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Aham (Kashmir Shaivism)

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Aham (Kashmir Shaivism)

Aham, a concept of Kashmir Shaivism, is defined as the supreme heart (hṛdayam),[1] transcendent Self, supreme I awareness [2] or infinite consciousness.[3] The space of Aham is where kechari mudra (free movement in the space of the heart) is realised. Kechari mudra is considered the supreme state of spiritual evolution.

Substrate of creation

When Śiva wants to create, the first step is said to be the creation of an interior space (the space of his heart) - a matrix of energies that will be the substrate of the new world. This place is called Aham which means "I" in Sanskrit. Thus the absolute first creates the divine person, Aham, and from this divine person will appear the manifestation itself.

Aham is identical to mātṛkā (the wheel of phonematic energies), essential nature of all categories from Pṛithvī tattva (earth) to Sadāśiva tattva,.[4] Aham is the final resting place, dwelling place, abode of all beings, receptacle of the world.[1][5]

Ultimate mantra

Another definition of Aham is that of primordial mantra,[6] transcendental mantra,[7] the so-called heart-bīja (mantra of the heart) - force and power of consciousness.[8] As the supreme mantra, Aham is closely related to matravīrya (the potency of mantra).[9] Thus the realization of Aham confers power over any mantra.[10]

United form of Shiva and Shakti

In Aham, the supreme (para) aspect of Śakti is realized. Aham is the Śakti of Śiva or in other words, the expansion of Śiva.[11] Another way of describing Aham is as the union of Śiva and Śakti,[12] the emittive (visarga) aspect of the Supreme (anuttara).[10]

Etymology

Aham is formed of A+HA+M, a triad of Śhiva (A), Śakti (HA) and bindu (M).[13] M is the final point, union of Śiva and Śakti, where they dissolve into Paramaśiva. The triangle of A+HA+M is the essence of the Trika system.[14] A+HA+M form the sṛṣṭi bīja (seed of emission), a mantra that is identical to the energy of expansion and creation.[15]

Aham can also be defined as: A = abedha (non-differentiation), HA = bheda (differentiation) and M = bhedābheda (differentiation cum non-differentiation).[16]

Maha, the mirror image of Aham

On the other hand, MAHA, mirror image of AHAM,[17] is formed of MA+HA+A, and represents the saṃhara bīja (seed of reabsorption) - the mantra that is identical to the process of spiritual evolution,[15] or in other words reabsorption of the manifestation back into the absolute. In MAHA, Śakti (HA) enters bindu (M) (the limited being) and reunites it with the Supreme (A).[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 78
  2. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 131
  3. ^ The Triadic Heart of Śiva, Paul Muller-Ortega, page 145
  4. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa Jaideva Singh, page 194
  5. ^ The Triadic Heart of Śiva, Paul Muller-Ortega, page 179
  6. ^ Kuṇḍalinī, the energy of the depths, page 214
  7. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 180
  8. ^ The Triadic Heart of Śiva, Paul Muller-Ortega, page 163
  9. ^ The Triadic Heart of Śiva, Paul Muller-Ortega, page 160
  10. ^ a b Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 195
  11. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 127
  12. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 194
  13. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 55
  14. ^ Kuṇḍalinī, the energy of the depths, page 32
  15. ^ a b Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 13
  16. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 30
  17. ^ The Triadic Heart of Śiva, Paul Muller-Ortega, page 159
  18. ^ Parā-trīśikā Vivaraṇa, Jaideva Singh, page 182
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