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(Āraṇyakas) A Sanskrit name given to a section of the VEDAS; it interprets the ritual portion by turning them into allegories and describing certain methods of meditation. It appears to have been intended for use by forest dwelling ascetics. The term was also used by Helena P. BLAVATSKY to describe holy men of the forest (CW XII:182). The literal meaning of the word is “forest dwellers” or “inhabitants of the forest” and indicates that these texts were written by men who had entered the third or forest-dweller stage (asrama) of life, the others being student, householder, and renunciate.



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