May 28, 2015

On What Is Theosophy

The Many Dimensions of a Sacred Word

A Paramahansa of the Himalayas


 An Editorial Note:

 The following text can be seen as a
meditational exercise showing that theosophy
transcends the dead letter point of view and
cannot be fully described by conventional
definitions. The article was first published at
The Theosophist”, Adyar, India, August, 1882,
pp. 273-274. Original title: “What Is Theosophy?
The magazine was then edited by Helena P.
Blavatsky: various Adepts and Initiates wrote for
the “Theosophist” in the early 1880s. One of the
meanings ascribed to the word “Paramahansa” [1] is “he
whom achieved the fourth and last phase of the way”.



1) Theosophy is that branch of human perfection, by which one may establish himself with the eternal cause of invisible nature; to which this physical effect is a visible bubble.

2) Theosophy is that knowledge which leads one from animalism to Divinity.

3) Theosophy is that branch of human philosophy, which theoretically teaches one what he really is beyond mind and personal individuality (Ego).

4) Theosophy is that branch of chemistry, by which one begets IMMORTALITY.

5) Theosophy is that branch of painting (one’s self) which Time cannot efface.

6) Theosophy is that branch of husbandry (agriculture) by which one may preserve the seed without rearing the tree.

7) Theosophy is that branch of optics, which magnifies one’s view to see beyond physical nature.

8) Theosophy is that branch of human surgery, which separates physical nature from the spiritual.

9) Theosophy is that branch of Masonry, which shows the universe in an egg.

10) Theosophy is that branch of music, which harmonises physical nature with spirit.

11) Theosophy is that part of gardening, which teaches one how to rear trees out of charcoal.

12) Theosophy is that branch of sanitation, which teaches one how to purify nature by means of cause and effect.

13) Theosophy is that branch of engineering, which bridges the gulf between life and death.

14) Theosophy is that warlike art, which teaches one how to subdue (subjugate) time and death, the two mightiest foes of man.

15) Theosophy is that food, which enables one to taste the most exquisite sweetness in his own self.

16) Theosophy is that branch of navigation, which teaches one the starting point and the final goal of human life.

17) Theosophy is that branch of commerce, which makes one fit to select unerringly the commodities for both lives.

18) Theosophy is that branch of politics, which unites past and future into one present, and establishes peace with the most tumultuous off-shoots of debased nature.

19) Theosophy is that branch of mineralogy, by which one may discover the source of eternal wealth, combining life, knowledge and eternal joy into one.

20) Theosophy is that branch of astronomy, which proves that spirit is the only fixed star which sets not throughout the revolutions of nature.

21) Theosophy is that branch of gymnastics, which invigorates the mind, expands the intellect, unites the thoughts with the tie of breath [2], removes the heat of lust, and produces a balmy calmness, which is the heart’s eye, to penetrate the mysteries of nature.

22) Theosophy is that branch of mental philosophy, by which one may know the exact centre of his individual Self and its identity with the entity of the second principle of the Vedantists, or the seventh one of the present Theosophists [3], or what is commonly known by the name, God.

23) Theosophy is that branch of medicine by which one may rid himself of his sins from time immemorial.

24) Theosophy is that branch of natural philosophy, by which one may watch and witness nature in her birth - chastity - adultery and the present old age.

25) Theosophy is that occult branch of the Christian church, on which the ground-work of that church was originally planned, - i.e., the essential non-difference of God with the individual witness.

26) Theosophy is that branch of Christianity, which eliminates the spiritual Christ from the corporeal one of the orthodox generation.

27) Theosophy is that part of the Christian theology, which shows that the present churches of the West are abusing the Bible by misinterpretations.

28) Theosophy is that part of the Aryan independence, by which one may exist without the help of nature.

29) Theosophy (to be brief) is the sum total of the wisdom of the Aryan Brahma - the happiness eternal - and the life everlasting. It is Theosophy which taught the Aryans how to soar far beyond the region of Shakti and to be in perpetual joy - (the play-ground of Shakti). In short, it is the basis of all the knowledge that exists in the eternity.

A Paramahansa.


[1] Paramahansas are the order of the highest Yogi-Sannyasis, who alone are allowed to throw off the yoke of the Hindu caste superstitions. While all the others have to perform, more or less, the daily exoteric ceremonies of their respective Ashrams or orders, no rules of action can be assigned to these. (Note by Helena Blavatsky)

[2] This relates to occult practices. (Note by Helena Blavatsky)

[3] Jivatma, in the sense of the Vedantin, is the Soul of all life, and in that of the Theosophists it is Jiva, - vital principle. (Note by Helena Blavatsky)


On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  

Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.