The Heart | iHanuman


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The Heart

Aham, the heart or "subjective I", is a central concept in Kaula ideology, conceived of as the most sacred reality, home of consciousness (Cit) and bliss (Ananda), place of union of the cosmic couple Shiva and Shakti. The term Aham refers to the same reality as other terms like anuttara (unsurpassed), Akula (beyond the group), Shiva (The Lord), Cit (supreme consciousness) as well as "feminine" aspects as Ananda and Shakti. Each term brings a specific viewpoint, but none of them can fully describe the Supreme Reality.             

On the individual level, the heart is the binding force of all conscious experiences - the individual being is considered a Kula composed of eight elements: five senses, ego (ahamkar), the mind and the intellect. These eight are not disconnected, unrelated processes but rather a unified, interrelated family ("kaula") based on consciousness as the common substrate. Kaula prescribes practices that reintegrate the eight "rays" of the soul into the supreme consciousness.  

On the cosmic level, the "Heart of the Lord" (aham) is the substrate of the family of 36 elements forming all manifestation. The concept of "Spiritual Heart" is so important that even the supreme realization in Kashmir Shaivism is described in relation to it. The so-called Kechari Mudra is an attitude described as "the ability of consciousness to freely move (charati) about in the space (kha) of the heart".("kha"+"charati" forming "kechari")

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