From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Akṣara literally means ‘imperishable’.

Literally the word signifies anything that is not kṣara, not destructible, hence imperishable. The Upaniṣads use it to describe Brahman and even as its synonym in . For example :

It is for this reason that this word word is considered to be one of the many names of Śiva and Viṣṇu.

Akṣara also signifies Praṇava or Om, the monosyllable that stands for the highest Brahman[4]

The word is also widely used to indicate the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.


  1. Brhadāranyaka Upaniṣad 3.8.8, 9, 10 and 11
  2. Katha Upaniṣad 3.2
  3. Mundaka Upaniṣad 1.1.5 2.22
  4. Bhagavad Gītā 8.13
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore