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A Sanskrit word meaning “intelligent,” “clever,” “wise.” As a noun it refers to “of a son of Soma,” (the planet Mercury according to A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, ed. A. A. Macdonell). Helena P. BLAVATSKY distinguishes between the two Sanskrit words “Budha” and Buddha in her article Misconceptions (CW VIII:75). “When one speaks of esoteric Budhism (with one d) to the European public — so ignorant of oriental matters — it is mistaken for Buddhism, the religion of Gautama the Buddha. ‘Buddha’ is a title of the sages and means the ‘illumined one’; Budhism comes from the word ‘Budha’ (wisdom, intelligence) personified in the Puranas. He is the son of Soma (the moon in its masculine aspect of Lunus) and Tara, the unfaithful wife of Brihaspati (the planet Jupiter), the personification of ceremonial cult, of sacrifice and other exoteric mummeries. Tara is the soul which aspires to truth, turns away in horror from human dogma which claims to be divine, and rushes into the arms of Soma, god of mystery, of occult nature, whence is born Budha (the veiled but brilliant son), the personification of secret wisdom, of the Esotericism of the occult sciences. This Budha is by thousands of years older than the year 600 (or 300 according to certain Orientalists) before the Christian era, date assigned to the appearance of Gautama the Buddha, prince of Kapilavastu. Budhist esotericism has therefore nothing to do with the Buddhist religion. . . .”


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