The Akashic Record Explained
Jai Guru Deva. I’m Thom Knoles. Thank you for listening to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview.
I frequently get questions about the “Akashic record,” and people want to know what that is and how it works, and what it means.
Some of the misconceptions are that somewhere in the heavens, there is a great book called ‘The Akashic Record,’ and there’s some old gnarled hand with a, perhaps, a quill pen that’s been dipped into some kind of cosmic ink, and that it’s writing down all of the experiences that are being had by people, and including things like the good list and the naughty list.
The Akashic record, “Oh, watch out. It’s going into the Akashic record.”
So let’s get down to the reality of this, and out of the fantasy level, and have an understanding of what the Akashic record actually is.
Akasha, A-K-A-S-H-A, Akasha. Akasha, proper pronunciation, Akasha [AHH ka sha].
Again, I want to revisit a little Sanskrit lesson. The anti-penultimate accent in about 90% of Sanskrit words that have three or more syllables. The accent is on the ante, A-N-T-E, and ultimate P-E-N. Ultimate. Ultimate means the last, the final. Penultimate means second to last.
People often misuse the word penultimate, and they say, “Oh. Robin Hood, the penultimate Prince of Thieves.” That would be like saying he was second from the last.
Penultimate doesn’t mean extra ultimate. Penultimate means, it means the second from the end. Ultimate, the end, the last. Penultimate, the second to the last. Ante, A-N-T-E, ante-penultimate, third from the last, third from the end.
[03:11] Mastering Sanskrit Pronunciation
So we have the famous book from India, the treatise known as, very often mispronounced by English speakers as Ramayana [RA ma ya na]. Ramayana is not the pronunciation. It’s the third from the end, not the second from the end, where the accent is. Ra-MA-ya-na, third from the end.
Another great treatise from India, The Mahabharata. Mahabharata is a great treatise written by Vyasa, one of the masters of our tradition. But it’s very often mispronounced as Maha Barata, Maha Barata, the penultimate syllable, which is a very frequent English way of accenting words, especially long words, second from the end.
But Sanskrit, third from the end, Maha-BHA-ra-ta. Therefore Akasha, Akasha, third from the end. Akasha. Akashic record. And in the English, we tend to want to say, A-KA-sha, Akasha.
Akasha, and then Akashic, was actually, we put the accent on the A, the first A. Akasha. Akashic record.
What is it, actually? Akasha is very strongly identified in the Vedic literature as being the space element, element of space. But space being the subtlest of five elements.
We have prithivi. Prithivi is earth element. Apa, A-P-A, apa, water element. Tejas, tejas is fire element. Vayu, V-A-Y-U, Vayu is air element. Akasha. Akasha, space element. Space element, the subtlest of the five, Prithivi, Apa, Tejas, Vayu, Akasha.
Akasha, being the subtlest of the elements, has an unique characteristic. It is the easiest of the five elements in which to find Consciousness. Consciousness is the fundamental baseline of all things, including of earth element, water element, fire element, and air element.
[06:17] Maha Bhuta: The Five Great Elements
But those other elements have a lot of elaboration in them. They’re elaborate, and because they’re elaborate, their ability to obscure the consciousness quality of the relative world is a greater ability. They can obscure it because they’re complex elements compared with space.
Space, Akasha is the simplest of the five elements, by far the simplest. Although it may be a little bit of a stretch fully to understand it, Akasha is the simplest, the least elaborate, of the five elements.
In case you’re doing further readings and you come across this word – five elements, five, pancha or panch, P-A-N-C-H-A, pancha. Maha, M-A-H-A means great. Panch means five. Maha means great. Bhutas, B-H-U-T-A, Bhuta in Sanskrit, four elements. The five great elements – Prithivi, Apa, Tejas, Vayu, Akasha. Prithivi, earth. Apa, water. Tejas, fire. Vayu, air. Akasha, space element.
Space is the least complex, the least elaborate of the panch-mahabhutas, the five great elements. And consequently, it doesn’t take much to find Consciousness in it. Consciousness is everywhere. Consciousness is everything.
And Consciousness elaborate and made complex is earth. Less complex than that, Consciousness plays the role of water. Less complex than that, Consciousness plays the role of fire. Less complex than that, Consciousness plays the role of air, by Vayu. Less complex than Vayu, Consciousness plays the role of Akasha, space, space element.
So then, what happens inside Consciousness? Consciousness has a tendency to store a memory of sequential elaboration. Consciousness has the ability to store a memory of sequential elaboration. What thing happened first?
[09:18] Chit and Consciousness
What is it that cascaded from that first thing into the second thing? What is it that cascaded from one and two into three? What is it that cascades from one, two, and three into four, and so on and so forth?
Sequential elaboration is how the whole of creation is built up. The whole of creation, the behavior of, and the fundamental understanding of all the complexity. By complexity, we don’t mean complicated. We mean complexity. Complexity means sophisticated togetherness.
When I think of the internal workings of my wristwatch, it’s complex but sophisticated. Elegant complexity is that kind of complex that we’re talking about. The complex Universe can be reverse-engineered back to its simplest quality, which is Akasha, which is identified most closely with Consciousness itself.
Consciousness, when it has a tendency to remember, or to hold memory of, sequential elaboration, then Consciousness is referred to as Chit, C-H-I-T, Chit.
Chit actually has become an English word. It means a ticket or some kind of tabulation that stores information. It’s entered into the English language, complete and whole C-H-I-T, Chit.
But in Sanskrit, Chit means that element of Chetana. Chetana is Consciousness. C-H-E-T-A-N-A, Chetana is Consciousness. But Consciousness in a particular role of remembering sequential elaboration is called Chit.
And you hear the word Chit, sometimes in descriptions of heightened Consciousness. Sat, Absolute; Chit, Consciousness that holds memory; Ananda, Bliss. Satchitananda, Satchitananda.
So Chit is embedded in Akasha. Akasha has the capacity to hold a memory of sequential elaboration from the time of the Big Bang, 14 billion years ago or so, depending on which astrophysicists’ calculations you wish to subscribe to.
[12:29] Reverse Engineering The Universe: Understanding the Beginning of Time
All of space-time emerged out of a singularity, a point of a point, and expanded to about 50% of its current size. This is the universe we’re talking about, within about one 10,000 billionth of a second, the first miracle.
That is to say, all of space-time, all the laws of Nature, all capabilities, all fundamental forces, in one 10,000 billionth of a second came into being out of a point of a point, the Big Bang as it’s referred to, the sudden expansion of this singularity into its current status, which we call the universe.
And within that, there was sequential elaboration. What came first? What followed on from that? What followed on from that? We know about all of this in quantum astrophysics and in cosmology by doing a thing which is popular to science, called reverse engineering.
You see a steady state, and you see how it is currently evolving, and you use that, those principles of those steps by which current evolution is happening, and you reverse those steps and go back and go back and go back and go back. And ultimately, if we go back looking at the expanding universe, which is expanding at its outer edge at nearly the speed of light.
The expanding universe where space itself is stretching, and all things that are in space are moving through space at phenomenal speeds. If we reverse engineer that, it goes back into being the singularity out of which the Big Bang occurred.
[14:35] Akashic Record Holds the Secrets of The Universe
You can read up on this by just doing a search engine search for The Big Bang. It’s fascinating reading.
All of the information about everything that goes down is stored in space itself, in the form of Chit, the storehouse of impressions. Chit, storehouse of impressions, which is easily found inside Akasha.
So the Akashic record is really just the way in which the vibratory memory, the vibrational memory of what happened, is stored.
Now we can access this Chit in our meditation to the extent that it is relevant. First of all, relevance has to be seen as primary to gaining access to any information about what happened, what went down.
If it’s not relevant, no amount of frothing over with desire to get information is going to get it for you. It has to meet that fundamental criterion of relevance.
So, to the extent that it’s relevant, when our consciousness, our individual consciousness, settles down to lesser and lesser excited states, then a mere impulse of desire, a mere impulse of intention is enough to cause information to zoom forth. In our least excited state in meditation just before Transcendence.
Transcendence (capital T), transcend, means that which is beyond everything the unmanifest field of being when individuality is transcended in Vedic Meditation. When we go beyond the subtlest, our individuality becomes one with that oceanic field of Being.
Individuality doesn’t “experience” Being. Individuality becomes the state of Being. Being knows itself. Individuality isn’t present in Transcendence, but just before Transcendence on the cusp of Transcendence, individuality is still there.
[17:29] The Two Truths: Temporal and Transcendent
Although in a very expanded state, a very super subtle but very expanded state, individuality is still present. One hasn’t quite yet transcended. One is on the cusp of Transcendence.
And we refer to this with yet another Sanskrit phrase, Ritambhara Pragya.
Ritam R-I-T-A-M, Bhara, B-H-A-R-A, Pragya, P-R-A-G-Y-A. Ritambhara Pragya. Sometimes the letter N is put on the end of Pragya to make it into Pragyan.
Ritambhara Pragya means that layer, that stratum, in which the total Truth is held. Why total Truth? Ritam means total Truth, the whole Truth.
It’s not true to say that the ultimate Truth is only the unmanifest absolute field of Being. It’s true to say Totality is the ultimate Truth. The unmanifest, and all things manifest that issue forth from it, are also it.
Active, evolving, elaborating, changing state of Unified Field is also Truth. It’s just that it is temporal truth. Nothing stays true for very long. The absolute Truth, the unmanifest absolute state of Being, Transcendent Truth, the absolute Truth, stays true to itself permanently. It never changes.
Never changing is capital T, Truth. Ever changing is lowercase t, many truths. Something is true for a period of time and then is not true anymore, temporal truths.
Totality of all of these truths, the truth of The Absolute, and its never-changing, underlying, unmanifest reality, and the truths of the bifurcated Absolute.
[19:54] The Unchanging and Ever-Changing Nature of Truth
Ocean at its depth, non-changing. Ocean at its surface, waves of change.
Waves, waves, waves. All of these waves are waves of that which is not waving. That which is the unbounded, silent, eternal truth of the depth of the ocean.
Depth of the ocean, same water. Surface of the ocean, same water. Water moving as waves, water moving less as you go deeper in the ocean. Water, not moving. All same water.
Water moving through water. No non-water here. Being in its unmanifest form, non-changing, absolute truth. Being in its ever-changing truth, relativity, the relative world.
So all of this sits, and all of its sequential elaboration, sits, as a memory in the Consciousness field. And to the extent that it’s relevant for such information to be had about what happened when, and in what perspective, what context a thing happened, and when, this can be known.
Our individual consciousness has certain question marks in it. Natural wonderings. And as we settle down into our less-excited state when we approach Ritambhara Pragya, the place where the whole Truth is held, some of those question marks about what happened may continue to persist if they’re relevant. It’s possible for a relevant question mark to continue to be present even when we’re approaching The Absolute.
And if we hit the level of Ritam, if we experience Ritambhara Pragya, which we call for short, Ritam, and one of those question marks is still there, then what happens is the zooming forth of knowledge, information that fulfills the question mark. It erases the question mark.
Knowledge replaces mystery. A mystery is removed by knowledge appearing. But if there’s a question mark that’s not relevant and we go deep, then that question mark will disappear before we reach Ritam. Access to the Akashic record, not a term that I use that much.
I like Ritambhara Pragya. I like to use the word Chit. But when people say Akashic record, this is what they’re referring to. The ability of Consciousness to hold impressions of the sequential elaboration of evolution from the time of the Big Bang to the present moment.
Access to that is dependent on relevance and dependent on the capacity of the one who desires knowledge, to be able to step beyond individuality and touch the surface of The Absolute in that state of Ritam, and the knowledge can be had.
Many great artists, Leonardo, for example, Albert Einstein, for example, artists, scientists, report having had consciousness events report, having had access to something like Ritam that gave them insights and information that was pivotal to their either artistic research or scientific research.
And this is not something that is unique only to Vedic meditators. However, a larger number percentage-wise of Vedic meditators have this experience compared with people who don’t know how to transcend. A larger number.
If you wish to be one of those, continue to practice your technique of Vedic Meditation, twice a day. Or if you haven’t yet had the advantage of instruction from a qualified teacher, then come to my website and click on the link to teachers in your area, and a teacher will appear for you, and you can learn the technique that I’ve been describing.