- Published: Friday, 09 December 2016 05:01
A Gnostic religion taught by Mani (also called Manes or Manichaeus) in the third century CE. Helena P. Blavatsky has suggested that the Manicheans were originally Samanas (Sramanas), who were Buddhist ascetics; she thus claims a distinct link between Manichaeism and Buddhism. Blavatsky considered that the fact that Manichaeism was more closely allied to Buddhism than to early Christianity was the root cause of the enmity which occurred between the two religions (CW X:67).
Mani held that true religion had been taught by many prophets such as Adam, Enoch, Buddha, Zoroaster and others, but that local conditions and language differences resulted in considerable corruption of the teachings. This point of view coincides with that held by many theosophists who have maintained that there is a golden thread of truth in all the major religions and these have a common origin.