From Theosophy Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quaternary is a term used in Theosophical literature to refer to a group of four Principles, either at a cosmic or human level. There are references to an upper as well as a lower quaternary.

Higher quaternary in cosmos

When speaking of the higher principles of the cosmos the quaternary involves the three Logoi and the primordial matter. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky frequently referred to it as the Tetraktys.

Lower quaternary in cosmos

The four lower planes in the cosmos are sometimes referred to as the "lower cosmic quaternary". It is on these that the Planetary Chain has its seven globes. Mme. Blavatsky has related these planes to the Jewish Tetragrammaton.

Lower quaternary in human beings

In The Key to Theosophy Mme. Blavatsky wrote:

Lower Quaternary:

(a) Rupa, or Sthula-Sharira (Physical body): Is the vehicle of all the other "principles" during life.
(b) Prana (Life, or Vital principle): Necessary only to a, c, d, and the functions of the lower Manas, which embrace all those limited to the (physical) brain.
(c) Linga-Sharira (Astral body): The Double, the phantom body.

(d) Kama rupa (The seat of animal desires and passions): This is the centre of the animal man, where lies the line of demarcation which separates the mortal man from the immortal entity.[1]

Further reading


  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, "The Key to Theosophy" (???), ???.