American Institute of Vedic Studies

Our True Self as the Space of Consciousness (Chidakasha)

In Vedanta the Self or Atman is commonly defined as space (kham, akasha). That space (akasha) is further defined as bliss (Ananda). What is the nature of this space that is the Self? 

Our inner Self holds the entire universe in the small space within the spiritual heart (Hridaya). This is a space of Consciousness (Chidakasha) behind all manifestation in the time-space world.


Levels of Space and Consciousness

 

Vedanta recognizes the existence of several types and levels of space. First is the material space of our physical world that is the matrix of the other elements of earth, water, fire and air. It is the external measurable space in which we determine location and distance. Yet space itself has no form or location of its own. Objects are located in space but space surrounds and permeates all objects. We locate objects in space relative to space as distance.

 

Yet all objects consist of various stages of densification or crystallization of the energies of space. Such material space is not empty but is composed of particles or atoms, out of which the other denser elements are formed. Beyond this is an additional Pranic space, the space of energy and the life-force, more subtle than the material space, which makes the entire universe alive, including our physical bodies.

 

Beyond this pranic space is the space of the mind both at individual and cosmic levels. The individual mind like space is formless and holds thoughts like various objects or energies in space. We all need space in the mind to comprehend things and to observe things properly. We can observe the space between our thoughts.

 

Beyond this mind space is the space of pure consciousness (Chidakasha) that unlike the mind space has no thoughts. The space of the Atman is pure, immutable, empty as it were, sometimes called the Void, Shunya. It holds the entire universe but is not changed by the names and forms that appear within it. This Atmic space has a vibration from which OM as the creative cosmic vibration arises. This Atmic space is of the nature of light (Jyoti). It is self-illuminating and reveals all, with the mind reflecting a portion of its light.

 


Our True Nature as Space

 

We do not ordinarily experience ourselves as space but as form, starting with our physical body that has a precise location and function in time and space. We also experience ourselves as mind or as a set of ideas, concepts, beliefs, opinions, emotions and memories. These are also form based and connected to the body. We then have a social identity framed by our physical and mental activities and identity.

 

Yet we do have an inner sense of our Self as space. We want to be free. We don’t want to be limited or confined, controlled or dominated by another, or constricted in a barrier. Our inner sense of Self persists behind and beyond the ongoing changes in body and mind between birth and death, waking, dream and deep sleep.

 

If our true nature is like space in this higher sense, then truly we are neither body or mind. Then we are everything and nothing, sizeless and all-pervasive. We are the space of Being (Sat), the ground existence itself, which is Brahman as the Transcendent reality. Space is indivisible, indestructible and formless, beyond all limitations. This is the Self of Yoga and Vedanta whose nature is the space of Consciousness.

 

Once we can detach ourselves from our bodies and minds, we can experience ourselves as boundless Space, which is also the space of Seeing and Being. This takes us beyond all dualities and identifications to our connection with all beings and with the universe as a whole which is the space of our own inner being.

 

How do we discover our inner Space as consciousness and bliss? This is the essence of Self-inquiry and meditation, observing our bodies and mind from a place of inner awareness. Moving into the small space within the heart, hridaya akasha, is the key. At the core of our being we hold the entire universe as our own Self-manifestation, in which all sorrow is released.

 

Our true Self that is the space of consciousness is beyond birth and death, location and history, quantity, measurement or any type of category. That is the space of Ananda in which there is peace, happiness, contentment and delight without end and without any division. Once we are willing to let go of our outer identifications we can return to our true nature as Infinite Space and experience all that we observe as a reflection of our own inner light and presence.

 

Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)

Latest Articles
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Embodied Mind and Transcendent Consciousness

We human beings are embodied creatures defined by our birth in a particular physical body as indicating our real identity and the focus of our lives. Our minds are not only located in the body but ruled by an entire set of bodily needs, imperatives, appearances and actions and their

Read More »
Articles by Yogini Shambhavi

Kali as the Yuga Shakti: the Power to Create a New World Age

By Yogini Shambhavi   As the great power of time, Kali’s Shakti creates the different Yugas or world ages that humanity passes through during the long cycles of cosmic evolution. Kali is the Goddess of eternity watching over all our temporal changes and facilitating those which promote our inner growth.

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Comparison and the Incomparable Self

Your inner Self (Atman) and true nature cannot be compared to anything. It has no name, form or action, no shape, size or color. It is beyond all elements and qualities of nature. It is beyond body and mind, time and appearance altogether. It dwells within everything yet is not

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Shiva Ayurveda – The Yogic Power of Healing and Transformation

Most Ayurvedic practitioners look upon Lord Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, as the deity of Ayurveda and ideal doctor. Certainly that is an important tradition worthy of following based on profound Puranic stories and symbolism. Yet in the Rigveda, the oldest Vedic text, and Shruti or book of mantric

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Astrology

Winter Solstice, Galactic Center and New Time of Troubles

I have been writing for some years about 2020 as indicating the beginning of a “New Time of Troubles” for humanity, dangerous from 2020-2028, but continuing long beyond that. This relates astronomically to the Winter Solstice point transiting the Galactic Center in the constellation of Sagittarius. It is difficult to

Read More »
Articles on Yoga

The Ancient Yoga of the Sun

For the Winter Solstice December 21, which marks the rebirth of the Sun and Agni What if the most powerful force for energizing all Yoga practices were as obvious and visible as the Sun? The fact is that it is. The Sun, properly understood not merely as an outer but

Read More »
Articles on Yoga

Yoga as Samadhi

Yoga is defined as Samadhi in the Yoga Sutras. Yet few Yoga practitioners know what Samadhi is or how to approach it. But without understanding Samadhi one cannot understand Yoga in the true sense of the term. Samadhi is complete coherence and composure of mind, the mind fully united with

Read More »
Articles on Yoga

Yoga Nidra according to Adi Shankara

Yoga Nidra is a popular topic today but seldom taken to the depth that it is presented with in the Vedantic teachings. Here we will examine it according to the views of the great teacher, Shankara.   Adi Shankara or Shankaracharya is the most lauded exponent of Advaita or non-dualistic

Read More »
Articles on Yoga

Why Sri Krishna is the Avatar of Yoga

Sri Krishna is the only human guru and incarnation of Vishnu called Yogavatara or the Avatar of Yoga, and Yogeshvara or the Lord of Yoga. The Bhagavad Gita remains the most important and foundational Yoga Shastra or definitive Yoga text. To understand Yoga one must understand Sri Krishna, his life,

Read More »
INTERNATIONALLY BEST SELLING

Follow Dr David Frawley on social media @

Ayurvedic Healing Course

Take a comprehensive, yet affordable distance learning program in Ayurvedic healing, providing a vast set of resources, presented with clarity and depth. It is an excellent and accessible place to start your journey into Ayurveda from wherever you may be, and yet will take you very far. Our Ayurvedic Healing course covers mind-body constitution, daily health regimens, doshic imbalances, dietary and herbal treatment, sensory therapies and internal practices of Yoga and meditation. Our course aims to bring the deeper teachings of Ayurveda to everyone at an affordable price, whether for self-healing or helping others. It is connected to the classic books on Ayurveda of Dr. David Frawley. An internationally renowned course taken by over ten thousand people worldwide over the last thirty years, the course remains one of the best ways to learn Ayurveda both at a personal level and as a foundation for deeper study. Let the wisdom of Ayurveda transform your life and broaden your awareness!

Learn more and Signup Here »

Ayurvedic Astrology Course

Learn the secrets of Vedic astrology as taught relative to the healing powers of Ayurveda. View your birth chart to determine your Ayurvedic mind-body constitution according to their planetary connections, and promote longevity yoga and Self-realization. Learn how to read Vedic charts to help others recognize and optimize their karmas to fulfill their dharma. Study the teachings Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), a master educator in Vedic astrology and Ayurveda of worldwide renown. This course has helped pioneered Vedic astrology in the West and made it accessible to all serious students. Join in this Vedic movement to connect to the universe, the stars and planets, within you!

Learn more and Signup Here »

Yoga, Ayurveda, Mantra & Meditation Course

Take an inspiring online program on classical Yoga and traditional Ayurveda for body, mind and consciousness. Learn how to heal yourself according to a higher awareness that you can share with all! This many-sided course covers all eight limbs of Yoga according to Ayurvedic principles, from asana and pranayama to deeper practices of mantra and meditation. It teaches an Ayurvedic Yoga approach for the full unfoldment of our inner awareness. It shares the secrets of Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, the Yogas of knowledge, devotion and action, in the context of a greater Raja Yoga. Study with one of the world’s leading experts and Acharyas in the field of Yoga and Ayurveda. Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), linking yourself with authentic traditions going back to the Vedic Seers.

Learn more and Signup Here »
Learn Vedic Counselingwith Dr David Frawley

Learn the ancient art of Vedic Counseling and Life-Guidance to live a Vedic life based upon Dharmic values and right management of your Karma. Learn how the Vedic Sciences of Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda, Jyotish and Vastu fit together into an integral model of optimal well-being and Self-realization. 

Layer 1