acicchakti

(‘non-sentient power [of Brahman]’)

If the solid world we perceive with our senses is a wonderful phenomenon, the unseen Power behind it is a deep mystery. The quest for the mode by which this unseen Power has evolved into this tangible world has resulted in several philosophical schools, often called ‘darśanas,’ in the text-books of Hindu metaphysics. Of these, the Vedānta Darśana of Bādarāyaṇa has attracted the maximum number of commentators one of whom is Nimbārka (11th-12th cent. A. D.). According to him, Brahman, the highest Reality, is a personal God, identified with Kṛṣṇa or Hari. Brahman has two powers cit-śakti (sentient power, i.e., the indi-vidual souls) and acit-śakti (non-sentient power, i.e., nature). At the beginning of creation, He manifests these two powers. From acit-śakti or acicchakti, there is a gradual evolution of the entire material world.

This acicchakti manifests itself in three different forms:

  1. the prākṛta or what is derived from the prakṛti, primal matter, responsible for the material world;
  2. the aprākṛta, the non-material aspect, the stuff of the celestial bodies and objects as also the regions where the Lord and the freed souls live;
  3. kāla or time.

See also NIMBĀRKA.