It has been difficult to identify any of the spellings with known Chinese words. David Reigle suggests that this term may be related to the Tibetan སེམས་ཅན (sems-can, "sentient being," or "animated being."). However, Jon Fergus proposes that sien-tchan refers to the Chinese 天下 (tiānxià, "all that is under heaven"), which philosophically and metaphysically signifies the manifested universe.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 136.
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 345.
- David Reigle, Blavatsky's Secret Books (San Diego, CA: Wizards Bookshelf, 1999), 64
- See Research: Sien-Tchan and Related Terms.