Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Unmesa Mean?

Unmesa and nimesa are Sanskrit words that are used in a number of different contexts relating to human consciousness.

One way of understanding unmesa is by seeing it is as an upward movement, or ascent, of consciousness. In this case, nimesa is the downward movement, or descent. Both movements are an integral part of the spanda (cosmic movement) that takes place between any two objects in the universe as a part reflecting the greater whole, like Parvati as an integral part of Shiva. It can also be thought of as expansion and contraction of consciousness, two thoughts, two points of view or anything else.

An alternate meaning for unmesa is “appearance,” with nimesa having the opposite meaning of “disappearance.”


Yogapedia Explains Unmesa

Unmesa and nimesa are important parts of the Kashmir Shaivism philosophy which follows the scriptures of the Shaiva Tantras (Agamas). They believe that moksha (liberation) can be reached through the daily practice of sadhana. Some sources suggest that unmesa is what we experience with our eyes open, while true reality is seen through nimesa when our eyes are closed.

A yoga practitioner may wish to contemplate these two concepts in order to gain a fuller understanding of the different levels of consciousness encountered during meditation.

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