Skip to main content


(Chhaya). The Sanskrit word for “shadow” or “shade” (among other meanings). The early theosophical way of transliterating it is chhayabut is now normally transliterated as chāya (or in compounds chaya-). It is used in theosophical literature in several senses. It denotes the lower astral or LINGA-SARIRA. It is also used to describe the human astral forms of the First Race around which the physical human bodies of following Races were built. Hence, the earliest Race was called the “Shadow race” or “Race of Chhayas.”