Chaitanya

Definition - What does Chaitanya mean?

Chaitanya is a Sanskrit term for "consciousness" that relates to the Universal Self or Soul. It also means “spirit,” “intelligence,” “energy,” “enthusiasm” or “sensation.” The basic nature of Brahman as revealed in yoga is chaitanya.

Chaitanya is also the name of an emotional movement in Hinduism that thrived in eastern India beginning around the 16th century C.E. Its name comes from a medieval saint named Chaitanya whose ardent devotion to Krishna inspired the movement. Lord Chaitanya is regarded by his devotees as an incarnation of Vishnu sent to save Earth.

Yogapedia explains Chaitanya

Chaitanya, as a philosophical term, is a divine, pure consciousness that can pull the mind into a meditative stillness. According to Advaita Vedanta, a school of Hinduism, the different categories of chaitanya consciousness are brahma-chaitanya, meaning "absolute consciousness," ishvara-chaitanya, meaning "cosmic consciousness," jiva-chaitanya, meaning "individual consciousness," and saksi-chaitanya, meaning "indwelling consciousness."

The Self, according to the Upanishads, is represented differently depending on the overriding principle of consciousness in the person. The seven folds of consciousness in the Upanishads are physical, vital, mental, supra-intellectual, blissful, infinite divine Self-awareness and pure divine existence.

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