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Theosophical Encyclopedia


(Ālaya) A Sanskrit word meaning “place” or “abode,” but used in Northern Buddhism to refer to the Universal Soul. A Buddhist term that means the Universal Soul, the anima mundi, or soul of the world. It is derived from the Sanskrit a, not, and laya, dissolve, hence the “indissoluble.” In its essence, Alaya is changeless, thus equivalent to MULAPRAKRITI, but in its lower aspects it is subject to change. During its manifestation, the consciousness of Dhyani-Buddhas or even high Yogis can merge with it. Thus in the Yogacara tradition, the spiritual self of high yogis or progressed adepts is also called Alaya.



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