By Swami Harshananda
Cicchakti literally means ‘sentient power’.
There are three bhakti schools of Vedānta. They were propounded by:
- Nimbārka (14th cent. A. D.)
- Vallabha (A. D. 1473-1531)
- Caitanya (A. D. 1485-1533)
- Śrīkaṇṭha (13th cent. A. D.)
These schools have reconciled both, the cit or conscious and the acit or unconscious aspects of creation within the broad framework of advaita or non-dualism. According to these schools, Brahman, the Absolute or God, has two aspects of power:
God in his own nature is absolutely formless pure consciousness. By cicchakti or the sentient power he holds the individual souls within him. By acicchakti or the insentient power he spreads out the material world and connects it with the former for their diverse experiences.
Cicchakti (sometimes called ‘svarupa- śākti’ or ‘antarañgaśakti’) is said to have three aspects:
- Sandhinī - It is the sat aspect of god. By sandhinī God upholds his own existence and that of others.
- Sarhvit - It is the cit aspect of god. By saihvit he knows and makes others know.
- Hlādinī - It is the ānanda aspect of god. By hlādini he enjoys and makes others enjoy bliss.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore