Meaning in different philosophies
In Hinduism Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world; the first material element created from the astral world (Air, Fire, Water, Earth are the other four in sequence). It is one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five elements"; its main characteristic is Shabda (sound). In Sanskrit the word means "space", the very first element in creation. In Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, and many other Indian languages, the meaning of Akasha has been accepted as sky.
The Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools of Hindu philosophy state that Akasha or ether is the fifth physical substance, which is the substratum of the quality of sound. It is the One, Eternal, and All Pervading physical substance, which is imperceptible.
Akasha is space in the Jain conception of the cosmos. It falls into the Ajiva category, divided into two parts: Loakasa (the part occupied by the material world) and Aloakasa (the space beyond it which is absolutely void and empty). In Loakasa the universe forms only a part. Akasha is that which gives space and makes room for the existence of all extended substances.
The Vaibhashika, an early school of Buddhist philosophy, hold Akasha's existence to be real.
Adherents of the heterodox Cārvāka or Lokāyata philosophy of India hold that this world is made of four elements only. They exclude the fifth element, Akasha, because its existence cannot be perceived.
The Western religious philosophy called Theosophy has popularized the word Akasha as an adjective, through the use of the term "Akashic records" or "Akashic library", referring to an ethereal compendium of all knowledge and history.
It is believed by many modern Pagans that the Akasha, Spirit, is the Fifth Element. Scott Cunningham describes the Akasha as the spiritual force that Earth, Air, Fire, and Water descend from. Some also believe that the combination of the four elements make up that which is Akasha, and that Akasha exists in every living creature in existence; without Akasha, there is no spirit, no soul, no magic.
The Five Elements are worked with to create positive changes on earth. This is done through meditation to bring about beneficial changes in one's life. Akashan spirituality is holistic.
Practitioners learn to maintain mental and physical health through meditation, exercise, ritual and diet. They are expected to have a profound commitment to their life path.
The upward point of the pentacle, the pentagram or five pointed star within a circle, represents Akasha. The others represent Fire, Earth, Air and Water. While Earth is considered "north"; Fire is "south"; air is "east"; Water is "west", while Akasha is "center".
In popular culture
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- Anne Rice used the word "Akasha" as the name of a vampire in the novels The Vampire Lestat (1985) and The Queen of the Damned (1988).
- Shea Godfrey used the word "Akasha" as a term of endearment in the Bold Strokes Books lesbian romance novel Nightshade.
- In the Black Library novel Mechanicum, the Theosophic idea of Akashic records is referenced, in this case as an underlying universal substrate which contains the secrets behind all possible forms of technology. Adept Koriel Zeth attempts to build a device called an Akashic Reader to access this information.
- In the book Science And The Akashic Field by Ervin Laszlo, Akasha is noted as the aether from which all matter is formed.
- In Tsukihime and Fate/stay night visual novels, Akasha is the Root, the source and the end of everything in the universe.
- Akasha is a Rock Band from Costa Rica, the band has shared stage with bands such as P.O.D. and Korn.
- American instrumental jazz band Waking Vision Trio recorded a song "In the Full Moon Akasha" on their EP Into High Selva (2004).
- American Atmospheric black metal band Abigail Williams recorded a song named "Akasha" in their most recent 2011 album "Becoming".
- In the anime series Code Geass, the Emperor of the Britannian Empire built a shrine-like building called the Sword of Akasha, which was described as a "weapon to defeat god". The concept of god is later discussed as the collective-unconscious of every person on earth.
- The "Akasha field" is used in the television series Eureka. It is believed to be a field of universal knowledge and is somehow connected to the terrestrial artifact in the Global Dynamics labs.
- In Kara no Kyoukai anime, Akasha is the Root, and is directly connected to Ryougi Shiki's Chokushi no Magan.
- In the series Fate/Zero, the ultimate goal of the magi is to commune with "The Akashic Record".
- In episode seven of season two of the TV series Charmed, entitled "They`re everywhere," the Akashic records are the basis of power for a group of knowledge-stealing warlocks.
- In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle for the Wii, Akashic Points are locations that lead to other planes of existence.
- In the Super Robot Wars series of strategy video games, Akashic Buster is one of the many attacks in the repertoire of the mecha Cybuster.
- In the Mage: The Ascension role-playing game, a group of mages calls itself the "Akashic Brotherhood".
- In the Nephilim role-playing game, an Akasha is some kind of alternate reality bubble, whose existence and content are based on the thoughts and dreams of the humans.
- In the Legend of the Five Rings role-playing game, the Akasha is the group consciousness of the Naga race.
- In popular Warcraft III custom map "Defense of the Ancients", Akasha is the name of a female hero with the ability to create waves of sound that damage multiple units.
- Akasha is the name of the female Necris High Inquisitor in the Unreal Tournament 3 single player campaign.
- In Persona 3 and Persona 4, there is a skill that the Personae can use called "Akasha Arts", a Strike attack skill that inflicts damage on all enemies.
- In the Square Enix game, Final Fantasy XI, Akash is a representation of the light elemental avatar, Carbuncle.
- In the Arcana Evolved roleplaying game, Akashic is the name of a character class that taps into collective memory to gain knowledge.
- In TERA Online, the MMORPG, Akasha (Goddess of Epidemics) is the name of a L50 final boss in Akasha's Hideout.
- In Dota 2, a real-time, action strategy game, a playable hero is named Akasha, the Queen of Pain.
- In Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, a Japanese RPG, the extradimensional being Polaris has access to and control over all the Akashic records for our universe, and can edit them (and thus the universe) at will.
- In "Unreal Tournament III", Akasha is the leader of the alien aggressors, the "Necris".
- Classical element
- Ervin László
- Dictionary of World Philosophy by A. Pablo Iannone, Taylor & Francis, 2001, p. 30. ISBN 0-415-17995-5
- Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology by Karl H. Potter, Usharbudh Arya, Motilal Banarsidass Publications, 1977, p. 71. ISBN 81-208-0309-4
- Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; Samkhya and Yoga; Naya and Vaiseshika by F. Max Muller, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 40. ISBN 0-7661-4296-5
- Encyclopaedia of Jainism by Narendra Singh, Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2001, p. 1623. ISBN 81-261-0691-3
- Buddhist Dictionary by Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Publication Society, 1998, pp. 9–10. ISBN 955-24-0019-8
- Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy By Oliver Leaman, Contributor Oliver Leaman, Taylor & Francis, 2001, ISBN 0-415-17281-0, pg. 476
- The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism By Tilmann Vetter, Brill: Leiden, 1988. pg. 65
- The Tale of Carvaka by Manga Randreas, Mangalakshmi Ravindram, iUniverse, 2005, ISBN 0-595-34955-2, pg, 270
- Earth, Air, Fire & Water, Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn, 1995)
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