The Parallels of East and West:
Termas, Grimoires and the Necronomicon
By Frater Nigris
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The word of Sin is Restriction.
In the East, especially Tibet, some sacred texts are called 'termas'.
Tantric Buddhism is loaded with such references. In fact,
Mahayana Buddhism is founded upon a text called the 'Heart of Wisdom'
Sutra (scripture), transmitted by the Buddha via nagas (water
dragons) to Nagarjuna (Arjuna of the nagas), who is said to have been a
reincarnation of Ananda, Buddha's illustrious disciple.
Here are some quotes to explain these interesting texts:
"Terma - ...Tibetan, literally 'treasure.' In Tibetan Buddhism, a term for
religious texts, which...were hidden in secret places, so that at the right
time they would be discovered and newly expounded by qualified persons....
The preservation of religious literature in hidden places is a practice
handed down from an earlier period in India. Thus Nagarjuna is said to have
found teachings, which he later propagated, in the realm of the serpent
spirits (naga), where they were being guarded from falling into the
"The Nyingmapas possess by far the most voluminous terma literature, of
which the most important works derive from Padmasambhava and his female
companion Yeshe Tsogyel. These works are based not only on Indian sources
but also on teachings from the land of Urgyen. According to his biography,
Padmasambhava hid his works in 108 different places in Tibet, in caves,
statues, etc. Among the best-known terma texts are just this biography
of Padmasambhava and the _Tibetan Book of the Dead_ (_Bardo thodel_).
In addition, works on astrology and the basic text on Tibetan medicine were
transmitted as terma."
_The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen_, pgs. 222-223;
1991, Shambhala Publications.
"Yeshe Tsogyel - ...Tibetan, literally 'Princess of the Wisdom Lake,'...;
intimate companion of Padmasambhava and the most important female figure
in the tradition of the Nyingmapa school.... Padmasambhava took her as his
consort and transmitted to her particularly the teachings of the phurba
cycle. Yeshe Tsogyel codified countless of her guru's teachings in terma
texts and also composed his biography...." Ibid, p. 253.
"Phurba -...Tibetan, literally 'nail, wedge'; a dagger for subduing demons
introduced into the ritual of Tibetan Buddhism by Padmasambhava. As a
symbol for the direct transmutation of negative forces, it plays a central
role in a system of meditative practice that was transmitted
by Yeshe Tsogyel...
"The origin of the phurba is associated with a long Tantra [scripture]
presented by Padmasambhava at the beginning of his journey to Tibet. A deity
personified as a phurba plays an important role as a yidam [an approximate
equivalant of a 'telesmic image' - see William Gray] in the
Sakyapa and Nyingmapa schools; new transmissions, in the form of
terma texts, of teachings relating to this deity were discovered in
the 19th century...." Ibid, p. 170.
These 'termas' were transmissions of esoteric doctrines. Their content was
deposited in hidden locations by ancient masters. Only adept individuals,
sufficiently qualified by awareness and connected to the master, could
successfully 'discover' the terma - be it hidden in the dark recesses of a
cave or in the seclusion a mystic grove. It is said that what was discovered
were not 'scripts' (i.e. written documents) but energy-patterns, transduced
through time via meditative purity. These the adepts translated into
Some adepts set out to discover these texts, while others (perhaps like
the prophet Mohammed) simply had the experience thrust upon their secluded
meditations. Yeshe Tsogyel discovered many of them for the Tibetan Tantrics,
and the phenomenon is not simply eastern.
In the west such texts have sometimes been attributed to God or to a person
who had an experience attributed to God ('The Revelation of St. John', for
example). In orthodox religion they are called 'revelations'. In heretical
or 'occult' traditions they are called 'grimoires'. More often than not they
are said to be of ancient or mystically powerful origin. As Richard Cavendish
explains in _The Black Arts_, 1967, Putnam:
"...the writers of old grimoires, or magical textbooks, which instruct the
reader in methods of calling up evil spirits, killing people, causing hatred,
and destruction or forcing women to submit to him in love, did not think of
themselves as black magicians. On the contrary, the grimoires are packed
with prayers to God and the angels, fastings and self-mortifications and
ostentatious piety. The principal process in the _Grimoire of Honorius_,
which is usually considered the most diabolical of them all, overflows
with impassioned and perfectly sincere appeals to God and devout sayings
of the Mass. It also involves tearing out the eyes of a black cock and
slaughtering a lamb, and its purpose is to summon up the Devil." p. 3.
Cavendish confines his writings about 'grimoires' here to those which
are intended to aid the adept in summoning demonic entities, descriptions
complete with bodily movements and 'barbarous names of evocation'.
It seems that many such texts are in existence, having survived the
ravages of an orthodox fear, yet not all of them concern this subject.
When considering the origin of grimoires and termas, what is being
cited as their 'source' (e.g. 'Abraham the Jew', the source
of _The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage_; or 'Aiwaz/Aiwass',
the source/channel of _The Book of the Law_) is a certain state of
consciousness. Whether this state of consciousness is in some way
related to any historical or extra-terrestrial figure I leave to the
discernment of the reader.
Given all this, there is no reason why a text could not be referred to ahead
of time by its source, the 'intended' recipient, or a knowledgeable
or intuitive third party. The state of consciousness is there to experience
by those with the courage and ability. The scripture will be received
by the adept in any case, and there is no reason why more than one
copy of said text could not be obtained, though individual minds being what
they are it will most likely be a different 'version'. Perhaps this is the
reason that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John differ as much
as they do.
When we turn to the text referred to by H.P. Lovecraft as _The Necronomicon_ ,
we are hard-pressed to render a 'verdict' as to its legitimacy.
If indeed the text preceded Lovecraft, then this does not guarantee that
it has come down to us unedited. If the idea and title were used by Lovecraft
as a result of suggestions from others without an extant text, then perhaps its
'source consciousness' hid the text until a later time. If Lovecraft
fabricated even the IDEA of the tome along with its title, then perhaps he was
simply a 'third party' to a state of consciousness which we may never assess.
The writing of this tome at ANY time after Lovecraft's fabrication, in the
special context of termas and grimoires, does nothing to disprove its value or
its origin. Just because Lovecraft was perceptive enough to imagine such a
text, this does not mean that it did not exist in some fashion (be it within or
WITHOUT the dimension we call 'earth').
The ONLY means of evaluating the various versions of _The Necronomicon_,
therefore, is in comparison with Lovecraft's writings and through personal
experience of the tome in question. Given sufficient qualification and
connection, the adept may then be able to analyze the contents of the version
in question and discern whether it represents a clear transmission of the
Two points regarding even this method must be understood. First, Lovecraft's
own ideas about the text may have been faulty. Therefore, his description
in his writings regarding the text is questionable. One can only say, given
that one feels a specific version of the text varies from Lovecraft's
description yet represents a valid grimoire, that these two 'Necronomicons'
are different and possibly of different origin.
Second, ALL such evaluations are subjective and therefore deserve the
skepticism of other students. We can not arrive at 'objective knowledge'
about this, and thus no review can be considered absolute in its authority.
Certainly some adepts' opinions may be accepted over others by the
researcher, but even this is a personal preference and cannot constitute the
final word in the matter.
Therefore, regardless of the history or origin of _The Necronomicon_, whether
or not Lovecraft fabricated it or reflected it in some way, all claims that
writings entitled _The Necronomicon_ are useless or ignorant
must be taken in context - as personal opinions. Those who pass such
judgements make a claim to adeptship themselves in order to perform
such an evaluative role. Unless we can vouch for the ability and awareness
of those who do the reviewing, it is a mistake to take them too seriously.
The best means of evaluating grimoires and termas is personally, and only
then after taking steps to develop our mind to such an extent that exposure to
their occulted energies will not also expose us to danger or in some way
disclose that for which we are unprepared. Some grimoires, it is said,
can NEVER be prepared for in this way and have powerful effects upon ALL
those with sufficient perception to comprehend their horrible secrets.
In the realms of consciousness, 'time' and the 'transmission of teachings' are
not the simple concepts that many would have us believe. Be warned that
some who 'approve' or 'contest' the validity of a scripture are either
myopic or have political goals - the enslavement of your mind!
Invoke me under my stars. Love is the law, love under will.
I am I!
Frater (I) Nigris (666) 333
6632 Covey Drive
Forestville, CA 95436