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Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, [1919], at

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After an examination of the part performed by the human soul, and the superior and inferior spirits, as well as by the universe, in the Great All which we call God, and, having established the ties of relationship existing between all souls, in consequence of which, those belonging to the superior groups are always ready to aid souls belonging to an inferior group with their counsel and communications, the Book of the Pitris goes on to discuss the mysterious subject of evocations. Evocations are of two sorts.

They are addressed either to disembodied spirits or to ancestral spirits, in which latter case the spirits evoked can respond to the appeal made to them, whatever may be the superior degree to which they may have attained, or they are addressed to spirits not included in the genealogical line of relationship, and then the evocations are unsuccessful if addressed to spirits who have already passed the degree immediately above that of man.

The following rules may be laid down:

That a man can evoke the spirit of his ancestor under any circumstances, even if the latter has already arrived at the rank of Pradjapati, or supreme director of creation, and is on the point of being absorbed in the Great Soul.

That if any one evokes a spirit not in his genealogical line, he can only obtain manifestations from those who belong to the class of Pitris.

Preparations should be made for the ceremony of evocation by fasting and prayer, for, as the Agrouchada-Parikchai says, these terrible formulas are fatal when not uttered by a pure mouth. In order to evoke a spirit the priest should:

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First, isolate himself entirely from all external matters.

Second, his mind should be absorbed in thought of the spirit whose appearance he has called forth and from whom he desires to receive a communication.

Third, he should enclose all the malign spirits who might disturb him in a magic circle.

Fourth, the should offer up sacrifices to his ancestral shades and to the superior spirits.

Fifth, he should pronounce the formulas of evocation.

A special part of the Book of the Pitris is devoted to these formulas, which all have a cabalistic meaning. We shall make no effort to elucidate this point any further, as we were never able to obtain the key to these various combinations from the Brahmins. We should be careful to avoid attaching greater importance to these matters than they are fairly entitled to.

The first leaf of the chapter on formulas contains the following epigraph, the combinations of words and letters being as simple as they could well be. We give it as a specimen to show what puerile methods the priests resorted to in order to cover up their practices.

As it contains no formula of evocation, the Brahmins had no objection to explain its meaning:

Nid + Nad
+ uoyâçad
+ ad
+ ak
+ ra + yart

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By reading from right to left, commencing with the last syllable of each word, we are able to attach the following meaning to this cabalistic sentence:


The language of evocations totally dispenses with all verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs, and while names are retained, they undergo the terminations of the different declensions by which the grammatic action of the verbs and prepositions understood, is indicated.

Thus, in the case under consideration:

Tridandin is in the nominative, and signifies the priest who is entitled to three sticks. These three sticks indicate one who has been admitted to the third degree of initiation, and who has power over three things: thought, speech, and action.

Tridaçâyoudam signifies the divine arm. This word is in the accusative, and is governed by a verb of which Tridandin is the subject.

Tridivam signifies the triple heaven. This word is also in the accusative and is consequently in the same situation as the preceding word.

Tridamas is the name of Agni of three fires. This word is the genitive of a word of which Tridamam is the nominative.

Trikalam signifies the three times, the past, the present, the future. This is also in the accusative form.

Trayîdarmam is in the accusative, and signifies the three books of the law.

Trijagat is in the neutral form of the accusative and signifies the three worlds: heaven, earth, and the lower regions.

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According to the Brahmins, this inscription means as follows:

Tridandin—or he who has been initiated into three degrees, who carries the three rods, and who has power over three things: thought, speech, and action.

Tridaçâyoudam—if he desires to secure possession of the divine arm.

Tridivam—and conquer the power of evocation from the spirit of the three heavens.

Tridamas—must have in his service Agni of the three fires.

Trikalam—and know the three times, past, present, and future.

Trayîdarmam—mast possess the essence of the three books of the law.

Trijagat—thus he will be enabled to know the secrets of the three worlds.

We do not propose to dwell at length upon the practice of occult writing, the mechanism of which changes with every form of evocation. Besides, it has been impossible for us, as we have elsewhere stated, to obtain possession of that part of the Book of the Pitris containing these formulas. The priests keep them to themselves and the people are not allowed to know anything about them.

At one time the penalty for divulging a single verse of the Book of Spirits was death. The rank of the accused made no difference. It mattered not that the guilty priest belonged to the sacerdotal caste.

Neither did the Jewish Cabalists limit themselves to the symbolical language with which they covered up their doctrines. They also endeavored to introduce into their writings secret methods almost identical with those of the Indian pagodas.

As for particular ceremonies of evocation, we shall have occasion to study them in all their details when we turn our attention to the external manifestations produced by the different grades of initiates.

Next: Chapter XIII. Formulas of Magical Incantation—Vulgar Magic