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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Indriya

A Sanskrit term literally meaning “of or pertaining to Indra,” the Vedic god, associated with sky, who wields a thunderbolt and conquers the demons of darkness.

The term is usually applied to the senses, commonly interpreted as the sense organs but actually meaning sense powers which reside in our psychic vehicles; that is to say, we still have the power or indriya of sight, even when our eyes are unable to exercise it due to cataracts or nerve damage which causes blindness. The same is true of hearing, etc. Helena P. BLAVATSKY is quite clear about this distinction, stating, “The centres of sensation, or of internal action, that is of seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. — called Indriyas in Eastern systems — are located in the astral man, the physical molecules being only the necessary material agents for receiving impulses from without and transmitting them to the centres” (CWXII:661).

R.W.B.

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