Coffin-Rite

From H.P.Blavatsky - Teopedia
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Coffin-Rite, or Pastos. This was the final rite of Initiation in the Mysteries in Egypt, Greece and elsewhere. The last and supreme secrets of Occultism could not be revealed to the Disciple until he had passed through this allegorical ceremony of Death and Resurrection into new light. “The Greek verb teleutaó,” says Vronsky, “signifies in the active voice ‘I die’, and in the middle voice ‘I am initiated”. Stobæus quotes an ancient author, who says, “The mind is affected in death, just as it is in the initiation into the Mysteries ; and word answers to word, as well as thing to thing ; for teleutan is ‘ to die ‘, and teleisthai ‘to be initiated’”. And thus, as Mackenzie corroborates, when the Aspirant was placed in the Pastos, Bed, or Coffin (in India on the lathe, as explained in the Secret Doctrine), “he was symbolically said to die.”

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary