Definition – What does Chidabhasa mean?
In Sanskrit, chidabhasa translates to ‘reflection of Brahman’ or universal self. According to Hindu philosophy, the self can be divided into the individual (jiva) and the universal (brahman). The reflection of the universal self within the individual is chidabhasa, a kind of self-realisation, essential on the path toward enlightenment.
When one is stuck in the suffering of the gross, physical body (Annamaya Kosha), it is impossible to recognise the soul as a reflection of Brahman, leading to avidya, or ignorance.
On explains Chidabhasa
Chidabhasa has the following seven stages, divided into two categories:
1. Ajnana – Ignorance, also known as Avidya. This is the state in which a person thinks that they are their thoughts, and that and the physical world is the only reality. There is know knowledge or understanding of any sense of self.
2. Avarana – Denial, veiling or concealment, in which the self is thought of as an object to be proven. This is a form of expressed ignorance or mistaken knowledge.
3. Vikshepa – Projection, where there is an erroneous understanding of the self, and an underlying frustration of not being able to experience it.
4. Paroksha – Indirect knowledge. The person develops faith in Vedanta and learns about the existence of the self, but believes it can only be understood by great masters.
5. Aparoksha – Direct knowledge. An experiential understanding of the self, no longer as an outer object but as an inner, conscious subject.
6. Shoka Nivritti – The end of suffering, otherwise known as moksha, in which the knowledge that ‘I am the self’ provides liberation. This is where seeking and worrying about the self stops.
7. Tripti – Full satisfaction with what is, a sense of spiritual nourishment and deep understanding that the universal self is reflected in the individual self.