Akṣipuruṣa-vidyā

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Aksipurusa-vidya, AkSipuruSa-vidyA, Akshipurusha-vidyaa


Akṣipuruṣa-vidyā literally means ‘Science of the person in the eye’.

Philosophical thought has reached its acme in the Upaniṣads. The sages of the Upaniṣads, with their deep insight into human nature devised several upāsanās or Vidyās (mystic meditations) based on the Vedic rituals..

One of these Vidyās mentioned in the Chāndogya Upanisad[1] is the Aksipuruṣavidyā. ‘Akṣipuruṣa’ means ‘the person seen in the eye.’ He is identified with the ātman. Obviously he cannot be the reflection seen in the eyeball. He is the person who animates the eye and enables it to see. Or he is the person seen through the inner eye after purifying the mind through disciplines like brahmacharya or celibacy.

Actually he is the draṣṭā, the seer and not dṛśya, the seen. He is Brahman. Meditation upon him as the seer or even as the eye that sees everything else is Aksipurusavidyā. The fruits of such meditation are believed to be obtaining all good things, shining in all worlds and after death, not being reborn.

References

  1. Chāndogya Upanisad 4.15 and 8.7.4
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore