Prak??a is a concept of Kashmir Shaivism translated by various authors as "light", "splendour", "light of consciousness" (identified with ?iva) (Swami Lakshman Joo), "luminous and undifferentiated consciousness" (Paul E. Murphy) or "primordial light beyond all manifestations" (Paul Muller-Ortega).
Prak??a is considered supreme, ultimate, unsurpassable, but as such it cannot be described as pure transcendence, because even tough it is above all, it is still present in the manifestation, in every aspect of it. Thus prak??a is said to be both transcendent and immanent.
Uncreated light (prak??a) is the essence of ?iva. It's function is to illuminate, to make manifest. However, Kashmir Shaivism declares that the nature of prak??a is "self apprehension", or, to reflect upon itself. "If the supreme light were devoid of this free and spontaneous self-referential capacity, it would be powerless and inert".Prak??a and vimar?a form a couple at the supreme level, identified respectively with ?iva and ?akti.
Kashmir Shaivism accords a very important role to the concept of consciousness as light, so, repeatedly trying to describe this essentially undescribable experience, has given it a plurality of names:
There is no way a personal experience of prak??a could be fully conveyed into words, but mystics, both ancient and modern, have tried to do so, because such words carry a powerful spiritual charge. Some of the subjective attributes of the light of consciousness, in synthesis, are: "liquid", "blissful", "immaculate", "blinding", "enveloping" and "weightless". Here are but a few of the many accounts:
Gopi Krishna, in his first experience of the awakening of kundalini has experienced luminous manifestations he described as:
In his translation of '''' uses such formulations :
A mystical experience of Ramakrishna, representing a turning point for him :
A few accounts of encounters with the uncreated light, by Yogananda :
====== ' by ' is an intensely devotional text of Kashmir Shaivism. Here are some quotes referring to the light of consciousness :
A few selective quotes from Tantraloka of Abhinavagupta:
This article is based on "Prakasa" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Prakasa&action=history