Definition - What does Idam mean?

Idam is a word in both Sanskrit and Tamil that refers to a position, place or location. It is often used to add context or emphasis to descriptions that are important to the understanding of different Indian religions and philosophies. Essentially, it can be used in a number of differing ways and in different contexts, making it difficult to pin down one exact English translation.

Most often in the context of yoga or yogic philosophy, this word refers to some higher level of reality that an individual can become aware of.

Yogapedia explains Idam

In the yoga school of Hindu philosophy, idam is linked to the idea of shakti-tattva (the second level of reality). Meanwhile, in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, idam is used to refer to Brahman, or the Absolute Reality. It also appears in the "Advaita Vedanta" doctrine, where it denotes looking at something from an outside perspective, as an observer rather than a subject.

Regardless of which definition an individual is using, practicing yoga and meditation is a way to reach a better understanding of the higher realities denoted by idam. It is a means of helping the individual step outside of the self and the ego in order to reach a more complete comprehension of reality.

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