Akasha

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"Akasa", "Akash","Akaash" and "Aakash" redirect here. For other uses, see Akasha (disambiguation).

Akasha (or Akash, Ākāśa IPA: [aːkaːʃə], आकाश) is the Sanskrit word meaning "æther" in both its elemental and metaphysical senses.

Meaning in different philosophies[edit]

Hinduism[edit]

In Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world; the first material element created from the astral world, (Akasha (Ether), Earth,Water,Fire,Air,) in sequence). It is one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five elements"; its main characteristic is Shabda (sound). In Sanskrit the word means "space", the first element in creation. In Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, and many other Indian languages, the meaning of Akasha has been accepted as sky.[1]

The Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools of Hindu philosophy state that Akasha or aether is the fifth physical substance, which is the substratum of the quality of sound. It is the One, Eternal, and All Pervading physical substance, which is imperceptible.[2]

According to the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Akasha is one of the five Mahābhūtas (grand physical elements) having the specific property of sound.[3]

Jainism[edit]

Akasha is space in the Jain conception of the cosmos. It falls into the Ajiva category, divided into two parts: Loakasa (the part occupied by the material world) and Aloakasa (the space beyond it which is absolutely void and empty). In Loakasa the universe forms only a part. Akasha is that which gives space and makes room for the existence of all extended substances.[4]

Buddhism[edit]

In Buddhist phenomenology Akasha is divided into limited space (ākāsa-dhātu) and endless space (ajatākasā).[5]

The Vaibhashika, an early school of Buddhist philosophy, hold Akasha's existence to be real.[6]

Ākāsa is identified as the first arūpa jhāna (arūpajhāna), but usually translates as "infinite space."[7]

Cārvākism[edit]

Adherents of the heterodox Cārvāka or Lokāyata philosophy of India hold that this world is made of four elements only. They exclude the fifth element, Akasha, because its existence cannot be perceived.[8]

Theosophy[edit]

Main article: Akashic records

The Western religious philosophy called Theosophy has popularized the word Akasha as an adjective, through the use of the term "Akashic records" or "Akashic library", referring to an ethereal compendium of all knowledge and history.

Modern Paganism[edit]

It is believed by some modern Pagans that the Akasha, Spirit, is the Fifth Element. Scott Cunningham describes the Akasha as the spiritual force that Earth, Air, Fire, and Water descend from. [9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary of World Philosophy by A. Pablo Iannone, Taylor & Francis, 2001, p. 30. ISBN 0-415-17995-5
  2. ^ Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology by Karl H. Potter, Usharbudh Arya, Motilal Banarsidass Publications, 1977, p. 71. ISBN 81-208-0309-4
  3. ^ Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; Samkhya and Yoga; Naya and Vaiseshika by F. Max Muller, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 40. ISBN 0-7661-4296-5
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia of Jainism by Narendra Singh, Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2001, p. 1623. ISBN 81-261-0691-3
  5. ^ Buddhist Dictionary by Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Publication Society, 1998, pp. 24-35. ISBN 955-24-0019-8
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy By Oliver Leaman, Contributor Oliver Leaman, Taylor & Francis, 2001, ISBN 0-415-17281-0, pg. 476
  7. ^ The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism By Tilmann Vetter, Brill: Leiden, 1988. pg. 65
  8. ^ The Tale of Carvaka by Manga Randreas, Mangalakshmi Ravindram, iUniverse, 2005, ISBN 0-595-34955-2, pg, 270
  9. ^ Earth, Air, Fire & Water, Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn, 1995)

External links[edit]