Deva (Devanagari: देव) is the Sanskrit word for deity (female devī). Derived from the root div, "to shine or become bright," a deva is a “shining one.”
H. P. Blavatsky defined it as follows:
Deva (Sk.). A god, a “resplendent” deity. Deva-Deus, from the root div “to shine”. A Deva is a celestial being—whether good, bad, or indifferent. Devas inhabit “the three worlds”, which are the three planes above us. There are 33 groups or 330 millions of them.
In one of The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett the Master K.H. says that there are two classes of devas or Dhyāni-Chohans: the "Rupa-devas" (with "form" or objective) and the "Arupa-devas" ("formless" or subjective). They both were men in previous manvantaras.
- Devic Consciousness by Dora Kunz. Reprinted from "Devic Consciousness." Quest 97. 4 (Fall 2009): 152-153.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 98.
- Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 196.