Self-Reflection Is What God Does

vimarsha prakasha
October 24, 2018

Shambhavi unpacks “vimarsha” and “prakasha” from the perspective of Trika Shaivism. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

First Words from Podcast

Today I want to talk about a word that’s really central to the Trika tradition—vimarsha. This follows up on the talk from last week about karma.

In our culture we tend to think that karma is our inner machinations, our own patterns of body, energy, and mind. We don’t tend to see every circumstance that we’re in, every encounter, and every person as an aspect of our karma. But that indeed is true. It’s also an aspect of other people’s karmas, too. It doesn’t just belong to us. We should look into circumstance and always use ALL of our circumstance to reflect on our condition and help us to wake up, not just what’s happening inside.

So vimarsha means self-reflection or self-awareness. It’s actually a very deep word with a lot of different layers of meanings. If we look in the Kashmiri tradition, vimarsha is one of two words that are companions and that signify the supreme Reality.

The first word is prakasha, which means the light of consciousness. That word is equivalent to what we could call Shiva. Then vimarsha is that power of self-reflection that is Shakti. So those two things go together, prakasha and vimarsha.

Here are some of the terms that are used: an act of consciousness. That’s one of the meanings of vimarsha—what consciousness does. Self-revelation is another term. Self-revelation is what this entire reality is engaged in. We’re obsessed with finding out stuff like the truth, or who we are, or what’s really happening. Everyone on the globe is obsessed with that on some level or another. That’s because we’re reflecting the main activity of God, which is self-reflection. We’re doing it in our own limited way, but that’s why we’re so obsessed with that activity.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.