Baptism

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Baptism (Gr.). The rite of purification performed during the ceremony of initiation in the sacred tanks of India, and also the later identical rite established by John “the Baptist” and practised by his disciples and followers, who were not Christians. This rite was hoary with age when it was adopted by the Chrestians of the earliest centuries. Baptism belonged to the earliest Chaldeo-Akkadian theurgy; was religiously practised in the nocturnal ceremonies in the Pyramids where we see to this day the font in the shape of the sarcophagus; was known to take place during the Eleusinian mysteries in the sacred temple lakes, and is practised even now by the descendants of the ancient Sabians. The Mendæans (the El Mogtasila of the Arabs) are, notwithstanding their deceptive name of “St. John Christians”, less Christians than are the Orthodox Mussulman Arabs around them. They are pure Sabians; and this is very naturally explained when one remembers that the great Semitic scholar Renan has shown in his Vie de Jésus that the Aramean verb seba, the origin of the name Sabian, is a synonym of the Greekbaptizw. The modern Sabians, the Mendæans whose vigils and religious rites, face to face with the silent stars, have been described by several travellers, have still preserved the theurgic, baptismal rites of their distant and nigh-for gotten forefathers, the Chaldean Initiates. Their religion is one of multiplied baptisms, of seven purifications in the name of the seven planetary rulers, the “seven Angels of the Presence” of the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant Baptists are but the pale imitators of the El Mogtasila or Nazareans who practise their Gnostic rites in the deserts of Asia Minor. (See “Boodhasp”.)

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary