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By Swami Harshananda

Cidākāśa literally means ‘space or ether of consciousness’.

The Upaniṣads describe ākāśa as the body of Brahman, the Absolute. This refers to ākāśa as 'cidākāśa' or the plane of consciousness. This is sometimes identified with bliss.

It should not be confused with the ‘bhutākāśa,’ or elemental ākāśa.

Some Śaiva philosophers like Śrīkaṇṭha (13th cent. A. D.) consider it as the ultimate material principle (‘parāprakṛti’) or the ultimate energy. It is identified as the energy of consciousness. It is also called as cicchakti. It is the original force of life that manifests itself in the activities of life. All the kinds of life functions and experiences of pleasure are based on the lower or higher level of this cidākāśa.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore