By Swami Harshananda
Ābhāsa is literally translated as ‘appearance’ or ‘reflection’.
Hence, it describes a false phenomenon which shows itself as the real. For instance, the reflection of an object in a mirror is an ‘ābhāsa.’ The word is widely used in Advaita vedānta in the context of the relationship between the jīva (individual self) and Brahman (the Supreme Self). The jiva according to one of the schools of Advaita Vedānta, is only an ‘ābhāsa’ of Brahman in and through the medium of the antahkaraṇa (mind).
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore