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The Voice of the Silence – Glossary – P

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The Voice of the Silence

<The Voice of the Silence



Parabrahm (Sk.) H. [III 26]

The supreme Brahman, the Absolute.

Paramārtha (Sk.) H., B. [III 16, Preface]

1) The very highest wealth (artha) we are able to acquire: the supreme spiritual knowledge (hence: Paramārtha Satya: the absolute Truth, as opposed to Saṁvṛti Satya); 2) (according to Schlagintweit) the book which Nāgārjuna is said to have received from the Nāgas who instructed him.

Pāramitā (Sk.) B. [II 23, III 5, 7]

From the root pṛ: to let pass. The transcendental or cardinal virtues which make it possible to reach the “other shore,” the total emancipation of consciousness. The virtues or sublime “perfections” are usually six in number [Dāna (charity), Śīla (moral conduct), Kṣānti (patience), Vīrya (energy), Dhyāna (meditation), Prajñā (wisdom)]. Their application is an expansion of the Eightfold Noble Path, which belongs to all forms of Buddhism. The other four Pāramitās, for him who has set out on the Path of the Bodhisattva, are; 1) Upāya Kauśala, the appropriate means (to spread Wisdom); 2) Pranidhāna, the irrevocable pledge (to reach enlightenment and to raise all beings towards this goal); 3) Bala, the (ten) powers (which allow to see clearly in all situations and to progress on the way to purification and Enlightenment). 4) Jñāna, the exact knowledge of things.

Paranirvāṇa (Sk.) B. [III 20]

The highest state of Nirvāṇa, not to be confused with Parinirvāṇa, the final Nirvāṇa, which coincides with the total extinction of all active individuality at the end of the great cycle of evolution – for the duration of one Night of Brahmā.

Parikalpita (Sk.) B. [III 16]

This refers to something that is imagined or invented: a pure product of the mind which induces to take for real what is mere emptiness.

Path (the Noble) – B. [I 32, 43, II 23 35; all Fragments]

Sk.: Āryamārga. See the Fourfold Path. The Path has many meanings; see also: Mārga.

Personality – Th. [I 7, 13, 27, II 22, III 9 14]

The psycho-physical terrestrial person. See Ego.

Planetary Spirit – Th. [II 17]

In The Voice of the Silence “Planetary Spirit” refers to the special ray of the Logos (considered as the central spiritual Sun) to which each human soul is connected through a mystic affiliation, his “Father,” so to say. Compare S.D. I, 573-4, where the higher triad in man (see the holy Triangle) is represented as being the radiation of a Planetary Spirit (or Dhyāni-Buddha). All spiritual souls, being thus born from the same “Heavenly Father,” remain “sister souls” during the long series of their terrestrial rebirths.

Portal – [I 44; all Fragments]

The Voice of the Silence counts seven successive mystic “Portals,” the keys of which agree with the names of the six Pāramitās; Virāga has been added as the middle one, whereas, classically, the Pāramitās should be exercised together, as far as possible, by the disciple. These Portals symbolize a gradual way of inner metamorphosis, marked by decisive transitions from one state to the next, like so many initiations. Besides, one can make correspond the first three keys (on the descending arc) with the three last ones on an ascending arc, connecting Dāna (charity) with Prajñā (compassion-wisdom), Śīla with Dhyāna, and Kśānti with Vīrya, The Portal of Virāga appears to have significantly been placed at the point of balance between the two arcs.

Prajñā (Sk.) B., Th. [I 38; Fragment 3]

In Mahāyāna, Prajñā is, on the highest level, the perfect Wisdom, the comprehensive knowledge of the fullness of the Whole, captured in the emptiness of all limited forms. It is the sixth of the “perfections” (Pāramitās) which are to be exercised in one’s daily practice. In Theosophy, Prajñā refers in its general meaning (as a universal power of consciousness) to the “power or the capacity that gives rise to perception, existing under seven different aspects corresponding to the seven conditions of matter [in the manifested world],” hence there must “necessarily be seven states of consciousness in man” (S.D. II, 597fn:†). “These seven distinct states of consciousness or Prajñā correspond with the seven principles of the human constitution” (S.D. II, 29fn:†). This power, which is at the root of being, commonly manifests as comprehension, knowledge of things, intelligence; with this special significance in view, three kinds (or “methods”) of Prajñā (pāli: paññhā) are distinguished in classical Buddhism, according to whether that knowledge derives from individual thinking (or reflection), through listening to others and the study of the Books, or also from one’s own mental development, which implies exercise and concentration. See T.G.: Trijñāna. This approach is merely a preparation: the higher level of Prajñā is beyond reach of the common mind.

Prāsagika (Sk.) B. [Fragment 2]

The name of a branch derived from the Mādhyamika-School, founded (in the 5th century CE.) by Buddhapālita, one of the successors of Nāgārjuna. This word derives from Prasaṅga which refers to each each of the separate “cases” successively considered in syllogistic reasonings, the aim of which is to proof the absurdities of the positions held by the opponents of the School.

Pratyāhāra (Sk.) H. [I 41]

In the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali Pratyāhāra is the fifth degree of Yoga, preceding and conditioning Dhāraṇā, (and the whole practice of meditation). It is the withdrawal of the senses, which are to be detached from their objects in order to liberate the mind (Manas) from their grip and to concentrate it on the object of meditation. In the Bhagavad-Gītā.

(II, 58) the analogy is given of the tortoise pulling back its limbs and head within his carapace.

Pratyeka Buddha (Sk.) B. [II 38]

Derived from Pratyeka: “for one single person,” “in a solitary fashion”; the word refers to the one who makes progress, isolated from the others, without a Master or a disciple, thus attempting to obtain that “private individual salvation,” being just that what the Bodhisattva forsakes.