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The Voice of the Silence – Glossary – M

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The Voice of the Silence

<The Voice of the Silence



Mādhyamaka (Sk.) B.

From Mādyama, that which lies in the middle: the doctrine of the Middle Path.

Mādhyamika (Sk.) B. [II 2, III 16]

The name of the school of the “Middle Way” (and of its representatives), founded by Nāgārjuna (whose real esoteric teachings probably remained secret). According to this Mahāyāna-school all propositions concerning the nature of things should be considered inaccurate; emptiness (śūnyatā) is the ultimate Reality: to reach this means that one has acquired fullness, liberation. Therefore, a distinction has to be made between the relative reality (Samvṛti Satya) and the highest truth (Paramārtha Satya) and these two part during daily discipline.

Mahākalpa (Sk.) H. B. [I 11]

A Great kalpa usually signifies a “Life of Brahmā,” consisting of 100 years of each 360 ‘Days’ and 360 ‘Nights’ of Brahmā, which (including ‘dawns’ and ‘dusks’) amounts to a period of 311,040 x 109 years. See also Kalpa.

Mahāmāra (Sk.) B. [I 22, 44]

The King of the Māras

Mahāyāna (Sk.) B. [III 2, 16]

“The Great Vehicle,” in contradistinction to Hīnayāna-Buddhism. Whereas the latter invites the individual to free himself from the chains of suffering and to evolve through his merits towards the state of Arhat, Mahāyāna encourages him to follow the ideal of the Bodhisattva and thus to contribute to the welfare of all beings. The teachings of the various branches of this “vehicle” (Mādhyamika, Yogāchāra, etc.) testify of a very great spiritual richness. After the exile of the Buddhists from India, Mahāyāna has known a great development in Tibet, China, Korea, Japan, etc. (hence the name “Buddhism of the North”). Despite the evident historical difference between the time of the Buddha and the progressive emergence of Mahāyāna doctrines (confirming, among other things, the existence of a “germ of a Buddha” in each being), there is no doubt that these belonged to the esoteric teachings of the Tathāgata from the very beginning.

Manas (Sk.) H., Th. [I 5, 30, II 19, III 9; Preface]

The rational quality of thinking. In Theosophy, Manas is the seat of mentation and egoic consciousness; the fifth principle in the ascending scale of the sevenfold human constitution, above Kāma,and can thus guide and withstand or follow Kāma according to its choice. Manas is the human person, the reincarnating ego, immortal in essence, enduring in its higher aspects through the entire manvantara. When embodied, Manas is dual, gravitating toward Buddhi in its higher aspects and in its lower aspects toward Kāma. The first is intuitive mind, the second the animal, ratiocinative consciousness, the lower mentality and passions of the personality. In the duality of Manas is contained the mystery of an adept’s as of a profane man’s life, as also that of the post-mortem separation of the divine from the animal man (S.D. II, 495-6). The Higher Manas or Ego is essentially divine, and therefore pure. At present, Manas is not fully developed in mankind, and Kāma or desire is still ascendant. In future however, Manas will be fully active and developed in man.

In Hinduism (especially the Sāṁkhya School, evolved in the Bhagavad-Gītā), Manas is regarded as one of the elements of the “inner organ” (antaḥkāraṇa) which is regarded as the sixth sense of perception (thus their leader, according to the Voice = the “Rājah of the senses”): it catches every message of the senses and, aided by the power of memory, proceeds to present that image now made mental to Buddhi, the organ of discernment. If one adds to the series of senses the five “organs of action” enumerated in Hinduism, Manas must be counted as the eleventh of the whole, for it is also through this channel that orders given are transmitted (again through Buddhi) on to the brain-machinery. Manas in fact acts as mediator in molding every impression, awareness, thought, feeling, etc., using the mental parts of the brain and the “astral man”.

For Theosophy these functions involve a whole range of manifestation of the great power of Manas to be related in fact to the Higher Ego in man.

Mānasapūtra (Sk.) Th. [II 19]

Literally: son (Pūtra) of the Universal Mind (Manas). During the immeasurable evolutionary process of the rising of the consciousness throughout all kingdoms of nature, the reaching of the human state together with the awakening of intelligence on our planet, has not been brought about by chance: it necessitates the voluntary intervention of advanced intelligent and compassionate hierarchies, “the Sons of the Universal Mind,” who proceeded, symbolically, to kindle the light of Manas in those monads who were destined to become the family of the “human souls” on Earth. Thus the pure essence of the spiritual Ego in each human being is directly connected to the Universal Mind (Mahat) through the intermediary of such a Mānasapūtra. Cf. S.D. I, 571, for the relation between the Dhyāni-Buddhas and the Mānasapūtras. See also: Planetary Spirit.

Mānasarūpa (Sk.) Th. [I 30]

The “form” (Rūpa) of Manas, the “body” or vehicle of the mind.

Manvantara (Sk.) H. [III 24]

The period or age of a Manu (a kind of progenitor of humanity, who rules over the earth during each great cycle of evolution). This reign of the fourteen Manus, i.e. seven root-Manus and seven seed-Manus who respectively open and close the smaller cycles, covers a period of more than 4 billion years (one “Day of Brahmā”).

Māra (Sk.) B. [I 22, 44; all Fragments]

From the root mṛ (to die), hence Mārayati: to make (a being) die, to kill. Māra is the “killer”, the “destroyer”; he is the Tempter, aided by his armies (the Māras), who personify the power of fascination of the insatiable desires and passions. Gautama Buddha was called “the conqueror of Māra” because he defeated Māra and his armies whilst sitting under the Bodhi-tree.

Mārga (Sk.) B. [Fragment 3]

From the root mṛg: to follow (a prey), to try to obtain. Mārga is the way (route, path) to be followed in order to reach the goal. In Buddhism, the Noble Path (Sk.: Āryamārga) is the Eightfold Path traced out by Buddha which embodies the last of the Four Noble Truths, and leads to extinction of suffering. The word Mārga (Pāli: magga) also refers to each step of a chosen path (e.g. Arahatta magga). Usually a distinction is made between the Path (Mārga) which one enters and the “fruit” (Phala) which one reaps on reaching the goal. See also Jñāna Mārga.

Māyā (Sk.) H. [I 6; all Fragments]

The magic power or the wondrous art granted to the Divine which unfolds the fantastic multitude of worlds and beings in space, and which, under the illusory veil of appearances, conceals the fundamental unity of their essence. The personification of illusion. The lower “regions” of the astral light are particularly māyāvic (from the adjective Sk. Māyāvin) or illusive, for the ignorant having access to them.

Meru (Sk.) H.

The fabulous mountain of the gods, comparable to the Olympus of the Greeks; it is the object of many cosmological descriptions, and marks the center of the Universe, and, according to the Purāṇas and Theosophy, the North Pole. The holy river Gaṅgā (Ganges) has her heavenly source there to spread subsequently over the earth. The golden city of Brahmā is situated on Mount Meru (or Sumeru). Other deities have their abode on its various levels. A symbolic presentation of Meru refers to the occult constitution of man. See the article “Mount Meru”, first published in the magazine The Path, Jan.-Feb. 1891.

Mieh [Mie] (Ch.) B.

Translation of the word Nirodha (Sk.): the “extinction” (of the passions and other sources of suffering). It is the third of the Four Noble Truths leading to Nirvāṇa.

Migmar [Mig-dmar] (Tib.) [II 26]

“Eye (mig) red (mar)”. The planet Mars. According to Schlagintweit its astrological symbol is the eye.

Mu (Senzar) [I 43]

According to H.P.B. (T.G.): The “destruction of the temptation” during the practice of Yoga. See also Mieh, the Chinese word expressing the same idea.

Mudrā (Sk.) H., B. [III 12]

A female word, meaning a seal (ring, etc.) to print as a mark or sign, letter etc. It is a mystic seal, which can be presented by the fingers (of one hand or both) specifically held according to fixed rules and which can have great magical power (T.G.).

Myalba [dMyal-ba] (Tib.) [III 35]

A word which corresponds to Naraka (Sk.) or Niraya (Pāli): hell. Tradition postulates many hells (hot and cold), their duration is not eternal however. According to H.P.B. Myalba is the name of the Earth, the “hell”, where sentient beings are compelled to reincarnate (T.G.). See Avīchi.