of architecture, something should be said about its domestic side: compared to many others, the Tibetans have been very well housed; even people reckoned as being relatively poor have possessed solid dwellings of sun-baked brick or stone or, in mountain districts situated at lower altitudes, of wood after the manner of Alpine chalets. Some of the larger farmhouses, in Ladak and also (judging by photographs) in the eastern region of Kham, are planned on an ample scale and often attain to great architectural beauty. To this must be added the fact that every Tibetan homestead has a focus, at once devotional and artistic, in the shape of the family altar placed either in the principal living-room or else in a room set apart. For the furnishing of this consecrated corner many arts come together; painting, image-casting, wood-block printing (of books), metalwork (bowls and lamps) and rugs for officiating clergy to sit on. From this it will be apparent that artistic participation is something open to people of every degree, it never could become an exclusive luxury of the well-to-do. Though obviously the great feudal manor-houses, splendid edifices disposed round an open court where horses and mules could be tethered, would contain more, and more costly, artifacts than the homes of the ordinary folk, there was no unbridged gulf between the respective ways of living; fundamentally they had a similar character, despite difference of social degree. Life in Tibet may have been simple, and even hard in some respects for those accustomed to our soft living, the unheated houses of the Tibetans, rich and poor, during the intense winter cold would be trying but it was a life full of interest and surrounded by beauty on all sides, both the beauty of Nature and the beauty of man's handiwork under many forms; being always steeped in beauty people had felt no great incentive to define their experience of it in words, any more than fish feel the need to coin a name for the water they swim in. Ugliness has now invaded Tibet on a large scale, as part of the price to be paid for the Chinese Communist "liberation" of what, prior to their coming, was one of the most contented countries in the world.From architecture the step to Painting follows naturally, inasmuch as one of the primary uses of the latter art, in Tibet, has been the covering of the interior walls of temples with scenes from religious history and with the symbolical portrayal of celestial states. Surviving examples of very early Tibetan wall-paintings display a style of Buddhist art of unsurpassable purity and perfection, comparable to that of the cave temples of India. Mrs. Govinda, a gifted Parsee artist who in 1948, in company with her husband, visited Tsaparang in Western Tibet and took tracings of paintings in the old temples there, has thereby preserved for the world a priceless record; these buildings had long been suffering from local neglect, and who knows what may have happened in view of the political upheavals that have occurred since? Fortunately, some examples of this early style are also to be found in Indian territory, notably at Tabo in the Spiti valley. It is to be hoped that the Indian Archaeological Department will do all that is possible to safeguard these unique paintings, thus providentially placed under its care. Given the very dry Tibetan climate, the chief thing needed to preserve a set of ancient paintings is to keep the building in a decent state of repair. In Tibet itself, the chief cause of disappearance of the many fine early paintings that must have existed there is almost certainly their later repainting in a style which, though still good, falls short of the primitive inspiration. The kind of meticulous touching-up by experts, intent on changing as little as possible, which our own "museum-mindedness" rightly demands in such cases is alien to the habits of simple people living entirely in the present and taking their own traditional art for granted; by and large this is a healthy attitude, but "the exception that proves the rule" is difficult to fit in to this otherwise desirable viewpoint. All the world over, priceless things have disappeared from this cause, and it is difficult to see how this could have been prevented.Passing to our own time, it can fairly be claimed that some quite fine series of wall paintings have been executed by artists who are still living: I am thinking of a particular case, at P'hiyang, in Ladak. Because of the much broader treatment required when dealing with large surfaces, the quality had on an average remained at a better level than in the case of the thankas, or painted scrolls mounted on Chinese brocade, that form the other great branch of the painter's art as practiced in Tibet. In the latter case, there is more call for subtlety, both of line and coloring, and likewise more is asked in the way of facial expression where human figures are concerned. It must be admitted that since the turn of the present century this type of painting has been in steady decline, even though many capable professional exponents were still kept fully busy in supplying the needs of the population all over the country; to which number must be added many Lamas of high rank who painted as a spiritual exercise and whose work was by no means amateurish. Among signs of decline that meet the eye in most of these recent thankas might be mentioned a generally more stereotyped handling of the traditional forms, a noticeable predilection for cruder (often excessively light) coloring and an almost total disappearance of finer shades of expression in the faces: when one looks back even a hundred years, let alone to the rapturously inspired religious painting of the 17th century, one is made aware of how much quality has been lost meanwhile. Thankas are not easy to date with precision; but it is nevertheless roughly true to say that the 18th century still produced a lot of thanka painting splendid both in composition and technique, the 19th some that was outstanding and much that conformed to a good average; whereas in the 20th century deterioration on all counts has been rapid, and favorable exceptions, though not absent, have been comparatively few, especially after the first two decades had passed.The technique of thanka painting follows everywhere much the same pattern: a piece of cotton cloth is inserted into a frame, rather like those used over here for embroidery, where it is kept taut by a thread running all round when the cloth sags, this thread can be further tightened. The surface is then coated with fine plaster mixed with glue, thin enough to allow of its being rolled up on occasion; the plaster, once dried thoroughly, is polished with an agate. After that, figures and other main features of the composition are drawn in, fairly roughly, with charcoal. Painting then begins, in body colors prepared from various earths and other mineral substances including fine gold. When the whole surface has been covered, finer details are added over the existing colors, including the features of the faces, which are among the last details to be put in.Training for this art involves apprenticeship with a senior artist, who may also be one's spiritual instructor, in the case of a young monk, or else a lay professional. At first the pupil watches his master and aids him in routine jobs such as grinding paints and preparing canvases; almost unconsciously he imbibes many of the technical manipulations he will use later. Drawing will be learned by copying designs and figures either set out by his own teacher or else reproduced in the standard books for the use of painters, where the canonical proportions of each Buddha figure or other sacred motif are given in detail. In fact, every such figure, however free it may appear in the result, fits into a framework determined by the rules of "Sacred Geometry"; relative measurements and points of intersection of the various guiding lines are all laid down. Of particular importance are certain focal points in the figure corresponding to the symbolical centers of consciousness as used in yogic meditation; these points are often marked on the back of the canvas (which is semi-transparent), their positions being indicated by a sacred monogram or syllable. The whole creation, though it delights our eye, partakes as much of an exact science as of an art; to a Tibetan eye, the beauty it exudes is but the splendor of the truth there symbolically indicated. In this respect a picture and a book hardly differ for a Tibetan: I remember an occasion when I tried to buy a painting entitled "States of the Way (to Deliverance)" and the owner, who said he did not wish to part with it, added "But I can let you have a book on the same subject. This will come to the same, won't it?"Closely related to painting, as far as intention and usage are concerned, is the Plastic Art, the art of modeling images of Buddhas and Saints, the materials employed being either a kind of stucco (especially for larger figures) or else brass, which afterwards is gilt: as in medieval and renaissance Europe, the gilding is charged for separately, according to the amount of gold required. Stucco figures are always painted, while in the case of metal ones the hair and certain other features are often picked out in color. True sculpture, by a direct chipping of stone, is an art that has fallen into abeyance with the centuries: magnificent examples in black basalt exist in some of the earlier temples and one meets figures in relief, also of early date, on rock faces in unexpected places; but for the most part the three-dimensional images one sees in Tibet are modeled, not hewn.The art of Metal Casting in Tibet appears to owe much to Newari masters from Nepal, many of whom crossed the Himalaya during past centuries in order to ply their craft in the lands to the north. The iconographical principles governing the making of plastic figures follow the same lines as in painting: symbolical proportions, postures, gestures, weapons and other attributes of each divine image or saintly portrait are all traditionally determined and each has its precise meaning; the art is to give effect to them in the best possible manner so that the message thus to be conveyed shines forth with the brightness of a true icon. Each statue, when the artist has completed his work, receives its "heart" in the shape of a strip of paper bearing a sacred formula, placed in a hollow inside the image which afterwards is sealed. So long as that text is present there, the image is "alive," it can be recipient of the worship intended for whatever personnage it represents; if, through any accident, this text is taken out of the image (curio dealers often do this thinking they might find jewels there) then the image is "dead," it becomes a mere shell however beautiful it may seem to the profane eye; to "reanimate" it, a fresh dedication by a qualified person is required, which will of course include the insertion, once again of an appropriate text: these details have been given partly for the sake of those who possess or purchase Tibetan figures that have been robbed of their "hearts."* * *Having now touched on those major arts that are most closely associated with the religious life of the Tibetans, one can pass on to consider briefly those other arts, such as woodwork, metalwork and weaving, which though not absent from the temple, find their place commonly in the home: to these can be added pottery, which in Tibet was glazed but otherwise undecorated; it deserves mention chiefly because of the classical perfection of its forms, reminiscent of ancient Egypt and Hellas. This art, of which one of the important centres was a certain district in the central Brahmaputra valley, was an entirely domestic amenity, and its products, usually of large size and consequently heavy, rarely found their way outside their country of origin. Hardly any foreign writers about Tibet seem to have noticed these truly splendid examples of the potter's art in very dark bronze or else, for teapots, golden yellow; nor do they figure commonly in our museums. One can do no more than just notice the existence of this craft here.In all the above mentioned branches of craftsmanship the Tibetans have excelled; indeed there was no Tibetan home, even if only a nomad herdsman's tent, but contained a few examples of craftwork, always of some merit and often outstandingly so. Sharing in what the arts can bring to human life (one cannot say this too often) was a common factor throughout Tibetan society, one that should not be overlooked when trying to estimate, in comparison with what exists elsewhere, the quality of living of this monstrously ill-used people.Taking Woodwork as next on our list: apart from its place in architectural construction, where it supplies the spreading capitals of the supporting piers of temples etc., carved often with great boldness, and also rails, window-frames and other incidental features, this craft is commonly applied to a number of household objects chief among which are the small folding tables called chogtse, at which people sit while taking their meals and so on; the back of the table is open, facing the sitter, but the other three sides are solid and these are carved and often pierced and colored as well. To these should be added the chests and cupboards found in Tibetan houses, these being usually painted with attractive floral designs; similar painted decoration is also often to be seen on friezes and pillars both outside and inside the house. Among smaller objects, mention should be made of painted bowls with a lid to contain the tsampa or parched barley-meal which, for the Tibetans, takes the place of bread. Every Tibetan possesses a wooden teabowl which he carries about in the pouch formed in his gown above the sash that secures it round the waist; these teabowls are beautifully shaped and when made out of specially fine figured wood they fetch high prices. In some cases they are silver-lined and, more rarely, also mounted in finely worked silver: the latter is rather a Mongolian than a Tibetan custom, commoner therefore in the north-eastern parts of the country. Lastly must be mentioned the use of thick wooden boards to protect the sheaf of long, loose leaves that form the Tibetan book. Each volume is wrapped in silk or cotton and placed between the two boards which are held together with a ribband of some sort. In most cases these boards are carved to some extent, the pattern being picked out with gilding. The great volumes of the Scriptures, whether manuscript or, more commonly, printed from wooden blocks, are often enclosed between boards magnificently carved, showing elaborate figure compositions with Buddhas occupying the chief positions. Wholesale destruction of books by the Communists as part of their anti-religious campaign must by now have accounted for a very great quantity of these carvings; a number of examples collected by foreign travelers have, however, found a place in museums over here, enough, that is to say, to make one aware of how much more has been lost.Like woodwork, Metalwork plays an important part in everybody's life, supplying as it does, besides altar vessels and lamps, copper and brass vessels of every kind and size, chief among which are the capacious teapots which every Tibetan family is continually using from morning till night; nor must one forget those teapots of huge proportions from which tea is poured out to each monk at stated intervals during the daily services: these pauses for relaxation and refreshment are a regular feature of temple worship and exemplify a certain down-to-earth attitude very characteristic of Tibetan piety. Many smaller teapots are adorned with bands of silver, richly chased: this mixing of metals is a favourite device of the Tibetan smith. Usually the spout is made to issue from between the jaws of a sea monster, while the handle is formed out of a dragon: the variety of forms assumed by this common domestic utensil is very great, as one might expect in view of the place tea-drinking fills in the day-to-day life of the people.In the same connection, other articles of common use are the copper or silver teacup-stands and lids made to fit Chinese porcelain, or, in exceptional cases, jade cups. In another department of metalwork one might mention knives and weapons of various kinds, of which the hilt and scabbard are often very finely worked. A long sheath-knife, that looks like a dagger, is regularly carried by Tibetan men but, in point of fact, it is a general purposes implement, chiefly for cutting meat while on travel, and has no offensive purpose. The Khambas (of Eastern Tibet), who have a certain warrior tradition behind them that goes with an extreme sense of local and personal independence, carry immense swords, the blades of which are masterpieces of the armourer's craft, with everything else to match. Though excellent craftsmen in metal are to be found in every corner of the Tibetan world, the Khambas are those who, by general admission, excel in this art as they do in many other things. In recent times Kham has given to Tibet, besides artists, a great number of men of heroic virtue, both physical and contemplative, and it is to the spiritual centers in Kham that persons of high aspiration from other regions have tended to go for instruction. Khamba skill and ardor has even expressed itself at times in the field of brigandage: such familiar Shakespearian characters as "first and second murderer" (who also figure in classical Tibetan drama) are often presented on the stage wearing Khamba costume, a joke which everybody in the audience is able to appreciate! It is therefore not surprising that it was in Kham that resistance to the Chinese first broke out in open warfare and that many leaders of the patriotic movement belonged to that region.An account of Tibetan metalwork would not be complete without some reference to the vast amount of jewelry, varying in design with the district, which was in use all over the country charm boxes, necklaces, ear-rings, rings and many other such pieces of jewelry were in common circulation, mostly made of silver though often gilt as well. Decoration took the form of fine filigree, coupled with a skilful use of turquoise, coral and small pearls; jade or onyx beads were also common. Another metal object, which though not exactly jewelry, was commonly carried on the person when traveling was a small silver shrine in which to house one's patron deity; a man would sling his portable shrine from the shoulder much as we would carry a camera.This brings us to the craft with which the present inevitably rather schematic account of Tibetan art must be concluded: the craft of Weaving, which includes the making of rugs in woolen pile. First, however, one should speak about weaving in the ordinary sense, of materials for clothes and also of blankets, of which the Tibetans employ a large variety.Of all the crafts found in Tibet weaving was the most universally practiced one. Practically every house had its loom and a very large proportion of the population, both male and female, could claim competence in this respect, with the result that the Tibetans have been among the most adequately clothed peoples in the world. Great houses kept a large number of weavers employed in supplying the household with woolens of all kinds ranging from rolls of ordinary cloth and bedding to the incomparable material known as shema, made from selected portions of the fleece and which, once dyed an "off-black" color, went into the gowns of the gentry and wealthier merchants: so close is the weave as to render this material almost rain-proof; it will even turn a mastiff's teeth on. occasion, as this author can testify they did not mark the cloth itself, though they drew blood underneath. This best of all cloths was expensive even in Tibet one gown made from it cost the equivalent of about 20 but against that must be set the fact that such a garment is expected to last for several generations: thus regarded, it is not all that costly. But even apart from such high-class materials, the ordinary homespuns worn by the population at large were excellent, as well as pleasing to the eye; one can but repeat it, Tibetans of all ranks were well supplied in regard to the three basic necessities of food, clothing and housing; since the Occupation they have known shortage for the first time in their history.The monastic population whose habit, in Tibet, is of a dark maroon, not yellow as in most Buddhist countries, naturally absorbed a considerable weaving output, being supplied in this respect by their own families or else by well-wishers who, in this way, stood to gain merit by contributing to the welfare of the Sangha.Something should here be said about dyes: apart from indigo, which was only obtainable from India, the Tibetans used the following dyestuffs: for red, madder and also lac, an insect product obtained from Bhutan; for yellow, rhubarb, a plant abundant on the Tibetan hills when combined with indigo this gave all possible shades of green; for browns, walnut is the dye used, it comes from the alpine valleys. Latterly, Tibetans had begun to bring in chemical indigo and other aniline products stocked by the bazaars on the Indian border, to the great detriment of the weaver's craft in all its forms.As regards his basic material, wool, the Tibetan weaver had access to the best possible sources of supply, since sheep living under the hard conditions of his native land tend to grow a wonderful quality of fleece; even when it feels soft to the touch it retains a resilience that enables it to stand up to the hardest wear; moreover Tibetans do not make the mistake of depriving it of too much of its natural oil, that is why their materials are ideal for wearing in a very cold climate. Tibetans do not work in silk or cotton, being entirely dependent for these on China and India respectively; as both are in considerable demand for several types of clothing, their importation ranks among the more important items of Tibetan trading.So far, only plain materials of various kinds have been mentioned: it now remains for us to consider the one branch of the weaver's art where the Tibetans have gone in for elaborate patterning and variegated colors, namely the art of making carpets in pile; it should be said, in passing, that neither tapestry nor embroidery was ever developed in Tibet and where silk-embroidered thankas in Tibetan style are met with, these will almost certainly be the work of Mongolian monks, who originally will have got the idea from the Chinese.Tibetan rugs are used exclusively for sitting on; never as floor coverings. Mostly they are of small size, oblong or square, being placed upon a low mattress of corresponding shape or else on a divan. The only carpets of considerable size are the long runners used by the rows of monks when engaged in chanting their choral offices; these are thick and rather shaggy and the colors, though pleasant, are kept on the sober side. The ordinary Tibetan rugs are often brightly colored but never garish; at least they never were so while the traditional designs and methods of dyeing prevailed. In recent times there has been a change, about which more later.The introduction of this craft into Tibet can certainly be ascribed to contacts with China; the designs indicate this clearly, being for the most part based on a field carrying one, or more often three circles each of which has a square inscribed in it, this being also a common Chinese practice. The various borders running round the carpets also show evidence of a Chinese origin, including, as they do, the "key-pattern" and other familiar features found on Chinese rugs of similar form. In fact, even after the Tibetans began to make their own rugs in a style very much their own, they continued to import a large number of fine Chinese rugs of a type made at Ning-hsia, in Kansu province, and it is probably there that the original parentage of the Tibetan craft of carpet-making is to be sought. In particular, fine Chinese examples were to be seen in Tibet in the form of shaped saddlecloths as well as small oblong carpets laid over the hard saddle itself; these rugs were much prized and they certainly added a lot to the bright appearance of any pony whose master could afford them.A peculiar feature of Tibetan rugs is the actual manner of creating the tufts that form the pile. Of the two classical carpet "knots," the Turkish and the Persian, it is the latter that was used in China and therefore one would have expected to find it also in Tibet; but such is not the case, for the Tibetans, for reasons unexplained, developed their own type of pile, made by winding the various strands of colored wool round a stick, the loops being sheared to form tufts only after a whole row has been completed; following which the row is secured by a weft thread. Another special feature, common both to Tibetan and Chinese rugs, is connected with the aim of producing definition in the design. In all carpets belonging to Islamic peoples definition is obtained by outlining; that is to say, a pale line of knots is run round a dark shape in the design and vice versa. In Chinese and Tibetan rugs, on the other hand, there is no such outlining and definition is obtained in quite a different way, namely by "undercutting" with scissors so as to deepen the shadows at required points, thus causing the design to stand out. This undercutting is a highly skilled operation; as a method it is very effective when kept within the limits imposed by its purpose; when exaggerated into a mannerism it merely becomes vulgar, as can be seen in modern Chinese commercial carpets.Two of the principal centers of rug-making in Tibet were Gyantse, on the trade-route between India and Lhasa and, in a smaller way, Kampa Dzong which many will remember as one of the stages on the way to Mount Everest, situated on the edge of the plateau facing the main Himalayan chain. Kampa Dzong rugs are of relatively coarse texture, as befits their simple but very attractive designs; the classical Gyantse type of rug, on the other hand, shows a much finer knot-count.This erstwhile flourishing craft has unfortunately been in continual decline since about 1930, when the first commercialization of Gyantse rugs began to affect their quality. The situation deteriorated far more rapidly, however, about the time of the Second World War, when there was an influx into Tibet of neo-Chinese products of the most vulgar and inartistic kind. High society at Lhasa, whose members for better or worse were in a position to lead public taste, fell for all sorts of foreign novelties: in fact for the first time, the idea of "old fashioned" versus "up to date" gained a hold on the minds of many of the richer Tibetans, with catastrophic results on their powers of discrimination; this is a psychological phenomenon, typical of modern times, that has affected many lands and always has the same causes behind it and leads to the same results. Owners of genuine Tibetan carpets suddenly lost the taste for them and contemptuously handed their best examples over to their servants to be used up in the kitchen. In place of these pieces, which we ourselves might well have wished to place in a museum, they filled their houses with hideous products of a tightly packed board-like texture, displaying on a borderless field various sprawling motifs of a pictorial kind, such as dragons, tigers or fantastic birds, dyed in hit-you-in-the-eye aniline colors. Any one of these changes was enough to ruin the art, the worst being the loss of texture, for in all weaving this is the most essential factor of all; in a rug the "lie" of the tufts determines both its feel and the way the colors will catch the light and even a good design will be ineffective if the texture be not right. For anyone who thinks of producing any kind of rug, this is the first point to which he must give his attention: this is said for the benefit of anyone who thinks that the revival of this, or any other Tibetan craft using refugee labour will be an easy task. The practical problems are bound to be very great and their solution, to be even possible, requires a clear facing of the issue, without the least attempt at evasion either at the level of knowledge or of execution. The Lamas teach that Wisdom and Method, for any spiritual enterprise to be successful, must go hand in hand, they cannot be parted. The same applies in the arts: the idea must be right and so must the technique, otherwise one will produce a travesty, if not worse.* * *In giving this account of Tibetan arts and crafts under many different aspects the aim has been, all along, to avoid a too abstract presentation, as if the objects described were only meant to be viewed across the protective glass of a collection or classified according to periods under cover of some sumptuously printed book. One has tried to show both what lies behind the very idea of Art, in Tibet, as also what place the creations of art have filled in the lives of the Tibetan people, serving their practical needs and enriching them inwardly at the same time.One would gladly have had an opportunity of saying something about the three mobile arts of music, dancing and the drama, since these too have entered intimately into the artistic experience of Tibetans great and small and at all levels, from that of popular merrymaking to mystery plays of high spiritual import; but it would take a separate article to do anything like justice to them.Ultimately the Spiritual Life itself is the sphere where the highest artistry of all is called for: for a Tibetan, religion is as much a matter of "skill" as of "will," this is a characteristic trait of his outlook. The supreme work of art, in Buddhist eyes, is Enlightenment itself; the human art of living, with all its component arts, is as a bow bent to speed an arrow to that target.Original editorial inclusion that followed the essay in Studies:Man has only to look within himself to find God.Attar.alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)tanzilDesignates revelation in the theological sense, i.e. the descent of the sacred Books.(more..)Torah"instruction, teaching"; in Judaism, the law of God, as revealed to Moses on Sinai and embodied in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)Isa(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)modernismThe predominant post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment worldview of Western civilization marked by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. In the Muslim world, it refers to those individuals and movements who have sought to adopt Western ideas and values from the nineteenth century onwards in response to Western domination and imperialism.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)TasawwufDesignates the whole of the contemplative ways founded on the sacred forms of Islam. By transposition an Arab might speak of Christian taawwuf or Jewish taawwuf to indicate the esotericism of the respective traditions.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)docta ignorantialiterally, "learned ignorance"; refers to the negative or apophatic way of knowing God.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)sophia(A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying ones material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom here wisdom means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore ones true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist all claimed to wisdom, and indeed philosophy is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)theosis"deification," participation in the nature of God (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4); in Eastern Christian theology, the supreme goal of human life.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)barzakhSymbol of an intermediate state or of a mediating principle.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)Ghaib(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)HaqqIn Sufism designates the Divinity as distinguished from the creature (al-khalq).(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)jinnSubtle beings belonging to the world of forms.(more..)mua Japanese term used to describe a non-ego self. The goal in Zen is to become mu-no-hito, a person without ego.(more..)murshidLiterally, he who leads straight.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)QutbIn Sufism: the pole of a spiritual hierarchy. The pole of a period is also spoken of. This pole is often unknown to most spiritual men.(more..)RumiFounder of the Mevlev (Arabic: Mawlawyyah) order of whirling dervishes; author of the famous mystical poem the Mathnaw, composed in Persian and which contains his whole doctrine.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)Sunnism(Derived from the Arabic word sunna.) The larger of the two main branches of Islam, comprising about eighty-five percent of Muslims, as contrasted with Shism.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)ex nihilo"out of nothing"; see creatio ex nihilo.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)Wakan-Tankaliterally, "Great Sacred" or "Great Mystery," but usually translated "Great Spirit"; it can be understood as the Divine conceived as both impersonal Essence and personal Creator.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)japa"repetition" of a mantra or sacred formula, often containing one of the Names of God; see buddhnusmriti, dhikr.(more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)theologiadivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)DharmakaraSanskrit name for the Bodhisattva who through five aeons of practice perfected his Vows to establish an ideal land where all beings can easily attain Enlightenment. On completion of his Vows he became Amida Buddha and established the western Pure Land. (more..)sub specie aeternitatisunder the aspect of eternity.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)mors janua vitae"death is the gate to life."(more..)sephirothliterally, "numbers"; in Jewish Kabbalah, the ten emanations of Ein Sof or divine Infinitude, each comprising a different aspect of creative energy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Torah"instruction, teaching"; in Judaism, the law of God, as revealed to Moses on Sinai and embodied in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)vacare Deoliterally, "to be empty for God"; to be at leisure for or available to God; in the Christian monastic and contemplative tradition, to set aside time from work for meditation and prayer.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)sophia(A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying ones material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom here wisdom means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore ones true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist all claimed to wisdom, and indeed philosophy is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)Atmanthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)BrahmaGod in the aspect of Creator, the first divine "person" of the Trimrti; to be distinguished from Brahma, the Supreme Reality.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)ammaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)MurugaThe god whom the Tamils regard as their own, he is the same as Subrahmanya, Skanda (Kanda), Karttikeya or Kumara. (The name means beautiful.) There are many temples to Muruga in the South, some of them built on hills like Pazhani (Palni) and Tiruttani. A considerable section of Tamil hymnal literature is devoted to him of which the Tiruppugazh is particularly famous.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Atmanthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Bhagavad Gitalit. "the Song of the Lord"; a text of primary rank dealing with the converse of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) and the warrior Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)Radhakrishnan(1888 -1975 C.E.) An eminent Hindu philosopher and a prolific writer, who is known for interpreting Hinduism to the west.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)sadhuan ascetic or a sage (in Hinduism). A pious or holy person, a seer, or a deified saint; a sannyasi.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)yogia practitioner of yoga (in Hinduism)(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)purusaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)RamanujaFounder of the Visi??advaita Vedanta (qualified non-dualism) was born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in 1027.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)cittaThe consciousness, the mind(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)Atmthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)Brahmin"Brahmin"; a member of the highest of the four Hindu castes; a priest or spiritual teacher.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)DharmakaraSanskrit name for the Bodhisattva who through five aeons of practice perfected his Vows to establish an ideal land where all beings can easily attain Enlightenment. On completion of his Vows he became Amida Buddha and established the western Pure Land. (more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)Maya"artifice, illusion"; in Advaita Vednta, the beguiling concealment of Brahma in the form or under the appearance of a lower reality.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)Pure Land"Translation from the Chinese ching-tu (jodo in Japanese). The term as such is not found in Sanskrit, the closest being the phrase purification of the Buddha Land. Shinran describes it as the Land of Immeasurable Light, referring not to a place that emanates light, but a realization whenever one is illumined by the light of compassion." (Unno) (more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)ShinranShinran (1173-1262): attributed founder of the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)VaidehiWife of King Bimbisara. Refer to the entry on Ajatasatru for the story. She is the model of true entrusting in Pure Land tradition and Shin Buddhism.(more..)yin-yangin Chinese tradition, two opposite but complementary forces or qualities, from whose interpenetration the universe and all its diverse forms emerge; yin corresponds to the feminine, the yielding, the moon, and liquidity; yang corresponds to the masculine, the resisting, the sun, and solidity. (more..)AmrtaThe nectar of immortality, associated with Amida Buddha.(more..)BanaA great master of Sanskrit prose, he flourished in the court of Harsavardhana of Knyakubja (A.D. 606-647). His Harsacaritam is based on the life of his patron. His Kdambari is a landmark in the genre called "gadyakvya".(more..)vibhutiMight, power, prosperity and splendour; ashes of Cow dung.(more..)ex cathedraliterally, "from the throne"; in Roman Catholicism, authoritative teaching issued by the pope and regarded as infallible.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)modernismThe predominant post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment worldview of Western civilization marked by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. In the Muslim world, it refers to those individuals and movements who have sought to adopt Western ideas and values from the nineteenth century onwards in response to Western domination and imperialism.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)samsaraLiterally, "wandering;" in Hinduism and Buddhism, transmigration or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; also, the world of apparent flux and change.(more..)sattvathe quality of harmony, purity, serenity(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mana(more..)Maya"artifice, illusion"; in Advaita Vednta, the beguiling concealment of Brahma in the form or under the appearance of a lower reality.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)Amida BuddhaThe Buddha of Eternal Life and Infinite Light; according to the Pure Land teaching the Buddha who has established the way to Enlightenment for ordinary people; based on his forty-eight Vows and the recitation of his name Namu-Amida-Butsu one expresses devotion and gratitude. (more..)birth in the Pure Land"Symbolic expression for the transcendence of delusion. While such a birth was thought to come after death in traditional Pure Land thought, Shinran spoke of its realization here and now; for example he states, although my defiled body remains in samsara, my mind and heart play in the Pure Land." ( Taitetsu Unno, taken from his Key Terms of Shin Buddhism, in the essay (contained in this volume) entitled, "The Practice of Jodo-shinshu.") (more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)HonenFounder of the independent school of Pure Land (Jodo) Buddhism in Japan. He maintained that the traditional monastic practices were not effective in the Last Age (mappo) nor universal for all people, as intended by Amidas Vow. He incurred opposition from the establishment Buddhism and went into exile with several disciples, including Shinran. His major treatise, which was a manifesto of his teaching, was Senchaku hongan nembutsu shu (Treatise on the Nembutsu of the Select Primal Vow, abbreviated to Senchakushu). (more..)Jodo(A) Japanese term for "Pure Land." Though all Buddhas have their Pure Lands, the Land of Amida Buddha became the most well-known and desired in China and Japan because of its comprehensive nature, its popular propagation, and its ease of entry through recitation of his Name. (B) "pure land"; the untainted, transcendent realm created by the Buddha Amida (Amitabha in Sanskrit), into which his devotees aspire to be born in their next life.(more..)nembutsu(A) "The practice of reciting Namu-Amida-Butsu (the Name of Amida) is known as recitative nembutsu. There is also meditative nembutsu, which is a method of contemplation. Nembutsu is used synonymously with myogo, or the Name." (Unno) (B) "remembrance or mindfulness of the Buddha," based upon the repeated invocation of his Name; same as buddhnusmriti in Sanskrit and nien-fo in Chinese.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)Pure Land"Translation from the Chinese ching-tu (jodo in Japanese). The term as such is not found in Sanskrit, the closest being the phrase purification of the Buddha Land. Shinran describes it as the Land of Immeasurable Light, referring not to a place that emanates light, but a realization whenever one is illumined by the light of compassion." (Unno) (more..)ShinranShinran (1173-1262): attributed founder of the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism. (more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)VasubandhuIn Shin Buddhism, the second great teacher in Shinrans lineage. A major Mahayana teacher who laid the foundation of the Consciousness-Only school. In Pure Land tradition his commentary to the Larger Pure Land Sutra is a central text. To Zen Buddhism, he is the 21st Patriarch. Vasubandhu lived in fourth or fifth century (C.E.) India.(more..)zazena Japanese word used to describe sitting meditation practiced in Zen Buddhism.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)psyche(usually transcribed as psyche): soul; breath of life, life-stuff; Homer distinguishes between a free soul as a soul of the dead, corresponding with psuche (and still regarded as an eidolon), and body souls, corresponding with thumos, noos and menos: following the Egyptian theological patterns, the Pythagoreans constituted the psuche as the reflection of the unchanging and immortal principles; from Plato onwards, psuchai are no longer regarded as eidola, phantoms or doubles of the body, but rather the human body is viewed as the perishable simulacrum of an immaterial and immortal soul; there are different degrees of soul (or different souls), therefore anything that is alive has a soul (Aristotle De anima 414b32); in Phaedrus 248b the soul is regarded as something to be a separate, self-moving and immortal entity (cf.Proclus Elements of Theology 186); Psuche is the third hupostasis of Plotinus.(more..)Radhakrishnan(1888 -1975 C.E.) An eminent Hindu philosopher and a prolific writer, who is known for interpreting Hinduism to the west.(more..)ratioliterally, "calculation"; the faculty of discursive thinking, to be distinguished from intellectus, "Intellect."(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)Omthe most sacred syllable in Hinduism, containing all origination and dissolution; regarded as the "seed" of all mantras, its three mtrs or letters are taken to be symbolical of the Trimrti, while the silence at its conclusion is seen as expressing the attainment of Brahma.(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)japa"repetition" of a mantra or sacred formula, often containing one of the Names of God; see buddhnusmriti, dhikr.(more..)Kobo DaishiDaishi (774-835) was the founder of the Japanese Shingon sect of Buddhism, whose center is on Mount Koya. He was called Kukai during his lifetime.(more..)mani"jewel," often in the shape of a tear-drop; in Eastern traditions, understood to be powerful in removing evil and the causes of sorrow; see Om mani padme hum.(more..)nembutsu(A) "The practice of reciting Namu-Amida-Butsu (the Name of Amida) is known as recitative nembutsu. There is also meditative nembutsu, which is a method of contemplation. Nembutsu is used synonymously with myogo, or the Name." (Unno) (B) "remembrance or mindfulness of the Buddha," based upon the repeated invocation of his Name; same as buddhnusmriti in Sanskrit and nien-fo in Chinese.(more..)ShinranShinran (1173-1262): attributed founder of the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)ahimsa"non-violence," a fundamental tenet of Hindu ethics, also emphasized in Buddhism and Jainism.(more..)brahmacharyaTotal discipline required to master the Vedas and other branches of learning. "Brahma" has the meaning of the Vedas here. Brahmacarya also denotes strict chastity; so a bramacrin has also come to mean a celibate.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)religio"religion," often in reference to its exoteric dimension. (The term is usually considered to be from the Latin re + ligare, meaning to "to rebind," or to bind back [to God] .) (more..)satyagrahaHolding onto the truth at all costs; satyagraha is desire for truth.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)religio"religion," often in reference to its exoteric dimension. (The term is usually considered to be from the Latin re + ligare, meaning to "to rebind," or to bind back [to God] .) (more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophialove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)enthe one, which can mean: 1) Unity or Oneness in general; 2) the unity of anything that has unity or is one thing; 3) that which has unity, anything that is one; 4) the one thing we are speaking of, as opposed to other ones (see: F.M. Cornford Plato and Parmenides, London, 1969, p.111); for Neoplatonists, the One is the ineffable source of Being, the Supreme Principle, explicitly regarded as God by Proclus; to hen transcends the demiurgic Intellect and constitutes the first divine hupostasis of Plotinus; it corresponds to Nun, the Father of the gods ( neteru) in the ancient Egyptian theology.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mathThe dwelling of an ascetic. The term refers in general to any ascetic or monastic community, but particularly to any of the monastic institutions established by di ankara; for example, the Knci Matha.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)qalbThe organ of supra-rational intuition, which corresponds to the heart just as thought corresponds to the brain. The fact that people of today localize feeling and not intellectual intuition in the heart proves that for them it is feeling that occupies the center of the individuality.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)bhaktithe spiritual "path" (mrga) of "love" (bhakti) and devotion.(more..)chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)Chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)jnanaKnowing or understanding. Though usually translated into English as "knowledge", "jna" does not mean proficiency in a subject like history or physics. It is not mere learning but inward experience or awareness of a truth. In Advaita it is the realization that one is inseparably united with the Supreme.(more..)Jodo(A) Japanese term for "Pure Land." Though all Buddhas have their Pure Lands, the Land of Amida Buddha became the most well-known and desired in China and Japan because of its comprehensive nature, its popular propagation, and its ease of entry through recitation of his Name. (B) "pure land"; the untainted, transcendent realm created by the Buddha Amida (Amitabha in Sanskrit), into which his devotees aspire to be born in their next life.(more..)kalamDialectical theology based upon reason and rational investigation. Kalm seeks to define the articles of faith, but is mostly a polemical and at times apologetic discipline.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)NurParticularly the uncreated Divine Light, which includes all manifestation and is identified with Existence, considered as a principle. God is the Light (Nr) of the heavens and the earth (Qurn 24:35).(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)religio"religion," often in reference to its exoteric dimension. (The term is usually considered to be from the Latin re + ligare, meaning to "to rebind," or to bind back [to God] .) (more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)shaktiGods power(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)upaya"Means, expedient, method;" in Buddhist tradition, the adaptation of spiritual teaching to a form suited to the level of ones audience.(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)svadharmaLiterally, "own-law;" ones vocation.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)sophia(A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying ones material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom here wisdom means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore ones true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist all claimed to wisdom, and indeed philosophy is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Torah"instruction, teaching"; in Judaism, the law of God, as revealed to Moses on Sinai and embodied in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)kashfLiterally, the raising of a curtain or veil.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)mathThe dwelling of an ascetic. The term refers in general to any ascetic or monastic community, but particularly to any of the monastic institutions established by di ankara; for example, the Knci Matha.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)Advaita"non-dualist" interpretation of the Vednta; Hindu doctrine according to which the seeming multiplicity of things is regarded as the product of ignorance, the only true reality being Brahman, the One, the Absolute, the Infinite, which is the unchanging ground of appearance.(more..)bhaktithe spiritual "path" (mrga) of "love" (bhakti) and devotion.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)dhyanaa Sanskrit term meaning "meditation." In China it was pronounced as "Chan," and in Japan it became "Zen." (more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)RamanujaFounder of the Visi??advaita Vedanta (qualified non-dualism) was born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in 1027.(more..)secularismThe worldview that seeks to maintain religion and the sacred in the private domain; the predominant view in the West since the time of the French Revolution of 1789 C. E.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yogia practitioner of yoga (in Hinduism)(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)secularismThe worldview that seeks to maintain religion and the sacred in the private domain; the predominant view in the West since the time of the French Revolution of 1789 C. E.(more..)yin-yangin Chinese tradition, two opposite but complementary forces or qualities, from whose interpenetration the universe and all its diverse forms emerge; yin corresponds to the feminine, the yielding, the moon, and liquidity; yang corresponds to the masculine, the resisting, the sun, and solidity. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)AmrIn theology: the Divine command symbolized by the creative word kun be: His command (amruhu), when He wills a thing, is that He says to it: be and it is (Qurn 36:82). The Command corresponds to the Word, and indeed in Aramaic the word amr has this meaning. The Divine Command also corresponds to the Pure Act and, as such, is opposed to the pure passivity of Nature (at-abah).(more..)AqlAl-Aql al-awwal : the first Intellect, analogue of the Supreme Pen (al-Qalam), and of ar-R. Corresponds to the Nous of Plotinus.(more..)Atmthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)bhaktithe spiritual "path" (mrga) of "love" (bhakti) and devotion.(more..)buddhi"Intellect"; the highest faculty of knowledge, to be contrasted with manas, that is, mind or reason; see ratio.(more..)creatio ex nihilo"creation out of nothing"; the doctrine that God Himself is the sufficient cause of the universe, needing nothing else; often set in contrast to emanationist cosmogonies.(more..)ex nihilo"out of nothing"; see creatio ex nihilo.(more..)GhazaliAuthor of the famous Iy Ulm ad-Dn (The Revival of the Religious Sciences); ardent defender of Sufi mysticism as the true heart of Islam.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Ishvara(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)Ishvara(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)JiliAn illustrious Sufi and commentator on the metaphysics of Ibn Arab. Amongst his writings is the well-known Sufi treatise Al-Insn al-Kmil (Universal Man).(more..)jnanaKnowing or understanding. Though usually translated into English as "knowledge", "jna" does not mean proficiency in a subject like history or physics. It is not mere learning but inward experience or awareness of a truth. In Advaita it is the realization that one is inseparably united with the Supreme.(more..)kalamDialectical theology based upon reason and rational investigation. Kalm seeks to define the articles of faith, but is mostly a polemical and at times apologetic discipline.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)madhhabA school of jurisprudence. There are four in Sunn Islam: the Hanaf, Hanbal, Malak, and Shfi schools of law. The majority of Shi Muslims follow the Jafar school of law.(more..)My"artifice, illusion"; in Advaita Vednta, the beguiling concealment of Brahma in the form or under the appearance of a lower reality.(more..)mua Japanese term used to describe a non-ego self. The goal in Zen is to become mu-no-hito, a person without ego.(more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)quod absitliterally, "which is absent from, opposed to, or inconsistent with"; a phrase commonly used by the medieval scholastics to call attention to an idea that is absurdly inconsistent with accepted principles. (more..)RahmahThe same root RHM is to be found in both the Divine names ar-Ramn (the Compassionate, He whose Mercy envelops all things) and ar-Ram (the Merciful, He who saves by His Grace). The simplest word from this same root is ram (matrix), whence the maternal aspect of these Divine Names.(more..)RamanujaFounder of the Visi??advaita Vedanta (qualified non-dualism) was born in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, in 1027.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)Sunnism(Derived from the Arabic word sunna.) The larger of the two main branches of Islam, comprising about eighty-five percent of Muslims, as contrasted with Shism.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)upaya"Means, expedient, method;" in Buddhist tradition, the adaptation of spiritual teaching to a form suited to the level of ones audience.(more..)ChandasThe Vedas; prosody.(more..)devaa god, a celestial being(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)sattvathe quality of harmony, purity, serenity(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)TasawwufDesignates the whole of the contemplative ways founded on the sacred forms of Islam. By transposition an Arab might speak of Christian taawwuf or Jewish taawwuf to indicate the esotericism of the respective traditions.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)padmaLotus; in Buddhism, an image of non-attachment and of primordial openness to enlightenment, serving symbolically as the throne of the Buddhas; see O? ma?i padme hum.(more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)devaa god, a celestial being(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)kshatriyaa member of the second highest of the four Hindu castes; a warrior or prince. (Also includes politicians, officers, and civil authorities.) The distinctive quality of the kshatriya is a combative and noble nature that tends toward glory and heroism.(more..)materia prima"first or prime matter"; in Platonic cosmology, the undifferentiated and primordial substance serving as a "receptacle" for the shaping force of divine forms or ideas; universal potentiality.(more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)manvantaraThe regnal period of a Manu. One thousand mahyugas constitute the regnal period of the 14 Manus put together(more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)yugaAge; Hindu cosmology distinguishes four ages: K?ta (or Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, which correspond approximately to the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages of Greco-Roman mythology; according to Hindu cosmology humanity is presently situated in the Kali Yuga, the "dark age" of strife. (more..)secularismThe worldview that seeks to maintain religion and the sacred in the private domain; the predominant view in the West since the time of the French Revolution of 1789 C. E.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)manasmind; all of the mental powers(more..)shaktiGods power(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)modernismThe predominant post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment worldview of Western civilization marked by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. In the Muslim world, it refers to those individuals and movements who have sought to adopt Western ideas and values from the nineteenth century onwards in response to Western domination and imperialism.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)Omthe most sacred syllable in Hinduism, containing all origination and dissolution; regarded as the "seed" of all mantras, its three mtrs or letters are taken to be symbolical of the Trimrti, while the silence at its conclusion is seen as expressing the attainment of Brahma.(more..)avatarathe earthly "descent," incarnation, or manifestation of God, especially of Vishnu in the Hindu tradition.(more..)ynal-ayn ath-thbitah, or sometimes simply al-ayn, is the immutable essence, the archetype or the principial possibility of a being or thing(more..)ynal-ayn ath-thbitah, or sometimes simply al-ayn, is the immutable essence, the archetype or the principial possibility of a being or thing(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mua Japanese term used to describe a non-ego self. The goal in Zen is to become mu-no-hito, a person without ego.(more..)Puranasliterally, "stories of old" in Hinduism. There are 18 major Puranic works, dating back many centuries. They contain legends, mythology, and stories of creation, history, etc., all placed within the cosmology of Hinduism. (more..)shaktiGods power(more..)shrutiLiterally, "what is heard;" in Hindu tradition, a category of sacred writings understood to be the direct revelation of eternal Truth, including the Vedas, the Sa?hitas, the Brahma?as, the Ara?yakas and the Upanishads (Upani?ads); in contrast to smriti (sm?ti).(more..)smritiLiterally, "what is remembered;" in Hinduism, a category of sacred writings understood to be part of inspired tradition, but not directly revealed, including the Upavedas ("branches of the Vedas"), the Veda?gas ("limbs of the Vedas"), the Sastras (classical "textbooks"), the Pura?as (mythological tales), and the epics Ramaya?a and Mahabharata; in contrast to shruti (sruti).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yugaAge; Hindu cosmology distinguishes four ages: K?ta (or Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, which correspond approximately to the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages of Greco-Roman mythology; according to Hindu cosmology humanity is presently situated in the Kali Yuga, the "dark age" of strife. (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)psyche(usually transcribed as psyche): soul; breath of life, life-stuff; Homer distinguishes between a free soul as a soul of the dead, corresponding with psuche (and still regarded as an eidolon), and body souls, corresponding with thumos, noos and menos: following the Egyptian theological patterns, the Pythagoreans constituted the psuche as the reflection of the unchanging and immortal principles; from Plato onwards, psuchai are no longer regarded as eidola, phantoms or doubles of the body, but rather the human body is viewed as the perishable simulacrum of an immaterial and immortal soul; there are different degrees of soul (or different souls), therefore anything that is alive has a soul (Aristotle De anima 414b32); in Phaedrus 248b the soul is regarded as something to be a separate, self-moving and immortal entity (cf.Proclus Elements of Theology 186); Psuche is the third hupostasis of Plotinus.(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)buddhi"Intellect"; the highest faculty of knowledge, to be contrasted with manas, that is, mind or reason; see ratio.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)psyche(usually transcribed as psyche): soul; breath of life, life-stuff; Homer distinguishes between a free soul as a soul of the dead, corresponding with psuche (and still regarded as an eidolon), and body souls, corresponding with thumos, noos and menos: following the Egyptian theological patterns, the Pythagoreans constituted the psuche as the reflection of the unchanging and immortal principles; from Plato onwards, psuchai are no longer regarded as eidola, phantoms or doubles of the body, but rather the human body is viewed as the perishable simulacrum of an immaterial and immortal soul; there are different degrees of soul (or different souls), therefore anything that is alive has a soul (Aristotle De anima 414b32); in Phaedrus 248b the soul is regarded as something to be a separate, self-moving and immortal entity (cf.Proclus Elements of Theology 186); Psuche is the third hupostasis of Plotinus.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)modernismThe predominant post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment worldview of Western civilization marked by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. In the Muslim world, it refers to those individuals and movements who have sought to adopt Western ideas and values from the nineteenth century onwards in response to Western domination and imperialism.(more..)darshanaLiterally, seeing or perceiving. In Hinduism darshan refers to the perception of the ultimate Truth perhaps through ones own experience or perhaps through such secondary means as seeing (thus experiencing the spiritual essence of) a guru, a saint , a holy site, or a sacred effigy. For example, Hindus speak of "having a darshan" when they are in the presence of a holy person and experience a state of interiorizing contemplation brought about by the presence of that person. Another meaning involves the various points of view or philosophical systems represented by the six main orthodox or classical schools of Hindu philosophy: (1) Nyya (logic); (2) Vaisheshika (natural philosophy, or science); (3) Snkhya (cosmology); (4) Yoga (science of union); (5) Prva-Mmms (meditation); and (6) Uttara-Mmms (Vednta, or metaphysics); also the blessing derived from beholding a saint.(more..)eroslove, sometimes personified as a deity, daimon, or cosmogonical, pedagogical and soteriological force, manifested in the process of demiurgy and within domain of providence; for Plato, philosophy is a sort of erotic madness ( mania), because Eros, though implying need, can inspire us with the love of wisdom; Diotima in Platos Symposium describes education in erotics as an upward journey or ascent towards the perfect noetic Beauty; Plotinus uses the union of lowers as a symbol of the souls union with the One ( Enn.VI.7.34.14-16); Proclus distinguishes two forms of love: 1) ascending love which urges lower principles to aspire towards their superiors, 2) descending or providential love ( eros pronoetikos) which obligates the superiors to care for their procucts and transmit divine grace ( In Alcib.54-56); for Dionysius the Areopagite, who follows Proclus, the eros ekstatikos becomes the unifying factor of the cosmos.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)sadhuan ascetic or a sage (in Hinduism). A pious or holy person, a seer, or a deified saint; a sannyasi.(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)swamiA title of respect set before the names of monks and spiritual teachers.(more..)swamiA title of respect set before the names of monks and spiritual teachers.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yin-yangin Chinese tradition, two opposite but complementary forces or qualities, from whose interpenetration the universe and all its diverse forms emerge; yin corresponds to the feminine, the yielding, the moon, and liquidity; yang corresponds to the masculine, the resisting, the sun, and solidity. (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Advaita"non-dualist" interpretation of the Vednta; Hindu doctrine according to which the seeming multiplicity of things is regarded as the product of ignorance, the only true reality being Brahman, the One, the Absolute, the Infinite, which is the unchanging ground of appearance.(more..)Bodhidharmathe 28th patriarch of Buddhism and the 1st patriarch of Zen, he is said to have brought the meditation school of Buddhism to China around 520 C.E. A legendary figure whose face is painted by many Zen masters. (His original name was Bodhi-dhana.)(more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)jiriki(A)Self power; the consciousness that one achieves Enlightenment through ones own effort. In Pure Land Buddhism it is considered a delusory understanding of the true nature of practice and faith, which are supported and enabled through Amidas compassion. (B) One who is "liberated" while still in this "life"; a person who has attained to a state of spiritual perfection or self-realization before death; in contrast to videha-muktav, one who is liberated at the moment of death..(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)mani"jewel," often in the shape of a tear-drop; in Eastern traditions, understood to be powerful in removing evil and the causes of sorrow; see Om mani padme hum.(more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)murtiAnything that has a definite shape; an image or idol; personification.(more..)nembutsu(A) "The practice of reciting Namu-Amida-Butsu (the Name of Amida) is known as recitative nembutsu. There is also meditative nembutsu, which is a method of contemplation. Nembutsu is used synonymously with myogo, or the Name." (Unno) (B) "remembrance or mindfulness of the Buddha," based upon the repeated invocation of his Name; same as buddhnusmriti in Sanskrit and nien-fo in Chinese.(more..)Pure Land"Translation from the Chinese ching-tu (jodo in Japanese). The term as such is not found in Sanskrit, the closest being the phrase purification of the Buddha Land. Shinran describes it as the Land of Immeasurable Light, referring not to a place that emanates light, but a realization whenever one is illumined by the light of compassion." (Unno) (more..)rupabodily or physical form, shape, appearance, figure, image (e.g. of a god)(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)svaraSound; a note of the musical scale; accent in Vedic intonation.(more..)tariki(A) literally, "power of the other"; a Buddhist term for forms of spirituality that emphasize the importance of grace or celestial assistance, especially that of the Buddha Amida, as in the Pure Land schools; in contrast to jiriki. (B) Other Power; "The working of the boundless compassion of Amida Buddha, which nullifies all dualistic notions, including constructs of self and other. According to Shinran, Other Power means to be free of any form of calculations (hakarai)." (Unno) (more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Advaita"non-dualist" interpretation of the Vednta; Hindu doctrine according to which the seeming multiplicity of things is regarded as the product of ignorance, the only true reality being Brahman, the One, the Absolute, the Infinite, which is the unchanging ground of appearance.(more..)AgamaTraditional doctrine, science or knowledge; the gama stras deal with ritual, iconography, the construction of temples, yantras and so on.(more..)arghyaLibation to the gods, rsis or fathers; an important part of sandhyvandana (qv) is arghya-pradna, the offering of arghya. Aghya also means valuable or venerable.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmanthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)Atmathe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)avidya"ignorance" of the truth; spiritual delusion, unawareness of Brahma.(more..)Bhagavad Gitalit. "the Song of the Lord"; a text of primary rank dealing with the converse of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) and the warrior Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.(more..)bhaktaa follower of the spiritual path of bhakti; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on adoration and love.(more..)BrahmaGod in the aspect of Creator, the first divine "person" of the Trimrti; to be distinguished from Brahma, the Supreme Reality.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)Brahmin"Brahmin"; a member of the highest of the four Hindu castes; a priest or spiritual teacher.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)hamsaa renunciate (sannysin) who attains to Satyaloka after the death of the body, there to obtain liberation(more..)homaOffering oblations in the consecrated fire.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Ishvara(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)Ishvara(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)jagat"world"; the existing or manifested universe.(more..)japa"repetition" of a mantra or sacred formula, often containing one of the Names of God; see buddhnusmriti, dhikr.(more..)jivathe individual soul; the living being.(more..)jnanaKnowing or understanding. Though usually translated into English as "knowledge", "jna" does not mean proficiency in a subject like history or physics. It is not mere learning but inward experience or awareness of a truth. In Advaita it is the realization that one is inseparably united with the Supreme.(more..)jnanina follower of the path of jna; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on sapiential knowledge or gnosis.(more..)jnanina follower of the path of jna; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on sapiential knowledge or gnosis.(more..)jnanina follower of the path of jna; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on sapiential knowledge or gnosis.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)manasmind; all of the mental powers(more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)Maya"artifice, illusion"; in Advaita Vednta, the beguiling concealment of Brahma in the form or under the appearance of a lower reality.(more..)mokshaliberation from the round of birth and death (samsra); deliverance from ignorance (avidy).(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)ParamatmanThe "supreme Self."(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)pujaritual worship (in Hinduism)(more..)RamaIn Hinduism, one of the names by which to call God. In sacred history, Rama was the hero king of the epic Ramayana, and is one of the ten avatars of Vishnu. The term is also a form of address among sadhus(more..)RamaThe seventh incarnation (avatara) of Vishnu and the hero of the epic tale, Ramaya?a.(more..)rishiin Hinduism, a seer, saint, inspired poet; the Vedas are ascribed to the seven great seers of antiquity.(more..)sadhakaA spiritual aspirant; one who endeavors to follow a method of spiritual practice.(more..)sadhanaA method of spiritual practice.(more..)samsaraLiterally, "wandering;" in Hinduism and Buddhism, transmigration or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; also, the world of apparent flux and change.(more..)shastrasAs (1) sastra (s): Legal textbooks which codify the laws governing Hindu civil society (Manava-Dharma-Shastra) and canonize the rules for the sacred arts of dance, music, drama, and sculpture (Bharata-Natya-Sastra); also used more broadly to encompass the Vedas and all scriptures in accord with them; as (2) sastra: A weapon like a knife, sword, arrow.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)shaktiGods power(more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)shudraA member of the lowest of the four Hindu castes; an unskilled laborer or serf.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)suktaWell spoken; a Vedic hymn.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)asanaLatent tendency; hidden desire; habit of mind.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)yoginLiterally, "one who is yoked or joined;" a practitioner of yoga, especially a form of yoga involving meditative and ascetic techniques designed to bring the soul and body into a state of concentration or meditative focus.(more..)avatarthe earthly "descent," incarnation, or manifestation of God, especially of Vishnu in the Hindu tradition.(more..)BrahmaGod in the aspect of Creator, the first divine "person" of the Trimrti; to be distinguished from Brahma, the Supreme Reality.(more..)buddhi"Intellect"; the highest faculty of knowledge, to be contrasted with manas, that is, mind or reason; see ratio.(more..)in divinisliterally, "in or among divine things"; within the divine Principle; the plural form is used insofar as the Principle comprises both Para-Brahma, Beyond-Being or the Absolute, and Apara-Brahma, Being or the relative Absolute.(more..)Intellectus agens"agent Intellect"; in Aristotelian and scholastic epistemology, the faculty of the mind responsible for abstracting intelligible forms from the data of sense.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)maitribenevolence; kindness.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)HallajCrucified by the sharat authority for having said Ana-l-aqq, I am the Truth.(more..)NagarjunaA Buddhist philosopher and saint usually placed in the beginning of the second century C.E. He taught Sunyavada, meaning that all reality is empty of any permanent essence. His thought is central to Zen philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)nousintelligence, immediate awareness, intuition, intuitive intellect; Plato distinguished nous from dianoia discursive reason; Nous is the second hupostasis of Plotinus; every intelligence is its own object, therefore the act of intellection always involves self-consciousness: the substance of intelligence is its noetic content ( noeton), its power of intellection ( nous), and its activity the act of noesis; in a macrocosmic sense, Nous is the divine Intellct, the Second God, who embraces and personifies the entire noetic cosmos (Being-Life-Intelligence), the Demiurge of the manifested universe; such Nous may be compared to Hindu Ishvara and be represented by such solar gods as the Egyptian Ra; nous is independent of body and thus immune from destruction it is the unitary and divine element, or the spark of divine light, which is present in men and through which the ascent to the divine Sun is made possible.(more..)yugaAge; Hindu cosmology distinguishes four ages: K?ta (or Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, which correspond approximately to the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages of Greco-Roman mythology; according to Hindu cosmology humanity is presently situated in the Kali Yuga, the "dark age" of strife. (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)enthe one, which can mean: 1) Unity or Oneness in general; 2) the unity of anything that has unity or is one thing; 3) that which has unity, anything that is one; 4) the one thing we are speaking of, as opposed to other ones (see: F.M. Cornford Plato and Parmenides, London, 1969, p.111); for Neoplatonists, the One is the ineffable source of Being, the Supreme Principle, explicitly regarded as God by Proclus; to hen transcends the demiurgic Intellect and constitutes the first divine hupostasis of Plotinus; it corresponds to Nun, the Father of the gods ( neteru) in the ancient Egyptian theology.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)avatarathe earthly "descent," incarnation, or manifestation of God, especially of Vishnu in the Hindu tradition.(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Isa(A) literally, "possessing power," hence master; God understood as a personal being, as Creator and Lord; manifest in the Trimrti as Brahm, Vishnu, and Shiva. (B) lit. "the Lord of the Universe"; the personal God who manifests in the triple form of Brahm (the Creator), Vishnu (the Sustainer), and Shiva (the Transformer); identical with saguna Brahman.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)materia prima"first or prime matter"; in Platonic cosmology, the undifferentiated and primordial substance serving as a "receptacle" for the shaping force of divine forms or ideas; universal potentiality.(more..)prakritiLiterally, "making first" (see materia prima); the fundamental, "feminine" substance or material cause of all things; see "purusha (puru?a)."(more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)RahmahThe same root RHM is to be found in both the Divine names ar-Ramn (the Compassionate, He whose Mercy envelops all things) and ar-Ram (the Merciful, He who saves by His Grace). The simplest word from this same root is ram (matrix), whence the maternal aspect of these Divine Names.(more..)sattvathe quality of harmony, purity, serenity(more..)shaktiGods power(more..)sophia(A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying ones material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom here wisdom means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore ones true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist all claimed to wisdom, and indeed philosophy is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).(more..)sunna(A) Wont; the model established by the Prophet Muammad, as transmitted in the adth. (B) "custom, way of acting"; in Islam, the norm established by the Prophet Muhammad, including his actions and sayings (see hadth) and serving as a precedent and standard for the behavior of Muslims.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)dhyanaa Sanskrit term meaning "meditation." In China it was pronounced as "Chan," and in Japan it became "Zen." (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)prajnaAs (1) praja: The individual being in the state (avastha ) of deep sleep wherein the activity of the mind temporarily ceases and an unconscious, but fleeting, union with Brahman occurs; As (2) Praja: A Sanskrit term that denotes transcendental wisdom. It is considered one of the most important pillars of Mahayana Buddhism, including Zen.(more..)pranaVital breath.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yin-yangin Chinese tradition, two opposite but complementary forces or qualities, from whose interpenetration the universe and all its diverse forms emerge; yin corresponds to the feminine, the yielding, the moon, and liquidity; yang corresponds to the masculine, the resisting, the sun, and solidity. (more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)jinnSubtle beings belonging to the world of forms.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)Advaita"non-dualist" interpretation of the Vednta; Hindu doctrine according to which the seeming multiplicity of things is regarded as the product of ignorance, the only true reality being Brahman, the One, the Absolute, the Infinite, which is the unchanging ground of appearance.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)Ibn ArabiAsh-Shaikh al-Akbar (The greatest master). Wrote numerous Sufi treatises of which the most famous is his Fu al-ikam and the most rich in content his Futt al-Makkiyah.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)ratioliterally, "calculation"; the faculty of discursive thinking, to be distinguished from intellectus, "Intellect."(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)bhaktithe spiritual "path" (mrga) of "love" (bhakti) and devotion.(more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)enthe one, which can mean: 1) Unity or Oneness in general; 2) the unity of anything that has unity or is one thing; 3) that which has unity, anything that is one; 4) the one thing we are speaking of, as opposed to other ones (see: F.M. Cornford Plato and Parmenides, London, 1969, p.111); for Neoplatonists, the One is the ineffable source of Being, the Supreme Principle, explicitly regarded as God by Proclus; to hen transcends the demiurgic Intellect and constitutes the first divine hupostasis of Plotinus; it corresponds to Nun, the Father of the gods ( neteru) in the ancient Egyptian theology.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)samsaraLiterally, "wandering;" in Hinduism and Buddhism, transmigration or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; also, the world of apparent flux and change.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)ahimsa"non-violence," a fundamental tenet of Hindu ethics, also emphasized in Buddhism and Jainism.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)in divinisliterally, "in or among divine things"; within the divine Principle; the plural form is used insofar as the Principle comprises both Para-Brahma, Beyond-Being or the Absolute, and Apara-Brahma, Being or the relative Absolute.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Advaita"non-dualist" interpretation of the Vednta; Hindu doctrine according to which the seeming multiplicity of things is regarded as the product of ignorance, the only true reality being Brahman, the One, the Absolute, the Infinite, which is the unchanging ground of appearance.(more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)jnanaKnowing or understanding. Though usually translated into English as "knowledge", "jna" does not mean proficiency in a subject like history or physics. It is not mere learning but inward experience or awareness of a truth. In Advaita it is the realization that one is inseparably united with the Supreme.(more..)Jodo(A) Japanese term for "Pure Land." Though all Buddhas have their Pure Lands, the Land of Amida Buddha became the most well-known and desired in China and Japan because of its comprehensive nature, its popular propagation, and its ease of entry through recitation of his Name. (B) "pure land"; the untainted, transcendent realm created by the Buddha Amida (Amitabha in Sanskrit), into which his devotees aspire to be born in their next life.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)prajnaAs (1) praja: The individual being in the state (avastha ) of deep sleep wherein the activity of the mind temporarily ceases and an unconscious, but fleeting, union with Brahman occurs; As (2) Praja: A Sanskrit term that denotes transcendental wisdom. It is considered one of the most important pillars of Mahayana Buddhism, including Zen.(more..)Pure Land"Translation from the Chinese ching-tu (jodo in Japanese). The term as such is not found in Sanskrit, the closest being the phrase purification of the Buddha Land. Shinran describes it as the Land of Immeasurable Light, referring not to a place that emanates light, but a realization whenever one is illumined by the light of compassion." (Unno) (more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)upaya"Means, expedient, method;" in Buddhist tradition, the adaptation of spiritual teaching to a form suited to the level of ones audience.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ex cathedraliterally, "from the throne"; in Roman Catholicism, authoritative teaching issued by the pope and regarded as infallible.(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)Omthe most sacred syllable in Hinduism, containing all origination and dissolution; regarded as the "seed" of all mantras, its three mtrs or letters are taken to be symbolical of the Trimrti, while the silence at its conclusion is seen as expressing the attainment of Brahma.(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)japa"repetition" of a mantra or sacred formula, often containing one of the Names of God; see buddhnusmriti, dhikr.(more..)Jodo(A) Japanese term for "Pure Land." Though all Buddhas have their Pure Lands, the Land of Amida Buddha became the most well-known and desired in China and Japan because of its comprehensive nature, its popular propagation, and its ease of entry through recitation of his Name. (B) "pure land"; the untainted, transcendent realm created by the Buddha Amida (Amitabha in Sanskrit), into which his devotees aspire to be born in their next life.(more..)mani"jewel," often in the shape of a tear-drop; in Eastern traditions, understood to be powerful in removing evil and the causes of sorrow; see Om mani padme hum.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)Pure Land"Translation from the Chinese ching-tu (jodo in Japanese). The term as such is not found in Sanskrit, the closest being the phrase purification of the Buddha Land. Shinran describes it as the Land of Immeasurable Light, referring not to a place that emanates light, but a realization whenever one is illumined by the light of compassion." (Unno) (more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)upaya"Means, expedient, method;" in Buddhist tradition, the adaptation of spiritual teaching to a form suited to the level of ones audience.(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)Omthe most sacred syllable in Hinduism, containing all origination and dissolution; regarded as the "seed" of all mantras, its three mtrs or letters are taken to be symbolical of the Trimrti, while the silence at its conclusion is seen as expressing the attainment of Brahma.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)mani"jewel," often in the shape of a tear-drop; in Eastern traditions, understood to be powerful in removing evil and the causes of sorrow; see Om mani padme hum.(more..)mantramliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)materia prima"first or prime matter"; in Platonic cosmology, the undifferentiated and primordial substance serving as a "receptacle" for the shaping force of divine forms or ideas; universal potentiality.(more..)psyche(usually transcribed as psyche): soul; breath of life, life-stuff; Homer distinguishes between a free soul as a soul of the dead, corresponding with psuche (and still regarded as an eidolon), and body souls, corresponding with thumos, noos and menos: following the Egyptian theological patterns, the Pythagoreans constituted the psuche as the reflection of the unchanging and immortal principles; from Plato onwards, psuchai are no longer regarded as eidola, phantoms or doubles of the body, but rather the human body is viewed as the perishable simulacrum of an immaterial and immortal soul; there are different degrees of soul (or different souls), therefore anything that is alive has a soul (Aristotle De anima 414b32); in Phaedrus 248b the soul is regarded as something to be a separate, self-moving and immortal entity (cf.Proclus Elements of Theology 186); Psuche is the third hupostasis of Plotinus.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Omthe most sacred syllable in Hinduism, containing all origination and dissolution; regarded as the "seed" of all mantras, its three mtrs or letters are taken to be symbolical of the Trimrti, while the silence at its conclusion is seen as expressing the attainment of Brahma.(more..)mantraliterally, "instrument of thought"; a word or phrase of divine origin, often including a Name of God, repeated by those initiated into its proper use as a means of salvation or liberation; see japa.(more..)mokshaliberation from the round of birth and death (samsra); deliverance from ignorance (avidy).(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)shastraAs (1) sastra (s): Legal textbooks which codify the laws governing Hindu civil society (Manava-Dharma-Shastra) and canonize the rules for the sacred arts of dance, music, drama, and sculpture (Bharata-Natya-Sastra); also used more broadly to encompass the Vedas and all scriptures in accord with them; as (2) sastra: A weapon like a knife, sword, arrow.(more..)shastrasAs (1) sastra (s): Legal textbooks which codify the laws governing Hindu civil society (Manava-Dharma-Shastra) and canonize the rules for the sacred arts of dance, music, drama, and sculpture (Bharata-Natya-Sastra); also used more broadly to encompass the Vedas and all scriptures in accord with them; as (2) sastra: A weapon like a knife, sword, arrow.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogia practitioner of yoga (in Hinduism)(more..)Radhakrishnan(1888 -1975 C.E.) An eminent Hindu philosopher and a prolific writer, who is known for interpreting Hinduism to the west.(more..)yugaAge; Hindu cosmology distinguishes four ages: K?ta (or Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, which correspond approximately to the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages of Greco-Roman mythology; according to Hindu cosmology humanity is presently situated in the Kali Yuga, the "dark age" of strife. (more..)haikua 17 syllable Japanese style of poetry.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)tathagataSanskrit term (Jap. Nyorai) used to refer to a Buddha. It means the one who comes and the one who goesthe thus come, thus gone one. Tathata means "truth" or "suchness;" consequently, one who comes from truth and goes to truth. The Buddhas as enlightened beings are manifested from the realm of truth. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)rupabodily or physical form, shape, appearance, figure, image (e.g. of a god)(more..)samskaraSanctification, purification or making holy, generally through a rite or ceremony, and which will lead to regeneration. There are numerous sa?skaras (of birth, childhood, adulthood, and later life), which are outlined in the Grihya Sastras.(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)tathagataSanskrit term (Jap. Nyorai) used to refer to a Buddha. It means the one who comes and the one who goesthe thus come, thus gone one. Tathata means "truth" or "suchness;" consequently, one who comes from truth and goes to truth. The Buddhas as enlightened beings are manifested from the realm of truth. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)theurgytheurgy; the rites understood as divine acts ( theia erga) or the working of the gods ( theon erga); theurgy is not intellectual theorizing about God (theologia), but elevation to God; the term is coined by he editors of the Chaldean Oracles, but the ancient practice of contacting the gods and ascent to the divine goes back to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian hieratic traditions; the Neoplatonic theurgy is based both on the Chaldean patterns and the exegesis of Platos Phaedrus, Timaeus, Symposium, and other dialogues, and thus regarded as an outgrowth of the Platonic philosophy and the Pythagorean negative theology; therefore the theurgical praxis do not contradict the dialectic of Plato; theurgy deifies the soul through the series of ontological symbols and sunthemata that cover the entire hierarchy of being and lead to the unification and ineffable unity with the gods; theurgy is based on the laws of cosmogony in their ritual expression and imitates the orders of the gods; for Iamblichus, it transcends all rational philosophy (or intellectual understanding) and transforms man into a divine being(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)modernismThe predominant post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment worldview of Western civilization marked by rationalism, scientism, and humanism. In the Muslim world, it refers to those individuals and movements who have sought to adopt Western ideas and values from the nineteenth century onwards in response to Western domination and imperialism.(more..)quod absitliterally, "which is absent from, opposed to, or inconsistent with"; a phrase commonly used by the medieval scholastics to call attention to an idea that is absurdly inconsistent with accepted principles. (more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)sattvathe quality of harmony, purity, serenity(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)AqlAl-Aql al-awwal : the first Intellect, analogue of the Supreme Pen (al-Qalam), and of ar-R. Corresponds to the Nous of Plotinus.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)kashfLiterally, the raising of a curtain or veil.(more..)kunThe creating fiat, or order.(more..)nousintelligence, immediate awareness, intuition, intuitive intellect; Plato distinguished nous from dianoia discursive reason; Nous is the second hupostasis of Plotinus; every intelligence is its own object, therefore the act of intellection always involves self-consciousness: the substance of intelligence is its noetic content ( noeton), its power of intellection ( nous), and its activity the act of noesis; in a macrocosmic sense, Nous is the divine Intellct, the Second God, who embraces and personifies the entire noetic cosmos (Being-Life-Intelligence), the Demiurge of the manifested universe; such Nous may be compared to Hindu Ishvara and be represented by such solar gods as the Egyptian Ra; nous is independent of body and thus immune from destruction it is the unitary and divine element, or the spark of divine light, which is present in men and through which the ascent to the divine Sun is made possible.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)ahimsa"non-violence," a fundamental tenet of Hindu ethics, also emphasized in Buddhism and Jainism.(more..)Bhagavad Gitalit. "the Song of the Lord"; a text of primary rank dealing with the converse of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu) and the warrior Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)Brahmana"Brahmin"; a member of the highest of the four Hindu castes; a priest or spiritual teacher.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)nirvanaIn Hinduism, ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycles of rebirths or the flow of cosmic manifestation), resulting in absorption in the Absolute(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)Puranasliterally, "stories of old" in Hinduism. There are 18 major Puranic works, dating back many centuries. They contain legends, mythology, and stories of creation, history, etc., all placed within the cosmology of Hinduism. (more..)sattvathe quality of harmony, purity, serenity(more..)tathagataSanskrit term (Jap. Nyorai) used to refer to a Buddha. It means the one who comes and the one who goesthe thus come, thus gone one. Tathata means "truth" or "suchness;" consequently, one who comes from truth and goes to truth. The Buddhas as enlightened beings are manifested from the realm of truth. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Yahweha transliteration of the supposed pronunciation, now lost, of the sacred Name of God in the Hebrew Bible or Christian Old Testament; revealed to Moses on Sinai and often translated as "I am" or "the One who is" (cf. Exod. 3:14).(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)alterthe "other," in contrast to the ego or individual self.(more..)anthroposman; in Gnosticism, the macrocosmic anthropos is regarded as the Platonic ideal animal, autozoon, or a divine pleroma, which contains archetypes of creation and manifestation.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)rasulIn theology: divine messenger. It is in his function of rasl that a prophet (nab) promulgates a new sacred law; not every prophet is necessarily a rasl, although he enjoys divine inspiration, but every rasl is by implication a nab.(more..)ratioliterally, "calculation"; the faculty of discursive thinking, to be distinguished from intellectus, "Intellect."(more..)rationalismThe philosophical position that sees reason as the ultimate arbiter of truth. Its origin lies in Descartes famous cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am."(more..)RumiFounder of the Mevlev (Arabic: Mawlawyyah) order of whirling dervishes; author of the famous mystical poem the Mathnaw, composed in Persian and which contains his whole doctrine.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)tawhidIn common usage means the saying of the Muslim credo, the recognition of the Divine Unity. In Sufism it sums up all levels of the knowledge of Unity.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)tulFiguratively, the spiritual dimension of exaltation.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)Wajh AllahThe transcendent Essence of all things. Note the Koranic verse: All that is on it (the earth) is transitory and there remains only the Countenance of thy Lord, the Essence of majesty and of Bounty.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mana(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)cit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)ParamatmaThe "supreme Self."(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)BrahmaGod in the aspect of Creator, the first divine "person" of the Trimrti; to be distinguished from Brahma, the Supreme Reality.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)jnania follower of the path of jna; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on sapiential knowledge or gnosis.(more..)prasadaLiterally, radiance or happiness. The word is usually applied to what has been offered or presented to a deity and it symbolizes the grace of the deity worshipped.(more..)RamIn Hinduism, one of the names by which to call God. In sacred history, Rama was the hero king of the epic Ramayana, and is one of the ten avatars of Vishnu. The term is also a form of address among sadhus(more..)RamaIn Hinduism, one of the names by which to call God. In sacred history, Rama was the hero king of the epic Ramayana, and is one of the ten avatars of Vishnu. The term is also a form of address among sadhus(more..)RamaThe seventh incarnation (avatara) of Vishnu and the hero of the epic tale, Ramaya?a.(more..)shriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogia practitioner of yoga (in Hinduism)(more..)barakahSheikh al-barakah is a phrase also used of a master who bears the spiritual influence of the Prophet or who has realized that spiritual presence which is only a virtuality in the case of most initiates.(more..)five pillars of IslamThe foundations of the religion of Islam. They are: 1. attesting to the Divine unity (la ilha ill Llh, "There is no god but God"); 2. performing the ritual prayer (alt) five times daily; 3. paying the annual tithe (zakt) on ones wealth and possessions; 4. fasting (awm) during the month of Ramadan; and 5. performing the pilgrimage (jj) to Mecca, if health and wealth permit.(more..)hajjThe rite of pilgrimage to Mecca; the fifth of the "five pillars" of Islam. It is required that all Muslims perform this rite once in their life, so long as they possess the health and wealth to complete the journey.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)jinnSubtle beings belonging to the world of forms.(more..)UmarAuthor of the famous Sufi poem the Khamriyah (Wine Ode).(more..)RahmahThe same root RHM is to be found in both the Divine names ar-Ramn (the Compassionate, He whose Mercy envelops all things) and ar-Ram (the Merciful, He who saves by His Grace). The simplest word from this same root is ram (matrix), whence the maternal aspect of these Divine Names.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)shahadahThe testimony that there is no divinity but The Divinity.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)Rinzai(d. 867 C.E.), renowned Chinese Zen master and founder of the Rinzai sect. His teachings are contained in the Lin-chi Records.(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)BodhisattvaLiterally, "enlightenment-being;" in Mahayana Buddhism, one who postpones his own final enlightenment and entry into Nirva?a in order to aid all other sentient beings in their quest for Buddhahood.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)karmaaction; the effects of past actions; the law of cause and effect ("as a man sows, so shall he reap"); of three kinds: (1) sanchita karma: actions of the past that have yet to bear fruit in the present life; (2) prrabdha karma: actions of the past that bear fruit in the present life; and (3) gmi karma :actions of the present that have still, by the law of cause and effect, to bear fruit in the future.(more..)skandhasA Sanskrit term used to describe the absence of a permanent self; it usually refers to the five aggregates, namely: the body, feelings, perceptions, states of mind and awarenessall of which are in a state of constant flux.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)anamnesis(A) recollection, remembrance; in the Orphico-Pythagorean context, it is understod as a remembrance of ones true divine nature, revealed through the sacred initiation; the idea of memory and restoration of the souls true identity is crucial for the Egyptian tradition as reflected in the Book of the Dead and later employed by Pythagoreans and Plato who explains anamnesis as recollection of things known before birth and forgotten (Meno 85d); thus Platonic learning is equated to remembering ( Phaed.72e). (B) literally, a "lifting up of the mind"; recollection or remembrance, as in the Platonic doctrine that all knowledge is a recalling of truths latent in the soul.(more..)apotheosisdivinization; in the esoteric sense it is accomplished by the philosophical purification and theurgical anagoge which reveals ones primal and true identity with the divine principles; this is not a Homeric conception, because Homer clearly separates the gods and men; however, following the ancient Egyptian spiritual paterns, the Orphic texts already promised apotheosis and immortality for the initiated soul who (like the Egyptian ba and the psuche in Platos Phaedrus) restores her wings and raises up back to the divine homeland.(more..)humanismThe intellectual viewpoint increasingly prevalent in the West since the time of the Renaissance; it replaced the traditional Christian view of God as the center of all things by a belief in man as the measure of all things.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)psyche(usually transcribed as psyche): soul; breath of life, life-stuff; Homer distinguishes between a free soul as a soul of the dead, corresponding with psuche (and still regarded as an eidolon), and body souls, corresponding with thumos, noos and menos: following the Egyptian theological patterns, the Pythagoreans constituted the psuche as the reflection of the unchanging and immortal principles; from Plato onwards, psuchai are no longer regarded as eidola, phantoms or doubles of the body, but rather the human body is viewed as the perishable simulacrum of an immaterial and immortal soul; there are different degrees of soul (or different souls), therefore anything that is alive has a soul (Aristotle De anima 414b32); in Phaedrus 248b the soul is regarded as something to be a separate, self-moving and immortal entity (cf.Proclus Elements of Theology 186); Psuche is the third hupostasis of Plotinus.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)NurParticularly the uncreated Divine Light, which includes all manifestation and is identified with Existence, considered as a principle. God is the Light (Nr) of the heavens and the earth (Qurn 24:35).(more..)QutbIn Sufism: the pole of a spiritual hierarchy. The pole of a period is also spoken of. This pole is often unknown to most spiritual men.(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)TasawwufDesignates the whole of the contemplative ways founded on the sacred forms of Islam. By transposition an Arab might speak of Christian taawwuf or Jewish taawwuf to indicate the esotericism of the respective traditions.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)AqlAl-Aql al-awwal : the first Intellect, analogue of the Supreme Pen (al-Qalam), and of ar-R. Corresponds to the Nous of Plotinus.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)enthe one, which can mean: 1) Unity or Oneness in general; 2) the unity of anything that has unity or is one thing; 3) that which has unity, anything that is one; 4) the one thing we are speaking of, as opposed to other ones (see: F.M. Cornford Plato and Parmenides, London, 1969, p.111); for Neoplatonists, the One is the ineffable source of Being, the Supreme Principle, explicitly regarded as God by Proclus; to hen transcends the demiurgic Intellect and constitutes the first divine hupostasis of Plotinus; it corresponds to Nun, the Father of the gods ( neteru) in the ancient Egyptian theology.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)imamIn relation to ritual: he who presides when a number pray together; head of a religious community.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)mua Japanese term used to describe a non-ego self. The goal in Zen is to become mu-no-hito, a person without ego.(more..)sophia(A)wisdom; the term covers all spheres of human activity all ingenious invention aimed at satisfying ones material, political and religious needs; Hephaistos (like his prototypes the Ugaritian Kothar-wa-Hasis and the Egyptian Ptah) is poluphronos, very wise, klutometis, renowned in wisdom here wisdom means not simply some divine quality, but wondrous skill, cleverness, technical ability, magic power; in Egypt all sacred wisdom (especially, knowledge of the secret divine names and words of power, hekau, or demiurgic and theurgic mantras, which are able to restore ones true divine identity) was under the patronage of Thoth; in classical Greece, the inspird poet, the lawgiver, the polititian, the magician, the natural philosopher and sophist all claimed to wisdom, and indeed philosophy is the love of wisdom, philo-sophia, i.e. a way of life in effort to achieve wisdom as its goal; the ideal of sophos (sage) in the newly established Platonic paideia is exemplified by Socrates; in Neoplatonism, the theoretical wisdom (though the term sophia is rarely used) means contemplation of the eternal Forms and becoming like nous, or a god; there are the characteristic properties which constitute the divine nature and which spread to all the divine classes: good ( agathotes), wisdom ( sophia) and beauty ( kallos). (B) "wisdom"; in Jewish and Christian tradition, the Wisdom of God, often conceived as feminine (cf. Prov. 8).(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)tanzihAffirmation of the Divine transcendence; the contrary is tashbh : comparison, similitude, affirmation of symbolism. The two terms are to be found together in such sayings of the Qurn as, Nothing is like unto Him (=tanzh) and it is He who sees and hears (=tashbh).(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)WahdahStands ontologically between the Supreme Unity (al-Aadiyah) and the Distinctive Uniqueness (al-Widiyah).(more..)wajd(more..)mathThe dwelling of an ascetic. The term refers in general to any ascetic or monastic community, but particularly to any of the monastic institutions established by di ankara; for example, the Knci Matha.(more..)samsaraLiterally, "wandering;" in Hinduism and Buddhism, transmigration or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth; also, the world of apparent flux and change.(more..)ananda"bliss, beatitude, joy"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and chit, "consciousness."(more..)Atmthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)barakahSheikh al-barakah is a phrase also used of a master who bears the spiritual influence of the Prophet or who has realized that spiritual presence which is only a virtuality in the case of most initiates.(more..)Bodhidharmathe 28th patriarch of Buddhism and the 1st patriarch of Zen, he is said to have brought the meditation school of Buddhism to China around 520 C.E. A legendary figure whose face is painted by many Zen masters. (His original name was Bodhi-dhana.)(more..)chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)Chit"consciousness"; one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with sat, "being," and nanda, "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)Ibrahim Ibn adhamA prince of Balkh (in Afghanistan); received his first teaching in marifah (mystical knowledge) from a (Christian) monk named Simeon.(more..)jnania follower of the path of jna; a person whose relationship with God is based primarily on sapiential knowledge or gnosis.(more..)My"artifice, illusion"; in Advaita Vednta, the beguiling concealment of Brahma in the form or under the appearance of a lower reality.(more..)padmaLotus; in Buddhism, an image of non-attachment and of primordial openness to enlightenment, serving symbolically as the throne of the Buddhas; see O? ma?i padme hum.(more..)sadhakaA spiritual aspirant; one who endeavors to follow a method of spiritual practice.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)svamigalHonorific Tamil plural of svami.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Atmanthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)bhaktithe spiritual "path" (mrga) of "love" (bhakti) and devotion.(more..)BrahmaGod in the aspect of Creator, the first divine "person" of the Trimrti; to be distinguished from Brahma, the Supreme Reality.(more..)BrahmanBrahma considered as transcending all "qualities," attributes, or predicates; God as He is in Himself; also called Para-Brahma.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)HonenFounder of the independent school of Pure Land (Jodo) Buddhism in Japan. He maintained that the traditional monastic practices were not effective in the Last Age (mappo) nor universal for all people, as intended by Amidas Vow. He incurred opposition from the establishment Buddhism and went into exile with several disciples, including Shinran. His major treatise, which was a manifesto of his teaching, was Senchaku hongan nembutsu shu (Treatise on the Nembutsu of the Select Primal Vow, abbreviated to Senchakushu). (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mokshaliberation from the round of birth and death (samsra); deliverance from ignorance (avidy).(more..)purushaLiterally, "man;" the informing or shaping principle of creation; the "masculine" demiurge or fashioner of the universe; see "Prakriti (Prak?ti)."(more..)QutbIn Sufism: the pole of a spiritual hierarchy. The pole of a period is also spoken of. This pole is often unknown to most spiritual men.(more..)shastrasAs (1) sastra (s): Legal textbooks which codify the laws governing Hindu civil society (Manava-Dharma-Shastra) and canonize the rules for the sacred arts of dance, music, drama, and sculpture (Bharata-Natya-Sastra); also used more broadly to encompass the Vedas and all scriptures in accord with them; as (2) sastra: A weapon like a knife, sword, arrow.(more..)ShinranShinran (1173-1262): attributed founder of the Jodo Shin school of Buddhism. (more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)swamiA title of respect set before the names of monks and spiritual teachers.(more..)swamiA title of respect set before the names of monks and spiritual teachers.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)mlecchaforeigner; "barbarian"; one who deprecates the Vedas(more..)QutbIn Sufism: the pole of a spiritual hierarchy. The pole of a period is also spoken of. This pole is often unknown to most spiritual men.(more..)taijasaThe individual being in the dream state.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)barakahSheikh al-barakah is a phrase also used of a master who bears the spiritual influence of the Prophet or who has realized that spiritual presence which is only a virtuality in the case of most initiates.(more..)barzakhSymbol of an intermediate state or of a mediating principle.(more..)Brahmin"Brahmin"; a member of the highest of the four Hindu castes; a priest or spiritual teacher.(more..)Hiranyagarbhaa manifestation of shvara in association with the totality of subtle beings in the dream state; (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)MahayanaThe Larger Vehicle in contrast to the Hinayana, or Smaller Vehicle. It claimed to be more universal in opening Enlightenment to all beings, and inspired the emergence of the Pure Land teaching directed to ordinary beingsdenoted as all beings in the ten directions. This tradition is characterized by a more complex philosophical development, an elaborate mythic and symbolic expression which emphasizes the cosmic character of the Buddha nature, and its inclusion of the key virtues of compassion and wisdom. (more..)RamIn Hinduism, one of the names by which to call God. In sacred history, Rama was the hero king of the epic Ramayana, and is one of the ten avatars of Vishnu. The term is also a form of address among sadhus(more..)sadhuan ascetic or a sage (in Hinduism). A pious or holy person, a seer, or a deified saint; a sannyasi.(more..)sriLiterally, "splendor, beauty, venerable one;" an honorific title set before the name of a deity or eminent human being; also a name of Lakshmi (Lak?mi), the consort of Vishnu (Vi??u) and the goddess of beauty and good fortune.(more..)Sria prefix meaning sacred or holy (in Hinduism)(more..)tathagataSanskrit term (Jap. Nyorai) used to refer to a Buddha. It means the one who comes and the one who goesthe thus come, thus gone one. Tathata means "truth" or "suchness;" consequently, one who comes from truth and goes to truth. The Buddhas as enlightened beings are manifested from the realm of truth. (more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Theravadaan early form of Indian Buddhism translated as "The Teachings (or "way") of the Elders." As a historical religious tradition, it was formed soon after the death of the Sakyamuni Buddha. (This form of Buddhism is still practiced in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia.)(more..)Vedanta"End or culmination of the Vedas," a designation for the Upanishads (Upani?ads) as the last portion ("end") of the Vedas; also one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy who have their starting point in the texts of the Upanishads (Upani?ads), the Brahma-Sutras (of Badarayana Vyasa), and the Bhagavad Gita ; over time, Vedanta crystallized into three distinct schools: Advaita (non-dualism), associated with Shankara (ca.788-820 C.E.); Visi??advaita (qualified non-dualism), associated with Ramanuja (ca.1055-1137 C.E.); and Dvaita (dualism), associated with Madhva (ca.1199-1278 C.E.); see "Advaita."(more..)RumiFounder of the Mevlev (Arabic: Mawlawyyah) order of whirling dervishes; author of the famous mystical poem the Mathnaw, composed in Persian and which contains his whole doctrine.(more..)Atmanthe real or true "Self," underlying the ego and its manifestations; in the perspective of Advaita Vednta, identical with Brahma.(more..)dharmaTruth, Reality, cosmic law, righteousness, virtue.(more..)guruspiritual guide or Master. Also, a preceptor, any person worthy of veneration; weighty; Jupiter. The true function of a guru is explained in The Guru Tradition. Gurukula is the household or residence of a preceptor. A brahmacrin stays with his guru to be taught the Vedas, the Vedngas and other subjects this is gurukulavsa.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)philosophylove of wisdom; the intellectual and erotic path which leads to virtue and knowledge; the term itself perhaps is coined by Pythagoras; the Hellenic philosophia is a prolongation, modification and modernization of the Egyptian and Near Eastern sapiential ways of life; philosophia cannot be reduced to philosophical discourse; for Aristotle, metaphysics is prote philosophia, or theologike, but philosophy as theoria means dedication to the bios theoretikos, the life of contemplation thus the philosophical life means the participation in the divine and the actualization of the divine in the human through the personal askesis and inner transformation; Plato defines philosophy as a training for death ( Phaed.67cd); the Platonic philosophia helps the soul to become aware of its own immateriality, it liberates from passions and strips away everything that is not truly itself; for Plotinus, philosophy does not wish only to be a discourse about objects, be they even the highest, but it wishes actually to lead the soul to a living, concrete union with the Intellect and the Good; in the late Neoplatonism, the ineffable theurgy is regarded as the culmination of philosophy.(more..)sunyataA Sanskrit term used to describe the state of voidness as discussed in the Madhyamika school of Nagarjuna, which became central to Zen experience.(more..)sutraLiterally, "thread;" a Hindu or Buddhist sacred text; in Hinduism, any short, aphoristic verse or collection of verses, often elliptical in style; in Buddhism, a collection of the discourses of the Buddha.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)logos(A) "word, reason"; in Christian theology, the divine, uncreated Word of God (cf. John 1:1); the transcendent Principle of creation and revelation. (B) the basic meaning is something said, account; the term is used in explanation and definition of some kind of thing, but also means reason, measure, proportion, analogy, word, speech, discourse, discursive reasoning, noetic apprehension of the first principles; the demiurgic Logos (like the Egyptian Hu, equated with Thoth, the tongue of Ra, who transforms the Thoughts of the Heart into spoken and written Language, thus creating and articulating the world as a script and icon of the gods) is the intermediary divine power: as an image of the noetic cosmos, the physical cosmos is regarded as a multiple Logos containing a plurality of individual logoi ( Enn.IV.3.8.17-22); in Plotinus, Logos is not a separate hupostasis, but determines the relation of any hupostasis to its source and its products, serving as the formative principle from which the lower realities evolve; the external spech ( logos prophorikos) constitutes the external expression of internal thought ( logos endiathetos).(more..)Torah"instruction, teaching"; in Judaism, the law of God, as revealed to Moses on Sinai and embodied in the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)sat"Being;" one of the three essential aspects of Apara-Brahma, together with cit, "consciousness," and ananda (ananda), "bliss, beatitude, joy."(more..)theologydivine science, theology, logos about the gods, considered to be the essence of teletai; for Aristotle, a synonim of metaphysics or first philosophy ( prote philosophia) in contrast with physics ( Metaph.1026a18); however, physics ( phusiologia) sometimes is called as a kind of theology (Proclus In Tim.I.217.25); for Neoplatonists, among the ancient theologians ( theologoi) are Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod and other divinely inspired poets, the creators of theogonies and keepers of sacred rites.(more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)yogaunion of the jiva with God; method of God-realization (in Hinduism)(more..)abd(A) In religious language, designates the worshiper, and, more generally, the creature as dependent on his Lord (rabb. (B) "servant" or "slave"; as used in Islam, the servant or worshiper of God in His aspect of Rabb or "Lord".(more..)'aynal-ayn ath-thbitah, or sometimes simply al-ayn, is the immutable essence, the archetype or the principial possibility of a being or thing(more..)DarqawiA famous reviver of Sufism in the Maghreb (Islamic West). Founded the Shdhilite order of the Darqw(more..)DhatThe dht of a being is the subject to which all its qualities (ift) relate. These qualities differ as between themselves, but not in their being connected with the same subject.(more..)dhikr"remembrance" of God, based upon the repeated invocation of His Name; central to Sufi practice, where the remembrance often consists of the single word Allh.(more..)gnosis(A) "knowledge"; spiritual insight, principial comprehension, divine wisdom.(B) knowledge; gnosis is contrasted with doxa (opinion) by Plato; the object of gnosis is to on, reality or being, and the fully real is the fully knowable ( Rep.477a); the Egyptian Hermetists made distinction between two types of knowledge: 1) science ( episteme), produced by reason ( logos), and 2) gnosis, produced by understanding and faith ( Corpus Hermeticum IX); therefore gnosis is regarded as the goal of episteme (ibid.X.9); the -idea that one may know God ( gnosis theou) is very rare in the classical Hellenic literature, which rather praises episteme and hieratic vision, epopteia, but is common in Hermetism, Gnosticism and early Christianity; following the Platonic tradition (especially Plotinus and Porphyry), Augustine introduced a distinction between knowledge and wisdom, scientia and sapientia, claiming that the fallen soul knows only scientia, but before the Fall she knew sapientia ( De Trinitate XII). (more..)alA spiritual state (l) is sometimes opposed to maqm (spiritual station), and in this case the former is considered as a passing thing and the latter as something stable.(more..)HaqqIn Sufism designates the Divinity as distinguished from the creature (al-khalq).(more..)koana Japanese word used to describe a phrase or a statement that cannot be solved by the intellect. In Rinzai Zen tradition, koans are used to awaken the intuitive mind.(more..)NurParticularly the uncreated Divine Light, which includes all manifestation and is identified with Existence, considered as a principle. God is the Light (Nr) of the heavens and the earth (Qurn 24:35).(more..)sufiIn its strictest sense designates one who has arrived at effective knowledge of Divine Reality (aqqah); hence it is said: a-f lam yukhlaq (the Sufi is not created).(more..)adamIn Sufism this expression includes on the one hand the positive sense of non-manifestation, of a principial state beyond existence or even beyond Being, and on the other hand a negative sense of privation, of relative nothingness.(more..)wahmThe conjectural faculty, suspicion, illusion.(more..)ideain non-technical use the term refers to the visual aspect of anything; for Plato and Platonists, it is the highest noetic entity, the eternal unchanging Form, the archetype of the manifested material thing; in Plato, idea is a synonim of eidos, but in Neoplatonism these two terms have a slightly different meaning.(more..)quod absitliterally, "which is absent from, opposed to, or inconsistent with"; a phrase commonly used by the medieval scholastics to call attention to an idea that is absurdly inconsistent with accepted principles. (more..)Tradition(as the term is used by "Traditionalists" and in the "Perennial Philosopy":) Divine Revelation and the unfolding and development of its sacred content, in time and space, such that the forms of society and civilization maintain a "vertical" connection to the meta-historical, transcendental substance from which revelation itself derives.(more..)